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On the subject of mobs and "hysteria"
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Old 10-24-2017, 03:41 PM
TheHuckster TheHuckster is offline
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Default On the subject of mobs and "hysteria"

I'm going to put this in a new thread, since it's getting off topic from the political discussion at hand...

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Originally Posted by Canarr View Post
Here's an interesting article on the subject of #metoo, but I think it fits very well into this topic.

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First of all, I always fear a mob, whatever side it comes from and whatever the initial purpose and aim. A good idea can become mass hysteria in an instant, and important basic rights and responsibilities can be set aside. If a person is the victim of a crime, that crime should be reported and the accused should have a right to face his or her accuser. This to avoid a trial-by-mob, and to keep people from losing their jobs and having their reputations ruined by a hashtag rather than proof and due process.
Second, inappropriate comments are not the same thing as groping, which is not the same thing as rape, and I believe those distinctions matter. If we deem them all equally enraging, they will all eventually be dismissed as “hysteria,” and that is a very dangerous development.
While I think groping and rape should enrage people similarly enough that there shouldn't be much difference in the outrage of any kind of physical sexual attack, I do agree that we shouldn't consider all forms of harassment in the same bucket, especially since different people have different thresholds. Groping and rape are universally enraging, since it's a physical attack that is nonconsentual and therefore unconditionally crosses that threshold; words, however, can be interpreted in many different ways, and while clear forms of harassment, such as repeatedly accosting someone while ignoring their dismissals, stalking, and being an all-out perv are clear forms of harassment, when you get to innocent flirting in a non-work setting, such as a social mixer or party, and they perceive it as creepy, it doesn't matter what you did or say, or whether they are overreacting, they'll say you're part of the problem.

About 10 years ago I was at a party and was seemingly hitting it off with this woman who I was attracted to. We had a lot in common, she seemed charming, and we hung out for a good portion of the party having a natural conversation. It was getting late and it was a work-night, and seeing as I just met this woman, I wanted to make an innocent gesture that I was interested without being explicit. I said something along the lines of, "It was very nice to meet you. I'd love to get to know you more," with no creepy tone. I forget the exact wording, but you'd really have to make a lot of prejudicial assumptions to conclude that there were horrible ulterior motives. I was single, she mentioned she was single at some point. I thought the worst case scenario would be she'd giggle and say "no thanks" and that would be that.

She seemed to take it as if I was a slimy chauvinistic pig, and recoiled in horror. Normally this would be the end of the story, but unbeknownst to me, she was a good friend in a circle I was getting into. And from that point on, it was always awkward. I later learned that she tended to be very sensitive to any kind of flirtation, and perceiving anyone's subtle gestures as "get in bed with me, I wanna fuck you", and despite our mutual friends trying to convince her I was not a creep, that was her nickname for me to this day. Even though I never pursued further and have long since gotten married. We talk, and our acquaintance has gradually gotten better, but there's always that undertone that she thinks I'm a womanizer.

The point I'm making is, yes there are a lot of guys who are chauvinistic assholes who will not only take a hint and back off or be inappropriate to the point of really harassing, and they truly are part of the problem. Simply making a subtle note that someone would like to take someone for a date shouldn't be automatically regarded as an egregious proposal for sex. I was very shy, and rarely made such "bold" moves (although the few times I had prior to this, it often got a phone number or at least friendship), and this kind of reaction was exactly what I feared had I broken out of my shell. My fear is this woman does tend to be outspoken on social media and loves to antagonize her friends on Facebook by confronting them when they make any kind of statement she disagrees with. If she were to call me out by name with a #metoo comparing me to someone like Harvey Weinstein, it could cause all kinds of repercussions. If people blindly arm themselves with torches and pitchforks over every single grievance, you can end up with lives undeservedly ruined.
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Old 10-26-2017, 02:26 PM
Canarr Canarr is offline
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Originally Posted by TheHuckster View Post
I'm going to put this in a new thread, since it's getting off topic from the political discussion at hand...
Good point; hadn't considered that.


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Originally Posted by TheHuckster View Post
About 10 years ago I was at a party and was seemingly hitting it off with this woman who I was attracted to. We had a lot in common, she seemed charming, and we hung out for a good portion of the party having a natural conversation.

[SNIP]

The point I'm making is, yes there are a lot of guys who are chauvinistic assholes who will not only take a hint and back off or be inappropriate to the point of really harassing, and they truly are part of the problem. Simply making a subtle note that someone would like to take someone for a date shouldn't be automatically regarded as an egregious proposal for sex. I was very shy, and rarely made such "bold" moves (although the few times I had prior to this, it often got a phone number or at least friendship), and this kind of reaction was exactly what I feared had I broken out of my shell. My fear is this woman does tend to be outspoken on social media and loves to antagonize her friends on Facebook by confronting them when they make any kind of statement she disagrees with. If she were to call me out by name with a #metoo comparing me to someone like Harvey Weinstein, it could cause all kinds of repercussions. If people blindly arm themselves with torches and pitchforks over every single grievance, you can end up with lives undeservedly ruined.
That is a huge issue, yes. Flirting - especially in a social setting outside of work - is a fluid interaction, with lots of grey areas and shifting boundaries. No, you don't just walk up to someone - whatever their gender - and start slapping your hands or genitals against theirs. In fact, I'd bet that most couples who eventually decide to have sex together in mutual consent would not have reached that same decision immediately upon meeting, but required a certain period of getting to know each other.

How long that period is - may be minutes, may be months - is very individual. Touching will probably be involved at some point, and I don't think it is anybody else's business how these hypothetical people decide to conduct their courtship.

No means no. If someone says a clear, "No / I'm not interested / Leave me alone!", then back off. I think we can all safely agree on that. But the act of asking for that No - or, more prefarably, the Yes one is hoping for - should not be something to condemn someone over, or shame them among friends or on social media.

Most people don't like to be alone, so if we haven't already found someone to share our life with, we're looking for that someone. That's not a crime, and it shouldn't be treated as such.
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Old 10-28-2017, 12:02 PM
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That is a huge issue, yes. Flirting - especially in a social setting outside of work - is a fluid interaction, with lots of grey areas and shifting boundaries.
That can even be based entirely on how attractive you are. I have female friends. I have seen them have very similar interactions with good looking guys and not good looking guys. At times the good looking guy saying creepy pervy things is interpreted as cute and silly and we're going out tomorrow. While the unattractive guy asking her out in a more innocent way is considered creepy simply because "why would that creep think he could get with me"

I think that's part of the problem right there. Naturally an individuals reactions should be factored in and Harvey Weinstein is repellent but think back to high school.

I think all of us have seen guys treat girls in ways that make us go "wait and then she dated that guy seriously why?"

Social Skills should be a class taught in junior high school. That's not a joke or a ha ha.

I am serious. There are kids like myself that all of the way through elementary school are ostracized and bullied by their peers who come sixth grade will suddenly ignore them and they are left not having any of the social skills that the other kids learned making reintegrating back into society difficult now that the other kids are done using you as the fool.

A class that teaches social skills would minimize incidents of men and women who can't understand what they did wrong. Not to mention improve actual lives.
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Old 10-30-2017, 06:10 PM
Canarr Canarr is offline
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Well, yeah. Someone being attractive is always at an advantage over someone who's unattractive; the same goes for someone smart vs. someone dumb, etc. Any kind of outstanding attribute you have gives you an edge over someone who doesn't have that.

But you're right: A goodlooking guy will probably get away with behavior towards women that an unattractive guy will not. Which is actually one of the reasons why calling out men to reflect on their behavior towards women will only be partially effective: since there is no fast line that you can draw to say, "No further than that!", there'll never be any kind of solution to be found. Behavior that was perfectly fine in one situation may be harassment in the next.

Not to mention that the whole #metoo campaign glosses over the fact that abuse and harassment happens to men, too, and thus frames the whole issue as a "men vs. women" thing, instead of a "harassers vs. decent people". It is needlessly polarizing.

It's as TheHuckster said: you don't rape people and you don't grope people without invitation. But below that line, there's a lot of gray area where nobody has a clear idea on what, exactly, constitutes harassment, and what is legitimate flirting.

I read one exchange on Twitter, where Person A basically said, a lot of what Person B described as potential harassment would probably be fairly typical behavior for a teenager trying to find his way around girls the first time. Person B's reply was, well that teenager shouldn't be approaching girls before he knew how to do that right.

Well, how the hell is the poor guy supposed to learn that? Kids learn adult behavior through trial and error while growing up, with their peers - and by having adults reign them in when they cross the lines. But there is bound to be some mutual fumbling about when boys and girls start discovering their sexuality and each other. That shouldn't be criminalized.
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Old 10-31-2017, 12:35 PM
TheHuckster TheHuckster is offline
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I read one exchange on Twitter, where Person A basically said, a lot of what Person B described as potential harassment would probably be fairly typical behavior for a teenager trying to find his way around girls the first time. Person B's reply was, well that teenager shouldn't be approaching girls before he knew how to do that right.

Well, how the hell is the poor guy supposed to learn that? Kids learn adult behavior through trial and error while growing up, with their peers - and by having adults reign them in when they cross the lines. But there is bound to be some mutual fumbling about when boys and girls start discovering their sexuality and each other. That shouldn't be criminalized.
Agreed. The reigning in is something that needs to be worked on, though. You know how people have pointed out that the "he is hitting you because he likes you" begins a mindset of accepting abuse at a young age? I could say the same thing about the "she is playing hard to get" about flirting without reciprocation beginning a mindset of unwanted repeated flirting. Some people don't get the hint, and that can start a pattern of creepiness that can cause problems later in life.

No matter what, the "art of courtship" is a minefield as it is. People are going to do stupid stuff to woo their romantic interests, and what stupid stuff might work for one will not work for another. Adding the risk of being a pariah and a criminal predator is not going to help anyone. Obviously there will be clear-cut cases where someone needs to be reigned with a clue bat, but we can't have this thing where otherwise harmless and innocent flirting is deemed sexist or harassment to the point they are deemed misogynists.
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Old 10-31-2017, 03:01 PM
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Not to mention that the whole #metoo campaign glosses over the fact that abuse and harassment happens to men, too, and thus frames the whole issue as a "men vs. women" thing, instead of a "harassers vs. decent people". It is needlessly polarizing.
I would heavily disagree with this point actually. It specifically didn't gloss over it. In fact Terry Crews very well made people aware of that when he #metoo and told of his own moments of being harassed. Lots of men have joined in with #metoo including myself and most people I follow or am followed by absolutely see it as "harassers vs decent people"

I haven't met the person yet who thinks otherwise that wasn't saying something like "men are harassed too so women need to stop reporting their harassers" or some other variation of "I wish they would shut up and go away"
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Old 10-31-2017, 06:21 PM
Canarr Canarr is offline
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Then maybe we've been reading different articles.

Like this article here in the Guardian. Byline: "The hashtag #MeToo might draw attention to sexual violence, but will it make men stop?"

Or this one here, in the HuffPost. Discussing #HowIWillChange, what men should do in response to #metoo.

How about that one, in the Independent. "Yes, I've been sexually assaulted. Many men, especially gay men, have. But it’s not a systemic problem we face – not like it is with women."

And another one, along the same lines: "In a heart-wrenching Facebook post, actor Jim Beaver ("Supernatural," "Deadwood") described being molested by a superior while serving in the U.S. military. But, as he poignantly noted, the #MeToo movement wasn't created for people like him. And that's OK."

The last two are especially annoying. I mean, here there are two men who share their personal history with sexual assault, and they still feel the need to practically apologize for daring to speak up. Why?
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Old 10-31-2017, 09:30 PM
s_stabeler s_stabeler is offline
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particularly since in many ways, men who are abused by other men have similar issues to women abused by men. (for a start, there's often an assumption that the victim is gay, then gay-bashing starts. Then you get assholes that start with assumptions about how the victim must be weak because they couldn't fight off their attacker... Not to mention there is a significant minority that will assume that men can't rape other men. (Usually the same people who assume men can't be raped by women.))
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