Male violence and harassment of women

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Stephanie
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Re: Male violence and harassment of women

Post by Stephanie » Thu Mar 25, 2021 4:35 pm

Woodchopper wrote:
Thu Mar 25, 2021 3:05 pm
Stephanie wrote:
Thu Mar 25, 2021 2:58 pm
Martin Y wrote:
Thu Mar 25, 2021 2:45 pm
Well okay i shall read the piece but honestly, and I do mean honestly, the quote is like someone's triumphantly holding up a mirror to me and the "reflection" is a picture of some stranger.

However much that quote resonates for you and with your experience, it just doesn't for me.
I mean, the writer is a man for starters, so I doubt it's triumphantly. I personally have seen men do the "as a father of daughters" thing, and I'm not a dude. It's so cliche it's almost a trope.
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.
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Re: Male violence and harassment of women

Post by Woodchopper » 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
Stephanie wrote:
Thu Mar 25, 2021 2:58 pm


I mean, the writer is a man for starters, so I doubt it's triumphantly. I personally have seen men do the "as a father of daughters" thing, and I'm not a dude. It's so cliche it's almost a trope.
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.

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Re: Male violence and harassment of women

Post by Bird on a Fire » Thu Mar 25, 2021 11:04 pm

Hmmm. So I think that was an interesting piece. What I find interesting (or at least massively depressing) is that it apparently resonates with many women, and enough men to get published in a "men's magazine" like GQ.

I really don't think, and certainly hope, that I've never done any of the things in that quote, for example. They all seem to be very obviously unacceptable. If that's really quite typical or common behaviour than yes, I'm completely out of touch with the reality women deal with. I'd be shocked if any of my friends told me they behave like that, and I'd be very clear with them how out of order I find it.

Since the first post of this thread I have been doing a lot of self-reflection on how I interact with women in general. But so many of those examples - from grabbing and groping, unsolicited sexual messages, favouritism at work, sexualised banter, rape threats, catcalling, breaking stuff, jealously and possessiveness and bossiness - really seem alien to me. On the rare occasion that somebody around my social circle is known to do something like that, they are heavily criticised for it.

But then, in amongst that, there are things I'm sure I'm guilt of. I'm sure I've talked over women in meetings and social occasions, for instance, quite possibly more than men. It's something I'm trying to be more observant of, so I can not do it. I've replied too quickly to female posters on here without fully seeing their point, too. I'm trying to be better and I hope I'm not doing it now.

I also know when I was younger and single I occasionally misread people as flirting when they weren't and flirted 'back', but a no is a no - you don't start begging or threatening or insulting, let alone grabbing. You apologise sincerely and try not to do it again.

I'm not trying to paint myself as some enlightened awesome ally or anything. But I can understand Martin's immediate reaction - most of the behaviour described feels to me like things I would never do, and - and I've been trying - I really can't think of any occasion when I was even close. I think the way it's written, in the second person (addressed to me, personally), and the way it appears to accuse the reader of a lot of really obviously over-the-line, violent stuff, might make the important core message harder to find - which, if I've understood it, is that all men need to be vigilant for things they themselves are doing, as well as things that are happening around them, that make women feel unsafe.

But am I missing the point? I understand that women are subjected to a lot of this stuff quite frequently. But I think the point has already been made in this thread that it often happens when there's no other men around. I don't do it, and I rarely see it done. Which does make me feel fairly useless. Beyond trying to improve (and I don't mean to downplay the stuff I've admitted to doing - I'm sure being talked over or feeling dismissed gets really unpleasant), and calling out what I do see, how can I play a part in reducing instances of, say, gaslighting or catcalling or bossiness/possessiveness?
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Re: Male violence and harassment of women

Post by JQH » Thu Mar 25, 2021 11:51 pm

Bird on a Fire wrote:
Thu Mar 25, 2021 11:04 pm

But then, in amongst that, there are things I'm sure I'm guilt of. I'm sure I've talked over women in meetings and social occasions, for instance, quite possibly more than men. It's something I'm trying to be more observant of, so I can not do it. I've replied too quickly to female posters on here without fully seeing their point, too. I'm trying to be better and I hope I'm not doing it now.

Likewise. Also I 'm pretty sure I was guilty of leaping in with the notallmen trope when the #metoo movement got going.
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Re: Male violence and harassment of women

Post by Fishnut » Fri Mar 26, 2021 10:47 am

I have tried to make allusions without being explicit because I know the overlords and mods want to minimise references to the old place and I respect that. But given the succession of posts that have claimed little to no culpability in the poor treatment of women I feel I must ask those of you who were active on the Badscience forum in 2014-15 to cast your minds back.

Back to a time where we had discussions on whether street harassment of women was as bad as was claimed, discussions about the M&M analogy and whether it was unfair to men, discussions about whether wearing a Hawaiian shirt with naked women on it for a global broadcast on a scientifically significant occasion was appropriate. In all these discussions, and multiple others women, including myself, were belittled, dismissed, tone-trolled, accused of wanting special treatment, and were even called "shrill" by one poster. Our posts were subjected to a level of scrutiny that male posters, outside of cranks, never received. We constantly faced whataboutery, sealioning, derailing, mansplaining and direct bullying. Multiple women, including myself, left the forum due to our treatment in these threads. Some have never returned.

Now, many of the men who were most active in those threads are not present on this forum, and I doubt many mourn their absence. A few are though. And even more were present but stayed silent. Some of you may have reported posts to the mods, but barely any of you stuck your neck out to call out the harassment and abuse of women that was occurring in front of your eyes. You may claim you didn't see it. Maybe you didn't. It seemed to consume the forum at several stages and there were mass exoduses of posters on both sides but maybe you weren't active in Meaningless Banter, I don't know. But a lot of you were.

So either you saw but didn't recognise what was going on, or you saw but didn't care, or you saw, did care, but were too lazy or scared to get involved. I don't know. Honestly, I don't really care. Things have changed. This forum would never and has never put up with that sh.t and that's why I feel comfortable finally saying this.

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Re: Male violence and harassment of women

Post by tom p » Fri Mar 26, 2021 11:41 am

Fishnut wrote:
Thu Mar 25, 2021 2:11 pm
This is a fantastic piece. It's about what men can do to make women feel safe. I particularly loved his bit:
How many times have you seen a man become a father and miraculously realise what a terrible place the world can be for a woman? 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? And if it’s “not all men” why are guys so bossy and possessive in the name of “being protective”? 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?
(h/t stephanie)
It is a very good piece, and thank you for sharing it.

That said, I I think the paragraph you've picked out is dreadful (in fact, I'd say it's the only bad bit of the piece) and highlights exactly the problem with the way this is written about.
"How many times have you seen a man become a father and miraculously realise what a terrible place the world can be for a woman?"
Loads. Look at Jay-Z finally stopping singing 99 problems when he had a daughter. It didn't affect the blokes, so they didn't think about it, then they became a protective dad. But that doesn't mean that the blokes were terrible abusive men, just that they weren't actively doing stuff to make the world a better place for women or were doing thoughtless things that make the world worse for women. So, yeah, call us out for that, you have us bang-to-rights. Most of that article does that really well.

"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?" Wait, what?
Loads of men do the 'going from unaware to being very aware' (I know that I went from being aware (crossing the road so as to not walk behind a woman to give a trivial example) to being more aware and more engaged, and I should have been more aware and engaged than I was before I had kids), and that's what the first sentence was getting at; but NOT loads of men start at a position of gaslighting women, catcalling them or sending abusive messages on Tinder.
Unless there's some other definition of gaslighting, I understand it to mean
wikipedia wrote:a form of psychological manipulation in which a person or a group covertly sows seeds of doubt in a targeted individual or group, making them question their own memory, perception, or judgment.[1] It may evoke changes in them such as cognitive dissonance or low self-esteem, rendering the victim additionally dependent on the gaslighter for emotional support and validation. Using denial, misdirection, contradiction and misinformation, gaslighting involves attempts to destabilize the victim and delegitimize the victim's beliefs.
People who do that are trying to exert coercive control over their partners. They are abusers and rapists and in the same set of men as the murderers. They are a very small percentage of blokes. According the National crime survey for England and Wales 2.3% of respondents had experienced some form of coercive controlling behaviour in the previous 12 months (2.2% of men & 2.3% of women - the top one for both was "Kept track of where you went or how you spent your time"). It's reasonable to assume that the number of victims of such a behaviour in a given 12 month period will be roughly the same as the number of perpetrators, so one can say that ~2% of men in the UK exert some form of control over their partners. It should, of course be 0 and all efforts should be put into stopping them and helping the victims of this behaviour.
What proportion of blokes actually catcall women? It should be 0, obviously, but it must be vanishingly small in 2021. When I lived in Enfield (a busy suburb of London), my wife was catcalled twice in 11 years. Throughout the time we lived there, she was either working in central London for a few months (so getting train & tube at rush hour) or raising our kids (for ~11 years). She was out walking on the streets, taking the kids places or walking by herself having dropped them off somewhere or going to pick them up. She must have passed over a hundred thousand men in that time. And 2 did it. That's 2 too many, and they are shitbags who should be stopped, but this is a teeny tiny fraction. You can bet that my wife wasn't the only woman they catcalled, so there will probably be scores, maybe hundreds, of women who were catcalled by them, which is another reason why this sort of sh.t needs to be taken more seriously.
As for Tinder, there are 50 million users worldwide. I don't doubt or dispute for one second that there is a problem with the men who use that, but that's a self-selecting bunch of horny dickheads. I would bet a pound to a penny that the venn diagram of 'men who catcall women' and 'men who type abuse to women on tinder' has quite a significant overlap (at least in the age group of tinder users). This is all a part of expecting sex and thinking you're god's gift to women and thinking you own everywhere you are. It's arrogant pushy aggressive c.nts, and there are probably more of those than either of the other two types of bloke mentioned.

So the author is implying that loads (?most) men are actually in the actively abusive category of street harassers, Tinder abusers & controlling psychologically manipulating a..eholes. All that does is piss people off. Bad arguments made for a good cause do not advance that cause (as has been discussed here many times). Instead they drive the less active would-be supporters away (and yes, no blokes should be put off from not being more considerate because of a badly-worded paragraph)

I hope this doesn't come across as a a #notallmen reply - the author has clearly actively implied that he thinks that very many men do these awful things and so prevalence is a relevant point. I think that he is wrong and it doesn't chime with anything I have ever done or could even imagine myself ever doing or even any of my friends or colleagues (although, as mentioned upthread, we don't have those sorts of conversations). I wouldn't have even picked up on that paragraph, but for the fact that you highlighted it as being a bit you loved.

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Re: Male violence and harassment of women

Post by Stephanie » Fri Mar 26, 2021 11:58 am

Gaslighting does have a different use online these days, more broadly than the coercive control thing you highlight.

In terms of the paragraph you disagree with, I read it more as that there are men who use the expression "As a father of daughters... " often as a shield when sexist behaviour is raised - "I have daughters, how I could possibly do X to another woman", but also as a "Well, I'm progressive now... so I don't need to think of this stuff". When actually, there are men who have girlfriends and wives and daughters, but who are still a..eholes. I know, because some of those men send me abuse and pictures of their penises on twitter - sometimes with their family right there in the profile pic. Or a bio that reads "Husband, dad of 3" or something. The point to me isn't that it's loads of men, but that when these things are raised every man goes "well, it's not men like me..." because, not all men, or father of daughters or whatever.

But it's clearly someone, right?
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Re: Male violence and harassment of women

Post by Martin Y » Fri Mar 26, 2021 12:05 pm

There were a lot of threads on the old forum I just avoided, some because they got heated and I really don't like conflict and I had nothing to contribute that might reduce it. I remember the Hawaiian shirt; I stayed the hell out of that thread. So I was only aware of its goings on peripherally as they spilled over.

I made an ill-judged reference to it in another thread. One of the great regrets of my life, seriously. Something about not having read it but it seemed to be about whether a shirt was the worst crime ever. Whatever it was I said, nefibach replied angrily, I said I was joking (I'd hoped what i wrote was obviously absurd) and she replied along the lines of if you think there's anything funny about that, etc. And this was just before she quit the forum. The shame and guilt that I might have been her final straw still gnaws at me.

So yes, I remember the Hawaiian shirt. No, I didn't read it. I ran the f.ck away and hid.

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Re: Male violence and harassment of women

Post by Bird on a Fire » Fri Mar 26, 2021 12:08 pm

I'm a bit wary of posting this, because I don't want to the give the impression I'm denying that those things happen or that they need to be tackled. But I read the GQ article as exhorting more men to do their part, giving examples of what to stop doing and what to look out for. Fishnut gives a good example of the kind of behaviour that's much more common, perhaps even universal, which I think is helpful and instructive.

The examples in the GQ piece, unless I'm completely oblivious, are things that, while awful, are mostly very rare, and I'm pretty sure are things that the perpetrators know are wrong, which is why they do them in sneaky ways that other men don't see.

I could be wrong, and I will ask male friends "How did you react?" next time I hear they've been rejected or dumped. It's certainly true that men talk about the bitty-gritty of their relationships far less than women do, and maybe lots of people I know are sending abuse and gaslighting people and I don't have a clue.

I'd like to risk an analogy, which I hope isn't offensively off base. I don't know what it's like to be a woman talking about women's issues, but I do have some experience sharing things that are important to me and being a bit dismissed. (Not trying to draw equivalence, but just to relate through my own experience) If I shared an article about climate change, that said "If you care about climate change, why do you leave the AC running in your Hummer while you eat breakfast, and take transatlantic flights for a long weekend?" people would get the wrong impression about their culpability, and would just respond with "well I don't". I think the GQ misses its mark because it similarly uses examples of extreme, unusual (in terms of how many men do it, not how many women unfortunately have to experience it), obviously-wrong behaviour and treats them as universal. Which isn't to say that the issues it discusses aren't important, or don't happen. But Fishnut's example of forumites ignoring women being dismissed is much more relatable, and therefore powerful, than the kinds of deliberate abuse the GQ piece focuses on (IMHO).
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Re: Male violence and harassment of women

Post by Stephanie » Fri Mar 26, 2021 12:16 pm

But the problem is right there, Boaf. It's not unusual to women.
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Re: Male violence and harassment of women

Post by Fishnut » 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. The bits I loved were the start and end, and only kept the central bit to provide a context for the end.
"How many times have you seen a man become a father and miraculously realise what a terrible place the world can be for a woman?"
Loads of times. For example, I've sat in meetings about sexism in academia where the only men present are dads whose daughters are starting to show an interest in the subject.
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.
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.
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Re: Male violence and harassment of women

Post by Bird on a Fire » Fri Mar 26, 2021 12:33 pm

Stephanie wrote:
Fri Mar 26, 2021 12:16 pm
But the problem is right there, Boaf. It's not unusual to women.
Oh, I know, and I'd like to do more to change that. What I'm struggling to see is what I can usefully do, beyond the obvious things of not doing it, paying attention and calling it out if I see it. All I was trying to say is that the GQ piece doesn't seem to provide much useful advice to people like me, Martin and Tom - the posters here are doing a far better job of helping us understand what we can do.
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Re: Male violence and harassment of women

Post by Martin Y » Fri Mar 26, 2021 12:35 pm

Tomp, thanks for expressing your misgivings about the GQ quote more eloquently than I can.

It's not that the article wasn't highlighting real problems. It wasn't that I read it and saw nothing which touched on my own experience, or made me think about my own behaviour. It was that the takeaway, the general thrust of the argument, seemed to be "Seriously guys, have you ever really stopped to think that you could actually stop beating your wife?". It's hard to feel engaged by that.

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Re: Male violence and harassment of women

Post by Stephanie » Fri Mar 26, 2021 12:39 pm

Maybe, just maybe... an article isn't supposed to do all things??

It's one article, f.ck me, there isn't going to be a perfect magic article with personalised suggestions and action points for all of you.

I'm actually still pissed about tom counting the times his wife got catcalled as evidence too. But frankly, I'm so cross that it's stopping me from getting work done, so I'm bowing out.
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Re: Male violence and harassment of women

Post by Fishnut » Fri Mar 26, 2021 12:42 pm

Even gold-star users of the internet should perform a few checks before replying. Is this reply proportionate to the original post and your familiarity with this woman? Question your need to be “first”. There’s no prize for answering quickest – why do we always act like there is? Eager to please, desperate to look impressive. This pressure we put upon ourselves is a huge reason that our behaviour often comes off as inappropriate or entitled. Sometimes we genuinely don’t know we’re doing it, because the “pick me” mentality comes so naturally; we’re convinced if we don’t offer a solution to whatever problem is before us – whether our help is being sought or not – that we’ll miss out.
...
Do a health check on your interactions with female colleagues too. Do you offer female bosses or clients the same respect you do the men? Does it even occur to you why there are fewer of them? When asked a question by a woman [do you] dismiss her concerns as nagging or gossiping or picking fault or any other common sexist stereotype that many men barely notice. Might something you say make a colleague realise she can’t trust you? Are your jokes laced with sexual intent? Would you flirt with every colleague? Do you get back to male colleagues faster, offer more help? ... Do you give ample floor to women workmates? Do you avoid talking over them?
I'm seriously at a loss to understand how any of this practical advice can be construed as,
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"Seriously guys, have you ever really stopped to think that you could actually stop beating your wife?".
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Re: Male violence and harassment of women

Post by discovolante » Fri Mar 26, 2021 12:54 pm

I can't really add much to what Fishnut, Stephanie and others have already said, but I don't really get why people seem to repeatedly take this kind of stuff personally. In other areas where discrimination and violence abound (racism, transphobia, classism, mental health, whatever) where I am not in the group that's being treated badly, if I see stuff that appears to be directed at me (because it is written to 'you', or 'cis people', or 'white women', or whatever), but that I can be comfortably sure doesn't apply to me, I just think 'OK, that's not me but it is other people, I'll take note of it and be aware of it though because I can't assume that just because I don't do it other people don't'. I've seen loads of that stuff by the way and I know that the gut reaction is 'but why are you having a go at me???'. If it does apply to me and it makes me feel uncomfortable, I try to reflect on it and although I will probably keep making those mistakes - in fact I *know* I do - I just try to behave a bit better. If I see something I think is outright wrong, then to be honest I mainly just leave it, unless I think it's an opinion that causes real problems to other people. My intervention isn't going to help and people in those groups are allowed to have opinions I disagree with, and unless it becomes a disproportionate problem then I don't see any major harm in letting it be, because otherwise it ends up being like what happened on errr the old place several years ago. Maybe that's a more controversial position to take, maybe I'll change my mind in future, but that's where I am at the moment.
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Re: Male violence and harassment of women

Post by Martin Y » Fri Mar 26, 2021 12:56 pm

Fishnut wrote:
Fri Mar 26, 2021 12:27 pm
... 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.
Is that happening here? Do you really mean saying they must be making it up, or do you mean failing to say they were not by talking about something else where you expected sympathetic acknowledgement? (I suspect I get that bit wrong all the time and not just here.)

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Re: Male violence and harassment of women

Post by Bird on a Fire » Fri Mar 26, 2021 12:58 pm

Sorry folks. I've obviously misunderstood the article and/or why it was posted, but don't want to annoy or upset people. I'm off for fieldwork anyway, so may as well bow out too.
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Re: Male violence and harassment of women

Post by Martin Y » Fri Mar 26, 2021 1:04 pm

discovolante wrote:
Fri Mar 26, 2021 12:54 pm
I can't really add much to what Fishnut, Stephanie and others have already said, but I don't really get why people seem to repeatedly take this kind of stuff personally. In other areas where discrimination and violence abound (racism, transphobia, classism, mental health, whatever) where I am not in the group that's being treated badly, if I see stuff that appears to be directed at me (because it is written to 'you', or 'cis people', or 'white women', or whatever), but that I can be comfortably sure doesn't apply to me, I just think 'OK, that's not me but it is other people, I'll take note of it and be aware of it though because I can't assume that just because I don't do it other people don't'. I've seen loads of that stuff by the way and I know that the gut reaction is 'but why are you having a go at me???'. If it does apply to me and it makes me feel uncomfortable, I try to reflect on it and although I will probably keep making those mistakes - in fact I *know* I do - I just try to behave a bit better. If I see something I think is outright wrong, then to be honest I mainly just leave it, unless I think it's an opinion that causes real problems to other people. My intervention isn't going to help and people in those groups are allowed to have opinions I disagree with, and unless it becomes a disproportionate problem then I don't see any major harm in letting it be, because otherwise it ends up being like what happened on errr the old place several years ago. Maybe that's a more controversial position to take, maybe I'll change my mind in future, but that's where I am at the moment.
Thanks for this. It very much reflects the way I feel too. The thing about the GQ article isn't that I take it personally; it's more that I think OK, that's not me but it is other people.

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Re: Male violence and harassment of women

Post by Fishnut » Fri Mar 26, 2021 1:05 pm

Martin Y wrote:
Fri Mar 26, 2021 12:56 pm
Fishnut wrote:
Fri Mar 26, 2021 12:27 pm
... 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.
Is that happening here? Do you really mean saying they must be making it up, or do you mean failing to say they were not by talking about something else where you expected sympathetic acknowledgement? (I suspect I get that bit wrong all the time and not just here.)
Do you know what, I'm giving up right now. I honestly was expecting my post about the old place to get some pushback, but it seems everyone has ignored it or nodded and made excuses for their inaction and moved on. What I did not expect was a piece - WRITTEN BY A MAN - that called out a wide range of behaviours that many men engage in, including men on this forum, and have it and our defences of it nitpicked to death.

I'm going to finish with this and then log out for a bit. This forum has a gender bias. Nowhere near as bad as the old place, and one we're more able to measure as more posters are willing to out themselves as women here, but it still exists.

From that GQ article:
Does it even occur to you ask why there are fewer [women]?
it's okay to say "I don't know"

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discovolante
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Re: Male violence and harassment of women

Post by discovolante » Fri Mar 26, 2021 1:08 pm

Martin Y wrote:
Fri Mar 26, 2021 1:04 pm
discovolante wrote:
Fri Mar 26, 2021 12:54 pm
I can't really add much to what Fishnut, Stephanie and others have already said, but I don't really get why people seem to repeatedly take this kind of stuff personally. In other areas where discrimination and violence abound (racism, transphobia, classism, mental health, whatever) where I am not in the group that's being treated badly, if I see stuff that appears to be directed at me (because it is written to 'you', or 'cis people', or 'white women', or whatever), but that I can be comfortably sure doesn't apply to me, I just think 'OK, that's not me but it is other people, I'll take note of it and be aware of it though because I can't assume that just because I don't do it other people don't'. I've seen loads of that stuff by the way and I know that the gut reaction is 'but why are you having a go at me???'. If it does apply to me and it makes me feel uncomfortable, I try to reflect on it and although I will probably keep making those mistakes - in fact I *know* I do - I just try to behave a bit better. If I see something I think is outright wrong, then to be honest I mainly just leave it, unless I think it's an opinion that causes real problems to other people. My intervention isn't going to help and people in those groups are allowed to have opinions I disagree with, and unless it becomes a disproportionate problem then I don't see any major harm in letting it be, because otherwise it ends up being like what happened on errr the old place several years ago. Maybe that's a more controversial position to take, maybe I'll change my mind in future, but that's where I am at the moment.
Thanks for this. It very much reflects the way I feel too. The thing about the GQ article isn't that I take it personally; it's more that I think OK, that's not me but it is other people.
That's not really what I'm saying though Martin, it's more that if it isn't me, I don't feel the need to point that out, because that doesn't really help anyone except me.
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Martin Y
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Re: Male violence and harassment of women

Post by Martin Y » 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.

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Re: Male violence and harassment of women

Post by Tessa K » Fri Mar 26, 2021 1:34 pm

Stephanie wrote:
Thu Mar 25, 2021 4:34 pm
Martin Y wrote:
Thu Mar 25, 2021 3:07 pm
I don't doubt youve seen new fathers suddenly switch but our experiences seem to have come from two different planets which leaves me feeling pretty useless.

The GQ article had a few points that touched on my experience; I can remember being given a sheet of dos and don'ts as a new student which included not walking behind women at night and, yes, I can remember thinking that was ridiculous and surely way over the top. (Who could I ever intimidate? I was more concerned that I'd get beaten up.) And of course I came to appreciate I had been utterly unaware of women's reality.
ok, I feel like we're coming at it from very different points then. I read it and thought, huh, this is interesting. Fishnut clearly felt similarly, and then highlighted a particular quote she liked. But that doesn't mean that we're expecting every individual man on this forum to have experienced all things in the article. Sometimes things are shared because they are interesting? Or might have something that makes you think, I dunno.
I'm with you and Fishnut.

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Re: Male violence and harassment of women

Post by discovolante » 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.
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Re: Male violence and harassment of women

Post by Bird on a Fire » Fri Mar 26, 2021 1:39 pm

I just wanted to add, Fishnut - please don't take the criticism of the article personally. I can see why it would resonate with women, and it's valuable to share pieces that resonate so we can discuss them (although clearly all the blokes here need to learn how to do that better).

I do think this needs to be a discussion across genders, which is why I hoped to explain my reaction to it as a sort of token male reader. The fact that I didn't identify with it the way you did doesn't make it a bad article - as Stephanie says, not every piece is for everyone.

But I've obviously f.cked up. Sorry. I like and respect you as a person, and appreciate that this is an emotionally draining topic to discuss, and didn't predict the effect my criticism of the article would have. Apologies again.
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