Male violence and harassment of women

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JQH
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Re: Male violence and harassment of women

Post by JQH » Sun Mar 28, 2021 3:40 pm

discovolante wrote:
Sun Mar 28, 2021 3:36 pm
JQH wrote:
Sun Mar 28, 2021 3:16 pm
temptar wrote:
Sun Mar 28, 2021 11:38 am
There is nothing worse than frequently being told that your lived experience is anecdote, and therefore does not count because it's not data. It happened a lot and not just to me. I
The "anecdote is not data" trope started in discussions about medical quackery, where it has some validity. People began applying it more generally including discussions like this where it is not valid; here an anecdote is at the very least a data point and when 85% of women are reporting very similar incidents it most certainly is data.
TBF I think temptar realises this as it's the source of a lot of the aggro that started on here to begin with, but yes.
Yes I realise that - her comment sparked that thought by me - it wasn't aimed at her.
And remember that if you botch the exit, the carnival of reaction may be coming to a town near you.

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Re: Male violence and harassment of women

Post by JQH » Sun Mar 28, 2021 3:43 pm

discovolante wrote:
Sun Mar 28, 2021 3:36 pm
.

I drafted a full post earlier about something minor that happened to me a couple of hours ago, involving a man in a car revving his engine at me while I was out for a run, and the self-doubt about whether he was *really* doing it because of me, or why men rev their engines at people at all, male or female, and that I felt daft and annoyed at the same time, but well I felt a bit daft posting it as well and wasn't 100% sure where I was going with it, so I'll just leave it as this little very abridged comment here.
It was likely aggressive behaviour aimed at you. IME some drivers (all male) will rev their engines at pedestrians, joggers, cyclists and anyone else who has the temerity to use the road.
And remember that if you botch the exit, the carnival of reaction may be coming to a town near you.

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Re: Male violence and harassment of women

Post by Fishnut » Sun Mar 28, 2021 3:45 pm

I've been off having a little think about this thread and about what constructive practical advice can be given to the men who are reading and participating. Without wanting to stereotype, I'm getting the general sense than most of the men here are spending their weekends at home with their families more often than they are getting pissed with the lads and looking for a quick shag, so advice about enthusiastic consent and not walking too closely behind a woman aren't really relevant.

I've re-read the thread and have hopefully found all the areas discussed so far, and I've tried to summarise the advice and recommendations and provide my own where none have been given.

Intervening when you see harassment/assault occurring
I saw some really interesting advice on Twitter in the days following the discovery of Sarah Everard's body. If you see someone being harassed, don't go up to the harasser and say "stop", go up to the harasser and pretend you know them. "Hi, long time no see. Didn't we go to school together? What have you been up to?" or something. Distract and disarm them, and let the woman get away. You can always apologise for the mistaken identity, but the key is to give the woman the opportunity to escape. If you've misread the situation then a simple apology for mistaken identity will end things pretty quickly.

A female colleague or friend tells you someone you know is creepy
First off, believe them. We have spent most of our lives honing our 'gut instinct' to identify and avoid creepy guys. Then, I'd recommend watching the creepy guy and seeing if you can identify what they see. If you can't, that isn't because they are lying, but because you haven't developed your skills yet. Keep trying to see the world through our eyes. If you see creepy guy being creepy then call them out. If creepy guy is a work colleague then I'd recommend keeping a record of incidents and depending on the frequency and severity report to HR or their manager. If you're their manager then speak to them (following any office policies). It doesn't have to be anything formal, just a friendly word of advice that they will hopefully heed. If they don't then it may need escalating. If it's a friend then you don't need a paper trail, just speak to them privately and let them know that their behaviour is making - unnamed - female friends uncomfortable and they need to be more mindful of their behaviour. If they continue to creep out your female friends then reconsider your friendship. Consequences are important.

Recognise that just because you don't see the dodgy behaviour it doesn't mean it isn't happening. Harassers and abusers are clever. They know how to put up fronts and keep people on their side. I recommend reading this piece to get some insight into how serious workplace harassment can occur.

#NotAllMen is mean to men
I get why men don't like this. It tars you all with the same brush, makes out like you're all potential rapists when you're not. What I don't understand is why you get angry at women and not the men who make it necessary.

Why is it necessary? Because, as hopefully the anecdotes in this thread have shown if nothing else, women experience varying levels of harassment and assault on a regular basis from men of all backgrounds and until it happens we don't know where it's coming from. WE DON'T KNOW. All we know is that in the group of people we call 'men' there are a subset of them who will, given the chance, make us at best feel uncomfortable, and at worst kill us. Most of us aren't living in a state of constant heightened vigilance as a result (well, most of us don't feel we are but when you've done something for most of your life I don't know how you can objectively judge tbh) but we are constantly bombarded with advice on how to stay safe and are well aware that if we make a mistake it will be us who gets the vast majority of the blame.

Do you remember back in the mid-90s when email started being something for the masses, all those 'chain emails' that you'd get. Women go loads. This was one of the first ones I ever got, and I got it a lot. We were advised to forward it to all our female friends and family members to keep them safe. The very first piece of information is,
The first thing men look for in a potential victim is hairstyle. They are most likely to go after a woman with a ponytail, bun, braid or other hairstyle that can easily be grabbed . They are also likely to go after a woman with long hair. Women with short hair are not common targets.
Now, I shouldn't need to tell you that the email is bollocks, there's never been a survey of rapists like this and there's nothing about hair as a factor in rape. But what I will tell you is that I've had long hair since I was a child and when I was planning on travelling for my gap year I seriously considered cutting my hair as a result of this. In the end I didn't, because it felt like it would have meant they'd won without even doing anything, and I still have long hair, but how many men have had to consider the length of their hair in terms of their safety? I doubt it's many (and I'm not talking about when working with equipment, I'm talking about just being out and about, living your life).

So, what can you do about #NotAllMen? My advice would be to stop getting so defensive. Recognise that when you say #NotAllMen women read this as you:
- refusing to acknowledge that gender violence happens too often.
- taking the focus off the men who are violent and/or misogynistic.
- refusing to acknowledge that even good guys can enable a problem.
- making the conversation about men and semantics instead of the epidemic levels of violence against women.
[paraphrased from here]

We KNOW it's not all men. The problem is we don't know which men and because of that we have to treat you all cautiously.

How to interact with women respectfully
In professional situations act professionally:
- do not proposition them unless you have received clear signals that they are interested.
- don't steel our ideas - if we say something in a meeting that gets ignored despite being good, don't claim it as your own, say "I thought that fishnut's idea about x was really good, maybe we should try that"
- keep a check on your attitudes. If your female boss gives you a tight deadline or something, do you silently call her a bitch? If a female colleague comes to you with a problem do you dismiss her concerns or do you take them seriously? If a female colleague makes a mistake do you make a bigger deal of it that you would if it were a male colleague's mistake? Do you complain about female colleagues in gendered ways?
- keep a check on the attitudes of male colleagues - do they do any of the above? If so, call them out.

In all situations:
- do not touch a woman without consent.
- recognise the power imbalance that comes with size and strength. What you see as a reassuring holding of a hand can be felt as someone ready to restrain you.
- don't talk over us.

How to talk to men about this stuff
- Normalise discussions about sex and relationships. Not in the "hur hur I'd like to f.ck that ass" lad way, but in a way that allows the expression and recognition of emotions and that it's ok to have them!
- recognise toxic masculinity exists and call it out when you see it in your own interactions. By 'call it out' I don't mean be aggressive, but acknowledge it and if possible have a discussion about why they have said what they said.
- recognise and try to reject oneupmanship and encourage your friends to do the same.
- if your friends are all men then ask yourself why - are you actively excluding women or are you making them unwelcome?
- in your all-male groups keep an eye out for causal denigration of women - body-shaming women, rating them, saying whether or not you'd have sex with them, calling them bitches, dismissing their views, saying they overreact or are hysterical, etc - and if you see it call it out.
- if you have friends who think that the gender pay gap is bollocks, or women exaggerate the amount of harassment they receive, or whatever, then have a conversation with them. Do the research on these issues, come back armed with evidence, and show them they're wrong. It's a conversation, not an argument, and it won't be done in one day, but take the time and you can change minds.

How to talk to children about this stuff
- Stop blaming girls for the actions of boys.
- If you see other adults doing this then challenge them.
- check that you're not accidentally reinforcing gender stereotypes at home. Is it your daughter who helps mummy with the cooking while your son's out in the shed helping you?
- teach your kids not to unquestioningly accept people in authority. Abusers can and do seek out positions of authority in order to gain cover.

How to engage with discussions about this stuff
- Don't try and deflect attention because you're finding things uncomfortable. As Tessa K pointed out,
When violent crimes against men by men are reported, women don't start saying 'What about us?' whereas whenever violence against women is reported, as on this occasion most definitely, men pipe up about attacks on men because they have to make it about them.
Violence against men* needs attention but if the only times you think about it are when violence against women gets mentioned then are you really interested in reducing violence or are you just trying to shut down a conversation?
- recognise that this is ultimately a problem of power and the way men want to control women. Catcalling, for example, is not a way to get a woman's attention so that she'll go out with the guy or have sex with him, it's the human version of the dog pissing on the lamppost. This is MY territory, not yours, is what he's actually saying. Sending dickpics isn't just a socially awkward way of trying to date someone. Again, it's the digital equivalent of pissing on the lamppost.
- if a comment or an article doesn't speak to you, there's no need for you to tell the world. Not everything is about you, and it's ok for something to feel irrelevant. If you feel the need to give your opinion on everything then ask yourself why that is.
- if you get called out for misunderstanding something or getting something wrong don't get defensive. Don't say "this is why I never get involved in these conversations" or "I'm just going to leave". Making mistakes is how we learn. So learn. While I can't speak for any of the other women here, I know my intention is not to scare all the men away. My intention is to get you to recognise the hugeness of the problem and realise that you are integral to fixing it. You, as men have a huge amount of power, far more than we have. Disengaging from the conversation is the last thing we want you to do!
- asking questions is great and are encouraged, but if you're just asking questions without taking the time to do your own research then ask yourself why. Would you accept this in any other thread? Or do you expect people to put in some work themselves? You know how to use Google and Google Scholar, you know how to identify good and bad information, you know how to read and interpret data, so go do that. Don't expect it to be presented to you on a platter. Women don't get some special access to information because we're women. We put in the time to learn about this stuff. I've spent the last 7+ years reading and researching on various aspects of feminism. I still know hardly anything but I'm happy to share what little I do know. What I'd rather not do is have to repeatedly go over the same old talking points again and again crafting individualised replies because if a post doesn't speak to someone 100% it gets dismissed as irrelevant. Think about the amount of labour your asking women to put in and how much you're willing to put in, and ask yourself if it's an equitable distribution.

* Other topics available
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Re: Male violence and harassment of women

Post by discovolante » Sun Mar 28, 2021 3:46 pm

JQH wrote:
Sun Mar 28, 2021 3:43 pm
discovolante wrote:
Sun Mar 28, 2021 3:36 pm
.

I drafted a full post earlier about something minor that happened to me a couple of hours ago, involving a man in a car revving his engine at me while I was out for a run, and the self-doubt about whether he was *really* doing it because of me, or why men rev their engines at people at all, male or female, and that I felt daft and annoyed at the same time, but well I felt a bit daft posting it as well and wasn't 100% sure where I was going with it, so I'll just leave it as this little very abridged comment here.
It was likely aggressive behaviour aimed at you. IME some drivers (all male) will rev their engines at pedestrians, joggers, cyclists and anyone else who has the temerity to use the road.
I wasn't on the road.
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Re: Male violence and harassment of women

Post by discovolante » Sun Mar 28, 2021 4:58 pm

Fishnut wrote:
Sun Mar 28, 2021 3:45 pm
I've been off having a little think about this thread and about what constructive practical advice can be given to the men who are reading and participating. Without wanting to stereotype, I'm getting the general sense than most of the men here are spending their weekends at home with their families more often than they are getting pissed with the lads and looking for a quick shag, so advice about enthusiastic consent and not walking too closely behind a woman aren't really relevant.

I've re-read the thread and have hopefully found all the areas discussed so far, and I've tried to summarise the advice and recommendations and provide my own where none have been given.

Intervening when you see harassment/assault occurring
I saw some really interesting advice on Twitter in the days following the discovery of Sarah Everard's body. If you see someone being harassed, don't go up to the harasser and say "stop", go up to the harasser and pretend you know them. "Hi, long time no see. Didn't we go to school together? What have you been up to?" or something. Distract and disarm them, and let the woman get away. You can always apologise for the mistaken identity, but the key is to give the woman the opportunity to escape. If you've misread the situation then a simple apology for mistaken identity will end things pretty quickly.

A female colleague or friend tells you someone you know is creepy
First off, believe them. We have spent most of our lives honing our 'gut instinct' to identify and avoid creepy guys. Then, I'd recommend watching the creepy guy and seeing if you can identify what they see. If you can't, that isn't because they are lying, but because you haven't developed your skills yet. Keep trying to see the world through our eyes. If you see creepy guy being creepy then call them out. If creepy guy is a work colleague then I'd recommend keeping a record of incidents and depending on the frequency and severity report to HR or their manager. If you're their manager then speak to them (following any office policies). It doesn't have to be anything formal, just a friendly word of advice that they will hopefully heed. If they don't then it may need escalating. If it's a friend then you don't need a paper trail, just speak to them privately and let them know that their behaviour is making - unnamed - female friends uncomfortable and they need to be more mindful of their behaviour. If they continue to creep out your female friends then reconsider your friendship. Consequences are important.

Recognise that just because you don't see the dodgy behaviour it doesn't mean it isn't happening. Harassers and abusers are clever. They know how to put up fronts and keep people on their side. I recommend reading this piece to get some insight into how serious workplace harassment can occur.

#NotAllMen is mean to men
I get why men don't like this. It tars you all with the same brush, makes out like you're all potential rapists when you're not. What I don't understand is why you get angry at women and not the men who make it necessary.

Why is it necessary? Because, as hopefully the anecdotes in this thread have shown if nothing else, women experience varying levels of harassment and assault on a regular basis from men of all backgrounds and until it happens we don't know where it's coming from. WE DON'T KNOW. All we know is that in the group of people we call 'men' there are a subset of them who will, given the chance, make us at best feel uncomfortable, and at worst kill us. Most of us aren't living in a state of constant heightened vigilance as a result (well, most of us don't feel we are but when you've done something for most of your life I don't know how you can objectively judge tbh) but we are constantly bombarded with advice on how to stay safe and are well aware that if we make a mistake it will be us who gets the vast majority of the blame.

Do you remember back in the mid-90s when email started being something for the masses, all those 'chain emails' that you'd get. Women go loads. This was one of the first ones I ever got, and I got it a lot. We were advised to forward it to all our female friends and family members to keep them safe. The very first piece of information is,
The first thing men look for in a potential victim is hairstyle. They are most likely to go after a woman with a ponytail, bun, braid or other hairstyle that can easily be grabbed . They are also likely to go after a woman with long hair. Women with short hair are not common targets.
Now, I shouldn't need to tell you that the email is bollocks, there's never been a survey of rapists like this and there's nothing about hair as a factor in rape. But what I will tell you is that I've had long hair since I was a child and when I was planning on travelling for my gap year I seriously considered cutting my hair as a result of this. In the end I didn't, because it felt like it would have meant they'd won without even doing anything, and I still have long hair, but how many men have had to consider the length of their hair in terms of their safety? I doubt it's many (and I'm not talking about when working with equipment, I'm talking about just being out and about, living your life).

So, what can you do about #NotAllMen? My advice would be to stop getting so defensive. Recognise that when you say #NotAllMen women read this as you:
- refusing to acknowledge that gender violence happens too often.
- taking the focus off the men who are violent and/or misogynistic.
- refusing to acknowledge that even good guys can enable a problem.
- making the conversation about men and semantics instead of the epidemic levels of violence against women.
[paraphrased from here]

We KNOW it's not all men. The problem is we don't know which men and because of that we have to treat you all cautiously.

How to interact with women respectfully
In professional situations act professionally:
- do not proposition them unless you have received clear signals that they are interested.
- don't steel our ideas - if we say something in a meeting that gets ignored despite being good, don't claim it as your own, say "I thought that fishnut's idea about x was really good, maybe we should try that"
- keep a check on your attitudes. If your female boss gives you a tight deadline or something, do you silently call her a bitch? If a female colleague comes to you with a problem do you dismiss her concerns or do you take them seriously? If a female colleague makes a mistake do you make a bigger deal of it that you would if it were a male colleague's mistake? Do you complain about female colleagues in gendered ways?
- keep a check on the attitudes of male colleagues - do they do any of the above? If so, call them out.

In all situations:
- do not touch a woman without consent.
- recognise the power imbalance that comes with size and strength. What you see as a reassuring holding of a hand can be felt as someone ready to restrain you.
- don't talk over us.

How to talk to men about this stuff
- Normalise discussions about sex and relationships. Not in the "hur hur I'd like to f.ck that ass" lad way, but in a way that allows the expression and recognition of emotions and that it's ok to have them!
- recognise toxic masculinity exists and call it out when you see it in your own interactions. By 'call it out' I don't mean be aggressive, but acknowledge it and if possible have a discussion about why they have said what they said.
- recognise and try to reject oneupmanship and encourage your friends to do the same.
- if your friends are all men then ask yourself why - are you actively excluding women or are you making them unwelcome?
- in your all-male groups keep an eye out for causal denigration of women - body-shaming women, rating them, saying whether or not you'd have sex with them, calling them bitches, dismissing their views, saying they overreact or are hysterical, etc - and if you see it call it out.
- if you have friends who think that the gender pay gap is bollocks, or women exaggerate the amount of harassment they receive, or whatever, then have a conversation with them. Do the research on these issues, come back armed with evidence, and show them they're wrong. It's a conversation, not an argument, and it won't be done in one day, but take the time and you can change minds.

How to talk to children about this stuff
- Stop blaming girls for the actions of boys.
- If you see other adults doing this then challenge them.
- check that you're not accidentally reinforcing gender stereotypes at home. Is it your daughter who helps mummy with the cooking while your son's out in the shed helping you?
- teach your kids not to unquestioningly accept people in authority. Abusers can and do seek out positions of authority in order to gain cover.

How to engage with discussions about this stuff
- Don't try and deflect attention because you're finding things uncomfortable. As Tessa K pointed out,
When violent crimes against men by men are reported, women don't start saying 'What about us?' whereas whenever violence against women is reported, as on this occasion most definitely, men pipe up about attacks on men because they have to make it about them.
Violence against men* needs attention but if the only times you think about it are when violence against women gets mentioned then are you really interested in reducing violence or are you just trying to shut down a conversation?
- recognise that this is ultimately a problem of power and the way men want to control women. Catcalling, for example, is not a way to get a woman's attention so that she'll go out with the guy or have sex with him, it's the human version of the dog pissing on the lamppost. This is MY territory, not yours, is what he's actually saying. Sending dickpics isn't just a socially awkward way of trying to date someone. Again, it's the digital equivalent of pissing on the lamppost.
- if a comment or an article doesn't speak to you, there's no need for you to tell the world. Not everything is about you, and it's ok for something to feel irrelevant. If you feel the need to give your opinion on everything then ask yourself why that is.
- if you get called out for misunderstanding something or getting something wrong don't get defensive. Don't say "this is why I never get involved in these conversations" or "I'm just going to leave". Making mistakes is how we learn. So learn. While I can't speak for any of the other women here, I know my intention is not to scare all the men away. My intention is to get you to recognise the hugeness of the problem and realise that you are integral to fixing it. You, as men have a huge amount of power, far more than we have. Disengaging from the conversation is the last thing we want you to do!
- asking questions is great and are encouraged, but if you're just asking questions without taking the time to do your own research then ask yourself why. Would you accept this in any other thread? Or do you expect people to put in some work themselves? You know how to use Google and Google Scholar, you know how to identify good and bad information, you know how to read and interpret data, so go do that. Don't expect it to be presented to you on a platter. Women don't get some special access to information because we're women. We put in the time to learn about this stuff. I've spent the last 7+ years reading and researching on various aspects of feminism. I still know hardly anything but I'm happy to share what little I do know. What I'd rather not do is have to repeatedly go over the same old talking points again and again crafting individualised replies because if a post doesn't speak to someone 100% it gets dismissed as irrelevant. Think about the amount of labour your asking women to put in and how much you're willing to put in, and ask yourself if it's an equitable distribution.

* Other topics available
Thanks for taking the time to write this :)
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Re: Male violence and harassment of women

Post by nezumi » Sun Mar 28, 2021 5:03 pm

discovolante wrote:
Sun Mar 28, 2021 4:58 pm
Fishnut wrote:
Sun Mar 28, 2021 3:45 pm

<eloquently written, highly useful and incisive stuff>
Thanks for taking the time to write this :)
Agreed, thank you :)
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Re: Male violence and harassment of women

Post by discovolante » Sun Mar 28, 2021 5:11 pm

Haha I probably could have managed to not quote the whole post eh :oops:
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Re: Male violence and harassment of women

Post by nezumi » Sun Mar 28, 2021 5:12 pm

discovolante wrote:
Sun Mar 28, 2021 5:11 pm
Haha I probably could have managed to not quote the whole post eh :oops:
Nobody noticed ;-)

Besides, it bears repeating.
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Re: Male violence and harassment of women

Post by Stephanie » Sun Mar 28, 2021 5:12 pm

Thank you Fishnut, for taking the time to write that all out

I'm just repeating disco posts now haha
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Re: Male violence and harassment of women

Post by Grumble » Sun Mar 28, 2021 8:18 pm

Thanks fishnut, long but worth reading. I like to think I do do most of that, or at least I’ve got more towards that in recent years.

On a separate point I’d like to speak to the point about realisations men have on becoming fathers. Parenthood changes you, motherhood changes women and fatherhood changes men. Jokes which you might have thought off-colour but funny before, become less funny when there’s a child in the joke. Stories about kids going missing or dying hit home harder - a lot harder - than before you became a parent. Knowing something is awful when you haven’t got a stake in it is an abstract emotion. And yes, you think about what the world is like for girls from a different point of view. It’s not that we suddenly become aware that women are people, it’s that now we have a responsibility to look after one or more of them and we want them to be safe, that’s not something we had before.
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Re: Male violence and harassment of women

Post by JQH » Sun Mar 28, 2021 8:20 pm

nezumi wrote:
Sun Mar 28, 2021 5:03 pm
discovolante wrote:
Sun Mar 28, 2021 4:58 pm
Fishnut wrote:
Sun Mar 28, 2021 3:45 pm

<eloquently written, highly useful and incisive stuff>
Thanks for taking the time to write this :)
Agreed, thank you :)
Agreed. Useful read, thanks for taking the time to write it.
And remember that if you botch the exit, the carnival of reaction may be coming to a town near you.

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Re: Male violence and harassment of women

Post by Aoui » Sun Mar 28, 2021 8:25 pm

Well written Fishnut. :)

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Re: Male violence and harassment of women

Post by bjn » Sun Mar 28, 2021 8:39 pm

Thank you fishnut.

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Re: Male violence and harassment of women

Post by Bird on a Fire » Sun Mar 28, 2021 9:54 pm

A thanks from me as well - a lot of useful ideas in there.
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Re: Male violence and harassment of women

Post by Grumble » Sun Mar 28, 2021 10:21 pm

In particular the suggestion of how to distract a creep by talking to them rather than the lass being chatted up is good. There have been a number of well publicised cases of guys showing how good they are by interrupting and talking to the girl, which has always struck me as slightly off. Hard to explain why really but the method of talking to the lad instead and allowing the lass to decide without pressure whether she wants to make a break for it or not seems a lot better.
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Re: Male violence and harassment of women

Post by Woodchopper » Sun Mar 28, 2021 10:43 pm

Fishnut gave some good advice.

But there’s a caveat concerning whether a man should intervene, talk to the abuser or report abuse. That’s straightforward if the victim and perpetrator are strangers. So for example if you see a woman being harassed by another passenger on a bus then step in and do what fishnut suggests.

It’s more complicated if you become aware of long-term sustained abuse like domestic violence or workplace bullying.

In those situations the basic principle is that the victim should decide what happens. One aspect of being a victim is that control over their life is taken away by the abuser. It may not help the victim if another man steps in and tries to take control of what happens in her life.

There’s many reasons why a victim might not want someone to intervene, talk to the abuser or report it. Most importantly, the victim may fear later reprisals by the abuser. The abusive husband may become more violent. The a..hole boss might damage the victim’s future employment prospects. One common strategy in domestic violence is that the abuser makes the victim cut off contact with anyone the abuser views as a threat. If someone intervenes, talks to the abuser or makes a report then the result may be that the victim is forced to be even more isolated.

Men should definitely not do nothing. But in some cases where there is a sustained pattern of abuse the best course of action is to first talk to the victim and find out what they want. After that we should respect what they say.

This can be a very complicated situation. You may find it difficult to talk to the victim alone. They may take some time to make a decision. But it probably wouldn’t help to make the decision for her.

You should not assume that making a report will help end the abuse, or that the victim has any trust that the proper channels will help her. Sometimes HR or the police are part of the problem. When trying to work this out, the victim very likely knows better than you do.

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Re: Male violence and harassment of women

Post by bagpuss » Mon Mar 29, 2021 8:55 am

May I add my voice to the general chorus of support and thanks to fishnut for the long and thoughtful post. And thanks also to woodchopper for the useful addition for another set of circumstances.

I'd also like to thank every man who has read this thread and has listened and thought and made a commitment to behave differently in future as a result. It's not an easy thing to do to accept that you are part of a problem when you thought you were (and actually mostly are) a decent person who really wouldn't do anything truly bad yourself.

I hope you realise that the women who are being challenging here and calling out things that are not helpful are doing this with good reason. I'm a naturally conciliatory soul but there are times when conciliation is not the right thing to do, especially if we want things to change. As a woman, I've also made a personal commitment to make a conscious effort to be more supportive of other women, and to call out poor behaviour in work colleagues and others and not to let it pass. I've got better at that in recent years, especially at work, but there are still a few individuals I work with who I struggle to call out* - I should say that I don't think they are harassing or otherwise behaving badly towards any of my colleagues (I'm pretty sure I'd know if they were), but they tend to make general comments, or comments about people in the public eye, and I'm not going to let those pass any more.


*Mainly because my experience is that they won't listen and will argue the toss to the nth degree, so I've given up banging my head against those brick walls. But from now on, I'm going to keep on keeping on and eventually, maybe something will get through.

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Re: Male violence and harassment of women

Post by warumich » Mon Mar 29, 2021 9:15 am

I would also like to say thanks to everyone, part. fishnut, for the posts on this thread. I've not participated but I have been reading.

The urge to become defensive is very strong, and I admit I've felt it too. But there are situations where one should shut up and listen, and this is one of them... I might have some thoughts to put on the other thread maybe
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Re: Male violence and harassment of women

Post by Stephanie » Mon Mar 29, 2021 9:26 am

bagpuss wrote:
Mon Mar 29, 2021 8:55 am
May I add my voice to the general chorus of support and thanks to fishnut for the long and thoughtful post. And thanks also to woodchopper for the useful addition for another set of circumstances.

I'd also like to thank every man who has read this thread and has listened and thought and made a commitment to behave differently in future as a result. It's not an easy thing to do to accept that you are part of a problem when you thought you were (and actually mostly are) a decent person who really wouldn't do anything truly bad yourself.

I hope you realise that the women who are being challenging here and calling out things that are not helpful are doing this with good reason. I'm a naturally conciliatory soul but there are times when conciliation is not the right thing to do, especially if we want things to change. As a woman, I've also made a personal commitment to make a conscious effort to be more supportive of other women, and to call out poor behaviour in work colleagues and others and not to let it pass. I've got better at that in recent years, especially at work, but there are still a few individuals I work with who I struggle to call out* - I should say that I don't think they are harassing or otherwise behaving badly towards any of my colleagues (I'm pretty sure I'd know if they were), but they tend to make general comments, or comments about people in the public eye, and I'm not going to let those pass any more.


*Mainly because my experience is that they won't listen and will argue the toss to the nth degree, so I've given up banging my head against those brick walls. But from now on, I'm going to keep on keeping on and eventually, maybe something will get through.
Bit in bold, very much so. I much prefer to get along with folk, but I call things out when I think they aren't right or fair. Doing so comes at a cost, both in terms of my peace of mind (I have actual stress reactions to reading posts, and trying to construct a reply that isn't too emotional or angry) and friendships - a number of men have stopped being friendly with me because of this stuff. I do it because like bagpuss says, I want things to change and to show solidarity with other women.
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Re: Male violence and harassment of women

Post by bagpuss » Mon Mar 29, 2021 9:31 am

bagpuss wrote:
Mon Mar 29, 2021 8:55 am
May I add my voice to the general chorus of support and thanks to fishnut for the long and thoughtful post. And thanks also to woodchopper for the useful addition for another set of circumstances.

I'd also like to thank every man who has read this thread and has listened and thought and made a commitment to behave differently in future as a result. It's not an easy thing to do to accept that you are part of a problem when you thought you were (and actually mostly are) a decent person who really wouldn't do anything truly bad yourself.

I hope you realise that the women who are being challenging here and calling out things that are not helpful are doing this with good reason. I'm a naturally conciliatory soul but there are times when conciliation is not the right thing to do, especially if we want things to change. As a woman, I've also made a personal commitment to make a conscious effort to be more supportive of other women, and to call out poor behaviour in work colleagues and others and not to let it pass. I've got better at that in recent years, especially at work, but there are still a few individuals I work with who I struggle to call out* - I should say that I don't think they are harassing or otherwise behaving badly towards any of my colleagues (I'm pretty sure I'd know if they were), but they tend to make general comments, or comments about people in the public eye, and I'm not going to let those pass any more.


*Mainly because my experience is that they won't listen and will argue the toss to the nth degree, so I've given up banging my head against those brick walls. But from now on, I'm going to keep on keeping on and eventually, maybe something will get through.
I've just re-read my post and realise that I should possibly explain the bit I've bolded bit here. I'm not saying that in general I would necessarily be able to tell if a female colleague was being harassed but in my current situation, I work in a relatively small and friendly company - at least the uk bit is - and the women are very supportive of each other. If anyone was in that situation, I am pretty sure that they would either have told me directly or would have confided in someone else and that person would have spread a warning about the individual concerned, while keeping the harassee confidential if they wished it. This has been the case in the past, not with sexual harassment that I can recall but definitely with bullying behaviour.

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Re: Male violence and harassment of women

Post by jimbob » Mon Mar 29, 2021 10:46 am

Fishnut wrote:
Sun Mar 28, 2021 3:45 pm


A female colleague or friend tells you someone you know is creepy
First off, believe them. We have spent most of our lives honing our 'gut instinct' to identify and avoid creepy guys. Then, I'd recommend watching the creepy guy and seeing if you can identify what they see. If you can't, that isn't because they are lying, but because you haven't developed your skills yet. Keep trying to see the world through our eyes. If you see creepy guy being creepy then call them out. If creepy guy is a work colleague then I'd recommend keeping a record of incidents and depending on the frequency and severity report to HR or their manager. If you're their manager then speak to them (following any office policies). It doesn't have to be anything formal, just a friendly word of advice that they will hopefully heed. If they don't then it may need escalating. If it's a friend then you don't need a paper trail, just speak to them privately and let them know that their behaviour is making - unnamed - female friends uncomfortable and they need to be more mindful of their behaviour. If they continue to creep out your female friends then reconsider your friendship. Consequences are important.

Recognise that just because you don't see the dodgy behaviour it doesn't mean it isn't happening. Harassers and abusers are clever. They know how to put up fronts and keep people on their side. I recommend reading this piece to get some insight into how serious workplace harassment can occur.

Upthread I mentioned the one "office creep" (about 20 years ago) - a former colleague tagged me in a Twitter conversation referring to him.

It *was* common knowledge but it also was quite subtle.

This is what she said viewtopic.php?f=10&t=2269&p=73371#p73344
It was subtle, far too subtle for reporting to HR, but ever so creepy. I lost count of the times I crossed my arms over my boobs, and cursed I wasn't carrying a folder to hug. I've had blatant sexual harassment that felt less demeaning, because I could call it out!
These days - I would feel happier reporting such to HR; at the time, it didn't cross my mind, nor that of other women colleagues as far as I know - because it was so hard to pin down in any single incident.
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Re: Male violence and harassment of women

Post by Tessa K » Mon Mar 29, 2021 2:48 pm

And now this:
More than 8,000 allegations have now been made by school pupils on a website gathering testimonies of sexual violence and abuse.

"Rape culture" was a problem for all schools, said Soma Sara, founder of the Everyone's Invited website.

Many of the perpetrators are claimed to be at the same school or in the same social groups.

Norfolk Chief Constable Simon Bailey blamed the "volume of p.rnographic material that's being consumed".
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-56558487

Blaming p.rn is a over-simplification, of course.

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Re: Male violence and harassment of women

Post by nezumi » Mon Mar 29, 2021 4:37 pm

Tessa K wrote:
Mon Mar 29, 2021 2:48 pm
And now this:
More than 8,000 allegations have now been made by school pupils on a website gathering testimonies of sexual violence and abuse.

"Rape culture" was a problem for all schools, said Soma Sara, founder of the Everyone's Invited website.

Many of the perpetrators are claimed to be at the same school or in the same social groups.

Norfolk Chief Constable Simon Bailey blamed the "volume of p.rnographic material that's being consumed".
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-56558487

Blaming p.rn is a over-simplification, of course.
Definitely true but I bet p.rn doesn't help. The problem with blaming p.rn is that is takes the responsibility away from the parents who should be teaching healthy behaviour and, you know, supervising their kids. How exactly do you go about reversing a couple of decades-worth of declining parenting skills across a society? I wish I knew.

ETA: Actually I know it's more complicated than that and the parenting quality probably hasn't changed all that much it's just that the environment has changed. So do we try to change the environment back or do we work out new ways to prevent the toxic environment online from damaging kids?
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Re: Male violence and harassment of women

Post by El Pollo Diablo » Mon Mar 29, 2021 5:30 pm

I'd like to add my thanks to the choruses of praise being sprayed around to the contributors here.

In addition to that, I just thought of something that I think is another challenge to men here in terms of behaviours and challenging other men.

Whilst I don't think I come across as creepy to women at work, I certainly f.cking hope I don't, I am also slightly terrified that I may do. And I can think of times when I probably was. An office crush (unspoken, of course) where I was a bit starey, for instance. I've had to pretty much try to beat into my own head that I need to do better. But in general, I don't hug or stand too close or stare at breasts or smile creepily or refer to home life in an icky way or anything like that. So I hope I'm good.

But the reason that I, and I think a lot of men, get slightly terrified by all this is because (a) we want to think of ourselves as good people, (b) good people don't creep out women, (c) I don't know if I creep out women, (d) women would never tell me if I did, they'd just tell each other, (e) I can be socially unaware and useless at learning important social rules, and (f) this behaviour could continue for years without me knowing or figuring out that I'm doing something wrong. And all that time there'd be a hushed conversation about avoiding the creepy guy (me) that I didn't know about. The thought of being a sort of unknowing pariah freaks me out.

And that doesn't just apply to being creepy, it applies to a whole host of behaviours that we have. Many male behaviours are learnt amongst peers rather than from parents. Our parents don't see us when we go to school or start going to pubs or clubs or move out to university. The women around us, if they don't feel safe around us, certainly won't be telling us that we're acting like tw.ts, and nor should they have to. For those of us who would like to be good men, we literally need the men around us to tell us that something is wrong or not okay or just a bad idea. So whilst in turn we as men might be afraid of the backlash, by saying something just to one male friend, we could be nipping in the bud behaviours which make life difficult for dozens of women. And, in turn, we need to raise our sons to be the sort of men who will tell their friends to stop being tw.ts. To tell them that staring or standing too close or smiling creepily are all out of bounds. Otherwise we'll never learn.
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Re: Male violence and harassment of women

Post by JQH » Tue Mar 30, 2021 10:23 am

Tessa K wrote:
Mon Mar 29, 2021 2:48 pm
And now this:
More than 8,000 allegations have now been made by school pupils on a website gathering testimonies of sexual violence and abuse.

"Rape culture" was a problem for all schools, said Soma Sara, founder of the Everyone's Invited website.

Many of the perpetrators are claimed to be at the same school or in the same social groups.

Norfolk Chief Constable Simon Bailey blamed the "volume of p.rnographic material that's being consumed".
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-56558487

Blaming p.rn is a over-simplification, of course.
This doesn't surprise me in the slightest. I remember a number of occasions when I intervened when a boy was harassing* a girl in the corridor. And given the discussion on this thread I now wonder how many I missed.


*The breast grabbing and threat of rape stick particularly in the mind. And yes I reported them.
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