Male violence and harassment of women

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Grumble
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Male violence and harassment of women

Post by Grumble » Sat Mar 13, 2021 8:16 am

I’ve been thinking about what it’s in my power to do if I witness harassment of women and I’m not sure. One of the ideas floating around is that men should call out other men when they see something off. I’ve been in this situation and I didn’t call it out - because I was scared of violence if I did.

I was on a bus, there was a girl a few seats ahead of me, then a few stops later two lads got on who were obviously slightly drunk. They started chatting to her in a way she was obviously uncomfortable with - she wasn’t responding to them. I was paralysed by indecision about what to do and how to do it. I was scared that they would become violent towards me and at least they weren’t being physical with her. Another man, bigger than them and more confident of handling himself, did intervene and I was relieved of trying to steel myself to intervene. Also somewhat ashamed.

My point is although it’s certainly on men to address the problem it’s a lot easier said than done. The men who are intimidating women may also be intimidating other men - I didn’t know how to defuse the situation without there being a confrontation and there’s a risk that an unpleasant situation turns violent. I suspect I still don’t know how to square that circle.
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Re: Male violence and harassment of women

Post by individualmember » Sat Mar 13, 2021 8:47 am

On one occasion I just glared at them and they layed off. I was wearing full motorcycle leathers at the time, which can look quite intimidating and they wouldn’t have known that what I was thinking was ‘I bl..dy hope this works because I’ve no idea what I’ll do if it escalates’.

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Re: Male violence and harassment of women

Post by nekomatic » Sat Mar 13, 2021 8:52 am

I’ve seen some suggestions of non-aggressive ways to intervene in situations like that, which I’ll see if I can find again and link to. Things like just starting a random conversation with either party can help, supposedly.

I’m as cowardly as anyone when it comes to physical confrontation but I guess at some point we need to take some of the risk on ourselves though, rather than leaving it on women.

Also I need to have a fatherly chat with my fourteen year old son about this sort of stuff, though being fourteen he thinks I’m a knobhead who knows nothing. Still, worth a try.

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Re: Male violence and harassment of women

Post by discovolante » Sat Mar 13, 2021 9:17 am

The reason women don't respond to men in these situations, or laugh it off, is because they're also scared of violence, not just because they find it annoying.

Starting a convo yes as long as you don't keep bothering them afterwards, or starting a convo with the man who's doing it if possible so she can do a runner. I expect there are parallels to be made with witnessing people experiencing racial harassment...
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Re: Male violence and harassment of women

Post by Trinucleus » Sat Mar 13, 2021 9:31 am

Two separate posts on Facebook by the Daily *xpress, quoting people who want a curfew for men.

Quality dead cat play. All the discussion is diverted from violence against women to men's rights.
Last edited by Trinucleus on Sat Mar 13, 2021 9:38 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Male violence and harassment of women

Post by Grumble » Sat Mar 13, 2021 9:36 am

discovolante wrote:
Sat Mar 13, 2021 9:17 am
The reason women don't respond to men in these situations, or laugh it off, is because they're also scared of violence, not just because they find it annoying.
I realise that, with the added fear of sexual assault too, things are far worse for women.
Starting a convo yes as long as you don't keep bothering them afterwards, or starting a convo with the man who's doing it if possible so she can do a runner. I expect there are parallels to be made with witnessing people experiencing racial harassment...
These are the strategies that can be taught and which I wish I had known at the time. Intervention in any situation - even non-threatening ones like challenging someone not wearing PPE in a lab - is a difficult thing to do. We should teach how to intervene from a young age starting from how to defuse a playground fight. It’s a skill that I certainly lacked at the time of my story, I like to think I’d do better now but the fear would still be there.
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Re: Male violence and harassment of women

Post by Grumble » Sat Mar 13, 2021 10:03 am

Here’s what I’m stumbling towards I think.

Intervention is a skill. Like any skill it needs to be practiced before you get good at it. This practice needs to first take place in low stakes situations, before it can be applied in high stakes situations especially those with an emotional component.
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Re: Male violence and harassment of women

Post by jimbob » Sat Mar 13, 2021 10:06 am

I was discussing this on Twitter with a former colleague who tagged me into a conversation on this. She was pointing out it wasn't just the threat of violence but the lower level creepiness
This isn't just violence and murder, it isn't just outdoors.
@ParkinJim
will remember which former colleague of ours could make most women feel very uncomfortable, just by the look he gave them passing in a corridor.
Jim Parkin🕯 #BLM
@ParkinJim
And thinking about this former colleague. It was common knowledge but I am not sure I ever saw anything that I could pin down to one single incident.
When I say that I don't know if I saw anything that I could pin down to a single incident as Stella says it was very hard to pin down - as far as I could remember, it was more "creepy vibes" he gave off.
Replying to
@ParkinJim

@lovelyguyreally
and 5 others
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!
Have you considered stupidity as an explanation

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Re: Male violence and harassment of women

Post by Grumble » Sat Mar 13, 2021 10:19 am

jimbob wrote:
Sat Mar 13, 2021 10:06 am
I was discussing this on Twitter with a former colleague who tagged me into a conversation on this. She was pointing out it wasn't just the threat of violence but the lower level creepiness
This isn't just violence and murder, it isn't just outdoors.
@ParkinJim
will remember which former colleague of ours could make most women feel very uncomfortable, just by the look he gave them passing in a corridor.
Jim Parkin🕯 #BLM
@ParkinJim
And thinking about this former colleague. It was common knowledge but I am not sure I ever saw anything that I could pin down to one single incident.
When I say that I don't know if I saw anything that I could pin down to a single incident as Stella says it was very hard to pin down - as far as I could remember, it was more "creepy vibes" he gave off.
Replying to
@ParkinJim

@lovelyguyreally
and 5 others
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!
That’s something that might warrant a quiet word from the man’s manager. I’m not sure what else is possible. I have called out creepy behaviour at work to the manager of a man who was behaving in a way I wasn’t comfortable with. When I discussed it with some female colleagues it became apparent that there was a wider pattern of behaviour. I think the situation was resolved, but in all honesty it’s hard to tell with the reduced contact we have in these times with covid reduced office staffing levels.
You’ve got no chutzpah, your organisational skills are lacklustre and your timekeeping is abysmal.

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Re: Male violence and harassment of women

Post by jimbob » Sat Mar 13, 2021 10:30 am

Grumble wrote:
Sat Mar 13, 2021 10:03 am
Here’s what I’m stumbling towards I think.

Intervention is a skill. Like any skill it needs to be practiced before you get good at it. This practice needs to first take place in low stakes situations, before it can be applied in high stakes situations especially those with an emotional component.
That's probably true. I do tend to be more interventionist than most - I decided this when I heard about the bystander effect on a first aid course maybe at school, or maybe at university. Saying that, I haven't been in too many situations where I have witnessed such.
Have you considered stupidity as an explanation

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Re: Male violence and harassment of women

Post by Tessa K » Sat Mar 13, 2021 11:03 am

We shouldn't need to be talking about intervention, we should be talking about prevention. Women have been talking about this for decades and not much has changed so what would help is men talking to each other, educating their male family members and friends about what is and isn't acceptable behaviour. It's not just the extremes of rape and murder, it's the everyday harrassment, the constant low-level stuff, even down to the level of 'just being friendly', saying hello to a woman in the street as you pass by. These conversations may be difficult but it's the only way things will change rather than putting the onus on women.

This man is interesting and on the right track https://twitter.com/Hemmch/status/1370436894857789464

There's some discussion in various places about men being 'chivalrous'. This is a complete misunderstanding of what chivalry was and frames women as helpless victims rather than putting the focus on male aggressors. (https://going-medieval.com/2017/12/07/t ... is-but-ok/).

The suggestions of a male curfew are silly but entirely understandable.

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Re: Male violence and harassment of women

Post by Fishnut » Sat Mar 13, 2021 11:24 am

Tessa K wrote:
Sat Mar 13, 2021 11:03 am
We shouldn't need to be talking about intervention, we should be talking about prevention. Women have been talking about this for decades and not much has changed so what would help is men talking to each other, educating their male family members and friends about what is and isn't acceptable behaviour. It's not just the extremes of rape and murder, it's the everyday harrassment, the constant low-level stuff, even down to the level of 'just being friendly', saying hello to a woman in the street as you pass by. These conversations may be difficult but it's the only way things will change rather than putting the onus on women.

This man is interesting and on the right track https://twitter.com/Hemmch/status/1370436894857789464

There's some discussion in various places about men being 'chivalrous'. This is a complete misunderstanding of what chivalry was and frames women as helpless victims rather than putting the focus on male aggressors. (https://going-medieval.com/2017/12/07/t ... is-but-ok/).

The suggestions of a male curfew are silly but entirely understandable.
This

I've been thinking of it as analogous to our response to terrorism. If you're relying on airport security to stop a terrorist attack then you've left it far too late, people are going to get hurt regardless, it just might not be who the terrorists intended. You need to stop them getting to the airport, and preferably stop them from getting radicalised into terrorism in the first place. It's less dramatic than a load of armed security standing around a guy with a bomb but it's a hell of a lot more effective.

We've seen women time and again bear their souls and share their worst experiences to try and get men to see that degradation, harassment, abuse and assault, is a part of every woman's life. What I haven't seen is men stand up and admit that they have been the perpetrators. I've seen lots of hand-wringing from men wanting to show they're "not like that"; so many in fact that you'd get the impression it's only a very prolific few causing all this harm. Well, it's not. How many of the men here have ever made a misogynistic joke or a dehumanising comment about a woman? How many have laughed when their mates did the same? How many of you have downplayed women's experiences and said that you've not seen anything like that so it can't be that bad? How many of you have defended a friend when hearing that they overstepped the line with a woman? How many of you have excused that behaviour by saying he's harmless really or a nice guy?

I want men to search in their memories honestly and see all the times they missed the first time around where they made women feel uncomfortable, judged simply for being a woman, unsafe simply for being a woman. Because it may be #notallmen but it's a hell of a lot more than are currently willing to admit it.

So, I have a challenge to the men here. Describe a time when you were sh.t to a woman or women. Bear your soul in the same way we've been forced to every f.cking time there's a story that captures public attention about the sh.t women face just for trying to live our lives. It's hard, it's embarrassing, it opens you up to all sorts of questions about why you did what you did, but if you really care about doing something to help then examining your own actions is the best place to start.

And if you can't, then ask yourself why you expect us to do it in order for you to be convinced that the problem is as big as it is.
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Re: Male violence and harassment of women

Post by Grumble » Sat Mar 13, 2021 11:49 am

Tessa K wrote:
Sat Mar 13, 2021 11:03 am
We shouldn't need to be talking about intervention, we should be talking about prevention. Women have been talking about this for decades and not much has changed so what would help is men talking to each other, educating their male family members and friends about what is and isn't acceptable behaviour. It's not just the extremes of rape and murder, it's the everyday harrassment, the constant low-level stuff, even down to the level of 'just being friendly', saying hello to a woman in the street as you pass by. These conversations may be difficult but it's the only way things will change rather than putting the onus on women.

This man is interesting and on the right track https://twitter.com/Hemmch/status/1370436894857789464

There's some discussion in various places about men being 'chivalrous'. This is a complete misunderstanding of what chivalry was and frames women as helpless victims rather than putting the focus on male aggressors. (https://going-medieval.com/2017/12/07/t ... is-but-ok/).

The suggestions of a male curfew are silly but entirely understandable.
I don’t think we’re going to be able to not talk about intervention for a long time if ever. Prevention would be better though, I agree.
You’ve got no chutzpah, your organisational skills are lacklustre and your timekeeping is abysmal.

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Re: Male violence and harassment of women

Post by bagpuss » Sat Mar 13, 2021 11:53 am

Thank you, Tessa and fishnut, for expressing my thoughts far more eloquently than I could myself.

A (pretty aware and decent) male friend of mine posted this link on Facebook yesterday. He commented about how harrowing it was and urged people to read it. I was taken aback at his use of the word "harrowing" because it seemed very normal to me. Then it dawned on me that this should not seem normal and that even aware and decent men do not appear to realise just how normal this actually is in women's experience.

Another friend posted this link which I found very interesting reading.

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Re: Male violence and harassment of women

Post by Grumble » Sat Mar 13, 2021 12:07 pm

bagpuss wrote:
Sat Mar 13, 2021 11:53 am
Thank you, Tessa and fishnut, for expressing my thoughts far more eloquently than I could myself.

A (pretty aware and decent) male friend of mine posted this link on Facebook yesterday. He commented about how harrowing it was and urged people to read it. I was taken aback at his use of the word "harrowing" because it seemed very normal to me. Then it dawned on me that this should not seem normal and that even aware and decent men do not appear to realise just how normal this actually is in women's experience.

Another friend posted this link which I found very interesting reading.
I read that Marina Hyde article and thought it was awful as well. I was partly thinking of myself in the position of the men who were watching without intervening when I posted this thread. Now I can’t help thinking of the girl and whether that was unusual for her or not.
You’ve got no chutzpah, your organisational skills are lacklustre and your timekeeping is abysmal.

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Re: Male violence and harassment of women

Post by jimbob » Sat Mar 13, 2021 12:23 pm

Grumble wrote:
Sat Mar 13, 2021 10:19 am
jimbob wrote:
Sat Mar 13, 2021 10:06 am
I was discussing this on Twitter with a former colleague who tagged me into a conversation on this. She was pointing out it wasn't just the threat of violence but the lower level creepiness
This isn't just violence and murder, it isn't just outdoors.
@ParkinJim
will remember which former colleague of ours could make most women feel very uncomfortable, just by the look he gave them passing in a corridor.
Jim Parkin🕯 #BLM
@ParkinJim
And thinking about this former colleague. It was common knowledge but I am not sure I ever saw anything that I could pin down to one single incident.
When I say that I don't know if I saw anything that I could pin down to a single incident as Stella says it was very hard to pin down - as far as I could remember, it was more "creepy vibes" he gave off.
Replying to
@ParkinJim

@lovelyguyreally
and 5 others
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!
That’s something that might warrant a quiet word from the man’s manager. I’m not sure what else is possible. I have called out creepy behaviour at work to the manager of a man who was behaving in a way I wasn’t comfortable with. When I discussed it with some female colleagues it became apparent that there was a wider pattern of behaviour. I think the situation was resolved, but in all honesty it’s hard to tell with the reduced contact we have in these times with covid reduced office staffing levels.
Yes - it was probably from about 20 to 15 years ago, and I probably would do something like that now.

As my colleague said, it was very difficult for her to actually identify anything concrete, and even harder for male colleagues.
Have you considered stupidity as an explanation

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Re: Male violence and harassment of women

Post by discovolante » Sat Mar 13, 2021 12:52 pm

I just want to add, that this is an enormous problem for homeless women. Firstly, many many women end up homeless because they are escaping violence. Street homelessness is dangerous and deadly for everyone but street homeless women are in extreme peril. Women with children who approach the authorities for help with housing are not infrequently told that social services will remove their children from them because they are supposedly not looking after them properly - for example if they refuse accommodation that's offered to them because they consider it unsuitable (too close to abusive ex, too far from school/GP, a b and b in a bad hostel etc). Often the authority is not acting lawfully in doing that but it is not that easy to prevent. So supporting anything to reduce homelessness and provide more adequate housing is also something that can benefit women (and everyone else) in the longer term. It's not addressing male violence directly but it's an important factor.
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Re: Male violence and harassment of women

Post by Fishnut » Sat Mar 13, 2021 12:59 pm

If you ever wonder why women don't go to the police, it's because of sh.t treatment like this.
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Re: Male violence and harassment of women

Post by Grumble » Sat Mar 13, 2021 1:23 pm

Fishnut wrote:
Sat Mar 13, 2021 12:59 pm
If you ever wonder why women don't go to the police, it's because of sh.t treatment like this.
Jack Monroe posted a horrendous account involving lack of police action
https://twitter.com/bootstrapcook/statu ... 40225?s=21
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Re: Male violence and harassment of women

Post by Opti » Sat Mar 13, 2021 1:35 pm

Fishnut raises something very interesting.
I absolutely know that, in my past, I must have been atrociously behaved towards countless women. The problem is that I was totally unconscious of the effect I was having. So were many, many men ... despite hanging out with lots of, for those times, 'woke' women.
I was working in a band or two in the 70's. Aspects of that era are absolutely horrifying to look back on. We were well happy for women to be our equals ... as long as they took it all like a bloke would.
It's extremely sad that I have no recollection of any particular instance of my dickishness, that's how mundane it was. Womens' stories demonstrate that really f.ck all has changed.

I was very lucky, I met ddb when I was in dire need of an attitude lesson. One I earnestly hope I have learned. She, and other women in my life, seem to think I'm getting there. 40 years of hard work may be paying off. That, and having a daughter. Well, having had a daughter for four decades :(
Time for a big fat one.

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Re: Male violence and harassment of women

Post by Grumble » Sat Mar 13, 2021 2:14 pm

When I was a teenager and in a bad mood I would get a kick out of people crossing the road to avoid me. This is similar to the wild joy to be gained from vandalism.

I groped girls backsides when dancing, under the impression that this was flirting.

Once, when some friends were visiting me at uni, a female friend fell asleep in my bed. I didn’t have anywhere else to sleep so I got in with her. Nothing happened, I didn’t want anything to happen either, I just wanted somewhere to sleep, but the next day she was very quiet.
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Re: Male violence and harassment of women

Post by dyqik » Sat Mar 13, 2021 2:17 pm

Yes, I think being able to self-examine is one step towards recognizing and intervening to stop lower level bad behaviors, both in yourself and others. And I think intervention to stop lower level problematic behavior is what elements of prevention of the higher level problems looks like.

I can't think of any specific incident where I know I behaved like a complete dick, but I'm sure I've been creepy or similar, or done any number of low grade things. And I'm sure that I would remember specific incidents if I had been as aware of what those behaviors are and feel like to women in the past as I hope I am now. I do catch myself heading down certain thought patterns, and steer myself away from that. Hopefully I'm successful enough at that.

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Re: Male violence and harassment of women

Post by El Pollo Diablo » Sat Mar 13, 2021 3:55 pm

I know for a fact there have been specific incidents of things I've done in the past, mainly as a teenager to be honest (getting together with Mrs PD when I was 18 I suppose has spared me much of the sh.t that might've happened between then and an age where I was more thoughtful about my actions). A time in a bar aged 18 when a female member of our group was edging past our seats and I pulled her into my lap (she wasn't impressed). A time in the first month of uni when I kissed a lass who wasn't really that into me, and "went to the toilet" to get away from me. Similar to grumble as well - groping backsides or trying to dance my way into a group of women on the dancefloor. I'm sure there's more I've forgotten.

These days I'm pretty paranoid about coming across as creepy or treating women as lesser in any way - which is a good thing, I think, because I work hard to try to avoid it. But I absolutely f.cking dread to think about what women must've thought over the years when I didn't really care. And to be honest, that's not limited to sh.tty behaviour towards women, but quite a lot of general socially acceptable behaviour stuff that I think probably took me far too long to learn. Christ on a bike.
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Re: Male violence and harassment of women

Post by Tessa K » Sat Mar 13, 2021 4:25 pm

It's great that some of the men here are thinking about how they behaved in the past. Can they now have the same conversations with male friends and relatives in real life? That's what will make the change.

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Re: Male violence and harassment of women

Post by nezumi » Sat Mar 13, 2021 4:31 pm

In the interests of fairness, I would like to confess (even though I am a woman) that I have, in the past, certainly made people of both sexes uncomfortable around me because I had absolutely no social skills whatsoever. I have continued to come onto two different men after they've told me they weren't interested and have come close to committing sexual assault; many years ago and I was drunk but since that's not an excuse for a bloke, it's not an excuse for me either. I am truly sorry. With women, inappropriate questions because I was socially inept and curious.

Just so nobody thinks they get off scot-free here ;)
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