I’m here because I decided to start blogging after reading several posts from feminist blogs, including this one (Schrödinger’s Rapist). My goal on this blog is to try to approach the idea of gender equality and issues from a point of logical discourse. With that in mind, I ask that that anyone commenting please keep your comments in a context of logic and rationality. While emotion can fuel a desired goal, only logical thought will see us through to a successful conclusion.
Regarding the blogpost that I listed above, I approached this page with the genuine intention of finding out what the poster put out and understanding what was written. But I came to a realization; most of the commenting readers on the page and (apparently the blog owner, as I was banned after a few pointed comments and questions), do not want men to understand. From what I got, a large number of the female posters wanted to revel in being “victims of male privilege.”
I have to say that the guest blogger, Ms. Starling demonstrated a genuine desire to have a open and meaningful dialogue about the topic and I complement her on both her blog post and her professionalism in her replies. Nearly all the others had nothing but scorn for any male who posted anything other than a total and complete self-effacing admission that they were part and parcel contributors to rape culture. They didn’t want involved dialog, nor did they want open discussion. All that they wanted were high-fives from the women commenters and any men who wanted to comment on the page were expected grovel and own up to their being complicit in the evil patriarchy.
I’m quite fracking tired of feminists who feel entitled to barge into male internet (and real-life) spaces as it is their feminist-mandated right to do so, but raise hell and throw around ban hammers on men who likewise come into their spaces (or flat out refuse to let men post). Ladies…you get what you give. Feel free to shoot down the trolls who just show up to start shit, but learn to tell the difference between those who troll and those who want to ask real questions. (It goes both ways, ladies…troll is a gender-neutral term.)
In fact, more than a couple of men who were victims of rape by women aggressors were at best casually patronized, and at worst, blatantly ridiculed. I have no sympathy for these people and the fact that they want sympathy but are unwilling to give it themselves sickens me. Rape is a horrible crime and anyone who commits it is deserving of punishment and/or help as they are sick individuals. (By the way, this last belief was argued by feminists on that page too. I guess that feminists feel that the crime of rape is not the act of a sick mind but an act of diabolic evil. That is a topic for another blog post.)
Finally, to any of the feminists (especially the ones who commented on Ms. Starling’s post) who may read this blog, allow me to say this; there are far more men who are at best ignorant about what you believe rape culture consists of and belittling them on a website will not get them to see your point of view; it just makes you an internet troll just like the trolls who purposely go on web sites to cause grief. Furthermore, any man who is willing to hold a dialog with you about an feminist issue most likely is willing to be “converted to your cause.” And yes, “he is doing you a favor” because he is willing to try to let go of some of his preconceptions about gender relations in order to try to be more understanding about your point of view. Vilifying such a man will most likely convert him to misogyny as your vitriol in belittling him will only prove the other misogynists right in his eyes.
And before anyone posts that I don’t understand what “rape culture” is, I’m rather versed in it and I’ve even read up on it. There are facets of “rape culture” that tie into African American history that directly impacted our ethnic outlook. Furthermore, I’ve even read the post about Shakesville regarding the subject.
With that being said, my agreement or disagreement on each of the individual items in Ms. McEwan’s blog listed under the collective connotation of rape culture are not relevant to my ability (or lack thereof) of being able to constructively have an intelligent opinion regarding gender equality. Furthermore, the fact that I do recognize that overall that there are facets of human civilization and society which are harmful toward the well-being of women, men, and children in particular and humanity in general, is relevant. Finally, the fact that I want to address and help in addressing the current social disconnect between women and men, should end any further debate about my motives or ability to contribute constructively to this issue.
But I was instead bombarded with digs and attacks as responses to logically focused requests as to how to better work with this issue. All that I and the other men who asked the question as to how would a guy try to approach a woman and how to figure out whether she wanted to be approached, were given the answer:
“Assume that all women do not want to be approached unless she lets you know that she wants to be approached.”
Well, according to logic, then the only way that would be is if a woman decided to make first contact in some nebulous manner (a wave, a wink, a cardboard sign), that could or could not be construed as an unwanted contact (okay, except for the cardboard sign). One commenter said that anyone who bothered could just read the woman’s body language to see if she was amenable to a cold contact or not by the male. Body language, eh?
The poster gave examples of “nervous smiling,” “twisting of the hair,” and other things of that nature. Here’s a question; is she nervous because she is afraid of me, or is she nervous because she likes me and is uncertain as to how this first talk will go? This idea would be especially problematic for the socially-inept male who has no knowledge as how to read women’s body language
I can see how that first encounter will end.
“Officer, I don’t understand! I read her body language and she seemed kind of shy, but she was smiling so I figured that she was still interested…why am I being arrested? I’m no masher!”
Despite the fact that many of the men posting agreed that if a woman did not want to talk to a guy who approached her cold, she had the right to not be bothered, most of the male questions and requests for further clarification were met with ridicule and scorn from the assembled feminist commenters and some of the blog moderators.
Then I learned from one of the blog mods something that clued me in to a way how most guys could tell. Are you ready?
Here we go.
Guys, if you see a woman in public, especially traveling on a form of public transportation reading a book or wearing a pair of headphones, don’t approach her. In fact, one of the regular bloggers/moderators stated that many women wear headphones in public because they don’t want men to talk to them.
Whenever a man brought up the idea of the uninterested woman politely but firmly telling the intruding guy that she wasn’t interested in a contact, we told that we couldn’t understand the issue. And when we insisted in saying that if the guy was a problem, then make a scene and let people around you know that he was a bother, we were again told that we didn’t understand.
Women, could you please confirm or deny this datum? I’m puzzled; I wear headphones because I want to listen to music or pass the time while I’m traveling or waiting for something. Could you please try to make an explanation that is not couched in derision and condescension.
A lot of women posted words to the effect of: “We have a right to not be hit upon by guys.”
Agreed. But at the same time, the drive for romantic companionship or sexual intimacy are two of human civilization’s most fervent drives. There should be rules and conventions regarding inter-gender contact. But right now as the prevailing social dynamic stands, the male of the species is the designated initiator of this type of contact. Yes, more women are adopting a willingness to initiate contacts with males for the purpose of romantic or sexual liaisons and fewer of them are being ostracized for doing so (thank whatever deity you believe in for that). But again, nobody on that blog page could come up with a reasonable alternative that could be clearly conveyed to men who were interested in resolution other than just “leave women alone.”
The only problems with that idea is:
- Until our social gender conventions are completely changed, it runs the risk of further causing social problems for women who have no problem with approaching men for romantic or sexual liaisons.
- The only people who will be disadvantaged by this convention will be the socially-inept men who for whatever reason cannot read between the lines. These men will continue to bother women because they will have no idea as how to time or schedule their approaches as not to offend or violate a woman’s personal space.
I suggested that we adopt the Victorian usage of the “calling card.” Rather than try to initiate a total cold contact with a woman on the street. A fellow could use a calling card with his name, a polite statement and me,ans of contact printed on it. The woman had the option to either accept the card or reject it and if she did accept it, then she still had the option to either follow up on the contact or simply discreetly dispose of the card, thereby ending the situation. In addition, with this convention, it would be assumed that the offering party (male in this case), bore the burden of dealing with rejection as it would be deemed “unseemly” for him (or her) to focus it on the potential recipient of your calling card. The advantage of the card was that rather than a woman having deal with a lengthy interruption of her previous activity, she just either took the card or not at her choice.
While that was not a perfect alternative, nobody could offer one better. But the replies (except from Ms. Starling) were couched in words to the effect of: “Yeah, but why should we have to even bother with that?”
I don’t have an answer. Ladies, guys are going to hit on you. Humanity has not evolved yet beyond being able to approach a person of the opposite gender (or preference) without some level of sexual evaluation. (Except for the number of “asexual” humans who seem to be popping up as of late.) I’m sure that some feminist will accuse me of advocating rape culture by making that statement.
No. That. Is. Not. Rape. Culture. That. Is. Human. Social. Biology.
Men and women evaluate each other as potential mates or sexual partners. All of this debate is simply how can we be polite about it.
On a side note to Kate Harding, the owner of the “Shapely Prose” blog:
People base a great deal of their personal knowledge on personal experience. While this does not define the entire body of our available and collective knowledge, personal experience often shapes our individual and to some degree our collective viewpoints. Dismissing another person’s experiences offhandedly is in of itself, a rather dangerous form of hubris as you risk placing your personal experiences above someone elses and thereby denying yourself of information that would not have otherwise been available.
Furthermore Ms. Harding, there is a debate, if no longer on your site, at least on the rest of the web because feminist theory has been steadily shaping national policy and social convention. I, for one, will do my damnedest to see that the future will be shaped in the interests of neither men or women, but in the interests of humanity.
There are men and women who are genuinely interested in pursuing an informed and hospitable dialog regarding equality in gender relations. I’m sorry to see that your page does not support that ideal.