Degrees of Misogyny

Discussion in 'Ethics, Morality, & Justice' started by Bowser, Nov 13, 2015.

  1. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

    Good. Saying hello or saying 'You're beautiful' falls outside street harrassment and sexual harrassment.
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  3. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    Actually, I think you're failing to account for an important factor:

    Yes. It is invasive.

    Now, then:

    What Bells' is describing is a simple onetime compliment.

    According to whom?
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  5. Randwolf Ignorance killed the cat Valued Senior Member

    That would be the question. Care to have a go at the objective version?
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  7. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    Mod Hat ― Enough

    The problem with this retort is that so many of those other things are deliberate and inappropriate attempts to change the subject. When you respond to discussion of sexual harassment by changing the subject, you are posting off topic.

    Actually, we are the moderators. We do have a say in what goes on here. And we've given people plenty of leeway to change the subject out of respect for diversity and the fact that we disagree. You, on the other hand, show little to no respect to the discussion.

    You will respect the topic at hand, or you will sit out the rest of the discussion. If you wish to discuss male-female interaction in general, find or make a thread devoted to that; you do not get to insist that this discussion of misogyny accommodate your desire to change the subject.

    Yeah, I think it will be. Make a substantial, relevant point or don't bother posting in this thread.
  8. Bells Staff Member

    That is essentially what you said and implied, Dave.

    In a thread discussing misogyny, in a discussion about street harassment, that was your response? Leaving aside your brouhaha about it being public discourse earlier on, when you feigned ignorance about our discussing sexual harassment via street harassment, you can no longer claim such ignorance as to what exactly is being discussed.

    No one is putting words in your mouth. What we are trying to do is to get you and several others to actually stop changing the subject. For example, we discuss street harassment, you see fit to change the topic to talking to people on the street as a manner of public discourse and you are doing it again.

    Ah, it all makes so much sense now..


    Can you explain to me, why in a thread about misogyny, which discusses various forms of misogyny, from rape, abuse, harassment, sexual harassment and street harassment and more, you saw fit to again try to change the subject to something else entirely?

    I don't own this thread, Dave, but I would like to discuss actual misogyny in society.

    Why are you (and others) preventing me from doing that by constantly changing the subject and the narrative of the subject of misogyny to dismiss the very real threat that exists for women?

    Because that is essentially what you and others are doing. Three members of staff have attempted to steer this topic back on course and away from the bizarre non-misogyny topics some of you have decided to infect this thread with. Three. And we are still having this issue? And you accuse me of bullying because I am desperately attempting to steer this thread back on the subject of misogyny?

    If you wish to talk about general public discourse, you are free to start another thread about that subject.

    This thread is about misogyny. What you don't get to do is dismiss the absolute risk and danger to women by changing the subject of the thread, away from discussing these risks and issues, to turning it into something as banal as public discourse. When the active discussion is about street harassment, do you really think it is appropriate for you to lessen the impact of said street harassment by turning the subject into something is banal as public discourse?
  9. Bells Staff Member

    Then start a thread about 'an aspect of male-female interaction'.

    This thread is about misogyny. To even hint that it falls within the realm of 'male-female interaction' shows exactly what the problem is. Do you think a male sexually harassing a woman on the street is part of normal 'male-female interaction'? I mean, is that how we are determining sexual harassment now? Is that how we are lessening it and its impact and dire risk to women?

    And men complain that we view you as being potential risks when we don't know you and you decide to accost us with your views of how we look? For example:

    What gives you the right to accost a stranger on the street, who is going about her daily life, to stop her thoughts and what she is doing, to give her your opinion of how she looks, Dave? What makes your opinion of how she looks, more valid than her right to walk down the street without being accosted by you?

    Tell me, would you do this to men too? Or would you just save that for women? Would you walk up to a guy, walking down the street and in the course of public discourse, comment on how beautiful he is? That's not done, is it? But it's public discourse if the recipient is a woman?

    Or are you now changing your mind about what constitutes sexual harassment? Because earlier in the thread, when you tried to change the subject there as well and pitched a fit when you were called out on it, you seemed to indicate that walking up to a woman and commenting on her looks was street harassment and constituted sexual harassment. Remember when you tried to change the subject and pitched a fit when we had to drag you back to the thread's topic and what we were all actually discussing and you denied any knowledge of what we had actually been discussing?

    Women tell you, openly, that what you dismiss as being mere public discourse and not street or sexual harassment, is in fact street harassment and sexual harassment. Thousands of women, around the world, have commented on this issue and you deliberately choose to ignore their experiences? If our telling you, isn't going to work, if our pointing out that women are being stalked, harassed, assaulted, sexually assaulted, murdered on the street, in broad daylight, for not responding or saying no to what you deem to be public discourse, is not going to work, then really, what else is there to tell you, Dave?

    Weren't you the one complaining earlier about being alone in lifts with women and watching women go through the steps of self protection subtly because they were alone in a lift with you? Why do you think that is, Dave?

    How would the woman alone in the lift with you, see you if you said "you're beautiful" to her as a manner of public discourse? Because that's not sexual or street harassment, is it?

    And you wonder why women go through those steps when alone in a lift with a strange male? You find that offensive? Take being accosted by random strangers on the street who just have to tell you what they think of your looks, your body, your clothes, how you walk, run, jog, smile, etc..

    The other offensive thing about your argument is the sheer disregard you have for women's intelligence. What? You think we don't know when something is threatening? You need to tell me what is or is not sexual harassment or street harassment in a blanket statement like that, while disregarding my actual experiences and the experiences of millions of women?

    Here's the thing: by the inherent nature of being a woman walking in the street, almost ALL uninvited attention from men is threatening. Women are victims of sexual violence EVERY SINGLE DAY, even in "liberal" cities like New York. Whether it's a man jerking off on the subway, a stranger sticking their hand up a woman's skirt (or worse, raping her), we hear stories of sexual assault on a near daily basis, if not on the news, then from the anecdotes within our social circles. Women feel vulnerable on the street, period. When a man interacts with her on any level she did not invite, it's threatening, period. You can't change that just by saying someone is being "nice." Just because a man isn't overtly saying "I want to fuck you in the ass and cum in your hair, bitch," it doesn't nullify the threat a woman feels.

    And here's the other thing: we can tell when someone is just being nice. In fact, after enough years of encountering enough different kinds of people engaging in enough different kinds of interactions, all women (YES, ALL WOMEN) develop a sixth sense: We can immediately tell if someone is, in fact, being "nice," or if their seemingly innocuous words or actions are laden with latent undertones of objectification and entitlement, and the threatening implications that go along with someone who holds that view — who views you as a less-than-human thing which they want and feel entitled to have — has set their sights on you. We can tell. So it doesn't matter what actual words they say, if any. And for someone to argue about the relative threat level of the words themselves if to completely signify a lack of understanding about where the real perceived threat comes from. In other words, if you tell a woman that an act of "harassing" wasn't, in fact, "harassment," all you're saying is: "I don't understand anything about the experience of living your life."

    If someone tells us our shoelace is undone, or a neighborhood local gives us a morning nod while they're walking their dog, we can identify these things as inherently nice behaviors. No one is hysterically declaring ALL public interactions between men and women who don't know each other to be harassment. But the sad fact is that often they are. And even when a man says something as simple as "Have a nice day," we are able to read between the lines and know his motive, and 9 times out of 10, it's not about well wishes. It's the tone, the setting, the look on his face that tells a woman that there's a sexual power play at work, and she's losing.

    When someone (usually a man) defends certain behaviors as "innocent" it shows a lack of understanding of the deeply ingrained, totally imbalanced gender dynamics that exist on a city street, and between men and women on a more general social level since time began. Think of it like this: an assault, in the eyes of the law, is anything that either causes grievous bodily harm or death, or something that creates a reasonable fear of grievous bodily harm or death. Street harassment that doesn't involve touching is the latter, directly causing a woman to fear for her bodily integrity and in some cases her life. No one should have to walk down the street with that constant fear.

    Understand now?

    Your blanket denials of what constitutes sexual harassment and street harassment does not match up with what women actually experience.

    And trying to change the subject of the thread to accommodate your blanket denials.. Just makes you look like you are excusing said behaviour.
  10. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    Depends. Has she been flirting with you across the bar?

    If you read the post you quoted, you already have at least one ready criterion you know I would employ to decide that in a real life circumstance. One of several, but one will do. Here it is, for the third time in front of you:
    You seem puzzled by the "implied threat" part of that. I refer you to the extended descriptions of real life by others here, if you are unaware of the threats faced by any woman in - say - the US, during an encounter with a male stranger who has imposed his attentions on her uninvited and inconveniently.
  11. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    Tautologically, obviously not. You can't be both polite and impolite at the same time. If you're harassing somebody, you're not being polite, and if you're being polite then you're not harassing.

    Then again, it could be that my definition of "polite" encompasses things that yours does not. Maybe you think "polite" only refers to one's manner of speech, for example, and not to one's intentions, general demeanor, physical behaviour and the like.
  12. Bowser Namaste Valued Senior Member

    I agree with you on this point. What about opening a door for a woman? Would that be harassment, too?
  13. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    He's wrong. It's easy and common to harass women with such greetings and commentary.
  14. Bowser Namaste Valued Senior Member

    I don't see that as being harassment. But Bells and I traveled this road earlier and couldn't agree. I see it no more intrusive than is any other compliment.
  15. Godot Banned Banned

    Are you implying that any form of intrusion is considered harassment? Are you suggesting that we should never approach, or speak, least of all compliment an unknown female?

    Are you suggesting that harassment is entirely subjective?

    Could you clarify your question, please?

    Are you suggesting that any interruption is considered harassment or that it depends solely on your intent?

    By alluding to intentions, are you suggesting that harassment lies in the difference between compliments and flattery?

    By 'accost', do mean in an angry, aggressive, or unwanted way?
  16. PhysBang Valued Senior Member

    Nobody has done this. But you did retreat to the absurd position that no restriction on free speech is acceptable. Either you think that we should allow slander, libel, and yelling "fire" in a crowded theater, or you think that there should be some restrictions on speech acts, just not ones that protect women.
  17. Bells Staff Member

    Well, that is what the word means in its most basic definition. It can also mean to approach someone and sexually solicit them, generally it is a manner of approaching someone in a way that the recipient of the approach deems unfriendly and unwanted. As such, street harassment falls under any definition of the word accost. Hence it's usage in this thread.
  18. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

    Yeah. I knew that would get you to whip on your mod hat.

    Mods can troll as much as they want. They can call other people trolls as much as they want, ignore reports, and generally be horribly disrespectful and bullying, all in the name of furthering their own monologue - about respect and not being silenced.

    Any dissenting actual contribution though, and suddenly they whip on their hat and disallow it.

    This is not a discussion; it is a Mod-controlled soapbox.

    I'm out.

    I'm way out.

    Silence me.
    Ophiolite likes this.
  19. Godot Banned Banned

    Are you suggesting that men should never approach or speak to unknown females?

    When, if ever, is it appropriate to compliment a woman on her appearance?
  20. Bells Staff Member

    So you trolled to try and get a reaction?

    Have you failed to notice that people discussing the actual topic, whether we agree with them or not, are not getting 'mod hat' notes?

    Have you wondered why?

    Could it be because they are actually discussing the subject of the thread and are not trying to change the subject repeatedly?

    If you wish to discuss general and normal public interaction, no one is stopping you from starting a thread on the subject. No one. What we would all like is if you participate in this thread, that you stick to the actual topic and cease and desist in trying to change the subject.


    When do you think, Godot?

    Someone you know or happen to be intimate with? Anytime I guess. A complete stranger walking past on the street who doesn't know you and is going about her day.. Do you think she would appreciate a complete stranger walking up to her, without invitation or even a hint of an invitation, to comment on her appearance? To the one, the first question that comes to mind is 'who the fuck are you?' And to the other, the second question would be 'what gives you the right to comment on what I look like, what I wear, my hair, legs, ass, tits, face, lips, and every other comment often made to women by complete strangers on the street?'..

    But really, think about it..

    When do you think it is appropriate to approach a complete stranger just to comment on their appearance or their looks? Is it to tell them their fly is undone? That would be a public service and doing someone a favour. Is it to comment on their shoe laces being undone or to tell them they have a roll's worth of toilet paper tucked into the back of their pants and trailing after them while they are blissfully unaware? Public service. You'd probably be thanked for doing it.

    Do you know why? Can you possibly imagine why?

    Because you are not approaching them in a manner that objectifies them.

    If, however, you sidle up to a woman or call out as she walks past, just to comment about how she looks, or even attempt to slow her down as she's walking or even stop her just so she can listen to you objectify her (all without invitation), then that's not a public service but downright sexual harassment and street harassment.

    You do understand the differences, yes?
  21. Godot Banned Banned

    Which gender do you think is more likely to compliment people on their appearance versus other attributes, women or men?
  22. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    Okay, help me out here: Is the problem that you do not understand, or simply do not care?

    You do not get to define her perception.

    Your obscene invalidation of woman's humanity is thoroughly repulsive. Just like in your thread about rape culture, your discussion of misogyny requires women effectively silenced. And as with your contribution to rape culture, so is your contribution to sexual harassment and belligerence exactly apparent.

    Gosh, Bowser, insofar as you asked about "degrees of misogyny", I would say your insistent snuffing of women's voices is right up there.

    They're telling us what the problem is. You don't get to say, explicitly or implicitly, "Hush, dear".

    It's one thing to have an opinion, but quite another to insist upon it in the face of reality.

    There are some who would try to change the subject; the woman says this is harassment, some respond by talking about general social interactions and "conversations". You, however, are much more direct, simply insisting on defining her perception and experience.

    When you walk up to that woman who "catches your fancy" in order to "give her a compliment", you, sir, do not get to define her perception and response for her.

    You need to get a handle on that. And this is so straightforward that I can't just shrug and write it off as Bowser really being that absolutely stupid. On some level, it seems you must know what you're doing; if not, the problem is that whatever disability we need to reasonably accommodate is simply too dangerous.

    When I was younger, we used to have an argument about criminal justice and culpability: If someone was held less culpable for lack of mental competence, opponents called it letting them get away with murder, and this argument persisted despite the fact that we weren't sending these killers to psychiatric institutions denounced as cushy even though they were houses of neglect, but, rather, prison. Indeed, I had a moment with this last night ... early this morning ... er ... very recently. I turned on the downstairs television, last tuned to msnbc sometime during the week; it was officially prison television time, so as the picture came into view, they were sitting in a prison, talking with a short, slightly pudgy white guy with blue eyes that couldn't focus. Diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia, he landed in prison for the rest of his life because he shot his mother to death and, under the influence of whatever the hell was going on in his brain, ate hers. Honestly, he should be in a hospital, tested and prodded until we have wrung every reasonable bit of scientific data out of his brain and body in order to further understand schizophrenia. The thing is that the whole time people were complaining about not punishing the criminals, what they meant was that the state wasn't killing enough people. Compared to letting them skate because, you know, crazy so not culpable, the reality of being contained possibly for the rest of their lives because they are too dangerous to allow among free society apparently meant nothing to many of these critics.

    Analogously, the most relevant application is to remind that even if the problem is that you're simply not smart or capable enough to figure it out, you're still dangerous.
  23. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    Of course not. I typed the words you quoted, and not those others you suggested for some reason, on purpose.

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