This Week in Defeating Rape Culture

Houston Press ran a fabulous essay that demolishes one of creepsters’ main defenses: that they’re awkward with women. After listing a bunch of first-person narratives by women who were groped, grossly propositioned, leered at, and otherwise abused, Jef Rouner writes:

This is not being “awkward.” Ross from Friends was awkward when he would flirt with girls by naming types of gas. This is being a creep and hoping that a combination of societal expectations and fear of escalation on the part of the person you’re creeping on will allow you to get away with it consequence-free.

It’s easy to hide this as the lasting repercussions of childhood bullying or frustrated romantic hang-ups from adolescence, but, sorry, that’s a cop-out. The “nerds are sexless losers who can’t get a date” was already an aging trope when I was growing up in the ’90s, and in a post-Matrix world where hackers are also ninjas and occasionally Jesus, this sort of idea doesn’t really fly. Geek went mainstream a long time ago. Calling yourself an otaku is not a get-out-of-all-social-responsibilities-free card.

Truth is this behavior is not a clumsy misunderstanding of how courtship and human interaction work. It’s the end by-product of years of ingesting rape culture telling you that touching women without their permission or assigning them as sex partners whether they’re interested or not is okay. You can choose to understand this, or you can choose to ignore it and pretend it isn’t there. However, do not be surprised if women avoid your company when you do the latter. It’s not because you’re awkward. It’s because you scare them….

And this:

Life is not a John Hughes flick, and there’s a reason why when most of us re-watch the “loser pursues the girl until she loves him” genre of film, we start to feel a little sick to our stomachs. Duckie Dale was a creep, Lloyd Dobler wasn’t much better, and if anyone acted like Randy from Valley Girl around my daughter, I would have that bastard under a restraining order.

Amen. Read the whole thing: it’s great.

Meanwhile, Laura Hilgers writes powerfully in the Times of the economic toll her daughter’s rape during her freshman year of college had on her family:

It would be impossible for me to describe in the space of a newspaper article the emotional toll this took on Willa and our family: the grief we felt that our child’s body (and soul) had been violated; the anger that we (and the college) could not protect her; the fear that our once spirited, ambitious daughter might never be more than a shell of herself. But I can offer, by way of illustration, a financial reckoning — collateral damage that demonstrates the devastation, and that rarely comes up in the national discussion on campus sexual assaults.

The financial burdens of an attack can be overwhelming. A 2014 White House report noted that the cost to survivors (of all types, not just college students) can range from $87,000 to $240,776 per rape. While the numbers are staggering, they seem abstract until your family is the one paying the bills. In our case, they were on the higher end of the range.

Then she breaks it down, the major categories being lost wages (parents and daughter, who is now 22 and starting her sophomore year—so about three years spent recovering), addiction treatment and rehab, lost tuition, therapy, and various unreimbursed medical expenses. She and her ex-husband–”writers not investment bankers,” she notes–paid by borrowing from family and their retirement funds; also using the proceeds of a house they sold.

She notes:

We’re fortunate to have top-tier health insurance, which helped defray many of the costs. But this is still an extraordinary amount of money, and I often wonder how survivors from less privileged backgrounds recover from these attacks. It’s not a hypothetical question.

No it isn’t—and I’m sure the answer is devastating.

97 replies
  1. 1
    ThresherK says:

    Good writing.

    I literally had to look up otaku. Time to hang an onion on my belt?

  2. 2
    ItAintEazy says:

    @ThresherK: I consider you one of the lucky ones for NOT knowing. I’m an otaku, and I can’t stand other otakus.

  3. 3
    Hillary Rettig says:

    @ThresherK: maybe a petite scallion

  4. 4
    O. Felix Culpa says:

    @ThresherK:

    I literally had to look up otaku. Time to hang an onion on my belt?

    I had to look it up too. I shall wear shallots.

    Also too, a very thought-provoking article.

  5. 5
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @ThresherK:

    I literally had to look up otaku. Time to hang an onion on my belt?

    I wasn’t familiar with the term either — although the concept is a very familiar one! (About 20-25 years ago, a British friend introduced me to the term anorak, which means much the same thing. I guess OCD* transcends borders and generations.

    *Obligatory joke: “Or CDO, to put it in alphabetical order the way it’s supposed to be!!”

  6. 6
    debbie says:

    It’s not just creep, it’s also being an asshole. I was once in a bar in NYC and a Woody Allen-looking guy came over and told me since I walked into the bar, I was obligated to talk to him. What kind of line is that?

  7. 7
    smith says:

    I’m really glad to see that men are speaking out eloquently about male abuse of women. I don’t think we will make any headway against rape culture until the creepy guys stop believing that their behavior has the approval, however tacit, of other men. To add to this week’s collection of rape culture opposition, I’ll add this, about online abuse.

  8. 8
    ThresherK says:

    @ItAintEazy: I didn’t say I’m a conversationally adept social butterfly who thrives in crowds of unfamiliar people. (I married one of those; she’s my lifeline in situations like that.)

    I said the word was unfamiliar to me.

    As it goes, I lived through the 80s and was (and still am) much more conversant in Monty Python works and SCTV then, rather than these popular and well-known movies mentioned in the article. It was only through watching snippets of them on basic cable, and cultural osmosis, that I know who played those roles.

  9. 9
    Hillary Rettig says:

    >hoping that a combination of societal expectations and fear of escalation on the part of the person you’re creeping on will allow you to get away with it consequence-free.

    that’s the line that got to me. a women/girl has got to be able to use her voice. I have no trouble raising mine in public – like when I’m on a subway and someone gropes me. creeps thrive on ambiguity and so they’ll pretend it’s all “i wasn’t doing anything, the subway is crowded.” but somehow after you yell them out they manage to find a place to stand that’s not touching you.

  10. 10
    Emma says:

    @Hillary Rettig: So many, many women are, almost subconsciously, trained to keep quiet. It makes me nuts.

  11. 11
    Hillary Rettig says:

    @Emma: and consciously.

    i can think of at least one incident where, if I hadn’t spoken up (and not loudly that time, but persuasively) I might have gotten raped. that was in Italy, where I got sexually harassed literally from the moment the train crossed the border (by a conductor).

  12. 12
    Hillary Rettig says:

    @debbie: creep vs. asshole – interesting distinction. i would say the creep knows what he’s doing, the asshole doesn’t (or doesn’t fully). whadaya think?

  13. 13
    debbie says:

    @Hillary Rettig:

    I have no trouble raising mine in public – like when I’m on a subway and someone gropes me.

    I couldn’t bring myself to speak up. I’d move to another spot and get angry with myself. Shame and anger at the same time.

  14. 14
    smith says:

    Hillary, I have a comment between #6 and #7 that is inexplicably stuck in moderation. Could you help? I swear the link was fully clothed!

  15. 15
    debbie says:

    @Hillary Rettig:

    I think the asshole can justify his actions as being normal, while the creep knows exactly what he’s up to.

  16. 16
    Mnemosyne says:

    This book comes up in every one of these threads, but it can literally be a lifesaver, so I’ll be the first one to post it: The Gift of Fear by Gavin de Becker. It’s basically how to protect yourself by being assertive and speaking up or leaving when a situation starts to seem weird.

    And since sometimes no amount of situational awareness will protect you from being attacked, there’s also some good information about how to get through the assault and survive. One of the stories is a woman who was unable to avoid being raped by a stranger, but who realized afterwards that he was planning to kill her and managed to escape.

  17. 17
    Hillary Rettig says:

    @debbie: ((hugs)) don’t know where you’re from, but I come from NYC so it came easier.

  18. 18
    Hillary Rettig says:

    @Mnemosyne: Thank you! Had never heard of it but will definitely check it out!

  19. 19
    Hillary Rettig says:

    @smith: yer out. maybe the subject matter of the thread got you modded.

  20. 20
    Schlemazel Khan says:

    @Hillary Rettig:
    I was an awkward and socially inept kid and I know the feeling of wanting someone soooo badly and not being able to even describe how badly. I just didn’t know how to deal with that. I don’t think I ever creeped on a girl though & I know I never groped one but I can understand the desire. The difference is I was taught to respect all people so it never occurred to me I ‘should’ grab or rub against a girl. I might have liked to but I knew it would be wrong. And that right there is the difference. I have a great deal of sympathy of the socially inept guy but none at all for the groper.

  21. 21
    Hillary Rettig says:

    @debbie: i think that’s kinda sorta mebbe what I meant.

  22. 22
    debbie says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Yes, I’ve read it. Very good. Another theme in the book is to listen to your inner voice. It knows what’s going on. I just wish de Becker wasn’t a friend of Glenn Beck’s.

  23. 23
    rikyrah says:

    A young woman was killed this week on the ‘ El’ Train because she told a man she had been dating that she was finished with him and would not have children with him. He stabbed her on the spot.

  24. 24
  25. 25
    debbie says:

    @Hillary Rettig:

    I’m from Ohio. I lived in NYC for about 17 years. Since then, I’ve definitely found my voice!

  26. 26
    Emma says:

    @Mnemosyne: Yes! A friend gave me that book and I swear it’s saved me a couple of times.

  27. 27
    Hillary Rettig says:

    @rikyrah: ugh, that’s terrible. reminds me of Margaret Atwood’s saying: ” ‘Men are afraid that women will laugh at them. Women are afraid that men will kill them.'”

  28. 28
    Gemina13 says:

    Jef Rouner has written eloquently about GamerGate and the time his daughter Katy was sent home for violating the school dress code. She was wearing a sundress with spaghetti-straps. She was also five years old at the time.

    Reddit has gotten hold of the essay, and now one of the sub-reddits is having a massive fit of poutrage over it. What scares me isn’t what these jackholes think about not being creepy towards women – it’s that I know I’m only seeing the tip of the iceberg, even though it’s buried on the Internet. What exists can’t even be found on the Net because there are a lot of men who don’t admit that’s how they see women, or that there’s anything abnormal about it.

  29. 29
    Hillary Rettig says:

    @Schlemazel Khan: sorry to hear about your youthful travails, and hope things sorted themselves out over time.

  30. 30
    debbie says:

    @Hillary Rettig:

    I’m not stating it well, but the asshole will stand in front of his mirror, practicing his defense of his actions, which he thinks will make him sound rational in the face of the expected female hysteria. I’m thinking of that kid a couple of years ago who shot a few people and had that video saying the real blame for those deaths fell on the women who wouldn’t date him. You just knew he’d practiced and practiced his speech.

  31. 31
    Hillary Rettig says:

    I’m going to sign off now – I’ll check in later. I hope no one gets stuck in mod!

  32. 32
    Mnemosyne says:

    @rikyrah:

    I had heard about the stabbing, but not the reason why. How tragic.

    @Gemina13:

    I just saw a Facebook post by someone who got a die liberal c-word post from someone. She turned it around on him by pointing out that he had posts about his new baby girl on his account, and did he realize that by calling strangers the c-word, he was ensuring that future assholes were going to be calling his daughter that? Plus, of course, by calling a stranger the c-word, he was basically reducing every woman in his life — his daughter, his wife, his mother, his sisters (if any) — to that same word.

    He deleted his post.

  33. 33
    ItAintEazy says:

    @ThresherK: Oh no, I consider otakus to be the lowest in the rung in the nerd hierarchy. Monty Python fans are like soccer moms compared to those manchildren-slash-borderline pedophiles.

  34. 34
    fuckwit says:

    I learned fairly early on that being awkward makes it very likely that I’d end up sad, lonely, and unfucked.

    It took me way too long after that to realize that’s perfectly OK, and to expect otherwise was privilege and entitlement at a huge level.

    I mean, if awkward women were expected to suffer in silence with the possibility of being sad, lonely, and unfucked, what right did I have to assume that being spared a similar fate was somehow owed me? Just because penis? Huh? It’s totally unfair, in fact it’s scary. But no, Iwas trained that being a man meant being persistent and going for it and a whole bunch of stuff that, for a non-awkward person, might be OK, but for me just made me creepy.

    The shy, quiet, respectful awkward dudes were doing it right. The brash, obnoxious PUAs were doing it wrong. I wish I’d learned that as a boy.

  35. 35
    fuckwit says:

    @debbie: A creep knows he’s being creepy and doesn’t want to own it, and is trying to play the refs or otherwise play dumb and pretend he’s not. An asshole fully owns it, and loudly proclaims it as his birthright (ahem, like a certain orange opussum-headed politiian)

  36. 36
    Schlemazel Khan says:

    @Hillary Rettig:
    I was incredibly lucky, I met a socially awkward girl & we hit it off. It took us a while but the last 45 years have been wonderful, just us being awkward.

  37. 37
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    I’m trying to think if it was that book or another that came out around the same time that completely validated my decision to stop wearing high-heeled shoes. I had made that choice out of comfort considerations, but safety was certainly a factor. (And, I may say, it is one of my peeviest pettiest pet peeves in movies, where the damsel-in-distress runs down dark alleys, descends narrow stairwells, and leaps across city rooftops, all in 4-inch stilettos. Please. GMAFB.)

  38. 38
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @ThresherK: Are you Japanese? If not, then no. You’re good.

  39. 39
    Emma says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: Ah, the dumb heroine. Walking out of a perfectly safe house into the woods in a negligee and high-heeled mules… every 1960s and 70s vampire movie cliche.

  40. 40
    WaterGirl says:

    OT, but I can’t get the weather underground page to open. Could someone try it and let me know whether you are able to get to weather underground? thanks

  41. 41
    Mnemosyne says:

    @debbie:

    Not to make light of it, but one good thing about having (previously) untreated ADHD in that kind of situation was that I wasn’t able to stop myself from blurting out, “Hey, what are you doing?” even if it ended up being socially embarrassing. The one plus side to impulsivity and impaired executive brain function!

  42. 42
    ThresherK says:

    @ItAintEazy: Apparently what I read at first in one place:

    A young person who is obsessed with computers or particular aspects of popular culture to the detriment of their social skills

    and only later did I go elsewhere, to the whole Wikipedia entry

    term for people with obsessive interests, commonly the anime and manga fandom

    .

    So, the former isn’t me; I wouldn’t say I’m obsessed. And the latter isn’t me at all. Not sure which source is correct; in the famous words of XKCD, “Something is wrong on the internet.”

  43. 43
    Fair Economist says:

    @WaterGirl: Nope, I can’t get it either.

  44. 44
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Hillary Rettig: The combo is the worst. Or perhaps the combo, combined with no seeming self awareness is. It is as if these guys can’t seem to process that they have mothers and (some times) sisters and exactly how their behavior would go over with either and/or both of those. Or how they’d like it if someone did what they were doing to their mothers and/or sisters.

  45. 45
    Phylllis says:

    @WaterGirl: down for everyone or just me says it’s down…for uh, everyone.

  46. 46
    dmsilev says:

    @WaterGirl: Seems to be down for me as well.

  47. 47
    Thor Heyerdahl says:

    @WaterGirl: http://www.isitdownrightnow.co.....d.com.html

    Wunderground.com is DOWN for everyone.
    It is not just you. The server is not responding…

  48. 48
    Thor Heyerdahl says:

    Help – my comment about wunderground is moderated. FYWP

  49. 49
    Mnemosyne says:

    @SiubhanDuinne:

    And, of course, that made me think of “The X-Fles,” and specifically the episode that has Garry Shandling and Tea Leoni playing Mulder and Scully in a movie. This scene has Scully running back and forth in the background to demonstrate to Leoni how to run in heels.

    (Looking at the shoes in question, the answer mostly seems to be “low, chunky heels, not stilettos.”)

    But I was never big on wearing heels anyway because ADHD and klutziness go together like a horse and carriage, so I never got the hang of them.

  50. 50
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Emma: If the heels are made out of wood, you can take your shoe off and use it to stake the vampire. If silver, to kill a werewolf. The problem isn’t stiletto heels for the female lead, its they didn’t take it to the proper conclusion as an appropriate counter measure as a plot device.

  51. 51
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @WaterGirl: won’t open, just cycles.

  52. 52
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Not to creep you out any further, but as we saw with the Duggars, sometimes those kinds of guys do treat their own sisters that way, so it’s not so strange that they would extend that treatment to other women.

  53. 53
    a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q) says:

    @Mnemosyne: I mention that book so often elsewhere that when a relevant topic is discussed, it gets to “wait for Bella,” and someone asked if I get royalties. I’ve given many copies to women I believe needed to read it.

    He makes some problematic statements (“the first time a woman gets hit she’s a victim; the second time she’s a volunteer,” which doesn’t account for all the factors involved) but he explains a great deal about how to trust your instincts and why we need to socialize youth better.

    It’s worth everyone’s time to read (sadly, I do not receive royalties). I could go on at length about some of the excellent illustrations he makes, including an example I’d performed before I read the book. Thanks for bringing it up.

    @debbie: Glenn Beck is a client of de Becker’s security firm. I didn’t know they were friends, and take nothing Beck says as automatically true. Which doesn’t mean they aren’t of course.

  54. 54
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Thor Heyerdahl: You’re free.

  55. 55
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @WaterGirl: I haven’t been able to get Weather Underground to open all day.

    ETA: Though streaming from my weather station to WU appears to be working.

  56. 56
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Mnemosyne: I’m aware.

    ETA: It doesn’t creep me out. Just puts me somewhere between anger and sadness.

  57. 57
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Emma:

    It makes me fuckin crazy.

  58. 58
    Mnemosyne says:

    @a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q):

    Yeah, I know what he means by the statement — basically, it’s if he hits you once, it’s going to happen again — but I can see that it can come across as a little victim-blamey. There’s sometimes that fine line between being positive and motivating and coming across as a bully.

    And, honestly, I think a lot of guys would benefit by reading the book. Female-on-male physical abuse isn’t as common, but emotional abuse and stalking does happen, and a lot of his tips about assertiveness in those situations are valuable for people of all genders, IMO.

  59. 59
    Thor Heyerdahl says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Just like Denis Lemieux in Slapshot. “You do that, you go to the box, you know. Two minutes, by yourself, you know and you feel shame, you know. And then you get free.”

    Not sure about the shame part though…

  60. 60
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Thor Heyerdahl: Honestly, I’ve given up trying to figure out what triggers it any more. None of the actual explanations that anyone or everyone provides me make any sense whatsoever. Sometimes its naked links. For others is clothed links, including links from the 50s and the 60s wearing neglige and heels in the woods. For others its a specific word, which doesn’t do it at all for others. I just free them when I see them.

  61. 61
    debbie says:

    @a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q):

    Good to know that. My cousin runs a women’s self-defense program and has worked with him. I know she thinks very highly of De Becker.

  62. 62
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Thor Heyerdahl:

    “I’M LISTENING TO THE FUCKING SONG!”

    Yes, I had four older brothers that I watched movies with. How can you tell?

  63. 63
    I'mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet says:

    @fuckwit: Well said, but I think there’s a little more grey in the bins.

    I was (and kinda still am) socially awkward. I tell myself I was brainwashed with the Disney-fied version of how life was supposed to work. Hero wins the girl, guy marries high school sweetheart, the whole nine yards.

    Too many of us, I think, would have been much better off being explicitly taught that:

    0) Infatuation is a powerful drug. But it’s transient, and unhealthy. What you tell yourself about a person that you like to look at isn’t who they are. You can’t know a person by just looking at them.

    1) Stories and movies aren’t real. They present someone’s point of view – that view can be accurate or false, it can be sensible or dangerous. If your life doesn’t start out, or doesn’t end up like, a Disney story – that doesn’t mean you’re doing it wrong.

    2) Girls and women don’t exist to make boys and men feel better (and vice versa). They’re human beings with their own interests and feelings and likes and dislikes and their own lives to live.

    3) People change and grow (or don’t and get left behind). There’s nothing wrong with waiting for a serious relationship if you’re not ready. You’re not a failure if you don’t go to the prom, or if you’re not married by 25, and one always has a choice in how or whether to continue or end a relationship.

    4) Porn isn’t real – it’s illustrated fantasy. It’s not an instruction manual for how to get a sex partner in real life.

    5) People will not like you for any number of reasons. You won’t always get what you want (or what you think you want at the moment). That’s life. Accept it. You have no right to try to impose your will on someone else.

    Etc.

    Young people can be amazingly idealistic in a destructive and self-centered way, and naive, and buy into the “you have to win the girl” or “say the magic words and she’ll be your sex slave for the night and she’ll enjoy it too” or whatever, stories. Too many of my cohort internalized those messages, I think.

    I think guys pushing too hard and not recognizing the humanity of others is often a sign of lack of internalizing empathy.

    “Would you want your kid sister, or your first crush, or your mom, to be the object the things you’re doing? No? Then, why are you doing it? Stop it.”

    It’s horrible that too many women went and girls are still subjected such harassment and worse. There’s no excuse for it. But we need to teach everyone things like my numbered list from a young age (and constantly remind people of it) and not assume they’re self-evident. (Even though, of course, they should be.) There are too many cultural things that are working against the truth that girls and women are human, still, in America.

    :-(

    My $0.02.

    Cheers,
    Scott.
    (Who hopes this doesn’t sound like he’s making excuses.)

  64. 64
    a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q) says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    And, honestly, I think a lot of guys would benefit by reading the book. Female-on-male physical abuse isn’t as common, but emotional abuse and stalking does happen, and a lot of his tips about assertiveness in those situations are valuable for people of all genders, IMO.

    True, and in addition, men should read the book to learn that some of their learned and taken-for-granted behaviors are creeping – discounting no comes to mind. When a woman (or anyone) says “no thank you” (or simply “no”) that’s the end of the discussion. No explanation is required:

    No is a complete sentence

    and trying to harangue her into “yes” is creepy and bullying – and that’s before you get to intimidation attempts. The culture has taught men that they don’t have to accept “no” and that’s a problem.

    We need to socialize girls that “no” is polite, and boys to accept that answer. IOW: read the book.

  65. 65
    WaterGirl says:

    @Fair Economist: It’s not me! Thank you!

  66. 66
    WaterGirl says:

    @Thor Heyerdahl: No good deed goes unpunished!

    Thanks to everyone who checked weather underground for me!

  67. 67
    I'mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet says:

    @WaterGirl: Wunderground is back up, for me anyway.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  68. 68
    Emma says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: My best friend and I would place bets on how long it would take her to become Dracula fodder.
    @Adam L Silverman: But then she would be Mrs.Peel, and it would be a completely different movie!

  69. 69
    Tara the Antisocial Social Worker says:

    @smith:

    I don’t think we will make any headway against rape culture until the creepy guys stop believing that their behavior has the approval, however tacit, of other men.

    abso-freakin’-lutely.

  70. 70
    Mnemosyne says:

    @I’mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet:
    @a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q):

    I wasn’t sure whether to bring this up, but along those lines on a different subject, on of the articles in my ADHD magazine this month was basically arguing that parents of ADHD boys need to stop coddling them. It seems that one of the reasons girls with ADHD are underdiagnosed is that they’re basically forced to find ways to cope with it because, if they total their dad’s car or get into a fistfight at school, nobody chuckles and says, “Girls will be girls!”

    And need we explicitly tie male entitlement and this current election together, or can we all see it in the success of a certain ludicrous tangerine nutsack?

  71. 71
    ThresherK says:

    @a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q): Florence King, who passed away in January, once wrote that she refused a man’s entreaty* with “No, thank you”, and realized about ten seconds later, when he didn’t shut up, that “thank you” was exactly two words more than she should have used.

    (*I forget for what: Dinner, drinks, a phone number.)

  72. 72
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Emma: Most likely.

  73. 73

    @fuckwit: I’ll disagree, at least to some extent. Companionship and intimacy are basic human needs. Not everyone needs them to the extent that some of us do, but they’re still there. I’ve struggled mightily with depression and loneliness since my wife walked out on me a decade ago. For me, the sensation of touching someone and being touched* are essential. I need them, in a way that only being involved with someone can provide. So, I think that the universe does owe me the opportunity for it, much like I have a right to the other things essential for survival, like food and shelter.

    The distinction comes in realizing that no particular person owes you any of that. You don’t have the right to demand it or take it from anyone. If you do, you’re a creep and possibly a rapist. So stop.

    I think it’s a right, but one that’s entirely unenforceable. Which sucks.

    *On the other hand, like a lot of autistic people, I find the unintentional contact with people inherent with being in crowds distressing. A plane flight next to someone who doesn’t really fit in their seat and expands into mine is agony.

  74. 74
    Barb2 says:

    Blue nation review (dot) Com has a article comparing Trump and Hillary Clinton’s answers to the same questions taken from interviews in 1997.

    This 1997 Hillary-Donald Comparison Is It

    Trump responses sounds like a juvenile boy. An awkward kid – back when he was in the beauty pageant business. Lack of respect for women, body shaming in order to make himself superior.

    Hillary in contrast sounds like an adult talking about what she accomplished as First Lady of Arkansas.

    Trump not listening to women, not treating them as humans etc.

    The creeps who harass and threaten women have the same women as objects – as non humans that Trump has on display is considered normal. Women are objects. This lack of respect and inability to hold a ordinary conversation with the opposite sex seems to be the common theme.

    Trump hates women – he’s a role model. That’s the other common link. Role models. This behavior is learned. Violence against women is getting worse. I worry about the young women – disrespect and violence is so common that some girls and young women think this is normal behavior. The victim is often punished.

    Good subject – we need to talk more about the mis-socialized males who seem to think they are entitled to behave badly toward women. Also victim blaming.

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    WaterGirl says:

    @I’mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet: yay!

    Ever since the tree crashed on my house 3 years ago, I just keep a weather underground tab open all the time in my browser. That was very helpful that first summer when we had all the crazy winds, now it’s just habit. But I wasn’t happy when it was down for hours.

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    Matt McIrvin says:

    @I’mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet:

    Also: 6) Watching the actions of your male friends when they interact with women is not necessarily a good guide to what is OK. Even if they seem to be successful with it. And especially if it gives you “wait, everything I know is wrong?” feelings about what constitutes decent human behavior.

  77. 77
    WaterGirl says:

    @I’mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet: I was late to the thread where you talked about your dad. That’s got to be a real blow, I’m so sorry. Hoping for good things for you and your dad, even in the face of hard news.

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    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Emma:

    But then she would be Mrs.Peel, and it would be a completely different movie!

    That movie was horrible.

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    a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q) says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: But the series was delightful.

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    ThresherK says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: You’re not alone in that assessment.

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    Emma says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Ugh. I’d forgotten the movie since I never saw it. I was referencing the original series.

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    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Emma:

    I’d forgotten the movie since I never saw it

    Do your best to never see it. Seriously, claw out your eyes if necessary. It will give you an excuse until they grow back.

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    I'mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet says:

    @WaterGirl: Thanks WG. I appreciate it.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

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    I'mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet says:

    @Matt McIrvin: Indeed. “Friends” are our worst enemies sometimes…

    Cheers,
    Scott.

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    Hillary Rettig says:

    @Schlemazel Khan: wonderful!

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    LunarG says:

    @Tissue Thin Pseudonym: I think I would use the word need rather than right when talking about touch? I do empathize with your situation. Have you considered paying for theraputic massage to help meet your touch needs?

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    J R in WV says:

    @Hillary Rettig:

    This was the first thing I thought of when I saw the “headline” on your OP.

    Amazing that she was the one to say it first? or was the first to come to mind who said it?

    Whichever.

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    a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q) says:

    @Hillary Rettig: @J R in WV: In fact, Gavin de Becker quotes that in The Gift of Fear, without attribution to Atwood (IIRC “someone said”).

  90. 90
    I'mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet says:

    @Mnemosyne: Thanks for the link. An interesting article.

    And I certainly agree with you that Donnie’s and the Teabaggers’ apparent feeling of Entitlement /Rmoney needs to be crushed!!

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  91. 91
    J R in WV says:

    @WaterGirl:

    During the amazing rainfall and thunderstorms we had here Wednesday night and all day Thursday, we depended on WeatherUnderground, NOAA NWS radar for Charleston WV, and Channel 13’s 13.2 digital radar images, which they run 24/7/365 so far. Sometimes we couldn’t get web updates, we connect via a sat system, and solid water interfered with the communication to the sat.

    Sometimes we could get a TV signal, over-the-air, showing the rain bands, which were mostly just north of Charleston. We live about 20 airline miles southwest of CRW. Seeing the warnings, boxes moving with the bright red and orange radar images across our neighboring counties, was heart-wrenching.

    Our next door neighbor was teaching in the eastern part of the state Wednesday. He drove through Richwood, a small old lumber town, mostly closed up now as business has mostly ended. The water was mostly gone, but the damage, roadways peeled up, boulders washed up against trees and buildings, small shops and restaurants erased away. He was held up by mudslides, guided by troopers trying to give the best advice they could in a rapidly changing situation.

    There are lots of small towns like this. My cousin’s post office was flooded, he wondered how that sleet or storm of night was going to work out.

    WeatherUnderground is a great service, and we depend on it when weather assaults us. I’m gonna repeat this comment on the Help WV thread.

    We donate to the Salvation Army, not because of their “Salvation”, but because they help everyone in a disaster zone, whether it’s a blanket, fresh water or coffee, lights for workers trying to deal with tragedy, whatever.

  92. 92
    Jay says:

    I think someone needs to go back and re-watch those 80’s teen flicks. While I’ve never seen Valley Girl, Duckie and Dobler were probably the nicest guys out there. To see those 2 as creeps pretty much perpetuates rape culture from another angle.

    Most of those movies had excellent examples of real a’holes front and center. Duckie and Dobler were persistent but they were respectful. Nearly all of those movies made the point that one needed to look beyond the labels (Cue final scene of The Breakfast Club). Most of the plots have both male and female characters who are simply trying to get someone else to do that. Remember Duckie gets a girl in the end, one that was most certainly out there the whole time he only had eyes for Andie.

    I was a pre-personal computer/video game “smart-kid” marching band geek, went thru a couple of obsessive phases and yet still ended up in my share of intimate relationships where “No” meant “No”. Your teens and twenties are incredibly confusing and so much can influence you but the rape culture indoctrination starts much earlier and needs to be addressed much earlier. Not with charging kindergarteners with sexual assault but with teaching them that that’s not acceptable.

  93. 93
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Jay:

    I haven’t re-watched “Pretty in Pink” (because I’m one of those weird 80s kids who didn’t really like John Hughes movies), but I think the reason “Say Anything …” gets a bad rap is that people aren’t paying attention to the plot.

    Yes, after Diane breaks up with him, Lloyd leaves 7 voice messages and plays the song outside her window. When she doesn’t respond, he calls one more time and then leaves her alone. He accepts her decision and stops calling. They only get back together because she seeks him out on his territory after her father gets arrested.

    Somehow, a bunch of young idiots watched the movie and missed the entire part where he accepts her decision. I’m not sure how, because there’s, like, a ten-minute sequence about her realizing that her dad is embezzling money, but somehow a bunch of morons went, “Cool, he called her a bunch of times and played their song for her and then she came back, so what I need to do is keep harassing the girl I like until she gives in.”

    IOW, the problem is with our culture and what guys read into the film and not what’s actually IN the film.

  94. 94
    Tom says:

    @Schlemazel Khan: I’m not too practiced socially myself, but once I’m comfortable in a setting, I’m told I’m quite charming.

    That being said, I fell in love with my now-wife the night I met her but it still took me six months to ask her out. We had a common activity (cooking classes) and I used that time to get to know her and figure out whether she was married/dating/seeing someone.

    As an epilogue, I proposed to her five times (she never said no the first four), so when she finally agreed I almost missed it. (Just to be clear, we were living and sleeping together at the time since she told me she wouldn’t consider marrying a man she hadn’t lived with first.)

    (Her first husband [high school sweetheart] turned out to be a womanizing creep.)

    (I tell people that she was married before and that I’m her ‘trophy husband’. It helps that I’m six years younger than her but she looks fifteen years younger than me.)

    I grew up with smart, strong females (mother plus two sisters) who weren’t afraid to speak their minds, so maybe that’s the difference.

  95. 95
    Jay Noble says:

    @Mnemosyne: Exactly my point – for whatever reason the quoted author missed the message. And reinforced the “creepy odd guy” myth. Forget the movies but look at what these guys see everyday in real life – the jock, the rich kid and the bad boy get the girl regardless of how they treat them.

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    Ruviana says:

    @a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q): Dead thread, but I have to say, I think about that book EVERY TIME I bring my groceries into the house!

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    waspuppet says:

    I think it was Amanda Marcotte who wrote that creeps who claim to be “awkward around women” somehow never, for example, see a guy wearing a shirt they like and start trying to pull it off them and take it for themselves. For some (not at all) inexplicable reason, nonverbal cues, boundaries and body language come through loud and clear when other men are involved.

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