August 8, 2009

Three feminist rants

Today I have a few feminist rants that I need to get out of my system.

1. The murder of innocent women at a gym in Pennsylvania has alerted me to the existence of the pick up artist community. These are men who rant and moan about the unreasonable bitches who won't fuck them, and they share tips on how to trick women into their beds. Several men in this community expressed sympathy for the shooter -- women had rejected his offers of sex for 20 years, so it's understandable that he would shoot up a fitness class.

Just yesterday, a man said "Hey there gorgeous" as I passed him on the street. When I kept walking, he got angry and practically spat at me, "I said, hey there gorgeous!" I encounter this all the time. A stranger called me gorgeous, so I am expected to respond to this "compliment." If I don't respond, I am an ungrateful bitch, and the man is justified in feeling angry with me.

2. A family member recently told me that I should never walk home alone after dark. I responded, "If I stuck to that I would have an 8 p.m. curfew" -- and she insisted that I should have a man with me when I walk home. First, always walking with a male escort would be impossible. My male friends would have to take the train with me, walk 15 minutes to my apartment, then get back on the train. That's just unreasonable to ask of anyone. Besides, I am often out with a group of women.

But most importantly, I am an independent, autonomous adult, and I should be able to leave my apartment whenever I want. I know that women get harassed and assaulted in the city, but that isn't my fault. I shouldn't have to stay inside after dark, to avoid certain streets, or to watch what I wear because if I'm not careful, men will attack me. Men are responsible for their own behavior. I hate how our society places the responsibility on women, like I need to accept misogyny and be "responsible" by drastically restricting my movements after dark.

3. A professional athlete recently told the foreign press that American women are fat and ugly, and it's tragic that they don't "take care of themselves." His comments made me remember all of the times I have heard this phrase before, especially directed at fat women.

So, women who starve themselves and dress like prostitutes are taking care of themselves, while women who eat food and dress comfortably are not taking care of themselves.

In conclusion, fuck that. I will ignore men if I want. I will go out when I want. I will wear what I want. And I will eat what I want. So there.

Okay I feel better now.

Update: A response to some of the comments.

129 Comments:

  • Same old BS throughout the years:

    Any woman who stands up for herself is "strident."

    Any woman who is her own person "hates men."

    The misogynists never change their tune.

    By Blogger Terry C, An American Again!, at 8/8/09, 2:10 PM  

  • I'd be ashamed of my gender if I thought I had much in common with most of those who share it.

    By Blogger Judas Peckerwood, at 8/8/09, 2:12 PM  

  • Wow. I completely understand. I'm totally behind you and support you.

    Now, can I give you some Midol?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8/8/09, 2:14 PM  

  • You said it well. Thank you.

    By Blogger Potterchik, at 8/8/09, 2:20 PM  

  • 1 and 2 are completely legit...3 is kinda silly though.

    if your boyfriend (a person who presumably has mostly your best interests in heart, otherwise why are you with them?) says you should 'take care of yourself' your assumption is that he means 'starve yourself and dress like a prostitute'? fallacy much? maybe he simply means 'we should eat healthier and go jogging from time to time' particularly because many people (both female and male) are really really unhappy when they don't feel physically fit, and thus 'taking care of oneself' by maintaining a weight one feels good about (read: not a starving skeleton) is a pretty worthwhile goal.

    By Blogger reilly, at 8/8/09, 2:20 PM  

  • Your point (2) is pretty silly. I, too, am an independent, autonomous adult. I happen to be a male. If upon my announcement of my intent to travel to Mexico in the near future a friend advised me that I should avoid wandering the streets of Mexico City at 2 am by myself, I would not interpret his/her position of concern for my safety as implicitly accepting the behavior of predatory thugs on dark city streets. Bad things happen to good people in the dark because some people mug/beat/abduct/rape/murder other people. My friend's advice to set myself a curfew does not imply that foolish gringos who wander the streets at night 'deserve' what comes there way any more than that Mexicans are dangerous evil people who will always be that way.

    I think you're acting very defensively and reading an awful lot into some good advice from a caring friend. There are plenty of places in my home city (Chicago) where I would not go after dark by myself, either. Sure it sucks that the world is this way, and we'd all love for the people who tend to make the nighttime city scape change or leave, but there isn't much we can do about it other than maintaining behaviors that promote our general safety and well being.

    By Blogger Outis, at 8/8/09, 2:24 PM  

  • She should take Midol only if the majority of the men she encounters could be given industrial doses of laxatives intravenously.

    Its the only way they could give a shit.

    I think you're assuming that others could scrounge around for the capacity to regard women as thoughtful, responsible individuals deserving of human rights (dignity, fairness, etc.).

    But you'd be wrong.

    Feminism is defined as regarding women as humans, too.

    Most of my students approach that as a debatable point.

    I give up. Fuck it.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8/8/09, 2:25 PM  

  • 2) I doubt your family member was saying that you need a male escort for social reasons, but for practical reasons. The physics of 220lb body vs. 130lb body (or whatever, I don't profess to know your size) are in the 220lb body's favor, male or female. It's also a fact that, as the gym incident shows, there are people who are more likely to attack women than men, and so a woman traveling through a dark, dangerous area might be safer if she had somebody bigger than her to help her out if things got hairy. I know when I was traveling, I was helped out quite a bit (aka got less harassment, felt safer in riskier areas) because of my size and gender. There are some places where it's simply not ok for women to go, because the crazies out there ruined it. That's not saying that women aren't independant, or that they shouldn't be able to go wherever they want. Of course men have a responsibility to not attack women, that goes without saying. What often requires warning is which areas are men more likely to act in a anti-social way.

    Similarly, if I go to Saudi Arabia, I should be able to insult Allah if I so choose, because freedom of speech is a good thing. But if I ever went, I'm going to keep my mouth shut, because I don't want to be arrested. It's not accepting bigotry, or totalitarianism, when you take reasonable precautions.


    3)Why do you jump to the conclusion that the athlete meant that women who starve themselves are taking care of themselves? I agree with the athlete's statement. Obesity is an illness. I'm overweight, and I wouldn't say I'm doing a good job taking care of myself, though I'm trying. But if I were 100lbs and skinny as hell, I wouldn't be taking care of myself either.

    You put broader implications on people's statements in a way that is disconcerting, and exemplifies why I and many people I know have a problem with academic feminism. (not feminism - I consider myself a feminist - but with the way it is practiced as an academic field.) Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.

    By Blogger Jolly, at 8/8/09, 2:27 PM  

  • agreed with reilly. Your friend's boyfriend probably does care that she's overweight and is afraid to tell her. (don't know your friend, maybe she isn't overweight, but I know plenty of guys who would use a euphemism like that).

    There's a wide spectrum between being a supermodel and being unattractive. Obviously you're not expected to be attractive all the time, but most romantic partners would expect it some of the time.

    So the question is just whether we should use the euphemism (she doesn't take care of herself) or not (she's overweight).

    Would you prefer the latter? Would fat women?

    By Blogger MYeo, at 8/8/09, 2:32 PM  

  • I apologize for being born male.
    I apologize for being born male.
    I apologize for being born male.
    I apologize for being born male.
    I apologize for being born male.
    I apologize for being born male.
    I apologize for being born male.
    I apologize for being born male.
    I apologize for being born male.
    I apologize for being born male.
    I apologize for being born male.
    I apologize for being born male.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8/8/09, 2:32 PM  

  • "Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar." And sometimes a justification is just a justification. And sometimes a cigar is an explosive device. There's not an invalid point in this post, though some may read it to broadly. The silliness isn't the writer's in that regard, but the readers.

    Well said. Great post.

    By Blogger PeskyFly, at 8/8/09, 2:34 PM  

  • I have a slight issue with #3. For many humans, a big part of physical attraction is how fit somebody is. I wouldn't want my girlfriend becoming obese. That doesn't mean I want her to starve herself or look like a prostitute. It just means I want her to keep herself in shape so that I remain physically attracted to her.

    And of course, I work hard to keep myself in shape, because trust me, girls care about that too. The only difference is that guys can often be more blunt and insensitive when discussing the issue.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8/8/09, 2:35 PM  

  • awesome -- well said.

    By Blogger KatieG, at 8/8/09, 2:36 PM  

  • As far as #1 goes, back in the day I would have just given that gentleman a frosty smile and not been that bothered about it. And when you're over 50 and it never happens any more, trust me - you'll probably feel a bit bad.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8/8/09, 2:36 PM  

  • You're an idiot, but it's Atrios who owes me two minutes of my time back, not you.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8/8/09, 2:42 PM  

  • An observation:

    When people become more concerned with their differences than their commonalities, stupid shit happens. I'm a straight man with a typical male sex drive, but when I interact with a woman, I first engage her as a fellow human being with a mind, a heart, and all the foibles and hopes that implies.

    IOW, I start from the commonalities, which outnumber the differences with ease.

    Misogynists seem to look at women and see vaginas surrounded by a bunch of unnecessary and unwanted barriers to actually getting into the vaginas. It really boils down to a lack of basic human empathy -- the characteristic that generally separates liberals from conservatives.

    Anyway... yeah, fuck that. Life's too short to play by other people's stupid rules.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8/8/09, 2:48 PM  

  • Just yesterday, a man said "Hey there gorgeous" as I passed him on the street. When I kept walking, he got angry and practically spat at me, "I said, hey there gorgeous!" I encounter this all the time. A stranger called me gorgeous, so I am expected to respond to this "compliment." If I don't respond, I am an ungrateful bitch, and the man is justified in feeling angry with me.

    I'm not a member of the pick-up-artist community, but I can tell you they'd have no sympathy for any guy who used the line "hey there, gorgeous."

    Anyway, it's obvious that this guy was extremely lonely and insane. Sure, he needed to get laid, but more than that he just needed some real friends to confide in. And likely if he had that, he would have eventually found himself a woman.

    (His statement that there are only 30 million desirable women in this country--in other words, only about 20% of women are desirable--was pretty sad. Perhaps if he had some true friends, they would have advised him that after 20 years of celibacy, it was time to expand his vision and give some of the other 80% a chance.)

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8/8/09, 2:49 PM  

  • I get compliment->aggressive dudes all of the time. I say, "thanks" with no eye contact and never break stride as I pass them. It keeps them happy that they were acknowledged but also let's them know that I'm not at all interested in conversation. Just a trick learned from growing up in Philly.

    By Blogger Kitty, at 8/8/09, 2:49 PM  

  • "I should be able to leave my apartment whenever I want. Men are responsible for their own behavior. "

    So. . . you aren't interested in taking steps to make yourself safer, because it's up to criminals to reduce crime?

    Let's take this line of thinking further: I should be able to give my Social Security number to random people on the street, because thieves are responsible for their own behavior. I should be able to leave my car keys in my car and not have it stolen, because I don't deserve to be robbed. Do I have this right?

    By Anonymous Preston Child, at 8/8/09, 2:58 PM  

  • I don't believe it's misogyny to observe that many Americans are fucking fat. I don't mean a few pounds over. I mean, obese fucking cows.

    This applies as much to men as it does to women, and the fact that this professional athlete made the observation about American women only indicates that this athlete doesn't check out dudes because he's straight.

    And no, the alternative is not for women to become anorexic, bulimic Coulter-like stick figures. The alternative is to eat right, get a little exercise, and stay away from processed foods and fast food.

    Not so you can make men happy. So you can be healthy and not be a fat fucking cow.

    Americans are fat motherfuckers. End of story.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8/8/09, 3:00 PM  

  • I was out walking, (for exercise), the other day and a man pulled up and asked me if I wanted a ride. When I told him I was walking for exercise, he said "Fuck you then, bitch", like I had been plotting since February and walking four miles every day just for the opportunity to turn him down.

    By Anonymous Margaret, at 8/8/09, 3:01 PM  

  • A couple of guys have already said this but....

    Ironically, I'm a 6'2', 280lb male of mostly muscle who knows how to take care of himself and I have the same problem of having to avoid dark alleys or other places because it is not safe for me. I don't even go into bars or large crowds anymore because I'm sick of having to duck fights. I end up avoiding most places because of the negative attention that I get.

    When you are big and look tough (though I'm not really that interested in fighting), everyone wants to fight you. Kind of like the gunslinger in westerns where everyone wants to fight him.

    Also I get a lot of abuse thrown my way. Take my word for it. I just pretend that I didn't hear, It is just easier that way.

    So in summary, if people tell you that you should probably stick to well lit areas where there are lots of people, they aren't trying to "put you in your place" but are trying to welcome you to the real world. I wish it were different but there you are.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8/8/09, 3:04 PM  

  • Outis, I think you and I are on the same wavelength. I live a stone's throw from Detroit. I sure as heck wouldn't walk around Cass Corridor alone after dark and I'm a 6'4" 280lb man with a lot of anger issues.

    I wouldn't go so far as to say a woman should only go out at night with a man. Bring a woman or two with you.

    And if you don't believe me, fine. Maybe I am a male pig. In that case, find a policewoman or a woman who runs a battered women's shelter or a woman who's a crisis counselor, and ask her how to make yourself safer.

    By Anonymous Preston Child, at 8/8/09, 3:08 PM  

  • So, what part of "chained to the kitchen sink" don't you understand?
    :-)

    Go! You're doing exactly what I'm teaching my daughter!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8/8/09, 3:09 PM  

  • Brilliance. You've said everything I've wanted to say for years, especially Rant #1 about asshat men on the street and their fucking catcalls.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you.

    By Blogger JenJen, at 8/8/09, 3:10 PM  

  • Let's take this line of thinking further: I should be able to give my Social Security number to random people on the street, because thieves are responsible for their own behavior. I should be able to leave my car keys in my car and not have it stolen, because I don't deserve to be robbed. Do I have this right?
    ********************************

    The situations are not analogous. Leaving your keys in your car is stupid. Any adult should be able to feel safe in conducting any legal activity. Your analogy objectifies women by making them comparable to an automobile and therefore property to be safeguarded by men. Why can't some men get that WOMEN ARE PEOPLE? And yes: It IS up to criminals to reduce crime. Why should women have to suffer because some guys can't keep it in their pants?

    By Anonymous Margaret, at 8/8/09, 3:10 PM  

  • Righteous rant, little sister!

    I am nearly 50 years old, I have been married 28 years, and it still happens.

    A couple of weeks ago I got on the bus and some scurvy fuck undressed me with his eyes and said something lascivious. When I sat down without acknowledging him, he started making rude comments about stuck up bitches who think just because they're pretty they can be rude to 'mens.'

    To their credit, a couple of other guys on the bus, 20-somethings about my son's age, told him to shut up and "if she don't wanna speak to your rude ass, that's her business" and the other one told him to "learn how to act in public, dumbass."

    When I got off at my stop I turned around and told the two who jumped in that I was sure their mothers were proud of them and then I looked at the other dude and said "and if you have one, she's mortified."

    By Anonymous Blue Girl, at 8/8/09, 3:10 PM  

  • I totally agree with 95%, except when you use the line "dress like a prostitute"- this suggests that women that dress a certain way might ask/deserve a certain treatment-

    But thanks for the rest-

    By Anonymous Pinko Punko, at 8/8/09, 3:24 PM  

  • To be kept in your apartment (where you are *more* statistically likely to be attacked) is pre-rape.

    Had a friend that used to have Ted Bundy walk her to her car after work to "protect" her. Fuck that.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8/8/09, 3:25 PM  

  • Sigh. I see that a reasoned declaration of humanity and independence by a woman still brings out the "clippers:" Clippers are people who say they agree with what you are saying but not how you said it. They are also the people who say they agree with most of what you said but reality shows that what you said doesn't work or isn't reasonable.

    It's all part of the Atticus Finch fault line. They're all basically good people who just have their blind spots, ignoring that their blind spots take away from the humanity and independence of women.

    By Anonymous algebrateacher, at 8/8/09, 3:33 PM  

  • I mean...not all feminist sentiments are valuable just because they have some fuzzy feeling of positivity. Some of what homegirl said here is just positively silly, in particular (imo) the idea that anybody who says 'you should take care of yourself' wants you to conform to some awful beauty standard of cracked out prostitute.

    There was an argument here beyond just a feelgood 'rant', and some of that argument was silly. Call it what you want but don't just defend it because 'well the sentiment is nice'.

    By Blogger reilly, at 8/8/09, 3:40 PM  

  • There are plenty of single, lonely women out there who can't get dates, aren't married, and who suffer humiliation and rejection, probably even worse than single lonely men do. Yet they don't decided to take it out on men in general. Yeah, sure, someone will respond to this by citing an example of some supposed sexually repressed bitch boss somewhere. So let me pre-emptively point out that even those women don't bring loaded guns into public places and KILL A BUNCH OF INNOCENT STRANGERS.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8/8/09, 3:41 PM  

  • Great post.

    Call me crazy, but I think that reading is taking care of yourself.

    By Anonymous pbg, at 8/8/09, 3:50 PM  

  • I can't decide whether my favorite part of comment threads on feminist blogs is the men who explain away every point the woman makes ("I mean, of course in an ideal world women could go out whenever they want, but it's not sexist to suggest they use common sense!!!") or the men who assure us all that they're personally not at all like the bad men described. Maybe men should take more responsibility for shaming their fellow men for unacceptable behavior rather than getting all defensive when women point out that some men behave unacceptably.

    By Blogger Adam Kotsko, at 8/8/09, 3:59 PM  

  • my favorite part of comment threads on feminist blogs is when people give the original author a pass on asinine arguments simply because they express some vaguely positive pro-female statement.

    By Blogger reilly, at 8/8/09, 4:01 PM  

  • Sometimes I think all men, myself included, should be imprisoned, harvested for sperm (to keep the species alive), and then executed. We cause 100% of the problems in the world, it would be a much nicer place without us.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8/8/09, 4:05 PM  

  • While points 1 and 2 have merit, point 3 is childish. In a country that is famous around the world for its grotesque obesity, fat is not a feminist issue. Fat is a public health issue. If you're ingesting too many calories and not getting enough exercise, you do need to be called on it by the people around you because you aren't taking care of yourself.

    Additionally, the idea that you can either dress like a slob or a prostitute is an insult to all women who respect themselves enough to dress appropriately and like adults. Decorum and good manners are not feminist issues; they are issues that go to the heart of one's ability to function within a society instead of lapsing into solipsistic self-regard.

    I'm afraid your third point underlines many of the fundamental issues that sets the United States aside from other developed countries. Whether you are male or female, failing to take care of your body is an issue. Whether you are male or female, failing to take dress appropriately and seriously is a sign that you lack respect for yourself and lack respect for your interactions with those around you.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8/8/09, 4:09 PM  

  • "...I don't believe it's misogyny to observe that many Americans are fucking fat....I mean, obese fucking cows....The alternative is to eat right, get a little exercise, and stay away from processed foods and fast food.

    Not so you can make men happy. So you can be healthy and not be a fat fucking cow...."

    Many people are obese due to medications they have to take for chronic conditions and underlying illnesses. 12 years ago, I was diagnosed with fybromyalgia after a car accident. I took the medication and followed the diet and exercise program faithfully for 18 months, then came up needing a hysterectomy. The surgery was botched and I was flat on my back for 7 months. I gained 30 pounds and developed both asthma and diabetes type 2. In 2002, I went on Nuerontin for the fibromyalgia pain and gained another 30 pounds. Cost/benefit: I have been pain free for 4 years now. Two years ago, my doctor added a second medication for diabetes. I recently found out that second medication causes weight gain. In addition, I have recently been diagnosed with hyperparathyroidism. This plays all kinds of games with metabolism. The surgery to correct thi9s will be done in three weeks, and I am hoping that this will be the magic bullet that will finally make the diet and exercise program work.

    MY point is that ignorant and abusive people like you really need to STFU until you develop an IQ above room temperature and learn a few things about life.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8/8/09, 4:20 PM  

  • The thing all three of your examples had in common was that a woman is supposed to internalize unsolicited and unnecessary advice or feedback, from complete strangers or people she knows. I don't give a shit if a total stranger thinks I'm gorgeous. I am an adult, and I don't need well meaning but patronizing people giving me lessons on how and when to walk down the street. Whatever my weight, I get to decide what it means to take care of myself, and I don't need a total stranger whose job it is to stay in shape telling me I don't take care of myself if I don't conform to his expectation of fitness. All three of these examples seem to communicate that someone else knows better than the woman herself who she is and what she should do. Fuck that.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8/8/09, 4:22 PM  

  • To all the nitpickers: it was a rant. Give it a little breathing space; take it with a grain of salt. I doubt she means every word she said in the most literal of terms.

    By Anonymous Bribes, at 8/8/09, 4:27 PM  

  • In response to some publicity about the Take Back The Night annual march at the university here, a friend said to me that he finally got it. He realized that, as a man, he had never had to think about walking to his campus parking space after dark, while as a woman, I DID have to think about it. And he said for the first time he could understand how much women resented always having to think about it.
    I wish some of the commenters on this thread would think about it.

    By Blogger CathiefromCanada, at 8/8/09, 4:27 PM  

  • For the one at 4;22 and two at 4;27:

    Another case where a woman spoke up and had to be 100% perfect or it's ok to discount everything she said.

    Or worse: She had good points but until a man made the same points, there was an element of doubt.

    I'm a guy and I can see it.
    Not all burkas are clothing (and, no, I am not going to debate over how some Muslim women say the burka is liberating).

    By Anonymous algebrateacher, at 8/8/09, 4:50 PM  

  • "The situations are not analogous. Leaving your keys in your car is stupid. Any adult should be able to feel safe in conducting any legal activity."

    Leaving my keys in my car is perfectly legal. Is it stupid? My car is the only place I use those keys. Why not leave them there?


    "Your analogy objectifies women by making them comparable to an automobile and therefore property to be safeguarded by men. "

    LOL


    "It IS up to criminals to reduce crime."

    How many police should we lay off? At first I thought, all of them, but then what happens if criminals start turning themselves in?

    "He realized that, as a man, he had never had to think about walking to his campus parking space after dark"

    Why? Is he from the planet Krypton? I look around when walking back to my car at night. And I keep my tire iron in the front seat.

    By Anonymous Preston Child, at 8/8/09, 4:56 PM  

  • 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.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8/8/09, 5:02 PM  

  • I apologize for the idiots in this comment thread. They are idiots.

    All three points are spot on, and anyone who's trying to argue otherwise has no clue of what they're talking about, and an insane blindness to privilege that saddens me.

    Fuck them. Keep writing.

    By Blogger Jeff Fecke, at 8/8/09, 5:09 PM  

  • Wow, another oversensitive, easily offended feminist on the Internet. Way to be original in your thinking.

    By Blogger hopemonger, at 8/8/09, 5:18 PM  

  • Man, you should leave a bowl of Midol by the Leave your comment box. What a bunch of humorless threaders. Sheesh. And I bet they're not very attractive, either.

    (I'm getting your goat, just in case you handn't noticed.)

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8/8/09, 5:27 PM  

  • "All three points are spot on, and anyone who's trying to argue otherwise has no clue of what they're talking about, and an insane blindness to privilege that saddens me."

    So I assume you are going to tell your daughter(s) to walk around questionable neighborhoods at night, alone?

    By Anonymous Presdon Child, at 8/8/09, 5:28 PM  

  • "I apologize for being born male."

    I suspect it's not about what we were born as, but rather what we act like.

    By Blogger sherifffruitfly, at 8/8/09, 5:37 PM  

  • Everything you wrote is true, truth to power. Thank you.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8/8/09, 5:40 PM  

  • there are plenty of places a lone male doesn't go alone (or even males in groups) if he is (they are) smart. Ranting about being smart and thumbing your nose at realty is just stupid. Being raped and right is also stupid. Better curb your indignation.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8/8/09, 5:58 PM  

  • hate to rain on your parade, but utopia ain't arriving anytime soon. Keep fighting though and be smart about it in the meantime.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8/8/09, 6:01 PM  

  • All parts of town are dangerous for a woman. Being able to leave keys in your car isn't generally considered a basic human right.

    By Anonymous Lib, at 8/8/09, 6:50 PM  

  • Great post - this is all spot on!

    Re point #2 - as others have pointed out above, staying home does not guarantee you freedom from rape or attack. Rapes are actually far more common at home, by people you know, than by a stranger on the street. And that man who walks you to the car, for your "protection", could be the one to attack you.

    Bottom line? Life is short, you shouldn't waste it by being consumed with fear.

    Re the a@@hats above commenting on #3: stop using health as a cover and just say what you mean to say. It has nothing to do with health. You're shallow and obsessed only with a woman's image. Many fat women and men *do* exercise and eat healthily, but remain fat due to illness, injury, inherited metabolism, prescription drugs, etc. People don't similarly concern-troll about the health of women who tan, or smoke, or drink alcohol, or drive - all activities that increase mortality risks. So stop trying to claim you're concerned about your overweight friend's/partner's/stranger's health. That's just a cover.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8/8/09, 6:51 PM  

  • +1

    :)

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8/8/09, 7:07 PM  

  • America has a far higher obesity rate than other nations. This is not explained by genetics.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8/8/09, 7:16 PM  

  • "Ironically, I'm a 6'2', 280lb male of mostly muscle who knows how to take care of himself and I have the same problem of having to avoid dark alleys or other places because it is not safe for me. I don't even go into bars or large crowds anymore because I'm sick of having to duck fights. I end up avoiding most places because of the negative attention that I get.

    When you are big and look tough (though I'm not really that interested in fighting), everyone wants to fight you. Kind of like the gunslinger in westerns where everyone wants to fight him.

    Also I get a lot of abuse thrown my way. Take my word for it. I just pretend that I didn't hear, It is just easier that way.

    So in summary, if people tell you that you should probably stick to well lit areas where there are lots of people, they aren't trying to "put you in your place" but are trying to welcome you to the real world. I wish it were different but there you are."

    This is the number one tool comment on this thread. Who cares how big you are? Why did you feel the need that it's important that your 300 pounds is "mostly muscle?" Yeah! Your c@ck must be enormous!

    Who cares?

    The poster's point wasn't that a family member said "Hey, like, if you're a massive, awesome chick ('mostly' muscle!) and, like, you know, you're out and everyone who's not as awesome is like, 'Yo. I can take that girl.' and it's annoying to deal with all the challengers and crap. So, you know, avoid alleys and stuff."

    Or for that matter, "Hey, girl. If you're every out in Kabul or Mexico City or Khartoum, like, totally avoid the bad areas at night."

    Or even "Hey, my dearest relative, don't go to the Crack Towers project at night."

    Or any of the other "I'm a straight male and I know to avoid xxxxx" crap. Hello? She's complaining about her relatives saying "Never be out alone at night EVER." Which is ridiculous, and that's her point: she shouldn't have to be afraid to be out ANYWHERE EVER after dark, not that she can't take a 3:00AM stroll in the world's most horrifying ghetto.

    She is also probably not "mostly muscle." Loser.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8/8/09, 7:32 PM  

  • Had many similar experiences, all three, and understand the need to rant. Ranting isn't behaving. We can behave responsibly and then rant over what frustrates us later. We can also choose to have a discussion that might change the world a little bit for the better. Keep writing, keep living, and keep doing what feels right to you.

    Wow... what a thread!

    By Blogger Mamabeek, at 8/8/09, 8:00 PM  

  • My instinct after reading this, as Bribes @4:27 suggests, is not to take it too seriously because it is, in the end, a rant. As with most rants, one might support the particular emotion expressed and agree with the general sentiment (that women ought not be encumbered by socially imposed ideas of attractiveness or by a constant fear of violence) without really agreeing to think of it as some sort of a precise rulebook to living. If it were a perfectly reasoned thesis, it wouldn't be called a rant after all.

    However, what confuses this instinct is the defense of this statement as "spot on" and the sentiment that any criticism of the particulars necessarily come from a place of ignorance.

    I think everyone knows, including the author of this post, that it is true that it is not a reasonable assessment of the real world to operate under the expectation that we can do anything we want or walk wherever we like or, for most of us, eat whatever we like. At least not without a concurrent expectation of negative and perhaps severe consequences. I think the point for those who take issue with the post is that it is not really necessary, for instance, to remind women again that the world is a dangerous place for them.

    However, there seems to be a general sentiment here that goes well beyond that. The assertion that "It IS up to criminals to reduce crime," for instance, is truly dumbfounding. For me at least, it is a statement that defies any reasonable interpretation that begins with an understanding of what the term criminal means. But more to the point, it presents a framework that would be, to say the least, unhelpful in any individual response to any actual crime. Yes, criminals are responsible for their crimes but in our real world, if they were interested in taking that responsibility, they wouldn't be criminals.

    People don't similarly concern-troll about the health of women who tan, or smoke, or drink alcohol, or drive - all activities that increase mortality risks.

    Perhaps you have some sort of a point with driving but I find it hard to believe that you don't consistently hear people express concerns about the over-tanning or drinking or smoking of other people, male and female.

    By Blogger Brent, at 8/8/09, 8:19 PM  

  • Jeez you're getting trolled a lot by the misogynists. Let me say, as a husband and father, and I think you're 100% right on all three points.

    In many parts of the world western women are thought to be loose because they don't wear headscarves or burkas. That's considered a license for men to grope, harass, or leer. Hand in hand with that, their own women are blamed and punished for bringing dishonor on the family if they are raped.

    We justify invasions of these countries based on their attitudes to women. But you can find the same attitudes right next door, or here in the comments above.

    Criminals are responsible for their actions, not victims. And misogynists, sexists, and rapists are responsible for their attitudes, not the objects of their hatred.

    These punks need to stop whining, man up, and take responsibility for themselves.

    By Anonymous Max Power, at 8/8/09, 8:28 PM  

  • The only thing I would take any issue with in this post is the characterization of "pick up artists" and their "techniques" as somehow nefarious and tricky.

    To pretend that there hasn't been mild deception by both sexes occurring in courtship activity for hundreds of years is to ignore history.

    Further, for some (even most) men, me included, these "techniques" are really just self-deceiving tricks to induce the naturally meek or shy to talk to women. Most of us aren't practiced enough to continue much of a facade after we start a conversation.

    Some of the "techniques" are misogynistic, but most of it is fancy psychobabble to induce contact. It's an easy thing to disparage, but I would argue that most of PUA's popularity has lonely human beings behind it that probably don't have ugly or misogynistic intentions and may be deserving of your empathy.

    I'm one of the lonely.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8/8/09, 8:28 PM  

  • http://www.nybooks.com/articles/article-preview?article_id=3377
    Pay the money. Read the woman.
    And the sunglasses as armor thing is as offensive on American women as it is on cops and GI's.
    Same American shit.

    I grew up around feminists in the 70's. They didn't drag their asses around like west village queens with handbags in the crooks of their arms. I still can't quite get over Amanda Marcotte's 3/4 turn in that photo with that pig, Clinton. No memory at all of the difference between the sexual object and the sexual subject!!!? I'm sure Katha Pollitt is still cringing, if only in secret. But then she has other things to be embarrassed about, like spying on ex boyfriends.

    And no, Jezebell, is not a feminist website. Sexually passive bitchiness, the sexual autonomy of the bottom doesn't cut it.
    What's the mirror image of the misogynist self-hating man terrified of impotence? The angry girl in 4 inch heels, who calls herself a feminist while looking for a "real man" to top her.
    Feminists aren't botches because botches are bottoms.
    Find me a strong tough bisexual top -female- to match this strong tough bisexual top -male- and the party is on.

    But not in this stupid fucking country.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8/8/09, 8:35 PM  

  • Go, you. As Twisty always says, "Most women have no idea how much men hate them," but I think you have a clue. Men are responsible for their own behavior. And btw, believe me, I'm over 50 and I miss obnoxious comments (and grabs) from random males not *one* iota. Stay strong, and fuck living according to their expectations; it's your life.

    By Anonymous Susan, at 8/8/09, 8:37 PM  

  • As many above me have said, a person who engages in unsafe behavior is hurting him or herself. The argument you posit in #2 assumes that the attackers are moral actors or at least deterred by right and wrong somehow, and that being right somehow protects you from danger.

    As a simple analogy, consider this nightmare scenario: a neighborhood your city has been threatened with a gas attack at some undisclosed night, and if you venture there, you may fall victim to it. Note that this is exactly the same scenario you posit, except that in your case the assailants are dangerous men in the street rather than a terrorist. Two questions. If the bomb explodes while you're there, is it partly your own fault you were bombed? Would you hang out in this neighborhood at night without a gas mask?

    To add, your argument is a normative, not positive, one. In an ideal society, a person should be able to walk alone in all neighborhoods, etc. Yours is a good argument for better police presence, for example, but it would be irresponsible to advocate that people do unsafe things because they *should* be able to do them with no ill effect. *Should* does not equal *can*.

    By Blogger Mauro, at 8/8/09, 8:46 PM  

  • The problem with your analogy Mauro, is that it doesn't really address the larger issues of autonomy that the Di Di is raising. That is, not walking into a specific area of town at a specific time for a specific period is really not a major inconvenience. However, never leaving your house alone once it gets dark is a much more serious restriction and one that ought to require a more serious consideration from the perspective of fundamental principles of female independence and autonomy.

    By Blogger Brent, at 8/8/09, 9:01 PM  

  • But Brent, are you saying that women should not be thus restricted by advice or that they should not be thus restricted by reality? The advice ("don't go out alone at night") is a possibly frustrating reflection of reality (that the city is unsafe). It is unfortunate that unsafe places are unsafe (the lack of safety is postulated), and a person deals with this lack of safety at his or her own peril. Reality doesn't care about the inconvenience or about who is most affected.

    This is extremely unfair ("survival of the fittest" usually is). We have police in society in part to obviate this problem. I'm not a large man myself, so I try to follow similar advice and stay away from areas where I might be in danger. Obviously not going anywhere alone is quite an inconvenience, but I take my chances, and I imagine most women offered this advice make similar calculations. Going outside is always a risk. You're much more likely to be in a car crash outside your apartment than inside, for instance. There are variations in risk -- you're MUCH more likely to be in a car crash if you walk in the middle of the highway than if you stay on your lawn! The intelligent person understands these risks and, most importantly, is prepared to face them when engaging in higher-risk behavior. And once again, he or she engages in said high-risk behavior at his or her own peril, regardless of whether living in an ideal society would eliminate this risk.

    By Blogger Mauro, at 8/8/09, 9:22 PM  

  • Mauro, your sophistry is a comfort for all the sleazy leering trolls of the world who, like you, think women in cities are responsible for anything that might happen because the woman took the risk and she shoudn't ought to have done that now, should she.

    No, it's the gropers, whistlers, and rapists who responsible for their actions. End of story. And if you don't believe it, I'd like to introduce you to the legal system that will enforce it.

    By Anonymous Max Power, at 8/8/09, 9:41 PM  

  • My point Mauro, is that I feel pretty certain that the author understands all of what you write in terms of risk assessment. Her rant was meant to address the various ways in which women's behaviors are rather more severely restricted than is reasonable in order to live their lives. "Never walk alone at night without a male companion" is a rather severe restriction. That is a much wider restriction than "do not go to the place where someone just dropped some poison." I believe, in other words, that she is making an argument for a little less caution in the service of greater autonomy. Not literally making the case that women should do whatever they want, consequences be damned, although her final statement may be interpreted that way. In my post from 8:19, my point was that I felt that some commenters were veering closer to advocating the latter.

    By Blogger Brent, at 8/8/09, 9:53 PM  

  • Hey, Max, I didn't say that. I specifically did NOT say that the criminals are not responsible -- in fact, I kind of left that discussion out because it's difficult, but I guess we might as well talk about it now.

    Consider a system (legal or otherwise) where a person is punished according to his crimes. If you go out to a dangerous neighborhood and get assaulted, the assailant will carry the full burden of the penalty, end of story. (Real life does not work this way, but let's put that aside for now.) In a cosmic way, the wrong has been righted, but you were still assaulted. When considering whether to go into a dangerous neighborhood, do you say, "Sure, I might be assaulted, but the criminal will end up in jail!"? From your point of view, you don't want to get assaulted at all. See, to you, only your personal safety matters, not who's legally responsible. When you walk out among dangerous criminals, you're making a choice to do so -- infer from that whatever responsibility you want.

    By Blogger Mauro, at 8/8/09, 10:06 PM  

  • Brent, yes, I completely agree with you there.

    By Blogger Mauro, at 8/8/09, 10:08 PM  

  • No, it's the gropers, whistlers, and rapists who responsible for their actions. End of story.

    But it isn't the end of the story, Max Power, however much we would like it to be. Assigning blame is not the same as advocating responsibility and that is exactly what is at issue just about any time anyone makes an assessment of risk in any context.

    To use a rather different example than Mauro chose, as a pedestrian, I often have the right of way when crossing certain streets. That is to say, legally, if someone hits me with their car, it will certainly be their fault and they will be legally responsible for my injuries. I may legally have the right of way but I still think it is prudent to check for traffic before I step out into the street. I bet you do to. That is because neither of us wants to be hit by a car and so we take responsibility to ensure our safety in those circumstances. I don't think that taking that responsibility is the same as absolving a reckless driver of the blame if they end up hitting me.

    Now obviously the risk assessment involved with a woman choosing to walk alone at night is complicated by many other issues that get into issues of basic liberty but at root, I don't think there is anything wrong, and I reiterate that I doubt the author believes there is anything wrong, in saying its responsible behavior as a woman to be cautious in various circumstances.

    By Blogger Brent, at 8/8/09, 10:14 PM  

  • Thank you, Brent, well said.

    Let me add, too, that often in discussions people will take an "extreme" or "absolute" view in the sense of saying that something is ALL bad, and this thing that is said to be all bad is unpopular enough that it can't be defended to its true level of MOSTLY bad. This issue is one of them; Max considers it evil and misogynistic to temper "the criminal is completely at fault" with any caveats, however slight. To make a much larger point, I think it's important to consider moral issues away from our emotional responses to them. Then we can have more nuanced and intelligent views about the world, which everyone wants? Just my personal opinion here.

    By Blogger Mauro, at 8/8/09, 10:31 PM  

  • I seriously wonder if the people in this thread who believe that women should not be out by themselves after dark are in touch with reality.

    I work a job where I regularly am scheduled past dark. I have to come home in the dark. Most service-oriented businesses have female employees who are out after dark. There is no way I can go everywhere with a male escort. Being unemployed, and subsequently having to move to a poor neighborhood would be a lot more risky than my current life.

    The risk that women run in living their normal lives (and I can't get over how this is somehow considered ill-advised thrill-seeking, like climbing a mountain with no equipment) is not immutable, and not "just the way it is, get used to it." It used to be risky for black people to go around after dark in the South, or show up and vote. Should they have just "accepted reality" and curbed their dangerous impulse to vote, or should they have fought that social order, which they did? This blog is an attempt to do that. Stop knocking social progress back in an attempt to appear "nuanced and intelligent."

    By Anonymous Linda, at 8/8/09, 11:00 PM  

  • Just another reminder that women are humans too.

    Respecting women as fellow humans is not the same as feeling guilty about being male.

    By Blogger Samuel John Klein Portlandiensis, at 8/8/09, 11:11 PM  

  • Linda, if you read my first comment, fighting the social order is exactly what I advocate. Also, who says women shouldn't be out after dark? We have to accept reality, but not bow down to it. To continue with your example, yes, it used to be dangerous for black people to vote in the South, and the black people who went out and did it anyway despite this danger are heroes. Why are they heroes? Because they bravely faced a dangerous situation. This dangerous situation is an important fact to consider; you can't just wish the danger away.

    It should be noted that going outside at all, for anyone, is dangerous, as is riding a car or bus or being a pedestrian or flying in a plane or going to school or swimming in a pool or hunting alligators or skydiving or staying inside. Being aware of risk and considering it intelligently is important for personal safety, whether it's a risk that can be lowered by society or not.

    By Blogger Mauro, at 8/8/09, 11:14 PM  

  • Re "taking care of yourself": Look at life expectancies for professional athletes (and vigorous amateur athletes like runners) versus life expectancies for fat slob women who just won't diet and exercise like they're told to.

    Obviously, the obese women are doing the right thing in terms of mortality, which is the end game. Not so obviously, the "taking care of yourself" concern trolls have some other agenda.

    By Anonymous Joyful Alternative, at 8/8/09, 11:33 PM  

  • I read your first post, and don't see any suggestion of "fighting the social power" at all, except maybe the suggestion of more cops. You imply that somehow this blogger is in denial about the danger facing women. But she's not--she is attacking it.

    Yes, life is dangerous, but it's disingenous to say, "gee, accept your risk, because it's all risky." There aren't people who mortally hate you because you are a man, and add risk to your life. The women in the gym in Pittsburg thought they were safe, but they were wrong. The Amish girls shot up in Pennsylvania must have thought they were safe--wrong, too. That's what we face. It's insulting to imply that we are "wishing it away." We know it a lot better than you. It's in the woof and warp of our lives, in a thousand small decisions we make every day that you blissfully never think twice about. By refusing to accept this, we are working to lower it.

    By Anonymous Linda, at 8/8/09, 11:41 PM  

  • Couldn't this loser even say prostitute?

    I've been in Pittsburgh, finding a prostitute is not a ten minute effort. (Wheeling, WV is cheaper.)

    Or was he "too good to pay for it?"

    But not too good to shoot up a bunch of innocent people.

    This country needs to lose the "news" programs and run nonstop, honest sex education programs. NOT including abstinence education or withdrawal methods of contraception.

    The hypocrisy of someone listening to a hog like Rush, who always sounds like a whiner and could probably use a good lay, and not providing sex education is pathetic.

    PS, can you imagine the poor woman who would consider having sex with Rush? Enough to make me puke. In fact, thinking about it, I really can't imagine anyone having sex with any of the right wing losers.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8/8/09, 11:44 PM  

  • Linda - 'The risk that women run in living their normal lives (and I can't get over how this is somehow considered ill-advised thrill-seeking, like climbing a mountain with no equipment) is not immutable, and not "just the way it is, get used to it." '

    Find me the comment above yours where anyone suggested that she "get used to it" or that the current state of affairs regarding a woman's relative safety in a city alone at night is acceptable.

    What we are all reacting to is her rather juvenile reaction to a friend's concern for her safety. Yes, the kind of people who attack others at night are awful human beings and should not do what they do. Yes, blame is entirely placed on the attacker in any instance, and the victim bears no responsibility even if they are walking alone in a place that they probably should not be. That much should be, and probably is, obvious to everyone who read this 'rant'.

    Di Di's comment was, "I hate how our society places the responsibility on women, like I need to accept misogyny and be "responsible" by drastically restricting my movements after dark." And later, "Fuck that." It's entirely possible for both of these things to be true, and for her to be acting like a child at the same time.

    I'm sure the population of Mexico City wishes that their streets were not populated by gangs, thugs, kidnappers and all manner of other loathsome characters at night. I'm sure that if someone suggested that they should just accept that lawlessness is acceptable and that the responsibility is theirs to take care of themselves they would say, "Fuck that." I'm also sure (having lived there) that despite this fact the don't walk around the city after dark alone. This is because they understand that taking steps to protect yourself is not the same thing as implicitly endorsing and accepting the behavior that you are protecting yourself from.

    If you would like to explain how my viewpoint makes me a misogynist, I would love to hear it.

    By Blogger Outis, at 8/8/09, 11:52 PM  

  • If you would like to explain how my viewpoint makes me a misogynist, I would love to hear it.


    Perhaps you're new to the Internet, but there's a certain kind of zealot who asserts that any disagreement with an argument that happened to be stated by someone claiming to be female... makes you a woman-hater.

    Some people just don't like the thought of other people having different notions, and those people tend to go for the nuclear option at the drop of a hat.

    Pay it no mind and stick to debating with rational, mature adults.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8/9/09, 12:04 AM  

  • right on. i love this post. you should totally set up an RSS feed. :)

    By Blogger dan, at 8/9/09, 12:06 AM  

  • Outis--since I didn't call you a misogynist, you are feeling a bit defensive, no? Especially when nobody was particularly attacking you.

    Here's the friends "concern for her safety:" "(she said)I should never walk home alone after dark." There is nothing moderate or reasonable in suggesting that that is how women should live their lives. In real life, people sometimes have to walk in the dark. And you think the blogger is juvenile?

    The blogger was not wishing the world abounded in lolipops and puppies. Yes,I know bad people exist. And I know they commit crimes. Despite what you think, nobody here is stupid. Indeed,women take all kinds of precautions, anticipate all kinds of dangers, that never cross your mind. What we want it to be normal for women not to be singled out for violence more than men. I think you would agree to that.

    By Anonymous Linda, at 8/9/09, 12:13 AM  

  • Re: Anonymous above:

    There's another phenomenon on the internet, Outis. It's anonymous trolls on feminist blogs. You'll get used to that, too.

    By Anonymous Linda, at 8/9/09, 12:17 AM  

  • What we want it to be normal for women not to be singled out for violence more than men.


    Men are far more likely to be the victims of violent crime than women.

    As for the supposedly misogynist suggestion that she be careful after dark, you realize that was a female family member who told her that, yes?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8/9/09, 12:26 AM  

  • Yes, men are victimized more by violent crime. It's not because some psycho hates men, however. Ironically, it's because men are more likely to engage in risky behavior--going to bad neighborhoods, getting high or drunk, and--irony of ironies--going out after dark, the terrible thing women are supposed to avoid. Maybe men should take more advice from that relative of the blogger. :D

    And, yes, I know that this was a female family member who told her that. Women can give bad advice pretty much the same as men. So your point would be...?

    By Anonymous Linda, at 8/9/09, 12:32 AM  

  • I see, so men are crime victims for all these rational reasons, but women are crime victims because men hate women. Makes so much sense.

    So now you think it's "bad advice" for one human being to be concerned for the safety of another human being?

    Everyone has their own perspectives, fears, etc. This whole little series of rants is just a collection of random, unsubstantiated anecdotes that are then used to make massive generalizations that are disparaging of men as a whole. To call that "childish" would be charitable.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8/9/09, 12:48 AM  

  • Mauro, if a woman walks by lechers, losers, and rapists, and they grope, harass, or rape her, it's their fault.

    There are no inferences of responsibility to be drawn. None. It's the sleazebag's fault. Period.

    But - if you choose to plead exculpatory circumstances on behalf the rapists, the lechers, and the gropers, then you choose to share in that fault.

    To the extent that you try to shift the blame from the self-righteous macho sleazebags, on to the woman, you shift it to your sorry self.

    By Anonymous Max Power, at 8/9/09, 12:53 AM  

  • Brent - sorry, there is something wrong, very wrong, in what you say. It the assumption you make that anyone needs you to tell them not to take risks. I think Di Di can work that out on her own.

    Apparently you feel the need to tell her. Just don't be surprised if you don't get a big thank you anytime soon.

    Further, there is a big difference between being the victim of an accident, and being the victim of a crime. Accidents happen. But crimes are rationalized before being perpetrated.

    Rapists, perverts, and gropers just love to rationalize that if a woman takes a risk, then she shouldn't ought to have done that, and she's asking for what happens next.

    And these scumbags and criminals rationalize their criminality like this not least because they have heard YEARS of this victim-hating sophistry, every time a woman is raped, attacked, or harassed. On blogs, in newspapers, or just ordinary conversations, every time this subject appears up pop the voices to say well, she took a big risk now didn't she, and it was very unfortunate, but she shouldn't have done that, and all the other women should learn from her example or it might happen to them too, next time, now mightn't it.

    By Anonymous Max Power, at 8/9/09, 1:27 AM  

  • "But - if you choose to plead exculpatory circumstances on behalf the rapists, the lechers, and the gropers, then you choose to share in that fault."

    Max, uh, NO. Nobody is doing that. I don't know why you insist on reading it into what I'm saying. I'm going to avoid going philosophical here since I don't think you're paying attention, but let me explain it to you:

    If a criminal commits a crime, it is THE CRIMINAL'S FAULT.

    If you tempt a criminal to commit a crime against you and the criminal commits the crime, it is STILL THE CRIMINAL'S FAULT, but if you don't want crimes committed against you, maybe you should be more careful.

    You can draw your own conclusions about this, but don't assume about mine. But NOBODY is saying "oh, she walked by a drunk man while pretty; she deserves to get assaulted." From your point of view, being a crime victim is an accident. The fact that it's someone else's fault doesn't mean you shouldn't try to avoid it anyway.

    By Blogger Mauro, at 8/9/09, 1:40 AM  

  • First, I totally agree with you.
    Second, as a male of the species, I am stunned, saddened and a bit pissed at all of the jerk ignorant comments here by men who seem intent on proving men are fucking idiots who can't be trusted nor should they be respected.
    So, to all you men posting misogynist comments here, piss off, shoot yourselves, not women

    By Blogger bayard, at 8/9/09, 1:41 AM  

  • Oh, and if I have to read one more wet-pantsed comment that "men are the real victims" on this thread, I think I'll scream.

    It's time to man up and face the issue, not snivel around feeling passive-aggressively sorry for yourself. Forgive the expression, but if you've got a pair, act like it. This thread is not about your precious feelings, and besides, the "280-lbs of muscle" guy blubbering about how mean everyone is to him wins that category already.

    By Anonymous Max Power, at 8/9/09, 1:50 AM  

  • Brent - sorry, there is something wrong, very wrong, in what you say. It the assumption you make that anyone needs you to tell them not to take risks. I think Di Di can work that out on her own.

    This is, of course, the exact opposite of what I said so my suggestion is that you read my comments again. Indeed, it is difficult for me to imagine how you could read a single sentence of anything I wrote and interpret it as advising anyone in any way, and particularly the post's author. That is, it is difficult to imagine how that is the case if one assumes you are actually reading in good faith which I now have reason to be skeptical that you are.

    Moreover, to the extent that I have offered any criticism on this blog at all it has been directed towards comments like yours and I have explained precisely where I disagree with you in your assessment of responsibility and blame. The rest you are just making up.

    Further, there is a big difference between being the victim of an accident, and being the victim of a crime. Accidents happen. But crimes are rationalized before being perpetrated.

    This point could not possibly be less salient to the point that I was making which is that we all, as part of our everyday lives, take responsibility for assessing risks to our well being entirely aside from the agency and responsibility of others. That realizing that a particular party is to blame for any particular incident doesn't mean that we aren't prudent in attempting to avoid such incidents. The scenario I suggested doesn't change if you assume instead that there are a bunch of drivers on the road attempting to deliberately harm people with their cars. You would be more vigilant in that circumstance, not less. How you think that distinction helps your case escapes me.

    By Blogger Brent, at 8/9/09, 2:14 AM  

  • Mauro, yes, people are doing that.

    For example, lemme see here - ah yes, here's "Mauro" at 10:06pm "When you walk out among dangerous criminals, you're making a choice to do so -- infer from that whatever responsibility you want."

    Nice, that. But wrong. No matter how she got there, if a drunken hooligan sexually harasses a woman, there is no responsibility to be inferred, and it's not anyone's choice to do so.

    Perverts rationalize away their responsibility in this way. The rest of us would do well to make it quite plain that it's stupid, immoral, and wrong to do so. Always, in every case.

    ...and as for your well-thought out advice that women avoid taking risks...wonderful, just wonderful - I think everyone can appreciate that nuanced and insightful contribution for what exactly it's worth.

    By Anonymous Max Power, at 8/9/09, 2:19 AM  

  • Is the athlete in #3 an American?

    If he is, next time he's abroad, bad-mouthing his own countrywomen to the foreign press, could we, y'know, not let him back in?

    Maybe he could find a woman with a body type he finds suitable in, say, Somalia or North Korea.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8/9/09, 2:50 AM  

  • Max, you misread again, apparently on purpose.

    "When you walk out among dangerous criminals, you're making a choice to do so -- infer from that whatever responsibility you want."

    Two distinct things. One: the crime. Criminal's fault, end of story, as you've been saying. Two: being the victim of said crime. If a criminal's going to commit a crime, there are steps you can take to prevent the victim of said crime from being you. Just because you have a choice doesn't mean it's your fault. This is a subtlety you can't seem to understand for whatever reason.

    "...and as for your well-thought out advice that women avoid taking risks...wonderful, just wonderful - I think everyone can appreciate that nuanced and insightful contribution for what exactly it's worth."

    Nope. I offer no real-life advice; I've been careful about that. Just hypothetical scenarios. Specifically, I haven't been talking about the woman-at-night scenario and have been talking instead about the general case of being a crime victim. I will, however, defend such real life advice, because NOT everyone is gifted with the common sense to remember it alone. It is important to be vigilant at night, to be aware of one's surroundings, to be ready to act in case of emergency, and so on. But it's not my place to dispense such advice unsolicited. What concerns me is the larger moral issue. Specifically, "women should avoid taking risks" is not any kind of advice I have dispensed; in fact, I've repeatedly made clear that we all (never have I restricted anything to women) are constantly taking risks, and we need to be aware of when we decide to take higher risks rather than dismissing said risks because whatever might happen is not our fault.

    To summarize your point, if I were a young and attractive woman about to walk in front of a seedy bar, I would probably opt for a different path to preserve my safety, whereas if you were said woman, you would probably say, "it's all right if I get raped because it would be entirely the rapist's fault, not mine," and walk confidently on.

    No. It doesn't work like that, Max. Something morally not being your fault doesn't magically clear you of its consequences.

    By Blogger Mauro, at 8/9/09, 3:03 AM  

  • Brent, I'm serious about this, and this is exactly what you said. Need a quote?

    Brent at 10:14pm "I don't think there is anything wrong,... in saying its responsible behavior as a woman to be cautious in various circumstances.

    Yes, there is something very wrong with that. Perhaps you will start to understand why responsibility-shifting to the victims of sexual assault is very wrong if you get out a little more. These guys just take the soft-shoe sexist logic a little further. After all, if risk-taking increases the chances of being the victim of sexual assault, isn't punishing the risk-taker a justifiable course of action?

    And since a lot seems to escape you, the salience of why "risk-taking" is different between accidents and sexual assaults is that the criminals use the rationalization in order to commit the crime. The use it to do it. Got that?

    Worse, the sleazebags get to define what "responsible behavior" is or isn't. For you, walking into a specific area of town may not be sufficently responsible behavior as a woman to be cautious in various circumstances. For others, it's the moral provocation of wearing a short dress. Or not wearing a bra. Or not wearing a burka.

    Either way, the pervert chooses what the victim did wrong.

    Got that now? Fer pity's sake...

    By Anonymous Max Power, at 8/9/09, 3:14 AM  

  • Mauro, I misread nothing. I quoted you what you denied saying.

    And, don't worry, we're all perfectly aware that this is a purely hypothetical exercise for you, nothing at all to do with real life. We're all charmed.

    But sexual assault crimes are real, and very common, and rare is time the perpetrator doesn't attempt to argue that the victim did something she shouldn't to have done, and so she really bears some responsibility too, and so even if it's his fault then it's not all his fault.

    Criminals understand, as you don't, that to ascribe responsibility of incaution to victims of sexual assault helps to diminish the responsibility of the perpertrator. This has often been a successful exculpatory ploy even in court, particularly when velvet-gloved sexism was routine.

    And the problem is that when sophists like you try your hypothetical partition-of-responsibility scenarios out in public, you're a great comfort to all the creeps, rapists, and sexual aggressors out there who think like you do.

    So stop it. Really. And think twice before you do it again.

    By Anonymous Max Power, at 8/9/09, 3:50 AM  

  • The idea that women should avoid walking alone in the dark in iffy areas, just as men do if there's a danger of mugging or assault, is basically reasonable, as probably well-intentioned.

    But I think the commenters may be missing the essential context, ie the fact that this is not a world in which women have equality of opportunity, equality of respect, equality of moral judgement. So I suspect the anger the writer feels at the implication that she should curtail her freedom of mobility stems in part from the fact that this is just one more in a plethora of ways is which the culture in which she lives contrains, denies and invalidates her because of her gender. Not because she is smaller, weaker and more physically vulnerable, but because of the collective judgments and predjudices of s (still) male-dominated society.

    So although, as a man, I also have to confront the reality that I can't safely walk alone in certain situations, my experience is not analagous to that of a women, because I don't have all the other related mechanisms of disempowerment to deal with. And there's also the fact that there are many neighbourshood in which a man might be safe from mugging, but a women is still vulnerable to rape.

    The overweight issue is similar; the arguments made by many posters are reasonable, but again, men's experience of the weight issue is not quite the same, as women are judged on their looks far more than are men. So the issue opens a whole Pandora's box of female anger and pain at not being valued as a person, but as a sort of living Barbie-doll. So even if the boyfriend in the article, or the commenters in this thread, are not judging female weight differently than male, society does discrimate - and that is the psycholgical reality in which the writer has to exist.

    By Anonymous Sky, at 8/9/09, 4:04 AM  

  • Max:

    "After all, if risk-taking increases the chances of being the victim of sexual assault, isn't punishing the risk-taker a justifiable course of action?"

    Obviously not. We've already been over how criminal culpability differs from personal responsibility. I can understand that there are stupid people in the world who don't understand this difference, though.

    "the salience of why "risk-taking" is different between accidents and sexual assaults is that the criminals use the rationalization in order to commit the crime."

    So? What does it matter to you whether the criminals have a rationalization or not? Your job is to not be a crime victim, not to psychoanalyze the criminals. They can be black boxes, as far as you're concerned. The pervert does NOT get to choose what the victim did wrong. The courts do. The victim does, however, get to choose to take steps to avoid being a victim.

    Your true argument seems to rest on judges being stupid and sexist. "This has often been a successful exculpatory ploy even in court, particularly when velvet-gloved sexism was routine." And that rapists are stupid and sexist. "when sophists like you try your hypothetical partition-of-responsibility scenarios out in public, you're a great comfort to all the creeps, rapists, and sexual aggressors out there who think like you do." (Obviously they don't think like *I* do, since I clearly believe that such people are 100% at fault for the crime, but you already know that.) If that's the case, I have to agree with you. Arguing subtle points where there are people who don't understand the subtlety might lead to those people claiming some sort of false moral justification for their violent crimes.

    On the other hand, *I* cannot be a fully functional adult while limiting the topics of my discussions because some crazy person might misconstrue them. As a wise woman once said, "fuck that."

    By Blogger Mauro, at 8/9/09, 4:08 AM  

  • Just realized that one phrase in my post may be misinterpreted - when I said "... equality of moral judement", I was referring to the different standards of behavior which are considered acceptable by society - most glaringly in the area of sexual behavior (how often do you hear a man referred to as a slut?).

    I was not saying that women don't have the same capacity as mean for moral perception.

    By Anonymous Sky, at 8/9/09, 4:13 AM  

  • Ugg - so many typos - have to stop typing while lying flat on my back ...

    By Anonymous Sky, at 8/9/09, 4:18 AM  

  • Going out at night can be dangerous to both sexes, especially in bad parts of large cities. There are some amazingly long-winded rationalizations of how pointing out something this self-evident to an adult is something other than patronizing - and, of course, why pointing this out exclusively to female adults is something other than sexist.

    Funny reading the people try to explain "oh no dear, it's just because they want to protect you" as though that point wasn't taken into account and dispensed with in the original post. You see what you want to I guess.

    By Anonymous fauxpopuli, at 8/9/09, 4:23 AM  

  • I don't think there is anything wrong,... in saying its responsible behavior as a woman to be cautious in various circumstances.

    I am honestly not sure what you think that quote says Max but

    1) for sentient beings who understand English that, in no way, demonstrates me advising anyone of anything at all let alone, as you claim, that I told the blog's author not to take risks. So yes, I will need a quote.

    2 disagreeing with it means that you think its irresponsible behavior to advise women to be cautious in various circumstances. That's the only possible interpretation. Quite frankly, that is an absurd thing to believe and I doubt quite seriously that very many people of either gender would agree with it, including yourself. But I will have to take your word for it. You believe that advising caution is irresponsible. Thanks for going on the record with that.

    However, as I stated above and which you apparently felt it was appropriate to edit:

    I doubt the author believes there is anything wrong, in saying its responsible behavior as a woman to be cautious in various circumstances.

    And I do doubt it. Whether I am right or wrong, how that translates in your mind to advice of any sort will have to remain a mystery to me.

    Moreover, your attempts to graft that simple and entirely uncontroversial sentiment, that it is not irresponsible to advise caution, unto complex social and cultural practices like honor killings (which you quite wrongly assume I know nothing about) is incredibly reductive and evidence of some very shallow thinking on this issue. Really.

    And since a lot seems to escape you, the salience of why "risk-taking" is different between accidents and sexual assaults is that the criminals use the rationalization in order to commit the crime. The use it to do it. Got that?

    Again Max, you are entirely missing the point, but whatever. As I already said, adjust the example, if you actually think its relevant to do so, so that the homocidal driving is deliberate as opposed to just negligent. I would posit that most rational human beings would take responsibility to be even more cautious as pedestrians, not less (although now you are arguing that such caution would be irresponsible so who knows when it comes to your pedestrian habits). The fact that the murderous driver might then blame you for not being more cautious is apropos of exactly nothing. Please stop being ridiculous.

    You are trying (quite badly) to make the case here that when anyone advises women to be cautious, they are tacitly supporting the sexist social structure that makes it necessary for women to be cautious in the first place. This is a stretch to say the least, and involves a huge "chicken and egg problem" but I can at least imagine a reasonable argument that might support this thesis. However, it would probably help your persuasion if you didn't assume that anyone who expresses even mild disagreement with this assertion is ignorant of the issues surrounding sexual harassment and rape. That last sentence is what offering advice looks like by the way.

    By Blogger Brent, at 8/9/09, 4:57 AM  

  • I see, so men are crime victims for all these rational reasons, but women are crime victims because men hate women. Makes so much sense.

    Brush up on your reading comprehension. Men are often "in the wrong place at the wrong time"--in tough neighborhoods, out and about, engaged in behavior that puts them in contact with bad folks. Unlike many other posters, I do not hold them responsible for being victimized. Men are, however, less likely to suffer harassment that makes them feel unsafe. There are also fewer criminals dedicated to killing or harming them as a group. There are some serial killers of men, but not as many as those of women, and few serial rapists outside of prison that we know of.

    So now you think it's "bad advice" for one human being to be concerned for the safety of another human being?

    Again, reading comprehension could be your friend. It's bad advice to tell another human being to suspend their lives.

    Everyone has their own perspectives, fears, etc. This whole little series of rants is just a collection of random, unsubstantiated anecdotes that are then used to make massive generalizations that are disparaging of men as a whole. To call that "childish" would be charitable.

    Nobody has "disparged men as a whole." I have been accused of calling people misogynists when I did not, or hating men when there is nothing in my posts that does that. The childish person in this thread--who doesn't even have the guts to put an identity to his trolling--is you.

    By Anonymous Linda, at 8/9/09, 6:36 AM  

  • Going out at night can be dangerous to both sexes, especially in bad parts of large cities. There are some amazingly long-winded rationalizations of how pointing out something this self-evident to an adult is something other than patronizing - and, of course, why pointing this out exclusively to female adults is something other than sexist.

    Exactly. In fact, Anonymous, though otherwise an idiot troll, makes a good point: men are victimized more often by violent crime than women. So, Brent and Mauro, why are you so concerned with warning women of danger? Logically, you should be scolding men about their lack of self-concern, since by any statistical measure they need it more.

    By Anonymous Linda, at 8/9/09, 7:37 AM  

  • So, Brent and Mauro, why are you so concerned with warning women of danger?

    Who says I am "so concerned?" In fact, I don't believe I have ever offered such a warning in my entire life. Why have you imagined otherwise other than the fact that Max claimed I did and then couldn't back it up? In fact, what I have said on this board in my very first comment was precisely the opposite. I hope that clarifies.

    By Blogger Brent, at 8/9/09, 8:48 AM  

  • I'm a martial arts instructor that spent several years training rape survivors in self defense. While I agree with the overall point of the original post, I have to say that social defiance is not going to help you prevent a sexual assault. You don't have to walk with a man to stay safe. However, I strongly recommend walking with another person, male or female, or a large dog.

    Feminist and stupid do not need to go hand in hand.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8/9/09, 10:13 AM  

  • @outis, who writes, "If upon my announcement of my intent to travel to Mexico in the near future a friend advised me that I should avoid wandering the streets of Mexico City at 2 am by myself"

    Sorry you're wrong. Women get this warning everywhere they go, from small towns to big cities, and not every small town or big city in the US is as dangerous as mexico city may be.

    So what your argument boils down to is "women should expect to be harrassed and attacked everywhere they go and that's OK."

    and ya know, that's not ok. we men are responsible for our behavior. example FAIL.

    By Anonymous brendancalling, at 8/9/09, 10:19 AM  

  • Word.

    As for the guy who apologized for being born male, neither of us chose that and so don't have to apologize. Being born male doesn't make one a jerk, though; that's a choice. I for one don't feel I have to apologize. If you do, maybe you just don't want to admit that it's for something that you do, ultimately, control.

    By Anonymous Gregory, at 8/9/09, 11:15 AM  

  • *rolls eyes*

    I got as far as the comment from the right on idiot deciding a man talking about his physical size was obviously machismo before giving up. What he was TRYING to do was explain the nature of male violence, about how it's focused upon him too but of course real facts come secondary to ideology; and real empathy for other people comes second to proving how you are so superior to everyone else.

    But let me try and spell this out slowly for you again; He ... was... pointing... out... those... assholes... who... shoot... up... gyms... will... target... him... as... well... to ... prove... what... "men"... they... are... by... beating... him... up.

    He was trying to be sympathetic to the fears of unprovoked violence he knows women suffer from as well. Except he isn't being heard by a tonne of you here, because he doesn't have the holy vagina that you base your entire perspective upon and which would get you to accept the exact same damn argument? Substitute "Muscle" for "Breast" in place of the asshole-attractor and it's an identically big draw to violent fools... and he was merely trying to say he knows he, you, them shouldn't be that reductionist. But bet his cock is huge, eh? He must be thinking about his cock instead.

    And as for the author's comment on the end of Number 1; Ok, "hello gorgeous" isn't exactly original, but would it really kill you to stop and say "hey, thanks for the compliment, but I'm dating already"? If he walks away, you've just been polite to someone who is basically decent and paid you a compliment. If he doesn't let go at that point, you've confirmed your initial prejudice about him being an asshole... as well as had a few seconds more to judge your environment and ways out of it.

    But again, common sense seems lacking; we want the right to be selfish and even completely immune to the real world, whilst denying that right to everyone else, or even acknowledging their rights to be victims in the exact same way.

    And no, no user name for this comment either. Because why bother when you're just going to be reduced to adherence or not to an ill thought out set of rants and equally anti-social conducts? Again, if you are already an empty anonymous sack of straw in the eyes of idiot people... well, basically fuck engaging with that

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8/9/09, 11:30 AM  

  • "Anonymous, though otherwise an idiot troll"


    Ad hominem. Speaks for itself.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8/9/09, 11:45 AM  

  • "Men are, however, less likely to suffer harassment that makes them feel unsafe. There are also fewer criminals dedicated to killing or harming them as a group."


    I like how you just make things up without any empirical substantiation.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8/9/09, 11:47 AM  

  • Very predictable - the type of guy who pretends to be an outraged feminist himself, and gets off on scolding other men.

    Attention women - this is just one more scam to get in your pants.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8/9/09, 11:50 AM  

  • "Again, reading comprehension could be your friend. It's bad advice to tell another human being to suspend their lives."


    Ironic statement about reading comprehension. Her relative did not tell her what to do, she gave her opinion to her.

    Very telling how you confuse those two things.

    You done with all your petty insults, or will we get to enjoy some more?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8/9/09, 11:54 AM  

  • Hi everyone, thanks for commenting on my blog. I have posted a few responses in a new post on the main page.

    By Blogger Di Di, at 8/9/09, 1:15 PM  

  • Golda Meir had it right. If men are attacking women on the street, the curfew should be placed on the MEN, not the women.

    Of course, as soon as she said that, the whole idea of a curfew was scrapped.

    By Anonymous Celine, at 8/9/09, 1:28 PM  

  • First of all, I have been knocked down on some chat sites for saying "Good night, dear" to women on the site. (This is text-only, by the way.)

    I considered this endearing and friendly behavior. Someone called it sexual harassment. Since I may never see these women in the flesh and never use cheap sexual innuendo, this annoys me. But, I can live without being kind to women. After all, I've lived without them being kind to me.

    Second, there is no reason a woman should be afraid to walk alone at night, if she understands what may happen and is prepared. I'm not talking guns or mace. I'm talking about kicking in the equipment the male attacker hopes to use, and then running.

    This ought to be SOP in junior high and high school classes for women. That it isn't is yet another indictment of the uselessness and incompetence of American schoolteachers and the whole secondary education system in America.

    In fact, if I were running such classes, I'd have the guy in the heavily padded "male aggressor" suit be the high school football quarterback, the very sort of person that becomes a sexual aggressor. It might teach him why he should treat women with respect.

    By Blogger Thomas E. Reed, at 8/9/09, 2:19 PM  

  • Ad hominem. Speaks for itself.

    That's not what ad hominem means, you idiot troll.

    By Blogger M, at 8/9/09, 7:59 PM  

  • "Men are, however, less likely to suffer harassment that makes them feel unsafe. There are also fewer criminals dedicated to killing or harming them as a group."
    I like how you just make things up without any empirical substantiation.


    O.K., here's some:
    "Hidden in Plain Sight: Sexual Harassment and Assault on the New York Subway System"

    With a couple of quotes:
    Witness Accounts:
    44 percent of respondents indicated that they have witnessed an incident
    of sexual harassment in the New York City subway system.
    · Of those respondents, 93 percent indicated that the victim was female, and:

    9 percent of respondents indicated that they have witnessed an incident
    of sexual assault in the New York City subway system.
    · Of those respondents, 92 percent indicated that the victim was female.

    These were witnesses, not people alleging their own victimization.
    So no, I'm not talking through my hat.

    By Anonymous Linda, at 8/9/09, 9:16 PM  

  • You just keep pulling out all the stops.

    Now a survey of subway riders in a specific city with respect to a certain set of behaviors is supposedly the basis for two global generalizations, one of which is only partly related to your example.

    Hilarious.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8/10/09, 3:34 AM  

  • "That's not what ad hominem means, you idiot troll."


    I love irony.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8/10/09, 3:35 AM  

  • O.K:
    Harassment of Women in Urban China

    A Majority of Cairo Women Face Street Harassment

    Gender-based Public Harassment

    --Of course, you will come up with countervailing studies showing the immense harassment of men. I can't wait.

    By Anonymous Linda, at 8/10/09, 6:38 AM  

  • Yeah, this is quite a rant, particularly in the comments. I have long given up on seeing substantiative debate in discussion groups, it's always one nutjob after another spewing bile in ways that only embarrass themselves. Given that, my favorite search terms these days are "feminist" and "socialist." Pro in the case of the former, anti in the case of the latter. The "global warming is a myth" crowd is always good for a laugh as well. All of these are factions who believe that their favorite ideologies are threatened by social trends, and who react with uncontrollable rage. The last presidential election seems to have precipitated these views: people who supported Clinton and/or McCain have taken the loss as the onset of the apocalypse, and have freaked out accordingly. Please keep at it, it's just more entertainment for me.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8/10/09, 7:41 AM  

  • Linda, you said:

    --Of course, you will come up with countervailing studies showing the immense harassment of men. I can't wait.

    Oh, there's no need. We men know there's no point in trying to understand women or even sympathize with your species. You'll scream and bitch at us, and not even give us credit for attempting to reach out to you. We end up shrugging, spraying Bactine on our wounds and walking away.

    In fact, I was stupid in even trying to post what I thought was a somewhat sympathetic statement on your blog, after the great filk artist Tom Smith pointed out your post to me. Tom is a good guy, and maybe he thought you needed sympathy and understanding. I guess Tom forgot you're a woman and you don't give a damn.

    But at least I was honest enough to post with my real identity here, instead of being a coward and posting anonymously. Not that you give a damn about that either.

    By Blogger Thomas E. Reed, at 8/10/09, 9:37 AM  

  • Mr. Reed:
    Keep your hair on. I wasn't picking on you. I was directing my remarks to the anonymous guy who said I couldn't back anything up with objective research, and accused me of "pulling out all the stops" when I did. In fact, nobody in this thread attacked you. At all.

    BTW, You can easily find my identity if you look at my website.

    I'm angry at men who harass women, but you seem to be angry at every woman on the planet (talking about us as a separate species is a tipoff). Please chill. Things aren't as personal as you make them out.

    By Anonymous Linda Koss, at 8/10/09, 3:52 PM  

  • To Linda Koss:

    About your comment:
    BTW, You can easily find my identity if you look at my website.

    I don't care all that much about your identity. I was referring to the same "anonymous" person as you in my comments. In nearly all cases, posting anonymously is cowardice; if you say something you should stand proudly behind your words, not drop them on the porch, ring the doorbell and run.

    And you also said:

    ...you seem to be angry at every woman on the planet (talking about us as a separate species is a tipoff). Please chill. Things aren't as personal as you make them out.

    Of course it isn't personal. Women are a different species, and no matter what that pop-cult shrink says, you can't be comprehended by men and you likely hate all our guts.

    I'm not upset at this, the way I was in my youth when I thought it was just me, that I was an emotional cripple. I've gotten wiser, and realized that all men feel this way. There is a divide between us and all of you, more vast than the gap between Mars and Venus, and there's no use getting upset or violent about it. It's the tragic "fact of life" that our parents were afraid to tell us.

    Our only appropriate response to your species is to shrug and walk away, and become occupied with something we can understand. That isn't sarcasm or bitterness, just fact.

    By Blogger Thomas E. Reed, at 8/10/09, 4:09 PM  

  • O.K. we both agree that going anonymous is for douchebags. So we have some common ground. :D

    Seriously, though, I hope your life gets better, and some happier relations with women come into it.

    By Anonymous Linda, at 8/10/09, 4:40 PM  

  • I like turtles.

    By Blogger hopemonger, at 8/15/09, 5:17 PM  

  • Blogger hopemonger said...

    I like turtles.

    So, now, you're The Shredder? You're going to kill them? "Tonight I dine on turtle soup!" and all that?

    By Blogger Thomas E. Reed, at 8/16/09, 3:17 AM  

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