August 11, 2009

Men didn't force me to display naked shoulders on my stupid slutty blog

Things are calming down on the blog, so I will return to the usual subjects soon. In the meantime, these are my favorite comments:

In reference to the picture on top of my blog (a stock photo):
"... now I've seen your photo with your sunglasses, lipstick, hair, bare shoulders, purse, and so on. This here is the internet, and you have the opportunity to present yourself to an audience who is not going to sexualize their perceptions of you. But you squandered this opportunity in exchange for a fashion photo. Men didn't force you to make this decision. It is your right to make this decision, but sadly men are also free to disrespect you because of your appearance."

Several commenters tried to tell me that my argument is not valid because "men sometimes get warned about bad areas," therefore, the idea that women get treated differently is all in my head. This one was my favorite:
I walk through parking lots after dark with my keys in my hand. I think two or three times before I walk through an alley or in a neighborhood I feel is unsafe.

Last week I visited a city where my relatives live. My brother warned me of a part of town he thought was dangerous.

Then my favorite cousin, a feminist, told me of another part of town she thought was dangerous.

I am a man.

Blew my mind right there.

15 Comments:

  • I was directed here (like so many others, it would seem) via Atrios, but I'm only able to see the original post that caused all of the discussion, plus the two follow-ups. Do you have an archive of your previous posts, or am I just not seeing the older stuff because I'm somehow blogger.com-retarded?

    By Anonymous Midwest Product, at 8/11/09, 11:12 PM  

  • Hi Midwest Product,

    I'm not used to all this traffic, so I deleted the rest of my blog while I was getting thousands of hits. I might put some of the old posts back in a few days.

    By Blogger Di Di, at 8/11/09, 11:36 PM  

  • Wow, I always assumed that wasn't actually a photo of you. I'm kind of dense I guess.

    I changed my blog so there are no archives - good way to keep my posts for myself but not share with everyone and anyone

    By Blogger Psycgirl, at 8/12/09, 9:46 AM  

  • Oh you were right, it's not a photo of me - the commenter thought it was a photo of me, but it's from iStock. Putting a real photo of myself would compromise my pseudonymity pretty quick. :)

    By Blogger Di Di, at 8/12/09, 10:24 AM  

  • ...so I deleted the rest of my blog while I was getting thousands of hits...

    Okay, thanks. I'm glad it wasn't just me.

    By Anonymous Midwest Product, at 8/12/09, 4:19 PM  

  • Ha, I assumed it wasn't a picture of you too. Nice of them to assume it was and seriously-- bare shoulders.. oh my how scandalous.

    Oh, and what the man who's warned of "dangerous areas" fails to realize is that women are told all areas are dangerous, crime stats do not matter.

    By Blogger Psych Post Doc, at 8/12/09, 9:20 PM  

  • The first comment is brilliant. Of course an attractive female is unworthy of respect. Stock photo or no.

    Sorry about anonymous post, I tried rescuing blogger account to no avail.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8/13/09, 2:03 AM  

  • I was rolling over Mr. Bare Shoulders, knowing that wasn't a pic of you, and also being amazed that he found that to be slutty and provocative. Wow! Poor guy must have a hell of a time holding himself back in a world full of women in spaghetti straps. Good thing there wasn't cleavage or makeup or jewelry, or perfume or any of those horrible tasteless elements.

    I'm so glad the blog is coming back to normal. I thought the threads provoked some wonderful discussion, but it makes me tired to see how many righteous dingdongs are marching around out there, feeling it is their duty to judge others and tell them how to live. And doing it so tactlessly too! Feh.

    By Blogger Mamabeek, at 8/15/09, 1:01 PM  

  • I know, right? When I found that picture I thought it was perfect because to me, it captures summertime in the city. So it's creepy to think that some men think it's a slutty sex picture, and that a woman who dresses like that is some sort of tease who is asking for disrespect.

    Plus, even though it's not me, I dress like that all summer. I don't want to know that some sex-obsessed men think my shoulders are slutty!

    By Blogger Di Di, at 8/15/09, 3:28 PM  

  • I had simply not even considered that someone would want to evoke the image of someone who is not even themselves. That makes my point even more strongly than I had originally anticipated: you had the opportunity to be perceived base solely on the content of your ideas but instead you chose to be perceived based on the image of someone else! Hey, that's your choice.

    Anyways, who said "slutty sex"? Who said "tease"? Who said "asking for disrespect"? Who said "shoulders are slutty"?

    I really wish you would perceive me to have said the things that I have said. It is easiest to be self-righteous when you are battling with a straw-man. After all, a straw-man will say whatever stupid things you happen to be able to easily debunk. But it is most valuable to have a dialogue (learning, growth) if you listen to what is really said. When I mean to say that your slutty photo means you're a tease who should be treated like the stupid slut she is, you better believe I know the words to convey that thought. But I haven't said anything of that sort.

    Of course, I'm getting the distinct impression that you've already written me off as "a stupid man" because I take issue with the idea that "men own your street" and because I think sometimes when a man says "you should take care of yourself" he means that you should take care of yourself. Oh plus I think we should all at least be aware of the way that our appearance might affect others, I must be really sex-obsessed. So I'll understand if you don't think you'll gain from reading the real words that I really write -- you must think I'm awful!

    Fair enough. When someone recalls a book that I want to renew, I think to myself "that is awesome that someone else will enjoy this obscure book that I have enjoyed so well." And when I admit that I haven't kept track of a stack of hundreds of library books, I accept the possibility that maybe it's my own fault that one of them got lost. So I think I've already learned a lot of the lessons you're still working on, and maybe I won't get much value out of listening to you either. Oh well, I wasted a bit of time reading your thoughts because I'm a vain moron. These things happen.

    And I think it's abhorrent that a man would grab your ass without permission. If you wanted to even shoot them, I'd be with you, even though I don't think there's much for me to learn from reading your whining.

    Have a nice day,
    - Greg

    By Blogger greg alexander, at 8/23/09, 6:54 PM  

  • Oh and Di Di - I thought about the "I am a man" comment. Ordinarily, when someone says something like that, I'm with you, saying "boo f-in hoo, like everyone has the right to feel safe all the time." But -- see -- you said that men own the streets. So suddenly the fact that there are men who do not own the streets is germaine.

    He wasn't saying that women do not get different treatment. He was simply pointing out the extent to which he does not own the street, even though he is a man.

    If you really want to advance the cause of feminism, I highly recommend that you rethink your assumption that men are always saying stupid things.

    - Greg "stupid man"

    By Blogger greg alexander, at 8/23/09, 7:01 PM  

  • Hah, and I'll go ahead and throw this in, so that you know with certainty that I am truly vain and insecure in how I present myself online. So much so that I am going to post a follow-up to my own comment.

    When I say "but sadly men are also free to disrespect you because of your appearance," you might want to carefully examine the role of the word "sadly" in that sentence.

    Yes, I find it unfortunate that men will disrespect a woman for her appearance. Yes, I work very hard in my own life not to behave in this unfortunate manner. Yes, I think we really are all free (at least in our minds) to believe in all sorts of stupid stereotypes.

    But for the record: No, I do not support stereotyping women based on their appearance.

    In essence, we are both lamenting the same poor behavior in men. I just wanted to point out to you that on the internet you have a unique opportunity to completely sidestep it.

    Carry on,
    - Greg

    By Blogger greg alexander, at 8/23/09, 7:13 PM  

  • It is certainly interesting for me to read this post. Thanx for it. I like such themes and everything connected to this matter. I would like to read more soon.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11/22/09, 1:24 PM  

  • Keep on posting such stories. I love to read blogs like this. By the way add some pics :)

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