I have no idea what to title this.

Serious discussions on politics, religion, and the like.

I have no idea what to title this.

Postby Deepbluediver » Thu Sep 19, 2013 9:05 am

Since the discussion was getting away from the comic, I opted to make a new thread here for my reply to a couple of issues raised in THIS THREAD.

These are sensitive topics, and I don't want to start up a flame war, so...

1) Everything I state is my perception or my opinion; if you think I'm wrong or misguided, please explain why in a polite manner. I'm perfectly willing to change my mind if presented with good information or a fresh perspective I hadn't considered.
2) I'm not here to defend or blame anyone for anything, please do not make those kinds of assertions.
3) I will try to be as forthright and explicit as possible. I do not like insinuations or implications; if you would like clarification on anything just ask.

JustinReilly wrote:Let's not re-hash Elevatorgate here. It was a truly obnoxious clusterfuck of internet stupid.

Right, sorry. I'll try to avoid bringing it up again; I just thought it made for an interesting read.

JustinReilly wrote:I wasn't aware there was a time in the past when sexual assault wasn't something women needed to worry about.

Given that I'm not a professional anthropologist, I can't really comment on the situation for every culture in the entire history of the world, from ancient Egyptian, to Greek, to Native American (north and south) to others. It might be an interesting historical study; I know Cracked.com recently had an article on several cultures that view marriage quite differently.

But, and this is getting back to my earlier point about making a big deal out of sex, why is sexual assault a bigger deal than regular assault? As I understood it, the whole point of humans gathering together in groups and forming a society, with rules and laws, was so that we didn't need to spend all day every day looking over our shoulders, wondering if some one was gonna pop up and attack us. This is not to make light of sexual assault or rape, it's a terrible thing. But what I'm asking is why is there such a significant difference between this and other crimes? You could probably make the argument that it's mentally traumatic, but then a mugging or home-invasion could also be equally terrifying. By the same token, I expect there are people who could recover from a rape faster than they could recover from a cracked jaw or broken rib, just because of their mental and/or spiritual fortitude.
As far as I know (and I have no reason to disbelieve this) rape and other related crimes tend to be underreported by both women and men. I wonder, sometimes, if it would be less humiliating or shameful to discuss this kind of thing (writing this is making me uncomfortable right now) if our collective consciousness didn't make it out to be. If sex was less of a big deal.

As another way to look at it is that we treat sexual-criminals differently. Recidivism is, as far as I know, a problem for many types of crimes, but people don't need to register as a klepto-offender or arson-offender. In a slightly less depressing context, (this was brought up in the comic) extreme violence is less objectionable to be shown on TV or in a movie than consensual sex.
Again, this is not about claiming that sexual assault isn't a bad thing; it's about asking why we make such a significant division, and if it's helpful or harmful overall. I don't really know, honestly, and while you can probably see that I'm leaning one way, I'm open to being convinced otherwise.

crayzz wrote:
Deepbluediver wrote:
Packbat wrote:I think a good rule would be "ask, but make it clear that any answer would be fine".

See, that's the sort of thing that I think should be implicitly understood anyway. You're basically saying that I should make clear my intentions to NOT rape or assault someone.

Well, no. No one is saying to say "I won't rape you."


My objection to this is several-fold, and I linked the comic because I felt like it was making my point better than I could. Let me try to explain my opinion better though.

First, it seems to be encouraging a culture of fear. Every man is supposed to assume that every women assumes that every man is a potential rapist (that's a lot of assumptions, and while I used certain pronouns, you could insert any gender if you want) and has to preemptively counter that assumption. In general people tend to be bad as assessing potential risk; most people are more afraid of shark attacks and lightning strikes than cars, despite the fact that the flying metal juggernauts cause far more deaths and injuries.
I've read that 1 in 6 women will the victim of sexual assault in their lifetime. That also means that 5 out of 6 won't. I'm not sure what the statistics are for those who commit assault, but the optimist in my hopes that the ratio isn't any worse. So it would seem like at the least, the odds are on our side.
This is not to say that woman (or anyone) shouldn't consider things that reduce their risk or vulnerability, or that men (or anyone, again) shouldn't take care that they don't seem overly threatening. But on the scale of "everyone, all the time", to me it seems like it's gone past reasonable caution and is deep into paranoia.

Second, it seems kind of chauvinistic. It seems to me like it's saying "women are these delicate flowers that we need to be careful around, lest frighten or traumatize them". Its insulting, in a way (again, my OPINION, feel free to disagree).
Here's sort of how I envision this playing out:
Me: Hi, you're cute. Would you like to have sex with me? But if you don't, that's OK too. (obviously, phrasing it in less of a dickish manner)
Potential Date: Really? REALLY? Oh gosh gee, thanks so much for your permission to NOT have sex, asshole. *followed possibly by a slap or a knee to the groin*
As another example, in a different context, imagine I'm trying to change a flat tire and ask some one walking by for help. I say "Hey, can you give me a hand? But if you don't want too or are to busy or something, that's fine. I won't chase you down and beat you up."
Why is this a situation where I need to assure people that I will continue to act in a civilized, non-criminal manner?

Finally, actions speak louder than words, body language, and pretty much everything else. No matter what I say or imply, if some one is worried that another person will force myself upon them, the only real test is to agree to whatever, then change your mind (this is definitely a bad idea, I think, I would advise against anyone testing their potential partner this way). Up until that point, you really have no idea how someone is going to act, and if they are behaving in a creepy, skeezy, or douchey manner, than what they say probably has little impact.

crayzz wrote:Indeed, it [Elevatorgate] blew up in to more than that (as I recall, it was a major factor in getting skeptic conventions to institute harassment policies, among other things). My point is that people are still complaining about the initial incident as if she accused him of wanting to rape her/ thinking all men are rapists. A simple expression of discomfort can bring all that down on someone. That's a problem.

I don't want to rehash this as stated above, and I don't want to take a side, but from what I read it got pushed along as much by the actions of the original poster as anyone else, and much of the later (misunderstood) criticism was over how other people responded or reacted as much as the initial incident itself.
As I think I've mentioned, people seem to make a big deal out of sex and all related things. IMO, sometimes unnecessarily so.

Deepbluediver wrote:
crayzz wrote:
Deepbluediver wrote:And it's not just from one side or the other; I see something like a "slut-walk" (I hate the "S" word by the way, I cringed just writing that) to be just as pointless as anti-sodomy laws and the like (aka, the "nun'yo business" approach).

You think protests stressing the fact that women aren't to blame for being raped are like anti sodomy laws? What?
I have my problems with "slut-walk", but pointless it isn't.


I've gotta run, so I'll have to reply to this in full later, but no, that was not my argument at all. Perhaps I misunderstood the point of them then.

As I understood it, the so called "Slut-walks/marches" where a female empowerment/sexual freedom thing. That the point of it was to encourage women to not be ashamed of sex, or of liking sex. I felt that this a good goal; no one, IMO, should be shamed for their sexual proclivities. But by describing it in a certain way and by the manner in which it was carried out, it seemed designed more to stir up controversy than actually advance any beneficial agenda. As several people have noted on the forum, I'm particularly averse to aggressive confrontation, so this doesn't sit well with me.

To use an analogy, I felt that it would be like someone organizing a parade, convention, presentation, whatever, celebrating the history of America, then calling it "White Power". I AM NOT TRYING TO COMPARE FEMINISM TO RACISM. Please read the rest of this section before breaking out the pitchforks and torches. I am trying to explain that I feel something good or neutral can be made to seem worse by the manner or context in which it is presented, even to the point where it attracts attention in such a wrong way that the original message or benefit is lost.


If I have grossly misunderstood any of this, please feel free to educate me or provide a contrasting opinion.
Thank you for reading.
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Re: I have no idea what to title this.

Postby crayzz » Thu Sep 19, 2013 10:01 am

But, and this is getting back to my earlier point about making a big deal out of sex, why is sexual assault a bigger deal than regular assault?


Ideally, it wouldn't be. The damage done by assault is decided by the victim. Someone can be groped and not be particularly bothered by it. Someone can get into a bar fight and not be particularly bothered by it. Other's might feel truly harmed by either incident.

The problem with sexual assault is the word games people play with it:

"Oh, it's just a little touching; it's not a big deal."

"Oh, you didn't tell him/her not to touch; really, it's your fault."

"Oh, Jason/Jessica is just really touchy feely; it's not a big deal."

No one will question whether or not someone punched in the face (unprovoked) is a victim, but people will often question whether or not someone sexually harassed/sexually assaulted is a victim (Ryuka is proving this point quite well in the other thread).

I wonder, sometimes, if it would be less humiliating or shameful to discuss this kind of thing (writing this is making me uncomfortable right now) if our collective consciousness didn't make it out to be. If sex was less of a big deal.


Maybe. But, the fact of the matter is, sex is a big deal. We can't just ignore this cultural aspect when dealing with our culture.

Every man is supposed to assume that every women assumes that every man is a potential rapist (that's a lot of assumptions, and while I used certain pronouns, you could insert any gender if you want) and has to preemptively counter that assumption.


This... ok.

We need to recognize that sexual violence against women is rather prevalent. Because of this, women tend to be worried about sexual assault. This means that some women (not all) don't react well to boundaries not being respected. She doesn't know at what point you'll start respecting boundaries, so starting the encounter with a boundary violation (such as touching her without permission) is enough to send of warning flares.

"Preemptively countering that assumption" in this case means not assuming you're allowed to touch her, and respecting any boundaries she decides to put up for herself. This is hardly an arduous task, and this applies to dealing with men as well.

I've read that 1 in 6 women will the victim of sexual assault in their lifetime.


No, 1 in 6 are victims of rape. About 45% (page 28) of women are victims of some sort of sexual violence. That's nearly 1 in 2.

I'm not sure what the statistics are for those who commit assault, but the optimist in my hopes that the ratio isn't any worse. So it would seem like at the least, the odds are on our side.


About between 1 in 20 to 1 in 12, depending on the stats in question.

Second, it seems kind of chauvinistic. It seems to me like it's saying "women are these delicate flowers that we need to be careful around, lest frighten or traumatize them".


This genuinely confuses me. First of all, it's not ok to disrespect men's boundaries either. It's not ok to pressure men in to sex. Anything I say with regards to making women feel comfortable can apply to men as well; I just don't see as many men worried about sexual assault, so their seems to be less need for it.

Second of all, "not frightening the delicate flowers" means respecting women's boundaries, and not making self serving assumptions as to where those boundaries lie. It means erring on the side of caution when you don't know, and genuinely apologizing rather than doubling down when you fuck up. I like my boundaries respected; I hardly think it paints women as frail, weak beings to think that they might prefer that as well.

Me: Hi, you're cute. Would you like to have sex with me? But if you don't, that's OK too. (obviously, phrasing it in less of a dickish manner)
Potential Date: Really? REALLY? Oh gosh gee, thanks so much for your permission to NOT have sex, asshole. *followed possibly by a slap or a knee to the groin*


Or "Hey, if you're free tonight, why don't you come back to my place."

Similarly with your next example: "Hey, do you have a minute? Would you be willing to help?"

I'm more concerned with one's reaction to rejection than I am with phrasing a proposition perfectly (which I think just won't happen). If she seems uncertain, or responds in any way that isn't a clear "yes", just handle it well. Don't pressure, don't pester, accept the decision. If she requires knowledge that her boundaries will be respected, then you've demonstrated that, and she might reconsider. If uncertainty or soften refusals are just her polite way of saying no, then you've respected that.

The same goes for dealing with men, as not all men are comfortable when it comes to sex.

As I understood it, the so called "Slut-walks/marches" where a female empowerment/sexual freedom thing. That the point of it was to encourage women to not be ashamed of sex, or of liking sex. I felt that this a good goal; no one, IMO, should be shamed for their sexual proclivities. But by describing it in a certain way and by the manner in which it was carried out, it seemed designed more to stir up controversy than actually advance any beneficial agenda. As several people have noted on the forum, I'm particularly averse to aggressive confrontation, so this doesn't sit well with me.


No; it was organised in response to a police officer in Toronto telling women to not dress like sluts if they don't want to get raped. From there, it branched off into protests and demonstrations combating the idea that women are somehow responsible for their sexual assault.

Incidentally, the methods aren't particularly liked by all. My mother actually tried changing gears and starting "slut talk" which would've been more of a discussion format. It fell through for some reason.

Further incidentally, counter culture movements are confrontational. There's no way to get around that.

EDIT: "As far as I know (and I have no reason to disbelieve this) rape and other related crimes tend to be underreported by both women and men."

A huge reason for this is victim blaming; having the police tell you it's your fault for being out late/being drunk/dressed slutty is can be incredibly painful. It's a major reason why victims don't report, and a major reason for slut-walk.

To use an analogy, I felt that it would be like someone organizing a parade, convention, presentation, whatever, celebrating the history of America, then calling it "White Power".


I don't see how "white power" is remotely analogous to "slut-walk". The former is generally used by racist groups trying to oppress people; the latter are the oppressed people. "Black pride" is probably a better analogy for "slut-walk".
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Re: I have no idea what to title this.

Postby Tem » Thu Sep 19, 2013 10:23 am

You're male, aren't you?

Sexual assault is a big deal because:

- it is a hatecrime. People steal and rob because they want money, but they rape because they want to humiliate a human being. Everyone would like to have more money. We can understand that. But normal people do not want to cause pain for the sake of causing pain.
- it takes something beautiful, and perverts it in a way that makes the victim unable to enjoy it ever again. (or at least some time). It's like force-feeding someone chocolate cake while threatening to kill them. (Okay, not a good analogy, as there are other nice things you can eat, but you understand what I mean)
- for women, it causes pregnancy. This is horrible. To have the enemy in your own body is stuff for horror movies.

Of course, rape victims wouldn't be as traumatized if people wouldn't victim-blame them, insist that they're now "defiled forever" or similar such stupid stuff. But it still would be a good deal worse than just a broken jaw. (At least nowadays. A broken jaw can be fixed pretty easily by modern medicine)

"First, it seems to be encouraging a culture of fear. Every man is supposed to assume that every women assumes that every man is a potential rapist (that's a lot of assumptions, and while I used certain pronouns, you could insert any gender if you want) and has to preemptively counter that assumption. "

Every woman is already encouraged to assume that every man is a potential rapist. Because otherwise, we will likely be raped, and blamed for it. (Of course, even the most cautious woman can still be raped. But maybe not blamed for it. If she was a virgin nun, staying at home all the time, and a rapist breaks in ... she might be spared the victim-blaming.)

Women already live in a culture of fear. What you want to prevent is only that men share that burden.

"Second, it seems kind of chauvinistic. It seems to me like it's saying "women are these delicate flowers that we need to be careful around, lest frighten or traumatize them". Its insulting, in a way (again, my OPINION, feel free to disagree)."

I disagree, and I disagree a lot. We live in a world where men rape women, and acting like it doesn't happen won't change anything for the better.
Women have good reason to feel threatened by strange men in elevators in the middle of the night. Women are not delicate flowers by nature, but made into delicate flowers by culture.
Treating a woman who has been socialized to expect that she might be raped as if that were not the case is as cruel as not offering your seat in the train to an old Chinese lady with crippled feet. You may not approve of the culture that made her require your considerateness, but to refuse to be considerate is to double the damage the culture has done.


Edit: Regarding slutwalks, you're comparing eggs and pears. The aggressive ones are those who call women "slut". Not the women who try to do something - anything - against that structure of thinking.
Last edited by Tem on Thu Sep 19, 2013 10:26 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: I have no idea what to title this.

Postby Deepbluediver » Thu Sep 19, 2013 10:26 am

crayzz wrote:I don't see how "white power" is remotely analogous to "slut-walk". The former is generally used by racist groups trying to oppress people; the latter are the oppressed people. "Black pride" is probably a better analogy for "slut-walk".

Ok, I'll give a reply to the rest later, but I knew this was going to come up. I tried to be very careful about explaining exactly what I meant in the following sentences that you cut out of your quote.

So, once again, I am NOT trying to compare feminism to racism. I AGREE WITH YOU that an actual "White Power/white-supremacy" movement is nothing like feminism.
What I said was people's response to or impression from just about anything can heavily influenced by the method in which it is presented. It would seem apparent that whatever the organizer's original intent, some people (such as myself) have gotten the wrong impression about these protests.
Likewise, I used an analogy I suspected would draw the wrong focus, or that people would mis-interpret. I went ahead with it anyway, and now I'm having to re-explain myself so that people (hopefully) don't get the wrong impression about me*.


*I'm like to think that I'm fully supportive of equality and freedom from harassment for all, I do not blame the victims of sexual violence or aggression, and I don't think that all or even any feminists are or should be referred to as anything like "Femi-nazis".
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Re: I have no idea what to title this.

Postby Tem » Thu Sep 19, 2013 10:29 am

Deepbluediver wrote:
crayzz wrote:I don't see how "white power" is remotely analogous to "slut-walk". The former is generally used by racist groups trying to oppress people; the latter are the oppressed people. "Black pride" is probably a better analogy for "slut-walk".

Ok, I'll give a reply to the rest later, but I knew this was going to come up. I tried to be very careful about explaining exactly what I meant in the following sentences that you cut out of your quote.

So, once again, I am NOT trying to compare feminism to racism. I AGREE WITH YOU that an actual "White Power/white-supremacy" movement is nothing like feminism.
What I said was people's response to or impression from just about anything can heavily influenced by the method in which it is presented. It would seem apparent that whatever the organizer's original intent, some people (such as myself) have gotten the wrong impression about these protests.
Likewise, I used an analogy I suspected would draw the wrong focus, or that people would mis-interpret. I went ahead with it anyway, and now I'm having to re-explain myself so that people (hopefully) don't get the wrong impression about me*.


*I'm fully supportive of equality and freedom from harassment for all, I do not blame the victims of sexual violence or aggression, and I don't think that all or even any feminists are or should be referred to as anything like "Femi-nazis".


Slutwalks are like black people using racial slurs as self-description, or like homosexual people calling themselves "gay" (although I am not sure if the latter was a slur originally. In German, there is a word like that, which was a slur and now is the normal word in use)

Oppressed people are not responsible for preventing oppressors from getting a wrong impression. Oppressors will try, and try, and try to get a wrong impression all the time, and it is of no use to try to prevent them from doing that.
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Re: I have no idea what to title this.

Postby crayzz » Thu Sep 19, 2013 11:30 am

Deepbluediver wrote:
crayzz wrote:I don't see how "white power" is remotely analogous to "slut-walk". The former is generally used by racist groups trying to oppress people; the latter are the oppressed people. "Black pride" is probably a better analogy for "slut-walk".

Ok, I'll give a reply to the rest later, but I knew this was going to come up. I tried to be very careful about explaining exactly what I meant in the following sentences that you cut out of your quote.

So, once again, I am NOT trying to compare feminism to racism. I AGREE WITH YOU that an actual "White Power/white-supremacy" movement is nothing like feminism.
What I said was people's response to or impression from just about anything can heavily influenced by the method in which it is presented. It would seem apparent that whatever the organizer's original intent, some people (such as myself) have gotten the wrong impression about these protests.
Likewise, I used an analogy I suspected would draw the wrong focus, or that people would mis-interpret. I went ahead with it anyway, and now I'm having to re-explain myself so that people (hopefully) don't get the wrong impression about me*.


I understood you. Fact of the matter is, "black pride" is offensive to many people. "Black Pride" is misunderstood by many people. MLK's words are misunderstood by many people. The people that misunderstand these, or get the wrong impression, generally aren't paying attention. I can't be bothered to cater my words (and, in doing so, play along with the cultural assumption that being black or being a slut is a bad thing) to people who can't be bothered to pay attention.
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Re: I have no idea what to title this.

Postby Deepbluediver » Thu Sep 19, 2013 12:59 pm

crayzz wrote:Ideally, it wouldn't be. The damage done by assault is decided by the victim. Someone can be groped and not be particularly bothered by it. Someone can get into a bar fight and not be particularly bothered by it. Other's might feel truly harmed by either incident.

The problem with sexual assault is the word games people play with it.
No one will question whether or not someone punched in the face (unprovoked) is a victim, but people will often question whether or not someone sexually harassed/sexually assaulted is a victim.

Ok, I can understand that. It should be something we work on changing, I guess.

We need to recognize that sexual violence against women is rather prevalent. Because of this, women tend to be worried about sexual assault. This means that some women (not all) don't react well to boundaries not being respected. She doesn't know at what point you'll start respecting boundaries, so starting the encounter with a boundary violation (such as touching her without permission) is enough to send of warning flares.

"Preemptively countering that assumption" in this case means not assuming you're allowed to touch her, and respecting any boundaries she decides to put up for herself. This is hardly an arduous task, and this applies to dealing with men as well.

Ok, fine, agreed. I don't have a problem with any of that.
But if I say something like "boundaries vary by situation and person"* or "how do we find out what an individual's boundaries are?" then we're back to the question of how to flirt or convey intent in a way that isn't crude or itself a turn-off.

I recognize that some behaviors should NEVER be acceptable, I'm trying to think reasonably here.

This genuinely confuses me. First of all, it's not ok to disrespect men's boundaries either. It's not ok to pressure men in to sex. Anything I say with regards to making women feel comfortable can apply to men as well; I just don't see as many men worried about sexual assault, so their seems to be less need for it.

Second of all, "not frightening the delicate flowers" means respecting women's boundaries, and not making self serving assumptions as to where those boundaries lie. It means erring on the side of caution when you don't know, and genuinely apologizing rather than doubling down when you fuck up. I like my boundaries respected; I hardly think it paints women as frail, weak beings to think that they might prefer that as well.
....
I'm more concerned with one's reaction to rejection than I am with phrasing a proposition perfectly (which I think just won't happen). If she seems uncertain, or responds in any way that isn't a clear "yes", just handle it well. Don't pressure, don't pester, accept the decision. If she requires knowledge that her boundaries will be respected, then you've demonstrated that, and she might reconsider. If uncertainty or soften refusals are just her polite way of saying no, then you've respected that.

Maybe it was just the way all this was presented then. I would think that all of this was already required in polite society, and I wasn't getting why it needed to be emphasized (over-emphasized, IMO) in the given context. You can be aggressive or self-serving in lots of situations that aren't sexual.

A huge reason for this is victim blaming; having the police tell you it's your fault for being out late/being drunk/dressed slutty is can be incredibly painful. It's a major reason why victims don't report, and a major reason for slut-walk.

I would agree that this is a problem, and we need to find a solution. I wouldn't have suggested something like the Slut-walk, and I still find calling it that a poor choice of words, but if it's effective then I was mistaken about it's usefulness. My apologies.

Tem wrote:Sexual assault is a big deal because:

- it is a hatecrime. People steal and rob because they want money, but they rape because they want to humiliate a human being. Everyone would like to have more money. We can understand that. But normal people do not want to cause pain for the sake of causing pain.
- it takes something beautiful, and perverts it in a way that makes the victim unable to enjoy it ever again. (or at least some time). It's like force-feeding someone chocolate cake while threatening to kill them. (Okay, not a good analogy, as there are other nice things you can eat, but you understand what I mean)
- for women, it causes pregnancy. This is horrible. To have the enemy in your own body is stuff for horror movies.

All valid points, and I'm not arguing that this isn't a terrible thing. But I guess what I'm having trouble understanding is why this stuff is worse when it involves sex than when some one is abused, humiliated, or terrified in non-sexual ways. Why do people form such attachments between rape and sex, as opposed to say being beaten with a bat or tire-iron and forming the attachment to baseball or driving, or between being mugged and going to the bank?
I admit to having more dis-attachment from these sorts of things than I expect most people do (but I don't actually know on an intuitive level how other people think and reason, and I want to avoid claiming special-snowflake syndrome). I don't think of rape as similar at all to consensual, enjoyable sex, it's assault. And I believe that a child is the offspring of whoever raises him, not the contributor of genetic material.

All of it leads to the final issue: is it helpful for our society as a whole and for the relevant situations to think of this separately?

Women already live in a culture of fear. What you want to prevent is only that men share that burden.

Please don't assume you know how I think, or what I want; I'd be happy to just tell you.

What I actually want is for NO ONE to have to live in fear, or be afraid of other people. Maybe you consider it unrealistic to think we can achieve perfection on that count, but it's the goal I believe humanity should strive for.

I disagree, and I disagree a lot. We live in a world where men rape women, and acting like it doesn't happen won't change anything for the better.
Women have good reason to feel threatened by strange men in elevators in the middle of the night. Women are not delicate flowers by nature, but made into delicate flowers by culture.
Treating a woman who has been socialized to expect that she might be raped as if that were not the case is as cruel as not offering your seat in the train to an old Chinese lady with crippled feet. You may not approve of the culture that made her require your considerateness, but to refuse to be considerate is to double the damage the culture has done.

Alright, that's a good point. But if this isn't the natural order of things, but a product of our culture/society/civilization/whatever, then can we unmake this situation through the same means? How should we go about accomplishing that?
I don't object to temporary solutions, so long as they are actually effective, and they don't interfere with addressing the actual root-cause of the problem.

Tem wrote:Slutwalks are like black people using racial slurs as self-description, or like homosexual people calling themselves "gay" (although I am not sure if the latter was a slur originally. In German, there is a word like that, which was a slur and now is the normal word in use.

First, thank you (and crayzz) for explaining this to me.
Next, I think I can understand the goal behind trying to make a word less shameful, but is that the best path to go down? I would rather try to get people to acknowledge that it's a hurtful slur, and that it's never appropriate in any context, much like the N-w or d (forum auto replaces that with the actual slur :cry: ), the K-word, the C-word (either of them), etc.

Oppressed people are not responsible for preventing oppressors from getting a wrong impression. Oppressors will try, and try, and try to get a wrong impression all the time, and it is of no use to try to prevent them from doing that.

This is, perhaps, the only thing I think I might disagree with. First, let me reiterate that I don't blame the victims, and I certainly don't believe there is ever anything justifiable about sex-crimes.
I also don't think that communicating badly ever helps, and like it or not the word in question has significantly negative connotations in our society. If we all want our intentions to be clear, understood, and respected, then I think both parties have an obligation to be as clear and un-ambiguous as possible, including avoiding any self-deprecating descriptors. With regards to this specific scenario, I don't like the S-word, I don't think it should be used to described anyone, ever.

There are (at least I like to optimistically think so) a middle ground of people who are neither oppressors nor oppressed. I hope that most people are polite, respectful and not potential criminals. I'd like to hope that we can address the issues we've been discussing here without needing to adopt a "with us or against us" exclusionary attitude.


Edit:
crayzz wrote:I understood you. Fact of the matter is, "black pride" is offensive to many people. "Black Pride" is misunderstood by many people. MLK's words are misunderstood by many people. The people that misunderstand these, or get the wrong impression, generally aren't paying attention. I can't be bothered to cater my words (and, in doing so, play along with the cultural assumption that being black or being a slut is a bad thing) to people who can't be bothered to pay attention.

I like to think that I'm open to whatever solution best solves the problem. Lots of people don't pay attention to things that don't directly affect them, but if you want to get them on your side, then you need to figure out what the most effective way of doing that is. I'd rather advance the cause even if it means my feeling of moral or intellectual superiority takes a hit.
Last edited by Deepbluediver on Thu Sep 19, 2013 1:42 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: I have no idea what to title this.

Postby crayzz » Thu Sep 19, 2013 1:36 pm

But if I say something like "boundaries vary by situation and person"* or "how do we find out what an individual's boundaries are?" then we're back to the question of how to flirt or convey intent in a way that isn't crude or itself a turn-off.


All I got so far is "Act in good faith and acknowledge the fuck ups." One thing I think needs to change is the way we view accidentally crossing boundaries. We tend to think that it's the victims responsibility to preemptively communicate the boundaries rather than the perpetrators responsibility to learn them and respect them. I think we need to view accidental transgressions as we do accidentally hitting people. No, you may not have intended to hurt them, but the it's still a result of your own carelessness. Even if we do construct a scenario where the victim mis-communicates consent, that violation of boundaries can still be hurtful.

I don't, for a second, think that we'll ever have a perfect way for communicating this. I think the responsibilities need to shift so that perpetrators don't get free passes to ignore or assume consent and play it off as the victims fault.

You can be aggressive or self-serving in lots of situations that aren't sexual.


Indeed, which is why I find it strange that so many will defend a perpetrator as innocent. Aggressive behaviour is common in many social situations; that it's common in sexual relationships isn't remotely surprising.

My apologies.


Whole heartedly accepted. Honest mistakes don't bother me in the least.

Side note: slut walk isn't the only thing out there opposing victim blaming. There are other groups doing it.

Why do people form such attachments between rape and sex, as opposed to say being beaten with a bat or tire-iron and forming the attachment to baseball or driving, or between being mugged and going to the bank?


My guess is it's the idea that rape is something only women experience combined with the idea that women are frail things that need to be protected.

What I actually want is for NO ONE to have to live in fear, or be afraid of other people. Maybe you consider it unrealistic to think we can achieve perfection on that count, but it's the goal I believe humanity should strive for.


I think Tem misread you here. Or maybe xe mis-communicated, I dunno. By the way you wrote, it seemed like you think men shouldn't have to deal the "culture of fear." The thing is, women can't opt out of it. They are at risk, and there's no way to totally avoid that. All you would've accomplished by getting men to ignore such a culture would be to place all responsibility onto women. I recognize that this isn't what you intended, but it seems to be what you've communicated.

But if this isn't the natural order of things, but a product of our culture/society/civilization/whatever, then can we unmake this situation through the same means? How should we go about accomplishing that?


Eh? The prevalence of sexual assault depends on ignoring boundaries; advocating that we respect them is the opposite mechanism to the mechanism that enables our culture.

Next, I think I can understand the goal behind trying to make a word less shameful, but is that the best path to go down? I would rather try to get people to acknowledge that it's a hurtful slur, and that it's never appropriate in any context, much like nigger, the K-word, the C-word (either of them), etc.


I don't think it's harmful to try to recclaim a slur used against you.

The problem with pushing a word into "bad word" territory is that it reinforces the idea that the word described a bad thing. Maybe there's a better way to go about this, but I've never seen one presented.

I also don't think that communicating badly ever helps, and like it or not the word in question has significantly negative connotations in our society.


My issue with this is that we are opposing an aspect of our culture. We are opposing the idea that being a slut is wrong. We are opposing the idea that victims deserved it if they didn't scream for help and the first grope. There's necessarily going to be some mis-communication when two groups are communicating with fundamentally different axioms. The problem with acquiescing to the other groups axioms to communicate is that we necessarily support those axioms in doing so. This is counter productive when you're trying to break those axioms down.

I'd rather advance the cause even if it means my feeling of moral or intellectual superiority takes a hit.


It has nothing to do with moral or intellectual superiority; catering to people who aren't listening just isn't productive.
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Re: I have no idea what to title this.

Postby RyukaTana » Thu Sep 19, 2013 1:54 pm

Deepbluediver wrote:I recognize that some behaviors should NEVER be acceptable, I'm trying to think reasonably here.


Therein lies the problem, Dbd. You are trying to think reasonably, I don't agree with all those thoughts, but it's clear you're trying. You're open to a lot of things people want to shut down. Both sides militantly want the blame to lie with the other party, no one wants their share, regardless of how big or small.

Deepbluediver wrote:Please don't assume you know how I think, or what I want; I'd be happy to just tell you.


Good luck with that, haven't yet been able to get people to stop deciding what I think rather than listening. At least, not people like that.

Deepbluediver wrote:I like to think that I'm open to whatever solution best solves the problem. Lots of people don't pay attention to things that don't directly affect them, but if you want to get them on your side, then you need to figure out what the most effective way of doing that is. I'd rather advance the cause even if it means my feeling of moral or intellectual superiority takes a hit.


A notable problem lies with the nature of such solutions. Solutions to problems like this often infringe on peoples rights. People love to suggest criminals (and more than that, the 'potential criminals') don't deserve those rights, and the further we travel down that line, the less and less liberty we have.

I bowed out from this discussion in the other thread, and I maintain that here. That's why I'm only addressing you, Dbd. I want to say, that while I think some of your discussion is definitely misguided, I applaud you for trying in a way that considers more than the social norm and how to preserve peoples asinine, complacent ideals.
"Yamete, oshiri ga itai!"
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Re: I have no idea what to title this.

Postby Tem » Thu Sep 19, 2013 2:32 pm

Deepbluediver wrote:Alright, that's a good point. But if this isn't the natural order of things, but a product of our culture/society/civilization/whatever, then can we unmake this situation through the same means? How should we go about accomplishing that?
I don't object to temporary solutions, so long as they are actually effective, and they don't interfere with addressing the actual root-cause of the problem.


As crayzz wrote, respecting boundaries is what is needed. (I agree with crayzz on most things, so I won't answer those questions myself. crayzz assumption regarding the culture of fear - thing is correct)

Steretoyping women as fragile flowers is not the root of the problem. It is sexism, too, yes, but women are not stereotyped as fragile flowers everywhere, and not all women are stereotyped this way. I don't live in the US, so I don't know all that much about that, but I think I read somewhere that black women are not stereotyped as fragile flowers, and, quite the opposite, are expected to work very hard. Which, I guess, does not protect them from rape. Actually, I do suspect that the opposite is the case.


Of course, you can, in some cases, appear non-threatening by communicating that you don't believe in the myths of rape culture. If you believe that women are wholly capable of approaching men they find attractive, you can just smile at a woman and walk away slowly, assuming that she will follow you if she's interested. Men who walk away don't appear threatening.

But just pretending it doesn't exist won't help.
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