Comment Rescue: The Challenges Women Face

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Mike Dwyer

Mike Dwyer is a former writer and contributor at Ordinary Times.

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  1. Avatar Murali
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    says:

    virtually every woman I know has been molested in some way; has been the victim of inappropriate sexual advance or worse. So if I’m broken, perhaps all women are broken in some way.

    This freaks the hell out of me. Is America some weird hellworld?Report

    • Avatar Glyph in reply to Murali
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      Murali – the general estimate for US women who have been raped once in their lifetime is somewhere in the neighborhood of 15 – 20%.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rape_in_the_United_States

      I know on the face of it this seems crazily high, it does to me too. But I personally know a few women who have been rape (or attempted rape) victims. Anecdotal, I know. But bear in mind – this is greater than the number of people I know who have been mugged, or carjacked, or burglarized. And this is also only the women where I am close enough to them that they would tell me about it. There are presumably more that would never mention it, at least not to me.Report

    • Nob Akimoto Nob Akimoto in reply to Murali
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      No, statistically the US isn’t a particular outlier. Its numbers are about the same (in population percentage terms) as the UK. In terms of rapes per 100,000 people annually, Sweden actually has double the number of the UK/US.

      Systematic underreporting isn’t rare, either. In fact some truly frightening statistics exist about the proportion of rape and other sexual crimes actually being reported vs. those that are swept under the rug for whatever reason. (Cultural stigma, not being taken seriously by authorities, etc.) being somewhere in the order of 1 out of 10 crimes being reported.

      Then there’s the huge gap between reported cases and rape convictions, which suggest somewhere in the order of 1% of these crimes actually being successfully prosecuted…sexual abuse is a serious problem in human society, and it’s one whose systemic effects haven’t been adequately addressed in even the most advanced countries.Report

      • Avatar zic in reply to Nob Akimoto
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        Nicholas Kristoff wrote about the justice system.

        bit of background: A rape kit is the evidence, including swabs with DNA, taken at a hospital from a woman’s (or man’s) body after a rape. Testing that DNA costs $1,200 or more. Partly to save money, those rape kits often sit untested for years on the shelves of police storage rooms, particularly if the victim didn’t come outfitted with a halo.

        By most accounts, hundreds of thousands of these untested kits are stacked up around the country. In Illinois, 80 percent of rape kits were going untested as of 2010, Human Rights Watch reported at the time — embarrassing the state to begin a push to test all rape kits.

        Report

        • Avatar wardsmith in reply to zic
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          says:

          There is no excuse other than cronyism that a DNA test costs more than $80. You can buy your own sequencer for less than $1000.Report

          • Avatar Tod Kelly in reply to wardsmith
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            How much are you going to spend self-insuring yourself for liability claims, though, since no carrier is going to cover a lab that uses that device – assuming you have the prototype?

            Nanopore was widely reported to be on track for release several moths ago but didn’t – new fundraising is being attempted and independent test have yet to be released, if they have in fact been performed. The product may or may not be shown at a conference next month.

            At the risk of stringing together too many negatives, not saving money by not buying a product that is not yet on the market and hasn’t been independently tested is not a good example of crony capitalism.Report

            • Avatar wardsmith in reply to Tod Kelly
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              says:

              Bad example then. You can get a polymerase chain reaction test from at least a dozen vendors for $79 today for home parental DNA purposes. There is no technical difference between that and identifying the culprit in a rape case. There is simply no excuse other than cronyism for states to continue to pay labs (no doubt staffed by brother-in-laws of politicians and bureaucrats) over $1000 per test. This stuff is (now) easier than you think ever since a guy named Hood many years ago decided to modify mems chips to do this instead of test tubes. I know Leroy, worked with him while an exec at a semiconductor company.

              Nanopore is probably having trouble with the nanotech (never easy) but the rest of DNA sequencing tech is relatively straightforward. I found the nanopore by searching for a sub $1000 DNA sequencer since I was certain that was technically possible. Also realize that manufacturing typically requires an 8x return on cost and DNA sequencing /should/ be cheap. Too bad about nanopore, this is the kind of toy I’d like to see in high schools.Report

            • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Tod Kelly
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              says:

              At the risk of stringing together too many negatives

              Five is below the threshold. It checks out, by my calcs.Report

      • Avatar Glyph in reply to Nob Akimoto
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        says:

        I think what Murali’s question is part of what zic’s comment is about too – not only are women pushing against systemic historical misogyny, they also have to push against the (IMO) huge bulk of modern men that are *not* misogynists or rapists, but who *for that very reason* simply can’t conceive that these problems are as widespread or pervasive as they are (and I am not knocking Murali here, I include myself in this).

        That is, if I didn’t personally know a few women who had been through this experience and told me about it, I might be inclined to look at a large number like 15 – 20% and say, “that number can’t possibly be right – somebody somewhere has made a mistake, or is exaggerating or lying – it can’t be that bad, can it?”

        Because I just can’t (don’t want to) conceive of a world in which that is true.Report

        • Avatar Glyph in reply to Glyph
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          says:

          Ugh that should read “I think that Murali’s question….”, not “what”.Report

        • Avatar zic in reply to Glyph
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          says:

          Exactly. Men need to start taking on other men here.

          It’s pretty easy to get a group of woman talking their side of this. But do men ever do that? When’s the last time a group of guys you know sat down and discussed the cad? Told him his behavior was unacceptable? Where’s the evidence that men even comprehend this, let alone hold other men accountable outside the bounds of ‘my woman, you’ve violated my property?’

          If any of you have seen or participated in this, I’d really love to hear your stories. If you haven’t, I’d like to hear that, too, and maybe some consideration of times when maybe you should have spoken up.

          What I want is for men to begin discussing this with other men; that’s a big part of the path to change.

          My youngest son’s done this, I’ve seen it. So I do know hope.Report

          • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to zic
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            says:

            The problem as I see it Zic is that a lot of this stuff goes on behind closed doors. I have a friend who has always been good with women. He dates a LOT and has a healthy sex life. I’ve known some of these women and I know with them it was completely consensual but there are a bunch of his partners that I don’t know. I don’t think he is but let’s say a lot of them were pressured into sex with him or he sent them inappropriate emails at work or maybe he got a little too rough in the bedroom. I wouldn’t know about that. So how do we reform that behavior?Report

            • Avatar zic in reply to Mike Dwyer
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              says:

              My husband’s a professional musician, and we’ve been together for 35 years. He’s spent a whole lot of time in bars; as have I, though less.

              He sees it there, constantly. And he freely admits he’s usually reluctant to say anything; it’s ‘unprofessional,’ meaning his job is to make sure folks are having a good time. But he hears it other places, too; and outside of his work environment, often challenges.

              Yes, it often is private behavior. But there is also often talk amongst friends that reveals. And that’s the moment of opportunity.

              But the problem here is how. How do men talk about this. I’d guess that men have not developed the methods of this conversation, the ways of challenging inappropriate behavior without it being a challenge to the rights of women-as-property.Report

              • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to zic
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                says:

                “…the ways of challenging inappropriate behavior without it being a challenge to the rights of women-as-property.”

                I don’t think that’s the concern when challenging certain behaviors. It’s more along the lines of not wanting to be THAT guy that scolds his friends all the time. I used to be like that with some of my friends and their drinking habits. It got lonely real fast.Report

              • Avatar Kim in reply to Mike Dwyer
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                says:

                How could you be friends with a rapist? With someone who actively tortures people into having sex with him?Report

              • Avatar Kim in reply to Mike Dwyer
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                Were they drinking so much that their kids were starving? or beating their wife while drunk?
                (yes, honest questions. I remember some of the reasons why good parts of TN are still dry…)Report

            • Avatar Kim in reply to Mike Dwyer
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              Meh. Right now we’re breeding it out of the population, as best we can. You see, women have varying degrees of acceptance/enjoyment of pregnancy, depending on instinctual, emotional, and mental parameters.
              Not terribly surprisingly, being raped/tortured/harrassed is one of those “I don’t want this baby” sort of deals.
              So a woman gets an abortion.
              These sorts of men aren’t good at getting women any other way than being a predator, generally speaking.Report

              • Avatar Glyph in reply to Kim
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                says:

                I must admit, this is a pragmatic angle that had never occurred to me. To the extent that some men may be genetically predisposed to violence, availability of abortion to ensure that rapists generally don’t pass on their traits is sort of eugenics in its ideal sense.Report

              • Avatar Kim in reply to Glyph
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                rape in nature isn’t violent. there is much that is non-consensual that is nonviolent, even when a woman says no, it is often nonviolent (aka nobody’s broken and bleeding).
                Men are more likely to have distinctive reproductive strategies (the Chinese zodiac does a decent job of describing a lot of them, surprisingly enough) that are hereditary (either genetic OR environmental).Report

              • Avatar Cermet in reply to Kim
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                Rape, without blood or broken “anything” isn’t violence? What world do you live in? Rape IS violence – period.

                So, if a man held you down and raped you, you’d say it wasn’t violence since none of these other issues occurred – right? The mental harm alone is terrible enough but forced sex IS by every definition a physical violence act every bit as bad and physically harming as blood and broken parts – period.

                I can not believe anyone said what you just said.Report

              • Avatar Kim in reply to Cermet
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                I consider most non-consensual sex to be rape. Many around here disagree with me, even when torture is involved.
                If you wish to define “unwilling sex” as “inherently violent”, then your definition is automatically correct.
                However, I wish to shine a pretty fucking big light on those rapists who are able to get away with their shit because “He’s twelve, how could he have raped you?” should never be a defense, even if his partner was twenty-five (and thus legally guilty of statuatory rape).Report

        • Avatar Kim in reply to Glyph
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          says:

          If one in ten men is a predator (and good at his avocation), he can easily manage to do 3 in 10 women. After all, he’s got an entire lifetime.Report

      • Avatar Remo in reply to Nob Akimoto
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        says:

        To put on a spotlight on whats underreported.

        I live in Brazil.

        Last year, we were having Big Brother Brasil #12. I do believe everyone is somewhat familiar with the format, not?

        Anyway, there was a party on the house, and one of the girls (Monique Amin) got ridiculously drunk. She was taken to a bedroom by a guy who had been flirting with her for a while, and he abused her while she was passed off onder the bedsheets.

        All of this, taken on cameras, transmited live through television. Both of them denied there had been any sort of rape. The TV station responsable for the show found the police on its door, and was forced to take the men out of the game, and police started investigations.

        It was only a lot of time later that the woman adimited that being abused while she was passed out drunk could have been rape. It is possible that this is so common that she didn’t even realize that that situation – wich she apparently considers normal to happen after a party – is rape.Report

        • Avatar bookdragon in reply to Remo
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          says:

          Good for the authorities in not writing it off when she didn’t press charges.

          I’m honestly not sure whether the same would have been true here in the US. Police response varies a lot by locality. When I lived in central MI, the common advice to coeds was ‘If you are raped in Lansing, crawl to East Lansing to report it’.Report

    • Avatar Kim in reply to Murali
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      says:

      No. Actually, America is pretty decent.
      Girls don’t regularly get raped/molested in full public view during school.
      Unlike SOME countries.Report

      • Avatar Murali in reply to Kim
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        says:

        America is atypically bad for a first world country. There are others which are worse, but lots of other developed countries are better.

        from wikipedia

        First world countries which do better than the US (which can be expected to have comparable reporting rates because they are modern countries where women’s lib movements have similar levels of social clout to work against oppressive patriarchal anti-reporting norms)

        Greece, Canada, Singapore, Spain, Poland Italy, Switzerland, Ireland, Finland Lichtenstein, Chile, Netherlands, France are countries, that range from having a tenth to half the rape rate of the US

        Countries which come close are the UK, Israel, Iceland and Norway.

        Countries that are worse are Belgium and SwedenReport

        • Avatar Kim in reply to Murali
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          says:

          Sweden is actually a pretty nice country for women. The high reporting rate is a good thing, as it more reflects reality.
          Ya gotta admire a society where women can walk around naked…

          And if you gotta pick a countryw here you don’t have to work against the patriarchy as much, take Korea. Which is still at around a third of America’s.

          As far as I understand (judging by what I’ve seen), south america in general (including chile) has systematic underreporting, due to it being socially acceptable.Report

    • Avatar Scott in reply to Murali
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      says:

      Sure the US is a terrible place to be female unfilled you start looking at those peaceful Muslim countries where they shoot young girls, throw acid on them or burn them alive. Yup, the US is a weird hellworld.Report

      • Avatar Dan Miller in reply to Scott
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        says:

        Can I ask why the defensiveness? Neither the original post nor Murali’s comment made a comparison between the U.S. and various Muslim countries; and if you look at the Atlantic article that was linked, it explicitly mentions the womens’ rights situation there as deplorable. The mere fact that things are much worse in Pakistan doesn’t justify the awful and shocking statistics in the U.S.Report

      • Avatar Kim in reply to Scott
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        says:

        Scott, you ought to be well aware that most of that shit is unIslamic.Report

      • Avatar zic in reply to Scott
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        says:

        Sure the US is a terrible place to be female unfilled

        One of the greatest freudian slips ever.Report

        • Avatar Scott in reply to zic
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          says:

          Yuk yuk, more like the auto correct on my phone. So save the psycho analysis for some one that needs your degree in pop psychology.Report

          • Avatar zic in reply to Scott
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            says:

            Oh thank you, Scott, for showing me the error of my ways. Here, let me get you a drink and your slippers. I see now that all I needed was some guidance from someone who knows my place better then I do.Report

            • Avatar Scott in reply to zic
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              says:

              This has nothing to do with one’s place, rather it might be easier not to make assumptions about the word choice.Report

              • Avatar Kim in reply to Scott
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                says:

                Scott,
                she’s laughing at a typo. It was funny.
                She’s not ascribing motives to a typo.
                It’s a stupid typo.
                Sheesh, don’t be so sensitive!Report

              • Avatar zic in reply to Scott
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                says:

                Sure the US is a terrible place to be female unfilled [until] you start looking at those peaceful Muslim countries where they shoot young girls, throw acid on them or burn them alive. Yup, the US is a weird hellworld.

                Because other countries are worse, we shouldn’t confront sexual abuse here? That’s what you implied, even correcting you ‘auto correct.’

                You said what you said. I made fun of you ‘spelling error,’ because it pretty much expressed my opinion of what you said. This far, you’ve said nothing new that would dispel my low opinion of your comment.Report

              • Avatar Scott in reply to zic
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                says:

                Zic:

                I didn’t imply anything at all. Once again you are reading things into my comment and I really wish you would only read what I actually wrote.

                My comment was only a snide retort to Murali’s question, “Is America some weird hellworld?”Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Scott
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                says:

                Which begs the question of why you’d challenge zic on this issue. Your argument seems to be that it’s par for the course, culturally speaking, so no harm done.

                WTF??Report

              • Avatar Scott in reply to Stillwater
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                And what issue am I supposedly challenging zic on?Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Stillwater
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                Her critique of US culture. You’re saying it isn’t as bad as other places, yes? That isn’t an explicit statement that she should STFU, but it very explicitly implies it, yes?Report

      • Avatar Murali in reply to Scott
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        We hold countries which are supposed to have had women’s lib and other liberal civic institutions embedded longer to a higher standard that countries which lack these civic institutions. And among first-world countries where the people really ought to know better, the US is among the worst.

        Compare experiences. I do not personally know anyone who has been raped. If anyone I personally know had been raped (i.e. friend or relative) I believe I would know. The grapevine of who is gay, who is pregnant and who is getting married is fairly effective. Assuming that coming out of the closet (which among my family it really is very difficult) is about as difficult as at least unoficially reporting a rape, if any of my family or friends had been raped, I believe I would know. And my extended family is very large.

        Contrast this with the fact that lot’s of people in the US have at least one female friend or family who has been raped either violently or in (more likely) in a date.*

        *I attribute the low rape rate to the very mild and tame bar-room pickup scene in Singapore. That’s just not how most people in Singapore meet compatible mates. They tend to meet them through churches, workplace, schools and government run match-making/dating services.Report

        • Avatar Kim in reply to Murali
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          says:

          Are you saying that you think you’d know if a young male child raped/forced his mom?
          Rape is a lot more likely than you think… and substantially underreported even in cultures that place a lot of emphasis on family (look at MuslimMatters if you don’t believe me…)
          Are there members of your family that are considered “above reproach”?

          The fact that you think rape mostly occurs on dates is hilarious to me. “Date rape” is better known as “acquaintance rape.” How often have you driven someone home, alone? Is babysitting generally done by girls where you live? (that’s a classic time for “rape”).Report

          • Avatar Murali in reply to Kim
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            Are you saying that you think you’d know if a young male child raped/forced his mom?

            Family-wise, all of the men are very respectful towards their mothers and other women in their lives. I know these people and it is not something they would do.

            How often have you driven someone home, alone

            I drive my sister home alone all the time.

            Is babysitting generally done by girls where you live

            Most baby sitting is done either by relatives or by live-in maids. Incidentally, most reports of rape that I can remember appearing in the newspaper are those committed by employers against their live-in maids.Report

            • Avatar Kim in reply to Murali
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              I know a woman who was raped by her younger brother. She lived in a society where kids are very respectful towards their elders, and in general, boys are more respectful towards women.

              “It is not something they would do.” Yes, yes, everyone says stupid shit like this. It doesn’t mean that they wouldn’t do it. I think many people underestimate the power of the human sexual drive.

              Now, it’s entirely possible your entire family is made up of alphas who have an easy time simply “taking” women, without protest. But I doubt it — you’re posting here, after all.

              If you know what you’re looking for, at least in America, it’s relatively easy to spot incest victims. They don’t dress to please men, for one thing — tend to dress pretty conservatively, and to be relatively unassertive (shy?) people.Report

              • Avatar Murali in reply to Kim
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                If you know what you’re looking for, at least in America, it’s relatively easy to spot incest victims. They don’t dress to please men, for one thing — tend to dress pretty conservatively, and to be relatively unassertive (shy?) people.

                Dressing conservatively is different in my family (everyone does it), but none of the women are shy or unassertive.

                Now, it’s entirely possible your entire family is made up of alphas who have an easy time simply “taking” women, without protest

                Extremely strong taboos on pre- and extra-marital sex in the family, so I’m betting that most of my family holds it in until they get married (usually, but not always arranged)

                Yes, yes, everyone says stupid shit like this. It doesn’t mean that they wouldn’t do it. I think many people underestimate the power of the human sexual drive.

                Human sexuality and psychology is sufficiently malleable by social factors that your crude models don’t apply. Also, I think the high stress levels and being overworked in Singapore reduces sex-drive.

                I think that if there are sufficiently strong norms favouring sexual continence in men, people have different expectations and certain kinds of behaviours become less acceptable. The problem with a lot of conservative societies which supposedly have family values but suffer from high incest and rape rates is that there is a double standard when it comes to sexual continence. Women are expected to control their sex-drive more than men. Lip service may be paid to equal expectations on men, but such expectations are rarely backed up by similar social opprobrium.Report

              • Avatar Kim in reply to Murali
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                Every society adjusts to modernity differently. Whereas the Western cultures channeled a lot of sexual behavior towards homosexuality, a good chunk of eastern cultures have merely selected towards asexuality (and I assume that like other things runs in families)Report

              • Avatar bookdragon in reply to Murali
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                +100 for that last paragraph. I think you hit the nail on the head.Report

              • Avatar Will H. in reply to Kim
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                I know of three women that have offered their underage daughters to men, and and least one for money.
                If you think about the prostitution ring that was busted at the Flying J truckstop in Kansas City, involving girls as young as 12, most of them were being pimped off by another female. That’s fact.
                Of course, this is anecdotal, and it’s all really an issue of scale.

                Conversely, for every man you would say, “There is a rapist,” there is another woman, if not two or three, who would utilize her sexuality as a means of manipulation and control.
                Again, an issue of scale.

                The real issue at heart is not one of “men v. women” or of “sex crimes v. violent crimes,” but one of predatory behaviors.
                Will sexuality continue to be a vehicle for predatory behaviors in future times?
                Any manner of thing at all that can be used as a vehicle for predatory behaviors can and will be used as such in these times and in all future times.
                Unfortunately, humans sometimes act rather badly.

                Still, the real issue at heart is in diminishing the tendency toward predatory behaviors, broadly and individually.

                My own take on it is that there’s not much hope there.Report

              • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to Will H.
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                Will makes some good points here. I’ve met some girls that clearly used their sexuality for their advantage. Using sex basically as a weapon.Report

              • Avatar Rtod in reply to Mike Dwyer
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                says:

                I’m not quite sure what the point is here, but it comes a little close to areas that I think you want to avoid. I know you well enough not to read too much into this thread, but I get uncomfortable when guys talking about violence to women get to a “but some women dress sexy” point. It’s a little close to old lines that rape is really a woman’s fault for being desirable.Report

              • Avatar Will H. in reply to Rtod
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                says:

                *disclosure*
                My understanding is that a topic difficult to approach is likely well worth addressing.

                I’m glad you came out with that, because that’s not what this little sub-thread is about. So, to add some clarity:
                Sexuality is used by both sexes as a means of manipulation, control, and predation.
                That’s more a thing of being a person who behaves badly rather than being defined by gender.
                What I see here is more of a historic stereotype thing: Men address things in a more physical manner, while women exhibit greater social skills.
                Thus, the particular manner in which the predatory behaviors exhibit themselves tend to occur along the lines of those historic stereotypes.Report

              • Avatar Kim in reply to Rtod
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                will,
                bull fucking shit.

                I’ve already referenced pigs in this discussion: they’re experts at getting women to be unable to express that they are not consenting (essentially mounting a “sneak attack” where by the time the woman consciously realizes that he’s going to rape her, her body/instincts are already saying “don’t resist, just hunker down and let it happen” — it’s essentially convincing her body that the guy is an alpha, who “ought” to be allowed to take, because he’s da big strong guy.)

                Rats use emotional manipulation to get girls to consent (often in a social context where the rat has power over the girl.)

                Rabbits do the same thing, except that they use social expectations, and are better at getting the girl to actually consent (rats have a tendency to lull a girl to the point where they don’t realize that he’s raping them.)

                THESE ARE ALL MUCH MUCH MUCH worse than a woman who leads a man around by his dick. Again, loss of control is a good way to break a person.

                I know someone who’s been tortured, nearly to death. The scars from that go less deep than his best friend attempting to rape him.Report

              • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to Rtod
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                I think what we’re saying is that while yes, some men abuse women because they are sexualy desirable, some women abuse men with their desirability.

                I would also add that a third component is the treatment women inflict upon each other which can be as harmful in some cases as what men do to them.Report

              • Avatar Rtod in reply to Rtod
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                says:

                I think I’m a little clearer about where you’re coming from.

                And though I think it’s undoubtably true that both sexes can use sexuality in morally objectionable ways, I still get uncomfortable bumping that point up against discussions of rape. I probably don’t need to make this point, but I will anyway:

                There was a news story a few years ago about a Las Vegas stripper -quite the looker, if I recall correctly – that had convinced a really well-off computer engineer that she loved him. Over the course of about a year, she got him to give her his savings, sell his home, retirement investments, etc… basically, she just bled him dry. Then, when he *was* dry, she dumped his short, overweight ass for a young hot guy, and had no qualms with telling him he had always disgusted her but she liked his money.

                That certainly seems like a hardcore case of a woman using sex as a weapon, and I would be surprised if you could find anyone here – male or female – that would say anything remotely noce about her.

                But…

                In order to be manipulated by the stripper, the engineer had to willingly relinquish his control. Any power she had over him she only had because he had decided to willingly grant her.

                This is what makes it hard to translate issues like he one zic wrote about by simply reversing sex. In fact, the most accurate counter example I can think of for a woman being forcibly raped by a man is a man being forcibly raped… by a man.Report

              • Avatar James Hanley in reply to Rtod
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                In order to be manipulated by the stripper, the engineer had to willingly relinquish his control. Any power she had over him she only had because he had decided to willingly grant her.

                Dare I note that this brings us right back to that old League disagreement about what constitutes coercion?Report

              • Avatar Kim in reply to Rtod
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                RTod,
                Sometimes women do rape men — even to the point of doing it at knifepoint. But it happens much much much less frequently.

                That stripper? Man, how cruel do you have to be to twist the knife like that?? (telling him he had always disgusted her — that’s just wrong). (that is emotional abuse, and in a better world, would lead to harsh enough social consequences that nobody would do it).

                It’s an accepted part of “cheating culture” in our society that a man will gift a woman with a bunch of romantic gifts. This woman convinced a guy to take it to an extreme. Meh. This is in NO WAY comparable to rape.

                “some women abuse men with their desirability”…
                Mike, you didn’t just want to say that. ’cause that sounds really bad, and I know you aren’t really bad.Report

              • Avatar Chris in reply to Rtod
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                says:

                some women abuse men with their desirability

                This is precisely the wrong attitude. As a statement of fact, it’s nonsensical, but more than that, it’s dangerous. It suggests both that men have no control over their desires, and that women can, simply by virtue of being desirable, abuse men.

                Look, I know many women use their sexuality in order to get things from men. This is not a controversial statement. But saying “men abuse women sexually and women abuse men by being hot” is really just the wrong way to approach these things. Women are constant targets of sexual predation in various forms, from honking and cat calling to physical assault. They have no control over this whatsoever. Men, on the other hand, don’t have to buy women nice things just because they dress in tight clothing. Furthermore, the fact that women use their sexuality to manipulate men is, in part, a product of the very same culture — the one that objectifies women, treats them as sexual objects first and foremost — that causes women to be the targets of sexual predation in the first place. In the end, then, the only real connection between sexual predation and sexual manipulation is that the cure for both of them is the same: treat women as people first, not as sexual objects first. And exercise some friggin’ self-control.Report

              • Avatar Chris in reply to Rtod
                Ignored
                says:

                By the way, is there some sort of internet law that chances of men bringing up the fact that women sometimes use their sexuality is directly proportional to the length of a conversation about sexual assault? Ugh.Report

              • Avatar Kim in reply to Will H.
                Ignored
                says:

                So you’re saying that half the women out there RAPE men?
                No, I think you fail to understand a few things here.

                Men can legally remove a woman’s ability to consent, rape her, and suffer no consequences (including child support). I’ve even heard folks on this site defend such behavior, just as they defend men having the right to torture women into having sex with them.

                A man who sits around bribing women to have sex with him (even if they don’t, later), is still someone with autonomy. He can get up and walk away from the situation. He doesn’t have lifelong consequences — like the women whose sexual partners thought it would be fun to pop a hole in their condoms.

                Men are not hunted, every single goddamn second of their lives. They are not interacted with as objects– mostly, not occasionally. It’s women who feel like they must compete for male attention — and men who get to make the choices.Report

              • Avatar Will H. in reply to Kim
                Ignored
                says:

                As a friend, I want you to slow down here.
                Consider what you’re saying.

                *compare*
                It’s women who feel like they must compete for male attention
                with
                Men are not hunted, every single goddamn second of their lives

                Are you starting to see the incongruency?

                Exactly who is responsible for these “feelings” that this hypothetical “women” might have?Report

              • Avatar Johanna in reply to Will H.
                Ignored
                says:

                Ok Will I put it to you in other terms. I do not know a single woman who is completely confident in her safety from being raped or attacked by a man some point in her life.Report

              • Avatar Kim in reply to Will H.
                Ignored
                says:

                Competing for male attention:
                Bit of biology — a woman wants to find the best man to procreate with.
                Bit of culture — women don’t generally ask men out on dates.
                Bit of psychology — if 60% of women are “plain” (and some ugly), and it’s men who get to select… well, everyone likes their ego stroked

                As I said upthread, some men are REALLY interested in procreation. Many more are interested in “getting lucky” — finding a woman they can get in the sack, that night.

                Considerable portions of the male gender only interact with women on a level of “how can I have sex with this person” (note: this is more exacerbated in high school/middle school). Not everyone, of course, but if you have 1 in 6 men who is a predator, he’s gonna be hunting all the women nearby him (note: this is not to say that he’s going to succeed with them all. but enough sexual predators are good at sussing out who’s going to turn them in and who isn’t.)

                I’m not saying we can fix all of this… but reality on the ground is reality on the ground.

                If you want to tell me that women do things that are as bad as rape towards men (and say that they do this more often than men try to have nonconsensual sex with women), I’m gonna want to hear some examples.Report

              • Avatar Will H. in reply to Will H.
                Ignored
                says:

                Thank you.
                I get it.
                fwiw, I don’t know of a single man that hasn’t been afraid of being battered by another man at some point in their lives.

                What I’m getting at in the above comment is that, if you know that a pack of coyotes is in the neighborhood, there is really no need to wear an outfit made of pork chops, even if all the other kids are wearing it.

                To say, “Well, I feel as if I have to …” still amounts to nothing more than a feeling, leaving complaints of being hunted to fall short.
                Somewhere along the lines, a person has to be responsible for themselves.
                Anything less is complete powerlessness.

                I don’t believe women are completely powerless.

                I know well enough that a woman can put a cold stop to unwanted advances, and do so decidedly, whenever she wants to.

                Again, like Kim’s comments above where men are simply animals, whose responsibility is it to choose appropriate companions for this hypothetical woman?
                The Proverbs tell us:
                Even a little child is known by his companions.
                Surely you wouldn’t hold that any ordinary woman would be more feeble mentally than a common child?

                Why exactly is it that women are not responsible for their choices?
                Even more, why should anyone believe that women should make any manner of decision whatsoever if this is true, that they lack the mental capacity to operate on a responsible level?
                That sort of thing makes no sense to me.
                One is either responsible and empowered, or enfeebled and powerless.
                I firmly believe in the former.Report

              • Avatar Kim in reply to Will H.
                Ignored
                says:

                Will,
                Okay, I think we both managed to get sidetracked. 😉
                1) Some men deliberately try to take away women’s ability to express non-consent. (and other men are perfectly happy to take advantage of a girl being temporarily overwhelmed by something she’s never experienced before). This is what I mean when I say hunted…

                There are ways to reduce/eliminate this risk: get your daughter experienced with her sexual side (preferably alone, with toys or without). This, after all, is what boys do — and it’s quite culturally acceptable for them. You won’t meet a boy past the age of 14 who hasn’t been aroused before. It’s quite common to meet a girl of age 16 who hasn’t had to deal with the muddled decisionmaking caused by extreme arousal.

                A girl is not responsible for a man deliberately engaging in activities that make her unable to utter her non-consent.

                2) The women wearing pork chops can generally take care of themselves. Doesn’t make it right, but…
                Look up Kotonoha (her not-school-clothing) for a great example of “dressing to show off” that appears quite modest, but draws the eyes to her breasts.

                3) Women ought to take responsibility for themselves, in so much as it’s possible. This ought to be culturally approved of. (things like “going together and not letting girls disappear without triple checking consent”). Women also ought to be aware of their surroundings, and not get into cars with strange men. Basic safety precautions. It ought to be the case that a woman can wear whatever she wants — but that’s not REALITY, and we gotta expect folks to live within reality, if we want to keep ’em safe.

                will,
                It’s a common scene in manga to see school girls approached by strange guys, who want to “show them a good time” (and for them to have a hard time politely escaping). I hope America can be better than that.

                How often have you had a conversation with someone you know a little — a really good conversation, the type during which you might not pay attention to where you’re headed? For a woman, such inattention could very well lead to rape. It’s one thing to say “choose partners well” (women generally do). But choosing acquaintances? That’s much harder.

                Palin’s daughter most likely had non-consensual sex which got her pregnant. She was impregnated by a guy who had gotten quite a few other girls pregnant that year.Report

              • Avatar Will H. in reply to Kim
                Ignored
                says:

                btw, I’m not hunting you.
                Just sayin’.Report

              • Avatar LWA (Lib With Attitude) in reply to Will H.
                Ignored
                says:

                “I know of three women that have offered their underage daughters to men, and and least one for money.”

                First of all, you need to get a better circle of friends.
                Seriously.

                Secondly, is this thread really trending towards equating stupid men being conned by strippers, with rape?

                Third, this:
                “Still, the real issue at heart is in diminishing the tendency toward predatory behaviors, broadly and individually.
                My own take on it is that there’s not much hope there.”

                You could have just typed “Meh, whatcha gonna do?” and made a stronger case.
                I kinda suspect that if it was you on the wrong end of an injustice, you wouldn’t have written that.Report

              • Avatar Will H. in reply to LWA (Lib With Attitude)
                Ignored
                says:

                Never said they were “friends;” I said that I “knew of” them.
                Make it four. One for money, one to have another child because she thought that she wasn’t able to, one for meth, and one to hold on to a man that she was attached to.

                And this is where that righteous indignation crap really ticks me off.
                Your “Secondly” statement is all about minimalization, itself a form of abuse (go look it up).
                The incongruity is simply astounding.
                This is where Mr. Righteous Indignation demonstrates that he is very well adept at manipulative and abusive behaviors.

                And the “Thirdly” statement is nothing other than nonsense.
                Still, the real issue at heart is in diminishing the tendency toward predatory behaviors, broadly and individually.
                I firmly believe that.
                I stuck my neck out for that before, and I’m still struggling.
                I fled my state of former residence in fear of my life due to being a witness in a federal matter– the second time I am called to be a witness in a federal matter, and I know what it’s about.
                But this time, I have to go testify against 6 police officers.
                I knew what would happen to me long ago, and I knew that I would have to do it anyway– simply because I wouldn’t want to live as that man that I would be if I didn’t.
                I have nothing to gain and everything to lose.
                I hope to be able to preserve substantial rights that your grandchildren will one day be able to enjoy.
                As for me, there is no hope.

                You make some rather foolish presumptions.
                You could do better.Report

              • Avatar Kim in reply to Will H.
                Ignored
                says:

                Now you got me curious: how consensual were these sexual acts (if they actually occurred and weren’t just offered…)? Were the adults bribing the kids enough that the kids thought they were being adequately compensated?Report

              • Avatar Will H. in reply to Will H.
                Ignored
                says:

                I’m not certain of the details of each instance.
                The one whose mother was selling her for money understood what was going on. The abuse began at age 5. She grew to blame the men that had sex with her rather than the mother that was pimping her out.
                She later grew to aspirations of being a writer of fiction, specializing in stories where a woman takes the life of a man; supposedly an empowering feminist experience.
                A real sicko, if you ask me; a terribly pathetic creature– something like Gollum, only with the trappings of social acceptability.Report

              • Avatar Kim in reply to Will H.
                Ignored
                says:

                will. Oh, shit. Five years old??
                I’d have turned that mom in, come hell or high water.
                (don’t care if she wound up in jail for drugs…, just
                keep her away from that kid!)Report

              • Avatar LWA (Lib With Attitude) in reply to Will H.
                Ignored
                says:

                What? Its righteous indignation to criticize the false equivalence of “she seduced me and took my money” to “I drugged her and raped her”?

                “Still, the real issue at heart is in diminishing the tendency toward predatory behaviors, broadly and individually.”

                Ya think? Is there a Pro-Predatory caucus around here that I missed?
                Part of reducing predatory behavior is to condemn it, strongly, and refuse to accept false equivalence of “But she did it too” or victim blaming like “She was dressed like that!” or excuses like “But I am a man!”Report

              • Avatar Will H. in reply to Will H.
                Ignored
                says:

                I don’t see how anyone could possibly read anything like that into anything that I’ve written.
                And so, I take such statements to be internal to the reader, which is beyond my means to address.
                If, on the other hand, there is something I have written which you would care to address, I see no issue with that.
                But characterizations based solely on things I have never said is inappropriate in my book.Report

        • Avatar Fnord in reply to Murali
          Ignored
          says:

          Lots of men in the United States think they don’t personally know anyone who has been raped.Report

          • Avatar Murali in reply to Fnord
            Ignored
            says:

            Only given that women in the US are 15x more likely to be raped than in Singapore, and my own relatively priveleged circumstances, my claims are much more likely to be true than the average American’sReport

            • Avatar Kim in reply to Murali
              Ignored
              says:

              I sincerely doubt that’s the case. Men are men everywhere. Rates of incest are somewhat linked to circumstance — but… “rape season” is still rape season.

              The fact that you believe that none of your relatives have been raped neither makes it true (I’m not saying it’s false), nor makes it true that none of your relatives have been rapists.Report

              • Avatar Murali in reply to Kim
                Ignored
                says:

                but… “rape season” is still rape season.

                So there is such a thing as rape season and it is the same everywhere? Because then, your claim is that the only explanation for the difference in rape rates between different countries is just a matter of reporting.

                Culture matters. There is such a thing as Rape culture. Certain behaviours by men which put them in situations where they can pressure women into having sex against their will are condoned in the US. which are less condoned or just sufficiently rare (for certain path dependency-related reasons) that fewer such situations arise in Singapore (and fewer still in the Brahmin community). Culture matters when it comes to talking about the virtues of rectitude and continence vs expressing yourself and doing what feels good.

                The fact that you believe that none of your relatives have been raped neither makes it true (I’m not saying it’s false), nor makes it true that none of your relatives have been rapists.

                The fact that you believe that an external world exists doesn’t mean that it does or that it resembles anything like what you think it does. That doesn’t mean that there aren’t contextual reasons to think that its highly unlikely that it is the case in my family. Also, that a person believes something is in a lot of cases, some pro tanto reason (depending on the competence of said person) for others to suppose that it is true.

                My point was not about the pure pure purity of Singaporean men, or particularly high report rates. My point was that whatever the actual case about my family may be, I am betting that a larger fraction of men in america are aware of people that are close to them who have been raped and that itself is an indicator of how extensive rape is.Report

              • Avatar Kim in reply to Murali
                Ignored
                says:

                Yup. Rape season is roughly speaking, summer. It’s a time of vacations, of shifting social placement.
                You seemed to be saying above, that most rapes occur during dating rituals.

                That’s far from the case.

                You have your “incest type” rapes, that tend to occur more often outside of rape season (preferentially).

                And then you have most of the rest — which deal with mostly vague acquaintances. Being in a festival (or major disaster, strangely enough), increases someone’s likelihood of being raped/having non-consensual sex.

                Something like Navratri is much more likely to see a rape (probably near/in the bathrooms) than an ordinary date in America (yes, yes, some of that likelihood is because there’s more people there).Report

              • Avatar Murali in reply to Kim
                Ignored
                says:

                Yup. Rape season is roughly speaking, summer. It’s a time of vacations, of shifting social placement

                Not only don’t we really have a summer (it’s hot and wet all year round) Vacation time is december in Singapore.

                Being in a festival (or major disaster, strangely enough), increases someone’s likelihood of being raped/having non-consensual sex

                Something like Navratri is much more likely to see a rape (probably near/in the bathrooms) than an ordinary date in America (yes, yes, some of that likelihood is because there’s more people there).

                Navarathri is not Woodstock even if they’re both called festivals. Most large gatherings are in public places like temples and around shops in little india. The house visiting is done mostly by womenfolk and so men usually keep themselves scarce or are often outnumbered. Also, when people go into bathrooms that are attached to bedrooms, not only is it extremely impolite for others to go into that bedroom, the walls are extremely thin. Most people live in public housing. There is no way a person could be raped when she goes Navarathri visiting and that rapist get away with it.Report

              • Avatar Kim in reply to Murali
                Ignored
                says:

                Yeah… umm… maybe it’s december for you guys. (I’d have to go look at the police reports, I guess 😉 )

                I was more speaking of large public gatherings rather than house visiting…

                You. Seem. To. Be. Assuming. A. Lot.
                That a woman being raped would be capable of protesting (NOT a given), that something like rape would be automatically audible (NOT a given, particularly with maybe two minutes of “noise”).

                Do/did you always hear your parents having sex?Report

              • Avatar Murali in reply to Murali
                Ignored
                says:

                Do/did you always hear your parents having sex?

                No, but they may have done that while I slept. (now I’m going to require brain bleach to get that image out of my head) Which is a totally different issue when people are wide awake and close enough to hear if anything does go wrong and there are informal norms that make sure nothing does go wrong. It is where you don’t have multiple layers of protective norms that things start to go wrong.Report

              • Avatar Kim in reply to Murali
                Ignored
                says:

                Murali,
                In America, there are LARGE social norms about men not going into women’s bathrooms. This doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen, and OFTEN, for sex.

                Where do you think people have sex in amusement parks??

                (do you have amusement parks in Singapore? beaches? What do you guys do for fun?)Report

              • Avatar Kim in reply to Murali
                Ignored
                says:

                Murali,
                Then your walls aren’t really that thin. I’ve woken people up by having sex (even with a blanket within my teeth).Report

              • Avatar Murali in reply to Murali
                Ignored
                says:

                Then your walls aren’t really that thin. I’ve woken people up by having sex (even with a blanket within my teeth).

                I don’t live in public housing. (did I mention my privelege?)

                (do you have amusement parks in Singapore? beaches? What do you guys do for fun?)

                There are plenty of beaches. Changi beach is reportedly an area where gays and transexuals hook-up. We do have universal studios, but that is fairly recent.

                Where do you think people have sex in amusement parks??

                People have sex in amusement parks? Eww. Plus there are very stiff penalties for public indecency here. Sex that does not take place in a domestic/romantic setting takes place at Geylang (the red light district)Report

              • Avatar wardsmith in reply to Murali
                Ignored
                says:

                Murali, given that the fine for /spitting/ on the sidewalk in Singapore is like $500 I would be highly curious what it is for public indecency, let alone sex.Report

              • Avatar Fnord in reply to Murali
                Ignored
                says:

                If culture is different enough to make a difference in actual rape rates, it’s certainly enough to make a difference in rates of reporting. If you’ve got survey data for Singapore, I’d be eager to see it, but I’m not going to believe a factor of 15 difference based on reported rapes, given the widely observed under-reporting problems.

                Even if everything you say about dating, etc, were so true that no one over the age of 10 is ever raped in Singapore, it still wouldn’t be sufficient. To have 1/15 as many rape victims, on top of that you’d need a significant reduction in people victimized when 10 and under. You can’t tell me American dating culture is putting 10-year-olds in a position to be pressured into sex.Report

      • Avatar Russell Saunders in reply to Scott
        Ignored
        says:

        If your best rhetorical bet is to compare the United States favorably with Pakistan, methinks your argument is not as sound as you think it is.Report

  2. Avatar GordonHide
    Ignored
    says:

    Thank you very much for that.Report

  3. Avatar zic
    Ignored
    says:

    I want to point out one very important thing here: I’m discussing a range of behaviors; rape is the far end of the spectrum; not the sum total of it. There’s a lot that goes down that’s not rape.Report

  4. Avatar Shelley
    Ignored
    says:

    As a writer, I say: you are more trustworthy because you are broken.

    It’s the people who are unbroken or pride themselves on that fantasy who inflict a world of pain on the others.Report

  5. Avatar Anne
    Ignored
    says:

    Zic thank you for this incredible comment. I too am broken and can’t be as eloquent in speaking about it. Thanks for being a voice for me. And I totally agree with Shelley.

    Mike Thank you for re-posting this to the front page.

    My own experience and that of my twin sister, best friend and several other women I grew up with (none of whom officially reported the assaults on them) make me believe the 15-20% numbers are probably higher than we think. All of us are upper middle class with incredibly supportive family and social network and did not feel safe to tell what happened to us until much later in life. What about girls and women in less supportive and safe environments?Report

  6. Avatar bookdragon
    Ignored
    says:

    I was never raped (although I did once have to slam a date’s head into the roof of his car to get ‘no’ across to him).

    However, rape has colored my life. At 12 my jr high was across the street from a mall. A serial rapist/murderer abducted women from that mall’s parking lot and we found what was left of some of them in the woods behind the school.

    That was the year I started martial arts.

    When I was 16 my best friend went to year end party for swim team and started feeling sick (dizzy, weak). Her date said he’d take her home. The next morning it turned out that he’d dumped her drugged unconscious and half-naked on her mom’s front lawn. Mom was a religious fanatic and blamed her daughter (‘that sort of thing on happens to sluts’), so no charges were ever filed.

    After that I never, ever accepted a drink at a party that I hadn’t poured myself or watched a bartender pour. (To this day my husband is the only guy who can just hand me a drink).

    At college there was serial rapist (never caught, he disappeared after two semesters). I never went out after dusk without an escort from brother floor and even then, half the time I carried my fencing sabre just in case (not sharp enough to kill someone, but a pretty effective deterrent).

    In grad school in order to get time in the computer lab I had to choose between walking home alone in the wee hours or napping in my office so I could head home when it was light (I kept a pillow in my file cabinet). None of the male students ever worried about that sort of thing.

    As I’ve grown older and look like less of a target (and earned belts in judo, jui jitsu and karate), I’ve worried a little less about myself. However my daughter is hitting puberty and my fears for her are in many ways even worse. And yet I don’t want her to constantly look at every guy with suspicion, always on guard, the way I’ve spent so much of my life.

    To the men who have daughters: How do you deal with this?Report

    • Avatar Kim in reply to bookdragon
      Ignored
      says:

      A little advice, if you don’t mind…
      Getting your daughter more in touch with her own sexuality is a great place to start.

      It’s hard to be overwhelmed by instincts that are suddenly telling you to shut up and stay quiet, if you know what it feels like, and get some damn practice maneuvering while in that state.

      Secondly, have a good hard talk with her about what boys are like, what they want (most men are dogs, they just want to have some fun — which statistically means a blowjob) — and what’s likely to happen if a couple doesn’t come up with some fun/harmless ways of letting off steam.

      Teaching your daughter to have a good bit of confidence is a potent weapon against predators. They thrive on guilt and shame — and expectation.

      And, for the love of god, put yourself in the mindset of a predator. Know what victimware looks like, and don’t buy it for your daughter. (here’s a hint: it isn’t slutty).Report

      • Avatar bookdragon in reply to Kim
        Ignored
        says:

        She’s 11 so we’ve only just started the discussion of sex, although the concept of rape and what it means has been brought up. The idea that her body is hers and no one gets to make claims on it or its use that she isn’t comfortable with has featured prominently.

        I’ve got to say that I would never tell anyone to offer a bj just to avoid a guy getting too frustrated – if he’s a threat w/o that sort of outlet, get far, far away from him. A decent guy can manage to his own control and/or outlet.

        Victimware is not much of an issue so far. She’s a bit of a tomboy, so mostly jeans and t-shirts or sweatshirts. Nothing ‘lady-like’.Report

        • Avatar Kim in reply to bookdragon
          Ignored
          says:

          Yeah, eleven is a pretty bad age. Young enough that you still want to protect what innocence the kid has, yet old enough that horrible things can happen if you do protect them.

          For both guys and girls, it’s a problem if they’re in a relationship that isn’t fulfilling. And it can lead to pretty big problems on either side. But oftentimes, girls get told that what they ought to do is, basically, “tease the tiger” (keep on giving him a bit more at a time, and then say no–rather than have an honest discussion). And that’s not a good thing — with most guys and most girls. Because the difference between a novice girl being in control enough to say no, and not being able to, might simply be the time of the month (plus a little luck on the guy’s part). Badda bing, badda boom — two kids in a relationship, one boy “getting lucky” … and one pregnant young kid.

          Victimware is mostly about how easy it is to get off… (with a little about “how much I’m unaware that folks are looking at me sexually”). You can tell my parents bought me some as a kid. 😉Report

  7. Avatar Cermet
    Ignored
    says:

    Rape – date rape – is rarely reported. These are rapes by men who the woman knows and she most often then blames herself for letting these go too far. As such, the 10-15% is very likely rather low.Report

  8. Avatar LWA (Lib With Attitude)
    Ignored
    says:

    Men can’t, for obvious reasons, fully comprehend the experience of being female.

    But one good glimpse is to imagine living in a world where we are always,always, smaller and physically disadvantaged, at the mercy of those who hold all the cards.

    Its not that hard- what might be the single greatest fear of most men is the fear of going to prison. Think of living in a world like that, where physical force and intimidation rule supreme, where there are rules, then there are the actual rules, unwritten but more potent.Report

    • Avatar Kim in reply to LWA (Lib With Attitude)
      Ignored
      says:

      And Imagine a world where you’re constantly hunted. Where half the human species has as their goal in life making you pregnant. And some are willing/able to convince you — or wait until you’re convinceable. Others are less liberal about the whole thing.

      (Honestly, this does men a marked disservice. about a third of men are actively disinterested in procreation, and about another third are ambivalent (would rather wear condoms as they lead to more odds of sex later)).

      But, play that again. One in 3 men is out to create babies. And a goodly chunk of that bunch are predators — men who have forcibly (as defined above by someone who wants to call all rape violent) impregnated multiple multiple women.Report

  9. Avatar Morat20
    Ignored
    says:

    Hmm. Off the top of my head — I can’t think of any women who suffered the movie version of rape (masked intruder or physical force) — but I can think of at least two who were placed in a position where they felt they didn’t have a choice.

    Once I had to intervene with someone who was spiking drinks to try to change a “no” to a “yes”. I learned later that there’s a reason certain types of drinks are popular choices to make for girls — it’s difficult to determine how strong they are by taste alone.

    My wife shared her “Drinks I would and would not accept at parties” rules once. Screwdrivers, a popular frat choice, were on the “heck no” list. When we were first dating, I noticed she never left her drink unattended and tended to keep her hands on or over it. It was a very obvious long-standing habit.Report

    • Avatar zic in reply to Morat20
      Ignored
      says:

      Once I had to intervene with someone who was spiking drinks to try to change a “no” to a “yes”.

      Kudos. This is what I want to hear more of. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart.Report

    • Avatar Patrick Cahalan in reply to Morat20
      Ignored
      says:

      I’d like to see that full list.Report

      • Avatar Morat20 in reply to Patrick Cahalan
        Ignored
        says:

        The only one I remember was screwdrivers. Probably because it’s the only one I can make. And I always made them weak, because better it takes more drinks than fewer to get someone smashed.

        I was also always the killjoy grabbing keys. 🙂 And at one memorable party, threatening to break a guy’s tail and headlights, because even a drunk guy can figure he ain’t getting home without being pulled over when he’s driving with busted lights at 1:00AM Saturday morning.

        Although i think mostly he didn’t want to have to replace the lights. Not really cheap on a college kid’s income.Report

      • Avatar bookdragon in reply to Patrick Cahalan
        Ignored
        says:

        The drink type isn’t necessarily the issue. My friend in HS was raped after someone drugged her diet soda.

        However, fruity drinks of nearly all types are high on the list to avoid because of how much alcohol (or other substances) the taste can hide.Report

      • Avatar Chris in reply to Patrick Cahalan
        Ignored
        says:

        Put vodka and club soda on it. My girlfriend drinks them all the time, so I tried a couple recently at a bar. I was drunk before I knew what hit me, because it just tasted like club soda.Report

        • Avatar Morat20 in reply to Chris
          Ignored
          says:

          I think that sort of thing is why older women (ie: not the college set) tend to drink wine unless they’ve got someone keeping an eye out.

          You at least know what you’re getting.

          Bookdragon: Drugging takes a bit more premeditation and a little more…evil…than simply rationalizing “helping her have a good time” with extra booze. It’s drugging either way, but you can pretend that doing it with strong drinks is ‘her choice’, since she knew it was booze. (Even if it had three times the alcohol it should have).

          Dropping a pill in her drink? That’s…harder to rationalize, I’d imagine.Report

          • Avatar bookdragon in reply to Morat20
            Ignored
            says:

            I’d evil sums it up pretty nicely, but the rationalization is usually ‘helping her relax’.

            In my friend’s case, the imagined ‘need to relax’ was because she wouldn’t drink alcohol (not that any of them should have since they were all underage). Her dad was an alcoholic so she avoided it like the plague.Report

            • Avatar Morat20 in reply to bookdragon
              Ignored
              says:

              Ah yes, that’s the line. You could spend an entire semester of an ethics class on how deeply, deeply wrong that line is.

              Or a semester of pyschology on why it’s so easy to use as rationalization.

              Or just, I suppose, point out the hidden assumption: The only reasons he’s not doing what the man wants is because she’s “worried”. If you just help her be “unworried”, to “relax”, she’ll do what she secretly wants to do — which is what you want to do.

              *eye roll*. It’s that attitude right there that’s the nub of the problem. The default, basic assumption that she really wants to have sex with you and all you have to do is remove some petty obstacles, like her sobriety.Report

              • Avatar Kim in reply to Morat20
                Ignored
                says:

                no, see, the actual basic assumption is: I want to have sex, and I can do whatever I please to make sure that happens.Report

              • Avatar Morat20 in reply to Kim
                Ignored
                says:

                Depends on the guy, I think. Some guys, yeah.

                But as dangerous as those guys are, they’re generally not really all that deluded as to what they’re doing. They might not call it “rape”,but they’re not really thinking “She wanted it”. They’re literally thinking “Get her so hammered she won’t know up from down and then, bam, sex time”. Push these guys hard enough and they’ll admit it’s probably not totally ethical. (Although likely shift blame and say she shouldn’t have been drinking).

                It’s the guys who go in thinking “She wants me, she just needs to see it” — those guys are the problem. Because they don’t even see what they’re doing is even marginally iffy. They go in thinking the woman wants to sleep with them, she just needs to “relax”. And they come out thinking she wanted to sleep with them. There’s no “iffy ethics” to them, because all they did was “remove a barrier”.

                They START from the assumption that she wants it. To them, it can’t possibly ever be rape because she wanted it from the start.

                These are the guys who habitually call cries of rape “morning after regrets” or whatever, who think most claims of rape are lies.

                It’s part entitlement, part narccisism, and part just cultural — but it’s very, very nasty and hard to address for the simple reason that they’re never, ever, ever going to see it.

                Frat boys getting girls hammered for sex? They’ll happily admit people don’t make good judgements when drunk. (Lord knows they’d have personal experience). It might not stop them from trying to get women drunk enough to make the poor, impaired choice to sleep with them, but they’re often enough they’ll even admit the girl wouldn’t have slept with them sober.

                Those “she just needs to relax” guys? They’re certain the woman wants to sleep with them. Certain. They’re never gonna see the effect of booze, drugs, coercion, or anything else, because obviously she wanted it from the get go and was just playing hard to get.

                Those guys? You can’t change them. They’ll never, ever, ever see what they’re doing is wrong.Report

  10. Avatar Tod Kelly
    Ignored
    says:

    A comment, I suppose, but only in terms of physical placement. This would have been as excellent a stand-alone post as I’ve read in a while.

    Great comment, Zic – and thanks for throwing it up, Mike.Report

  11. Avatar Jaybird
    Ignored
    says:

    Thank you for writing this, Zic. I’ve written a half dozen comments in my head but had to delete them all.

    I wish the world were not this way.Report

  12. Avatar Jeff No-Last-Name
    Ignored
    says:

    I’ve known far too many women abused as children, raped, or otherwise assaulted. There was a discussion on “rape culture” (what comprises it, and what can we, men primarily, do about it) but I’ve forgotten where.

    I’ll do a search when I get home tonight.Report

  13. Avatar zic
    Ignored
    says:

    Will H. above: Still, the real issue at heart is in diminishing the tendency toward predatory behaviors, broadly and individually.

    My own take on it is that there’s not much hope there.

    And Mike’s comment above: It’s more along the lines of not wanting to be THAT guy that scolds his friends all the time.

    Bromance being the first priority.Report

    • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to zic
      Ignored
      says:

      Zic,

      I don’t think I have any guy friends who are going to sit quietly if they think one of their friends is a rapist or beats his wife. But a womanizer? That’s more subjective. And as previously stated, it’s hard to know what goes on in private.

      I would suggest that the best approach is not to ask all men to police their bros. That’s unrealistic. I’d say public attention is more key. Look at what has happened with the anti-bulling movement in the last few years. It has picked up a lot of momentum. But that would require all women to be as vocal as you are being. Putting the responsibility on men alone is short-sighted.Report

      • Avatar Kim in reply to Mike Dwyer
        Ignored
        says:

        Yuhuh, Mike.
        I stand up and talk about non-consensual sex, and everyone starts howling about how that’s not rape. How torture that leads to non-consensual sex isn’t rape.Report

        • Avatar Matty in reply to Kim
          Ignored
          says:

          Can you point to the specific remarks? I don’t read everything on here or even most things so I must have missed it. If someone is actually saying “torture that leads to non-consensual sex isn’t rape” I would like to know so I can at the very least avoid them.Report

          • Avatar Kim in reply to Matty
            Ignored
            says:

            It was a while ago. Specifically, sleep deprivation brought on by a boy whining/pleading/cajoling at a girl about wanting to have sex, and deliberately not letting her go to sleep until she says yes.Report

            • Avatar Matty in reply to Kim
              Ignored
              says:

              Uugh, that is definitely rape and torture I am very disappointed to think anyone defended it.Report

              • Avatar Kim in reply to Matty
                Ignored
                says:

                Some might take the position “she could always walk out” — ignoring the likely fact that she’s in a relationship with the guy, which is how he’s getting to trample all over her feelings in the first place, by preying on her need to “have someone”Report

              • Avatar Will H. in reply to Kim
                Ignored
                says:

                Some might take the position “she could always walk out” — ignoring the likely fact that she’s in a relationship with the guy, which is how he’s getting to trample all over her feelings in the first place, by preying on her need to “have someone”

                Exactly.

                the likely fact that she’s in a relationship with the guy
                Does she have no manner of control over who she might be in a relationship with?
                Feelings of powerlessness are that: Feelings.

                which is how he’s getting to trample all over her feelings in the first place
                You mean, she’s empowering her aggressor.

                by preying on her need to “have someone”
                Which means that she’s receiving a payoff for it.
                This is something that satisfies a need within her, regardless of whether that need is sexually based or not.

                If the idea might occur to her one day that she might be able to choose a more appropriate partner, then it could be done with.
                If the man is actively preventing such thoughts from occurring to her, then there might be something inappropriate going on.
                Again, a person has responsibility for their own actions.
                Women are persons, and should not be viewed otherwise.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Will H.
                Ignored
                says:

                Yes, Will, it’s all the woman’s fault. They have autonomy dammit! And they aren’t exercising it! That’s their fault!

                I don’t know what else to say, really. I mean, you take a possibility and abstract from that possibility to a general critique of actuality. It’s effing absurd.Report

              • Avatar Will H. in reply to Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                Then tell me whose responsibility it is that any woman in particular should exercise a degree of autonomy.
                It’s the concept that women are so enfeebled mentally that they cannot possibly think which is absurd.

                I believe it’s the issue of sex which removes the rationality on the part of many.

                Who was responsible for Andrea Yates drowning her children?

                Is it possible that a woman under any circumstances might bear some manner of responsibility or liability in any matter whatsoever?

                Or are men there just to protect and guide them, because women really don’t understand what’s good for them?
                To whom exactly would you defer all decision making on the part of a woman?Report

              • Avatar zic in reply to Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                Will H., How many men murder their children each year. And how many women?Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                Is it possible that a woman under any circumstances might bear some manner of responsibility or liability in any matter whatsoever?

                Interesting question. Who’s arguing that they don’t?Report

              • Avatar Will H. in reply to Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                @zic:
                The issue isn’t one of child murder.
                It’s an example, and an example only, of responsibility and liability.

                @Still:
                I believe that would be you, sir.Report

              • Avatar Kimsie in reply to Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                Will H has never been a woman.
                Will H thinks he understands women’s psychology as it pertains to arousal.
                Will H is being a world class asshole.

                Will, you have never been so aroused as to be incapable of speech, have you? You have never had someone deliberately remove your ability to express consent or lack thereof, via ENTIRELY LEGAL METHODS.

                So kindly shut up. And stop enabling torture.Report

              • Avatar Will H. in reply to Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                If and when you return to (relative) rationality (or advance or attain discovery of it in some way), I would be happy to respond.

                Personally, I think you are prone to exaggeration, if not outright fabrication.

                It’s not so bad to live in the real world.Report

    • Avatar Will H. in reply to zic
      Ignored
      says:

      I think that’s a wrong read.
      I was saying that:
      Rape is simply a sexual manifestation of a predatory behavior;
      Rapists would probably be doing something else predatory were sex unavailable to them; and
      Predatory behaviors, even sexually based, are not limited to men only.

      Let’s consider those as points 1, 2, & 3.
      Tell me which one you disagree with.
      I’ll try to remain open to persuasion.Report

      • Avatar zic in reply to Will H.
        Ignored
        says:

        The original theses of this discussion stems from abortion; I suggested that rather then trying to control women through controlling abortion, men would be better able to decrease the numbers of abortion by exerting more social control over their predatory behaviors that lead to abortion; and it’s not just rape.

        What I get back is a whole lot of discussion of what is and is not rape, and a whole lot of weasel words.

        I have absolutely zero interest in arguing predatory behaviors of humans with you; I have a lot of interest in adding the psychological damage women suffer at the hands of men that contributes to their irresponsible behavior. I offered up my own experiences, all happening to me from the ages of 11 to 16.

        So you may try and turn this to ‘women do it too,’ but that’s kind of ungracious given my history.Report

        • Avatar zic in reply to zic
          Ignored
          says:

          Not to mention the other point I had — that this control of women is built in to our culture.Report

        • Avatar Will H. in reply to zic
          Ignored
          says:

          I’ll agree with your first paragraph.
          And so, do you think that you are the only victim?
          Or that all victims must necessarily be women?
          I could say that is rather ungracious of you, considering my history.
          However, I believe it would be more constructive to point out that this is a matter of you internalizing abuse.
          There is no need to remain in that place.Report

          • Avatar Johanna in reply to Will H.
            Ignored
            says:

            Will
            What I get out of the last two sentences of your comment is that zic’s point is skewed because she was abused and that it is her issue that the point is invalidated somehow based upon that. If that is not what you intend I’d like to know what it is you are trying to say.Report

            • Avatar Will H. in reply to Johanna
              Ignored
              says:

              That certainly wasn’t what I was trying to say, and so I’ll take a shot at clarifying.

              I was abused myself, and at a very young age.
              Gender is a matter completely beside the point.
              In fact, any characteristic of the victim whatsoever is fully and completely beside the point.
              Therefore, to say that, “I was victimized because I was _____,” is insufficient.
              Persons are victimized due to the fact that certain others are predatory.
              Anything less is other than truthful.

              I’ve been around long enough to recognize internalization when I see it.
              I don’t use that term as a condemnation.
              Overcoming that internalization is key to healing as a person.

              I could go on with specific characteristics I have seen in this particular instance, but I believe what has been stated is sufficient.Report

        • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to zic
          Ignored
          says:

          Zic,

          As the parent of teenage girls what I see is not just a culture where men are treating women badly. I see a culture where women are treating each other badly and also treating men badly. My daughter has a male friend who is gay and dated a popular girl right before he came out in public. She was embarrassed that she was his beard and and falsely accused him of raping her and getting her pregnant. I’ve heard dozens of stories along these lines. And this also doesn’t even scratch the surface of women socially abusing each other, driving girls to suicide, etc.

          My larger point is that as soon as you point the finger at one group you create a team mentality. I’m not a defender of abusive men but I automatically feel compelled to defend my gender. Wouldn’t it be much easier to say, “Hey, we as a culture could certainly treat each other a lot nicer,” ?Report

          • Avatar Kim in reply to Mike Dwyer
            Ignored
            says:

            Men hunt, and women are hunted.
            Men pick up social points for “scoring” and women lose them.
            This is one of the main reasons why we can’t tell who is a rapist.
            Because people have in their lexicon “it wasn’t rape rape”.

            When I describe a woman unable to say no, men on this site
            say that it isn’t rape.

            False accusations of rape harm a lot of people — but how
            did she expect to get away with “got her pregnant”?
            Was she cheating on him, and thus actually pregnant?
            (Note: not atm weighing in on the morality of cheating on
            someone who doesn’t like you sexually).

            … you’ve heard dozens of stories of people doing that?
            Throughout my high school, there were no rape accusations.
            Plenty of girls getting raped, but no rape accusations.Report

            • Avatar Murali in reply to Kim
              Ignored
              says:

              Men pick up social points for “scoring” and women lose them

              That is precisely the problem. If men get into situations where they are more likely to rape because they get points from scoring, if men were to lose points from “scoring”, they would be less likely to get into such situations where they end up pressuring vulnerable people who have trouble saying no etc etc. I’m betting that this can explain a lot of differences in rape statistics.Report

              • Avatar Kim in reply to Murali
                Ignored
                says:

                Murali,
                Some people are socially motivated. But a lot of guys are motivated by their instincts… Those you don’t change, and it’s a LOT of guys who are like that.Report

              • Avatar Murali in reply to Kim
                Ignored
                says:

                But a lot of guys are motivated by their instincts… Those you don’t change, and it’s a LOT of guys who are like that.

                1. I don’t think you can generalise from how many men are in the US to the rest of the world.

                2. It is already a widespread cultural norm in the US that it is a virtue to do what comes naturally and instinctually. Once you tell people that it is okay to be motivated by their instincts, they are as a rule not going to adequately develop the requisite habits that helps them manage and control their instincts rather than the other way around.Report

              • Avatar Kim in reply to Murali
                Ignored
                says:

                No it is goddamn not a cultural norm to do what comes naturally and instinctually!
                It is natural and instinctive for older men to be attracted to 13 year olds. This is NOT ACCEPTABLE. And it is especially not acceptable to have sex with them.
                It is natural and instinctive for older women to be attracted to young boys. THIS IS ALSO not acceptable.

                I’m sorry, are you trying to say that men/women in your country are more into S&M than America? Are you trying to say that men in your country have lower sexual instincts?

                I think all that you’ve definitively established is that orgies are less culturally acceptable in your country than America. But maybe I ought to check the birth rate 9months after that tsunami, before I say such things… 😉Report

              • Avatar Murali in reply to Kim
                Ignored
                says:

                No it is goddamn not a cultural norm to do what comes naturally and instinctually!

                First of all, instincts are not simple. The interaction between instinct and culture is sufficiently complex that the right kind of cultural norms can channel insincts into safer avenues.

                But maybe I ought to check the birth rate 9months after that tsunami, before I say such things… 😉

                The Tsunami didn’t reach Singapore.

                Here is the fertility rate over the past decade. The Tsunami was on december 2004.

                I’m sorry, are you trying to say that men/women in your country are more into S&M than America?

                Hardly. Probably the other way around.

                Are you trying to say that men in your country have lower sexual instincts?

                Partly this and partly better control as well. High stress and long working hours are known to lower the sex drive. At the least, my casual unscientific observation is that Americans seem oversexed.

                Secondly, some places have better cultural norms about what to do about harmful instincts than others.Report

              • Avatar Will H. in reply to Murali
                Ignored
                says:

                #2: Precisely.
                When the rational part of man is valued as highly as the animal part of man, such matters are not at issue.

                I believe she speaks according to her own experience, which is likely in accord with resident temperament.Report

            • Avatar James Hanley in reply to Kim
              Ignored
              says:

              Men hunt, and women are hunted.

              Pop sociobiology is a poor basis for a serious discussion.Report

              • Avatar Kim in reply to James Hanley
                Ignored
                says:

                yes, yes it is.
                I don’t suppose you’ve participated in research studies on rape and non-consensual sex?
                Research studies on arousal and how it affects decision making?

                Occasionally, it is possible for other people to have better anecdotal evidence than you have. Or you could actually start citing some sources. I’d wager Loewenstein would be a good place to start.Report

              • Avatar Chris in reply to Kim
                Ignored
                says:

                Cite some Loewenstein in favor of your argument. I double dog dare you.Report

              • Avatar James Hanley in reply to Kim
                Ignored
                says:

                Kimmie, research on rape doesn’t support pop sociobiology.Report

              • Avatar Kim in reply to James Hanley
                Ignored
                says:

                I’m not sure where/how/why you decided to throw in biology, actually.
                I mean, we can, if you’d like. I can come up with a case for rape/non-consensual sex being evolutionarily adaptive to the relatively small and isolated populations that were prototypical Neo/Paleolithic villages.

                But terms like “hunter” and “hunted” are… umm… mostly sociological/cultural/psychological. You seem like you want to dismiss a concept without bothering to use an argument.Report

              • Avatar James Hanley in reply to Kim
                Ignored
                says:

                I’m not sure where/how/why you decided to throw in biology, actually.

                Men hunt, and women are hunted.

                And if that’s not a socio-bio argument, but just sociological, then I’m still going to call you on them because it’s a blatantly false dichotomy. Women sure as hell do hunt for mates, chasing after the ones they find desirable. The idea that they don’t isn’t just against the evidence, it’s actually part and parcel of some old bad–almost openly sexist–sociobiology that treated females as passive participants in the mating process, just sitting around waiting to be taken by the alpha male. You, ironically, played right into that discredited stereotype (which, incidentally, was discredited by female researches such as Dorothy Cheney and others whose names I unfortunately can’t recall right now).Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Kim
                Ignored
                says:

                Nice comment James. I made a couple of lame attempts to respond to this, and nothing I wrote seemed quite right. But it’s the perpetuation of false stereotypes that jumped out at me as … sorta ridiculous. Especially given the overarching context of the discussion.Report

              • Avatar Will H. in reply to Kim
                Ignored
                says:

                …on arousal and how it affects decision making

                So, what you’re saying is that persons are not responsible for their own feelings of arousal, nor any decisions which they might make when aroused.

                Therefore, if my friend’s wife comes on to me, I should just go ahead and bang her if I happen to get horny. There is no manner of liability whatsoever, as it was an action undertaken when aroused.

                That’s pretty damned sick.Report

              • Avatar Kimsie in reply to Will H.
                Ignored
                says:

                Will,
                Certain people intentionally strike out to legally rape others. They intentionally use someone’s sexuality against them.
                Bad, eh?
                But what’s worse is a culture of relative ignorance, where girls are encouraged to remain ignorant about their sexuality. This makes them easy meat for predators. Most women are capable of defending themselves — most girls are not.
                But then we have the LOVELY idea that everyone’s equally responsible, and that if it’s legal it’s moral, and those little girls who had their autonomy STOLEN from them DELIBERATELY — they ought to get stuck with nine months of bearing a baby.Report

              • Avatar MikeSchilling in reply to James Hanley
                Ignored
                says:

                Pop sociobiology

                There’s another kind?Report

              • Avatar Kim in reply to MikeSchilling
                Ignored
                says:

                Some people study this stuff, you know…Report

              • Avatar James Hanley in reply to MikeSchilling
                Ignored
                says:

                Yes, Mike, there really is. I’m always amused by pro-science liberals who absolutely are appalled at conservatives’ denial of evolution, but who shy away from admitting that human’s evolutionary history might play a role in shaping our behavior. Criticisms of the state of the field of sociobiology/evolutionary psych/biopolitics or whatever one wants to call it are fair, and many are justified. But there are serious people working seriously on these questions, and I find simplistic liberal hand-waving at the field to be really funny–the concept of secular liberals and religious conservatives walking hand in hand (clutching their pearls with their other hands) gives me the giggles.Report

              • Avatar Chris in reply to James Hanley
                Ignored
                says:

                I don’t consider Tooby, Cosmides, Buss, or Pinker to be serious in any sense of the word… heh.Report

              • Avatar James Hanley in reply to Chris
                Ignored
                says:

                I know you don’t. I don’t agree. I see them as the early folks in on an important intellectual question, before we’ve found the appropriate tools to deal with it. Somebody’s got to start asking the questions, and only then can we develop the tools. But I think anyone who rejects the idea that our evolutionary history plays a role in shaping our behavior* lacks seriousness. We accept that evolution has shaped the behavior of all other animals (and plants, to the extent the term behavior fits), so to think that it hasn’t shaped human behavior is to make a claim that in the animal kingdom we humans are wholly unique, that only we do not have a relevant evolutionary history. As I told a social-constructionist friend once, perhaps we are born tabula rasa, but you still need an evolutionary explanation to make sense of that.
                ______________________
                *I’m not making a biological determinist argument, though, since I don’t indulge that kind of nonsense.Report

              • Avatar Kim in reply to Chris
                Ignored
                says:

                James,
                At the point where psychology enters the mix, particularly with regards to competition for mates, you’re better off modeling things with game theory.

                That is to say: Mama Nature has been very creative about solving the problem: “What strategies work decently well at impregnating women.” I’ve outlined a few upthread (there’s always more: dogs, who are basically only interested in “fun”, and manage to procreate because, prior to birth control, having sex got women pregnant. Now they either manage to have an accident (for realz), or get women pregnant after the woman consents to get pregnant.)

                Mama Nature hasn’t been nearly as creative about solving the reverse problem (it’s basically one template, rather than a gobton like the guys).Report

              • Avatar Chris in reply to Chris
                Ignored
                says:

                James, I know we’ve had this discussion before, but my only real response is: we already had the tools, and people were already doing the work. Reasoning from the EEA, starting from a position of massive modularity, and doing mostly survey work or experiments that don’t actually test your hypothesis (Tooby and Cosmides are guilty of the latter) is just not a way to start anything.

                I remember very distinctly sitting in on job talk after job talk for a position in one of the top 2 EP programs in the country, and in every case, the candidates were so bad that it was impossible to hire them. This is because EP programs, and EP research methods, simply weren’t, and aren’t, up to the standards of a first rate research psychology department. I doubt they ever will be.

                One of the reasons I think Marc Hauser’s fall from grace is so damaging is that he was doing the sort of “evolutionary psychology” that has an impact on the field.Report

              • Avatar James Hanley in reply to Chris
                Ignored
                says:

                we already had the tools, and people were already doing the work. Reasoning from the EEA, starting from a position of massive modularity, and doing mostly survey work or experiments that don’t actually test your hypothesis (Tooby and Cosmides are guilty of the latter) is just not a way to start anything.

                Those aren’t the tools then, are they?

                But if you look at the history of science, doing it badly is often the precursor to doing it well. Other people realize there’s a worthwhile question hidden in the dreck and say, “jeez, I can do a lot better job of approaching that than those clowns are doing.”

                I think it’s pretty funny for you to be sitting here only a few decades into the process of attempting to develop this field and smugly say, “that can’t lead to anything.” Pretty ahistorical, dude, but perhaps you have an unusually good ability to see the future and know what can and can’t develop. 😉Report

              • Avatar Patrick Cahalan in reply to Chris
                Ignored
                says:

                EP is going to suffer from a serious problem in observational measurement.

                I don’t know that you can correct for this in any reasonable way. The timescales are just too damn long.Report

              • Avatar Kim in reply to Chris
                Ignored
                says:

                Patrick,
                It’s just another Game. The predictability, the interesting mutations, will have to be pretty proximal to reproductive success, at least until we get giant gobs of data (or have another “squish” event, like the black plague).Report

              • Avatar James Hanley in reply to Chris
                Ignored
                says:

                Pat,

                Agreed, that’s the fundamental problem. It’s cool to study zebrafish because they reproduce rapidly and we can weird genetic manipulations with them. Humans have a nasty tendency of outliving their researchers and then we have all these ethical problems with doing invasive experiments (sigh).

                So I don’t have problems with people who emphasize how hard it’s going to be to study this. I just have problems with people who a) say it’s impossible (the history of science is the history of disproving those who say X is impossible–the claim assumes a knowledge of all possibilities, so it’s ridiculously hubristic), and especially with those who would exempt humans from the basic commonality of the animal kingdom and say that evolution doesn’t play any meaningful role in shaping our behavior. That’s more unscientific, I’d argue, than the current state of evo psych.Report

              • Avatar Kim in reply to James Hanley
                Ignored
                says:

                I just find the idea that our evolutionary history has always given us adaptive behaviors to be hilarious. Once you discount that concept, then you get to have a little bit of fun. Our brains are horrible junkheaps, with multiple paths that lead to the same endpoint, certain stimuli that cause perplexingly acute reactions…Report

              • Avatar James Hanley in reply to Kim
                Ignored
                says:

                Kim,

                This is where pop sociobiology gets stupid. Of course our evolutionary history gave us adaptive behaviors. But we’re primarily adapted to a hunter-gatherer existence in small (probably 50-200 people) family groups. Civilization’s only a few thousand years old, and the modern industrial world is only a few hundred years old. Nobody seriously thinks that’s what we’re adapted to. Hell, deer haven’t adapted to getting the hell out of the way of cars yet, and neither have we.Report

              • Avatar Kim in reply to Kim
                Ignored
                says:

                James,
                I believe we’ve had this discussion already. But what was adaptive to a “rat-beast” (part of our evolutionary history), is not necessarily still adaptive to humans. (though it’s hardly going to be especially maladaptive, or it would be bred out).Report

              • Avatar James Hanley in reply to Kim
                Ignored
                says:

                I believe that’s pretty much what I said. Doesn’t mean our behavior wasn’t shaped through evolutionary adaptation, though. Doesn’t mean it isn’t still being shaped through evolutionary adaptation, although we surely don’t have the capacity to recognize just how.Report

              • Avatar Kim in reply to Kim
                Ignored
                says:

                Sure we do. Just look at birth statistics, and line them up against who’s breeding (for extra credit, line up intelligence).

                I’d be far less confident, of course, if we weren’t talking about basic reproductive strategies.

                Certain persuasive types (bards, kitsune) are breeding now more than preindustrialized civilizations.

                There are a great many types that are breeding less (dogs, due to not caring other than “more fun is good!”).

                Most alphas are doing a different thing — they appear to be attracted to more “ambitious” women, rather than intelligent women (basically, rating fitness of mate by looks, which are rather easy to modify with makeup these days). Thing is? These women are only aiming for alphas in the first place for the fame/money/etc. It’s not like they’re actually good in the sack.Report

              • Avatar Kim in reply to Kim
                Ignored
                says:

                And abortion has done a lot to make rape/non-consensual sex a pretty poor reproductive strategy.Report

              • Avatar James Hanley in reply to Kim
                Ignored
                says:

                Sure we do. Just look at birth statistics, and line them up against who’s breeding (for extra credit, line up intelligence).

                Oh, fuck, not that old line of bullshit. That doesn’t tell you anything about behavior, and the concern about the stupid people multiplying at excessive rates is old enough that the world ought to have become observably stupider by now–we really ought to be living in the Idiocracy. But that hasn’t happened. Again, you’re spouting pop sociobiology, and I find it really irritating, so I’m not going to respond anymore.Report

              • Avatar Kim in reply to Kim
                Ignored
                says:

                *eyeroll* James, I’m not saying what you think I’m saying.
                Really, I’m not.

                I said nothing about stupid people multiplying… and in fact, if you had actually asked, I would have made other comments (ones which I know more about, like the propensity of smart people to breed with other smart people).Report

              • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to Kim
                Ignored
                says:

                It’s hard for me to take you seriously when you use character designs from Japanese comic books as examples of human behavior.Report

              • Avatar Kimsie in reply to Kim
                Ignored
                says:

                DD,
                Archetypes used are referencing the Chinese Zodiac, a form of personality characterization that’s been used for thousands of years.

                If you don’t like the idea of different reproductive strategies, maybe you ought to argue that all guys think the same, and that rapists don’t exist.Report

              • Avatar Chris in reply to James Hanley
                Ignored
                says:

                James, I know I’m being smug. As you know, this is a topic about which I’m passionate, because of my own training and my own intimate knowledge of EP from the inside. I guess my point is this: taking evolution seriously is not something psychology lacks, or has lacked for over a century. Comparative psychology, for example, is something that’s been going on since at least the 19th century. There are people doing good evolutionary psychology, there have been for a long time. They’re just not doing it in the Tooby-Cosmides-Buss-Pinker mold, because that mold is a non-starter: it gets the psychology, the neuroscience, and the methodology wrong, and in the end it turns out to be pretty useless (we don’t need the sort of evolutionary reasoning they do, because the answers are in the behavioral data and hypotheses generated from it).Report

              • Avatar James Hanley in reply to Chris
                Ignored
                says:

                I’m all in favor of neuro and cog psych. I’m not sure any of the rest of it is more useful than sociology. 😉

                But you’ve also said in the past that you doubt evolution matters. To that extent you boggle my mind, but I’ve not wanted to fight with you about it.Report

              • Avatar James Hanley in reply to Chris
                Ignored
                says:

                And now I have to take my kids trick-or-treating, the prep an enviro politics lecture, so that’s probably the end of my ability to participate in this discussion. Feel free to clarify any misunderstandings I have, and I will pop back in to read what you say. I just didn’t want to leave the impression that I was ignoring any further responses, or walking off in huff. (I’d really rather stay and chat than go trick-or-treating, but duty calls.)Report

              • Avatar Chris in reply to Chris
                Ignored
                says:

                I don’t doubt that evolution matters. I doubt that it adds anything to current behavioral and neuro data when explaining behavior. Except, of course, in comparative methods.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Chris
                Ignored
                says:

                My complaint against evo is that it’s circular. Or tends to that, anyway. It’s like Freudianism in that.

                I think there are interesting descriptions from an evo perspective that contribute to our understanding of things. But I see no reason to think that human behavior is determined by a narrow conception of natural selection, rather than that our behavior is merely consistent with evolution – not determined by it – within a wide range of possible behaviors.

                For example, on a somewhat trivial but I think indicative level, evo folks want to argue that self-interest and altruism can be accounted for by evolutionary processes. But at that point, it seems to me, they’ve proposed a theory that assumes it can account for all human behavior. And at that point, I think the theory is trivial.

                {{Could be wrong about all that!!! }}Report

      • Avatar Kim in reply to Will H.
        Ignored
        says:

        Will,
        All due respect, but no. to all three.

        Men with high functioning sex drives tend to be inventors, CEOs, politicians — they do a LOT of things that put them into places where they can get their desires satisfied. Sometimes they sublimate their sexuality (Tesla).

        These people are driven by pleasure.Report

  14. Avatar Chris
    Ignored
    says:

    I think what we’re saying is that while yes, some men abuse women because they are sexualy desirable, some women abuse men with their desirability.

    I want to highlight this again because it’s still really, really irking me. Let’s look at this: first, it equates sexual assault against women with women manipulating men. Second, it blames them both on women (both are the result of women’s “desirability”); men have no agency in that sentence. Third, it assumes that sexual assault has anything to do with women’s desirability, and isn’t instead about power and control.

    Look, I know women manipulate men all of the time, but comparing manipulating men because men can’t control themselves to sexual assault because men can’t control themselves (and blaming both the manipulation and the sexual assault on women and their “desirability”) is just disgusting.Report

    • Avatar Kim in reply to Chris
      Ignored
      says:

      Yeah, these are solid points. I suggest whomever made that statement man up and apologize.Report

    • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to Chris
      Ignored
      says:

      Chris – Zic wrote the post so I am going to quote from her additional comment #81:

      “I want to point out one very important thing here: I’m discussing a range of behaviors; rape is the far end of the spectrum; not the sum total of it. There’s a lot that goes down that’s not rape.”

      Zic’s post was not just about rape. You seem to be under the impression that is the only compairson that could be made. When she says a ‘range of behaviors’ there are some things that men do to women that could be equated to women using sex to manipulate men or treat them badly.Report

      • Avatar Chris in reply to Mike Dwyer
        Ignored
        says:

        Mike, I understand that she doesn’t mean just rape, but neither do I. Let’s change what I described as “assault” to “predation.” The point still stands. As do the ones you didn’t address.Report

        • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to Chris
          Ignored
          says:

          Zic has also talked about low-level things like sexual harrassment or cohercion. On that front I think there’s a lot more equality between the sexes.Report

          • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Mike Dwyer
            Ignored
            says:

            Mike, do you really think men and women perpetrate sexual harassment and sexual coercion in equal degrees? Same types of behaviors, same prevalence, same underlying purpose, same underlying cultural justifications and proscriptions, etc?Report

            • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to Stillwater
              Ignored
              says:

              Um, yes? Or at least in my anecdotal experience. I can say with 100% honesty that I have never cheated on a partner. On the other hand I have had plenty of women come on to me, knowing I was in a relationship, and some of them being in a relationship themselves. I’ve had male friends who have had girls stalk them and/or send them so much inappropriate stuff via email and Facebook that they had to change all of their accounts. I’ve had women use sex against me as a cudgel and seen it used against other men as well.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Mike Dwyer
                Ignored
                says:

                Fair enough.Report

              • Avatar Kim in reply to Mike Dwyer
                Ignored
                says:

                ” I’ve had women use sex against me as a cudgel and seen it used against other men as well.”
                Explain further. *eyebrow*

                I’ve known men who have had quite a lot of fun convincing women to cheat on their boyfriends, and then leaving the boyfriend (and woman) with the resulting baby.

                I’ve known men to deliberately scar people by sending them pictures that they can never get out of their head (photographic memory). This is not actually related to anything sexual, other than the photos content.

                A friend of mine has a truism: “never stick your dick in crazy.”Report

              • Avatar Chris in reply to Mike Dwyer
                Ignored
                says:

                Again, there’s so much wrong with this. You’ve never cheated, but you’ve known women who’ve done a bunch of things that aren’t cheating. This is a defense of what? Hell, how is it, as you say, a defense of your gender to say “the other gender does bad stuff too?” Hell, those are all things men do too.

                If you’re argument is, “Women are people too, and people do bad things.” Well, duh. If it’s anything else, well, see everything else I’ve said about it.Report

              • Avatar Johanna in reply to Mike Dwyer
                Ignored
                says:

                But have you ever felt unsafe simply leaving the grocery store at night, or waiting for the bus, or at a party based on your sex? This is a norm and it shouldn’t be. There is also a significant difference between being stalked or physically attacked by someone who is bigger, stronger, and can impregnate you against your will than unwanted advances by someone who can’t. So women also do some nasty stuff, but have you ever had to physically fight off someone’s unwanted advances in a situation where you were in genuine fear of your physical well-being? I have and I would happily change my email and facebook accts repeatedly over inappropriate e-mails from guys who I didn’t think could harm me over a single one of the other experiences I had.Report

              • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to Johanna
                Ignored
                says:

                Johanna,

                “But have you ever felt unsafe simply leaving the grocery store at night, or waiting for the bus, or at a party based on your sex?”

                No but I have had all of those things hapen because I was in a bad area, or the smaller of several guys, or outnumbered. We all feel threatened at one time or another.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Mike Dwyer
                Ignored
                says:

                But … you recognize the difference she’s getting at, yes? It doesn’t even have to be an explicit rape scenario that worries her. It could be that some drunk guy who really wants to get laid looks at her as one last chance to get lucky, and starts a conversation…

                Mike, I don’t mean for this to sound flippant, but I’m starting to think your arguments throughout this thread are politically motivated. That you view disputes over women’s rights and women’s sexuality and various descriptions of our society as embracing norms which place men’s rights and desires above women’s as having existential implications or something. And that you’re not evaluating those issues on their own terms.Report

              • Avatar Chris in reply to Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                Oddly, it struck me as the sort of argument you hear from MRA’s, which aren’t particularly political.Report

              • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                Stillwater,

                Okay – so a drunk guy hits on her? So what? The problem is, I know plenty of girls who see that as a kind of harrassment. I’m sure we’ve all seen the scenario in a bar where some guy hits on a girl out of his league and the look on her face is the same one she would give if he offered her a warm turd. On the other hand, I don’t think I have ever seen a guy act that way in the reverse situation. That’s largely just a difference in the way the sexes perceive things. A girl gets offended. A guy figures just because a girl is unattractive doesn’t mean she has bad taste. And if the person is drunk? That’s an annoyance that has nothing to do with gender.

                It’s not politically motivated, but it may be ideological in nature. I HATE, HATE, HATE claims of victimhood that incorporate a whole group. They make generalizations and that isn’t helpful. It’s very easy to read all of the comments here and draw the conclusion that all women have been raped or almost raped and all men are basically pigs.

                I’m not trying to refute claims against men by pointing out the bad behavior of women, I’m trying to expand the conversation because I tend to think in 2012 our whole culture is broken, not just one specific gender.Report

              • Avatar Kim in reply to Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                MIKE,
                The man who is too out of touch to understand social cues on “what is in his league” is already helpfully redflagging that he’s either too desperate to pay attention to things like consent, or too autistic (ahem. is it sperg today?) to comprehend such things.

                You may have never seen guys get offended because someone of a lower social desirability hits on them. I have. Often, in fact. Of course, this does bring us back to the whole “women moulding themselves to be desirable for men”… I’m told fat women give excellent blowjobs. So maybe guys don’t actually take it as an insult because they see it as less of a bad thing.

                Plus, guys don’t take so much of a hit to their rep if they bang one fat slut (yes, yes, it is all okay, it is okay to be a fat slut if you want to be — and it is not okay to characterize someone who isn’t a fat slut as one.) If a fat horndog (see? can’t even find equivalent words) is doing the same thing — you know the type, the walking “hey baby”, he’s likely to be seen as a little desperate — but it’s taken as very different. Even if he is a creeper.

                Oh, and one other thing: The Ugly Girls? They don’t get invited to parties, at least not in America. They’re considered to downgrade the entire party.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                I HATE, HATE, HATE claims of victimhood that incorporate a whole group.

                Hmmm. So the topic on the table is (basically) cultural norms that tilt against women. But we can’t talk about whole groups? All we can talk about is individuals?

                Seems to me that the only evidence brought to bear at that point is anecdotal and personal. And each anecdote can be rejected by a counter-dote. And a personal story is rejected as an explicit appeal to victimhood.

                I don’t see how there’s anything left to discuss, except maybe why we can’t talk about generalizations (especially on the assumption that they’re merely generalizations).Report

              • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                Stillwater,

                I’m not saying we can’t talk about whole groups, but when talking about bad behavior, why do we stop at gender and not just look at people in general? You’re drawing an arbitrary line. I’m saying that I see bad behavior on both sides, they just look different. As I mentioned elsewhere, my daughters have never had trouble with boys…but they have come home crying because of girls. And that is physical as well as the cruel psychological stuff girls are known for.

                There are also studies that show when you allow for different types of aggressive behavior, women are the more aggressive gender.

                http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=women-more-socially-aggressive

                Personally I have seen that in the business world.Report

              • Avatar Kim in reply to Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                And somehow it’s okay for me to talk about pigs, and rats and other things… but not all men? Or is it not okay for me to talk about specific strategies to procreate?Report

              • Avatar Kim in reply to Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                Typical male physical violence, Campbell argues, is largely a form of showy sexual competition between men for reproductive access to the most desirable women.

                Interestingly enough, this collides with research that I’ve heard about, with risktaking and adolescence, which hasn’t seen much of any sex-based differences (but much relating to sexual maturation).

                Here’s an anecdote for you: I was taught from a very early age never to hit, never to touch a hair on someone else’s head. That’s what “bad girls” do. I think it’s fair to say that being that masculine in your approach (judging by the research situation described) would reflect much more poorly on a woman than it would on a man.

                Are you aware that women are more likely to be prosecuted for murder in the first degree than men, for acts of spousal violence? It’s because women tend to stew over problems for a long period of time, before building up that level of rage that results in a death.

                a potentially more relevant article(to the entire discussion, not jus tthis):
                http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=pedophiles-erotic-age-orientation

                and the article you meant to cite:
                http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=bitch-evolved-girls-cruel&page=2Report

              • Avatar James Hanley in reply to Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                when talking about bad behavior, why do we stop at gender and not just look at people in general?

                Maybe because that’s the fucking issue of the moment, and efforts to shift from gender to people in general look a whole hell of a lot like efforts to avoid having an actual discussion about that particular–and goddamed important–issue of bad behavior.

                For god’s sake, Mike, it looks a helluva lot like you’re trying to equate an awful lot of less serious bad behaviors with rape. I can’t bring myself to believe that you’d actually do that because I don’t believe you’re that kind of person, but I’ve got to tell you that your insistence on shifting the issue away from rape really does come across that way.

                You know, I’ve been semi-stalked by a couple of women, and as a college prof I have a persistent worry that a pissed off female undergrad could cause me one hell of a lot of trouble with a false accusation of sexual contact. But I know that doesn’t begin to rise to the level of worry–the need for constant vigilance and the awareness of just how much harm is possible–as many women have about the possibility of being raped.

                I’ve been biting my tongue throughout this thread, but come one, man, you’re playing your cards really badly in this one.Report

              • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                James,

                See my comment here:

                https://ordinary-times.com/blog/2012/10/comment-rescue-the-challenges-women-face/#comment-397796

                If the subject of this thread is RAPE, RAPE, RAPE then I will happily re-title it and retract all of my comments. But Zic says it’s about all of men’s bad behaviors. Everyone just seems to want to talk about rape though. If you can find a spot in this thread where I say anything women do is equal to rape, please show me and I will apologize in full. But I have gone to great pains to say that I am talking about other types of behaviors. But again, it seems to be all about rape.Report

              • Avatar James Hanley in reply to Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                Mike,

                And see my comment here.Report

              • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                Rape has been mentioned over 100 times in this thread. Clearly I missed the intended subject (despite Zic’s claims to the contrary).Report

              • Avatar Will H. in reply to Johanna
                Ignored
                says:

                @Johanna:
                This is an important point, and I would like to respond to it, because I don’t want it to get lost.

                Fear of thirst while the well is full is the thirst that cannot be quenched.

                That fear exists is no indication that hazards are necessarily present.
                Further, that hazards are indeed present is an indication of potential, and not of realization.

                The three steps, in preferred order, for removing hazards are:
                Avoidance – line of fire
                Mitigation – engineering controls
                Protection – personal protective devices

                This isn’t really coming off as well as I hoped it would.
                I will try to gather my thoughts before responding further.

                However, at issue is an awareness, even if that awareness is of gender, of potentiality.
                It’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it’s somewhat asocial at its base.

                That didn’t come out right either.Report

          • Avatar Chris in reply to Mike Dwyer
            Ignored
            says:

            First, I acknowledged that. Second, you still haven’t addressed the other points.

            The worst part of your statement, and it is all bad, is that you essentially blame both on women and their “desirability.” There’s nothing about men being agents who can control their desires.

            Plus, I seriously, seriously doubt that women manipulate men with their sexuality as much as men leer at women, talk to them inappropriately, etc. I’ll put it like this: I can go somewhere by myself and not be manipulated by a woman using her sexuality. In fact, I could probably name every time it’s ever happened to me. Ask the women here how often they go somewhere by themselves and have men stare at them, or talk to them inappropriately, or touch them, or otherwise make them uncomfortable by treating them as sexual objects.Report

    • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Chris
      Ignored
      says:

      some women abuse men with their desirability.

      Women can be attractive and desirable to men despite themselves, with no conscious intent on their parts. They’re just … good looking. So good looking they’re sexually desirable. It seems wrong to think that a woman ought to accused of “abusing men” simply because men find her attractive.

      So, where does “abuse” enter into this discussion? Because

      some girls that clearly used their sexuality for their advantage. Using sex basically as a weapon.

      I don’t really want to dive too deeply into the weeds on this, but it seems to me that women using their sexuality as a weapon (and let’s suppose for the sake of argument here that it happens) is a completely different type of abuse than what zic is talking about.

      So two things strike me as interesting about this:

      1. The first is what is the purpose of pointing out that some women use their desirability as a weapon against men? It seems like it’s getting very close to a “blame the victim” argument, one where some women (or maybe all women??) “get what they deserve” because they can and sometimes do use their desirability as a “weapon”.

      2. The second is that using desirability as a weapon, as I’m understanding the concept in the context it was used, doesn’t entail any physical violence. So it doesn’t entail any physical abuse. It might constitute a form of psychological abuse, I suppose, but only because the man in the relevant case already desires the woman. So the conclusion that the woman is engaging in a form of “abuse” against the man only makes sense, it seems to me, if we deny (as Chris said above) agency to the dude.Report

      • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to Stillwater
        Ignored
        says:

        Stillwater – as I mentioned to Chris, Zic is not just talking about sexual assault or physical abuse. She’s also talking about less severe bad behaviors. On that level I think the analogy holds.

        And what I am talking about is women using sex to manipulate men, to hurt men, etc. I’m also talking about women abusing other women which is a much larger problem IMO.

        My point (again) is to take this conversation to a higher level i.e. society behaving badly instead of it making it a men vs. women conversation.Report

        • Avatar Kim in reply to Mike Dwyer
          Ignored
          says:

          Careful. By doing that, it really does seem like you want to ignore/elide over the far worse problem about removal of autonomy and informed consent.

          I can certainly sympathize with not wanting folks to defend predators — I’m certainly argumentative enough to have come down on the wrong side of a few arguments occasionally…Report

        • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Mike Dwyer
          Ignored
          says:

          My point (again) is to take this conversation to a higher level i.e. society behaving badly instead of it making it a men vs. women conversation.

          I get that. And that’s a worthwhile discussion to have. I guess my point is that’s a different topic than what zic introduced in the OP. It seems to me that the broad question of how women are treated by men in our society is a standalone topic. how men are treated by women in society is as well. And a third is the degree to which both sexes are engaging in similar types of bad behavior. But a discussion about “the same types of bad behavior” leaves open the question of particular ways in which women are treated poorly (abusively, etc) by men, and why that is, and how that manifests, and so on.Report

          • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to Stillwater
            Ignored
            says:

            Stillwater,

            Keep in mind that Zic’s comment came up because she said men shouldn’t talk about abortion until they clean up man-culture first.Report

            • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Mike Dwyer
              Ignored
              says:

              You may be right about that. I didn’t read her that way, tho (way back when). She wasn’t saying that men need to physically clean up man-culture first (like there is a time-sequence in play here) but that men who make pronouncements about abortion-restrictions are only justified in doing so if they recognize and are taking steps to remedy a culture which privileges men’s desires and rights above women’s.Report

              • Avatar Chris in reply to Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                Precisely. And Mike responded by focusing on men’s desires (or rather, women’s desirability, as though it were an inherent feature that meant anything without men’s desires). In other words, Mike has illustrated Zic’s point quite nicely.Report

    • Avatar Morat20 in reply to Chris
      Ignored
      says:

      I think what we’re saying is that while yes, some men abuse women because they are sexualy desirable, some women abuse men with their desirability.

      I love how that removes agency from men, entirely. Like sexual desireability is inflicted on men, via telepathic attack or something.

      “Desire” is purely internal. “I desire” X, Y or Z. Just like I might love something, or hate it. Nobody makes me desire anything. Nobody forces desire on me without literally drugging me with some hypothetical love potion.

      “Some women use desireability as a weapon”. Um, NO. They can’t. Their fingers aren’t in your brain, manipulating you like a meat puppet.

      Maybe you need therapy. Maybe you need to join a monastary. Maybe you just need to avoid blondes. I dunno.

      But taking your own emotions, your own internal mind state and blaming it on someone else? Please. It’s your brain, your emotions. Have some responsibility for it.Report

      • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to Morat20
        Ignored
        says:

        Morat – You have clearly never been in a relationship with a woman where she held all/most of the cards. Testerone makes men crazy. Women can take advantage of that and do. They learn to manipulate social situations from a very young age. That is well-documented. I’m sure you are aware of the term ‘whipped’ ? It’s a real phenomenon. It happens through subtle and not-so-subtle manipulation. Throw shared children into the mix and women have significant power. I know guys in horribly mentally abusive marriages that won’t leave because they worry they won’t see their kids every day. The wife of one friend in particular made regular jokes about how she wouldn’t be upset if there was a hunting accident until I finally told her it wasn’t funny. I’ve literally seen him so upset with her that he cried in frustration. Women do plenty of messed up things to men.Report

        • Avatar Kimsie in reply to Mike Dwyer
          Ignored
          says:

          Mike,
          you hunt, so I’ll tell you this story.
          I knew a friend who was being abused by her boyfriend.
          When I mentioned this to my (male) friend at the time,
          he said, “She’s welcome to stay at my house. I’ve got a shotgun and will sit on the porch if necessary.”

          I hope to god you’ve extended such to your friends.

          And, now I’ll sound like will for a moment: it sounds like you’re removing all agency from your friends. That’s a shitty thing to do.

          You think women have significant power when there are kids involved? My mom claims she stayed in a loveless marriage with my dad because he threatened to take me away.Report

        • Avatar Morat20 in reply to Mike Dwyer
          Ignored
          says:

          Um, yeah I have. Married her. Lasted about two years.

          But I didn’t blame her for my crazy. I blamed her for her own crazy (which was deep and wide, indeed), but ultimately I am an independent and fully realized adult.

          I don’t blame other people for my mistakes, I certainly don’t blame them because I can’t control my hormones.

          “She’s using her desireability as a weapon against me” is BS, through and through. It’s denial of your own agency, projecting onto women your own weaknesses.

          To make a crude analogy: If, in the wild, you are the limping member of your herd, the lions will attack you — because they can see you’re wounded. But it’s not the lion’s fault you were limping in the first place.

          In relationships, when it comes to “desireability of women” — that limp is self-inflicted. The gazelle can’t fix it’s own leg, but you can damn sure prevent your dick from doing your thinking.

          Blaming women because you’re thinking with the wrong head? Please — neither head is theirs.Report

          • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to Morat20
            Ignored
            says:

            Morat – if a husband beats his wife because he is bigger and she can’t effectively fight back…her fault for being weak?Report

            • Avatar Kim in reply to Mike Dwyer
              Ignored
              says:

              Are you seriously telling me a guy can’t do it into a sock? Or in a bathroom stall?

              I’ms orry, but the whole fucking idea of boys will be boys and men not taking responsibility for their own actions really chafes my hide.Report

            • Avatar Morat20 in reply to Mike Dwyer
              Ignored
              says:

              I can’t decide if you’re trolling, or you just can’t admit the fact that you’re blaming women for the fact that you apparently think with your penis.

              Because your responses are nonsensical.Report

              • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to Morat20
                Ignored
                says:

                Morat – try answering the question. You’ve said several different ways that basically a man being abused by a woman is his fault. I’m just asking at what point physical abuse becomes the fault of the woman (if ever)?Report

              • Avatar zic in reply to Mike Dwyer
                Ignored
                says:

                Mike, I can’t speak of Morat. But I’ve known a couple of men who were physically abused by their female partners. It’s a pretty awful thing; because even asking for help is emasculating. And while the numbers of men who a are physically abused is small compared to the numbers of women, abuse is a problem no matter who’s being abused.

                I also suspect (I’ve no statistics, research or other scientific information to back this up) that there are a lot of men who are emotionally abused by their wives and girlfriends.

                Sometimes, the abuse may flow both ways. But in each and every case, it’s wrong, no matter the gender. (Or so I think.)Report

  15. Avatar Ahunt
    Ignored
    says:

    “And what I am talking about is women using sex to manipulate men, to hurt men, etc”

    I would just like to point out that this again comes back to the question of agency. I’ve seen this pathology a couple of times in my 55 years, and certainly acknowledge that women do possess sexual power. But it is power completely dependent on “how much” men are willing to let women have…(awkwardly phrased, I know)

    Fed up men move on.Report

    • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to Ahunt
      Ignored
      says:

      Ahunt,

      “Fed up men move on.”

      Isn’t that like saying that abused women should just move out? Sometimes you are in a situation you can’t gt out of. I’ve had buddies at workplaces who get drawn into flirting and then the girl escalates it to something inappropriate and they feel like they have no recourse because they went along at first. Or they feel they will not be believed because of their gender.Report

      • Avatar Kim in reply to Mike Dwyer
        Ignored
        says:

        All due respect, but flirting in the workplace (particularly if it’s “just once” that goes haywire, rather than longtime harrassment), is way way different than spousal abuse. And I say that as a friend of someone who was basically on both ends of the spousal abuse at once (at least according to her).Report

      • Avatar Chris in reply to Mike Dwyer
        Ignored
        says:

        Sometimes you are in a situation you can’t gt out of. I’ve had buddies at workplaces who get drawn into flirting and then the girl escalates it to something inappropriate and they feel like they have no recourse because they went along at first.

        It is genuinely incomprehensible to me how you could relate this to anything else in this thread.Report

  16. Avatar Ahunt
    Ignored
    says:

    Not at all, Mike, and I think I see where I misinterpreted you. I assumed you were referring to the scenario of the “super hot chick” manipulating men without ever “following through.”

    Men are generally smart, and cut their losses pretty quick.Report

    • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to Ahunt
      Ignored
      says:

      I don’t feel too sorry for men who gets played by a hot chick. But other women use sex as a weapon. And personally I have seen far more inappropriate workplace behavior started by women in the last 10 years or so. When I was single it was ridiculous. Once I had a wedding ring it got better. Not saying this is a representative sample, but it’s my experience.Report

      • Avatar Kim in reply to Mike Dwyer
        Ignored
        says:

        What are we calling inappropriate behavior this week? Is the guy being sexually assaulted? Molested? Trapped?Report

      • Avatar LWA (Lib With Attitude) in reply to Mike Dwyer
        Ignored
        says:

        Using sex as a weapon?
        How? Bringing a pussy to a cockfight?
        This is the problem, right here.

        I mean, seriously, what does that even mean, “sex as a weapon”, in the context of rape?

        Sex as a weapon only makes sense when talking about hurt fee-fees or broken hearts.

        When talking about rape, the only way the word “weapon” can be used, is if it cuts flesh or breaks a bone.Report

        • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to LWA (Lib With Attitude)
          Ignored
          says:

          LWA,

          I’ll re-iterate the same point it seems I have made to every lefty on this thread: Zic is not just talking about rape. She is talking about a ‘range of behaviors’ with rape being the worst. So yeah, broken hearts (or worse, broken marriages) seem trivial compared to sexual assault, but it’s misleading to make that comparison. Her general point is that men behave badly. My counter-point is yeah, so do the ladies. How about we try to get EVERYONE to behave instead of starting a gender war?Report

          • Avatar James Hanley in reply to Mike Dwyer
            Ignored
            says:

            Because everyone behaving badly at a low level is of much less importance than a sizable subset behaving badly at a very high level. I’d trade off getting groped by strange women (heck, and men) in bars a lot more than I do for an end to, or at least radical diminishment in the frequency of, rape of women by men.Report

            • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to James Hanley
              Ignored
              says:

              So, to be clear, the subject should not be about the way both sexes behave badly. The subject should be, “A Lot of Men Rape a Lot of Women and What We Should Do About It”

              Sound right?Report

              • Avatar Kim in reply to Mike Dwyer
                Ignored
                says:

                Yes. This is a good subject to raise, and discuss.
                You also raise a DIFFERENT subject, that might also foster a good discussion.

                Do it in a different thread.Report

              • Avatar James Hanley in reply to Mike Dwyer
                Ignored
                says:

                Mike,

                Both subjects are legitimate. But when an important part of the current discussion is about “a lot of men rape,” responding by insisting that we focus on bad behavior in general sure does look like an effort to prevent discussion of the problem of rape.

                And I’ll throw in, you don’t seem to be considering that the same bad behavior by women towards men and men towards women might actually have a lot more serious effect in the latter case just because it is freighted with the prospect of rape. The average guy groped by a strange girl at a frat party has an awful lot less reason to think it might escalate into something even more serious than does the average girl groped by a strange guy at that same party. You seem to want to treat those incidents as equivalent, and I really don’t think they are.

                If I recall, you have a son and a daughter, and the daughter has just begun college. Ask yourself this: are you more worried about what unwanted sexual experiences your daughter might experience at college or what unwanted sexual experiences your son might experience? Or do you truly think their risks are equal?Report

              • Avatar Chris in reply to James Hanley
                Ignored
                says:

                As Mike’s said, rape is at the extreme end of a continuum of behaviors that zic is highlighting. Where Mike goes wrong, and where he goes wrong repeatedly, is in believing that the culture of objectification, privilege, and quite frankly, fear that men create for women is in any way similar to the culture of women using their sexuality to affect men’s behavior. For one, in the case of the culture zic’s talking about, it’s men’s actions towards women without women’s consent (even if it’s just leering), while in Mike’s cases, it’s always men acting on their own desires which can be manipulated by women.Report

              • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to Chris
                Ignored
                says:

                So your response to Mike is the gender equivalent of “white people problems”.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to DensityDuck
                Ignored
                says:

                Uh, I don’t think rape and rape-culture can be equated to Louis CK’s jokes about purely ephemeral white people’s problems. I curious as to why you’d see an equivalence there, DD?Report

              • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to James Hanley
                Ignored
                says:

                James – I get all of that. But you are still repeatedly ignoring Zic’s own assertion that the OP was about more than just rape. You keep circling back around to rape. It’s hard to discuss the general mistreatment of women if all roads lead to rape.Report

              • Avatar James Hanley in reply to Mike Dwyer
                Ignored
                says:

                But you’re missing my point that precisely because of rape men’s general mistreatment of women is in fact a more serious matter than women’s mistreatment of men. It’s not that the latter doesn’t matter; it’s that the latter doesn’t create a culture where men feel the need to take self-defense courses to protect themselves against the opposite sex, men don’t need to make sure they go in a group to a sorority party so they can look out for each other, and so on. By trying to make mistreatment of the opposite sex an equal opportunity issue you inevitably–although of course inadvertently–end up appearing to downplay rape.Report

              • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to James Hanley
                Ignored
                says:

                James,

                “…it’s that the latter doesn’t create a culture where men feel the need to take self-defense courses to protect themselves against the opposite sex”

                No, men are generally not scared of women in the physical sense. But men do take self-defense courses to defend themselves against other men. Women aren’t scared of men, they are scared of bad men. Good men are also scared of bad men. So maybe that should be the dichotomy?

                Also, I think I noted above but I will say again, the first ime I started working with my oldest daughter about self-defense it was so she could protect herself from female classmates.Report

              • Avatar James Hanley in reply to James Hanley
                Ignored
                says:

                Yes, males are in general a greater threat than females, and yes females can also be a threat.

                So rape isn’t distinctive enough in itself to affect how we think about these threats? I don’t buy that. I think you’re still downplaying just how serious it is, how much it really does matter in these conversations even when they’re not explicitly about rape.Report

              • Avatar Will H. in reply to James Hanley
                Ignored
                says:

                Incorrect.
                I don’t care to downplay the seriousness of rape; but rape is a crime of violence, like any other crime of violence, though it is manifested through sexuality.
                That is, the sexuality aspect is a secondary consideration. The sexuality may take any of several different forms, any number of sex acts, etc. There is even homosexual rape, of either gender.
                Again, it is the violence which defines rape.

                That said, women are every bit as capable of violence as men. (I was married to a woman who was both bi-polar and alcoholic, and was obliged to disarm her on several occasions, so I really don’t care to hear any arguments to the contrary.)
                Whereas there may be arguments of physical size, strength, etc., this is only a matter of degrees, and it misses something important.

                Back to the anthro-bio-socio distinctions of “traditional” adaptations and roles: Men physically adept, women socially adept.
                The propensity to engage others to act on her behalf yields far greater strength to a woman than any single man.

                Again, rape is violence, not sexuality.
                The propensity for violence is not diminished proportionately according to physical mass.
                Consider Napoleon.Report

              • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to James Hanley
                Ignored
                says:

                “I think you’re still downplaying just how serious it is, how much it really does matter in these conversations even when they’re not explicitly about rape.”

                Yes James. You can call it downplaying or ignoring the seriousness of rape or whatever. But I think you’re more than a little obsessed with it at this point. Not all abuse that happens to women is about rape. Sometimes it’s not even about the possibility of rape. I am not going to keep circling this same point with you. You’re taking the worst possible form of violence against women (besides murder) and relating every other form of abuse back to it. Woman gets an inappropriate email at work? She might be raped! Woman gets groped in a bar? She might get raped! Woman’s husband is emotionally abusive? She might get raped!Report

              • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to James Hanley
                Ignored
                says:

                Just to add to Will’s comment, this:

                ” In May 2007, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) published its latest study which found almost one-fourth of relationships had violence, about half of which was reciprocal, and the researchers were “surprised” to find that “in nonreciprocally violent relationships, women were the perpetrators in more than 70 percent of the cases,” and men incurred significant injuries..”

                http://ajph.aphapublications.org/doi/abs/10.2105/AJPH.2005.079020Report

              • Avatar zic in reply to James Hanley
                Ignored
                says:

                Woman gets an inappropriate email at work? She might be raped! Woman gets groped in a bar? She might get raped! Woman’s husband is emotionally abusive? She might get raped!

                First — inappropriate emails — typically violates work-place rules and laws on sexual harassment. Second — groped in a bar — is a sexual assault, and against the law. The third all to common in abusive marriages, and is still rape.

                The answer isn’t that ‘she might get raped,’ it’s that each one of these behaviors is unacceptable.Report

              • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to James Hanley
                Ignored
                says:

                But Zic, that’s not what James is saying. What he is saying is that underlying every bad behavior directed at women is the threat of rape and that is why every bad behavior directed at women is worse than the bad behaviors directed at men. It’s a trump card.Report

              • Avatar James Hanley in reply to James Hanley
                Ignored
                says:

                Mike is right, I’m saying something different than zic is. I don’t agree with Mike, but it’s worth noting that he’s making a correct distinction between different arguments against him. And he’s doing a respectable job of taking on a variety of challengers without losing his head, not an easy task. I still don’t agree with him, but he’s handling being ganged up on rather well.Report

          • Avatar zic in reply to Mike Dwyer
            Ignored
            says:

            No.

            My specific examples were physical abuse and stalking. Groping, though I didn’t go in to details because in general, gropers are strangers, not men you have an ongoing relationship with, and while having your ass or tits grabbed isn’t all that pleasant, it doesn’t generally cause long term harm.

            And with this, I never ever suggested women don’t do bad shit; don’t have their own responsibilities to embrace, that they don’t manipulate men.

            What I did say is that if you want to reduce abortion, focus on the bad behavior of men, because a lot of those ‘bad behaviors’ generally happen to women not when they’re in college (interesting that that’s the presumption here) but when they’re still children, barely women. And it’s damaging enough to contribute to the irresponsible behaviors the lead to abortion.

            But hey, you wanna manipulate me? Just remember: I stood up to a pedophile/rapists/manipulator — someone everyone called a ‘great man,’ just like Sandusky, for five years.

            What on earth have you done that took as much courage? And don’t give me shit about raising your children, I raised children, too.Report

            • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to zic
              Ignored
              says:

              Zic,

              So because men treat women badly when they are young they become irresponsible with sex, get pregnant and have abortions? At first I thought you were just using the behavior of men to deflect the abortion discussion but now you have completely taken any responsibility for abortion off of women. Abortions are really men’s fault.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Mike Dwyer
                Ignored
                says:

                Here’s what zic said:

                What I did say is that if you want to reduce abortion, focus on the bad behavior of men,

                I think it’s pretty clear she didn’t say or imply what your attributing to her.Report

              • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                I think she did. Let’s unpack her comment:

                1) …because a lot of those ‘bad behaviors’ generally happen to women

                2) …and it’s damaging enough to contribute to the irresponsible behaviors

                3) ..[that] lead to abortion

                1 + 2 = 3Report

              • Avatar Kimsie in reply to Mike Dwyer
                Ignored
                says:

                Mike,
                I’m going to use a personal example. A friend of a friend, if you will.
                A young girl gets raped. It was the most arousing thing that she’s ever been through. She starts to fantasize about it, develops techniques to touch herself so it feels like a stranger is doing it. Likes being in consensual relationships where they pretend it’s rape.

                Now, as sometimes happens, people like to fantasize about “possibilities”, and think about “gee that would be really cool”, without ever actually wanting it to happen.

                But this woman got into a car with a man, and was subsequently raped. It’s the sort of behavior that Will would probably say “she ought to be held somewhat accountable for.”

                I can’t shake the feeling that part of the reason she got into the car that night was the excitement and fear (that scary “maybe possibility” that’s kinda hot).Report

              • Avatar Will H. in reply to Kimsie
                Ignored
                says:

                Don’t go around putting words in my mouth.
                If the issue is one of abduction, then yes, getting in the car voluntarily makes it a non-starter.
                The justifiable use of violence toward another is a very narrowly defined range, and I can’t think of a single instance where sexual aggression would fall within that range.Report

              • Avatar Kim in reply to Kimsie
                Ignored
                says:

                yeah, will, we’re clear. 😉Report

              • Avatar zic in reply to Mike Dwyer
                Ignored
                says:

                I think you have no way of knowing what baggage ends in an abortion; know way of knowing the amount of sexual/physical/emotional abuse that a woman may or may not have experienced. So I’d err on the side of giving women rights to control their reproductive organs, simply because I see how much abuse women still experience that’s not ever ever discussed in polite conversation.

                Personally, I find your ‘victimhood ‘ line of reasoning pathetic. Like combat veterans shouldn’t advocate for the kinds of medical support they need because if they do, they’re stepping into the role of victim. They should just man up and bear it. Or miners shouldn’t advocate for safer working conditions. If not the ‘victims,’ then who should advocate for change?

                I predicted that somewhere in this discussion, the subject that I am unreliable would come up because I’ve experienced abuse. And it did. It’s pretty funny, actually. Because despite my history, I’ve managed to be married for 35 years. My husband and I raised two children (I was a stay-at-home mom while my children were small, gave up a lucrative career, and I worked from home when they began middle school.) And I’ve never had an abortion. Never cheated on my husband. Never groped a man in a bar.

                So my being suspect has nothing to do with my behavior; it’s the behavior of men on my life. And that’s why I think men have no right dictating women’s reproductive rights. Because first, you get to ‘ruin’ us, then you get to blame us for being ‘ruined,’ and then you don’t have to listen to us because you’ve ruined us and we’re suspect.Report

              • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to zic
                Ignored
                says:

                Zic,

                The key point you miss is this: The people that are opposed to abortion believe it is murder. You can disagree with that on scientific or religious grounds or whatever but you can’t erase that belief. So… if you ackonwledge that, then your statement sounds like this to pro-life ears:

                “I think you have no way of knowing what baggage ends in a murder; no way of knowing the amount of sexual/physical/emotional abuse that a woman may or may not have experienced. So I’d err on the side of giving women rights to murder, simply because I see how much abuse women still experience that’s not ever ever discussed in polite conversation.”

                Changes the dynamic a bit, right? So it’s not that I am trying to diminish the effects of abuse. I’m saying that from a pro-life perspective they still don’t trump the murder of an unborn child.Report

              • Avatar zic in reply to Mike Dwyer
                Ignored
                says:

                I do not think abortion murder. Before viability, the fetus is not an independent. And after viability, there are very very few abortions, and most of those are because of severe health complications.

                And my moral compass is that bringing unwanted children into the world is a sin; there are too many people. I think those deer you like to hunt have a moral right to habitat, and humans do not have the right to everything on this planet.Report

              • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to zic
                Ignored
                says:

                Zic,

                I’m not asking you to believe that abortion is murder. What I am saying is, do you understand that the pro-life side does? And do you understand that in that context, the abuse of women, terrible as it is, does not trump murder?

                Look at the vegetarian argument. They say it is murder to kill an animal. I say that I am hungry and I need to eat that animal. They say that no matter how hungry I am, my hunger does not take priority over the life of the animal. I may not agree with them, but I can follow the logic in their argument.

                You still seem to be basing your defense of abortion on the abuse of women because you keep tying them together. That only works if you see no value in the life of the fetus. If the fetus IS a life and abortion IS murder, your argument falls apart.Report

              • Avatar zic in reply to zic
                Ignored
                says:

                Mike,

                I understand what pro-life folk think.

                And I think they’re immoral. I think much of the pro-life argument is evil because of the burdens it places on women the world over; particularly when it comes hand-in-hand with suggesting contraception is evil.

                “Don’t be that guy.”

                That’s the only defense you’ve offered up to my original post on why men don’t hold other men accountable for their actions; the rest keeps spinning back to blaming women for their disgusting, manipulating behavior.

                Are there just two women in your world view? Only Eve and Mary, original sin and the purity? Nothing in between?

                Don’t be that guy.Report

              • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to zic
                Ignored
                says:

                Zic,

                You DO realize that this post was based on a comment you offered as a defense for abortion…right?

                I’m not asking you to agree with the pro-life position and I am not trying to trick you. Simply put, if there is a god and he appeared here tomorrow and say, “Zic, abortion is murder,” would you still believe that abortions are defensible based on the abuses women suffer at the hands of men? What I mean is, if you do the moral math, is the sin of murder justified based on the prior sin of abuse?Report

              • Avatar zic in reply to zic
                Ignored
                says:

                If there is a God, and she appeared to you tomorrow and told you woman are divine, and have the right to control their reproductive organs would you believe her?

                I don’t believe in god as divine creator; I believe there are many gods that are the creations of human imagination; and it reveals the arc of human social development in both its glory and horror; nothing more.

                If god does appear, I’m thinking somebody spiked the kool aid or the rodents got into the grain again.Report

              • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to zic
                Ignored
                says:

                Zic,

                You didn’t answer the question. I’m not trying to debate the existence of God. If it makes you feel better, pretend that some scientist could proof with 100% accuracy that life begins at conception. Would the murder of that life still be justified based on the abuse that women suffer at the hands of men?Report

              • Avatar DRS in reply to zic
                Ignored
                says:

                …pretend that some scientist could proof with 100% accuracy that life begins at conception. Would the murder of that life still be justified based on the abuse that women suffer at the hands of men?

                It would be justified based on it’s my body, I make my own decisions and mind your own business. I’ll deal with God on my own.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to zic
                Ignored
                says:

                What I am saying is, do you understand that the pro-life side does? And do you understand that in that context, the abuse of women, terrible as it is, does not trump murder?

                Yes, I agree with that. I don’t think an abortion is justified because of a historical pattern of men abusing women (let’s grant that for the sake of argument).

                The argument seems to me to go the other way. A historical pattern of abuse (broadly construed) of women by men is evidence of a lack of liberty and freedom on the part of women to determine their own destinies, a lack of their autonomy, and so on. So the argument from systematic oppression of women by men leads not to the justification for any particular abortion, but of the right of women to choose what happens in their own bodies.

                It supports an argument for choice, not that abortion is always justified. (The justification for abortion follows from the right to choose.)Report

              • Avatar zic in reply to zic
                Ignored
                says:

                Well, you asked, ” Simply put, if there is a god and he appeared here tomorrow and say, “Zic, abortion is murder,” would you still believe . . . so I think you are trying to debate the existence of God. Thankfully, I live in a nation where I’m free to disbelieve in that existence. And I find such belief irrational.

                Life does begin at conception, Mike, I’m not arguing that. But I don’t really put much weight in it, either. Lots of babies get conceived but don’t implant — their potential personhood depends on their mother’s uterus. And it’s her uterus, not the fertilized cell’s property.

                Just because a weed takes root in my garden does not mean I’m evil to pull it. I don’t have a problem with you shooting a deer; that deer’s alive. Why does that fetus have any more right to its life — against its mother’s objection — then the deer?Report

              • Avatar Kimsie in reply to zic
                Ignored
                says:

                Mike,
                I think there’s substantial evidence that women are prosecuted at a higher degree of murder charges for murder following abuse than men are.

                It’s not the most moral of paths, to murder someone who has been abusing you. But, a good number of people would classify that under “justice as vengeance.”

                Here, the better argument is eugenic. In so far as we believe that women ought to have moral agency at all times, removing people who actively have both the skill and desire to remove such from women…
                /devil’s cat.Report

              • Avatar Murali in reply to zic
                Ignored
                says:

                @ zic

                their potential personhood depends on their mother’s uterus. And it’s her uterus, not the fertilized cell’s property.

                After implantation, it takes further active interference to terminate the pregnancy. The personhood is not merely potential personhood, but it is future personhood unless the mother decides to intervene.

                Just because a weed takes root in my garden does not mean I’m evil to pull it. I don’t have a problem with you shooting a deer; that deer’s alive. Why does that fetus have any more right to its life — against its mother’s objection — then the deer?

                A) because the foetus is a distnct livin entity which over the course of time be the kind of being which has desires, makes plans and is capable of moral reasoning. i.e. it will ordinarily become a person at least once safely implanted.

                and B) People clearly have interests that transcend their lifetimes or their awareness** (and hence the period of time in which they are counted as full persons) I prima-facie wrong a person when I violate their last wishes*.

                @Stillwater

                So the argument from systematic oppression of women by men leads not to the justification for any particular abortion, but of the right of women to choose what happens in their own bodies.

                Mike is at least partially right about this. Whether or not women have a right to control their body which extends to having the right to an abortion has nothing to do with whether there is systematic oppression.

                Also, from the mere fact that women have a right to control their bodies it doesn’t follow that they have a right to an abortion. Just because men have a right to control their bodies doesn’t mean they have a right to abuse women (or anyone else for that matter).

                Even if women did have the right to an abortion, this would follow from ideas like women being people who had certain kinds of interests. That as free and equal moral agents, they had certain rights over their own persons. There would have to be some kind of argument saying that the right to an abortion was a natural and legitimate extension of the right over their persons. Maybe it would rest on the idea that the foetus is not really a person and thus not anymore deserving of protection than a deer. Or even if it is a person, parents do have the right to cede parental responsibility to the state and if the state is unable or unwilling to take up the role, that is not the parents’ fault.

                Consider: What if there wasn’t any systematic oppression of women? would that matter one whit as to whether women should have the choice to abort their foetus?

                **If, hypothetically, your husband lacked all subjective experience and emotions and realy was a kind of zombie which physically indistinguishable from humans but lacked all psychological and emotional content (and thus was incapable of feeling any love for you) would you be worse off? Your husband is just as outwardly affectionate in every single way.

                *Pursuant to said wishes being legitimate requests people may make on othersReport

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to zic
                Ignored
                says:

                Consider: What if there wasn’t any systematic oppression of women? would that matter one whit as to whether women should have the choice to abort their foetus?

                No, of course not. Women (and men too!) highlight the oppression of women as evidence that they are systematically denied the right to self-determination, and sexual freedom, and biological autonomy, and so on. But none of that stuff matters wrt whether a woman’s right to choose is sufficient to justify an abortion. What it is helpful in doing is presenting a case where a woman’s right to choose exists, and the guaranteed expression of that right in law is consistent with, and even necessary for, women to attain the same level of autonomy as men. (Or, just autononomy full stop. Or, you know, insert your preferred argument.)Report

              • Avatar Kimsie in reply to zic
                Ignored
                says:

                Murali,
                Many many pregnancies end in spontaneous abortion, even after implantation.Report

              • Avatar Murali in reply to Mike Dwyer
                Ignored
                says:

                Many many pregnancies end in spontaneous abortion, even after implantation.

                Fair enough, implantation takes place within the first week.

                According to wikipedia spontaneous abortions are extremely rare after 10 weeks LMP (8 weeks after conception)

                http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miscarriage#Epidemiology

                That still leaves the later 3rd of the first trimester and two more trimesters on top of that during which a foetus will almost certainly develop into a baby unless interfered with

                @Stillwater

                What it is helpful in doing is presenting a case where a woman’s right to choose exists, and the guaranteed expression of that right in law is consistent with, and even necessary for, women to attain the same level of autonomy as men.

                I’m having a bit of trouble digesting this because I don’t see how it actually is supposed to work. Let me try to think aloud.

                So, the context is the rape exception to pro-life views. And the idea is that in the context of a rape,limiting abortion access profoundly alienates autonomy in an illegitimate way. (let us not argue here whether it actually does so or not)

                But I still don’t understand how the systematicity of abuse is relevant in presenting the case?Report

              • Avatar Kim in reply to Murali
                Ignored
                says:

                http://www.webmd.com/infertility-and-reproduction/news/20030605/how-stress-causes-miscarriage

                quoting from wiki on low birth weight:
                LBW is closely associated with fetal and Perinatal mortality and Morbidity, inhibited growth and cognitive development, and chronic diseases later in life. At the population level, the proportion of babies with a LBW is an indicator of a multifaceted public-health problem that includes long-term maternal malnutrition, ill health, hard work and poor health care in pregnancy. On an individual basis, LBW is an important predictor of newborn health and survival and is associated with higher risk of infant and childhood mortalityReport

              • Avatar Kimsie in reply to Mike Dwyer
                Ignored
                says:

                Mike,
                RAPE is rape, even if it’s fucking legal. Even if the woman doesn’t call it rape because she didn’t SAY no (was incapable of it) — even if she was tortured into it.Report

        • Avatar Morat20 in reply to LWA (Lib With Attitude)
          Ignored
          says:

          I love how sex appeal is somehow the woman’s fault, and not the guy with the raging boner’s fault.

          Magic mind rays, man.Report

          • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Morat20
            Ignored
            says:

            Well, being sexy to men is apparently the woman’s fault. Not the dude’s. (That’s crystal clear…)

            And being manipulate-able because the guy thinks the woman is just so fucking hot is also the woman’s fault, not the dude’s. He has “no recourse” in a situation like that. Nope. No agency. No will. No choice.

            But that a woman might use that leverage to her advantage, however, is her fault, once she’s got the dude firmly in her trap. And then … well, who can blame the guy for acting in inappropriate ways. KnowwhatImean? He had no choice. No recourse…Report

            • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to Stillwater
              Ignored
              says:

              Stillwater – Does a woman not leaving an abusive husband contitute weak will or something else? You downplay the power that desire gives someone to manipulate. Even if the man grants the woman that power, abusing said power is on the woman, right?

              And you’re making a leap that I didn’t suggest. You are suggesting that I am saying, “if a woman manipulates a man he is justified in treating her badly in return.” I’m not talking about that. I’m talking about women manipulating good men in bad ways and the men not doing anything in return. Who is at fault there?Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Mike Dwyer
                Ignored
                says:

                Even if the man grants the woman that power, abusing said power is on the woman, right?

                No. I don’t it’s that clear. The woman surely can be judged for some moral wrong in that case, but it’s not an entirely unjustified moral wrong, it seems to me. If the game is constructed in such a way that the man feels it’s necessary (because it’s sufficient??) to surrender his autonomy in order to achieve a certain sexual objective (eg., getting laid), then he’s a participant in the abuse of power. It seems to me he could simply make a choice in that situation if he found it untenable. He could say that gettinglaid wasn’t worth granting the woman that power over him.

                Of course, this gets to the heart of the matter, it seems to me. You’re implying that a man’s sexual desires are beyond his control. If you’re conceding that much of the argument, then I think zic’s argument wins without any further discussion.

                Or so it seems to me.Report

              • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                Stillwater – Having interacted with you for quite some time I am 100% sure that you are an intelligent person. I am also 100% sure that you know people can be manipulated and giving away power is not always a concious act. Both women and men often find themselves waking up one morning and discovering the person they married isn’t who they thought they were. Often that realization accompanies some kind of abuse which could be mental, physical, sexual, emotional or all of the above.

                Quite often women stay in those kinds of relationships because the husband is very sweet and loving in the period after he abuses her. Or there are kids involved. Or the woman wants to make her marriage work. While I feel confident that you would not say a woman whose husband hits her ‘surrendered her autonomy’ willingly in that situation, you also seem to be saying that if a man is manipulated or abused and sex is part of the way that is achieved, he invited it because he was horny. And you also seem to be implying that abuse is okay if the other party allows it to happen.Report

              • Avatar Kimsie in reply to Mike Dwyer
                Ignored
                says:

                Mike,
                yeah, we can all agree on spousal abuse being roughly equivalent between the sexes.
                If you had started the conversation by saying that, and not what you did, we would have all saved a conversation derailment. 😉

                Either you start the next post, or I will. But this deserves to be fucking addressed — and it’s an entirely different topic.Report

              • Avatar Morat20 in reply to Mike Dwyer
                Ignored
                says:

                You’re still denying agency.

                Is or is not the man a fully realized and independent adult? Capable of making concious choices?

                Making bad choices, even getting conned, does not remove the responsibility from him.

                Excuse me if I’m not having a pity party for a man who can’t even admit HE PERSONALLY screwed up. “it’s all HER fault!”

                Bull. Unless she had a gun to your head, you made a choice. Good, bad, insufficient information, who cares? You made a choice. Of your own free will.

                Admit that, accept that, and we can start the pity party. Because I understand poor choices, I do. But until you admit you made the choice, there’s no point in feeling sorry for you.Report

              • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to Morat20
                Ignored
                says:

                Morat – so you confirm, the woman in the abusive relationship: If she stays after she gets hit the first time, it’s her fault for any future abuse, right?Report

              • Avatar Chris in reply to Morat20
                Ignored
                says:

                ***Straw man alert.Report

              • Avatar Will H. in reply to Morat20
                Ignored
                says:

                Making bad choices, even getting conned, does not remove the responsibility from him.

                It really depends on the situation.

                Assumption of Duty
                Breach of fiduciary duty
                Conspiracy
                Constructive fraud
                Conversion
                Defamation
                Duress
                Intentional infliction of emotional distress
                Unjust enrichment
                Breach of contract
                Invasion of privacy
                Negligence
                Quantum meruit
                Tortious interference
                Replevin
                Recission
                Specific performance

                Again, it really depends on the situation.Report

              • Avatar Morat20 in reply to Morat20
                Ignored
                says:

                Ah, Mike…are you really that hard up you gotta try that?

                Will: True enough. Then again, if a sucker refuses to admit he’s got a weakness for “things that seem too good to be true”, he’s in for a rough life.

                First step is admitting you have a problem.

                Con men are breaking the law, but a mark is always gonna keep getting conned if he doesn’t work out why he’s such a good mark. (or simply refuses to admit he’s a good mark).Report

              • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to Morat20
                Ignored
                says:

                Morat – this is basic logic. You’re saying pretty clearly that if a man finds himself in an abusive relationship it’s his fault because he made bad choices. I’m just asking if that also applies to women who find themselves in abusive relationships.Report

              • Avatar Morat20 in reply to Morat20
                Ignored
                says:

                *sigh*. No, I’m not. But clearly you don’t want to admit people are free agents.

                Why are you clinging so hard to the belief that women are manipulating you with their ‘desireability’? Why do you need to believe that you’re nothing more than a puppet to a nice rack?

                So you can blame someone else? So you don’t have to take responsibility for your own actions?

                Boobs are nice, Mike. But they’re not magic.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Morat20
                Ignored
                says:

                Mike D:

                You’re saying pretty clearly that if a man finds himself in an abusive relationship it’s his fault because he made bad choices.

                I think there’s an ambiguity in the word “abuse” as you’re using it. On the one hand, abuse can be physical and generally regarded as morally preprehensible, even if women do it to men. I don’t think anyone disputes that use of the word abuse, that it happens, and that women who act that way are wrong to do so.

                Then there’s this other use of the word, where women who use their sexuality as a cudgel are somehow “abusive” to men by doing so. I don’t know exactly what you mean by that, I guess, but I’ve assumed you mean something like “the get the guy all hooked in, hot and bothered, then leverage the man’s desire to achieve their own ends” or something like that.

                I deny that doing that is a form of abuse, as that term is conventionally understood, since it seems to me that the man can, at any time in that arrangement, simply choose to not play the game of being help captive by his desires.Report

              • Avatar Morat20 in reply to Morat20
                Ignored
                says:

                Let me make this crystal clear for you:

                If a man finds himself in an abusive relationship, it is because he entered a relationship with someone who turned out to be abusive. Not because she had magic mind-control boobies that forced him into a relationship.

                If he stays in such a relationship, he might do so for a variety of reasons — again, “magic mind control boobies” are not part of it. He might feel he has no choice (which is something of a misnomer, there are always choices — they might not be better ones, but they generally exist), but again — magic mind control boobies do not enter into it.

                Abusive relationships are awful. And the person being abusive is fully responsible for giving out that abuse. The person receiving it is not to blame for that abuse.

                The entire “women manipulate men with their desireability” is, at root, the same stupidity that causes men and women to STAY in abusive relationships. Because they buy into the belief that they have no personal agency. Abusive spouses retain control almost entirely by making their abused spouse feel they have no choice. That they are incapable of choosing to leave.

                Saying “women manipulate me with their desireability” is saying “I am not in control of myself. Someone else has control over me. I lack agency, lack choice, lack the ability to control myself.”

                It is the same twisted and wrong mindset that enables abusive relationships. Far from saying it’s an abused spouse’s fault for staying in a relationship — I’m saying the BS “Women manipualte me with their desireability” is the same bad, wrong, idiotic thinking that enables such relationships.Report

              • Avatar Morat20 in reply to Morat20
                Ignored
                says:

                Wow. That was lengthy. Let me sum up: “Manipulating me with her desireability” is the same sort of wrong, bad, incorrect thinking that leads to people staying in abusive relationships.

                Obviously they SHOULDN’T stay in abusive relationships (the word “abusive” makes that clear). Why do they? Because they have been convinced that they lack agency, free will, self control. That they have no choices, no paths, that someone else controls them.

                That thinking is often beaten into abused spouses. It’s understandable how they end up thinking that way.

                Someone who blames women because they turn him on? He doesn’t have that sort of excuse.Report

              • Avatar Will H. in reply to Morat20
                Ignored
                says:

                Comment #1:
                Abusive relationships are awful. And the person being abusive is fully responsible for giving out that abuse. The person receiving it is not to blame for that abuse. . . .
                Because they buy into the belief that they have no personal agency. Abusive spouses retain control almost entirely by making their abused spouse feel they have no choice. That they are incapable of choosing to leave. . . .

                Comment #2:
                Obviously they SHOULDN’T stay in abusive relationships (the word “abusive” makes that clear). Why do they? Because they have been convinced that they lack agency, free will, self control. That they have no choices, no paths, that someone else controls them.
                That thinking is often beaten into abused spouses. It’s understandable how they end up thinking that way.

                Actually, it’s exactly that sort of thinking that enables abusive relationships to continue.
                It’s exactly that sort of thinking which perpetuates victimhood.
                It has no place in a survivor.
                Survivorhood is notably different than victimhood.
                In order to heal as a person, it’s necessary for one to take responsibility for one’s own actions.
                In that scenario, feelings are actions.
                The survivor has to take responsibility for their own feelings, because anything less than that is relinquishing control.
                That is internalization of abuse.
                Internalization has no place in a survivor.

                The entire “women manipulate men with their desireability” is, at root, the same stupidity that causes men and women to STAY in abusive relationships.
                “Manipulating me with her desireability” is the same sort of wrong, bad, incorrect thinking that leads to people staying in abusive relationships.

                Actually, most abusive relationships that I know of have some other form of abuse behind them: drug or alcohol dependency, untreated mental illness, previous history of sexual abuse, etc.
                A healthy psyche wouldn’t tolerate an abusive relationship.
                There are simply too many unhealthy psyches available for other unhealthy psyches to manipulate, prey upon, and interfere with any constructive healing process.

                I don’t see why it’s so difficult to understand.

                And I don’t understand why perpetuating victimhood should be a priority for anyone.

                But all too often I find that those who want to help the most truly understand how to help the least.Report

  17. Avatar Ahunt
    Ignored
    says:

    Mike, the point I think you are missing is the social “pass”men get for their inappropriate behaviors down and up that “range.”

    You are not seriously suggesting that women and men are held to and judged by the same standards of sexual conduct even today, are you?Report

    • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to Ahunt
      Ignored
      says:

      “You are not seriously suggesting that women and men are held to and judged by the same standards of sexual conduct even today, are you?”

      What’s your opinion of PUAs?

      Because you don’t seem to consider it a problem for someone to use another person’s desire for sex to manipulate that person’s behavior.Report

      • Avatar Stillwater in reply to DensityDuck
        Ignored
        says:

        Duck, what does an isolated and even nameable type of sexual activity have to do with a general statement about cultural norms? It’s just ridiculous to try to equate the two. It’s like pointing to a Confederate and saying that since this guy didn’t support secession, the argument that Southerners did is invalid.

        Christ, this gets tiring. It’s like people are willfully try to misrepresent the point being made.Report

      • Avatar wardsmith in reply to DensityDuck
        Ignored
        says:

        I’m not even sure what PUA means, but quick googling got me to this site which whether or not it is the correct meaning was instantly fascinating to me in a slow-motion-train-wreck sort of way. I’m still not sure if PUA means “pick up artist” or something else.

        While laboring through all the comments here, and managing to only let myself get distracted enough to make a couple of posts I was struck by several things.

        First, almost no one gave Mike the slightest respect for A) promoting Zic’s comment to a FP worthy OP and B) trying to widen the discussion beyond “rape” to bad behavior and being jumped for it. Yes rape is evil and yes there is /something/ that we all agree is rape. Unfortunately that continuum goes all the way from what I documented in my OP about the police not being committed to /your/ protection Warren vs DC obviously rape (and worse) to “inappropriate behavior” which is of course undefined.

        Second, and I admit I’ve been absent for much of the past two months or so, but there seem to be a LOT more women commenting than I remember, and/or they are coming out from behind their gravatars.

        Third, the whole discussion of rape, cultural power and sexual roles absent some clear headed discussion of the /cultural mileau/ is a fool’s errand. We live in a society that worships sex, objectifies women and plays to every cultural stereotype discussed here. Even the ads on the side of these pages (not mine I admit, Google figures I’m an old man interested in dentures) will point to scantily clad women selling… something that in turn re-objectifies women into sex objects. And young girls want nothing more than to grow up and become the next model selling the next sexually charged product.

        Murali doesn’t live in this kind of society – compared to us Singapore really is populated by prudes.Report

    • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to Ahunt
      Ignored
      says:

      Ahunt,

      Women get far more passes for certain behaviors. If a girl gropes a guy in a bar, the guy will probably dig it, or at the very least not care. We’re wired completely different towards that stuff.Report

      • Avatar Ahunt in reply to Mike Dwyer
        Ignored
        says:

        Well, I suppose it happens, Mike, but I would refer you to James’ comment upthread. And it is a trifle disingenuous to suggest that “groping” is a behavior that even a tiny subset of women engage in. I would highly doubt it.

        Besides, I was referring more to the stud/slut dichotomy, and not criminal activity.Report

        • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to Ahunt
          Ignored
          says:

          The ‘stud/slut’ thing is yeah, an unfair double-standard. But when women act slutty, no one is claiming harassment, unwanted sexual contact, etc. When the stud guy does his thing, he always has to be concerned that he could end up with a criminal complaint.

          In my younger days, I had several occassions where I had opportunities to sleep with extremely drunk girls who were verbally saying, “I’d like to have sex.” I said no thank you every single time because I was terified they would regret it or not remember it the next day and claim date rape. If the reverse situation happened to me, I can promise you that 20-year old Mike would have just laughed it off. THAT is what I mean by women getting away with inappropriate behavior. That also goes for things like the overly-flirty coworker. Some women will report that. How often do you think men do?Report

  18. Avatar Ahunt
    Ignored
    says:

    Oh, yes…I think it is contemptible, no matter who is engaging in it, DD.

    And coming from a rural background and perspective, the whole club/PUA scene is alien to me, so on another thread sometime, I’d love an education. All I know about the culture is from a couple of internet videos, featuring repugnant men and really, really dumb women.Report

  19. Avatar Mike Dwyer
    Ignored
    says:

    Stillwater,

    “Then there’s this other use of the word, where women who use their sexuality as a cudgel are somehow “abusive” to men by doing so. I don’t know exactly what you mean by that, I guess, but I’ve assumed you mean something like “the get the guy all hooked in, hot and bothered, then leverage the man’s desire to achieve their own ends” or something like that.

    I deny that doing that is a form of abuse, as that term is conventionally understood, since it seems to me that the man can, at any time in that arrangement, simply choose to not play the game of being help captive by his desires.”

    I’m going to retract my earlier statement about women using their ‘desirability’ to abuse men. That clearly hit a nerve with several people and I can see why. What I should have said is this: Women are generally more skilled at social manipulation. This is documented, not just my personal opinion. They are more aggressive socially, which is also documented. They also have something men desire, i.e. their sexuality and generally less physical need for sex. These factors all combine into a lethal combo for the woman that wants to treat her partner badly. Essentially they are weapons at her disposal in the same way that our physical size and strength are weapons men can use against women.

    Where the ‘desirability’ part comes in is the reasons why people hang around abusive relationships. Women might stay because of kids, or fear. Men might stay for their kids or for sex. My point is that it doesn’t matter what the reason is for staying. The abuse is never okay. I think when varous commenters here have casually dismissed sexual desirability as a factor that are missing the point that any abuse is bad and it seems like a double-standard to me.Report

    • Avatar Morat20 in reply to Mike Dwyer
      Ignored
      says:

      Let me state this as clearly as possible: No one here said, even remotely, that “abbus eis good”. In fact, I’d go ahead and go out on a limb and say everyone here treats it as a given that abuse is bad, abusive relationships are bad, and abusive spouses and their ilk should be beaten with a clue-by-four until they stopped.

      You’re also wrong on abusive relationships — they continue, almost solely, because the abused feels they have no choices. No ability to escape. The abuser has, in essence, convinced the abused (through one method or another) that they have no ability to change their circumstances, no control over their own lives.

      Your initial statement was rife with the thinking of the abused — but instead of an abusive relationship instilling it in you (that another person held control over you, denied you agency and choice) you held it innately — and blamed them for it.

      Also:
      They also have something men desire, i.e. their sexuality and generally less physical need for sex
      Seriously, 50s much? “Less physical need for sex” is wrong on so many levels I’m not sure where to start. “less” is wrong and “physical need” is wrong, for starters.Report

    • Avatar Kimsie in reply to Mike Dwyer
      Ignored
      says:

      “generally less physical need for sex.”
      … umm. bullshit. on a lot of different levels. Nearly 100% of men are able to satisfy themselves with masturbation. I sincerely doubt you know one of the few who is unable to do that.
      The fact that many men are not terribly good at satisfying women’s needs, plays MUCH more of a role in women not desiring sex.
      There are plenty of studies documenting this.

      Dangabit, women may stay for sex, and men may stay for fear of what would happen otherwise! Let’s not gender this that badly.

      “They are more aggressive socially, which is also documented.”
      –Bullshit. Half of what a man can pull in a workplace a woman gets called a bitch for. What you’re calling aggression is more passive aggression…

      Yes, yes, any abuse is bad. You put something poorly *hugs* I appreciate you’re a little bit more personally involved with these situations — and they really suck to be around!!!Report

  20. Avatar Mike Dwyer
    Ignored
    says:

    Stillwater,

    This:

    “Yes, I agree with that. I don’t think an abortion is justified because of a historical pattern of men abusing women (let’s grant that for the sake of argument).

    The argument seems to me to go the other way. A historical pattern of abuse (broadly construed) of women by men is evidence of a lack of liberty and freedom on the part of women to determine their own destinies, a lack of their autonomy, and so on. So the argument from systematic oppression of women by men leads not to the justification for any particular abortion, but of the right of women to choose what happens in their own bodies.

    It supports an argument for choice, not that abortion is always justified. (The justification for abortion follows from the right to choose.)”

    That’s about as persuasive as an argument I have heard for the pro-choice side. I still disagree based on my position on the life of the unborn child, but I can totally see the angle you are taking.Report

    • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Mike Dwyer
      Ignored
      says:

      Hey, thanks for that. I don’t expect you to necessarily agree with that argument but understanding where I’m coming from at least let’s us talk about this stuff instead of shouting past each others ears.Report

  21. Avatar Mike Dwyer
    Ignored
    says:

    Zic,

    “Life does begin at conception, Mike, I’m not arguing that. But I don’t really put much weight in it, either. Lots of babies get conceived but don’t implant — their potential personhood depends on their mother’s uterus. And it’s her uterus, not the fertilized cell’s property.”

    So if the value of that life is subserviant to the desires of the mother…why not just defend abortion on those grounds alone? It seems the most basic and logical defense. Why the smoke and mirrors with telling men they can’t talk about abortion until we clean up our own backyard first?Report

    • Avatar Tod Kelly in reply to Mike Dwyer
      Ignored
      says:

      An aside, for which i apologize….

      It never ceases to amaze me how much language itself dominates this debate. Everyone looks for the words that will drive the most emotional response. It would be nice if we could all agree to use a broader variety of words.

      For example, I agree that when any cell divides, life is in fact created. But the elimination of a few cells – while indeed extinguishing life, I suppose – seems inherently different to me than putting a bullet in someone’s head.

      I was thinking about this the other day with Russell’s post over at BT. He talked about women he had tended to in an ER room, hours after they had raped. The use of the word “baby” in the threads when describing the drugs he might administer at the victim’s request seemed purposefully misleading and manipulative… in the same way, btw, that I find PBA opponents insist that anything that has an umbilical chord is a “fetus” and in no way a baby.Report

    • Avatar zic in reply to Mike Dwyer
      Ignored
      says:

      Because boys get lucky, girls get shamed.

      I’m not religious, but I value religious discussion over time because it’s often been the cornerstone of moral discussion. That does not mean religion must be the foundation of moral discussion.

      I don’t think an abortion immoral. But I do think that much of what men do to women — or some men — immoral. Either boys and girls get lucky, or boys and girls get shamed; both could be construed as moral. But treatment of boys vs. the treatment of girls is the immorality I’m pushing against. It’s not that men can’t discuss the morality of abortion; it’s that I don’t feel they have to dictate that morality without dealing with their own immorality.

      But most dudes don’t want to be that guy, as you put it.

      So the next time your at a holiday party, and your friend jokes as he puts a little extra vodka in his date’s drink, just to loosen her up a bit, and you don’t take speak up, my morality holds that you are an accomplice to the eventual abortion she might decide to have. The immorality is your buddy’s first of all, but also yours for failing to speak. Those are the things men need to address before getting on holier then thou on women.Report

  22. Avatar Ahunt
    Ignored
    says:

    “The fact that many men are not terribly good at satisfying women’s needs, plays MUCH more of a role in women not desiring sex.”

    Got 35 years in here (married at 19)…and for the for the first two, I thought I was “built” wrong.

    Thankfully, we figured it out.Report

  23. Avatar Ahunt
    Ignored
    says:

    TMI here…but Kimsie, your recommendation is exactly what was needed…all those years ago.Report

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