PROPERTY RIGHTS

Two related anecdotes.

1. A woman who has recently moved to this city is walking down a residential street with me after dark. She is at the tail end of five minutes of stories relating surprise at the frequency and intensity of catcalling here relative to other places she has lived. We approach three 18-to-21 looking males hanging out on a street corner. They are obviously wasted. As we walk past, they say nothing to her but one nods toward me, makes eye contact, and gives me the trying to be cool "sup" that young males do.

2. A different woman is having dinner alone at a bar. She texts me to live blog the old creeper who is accosting her (not physically) and does not seem willing to leave her alone. She laments that she does not have a boyfriend or at least some male to sit next to so that she might go to a bar and sit there in peace.

It's equal parts intriguing and disturbing how often men treat women with respect – not invading their personal space or shouting things at them that they would prefer not to have shouted at them – not because they think women deserve to be treated with respect but because they are with a man. The inebriated young men didn't refrain from making suggestive comments because they realized that it's inappropriate; they refrained because I was next to her. Old creepers and "pickup artists" do not leave accompanied women alone at bars because they recognize that ignoring all the "please stop" signals is behavior that trends toward Rapey. They do it because the has a Sold tag on her and is already the property of some other man. And many men who would happily treat women with the utmost disrespect would recoil at the thought of disrespecting another man by hitting on his Property.

Many years ago I accompanied a female friend, at her request, to a car dealership. Being younger it didn't occur to me at the time that I wasn't there because I have any special automotive knowledge that might have been useful. I was there because if the (inevitably male) car salesman wouldn't treat her too insultingly in front of Her Man. Women are probably so familiar with and used to this dynamic that they barely bother to think about it anymore. I, on the other hand, never thought about it seriously until the two incidents above happened in quick succession. I understood intuitively for a long time that having a male companion helps women receive better treatment from other men in some circumstances. However, I only recently did the math – women only get treated respectfully incidentally, as a side effect of respecting another man's ownership.

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78 Responses to “PROPERTY RIGHTS”

  1. geoff Says:

    The older I get the more I'm amazed that they (women) don't kill us (men) in our cribs. That's not really a joke.

  2. wetcasements Says:

    I've been mixing it up with some of the assclowns on Twitter #GamerGate, and their level of cognitive dissonance is truly astounding. Two different small-time, female indie developers have literally been threatened out of their homes in quick succession, but according to gamer bros this has _nothing_ to do with gender. It's total coincidence. In fact, they probably staged their own death threats.

    Reasoning with entitled white males is pretty much a fool's errand.

  3. Xynzee Says:

    Without being there for situ #1, thus not knowing the "vibe" that went down, I've experienced and seen a couple of times where the act of acknowledging—ie eye contact, saying "Hi", head nod, etc—both the male and the female in a couple quickly went South. With the guy turning the acknowledgement of two other human beings into a "territorial dispute". The take away being: it's just better—ie safer—to only say "Hi" to the bloke.

  4. Major Kong Says:

    I gave up online gaming years ago because of the kind of asinine comments I'd hear from other players. I have a pretty think skin, so if it got to me I can only imagine what it's like for a female player.

  5. JD Says:

    @Geoff

    Oh, you assume the woman is the one watching the crib?

  6. HoosierPoli Says:

    Our modern ideologies more and more frequently come into conflict with the reality that our brains were wired by evolution, and evolution does not give a shit about your feelings. In the primordial past, women who were not protected by the physical force of a stronger person (typically but not always a man) were free game to be raped by whoever could overpower them physically. This is the state of nature that, in fits and starts, we've layered our society over. Recently we've gotten so good at society-building we've begun to think that it could be possible to bury that foundation forever. But those primordial tendencies are always going to be there. No amount of after-school specials about "respect" will change the black, amoral heart of humankind totally.

    In other words, men are always going to be a danger to women. Sons need to be taught to behave like modern goddamn humans, and daughters need to be taught that sons rarely learn.

  7. zebbidie Says:

    You haven't canvassed the likelihood that said creepers and pick-up artists are taking into account the real risk of physical aggression from the male companion.

  8. sluggo Says:

    Really good point about creepy guys behaving when other guys are around.

    Ladies', that's part of the reason, that when you tell a story like this, to a guy that doesn't act like this, we look at you like you have three heads. That behavior just does not happen when we are around, and if we don't participate in that behavior, it simply isn't part of our experience. That is why we don't get it.

  9. duquesne_pdx Says:

    My wife is a gearhead. Loves the classic muscle cars, can do car repair work on older engines, etc. I'm more of a rally car kind of guy, but I don't get into the inner workings of engines. We were waiting for our car to be serviced and decided to look at some Mustangs to while away the time. A salesperson came up and started talking to me, even though my wife was the one checking the cars out in detail. I told him, "You're talking to the wrong person. You need to talk to the gearhead there."

    That wasn't the first time, nor was it the last. In general, the look of utter astonishment is worth the price of admission.

    She says she loves it when we go on a lot and I cede authority to her. But she won't go alone.

  10. Sarah Says:

    The older I get the more I'm amazed that they (women) don't kill us (men) in our cribs. That's not really a joke.

    That would be misandry, though, and as any MRA and manospherian will tell you, misandry is much, much worse than misogyny.

    (That's actually not a joke, either. A few years ago some Swedish feminists made an allegedly offensive video which allegedly promoted the wanton killing of men, and the manospherians at The Spearhead lost their shit. I never saw the video, and it has since been locked down so I can't link it. But naturally we can't have the Violence Against Women Act or other laws to protect women from men because violence against women is par for the course.)

    I've been mixing it up with some of the assclowns on Twitter #GamerGate, and their level of cognitive dissonance is truly astounding. Two different small-time, female indie developers have literally been threatened out of their homes in quick succession, but according to gamer bros this has _nothing_ to do with gender. It's total coincidence. In fact, they probably staged their own death threats.

    Literally the first tweet posted to the gamergate hashtag was from Adam Baldwin, who posted a slut-shaming video targeting Zoe Quinn, one of the aforementioned indie developers. A guy she dated posted a 10,000 word manifesto detailing their sex life and how she allegedly slept with a journalist to get a favorable review for her game, an allegation which was expanded to say she was having sex with five guys while dating this other guy. All of those allegations have since been shown to be total bullshit. You can read here a thing she wrote about the experience. They also drove Anita Sarkeesian, a culture critic who is working on a series of videos to talk about sexism in video games, from her home, and yesterday she cancelled a talk she was going to give at Utah State University because she received a credible death threat and the authorities said that they could not prevent lawful holders of concealed carry permits from bringing guns to the event.

    But all that is totally not about misogyny, and don't anyone dare suggest that being so fed up with this shit would be a justification in taking violent action towards those who support it.

  11. pbagosy Says:

    Two related anecdotes:
    1) Before we were married, my (now) wife went out to buy a car by herself. The salesman at one dealership told her, point blank, "come back later when you have your husband with you" in response to her saying "I'm looking to buy a new car." Suffice it to say someone she bought a different brand that day.

    2) When we were buying our current car 8 years ago, we hadn't decided who was going to be getting it yet, her or me. She was, however, the one who had contacted the dealer and had all of the financial paperwork. When we got to the showroom, the salesman that she'd talk to greeted *me* and almost completely ignored her. After the test drive, he greeted me at the *passenger door* (He let us drive off alone – I'd driven out, she'd driven back) and asked me how I'd liked it. When we got to the bargaining table, he started talking money at me, and I just pushed my chair back, gestured to my wife, and said "She's the one with the checkbook." An uncomfortable 30 minutes later, we walked out without buying the car, went to the dealership in the next town, and got the same price that we'd bargained for at the first dealership.

  12. GunstarGreen Says:

    I'm not going to get too far into the whole Anita Sarkesian / Zoe Quinn debacle given that, at this point, it's effectively a religious debate and facts need not apply.

    All I'm going to say is that you do not help the cause of Social Justice by assuming, with literally no evidence, that everyone that doesn't think too highly of them is a Straight Cis White Male. And that you help that cause even less by using SCWM as some sort of epithet.

    One does not have to be an MRA or PUA loon to disagree with you. Misandry is not "worse than misogyny", and it never will be. It is also not any *less* of a concern. Harassment is harassment, abuse is abuse, no matter who it's directed at, and calling for Equality and Justice while asserting the non-importance of a group of people — no matter how "privileged" you may feel that group is — does not fly with people who understand what Equality and Justice actually mean. We should fight to end all abuse and harassment, period.

  13. Mayya Says:

    HoosierPoli – your comment has started me thinking. Your description of evolutionarily wired behavior is one that most of us probably accept without even thinking about it. But I wonder– what evidence do we have that rape was common in prehistoric times? With other animals, there's really no such thing as forcing sex on a female. Either she's receptive or she's not, and if not – end of story.

    I'm not the first to posit the theory that agriculture is what promoted the concept of chattel ownership of other humans, and particularly females in order to own their offspring. Evolutionarily speaking, the era of agriculture is the mere blink of an eye, so it's not unreasonable to suspect that rape/ownership of women could be a relatively recent, cultural phenomenon rather than an inherent instinct.

    Not that this theory helps the woman who is at this very moment fending off creepster advances in a restaurant, but it might benefit us all to regard it as voluntary behavior and not an imperative of nature…

  14. Andrew Laurence Says:

    @Mayya: Have you ever seen two cats have sex? It looks like he's forcing her to me. Besides, animals aren't that picky. If she's in heat, and she's around an unaltered male, she's DTF. Humans choose their sexual partners. Big difference.

  15. Anubis Bard Says:

    @ HoosierPoli, Oh that primordial past. That's a story that serves to excuse the internal dreck of rapey-minded men (After all, it's only natural!), but I don't buy it. Rape and misogyny as a weapon of war and social jockeying is much more a symptom of "society-building" than it is of the human communities that evolution produced. If you want to talk about "natural" human beings look to societies that were organized with pair bonds and kinship and inter-marriage. Gender distinctions are universal, but disrespect and violent proprietorship of women are not the norm. If you want to understand the dynamics that Ed is describing, admit first that we create it, and we own it, and don't shrug and call it human nature.

  16. Bill Says:

    I can't wait until bb shows up to act indignant and proclaim that he has women in his family.

  17. Anubis Bard Says:

    @Mayya – evolution works on the principle of reproductive success. Fitness means surviving, mating, reproducing successfully. All organisms are tailored to survive, but in many the matter of sexual selection also plays a role. Within this there is all sorts of variety as to how much a female drives selection (i.e. a peacock's gaudy tail) and how much males drive selection by driving off other males (i.e. the great antlers of elk). Rape is a human concept dealing with consent, so I'm not sure it makes much sense to put it in those terms. Evolutionary biologists cite human's small canines, the relatively slight difference between male and female builds, the absence of estrus, etc. as evidence that physical competition between males or against females didn't drive later human evolution. Instead, social organization and cooperation seems to have driven it, including probably a good amount of female (or at least mutualistic) mate selection. Women don't seem to be wired like cats.

  18. GunstarGreen Says:

    @Mayya/Anubis,

    While I agree that people are ultimately in control of themselves and responsible for their actions, I don't quite think that it's useful to chalk everything up to higher-order functions and state that there's nothing primordial in it.

    Hear me out on this, this is NOT a defense of abhorrent behavior.

    I believe that there is something primal, somewhere deep down in the vestigial reptilian brain, that gives a basic human impulse for this. It's the core drive that forms the basis of what we know as "attraction" or "desire". However, that being said, humans are special creatures in that they have varying degrees of "will". This makes us relatively unique in the animal world, capable of greater things, but we must never forget that we ARE, at the core, just very smart animals.

    When we are very young, we have not yet fully developed our Will. Children have to be taught to share, not to take things, because they are not born with an innately-strong Will. In the beginning, there is only Desire. They want this toy or that bit of food, so they take it. This is how an animal behaves, not how a human behaves, but until they are educated otherwise, a human is just an animal. Once they are taught the value of sharing, of asking permission before taking other peoples' things, then the Will comes in.

    The Desire will always be there. The child still wants that toy or that bit of food, and that's not going to change. What changes is the introduction of Will, the ability to say "I may want this, but I shouldn't take it". Ultimately, civil society is made possible by the exercise of Will by all involved. Everyone wants things that they should not just take, and the separation between civil communities and brute animals is that, in a civil community, everyone is exercising their Will to deny the primal urge.

    In other words, it is perfectly fine — in fact, natural and unavoidable — to find this or that person attractive and want to have them. But it is our responsibility, as functioning adult humans, to recognize that we cannot just take that person. It is our power, our gift that sets us apart from the apes, to exercise our Will and say "I want this person, but I should not have them unless they agree to it."

    Where this breaks down is that not all humans are alike. Just as different people have different levels of intelligence, different people have different levels of Will. Call it what you want — discipline, whatever — but the fact is that some people are better at exercising Will than others. People who have very low ability to exercise their Will, either through a failure of their upbringing (never trained it enough) or through a mental issue (psychopathy, etc.), typically end up as criminals. They take what they should not take, be that a thing or a person, because they lack the ability to deny that primal Desire.

    This does not excuse that failure of Will. It does not absolve them of responsibility. But it is more useful, I think, to recognize what's actually gone on than to wish it were otherwise and wonder what would have happened. This is why I take issue with the "teach men not to rape" campaign, for instance, because while it is a noble goal coming from the right motivations, it's simply not useful for the real world. People that rape (and let us be clear, men are not the only people that rape) do not do so because nobody gave them a reminder that day. They do so because, somewhere along the line, there has been a fundamental failure of their Will, and the primal Desire has won out, and passive-aggressive posters aren't going to change that.

    Either they are a psychopath with the inability to empathize with their fellow humans, in which case it doesn't really do much good to explain to them why it's wrong… or they were never properly taught how and when and why to exercise their Will to deny that urge, and they are in need of much more fundamental developmental work than "hey, don't rape people". In either case, it is absolutely not useful — in fact, dangerously counter-productive — to assert that potential victims shouldn't have to be prepared to defend themselves. In an ideal world, they wouldn't have to, but this world is far from ideal and it will never be so. Much better to be prepared.

  19. Elle Says:

    @Mayya

    For a thorough hash over the notion of rape in the context of evolutionary psychology, you could google some of the discussions that happened when Randy Thornhill and Craig Palmer's book A Natural History of Rape was published in 2001. Their argument is that the capacity for rape is either an adaptation or a byproduct of adaptative traits such as sexual desire and aggressiveness.

    A 2003 work, Evolution, Gender, and Rape, gathered writing from twenty-plus writers opposed to their analysis.

    It is also not any *less* of a concern. Harassment is harassment, abuse is abuse, no matter who it's directed at, and calling for Equality and Justice while asserting the non-importance of a group of people — no matter how "privileged" you may feel that group is — does not fly with people who understand what Equality and Justice actually mean. We should fight to end all abuse and harassment, period.

    Ignoring the differences in power between groups militates against us being able to under the contexts that are conducive to abuse and harassment.

  20. negative 1 Says:

    Is it possible that the males in scenario #1 were nodding hi because they also find it weird to be approached after dark on the street by strangers, and saying hi in some form is the easiest way to size up the situation? I did that constantly when I lived in a bad neighborhood, and I still do it reflexively now. I guess my point is that you seem to have assigned ill manners to their behavior, then use it as an example of ill manners. Wouldn't a little bit more evidence here help to clarify their intent? Or do you 'just know'?

  21. Elle Says:

    This is why I take issue with the "teach men not to rape" campaign, for instance, because while it is a noble goal coming from the right motivations, it's simply not useful for the real world.

    Actually, while there are still massive gaps in what we do know about methods for reducing rape, bystander programmes do evaluate well.

    There is also another audience, along with potential rapists, for what you describe as "passive aggressive posters". People who have experienced rape really appreciate hearing that that rape isn't okay and is a breach of community standards. You may feel that this perspective is excessively and boringly articulated, but it isn't.

    In either case, it is absolutely not useful — in fact, dangerously counter-productive — to assert that potential victims shouldn't have to be prepared to defend themselves.

    What were you thinking? Folding krav maga into the kindergarten curriculum and marriage preparation classes?

  22. sluggo Says:

    Ed,
    The kid on the corner may not have been thinking about the woman you were with. He may have been sizing you up as a threat. As you you pointed out yesterday, a thirty-something professional guy could cause a host of problems for a kid on the street corner.

  23. Leslee Says:

    When I was younger, I found it incredibly offensive that men would respect the invisible (and often nonexistent) "boyfriend" over my OWN requests to be left alone.

    If I said "No thank you", I would continue to be harassed.

    If I said, "I have a boyfriend", they would often leave me alone.

    How screwed up is THAT?

  24. Strawberry Shortfuse Says:

    If you spend any time studying the history of science, you find that prevailing social attitudes tend to embed themselves in scientific theory despite the best intentions of the scientists involved. A prime example of this is the idea that during fertilization, the sperm are the active agents, engaged in competition to reach and fertilize a largely passive egg. That model seemed so self-evident to biologists–active male contribution/passive female contribution–that nobody bothered to even test it until relatively recently. Turns out, surprise surprise, that that's an inaccurate model, and egg cells have some highly sophisticated chemical methods for actively selecting which sperm eventually pass on their genetic material, regardless of which reaches them first.

    Same applies to rape-is-an-evolutionary-strategy-therefore-natural-state-of-the-species-so-just-deal-with-it theories. If those theories seem self-evident to you, it's because you, like the rest of us, are steeped in your particular societal attitudes so deeply that you don't even see them, not because you're objectively examining any sort of evidence–the evidence, personal experiences witnessing cat-fucking aside, actually points in a pretty different direction.

    If those theories seem *attractive* to you, it's likely because you've got some dark ugly impulses you find a certain level of comfort in legitimizing with pop-science hypotheses.

  25. Sarah Says:

    All I'm going to say is that you do not help the cause of Social Justice by assuming, with literally no evidence, that everyone that doesn't think too highly of them is a Straight Cis White Male.

    I said "random white dude" on a blog post two days ago and apparently fighting for the rights of random white dudes not to have their feelings hurt on internet message boards has become a cause celebré. Please post where I made any such "assumption," never mind with "literally no evidence," that anyone who doesn't think too highly of social justice is a straight white male. Please note that I am fully aware of the existence of Michelle Malkin, Sarah Palin, Stacey Dash, Bobby Jindal, the Log Cabin Republicans, and GOProud. (And by the way, where did "cis" even come into this?)

    And that you help that cause even less by using SCWM as some sort of epithet.

    Um.

    The original post was about males, and the privilege that they hold over females. You know that, right?

    Also, at no time did I bring whiteness or straightness or cis-ness into it.

    One does not have to be an MRA or PUA loon to disagree with you.

    Since you seem to be such a fucking moron as to require something like this to be spelled out for you, I will write a disclaimer as such and append it to the end of this comment.

    Misandry is not "worse than misogyny", and it never will be.

    Somebody really needs to familiarize himself with the concept of sarcasm.

    It is also not any *less* of a concern. Harassment is harassment, abuse is abuse, no matter who it's directed at, and calling for Equality and Justice while asserting the non-importance of a group of people — no matter how "privileged" you may feel that group is — does not fly with people who understand what Equality and Justice actually mean. We should fight to end all abuse and harassment, period.

    False equivalence. There are no organized harassment campaigns against men. Within the past two months alone, there have been at least three organized harassment campaigns against women.

    DISCLAIMER: The above post is not written to be a personal insult against any individual white person, male person, straight person, or cis person. Any white person, male person, straight person, and cis person, is free to disagree with the above post. Preliminary apologies are offered to any white person, straight person, male person, and cis person who feels that s/he has had their human rights violated in any way by the above post. This disclaimer is a work in progress and as such, should not be treated as complete.

  26. Andrew Says:

    It's actually irrelevant whether rape is "natural" or "inherent." In modern societies, it is completely socially unacceptable, and that message needs to be communicated by any means necessary. Unfortunately, socially unacceptable things still happen, and thus potential victims should also learn to protect themselves. The blame for rape lies 100% with the rapist, but I doubt this is much comfort to anyone who is being raped.

  27. wetcasements Says:

    "it's effectively a religious debate and facts need not apply"

    Threatening people with death is wrong. Threatening a crowd of people with death via a shooting spree is wrong. Ruining somebody's career because you are threatened by them being different is wrong.

    Nothing metaphysical about any of these claims. As Sarkeesian tweeted after being threatened for being a self-proclaimed feminist (paraphrasing), support of #GamerGate is to oppose women being a part of the video game industry.

    Try and hand-wave that away all you want, but the facts are crystal clear to adults.

    If you are offended at the realization that you're on the wrong side of this, well, that's entirely your problem.

    Beyond that, wake me up when Adam Baldwin has to move into a Motel 6 due to threats on his life.

    tl,dr: Both Sides Do It my ass

  28. Mo Says:

    A-a-a-a-and Strawberry Shortfuse! coming across the line to give the sharp axe to the "primordial past" just-so stories.

    Y'all saw Robert Sapolsky's latest research about baboons? No? Well go read it, then: Warrior Baboons Give Peace A Chance

  29. Strawberry Shortfuse Says:

    "The blame for rape lies 100% with the rapist, but I doubt this is much comfort to anyone who is being raped."

    On the contrary: I found that message extraordinarily comforting as a survivor, and strongly suspect that had my rapists and witnesses to my rape been better educated about consent rather than raised to the idea that their "natural" sexual role is a predatory one, which made it a foregone conclusion that the passed-out girl at the party was fair game, it might not have happened in the first place.

    Far from being socially unacceptable, in the Midwest in the 80s, rape under those circumstances was expected of them.

  30. Elle Says:

    The blame for rape lies 100% with the rapist, but I doubt this is much comfort to anyone who is being raped.

    It's often revelatory, and exceedingly comforting. The prevailing myth that women and children (and men) are culpable in their own rape(s) has a lot of emotional resonance. The most common response from survivors is not to wildly accuse men but to second-guess everything they did and said, and to pin themselves for the blame.

    I was a little kid when I was raped, and I was in my mid-twenties before I truly believed that five, six, seven, and eight year old me hadn't brought it on myself by being fundamentally wrong and evil, and then insufficiently brave to make it stop. Despite all the work that feminists have done since then, there are still judges, social workers, teachers, doctors and citizens who sit on juries who would agree with my first assessment. And I'm lucky, in that there is far more consensus on whether children deserve to be hurt. Teenage girls and adult women live in a far more constraining set of expectations.

  31. Andrew Says:

    I guess I'm just wired differently. If anyone touched me in an unlawful manner (and they have, but not sexually), I would blame the person who violated the law, not myself. The USA has very screwed up attitudes toward sex, so your self-blame, while highly regrettable, is not surprising. Sigh.

  32. Anubis Bard Says:

    @ Gunstar, I think of rape and misogyny as having to do with control and power not desire, but let's say I grant your premise – that rape is really about a frustrated and immature sense of entitlement among psychologically stunted men. That's certainly how some of the unapologetic ones talk about themselves. I don't understand why you leap to the idea that "teach not to rape" programs are useless. A rat can be trained with shocks and bits of cheese, so why not a misogynist? And what about the poisonous effect on other men who also have issues with a frustrated sense of entitlement and so may be encouraged to lash out with violence, sexual or otherwise? They should be told in no uncertain terms that it's not OK to treat other human beings as objects to covet or to break in vindictive frustration.

  33. quixote Says:

    "However, I only recently did the math – women only get treated respectfully incidentally, as a side effect of respecting another man's ownership."

    Yowzer. Better late than never. And for any other guys out there with their eyes in their pockets and their noses on the ground, pay attention to what Ed said and you can reduce your ignorance of half the human race by years. Maybe decades.

    And this? "Women are probably so familiar with and used to this dynamic that they barely bother to think about it anymore." No. They think about it. They think about it all the time. Because it happens all. the. time. And they get angry. So would you. The less they pay attention to why they're angry the more it spills onto everything. If you're a guy, you may want to remember that the next time you're wondering why a woman was "totally unreasonable."

  34. Ed Says:

    He may have been sizing me up, and I don't doubt that a rather large male is perceived as a threat. That said, I'm pretty certain that three wasted kids/young adults were highly likely candidates to make some kind of comment, even if mild, to an unaccompanied woman.

  35. FDChief Says:

    Just a couple of thoughts.

    First, we know very, very little about sexual and social mores even in fairly recent human cultures, let alone how prevalent rape was two, eight, twenty thousand years ago. To claim that rape was endemic to humanity since the development of year-round sexual accessibility (that is, since evolution removed humans from the instinctual mating cycle revolving around female estrus) seems to me to be no more supportable than to claim that rape was a byproduct of agriculture. The bottom line is that we REALLY don't have any idea whether rape among humans is a product of evolutionary or cultural factors. We DO know that rape is not an acceptable behavior, which is really all we need to know.

    Second, regardless of its origin, rape should be amenable to the sort of social and legal sanctions that have made slavery and using ones feces as projectile weaponry louche at worst and unacceptable to society at best. I think the issue here really isn't that taking steps to eradicate rape have been tried and found difficult, but rather that they have been found difficult for the sort of people who rather like the idea that they can take sex without punishment and thus never tried.

  36. Robert Says:

    Regarding things being natural, that reminds me of an exchange in a Discworld novel:
    Character A: it's unnatural. I don't approve of unnatural things.
    Character B: So, you eat your meat raw and sleep in a tree?

    Some people would describe my family life as unnatural. I find that myself unmoved by such rhetoric.

    I have also been following the GamerGate unpleasantness for several weeks, and any attempt to argue that the positions taken and methods used by both sides are in any way comparable has a distinct odor of mendacity.

  37. rachel Says:

    "I think the issue here really isn't that taking steps to eradicate rape have been tried and found difficult, but rather that they have been found difficult for the sort of people who rather like the idea that they can take sex without punishment and thus never tried."

    ding.

  38. Xynzee Says:

    @Mayya re: rape in animals. I present to you the humble duck. Ducks have proven themselves to be highly sexually agressive, as in drakes will kill females agressive.

    As for "non-consensual" sex in other species one of my neighbours has a yard with three castrated rams (wethers) in it. At any given time I've walked past and seen one or another try to mount each other. The one on the bottom wants nothing to do with this and tries to free itself. Upon doing so it turns and butts its assailant. So it seems they know what's what when it comes to "personal space" and consent.

  39. John M. Burt Says:

    Speaking of GamerGate, here's a headline that sums it up beautifully:
    http://johnmburt.tumblr.com/post/100107986730/sourcedumal-mysharona1987-this-about-sums-it

  40. Xynzee Says:

    I'm with GunStar on this. It doesn't matter what gender or race the victim is, abuse is abuse.

    Here's a video showing people's responses to a male being victimised by his partner:
    http://youtu.be/Jy5vRGtKPY0
    I once witnessed a scene like the second unfold as the woman just laid into the man, literally smacking him upside the head.

    Having been through an emotionally abusive relationship, it doesn't matter who the victim is, it's abuse.

    We find it hard to conceptualise, primarily due to the physiological response required by men as well as social attitudes towards men and sex, but penile/vaginal penatrative—ie normal sex—female rape of males does occur. Because we perceive a male *must* achieve arousal for an erection to occur—I'll let someone with a medical/psychology background explain this better than I could—it's obvious he "wanted it". Besides aren't men "always up for it"? There are numerous reasons why it goes unreported, partly for the above reasons, and aren't men able to fight off "a girl"?

    This in no way is to detract from the grim reality of the prevalence on male on female violence, but we have to acknowledge that it does happen.

  41. Anubis Bard Says:

    @Xynzee, I've been on this earth for many decades, and I can say that I don't recall ever giving any thought at all to being raped or sexually assaulted – never taken any precautions – never been seriously threatened with it. Now take a guess as to whether I am a woman or a man. Hint, I've never met a woman who would make a similar claim. And that's why comments like yours usually go over like a lead balloon in these kinds of discussions. Of course abuse happens to men, so do lawnmower accidents, but that doesn't define our culture in anything like an equivalent way.

  42. Robert Says:

    Anubis – very good point. I've never seen a man cross the street because there was a group of women gathered up the sidewalk, and very few men have been assaulted or murdered by a woman for refusing her attentions. As a gay man, no woman has ever threatened to 'turn me straight' by raping me.

  43. April Says:

    One of the (few) advantages of getting old is that, as an old woman I no longer get hit on, or catcalls, or "smile, baby" comments because:
    a) I'm no longer attractive, and
    b) I've developed a hairy-eyeball stare that can terrify just about anyone.

    It's something, I guess.

  44. bad Jim Says:

    Whenever anyone is tempted to speculate about evolutionary psychology, it's wise to keep in mind that we're as closely related to bonobos as chimpanzees.

  45. Nunya Says:

    So I don't think I'm special or deserve a trophy or anything but I have litterally never catcalled a woman nor treated them as anything but equals. What I have done is shitcanned eight people who haven't figured out how to work in modern society.

    It has to be swift and painful but shit like this simply has to go.

  46. Xynzee Says:

    @Robert: but I'm sure you had a few who told you "You just haven't met the right girl yet." ;)

    On a serious note, I'm not particularly fond of having to be cognisant when walking at night along a quiet street and a woman is present to ensure that she doesn't get "creeped out" just because I'm male ergo I'm a "threat" merely for the fact our destinations lay in the same general direction. Especially as I prefer to travel at a saunter than at a clip. I'd rather both of us have the freedom to go wherever without that shit in our heads.

  47. Eric Says:

    It's simple. Per the FBI (Cyber Terrorism Task Force, and the FBI Behavioral Analysis Unit), there was no credible threat against against her or the school. Despite the increased security and privacy Anita was still not satisfied.

    Anita demanded that Utah State University violate state law by prohibiting students who legally licensed concealed handgun to be banned. Of course, the university would not violate the law just because Anita wanted to.

  48. Elle Says:

    Perhaps you'd be more comfortable in the Reddit environment, Eric?

  49. Eric Says:

    Elle,

    I'm comfortable anywhere, including the gun range where I teach women not to be victims by getting their conceal carry permits. The question is, are you comfortable with this?

  50. Elle Says:

    Comfortable with what?

  51. Eric Says:

    Taking the same responsibility for self-protection as men do, and not having to rely on a man to save you.

  52. Elle Says:

    I'm going to double-down on my Reddit suggestion. We (mostly) trade in evidence and analysis around these parts.

  53. Eric Says:

    Elle,

    Seems like I provided all the evidence and analysis in my first post. But, if you want to create Ad hominem that's fine.

  54. Robert Says:

    That's not what ad hominem means!

  55. Robert Says:

    Also, what's with calling her Anita, instead of Sarkeesian? Would you refer to a man with whom you were personally unacquainted by his first name, or would you only do that when discussing a woman?

  56. Strawberry Shortfuse Says:

    Hey, Ed, why didn't these lady friends of yours just take the same responsibility for their safety that you, as a man, do? I can only assume the reason you don't get catcalled walking down the street is your conspicuous side-arm.

  57. Eric Says:

    Robert,

    I haven't met you but I am only using your first name because you have not provided me a last name. I'm calling her by her complete and proper name.

    But thanks for for the Appeal to Emotion, Insignificance, and the Red Herring.

  58. Sagas Says:

    On the surface, it is classic ad hominem, guilt by association- rather than argue the stated points (credibility of threat, request for denial of carry laws), Elle introduced an association with Reddit. Now, having said that, I do want to add that Eric's 3rd post in that little sequence does seem pretty crappy, so maybe Elle is making a statement of fact. Hard to tell.

  59. Anubis Bard Says:

    "Are you comfortable taking the same responsibility for self-protection as men do, and not having to rely on a man to save you."

    So much BS packed into a single sentence. As though normal American men relied on a personal firearm for self-protection (as opposed to a tiny minority of gung-ho simpletons who pretend that they do.) As though American women are relying on (hoping, hoping for) such gung-ho simpletons to rise to their rescue, because, contrary creatures that they are, they won't do it themselves. My goodness.

  60. Eric Says:

    Sagas,

    Elle asked for clarification, and I provided specificity in my third post.

    Like you previously mentioned, it's a little hard to tell with Elle. Although it seems crappy, it does come down to not relying on others to always protect you, and to take personal responsibility for safety.

    Anubis Bard,

    Because anyone that wants to have the opportunity to use a firearm to defend themselves if the need is justified is automatically a "gung-ho simpleton"? Why use such a non sequitur and syllogistic fallacious argument?

  61. Anubis Bard Says:

    Eric, the number of civilians who successfully defend themselves with a personal firearm is so vanishingly small as to be irrelevant to a discussion about security at a societal or even community level. I don't have as much of a problem with an individual who believes that carrying a gun improves their personal security – though I think that person is silly and wrong and the evidence for that is pretty strong. I might resist calling that person a simpleton, though I couldn't promise. I do have a problem with people who think that gun ownership is some sort of key to security generally – or that it is sensible public policy to have a law on the books like Utah does. A law that prevents law enforcement from restricting guns at a lecture by a person who has endured numerous death threats – is a law that clearly and obviously degrades security rather than improves it – and I have no problem labeling the people who can't see that as gung-ho simpletons.

  62. Aristodemus Says:

    RE: Eric. Look out: he's got a philosophy BA!

    BTW: you're equivocating against Anubis in case you were wondering. Your original claim was: men take personal responsibility for their safety; women could do this by learning how to use firearms. Women (like Elle) who (presumably) refuse to take personal responsibility in this way are doing something morally blameworthy.

    Anubis replies by claiming that most men don't take personal responsibility for their own safety in the way that you claim; in a civilized society, men rely by and large on the state for their security and only gung-ho simpletons think that that gun is doing anything for them besides substituting as a cure for micropenis. This is ad hominem only if what he claims is that, because you're stupid/have a small penis (etc.) your argument should be ignored. That's not the claim. The claim is that most men don't take personal responsibility for their safety – only a tiny cro magnon subculture does this – and therefore this doesn't explain why men worry less about their own safety than women do. And because this doesn't explain why men worry less about their own safety than women do, your position that women should be as willing as men are to take responsibility for their own safety is unjustified.

    No fallacious syllogisms or non-sequiturs there. But good job straw-manning (see what I did there?) Anubis' response.

  63. sluggo Says:

    For whatever it's worth, the first step I take for my personal safety is being 6'1" and weighing 250 lbs. the second step is being a middle aged white guy.

    The final step is that when in bad neighborhoods I loudly talk to myself and never run or walk. I skip.

    Nobody messes with big and crazy.

  64. Robert Says:

    5:49 "Anita demanded. . ."

    Who wrote that, Eric?

  65. HoosierPoli Says:

    I'm glad I stirred the pot with my original comment. Understand, I'm with Hume when I say we can't get an "ought" from an "is". Saying rape is "natural" is NOT an excuse, but we need to be able to separate an excuse from an explanation.

    My favorite factoid (I use the word advisedly) is that 80 percent of duck sex is rape. I've actually seen a duck being raped, and it was pretty disturbing even though it was "natural". But as a society, I feel that we do ourselves no favors by denying the tendencies that lurk about in the shadows of our past. You'd only need to ask Genghis Khan if you wanted to know whether biologically modern humans were capable of, even predisposed to, sexual savagery.

    All I meant to say is that women will ALWAYS have to be just a little leery of men, and well-meaning, well-behaved men will ALWAYS need to give women a wider berth. This implicit threat is endemic to our species. A hundred generations of acculturation won't wipe it out completely.

  66. Mayya Says:

    Strawberry Shortfuse for the win, x3.

  67. Arslan Says:

    I have to admit I didn't originally get the backlash against people teaching rape-prevention/self-defense with the slogan "teach men not to rape," but then I learned about actual crime statistics(particularly the fact that most rapists are known to their victims), plus I realized that perhaps many men were never taught that sex with women unable to give consent is rape(something I was told pretty much from the age I learned what that word meant). I think if you were taught this, you might mistakenly assume that everyone got the same lecture from their parents.

    As for self-defense, Eric's plan is basically bullshit, for reasons that someone else already pointed out. For one thing, most rapes occur in situations where the gun may not even be present. Is the woman supposed to keep her weapon at the ready literally everywhere she goes? Furthermore, if we are talking about a stranger leaping out from the shadows, I guarantee that gun isn't going to help.

    Gun nuts have this fantasy that if you get threatened on the street, the bad guy will stand outside the 21 foot range and say something obviously threatening, giving you time to pull your gun and warn him not to come any closer. He'll even brandish any melee weapon he might be carrying just to help you!

    In the real world, attackers have a massive advantage because they are thinking about what they want to do and they know what's about to happen. They'll seem to innocently pass by before turning around and hitting/grabbing you, or they'll approach by asking some innocuous question about the time. You'll never get that weapon out of its holster. Well, I guess you could just draw down on anyone who comes within 21 feet of you, right? Oh…Wait…No. That's considered assault with a deadly weapon. Hello prison.

    As for the question of men worrying about being raped, I'm not sure that's a great comparison. I think men are raised not to worry about it, especially being raped by women. Therefore when it happens, they are totally helpless and society has no pity for them. Obviously this doesn't mean the numbers are equal; this is just an example of patriarchal values being damaging to men as well.

  68. Robert Says:

    Arslan, very well put. The one time I faced a drawn gun, having a loaded gun on my person (holstered, safety on) would have had no useful effect.

    Although attempting to draw and use it would almost certainly have induced my assailant to shoot me, so there's that.

  69. Arslan Says:

    This is a simulated, realistic knife attack- though both the attacker and "victim" know it's about to happen. Good luck pulling your gun in a real assault, right?

  70. Arslan Says:

    Sorry about the above post; I left out the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ibGyGG3X4PI

  71. Khaled Says:

    @Arslan/ Robert-
    An older woman I worked with was proud to tell us that she kept a gun in her car to prevent carjackers. Of course, because of Ohio state laws, she had to keep it unloaded. If someone did actually shove a gun in the car and demand the keys, she really thought that she would have time to pull the gun out of the glove box, load it, and then point it at the "bad guy" before he got a shot off.

  72. Xynzee Says:

    @Arslan/Robert: that's why I believe that those "Strike Back" padded attacker courses—at a minimum—or taking up a martial art, added benefit being health and fitness, are superior to any firearm. The weapon is always at hand (pun intended) and at the ready, doesn't get found by the kids and accidentally used on the siblings. I concede it won't do you a fat lot of good in the event of a sniper or a helicopter gunship ;)

  73. Arslan Says:

    Yes, martial arts and self-defense systems do have limitations and people should exercise critical thinking in evaluating any one system or training course, but they do have a certain superiority to firearms in the sense that you have a scale of resistance. Assuming you can even draw your weapon in time to do something, once you do, you've already escalated to deadly force. You can't pistol whip or "shoot to wound."

    Imagine an attacker is nice enough to pull out his knife at about 22 feet away and demand your money, just like in many videos or in books. He's kind enough(possible Canadian) to let you draw your weapon and train it on him. Now he drops the knife, but he continues to advance on you. Now your only option is to use deadly force on an unarmed man. If he gets too close, he can get your gun away and use it on you. How is this going to hold up in court?

    Now I know some gun nut will say something like: "What if he has the knife, does the same thing, but you don't have a gun, libtard!?" Well in this scenario your best bet is to run the fuck away. In any case, I hate to say it but when it comes to a real violent criminal preying on strangers, your ability to actually do something is quite slim. That's just the way it is.

  74. jaktheyak Says:

    There you go, Ed. Now you understand the basics of Patriarchy.

  75. cpinva Says:

    I would tend to agree with situation #2, except for an experience I had with a female collegue, many years ago. I was in Nashville, teaching an accelerated "Intro To Federal Tax Law" class, which lasted 6 weeks. One evening, I went to dinner with one of the female instructors. we spent a pleasant couple of hours dining, and discussing the class, etc., etc. the waiter hit on her all evening long, in spite of my presence. she gave him no reason whatever to think she might be interested, and we both thought it was kind of pathetically funny, and rude.

  76. Fred Says:

    Louis Armstrong said that no matter how famous he got he always wanted to have a white man standing behind his shoulder when talking business. Seems like the same principal at work.