Author Topic: What’s wrong with men?  (Read 23241 times)

Wolfpack Mustachian

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Re: What’s wrong with men?
« Reply #650 on: July 12, 2021, 02:19:08 PM »
Since the "but what can we do?" question has been posed more than a few times on this thread and I can't remember if anyone has replied with this suggestion, I am going to make it.  Apologies if it is repetitive, but I do think it bears repeating:

1)  Ask the women in your lives if they feel comfortable telling you about some of the most significant times they have felt violated/touched without consent.  Listen.  Don't question their memories or how they present the facts.  Don't diminish their feelings. If you feel the need to respond something like "I'm so sorry that happened to you" is fine.   Being present and listening may be enough.

2)  Ask how they think this unwanted contact has impacted how they move in the world.  If you are brave, eventually you may want to ask if it has impacted how the interact with you.  That might be better left for another conversation.  Again, your role is to listen and empathize.  Not to question or challenge them about the facts, their interpretations, or their feelings.

3)   Once you know your interlocutor a bit better, having listened to their stories and understood how it impacted them, ask them if there is anything else you can do to support them better.  Or any way you can modify your behavior to make them more comfortable.

You may need to go through this process several times before you hear all the stories and realize how much your interlocutor was hiding.  They may not even realize it themselves.    It took me many, many years of physical and emotional reactions that often confused/upset my partner to finally realize they were the result of CPTSD, some of which was rooted in an abusive relationship in my late teens.  That abusive partner would most likely never have seen himself as abusive because in his mind once I had consented once/become his girlfriend he could do what he wanted.   It was the '80s, the era of "John Hughes consent."   I'm sure glad my kids are growing up in the Harry Styles era.

For these, again, I don't mean to sound negative, but is this a good idea in general? In my present state right now, I can't see myself ever feeling confident in asking any woman in my life that I wasn't extremely close to - basically only my wife - this kind of thing. I would love to be there for people, but I would be afraid that it cause trauma/feel like I was forcing myself into their situations (even if I said, only if you feel comfortable), etc. I would be more than happy to listen to anything and try to learn, but I am just concerned it would cause more problems than it would help.

Maybe step 0 then is to cultivate more meaningful relationships with women who are not your wife.

I mean, that could of course be part of it. I'll admit that I have more close male friends than female friends. However, I do have 2 close female friends apart from my wife, where we talk about a really wide variety of topics including serious issues we are having personally, which is why I think the issue is that I just feel like that specific topic, which could have significant trauma tied to it, feels off-limits to me. Of course, I could be wrong, which is kind of why I put my feelings out there to see if I was being paranoid for no reason.

Wolfpack Mustachian

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Re: What’s wrong with men?
« Reply #651 on: July 12, 2021, 02:20:47 PM »

In that case, there are countless books written by women on the subject.

Basically, there are tons of ways to educate yourself. And maybe once you become more comfortable with the material, you will feel more comfortable talking about it with the women around you. It's the same way I'm very comfortable talking about Indigenous issues, because I've put a ton of effort into educating myself, so I don't have the "oh no, how do I even broach this without being offensive?" kind of reaction. I already know what the issues are from that population's perspective because I've spent hundreds of hours doing courses, reading books, attending talks, volunteering at non-profits, etc, etc.

There are endless opportunities to educate yourself if you want to make this a priority, but it has to be a priority.

Hmm, good point. Whether it works to make me feel more at ease or not, reading up on the issue will only help in general.

Malcat

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Re: What’s wrong with men?
« Reply #652 on: July 12, 2021, 02:39:31 PM »
Since the "but what can we do?" question has been posed more than a few times on this thread and I can't remember if anyone has replied with this suggestion, I am going to make it.  Apologies if it is repetitive, but I do think it bears repeating:

1)  Ask the women in your lives if they feel comfortable telling you about some of the most significant times they have felt violated/touched without consent.  Listen.  Don't question their memories or how they present the facts.  Don't diminish their feelings. If you feel the need to respond something like "I'm so sorry that happened to you" is fine.   Being present and listening may be enough.

2)  Ask how they think this unwanted contact has impacted how they move in the world.  If you are brave, eventually you may want to ask if it has impacted how the interact with you.  That might be better left for another conversation.  Again, your role is to listen and empathize.  Not to question or challenge them about the facts, their interpretations, or their feelings.

3)   Once you know your interlocutor a bit better, having listened to their stories and understood how it impacted them, ask them if there is anything else you can do to support them better.  Or any way you can modify your behavior to make them more comfortable.

You may need to go through this process several times before you hear all the stories and realize how much your interlocutor was hiding.  They may not even realize it themselves.    It took me many, many years of physical and emotional reactions that often confused/upset my partner to finally realize they were the result of CPTSD, some of which was rooted in an abusive relationship in my late teens.  That abusive partner would most likely never have seen himself as abusive because in his mind once I had consented once/become his girlfriend he could do what he wanted.   It was the '80s, the era of "John Hughes consent."   I'm sure glad my kids are growing up in the Harry Styles era.

For these, again, I don't mean to sound negative, but is this a good idea in general? In my present state right now, I can't see myself ever feeling confident in asking any woman in my life that I wasn't extremely close to - basically only my wife - this kind of thing. I would love to be there for people, but I would be afraid that it cause trauma/feel like I was forcing myself into their situations (even if I said, only if you feel comfortable), etc. I would be more than happy to listen to anything and try to learn, but I am just concerned it would cause more problems than it would help.

Maybe step 0 then is to cultivate more meaningful relationships with women who are not your wife.

I mean, that could of course be part of it. I'll admit that I have more close male friends than female friends. However, I do have 2 close female friends apart from my wife, where we talk about a really wide variety of topics including serious issues we are having personally, which is why I think the issue is that I just feel like that specific topic, which could have significant trauma tied to it, feels off-limits to me. Of course, I could be wrong, which is kind of why I put my feelings out there to see if I was being paranoid for no reason.

It is tricky, because the very people you are trying to understand are in no way obligated to teach you, and it's presumptuous to assume that they should.

This is something that a lot of people struggle with in trying to engage marginalized populations. That's why I said, it takes making it a priority, not just assuming that it should be reasonably easy to access understanding.

See I'm very comfortable broaching the issue of sexual assault, not just because I've been through it myself, but more because I've put in a lot of time in women's shelters.

There are ways to talk about vulnerable things, and it can take a bit to get to know the nuances, but like anything else, it's learnable.

scottish

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Re: What’s wrong with men?
« Reply #653 on: July 12, 2021, 03:00:03 PM »
Jon Krakauer has a good book on this topic.   I found it hard to get through because it was a bit disturbing.


https://www.amazon.com/Missoula-Rape-Justice-System-College/dp/0804170568





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Re: What’s wrong with men?
« Reply #654 on: July 12, 2021, 04:25:31 PM »
Since the "but what can we do?" question has been posed more than a few times on this thread and I can't remember if anyone has replied with this suggestion, I am going to make it.  Apologies if it is repetitive, but I do think it bears repeating:

1)  Ask the women in your lives if they feel comfortable telling you about some of the most significant times they have felt violated/touched without consent.  Listen.  Don't question their memories or how they present the facts.  Don't diminish their feelings. If you feel the need to respond something like "I'm so sorry that happened to you" is fine.   Being present and listening may be enough.

2)  Ask how they think this unwanted contact has impacted how they move in the world.  If you are brave, eventually you may want to ask if it has impacted how the interact with you.  That might be better left for another conversation.  Again, your role is to listen and empathize.  Not to question or challenge them about the facts, their interpretations, or their feelings.

3)   Once you know your interlocutor a bit better, having listened to their stories and understood how it impacted them, ask them if there is anything else you can do to support them better.  Or any way you can modify your behavior to make them more comfortable.

You may need to go through this process several times before you hear all the stories and realize how much your interlocutor was hiding.  They may not even realize it themselves.    It took me many, many years of physical and emotional reactions that often confused/upset my partner to finally realize they were the result of CPTSD, some of which was rooted in an abusive relationship in my late teens.  That abusive partner would most likely never have seen himself as abusive because in his mind once I had consented once/become his girlfriend he could do what he wanted.   It was the '80s, the era of "John Hughes consent."   I'm sure glad my kids are growing up in the Harry Styles era.

This is all really, really good.

I'd like to add one more thing.

Men, as you are listening to the women in your lives tell you about these things, a word of advice: Reactions like, "If I ever meet the MF'er who did this to you, I'll kick his fucking ass!" might seem to you to be an appropriate response -- even one that conveys to your wife/girlfriend/whatever that you are on their side and that you will protect them from this stuff. But please consider that a reaction of explosive male violence -- even if it is not directed at the woman in question, even if it is directed at her aggressor -- might not come off as you think it will. A display of male force and physical anger can be frightening, and might even make it harder for her to feel comforted by you. I know that for me, when men have done that in the past, it has mostly been scary and has made me feel less safe rather than more. Like I am "supposed" to feel that his strength is a protection, but in fact all it does is remind me that it could be turned toward me. So maybe don't do that.

Yeah, I didn't even tell my spouse when I got assaulted because I was afraid of just such a reaction.

Kris

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Re: What’s wrong with men?
« Reply #655 on: July 12, 2021, 04:29:59 PM »
Since the "but what can we do?" question has been posed more than a few times on this thread and I can't remember if anyone has replied with this suggestion, I am going to make it.  Apologies if it is repetitive, but I do think it bears repeating:

1)  Ask the women in your lives if they feel comfortable telling you about some of the most significant times they have felt violated/touched without consent.  Listen.  Don't question their memories or how they present the facts.  Don't diminish their feelings. If you feel the need to respond something like "I'm so sorry that happened to you" is fine.   Being present and listening may be enough.

2)  Ask how they think this unwanted contact has impacted how they move in the world.  If you are brave, eventually you may want to ask if it has impacted how the interact with you.  That might be better left for another conversation.  Again, your role is to listen and empathize.  Not to question or challenge them about the facts, their interpretations, or their feelings.

3)   Once you know your interlocutor a bit better, having listened to their stories and understood how it impacted them, ask them if there is anything else you can do to support them better.  Or any way you can modify your behavior to make them more comfortable.

You may need to go through this process several times before you hear all the stories and realize how much your interlocutor was hiding.  They may not even realize it themselves.    It took me many, many years of physical and emotional reactions that often confused/upset my partner to finally realize they were the result of CPTSD, some of which was rooted in an abusive relationship in my late teens.  That abusive partner would most likely never have seen himself as abusive because in his mind once I had consented once/become his girlfriend he could do what he wanted.   It was the '80s, the era of "John Hughes consent."   I'm sure glad my kids are growing up in the Harry Styles era.

This is all really, really good.

I'd like to add one more thing.

Men, as you are listening to the women in your lives tell you about these things, a word of advice: Reactions like, "If I ever meet the MF'er who did this to you, I'll kick his fucking ass!" might seem to you to be an appropriate response -- even one that conveys to your wife/girlfriend/whatever that you are on their side and that you will protect them from this stuff. But please consider that a reaction of explosive male violence -- even if it is not directed at the woman in question, even if it is directed at her aggressor -- might not come off as you think it will. A display of male force and physical anger can be frightening, and might even make it harder for her to feel comforted by you. I know that for me, when men have done that in the past, it has mostly been scary and has made me feel less safe rather than more. Like I am "supposed" to feel that his strength is a protection, but in fact all it does is remind me that it could be turned toward me. So maybe don't do that.

Yeah, I didn't even tell my spouse when I got assaulted because I was afraid of just such a reaction.

Yep. It has happened to me. It is very re-traumatizing. Just the opposite of what I needed.

Malcat

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Re: What’s wrong with men?
« Reply #656 on: July 12, 2021, 05:18:17 PM »
Since the "but what can we do?" question has been posed more than a few times on this thread and I can't remember if anyone has replied with this suggestion, I am going to make it.  Apologies if it is repetitive, but I do think it bears repeating:

1)  Ask the women in your lives if they feel comfortable telling you about some of the most significant times they have felt violated/touched without consent.  Listen.  Don't question their memories or how they present the facts.  Don't diminish their feelings. If you feel the need to respond something like "I'm so sorry that happened to you" is fine.   Being present and listening may be enough.

2)  Ask how they think this unwanted contact has impacted how they move in the world.  If you are brave, eventually you may want to ask if it has impacted how the interact with you.  That might be better left for another conversation.  Again, your role is to listen and empathize.  Not to question or challenge them about the facts, their interpretations, or their feelings.

3)   Once you know your interlocutor a bit better, having listened to their stories and understood how it impacted them, ask them if there is anything else you can do to support them better.  Or any way you can modify your behavior to make them more comfortable.

You may need to go through this process several times before you hear all the stories and realize how much your interlocutor was hiding.  They may not even realize it themselves.    It took me many, many years of physical and emotional reactions that often confused/upset my partner to finally realize they were the result of CPTSD, some of which was rooted in an abusive relationship in my late teens.  That abusive partner would most likely never have seen himself as abusive because in his mind once I had consented once/become his girlfriend he could do what he wanted.   It was the '80s, the era of "John Hughes consent."   I'm sure glad my kids are growing up in the Harry Styles era.

This is all really, really good.

I'd like to add one more thing.

Men, as you are listening to the women in your lives tell you about these things, a word of advice: Reactions like, "If I ever meet the MF'er who did this to you, I'll kick his fucking ass!" might seem to you to be an appropriate response -- even one that conveys to your wife/girlfriend/whatever that you are on their side and that you will protect them from this stuff. But please consider that a reaction of explosive male violence -- even if it is not directed at the woman in question, even if it is directed at her aggressor -- might not come off as you think it will. A display of male force and physical anger can be frightening, and might even make it harder for her to feel comforted by you. I know that for me, when men have done that in the past, it has mostly been scary and has made me feel less safe rather than more. Like I am "supposed" to feel that his strength is a protection, but in fact all it does is remind me that it could be turned toward me. So maybe don't do that.

Yeah, I didn't even tell my spouse when I got assaulted because I was afraid of just such a reaction.

Yep. It has happened to me. It is very re-traumatizing. Just the opposite of what I needed.

For me, the reaction isn't re-traumatizing in a "man being aggressive" kind of way; it's re-traumatizing in a "man trying to claim control" sort of way. It makes me feel not taken seriously when a dude thinks that threatening violence against someone who has hurt me does anything other than serve his own, egotistical emotional needs.

Like, right, sure, you're just going to go "solve" my rape by indulging your masculine fantasy of getting violent revenge. And how is that supposed to make me feel supported and reassured? How is that even about me at all??

To me, it's just men making it about themselves and their emotions that they can't process. Besides, I'm more than capable of committing violent assault myself if that's what I wanted to do. Like really? Having a penis magically makes them more dangerous than I am? On what planet??? If I wanted him injured, he would be injured. He's not walking around happy and healthy because my vagina makes me too weak and feeble to extract revenge.

I don't need my male loved ones, who have no combat skills whatsoever, posturing and swinging around their big metaphorical dicks in an effort to soothe their own discomfort.

It's not reassuring. It would be laughable actually if it wasn't so tragic and insulting.

Kris

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Re: What’s wrong with men?
« Reply #657 on: July 12, 2021, 05:49:43 PM »
Since the "but what can we do?" question has been posed more than a few times on this thread and I can't remember if anyone has replied with this suggestion, I am going to make it.  Apologies if it is repetitive, but I do think it bears repeating:

1)  Ask the women in your lives if they feel comfortable telling you about some of the most significant times they have felt violated/touched without consent.  Listen.  Don't question their memories or how they present the facts.  Don't diminish their feelings. If you feel the need to respond something like "I'm so sorry that happened to you" is fine.   Being present and listening may be enough.

2)  Ask how they think this unwanted contact has impacted how they move in the world.  If you are brave, eventually you may want to ask if it has impacted how the interact with you.  That might be better left for another conversation.  Again, your role is to listen and empathize.  Not to question or challenge them about the facts, their interpretations, or their feelings.

3)   Once you know your interlocutor a bit better, having listened to their stories and understood how it impacted them, ask them if there is anything else you can do to support them better.  Or any way you can modify your behavior to make them more comfortable.

You may need to go through this process several times before you hear all the stories and realize how much your interlocutor was hiding.  They may not even realize it themselves.    It took me many, many years of physical and emotional reactions that often confused/upset my partner to finally realize they were the result of CPTSD, some of which was rooted in an abusive relationship in my late teens.  That abusive partner would most likely never have seen himself as abusive because in his mind once I had consented once/become his girlfriend he could do what he wanted.   It was the '80s, the era of "John Hughes consent."   I'm sure glad my kids are growing up in the Harry Styles era.

This is all really, really good.

I'd like to add one more thing.

Men, as you are listening to the women in your lives tell you about these things, a word of advice: Reactions like, "If I ever meet the MF'er who did this to you, I'll kick his fucking ass!" might seem to you to be an appropriate response -- even one that conveys to your wife/girlfriend/whatever that you are on their side and that you will protect them from this stuff. But please consider that a reaction of explosive male violence -- even if it is not directed at the woman in question, even if it is directed at her aggressor -- might not come off as you think it will. A display of male force and physical anger can be frightening, and might even make it harder for her to feel comforted by you. I know that for me, when men have done that in the past, it has mostly been scary and has made me feel less safe rather than more. Like I am "supposed" to feel that his strength is a protection, but in fact all it does is remind me that it could be turned toward me. So maybe don't do that.

Yeah, I didn't even tell my spouse when I got assaulted because I was afraid of just such a reaction.

Yep. It has happened to me. It is very re-traumatizing. Just the opposite of what I needed.

For me, the reaction isn't re-traumatizing in a "man being aggressive" kind of way; it's re-traumatizing in a "man trying to claim control" sort of way. It makes me feel not taken seriously when a dude thinks that threatening violence against someone who has hurt me does anything other than serve his own, egotistical emotional needs.

Like, right, sure, you're just going to go "solve" my rape by indulging your masculine fantasy of getting violent revenge. And how is that supposed to make me feel supported and reassured? How is that even about me at all??

To me, it's just men making it about themselves and their emotions that they can't process. Besides, I'm more than capable of committing violent assault myself if that's what I wanted to do. Like really? Having a penis magically makes them more dangerous than I am? On what planet??? If I wanted him injured, he would be injured. He's not walking around happy and healthy because my vagina makes me too weak and feeble to extract revenge.

I don't need my male loved ones, who have no combat skills whatsoever, posturing and swinging around their big metaphorical dicks in an effort to soothe their own discomfort.

It's not reassuring. It would be laughable actually if it wasn't so tragic and insulting.

Yes, exactly this. I contemplated elaborating with a post about men making it about themselves, but decided I didn’t have the energy. So thanks for writing what I wanted to write.

Villanelle

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Re: What’s wrong with men?
« Reply #658 on: July 12, 2021, 06:43:21 PM »
Since the "but what can we do?" question has been posed more than a few times on this thread and I can't remember if anyone has replied with this suggestion, I am going to make it.  Apologies if it is repetitive, but I do think it bears repeating:

1)  Ask the women in your lives if they feel comfortable telling you about some of the most significant times they have felt violated/touched without consent.  Listen.  Don't question their memories or how they present the facts.  Don't diminish their feelings. If you feel the need to respond something like "I'm so sorry that happened to you" is fine.   Being present and listening may be enough.

2)  Ask how they think this unwanted contact has impacted how they move in the world.  If you are brave, eventually you may want to ask if it has impacted how the interact with you.  That might be better left for another conversation.  Again, your role is to listen and empathize.  Not to question or challenge them about the facts, their interpretations, or their feelings.

3)   Once you know your interlocutor a bit better, having listened to their stories and understood how it impacted them, ask them if there is anything else you can do to support them better.  Or any way you can modify your behavior to make them more comfortable.

You may need to go through this process several times before you hear all the stories and realize how much your interlocutor was hiding.  They may not even realize it themselves.    It took me many, many years of physical and emotional reactions that often confused/upset my partner to finally realize they were the result of CPTSD, some of which was rooted in an abusive relationship in my late teens.  That abusive partner would most likely never have seen himself as abusive because in his mind once I had consented once/become his girlfriend he could do what he wanted.   It was the '80s, the era of "John Hughes consent."   I'm sure glad my kids are growing up in the Harry Styles era.

For these, again, I don't mean to sound negative, but is this a good idea in general? In my present state right now, I can't see myself ever feeling confident in asking any woman in my life that I wasn't extremely close to - basically only my wife - this kind of thing. I would love to be there for people, but I would be afraid that it cause trauma/feel like I was forcing myself into their situations (even if I said, only if you feel comfortable), etc. I would be more than happy to listen to anything and try to learn, but I am just concerned it would cause more problems than it would help.

Maybe step 0 then is to cultivate more meaningful relationships with women who are not your wife.

I mean, that could of course be part of it. I'll admit that I have more close male friends than female friends. However, I do have 2 close female friends apart from my wife, where we talk about a really wide variety of topics including serious issues we are having personally, which is why I think the issue is that I just feel like that specific topic, which could have significant trauma tied to it, feels off-limits to me. Of course, I could be wrong, which is kind of why I put my feelings out there to see if I was being paranoid for no reason.

I think it would be odd to just bring it up, but if there's an appropriate context, it can be an opportunity to open the door and let her either walk through it or not.  If there's a story on the news, for example, that involves assault or incels, ask her her thoughts.  If she engages, continue to ask questions.  It doesn't need to be (and in fact should not be) a, "so, have you ever been raped" hurled into silence or a conversation that had perviously been about the weather or or your search for a used car.  And if the back and farther conversation leads to sensitive place, I find that, "I'm here if or when you want to talk" can be a lovely but pressure-free way of expressing support.  If she decides to share the details of her story, you can gently ask questions, but you should read the speaker, just as you'd hopefully do in any delicate situation.  If she seems to not want to continue, make it easy for her to express that and to shift to something else.  And thank her for her time, her thoughts, her sharing. 

There's no script or prescription for how to do this, because it involves complex human emotions and experiences. Hopefully any conversation like that, regardless of the topic, gets careful thought and adjustment based on the speaker's reactions.  You don't want to blunt force this any more than you'd do that when asking someone about their dead child or their estranged mother, or any other painful subject.

If you can't manage that level of sensitivity and responsiveness to a speaker's cues, then just stick to reading. 

Wolfpack Mustachian

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Re: What’s wrong with men?
« Reply #659 on: July 13, 2021, 04:59:42 AM »

It is tricky, because the very people you are trying to understand are in no way obligated to teach you, and it's presumptuous to assume that they should.

This is something that a lot of people struggle with in trying to engage marginalized populations. That's why I said, it takes making it a priority, not just assuming that it should be reasonably easy to access understanding.

See I'm very comfortable broaching the issue of sexual assault, not just because I've been through it myself, but more because I've put in a lot of time in women's shelters.

There are ways to talk about vulnerable things, and it can take a bit to get to know the nuances, but like anything else, it's learnable.

You articulated my concern that I hadn't thought through enough to put down into words. The whole thing seems to be counter to a lot of what I read on here and in other venues about how other people don't owe you an explanation or as you said, it's presumptuous to assume people need to explain anything to you. I think it's an overused sentiment when it comes to a political or practical understanding of some issues, but when it comes to someone's personal trauma, I'm 100% behind it. That's why I was surprised that someone was espousing this belief and curious if others felt the same. Your point of doing research ahead of time is interesting and appreciated. I would very much like to explore those conversations because it's more meaningful than reading a random book about it - i.e. if you went to the same school as the person who you're talking to, you might know the people involved or remember the structure in a way that allows you to understand better how it could happen. Given all of the points people have had, I may be willing to bring up the topic if something ever comes up surrounding it in the future.

I also want to clarify - not to you specifically - but in general the other part of my comment about hearing other guys talk about things. After re-reading it, I wished I hadn't even said anything because it sounds like an arrogant, humble-brag, kind of odd and stupid thing to say about it. I just want to say that I said it because I'm kind of grasping at straws here. It's one thing to say that guys do stuff around women that men don't see, and that's why we don't know about it. I totally buy that. However, multiple people have commented that if you, as a guy, hear guys saying this kind of stuff, shut it down. Other guys have said, well, I was a part of this or that conversation where guys said, no means yes or wait until she's tipsy or whatever. I literally cannot ever remember a time in my life that anything this "rapey" has been said around me.

It's like when people commented on Trump's comments that it's just locker room talk. I've heard nothing remotely that crass outside of middle school/high school, and nothing about violating consent. The crassness level has only gone down as I've gotten older, and I can probably count on one hand, maybe two hands the things that I remember being around that I probably should have shut down in general because they were weird, gross, about an imbalance of power (boss commenting on subordinate women's attractiveness, etc.), but again, none remotely crossed the line into consent issues. I'm genuinely curious if I am the only one and was kind of throwing it out into the ether to see if others had any similar experiences (and if there's something personally to do beyond shutting down things that don't seem to be happening to me). I'm curious if I'm just fortunate to have friends that aren't that way.

OtherJen

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Re: What’s wrong with men?
« Reply #660 on: July 13, 2021, 07:47:20 AM »
Men, as you are listening to the women in your lives tell you about these things, a word of advice: Reactions like, "If I ever meet the MF'er who did this to you, I'll kick his fucking ass!" might seem to you to be an appropriate response -- even one that conveys to your wife/girlfriend/whatever that you are on their side and that you will protect them from this stuff. But please consider that a reaction of explosive male violence -- even if it is not directed at the woman in question, even if it is directed at her aggressor -- might not come off as you think it will. A display of male force and physical anger can be frightening, and might even make it harder for her to feel comforted by you. I know that for me, when men have done that in the past, it has mostly been scary and has made me feel less safe rather than more. Like I am "supposed" to feel that his strength is a protection, but in fact all it does is remind me that it could be turned toward me. So maybe don't do that.

Yeah, I didn't even tell my spouse when I got assaulted because I was afraid of just such a reaction.

Yep. It has happened to me. It is very re-traumatizing. Just the opposite of what I needed.

For me, the reaction isn't re-traumatizing in a "man being aggressive" kind of way; it's re-traumatizing in a "man trying to claim control" sort of way. It makes me feel not taken seriously when a dude thinks that threatening violence against someone who has hurt me does anything other than serve his own, egotistical emotional needs.

Like, right, sure, you're just going to go "solve" my rape by indulging your masculine fantasy of getting violent revenge. And how is that supposed to make me feel supported and reassured? How is that even about me at all??

To me, it's just men making it about themselves and their emotions that they can't process. Besides, I'm more than capable of committing violent assault myself if that's what I wanted to do. Like really? Having a penis magically makes them more dangerous than I am? On what planet??? If I wanted him injured, he would be injured. He's not walking around happy and healthy because my vagina makes me too weak and feeble to extract revenge.

I don't need my male loved ones, who have no combat skills whatsoever, posturing and swinging around their big metaphorical dicks in an effort to soothe their own discomfort.

It's not reassuring. It would be laughable actually if it wasn't so tragic and insulting.

Yes, exactly this. I contemplated elaborating with a post about men making it about themselves, but decided I didn’t have the energy. So thanks for writing what I wanted to write.

Agreed. That reaction is NEVER helpful. At best, it has resulted in me feeling the need to calm down the men in my life to prevent them doing something stupid at the expense of practicing self-care as the victim. Worse, usually the last thing victimized women need is more male anger in the vicinity, even if they aren't the target.
« Last Edit: July 13, 2021, 07:49:41 AM by OtherJen »

Sandi_k

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Re: What’s wrong with men?
« Reply #661 on: July 13, 2021, 08:11:57 AM »
Men, as you are listening to the women in your lives tell you about these things, a word of advice: Reactions like, "If I ever meet the MF'er who did this to you, I'll kick his fucking ass!" might seem to you to be an appropriate response -- even one that conveys to your wife/girlfriend/whatever that you are on their side and that you will protect them from this stuff. But please consider that a reaction of explosive male violence -- even if it is not directed at the woman in question, even if it is directed at her aggressor -- might not come off as you think it will. A display of male force and physical anger can be frightening, and might even make it harder for her to feel comforted by you. I know that for me, when men have done that in the past, it has mostly been scary and has made me feel less safe rather than more. Like I am "supposed" to feel that his strength is a protection, but in fact all it does is remind me that it could be turned toward me. So maybe don't do that.

Yeah, I didn't even tell my spouse when I got assaulted because I was afraid of just such a reaction.

Yep. It has happened to me. It is very re-traumatizing. Just the opposite of what I needed.

For me, the reaction isn't re-traumatizing in a "man being aggressive" kind of way; it's re-traumatizing in a "man trying to claim control" sort of way. It makes me feel not taken seriously when a dude thinks that threatening violence against someone who has hurt me does anything other than serve his own, egotistical emotional needs.

Like, right, sure, you're just going to go "solve" my rape by indulging your masculine fantasy of getting violent revenge. And how is that supposed to make me feel supported and reassured? How is that even about me at all??

To me, it's just men making it about themselves and their emotions that they can't process. Besides, I'm more than capable of committing violent assault myself if that's what I wanted to do. Like really? Having a penis magically makes them more dangerous than I am? On what planet??? If I wanted him injured, he would be injured. He's not walking around happy and healthy because my vagina makes me too weak and feeble to extract revenge.

I don't need my male loved ones, who have no combat skills whatsoever, posturing and swinging around their big metaphorical dicks in an effort to soothe their own discomfort.

It's not reassuring. It would be laughable actually if it wasn't so tragic and insulting.

Yes, exactly this. I contemplated elaborating with a post about men making it about themselves, but decided I didn’t have the energy. So thanks for writing what I wanted to write.

Agreed. That reaction is NEVER helpful. At best, it has resulted in me feeling the need to calm down the men in my life to prevent them doing something stupid at the expense of practicing self-care as the victim. Worse, usually the last thing victimized women need is more male anger in the vicinity, even if they aren't the target.

And for me, it emphasizes the thought that I am a possession, and my owner feels slighted. Much like the "she's someone's mother, wife, sister..." commentary. It shouldn't matter which man is "mine"; I ought to be allowed full humanity on the strength of just being ME, not an appendage.

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Re: What’s wrong with men?
« Reply #662 on: July 13, 2021, 08:14:05 AM »

It is tricky, because the very people you are trying to understand are in no way obligated to teach you, and it's presumptuous to assume that they should.

This is something that a lot of people struggle with in trying to engage marginalized populations. That's why I said, it takes making it a priority, not just assuming that it should be reasonably easy to access understanding.

See I'm very comfortable broaching the issue of sexual assault, not just because I've been through it myself, but more because I've put in a lot of time in women's shelters.

There are ways to talk about vulnerable things, and it can take a bit to get to know the nuances, but like anything else, it's learnable.

You articulated my concern that I hadn't thought through enough to put down into words. The whole thing seems to be counter to a lot of what I read on here and in other venues about how other people don't owe you an explanation or as you said, it's presumptuous to assume people need to explain anything to you. I think it's an overused sentiment when it comes to a political or practical understanding of some issues, but when it comes to someone's personal trauma, I'm 100% behind it. That's why I was surprised that someone was espousing this belief and curious if others felt the same. Your point of doing research ahead of time is interesting and appreciated. I would very much like to explore those conversations because it's more meaningful than reading a random book about it - i.e. if you went to the same school as the person who you're talking to, you might know the people involved or remember the structure in a way that allows you to understand better how it could happen. Given all of the points people have had, I may be willing to bring up the topic if something ever comes up surrounding it in the future.

I also want to clarify - not to you specifically - but in general the other part of my comment about hearing other guys talk about things. After re-reading it, I wished I hadn't even said anything because it sounds like an arrogant, humble-brag, kind of odd and stupid thing to say about it. I just want to say that I said it because I'm kind of grasping at straws here. It's one thing to say that guys do stuff around women that men don't see, and that's why we don't know about it. I totally buy that. However, multiple people have commented that if you, as a guy, hear guys saying this kind of stuff, shut it down. Other guys have said, well, I was a part of this or that conversation where guys said, no means yes or wait until she's tipsy or whatever. I literally cannot ever remember a time in my life that anything this "rapey" has been said around me.

It's like when people commented on Trump's comments that it's just locker room talk. I've heard nothing remotely that crass outside of middle school/high school, and nothing about violating consent. The crassness level has only gone down as I've gotten older, and I can probably count on one hand, maybe two hands the things that I remember being around that I probably should have shut down in general because they were weird, gross, about an imbalance of power (boss commenting on subordinate women's attractiveness, etc.), but again, none remotely crossed the line into consent issues. I'm genuinely curious if I am the only one and was kind of throwing it out into the ether to see if others had any similar experiences (and if there's something personally to do beyond shutting down things that don't seem to be happening to me). I'm curious if I'm just fortunate to have friends that aren't that way.

You're not alone or at all unusual, a lot of men never directly see this shit. Men know who they can say flagrant crap in front of and who they can't, and you obviously give off the vibe that makes them not do it in front of you.

Make no mistake though, as I said above, it's almost guaranteed that you are or have been friends with men who do disgusting things, you just don't know it.

Also, it's entirely probable that you just aren't noticing the more subtle ways in which men mistreat women. The ways they interrupt us, talk over us, take credit for our ideas, treat us as if we are less intelligent, subtly try to impose their size on us, act "protective" when it's really controlling, objectify us but in a "polite" way, etc, etc.

This is where educating yourself and learning more from the women in your life will help you see things and understand them better.

You don't need to walk up to a woman and say "hey, were you ever raped? What was that like?". You can, however, have a friendly conversation with a woman and say something like "is it tough having all male bosses?" or "what's the gender parity like in your industry?".

If the woman isn't a coworker, then workplace gender dynamics are a good place to start in generating gender discussions with women because it's a big part of the popular discourse to discuss the glass ceiling, lack of female representation in senior roles, and the wage gap. It's not weird to politely broach subjects that are so widely discussed.

From there, if a woman wants to discuss different aspects of gender struggles, then she might choose to open up about it.

But look at what you've posted above about reading vs talking directly to someone. You talk about it being more "meaningful" if you know the people involved, but more meaningful to whom? Sure, it's more meaningful to you, but this isn't about you.

I guarantee it's more meaningful to ME if a man wants to take an interest in my personal experience with sexism and trauma if he's already well informed and well read on the subject. Otherwise he's not asking for my benefit, he's asking for his own education and bringing nothing to the table for me. It demonstrates nothing about understanding being a priority for him.

Meanwhile, if a conversation starts because I mention that I liked working in an all female environment, and the man is well versed in the issues facing women historically and presently, and he's clearly made it a priority to educate himself as to what half of the population experiences, then I'll feel like my experience actually matters to this person, and I'll feel understood and supported, which brings A LOT of value to me.

You also have to remember, if we're talking to a man who is completely clueless, we don't know how they're going to respond, and it can often be dismissive, condescending, or even hostile. So if you broach this subject without adequate knowledge, and the person doesn't already implicitly trust you, then they are likely to be on high alert because you obviously don't know enough to be safe from stupid responses like "well, you weren't in the room, how do you know she was raped, accusations like that ruin lives y'know".

So instead of approaching it with "how can *I* learn", instead approach it with "how can I provide value to this discourse?".

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Re: What’s wrong with men?
« Reply #663 on: July 13, 2021, 08:27:51 AM »
Men, as you are listening to the women in your lives tell you about these things, a word of advice: Reactions like, "If I ever meet the MF'er who did this to you, I'll kick his fucking ass!" might seem to you to be an appropriate response -- even one that conveys to your wife/girlfriend/whatever that you are on their side and that you will protect them from this stuff. But please consider that a reaction of explosive male violence -- even if it is not directed at the woman in question, even if it is directed at her aggressor -- might not come off as you think it will. A display of male force and physical anger can be frightening, and might even make it harder for her to feel comforted by you. I know that for me, when men have done that in the past, it has mostly been scary and has made me feel less safe rather than more. Like I am "supposed" to feel that his strength is a protection, but in fact all it does is remind me that it could be turned toward me. So maybe don't do that.

Yeah, I didn't even tell my spouse when I got assaulted because I was afraid of just such a reaction.

Yep. It has happened to me. It is very re-traumatizing. Just the opposite of what I needed.

For me, the reaction isn't re-traumatizing in a "man being aggressive" kind of way; it's re-traumatizing in a "man trying to claim control" sort of way. It makes me feel not taken seriously when a dude thinks that threatening violence against someone who has hurt me does anything other than serve his own, egotistical emotional needs.

Like, right, sure, you're just going to go "solve" my rape by indulging your masculine fantasy of getting violent revenge. And how is that supposed to make me feel supported and reassured? How is that even about me at all??

To me, it's just men making it about themselves and their emotions that they can't process. Besides, I'm more than capable of committing violent assault myself if that's what I wanted to do. Like really? Having a penis magically makes them more dangerous than I am? On what planet??? If I wanted him injured, he would be injured. He's not walking around happy and healthy because my vagina makes me too weak and feeble to extract revenge.

I don't need my male loved ones, who have no combat skills whatsoever, posturing and swinging around their big metaphorical dicks in an effort to soothe their own discomfort.

It's not reassuring. It would be laughable actually if it wasn't so tragic and insulting.

Yes, exactly this. I contemplated elaborating with a post about men making it about themselves, but decided I didn’t have the energy. So thanks for writing what I wanted to write.

Agreed. That reaction is NEVER helpful. At best, it has resulted in me feeling the need to calm down the men in my life to prevent them doing something stupid at the expense of practicing self-care as the victim. Worse, usually the last thing victimized women need is more male anger in the vicinity, even if they aren't the target.

And for me, it emphasizes the thought that I am a possession, and my owner feels slighted. Much like the "she's someone's mother, wife, sister..." commentary. It shouldn't matter which man is "mine"; I ought to be allowed full humanity on the strength of just being ME, not an appendage.

Exactly, see this is a distinctive thing about having been raised in a matriarchal family. I have a small army of brothers, my dad, and I've had a few step fathers, and NONE of them are protective of me.

If someone does something inappropriate to me their response is never "I'm going to kill him!", they're response is always "Oh fuck, Malcat's going to kill him!"

Growing up, women were never possessions or fragile beings to be protected. So it was so weird for me when male friends and boyfriends would state this kind of patriarchal shit.

That's not to say that we didn't value having big, male, intimidating friends, but there's a difference between recruiting a big male friend to be intimidating, and a big male friend imposing his intimidation on the situation.

I've always had big, male, intimidating friends, but their attitude is "hey, happy to provide my size if you ever need it" and not "it's my job to protect you, oh frail little hollow-boned bird lady".

wenchsenior

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Re: What’s wrong with men?
« Reply #664 on: July 13, 2021, 09:09:04 AM »
Since the "but what can we do?" question has been posed more than a few times on this thread and I can't remember if anyone has replied with this suggestion, I am going to make it.  Apologies if it is repetitive, but I do think it bears repeating:

1)  Ask the women in your lives if they feel comfortable telling you about some of the most significant times they have felt violated/touched without consent.  Listen.  Don't question their memories or how they present the facts.  Don't diminish their feelings. If you feel the need to respond something like "I'm so sorry that happened to you" is fine.   Being present and listening may be enough.

2)  Ask how they think this unwanted contact has impacted how they move in the world.  If you are brave, eventually you may want to ask if it has impacted how the interact with you.  That might be better left for another conversation.  Again, your role is to listen and empathize.  Not to question or challenge them about the facts, their interpretations, or their feelings.

3)   Once you know your interlocutor a bit better, having listened to their stories and understood how it impacted them, ask them if there is anything else you can do to support them better.  Or any way you can modify your behavior to make them more comfortable.

You may need to go through this process several times before you hear all the stories and realize how much your interlocutor was hiding.  They may not even realize it themselves.    It took me many, many years of physical and emotional reactions that often confused/upset my partner to finally realize they were the result of CPTSD, some of which was rooted in an abusive relationship in my late teens.  That abusive partner would most likely never have seen himself as abusive because in his mind once I had consented once/become his girlfriend he could do what he wanted.   It was the '80s, the era of "John Hughes consent."   I'm sure glad my kids are growing up in the Harry Styles era.

This is all really, really good.

I'd like to add one more thing.

Men, as you are listening to the women in your lives tell you about these things, a word of advice: Reactions like, "If I ever meet the MF'er who did this to you, I'll kick his fucking ass!" might seem to you to be an appropriate response -- even one that conveys to your wife/girlfriend/whatever that you are on their side and that you will protect them from this stuff. But please consider that a reaction of explosive male violence -- even if it is not directed at the woman in question, even if it is directed at her aggressor -- might not come off as you think it will. A display of male force and physical anger can be frightening, and might even make it harder for her to feel comforted by you. I know that for me, when men have done that in the past, it has mostly been scary and has made me feel less safe rather than more. Like I am "supposed" to feel that his strength is a protection, but in fact all it does is remind me that it could be turned toward me. So maybe don't do that.

Yeah, I didn't even tell my spouse when I got assaulted because I was afraid of just such a reaction.

Yep. It has happened to me. It is very re-traumatizing. Just the opposite of what I needed.

For me, the reaction isn't re-traumatizing in a "man being aggressive" kind of way; it's re-traumatizing in a "man trying to claim control" sort of way. It makes me feel not taken seriously when a dude thinks that threatening violence against someone who has hurt me does anything other than serve his own, egotistical emotional needs.

Like, right, sure, you're just going to go "solve" my rape by indulging your masculine fantasy of getting violent revenge. And how is that supposed to make me feel supported and reassured? How is that even about me at all??

To me, it's just men making it about themselves and their emotions that they can't process. Besides, I'm more than capable of committing violent assault myself if that's what I wanted to do. Like really? Having a penis magically makes them more dangerous than I am? On what planet??? If I wanted him injured, he would be injured. He's not walking around happy and healthy because my vagina makes me too weak and feeble to extract revenge.

I don't need my male loved ones, who have no combat skills whatsoever, posturing and swinging around their big metaphorical dicks in an effort to soothe their own discomfort.

It's not reassuring. It would be laughable actually if it wasn't so tragic and insulting.

100% agree

wenchsenior

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Re: What’s wrong with men?
« Reply #665 on: July 13, 2021, 09:32:46 AM »
Men, as you are listening to the women in your lives tell you about these things, a word of advice: Reactions like, "If I ever meet the MF'er who did this to you, I'll kick his fucking ass!" might seem to you to be an appropriate response -- even one that conveys to your wife/girlfriend/whatever that you are on their side and that you will protect them from this stuff. But please consider that a reaction of explosive male violence -- even if it is not directed at the woman in question, even if it is directed at her aggressor -- might not come off as you think it will. A display of male force and physical anger can be frightening, and might even make it harder for her to feel comforted by you. I know that for me, when men have done that in the past, it has mostly been scary and has made me feel less safe rather than more. Like I am "supposed" to feel that his strength is a protection, but in fact all it does is remind me that it could be turned toward me. So maybe don't do that.

Yeah, I didn't even tell my spouse when I got assaulted because I was afraid of just such a reaction.

Yep. It has happened to me. It is very re-traumatizing. Just the opposite of what I needed.

For me, the reaction isn't re-traumatizing in a "man being aggressive" kind of way; it's re-traumatizing in a "man trying to claim control" sort of way. It makes me feel not taken seriously when a dude thinks that threatening violence against someone who has hurt me does anything other than serve his own, egotistical emotional needs.

Like, right, sure, you're just going to go "solve" my rape by indulging your masculine fantasy of getting violent revenge. And how is that supposed to make me feel supported and reassured? How is that even about me at all??

To me, it's just men making it about themselves and their emotions that they can't process. Besides, I'm more than capable of committing violent assault myself if that's what I wanted to do. Like really? Having a penis magically makes them more dangerous than I am? On what planet??? If I wanted him injured, he would be injured. He's not walking around happy and healthy because my vagina makes me too weak and feeble to extract revenge.

I don't need my male loved ones, who have no combat skills whatsoever, posturing and swinging around their big metaphorical dicks in an effort to soothe their own discomfort.

It's not reassuring. It would be laughable actually if it wasn't so tragic and insulting.

Yes, exactly this. I contemplated elaborating with a post about men making it about themselves, but decided I didn’t have the energy. So thanks for writing what I wanted to write.

Agreed. That reaction is NEVER helpful. At best, it has resulted in me feeling the need to calm down the men in my life to prevent them doing something stupid at the expense of practicing self-care as the victim. Worse, usually the last thing victimized women need is more male anger in the vicinity, even if they aren't the target.

And for me, it emphasizes the thought that I am a possession, and my owner feels slighted. Much like the "she's someone's mother, wife, sister..." commentary. It shouldn't matter which man is "mine"; I ought to be allowed full humanity on the strength of just being ME, not an appendage.

Exactly, see this is a distinctive thing about having been raised in a matriarchal family. I have a small army of brothers, my dad, and I've had a few step fathers, and NONE of them are protective of me.

If someone does something inappropriate to me their response is never "I'm going to kill him!", they're response is always "Oh fuck, Malcat's going to kill him!"

Growing up, women were never possessions or fragile beings to be protected. So it was so weird for me when male friends and boyfriends would state this kind of patriarchal shit.

That's not to say that we didn't value having big, male, intimidating friends, but there's a difference between recruiting a big male friend to be intimidating, and a big male friend imposing his intimidation on the situation.

I've always had big, male, intimidating friends, but their attitude is "hey, happy to provide my size if you ever need it" and not "it's my job to protect you, oh frail little hollow-boned bird lady".

Your whole response made me laugh in recognition, especially the bold text.  If anything, my many big male friends used to joke that they lived in fear of my very rarely deployed anger or withering disapproval, and while they would no doubt have been enraged and wanted to take action in the face of sexism or assault or anything like that, they knew that wasn't their call.  This kind of restraint has been tough for them at times, esp for my husband (who was raised with quite traditional views about defending and protecting women and children), but he has proven very willing to learn and continuously work to improve his understanding and behavior, which honestly is what ALL of us need to do.  We can't control our early conditioning, but we can improve THIS part of the equation.   

I also would say that Wolfpack Mustachian's experience of simply not experiencing (or not registering) some of the cruder, more obvious types of sexism among male friends and acquaintances is not super-unusual. While rumors of bad behavior are regular in academia, my husband has not directly seen it in his close colleagues nor in his friends (that might reflect luck or my husband being choosy about his friends).  But he said he stopped hearing that kind of obvious stuff once he was out of the army and into college. 

This doesn't mean none of his friends or colleagues have never done or said anything sexist or worse, though. One cannot assume that.  It's just that a lot of times, the behavior is subtle enough that it isn't visible to male colleagues.  We have one casual friend/colleague who is a very vocal crusader for minority rights of all kinds, and he's married to a sort of 'classic' feminist California granola-y woman (that descriptor not meant to be pejorative, just indicate the vocal type of feminism and very liberal values she displays), but we have heard repeated rumors of his tendency (possibly unconscious on his part) to both choose female grad students of a certain physical type and also show favoritism toward those of his female students that fit that mode.  That isn't the kind of thing my husband would likely ever 'hear' or 'see' in any verifiable way, so we can't be sure it's true.  But we've heard it a couple times from former female students of his, and it was their perception.  Hard to verify if that's true or not from OUR perspective, though.
« Last Edit: July 13, 2021, 09:34:33 AM by wenchsenior »

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Re: What’s wrong with men?
« Reply #666 on: July 13, 2021, 09:42:55 AM »
Ugh, sadly I have been that guy (in a small way, I’m not built like Dwayne Johnson or anything…).  I think there is a default setting that instinctively reacts that way for guys.

I’m also 120% guilty for wanting to offer solutions and immediate fixes when then women in my life open up…. 

I’m learning a ton from this thread, although it is frustrating to read!

Malcat

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Re: What’s wrong with men?
« Reply #667 on: July 13, 2021, 11:11:05 AM »
Ugh, sadly I have been that guy (in a small way, I’m not built like Dwayne Johnson or anything…).  I think there is a default setting that instinctively reacts that way for guys.

I’m also 120% guilty for wanting to offer solutions and immediate fixes when then women in my life open up…. 

I’m learning a ton from this thread, although it is frustrating to read!

I am not meaning to pick on you for this, but I do want to use it as an example.

There's a huge difference between instinctive and reflexive.

Yes, it's a natural human instinct to get angry and feel protective of loved ones who have been hurt, but that's across all genders. Women are just as instinctively protective as men are. In fact, the same massive dump of hormones released during breastfeeding that create bonds also promote aggression. 

Reflexive behaviours though aren't instinctive, they're conditioned social behaviours. They happen automatically, but can be modified like any other pattern of learned behaviour.

So it's very important to separate out the instinctive emotional response from the learned reflexive behaviour in response to the emotional response.

Just because a behaviour is automatic doesn't mean it's necessary or that it isn't as easily modifiable as any other behaviour pattern.

The aggressive/possessive response of "I'll kill him if I see him" and the inappropriate offering of solutions to problems you don't actually understand are learned behaviours that feel appropriate in response to the emotions of a loved one being hurt, but they only feel appropriate because the patriarchal society you were raised in taught you they were appropriate.

You will never rid yourself of the instinct to get angry and protective, that's just normal human feelings, but you can very easily redefine the parameters of what that means in terms of specific reactions.

The first person I told when I was raped was an older male friend who got very, very angry for me, and very protective of my well being. But he responded *appropriately* to his instincts, in a way that made me feel valued and cared for. This was a man who knew how to handle his emotions, wasn't caught off guard by the unpleasant sensations he was feeling, so didn't need to make it about himself.

It's not the anger and protectiveness that's the problem, if it was, then moms wouldn't be so comforting when shit hits the fan. It's not knowing how to process your own intense emotions and leaning on patriarchal norms that's the problem, instead of learning what women need in these scenarios.
« Last Edit: July 13, 2021, 12:20:22 PM by Malcat »

EscapeVelocity2020

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Re: What’s wrong with men?
« Reply #668 on: July 13, 2021, 12:12:42 PM »
...
I am not meaning to pick on you for this, but I do want to use it as an example.
...

Just highlighting one thing real quick - please don't ever worry about 'picking on me', for at least me personally - I think of my comments on the internet to be something very different from you and I talking one on one.  And I'm learning a lot from this open discussion, thank all of you. 

Villanelle

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Re: What’s wrong with men?
« Reply #669 on: July 13, 2021, 01:22:03 PM »
Ugh, sadly I have been that guy (in a small way, I’m not built like Dwayne Johnson or anything…).  I think there is a default setting that instinctively reacts that way for guys.

I’m also 120% guilty for wanting to offer solutions and immediate fixes when then women in my life open up…. 

I’m learning a ton from this thread, although it is frustrating to read!

The thing is that offering to beat up the guy--and it's usually not actually in the form of an "offer", but more of a
threat that has nothing to do with the original victim--isn't a solution.  Does that unrape someone?  No.  Does it make the guy whose friend was hurt feel better?  Maybe.  But that's a solution for him, not her.  So it's not just that it is offering a solution instead of listening.  It's that it is a reaction that actually has essentially nothing to do with the person who has been hurt.  That's why it is so problematic.  If the woman said, "I wish this guy would get his face bashed in" then "I'll kick his ass if you want me to" would actually be at least somewhat about her.

It's also difficult because it forces the woman to go from processing her experience and emotions to suddenly having to babysit and make sure no one does anything stupid on her account.  And she suddenly has to reassure that she's okay (when quite likely she isn't, fully) so that the situation is defused. 

I've learned never to ask anyone, when they are really in the thick of the worst kinds of shit, if they are okay.  Because I know that when that happens to me, my instincts are to reassure the asker.  I don't want them to worry, I don't want them to feel uncomfortable.  So I tell them that yes, I'm fine, when maybe I'm not.  So the narrative goes from them thinking they are being thoughtful and helpful, to me feeling like I must be thoughtful and helpful to them by releasing them from the obligation of worry.  I think it's a very similar dynamic.  If you tell someone about an assault and they get worked up about it beyond what seem like just basic empathy, then suddenly it is a situation to be diffused.  So instead of working through her own thing, that person now becomes focused on making sure someone else doesn't make things even worse by getting violent.  Or even if there is no real threat of violent, the assaulted is still in a position of talking down an upset, well-intentioned friend, rather than caring for herself. 

All that said, no one gets these things right every time, and what's exactly right for one person might not be for the next.  That's why reading the cues is so important.  But in general, the "I will fucking kill him" isn't helpful.

It is tricky, because the very people you are trying to understand are in no way obligated to teach you, and it's presumptuous to assume that they should.

This is something that a lot of people struggle with in trying to engage marginalized populations. That's why I said, it takes making it a priority, not just assuming that it should be reasonably easy to access understanding.

See I'm very comfortable broaching the issue of sexual assault, not just because I've been through it myself, but more because I've put in a lot of time in women's shelters.

There are ways to talk about vulnerable things, and it can take a bit to get to know the nuances, but like anything else, it's learnable.

You articulated my concern that I hadn't thought through enough to put down into words. The whole thing seems to be counter to a lot of what I read on here and in other venues about how other people don't owe you an explanation or as you said, it's presumptuous to assume people need to explain anything to you. I think it's an overused sentiment when it comes to a political or practical understanding of some issues, but when it comes to someone's personal trauma, I'm 100% behind it. That's why I was surprised that someone was espousing this belief and curious if others felt the same. Your point of doing research ahead of time is interesting and appreciated. I would very much like to explore those conversations because it's more meaningful than reading a random book about it - i.e. if you went to the same school as the person who you're talking to, you might know the people involved or remember the structure in a way that allows you to understand better how it could happen. Given all of the points people have had, I may be willing to bring up the topic if something ever comes up surrounding it in the future.

I also want to clarify - not to you specifically - but in general the other part of my comment about hearing other guys talk about things. After re-reading it, I wished I hadn't even said anything because it sounds like an arrogant, humble-brag, kind of odd and stupid thing to say about it. I just want to say that I said it because I'm kind of grasping at straws here. It's one thing to say that guys do stuff around women that men don't see, and that's why we don't know about it. I totally buy that. However, multiple people have commented that if you, as a guy, hear guys saying this kind of stuff, shut it down. Other guys have said, well, I was a part of this or that conversation where guys said, no means yes or wait until she's tipsy or whatever. I literally cannot ever remember a time in my life that anything this "rapey" has been said around me.

It's like when people commented on Trump's comments that it's just locker room talk. I've heard nothing remotely that crass outside of middle school/high school, and nothing about violating consent. The crassness level has only gone down as I've gotten older, and I can probably count on one hand, maybe two hands the things that I remember being around that I probably should have shut down in general because they were weird, gross, about an imbalance of power (boss commenting on subordinate women's attractiveness, etc.), but again, none remotely crossed the line into consent issues. I'm genuinely curious if I am the only one and was kind of throwing it out into the ether to see if others had any similar experiences (and if there's something personally to do beyond shutting down things that don't seem to be happening to me). I'm curious if I'm just fortunate to have friends that aren't that way.

It's presumptuous to assume people are obligated to make you understand their experiences, but I don't think that it is presumptuous to ask, if one is thoughtful about how and whom they are asking.  It's just that if you ask a woman to talk about her experiences with sexism, she also has every right to say, "Not interested in sharing; if you want to learn, read a book".  No different really than you asking if you can borrow a book I've finished reading.  Nothing wrong with asking, but you asking doesn't obligate me to lend my book, and I get to say no without you getting offended or thinking I'm not helpful or anything else negative. 

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Re: What’s wrong with men?
« Reply #670 on: July 13, 2021, 01:32:29 PM »
For those who have said they have rarely ever seen or heard these sorts of things, it's not surprising.  Most people generally surround themselves with people of at least fairly similar values, so it makes it unlikely that people who would never say and do these things would intereact closely with those who do.

But I think there's also a lot of what has been mentioned already by several other people: you don't necessarily see it.  My spouse didn't notice until I pointed it out that no matter which one of us texted or emailed our landlord about an issue, the landlord would provide answers to him.  I might get "thanks for letting me know; I will look in to it", but then they "I've scheduled a repairman to come on Thursday to look at the furnace" when to my husband.  (I'll also mention that I don't work outside the house, which landlord know, and he is will aware that I'm the one who lets in all the repair people and needs to be home so if anyone would have been the one to tell other than just whomever reported the issue, it would have been me, not my spouse.)  It's a benign little thing, and my husband never would have noticed it until I pointed it out.  I even asked my spouse to respond, "thanks, I'll let Villanelle know since this is her territory", or similar, but still the responses always went to him.  Man to man.

That's the sort of thing that many men wouldn't even notice.  It's the casual misogyny of every day life, not the pussy-grabbers and the rapists and the "women belong in the kitchen and on their knees" type of misogyny.   Much more subtle and easy to miss. 

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Re: What’s wrong with men?
« Reply #671 on: July 13, 2021, 01:40:16 PM »

It's presumptuous to assume people are obligated to make you understand their experiences, but I don't think that it is presumptuous to ask, if one is thoughtful about how and whom they are asking.  It's just that if you ask a woman to talk about her experiences with sexism, she also has every right to say, "Not interested in sharing; if you want to learn, read a book".  No different really than you asking if you can borrow a book I've finished reading.  Nothing wrong with asking, but you asking doesn't obligate me to lend my book, and I get to say no without you getting offended or thinking I'm not helpful or anything else negative.

Thanks for the advice/information also to Malcat, wenchsenior, etc.. It seems that the best thing for me to do would be to prepare with research on my on (thanks Scottish) and ask if the opportunity comes up, being fully aware that any questions may be rejected but that, if done in honesty, openness, humility, etc., even a rejection won't damage a friendship.

RetiredAt63

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Re: What’s wrong with men?
« Reply #672 on: July 13, 2021, 02:57:37 PM »
For those who have said they have rarely ever seen or heard these sorts of things, it's not surprising.  Most people generally surround themselves with people of at least fairly similar values, so it makes it unlikely that people who would never say and do these things would intereact closely with those who do.

But I think there's also a lot of what has been mentioned already by several other people: you don't necessarily see it.  My spouse didn't notice until I pointed it out that no matter which one of us texted or emailed our landlord about an issue, the landlord would provide answers to him.  I might get "thanks for letting me know; I will look in to it", but then they "I've scheduled a repairman to come on Thursday to look at the furnace" when to my husband.  (I'll also mention that I don't work outside the house, which landlord know, and he is will aware that I'm the one who lets in all the repair people and needs to be home so if anyone would have been the one to tell other than just whomever reported the issue, it would have been me, not my spouse.)  It's a benign little thing, and my husband never would have noticed it until I pointed it out.  I even asked my spouse to respond, "thanks, I'll let Villanelle know since this is her territory", or similar, but still the responses always went to him.  Man to man.

That's the sort of thing that many men wouldn't even notice.  It's the casual misogyny of every day life, not the pussy-grabbers and the rapists and the "women belong in the kitchen and on their knees" type of misogyny.   Much more subtle and easy to miss.

Like the classic - a couple goes to the car dealership to buy a car for HER.  And the salesperson talks exclusively to the man and ignores the person who will actually be driving the car. 

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Re: What’s wrong with men?
« Reply #673 on: July 13, 2021, 03:51:25 PM »
For those who have said they have rarely ever seen or heard these sorts of things, it's not surprising.  Most people generally surround themselves with people of at least fairly similar values, so it makes it unlikely that people who would never say and do these things would intereact closely with those who do.

But I think there's also a lot of what has been mentioned already by several other people: you don't necessarily see it.  My spouse didn't notice until I pointed it out that no matter which one of us texted or emailed our landlord about an issue, the landlord would provide answers to him.  I might get "thanks for letting me know; I will look in to it", but then they "I've scheduled a repairman to come on Thursday to look at the furnace" when to my husband.  (I'll also mention that I don't work outside the house, which landlord know, and he is will aware that I'm the one who lets in all the repair people and needs to be home so if anyone would have been the one to tell other than just whomever reported the issue, it would have been me, not my spouse.)  It's a benign little thing, and my husband never would have noticed it until I pointed it out.  I even asked my spouse to respond, "thanks, I'll let Villanelle know since this is her territory", or similar, but still the responses always went to him.  Man to man.

That's the sort of thing that many men wouldn't even notice.  It's the casual misogyny of every day life, not the pussy-grabbers and the rapists and the "women belong in the kitchen and on their knees" type of misogyny.   Much more subtle and easy to miss.

Like the classic - a couple goes to the car dealership to buy a car for HER.  And the salesperson talks exclusively to the man and ignores the person who will actually be driving the car.

YES!  We went to Carmax a few months ago to buy a car for me.  I wasn't entirely sure what I wanted, but there was a hatchback corolla on the website that looked pretty perfect.  We went in and told the sales guy that. I specifically said, "there is a silver 2020 Hatchback Corolla with very low miles on your website I'd like to look at."  He looked in the computer and couldn't find it.  Because I'd already used their website (and I could see his interface was the same as the one on the customer website though I couldn't see exactly what he was typing in to the search box), I said, "did you search for corolla hatchback, not just corolla?", because I'd had to do that to make the hatchbacks show up. Initially, I'd just searched for Corollas and hadn't gotten any hatchbacks, so it seems the search engine treats them like entirely unrelated models.  He assured me that yes, he'd looked and it must have sold.  NBD.  We went to look at a few other things.  I test drove one and almost liked it, but wasn't sold.  During the return drive to the dealership, I asked DH to check the website for the hatchback (and to search specifically for hatchbacks, not just corollas).  It was still there.  So when I pulled back up to the lot, we told the sales guy that while I liked the one I drove, there were a few things I wasn't sure about.  DH then said, "I searched and your website still has the hatchback we asked about initially" so we went inside and when DH gave him the stock # from his phone search, he was able to find it.  I drove it, it was perfect, so we returned and said we'd take it.  From that point on as we waded through the transaction the sales guy said, several times, to DH, "You knew from the beginning that was the car she wanted!"  "You knew that was the right car for her!"  Um, no... *I* knew from the beginning.  I told you that.  I also told you how to find it but you blew me off. 

This was obvious enough that DH noticed, and said, several times, "actually, she found it online.  That was all her", and gave me the apologetic eyes.  I could actually see him getting increasingly annoyed on my behalf and could tell he was ready to say something a bit more direct until I waved him off.  I appreciated him noticing and having my back, but it wasn't worth an awkward confrontation with this guy who we'd then have to sit with for another half hour while they finished the transaction.  And it wasn't worth it to me to walk away from a car that was perfect and that we'd already found (we were on a tight timeline to find a car for me), for some casual everyday sexism.  Especially because it was likely to be at least as bad with any other car salesman.

And I recommended Carmax to several people after that but told them to avoid our sales guy.

RetiredAt63

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Re: What’s wrong with men?
« Reply #674 on: July 13, 2021, 04:05:46 PM »
For those who have said they have rarely ever seen or heard these sorts of things, it's not surprising.  Most people generally surround themselves with people of at least fairly similar values, so it makes it unlikely that people who would never say and do these things would intereact closely with those who do.

But I think there's also a lot of what has been mentioned already by several other people: you don't necessarily see it.  My spouse didn't notice until I pointed it out that no matter which one of us texted or emailed our landlord about an issue, the landlord would provide answers to him.  I might get "thanks for letting me know; I will look in to it", but then they "I've scheduled a repairman to come on Thursday to look at the furnace" when to my husband.  (I'll also mention that I don't work outside the house, which landlord know, and he is will aware that I'm the one who lets in all the repair people and needs to be home so if anyone would have been the one to tell other than just whomever reported the issue, it would have been me, not my spouse.)  It's a benign little thing, and my husband never would have noticed it until I pointed it out.  I even asked my spouse to respond, "thanks, I'll let Villanelle know since this is her territory", or similar, but still the responses always went to him.  Man to man.

That's the sort of thing that many men wouldn't even notice.  It's the casual misogyny of every day life, not the pussy-grabbers and the rapists and the "women belong in the kitchen and on their knees" type of misogyny.   Much more subtle and easy to miss.

Like the classic - a couple goes to the car dealership to buy a car for HER.  And the salesperson talks exclusively to the man and ignores the person who will actually be driving the car.

YES!  We went to Carmax a few months ago to buy a car for me.  I wasn't entirely sure what I wanted, but there was a hatchback corolla on the website that looked pretty perfect.  We went in and told the sales guy that. I specifically said, "there is a silver 2020 Hatchback Corolla with very low miles on your website I'd like to look at."  He looked in the computer and couldn't find it.  Because I'd already used their website (and I could see his interface was the same as the one on the customer website though I couldn't see exactly what he was typing in to the search box), I said, "did you search for corolla hatchback, not just corolla?", because I'd had to do that to make the hatchbacks show up. Initially, I'd just searched for Corollas and hadn't gotten any hatchbacks, so it seems the search engine treats them like entirely unrelated models.  He assured me that yes, he'd looked and it must have sold.  NBD.  We went to look at a few other things.  I test drove one and almost liked it, but wasn't sold.  During the return drive to the dealership, I asked DH to check the website for the hatchback (and to search specifically for hatchbacks, not just corollas).  It was still there.  So when I pulled back up to the lot, we told the sales guy that while I liked the one I drove, there were a few things I wasn't sure about.  DH then said, "I searched and your website still has the hatchback we asked about initially" so we went inside and when DH gave him the stock # from his phone search, he was able to find it.  I drove it, it was perfect, so we returned and said we'd take it.  From that point on as we waded through the transaction the sales guy said, several times, to DH, "You knew from the beginning that was the car she wanted!"  "You knew that was the right car for her!"  Um, no... *I* knew from the beginning.  I told you that.  I also told you how to find it but you blew me off. 

This was obvious enough that DH noticed, and said, several times, "actually, she found it online.  That was all her", and gave me the apologetic eyes.  I could actually see him getting increasingly annoyed on my behalf and could tell he was ready to say something a bit more direct until I waved him off.  I appreciated him noticing and having my back, but it wasn't worth an awkward confrontation with this guy who we'd then have to sit with for another half hour while they finished the transaction.  And it wasn't worth it to me to walk away from a car that was perfect and that we'd already found (we were on a tight timeline to find a car for me), for some casual everyday sexism.  Especially because it was likely to be at least as bad with any other car salesman.

And I recommended Carmax to several people after that but told them to avoid our sales guy.

That was a particularly "good" one, he didn't listen to you for the search term to find the car, and it was his dealership's web site!  Invisible much?

Cliches are cliches for a reason!   ;-)

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Re: What’s wrong with men?
« Reply #675 on: July 17, 2021, 06:09:11 AM »
For those who have said they have rarely ever seen or heard these sorts of things, it's not surprising.  Most people generally surround themselves with people of at least fairly similar values, so it makes it unlikely that people who would never say and do these things would intereact closely with those who do.

But I think there's also a lot of what has been mentioned already by several other people: you don't necessarily see it.  My spouse didn't notice until I pointed it out that no matter which one of us texted or emailed our landlord about an issue, the landlord would provide answers to him.  I might get "thanks for letting me know; I will look in to it", but then they "I've scheduled a repairman to come on Thursday to look at the furnace" when to my husband.  (I'll also mention that I don't work outside the house, which landlord know, and he is will aware that I'm the one who lets in all the repair people and needs to be home so if anyone would have been the one to tell other than just whomever reported the issue, it would have been me, not my spouse.)  It's a benign little thing, and my husband never would have noticed it until I pointed it out.  I even asked my spouse to respond, "thanks, I'll let Villanelle know since this is her territory", or similar, but still the responses always went to him.  Man to man.

That's the sort of thing that many men wouldn't even notice.  It's the casual misogyny of every day life, not the pussy-grabbers and the rapists and the "women belong in the kitchen and on their knees" type of misogyny.   Much more subtle and easy to miss.

Ugh! I experience the opposite of this all the time with school wanting to call the mom-parent about everything. My husband is a SAHP and they call me about every little thing.

I also recently had a male neighbor march up and tell me "you need to come get your kids" when I was sitting outside with some other women and the kids were out of our sight misbehaving (only one of the kids in question was mine). He didn't even try telling the kids to stop first, he just started ordering me around.

Malcat

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Re: What’s wrong with men?
« Reply #676 on: July 17, 2021, 06:39:01 AM »
For those who have said they have rarely ever seen or heard these sorts of things, it's not surprising.  Most people generally surround themselves with people of at least fairly similar values, so it makes it unlikely that people who would never say and do these things would intereact closely with those who do.

But I think there's also a lot of what has been mentioned already by several other people: you don't necessarily see it.  My spouse didn't notice until I pointed it out that no matter which one of us texted or emailed our landlord about an issue, the landlord would provide answers to him.  I might get "thanks for letting me know; I will look in to it", but then they "I've scheduled a repairman to come on Thursday to look at the furnace" when to my husband.  (I'll also mention that I don't work outside the house, which landlord know, and he is will aware that I'm the one who lets in all the repair people and needs to be home so if anyone would have been the one to tell other than just whomever reported the issue, it would have been me, not my spouse.)  It's a benign little thing, and my husband never would have noticed it until I pointed it out.  I even asked my spouse to respond, "thanks, I'll let Villanelle know since this is her territory", or similar, but still the responses always went to him.  Man to man.

That's the sort of thing that many men wouldn't even notice.  It's the casual misogyny of every day life, not the pussy-grabbers and the rapists and the "women belong in the kitchen and on their knees" type of misogyny.   Much more subtle and easy to miss.

Ugh! I experience the opposite of this all the time with school wanting to call the mom-parent about everything. My husband is a SAHP and they call me about every little thing.

I also recently had a male neighbor march up and tell me "you need to come get your kids" when I was sitting outside with some other women and the kids were out of our sight misbehaving (only one of the kids in question was mine). He didn't even try telling the kids to stop first, he just started ordering me around.

To be absolutely fair, these days I would never tell a kid to stop anything if I knew one of their parents was nearby. Do you have any idea how fucking psycho some parents would get if someone did that?

Morning Glory

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Re: What’s wrong with men?
« Reply #677 on: July 17, 2021, 07:05:06 PM »
For those who have said they have rarely ever seen or heard these sorts of things, it's not surprising.  Most people generally surround themselves with people of at least fairly similar values, so it makes it unlikely that people who would never say and do these things would intereact closely with those who do.

But I think there's also a lot of what has been mentioned already by several other people: you don't necessarily see it.  My spouse didn't notice until I pointed it out that no matter which one of us texted or emailed our landlord about an issue, the landlord would provide answers to him.  I might get "thanks for letting me know; I will look in to it", but then they "I've scheduled a repairman to come on Thursday to look at the furnace" when to my husband.  (I'll also mention that I don't work outside the house, which landlord know, and he is will aware that I'm the one who lets in all the repair people and needs to be home so if anyone would have been the one to tell other than just whomever reported the issue, it would have been me, not my spouse.)  It's a benign little thing, and my husband never would have noticed it until I pointed it out.  I even asked my spouse to respond, "thanks, I'll let Villanelle know since this is her territory", or similar, but still the responses always went to him.  Man to man.

That's the sort of thing that many men wouldn't even notice.  It's the casual misogyny of every day life, not the pussy-grabbers and the rapists and the "women belong in the kitchen and on their knees" type of misogyny.   Much more subtle and easy to miss.

Ugh! I experience the opposite of this all the time with school wanting to call the mom-parent about everything. My husband is a SAHP and they call me about every little thing.

I also recently had a male neighbor march up and tell me "you need to come get your kids" when I was sitting outside with some other women and the kids were out of our sight misbehaving (only one of the kids in question was mine). He didn't even try telling the kids to stop first, he just started ordering me around.

To be absolutely fair, these days I would never tell a kid to stop anything if I knew one of their parents was nearby. Do you have any idea how fucking psycho some parents would get if someone did that?

What happened to "it takes a village?" He was putting rocks in the air conditioner and needed to stop. Even psycho parents should know that.

Malcat

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Re: What’s wrong with men?
« Reply #678 on: July 17, 2021, 07:12:09 PM »
For those who have said they have rarely ever seen or heard these sorts of things, it's not surprising.  Most people generally surround themselves with people of at least fairly similar values, so it makes it unlikely that people who would never say and do these things would intereact closely with those who do.

But I think there's also a lot of what has been mentioned already by several other people: you don't necessarily see it.  My spouse didn't notice until I pointed it out that no matter which one of us texted or emailed our landlord about an issue, the landlord would provide answers to him.  I might get "thanks for letting me know; I will look in to it", but then they "I've scheduled a repairman to come on Thursday to look at the furnace" when to my husband.  (I'll also mention that I don't work outside the house, which landlord know, and he is will aware that I'm the one who lets in all the repair people and needs to be home so if anyone would have been the one to tell other than just whomever reported the issue, it would have been me, not my spouse.)  It's a benign little thing, and my husband never would have noticed it until I pointed it out.  I even asked my spouse to respond, "thanks, I'll let Villanelle know since this is her territory", or similar, but still the responses always went to him.  Man to man.

That's the sort of thing that many men wouldn't even notice.  It's the casual misogyny of every day life, not the pussy-grabbers and the rapists and the "women belong in the kitchen and on their knees" type of misogyny.   Much more subtle and easy to miss.

Ugh! I experience the opposite of this all the time with school wanting to call the mom-parent about everything. My husband is a SAHP and they call me about every little thing.

I also recently had a male neighbor march up and tell me "you need to come get your kids" when I was sitting outside with some other women and the kids were out of our sight misbehaving (only one of the kids in question was mine). He didn't even try telling the kids to stop first, he just started ordering me around.

To be absolutely fair, these days I would never tell a kid to stop anything if I knew one of their parents was nearby. Do you have any idea how fucking psycho some parents would get if someone did that?

What happened to "it takes a village?" He was putting rocks in the air conditioner and needed to stop. Even psycho parents should know that.

Yeah...no...a lot of parents are NOT reasonable. I like kids, but I'm terrified of parents. It was different 20 years ago, now it can be insane.

Kris

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Re: What’s wrong with men?
« Reply #679 on: July 17, 2021, 07:35:06 PM »
For those who have said they have rarely ever seen or heard these sorts of things, it's not surprising.  Most people generally surround themselves with people of at least fairly similar values, so it makes it unlikely that people who would never say and do these things would intereact closely with those who do.

But I think there's also a lot of what has been mentioned already by several other people: you don't necessarily see it.  My spouse didn't notice until I pointed it out that no matter which one of us texted or emailed our landlord about an issue, the landlord would provide answers to him.  I might get "thanks for letting me know; I will look in to it", but then they "I've scheduled a repairman to come on Thursday to look at the furnace" when to my husband.  (I'll also mention that I don't work outside the house, which landlord know, and he is will aware that I'm the one who lets in all the repair people and needs to be home so if anyone would have been the one to tell other than just whomever reported the issue, it would have been me, not my spouse.)  It's a benign little thing, and my husband never would have noticed it until I pointed it out.  I even asked my spouse to respond, "thanks, I'll let Villanelle know since this is her territory", or similar, but still the responses always went to him.  Man to man.

That's the sort of thing that many men wouldn't even notice.  It's the casual misogyny of every day life, not the pussy-grabbers and the rapists and the "women belong in the kitchen and on their knees" type of misogyny.   Much more subtle and easy to miss.

Ugh! I experience the opposite of this all the time with school wanting to call the mom-parent about everything. My husband is a SAHP and they call me about every little thing.

I also recently had a male neighbor march up and tell me "you need to come get your kids" when I was sitting outside with some other women and the kids were out of our sight misbehaving (only one of the kids in question was mine). He didn't even try telling the kids to stop first, he just started ordering me around.

To be absolutely fair, these days I would never tell a kid to stop anything if I knew one of their parents was nearby. Do you have any idea how fucking psycho some parents would get if someone did that?

What happened to "it takes a village?" He was putting rocks in the air conditioner and needed to stop. Even psycho parents should know that.

Yeah...no...a lot of parents are NOT reasonable. I like kids, but I'm terrified of parents. It was different 20 years ago, now it can be insane.

I agree. Parents can be completely unhinged regarding their precious darlings. No way am I gonna risk my life telling a stranger that their kid needs to rein it in.

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Re: What’s wrong with men?
« Reply #680 on: July 17, 2021, 08:00:43 PM »
For those who have said they have rarely ever seen or heard these sorts of things, it's not surprising.  Most people generally surround themselves with people of at least fairly similar values, so it makes it unlikely that people who would never say and do these things would intereact closely with those who do.

But I think there's also a lot of what has been mentioned already by several other people: you don't necessarily see it.  My spouse didn't notice until I pointed it out that no matter which one of us texted or emailed our landlord about an issue, the landlord would provide answers to him.  I might get "thanks for letting me know; I will look in to it", but then they "I've scheduled a repairman to come on Thursday to look at the furnace" when to my husband.  (I'll also mention that I don't work outside the house, which landlord know, and he is will aware that I'm the one who lets in all the repair people and needs to be home so if anyone would have been the one to tell other than just whomever reported the issue, it would have been me, not my spouse.)  It's a benign little thing, and my husband never would have noticed it until I pointed it out.  I even asked my spouse to respond, "thanks, I'll let Villanelle know since this is her territory", or similar, but still the responses always went to him.  Man to man.

That's the sort of thing that many men wouldn't even notice.  It's the casual misogyny of every day life, not the pussy-grabbers and the rapists and the "women belong in the kitchen and on their knees" type of misogyny.   Much more subtle and easy to miss.

Ugh! I experience the opposite of this all the time with school wanting to call the mom-parent about everything. My husband is a SAHP and they call me about every little thing.

I also recently had a male neighbor march up and tell me "you need to come get your kids" when I was sitting outside with some other women and the kids were out of our sight misbehaving (only one of the kids in question was mine). He didn't even try telling the kids to stop first, he just started ordering me around.

To be absolutely fair, these days I would never tell a kid to stop anything if I knew one of their parents was nearby. Do you have any idea how fucking psycho some parents would get if someone did that?

What happened to "it takes a village?" He was putting rocks in the air conditioner and needed to stop. Even psycho parents should know that.

Yeah...no...a lot of parents are NOT reasonable. I like kids, but I'm terrified of parents. It was different 20 years ago, now it can be insane.

I agree. Parents can be completely unhinged regarding their precious darlings. No way am I gonna risk my life telling a stranger that their kid needs to rein it in.

Please tell my kid off for me. I don't mind. I hate getting looks. I have difficult kids and I think parents (especially mothers) get way too much blame for kids' behavior. I really can't control them every minute.

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Re: What’s wrong with men?
« Reply #681 on: July 18, 2021, 06:37:03 AM »
I’ve noticed a trend where some parents will tell us: “If you see my child misbehaving, I WANT you to tell them”.  The subtext is that this is an “opt-in” strategy.  Other parents get upset and defensive if you try to ‘parent’ their child.  The more level-headed ones will say “if you’ve got a problem with my son/daughter, you should come to ME!”.  THe less level-headed just yell at you.

It’s definitely different from the world I grew up in, where I had probably a half-dozen neighbors and family-friends who felt they had the authority to discipline me when I wasn’t doing what they thought I should be.  I distinctly remember one parent strong-arming me back to my house and telling me mother “he’s grounded for at least a week” (a group of us were using their pool when they weren’t home).

FOr better or worse that’s not the environment my kid is growing up now. Frankly, I would NEVER physically intervene with a child I didn’t know very well unless there was imminent physical danger. Picking up a misbehaving child or holding them back is just as likely to get me into hot water as the child.

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Re: What’s wrong with men?
« Reply #682 on: July 18, 2021, 09:57:17 AM »
For those who have said they have rarely ever seen or heard these sorts of things, it's not surprising.  Most people generally surround themselves with people of at least fairly similar values, so it makes it unlikely that people who would never say and do these things would intereact closely with those who do.

But I think there's also a lot of what has been mentioned already by several other people: you don't necessarily see it.  My spouse didn't notice until I pointed it out that no matter which one of us texted or emailed our landlord about an issue, the landlord would provide answers to him.  I might get "thanks for letting me know; I will look in to it", but then they "I've scheduled a repairman to come on Thursday to look at the furnace" when to my husband.  (I'll also mention that I don't work outside the house, which landlord know, and he is will aware that I'm the one who lets in all the repair people and needs to be home so if anyone would have been the one to tell other than just whomever reported the issue, it would have been me, not my spouse.)  It's a benign little thing, and my husband never would have noticed it until I pointed it out.  I even asked my spouse to respond, "thanks, I'll let Villanelle know since this is her territory", or similar, but still the responses always went to him.  Man to man.

That's the sort of thing that many men wouldn't even notice.  It's the casual misogyny of every day life, not the pussy-grabbers and the rapists and the "women belong in the kitchen and on their knees" type of misogyny.   Much more subtle and easy to miss.

Ugh! I experience the opposite of this all the time with school wanting to call the mom-parent about everything. My husband is a SAHP and they call me about every little thing.

I also recently had a male neighbor march up and tell me "you need to come get your kids" when I was sitting outside with some other women and the kids were out of our sight misbehaving (only one of the kids in question was mine). He didn't even try telling the kids to stop first, he just started ordering me around.

To be absolutely fair, these days I would never tell a kid to stop anything if I knew one of their parents was nearby. Do you have any idea how fucking psycho some parents would get if someone did that?

What happened to "it takes a village?" He was putting rocks in the air conditioner and needed to stop. Even psycho parents should know that.

I've been yelled at by parents for gently asking a child to please stop [Bad Action].  People are pyscho about their kids.  "Please don't throw rocks at that cat" (and I promise it was said in a very gentle tone, precisely because I was afraid of parent-ire) led to an "excuse me!  Don't Speak to me Child!" lecture.  I had no way of knowing who in the park, if anyone, was an adult associated with the child, but it seemed like something that needed to be addressed and no parent was doing it. 

I absolutely would talk to a parent before saying anything to a kid if I knew the location of the parent and it wasn't an absolute life-or-death, can't-wait-the-time-it-would-take-to-find-their-person thing. 

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Re: What’s wrong with men?
« Reply #683 on: July 18, 2021, 12:05:40 PM »
The societal trend against other people helping out with parenting really stinks. It's hugely beneficial for parents and society as a whole, in my opinion, for everyone to help out with kids. In fairness to parents, as society has shifted away from the expectation/norm for other people to help with kids, it has, in my experience, kind of created a negative feedback loop to make it even less likely for adults to correct kids in a couple of ways. First, parents don't expect it, so it can be a shock to the system and feel like something must be really wrong for someone else to correct their kids, so they're immediately on the defensive. Also, the vast majority of people feel like posters on here - that they would never say anything to kids directly, and as that has taken root, the people, in my experience, who tend to correct kids are overly aggressive people with problematic types of correction leading to parents being more likely to expect that (and resist it by default) when their kids are being corrected. I wish things would trend back in the other direction and people would feel free to correct my kids, of course with kindness and never with any sort of punishment, because I can't notice everything my kids do that need correction, and it would be great if obviously wrong things were commented on with expediency.

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Re: What’s wrong with men?
« Reply #684 on: July 18, 2021, 12:08:52 PM »
I’ve noticed a trend where some parents will tell us: “If you see my child misbehaving, I WANT you to tell them”.  The subtext is that this is an “opt-in” strategy.  Other parents get upset and defensive if you try to ‘parent’ their child.  The more level-headed ones will say “if you’ve got a problem with my son/daughter, you should come to ME!”.  THe less level-headed just yell at you.

It’s definitely different from the world I grew up in, where I had probably a half-dozen neighbors and family-friends who felt they had the authority to discipline me when I wasn’t doing what they thought I should be.  I distinctly remember one parent strong-arming me back to my house and telling me mother “he’s grounded for at least a week” (a group of us were using their pool when they weren’t home).

FOr better or worse that’s not the environment my kid is growing up now. Frankly, I would NEVER physically intervene with a child I didn’t know very well unless there was imminent physical danger. Picking up a misbehaving child or holding them back is just as likely to get me into hot water as the child.

Gee, I live in a large town (I guess, around 120,000), and my kids (now 17 and 20) have been explicitly informed that they have "aunties" all over the place, keeping an eye on them. In some cases, we've had explicit conversations with the "aunties" (like in the case of a couple of soccer coaches) that they're welcome to speak up, and/or contact me if they feel something is amiss.

I mean, it can be handled well or poorly by other adults (and I've seen some epically poor handling of what other adults felt were "misbehaving kids", because their expectations were horribly inappropriate), but it makes more sense to me to have someone speak up in the moment, especially if someone's safety is at risk. And for anything other than the most minor property damage... I definitely speak (gently, and appropriately) to other people's kids!
« Last Edit: July 18, 2021, 01:24:42 PM by jeninco »

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Re: What’s wrong with men?
« Reply #685 on: July 18, 2021, 09:04:30 PM »
I have spoken to kids directly when they’re doing something objectionable (like screaming at the top of their lungs for no reason except to hear themselves scream).  In that case, the parents weren’t even around and I wasn’t about to track them down.  I don’t hesitate to say something to kids even if their parents are there, because if they aren’t correcting their kids, why shouldn’t someone else if they are being annoying?  I see a lot of people who just allow their kids to do whatever they want in public places, and other people have rights too.  I’m polite to the child and don’t say anything inappropriate.  If parents want to reem me out for it, they are free to do so, but I don’t let them intimidate me into suffering in silence.

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Re: What’s wrong with men?
« Reply #686 on: July 18, 2021, 09:17:26 PM »
I have spoken to kids directly when they’re doing something objectionable (like screaming at the top of their lungs for no reason except to hear themselves scream).  In that case, the parents weren’t even around and I wasn’t about to track them down.  I don’t hesitate to say something to kids even if their parents are there, because if they aren’t correcting their kids, why shouldn’t someone else if they are being annoying?  I see a lot of people who just allow their kids to do whatever they want in public places, and other people have rights too.  I’m polite to the child and don’t say anything inappropriate.  If parents want to reem me out for it, they are free to do so, but I don’t let them intimidate me into suffering in silence.

I feel like my kids should be able to play outside like I did. I don't mind if people correct them if they are misbehaving. My complaint was about the neighbor automatically coming to the parent who looks like me instead of first addressing the kids then asking who was the actual parent.

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Re: What’s wrong with men?
« Reply #687 on: July 19, 2021, 04:39:05 AM »
To be fair to not ‘parenting’ children you do not know, there’s a huge gulf between what’s acceptable or even celebrated in our world. I vividly remember being chastised as a teenager for having the audacity to kiss my significant other in public, and my sister came home in tears because some parent told her the two-piece she wearing was not appropriate for a child of Jesus (or something like that).  I would be livid if anyone tried to shame my daughter that way.

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Re: What’s wrong with men?
« Reply #688 on: July 19, 2021, 06:44:23 AM »
To be fair to not ‘parenting’ children you do not know, there’s a huge gulf between what’s acceptable or even celebrated in our world. I vividly remember being chastised as a teenager for having the audacity to kiss my significant other in public, and my sister came home in tears because some parent told her the two-piece she wearing was not appropriate for a child of Jesus (or something like that).  I would be livid if anyone tried to shame my daughter that way.

A yes, to bring us back around to the societal misogyny, growing up in a small town, it drove me crazy that my many brothers could basically do anything, but I couldn't. My brothers could get away with murder, but if I did anything even remotely inappropriate I would be publicly corrected and/or my parents informed.

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Re: What’s wrong with men?
« Reply #689 on: July 19, 2021, 07:36:56 AM »
To be fair to not ‘parenting’ children you do not know, there’s a huge gulf between what’s acceptable or even celebrated in our world. I vividly remember being chastised as a teenager for having the audacity to kiss my significant other in public, and my sister came home in tears because some parent told her the two-piece she wearing was not appropriate for a child of Jesus (or something like that).  I would be livid if anyone tried to shame my daughter that way.

A yes, to bring us back around to the societal misogyny, growing up in a small town, it drove me crazy that my many brothers could basically do anything, but I couldn't. My brothers could get away with murder, but if I did anything even remotely inappropriate I would be publicly corrected and/or my parents informed.

On top of that there were the double standards around dating and sex. When I was growing up it was ok for a boy to be with more than one girl, but not the other way around.  I remember my mom lecturing me about my "reputation", and not letting me have boys in my room. Meanwhile my boyfriend at the time was allowed and even encouraged to have me over when his parents weren't home.

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Re: What’s wrong with men?
« Reply #690 on: July 19, 2021, 08:37:21 AM »
To be fair to not ‘parenting’ children you do not know, there’s a huge gulf between what’s acceptable or even celebrated in our world. I vividly remember being chastised as a teenager for having the audacity to kiss my significant other in public, and my sister came home in tears because some parent told her the two-piece she wearing was not appropriate for a child of Jesus (or something like that).  I would be livid if anyone tried to shame my daughter that way.


This is a good example of what I was attempting to convey earlier - the people that do tend to comment are the overly aggressive ones with a chip on their shoulder about something. It's not hard to limit your "parenting" of other people's kids to things that will harm them, harm others (physically or mentally), harm animals, harm property and maybe a few other similar things. Now in the situation we are in, almost all people are afraid to say anything to other people's kids except people like the ones who harassed my friend when she had her and her kids out a while back with masks on and told her she was abusing her children by forcing them to live in fear with masks on. Not entirely a parallel since they did harass my friend but it was in front of her kids, and it just seems like those kind of people are the ones with chips on their shoulders enough to say things with parents or kids, leading to parent's initial gut response of this person is just being a jerk, leave my kids alone. I wish everyone jumped in to help so this kind of thing would be drowned out and be more of the exception.

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Re: What’s wrong with men?
« Reply #691 on: July 20, 2021, 02:30:22 AM »
I'm trying to get our 3yo to ask people directly if he wants something or would like to ask a question, rather than asking me. "Excuse me, what is your name?" rather than, "Mummy, what is that little girl's name?" But I find that I have to be very explicit with our adult friends that it's OK to tell him no. Just because he asks, "Will you play trains with me?" when they're over having coffee with us doesn't mean they have to say yes!

I must admit, if someone yelled at my kids I'd be really upset. But, "No, sweetie, this is our buggy in the playground. You can't unpack everything in at and then climb inside" is totally fine. I've quietly and politely stopped kids legging it out of the playground gate before. I agree, though, that it's the gentle polite interactions that have stopped and only the yellers remain confident to correct other people's kids whenever wherever.

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Re: What’s wrong with men?
« Reply #692 on: July 21, 2021, 01:30:27 PM »
I'm watching Geena Davis' "This Changes Everything" about women in film and television, and it's VERY GOOD.

At one point Meryl Streep says that men taking action against sexism is the "chivalry of the 21st century", which really made me stop and think about it for a minute.

I highly, HIGHLY recommend that men watch this to get a sense of the fucking frustration over total irrational nonsense that women experience.

Watch it, it's one of the most understated, intelligent documentaries I've seen in a long time. I don't love documentaries because I find them overwrought and overly dramatic. This one was just calm, matter of fact, and well organized. Plus the caliber of contributors is incredible.
« Last Edit: July 21, 2021, 02:16:50 PM by Malcat »

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Re: What’s wrong with men?
« Reply #693 on: July 21, 2021, 02:16:05 PM »
I'm watching Geena Davis' "This Is Everything" about women in film and television, and it's VERY GOOD.

At one point Meryl Streep says that men taking action against sexism is the "chivalry of the 21st century", which really made me stop and think about it for a minute.

I highly, HIGHLY recommend that men watch this to get a sense of the fucking frustration over total irrational nonsense that women experience.

Watch it, it's one of the most understated, intelligent documentaries I've seen in a long time. I don't love documentaries because I find them overwrought and overly dramatic. This one was just calm, matter of fact, and well organized. Plus the caliber of contributors is incredible.

Thank you for the recommendation. For others looking it up, I'm 99.9% sure Malcat meant "This Changes Everything" not "This is Everything" (which is a different documentary about a transgender woman).

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Re: What’s wrong with men?
« Reply #694 on: July 21, 2021, 02:17:27 PM »
I'm watching Geena Davis' "This Is Everything" about women in film and television, and it's VERY GOOD.

At one point Meryl Streep says that men taking action against sexism is the "chivalry of the 21st century", which really made me stop and think about it for a minute.

I highly, HIGHLY recommend that men watch this to get a sense of the fucking frustration over total irrational nonsense that women experience.

Watch it, it's one of the most understated, intelligent documentaries I've seen in a long time. I don't love documentaries because I find them overwrought and overly dramatic. This one was just calm, matter of fact, and well organized. Plus the caliber of contributors is incredible.

Thank you for the recommendation. For others looking it up, I'm 99.9% sure Malcat meant "This Changes Everything" not "This is Everything" (which is a different documentary about a transgender woman).

Fixed it in the OP. I swear my autocorrect is out of control.

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Re: What’s wrong with men?
« Reply #695 on: July 21, 2021, 07:31:31 PM »
I'm watching Geena Davis' "This Is Everything" about women in film and television, and it's VERY GOOD.

At one point Meryl Streep says that men taking action against sexism is the "chivalry of the 21st century", which really made me stop and think about it for a minute.

I highly, HIGHLY recommend that men watch this to get a sense of the fucking frustration over total irrational nonsense that women experience.

Watch it, it's one of the most understated, intelligent documentaries I've seen in a long time. I don't love documentaries because I find them overwrought and overly dramatic. This one was just calm, matter of fact, and well organized. Plus the caliber of contributors is incredible.

Thank you for the recommendation. For others looking it up, I'm 99.9% sure Malcat meant "This Changes Everything" not "This is Everything" (which is a different documentary about a transgender woman).

Ooh, this looks good. Thanks for the recommendation.

My stalker contacted me via email last week. I told him in May 2019 that if he ever contacted me again, I would consider it harassment. I wouldn’t have known about it, except I decided to check my spam folder while cleaning out my email inbox (Gmail seems to think that letting blocked email addresses go to spam is sufficient). He isn’t noticeably less obsessed or less emotionally manipulative after more than two years of no contact. Now I get to decide whether or not to file a police report (husband votes “yes”) and whether I should beef up cameras/security on the house. Someone has been driving by and honking in the early mornings, and I don’t know what car he drives now. I’ve also had a lot of “unknown callers” and hang-ups lately. A good dose of female empowerment should bolster me.

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Re: What’s wrong with men?
« Reply #696 on: July 21, 2021, 09:09:18 PM »
My stalker contacted me via email last week. I told him in May 2019 that if he ever contacted me again, I would consider it harassment. I wouldn’t have known about it, except I decided to check my spam folder while cleaning out my email inbox (Gmail seems to think that letting blocked email addresses go to spam is sufficient). He isn’t noticeably less obsessed or less emotionally manipulative after more than two years of no contact. Now I get to decide whether or not to file a police report (husband votes “yes”) and whether I should beef up cameras/security on the house. Someone has been driving by and honking in the early mornings, and I don’t know what car he drives now. I’ve also had a lot of “unknown callers” and hang-ups lately. A good dose of female empowerment should bolster me.

That sounds incredibly stressful. Sorry to hear you're dealing with that :(

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Re: What’s wrong with men?
« Reply #697 on: July 22, 2021, 07:36:57 AM »
I'm watching Geena Davis' "This Is Everything" about women in film and television, and it's VERY GOOD.

At one point Meryl Streep says that men taking action against sexism is the "chivalry of the 21st century", which really made me stop and think about it for a minute.

I highly, HIGHLY recommend that men watch this to get a sense of the fucking frustration over total irrational nonsense that women experience.

Watch it, it's one of the most understated, intelligent documentaries I've seen in a long time. I don't love documentaries because I find them overwrought and overly dramatic. This one was just calm, matter of fact, and well organized. Plus the caliber of contributors is incredible.

Thank you for the recommendation. For others looking it up, I'm 99.9% sure Malcat meant "This Changes Everything" not "This is Everything" (which is a different documentary about a transgender woman).

Ooh, this looks good. Thanks for the recommendation.

My stalker contacted me via email last week. I told him in May 2019 that if he ever contacted me again, I would consider it harassment. I wouldn’t have known about it, except I decided to check my spam folder while cleaning out my email inbox (Gmail seems to think that letting blocked email addresses go to spam is sufficient). He isn’t noticeably less obsessed or less emotionally manipulative after more than two years of no contact. Now I get to decide whether or not to file a police report (husband votes “yes”) and whether I should beef up cameras/security on the house. Someone has been driving by and honking in the early mornings, and I don’t know what car he drives now. I’ve also had a lot of “unknown callers” and hang-ups lately. A good dose of female empowerment should bolster me.

Ugh, that's horrible.

Yes, I'm very familiar with the undying obsessiveness. I have one who nearly 20 years later still apparently flies into a murderous rage at the mention of my name. Fun times.

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Re: What’s wrong with men?
« Reply #698 on: July 22, 2021, 09:11:40 AM »
I'm watching Geena Davis' "This Is Everything" about women in film and television, and it's VERY GOOD.

At one point Meryl Streep says that men taking action against sexism is the "chivalry of the 21st century", which really made me stop and think about it for a minute.

I highly, HIGHLY recommend that men watch this to get a sense of the fucking frustration over total irrational nonsense that women experience.

Watch it, it's one of the most understated, intelligent documentaries I've seen in a long time. I don't love documentaries because I find them overwrought and overly dramatic. This one was just calm, matter of fact, and well organized. Plus the caliber of contributors is incredible.

Thank you for the recommendation. For others looking it up, I'm 99.9% sure Malcat meant "This Changes Everything" not "This is Everything" (which is a different documentary about a transgender woman).

Ooh, this looks good. Thanks for the recommendation.

My stalker contacted me via email last week. I told him in May 2019 that if he ever contacted me again, I would consider it harassment. I wouldn’t have known about it, except I decided to check my spam folder while cleaning out my email inbox (Gmail seems to think that letting blocked email addresses go to spam is sufficient). He isn’t noticeably less obsessed or less emotionally manipulative after more than two years of no contact. Now I get to decide whether or not to file a police report (husband votes “yes”) and whether I should beef up cameras/security on the house. Someone has been driving by and honking in the early mornings, and I don’t know what car he drives now. I’ve also had a lot of “unknown callers” and hang-ups lately. A good dose of female empowerment should bolster me.

I'm sorry.  It's a terrible feeling.  I would at least call and discuss it with your local PD.  When I looked in to it, it seems like a protective/restraining order was just as often a bad trigger as a true protection, but at a minimum, letting the PD know about it shouldn't hurt.  I'm sorry you are dealing with it.

I had an Ex who could not let go.  For many months he would appear in my rearview mirror randomly.  (He did lived about 45 minutes away and and no other ties to my town).  He would wait on my college campus (not a student, ever had been) in the hopes of seeing me.  He used a spare key to my parents' home (where I lived; he had stayed with them for a time between houses and knew where the key was) to break in and steal photos and personal items from my nightstand and dresser.   Years later (after we were both married--to other people of course), he set up a MySpace profile saying he want to my high school and graduated in my year (he went to HS about an hour away and was about 6 years older), presumably so I would find it and--- reach out?  Feel upset?  Realize I loved him?   He hacked into my email (via security questions he knew answers to), found emails from a guy (old friend from high school and at the time someone I was chatting with in a "might this be a thing" way, now husband!) and sent that guy angry emails. 

In one of those "Gift of Fear" moments that I think back on often and get chills from every time, he called me one night in the middle of the night, claiming he had a flat tire and asking me to come get him.  (This was before many but not all of the things listed above, so I didn't yet consider him a stalker but it was definitely getting uncomfortable.)  I told him I could not.  He said he was stuck and just needed a ride.  Please.  Didn't I say when we broke up that we'd be friends and I'd be there if he needed me?  I offered to call his family (lived about 40 min away).  No, he needed me because I was closer.  Even though I usually suck at saying no and being assertive, somehow that night I just did it.  Again, and again, and again.  I still don't know why or how I managed it when it was so out of character, but I did.  He begged, he guilted, he shamed, he tried everything.  To get me to a very secluded place at something like 2am.  Eventually, I said that I just couldn't do it and if he didn't want me to call a tow truck or his family, I needed to go, and I hung up.

I don't know what would have happened, but I know he didn't need a ride because of a flat.  Maybe he just would have tried to convince me to get back together.  Maybe he had flowers and a desperation engagement ring.  But maybe it was something far, far more nefarious.

And the day I saw that MySpace page created years and years after this (and again, I knew he had married), was one of the worst days in the saga because it told me there was no timeline on this, that what I assumed went away with time and healing of his broken heart clearly hadn't, and that I could never, ever assume it was over.

I live on the other side of the country and still have occasional moments where the back of a head looks familiar and my stomach drops. 


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  • Posts: 4617
  • Location: Metro Detroit
Re: What’s wrong with men?
« Reply #699 on: July 22, 2021, 12:37:59 PM »
It really doesn't go away unless something breaks their fixation. My stalker has a pattern of this behavior. He apparently tracked his college ex for decades and across the country, even before the internet and social media, and even as they both married and had children. He apparently transferred his ongoing obsession with her to me about 6 or 7 years ago, although I was under the false impression that we were friends and had no idea of his obsession until about 3 years ago. I hope his ex is at least free of his scrutiny now. I don't expect to be completely free of him until he's dead.

I'm torn on going to the PD; a paper trail would be useful if he escalates, but at the same time, I don't want to give him any sort of response because he will use that as a foot in the door. I'm watching my spam box daily now.

The Gift of Fear is a really useful book. I'm so sorry that you had so many textbook experiences, @Villanelle . I'm so glad that you chose to protect yourself and ignore the emotional manipulation.