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Author Topic: "He-Man Women-Haters Club"
wei-chi
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 2799

posted 25 September 2002 05:43 AM      Profile for wei-chi   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
By the power of Greyskull...I figured I'd at least try to start a discussion eminating from here about, I guess, why us men babblers can't shut up on the Feminism forum; and if, indeed, men *should* shut up on said forum.

To add to my initial post, I thought I'd add this quote from Rebecca West on how much (if at all) men should post in the FF:

quote:
It's not as simple as that, and the reasons it's not that simple are as complex and diverse as feminist theory is. Many women here have posted explanations, repeatedly, in this thread and in many others, that seek to de-mystify some of our feelings on the topic of women feeling dominated/silenced by men in ways that have little to do with immediate physical threat.
Some of you get it. Some of you don't. And it's clearly not about us being inarticulate shrinking violets. Which obviously most of us aren't. It's not about an inability to stand up for ourselves, which clearly most of us can. It's about a broad-based contemporary social value set and a history of gender discrimination and persecution that stretches as far back as you might care to go in human history. It informs our consciousness, in its entirety, whether we identify as feminists or not.

Why does this statement, from disobedient
, rub most of us men the wrong way:

quote:
Rapists are male. What's so hard to understand about that? Why do non-raping men take that so personally?

Obviously 99.99repeating% of rapists are men.

My own theory is that us men don't see ourselves as 'us men' at all. Us men in modern Canada don't see ourselves as really *connected* to any historical force. For the same reasons we might feel uncomfortable with an Aboriginal Canadian saying that 'europeans stole his land.' Even though its true there is nothing us white men can do about history. The 'it wasn't me' syndrome. The "White Male Anglo Saxon" Empire, if you will, we have been taught since our youth, is gone. And yet, it remains, at least enough that the pro-feminism feminists still need to talk about 'us men.' They want to talk about problems about 'us men.'

We see ourselves in a neutral world. Why shouldn't any given man be allowed to speak/post on a feminist forum? Is this an equal country? Men are raped by men too. Men are assaulted (not sexually though) walking alone at night too.

Or at least, this is how I interpret us men's reactions to the posts on the FF. But this reaction is just an unhelpful as 'all men are rapists, just without the opportunity.'

How do we get to the point where women are posting as often as men? Where women are porportionately represented in *everything*?


From: Saskatoon | Registered: Jun 2002  |  IP: Logged
TommyPaineatWork
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 2956

posted 25 September 2002 06:42 AM      Profile for TommyPaineatWork     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
It rankles me because--and this isn't limited to 'feminists' on the left, but exists in all the various factions on the left-- that we insist upon making enemies out of what should be allies.

I'm trying very hard to appreciate the point of view best expressed by Rebecca West, and I'm understanding it more as time goes on. Once again, she gives me pause for thought. She's a gem, you know, and you ignore her at your intellectual peril.

But I suspect (and probably unjustifiably react on this suspicion) that the odd feminist, like the odd environmentalist or odd trade unionist isn't interested in social justice, but in supplanting one boss for a new boss-- themselves.

So,

quote:
How do we get to the point where women are posting as often as men? Where women are porportionately represented in *everything*?

I'm not sure this is the objective. While it may be ours, and we may be, in stereotypical male fashion, clumsy at how we express that, it clearly isn't the objective of all feminists. The rough statistics collected by Michelle indicated a numerical split, narrowly carried by women, if my memory serves. And, while this doesn't really indicate "dominance" the give and take on ideas, in my estimation, was favouring the ladies.

But this isn't Rebecca's point. It's her view that there are matters that are best discussed by the women. Many of us may be well intentioned, we might learn a lot, we might be corrected-- but we'll never ever be women. Rebecca's point is valid; we derail things there, most of us quite unintentinaly.

But, and I may not be fair here, but I'll say it anyway, there are those who don't want us there because it's me, in thier view, who wrote the draconian laws of the middle ages, me who fought against women getting the vote, birth control etc, etc., and it's me who will be, in due course, punished for this.

I think the disparate groups under the umbrella of the left get into this kind of mentality, and that's what makes us detatched from one another. Feminists, environmentalists, unionists and many other groups have a common enemy.

And, if I only ever make one point here, I wish it to be that this enemy isn't each other.


From: London | Registered: Aug 2002  |  IP: Logged
janew
webmistress
Babbler # 199

posted 25 September 2002 06:50 AM      Profile for janew     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I'm glad you posted here because while I think it's worth discussing this issue on babble, the feminism forum isn't the right place to do it. It's a vicious circle there.
It's stated that men shouldn't post there because then the discussion starts to center around men's concerns...people debate that issue...the discussion starts to center around men's issues...ad infinitum. :-(

I know there are a lot of men who are supporters of feminism and it's hard to not voice an opinion on things that matter to you, but there are times that you need to let women talk about things, on our own.

The closest that I can relate to it is when I've watched children discussing something. (Please don't take this as implying that women are LIKE children).

It's tempting to jump in when I hear them saying something that I, with all my experience, think is a mistake - but that's often not a good idea. For one thing they need to figure it out on their own but even more importantly, I don't really understand their issues. I can't know what's important to them at this moment or all the nuances of what the statements mean to them.

If I do state my opinions, I can see the discussion change. They get quieter and lose interest in what they were discussing.

There are probably times when men need a place to talk alone, too. Maybe there should be a 'man-only' forum on how they relate to feminism and we women should stay out of it.

[ September 25, 2002: Message edited by: janew ]


From: Toronto, Ontario | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
TommyPaineatWork
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 2956

posted 25 September 2002 07:03 AM      Profile for TommyPaineatWork     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
the discussion starts to center around men's issues...ad infinitum.

I agree, and I recognize that even if my name wasn't bandied about, I've certainly done this at times.

Is there a danger of throwing out the baby with the bath water though? I don't think feminism can flourish in a vacuum, either.

A guys forum? Why would I go there? I'm a guy, I pretty much know what guys think already.


From: London | Registered: Aug 2002  |  IP: Logged
janew
webmistress
Babbler # 199

posted 25 September 2002 07:15 AM      Profile for janew     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
A guys forum? Why would I go there? I'm a guy, I pretty much know what guys think already.

I often think that I know what guy's think, then find myself amazed, shocked, horrified, thrilled, touched etc. Maybe you would too

Definitely, feminism shouldn't be in a vacuum (not that I consider a female-only discussion a vacuum ) but not ALL discussions need to include everyone. I'm very interested in what men have to say about feminism and I think it's important, but that's not part of every discussion.

There are bound to be things that women say about men (individually and as a group), that you would find threatening. We need to be able to do it anyway without having to reassure you that we don't want to just 'turn the tables' (well sometimes, in anger, we do, but it's part of the unformed positions we're still working out ).

You have to trust us.

[ September 25, 2002: Message edited by: janew ]


From: Toronto, Ontario | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
Michelle
Moderator
Babbler # 560

posted 25 September 2002 08:09 AM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
The rough statistics collected by Michelle indicated a numerical split, narrowly carried by women, if my memory serves.

I find this amusing. Tommy is the second guy to miss my point with those statistics. I posted statistics to two threads - in one thread, there were about one and a half times the number of male posts as female. In the other thread, which I broke down into each 20 posts, there was a trend in the posting pattern toward men taking over the thread, in particular Mandos, who posted the most times (9) with the two runners up, both women, only posting 5 times since he joined the thread.

But perhaps the more "objective" men only see the statistics they wish to see.


From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
wei-chi
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 2799

posted 25 September 2002 08:32 AM      Profile for wei-chi   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
It is difficult to get one's (male) head wrapped around some things that are said. For example, when it is said that the very act of speaking one's mind is seen as continuing the oppression of women. It is difficult to jive this *individual* act with the idea of *collective* oppression. Our mind reels at the inconsistencies(?) between shutting people up and making people freer. Surely open discussion is best?

It seems that while any given male's intent may be perfectly benign, he nevertheless oppresses women for simply being. As I see, anytime a man becomes CEO it means one less woman as a CEO. That individual act is perpetuating the collect discriminatory status quo; hence since there is no equality, there is not individual acts.

I pretty much just made that up off the top of my head, because I'm trying to follow what my male reaction is to some feminists statements. Am I close?

I can only seem to just barely grasp the point, sometimes, because it seems counterintuitive. I try though.

I do get the whole Take Back the Night Thing, though. I figure that one was easy. (As an aside, wouldn't it be a bigger 'statement' if instead of marching together, women split up into small groups or as individuals?---I guess this is offering advice from the sidelines. But since this isn't the FF, I figured I'd say it.)


From: Saskatoon | Registered: Jun 2002  |  IP: Logged
josh
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 2938

posted 25 September 2002 09:46 AM      Profile for josh     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I agree with Tommy that this tendency of the left to degenerate into factionalism, such as the various hyphenated "centrics," is troubling.

The challenges we face are vast enough without the added burden of sniping at one another for real, or imagined, slights.


From: the twilight zone between the U.S. and Canada | Registered: Aug 2002  |  IP: Logged
Sisyphus
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posted 25 September 2002 10:36 AM      Profile for Sisyphus     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I would never call myself a "male feminist", and when I think about it at all, I would be inclined to assert that much of what lurks on the fringe of movements that call themselves "feminist" or for "womyn" is wrong-headed and exclusionary.

So what?

Tell me, guys-who-feel-a-female-only-portion-of babble-is-a challenge-to-whatever-you-lack, what's the big deal? You, more than any others, should shut up and listen to what the women on these groups have to say. You'll learn something. Grow up and be like wei-chi, whom I applaud for NOT starting this thread in the feminism section. If it really bugs you, go buy a copy of "Iron John", strip down in the forest, and beat a drum or howl at the moon or something.


From: Never Never Land | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
disobedient
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Babbler # 2915

posted 25 September 2002 11:20 AM      Profile for disobedient     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I identify as a feminist, and I even have some fairly radical views. I do know and speak with some radical lesbian feminists and often face critical examination by them because of my heterosexuality. (I'm sleeping with my oppressor)
Also, I have experienced a "dressing down" from middle class white feminists who also believe that there's no room for men in feminism.

I don't believe in separatism, I think I am more allied with my working class brothers than I ever could be to a upper/middle class woman who lives in Rosedale. Which is why it's so damaging when I try to talk to the men I view as allies and I get, "What about meeeeee?"

I love this thread, thanks for starting it wei-chi.


From: Ontario | Registered: Jul 2002  |  IP: Logged
Arch Stanton
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 2356

posted 25 September 2002 11:41 AM      Profile for Arch Stanton     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
But perhaps the more "objective" men only see the statistics they wish to see.

Substitute "people" for "men" and I'll agree with you.


From: Borrioboola-Gha | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged
Michelle
Moderator
Babbler # 560

posted 25 September 2002 11:46 AM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
You know, that really bothers me, the idea that heterosexual women are somehow committing a crime against feminism by "sleeping with the oppressor". We straight feminists generally get offended on behalf of lesbians who have to listen to people telling them that they could change if they really wanted to, or that they haven't met the right man yet, or that they should stay celibate if they can't stomach the thought of sex with men.

And yet, every once in a while, you come across a lesbian feminist who uses those exact assumptions to judge heterosexual women - you are making a choice to be attracted to men, you could sleep with women if you chose not to be oppressed anymore, and if you can't be attracted to women, at least you could stop sleeping with men.

To be sure, I've never had a lesbian say this to me, so I couldn't judge how widespread these sentiments are among lesbians - but whenever I DO hear it, it really bothers me.

However, if I were discussing lesbian feminist ideas with a group of mostly lesbians, I think I would likely do a lot more listening than talking - after all, how do you learn more about what people in different groups think if you're not listening?


From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
disobedient
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Babbler # 2915

posted 25 September 2002 11:49 AM      Profile for disobedient     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Yeah, I know what you mean Michelle. (Sorry bout the thread drift!)

I wouldn't even begin to analyze lesbian feminism, the arrogance of that is astonishing. Yet there is this *holier than thou* attitude that I run up against all the time. It's a major rift in feminism. It's just none of their business.

I really meant this as a parallel to why I react the way I do to men trying to dictate what the goals of feminism should be.


From: Ontario | Registered: Jul 2002  |  IP: Logged
Scout
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 1595

posted 25 September 2002 12:29 PM      Profile for Scout     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I too would not beging to tell a lesbian her feminist politics. But I am sure we share some common ground regarding wages. maternity leave, the glass ceiling and their right to get married and share benefits. I sure would like to know what other issues trouble them and would gladly listen, mind you if they crapped on my choice of sexual partner, I'd have some strong words for them regarding their intolerance.

[ September 25, 2002: Message edited by: Scout ]


From: Toronto, ON Canada | Registered: Oct 2001  |  IP: Logged
singh
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 3081

posted 25 September 2002 12:45 PM      Profile for singh        Edit/Delete Post
quote:
mind you if they crapped on my choice of sexual partner, I'd have some strong words for them regarding their intolerance.

Would you tell them to shut their cake holes? Just curious.


From: victoria | Registered: Sep 2002  |  IP: Logged
Pat
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 2064

posted 25 September 2002 01:38 PM      Profile for Pat   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Thanks wei-che for starting this thread. However if it is just going to be another "What's wrong With Feminism" thread without looking at the reason behind the request (to try listening more) then it just becomes more feminist-bashing.
From: lalaland | Registered: Jan 2002  |  IP: Logged
wei-chi
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 2799

posted 25 September 2002 01:50 PM      Profile for wei-chi   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Sorry Pat, I can't be held responsible for what other people post. That wasn't my intent. But while I have your attention, could you give me a run down on your intepretation of feminism (maybe just a bit).
From: Saskatoon | Registered: Jun 2002  |  IP: Logged
WingNut
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 1292

posted 25 September 2002 01:54 PM      Profile for WingNut   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I think there is a social dynamic at work here. I think it is like when you say to someone, don't look now, they immediately look. Or people wanting to have something just because they are not supposed to have it. Or opening a door to see what is inside when it is clearly marked "Keep Out."

I think women asking men do sit on the sidelines of a discussion immediately drive some men into same. Likewise, I am willing to bet, if a men's forum was started and men speciffically requested women remain out of it, some women would immediately jump in.

It is rather impossible to create an exclusive forum on an open board. So why bother? I think it takes a great maturity that most of us do not have, male or female, to have a discussion going on around us, in which we might have strong feelings, and remain silent.

For example, the male interlopers into the feminism forum could be ignored. But ignoring is an easy solution to offer but it is much more difficult in practice.

That is my two cents. You owe me a quater.


From: Out There | Registered: Aug 2001  |  IP: Logged
Sisyphus
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 1425

posted 25 September 2002 02:06 PM      Profile for Sisyphus     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
If you guys feel compelled to weigh in on feminist topics, Wei-chi has shown you the way. Start a thread in "Ideas" and then women will be free to engage you in discussion, or not. If you feel left out, maybe you can start your very own category, and post a "Get Rid Of Slimy girlS" sign.

[ September 25, 2002: Message edited by: Sisyphus ]


From: Never Never Land | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
Arch Stanton
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 2356

posted 25 September 2002 02:13 PM      Profile for Arch Stanton     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
How about "us guys" who avoid the feminist section?

I know you're out there, raise a hand fellas.


From: Borrioboola-Gha | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged
WingNut
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 1292

posted 25 September 2002 02:14 PM      Profile for WingNut   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
How do you know if a hand is raised?
From: Out There | Registered: Aug 2001  |  IP: Logged
josh
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 2938

posted 25 September 2002 02:15 PM      Profile for josh     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I'm now joining you, Arch.
From: the twilight zone between the U.S. and Canada | Registered: Aug 2002  |  IP: Logged
pogge
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 2440

posted 25 September 2002 02:20 PM      Profile for pogge   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
How about "us guys" who avoid the feminist section?

I know you're out there, raise a hand fellas.


Yo. (Does that count as raising a hand?)


From: Why is this a required field? | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged
flotsom
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 2832

posted 25 September 2002 02:24 PM      Profile for flotsom   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Can I raise my culturally irrelevant appendage instead?
From: the flop | Registered: Jul 2002  |  IP: Logged
Arch Stanton
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 2356

posted 25 September 2002 02:34 PM      Profile for Arch Stanton     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
HEY!! STOP THAT!!!
From: Borrioboola-Gha | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged
flotsom
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 2832

posted 25 September 2002 02:42 PM      Profile for flotsom   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
sorry
From: the flop | Registered: Jul 2002  |  IP: Logged
wei-chi
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 2799

posted 25 September 2002 02:56 PM      Profile for wei-chi   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Your hand-raising is dominating this discussion
tsk tsk...men being men...
how 'bout some high-fives!

From: Saskatoon | Registered: Jun 2002  |  IP: Logged
wei-chi
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 2799

posted 25 September 2002 03:03 PM      Profile for wei-chi   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
No that the "Get Rid of Slimy GirlS" sign seems to be tacked up. Let me ask a real question.

Chivalry? Dead? Is it a continuation of patriarchy?

I revealed somewhere that I first became really sensitive to women's issues when my sister was attacked (but successfully got away). But my first thoughts weren't: "Oh, I see, even *I* continue to perpetrate fear in women with my unconscious behaviour." or the like. No my first reaction was: "Okay, where I'd put that gun?" or the like.

Furthermore, I had the same reaction TODAY, when my fiancee told me a strange story about a crazy lady running into her parents house. She was being chased by a posse or something (they live in the country). Anyway, the details are really unimportant, because my first question was "Did K. get a rifle out?" (K being her younger brother who was home at the time). My first instinct was towards defense/protection.

That's a long way to go to: Is this defensive/protective attitude anti-feminist?


From: Saskatoon | Registered: Jun 2002  |  IP: Logged
pogge
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 2440

posted 25 September 2002 03:13 PM      Profile for pogge   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Both quotes from wei-chi.

quote:
Your hand-raising is dominating this discussion

Geez, you do what you're told and you still get yelled at.

quote:
That's a long way to go to: Is this defensive/protective attitude anti-feminist?

If I had a male relative who was threatened or attacked, I suspect I would be as tempted to respond in a defensive or protective manner. Particularly if that relative were younger, smaller or otherwise less able to defend himself than I. How could that be construed as anti-feminist? Women tend to be physically smaller and weaker than men, and therefore more vulnerable to physical attack and more likely to need help in dealing with one. Is that an anti-feminist thing to say?

Of course a smaller, weaker woman may also have enough martial arts training to be able to kick my butt. But I assume you're talking about a "heat of the moment" response in a general sense.


From: Why is this a required field? | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged
Sisyphus
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Babbler # 1425

posted 25 September 2002 03:37 PM      Profile for Sisyphus     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
In case my previous posts don't make it clear: my hand is waaayyyup. Oh yeah, on the "Chivalry" topic... most of what falls under this heading can also be filed under Politeness or Consideration and be applied to all. The more culturally defined elements such as chair or coat- holding I extend to my aging parents and their friends. My mate likes to have these "sexist" rituals performed for her, while I like to be scratched under the chin, Mrrrowrrr! I don't see why such an issue is made of these things. I have also been in the position of offering "backup" to a male friend (who could kick my butt) against a group of racist morons who wanted to "fuck the n------ up". Again, sex had nothing to do with it.

[ September 25, 2002: Message edited by: Sisyphus ]


From: Never Never Land | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
SuperGimp
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posted 25 September 2002 03:37 PM      Profile for SuperGimp     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
My first wife was a radical feminist of some "importance" in the US, that is to say, if I mentioned her name, at least one or two women on this thread might have heard of her or read something she had written. I am 45 and I came of age in Berkeley during the "2nd wave" of feminism. At that time and place (late 70s) men were EXPECTED to have an opinion on issues, to PROVE we gave the issues serious thought. We were expected to do our own research and know about feminism, or we were not taken seriously as progressives/radicals. We were serious lefty hippies and organized day-care for movies about women in Zimbabwe and stuff like that. (really!) The separatist thing Disobedience and Michelle and others describe was a huge divide in the movement (at least in the Bay Area) and effected male participation. Some of us got fed up and some of us kept on with the day-care during the workshops...but after awhile the separatist influence greatly changed the dynamic/dialectic and suddenly, men were NOT expected to participate, and the whole thing reversed. We were instead expected to butt out. But no real reason was given to us for this ideological shift, indeed, it was not evident in ALL feminists, as Dis and Michelle said.

Personally, I noticed a change...men who once felt they had something at stake (their own relationships) did not have to get involved anymore...its the chick flick syndrome! Well, we don't have to worry about that, its their lookout! Whatever the girls do...I dunno! Duh!

Sorry, my formative years stay with me, and I believe feminism is for the good of everyone. Racism HURTS WHITE PEOPLE. Sexism HARMS MEN. Disability rights are for EVERYONE, because any able-bodied might join our group AT ANY TIME. Now, these privileged classes may not see this immediately, so it is OUR TASK (the white people, etc) to SHOW THEM THIS. All social equality movements are for EVERYONE.

So, I will comment on these issues if I think I know something. When I don't know squat, then I won't. If I offend anyone, I will apologize--but I do come from a position of good will.

I think many men also do--and of course, some do not.


From: Dixie-USA | Registered: Sep 2002  |  IP: Logged
Sisyphus
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 1425

posted 25 September 2002 04:44 PM      Profile for Sisyphus     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Racism HURTS WHITE PEOPLE. Sexism HARMS MEN. Disability rights are for EVERYONE, because any able-bodied might join our group AT ANY TIME. Now, these privileged classes may not see this immediately, so it is OUR TASK (the white people, etc) to SHOW THEM THIS. All social equality movements are for EVERYONE.

I agree with all of this. The recurring motif here is inclusiveness. We are all human beings and entitled to respect, dignity and consideration. However, the depth of involvement in cause A, as opposed to cause B, is another issue and needs to be considered from several angles:

1. Practicality- we can't take up the banner for every cause. There's not enough time.

2. "Cause appropriation"- I don't care how "sensitive" he is. A white male raised in Scarborough is not a suitable leader for a group fighting female circumcision in the Sudan. His face is not the face of the problem, the issue only affects him in the most general way that all barbarities affect thoughtful people. Simply put, if it's not your fight, you have no call to lead the charge and its presumptuous to do so. This is not to say that one can't help causes in which one has no personal stake, but one must defer to those whose lives are affected.

3. I don't think men have much to contribute to a forum in which women are discussing their experiences as women in patriarchal society.

Instead, we should be convincing other men that sexism is stupid. Of course, this is much more difficult than whining about "men's issues" to a group of people who may have their vunlerability switches turned up in order to explore deeply how they have been hurt by a repressive system. So, a brief list of some causes to which I have nothing to contribute : gay marriage rights, aboriginal self-government, handicap access in public places, abolition of slavery in Sudan... All of these represent issues of profound importance to human society, but I must defer to those who represent the people affected on the front lines. To me, this is just a matter of knowing where you can speak with authority and where you cannot.

[ September 25, 2002: Message edited by: Sisyphus ]


From: Never Never Land | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
Mandos
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 888

posted 25 September 2002 05:15 PM      Profile for Mandos   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I have never taken well to the idea that I shouldn't post lest I offend someone. When offered the choice between called a jerk and posting an idea that I think is interesting or relevant, I would almost always choose the latter course. On babble, this is rarely a problem (I have been much more vicious and liberal with put-downs elsewhere). But it has arisen as an issue recently.


Michelle notes that I posted many times to the Witch Hunt thread. I cannot be totally certain what that signifies, but it should be reasonable for me to assume that some think it is Too Much. But it should be remembered that I was only one person responding to a lot of other people who criticized the ideas that I posted.


Ultimately, I think it is neither possible nor correct to ask that the Feminism Forum maintain some form of balance when it is not clear to me what that balance is. I can see certain discussions being obviously taken to areas that don't belong on the feminist forum--according to me. People have accused me of taking discussions on the feminist forum to places they think are inappropriate--according to them. Since there are no obvious or well-defined limits, I think the only demand that can be made is that it stay on the topic of feminism and that people remain civil. Because what I see is futile attempts to force threads not to drift, and I'm against that--all it does is it makes everyone, to borrow Scout's poisonously-delivered metaphor, step on each other's feet.


From: There, there. | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
wei-chi
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posted 25 September 2002 05:15 PM      Profile for wei-chi   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I agree with Sisyphus generally, but I think Sis' would agree on some exceptions. If a 'cause' is new and hasn't yet taken off, then it would benefit from organisation 'from the outside', if you will. This could be a specific, localized issue or a global one. Another one is practicalities. It is difficult to find an adequate representative from the the child-labourers in China (say, for example). So someone else has to hold the banner. I think Sis' would say that's obvious, perhaps.

My problem with telling other guys to knock of anti-female behaviour, is that, honestly, I'm not sure I know what anti-female behaviour is in its entirety. I mean I know obvious stuff like stalking and molesting and insulting, etc. But the subtle stuff, like speaking too often, still escapes me. That's why I need to interact on this topic.


From: Saskatoon | Registered: Jun 2002  |  IP: Logged
Mandos
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posted 25 September 2002 05:30 PM      Profile for Mandos   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Sisyphus: I don't agree with that formulation at all. I have interesting ideas on any number of political subjects which have no relationship to myself, and I certainly don't see any reason to hold back on them except my time. Now the one place that I would agree with you is that if one agrees that a particular group is an oppressed group, one should refrain from denying the experiences of a member of said group, or claiming to know more about the experience of oppression itself (ie, not the reasons, causes, consequences, just the experience). This is a very restricted limitation, as you may notice, because I think that anyone can have a good or interesting idea regarding anything else, or at least something worth sharing and discussing.
From: There, there. | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
wei-chi
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Babbler # 2799

posted 25 September 2002 05:37 PM      Profile for wei-chi   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Sisyphus, on chivalry:

I tend to agree with you, but I have this feeling that I might be missing some inherent reason why this is continuing the status quo of oppression.


From: Saskatoon | Registered: Jun 2002  |  IP: Logged
Sisyphus
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Babbler # 1425

posted 25 September 2002 05:42 PM      Profile for Sisyphus     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
agree with Sisyphus generally, but I think Sis' would agree on some exceptions. If a 'cause' is new and hasn't yet taken off, then it would benefit from organisation 'from the outside', if you will. This could be a specific, localized issue or a global one. Another one is practicalities. It is difficult to find an adequate representative from the the child-labourers in China (say, for example). So someone else has to hold the banner. I think Sis' would say that's obvious, perhaps.

I certainly agree that the exceptions you describe are good ones. If the ball ain't rolling and it's clear to you that it should be, then by all means you have give it a kick. I believe that one's membership in the human race trumps all "special interests". I was limiting my comments to situations in which there were already people working for a particular cause. There is often a tendency for well-meaning types to want to impose their style on others' discourse.
quote:
My problem with telling other guys to knock of anti-female behaviour, is that, honestly, I'm not sure I know what anti-female behaviour is in its entirety. I mean I know obvious stuff like stalking and molesting and insulting, etc. But the subtle stuff, like speaking too often, still escapes me. That's why I need to interact on this topic.

The subtle stuff often escapes me too. However, I think that there's a danger that we fall into the trap of believing that it's the most sensitive and irritable members of a group who should determine what's appropriate or not. respect and allowing for differences is a two-way street. I'll go down on record and say that infinte sensitivity on your part doesn't require infinite capitulation on my part. I'll avoid going out of my way to offend you, but there will come a point where I'm going to say that you should toughen up a bit and get a thicker skin. I'll use a concrete example. I'm out with the boys on Friday night and one of them makes a derogatory remark about how his siter-in-law's taking women's studies and writes "womyn" and uses the term 'herstory". Sorry, I'm gonna shake my head and smile ruefully with the rest of them. He pats the waitress on the rear and we're gonna have a chat. But that's me. We all have to draw the line.

From: Never Never Land | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
Timebandit
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Babbler # 1448

posted 25 September 2002 05:43 PM      Profile for Timebandit     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Slimey Girl alert!

quote:
No my first reaction was: "Okay, where I'd put that gun?" or the like.

...

That's a long way to go to: Is this defensive/protective attitude anti-feminist?


I find this really funny. I, being most definitely female and most definitely feminist, would have had much the same reaction, had anything of the sort happened to a loved one of mine.

No, I can't find your reaction anti-feminist, unless you assume that feeling protective is a specifically male tendency. Which it's not. "Don't get between a mother bear and her cubs..." and all that jazz.


From: Urban prairie. | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
wei-chi
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posted 25 September 2002 06:00 PM      Profile for wei-chi   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I get what your saying Sys'. And I agree. I've just been trying to come at this stuff from another angle.

Same, Zoot, with the gun-waving thing.

On being in a bar. Or even better, on a university campus. People are going to make jokes. The next thing you know the Women's Centre has a letter of complaint into the President or into the Student newspaper. In this university setting, I've found that anything will set off a letter-writing/picketing campaign.


From: Saskatoon | Registered: Jun 2002  |  IP: Logged
SuperGimp
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posted 25 September 2002 06:01 PM      Profile for SuperGimp     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
SISYPHUS: I don't think men have much to contribute to a forum in which women are discussing their experiences as women in patriarchal society.

Of course and I didn't mean to imply that...that is sorta what I meant by "if I know something about it"..for instance I contributed to the porn thread since I think I have seen more porn than a lot of women have; the places I was describing in my post are not the kinds of places women go to! Women also tend to see the so-called "respectable" porn like PLAYBOY, and I wanted them to know about the seedy, needle-marks-on-actresses porn that they never see, but makes enormous profits. They usually have little knowledge of this nasty underside of the business, AND THERE IS A REASON WHY...

Yeah, we can't do everything, certainly. But we can certainly share everything we know, and that is what I meant!

[ September 25, 2002: Message edited by: SuperGimp ]


From: Dixie-USA | Registered: Sep 2002  |  IP: Logged
Sisyphus
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posted 25 September 2002 06:20 PM      Profile for Sisyphus     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Of course and I didn't mean to imply that...that is sorta what I meant by "if I know something about it"..for instance I contributed to the porn thread since I think I have seen more porn than a lot of women have; the places I was describing in my post are not the kinds of places women go to!
Actually, I wasn't really directing my comments at anyone in particular, nor was I saying that men should never discuss feminist issues. I don't read the feminist portion of babble for the reasons discussed, and when I do evince some particularly egregious maleness, She Who Must Be Obeyed will raise my conciousness or a few lumps . However, I got the feeling that some of the females felt that feminism threads were being hijacked by some of my fellow XY's. Some of the latter got their noses out of joint. My response -and I'm willing to admit it may be conditioned by the locker room- is that this precious sensitivity to a females-only feminism thread is nothing a good wedgie or two wouldn't cure .

[ September 25, 2002: Message edited by: Sisyphus ]


From: Never Never Land | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
Tommy_Paine
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Babbler # 214

posted 25 September 2002 10:19 PM      Profile for Tommy_Paine     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
But perhaps the more "objective" men only see the statistics they wish to see.

Or, we're in a hurry and don't read carefully enough before expounding sometimes. Either way.....


From: The Alley, Behind Montgomery's Tavern | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
Tommy_Paine
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Babbler # 214

posted 25 September 2002 10:46 PM      Profile for Tommy_Paine     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Fascinating, that a segment of the lesbian population would believe that sexual orientation is a matter of choice, as many religious fundamentalists believe. I wonder if they're aware of the strange bedfellows they both have.


I struggle with the Chivalry thing quite a bit. I know, on one hand, that chivalry is an extension of the paternal, "women as property" thing, and I worry that in some situations, chivalry might be interpreted as a "you can't take care of yourself" statement.

Then, I worry about wether I'm using this as an excuse to wimp out, and not "take charge" in certain situations.

I think, in the end, you can think these things too much.

Probably one eye opener I had recently was the issue of "going Dutch" on "dates". I've always picked up the bill at restaraunts etc. There was never an implication attachted to it in my mind, like, "I bought you dinner, you owe me sex," or, "I'm picking up the tab because I'm economically stronger than you." It's just a thing I always did because it just felt good to do something nice.

Then, someone pointed out to me that by doing so all the time, I deprive her of the same opportunities to feel good by doing something nice.

So, it has taken a bit of getting used to, but I think we split things down the middle pretty much. We're not obsessive about it, like picking up the tab and getting a calculator out every time we go out, but we alternate picking up the tab and keep a rough idea, I think, of splitting things down the middle.

And you know, it's actually really much better this way.

Coming out of a long relationship where my partner earned substantially less, and going into one where my pookie kins earns about the same as me is a whole different dynamic, one that I must say, I enjoy a lot better.


From: The Alley, Behind Montgomery's Tavern | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
Tommy_Paine
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Babbler # 214

posted 25 September 2002 10:58 PM      Profile for Tommy_Paine     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Jokes.

At work, two young women were sitting at break talking about being hit on in bars. Sometimes, there's and earnestness to this kind of thing, the women are genuinely upset/peeved about being annoyed.

And then sometimes, there's this undercurrent where they're really saying, "Gee, I'm so attractive, I get hit on ALL the time" and they sit there, trying to outdo each other with their stories.

It was my sense that these two women were engaging in the latter type of discussion. So, I sat there listening. The gist of it was one of them complaining about being asked to dance repeatedly, and her having to turn guys down left right and center, (giggle giggle, sigh sigh)and the other woman nodding in aggreement.

At a juncture of silence, I butted in. Picture me, over wieght, in my work duds, probably not clean shaven, and looking anything but the kind of thing you'd put on the cover of a Romance Novel.

"I," I said with complete confidence, tinged with a little arrogance, "have never been turned down by a woman I've asked to dance."

"Oh?" said the younger woman, taking me seriously, thinking I was full of crap.

"Well," I deadpanned, "They knew it was the only way they'd get untied."


From: The Alley, Behind Montgomery's Tavern | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
DrConway
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Babbler # 490

posted 25 September 2002 11:29 PM      Profile for DrConway     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I tend to stay outta the feminism forum because it's intended mainly for women. I'm not a woman, so it isn't really my beeswax.

Mandos, as much as I can understand your enthusiasm to post because you think what you have to say might provoke discussion, the fact remains that at some places and some times it's better if you just shut the hell up. Which is what I did after writer pointed out that for all that the feminism forum was intended for women, men were tending to post and being somewhat tangential to the issue at hand.

It's not just women, incidentally. Time to drag out another example from IRC. Sometimes you put your foot in your mouth so hard that the resulting abuse from people who delight in it is only abated if you just shut up. The attention span of the people in the channel is about equivalent to that of your average American's, anyway, so within a minute they'll quit trying to bait you and will move onto some other scintillating topic such as whether or not Iraqis should be bombed or merely napalmed.

Disclaimer: I haven't put my foot in it in a long time over there, but I've seen plenty of people do it.


From: You shall not side with the great against the powerless. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Trisha
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Babbler # 387

posted 26 September 2002 01:45 AM      Profile for Trisha     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I don't think men have much to contribute to a forum in which women are discussing their experiences as women in patriarchal society

"discussing their experiences as women in patriarchal society"

Here's where you guys are going wrong. The feminist forum is for discussing experiences FROM THE FEMALE VIEWPOINT. Some of you come in simply to negate our feelings and views. This action is not welcomed. Whether you agree or not, we experience a lot of things differently from men or see them from a different point of view. To you, rape statistics are impersonal, to us they are personal to give one example.

There is no reason men can't make worthwhile contributions in a feminist discussion, as long as he respects that he is talking to women, who have different experiences than he does. We are not treated as equals by most men and what a lot of people don't understand is that equal does not mean the same, though it does mean of the same value. We are not the same, we don't experience life or jobs or much else in the same way.

Whether you want to believe it or not, very few women have the high-paying, highly respected jobs men have. Even fewer have the degree of everyday safety or security that men have. I can produce statistics to prove this but it should be obvious to all of you. There are blocks against women that most men never have to deal with, some of it due to tradition, most because it's still not all that long ago that we were treated like possessions of men.

So, guys, contribute when you feel what you want to say can either support or assist the female view on things but not try to make us look at things from the male side. Don't try to negate us or make us feel inferior. We have had enough of that already. Admit that we have a right to feel the way we feel and discuss things that have happened to us as they have actually happened.


From: Thunder Bay, Ontario | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
TommyPaineatWork
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Babbler # 2956

posted 26 September 2002 02:46 AM      Profile for TommyPaineatWork     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
In consideration of this thread title.....


whistles randomly...looks at my nails....stares off into space....

Did you say something Trisha?



From: London | Registered: Aug 2002  |  IP: Logged
adlib
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Babbler # 2890

posted 26 September 2002 04:23 AM      Profile for adlib     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
*uses all of my witchy power to send a house to fall on Tommy's head*

Hard to dominate the discussion with just your little feeties sticking out, isn't it, He-Man?

quote:
So, guys, contribute when you feel what you want to say can either support or assist the female view on things but not try to make us look at things from the male side. Don't try to negate us or make us feel inferior. We have had enough of that already. Admit that we have a right to feel the way we feel and discuss things that have happened to us as they have actually happened.

So, guys, contribute when you feel what you want
to say can either support or assist the female view on things but not try to make us look at things from the male side. Don't try to negate us or make us feel inferior. We have had enough of that already. Admit that we have a right to feel the way we feel and discuss things that have happened to us as they have actually happened.

So, guys, contribute when you feel what you want to say can either support or assist the female view on things but not try to make us look at things from the male side. Don't try to negate us or make us feel inferior. We have had enough of that already. Admit that we have a right to feel the way we feel and discuss things that have happened to us as they have actually happened.

So, guys, contribute when you feel what you want to say can either support or assist the female view on things but not try to make us look at things from the male side. Don't try to negate us or make us feel inferior. We have had enough of that already. Admit that we have a right to feel the way we feel and discuss things that have happened to us as they have actually happened.

So, guys, contribute when you feel what you want to say can either support or assist the female view on things but not try to make us look at things from the male side. Don't try to negate us or make us feel inferior. We have had enough of that already. Admit that we have a right to feel the way we feel and discuss things that have happened to us as they have actually happened.

So, guys, contribute when you feel what you want to say can either support or assist the female view on things but not try to make us look at things from the male side. Don't try to negate us or make us feel inferior. We have had enough of that already. Admit that we have a right to feel the way we feel and discuss things that have happened to us as they have actually happened.



quote:
I think I have seen more porn than a lot of women have; the places I was describing in my post are not the kinds of places women go to! Women also tend to see the so-called "respectable" porn like PLAYBOY, and I wanted them to know about the seedy, needle-marks-on-actresses porn that they never see, but makes enormous profits. They usually have little knowledge of this nasty underside of the business,

Well, except for the women who are *in* the porn... You could be talking to some of them, you know.

quote:
How could that be construed as anti-feminist? Women tend to be physically smaller and weaker than men, and therefore more vulnerable to physical attack and more likely to need help in dealing with one. Is that an anti-feminist thing to say?

Well, I certainly think it's misguided, and false. Being "smaller" does not make women "more vulnerable" to attack. Being women is what makes us likely to be attacked. The biggest, strongest woman, a black belt, radical feminist, can be and probably will be attacked/molested/assaulted. Not because she isn't "strong enough" to fight back. Because he had a gun, because he was her boyfriend, because there were five of them, because she was caught off guard, whatever.

I posted the thread in the feminism forum on sexual assault in activism because I think this is a very dangerous and harmful misconception. If you seperate women into categories- strong women (work out, wear comfortable shoes, call themselves feminists) vs weak women (have big boobs, wear lipstick and heels, stay in an abusive relationship), virgin vs whore, all translate into doesn't-deserve-it-therefore-it-won't-happen vs does-deserve-it-because-it-has-happened.

Nobody deserves to be sexually assaulted. No matter what a woman does, who she hangs out with, where she goes, how she dresses, she can (and probably will) be sexually assaulted. Most probably by her partner. Unless you live under a rock, (at least) one of your friends has sexually assaulted, or been sexually assaulted.

I do think men should talk about feminism. Like, how they can be more supportive to, how can they best understand, etc. I find several of the men posting here and in the feminism forum are very much coming from that perspective. But I also really appreciate a thread on feminism outside the FF, because here I'm open to talking about how to help guys understand. In the FF, I want to support women. Men can get support elsewhere, like here.

Re: Chivalry- being polite to everyone is very commendable. Do not be surprised if some people don't want your courtesy, be courteous enough to respect that.

quote:
That's a long way to go to: Is this defensive/protective attitude anti-feminist?

Of course your first thought is to kill the fucker. Mine is the same every time I hear someone's terrible story of abuse. But just remember- your gut reaction is just that, not an action plan. If the survivor doesn't want you to go after him, don't. Otherwise, you're disrespecting her autonomy, and you're acting like you're the one who has been hurt. It's her hurt. Concentrate on helping her through that. I know men aren't usually given a lot of skills for dealing with this kind of thing, but you can watch other people, read books about it. Just please don't act like the problem is that your property has been damaged- take care of her, don't act without her express permission, and just cultivate vivid revenge daydreams.

Re: Seperatist or "lesbian" feminism- I think many women themselves buy into the self-hating strong vs weak woman thing. It makes them feel superior to look down on other women for being sex workers, being abused, being femme, being with a man, whatever. It's not solidarity building, it's just sad, really. That said, I know het women/men/etc. who are just as judgemental of others for not being "strong" enough- I don't think it's exclusive to lesbian feminists.


From: Turtle Island ;) | Registered: Jul 2002  |  IP: Logged
TommyPaineatWork
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Babbler # 2956

posted 26 September 2002 05:12 AM      Profile for TommyPaineatWork     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Hard to dominate the discussion with just your little feeties sticking out, isn't it, He-Man?

Yes Mistress.

quote:
But I also really appreciate a thread on feminism outside the FF, because here I'm open to talking about how to help guys understand.

Well, not only that, but it'll be a great place for women who will shortly be judged not feminist enough for the feminist forum to come and talk about feminism.

[ September 26, 2002: Message edited by: TommyPaineatWork ]


From: London | Registered: Aug 2002  |  IP: Logged
swirrlygrrl
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posted 27 September 2002 07:53 PM      Profile for swirrlygrrl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Justice is better than chivalry if we cannot have both.
Alice Stone Blackwell

Just thought I'd post a quote that I've always found relevant in discussions such as this.

But like some others I would differentiate chivalry with just good manners. Good manners apply to men and women, and are one of the finest qualities a person can possess IMHO. I hold doors open for women and men. I give up my seat on the subway for women who are pregnant, people with crutches or canes, older persons of any sex, and anyone who looks like they've had a rough day. I feel protective of other creatures, human or not*, stronger or weaker than I, who are experiencing pain or suffering. I define these traits as good manners and an empathetic nature.

This of course as distinguished from chivalry, which usually means "strong and capable Sir Lancelot rescues weak and helpless Guinevere," or more modern forms that really function to keep women from realizing that we are strong and capable as well, or men from having to recognize it, rather than simply culturally recognized rituals that indicate respect for another person.

I don't need to be saved, and as long as my partner understands that, I'm more than willing to let him kill the spider in the bathtub, take out the smelly compost and deal with the moldy leftovers. I just really, really don't want to.


* some exceptions apply


From: the bushes outside your house | Registered: Feb 2002  |  IP: Logged
SuperGimp
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Babbler # 3090

posted 28 September 2002 05:26 PM      Profile for SuperGimp     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
ME: ...Women also tend to see the so-called "respectable" porn like PLAYBOY, and I wanted them to know about the seedy, needle-marks-on-actresses porn that they never see, but makes enormous profits. They usually have little knowledge of this nasty underside of the business.

ADLIB: Well, except for the women who are *in* the porn... You could be talking to some of them, you know.

Yeah, but admittedly, I was talking about a very specific time and place, Adlib...the late 70s/early 80s in the Bay Area. Now, think carefully. Needle marks on porn actresses. A famous plague started there, and at that exact time in history...

No, I don't think I am talking to any of THOSE WOMEN in THAT porn...It is more than likely that they are all dead by now...


From: Dixie-USA | Registered: Sep 2002  |  IP: Logged
skadie
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Babbler # 2072

posted 28 September 2002 05:50 PM      Profile for skadie     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Michelle notes that I posted many times to the Witch Hunt thread. I cannot be totally certain what that signifies, but it should be reasonable for me to assume that some think it is Too Much. But it should be remembered that I was only one person responding to a lot of other people who criticized the ideas that I posted.


Mandos, I just want to point out that when I opened a topic related to your posts OUTSIDE the feminist forum you lost interest. You said it "took the wind out of your sails" or something reasonably equivilant.

I guess I don't understand why these topics are so much more interesting to you within the feminist forum.

I really enjoy the mens participation in the forum, when it is not simply "I'm a man and I don't rape/oppress/hate women so I am innocent and feminists are wrong to talk about this." A great many men have really relevant and thought provoking things to add, but when the issues boil down to "it wasn't me" then I'd say it's time to get lost.


From: near the ocean | Registered: Jan 2002  |  IP: Logged
Rebecca West
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posted 30 September 2002 01:06 PM      Profile for Rebecca West     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I just want to add my voice to those who've said how much they're enjoying this thread.

Re: Chivalry - The old concept goes hand in hand with the idea of courtly love. Meaning, it was alot of decorative nonsense that had little to do with reality. In the middle ages, women had to be tough to survive harsh living conditions, disease and childbirth. Noblewomen were expected to run huge estates and defend them against maurauders while their menfolk were off pillaging other people's castles and killing muslim people.

In modern, relevant terms, chivalry, as connected to your SO/life partner/main squeeze has more to do with watching each others' back, mutual courtesy and respect, being the buffer for each other against life's crap. In broader terms it's simply extending consideration to others in any and all situations that apply. As another poster has already said, it only becomes anti-woman (or anti-feminist if you prefer) if it's about a man protecting a person he considers his property.

Chivalry isn't really about physical strength. And physical strength isn't just about muscle, upper body strength or how many kilos you can benchpress. Women's physical strength manifests differently. It's the kind of strength that allows us to push a baby out into the world after 30 hours of labour. It's tenacity and resiliance and fortitude and putting up with shit.

Edited: for bad grammar and spelling

[ September 30, 2002: Message edited by: Rebecca West ]


From: London , Ontario - homogeneous maximus | Registered: Nov 2001  |  IP: Logged
wei-chi
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Babbler # 2799

posted 02 October 2002 03:09 AM      Profile for wei-chi   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Reading the chilvary posts and this post by Trisha:
quote:
We are not the same, we don't experience life or jobs or much else in the same way.

It got me to wondering about this equal vs. equitable, and beyond that into a cultural context.

It has been somewhat enlightening for me to see women in burkas out in society living and doing normal everyday things. Is it dehumanizing? I don't know.

So I'm wondering, is the burka a case of women being "not-the-same but equal"? Does Islam fully acknowledge and embrace the differences between man and woman, or does it impose differences?


From: Saskatoon | Registered: Jun 2002  |  IP: Logged
nonsuch
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Babbler # 1402

posted 02 October 2002 04:22 AM      Profile for nonsuch     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
It is to laugh, people talking about 'dehumanizing' something, when they have no working definition of 'human'.

Men and women can't say anything that the other will hear, until men can talk to and hear one another and women can communicate with other women. Mostly, people hear themselves, not the other.


From: coming and going | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
wei-chi
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posted 02 October 2002 02:15 PM      Profile for wei-chi   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I think I get your point nonsuch, but I wasn't trying to emphasis that idea with the use of 'dehumanizing'.

In other news, people argued over whether something is objectionable and whether or not that potentially objectionable thing was actually said. Here:
this thread on Male Domination

But here's a point from writer:

quote:
It's why I prefer the statement "all men benefit from rape" over "all men are potential rapists." I actually do believe that anyone is a potential rapist, just as I believe anyone is a potential murderer and thief. It's meaningless.

So what is the point that they are trying to get at by saing "all men benefit from rape?" In a real-life monetary sense? In an abstract power sense?

A response from Scout:

quote:
We can argue about men's potential till we are blue in the face. As an argument of word choices and penises but in the real world, if a strange man approaches me at night while I am on my way home, for my safety I am going to assume he has the potential to hurt me. I will be extra aware of his mannerisms, his expression etc. more so than if it was another woman.

This is true.

Yet I tend to say, "hey, men face this too." I've been afraid walking alone at night. Afraid of a man, and not a woman. (of course, she would be afraid of me).

comments?


From: Saskatoon | Registered: Jun 2002  |  IP: Logged
Trisha
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posted 02 October 2002 03:18 PM      Profile for Trisha     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I don't think anybody feels that men are totally safe in this world either. They can be hurt, they can be violated. It's just that women are most often the victims.

Statistics Canada release on homicides indicate that out of 183 family-related homicides in 2001, 69 were men killing their spouses or ex-spouses and 16 were women accused of killing their husbands. It also said that 52% of all female victims and 8% of all male victims were killed by an individual with whom they had had an intimate relationship. As well, 26 victims were killed by their father or stepfather, 17 by the mother or stepmother, 21 by their son and 4 by their daughter, 8 by a sibling and 21 by an extended family member. Of homicides committed by youths, 83% were committed by males, as were 87% among adults. There's more information of the www.statcan.ca/Daily website.

Does this help put things in perspective for anybody?


From: Thunder Bay, Ontario | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
wei-chi
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posted 02 October 2002 03:44 PM      Profile for wei-chi   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
That seems to be parallel to my conception of the world. I wonder about what percentage of all violent crime victims are male, though.

Granted these statistics, that women are assaulted by men, where does that seemingly obvious fact take us with Feminism? Is this a measuring-stick for equity (IE when women kill as many women as men do, then there is equity)? Is this merely a description of the way things are - in order to prompt change?

others?


From: Saskatoon | Registered: Jun 2002  |  IP: Logged
Trisha
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posted 02 October 2002 04:03 PM      Profile for Trisha     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I think the statistics show that the majority of violent crimes of all types are committed by males, the females doing this did go up a couple of years ago but has stayed pretty level since then. The increase was mainly in gang-related violence.

This has more to do with the reasons women's concerns have to be taken seriously than as an equality issue. I am offended by what I perceive to be your attitude. These are facts, these show women have more to worry about than men in this specific area of crime. This also proves that women are not being protected by the legal system in domestic situations the way they should be. These statistics prove an increase in spousal homicides, and all the increase shown is men hurting women. Does this look like women are being treated more equally? I don't think so.

I gave these statistics partly to show why women need to band together to gain any hope of freedom from these types of offenses. That doesn't exclude men in any way, it just means that women have to have their say and find ways to help each other. Not everything is about feminism but women's rights and safety do come under that mandate because they have to.


From: Thunder Bay, Ontario | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
wei-chi
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posted 02 October 2002 04:21 PM      Profile for wei-chi   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I'm not trying to be offensive, rather inquisitive. I was just wondering where the point takes us. If men are violent against women. Where do we go from there?

And: what part of this discussion is about violence *in general* and what part of it is about violence *towards women (by men)*? Are they separable, or not? How is violence between men different from men being violent to women? Is there something inherent in the types of violence that makes them different?

To answer a bit of my own question. Obviously overtly sexual violence (rape) is inherently different (I think). But does other, simply physical violence against women differ from simply physical violence between men?


From: Saskatoon | Registered: Jun 2002  |  IP: Logged
Mandos
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posted 02 October 2002 04:27 PM      Profile for Mandos   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
skadie: I almost missed your post. We'll leave that discussion for another time. I'd have continued your thread, but I actually want to bring up that discussion (ie, on biological explanations of patriarchy) when I have a big chunk of spare time, because I want to deal with it very carefully and thoroughly in order to avoid being caught unnecessarily by the knee-jerk reactions that these discussions seem to cause. As well, your thread drifted off into territory that I was less interested in, including a much deeper defence of natural selection itself.

The idea behind the "wind out of my sails" business is that where I say something is significant to the message I am sending, and I also want to say things in certain contexts. A new thread is very nice and I appreciate that, but the rhetorical momentum is lost and we are beginning from a "clean slate." If I want to begin from a clean slate, I have to define my terms all over again. Which I will do. Some time in the next couple of months, maybe. I hope. Perhaps unrealistically.


From: There, there. | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
Trisha
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posted 02 October 2002 05:08 PM      Profile for Trisha     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Wei-chi, much of the violence against women by men, and please note I said much, is control seeking and unmitigated. Most violence of men against men, and again I say most, is competition. This is a major difference. Random violence just because somebody happens to be in the wrong place at the wrong time can happen to either, but most often happens to women and most often involves sexual overtones, such as rape and what is called sexual interference. Women are most often attacked because they are women and considered inferior by the men attacking them. Men are most often attacked because the attacker sees them as a rival of some sort. Yes, there are a lot of differences.

To change this, men must be taught at a young age that women are not inferior, not possessions, not there to be overpowered or used, to be protected only when they need or request protection (this is in reference to the protection that is really ownership issue), capable of holding their own opinions and speak about them, I could go on but I think you get the idea.

As far as men vs. men, respect is an issue here too, just not quite as prevelent. Violence for material gain is a separate thing.


From: Thunder Bay, Ontario | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
swirrlygrrl
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posted 02 October 2002 05:12 PM      Profile for swirrlygrrl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Several of the more recent posts have been hitting on male violence, and its important to acknowledge that men are victims of male violence as much or more than women are victims of male violence, though the lack of real stats on violence make it so hard to prove this (for example, sexual assault is horribly underreported, for women and for men, and widely ignored, especially for those who are incarcerated; a guy pounding a man outside a bar or a woman in the bedroom - what's the chance we know the real number of times this happens in a year?). It is true that women are becoming perpetrators of violence against women as well as men in increasing numbers, though not anywhere near at equivalent levels as men.

But such a discussion brings to my mind an excellent article I read several years ago by Michael Kaufman I believe called "Masculinity and the triad of violence" (or something similar) that talked of how the cultural definitions and expectations of masculinity led to violence BY men in three ways: 1) against women, 2) against other men, and 3) against themselves, with violence inflicting both physical and emotional/spiritual damage. It really brought home to me how masculinity is dangerous to men AND women, how it really needs to be dealt with to make the types of changes that must occur in society for it to be safe for us all, and really prevents men from being full people.

Which is why there's a huge (though sadly ignored in the mainstreams regularly) current in feminism now about changing the way we raise boys (although anti-feminists like Christina Hoff Summers jump on the bandwagon of how feminists are destroying boys since girls tend to have higher literacy levels, do better in school, be "diagnosed" with ADHD less often, face discipline less often, etc., saying we're trying to turn boys into girls, rather than understanding that the point is to let boys and girls both be full human beings, rather than being relegated to those tiny, oppressive, horrible roles called "masculinity" and "feminity". Girls are prospering in many senses because we've changed the way we raise girls - giving them access to things like higher education and sports and assertive behaviours that previously were the domain on boys alone. Boys will prosper when they are given the opportunity to feel and nurture, as well as be strong and competent. Full ranges of human characteristics make full humans! Ending rant now.)

Don't mess with She-Ra, Princess of Power.


From: the bushes outside your house | Registered: Feb 2002  |  IP: Logged
Trisha
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posted 02 October 2002 05:26 PM      Profile for Trisha     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
"Several of the more recent posts have been hitting on male violence, and its important to acknowledge that men are victims of male violence as much or more than women are victims of male violence, though the lack of real stats on violence make it so hard to prove this "

The stats on homicides prove that women are most often victims of male violence than men. Sorry, on this statement, you are wrong. Also, of the reported cases of rapes and other forms of violence, the stats indicate that the result will be similar if more were reported. However, violence is becoming a bigger problem for everybody. That can't be denied.

However, the point is that only women know what it feels like to be a woman and we have valid concerns that can often only be understood by another woman, so our opinions and feelings should not be negated by men. This isn't to say men can't contribute to a discussion of them, just don't put them in a category of being unimportant. Men do not experience things the same way that women do, so can't always understand the results of our experiences. It's almost like trying to explain to a man how having a baby feels. Bill Cosby came closest when he referred to it as like having your lower lip dragged all the way over your head.


From: Thunder Bay, Ontario | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
wei-chi
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posted 02 October 2002 05:33 PM      Profile for wei-chi   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Ah good points Trish and Swirly.

I particularly like that I think we are moving past the obvious to ideas/concepts of solutions.

Swirly brings up an interesting point about raising boys. I'm a particular advocate of a strict crackdown on bullying, both physical and emotional. People argue this is part of growing up, but I disagree. Children are taught rules at very young ages. They only stray from these rules (into bullying) because it is permitted (and often bullying causes others to bully - either back, or to others). I think such stringent rules would help create a good basis for respect and treating people equitably. And if we catch violent behaviour early, it might automatically lessen the actual number of crimes against both women and men in the future.


From: Saskatoon | Registered: Jun 2002  |  IP: Logged
wei-chi
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posted 02 October 2002 05:38 PM      Profile for wei-chi   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Trisha:
quote:
However, the point is that only women know what it feels like to be a woman and we have valid concerns that can often only be understood by another woman, so our opinions and feelings should not be negated by men.

The imp in me says:
So why is the Men's Movement so often ridiculed? Do men have valid concerns that can often only be understood by other men?


From: Saskatoon | Registered: Jun 2002  |  IP: Logged
rosebuds
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posted 02 October 2002 05:51 PM      Profile for rosebuds     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I'm entering this discussion late, so bear with me if I'm stating the obvious...

It seems to me that the issue of "Men on the feminist forum" is less one of male dominance than it is one of stupid argument.

We are all - men and women - guilty of it to some extent. It's just a stupid cycle of disintegration into which we all seem to fall. And it seems to happen ALL THE TIME.

A woman makes a generalization. A man takes issue with that generalization. The woman responds explaining that generalizations are necessary to be "safer" given the climate we live in. The man insists generalizations are unhelpful. The woman insists generalizations are a necessity of being safe.

And on and on it goes and where it stops nobody knows...

I, for one, take issue with the idea that men are not welcome on the feminist forum. (I don't think anyone actually said that, but it certainly was there in the subtext). I don't simply want to vent. I want to be understood. And I want to hear what men think and believe, too.

If we could all keep ourselves out of that silly trap we'd be much better off!

Why can't we all just get along?


From: Meanwhile, on the other side of the world... | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged
swirrlygrrl
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posted 02 October 2002 07:37 PM      Profile for swirrlygrrl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Trisha - please check out the link below on murder in Canada to see that in fact men are murdered (overwhelmingly by men) at a rate that is roughly double that faced by women.

Homicide stats for Canada broken down by gender and age

Of course, I am willing to accept that there is fallibility in this (how many of the women whose DNA is being found on a pig farm were classified as missing or simply ignored?) but I dont see any evidence in Canada for saying women are the primary victims of murder.

As for the sexual assault issue, while those assaults that take place in the majority of Canada likely do follow the pattern of those known (women and girls as majority of victims), I do not want us to ignore the fact that there is rape in jails and prisons, and that this is a primarily male on male phenomenon, widely underreported, and often dismissed (I have seen comments on other boards that those rapes in prison "deserve" it, a shocking thought to me, though in my most vengeful state of mind I have been known to make a comment of this nature.)

Men need to be part of the solution to patriarchy, and their thoughts and experiences as the ones holding (and thus also, but not primarily, confined by) the chains of oppression need to be included if we're going to overcome this. Which is not to say that I don't think that the feminism forum should not be primarily posted on by women, as at this point, and in most discussions, men first need to listen to women and understand before we can move on to solving anything.

I can't really remember what I was supposed to be talking about, but I'm going to end this post even if it meandered.


From: the bushes outside your house | Registered: Feb 2002  |  IP: Logged
Tommy_Paine
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posted 02 October 2002 10:23 PM      Profile for Tommy_Paine     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I think it's wrong to discount the effect of testosterone here, in discussing male violence. We can raise our boys in the most anti-violent environment you like, but there's always going to be some that are not going to be effected by such things.

Some of you stop salivating and understand that I'm not saying this is an excuse or justification. It's just a well documented fact that testosterone has this effect on mammals. Look at how violent female hyena's are. Their bodies course with testosterone from before birth, and are often born fighting with their siblings.

I'm not sure what we do about that. Perhaps, in the end, environment is the trump card because part of growing up, from boyhood to manhood is leaning to control anti-social messages that eminate from the hypothalamus, that part of the brain we have in common with crocs and aligators.

Maybe men who seem to resort to violence as first choice problem solver should be checked to see if their metabolism produces a lot of testosterone? Can it be lowered? Would it lead to less violence? It seems obvious to me, surely there is research on this.

When it comes to violence against women, I was raised to understand that using violence not just against women, but anyone physically smaller was a blemish on your "masculinity". That's a good place to start with boys, but somewhere along the line, as the boy mutates into a man, it has to occur to him that there is another reason, a deeper, more important reason.

Myself, I don't know how I got there-- just that I did. Maybe the illness I feel when I know a woman is afraid of me is something I was born with. How do we encourage empathy? Is the outrage I feel when a woman is murdered or beaten or her character squelched by a numb nuts blowhard b/f or husband linked to my accute sensitivity to injustice? Or is it linked to the old socialization where the "strong" (men) have to take care of the "weak" (women)? Or is it because I can, to some extent, put myself in the victim's shoes and appreciate to some extent, the horror?

Some might say don't look a gift horse in the mouth, motivations don't matter, it's the result that does.

But I think if we understand the motivations, we might be able to guide more boys to manhood successfully.

Edited to take out some petty stuff.

[ October 02, 2002: Message edited by: Tommy_Paine ]


From: The Alley, Behind Montgomery's Tavern | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
DrConway
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posted 02 October 2002 10:28 PM      Profile for DrConway     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
wei-chi,

The problem with a lot of "men's movements" is that they tend to be hijacked by right-wing sexist males who want a forum to rant and rave where they won't be shunned by any functioning member of society with a working mind.

The whole bloody world is a men's movement. It's just like how every day is straight pride day.

Why do I say the whole world is a men's movement? Consider!

Just in this country, ask yourself how many legislators and premiers have been women.

How many CEOs?

How many upper managers and VPs, even?

How many sports stars?

Who earns more if university-educated and white?

Boom, boom, boom. Males.

Hell, it wasn't 40 years ago it was legal for a man to sexually assault his wife.


From: You shall not side with the great against the powerless. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Tommy_Paine
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posted 02 October 2002 11:12 PM      Profile for Tommy_Paine     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Well, you're right Doc about "men's rights" groups being hijacked or established as flimsy pretexts for mysogyny.

But, I don't think that because men are running things in the legislature or in the board rooms that it necessarilly translates into advantage for men like you and I.

And, if it does, I think it's quite by accident.

Nor does getting women into such positions seem to have much of an impact on social justice for working class women or men.


From: The Alley, Behind Montgomery's Tavern | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
DrConway
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posted 02 October 2002 11:28 PM      Profile for DrConway     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I would agree that the concept of "white male privilege" is heavily dependent on economic status of said white male.

However, there are still incremental advantages to being a white guy who speaks English properly in this country.

(althoug rich CEOs are working busily to grind us all, white, black, Chinese, etc, down to one common denominator of serfdom to them.)


From: You shall not side with the great against the powerless. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
SuperGimp
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posted 02 October 2002 11:44 PM      Profile for SuperGimp     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
A bit of a drift--but directed to Tommy's comments.

Tommy, I might go along with your assertions about testosterone, if I didn't remember (gay) columnist Michael Musto's joke about Fire Island being the only place in the world where hypermasculine guys (who spend all day body-building; giant pecs and bushy mustaches), squeal and great each other with "Girlfriend!"

How can you explain gay or bisexual men (NOTE: I am bisexual myself--I am not engaging in stereotyping) who look "masculine" but act in ways traditionally thought to be "feminine"--or for that matter, heterosexual men who do?...And what about male transsexuals who transition to female and start taking female hormones? There is no proof they have any LOWER levels of testosterone--some even have a lot. Yet they say they "really" feel like they are women. How could that be possible if testosterone is the powerhouse, gender-deciding factor you say it is?

Personally, I cry at the end of certain movies, pout and act in certain stereotypically "feminine" ways also, and I attribute this to a certain overprotected upbringing and the fact that I did not grow up playing competitive games/sports with boys. I have had bloodwork a million times in my life--and my testosterone level is normal.

I just don't buy it, about the testosterone--although I know the story of the East German (women's) swim team given megadoses of it (without their knowledge), and how it changed them. But wasn't that because of the large amounts? We just can't objectively evaluate the effects of sex hormones without culture and gender expectations interfering with the results, it seems to me.

(Just my two cents...CARRY ON!!)

[ October 02, 2002: Message edited by: SuperGimp ]


From: Dixie-USA | Registered: Sep 2002  |  IP: Logged
'lance
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posted 02 October 2002 11:50 PM      Profile for 'lance     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
properly

More doubtful every day, that qualification, Doc. For example, take the forty-third President of the United States. Please.

Oh, I notice you said "this country." OK, take the twentieth Prime Minister of Canada. To wherever you've taken the other joker. Even a burning deck needs two.

[ October 02, 2002: Message edited by: 'lance ]


From: that enchanted place on the top of the Forest | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
skadie
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posted 02 October 2002 11:58 PM      Profile for skadie     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
It's just a well documented fact that testosterone has this effect on mammals. Look at how violent female hyena's are. Their bodies course with testosterone from before birth, and are often born fighting with their siblings.

Tommy_P, in their natural habitat the female hyena has more testosterone than the male and is larger, more aggressive and most dominant. It is a well documented fact that in groups of these animals removed from their natural environment and raised without an established social system the females do not establish the same dominance.

Just because the testosterone is a factor doesn't mean the behavior isn't learned.


From: near the ocean | Registered: Jan 2002  |  IP: Logged
swirrlygrrl
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posted 03 October 2002 12:15 AM      Profile for swirrlygrrl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
If you aren't careful, I'm going to turn this into a love fest for you SuperGimp!

Hormones are valuable and important, and no doubt impact us, but I'd really like to try this raising boys in a non-violent culture before determining anyone with testes to be a seething cauldron of rage and violence. Lets try that first, okay? When I was taking my estrogen/progesterone birth control pills, I never had an increased desire to bat my eyelashes and make pies, or any other "feminine" behaviour, and high levels of female horomones were coursing through my viens 21 days a month! Maybe because these behaviors are cultural, not biological? Just an idea.

Appeals to what's natural, previously a nature given by divine being(s), now usually by Mother Nature, are too often a cloak for inaction in dealing with systemic inequalities. There's always been "science" justifying hierarchy, but the fact that it is consistently wrong doesn't stop some from clinging to it when their privilege is threatened. Let's throw out this whole Freud "biology is destiny" BS and check out how we raise and treat kids, what we tell them is okay, in deeds and words, how we treat other people, and try to change that. Yes, lets!

She-Ra strikes again.


From: the bushes outside your house | Registered: Feb 2002  |  IP: Logged
wei-chi
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posted 03 October 2002 12:58 AM      Profile for wei-chi   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I agree with swrly.

And I point out that voilence and bullying isn't a strictly male phenomena. I have lots of anecdotal memories of girls being cruel. And remember that Rena Virk tragedy.

This kind of behaviour has to be stopped. I think we should also re-instill respectful behaviour. Whatever happened to the teenaged boy helping old women across the street?


From: Saskatoon | Registered: Jun 2002  |  IP: Logged
TommyPaineatWork
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posted 03 October 2002 01:34 AM      Profile for TommyPaineatWork     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Swirrlygrrl,for the sake of clarity:

quote:
Some of you stop salivating and understand that I'm not saying this is an excuse or justification.

and,

quote:
Perhaps, in the end, environment is the trump card because part of growing up, from boyhood to manhood is leaning to control anti-social messages...

That I wasn't saying:

quote:
Let's throw out this whole Freud "biology is destiny" BS and check out how we raise and treat kids, what we tell them is okay, in deeds and words, how we treat other people, and try to change that. Yes, let's!

and my closing echoed that-- somewhat less pejoratively,

quote:
But I think if we understand the motivations, we might be able to guide more boys to manhood successfully.

Is it me, personally, you take issue with? Because I can't really see a substantive difference in our views.

[ October 03, 2002: Message edited by: TommyPaineatWork ]


From: London | Registered: Aug 2002  |  IP: Logged
adlib
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posted 03 October 2002 02:26 AM      Profile for adlib     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
TP- I don't think she's really disagreeing with you at all. I think she's just extrapolating on the point. Gosh, men are so sensitive!

I agree with you Tommy, that testosterone is a factor. I know several trans men who have experienced the shift when they start taking T, in particular in how quickly they become really angry. But thus far it hasn't made any of them into rapists or abusers that I know of. I think anger is one thing, what you do with it is another.

I think it's important to note that when talking about sex/gender and hormones, that the current binary-gender medical model is seriously flawed. It does not represent people's real physiologies. In the past, when transsexual people were prescribed hormones, there was a set dosage because the assumption was that genitals=hormone levels. That's just patently false, and led to lots of medical complications for people. There is tremendous varience of hormone levels across the little F and M boxes, not to mention variations in chromosomes and anatomy.

Despite these variations, assigned sex is very much a factor in violent behaviour.


From: Turtle Island ;) | Registered: Jul 2002  |  IP: Logged
TommyPaineatWork
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posted 03 October 2002 02:34 AM      Profile for TommyPaineatWork     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
SuperGimp,

quote:
How could that be possible if testosterone is the powerhouse, gender-deciding factor you say it is?

I never said it was. I'm just saying that it's linked to violence, and it may, just may, play a factor in the worst of cases.

I threw it out because I'm quite sure that there must have been some research done on this at some time, and I was hoping someone more knowledgable than myself would be able to say yay or nay.

The vast majority of us can be educated by the environment around us.

The tiny minority of men who can't be indicates that perhaps there is something else going on in their mind or body, and I think we do a diservice to future victims of such men, if we dismiss this possibility for reasons other than ones based on fact.


From: London | Registered: Aug 2002  |  IP: Logged
TommyPaineatWork
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posted 03 October 2002 02:39 AM      Profile for TommyPaineatWork     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
TP- I don't think she's really disagreeing with you at all. I think she's just extrapolating on the point. Gosh, men are so sensitive!

Gee I wonder why?


From: London | Registered: Aug 2002  |  IP: Logged
adlib
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posted 03 October 2002 02:52 AM      Profile for adlib     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Maybe it's that you just got a testosterone boost. It comes in spurts, you know, and that can really affect your behaviour. I think it's making you irrational.
From: Turtle Island ;) | Registered: Jul 2002  |  IP: Logged
TommyPaineatWork
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posted 03 October 2002 03:08 AM      Profile for TommyPaineatWork     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
testosterone boost? Be a kind lady, and ask whoever got to keep my testosterone factories back at the feminist forum to monitor thier production for me, will you?


I'm more shell shocked than sensitive, but it's a fine distinction, admittedly.


From: London | Registered: Aug 2002  |  IP: Logged
adlib
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posted 03 October 2002 03:23 AM      Profile for adlib     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Pardon, me, Tommy. My "lady" privilege obscures my ability to understand how difficult it must be to be a man in a lady's world. Maybe you should spend all night writing me a thesis on how hard it is for you, because after all, I need you to educate me, it's my privilege that makes me so ignorant. Then when you're finished, post it here, so I can ignore it for you. I can just focus on how my feelings get hurt when someone confronts me on my lady privilege, because too bad for you I don't need to care how you feel.

And they say feminists have no sense of humour!


From: Turtle Island ;) | Registered: Jul 2002  |  IP: Logged
TommyPaineatWork
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posted 03 October 2002 03:33 AM      Profile for TommyPaineatWork     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Ah, so it's you who have them!


From: London | Registered: Aug 2002  |  IP: Logged
angela N
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posted 03 October 2002 06:38 PM      Profile for angela N   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Someone posted a great article about masculinity and porn on another thread. I bookmarked it and now that Iím reading this I can see how itís relevant to this discussion. ( I forget who posted it). Although it doesn't reflect everyone's beliefs about porn, I thought that it provided some valuable insight about masculinity.

http://uts.cc.utexas.edu/%7Erjensen/freelance/pornography&masculinity.htm
Itís a long article, but worth the read, in case you have no time here is the conclusion

Here are some ways we can start resisting masculinity:

We can stop glorifying violence and we can reject its socially sanctioned forms, primarily in the military and the sports world. We can make peace heroic. We can find ways to use and
enjoy our bodies in play without watching each other crumble to the ground in pain after a "great hit."

We can stop providing the profits for activities that deny our own humanity, hurt other people, and make sexual justice impossible: pornography, strip bars, prostitution, sex tourism. There
is no justice in a world in which some bodies can be bought and sold.

We can take seriously the feminist critique of sexual violence, not just by agreeing that rape and battering are bad, but by holding each other accountable and not looking the other way
when our friends do it. And, just as important, we can ask ourselves how the sexual ethic of male dominance plays out in our own intimate relationships, and then ask our partners how it
looks to them.

If we do those things, the world will be a better place not just for the people who currently suffer because of our violence, but for us. If you are not moved by arguments about justice and
the humanity of others, then be moved by the idea that you can help make a better world for yourself. If you cannot take the pain of others seriously, then take seriously your own pain,
your own hesitations, your own sense of unease about masculinity. You feel it; I know you do. I have never met a man who didnít feel uneasy about masculinity, who didnít feel that in
some way he wasnít living up to what it meant to be a man. Thereís a reason for that: Masculinity is a fraud; itís a trap. None of us is man enough.

There are men who know this, more men than will admit it. We are looking for each other. We are gathering. We search each otherís eyes with hope. "Can I trust you?" we ask silently.
Can I trust myself? In the end, will we both get scared and rush back to masculinity, to what we know? In the end, will we both reach for "Blow Bang #4"?

In a world full of the pain that comes with being alive -- death and disease, disappointment and distress -- being a human being is hard enough. Letís not add to our troubles by trying to be
men. Letís not add to the suffering of others.

Letís stop trying to be men. Letís struggle to be human beings.

Thanks to whoever did post this originally!


From: The city of Townsville | Registered: May 2002  |  IP: Logged
TommyPaineatWork
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posted 04 October 2002 02:38 AM      Profile for TommyPaineatWork     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
That's rather wieghty to be commenting on in a full way, Angela.

In relation to the pornography aspect of the paper, there's stuff I take issue with, I think the author hits on the wrong angle and misses one entirely.

quote:
The feminist critique asks a simple but devastating question of men: “Why is this sexually pleasurable to you, and what kind of person does that make you?”

And,

quote:
Even if you believe that such sexual “fantasies” have no effect in the world outside our heads, what does that pleasure say about our humanity?

The implication is that not only are we in control of our sexual desires and fantasies, that we should control them. I am not sure either is possible or desirable, and when the direction is pointed squarely at men, it's not surprising that many men view at as an attempt to control what they are thinking.

What is controllable are our actions.Maybe this is what Dworkin bases her faith in male humanity in, that there are many-- the majority in fact, who hold themselves accountable for thier actions --if not their fantasies.

Do men's fantasies say something about us as men? I think that's unfair to address like this. Do our fantasies say something about us as humans? Certainly. Some Men have fantasies about being in control; some also have fantasies about being controlled.

As do some women.

For the life of me, I could never figure out why it's just one genre of sadomasochistic pornography that gets singled out as a symbol of the darker inhumanity of masculinity, but lesbian S&M not only gets a free pass, but it considered chic by many. And gay male S&M? Well, boys will be boys, no harm no foul. And S&M that features women in control? pass the popcorn, it's time for a few laughs.

Of course I know the difference. In the real world we've seen male dominated S&M played out not in fantasy, but for real, and it's no game-- it's a heinous crime. So it's quite understandable it takes on a whole different symbolism.

But, in the context of sexual fantasy, it all comes out of the same spigot humans of all genders share.

Not only does focus on one gender's fantasies mimic Victorian guilt, it sends a message that the other gender thinks it isn't part of humanity itself, but something above it.

The sadness about pornography is the demand for it by anyone.

I think the question that isn't asked, is why are we so afraid of sharing our sexual desires with each other that we retreat into flat, one dimensional images of other people acting them out?

I'm not talking about walking up to complete strangers and telling them your inner secrets. I'm talking about people who have intimate partners. Where's the trust? Why are we so afraid?

And for those that don't have intimate partners and use pornography for release, why don't they have intimate partners?

We are too much strangers to each other and too ourselves.


I think the tack taken by the author about pornography will do more to ensure it's market, than do anything to diminish it.

The masculinity trap idea is much more interesting, but I fear I have bored enough, and burgled enough time from my employer for a while.


From: London | Registered: Aug 2002  |  IP: Logged
adlib
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posted 04 October 2002 05:11 AM      Profile for adlib     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
While I appreciate your attempt to view sexuality in as pluralistic a way as possible, that is a sidetrack to the point.

The porn industry is in no way as pluralistic as human sexuality. That is, in fact, the problem. It is a multi-billion-dollar industry which presents a very narrow, limited view of sex. It is consumed, on the whole, by men. Mr Jensen's question is thus specifically geared to men in order to understand this phenomenon- that is, what is it about that particular view of sexuality that appeals to all these men, and what does that say?

As for whether or not our desires can and should be "controlled", I do think it is a matter of individual choice. I do believe that exploring our motivations and desires is a necessary part of personal growth, however. So I don't think it's wise to advocate an unquestioning acceptance of any aspect of our desires- sexuality being one- especially given that we are constantly bombarded with messages about what our desires ought to be.

And as for men feeling that this is an attempt to "control" them, I think that's a muddled view of control. All that this article asks is that people take responsibility for what they financially support and consume, as well as what the effects of this might be on their psyche and behaviour. Some people who are anti-porn do try to legislate access to the stuff, but that's not even what this guy is arguing.

So don't worry, I doubt Mr Jensen will be arriving at your door any time soon to take your "Naughty Cheerleaders" et al away...


From: Turtle Island ;) | Registered: Jul 2002  |  IP: Logged
Tommy_Paine
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posted 04 October 2002 03:16 PM      Profile for Tommy_Paine     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Well, respectfully, I don't think we can understand the male phenomena in a vaccuum. That's not where it lives. I hate to say this, as a skeptic, but I guess I'm trying to take an "holistic" attitude.

And, as far as the "control" aspect of it, we can argue whether it is or not, and neither of us can deffend diffinitively-- because it hinges on knowing what is going on in the mind of Mr. Jensen, and only Mr. Jensen knows for sure-- maybe.

But agree or not, we are left with the fact that we know that there will be this perception by men, if it's put to them the way Mr. Jensen puts it. Right or wrong, the preception has to be dealt with.

And, I'm saying you lose more men through this way than what you win.

This pluralistic defender of the male phenomena, as it were, isn't threatened by Mr. Jensen or anyone coming to take away my "porn". Unless they want to waggle the deffinition so far that they take away some works of litterature that are in my possession. And no doubt some would.


What I feel threatened by are people who make assumptions about what I'm thinking and leaping to conclusions on how I may act based on what they assume I am thinking.

As far as taking responsibility for our actions when it comes to "porn", I long ago decided that because I believe the chances were pretty good that at least some of the porn available did not meet my definition of "consentual", and that I could not discern which was, and which wasn't, I decided I would not spend money on it. Or go to strip clubs, etc.

This also extends into industries not sexual in nature, but nonetheless so negative to women that I will not spend money that way.

I arrived at his conclusion on my own through a lot of different paths converging.

I think if someone said long ago, "what you are thinking is nasty and wrong" I think I probably would have said, "mind your own business."

And taken a lot longer to grow up.


From: The Alley, Behind Montgomery's Tavern | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
angela N
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posted 04 October 2002 05:05 PM      Profile for angela N   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
After reading this and a few other articles. I realized that porn is much more than a utility and I see how it is my problem. I can see how it is every womanís problem in this context.

quote:
The implication is that not only are we in control of our sexual desires and fantasies that we should control them. I am not sure is possible or desirable, and when the direction is pointed squarely at men, it's not surprising that many men view at as an attempt to control what they are thinking.

No one will ever control what you are thinking, however, chances are that most of what you are thinking is a result of things you have already viewed or heard or read, we are ultimately are a product of what we have been exposed to.

So if we look at it the other way, instead of concerning ourselves with what may be taken away, imagine instead that you had never witnessed imagery of male dominated sex. If all that you ever knew of sex involved only the generous and mutual passion shared by two active participants rather than one active participant and one largely inactive receptacle, would your view of women be different when you close your eyes and fantasize about them? (when I say you, I mean all of us)

If that is difficult to determine, then how about we imagine Rome in the days where people were killed and tortured for sport. Iím betting dollars to doughnuts that viewing such a thing today would leave you with emotional scars so profound you or I would never be able to truly get our shit together again. For the spectators of the time, it was nothing more than amusement, and nothing to worry yourself about. How they viewed the people being killed was secondary to the enjoyment they experienced while watching them.

Will people look at the porn we make today and be disgusted with us in a few hundred years?

quote:
Do men's fantasies say something about us as men? I think that's unfair to address like this. Do our fantasies say something about us as humans? Certainly, Some Men have fantasies about being in control; some also have fantasies about being controlled.

And all of us probably develop complicated fantasies based on imagery revealed to us in the porn we have been viewing since we were 13 years old Ė if what we view is degrading towards women it probably becomes integrated into your subconscious early, and permanently. How that manifests itself in your day to day interactions with women is a difficult thing the determine, but I donít think you need to do a whole lot of research to conclude that a kid being brought up with discrimination will likely be discriminatory.


From: The city of Townsville | Registered: May 2002  |  IP: Logged
TommyPaineatWork
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posted 07 October 2002 01:39 AM      Profile for TommyPaineatWork     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
we are ultimately are a product of what we have been exposed to.

Yes.

And, I think it's unfair to look at some guy looking at porn, and assume from this that he has a problem with women as people.

People have a lot of influences. And I would say that in the grand sum of things, the influence of porn on male attitudes to women accounts for little of it.

That's not saying everything is okay, but that the problems--and solutions-- lie elsewhere.


quote:
imagine instead that you had never witnessed imagery of male dominated sex.


Well I have. I can't say if I'm typical, or atypical, but I know for certain my major "kinks", and my attitudes toward women were well in place before I even knew what porn was.

Some men have been nasty to women long before the invention of the video camera, the still camera, the printing press, the quill, or those curious impressions the Mesopotamians made on wet clay.

This makes me think that there's something else at work here, so I very much doubt:

quote:
And all of us probably develop complicated fantasies based on imagery revealed to us in the porn we have been viewing since we were 13 years old

The problem of men who DO nasty or criminal things to women is a problem for men to consider when they raise their sons. I'm convinced this has more to do with this problem than any other factor.

The problem of figuring out human sexuality is certainly not a gender vs gender issue.


From: London | Registered: Aug 2002  |  IP: Logged
adlib
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posted 07 October 2002 03:46 PM      Profile for adlib     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
No one will ever control what you are thinking, however, chances are that most of what you are thinking is a result of things you have already viewed or heard or read, we are ultimately are a product of what we have been exposed to.
quote:
How that manifests itself in your day to day interactions with women is a difficult thing the determine, but I don’t think you need to do a whole lot of research to conclude that a kid being brought up with discrimination will likely be discriminatory.


I agree. And the het porn industry is humongous and ubiquitous. Are all these videos and magazines being viewed by the same four "perverts"? No. They are being viewed, over and over again, by lots of men. Some women occasionally buy the stuff, but in terms of market, it's a het male one. If you want to argue that that does not effect the way those men view women and sexuality, you'd be going against not only logic, but also women's direct experiences.
like this:
quote:
People have a lot of influences. And I would say that in the grand sum of things, the influence of porn on male attitudes to women accounts for little of it.

Based on what? Are we supposed to just take TP's word for it, that all these women's experiences are imaginary? Besides, many women argue that it affects them, so what, are they crazy? And whether or not some women do not feel that way about porn does not "cancel out" the feelings of those who do.

quote:
Some men have been nasty to women long before the invention of the video camera, the still camera, the printing press, the quill, or those curious impressions the Mesopotamians made on wet clay.

This makes me think that there's something else at work here(...)



Er, it's called patriarchy. No one has argued that it starts and ends with porn. But the way people are taught to view sexuality, and thus how the media portrays it, is a big part of patriarchy.

quote:
The problem of men who DO nasty or criminal things to women is a problem for men to consider when they raise their sons.

Indeed. Like, for example, teaching them that porn is not a real protrayal of sex. And by not being a sexist porn consumer yourself. That's only part of it, but it's still a factor.

quote:
The problem of figuring out human sexuality is certainly not a gender vs gender issue.

Oh no? The way people view sex has nothing to do with sexism, huh? What does it have to do with, the weather?

It seems to me that your dismissal of women's concerns about porn speaks for itself. You can couch it in whatever terms you like, it comes down to whether or not you take these women's concerns seriously. Which I suspect you do not, because all that you've done thus far is try to argue that their feelings are invalid.


From: Turtle Island ;) | Registered: Jul 2002  |  IP: Logged
Secret Agent Style
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posted 07 October 2002 04:14 PM      Profile for Secret Agent Style        Edit/Delete Post
I'm curious, to those who think porn causes sexism, do you also think horror movies and cop shows cause murder and violence? Do Marilyn Manson songs lead to kids shooting up their schools?

Are humans that feeble-minded that they can be influenced at the drop of a hat? If so, then why haven't the people who sit on censor boards turned into a howling pack of murderous drug-crazed rapists? Are they gods or some sort of ubermenchen?

My view is that if you're brought up right and have a good set of morals, you can differentiate between the fantasy images on your TV screen and the real world outside your door.


From: classified | Registered: Jan 2002  |  IP: Logged
flotsom
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posted 07 October 2002 04:48 PM      Profile for flotsom   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
That's just the old saw, AndySocial.

It isn't a case of direct cause and effect, Andy -- pull the lever and the ball drops -- pornography exposes one to an environment where humans are objectified and de-humanized, and, just as with violence, if you compound this exposure over time and throughout a large population there becomes a consensus of silence toward sexual objectification and violence in general.

[ October 07, 2002: Message edited by: flotsom ]


From: the flop | Registered: Jul 2002  |  IP: Logged
swirrlygrrl
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posted 07 October 2002 05:06 PM      Profile for swirrlygrrl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I'm beginning to feel like some people are taking the title of this thread too seriously. Sigh. Let's all repeat again, class:

Porn is not the ultimate cause of all that is wrong with the universe. Humans are not mindless imitative automatons, doing whatever the evil media tells them to. Sexuality is complex and impacted by many things.

Of course, no one that I read on this board actually said any of the things I just contradcited were true as I remember, but some people seems to read any criticism of porn or discussion of it whatsoever as meaning that they are.

I won't write anything else here because I'm not convinced that some people will allow a serious, open and honest discussion on this subject to happen, and a bit hypocritical for me to say now, but I don't want to contribute to another petty war.


From: the bushes outside your house | Registered: Feb 2002  |  IP: Logged
angela N
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posted 07 October 2002 05:11 PM      Profile for angela N   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
And, I think it's unfair to look at some guy looking at porn, and assume from this that he has a problem with women as people. People have a lot of influences. And I would say that in the grand sum of things, the influence of porn on male attitudes to women accounts for little of it.

That's not saying everything is okay, but that the problems--and solutions-- lie elsewhere.


I would be interested in knowing where you think the problems and solutions do lie.

I realize that the overall subordination of women does not begin or end with porn. All I am suggesting is that in an environment where women have had to work very hard to get what they have, porn serves to undermine the path to equality that might otherwise be closer had this "women-as-less-than-human" form of male entertainment not been a factor.

It might be easy for you who is smart, educated and open-minded to see women on blow bang #4 and recognize that this is not an accurate representation of most women, however, Lloyd and his brother Lloyd who have had the unfortunate experience of being dropped on their heads by their father, who also happens to be their uncle, might not be able to make that cognitive leap.

It is the Lloyd brothers who might be failing to understand the finer conceptual distinctions that you take for granted. So, when their daughters who also happen to be the mothers of their children continue to be treated like semen receptacles by them and the other inbred halfwits that constitute the members of the community, we see that while we can not point a finger directly at porn, we can certainly see how recreating Bus Bang might seem like a damn good alternative to driving pick-up trucks into road signs.

All this to say once again, that this type of porn is not doing women a hell of a lot of good, Ö.no matter how much men really really really like it.

quote:
Some men have been nasty to women long before the invention of the video camera, the still camera, the printing press, the quill, or those curious impressions the Mesopotamians made on wet clay.

Thatís right, and at some point women were fairly powerless to prevent any of that nastiness, in some cases we still are. What changed? Did men suddenly wake up and scratch their heads and say, "hmmm, I think we men need to do something to eradicate some of the problems that women appear to be experiencing in our society" (Enter hysterical laughter)

No, women empowered women and we made the changes in society that we felt were necessary for our daughters to grow up with a closer approximation to the equality that we are entitled to. If women in their wisdom decide that this means no more porn for you, then guess what?


From: The city of Townsville | Registered: May 2002  |  IP: Logged
WingNut
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posted 07 October 2002 05:20 PM      Profile for WingNut   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
I won't write anything else here because I'm not convinced that some people will allow a serious, open and honest discussion on this subject to happen, and a bit hypocritical for me to say now, but I don't want to contribute to another petty war.

Tsk, I am sooo disappointed.

Seriuosly, though. Porn, of and by itself, is not the worst thing in the world. But there is porn that is truly dehumanizing and intentionally so.

Audra had once mentioned how she helped have a rape site shut down. There are beastality sites. There are far too numerous to count sites that promise "barely legal" teens made up to look like adolescent girls. There are sites that offer young girls paid to have sex who do not know they are being put in the Internet.

To be fair, there is Playboy, Playgirl and Penthouse type porn which offers not much more than a masturbatory pleasure. But increasingly there is a truly mean, demeaning and exploitave porn. Not to return to SexTV too much (you have to get your information somewhere) but they interviewed a porn seller who said that a man ejaculating on a women's face is a sort of revenge for all the girls he couldn't get in high school. In another segment a fellow was saying the reason for the great amount of anal sex is because the porn industry is running short of taboos to cross.

This is all speculation, of course, but perhaps it offers some explanation for the type of degrading stuff currently be offered on the Internet. The next question, and perhaps a more important question, is whether porn is shaping the sexual appetities of men who consume or merely supplying a demand.

In either case the answer is disturbing but far more so if the answer is the latter.


From: Out There | Registered: Aug 2001  |  IP: Logged
Secret Agent Style
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posted 07 October 2002 06:09 PM      Profile for Secret Agent Style        Edit/Delete Post
quote:
...porn serves to undermine the path to equality that might otherwise be closer had this "women-as-less-than-human" form of male entertainment not been a factor.


I thought we already established the fact that porn isn't just for straight men. I guess some stereotypes are hard to break.
quote:

It might be easy for you who is smart, educated and open-minded to see women on blow bang #4 and recognize that this is not an accurate representation of most women, however, Lloyd and his brother Lloyd who have had the unfortunate experience of being dropped on their heads by their father, who also happens to be their uncle, might not be able to make that cognitive leap.


This is the same kind of patronizing attitude that leads people to advocate banning certain musicians. "Oh, I can listen to this song and be fine, but that dumb guy down the street might take the lyrics too seriously and kill a cop or commit suicide." I have more faith in my fellow humans.
quote:
If women in their wisdom decide that this means no more porn for you, then guess what?


Then I will fight it, because I'm against censorship. Freedom of expression is not just for me, it's for all people, male female, gay, straight, bi, trans, black, white, short, tall, young and old. And freedom means allowing things that you and I disapprove of. Hell, if I was dictator I would ban Celine Dione CDs.
quote:

The next question, and perhaps a more important question, is whether porn is shaping the sexual appetities of men who consume or merely supplying a demand.


I believe that it supplies a demand more than it shapes sexual appetites. The appetites have always been there, hidden away behind closed doors.

There are several vices that will never go away, no matter how much society tries to drive them underground: drugs, prostitution, violent sports, gambling, loud aggressive music and porn. The demand will never die, no matter what. You can't destroy human nature. Politicians and religious leaders have been trying to do that for centuries but we're still slaves to genetics and instinct in a lot of ways.

[ October 07, 2002: Message edited by: Andy Social ]


From: classified | Registered: Jan 2002  |  IP: Logged
WingNut
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posted 07 October 2002 06:45 PM      Profile for WingNut   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Maybe. But I'm not talking about porn. I am talking about degrading, dehumanizing porn. And maybe that has been in the closet. So why would we want to let it out?
From: Out There | Registered: Aug 2001  |  IP: Logged
Secret Agent Style
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posted 07 October 2002 07:02 PM      Profile for Secret Agent Style        Edit/Delete Post
quote:
I am talking about degrading, dehumanizing porn. And maybe that has been in the closet. So why would we want to let it out?

Because it's better to have everthing out in the open. Kind of like hate propaganda. I think it's better to have it see the light of day so it can be refuted, instead of driving it underground, where it becomes even more extreme and leads to a martyr complex among its followers.

(And in case anyone is joining in late, I still believe that anyone who makes porn that involves actual rape, abuse, children or animals should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.)


From: classified | Registered: Jan 2002  |  IP: Logged
Tommy_Paine
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Babbler # 214

posted 07 October 2002 07:18 PM      Profile for Tommy_Paine     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Indeed. Like, for example, teaching them that porn is not a real protrayal of sex. And by not being a sexist porn consumer yourself. That's only part of it, but it's still a factor.

No argument from me, here.

quote:
Er, it's called patriarchy. No one has argued that it starts and ends with porn. But the way people are taught to view sexuality, and thus how the media portrays it, is a big part of patriarchy.

I'm not dismissing this. Certainly there are feedback loops here where one thing serves to amplify another.

I don't think I'm dismissing women's concerns at all in this arena. In fact, if it were up to me, while I might take a liberterian view of what images are permissable, I'd certainly require a lot more legal assurance than what currently exists to ensure that all who work in this trade are there because they want to be, and for no other reason. And those assurances would come from a lot of different angles, not just sworn affidavits that are currently required for proof of age-- and which some models-- male and female--falsify.

What I want is a society were we can be free from being forced or coerced into doing things we don't want to do, or being denied things that we want to do that don't infringe on anyone else's liberty. And I want it for men and women. No one is free if it's denied to anyone.


quote:
It is the Lloyd brothers who might be failing to understand the finer conceptual distinctions that you take for granted.

So, is this how we are going to define our liberties in society, by the standards of your "Lloyd brothers?" Surely, we don't have to extrapolate too far before we see the dangers inherent in such philosophy?

quote:
If women in their wisdom decide that this means no more porn for you, then guess what?

If it was because we lefties on this board all got together and found ourselves in the seat of power, and as impossible as it may be, put aside our smaller differences and concentrated on, say, full employment and rigorous health and safety standards for all and this and other things created a society where there wasn't a porn market or industry, I think I'd dance in the streets with you chanting, "Free at last, Free at last, thank God a'mighty, we are Free at last."

If it was because we just passed a law against it, then "I'd pick up my guitar and play. Just like yesterday. And I'd get on my knees and pray, that we don't get fooled again."


Funny Andy mentioned "horror movies". I used to be a "B" movie afficiondo of sorts, until I just got fed up with the stalker angle, etc. and the 70's metamorphisis of "horror" into slasher movies, and stopped watching them.


From: The Alley, Behind Montgomery's Tavern | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
WingNut
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posted 07 October 2002 07:26 PM      Profile for WingNut   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
And in case anyone is joining in late, I still believe that anyone who makes porn that involves actual rape, abuse, children or animals should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.)

But there you go, Andy, shoving it back into the closet after just having said it should be in the open.

You can visit porn sites today involving actual animals. Is it okay if rape is only depicted? How do you know, when you view it, if it is real or not? Just faith? And what about children? Is it okay if 18 year-olds are made to look and act like 12 year-olds? And again, how can you always be sure? Where do you draw the line between theatrical depiction and reality?

How is watching a woman brutalized and raped, real or not, okay?

I don't get it.


From: Out There | Registered: Aug 2001  |  IP: Logged
Secret Agent Style
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Babbler # 2077

posted 07 October 2002 07:56 PM      Profile for Secret Agent Style        Edit/Delete Post
quote:
But there you go, Andy, shoving it back into the closet after just having said it should be in the open.


It's not the same thing at all. With child porn or snuff films, a real person is being molested and/or assaulted. The main crime is the actual abuse. The film or photos are evidence of that crime. The abusers are scum who need to be punished.
quote:

You can visit porn sites today involving actual animals.


They are probably based in the U.S. or another country, so the Canadian government has no control over them. If the government had the power to eliminate access to those sites or prosecute the makers of those sites I would support that, because they represent real abuse of real animals.
quote:

Is it okay if rape is only depicted?


I don't like it, so it depends on what you mean by "okay." Rape is depicted in all sorts of mainstream movies, TV shows, plays, operas and books. Fictional depictions should not be illegal. Just because it's offensive to most people doesn't mean it should be banned.

Freedom means tolerating things we hate. But it doesn't necessarily mean it should be on primetime TV either.

quote:

How do you know, when you view it, if it is real or not? Just faith?


If someone has concerns, they can go to the police and they will investigate it. They will find out who made it and track down the person in the images. If it's found that an underage person was involved, then the person responsible should be punished severely.
quote:

Is it okay if 18 year-olds are made to look and act like 12 year-olds?


Personally I don't like it, but I don't think it should be illegal, as long as it's consentual and nobody is being hurt. As I said, freedom means allowing things we don't like. Otherwise we aren't really free. Age can be hard to judge just by looking at someone anyway.
quote:

And again, how can you always be sure?


See my answer to the "How do you know..." question.
quote:

Where do you draw the line between theatrical depiction and reality?


Easy. One's fake and one's real. Simple as that.
quote:

How is watching a woman brutalized and raped, real or not, okay?


See my answer to the "18 year old looking like a 12 year old" question.

[ October 07, 2002: Message edited by: Andy Social ]


From: classified | Registered: Jan 2002  |  IP: Logged
Tommy_Paine
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Babbler # 214

posted 07 October 2002 08:03 PM      Profile for Tommy_Paine     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Double post, but this is a good subject on it's own.

quote:
I would be interested in knowing where you think the problems and solutions do lie.

I pick up a lot of stuff better educated people are taught on the fly, so if I incorrectly describe myself as a "reductionist", please don't laugh. But, I think that's my attitude to these things.

I think to better understand things like male attitudes to women, we have to try to understand the initial causes first. And, that is very difficult for many reasons. First, the environment that may have given rise to things like patriarchy no longer exists for us to study. And, I'm not making a case for "nature" over "nurture". Behaviors can be learned and passed down, and mimic "instinct" too. I'm Just trying to get to the bottom of things. And, it doesn't mean trying to dredge up excuses, or rationalizations for abhorent behavior on anyone's part-- or jumping to the conclusion that this is the "hidden agenda."

When it comes to why some people are aroused by dehumanizing others I think this is a human trait. Does our current porn industry cater to men doing this to women because men are more predisposed to this? Or because they have more disposible income? My experience tells me that it's not a trait exclusive to men, but I can't answer this question in any diffinitive way.

I think there's a lot of questions that we have to ask and seek answers to, and we are only at the beginning here.

In the mean time, there's a lot of nasty shit going down, and we haven't got time to sit and wait.

I hold one truth to be self evident, that all men were created equal, and that we all have the inaliable right to the pursuit of happiness, and liberty and all that good stuff. And if the original author wasn't using the word "men" in the gramatically approved collective case where it means everyone, it has come to include women as well as people of colour, and I concur with that inclusion.

It is, as they said, self evident. The fact it resonates after 200 years is proof enough.

So. When we frame things in this context and move forward on that basis, we don't have to wait for those reluctantly forthcoming answers to those reductionist questions.

When we all realize that to deny liberty to one person, we deny it to everyone and that the true test of tollerance is not to tollerate stuff we agree with, but with what we don't, then a lot of progress will be made everywhere, not excluding the societal, and individual relationships between women and men.

We have an unhealthy society were not just resources but power is hoarded in a few hands. As socialists, wether we are environmentalists, trade unionists, feminists, gays etc, we have an interest in changing this. This is where I believe the battle ground in the fight against "patriarchy" truly exists, and in this battle, despite our differences that, in the greater context, seem to be over how many angels dance on the head of the porn pin, we are allies.

And, in spite of what you may think, I'm glad to be able to look beside me and be in this company.

More to the point of the question, after doing a bit of thinking about this and other things this week, I really think that when it comes down to how I, as a man, treat the women around me, it probably-- for good or ill-- comes down to how I've seen other men, particularly my father, treat women.

I can't say I've been conscious about this all my life, but I can say that I've often stepped in when I've seen boys treating their mothers (my nephew's spring to mind) or other women with disrespect.

After these discussions here, the importance of this kind of thing is more central to my thinking.

We can think and say a lot of things, and we should, and if we're being honest it should be impassioned.

But actions speak louder than words.


From: The Alley, Behind Montgomery's Tavern | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
WingNut
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posted 07 October 2002 08:22 PM      Profile for WingNut   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
I don't like it, so it depends on what you mean by "okay." Rape is depicted in all sorts of mainstream movies, TV shows, plays, operas and books. Fictional depictions should not be illegal. Just because it's offensive to most people doesn't mean it should be banned.



But there is a big difference. In drama, rape is a bad thing. In porno, it is a good thing. See the difference?

As well, can you spot the contradiction between this:

quote:
If someone has concerns, they can go to the police and they will investigate it. They will find out who made it and track down the person in the images.
and this:
quote:
They are probably based in the U.S. or another country, so the Canadian government has no control over them.

Finally, Andy,

quote:
If the government had the power to eliminate access to those sites or prosecute the makers of those sites I would support that, because they represent real abuse of real animals.
is it really just the animals you are concerned about?

From: Out There | Registered: Aug 2001  |  IP: Logged
Tommy_Paine
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posted 07 October 2002 08:26 PM      Profile for Tommy_Paine     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I am being verbose today. I'm sorry. Some of this is "thinking out loud", as it were.

quote:
Rape is depicted in all sorts of mainstream movies, TV shows, plays, operas and books. Fictional depictions should not be illegal. Just because it's offensive to most people doesn't mean it should be banned.

When "A Clockwork Orange" first came out, I was too young to see it, Kubric's opus being rated X at the time. But, when I got older, the "Park" theater, one of the last 70mm movie houses in Canada, would play it from time to time and we'd all go see it. I was young then, and while the musical score and the cinimatography surely effected me, not a whole lot else did.

Years went by, and I rented it. Funny, but I find the rape scene in the country house unwatchable now.

Are young men lacking in empathy? or are they lacking in experience? I think it's the latter. When I was young, and didn't personally know anyone who had been raped, the concept was abstract. But, when that situation changes, it becomes too real to bear.

No, I wouldn't ban "A Clockwork Orange" or edit it. For anyone but myself.


From: The Alley, Behind Montgomery's Tavern | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
WingNut
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posted 07 October 2002 08:35 PM      Profile for WingNut   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I think I have made a mistake here and set the stage for major thread drift. When I made reference to theatrical rape, I did not mean it in the context of a Clockwork Orange or other Hollywood-type film. I meant it in terms of pornographic material.

Before you decide one way or another Tommy, or Andy, visit this site amd provide your impressions. My first instinct is that it should be banned and the hosts, including ISP, prosecuted. And if it is possible, sued on behalf of rape victims for every cent they and the ISP might have:

***NOTE: DO NOT VISIT THIS SITE IF YOU ARE LIKELY TO BE UPSET:

http://www.rapetech.com/


From: Out There | Registered: Aug 2001  |  IP: Logged
Tommy_Paine
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posted 07 October 2002 08:39 PM      Profile for Tommy_Paine     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
But there is a big difference. In drama, rape is a bad thing. In porno, it is a good thing. See the difference?

That's the tricky bit, Wingnut. I was reading a feature article in the Star a few years ago about pedophiles. They talked about the porn end of it, and pedophiles said that when they can't get porn, they resort to things like the Sears Catalogue.

It comes down to how these images are being viewed. Because a few pedophiles are using the Sears Catalogue, do we ban the Sears Catalogue as child pornography?

On the other side of the coin, do we ban porn, or types of it because a few can't discern fantasy from reality? And to maintain a consistant philosophy, should that not extend into the real of what you and I see as "drama", but that some others no doubt find sexually arrousing?

It's better to attack the problem all of us have--to one extent to another-- discerning fantasy and reality. It would have a positive impact on a lot of problems, not just porn.


From: The Alley, Behind Montgomery's Tavern | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
Tommy_Paine
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posted 07 October 2002 08:51 PM      Profile for Tommy_Paine     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Sorry, Wingnut, I can't.

And, besides I've already posted way too much here today.


From: The Alley, Behind Montgomery's Tavern | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
Secret Agent Style
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 2077

posted 07 October 2002 08:54 PM      Profile for Secret Agent Style        Edit/Delete Post
quote:
But there is a big difference. In drama, rape is a bad thing. In porno, it is a good thing.


Not necessarily. Not all drama has a positive message. And porn is still fantasy. Lots of people -- including women -- have horrible and innapropriate fantasies that they'd never want to experience in real life.
quote:

As well, can you spot the contradiction between this:
...
and this:...


There's no contradiction whatsoever. The second statement was just pointing out the difficulty of dealing with the Internet. It's easier for the police to deal with makers of videos and photos. But as technology advances -- or if countries cooperate more to clamp down on Internet offenders -- then it will be easier to go after those criminals.
quote:

is it really just the animals you are concerned about?


I'm also concerned about the people involved in the images, especially if they are unwilling participants. But my main point is that the people in charge of making those images should be punished.

From: classified | Registered: Jan 2002  |  IP: Logged
WingNut
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posted 07 October 2002 08:59 PM      Profile for WingNut   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
This will be my last post on the issue as well.

Andy, if you can visit that web site and maintain that it is allowable under your view of freedom, then so be it. But I would make just one last appeal: If any ethnic minority or other identifiable group of people, other than women, were being portrayed in such a way it would be declared a hate crime. And you would probably agree.


From: Out There | Registered: Aug 2001  |  IP: Logged
Veronica
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posted 07 October 2002 09:19 PM      Profile for Veronica        Edit/Delete Post
Hey, SuperGimp, I was one of those feminists in the Bay Area (mostly in Berkely) in the 70's and one reason we didn't want men involved after a while, (we did at first, because we wanted oh so very much for people not to think that we were anti-men) was that every meeting ended up being dominated by men and their opinions. This was my experience anyway. Also, many of us who were so young then, and had been conditoned by society's attitudes growing up in the 50's, 60's, 70's, were still wanting to please men and not upset them. We realized that to develop our own unique dialogue, we had to do it without men present.
From: Victoria | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged
Secret Agent Style
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Babbler # 2077

posted 07 October 2002 09:23 PM      Profile for Secret Agent Style        Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Before you decide one way or another Tommy, or Andy, visit this site amd provide your impressions.

I'm not going to go to that site because it would likely disgust me. I don't even like horror movies because I can't stomache the extreme violence.

But tell me, if the images were separated from the text, would it be obvious that it was simulated rape (instead of just aggressive role-playing sex)?

What I'm getting at is: is it the pictures or the words that make it a "rape porn" site? Because as Tommy mentioned with the example of pedophiles looking at Sears catalogues, context is in the eye of the beholder. But to answer you more directly, if someone did go after that particular site I probably wouldn't jump in to defend the site.

And that site is a very extreme (and rare) example. Many people would like to censor stuff that is much, much tamer and non-violent, just because it portrays sex. I would defend most of that material in a second.

quote:

If any ethnic minority or other identifiable group of people, other than women, were being portrayed in such a way it would be declared a hate crime.


I did say that I believe that the response to hate propaganda is not to go to the police and courts. I would rather see a hate site stay on the Internet than to censor it and give the Nazis more fuel for their martyr complexes.

I've read so much neo-Nazi/racist propaganda that I know their arguments inside and out, which gives me more ammo to destroy their arguments. I could easily pose as one and go undercover if it weren't for a few tattoos that would give me away, (and also that a lot of them know what I look like).

(Edited to fix an ambiguous-sounding sentence).

[ October 08, 2002: Message edited by: Andy Social ]


From: classified | Registered: Jan 2002  |  IP: Logged
angela N
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posted 08 October 2002 01:50 AM      Profile for angela N   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
It's funny, when I watched the roadrunner get chased as a kid, I felt kind of bad... poor roadrunner. The coyote would chase and I always felt really good when the anvil was dropped on his head. Same for when the bad guy in the movie gets it in the end or when the guy in A Clockwork Orange is tortured. I guess part of the problem for me is that when I watched that site that Wingnut provided, nobody dropped a fucking anvil on their heads.
From: The city of Townsville | Registered: May 2002  |  IP: Logged
Mandos
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Babbler # 888

posted 08 October 2002 02:10 PM      Profile for Mandos   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Oooh! Time for another turn of thread drift!


Angela: Funny, I always felt sorry for the endlessly frustrated coyote. I mean, episode after episode it'd be running after the same annoying, smirking-smug lunch. The poor coyote is a carnivore, it needs to eat--and it must be finding food somewhere! Think about it: if that tasty morsel of roadrunner keeps getting away (meep meep!), some other poor animal must be there to feed the poor coyote. Imagine that, how much life has been sacrificed on the roadrunner's behalf.


On a similar note, I always felt sorry for Sylvester as well.


We will (hopefully) not return to our regularly scheduled programming.


From: There, there. | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
rosebuds
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posted 08 October 2002 02:19 PM      Profile for rosebuds     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I kind of think that Jensen's point might have been missed and/or overwhelmed by a lot of debate regarding the merits of porn, sexual freedom, censorship and so on. I'd like to try to clarify a few things...

1). PORN ISN'T THE CULPRIT

It isn't that porn defines sexuality, but rather that sexuality defines porn that impacts sexuality that defines porn... It's a viscious cycle.

Mainstream porn is a symptom of the problems with our views on men and women in a sexual context. Men get excited by getting "what they want", and women get excited by "giving it to men". The culmination of porn is the man's climax. That's the point. That is why the woman is there. It's really the only reason she's there.

This is a symbol of sexuality in today's world. Women and men alike have bought into the sexual paradigm that mainstream porn presents. We are excited by it because that's what we're taught to be excited by. And the degradation of women - running from barely perceptible (hidden) to blatant - is part and parcel of it all.

And, if you want to extrapolate further, our views of sexuality have more to say about our society and our culture in a more global context. Patriarchy exists, and it's been boiled down and extracted and distilled in the form of pornography.

2). NO ONE IS SAYING PORN SHOULD BE BANNED

Jensen has not suggested in his article that porn be banned. He suggested that we watch it for a while and ask ourselves questions about what it means. He suggested that we think a little bit beyond the point we get off on it. He reported that when HE did that he felt sick and sad and disturbed. And, from what I can tell his words touched a nerve in a majority of posters in this (and the other) discussion.

3). WE AREN'T TALKING ABOUT EXTREME PORN

Jensen was pretty specific in stating that he is talking about mainstream porn. He is excluding extreme rape and/or child porn specifically because it's obviously distasteful to all but a few people.

He's talking about the straight up boring old heterosexual male porn and what it says about us (men and women).

4). NO ONE SAID SEX OR FANTASY WAS BAD

Jensen did say in his report that feminist critiques of porn are often defeated by their charactization as puritanical anti-sex views or as attempts to stifle natural sexual desires. I've seen that kind of backlash going on a lot in these discussions.

Those of us that feel Jensen's views are positive, astute and worthy of discussion are being told, repeatedly, that "sex is normal, not freakish" and "sexual fantasy shouldn't be stifled" and "we shouldn't be guilty about sex".

Holy Moly - nobody is jumping on the puritanical band wagon here. We just want to talk about it and do what Jensen suggested - explore the greater meaning and impact that porn has on us all. For many of us, porn makes us feel sad and Jensen has given us words to articulate that.

5). PORN IS PRIMAIRLY CONSUMED BY HETERO MALES

Sure, we can insist again and again that porn has a market in gay men and bi-sexuals and lesbians and everyone else. But the fact remains that the VAST majority of pornography is marketed to the young heterosexual male. And that's what we're talking about right now. Please - let's not belabor the point because it's a waste of everyone's time.


From: Meanwhile, on the other side of the world... | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged
Mandos
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posted 08 October 2002 02:35 PM      Profile for Mandos   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Ack! We went right back to the regularly scheduled programming! Oh, well, I guess me 'n' Bugs Bunny will wander off and consume vegetables and dip.
From: There, there. | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
rasmus
malcontent
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posted 08 October 2002 03:37 PM      Profile for rasmus   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
This thread is really long. I'm closing it. Feel free to continue on a new thread.
From: Fortune favours the bold | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged

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