Male violence and harassment of women

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Bird on a Fire
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Re: Male violence and harassment of women

Post by Bird on a Fire » Fri Mar 26, 2021 1:40 pm

discovolante wrote:
Fri Mar 26, 2021 1:37 pm
Martin Y wrote:
Fri Mar 26, 2021 1:12 pm
I am sorry that I seem to have made things worse. This is why I usually STFU instead of engaging with threads like this one. As everything I say seems to make everything worse instead of better I'm going to say I'm very, very sorry and stop.
Well for one thing, reading is engaging. But reading stuff and then making it about you isn't really engaging. When people do that it also seems to give the impression that they're only really looking for answers and information inside this thread rather than looking for stuff themselves. I'm only speaking for myself at the moment, but imo one thing to do if you disagree with the content of an article might be to have a dig around and find something else that you think might be more constructive or informative, that you can relate to, rather than just say 'but I don't agree with that article so please tell me what I should be doing'. Whether or not you then post about that thing depends on whether it adds to or distracts from the discussion.
This seems like good advice. Thanks.
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Re: Male violence and harassment of women

Post by Aoui » Fri Mar 26, 2021 1:47 pm

Okay. So I keep seeing lots of "but I'm not like that" and " I don't see it happening and it's not my friends doing it". Yeah, yeah. There are plenty of decent guys. My husband married someone whose mother is a lesbian and whose sister is a lesbian and who comes from a family of strong women. He works in IT and it's an all boys club there. The only female is the secretary. He's had to learn over the years to change his tune on a few things. Nobody had really stood up to him before and made him really think about what he was saying. He was clueless, not mean and not a macho jerk, just clueless because he could be. He was surrounded by males. He's been the same with LGBTQ over the years. Again, over the years he's been challenged by me and now when people make offensive comments, he comes home and complains to me about it. When he feels he can, he tells them what he thinks. I know good and well he isn't always in a position to say too much, but I know he does when he feels he can. The more he does so, the more he feels comfortable doing it. He is by nature not a pushy person. He prefers to get along with everybody. I'm the loudmouth. But I think what a lot of us want is guys like him.who are nice guys is to just keep chipping away at the behavior of others and stay open to the fact that sometimes you don't realize that you might have internalized some bad behavior too that might need changing.

I am not pretending I don't understand at all how hard this is. When I'm confronted about race, I do the same thing "It's not me!". Mind you, I know good and well it is and that is what really nags at me. I was raised not to be racist in a very racist part of the world. I've internalized things and when it's been pointed out or I realize it on my own, I feel pure disgust and anger with myself. Cuz I'm not the worst. I'm not close to being the worst, but I know that I'm not as innocent as I wish I were. I'm the foreign white girs that everyone at work thinks is insane because I do think there are some nasty race issues where I live that no one wants to confront. I see all too often that a LOT of people where I live are doing their best not to see. And it's hard to speak up. I've probably made things worse a few times, because I am not great at social things esp. if I am pissed off. I've not come to the aide of people in public (and even in private) sometimes because I knew if I did that I'd be yelled at for being foreign and fat and female and just add to teh drama. And I'm ashamed of that. And I need to do better. Balancing these things isn't easy. I don't assume every single article I read about racism is written directly for ME and only ME. That would take a sh.t load of ego that even the Evergreen couldn't fit. But I read articles and I talk to friends and I try be better.

I also have trouble believing that so many men have never seen women being pestered or put down in so many different situations. Again..if you don't notice them...you haven't been looking. You've just been gliding along letting the whole world part for you. It's so easy to do. So what we want is for you to notice these things. When some guy talks over women...call him out on it if you can. In private or right there in front of gawd and everybody. Complain to someone. It doesn't hurt for women to know that you've noticed these things and they can give you tips sometimes (but not always) I haven't been in a big meeting yet where some guy doesn't say the same thing a woman has and gets the credit for it. So..at the point...a man needs to point out "Oh..thank you for reiterating what so and so just said. I think she made a great point" or just say "So and so just said that, so why did everyone only respond when a man said it?" Can you do this in every situation? No. But can you do it more? Bet so.

If you think you are perfect, then bully for you. (Mind you, if you are that perfect, I'm afraid that I've got news for you....) But I'm self aware enough to know that I'm not and I'm trying to do more and it's not easy. So, why not just say that instead? I'm listening, I'm trying..

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Re: Male violence and harassment of women

Post by Vertigowooyay » Fri Mar 26, 2021 2:02 pm

It's a good article, and I read it as not accusatory but one that helps men be an ally, not just a bystander. I know that I've taken for granted many things that women have to navigate through every single day, and I know that it took something as large as the MeToo movement to make me more aware of that reality - and the fact it took me that long is pretty shameful. Because prior to that there was the obvious things, the horrific online misogyny, the pitiful rape conviction rates, the huge in your face sexism and physical and mental abuse that women face all the time, but not the small stuff - the talking over, the condescension, the microagressions.

That was what made me look at how I acted - the fact I was not an abuser in the obvious sense became the cover to not look at how you interact with women on an everyday basis - 'Well, I don't do *that* so I must be fine'. Realising that made me more conscious of what I do and say, and more ready to say something to friends or colleagues if they act in a belittling or condescending way. I want to be an ally, I don't want to be a bystander any more, and I - we - need to listen better to the lived experience of women to be that.

I'm re-watching Taskmaster with my son (because helpfully there's a PG bleeped version now) and it's the series with Ian Stirling and Lou Sanders in the contestants. In the team tasks, Stirling is dreadful - barking orders, talking over Sanders all the time, ignoring Sanders, not listening, or listening and then just doing what he wants anyway.

And the task cuts back to the studio, and he is *f.cking mortified* to the point he can barely look Sanders in the eye. And he's trying to keep the comedy up but you can see the horror of what he was like in his eyes. I'm not saying that public shaming on national TV is a particularly effective or fast way of changing minds, but it's a good example of someone having that mirror held up to them and being shocked by what he sees and (I hope) being more aware of behaviour from there.
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Re: Male violence and harassment of women

Post by jimbob » Fri Mar 26, 2021 2:24 pm

Woodchopper wrote:
Thu Mar 25, 2021 4:43 pm
Stephanie wrote:
Thu Mar 25, 2021 4:35 pm
Woodchopper wrote:
Thu Mar 25, 2021 3:05 pm


There may be different reasons for it. Men who express solidarity with women will often be assumed to be putting on a performance in order to curry favour. (And not unreasonably, I've heard of some very sh.tty things been done by so called feminist allies).

But speaking up on behalf of a daughter is different. Its a much more acceptable way to express solidarity.
They're not usually speaking up on behalf a daughter, though. They are using them as a shield.
Yes, clumsy wording on my part.

Maybe more apt to call the daughter a beard.
That's how I have used it. I can remember a friend at university telling me that she didn't feel safe walking a particular route after dark, and me being surprised at that, and which opened my eyes to that.

Because I had kids fairly young, it makes it hard to separate which is which, but I do consciously use the fact that I have daughters to highlight the fact that even if one excludes one's mother or partner, probably the majority of men will have some close family member (child or sibling) who would be affected by misogynistic behaviour.
Have you considered stupidity as an explanation

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Re: Male violence and harassment of women

Post by bagpuss » Fri Mar 26, 2021 2:27 pm

Fishnut wrote:
Fri Mar 26, 2021 12:27 pm
Where was this energy before, when he was gaslighting his girlfriends or catcalling women or messaging “F*** you, bitch. You’re ugly anyway” to a woman who ignored his messages on Tinder?
Yeah, I agree, not all men do this. And I suspect a smaller percentage of the men on this forum would do this or know people who do this than the general population because it is dependent on the circles in which you move, your age and all sorts of other factors. But these are experiences many women have had from multiple men, just because none of you have personally done this doesn't mean it's not a problem. There are women just in this thread who have recounted experiences far more horrific than any I have experienced but you don't see me saying they must be making it up. So I am curious why so many men here have the impulse to not just distance themselves from men who do this, but deny that they exist.

I think this is an important point. As we all tend to move in our own circles among people similar to ourselves, with similar attitudes and beliefs, it's easy to think that the people we know are representative. Even when we rationally know that that isn't true, it still affects our understanding of what is normal and what is common. So I can understand men in this forum finding it surprising to the point of not entirely believing, that these things are common in the experience of women. Walking down the street, going to school, going to bars and restaurants (oh to be able to!), travelling on public transport, being visible on the internet, bring us into contact with people who we wouldn't choose to spend time with socially, who aren't part of "our" group. And some of them will impose their attitudes on us whether we like it or not, so we learn of their existence and are subject to their behaviour, whereas many men will have been simply oblivious because they haven't seen it, haven't experienced it, haven't heard it.

The thing is, we're speaking up about it and now there really is no excuse to continue that obliviousness. And while I do get that the first instinct is to think "but I'm not like that" and then the second instinct is probably to think "and my friends aren't like that either", the fact that so many women have these experiences - to the point that if there are any women who haven't, they are true rarities - should be enough that even the tiniest bit of thought ought to be enough to realise that actually, there are a heck of a lot of men who are like that. And actually, some of them probably are your friends. Maybe not the closest friends that you'd talk to about these issues, but friends at your sports club, some of your closer work colleagues, people who you like and have a laugh with, some of them are like this.

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Re: Male violence and harassment of women

Post by Grumble » Fri Mar 26, 2021 2:54 pm

I started this thread in a spirit of self-criticism and self-reflection and I’d very much like it to continue that way, without defensiveness.

I can’t remember what I posted on the old forum thread about the shirt, I do suspect that at best I was guilty of withdrawing from it once it got heated. I’m sorry about that.

I do think the GQ article raises good points too. I too think there is a sentence or two that doesn’t chime, but the article doesn’t need the sentences picked up by tomp for the rest of it to be well worth the read and a source for further self-reflection.

I know that when my eldest daughter was born I looked at the girls going out on a Saturday night dressed to the nines in a different way, imagining that she would one day be one of them. In some cultures, here in the U.K. mainly in the past but very much present day elsewhere, this leads to fathers being very protective. It’s not a new phenomenon, and leads to all sorts of abuse up to and including murder. There is a (historically) new aspect in that instead of triggering over-protectiveness it now seems to trigger empathy and a desire to change things for the better. Can we harness that, even while we call out men like me for not being that way previously? Fatherhood is life changing but the change isn’t automatically positive, let’s reinforce the positive.
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Re: Male violence and harassment of women

Post by Woodchopper » Fri Mar 26, 2021 3:11 pm

bagpuss wrote:
Fri Mar 26, 2021 2:27 pm
And actually, some of them probably are your friends. Maybe not the closest friends that you'd talk to about these issues, but friends at your sports club, some of your closer work colleagues, people who you like and have a laugh with, some of them are like this.
Yes, its likely that amongst a wider circle every man knows another man who has committed serious harm to women.

And a major reason those men get away with it is because its assumed that they aren't like that and wouldn't do that sort of thing.

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Re: Male violence and harassment of women

Post by nezumi » Fri Mar 26, 2021 3:34 pm

Woodchopper wrote:
Fri Mar 26, 2021 3:11 pm
bagpuss wrote:
Fri Mar 26, 2021 2:27 pm
And actually, some of them probably are your friends. Maybe not the closest friends that you'd talk to about these issues, but friends at your sports club, some of your closer work colleagues, people who you like and have a laugh with, some of them are like this.
Yes, its likely that amongst a wider circle every man knows another man who has committed serious harm to women.

And a major reason those men get away with it is because its assumed that they aren't like that and wouldn't do that sort of thing.
Definitely! I have a direct experience of this myself and thank f*** for WFH because I used to have to share an office with the guy. I'm not gonna go into details but I know this man is a terrible human being and nobody else does. I avoid him, won't say his name, will not go near him. I hope there will never be a day when I'll have to refuse to join a team with him on because then I'll have to tell someone what he did and I'm more scared of what that would do to my career and life than anything else.
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Re: Male violence and harassment of women

Post by tom p » Fri Mar 26, 2021 3:35 pm

Fishnut wrote:
Fri Mar 26, 2021 12:27 pm
I find it really interesting that the focus of ire about the quote I selected is the central part, because honestly, that was the least interesting part for me.
Central part? My post was in response to the first two sentences. If the second sentence about gaslighting &c hadn't been immediately following the first & thus implicitly suggesting it was a thing done by loads of men, then I wouldn't have mentioned it.
Also "ire"? I think perhaps you're overstating the feelings of people who find that one small bit jarring, despite the rest of the article being really good and giving lots of food for thought (as all have stated really clearly).
Fishnut wrote:
Fri Mar 26, 2021 12:27 pm
Where was this energy before, when he was gaslighting his girlfriends or catcalling women or messaging “F*** you, bitch. You’re ugly anyway” to a woman who ignored his messages on Tinder?
Yeah, I agree, not all men do this. And I suspect a smaller percentage of the men on this forum would do this or know people who do this than the general population because it is dependent on the circles in which you move, your age and all sorts of other factors. But these are experiences many women have had from multiple men, just because none of you have personally done this doesn't mean it's not a problem. There are women just in this thread who have recounted experiences far more horrific than any I have experienced but you don't see me saying they must be making it up. So I am curious why so many men here have the impulse to not just distance themselves from men who do this, but deny that they exist.
Now you're just making things up. Literally nobody in this thread has denied that men like this exist.
I think (and I could be talking utter bollocks here), that the reason men want to make it clear that they don't know those kinda men is because if I knew anyone like that, I should do something about them, otherwise I'm tacitly condoning what they do. Since I don't (?realise that I) know anyone like that, I can't do anything about it. So although I'm not actively doing anything about it, it's because I can't. It's kinda saying 'I'd like to help, but there's nothing I can do 'cos I don't know how to get to the people causing the problem; however I am, generally, on your side'. But I get why these replies could be annoying.
It’s almost like they know exactly what other men are capable of, that you never know a man’s true intentions until it’s too late, isn’t it?
This was the key line in this for me, particularly the last half, and it's one that seems to have been completely ignored. Men know that other men are capable of harassment, degradation, violence. But they don't know which men. Neither do women, but whenever we express this as an explanation for needing to be constantly cautious and on our guard we get cries of #notallmen. Here is one man explaining that he gets why that really isn't a useful response. That's why I liked this quote.
[/quote]
Nobody was or is saying #notallmen here, but from what you posted, it rather looked like you were saying #mostmen. That said, I understand where you're coming from and understand why you feel the need to be on guard. Any man could be a potential rapist (my mum told me that when i was about 10 or so - I didn't get it at first, but I do totally understand it now and have done for a long time), but saying you love a quote from an article which strongly implies that a significant proportion of men are that type of guy (rapists are using sex for power & control, just like the coercive controllers use manipulative techniques for the same goal) isn't going to help you get your point across. If you quote selectively from a long article, enthusiastically endorsing the short bit you've quoted, then people will, rightly, I think, assume that you enthusiastically endorse the whole bit you quoted.

I do think the rest of the article raises a lot of really good points and gives food-for-thought and ideas for self reflection in everyday life. I certainly, over the last few months, have been making a definite effort to ensure that I don't talk over women. I have a bad habit of doing it with everyone (which is especially problematic in online meetings), and I've been trying to be better, and particularly with women, who are less likely to feel that they can be assertive because of them having been told to be 'good' and 'quiet' since they were girls. When I was younger I think I would have been more of the opinion that 'they should just throw off those shackles and f.cking well pipe up', but I appreciate now that it's hard to break free from convention.

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Re: Male violence and harassment of women

Post by Stephanie » Fri Mar 26, 2021 4:00 pm

Sometimes, it's hard to feel like there is support, when you drop a link with a short quote, only to have someone pull it apart line by line, and then when they explain why they shared, pull that explanation apart line by line.
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Re: Male violence and harassment of women

Post by mediocrity511 » Fri Mar 26, 2021 4:27 pm

Woodchopper wrote:
Fri Mar 26, 2021 3:11 pm
bagpuss wrote:
Fri Mar 26, 2021 2:27 pm
And actually, some of them probably are your friends. Maybe not the closest friends that you'd talk to about these issues, but friends at your sports club, some of your closer work colleagues, people who you like and have a laugh with, some of them are like this.
Yes, its likely that amongst a wider circle every man knows another man who has committed serious harm to women.

And a major reason those men get away with it is because its assumed that they aren't like that and wouldn't do that sort of thing.
I do think this is something where education could come in. Like what signs are there that a relationship isn't ok? What signs are there that a man may be abusive in private?

For example the first one that springs to mind is the guy with the crazy ex or exes.

There's been some great campaigns targeting teenagers to help them recognise abusive relationships, but there could be an expansion of this kind of thing.

I think if anyone wanted to understand more about violence within relationships, Lunch Bancroft's Why Does He Do That? would be a fantastic place to start. The pdf is available free online. It's aimed at victims of domestic violence, but has some really good descriptions of the different types of abusers there are etc.

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Re: Male violence and harassment of women

Post by Woodchopper » Fri Mar 26, 2021 4:40 pm

mediocrity511 wrote:
Fri Mar 26, 2021 4:27 pm
Woodchopper wrote:
Fri Mar 26, 2021 3:11 pm
bagpuss wrote:
Fri Mar 26, 2021 2:27 pm
And actually, some of them probably are your friends. Maybe not the closest friends that you'd talk to about these issues, but friends at your sports club, some of your closer work colleagues, people who you like and have a laugh with, some of them are like this.
Yes, its likely that amongst a wider circle every man knows another man who has committed serious harm to women.

And a major reason those men get away with it is because its assumed that they aren't like that and wouldn't do that sort of thing.
I do think this is something where education could come in. Like what signs are there that a relationship isn't ok? What signs are there that a man may be abusive in private?

For example the first one that springs to mind is the guy with the crazy ex or exes.

There's been some great campaigns targeting teenagers to help them recognise abusive relationships, but there could be an expansion of this kind of thing.

I think if anyone wanted to understand more about violence within relationships, Lunch Bancroft's Why Does He Do That? would be a fantastic place to start. The pdf is available free online. It's aimed at victims of domestic violence, but has some really good descriptions of the different types of abusers there are etc.
I agree that we can be better at recognizing domestic abuse and I also recommend Bancroft's book.

Different forms of abuse also takes place in lots of other places, especially at work where there are big power imbalances.

Stopping it happening after having suspicions can be complicated.

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Re: Male violence and harassment of women

Post by mediocrity511 » Fri Mar 26, 2021 4:49 pm

Woodchopper wrote:
Fri Mar 26, 2021 4:40 pm
mediocrity511 wrote:
Fri Mar 26, 2021 4:27 pm
Woodchopper wrote:
Fri Mar 26, 2021 3:11 pm


Yes, its likely that amongst a wider circle every man knows another man who has committed serious harm to women.

And a major reason those men get away with it is because its assumed that they aren't like that and wouldn't do that sort of thing.
I do think this is something where education could come in. Like what signs are there that a relationship isn't ok? What signs are there that a man may be abusive in private?

For example the first one that springs to mind is the guy with the crazy ex or exes.

There's been some great campaigns targeting teenagers to help them recognise abusive relationships, but there could be an expansion of this kind of thing.

I think if anyone wanted to understand more about violence within relationships, Lunch Bancroft's Why Does He Do That? would be a fantastic place to start. The pdf is available free online. It's aimed at victims of domestic violence, but has some really good descriptions of the different types of abusers there are etc.
I agree that we can be better at recognizing domestic abuse and I also recommend Bancroft's book.

Different forms of abuse also takes place in lots of other places, especially at work where there are big power imbalances.

Stopping it happening after having suspicions can be complicated.
Oh definitely! But from a point of view of so many men feeling that they don't know anyone who would be an abuser, it would be interesting to know if anyone reads it and thinks "actually I have noticed these things in someone around me".

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Re: Male violence and harassment of women

Post by discovolante » Fri Mar 26, 2021 6:35 pm

On a different note, I attended a panel discussion thingymajig through work yesterday which was about women experiencing homelessness and domestic abuse. There was a woman from Scottish Womens Aid and a woman from a women's shelter in Edinburgh for BME (their terminology so I'm going to use it) women. So I just thought I'd stick in a few bits of info I got from it, it's a bit scattergun so I'm not trying to create some kind of overarching narrative.

There is a detailed report from Scottish Women's Aid about how to improve this issue in Scotland (probably generalisabe elsewhere): https://womensaid.scot/wp-content/uploa ... Report.pdf

From the presentation and a little bit of the report:
The methodology for collecting data on homelessness has not been updated since the legal definition of domestic abuse was expanded to include coercive control (2018). Currently, homelessness staff select from the following options:

◗ Dispute within household: violent or abusive
◗ Dispute within household/relationship breakdown: non-violent
◗ Fleeing non-domestic violence
◗ Harassment
◗ Overcrowding
◗ Asked to leave
◗ Other reason for leaving accommodation/household

A housing officer might interpret coercive control as ‘dispute within household: violent or abusive’ or ‘non-violent relationship breakdown’ or ‘harassment’ or ‘other reason for leaving accommodation’. This means that the resulting data is unclear.
It then goes on to say:
‘A dispute within the household violent or abusive’ was the reason given by 4,832 people when making a homeless application in 2019/20, with women making 3,783 (78%) of applications in this category, and almost half of these applications including children. Although significant, this statistic likely underestimates the scale of domestic abuse and homelessness. Women may not disclose domestic abuse when making a homeless application or may not present at all.
So you've got several thousand potentially domestic-abuse related homelessness applications in Scotland in a year, and probably more due to lack of disclosure. For reference in relation to homeless apps overall there were 36,855 in total in 2019/2020.

They also discussed some fairly recent and upcoming legislation in Scotland: the Domestic Abuse (Scotland) Act 2018 and the Domestic Abuse (Protection) (Scotland) Bill, which of course isn't yet in force. The Act criminalises domestic abuse that is likely to cause physical or psychological harm, including behaviour that is intended to have the following 'effects':
(a)making B dependent on, or subordinate to, A,
(b)isolating B from friends, relatives or other sources of support,
(c)controlling, regulating or monitoring B's day-to-day activities,
(d)depriving B of, or restricting B's, freedom of action,
(e)frightening, humiliating, degrading or punishing B.
(that's quite an imprecise summary, you can have a look at the Act to see it all properly, it's fairy short).

The Protection Bill is focused on things like helping the victim stay in their home rather than being the one fleeing the abuse and having to seek help through homelessness services. Which could have some quite interesting consequences and it would be interesting to see how it pans out in practice...again the info is in the link above. It passed on 17 March although not sure when it comes into force if it hasn't already.

I was going to look up some stats and discussion of these but I haven't got round to it, sorry. So I'm just posting about them to bring them to people's attention.

The speaker from the Edinburgh shelter focused on the specific impact on BME women, in terms of the racism they experience and the impact of having no recourse to public funds (NRPF) due to their immigration status. She highlighted the main problem being language barriers which stops people getting help to begin with. She spoke about women who escape abuse but then go back to their perpetrators as they find it preferable to the racism they experience outside their home. She said that often their abusers will tell them they can't leave because they will experience racism if they do, so when it does happen that confirms to them that their abuser was right, so they return. She talked about one black woman's case in detail, I didn't make a note of it all but one part of it was when she spent 2 nights in a hotel with her infant child. It was around Christmas (and very cold, and she was turfed out on the streets after those two night), and the hotel stopped her from using the microwave downstairs to heat up her child's milk bottle because of the perceived impression it would give to the other guests at the hotel.

There is some limited support for women with NRPF, particularly if they have children, and there is a very specific concession in immigration law where if you are on a spouse visa and are experiencing abuse you can apply for indefinite leave to remain (and therefore have access to public funds). The shelter uses that and has a very high success rate, but it involves a lot of paperwork and is rarely used, and a lot of agencies e.g. homelessness departments don't advise people about it.

And of course there is the fear of the authorities if their immigration status is precarious, of being reported. So being BME puts you at increased risk in itself, and having an irregular immigration status compounds that.

Connected with this I just wanted to comment again on what it is that gets a national conversation going about this stuff. And this is not to diminish what happened to Sarah Everard, the opposite in fact, because if we paid attention properly before then this may not have happened to her. (When I say 'we' I don't mean the people who are paying attention and doing something about it of course, I mean the rest of us who haven't really been listening properly). Again to go back to Bibaa Henry and Nicole Smallman: https://bylinetimes.com/2021/03/16/why- ... ing-point/

What happened to them made the news but it didn't get anywhere near as much attention. It's sometimes hard to pinpoint exactly why one story gets more attention than another, but when there is a pattern of lots of reporting of middle class white women compared to other women, it's hard to ignore. Why are we having this conversation now rather than last June, for example? I totally include myself in this by the way because I didn't kick up a stink then either. Fishnut took the time earlier to find out about the victims of the Atlanta shooting because we just weren't discussing it as much as other things that have happened. Other people have drawn attention to racist attacks on this thread, true. But on a larger scale it's really pervasive so I think it's important to keep coming back to it. Party because if you don't think there's anything left for you to do in terms of stopping your mates from catcalling women, you can still play a part in drawing attention to these issues and that will help everyone. As I say, I include myself in that because I'm only really bringing it up now, but on the other hand getting upset about an article is kind of missing the mark a bit.
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Re: Male violence and harassment of women

Post by nezumi » Fri Mar 26, 2021 6:38 pm

Woodchopper wrote:
Fri Mar 26, 2021 4:40 pm


Different forms of abuse also takes place in lots of other places, especially at work where there are big power imbalances.
I think this might be the crux of where we all misunderstand one another. My concern is with the petty - the teenage boys who haven't been let in yet on the Facts of Life, yours might be with the teacher or boss who abuses their power, someone else's might be the roofie-merchant in the pub and yet somebody else's might be the sexual sadist serial killer. They could all be the same bloke, of course. They probably are. A tiny minority (about 1-2%) are the perpetrators of all the really bad sh.t (might as well swear since the subject is worse than the language). Nobody else wants to be tarred with that brush, and rightly so, but we all have a duty of care in society to everybody around us*.

Starting with parents not just believing their kids are equal in capability regardless of gender but also inculating in them the same duties and responsibilities. As a parent make sure that if you expect something of your daughter in terms of conduct and manners you expect exactly the same standard with your son. Give your children equal praise for equal work. Raise both sons and daughters with a work ethic of "if you don't know, look it up, and if you can't do it, admit it humbly and without judging yourself (you have other valuable skills, you simply don't know this one and that is fine), and get someone to do it for you, paying them reasonably and honestly."

Anyway, rambling aside, you make an excellent point here and the way I interpret this entire thread, it seems everyone has mistaken everybody else's assumptions.

Our wonderful men are taking the premise and thinking deeply evil stuff that they could never, ever countenance. The old place certainly did have its negativity and a few awful human beings but without that place, this place would not be a place. And this place is the closest I've come to being my entire self so, long may it be a friendly and welcoming place.

I would absolutely go so far as to call our current manly forumites gentlemen, and without exception I have found you all to be caring, enlightened men with the majority of you possessing finely tuned social etiquette and excellent manners. Most of this, sadly, comes simply from privilege. I am sure (and am I genuinely hope I am right) that you all come from homes with mothers and sisters who are recognisably brilliant in their own right and that the idea of thinking a woman as an object or lesser person is simply alien to you. You almost certainly went through a period of social awkwardness and probably came off as a creep to more than one woman - but you are painfully aware of it! The very idea haunts you! I think I can speak for most women that, we forgive you. You sucked ass then, but you're a good guy now so thanks for growing up :)

I wish we had any trans ladies or trans men here because they could really tell you the difference. I don't think either men or women can ever understand our sociological positions more perfectly than a person who has lived as both.

So gentleman forumites, simply do as you are doing; be mindful of your treatment of others, be kind, be supportive and let the ladies in your lives know that they can count on you to rescue them if needed, and make sure that no other person needs to be rescued from anybody around you.

Surely that's all it boils down to?

* Or we should. That is definitely something that should be in our constitution if we ever got one.
** My answer to incel jargon. A man is an adult male human who is not a dick. A "male" is basically an animal that looks like a man but behaves like a child. So generalistically devisive! I know it's not that clear cut! YMMV, IABMCTT etcetera etcetera!
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Re: Male violence and harassment of women

Post by discovolante » Fri Mar 26, 2021 7:15 pm

Tom, picking out individual words like 'ire' is just not that helpful.

Fishnut posted a link to an article, but she didn't post it and then list all the men on this forum and say 'you have all done this and you should feel really guilty about it', so why get so defensive? Grumble has asked for a bit more reflection as well (and just to say I might split some of the posts at some point, if someone else doesn't beat me to it, but after this I'm going to make dinner and stuff).

I've been thinking about a lot of the parallels in this thread and the discussions (not just here but in general) that came up after the killing of George Floyd and the BLM stuff, because it was so recent and because a lot of the stuff that's come up now has been so similar. So I'm deliberately picking a relatively minor example of something because it's one of those things where it's a bit less clear what's going on, rather than say, kneeling on someone's neck until they die. A couple of days ago I saw a discussion on twitter with people talking about how white people always expect them to move out of the way on the street/footpath, just barge into them etc. My first instinctive reaction was of course 'but I don't do that', and I'm pretty confident that I don't. But so what, it's basic human decency. So I suppose there are then a couple of things coming from that:

- whether or not I respond to say 'that's awful but I don't do it' (and perhaps 'and I don't know anyone else who would')
- questioning the truth of it, or whether the fact is that some people just expect other people to move out of their way regardless of whether the other person is white or not

On the first point, the question is: what would that achieve? Would it make anyone feel better to know that? Do I really think that these people have absolutely no clue that some, if not many, white people wouldn't behave that way and by me pointing it out they would go 'OHHH!!! thank you! I feel so much better knowing that at least one person doesn't do it, fabulous!'? Or would they just be mildly irritated at best that they now have to respond to this person who is protesting their innocence entirely unprompted? So is the reason I'm doing it to actually help out, or to try and heal my bruised pride at the thought that someone out there might think I'm the type of person to do that?

Let's just say they do think that it is literally every white person: so firstly, I think the wider point being made may well have been that white people in general (in predominantly white societies) might be more likely to expect others to move out of their way regardless of race, but particularly where race come into it, because with privilege comes a sense of entitlement. I don't know if that's true or not, it might not be, but it doesn't seem implausible. That aside, let's just say my concern is that some people in that discussion believe that every singe white person does that, and that every single white person is always deliberately out to get them, and is unable to cope with that mentally and as a result becomes very bitter and depressed. If there are people in that category, am I, the person they see as a threat to their existence, the best person to help them with that, are they likely to feel reassured and change their minds as a result of that interaction? I'd hazard a guess at no.

Would it help if I also pointed out that that kind of thing happens to me too, even though I'm white? Again probably not, partly because there is a very good chance that even though it does happen to me, it doesn't happen to me as often as it happens to them, because we know that a lot of people are pretty racist and are likely to behave that way. Again I don't know for sure, but it doesn't seem unlikely. So 'it happens to me too' isn't helpful either.

So I'm kind of running out of reasons there as to why my input might be helpful. But even though I don't do that, and I don't think I have any friends who would do that (but who knows eh), it's helpful for me to know because it might explain why someone is a bit tetchy with me if say, I accidentally bump into them, and I'm also just kind of more aware of the kind of stuff people experience day to day.

Also I realise that this example doesn't map exactly onto what's happened on this thread, because it's a real life (well social media) example rather than something I concocted just to try and make a point.

ETA nezumi is much more conciliatory than me, listen to her instead :P
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Re: Male violence and harassment of women

Post by Woodchopper » Fri Mar 26, 2021 7:42 pm

nezumi wrote:
Fri Mar 26, 2021 6:38 pm
Woodchopper wrote:
Fri Mar 26, 2021 4:40 pm


Different forms of abuse also takes place in lots of other places, especially at work where there are big power imbalances.
I think this might be the crux of where we all misunderstand one another. My concern is with the petty - the teenage boys who haven't been let in yet on the Facts of Life, yours might be with the teacher or boss who abuses their power, someone else's might be the roofie-merchant in the pub and yet somebody else's might be the sexual sadist serial killer. They could all be the same bloke, of course. They probably are. A tiny minority (about 1-2%) are the perpetrators of all the really bad sh.t (might as well swear since the subject is worse than the language).
If by really bad sh.t you mean things that are serious criminal offences, then I think a lot more than 1-2% of men have been perpetrators. Having read some of the criminology research but without having tried to work it out in detail I reckon its probably more like 10-20% of men.

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Re: Male violence and harassment of women

Post by Vertigowooyay » Fri Mar 26, 2021 7:59 pm

And I can’t look at ‘1-2%’ and think that qualifies as a tiny minority. It’s a minority, but surely 1-2 men out of only 100 perpetrating the most terrible stuff is disturbingly high?
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Re: Male violence and harassment of women

Post by Grumble » Fri Mar 26, 2021 10:03 pm

Woodchopper wrote:
Fri Mar 26, 2021 7:42 pm
nezumi wrote:
Fri Mar 26, 2021 6:38 pm
Woodchopper wrote:
Fri Mar 26, 2021 4:40 pm


Different forms of abuse also takes place in lots of other places, especially at work where there are big power imbalances.
I think this might be the crux of where we all misunderstand one another. My concern is with the petty - the teenage boys who haven't been let in yet on the Facts of Life, yours might be with the teacher or boss who abuses their power, someone else's might be the roofie-merchant in the pub and yet somebody else's might be the sexual sadist serial killer. They could all be the same bloke, of course. They probably are. A tiny minority (about 1-2%) are the perpetrators of all the really bad sh.t (might as well swear since the subject is worse than the language).
If by really bad sh.t you mean things that are serious criminal offences, then I think a lot more than 1-2% of men have been perpetrators. Having read some of the criminology research but without having tried to work it out in detail I reckon its probably more like 10-20% of men.
Really? f.cking hell. By serious offences I assume you mean something worthy of prison time? Surely 10-20% haven’t been near prison? Even granting that crime is under-punished.
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Re: Male violence and harassment of women

Post by Squeak » Fri Mar 26, 2021 11:02 pm

In the spirit of practical things men here might be able to do when all your friends and colleagues are nice guys...

I'm pretty sure that none of the men on this thread have worked in any of the same institutions as me but the settings should be very familiar to you all. So, here's a couple of things that the nice men around me at work could have noticed but didn't.

Setting one: the summer I had to get my thoughtful and kind field assistant to chaperone me in the lab. When I explained why, his immediate response was "Person X??!! Surely not! He's lovely and wouldn't do anything like that!" Then he started watching X's behaviour and rapidly realised how creepy he was being, frequently when there were only three of us in a room. The behaviour was not particularly hidden and it happened in front of a thoroughly civilised young man who was nonetheless completely oblivious. There are probably really nice men in your workplace who at least some of the women have to avoid because we don't get to be oblivious. Perhaps watch the interactions around you and see who needs watching/intervention. It almost certainly won't involve something obvious like a woman being grabbed or manhandled in the middle of your office.

Setting 2: By the end of my PhD, three senior men across two institutions had been forced to offer me formal apologies for their public bullying of me and two of them got permanent notes on their employment records. I made one complaint myself but the other two happened because senior women saw it happen and intervened themselves. One of the situations was in a conference, with a second go-around in a packed hallway where I was surrounded by male colleagues who either didn't know what to do or thought the behaviour was ok. Fortunately, the female head of school was standing behind him and made clear to him in public that his behaviour was unacceptable and privately encouraged me to make it formal so she could finally deal with him. I lost count of the number of students, admin staff, and female academics who then thanked me and told me about the times he'd made them cry in front of everyone during meetings or student presentations. Hundreds of men must have watched him do this over the years, mostly to women, and none of them intervened. My delightfully kind male PhD supervisor, whose wife had been bullied by this man for years, thought this was just the ordinary cut and thrust of academia. It was not.

So, in your world, you might like to think about that person who likes to skewer students. Are they going beyond what's necessary to check someone's work? Are there kinder ways they could be asking those questions? Are they being even-handed in who gets skewered? If it's at a conference/formal presentation, can you publicly volunteer to talk to the target outside the main event about the topic of their talk, so as to short-circuit the rant? And even if you can't tackle the bully directly, you can check in with the target afterwards. Do they need to hear that their work is actually good? Or fixable? Do they need to know that the behaviour is unacceptable and that you'd be a willing witness if they wanted to complain to a supervisor?

Finally, one not directly from me. In Obama's white house, the women made a pact to amplify each other's ideas because they routinely got ignored in meetings. Also, there's a bunch of research that suggests that when women get 30% of airtime in any discussion, both men and women perceive that to be equal time between the genders. No matter how enlightened we think we are, a woman speaking is routinely seen as taking up more space than she actually is.

Having read both those things and knowing that I'm a genuinely loud voice in meetings, I try really hard now to repeat and acknowledge the voices of quieter people (in my world this is often people from non-English speaking backgrounds, as well as women). Can you make that your special mission in work meetings? And in online meetings, where the conversational flow is often a bit odd, you can do that in the chat window, which will often bring the topic back into the main conversation if someone's railroaded over the top of it. E.g. "I really like Sarah's idea to XXXX. Can we talk about how to make that happen?"

Sometimes I make an make an artificial rule for myself, like "in this meeting, I will ask two quiet people what they think about something we discuss" or "in this meeting, I will make sure I vocalise and acknowledge two contributions from usually sidelined people". I find those useful tricks to force myself to branch out beyond my usual rut, which I want to do because I know that my usual rut was formed in a very sexist and racist society.

Is any of that helpful to anyone who wants to be an ally but feels as though this stuff doesn't happen around you?

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Re: Male violence and harassment of women

Post by JQH » Fri Mar 26, 2021 11:45 pm

nezumi wrote:
Fri Mar 26, 2021 3:34 pm
... I hope there will never be a day when I'll have to refuse to join a team with him on because then I'll have to tell someone what he did and I'm more scared of what that would do to my career and life than anything else.
This is the single most depressing thing I've read in this thread.
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Re: Male violence and harassment of women

Post by bjn » Sat Mar 27, 2021 1:34 am

I've been mostly reading this thread, rather than contributing, partly because I'm socially awkward and find it hard to put things like this down in words and partly for reasons I've just realised and talk about below.

Firstly, I've been genuinely moved and upset by the stories the women have been relating, MrsBJN has a variety of experiences that sadden and enrage me. I'm so sorry you have to put up with this sh.t, from petty patronising to the full horrors of male violence.

Secondly, I've taken another look at myself, and I'm not particularly happy with what I see. As Nezumi said, I'm haunted by some of the stupid things I've done, both sins of commission and omission, and I'm frankly ashamed. Unfortunately there are also some behaviours that I still need to change.

By chance I was listening to the Dunning-Kruger episode of the Cautionary Tales podcast today, at one point it discusses the #metoo movement and says that a big part of it was really a DK thing. Women are experts in being sexually harassed, patronised, talked over and belittled for their gender, they live it daily from an early age. Men are mostly at the other end of the scale, we really haven't got a clue. Yes we know it happens, but in general it is a shallow second hand experience as we don't live it. Many men will perpetrate some of the low level aggravation while still thinking they are wonderfully woke, e.g. talking over or ignoring women without even realising it.

Men are in DK club, most of us don't know enough to know that we don't know enough. So even in a relatively liberal environment like this place, we can come out with lugubrious insensitive utterances, get hyper defensive and pointlessly nitpick. I think I'm now aware that I'm sufficiently ignorant that I can't meaningfully contribute beyond a simple mea culpa, so I've not posted much in this thread.

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Re: Male violence and harassment of women

Post by Bewildered » Sat Mar 27, 2021 7:26 am

nezumi wrote:
Fri Mar 26, 2021 3:34 pm
Woodchopper wrote:
Fri Mar 26, 2021 3:11 pm
bagpuss wrote:
Fri Mar 26, 2021 2:27 pm
And actually, some of them probably are your friends. Maybe not the closest friends that you'd talk to about these issues, but friends at your sports club, some of your closer work colleagues, people who you like and have a laugh with, some of them are like this.
Yes, its likely that amongst a wider circle every man knows another man who has committed serious harm to women.

And a major reason those men get away with it is because its assumed that they aren't like that and wouldn't do that sort of thing.
Definitely! I have a direct experience of this myself and thank f*** for WFH because I used to have to share an office with the guy. I'm not gonna go into details but I know this man is a terrible human being and nobody else does. I avoid him, won't say his name, will not go near him. I hope there will never be a day when I'll have to refuse to join a team with him on because then I'll have to tell someone what he did and I'm more scared of what that would do to my career and life than anything else.
Although you entirely understandably didn’t give details so I don’t know precisely what transpired, I am really sorry to hear that you have had such unpleasant experiences and currently have this concern. I really hope something can be done so that you don’t have to worry about this possibility anymore, noone should have to feel that way.

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Re: Male violence and harassment of women

Post by Aoui » Sat Mar 27, 2021 7:35 am

It can be really hard to put yourself out there and tell these stories and get a "not me!" response or people arguing about petty things like 1 or 2% to detract from the message we are trying to get across. So thank you BJN. What a lot of us want is for men to listen and truly think about things. And I love that Squeak also mentioned to keep in mind other people who are being discounted and ignored, because it's not just women who are ignored. I think the response this time around has been so different than in the past. Are we there yet? No. But I can see in this thread that a few men here really are listening and trying their best to wrap their heads around the situation and make some changes. So, when I get frustrated I'm reminding myself of this and that it is worth it to dare to speak up here, even when it's difficult...

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Re: Male violence and harassment of women

Post by Bewildered » Sat Mar 27, 2021 7:40 am

I don’t really know or understand nezumi’s issues well enough to judge if this would be useful, and I am sorry if I am just jumping off in the wrong direction, but maybe some people know of useful advice for dealing with serious workplace problems when you are afraid there could be negative consequences for your career if you complain. There surely must be documents on this from various bodies setup to support people in toxic working environments etc.

I know anyway in ways unrelated to this thread and in circumstances likely much less serious than nezumi’s, that I could use such advice even if it is not actually unhelpful for nezumi and I guess there may be others too, So hopefully even if it’s not at all helpful to nezumi (and sorry if so, I would like to help if I could) it will still be useful to some people.

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