#Yesallwomen

th3 3811374b809571b1a4dc7a8a3bc3511cWe haven’t done one of these for a while but, once in a while Jess and I get interested in the same stories and our takes on it, while almost never completely different, do have a different slant. This is one of those, likely because I’m a man and she’s a woman. She’s also quite a bit younger than I am (who isn’t?). And while I live in rural America, she’s in an English city, although not London, which seems somewhat different from the rest of England, and always seems to have been. So, Jess’ words are in italics and blockquoted,  mine aren’t, let’s see how this works. And yes, I’m excerpting this, you can read her original on AATW.

ff68080e47ca2e9bab95a6349766aacbIf the title puzzles you, it refers to a twitter hashtag where women share their experiences of everyday sexism; it is harrowing stuff, and if you are young and female then you get a shock of recognition as you realise that stuff you thought was just your own bad experience is commonplace – and it ought not to be. It was started off in reaction to the murder spree in California by a young man who felt rejected by women; that he was mentally ill and killed a lot of men too seems to have been ignored by the tweeters, but in a way that’s not the point; the point is that a lot of women feel that men treat them like pieces of meat; good for one thing. I have a friend who, on being groped by a man in a nightclub hit him, only to be hit back; she was so shocked she didn’t report it, and it was only later, when her boyfriend went and ‘dealt with’ the other man, that she felt relieved; but should any of that been necessary? Even some of her female friends wondered why she was making a fuss; well, hey, she was right to make a fuss, no woman should have to put up with some lout touching her.

The answer, of course, to Jess’ question is “NO, None of that should have been necessary”, and that it is says something very sad about where our society is devolving to. What’s even sadder is that her female friends think that it is in some way ‘normal’. Most of us, at least in my generation, were taught to be a gentleman, and part of that is respect for other people, especially women, and that would decidedly not include groping them.

Talking this over with older men, I was interested in their reaction, which was to them it is as though younger men don’t actually know how to behave. One colleague told me that when he was a young man, of course he ‘tried it on’, but that consisted of trying to get a kiss, not groping and hitting. He wondered, as I do, how far the problem comes down to what one friend calls the ‘pornification’ of our culture. Pornography is so readily available that I fear too many young men take it as their guide, and if it tells them that women (or is it ‘girls’?) are always ‘up for it’, then I can see how they would be confused when a woman tells them ‘no’.

In many ways that is my reaction as well, they are a generation of cads but, if they don’t know any better, whose fault is that? Yeah, it’s ours, apparently we raised them that way. Sorry, Ladies.

But understand this, no man operating in any sort of reality on earth, has any business believing he’s entitled ‘to get laid’. And if you were it wouldn’t be worth the effort anyway, anybody who thinks sex with random strange females, no matter how beautiful, is better than a committed relationship, let alone a loving wife, is too foolish to live. Note carefully: You have no right at all to infringe on another person, for that matter they have nor right to infringe on you, either

Jess’ colleague is right, we were always trying almost anything to get a girl to ‘get to first base’. Brings to my mind the phrase, “Here, hold my beer…” while I do something insanely stupid to try to impress a girl. Don’t try to kid me guys, we all did it. We’re lucky any of us lived long enough to get that kiss.

As to porn, in some ways I agree with Jess, and it’s certainly demeaning (and it always was) especially to women, but also to men. But I can also see the viewpoint that it might take the pressure off because it can function as a stress reliever. I don’t know, I’m not very subject to this vice, and so my knowledge is  limited. I also note that it’s been available, at least in my lifetime, without much trouble, although I suppose the internet makes it easier/cheaper, as it does most things. I do think though that our society has become saturated with express and especially implied sex, to the point of inundation, and while I have no studies to refer to, it can’t possibly be good for us, 24/7.

For me, as a Christian, it has always been pretty straightforward. My faith matters to me, I try to live by it, and that rules out sex outside of marriage. At College this confused some men, but they accepted it; my non-Christians friends found it more difficult; but what a world where women feel they have to provide some reason for not ‘putting out’. I know one woman who ‘invented’ a ‘boyfriend back home’ to keep the wolves off; it wasn’t entirely successful, but it worked well enough for others to take it up. But again, it spoke of the fact that they didn’t feel secure enough to just ‘say no’. […]

That is one of the main things I admire about Jess, she lives her beliefs openly and honestly. About all I’ve got to say here is that ‘just saying no’ should be all it takes, It’s fine, I think, to press your case, verbally, until she tells you to get lost, but that is the limit, no touching at all, not even trying to hold her hand.

[continuing Jess’ paragraph] Not that it was all high-level harassment. One good friend once said to a man ‘my face is up here’, as he, like others, tended to talk to her generous embonpointment. One man said to her that it was her ‘fault’ for wearing lowish cut tops; ha, it was his fault for being an oaf; why my friend should have had to dress for his ill manners, who knows? But the fact he felt able to say it was what worried some of us. Perhaps we should all have worn burkas? Indeed, my two friends who converted to Islam, used to say they felt ‘freer’ in their new garb.

Well, yeah, I suppose a man should force himself to look at her face while he was talking to her. While I understand and am sympathetic to the point, it’s not that easy, nothing is more attractive to men than female bodies in motion, and if you emphasize the, ah ‘generous embonpointment’, yeah, that’s it, well, it’s going to attract interest and attention. if you don’t want that, you might try dressing differently. That is not to say that a man should do anymore than look, and he would be wise indeed to try very hard not to stare. If you can do it, you’re a better man than I was 30 years ago and half-drunk, but that’s not a high bar, at all. This is, I think where there is plenty of blame for everyone to share. And I’ll add this, when I’m out running for parts in a sweaty t-shirt, jeans, and a ball cap, I don’t expect strangers to treat me the way they do when I’m in a suit and tie; the way we dress does matter.

Burkas? Well, the burka is camouflage, as was biblical Jewish and Christian women’s garb, because Islam posits that men are so weak and have so little self-control that they can’t be trusted around women who look like women, instead of a not so friendly ghost. If we’ve devolved back to that point, maybe good women should. But a better solution is to teach men again the respect that is due to women. It would, however, help if the noisiest women, the radical feminists, had enough self-respect to warrant our respect.

When my husband left me, I was amazed at the number of men who seemed to think that meant I was now ‘ready and available’, and in one case I had to show one colleague that a ‘girl’ can pack a mean right hook; he was so shocked he didn’t hit me back – but if he had, I have a mean left hook too; Daddy saw to that…

I remember Jess telling me about that, and I remember my reaction as well, ‘Good on her’. I also recall thinking that he was a married man and he damned well deserved to explain to his wife how he got a black eye at his office job. Personally, it wouldn’t have offended me, if she had done a lot more damage to him. Because he really needed a lesson in how a grown man acts. The other thing is, I was taught early and often, that there is never any excuse for hitting a woman (or girl). Never. Although I suppose an exception could be made for a woman armed with a knife or gun and obviously determined to do great bodily harm, to you or another person. Equal rights include being stupid, after all.

I sent Jess a link yesterday about this which she was kind enough to include, this is it.

And so, while we haven’t any real conclusions stated here, perhaps we have enough to start a rational conversation between thinking people, and not a screaming match on Twitter™, which will resolve nothing for anybody.

I strongly recommend that you read Jess’ full article (linked above) on AATW.

 

About NEO
Lineman, Electrician, Industrial Control technician, Staking Engineer, Inspector, Quality Assurance Manager, Chief Operations Officer

6 Responses to #Yesallwomen

  1. Mike says:

    I always find it interesting how we try so hard to deny Biological Imperatives. The world was designed with women in charge and women will always be so. The fact that men give them attention based on nothing other than their gender is one of the greatest gifts ever bestowed. Women have an entirely different expectation for men… also by design. Men are expendable… Women are not. Men are, as a rule, far dumber than they look, Women are not. Where we have fallen down is teaching Men what it is to be a Man. We provide them with excuses like “men are so weak that women must wear burkas”. Hogwash. Men must learn to behave. And where are they going to do that? Their parents.. two of them..
    Anyway, I see discussions like this acting as if the profound power women are blessed with as being some kind of curse. Yet if you were to remove it many, far from all, but many women would have no power at all. And that too makes me sad. Men need a lot of work as do many Women. But let’s not forget how we were designed… and let’s not insult Him for designing us that way.

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    • NEO says:

      Of course, and that was my point. Why on earth would you think either of us think anything else?

      But that is exactly why Islam does it, because they don’t teach boys to be men, we always have, and we’d best get back to it. I don’t think any women with the brains God gave her working would consider it a curse.

      What struck me here was how different it looks to those in their 30s compared to what we thought then. We’ve a lot of work to do.

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  2. Mustang.Koji says:

    Ya know, I feel there can be no answer. No right or wrong. Just no answer. We are trying to apply “PC” views to inherent biological characteristics. Different hormones result in different body shapes. One has an Adam’s apple; one doesn’t. Personally, it’s what two people just plain think of each other. I don’t feel there is any sense in placing one sex’s needs or rights more prominently than the other. Of course, there is no excuse for violence.

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    • NEO says:

      I think you’re pretty much right. The only real problem here, in my opinion, are people that don’t understand ‘no’. And that’s pretty much key, when someone says no, it means no.

      Like

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