Thread: What are we going to do about men in politics? Board: Purgatory / Ship of Fools.


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Posted by Adeodatus (# 4992) on :
 
In the last 24 hours or so in British politics
- a cabinet minister has had to apologise for trivialising sexual assault on national radio
- a member of the House of Lords has somehow escaped censure for egging-on said cabinet minister’s “joke”
- an MP is in the news for allegedly “sexting” a 19-year-old woman who applied for a job
- another minister has confessed to at least some of the allegations against him, which include calling his secretary “sugar tits” and sending her to buy sex toys for him.

I may have missed some of what’s going on.

So, what are we going to do about men in politics? Already, the “not all men are like that” apologists are out in force, but doesn’t there come a point where you start to think that in far too many cases, there are those whose political ambitions and philosophy begins and ends in their trousers? It seems to me that the Augean stables have got nothing on this lot - but who’s going to muck-out our politics? And how?
 
Posted by Boogie (# 13538) on :
 
Why just politics?

They are everywhere, these men. They just need calling out on their behaviour by everyone who witnesses it. Then we will begin to get somewhere.

Make it socially unacceptable, don’t shuffle your feet or snigger or turn away. Confront it. Be brave.

I found this very easy to do with racism wherever I met it. With sexism - whether in words or harassment or assault - not so easy.
 
Posted by sabine (# 3861) on :
 
People in power have many, many opportunities to abuse that power. Men have (mostly) been in power for most of history. I'm wondering if we aren't seeing the messy crumbling of traditional power structures.

This assessment of mine doesn't actually answer the question "what over do." I guess my answer would be keep calling out abuse of power whenever and wherever.

sabine
 
Posted by Ricardus (# 8757) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Boogie:
Why just politics?

I think the power imbalance is probably worse in politics than in most jobs.

If you believe in your party's cause, then you can't just vote with your feet and work for a different party, and you'll probably feel under pressure to keep quiet so as not to damage whatever cause the party is fighting for.
 
Posted by wild haggis (# 15555) on :
 
Let's face it, it's men who think they have power over women to do and say what they want with immunity. Sadly, most other men allow them to.

When mixed with the power of politics or the media, it becomes worse.

I think it needs to be taken seriously when a woman complains and not just brushed under the carpet and sniggered at by men around.

Maybe we women should give men a taste of their own medicine and start passing personal comments about them - especially their sexy (or lack of) bits! See how they like it!

So come on ladies, let's give the bullies a taste of their own medicine - maybe a good well aimed kick in the crouch? What about an old fashioned hat pin!!!!!!!!!

Better not, we will only get get done for assault. Sadly it's not equality when it comes to us! Why aren't men done for assault when they have a good pinch of a women's butt?

Men the problem is you.
So do something about it.
 
Posted by Doc Tor (# 9748) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by wild haggis:
Maybe we women should give men a taste of their own medicine and start passing personal comments about them - especially their sexy (or lack of) bits! See how they like it!

So your answer to sexual harassment at work is to increase it, rather than end it? Become the problem rather than seek a solution?

That'll work. Brilliant idea. (Except that female-on-male harassment in female-majority workspaces is rife, and you can draw your own conclusions as to how effective your suggestion is.)
 
Posted by mousethief (# 953) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by wild haggis:
Men the problem is you.
So do something about it.

We're too busy feeling butt-hurt that women are mad at us. As witness:

quote:
Originally posted by Doc Tor:
quote:
Originally posted by wild haggis:
Maybe we women should give men a taste of their own medicine and start passing personal comments about them - especially their sexy (or lack of) bits! See how they like it!

So your answer to sexual harassment at work is to increase it, rather than end it? Become the problem rather than seek a solution?

That'll work. Brilliant idea. (Except that female-on-male harassment in female-majority workspaces is rife, and you can draw your own conclusions as to how effective your suggestion is.)

Did you miss the part where she walks this back? Talk about fragility.
 
Posted by Ohher (# 18607) on :
 
Before men are men, they are boys. We need a thoughtful look at how we bring men up, the role models we supply them with, and the fact that, developmentally, boys tend to be raised by women and seem to spend a good deal of psychic energy on differentiating themselves from femininity as they individuate.

[ 29. October 2017, 14:44: Message edited by: Ohher ]
 
Posted by Doc Tor (# 9748) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
Did you miss the part where she walks this back? Talk about fragility.

Or previous victim.

I didn't find the suggestion amusing, that's all. Perhaps I should have learned to laugh it off?
 
Posted by quetzalcoatl (# 16740) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Ohher:
Before men are men, they are boys. We need a thoughtful look at how we bring men up, the role models we supply them with, and the fact that, developmentally, boys tend to be raised by women and seem to spend a good deal of psychic energy on differentiating themselves from femininity as they individuate.

Interesting stuff. I have come across a ton of this stuff, partly in psychoanalysis, and also in wilder fringe elements. I honestly don't know how much credence to give it - that boys are struggling to become not-female.

One of the big shocks which Freud received was when female analysts (Karen Horney, and so on), began to report male envy of women's bodies, breast envy, and so on. I think Freud just blanked it out, but we are still wrestling with it. Thus, the female body becomes enviable and also greatly feared by some boys - but so what? What do we do now?
 
Posted by mousethief (# 953) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Doc Tor:
quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
Did you miss the part where she walks this back? Talk about fragility.

Or previous victim.
You mean you sexually harrassed a woman and she fought back? And you seek sympathy?
 
Posted by Doc Tor (# 9748) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
quote:
Originally posted by Doc Tor:
quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
Did you miss the part where she walks this back? Talk about fragility.

Or previous victim.
You mean you sexually harrassed a woman and she fought back? And you seek sympathy?
[Roll Eyes]

I mean, yes, that's exactly the opposite of what I mean.
 
Posted by quetzalcoatl (# 16740) on :
 
I thought Doc Tor was referring to women sexually harassing men? It happened to me a lot, and of course, you laugh it off. I don't know how this connects with the reverse abuse, or how to deal with it, I suppose by a general campaign against abuse and harassment.
 
Posted by mousethief (# 953) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Doc Tor:
quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
quote:
Originally posted by Doc Tor:
quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
Did you miss the part where she walks this back? Talk about fragility.

Or previous victim.
You mean you sexually harrassed a woman and she fought back? And you seek sympathy?
[Roll Eyes]

I mean, yes, that's exactly the opposite of what I mean.

Now your answers have gone straight to cryptic bordering on passive aggressive. Getting harder and harder to work up any sympathy.
 
Posted by Doc Tor (# 9748) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by quetzalcoatl:
I thought Doc Tor was referring to women sexually harassing men? It happened to me a lot, and of course, you laugh it off. I don't know how this connects with the reverse abuse, or how to deal with it, I suppose by a general campaign against abuse and harassment.

This, for the hard of thinking.

I make damn sure that in all my professional dealings that they stay professional. Are there times when I could exploit my position (such that it is). Yes? Have I ever done it? No. Why? Because I'm not a dick, and neither do I think with one. I also trust I've communicated those ethics to my son.

Ohher is right. It starts at home - it doesn't stop there, for sure, but that's where it starts.
 
Posted by lilBuddha (# 14333) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by quetzalcoatl:

One of the big shocks which Freud received was when female analysts (Karen Horney, and so on), began to report male envy of women's bodies, breast envy, and so on. I think Freud just blanked it out, but we are still wrestling with it. Thus, the female body becomes enviable and also greatly feared by some boys - but so what? What do we do now?

Pretty much thought that Horney rejected the general concept, with exceptions. Positing instead that it was the power, not the part, that was envied.
There will always be abuse, but refusing to accept it as part of the environment is the first step in reducing it.
Ironically perhaps, though power is a component, females harassing males in the workplace is a child of sexism.

[ 29. October 2017, 15:40: Message edited by: lilBuddha ]
 
Posted by LutheranChik (# 9826) on :
 
One ominous reaction to the current calling out of lecherous males is that some men are retaliating by refusing to interact one on one with women in the workplace. Our Vice-President, for instance, refuses to meet with women alone. My fear is that this kind of thing is going to set back women's economic and political equity by decades. There's a reactionary rump in our armed forces ( supported by Pence) that wants to limit women's roles in the military to the way things wete in the 40's or 50's.
 
Posted by quetzalcoatl (# 16740) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
quote:
Originally posted by quetzalcoatl:

One of the big shocks which Freud received was when female analysts (Karen Horney, and so on), began to report male envy of women's bodies, breast envy, and so on. I think Freud just blanked it out, but we are still wrestling with it. Thus, the female body becomes enviable and also greatly feared by some boys - but so what? What do we do now?

Pretty much thought that Horney rejected the general concept, with exceptions. Positing instead that it was the power, not the part, that was envied.
There will always be abuse, but refusing to accept it as part of the environment is the first step in reducing it.
Ironically perhaps, though power is a component, females harassing males in the workplace is a child of sexism.

Yes, she criticized the idea of penis envy as it left out the point about male power, which is not just about penises.

But her notion of womb envy (later extended to breast envy), is also about power, I think.

But I think the idea that some men greatly envy, fear and hate women is accurate. And you can connect this with being raised by a woman in some cases, but then it is all so complex.

But I think Freud could not conceive of how a male could envy a woman, well, maybe that is a bit unjust.

[ 29. October 2017, 16:04: Message edited by: quetzalcoatl ]
 
Posted by keibat (# 5287) on :
 
quwtzalcoatl wroe:
quote:
I thought Doc Tor was referring to women sexually harassing men? It happened to me a lot, and of course, you laugh it off. I don't know how this connects with the reverse abuse,
BUT it's much easier to 'laugh abuse off' if you are in the default-dominant/empowered status, which adult men are (even or perhaps especially in women-majority contexts). Massively easier. One of the points that's emerging fom the current surge of revelations in the entertainment industry and in professional politics is that women (and children) keep quiet because they do not feel they have the 'clout' – perceived authority – to be heard.
 
Posted by Brenda Clough (# 18061) on :
 
These are free clicks:

A case could be made that men are not emotionally suited to be in the workplace. Tongue in cheek? You be the judge.

A call for men to act. Because by now there is massive and overwhelming proof that this is not women imagining things, not malicious female fakery, not our being unable to take a joke har har. You can no longer be a decent man and not help on this. If you don't, we know who you're with.

I can't find the article now, which argued that this change in women's attitude is a result of the election. But this week is the one-year anniversary of the famous 'grab her by the pussy' tape. That moment, IMO, was the beginning. And the election of the creep who said it shows that something has to be done.
 
Posted by Ohher (# 18607) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by LutheranChik:
One ominous reaction to the current calling out of lecherous males is that some men are retaliating by refusing to interact one on one with women in the workplace.

I agree this is, if a trend, an ominous reaction. It is also faulty logic. Our workplace categories now include not only women and men, but also straights and gays and bi and trans, etc. So segregating the sexes protects no one from anything.
 
Posted by Doc Tor (# 9748) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by keibat:
quwtzalcoatl wroe:
quote:
I thought Doc Tor was referring to women sexually harassing men? It happened to me a lot, and of course, you laugh it off. I don't know how this connects with the reverse abuse,
BUT it's much easier to 'laugh abuse off' if you are in the default-dominant/empowered status, which adult men are (even or perhaps especially in women-majority contexts). Massively easier.
This is barely one step away from "they enjoy it really". Perhaps some men do. Men in general, not so much. A bit like, oh, I don't know, women.

I'd like to think that it's a relatively straight forward idea, that when talking to a work colleague, you talk to them about work, and you keep your hands to yourself. Unfortunately, experience has proved me, and almost everyone else, wrong.

I'm now in a position where I don't have to leave the house for around 50 weeks of the year. Which is a good thing, because most people just suck at being decent and I don't have to interact with them.
 
Posted by Brenda Clough (# 18061) on :
 
This is from the POST, a conscientious and clearly decent man looking back on his job with an abusive boss. Abusive of women, and also the male underlings who didn't take care to get onto his good side. And so the writer (young and new in his career) said nothing.
 
Posted by quetzalcoatl (# 16740) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by keibat:
quwtzalcoatl wroe:
quote:
I thought Doc Tor was referring to women sexually harassing men? It happened to me a lot, and of course, you laugh it off. I don't know how this connects with the reverse abuse,
BUT it's much easier to 'laugh abuse off' if you are in the default-dominant/empowered status, which adult men are (even or perhaps especially in women-majority contexts). Massively easier. One of the points that's emerging fom the current surge of revelations in the entertainment industry and in professional politics is that women (and children) keep quiet because they do not feel they have the 'clout' – perceived authority – to be heard.
I'm curious how you know it's massively easier. I can't say that I thought that I had the clout to complain about women harassing me. Laughter is a way of being complicit.
 
Posted by Ohher (# 18607) on :
 
Recently, a male colleague left, virtually unremarked, the junior college where I teach. I happened to be the last co-worker he'd see before departing.

We exchanged emails, remarks, memories for a few minutes, and then came the momentary postural hesitation, and then he said, "May I hug you?"

It was simple, decent, appropriate -- I've known this guy for more than a quarter of a century -- and brief.

It was also the first time I could recall any male co-worker ever asking permission before swooping in for the expected embrace in rare moments of farewell, celebration, etc.
 
Posted by Ricardus (# 8757) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by keibat:
BUT it's much easier to 'laugh abuse off' if you are in the default-dominant/empowered status, which adult men are (even or perhaps especially in women-majority contexts). Massively easier. One of the points that's emerging fom the current surge of revelations in the entertainment industry and in professional politics is that women (and children) keep quiet because they do not feel they have the 'clout' – perceived authority – to be heard.

But it's only on average that men are dominant. It doesn't follow that men are dominant whenever harassment of any kind is present.

It does seem to me that male-on-female harassment is more common than the other way round, but it's not clear to me whether this is because

a.) Men want to harass women more than women want to harass men; or
b.) Men have more power and so are more likely to get away with it.

If (a) is true, then the solution is a combination of men's education and female empowerment.

If (b) is true, then female empowerment won't necessarily solve the issue; it'll just put more women in a position where they can harass men. So harassment may end up more equitably distributed between the sexes but the overall level of harassment won't actually go down.
 
Posted by Pigwidgeon (# 10192) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Ohher:
It was also the first time I could recall any male co-worker ever asking permission before swooping in for the expected embrace in rare moments of farewell, celebration, etc.

I had that happen a number of years ago. Mr. Drop-Dead-Gorgeous had accepted another job, and when he was leaving he asked me -- since we were no longer co-workers -- if he could give me a hug. You betcha! [Yipee]

He was a really nice guy, which surprised me when he came to work for us. I have my own stereotypes and assumed anyone that attractive would think he was God's gift to women.

(He was also much younger than me and had a serious girlfriend... oh well!)
 
Posted by Golden Key (# 1468) on :
 
Doc Tor--

I'm sorry for your bad experience.
 
Posted by Golden Key (# 1468) on :
 
Even former president George H. W. Bush has sexually harassed women. A couple of them came forward, recently. He reportedly touched their backsides, making a joke of "Who's my favorite magician? David Cop-a-feel." (Copperfield)
[Mad]

A statement was put out to the effect of "he sometimes does things playfully, but apologizes for any distress he may have caused".

I don't know if he still does this. I think he's in his 90s, but that doesn't mean he's stopped. He seems to do it when a woman is standing next to him, as when having a picture taken.
 
Posted by Doc Tor (# 9748) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Ricardus:
It does seem to me that male-on-female harassment is more common than the other way round, but it's not clear to me whether this is because

a.) Men want to harass women more than women want to harass men; or
b.) Men have more power and so are more likely to get away with it.

If (a) is true, then the solution is a combination of men's education and female empowerment.

If (b) is true, then female empowerment won't necessarily solve the issue; it'll just put more women in a position where they can harass men. So harassment may end up more equitably distributed between the sexes but the overall level of harassment won't actually go down.

I think it's (b). If you look at the rates of domestic violence, there's been a gradual upswing of female on male/female violence until they are (at least in some studies) equal. This is not to say that male on male/female DV doesn't usually have more serious consequences, because it does.

It certainly doesn't excuse anything. Men exploiting their positions of economic power to harass, demean and extract sexual favours from other women/men is vile, and it's right, given the societal dynamic we have today, that we focus on that. But we all, men and women, need to be alive to the temptations that come with power. This can't be seen as a 'men only' problem. Because it's not.
 
Posted by Erroneous Monk (# 10858) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Doc Tor:
But we all, men and women, need to be alive to the temptations that come with power. This can't be seen as a 'men only' problem. Because it's not.

Slight tangent, but if you've done it, is there any way to redeem yourself other than apologising and never doing it again for the rest of your life?
 
Posted by Doc Tor (# 9748) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Erroneous Monk:
quote:
Originally posted by Doc Tor:
But we all, men and women, need to be alive to the temptations that come with power. This can't be seen as a 'men only' problem. Because it's not.

Slight tangent, but if you've done it, is there any way to redeem yourself other than apologising and never doing it again for the rest of your life?
I don't know about redemption. But the start of that would be repentance, a turning-away. Is that enough? Restitution is also part of it. Apologies, for certain, but it's up to the wronged parties to accept or not. Giving up the power or the position that enabled you? That too might well be necessary.

Redemption indicates a measure of restitution as well as repentance. Sorry may well be the hardest word, but how the person's life changes from then on is an ongoing indication of heart. If someone who's previously abused their position just carries on in their position, minus the abuse, is that redemption?
 
Posted by lilBuddha (# 14333) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Doc Tor:
If you look at the rates of domestic violence, there's been a gradual upswing of female on male/female violence

Definitely
quote:

until they are (at least in some studies) equal.

This I don’t buy. Culturally men are dominant and this affects behaviour strongly. The studies that suggest parity are in the minority.
quote:

But we all, men and women, need to be alive to the temptations that come with power. This can't be seen as a 'men only' problem. Because it's not.

No, it isn’t a men only problem just as racism isn’t a white only problem. The problems with the presentation of either are similar. One group having had that power for so long has caused an imbalance that cannot be ignored or the imbalance will never be redressed.
 
Posted by Brenda Clough (# 18061) on :
 
And it is sadly notable (I've noticed it more than once on these boards) that if someone posts about men abusing women, immediately someone will pop up with, "But what about women abusing men?"

It whiffs of the insistence in the US among some Christians that the Christian church is being persecuted. That the culture is overwhelmingly Christian (are the Xmas decorations up at your store yet? They are in mine) and that the faith is the sweeping majority in the population is somehow not relevant.

If the discussion is about Weinsteinian abuses then it's not very helpful and verges upon sealioning.
 
Posted by L'organist (# 17338) on :
 
There is something deeply troubling that the people who argue (IMV correctly) that DT's behaviour as a sex-pest made him unfit to be POTUS are then silent about the husband of the other candidate.

And while it is right to try to offer help to those who are being (or have been) preyed upon, what about the women in power - Harriet Harman, Diane Abbott, Edwina Currie, etc, etc, etc - who must have known about some of these things and yet have kept silent? Don't try to tell me that Ms Abbott or Ms Currie were likely to be frightened off speaking out for any reason other than they placed their own career advancement above decent behaviour by their (male) colleagues towards researchers, journalists and secretaries in and around the HoP.
 
Posted by MarsmanTJ (# 8689) on :
 
It's going to be interesting. Theresa May literally cannot fire more than one of her MPs, or risks losing her majority in the House of Commons. According to The Independent, which is fairly anti-Tory biased, there's a lot of them that probably should be...
 
Posted by Sioni Sais (# 5713) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by L'organist:
There is something deeply troubling that the people who argue (IMV correctly) that DT's behaviour as a sex-pest made him unfit to be POTUS are then silent about the husband of the other candidate.

I'd suggest that Bill Clinton at least knew that what he was doing was wrong. Trump appears to take a "Good Ol' Boy" pride in his antics.
 
Posted by Doc Tor (# 9748) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Brenda Clough:
And it is sadly notable (I've noticed it more than once on these boards) that if someone posts about men abusing women, immediately someone will pop up with, "But what about women abusing men?"

It might be sadly notable, but there is an awful lot of people for whom the problem is simply abuse. We can work together, or you can ignore half the issue.

Men who've been abused by other men or by women, and women who've been abused by women, in the workplace and in the home, deserve to be part of the conversation. Unless you think otherwise, of course.
 
Posted by quetzalcoatl (# 16740) on :
 
I have such a sense of hurt and outrage, that I tend to speak out about being abused. I suppose we could all exist in separate compartments, and only speak to identikits.
 
Posted by lilBuddha (# 14333) on :
 
[brick wall] [brick wall] [brick wall]
quote:
Originally posted by Doc Tor:
It might be sadly notable, but there is an awful lot of people for whom the problem is simply abuse. We can work together, or you can ignore half the issue.

Men who've been abused by other men or by women, and women who've been abused by women, in the workplace and in the home, deserve to be part of the conversation. Unless you think otherwise, of course.

It is not simply abuse. If you decide to punch me, for no reason, then it is simply abuse. However, if you punch me because you think power gives you permission, then understanding why you think this is true is important. Especially if society gives explicit or implicit approval of that power dynamic.
(Spoiler alert: it does!)
It is not half the problem for several reasons.
One is that half the victims are not men. Even were your domestic studies valid, workplace abuse is massively imbalanced.¹
Another that abuse of men by women is within the framework that men created.²

Simply attributing it to power ignores the cockeyed system we have and will perpetuate it.


¹Not that balancing the abuse is the goal.
²Less completely so in the home or in every individual case in work or public, but still generally.

[ 30. October 2017, 14:42: Message edited by: lilBuddha ]
 
Posted by ExclamationMark (# 14715) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by MarsmanTJ:
It's going to be interesting. Theresa May literally cannot fire more than one of her MPs, or risks losing her majority in the House of Commons. According to The Independent, which is fairly anti-Tory biased, there's a lot of them that probably should be...

He can be fired from a position but not as an MP. That is down to his constituents.
 
Posted by ExclamationMark (# 14715) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Doc Tor:
quote:
Originally posted by Brenda Clough:
And it is sadly notable (I've noticed it more than once on these boards) that if someone posts about men abusing women, immediately someone will pop up with, "But what about women abusing men?"

It might be sadly notable, but there is an awful lot of people for whom the problem is simply abuse. We can work together, or you can ignore half the issue.

Men who've been abused by other men or by women, and women who've been abused by women, in the workplace and in the home, deserve to be part of the conversation. Unless you think otherwise, of course.

Nurses of a certain vintage (like Mrs M) will have very painful stories of institutional and positional abuse from senior female staff. Bullying was a way of life and various Sisters told Mrs M that it was their intention to make her cry.

Their voice needs to be heard as does the voice of men subjected to innuendo and verbal abuse in an otherwise all female work force.
 
Posted by quetzalcoatl (# 16740) on :
 
I don't know, I can see why women want to talk about abuse in a place just for them. Of course they do.

I suppose on a forum like this, you could have a sub-heading on some threads - only for women, and so on.
 
Posted by Doc Tor (# 9748) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
It is not simply abuse. If you decide to punch me, for no reason, then it is simply abuse. However, if you punch me because you think power gives you permission, then understanding why you think this is true is important. Especially if society gives explicit or implicit approval of that power dynamic.
(Spoiler alert: it does!)

I'm not disagreeing with you. I'm saying, it's the power dynamic that gives the impression of permission to abuse freely. And so are you.

Except when you say it, you don't seem to think it applies to women in positions of power.

I'm also not disagreeing with you that it's mainly men in positions of power. But I am also saying, and you appear to be denying, that subordinate men also suffer abuse under that system.
 
Posted by quetzalcoatl (# 16740) on :
 
It depends whether you ascribe abuse to power relations, of a hierarchical kind, or to gender itself. Of course, gender intersects with power relations, via patriarchy.

But there is an essentialist view that the male is intrinsically violent and abusive, and this is not just because of a social role.

And against that, there is the view that men are socialized to be violent, since society needs that.

I did think that essentialism was less common today, but I'm not sure.
 
Posted by no prophet's flag is set so... (# 15560) on :
 
Is there an aspect missing in the discussion of these issues, which is that, for humans, sexuality is part of every interaction with others humans? We're either aware of it or not. The problem is partly people, men, not following the rules for civilized behaviour they know they should, but more importantly the lack of internalized controls borne of empathy and proper understanding of the effects of not doing so.
 
Posted by lilBuddha (# 14333) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Doc Tor:

Except when you say it, you don't seem to think it applies to women in positions of power.

Incorrect.
quote:

I'm also not disagreeing with you that it's mainly men in positions of power. But I am also saying, and you appear to be denying, that subordinate men also suffer abuse under that system.

Not even close.
I am saying that subordinate men suffer abuse because of the system men set up. Fixing the problem requires addressing the general power imbalance as well as not accepting individual cases of abuse.
 
Posted by Ricardus (# 8757) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Brenda Clough:
And it is sadly notable (I've noticed it more than once on these boards) that if someone posts about men abusing women, immediately someone will pop up with, "But what about women abusing men?"

Yes, it's quite hard to say 'What about women abusing men?' without, well, whatabouttery.

But the OP isn't asking 'Is harassment a bad thing?' (duh) but 'What should be done about it?' And the answer to that question will depend on whether you think men harass women more because they're intrinsically nastier, or because they get more opportunities.

Maybe men are less empathetic than women, so the threshold at which we stop caring that someone might not want to see a picture of our genitalia is lower. How you answer that question will affect what you think the solution is, and it's hard to answer it without considering the case of women-on-men abuse.
 
Posted by Leorning Cniht (# 17564) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Ohher:
I agree this is, if a trend, an ominous reaction. It is also faulty logic. Our workplace categories now include not only women and men, but also straights and gays and bi and trans, etc. So segregating the sexes protects no one from anything.

The men who do this are publicly known to be straight (generally, they would have rather strong religious objections to anything else), so they consider themselves "at risk" - either to being overcome with lust, misunderstood, have false allegations made against them or whatever - when in the company of a woman, but not when with a man.
 
Posted by Barnabas62 (# 9110) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:

I am saying that subordinate men suffer abuse because of the system men set up.

The ancestor of heirarchical systems is surely pecking order instinct. Which we see enforced in communal animals by both makes and females.

I think the system was set up (if that is the right term) by evolutionary processes, which is why heirarchical controls can be found in most human cultures.

This doesn't deny the impact of male dominance, of course. But I don't believe either men or women are free from pecking order instinctive influences. They go with the grain of our evolutionary inheritance. Which is not to say we shouldn't try to remove the baleful consequences, create fairer structures. We just need to recognise what we're up against in seeking reform.
 
Posted by lilBuddha (# 14333) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Ricardus:

Maybe men are less empathetic than women, so the threshold at which we stop caring that someone might not want to see a picture of our genitalia is lower. How you answer that question will affect what you think the solution is,

It is impossible to answer without changing the way society views women and power.

quote:

and it's hard to answer it without considering the case of women-on-men abuse.

Again, a lot of this is within the framework that women are complaining about. Solve the real problem and it solves for everyone.
 
Posted by Ricardus (# 8757) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
It is impossible to answer without changing the way society views women and power.

OK, so let's do that.

quote:
Again, a lot of this is within the framework that women are complaining about. Solve the real problem and it solves for everyone.

Not really sure what you're getting at.

ISTM that one reason why harassment is rife in Westminster is the enormous power differential between MPs and their aides. So reducing the power differential would reduce harassment for both men and women.

The power differential was created by men. But even if it was created by women, we would still need to reduce it.
 
Posted by lilBuddha (# 14333) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Ricardus:
quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
It is impossible to answer without changing the way society views women and power.

OK, so let's do that.
Join the feminist movement. We've been working on this for a while.
quote:

Not really sure what you're getting at.


What I am getting at is that not only do abuses need to be addressed and stop being tolerated, but the power imbalance between men and women needs to end. Women need truly equal access to jobs and power.

It is akin to racism; just aiming to stop further occurrence doesn't fix all the harm done nor does it set a path for true equality.
 
Posted by Ohher (# 18607) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Leorning Cniht:
quote:
Originally posted by Ohher:
I agree this is, if a trend, an ominous reaction. It is also faulty logic. Our workplace categories now include not only women and men, but also straights and gays and bi and trans, etc. So segregating the sexes protects no one from anything.

The men who do this are publicly known to be straight (generally, they would have rather strong religious objections to anything else), so they consider themselves "at risk" - either to being overcome with lust, misunderstood, have false allegations made against them or whatever - when in the company of a woman, but not when with a man.
I grasp the so-called thought process (if we want to call it that), Leorning Cniht. I am simply pointing out that it's flawed.

The 'publicly known' sexual preferences of any given individual are not always perfectly congruent with private realities.

False accusations, AFAIK, are fairly rare. Such rare instances could as readily come from a male subordinate as a female one. The contemporary workplace is, if sufficiently populous, likely to contain individuals 'publicly known' to be bi, gay, or straight.

That's the logical failure. Women are not necessarily safer alone with other women. Men are not necessarily safer alone with other men. Men who basically mistrust women simply prefer to imagine they are. It's bullshit.
 
Posted by Ricardus (# 8757) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
Women need truly equal access to jobs and power.

But I don't think anyone has actually denied that.

The point that I am getting at, though, is that if you have a situation where men and women both have equal access to high-powered roles (such as MPs), but there is still a huge power imbalance between managers and staff, then it's not clear that you wouldn't just be creating more opportunities for female-on-male harassment.

IOW, I absolutely agree we need to address the power imbalance between men and women, but we also need to address power imbalances more generally in the workplace.
 
Posted by Golden Key (# 1468) on :
 
Ricardus--

quote:
Originally posted by Ricardus:
The point that I am getting at, though, is that if you have a situation where men and women both have equal access to high-powered roles (such as MPs)...

Do they?

Dunno about the UK. But the US Congress is still mostly men. And, AIUI, there are relatively few female CEOs here.
 
Posted by Leorning Cniht (# 17564) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Ohher:
The contemporary workplace is, if sufficiently populous, likely to contain individuals 'publicly known' to be bi, gay, or straight.

That's the logical failure.

I think you have a logical failure - you are transferring statistical properties of a group of people to an individual member of that group.

Consider a man who refuses to be alone with women. Let's call him Mike.

Mike knows that Mike is straight. Mike knows that everyone believes Mike to be straight. The consequence of this is that Mike knows that the public will see him working late with a male aide as nothing more than a politician hard at work. Mike also knows that he will not be enticed to stray with the young man from his office, because he knows he's not gay.

On the other hand, Mike knows that if he is frequently seen "working late" with a young woman, tongues are going to wag. He also knows that there is a chance that he will entertain impure thoughts about the young woman if he spends significant time alone with her.

It's not the young man or young woman's sexuality that's relevant, it's Mike's. And we assume that Mike knows that.
 
Posted by saysay (# 6645) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Ohher:
quote:
Originally posted by LutheranChik:
One ominous reaction to the current calling out of lecherous males is that some men are retaliating by refusing to interact one on one with women in the workplace.

I agree this is, if a trend, an ominous reaction. It is also faulty logic. Our workplace categories now include not only women and men, but also straights and gays and bi and trans, etc. So segregating the sexes protects no one from anything.
I'm not convinced that this is retaliation so much as people adopting rules they think they probably should have adopted long ago. It's also not a completely new trend - it's been happening on college campuses for at least a decade. Along with the redefinition of sexual harassment and sexual assault to include "lesser" or different offenses came an increase in penalties for people accused of so much as saying something mildly inappropriate to a student. I posted an article in the Trigger Warning thread that I believe covers some of the Title IX absurdities that have arisen of late (I can post more, but it seems a bit off topic). I know a lot of male professors who stopped having one on one meetings with female students (even with the door open, and people walking by, as they used to do back in my day) a long time ago. Still others stopped having one on one meetings with any students. I think it's a shame, because I had some good conversations with professors that I likely wouldn't have had with another student in the room, and I think the open door provided enough protection, but it's not an unreasonable reaction to the current environment. (I also knew female professors who absolutely would not have closed door meeting with certain male students, even though the male students seemed to expect them and they might have done otherwise if the students had been female).

As to whether or not it's an ominous reaction to the current trend of calling out harassers: how many of Weinstein's victims mentioned being asked to meet with him and being initially wary but reassured that there was a woman with them, who left before the harassment began? While I know it's possible to harass someone in full view of others (there have been multiple cases of this that have been in the news recently, from Taylor Swift being grabbed by a DJ to George HW Bush grabbing women during photos), and that some predators are unlikely to be stopped by any measures, are there enough allegations where the harassment seems like an opportunity crime to make such precautions reasonable?

quote:
False accusations, AFAIK, are fairly rare. Such rare instances could as readily come from a male subordinate as a female one.
No one knows how many false accusations there are. I'm not sure there's even any good data on how many sexual harassment allegations of any kind there are, as even if they are reported to a company (which appears to be rare), they are unlikely to be reported to anyone else. Here's a piece discussing some of the flaws with the oft-repeated truism that there are very few false rape accusations. While it's not the exact same topic, I imagine many of the same issues would arise in any analysis of sexual harassment accusations.

As to whether or not such rare false accusations could as easily come from a male subordinate as a female one - I'm not sure of that. I agree that may very well be true if the superior is either gay or of the opposite sex, but since I'm fairly certain most sexual harassment occurs between people who might otherwise be appropriate romantic or sexual partners (if they lacked the power relationship), my guess is that any sort of accusation (true or false) is less likely to come from a heterosexual same sex subordinate than it is to come from one of the opposite sex. But as far as I know there are no stats on this.

quote:
The contemporary workplace is, if sufficiently populous, likely to contain individuals 'publicly known' to be bi, gay, or straight.

That's the logical failure. Women are not necessarily safer alone with other women. Men are not necessarily safer alone with other men. Men who basically mistrust women simply prefer to imagine they are. It's bullshit.

Necessarily safe? No. As with sexual assault and rape, there is absolutely nothing that anyone can do which will eliminate all risk, including avoiding being voluntarily alone with someone of the opposite sex. However, given the relatively small numbers of gay, bi, and trans people in the general population, and given the infrequency of either sexual harassment or sexual harassment accusations that are counter to at least one of the parties' sexual preference, avoiding being alone with someone of the opposite sex would probably greatly reduce the risk for most people.

Someone elsewhere recently proposed that any work-related closed door meeting with a lone person should be a fireable offense. He was quickly shouted down. While I wouldn't take it so far as to make it a fireable offense, I don't think it would be a bad policy for companies/offices/etc. to discourage such things. Of course it wouldn't eliminate sexual harassment (I've had inappropriate things said to me while standing in the door of someone's cubicle) but it might very well reduce the more dramatic instances and any number of opportunity crimes. I can't be the only one who's sick and tired of justifying why I don't necessarily want to be alone with anyone I just met, don't know particularly well, or who just creeps me out for reasons I can't put my finger on. I think getting away from the assumption that a wariness to be alone behind closed doors with someone is a problem would generally be a good thing. I've never discussed something with a boss or colleague that couldn't have been discussed in a semi-private location or a room with lots of windows.

But I'm thinking of starting another thread to talk more generally about some of the topics that tend to get nixed as acceptable topics in these kinds of threads (as they did in the Weinstein thread, and it seems they may also be in this thread, which started as a thread about men in politics and what we should do about them).
 
Posted by mr cheesy (# 3330) on :
 
I think there is a danger of things getting out of hand.

For example, in the paper today there is a story about an MP who touched the knee of a journalist. The MP admitted it was inappropriate, the journalist has said that there were sharp words at the time but that she didn't think it particularly significant or important.

It seems to me that there are things that are undoubtedly happening in Westminster - such as daily drunkenness, bawdy behaviour, casual misogyny - without raking up someone touching someone else's knee.

Far more serious it seems to me are the stories that circulate about workers complaining about MP's bullying behaviour and nobody doing anything about it.
 
Posted by Golden Key (# 1468) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
quote:
Originally posted by Ricardus:
quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
It is impossible to answer without changing the way society views women and power.

OK, so let's do that.
Join the feminist movement. We've been working on this for a while.

[Smile] [Overused]
 
Posted by Barnabas62 (# 9110) on :
 
Can't we join forces to oppose social condoning of the abuse of power? I'm NE working class, grew up knowing what it meant to be put down for where you came from, not who you were. An experience which made me intuitively supportive of various civil rights movements. All prejudice tastes the same when you're on the receiving end of it. And most of it is based on instinctive pecking order assumptions, whether related to gender, tribe, social status.
 
Posted by Doc Tor (# 9748) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
quote:
Originally posted by Doc Tor:

Except when you say it, you don't seem to think it applies to women in positions of power.

Incorrect.
quote:

I'm also not disagreeing with you that it's mainly men in positions of power. But I am also saying, and you appear to be denying, that subordinate men also suffer abuse under that system.

Not even close.
I am saying that subordinate men suffer abuse because of the system men set up. Fixing the problem requires addressing the general power imbalance as well as not accepting individual cases of abuse.

I am literally not disagreeing with what you're posting.

And yet you feel the need to school me. It's as if you believe a mere man can't quite comprehend what a fucked-up system the Patriarchy is for most men. Trust me, I get it.
 
Posted by mr cheesy (# 3330) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Barnabas62:
Can't we join forces to oppose social condoning of the abuse of power? I'm NE working class, grew up knowing what it meant to be put down for where you came from, not who you were. An experience which made me intuitively supportive of various civil rights movements. All prejudice tastes the same when you're on the receiving end of it. And most of it is based on instinctive pecking order assumptions, whether related to gender, tribe, social status.

Unfortunately I don't think this is a class thing, misogyny is endemic in working-class communities. One can be entirely "right-on" with regard to various progressive causes and horrible to women.

And I don't think it is just about power - or at least it isn't always. MPs shagging secretaries is a bit of a game* in many different sectors of society.

It's problematic when people pick their sexual partners from the pool of people they work with, it is much more worrying when people feel like they have to trade sexual favours to progress in any career.

I dunno, it's messed up. Can't everyone just keep their hands to themselves?

* not saying it should be
 
Posted by Erroneous Monk (# 10858) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
I think there is a danger of things getting out of hand.

For example, in the paper today there is a story about an MP who touched the knee of a journalist. The MP admitted it was inappropriate, the journalist has said that there were sharp words at the time but that she didn't think it particularly significant or important.

It seems to me that there are things that are undoubtedly happening in Westminster - such as daily drunkenness, bawdy behaviour, casual misogyny - without raking up someone touching someone else's knee.

Far more serious it seems to me are the stories that circulate about workers complaining about MP's bullying behaviour and nobody doing anything about it.

I think I'm with you on that. I think that:

(a) there is a spectrum of behaviour, illustrated in the range of acts/offences that have been alleged against Harvey Weinstein; but

(b) there are also instances of inappropriate behaviour that are not on that spectrum. I do not believe that every man who has made an inappropriate comment to me in the workplace would, if unchecked, go on to commit sexual assault. I *do* think that most of those men, given enough drink and circumstances would go further than inappropriate comments, but I also think that 90+% of those men would actively choose, therefore, not to drink that much in circumstances where their behaviour could become dangerous.

I don't want to see the really big issues - sexual assault, sexual harassment of the kind that derails careers and leads victims to make choices that limit their own lives so as to avoid further harassment - getting buried under a lot of hands on knees and "nice tits" comments, which would allow men to say it's all trivial.

The cultural issue and the power imbalance is massive, and not trivial at all. Sexual assault and harassment are not trivial.

A male colleague commenting audibly on the size of my "melons" (yes, that happened) is - relatively speaking - trivial.
 
Posted by mr cheesy (# 3330) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:

And I don't think it is just about power - or at least it isn't always. MPs shagging secretaries is a bit of a game* in many different sectors of society.

I meant to type men not MPs. I think there is a level of hypocrisy and virtue signalling going on by some men who are trying to distance themselves from bad behaviour to distract from their own questionable ethics.
 
Posted by mr cheesy (# 3330) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Erroneous Monk:


I don't want to see the really big issues - sexual assault, sexual harassment of the kind that derails careers and leads victims to make choices that limit their own lives so as to avoid further harassment - getting buried under a lot of hands on knees and "nice tits" comments, which would allow men to say it's all trivial.

The cultural issue and the power imbalance is massive, and not trivial at all. Sexual assault and harassment are not trivial.

A male colleague commenting audibly on the size of my "melons" (yes, that happened) is - relatively speaking - trivial.

FFS. This just drives me nuts - where the fuck where these men brought up? In what world is it funny or banter to talk to someone else about their body parts? I just don't understand.

I am not a paragon of virtue. But I can't imagine ever smirking to someone else about their body.

Nope. Sorry I'm a liar, I once asked someone about a tattoo. I hadn't even thought until now that it might have been inappropriate.
[Hot and Hormonal]
 
Posted by Barnabas62 (# 9110) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:

Unfortunately I don't think this is a class thing,

Didn't say it way

quote:
misogyny is endemic in working-class communities.
Didn't say it wasn't
quote:
One can be entirely "right-on" with regard to various progressive causes and horrible to women.
e.g Stokely Carmichael

quote:
And I don't think it is just about power - or at least it isn't always. MPs shagging secretaries is a bit of a game* in many different sectors of society.
Would it happen without the power structure?
 
Posted by mr cheesy (# 3330) on :
 
You are right, I was musing not accusing. I should have written it as a separate post.
 
Posted by mr cheesy (# 3330) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Barnabas62:
Would it happen without the power structure?

Yes. People without much power routinely abuse each other.
 
Posted by Erroneous Monk (# 10858) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:


Nope. Sorry I'm a liar, I once asked someone about a tattoo. I hadn't even thought until now that it might have been inappropriate.
[Hot and Hormonal]

After a bit of self-examination, I have to admit that I've done it (commented audibly on the physique of a male colleague in an inappropriate way in the pub). But while "all have sinned and fallen short" may be helpful to us in our relationship with God, I'm not sure it helps us take action about a serious problem.
 
Posted by mr cheesy (# 3330) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Erroneous Monk:

After a bit of self-examination, I have to admit that I've done it (commented audibly on the physique of a male colleague in an inappropriate way in the pub). But while "all have sinned and fallen short" may be helpful to us in our relationship with God, I'm not sure it helps us take action about a serious problem.

I suppose it helps in two ways; first that maybe one can discuss physique without being offensive (no indication that the person I spoke with was offended - he seemed to want to talk about his tats) and second that maybe things are more/less offensive in different contexts, so maybe there isn't a simple line which-shouldn't-be-crossed.

All of that said, I think I need to think some more about inappropriate things I might have said to people in the past.
 
Posted by chris stiles (# 12641) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
I think there is a danger of things getting out of hand.

.... without raking up someone touching someone else's knee.

Excuse the cynicism; but I presume this story was picked by the media in order to trigger that particular response (next week we'll no doubt see articles in the Spectator about how you can't say hello to a woman any longer and it's all the fault of pickle kreckness).
 
Posted by quetzalcoatl (# 16740) on :
 
I'm sure I've said tons of inappropriate stuff to both men and women in the past, and had a lot said to me. I remember when my wife in one office would have comments made on the fit of her new bra, and that was considered normal.

In factories, comments about one's dick needing a micrometer to be measured, and so on. Again, normal. It seemed quite funny also.

I'm not going to start trawling through all this, I don't see the point.
 
Posted by Kwesi (# 10274) on :
 
A certain cussedness, world weariness, dislike of being swept along by waves of moralism, and resistance to Phariseeism prompt me to detach myself from the current maelstrom of righteous indignation at the egregious behaviour of British politicians, despite the fact I'm against sin and believe steps should be taken to reduce its instances and consequences. Is it really necessary for shipmates to declare themselves against the abuse of human beings? I think not.

I think it more important to ask the political questions: Who is behind the publication of the list of malefactors? Why has it been published now? What agenda is it designed to promote?

It would appear that the perpetrator of the disclosure is "Guido Fawkes", an independent Conservative website of a nihilistic disposition and its contents have been well-publicised by the Tory press, The Daily Mail and The Sun leading the charge. This combination also played an important role in publicising the MP expenses scandal. What are they up to? It hardly helps to sustain a Conservative administration wresting with Brexit.

On the current charges my only observation is that the knee-groping incident during a TVs interview was less a sexual assault than an attempt at a patronising put-down: "Don't worry your pretty little head about these political matters, leave it to daddy and his friends." Male friends, of course.
 
Posted by chris stiles (# 12641) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Kwesi:
I think it more important to ask the political questions: Who is behind the publication of the list of malefactors? Why has it been published now? What agenda is it designed to promote?

Factional maths within the Tory party.
 
Posted by Doc Tor (# 9748) on :
 
The Tories can afford to lose precisely one MP to this. Any more than one, and the game is up.
 
Posted by chris stiles (# 12641) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Doc Tor:
The Tories can afford to lose precisely one MP to this. Any more than one, and the game is up.

Well, perhaps some of the no-dealers believe this works to their advantage? Crash the government, maximum chaos, Britain runs out of time and exits without a deal, and they get to blame the other side for any consequences.
 
Posted by Doc Tor (# 9748) on :
 
Some people just want to watch the world burn.
 
Posted by chris stiles (# 12641) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Doc Tor:
Some people just want to watch the world burn.

They just pragmatically value party over country, and skin over both.
 
Posted by quetzalcoatl (# 16740) on :
 
I think it will also get trivialized into 'MP puts hand on girl's knee', so that it can be dismissed. Wait for the tabloids to start on this soon - I can't even look at a girl now, without the political correctness brigade hauling me up.
 
Posted by Brenda Clough (# 18061) on :
 
(sigh)
Look at women all you want, Quetz. Perfectly allowable, and in fact unless you seclude yourself in the desert like St. Simon it's inevitable. Women are in public and we're not going away, and burquas or complete purdah are not on.
What's not allowable is, essentially, obtruding your interests upon the lady's notice. Thus, no hooting, catcalls, groping pussy, waving, lewd gestures, whistling, making slobbering noises, etc. Nor is it allowable to take cell phone photos of her -- her image is under her own control. The sole exception (since today is Halloween) is if she is dressed like Wolverine or something, in which case a comment "Nice blades!" is always appropriate. But short skirts, a bit of decolletage -- nope. Don't ogle, don't photograph, don't touch.
So lust away! But only in your heart. Don't let me hear about it.
 
Posted by quetzalcoatl (# 16740) on :
 
Well, that was meant to be a quote from a tabloid trivializing abuse. Hence, the comment, 'wait for the tabloids to start on this soon'. I should have put quote marks in.
 
Posted by lilBuddha (# 14333) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Barnabas62:
Can't we join forces to oppose social condoning of the abuse of power? I'm NE working class, grew up knowing what it meant to be put down for where you came from, not who you were. An experience which made me intuitively supportive of various civil rights movements. All prejudice tastes the same when you're on the receiving end of it. And most of it is based on instinctive pecking order assumptions, whether related to gender, tribe, social status.

I do wish your reaction to your experience were more universal. Instead, people are more likely to see their own group's suffering as being special and unrelated.
quote:
Originally posted by Ricardus:
quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
Women need truly equal access to jobs and power.

But I don't think anyone has actually denied that.

The point that I am getting at, though, is that if you have a situation where men and women both have equal access to high-powered roles (such as MPs),

But they don't. It is getting better, but still not good. And government isn't just the MPs. It is the whole structure below that administrates.
quote:

but there is still a huge power imbalance between managers and staff, then it's not clear that you wouldn't just be creating more opportunities for female-on-male harassment.

That balancing the access would create more opportunities for female-on-male (And female-on-female) abuse is a fact. Whether it would increase the occurrence is a matter of debate. In my opinion and experience, when women achieve true equality, there will be a greater parity of abuse. There really isn't any of us that are better than the rest.
quote:

IOW, I absolutely agree we need to address the power imbalance between men and women, but we also need to address power imbalances more generally in the workplace.

Which is what I have been trying to say, though I've stated it in reverse order to you.

quote:
Originally posted by Doc Tor:
I am literally not disagreeing with what you're posting.

Except there is the bit that you imply that I don't think women use power to abuse.
quote:

And yet you feel the need to school me. It's as if you believe a mere man can't quite comprehend what a fucked-up system the Patriarchy is for most men. Trust me, I get it.

I don't think it is a fucked up system for most men. Power, yes; patriarchy, no. What I am saying is slightly different. The power differential, and the acceptance of abuse within it, disadvantages everyone who does not have power. Women are disadvantaged more greatly because patriarchy is integrated into the current power structures. Men who are abused suffer from patriarchy as well because they are treated as less than a man. IOW; a woman.
 
Posted by Doc Tor (# 9748) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
I don't think it is a fucked up system for most men.

No, of course not. We stand there at war memorials on 11 November remembering the men who died. Died in their tens, hundreds of thousands. No, not fucked up them at all.

And then there's the countless millions taught not to cry, to settle arguments with the fists, to play sports they have no aptitude for, to turn away from books, the arts, to be manly and not sissy and for God's sake, conform. That's not fucked up either.

And then there's the culture of 'breadwinning' that takes men out of the home and away from their children, to see childcare as something that women do, to become estranged from their own kids' lives until they become strangers because they never see each other. No, definitely not fucked up for most men whatsoever. Most of us men have got it peachy and we don't want to change it.

[Roll Eyes]
 
Posted by lilBuddha (# 14333) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Doc Tor:
quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
I don't think it is a fucked up system for most men.

No, of course not. We stand there at war memorials on 11 November remembering the men who died. Died in their tens, hundreds of thousands. No, not fucked up them at all.
And they would have felt better dying if women had died along side them? War would have been OK, then?
quote:

And then there's the countless millions taught not to cry, to settle arguments with the fists, to play sports they have no aptitude for, to turn away from books, the arts, to be manly and not sissy and for God's sake, conform. That's not fucked up either.

This is fucked up, but I am still not sure this is most males. And it is more complicated than just patriarchy. And conformity? Yeah, that is a male only problem.
quote:

And then there's the culture of 'breadwinning' that takes men out of the home and away from their children, to see childcare as something that women do, to become estranged from their own kids' lives until they become strangers because they never see each other.

Paging Charles Dickens, Mr. Dickens please come to the front desk.
This is not true of very many families that I encounter. Yeah, without your hyperbole, some. And definitely more in poorer areas. But there is a lot more than patriarchy going on there.

We were talking about politics in particular and workplace in general.

If you want to bash patriarchy in general, I'm more with you than against. What we seem to have a disagreement on is how much men suffer from it. You seem to be implying a closer parity between men and women on this than I think is merited.
 
Posted by betjemaniac (# 17618) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Doc Tor:
The Tories can afford to lose precisely one MP to this. Any more than one, and the game is up.

It's not though is it? Because that's why Andrea Leadsom said yesterday in the house that malefactors will be thrown out of the party rather than just suspended. Which makes it nuclear - setting the bar for the other parties - and precisely why they've taken that line.

Virtually all of this behaviour on all sides is an open secret at Westminster - hence Sturgeon's glum statement yesterday that she expects the SNP to suffer fallout as well. And why the Labour party aren't going hammer and tongs on the allegations against Tories.

More to the point all the parties pretty much know the dirt on the MPs of the other parties, but they essentially have left each party to police its own MPs on the grounds of Mutually Assured Destruction.

The way this is currently playing out we could be in line for a proper Expenses Scandal style clearing of the stables. If Tory members start dropping like flies then it's only a matter of time before the Labour dirt becomes public and they're forced to follow suit.....

Then it will be more a question of which MPs (and how many) from which parties are standing down in marginals rather than safe seats. Historic trends would tend to suggest that if your dodgy bloke tries to cling on then they can lose a safe seat. If they're replaced then the party (any colour) will usually keep a safe seat.

So it's not game over (provided a General Election can be avoided) so much as a potentially enormous headache for everyone (regardless of the colour of their rosette).

It's pretty bad, but every party leader* has probably got their fingers crossed at the moment I think. I would also suggest that now that the Tories have said there will be automatic expulsions every other party will have a good idea of how many MPs it's going to lose from it's own current tally - because this goes wider than the Conservatives.

Then it comes down to which ones stand down to cause by-elections vs continuing to sit without the whip. If enough take the latter route then the maths doesn't change. If some do and some don't then it's even more complicated mathematically and will be down to *which* MPs where cause by-elections, and who fights them under the colour of the current incumbent party.

Far from game over, I think it's about to get even more interesting, and possibly even less moral, than it already was.

*with the exception of the Greens - not because they're any more moral than the other parties but simply because as long as Caroline Lucas hasn't done anything silly (and there's no suggestion that she has) then they haven't got anything to worry about as she's their only MP! I like the Greens, I voted for them last time round.
 
Posted by mr cheesy (# 3330) on :
 
Ye gods, I hadn't even thought of that.

A couple of MPs standing down, causing a by-election and their parties losing seats could be enough to cause the government to fall.

Eeek.

[ 31. October 2017, 15:43: Message edited by: mr cheesy ]
 
Posted by betjemaniac (# 17618) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
Ye gods, I hadn't even thought of that.

A couple of MPs standing down, causing a by-election and their parties losing seats could be enough to cause the government to fall.

Eeek.

Much as it pains me to say it, and potentially it's only because they've got no other options, I think the Tories have played an astute political game here - saying to all the other parties:

"we're going to fire anyone that is exposed for wrongdoing on this, so so are all of you."

and, like I said, every party will know which of the other parties' rocks to look under to help the process along if their own side is "suffering unduly."

[ 31. October 2017, 15:49: Message edited by: betjemaniac ]
 
Posted by mr cheesy (# 3330) on :
 
Imagine if there were, I don't know, a dozen by-elections. It doesn't really matter if they're all Tory or a mix of parties.

The uncertainty would be enormous, particularly if the mathematics worked out that if a few seats were lost by the Tories, the government would then fall.
 
Posted by Doc Tor (# 9748) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
If you want to bash patriarchy in general, I'm more with you than against. What we seem to have a disagreement on is how much men suffer from it. You seem to be implying a closer parity between men and women on this than I think is merited.

You don't appear to want to listen to men's experiences of how they too suffer under patriarchy. No one's forcing you, but in the meantime some other poor schmuck has thrown themselves off the local suicide spot. Pound to a penny it's a man.

(eta. It's a man.)

[ 31. October 2017, 16:00: Message edited by: Doc Tor ]
 
Posted by betjemaniac (# 17618) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:


The uncertainty would be enormous, particularly if the mathematics worked out that if a few seats were lost by the Tories, the government would then fall.

Yes, although like I say it would depend on where the by-elections were. If it was a rock solid Tory seat with a huge majority then the pressure on the blue voters to come out and defend a blue government against an energised opposition (whether red or yellow) would be enormous - so by the end no change.

Imagine however 2 safe blue seats and 2 red/blue marginals. The uncertainty is compounded by the fact it's not beyond the bounds of possibility that the cards fall the right/wrong way (depending on your point of view) and the govt could actually increase its majority!

This is why there's a lot of staring intently at shoes going on at Westminster - it's possible that no party is going to emerge unscathed from this. There is a general sense that there're a lot of rocks to be looked under (and, shamefully, a lot of the rocks are open secrets) and no one quite knows whether all the rocks will be looked under, some, none (MAD continues), and therefore who's going to be still standing after the wave.

[ 31. October 2017, 16:07: Message edited by: betjemaniac ]
 
Posted by mr cheesy (# 3330) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by betjemaniac:


This is why there's a lot of staring intently at shoes going on at Westminster - it's possible that no party is going to emerge unscathed from this.

True, but at the moment it is a list of Tories. The other parties are going to have to assemble a long list of miscreants to catch up - which they might.

The problem is that the Parliamentary arithmetic is tight.
 
Posted by Callan (# 525) on :
 
There don't have to by by elections unless Plod gets involved. If, say, Sir Bufton-Tufton is named by the press as a serial fondler of women, the party will withdraw the Whip and, I imagine, the local party will select a new candidate at the next election. The now independent member of Parliament will doubtless continue to vote with the government. This is what happened to Eric Forth when he punched a Parliamentary colleague and a Whip who tried to separate them when he'd had a few sherbets.

I'd be cautious, before, assuming every thing on that list was by-election worthy, as well. One unmarried guy has been outed as having a relationship with his researcher. As long as the researcher is cool with that that's their business, I would have thought.
 
Posted by Sighthound (# 15185) on :
 
Anything (with a few rare exceptions) is OK if it's consensual.

The problem is the stuff that isn't, and that goes way beyond politicians. I remember in one of my old workplaces (quite a bit ago now) there was one fairly senior manager who thought he had a right to put his hands on the female staff. One of my female colleagues indicated her displeasure by sticking a very sharp pencil into his hand, and was never bothered again.

I am tempted to say more women should do that - but that is close to victim-blaming. The point is they shouldn't have to. They shouldn't have to physically defend themselves, or feel threatened at work, or to have to pay a sort of "toll" to get on in life. These things need stamping out.
 
Posted by betjemaniac (# 17618) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
The other parties are going to have to assemble a long list of miscreants to catch up - which they might.


True, although my point is that the Tories are almost certainly in possession of that list....

Having had a few contacts in that world over the years, it seems to me that everyone pretty well knows everything.

The MAD aspect of it has been satirised directly in Private Eye for decades, and it forms the plot of an entire episode of the Thick of It. If the Tories start to have everyone exposed (and if, as Callan notes, enough of it is serious to start forcing by-elections rather than just all sorts of stuff that seems to be in the dragnet and comes under the heading of no one else's business), they've got nothing to lose by bringing everyone else down with them.

[ 31. October 2017, 16:31: Message edited by: betjemaniac ]
 
Posted by Anglican't (# 15292) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
quote:
Originally posted by betjemaniac:


This is why there's a lot of staring intently at shoes going on at Westminster - it's possible that no party is going to emerge unscathed from this.

True, but at the moment it is a list of Tories. The other parties are going to have to assemble a long list of miscreants to catch up - which they might.

The problem is that the Parliamentary arithmetic is tight.

It does seem rather unfair that some people are on this list for having had affairs or for having specific turn-ons. That's embarrassing, but nothing more. Does make me wonder who compiled this list and why.

Not quite sure where this is going to go. As you say, numbers are tight. It's all up in the air.
 
Posted by lilBuddha (# 14333) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Doc Tor:
You don't appear to want to listen to men's experiences of how they too suffer under patriarchy.

I never said they do not. What I am saying is that the problem is not equally shared by men and women. Do you think it is?
 
Posted by mark_in_manchester (# 15978) on :
 
I'm finding the political angle on this rather interesting, but I'm going to break the flow with a small anecdote.

Since I gave up my career to look after my kids (just establishing some right-on credentials, 'cos I'm going to need them in a minute) I've taken a PT job as a lab tech with my former employer.

I was chatting to a new, young-ish female postgrad a few weeks back, who is starting to work on an existing project which (as I have mused privately) looks somewhat doomed.

My own postgrad experience was not overly sunny, and in a spirit (I thought) of wry camaraderie, I mentioned 'I was a postgrad a good while back - eventually I even ended up with a PhD'.

No response.

'You know what that stands for, right?'

No response.

[Here I must point out that amongst all my cohort, the joke was that we were working towards Permanent Head Damage. Some of us have the prescriptions (and, in the case of two pure mathematicians, the mental in-patient status) to prove it].

Then she gave me a hard stare and said

'I've heard it claimed that it stands for Pretty Huge Dick'.

So is it my fault that postgrad banter has coarsened?
[Hot and Hormonal]
 
Posted by mr cheesy (# 3330) on :
 
I'm not sure if anyone remembers something I said here a while back, but Oxfam says it has investigated 87 claims of "exploitation and abuse" for the year ending April 2017 leading to 22 dismissals.

Ominously, that charity says it is "not unique".
 
Posted by Brenda Clough (# 18061) on :
 
Good. If every offender is instantly cashiered, and if the more famous ones are immediately pelted with insults, rotten tomatoes and horse manure, it's got to have a beneficial and chilling effect. Even with an unrepentant pussy-grabber in the Presidency, we can prune out a lot of the lower-level offenders. As I say, everyone is very welcome to lust in their heart. Be as dirty as you like in your fantasies. Go wild! But never tell anyone about it without asking first and securing a full and informed consent.
 
Posted by Doc Tor (# 9748) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
quote:
Originally posted by Doc Tor:
You don't appear to want to listen to men's experiences of how they too suffer under patriarchy.

I never said they do not. What I am saying is that the problem is not equally shared by men and women. Do you think it is?
The problems that men and women face are different. You get to die in childbirth, we get to die by our own hand. You get to look after children, we get branded paedophiles. You have a glass ceiling, we work such long hours we don't see our families.

We are on the same side, and yet here we are.
 
Posted by Doc Tor (# 9748) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Anglican't:
It does seem rather unfair that some people are on this list for having had affairs or for having specific turn-ons. That's embarrassing, but nothing more. Does make me wonder who compiled this list and why.

I've seen what purports to be The List.

It's [Eek!]
 
Posted by Anglican't (# 15292) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Doc Tor:

It's [Eek!]

I'd heard about the video months ago. Except in the version of the story I heard the activity was somewhat more conventional. A rare occasion when Chinese Whispers toned down rather than exaggerated gossip.
 
Posted by Tubbs (# 440) on :
 
Admin Tiara On

The Ship is legally liable for your posts so please do not make libellous comments about the Parliamentary sexual harassment scandal. The Ship would be legally liable for them and we'd sooner save our money for forthcoming software upgrade.

Admin Tiara Off

Tubbs
 
Posted by Kwesi (# 10274) on :
 
What is the origin of the list? The reason I ask is that it seems not too dissimilar from the kind of information known as 'Dirts' for which the Tory whips were famous, and threatened to broadcast to bring recalcitrant backbenchers into line. As I indicated earlier, it is the purpose of the disclosure that is most intriguing, and should be the job of serious journalists to discover.

More generally, I suspect much organisational behaviour is explained by the fact that important employees are compromised in various ways, thereby consolidated power structures that might otherwise be challenged. The more hierarchical the structure the more likely is that to be the case.
 
Posted by mr cheesy (# 3330) on :
 
I don't think anyone knows. I'd be amazed if the most scandalous details turn out to be true (..or provable).
 
Posted by betjemaniac (# 17618) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Kwesi:
What is the origin of the list? The reason I ask is that it seems not too dissimilar from the kind of information known as 'Dirts' for which the Tory whips were famous, and threatened to broadcast to bring recalcitrant backbenchers into line.

Whips in general rather than specifically Tory ones. The Labour whips office certainly operates on the same principles. The LibDems probably did during the coalition, now they're back to cat herding numbers it may work differently again.

Students of political history might be interested to know that the last chief whip I can think of who *didn't* practice the dark arts and was almost universally liked by the members he presided over at the time was Ted Heath.....but that was before he, er, went weird on becoming leader.
 
Posted by betjemaniac (# 17618) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
I don't think anyone knows. I'd be amazed if the most scandalous details turn out to be true (..or provable).

Indeed, a lot of that list is also scandalous in a selling newspapers sense rather than illegal. Not for a moment to diminish the items that *are* properly serious.
 
Posted by mr cheesy (# 3330) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by betjemaniac:
Not for a moment to diminish the items that *are* properly serious.

My guess is that this is made-up. Possibly by the Russians? That would be a very destabilising thing to do.
 
Posted by Anglican't (# 15292) on :
 
Some of the stuff on the list is already in the public domain, which would tend to point away from it being a Whips' list (you can threaten or blackmail people with stuff that everyone already knows about). Do you think it could be a list of gossip that someone's collated and it's all got a bit out of hand?
 
Posted by Kwesi (# 10274) on :
 
betjemaniac Whips in general rather than specifically Tory ones.

Of course you are correct. My reason for mentioning the Tories specifically is that they coined the phrase "Dirts", and the list under discussion has come from Conservative sources. That the publicisers are Conservative rather than opposition supporters suggests it is part of struggles within the Tory universe, and it is there we must seek the explanation and intention. Cui Bono?
 
Posted by Doublethink. (# 1984) on :
 
The defence secretary has resigned, which I find mildly surprising.
 
Posted by Adeodatus (# 4992) on :
 
Phew. Don't things happen quickly?

I confess I have very few ideas to deal with this problem, but this thread has certainly given me plenty to think about: without debate, we all have silos in which our thought tends to be confined.

One thing I'm sure of is that we can't just wait for human nature to improve by itself. Parliament and government must tighten up their disciplinary procedures. That said, I know personally how difficult it is to raise a grievance against someone in a senior position. The more senior they are, the more evidence seems required to mount a case, and if you're the poor idiot who first raises the grievance, they can make your life intolerably uncomfortable in the meantime. I can only imagine it must be nigh-on impossible to bring a case against someone in the position of an MP.

One thing I think Parliament should do to improve discipline: close the bars. British MP must be one of the few jobs left where you can turn up to work drunk, and still have a job at the end of the day. Impose a rule of absolute sobriety on MPs while on official business. There's nothing like clear-headedness to make men think twice before allowing their hands to wander.
 
Posted by quetzalcoatl (# 16740) on :
 
Strange kind of obfuscation now about Fallon. He hasn't resigned because of specific incidents of harassment, or complaints from women, but because there might be such incidents in his past. Or maybe there have been complaints. The important thing is that we are not informed about it.
 
Posted by Doc Tor (# 9748) on :
 
I caught Anna Soubry (MP for Broxtowe - Con) on Woman's Hour. She'd worked for Fallon at Defence for a couple of years, spoke very highly of his capabilities as a minister, and simply said of the situation, putting your hand on a journalist's knee some ten years ago isn't a resigning matter. When pressed by the presenter ("You mean there's more?"), she reiterated he wouldn't have resigned over putting his hand on a woman's knee at a dinner.

You may draw your own conclusions.

Or as (I think) the Poke puts it, "Too filthy to be Defence Minister. Not too filthy to stay a Tory MP." These things are finely judged.
 
Posted by quetzalcoatl (# 16740) on :
 
I think Leadsom has used the criterion that harassment involves a woman feeling uncomfortable. Well, fair enough, but a few MPs must also be feeling a bit uncomfortable now. But as Doc Tor just said, maybe a bit of discomfort over a sexual advance is OK with an MP, but not a Minister.
 
Posted by Erroneous Monk (# 10858) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Doc Tor:


And then there's the culture of 'breadwinning' that takes men out of the home and away from their children, to see childcare as something that women do, to become estranged from their own kids' lives until they become strangers because they never see each other. No, definitely not fucked up for most men whatsoever. Most of us men have got it peachy and we don't want to change it.


On this, I recently went down from full-time hours (in my paid job - I also hold two voluntary positions) to 21 hours a week. This is because the person who has provided our childcare, and then our after-school childcare, for more than ten years (becoming our daughter's godmother part way through) has taken up a new opportunity. As my son has just started secondary school, I didn't think the time was right to introduce a stranger for after-school care, but I also didn't want the children to either be at after-school club 5 nights a week, or letting themselves into an empty house 5 nights a week. So I'm at home more.

I'd have liked to share the shortening of hours with my husband - we earn about the same (I could do better in a good bonus year or vice versa). I haven't got to the top of my profession and now I feel like I never will; he is at the top of his firm, and is a lot older than me. On the other hand, he fears ageism - that if he reduced his hours, he might find himself being edged out, or unable to move back to full time later.

Anyway, overall - and this is entirely anecdotal - I think I have the best deal. Having more time at home with the children is way more rewarding than I could have expected. I actually feel like my husband, because he has been raised in a world where he sees it as his role to work full time and "win bread", has been cheated out of this rewarding time. He probably wouldn't agree - he would say he doesn't want to make family meals, help with homework etc.

But the fact that he doesn't *know* he has been cheated doesn't mean that he hasn't and doesn't make it right.

However, just to reiterate again, the fact that this has been my experience doesn't mean it applies to anyone else. I just wanted to say that I could see what DT means about it being fucked up.
 
Posted by Kwesi (# 10274) on :
 
As to the standards required of members of the armed forces, one is reminded of Churchill's comment: "Don't talk to me about naval tradition. It's nothing but rum, sodomy, and the lash."
 
Posted by betjemaniac (# 17618) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Kwesi:
As to the standards required of members of the armed forces, one is reminded of Churchill's comment: "Don't talk to me about naval tradition. It's nothing but rum, sodomy, and the lash."

as an ex naval officer, that wasn't funny the first time, and hasn't aged well.
 
Posted by chris stiles (# 12641) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Doc Tor:
I caught Anna Soubry (MP for Broxtowe - Con) on Woman's Hour. She'd worked for Fallon at Defence for a couple of years, spoke very highly of his capabilities as a minister

Which primarily consisted of going on radio/tv and defending the current version of the indefensible. Beautifully highlighted on Channel4, when he critiqued views he thought were Corbyn's until he was told they were Johnson's, whereupon he switched tack (but slowly - like the verbal equivalent of an oil tanker).
 
Posted by Brenda Clough (# 18061) on :
 
A brief article by -my- Senator; check out his list of resolutions that he's going to deploy to combat this. It is not often in the US these days that one can express pride in one's senator!
 
Posted by L'organist (# 17338) on :
 
Back to the Fallon resignation.

Q Who advised the PM on whether or not to accept (Parliamentary-speak for force to it) the resignation of Michael Fallon?
A Gavin Williamson, Government Chief Whip

Q Who advised the PM on a likely successor to Fallon?
A Gavin Williamson

Q Who did the PM appoint as Secretary of State for Defence
A Gavin Williamson

You couldn't make it up.

There are no fewer than 46 Conservative MPs (at least) with military experience: at least 7 of those achieved a reasonable rank (Major or equivalent) but Mrs May prefers to appoint someone to Defence who not only has no experience of the military, he also has no experience of even junior ministerial rank.
 
Posted by Ohher (# 18607) on :
 
She must be taking lessons from the US President. He has put in charge of most federal agencies people who are not only ignorant and unqualified, but are actually hostile to the relevant agency's remit.
 
Posted by Golden Key (# 1468) on :
 
Q--

quote:
Originally posted by quetzalcoatl:
I think Leadsom has used the criterion that harassment involves a woman feeling uncomfortable. Well, fair enough, but a few MPs must also be feeling a bit uncomfortable now. But as Doc Tor just said, maybe a bit of discomfort over a sexual advance is OK with an MP, but not a Minister.

Would you explain that last sentence, please? I can think of more than one interpretation, not all good.

Thx.
 
Posted by mr cheesy (# 3330) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by L'organist:
Back to the Fallon resignation.

Q Who advised the PM on whether or not to accept (Parliamentary-speak for force to it) the resignation of Michael Fallon?
A Gavin Williamson, Government Chief Whip

Q Who advised the PM on a likely successor to Fallon?
A Gavin Williamson

Q Who did the PM appoint as Secretary of State for Defence
A Gavin Williamson

You couldn't make it up.

Given that there is a suggestion that the Whips office knew/knows a whole lot of stuff that they've not acted upon, is it a stretch to think that Williamson somehow used this as leverage to get a ministerial role?
 
Posted by betjemaniac (# 17618) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
quote:
Originally posted by L'organist:
Back to the Fallon resignation.

Q Who advised the PM on whether or not to accept (Parliamentary-speak for force to it) the resignation of Michael Fallon?
A Gavin Williamson, Government Chief Whip

Q Who advised the PM on a likely successor to Fallon?
A Gavin Williamson

Q Who did the PM appoint as Secretary of State for Defence
A Gavin Williamson

You couldn't make it up.

Given that there is a suggestion that the Whips office knew/knows a whole lot of stuff that they've not acted upon, is it a stretch to think that Williamson somehow used this as leverage to get a ministerial role?
Probably - which is why it's causing such consternation within the parliamentary Conservative party.

However, the other event of last night yet again shows up the problems of the whips office (and probably parliamentary party politics):

Labour's suspension of Kelvin Hopkins - in reverse order, 16 months after he was appointed to the shadow cabinet, 22 months after the regional party authorities passed the allegations to Jeremy's office and er, 23 months after the alleged victim reported their allegations to the Labour whips office.

If we weren't in a frenzy of denunciations, I wonder when either party would have done anything.....
 
Posted by Kwesi (# 10274) on :
 
betjemaniac
quote:
If we weren't in a frenzy of denunciations, I wonder when either party would have done anything.....
Quite so, but why should the whips make the information public? It's more useful if kept secret because the whips can use the threat of disclosure to keep individual MPs in line. That is why I find the disclosure of the information by Conservatives so intriguing. Who complied this dossier? Why was it disclosed now? To what purpose?
 
Posted by betjemaniac (# 17618) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Kwesi:
betjemaniac
quote:
If we weren't in a frenzy of denunciations, I wonder when either party would have done anything.....
Quite so, but why should the whips make the information public? It's more useful if kept secret because the whips can use the threat of disclosure to keep individual MPs in line. That is why I find the disclosure of the information by Conservatives so intriguing. Who complied this dossier? Why was it disclosed now? To what purpose?
because, no matter how it's being trailled in the press, this basically *isn't* the whips list. It's a list which seems to have been drawn up by some Tory staffers for the benefit of new arrivals in the house for who to watch out for. It's a *gossip* list rather than the sort of thing the whips would have. Which is why much of it is embarrassing rather than worse, and some of it (not all) has already fallen apart as untrue on the first contact with daylight...
 
Posted by quetzalcoatl (# 16740) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Golden Key:
Q--

quote:
Originally posted by quetzalcoatl:
I think Leadsom has used the criterion that harassment involves a woman feeling uncomfortable. Well, fair enough, but a few MPs must also be feeling a bit uncomfortable now. But as Doc Tor just said, maybe a bit of discomfort over a sexual advance is OK with an MP, but not a Minister.

Would you explain that last sentence, please? I can think of more than one interpretation, not all good.

Thx.

Now I'm baffled as to what interpretations you have come up with. I think Doc Tor's post made the point - whatever Fallon did was filthy enough to require his resignation as minister, but not filthy enough to get him suspended as MP. This is, shall we say, piquant.
 
Posted by ExclamationMark (# 14715) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by betjemaniac:
quote:
Originally posted by Kwesi:
betjemaniac
quote:
If we weren't in a frenzy of denunciations, I wonder when either party would have done anything.....
Quite so, but why should the whips make the information public? It's more useful if kept secret because the whips can use the threat of disclosure to keep individual MPs in line. That is why I find the disclosure of the information by Conservatives so intriguing. Who complied this dossier? Why was it disclosed now? To what purpose?
because, no matter how it's being trailled in the press, this basically *isn't* the whips list. It's a list which seems to have been drawn up by some Tory staffers for the benefit of new arrivals in the house for who to watch out for. It's a *gossip* list rather than the sort of thing the whips would have. Which is why much of it is embarrassing rather than worse, and some of it (not all) has already fallen apart as untrue on the first contact with daylight...
If the whips have anything which reflects illegal activity then they should reveal it.

A good point made on the radio: if the behaviour concerned would've got you disciplined in a school, why is it permissible in Westminster?

As for MP's policing themselves on this: no. It will simply be a fudge like the expenses claims.
 
Posted by L'organist (# 17338) on :
 
Apparently Michael Fallon put his hand on Julia Hartley-Brewer's knee - about 7 years ago. That's it. He, being one of the few gentlemen in the Commons at the moment, now realises that this was inappropriate and offered his resignation, which was accepted, etc, etc, etc.

BUT if its not appropriate for him to be SoS for Defence, how is it appropriate for him to be an MP?

(IMO while JH-B may not have welcomed the hand is that really worth the resignation of someone who was actually doing well at Defence? Really?)
 
Posted by chris stiles (# 12641) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by L'organist:
Apparently Michael Fallon put his hand on Julia Hartley-Brewer's knee - about 7 years ago. That's it. He, being one of the few gentlemen in the Commons at the moment, now realises that this was inappropriate and offered his resignation, which was accepted, etc, etc, etc.

and apparently this isn't the reason he resigned, and apparently you missed the various news stories that described why he did.
 
Posted by Tubbs (# 440) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by quetzalcoatl:
I think Leadsom has used the criterion that harassment involves a woman feeling uncomfortable. Well, fair enough, but a few MPs must also be feeling a bit uncomfortable now. But as Doc Tor just said, maybe a bit of discomfort over a sexual advance is OK with an MP, but not a Minister.

Leadsom's statement to the house was:

quote:
“... If someone is made to feel uncomfortable, or believes that others have acted inappropriately towards them, they should be able to contact an external, independent, specially trained support team—via phone, the intranet or face to face—so that any issue can be raised confidentially, and appropriate advice and support can be given.”
My problem with this statement is that I'm not sure that being made to feel uncomfortable is as bad as "being treated inappropriately" or deserves the same response.

I doubt if there's a single person in the history of the world ever who hasn't made someone else feel uncomfortable. [Confused] But that's totally different from bullying, sexual harassment or other equally unacceptable stuff.

Tubbs

[ 03. November 2017, 11:15: Message edited by: Tubbs ]
 
Posted by Kwesi (# 10274) on :
 
A question that needs to be raised concerns how sanctions might be imposed on an MP who has transgressed the prevailing moral norms. It is difficult to see how such decisions can be made by an ‘independent’ authority given that any recommendation for the suspension or expulsion of an MP, preventing him/her from voting, could have critical political and partisan consequences when the government’s control over parliament is fragile, as at the present time. That is why historically an important privilege for MPs was ‘freedom from arrest and molestation’. Is it desirable that the transgression of an individual MP, or several MPs, should be allowed to subvert the collective decision of citizens in the previous general election? At the end of the day, however dressed up, any decision on sanctions will be political rather than judicial in character, unless criminality rather than morality is involved.

What I find somewhat bizarre in the present situation is that Sir Michael Fallon is seen fit to remain an ‘Honourable Member’, a member of the Privy Council, and have his knighthood unquestioned, but unfit to be a member of the government. Does that mean that only the righteous can serve as members of the executive? Reform might promote virtue, but is more likely to enhance hypocrisy and political blackmail to the advantage of the whips, not to mention the yellow press.
 
Posted by ExclamationMark (# 14715) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Kwesi:
What I find somewhat bizarre in the present situation is that Sir Michael Fallon is seen fit to remain an ‘Honourable Member’, a member of the Privy Council, and have his knighthood unquestioned, but unfit to be a member of the government.

Remove the Knighthood. Actions = consequences
 
Posted by Tubbs (# 440) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Kwesi:
A question that needs to be raised concerns how sanctions might be imposed on an MP who has transgressed the prevailing moral norms. It is difficult to see how such decisions can be made by an ‘independent’ authority given that any recommendation for the suspension or expulsion of an MP, preventing him/her from voting, could have critical political and partisan consequences when the government’s control over parliament is fragile, as at the present time. That is why historically an important privilege for MPs was ‘freedom from arrest and molestation’. Is it desirable that the transgression of an individual MP, or several MPs, should be allowed to subvert the collective decision of citizens in the previous general election? At the end of the day, however dressed up, any decision on sanctions will be political rather than judicial in character, unless criminality rather than morality is involved.

What I find somewhat bizarre in the present situation is that Sir Michael Fallon is seen fit to remain an ‘Honourable Member’, a member of the Privy Council, and have his knighthood unquestioned, but unfit to be a member of the government. Does that mean that only the righteous can serve as members of the executive? Reform might promote virtue, but is more likely to enhance hypocrisy and political blackmail to the advantage of the whips, not to mention the yellow press.

Or how it works when the person making the complaint - Leadsome - is the person who is also involved in investigating it?! Which is what would have happened if he hadn't resigned.

The Tories should suspend / remove the Whip from their MPs while investigations are on-going in the same way Labour has.

Tubbs
 
Posted by churchgeek (# 5557) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Adeodatus:
Phew. Don't things happen quickly?

I confess I have very few ideas to deal with this problem, but this thread has certainly given me plenty to think about: without debate, we all have silos in which our thought tends to be confined.

One thing I'm sure of is that we can't just wait for human nature to improve by itself. Parliament and government must tighten up their disciplinary procedures. That said, I know personally how difficult it is to raise a grievance against someone in a senior position. The more senior they are, the more evidence seems required to mount a case, and if you're the poor idiot who first raises the grievance, they can make your life intolerably uncomfortable in the meantime. I can only imagine it must be nigh-on impossible to bring a case against someone in the position of an MP.

One thing I think Parliament should do to improve discipline: close the bars. British MP must be one of the few jobs left where you can turn up to work drunk, and still have a job at the end of the day. Impose a rule of absolute sobriety on MPs while on official business. There's nothing like clear-headedness to make men think twice before allowing their hands to wander.

Your practical suggestion in that last paragraph seems more than reasonable as an obvious step that needs to be taken.

In the paragraph before it, you point out that the culture is such that people in higher positions of authority are harder to make complaints against, and that strikes me as generally true. I suspect we need to actively do something to change that. What, precisely, I don't know. But maybe structuring things so that there are more checks and balances on power?


Earlier in the thread, there was talk of women in positions of authority abusing people below them, and I think that raises the issue of how power is constructed, and how it is gendered...and how gender is constructed, and how power is assigned to different genders.

One of those things - power and gender - is the chicken and the other is the egg; it's hard to know, I suspect, whether men tend to be abusive because they tend to be in power, and power is constructed so as to include violence; or whether people in power become abusive because they tend to be men, and masculinity is constructed so as to include violence. But it is all a construction, which means we can take it back apart and re-construct it differently if we work hard enough. For Christians, Jesus is a great example of de- and re-constructing both masculinity and power!
 
Posted by mr cheesy (# 3330) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by L'organist:
Apparently Michael Fallon put his hand on Julia Hartley-Brewer's knee - about 7 years ago. That's it. He, being one of the few gentlemen in the Commons at the moment, now realises that this was inappropriate and offered his resignation, which was accepted, etc, etc, etc.

BUT if its not appropriate for him to be SoS for Defence, how is it appropriate for him to be an MP?

(IMO while JH-B may not have welcomed the hand is that really worth the resignation of someone who was actually doing well at Defence? Really?)

It has been reported that the hand-on-knee wasn't the inappropriate action that led to him having to resign, but instead that he said something inappropriate to Andrea Leadsom.

Now it sounds a bit like even this wasn't absolutely terrible and could possibly be explained away as a very bad joke or stupid comment that slipped out.*

But given the current climate, it is very hard to be Andrea Leadsom and take a strong line when something has been said in the past which wasn't then dealt with. It appears the incident was some time ago.

I think it is also possible to argue that a misjudgment of this kind is possibly a different thing when doing it with a senior colleague than as an MP. One might generally think that an MP could get away with mistakenly coming out with an unfunny joke whereas one only has one chance as a Minister of the Crown, and once you've blown it - that's it.

But one has to have a modicum of sympathy on at least one level - before one knows a colleague it can be hard to talk in a mutually acceptable fashion. Sometimes bosses f and blind and expect everyone else to deal with it. Sometimes colleagues find themselves dragged along in patterns of language they wouldn't normally use. I can't imagine a situation where I'd even say this to my wife in public (never mind anyone else) but then maybe it does depend on the context.

My child and I have an ongoing insult-a-thon whereby we try to find the most insulting greeting to say to each other. It's probably best that nobody else overhears..


* pretty clearly not OK. Not ok for a teenage boy to say to a girl at school, absolutely not ok for an adult to say in parliament to a colleague.
 
Posted by quetzalcoatl (# 16740) on :
 
churchgeek wrote:

quote:
One of those things - power and gender - is the chicken and the other is the egg; it's hard to know, I suspect, whether men tend to be abusive because they tend to be in power, and power is constructed so as to include violence; or whether people in power become abusive because they tend to be men, and masculinity is constructed so as to include violence. But it is all a construction, which means we can take it back apart and re-construct it differently if we work hard enough. For Christians, Jesus is a great example of de- and re-constructing both masculinity and power!
These are interesting points, but I would suggest that the 'construction' of masculinity, and also patriarchy itself, are social things. In fact, it's often called 'social construction'.

Another point is that these things are also unconscious, well, that is arguable, but it strikes me that way.

The problem then is how we are to deconstruct such things, if they are collectively carried out and unconsciously carried out.

I don't think it's impossible, as we can see from the current news events, but it's difficult to do it by lifting our bootstraps.
 
Posted by chris stiles (# 12641) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:

It has been reported that the hand-on-knee wasn't the inappropriate action that led to him having to resign, but instead that he said something inappropriate to Andrea Leadsom.

Now it sounds a bit like even this wasn't absolutely terrible and could possibly be explained away as a very bad joke or stupid comment that slipped out.*

Except that the Telegraph reports that it was Leadsom herself who insisted he be sacked.

There was also the suggestion elsewhere in the media that he was known to do this kind of thing when drunk, and that when asked by May whether he could guarantee that more serious allegations wouldn't come out, he couldn't give such a guarantee.
 
Posted by churchgeek (# 5557) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by quetzalcoatl:
churchgeek wrote:

quote:
One of those things - power and gender - is the chicken and the other is the egg; it's hard to know, I suspect, whether men tend to be abusive because they tend to be in power, and power is constructed so as to include violence; or whether people in power become abusive because they tend to be men, and masculinity is constructed so as to include violence. But it is all a construction, which means we can take it back apart and re-construct it differently if we work hard enough. For Christians, Jesus is a great example of de- and re-constructing both masculinity and power!
These are interesting points, but I would suggest that the 'construction' of masculinity, and also patriarchy itself, are social things. In fact, it's often called 'social construction'.

Another point is that these things are also unconscious, well, that is arguable, but it strikes me that way.

The problem then is how we are to deconstruct such things, if they are collectively carried out and unconsciously carried out.

I don't think it's impossible, as we can see from the current news events, but it's difficult to do it by lifting our bootstraps.

No disagreement from me on that!
 
Posted by Brenda Clough (# 18061) on :
 
An American congresswoman is heroically trying to clean out the Augean stables that we call Capitol Hill. I think the only solution, especially in relatively closed environments like the government, is for the members themselves to step up and fix it.
 
Posted by Kwesi (# 10274) on :
 
Tubbs
quote:
The Tories should suspend / remove the Whip from their MPs while investigations are on-going in the same way Labour has.

The problem is that this would occasion the collapse of the government given the number against whom accusations have been made. Labour, by contrast, is not so inconvenienced by suspending the odd MP at the present time. The difficulty is how to sanction an MP while securing the essentials of democratic government..
 
Posted by MarsmanTJ (# 8689) on :
 
Would the people have voted for the MP in question if they knew that they were guilty of sexual harassment/assault/inappropriateness/unprofessionalism? Probably not. However would they pick party over individual? Depends on the constituency, I guess... for some of the razor thin majorities, it's tough. For seats like mine (one of the top safe seats in the country, with a majority of over 50,000 votes) I suspect it's party over individual...
 
Posted by Tubbs (# 440) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Kwesi:
Tubbs
quote:
The Tories should suspend / remove the Whip from their MPs while investigations are on-going in the same way Labour has.

The problem is that this would occasion the collapse of the government given the number against whom accusations have been made. Labour, by contrast, is not so inconvenienced by suspending the odd MP at the present time. The difficulty is how to sanction an MP while securing the essentials of democratic government..
I’m not seeing that as a downside...

Tubbs
 
Posted by Curiosity killed ... (# 11770) on :
 
It's definitely party over individual. Local party tried to deselect sitting MP over the expenses scandal; said sitting MP did very well indeed out of capital gains on home swapping, to the tune of hundreds of thousands. Head Office came to the planned deselection meeting and talked the local party out of so doing. Local MP was returned with an increased majority at the next election, and the next.

If Fallon has said such inappropriate things as reported, and that is enough to resign, then there are likely to be a lot more people due for the chop. Because I have had that sort of comment said to many more times than I can remember.
 
Posted by Kwesi (# 10274) on :
 
Tubbs
quote:

Tubbs: The Tories should suspend / remove the Whip from their MPs while investigations are on-going in the same way Labour has.

Kwesi:The problem is that this would occasion the collapse of the government given the number against whom accusations have been made. Labour, by contrast, is not so inconvenienced by suspending the odd MP at the present time. The difficulty is how to sanction an MP while securing the essentials of democratic government..

Tubes: I’m not seeing that as a downside...

The downside is that it removes the baby with the bathwater.

In United Kingdom elections most people cast their vote for a political party and its leadership rather than for individuals they know next to nothing about that appear on the ballot paper, and the formation of a government represents in a robust way the collective will of the nation following a general election. Democratic and responsible government is thus secured through through a mandate to rule extended by the public to party leaderships. It is also by and large desirable that governments should be stable. Administrations with small majorities tend to be unstable, vulnerable to by-elections and prey to pressures that compromise coherent leadership. MPs, both front and backbenchers, therefore, have a strong interest in party unity and in sticking together through thick and thin. The collective is crucial to survival. When that instinct is compromised it is invariably a harbinger of defeat. That is why there is a problem in handing over the adjudication of non-criminal behaviour of MPs to independent assessment, especially if that includes the power to insist on withdrawal of the party whip, temporary disbarment, or expulsion from the House. Such decisions are more political in character than judicial. At the present time it might empower these non-elected independent adjudicators to overthrow the outcome of a general election. Thus, while the public might welcome the removal of bum-pinchers and knee-gropers, adulterers and foul-mouthed oafs, they might not be so enamoured of thereby removing from office the party they support.
 
Posted by Huia (# 3473) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Brenda Clough:
An American congresswoman is heroically trying to clean out the Augean stables that we call Capitol Hill. I think the only solution, especially in relatively closed environments like the government, is for the members themselves to step up and fix it.

Brenda the article stated than neither interns or fellows were covered by some of the protections mentioned. What are "fellows?".

Huia
 
Posted by Golden Key (# 1468) on :
 
Re Weinstein allegations:

Was watching Stephen Colbert's "Late Show" a little while ago. One guest was Ronan Farrow, who wrote the investigative piece about Weinstein that sparked this whole thing.

He's smart, dedicated, very well spoken, looks about half his age.

Hmmm, I thought. One of actress Mia Farrow's kids? And, given the abuse attributed to Woody Allen, this could be interesting.

So I looked him up (Wikipedia). Mia's his mom...and Woody is officially his biological father. (There are questions about that.)

RF made it clear in the interview, without naming names, that part of his interest was because sexual abuse had happened in his family, to one of his sisters, and he hadn't always taken it as seriously as he should. (From what I read in the Wiki on Mia, that would be his sister Dylan. The court info is very interesting.) Plus WA married Soon-Yi Previn, his step-daughter and RF's sister. RF and Mia are estranged from WA because of this.

So RF wound up with doing the Weinstein investigation. He said it was simply assigned to him. He's probably one of the best possible choices to do it.

So all the Hollywood guys who are tumbling are doing it because of Mia's kids.
[Cool]

As you can see in the Wiki article on him, RF has quite the resume': law, politics, activism, journalism. Maybe president someday?
 
Posted by chris stiles (# 12641) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Curiosity killed ...:

If Fallon has said such inappropriate things as reported, and that is enough to resign, then there are likely to be a lot more people due for the chop. Because I have had that sort of comment said to many more times than I can remember.

Or he said/did a lot worse and resigned before anything more came out. The Telegraph seem to be consistently pointing the finger at Leadsom:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/11/03/michael-fallon-knifed-andrea-leadsom-schemed-have-sacked-secure/

They have connections with the Tory inner-cicle, which doesn't mean the article is necessarily true - it could equally be some other faction sowing division - which would be even worse news for the Tories.

FWIW I think there is potential for this to be even worse for Labour - by their very nature as a party they will contain people who are naturally good at organising the protests of lower ranking staff. The sorts of complaints around Conservative Future would be far harder to cover up within such an environment.

[ 04. November 2017, 09:08: Message edited by: chris stiles ]
 
Posted by Brenda Clough (# 18061) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Huia:
quote:
Originally posted by Brenda Clough:
An American congresswoman is heroically trying to clean out the Augean stables that we call Capitol Hill. I think the only solution, especially in relatively closed environments like the government, is for the members themselves to step up and fix it.

Brenda the article stated than neither interns or fellows were covered by some of the protections mentioned. What are "fellows?".

Huia

I'm not sure, Huia. It's not a locution I remember hearing in this context. Interns are the unpaid, teenaged assistants; if you google around you can read of an older scandal of them being preyed on. Fellows may mean staffers, or some other group of lower-level munchkins. No one who works on Capitol Hill is covered by any of the labor or HR regs that apply to the rest of the United States; Congress carefully exempts themselves from all these laws and adjusts any regulations or procedures that do exist to tilt heavily in their favor.
 
Posted by no prophet's flag is set so... (# 15560) on :
 
A media outlet in Canada called the minister of the environment "climate Barbie". She confronted one of the reporters. CBC link. A Conservative MP had picked up the name and used it in a Tweet. She named the problem. This is an example of what to do about misogynist and sexist bastards in politics. And no one should have to. I hope their family members tell them off.
 
Posted by Dave W. (# 8765) on :
 
According to Internships, Fellowships, and Other Work Experience Opportunities in the Government (compiled by the Congressional Research Service):
quote:
The terms fellowship and internship are sometimes used interchangeably in the names of specific programs. Fellowships are generally intended for persons with advanced degrees or substantial professional experience and are usually salaried positions lasting nine months to a year or more. Internships, which are either salaried or volunteer short-term arrangements, usually require relatively little experience and are often filled by students.

Although they are sometimes confused with interns, congressional pages are high school students who serve Congress as messengers. The House page program ceased operations in August 2011, but the Senate still employs pages. For more information on the Senate page program, see its website.

...

Fellowships in congressional offices are offered by many organizations—such as the American Political Science Association (APSA), the American Psychological Association, and the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers—which offer fellows exposure to public policy and the legislative process. Placement for these fellowships is generally not done through the Members’ or committees’ offices but instead through the sponsoring organizations.


 
Posted by wild haggis (# 15555) on :
 
In all this discussion, I think we have missed the main problem: the way men behave towards and treat women in the workplace, whether that is an office or Government.

If they showed respect they would not need to fear any lists. I don't think the media should be publishing lists anyway. In Britain you are innocent until proven otherwise. We seem to be developing trial by the media and that is wrong.

There is such a thing as good manners and respect and that seems to have been forgotten by many men (and some women too) and not just in politics.

The golden rule is that you should not handle anyone unless you know them very well and have their permission.

I remember travelling to work on a crowded London Tube train a few years ago. A man behind me started to rub my bum (not acceptable by anyone except hubby!). In those days I did not have arthritis. I was wearing heels. I gave him a good backward kick on the shins! That soon stopped it. If he had complained I would, in my loud primary teacher's playground voice, have broadcast what he had been up to. I didn't need to, the kick was enough. What gives a man the right to think he can rub a women, he doesn't know, bum? What kind of warped mind do some men have?

The problem in politics is that as someone in the lower echelons, often not paid, and wanting to develop a career there, you don't want to rock the boat for your future. There may be no one to complain to outside the office. Unlike school and churches, offices, hospitals in Britain Parliament doesn't seem to have a Code of Practice, Safeguarding Policy or Advocate people can go to without sabotaging their career. Why is that not in place? It should have been years ago.

The Government advised workplaces to have a whistle-blowing policy, but they seem to think that they don't need it and that they are above the law. It's not helped by all the bars and the subsidized alcohol (paid for by UK tax payers). What other work place allows you to drink on duty, have pubs on the premises and sometimes even turn up drunk! This needs changing. MPs should drink after work and pay the same price as everyone else. That would certainly help. Boozy men often think they have the right to do and say anything. Never mind the fact these people formulate our laws.

But it isn't just a problem in politics. People need to respect each other and keep their hands to themselves generally, unless they know the person well and know they don't mind being hugged or whatever.

What's the problem with that men?
 
Posted by lilBuddha (# 14333) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by wild haggis:

I remember travelling to work on a crowded London Tube train a few years ago. A man behind me started to rub my bum (not acceptable by anyone except hubby!). In those days I did not have arthritis. I was wearing heels. I gave him a good backward kick on the shins! That soon stopped it. If he had complained I would, in my loud primary teacher's playground voice, have broadcast what he had been up to. I didn't need to, the kick was enough.

Enough to stop him bothering you.


quote:
Boozy men often think they have the right to do and say anything. Never mind the fact these people formulate our laws.

Alcohol can alter the personality, but its main effect is to lower inhibition. So the fix is still the same.
 
Posted by Brenda Clough (# 18061) on :
 
Andrea Dworkin suggested the death penalty for rapists. I have no issue with this.
For bum-rubbing, I would certainly have the victim choose from a menu of penalties. Up to and including the amputation of a digit, let us say.
 
Posted by mousethief (# 953) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Brenda Clough:
Andrea Dworkin suggested the death penalty for rapists. I have no issue with this.

I do. A rape conviction can be a he-said, she-said kind of thing. That's a slender thread to hang a state-sponsored murder on.
 
Posted by Brenda Clough (# 18061) on :
 
And if there are four victims? Forty? At some point 'he said, she said' moves beyond the realm of possibility. Furthermore, if there are many victims a solid case could be made that the perpetrator is irredeemable and incurable.
 
Posted by lilBuddha (# 14333) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Brenda Clough:
And if there are four victims? Forty? At some point 'he said, she said' moves beyond the realm of possibility. Furthermore, if there are many victims a solid case could be made that the perpetrator is irredeemable and incurable.

Yeah, "Kill 'em all" said Jesus.

ETA:I've no sympathy for rapists.

[ 04. November 2017, 23:34: Message edited by: lilBuddha ]
 
Posted by no prophet's flag is set so... (# 15560) on :
 
When the bad man does it with a weapon or violence, it's a little easier to consider doing them extreme violence. I've gotten over retaliatory dreams and fantasies of causing painful death. But they are fully understandable; if you don't understand them perhaps the trauma of it hasn't visited you or your's. Which frankly is one of the great evils such interpersonal violence: it pushes gentle people into rage and thoughts of great violence. They certainly don't jail men nearly long enough. Life is reasonable to prevent harm to others.
 
Posted by L'organist (# 17338) on :
 
posted by Brenda Clough
quote:
Andrea Dworkin suggested the death penalty for rapists. I have no issue with this.
I do: killing people is wrong. It may make some people or states more comfortable to label one type of killing "murder" and another "execution" but taking a life is killing - giving it some sort of legal status doesn't alter that fact.
 
Posted by quetzalcoatl (# 16740) on :
 
Executions and amputations? Struth, the Saudis will love this.
 
Posted by lilBuddha (# 14333) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by no prophet's flag is set so...:
When the bad man does it with a weapon or violence, it's a little easier to consider doing them extreme violence. I've gotten over retaliatory dreams and fantasies of causing painful death. But they are fully understandable; .

Understandable, but not acceptable. I've had more than my share of revenge fantasies and with good reason. But we hurt ourselves and our society when we operate on this desire for vengeance.
Lock them away forever, yes; but and eye for an eye will render us all blind.*


*with apologies to whomever I've lifted the phrase.
 
Posted by no prophet's flag is set so... (# 15560) on :
 
On the intellectual plane, sure, not acceptable. On the emotional plane, very reasonable.
 
Posted by quetzalcoatl (# 16740) on :
 
At both the intellectual and emotional level, I would hate to live in a society where people were executed out of revenge fantasies. Actually, I would hate to live in a society where people were executed.

The justice system exists partly to avoid such fantasies being enacted.
 
Posted by Brenda Clough (# 18061) on :
 
Well if you insist, I would be good with life sentences with no parole. Hard labor, while we're at it.
 
Posted by quetzalcoatl (# 16740) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Brenda Clough:
Well if you insist, I would be good with life sentences with no parole. Hard labor, while we're at it.

This sounds like a Trump tweet.
 
Posted by Brenda Clough (# 18061) on :
 
Eh? I hit send too fast, otherwise I would have added that my own clement and pliable nature will be the death of me, some day.
 
Posted by no prophet's flag is set so... (# 15560) on :
 
quetzalcoatl:
You appear to misunderstand the emotional response people have to such interpersonal violence. Yes, indeed, the rule of law and control of vengeance is a feature of society which controls this. But the emotional aspects don't simply vanish because a court has sentenced a violent rapist to 4-6 years (pretty standard Canadian tariff). Because the suffering of victim and their loved ones, such sentences serve to increase the emotional response. It is part of the spreading evil of someone doing terrible violence that causes those who've been harmed find themselves forming violent and disturbing emotionally-based ideas toward the rapist. This is what is understandable. Everyone will agree (at least because they know it is the right answer) that actually enacting the violent fantasies isn't acceptable, but I'll be damned if I'll pretend this aspect of humanity doesn't exist.

In Canada, when someone has harmed repeatedly, the Crown prosecutor may apply for indefinite lock-up as a "dangerous offender", There is a fall back of "long term offender" which involves 10 years of monitoring in the community. From the data I've seen, we'd be better for rapists to have life sentences which include the corrections system being able to determine the level of supervision: lock-up, placement in the community under electronic monitoring, and if risk rises, back to lock-up. Thus no time-based sequencing of anything. I'd apply this to the "stranger rapists", violent rapes causing physical injury, and repeat rapists. The point is control of future harm, not vengeance. But we certainly feel the vengeance.
 
Posted by Curiosity killed ... (# 11770) on :
 
Carl Sargeant, the Welsh Labour minister who had been stood down to face allegations about his behaviour, has been found dead.
 
Posted by Ohher (# 18607) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by quetzalcoatl:
I would hate to live in a society where people were executed out of revenge fantasies.

Those of us who live in the US already live in such a society; it just hasn't been institutionalized yet.

Apparently the Sutherland Springs shooter wished to avenge himself on his mother-in-law's church.

As a rape survivor, I can't support such extreme penalties as death or life without parole. Too many of us subscribe to the belief that rape permanently and utterly destroys its victims. That this is sometimes true ignores the fact that most victims recover and move on with their lives. They may be changed -- I was -- but are not necessarily done in by the trauma.
 
Posted by Mudfrog (# 8116) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Curiosity killed ...:
Carl Sargeant, the Welsh Labour minister who had been stood down to face allegations about his behaviour, has been found dead.

Tried, convicted and shamed on the strength of allegations.

My view is this - and this is based on dealing with something like this - is that all accusations should be treated seriously but the climate where all accusers are automatically believed needs to stop. Now.

The problem is that the police all treat the accusation as if the crime has actually happened and so, when condicting the investigation following the arrest, they only look at evidence that supports the allegation. This is true. I have experienced it for someone in my congregation.

People - including me (and I was on the premises when the rime allegedly took place!) were left unquestioned, the scene of the 'crime' was not inspected. Nothing that could possibly be used in defence was considered and so the defence had little to go on.

It's little more than a witch hunt and now a bloke has killed himself.

What a shame.
 
Posted by Doublethink. (# 1984) on :
 
Obviously this death is a tragedy - but unless I have missed something - this guy was not subjected to prolonged monstering by the press or anyone else. Allegations were made, he was suspended for an investigation to take place.

It is terribly sad that he reacted in this way, and we do not know what vulnerabilities he may have that led him to despair - but I don't think we know that he was mistreated in the process of the investigation.

(Also, mudfrog, afaik - this case was never at a level that required referral to the police.)

[ 07. November 2017, 18:48: Message edited by: Doublethink. ]
 
Posted by Huia (# 3473) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Ohher:
As a rape survivor, I can't support such extreme penalties as death or life without parole. Too many of us subscribe to the belief that rape permanently and utterly destroys its victims. That this is sometimes true ignores the fact that most victims recover and move on with their lives. They may be changed -- I was -- but are not necessarily done in by the trauma.

At my worst moments I had fantasies of dire revenge, but I knew they were fantasies and most of them had cartoon flavour of Roadrunner and Wiley Coyote about them. I don't believe in the death penalty, (NZ hasn't had it since about 1959) and even if I did, the years of processing it, the arguments and appeals would have mired me in the past and made recovery and moving on far more difficult.

Huia
 
Posted by Doublethink. (# 1984) on :
 
I think this piece is very good, in relation to the call to believe women - and what that actually means in terms of press reporting.
 
Posted by Mudfrog (# 8116) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Doublethink.:
Obviously this death is a tragedy - but unless I have missed something - this guy was not subjected to prolonged monstering by the press or anyone else. Allegations were made, he was suspended for an investigation to take place.

It is terribly sad that he reacted in this way, and we do not know what vulnerabilities he may have that led him to despair - but I don't think we know that he was mistreated in the process of the investigation.

(Also, mudfrog, afaik - this case was never at a level that required referral to the police.)

No indeed, I had never heard of him until his death was reported but, quite tellingly, on the radio this morning it was reported that although he was suspended he was not told what the allegations against him actually were, and although the solicitor had demanded from the party that they give those details, the poor man took his own life without ever finding out what he was supposed to have done wrong.

In conversation with friends he had vowed he would clear his name but felt - and this is the most significant point in this whole discussion - he felt that he had already been found guilty in this whole process.

It appears that the leader of his party may well now be under extreme pressure because of the decisions that were made in this case and in the way the allegations and the suspension were handled.
 
Posted by Mudfrog (# 8116) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Doublethink.:
I think this piece is very good, in relation to the call to believe women - and what that actually means in terms of press reporting.

Very good.

I was concerned to hear a case where the police had decided there was enough evidence to convict the alleged (*cough*) perpetrator of the abuse.

I'm sorry? Is it the police's duty or privilege to decide on that?
Surely it's for the police to decide if there's enough evidence to
arrest somebody.
It is for the magistrate to decide if there's enough evidence to send a suspect for trial, and for the jury to decide if there is enough evidence to convict.
 
Posted by mr cheesy (# 3330) on :
 
I don't know anything about any case that's in the public eye at the moment.

However it seems to me that there is scope for blackmail and/or revenge in making claims about things that happened many years ago.

I don't know how anyone is to navigate this. On the one hand, women who say things should be believed. On the other, how is anyone going to prove something that happened x years ago? On the other other, how is a woman going to get justice when they've been powerless to do anything about it before now? On the other other other, how does a person accused protect or defend themselves against malicious accounts?

I don't know. It's a huge horrible black hole where no option going forward is good.
 
Posted by mr cheesy (# 3330) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Mudfrog:

I'm sorry? Is it the police's duty or privilege to decide on that?
Surely it's for the police to decide if there's enough evidence to
arrest somebody.
It is for the magistrate to decide if there's enough evidence to send a suspect for trial, and for the jury to decide if there is enough evidence to convict.

There are various check-and-balances in the system. The first is the police - if they don't think there is enough evidence they won't arrest an individual.

The next is the Crown Prosecution Service. If they don't think there is a realistic chance of prosecution, they won't go forward with a case.

The next is the courts.

I'm not sure we want a system where the police charge and bring to court everyone, even if the evidence is very slight. For one thing, I don't know that the courts could handle the number of prosecutions.
 
Posted by Mudfrog (# 8116) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:


I don't know how anyone is to navigate this. On the one hand, women who say things should be believed.

No.
This is the problem.
When a woman is believed just in her accusation that means automatically that the accused is seen as guilty and that what he says is disbelieved.

That entirely removes 'innocent until proven guilty' and, as I said, believing the allegation even at the stage of accusation and before the arrest, means that the investigating police officer will then only look for evidence to corroborate the allegation and will ignore any evidence that does not uphold the 'truth' of the accusation.

What should happen is that an accusation is listened to, taken seriously and acted upon.

To automatically believe an allegation is to damn the accused even before he is arrested; and this is exactly what we are seeing.

I would also like a new law to be introduced that says an accused person cannot be suspended on account of an accusation, cannot be named on account of an accusation; rather they should only be named and suspended when an actual charge is made against them.

It can be months before an accused is actually charged with a crime; and they will be named, suspended from work, or even church, and deemed to be guilty by law enforcement, the media and the public. It should be at the point of being charged, not arrested that these things should be done.

I have spoken to women in the last few days and without exception they are all horrified, think this is a witchhunt and say that soon men will be afraid to leave the house because of these accusations of sexual abuse that amount to little more than touching a leg: words of women, not my words.
 
Posted by mr cheesy (# 3330) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Mudfrog:
No.
This is the problem.
When a woman is believed just in her accusation that means automatically that the accused is seen as guilty and that what he says is disbelieved.

I don't know Mudfrog. I'm not sure I want to get into a debate about this, but surely there is a problem when someone reports a rape and the initial reaction of the police is "ok, so prove it. Convince me."

It throws up all kinds of complicated and uncomfortable things which make the whole thing extremely hard to prosecute - such as barristers badgering witnesses about their sexual history to show that they are not credible.

quote:
That entirely removes 'innocent until proven guilty' and, as I said, believing the allegation even at the stage of accusation and before the arrest, means that the investigating police officer will then only look for evidence to corroborate the allegation and will ignore any evidence that does not uphold the 'truth' of the accusation.
Explain to me exactly what the police should do if someone comes to them in extreme distress and saying that someone has raped them. It was a while ago so there is no physical evidence. So what then?

Either one believes them (at least initially) and moves forward on the assumption that it is true or tends to say that they disbelieve them until they can come up with convincing evidence.

Neither is a great position to be in, but I'd have thought more belief of people saying that they'd been attacked in the initial stages of an investigation might have uncovered Savile (etc) sooner.

quote:
What should happen is that an accusation is listened to, taken seriously and acted upon.

To automatically believe an allegation is to damn the accused even before he is arrested; and this is exactly what we are seeing.

I'm not sure it is. But I'm also not sure I really want to continue with this line of discussion thanks all the same.

quote:
I would also like a new law to be introduced that says an accused person cannot be suspended on account of an accusation, cannot be named on account of an accusation; rather they should only be named and suspended when an actual charge is made against them.
That seems problematic to me.

quote:
It can be months before an accused is actually charged with a crime; and they will be named, suspended from work, or even church, and deemed to be guilty by law enforcement, the media and the public. It should be at the point of being charged, not arrested that these things should be done.
Maybe. But then I'm not sure suspension in most jobs is about the legal stuff as much as the whole "look" of the thing. When someone is obviously under investigation, the spotlight is taken off of the thing/job they're supposed to be doing and onto them as a person. Which in politics in particular is not good.

quote:
I have spoken to women in the last few days and without exception they are all horrified, think this is a witchhunt and say that soon men will be afraid to leave the house because of these accusations of sexual abuse that amount to little more than touching a leg: words of women, not my words.
I've heard some similar things - although I think there is also truth in the thought that the leg-touching is evidence of a systematic misogenist attitude in parliament and that although it may not have been very serious in-and-of-itself, as part of an ongoing sexualised environment whereby men seem to think they can get sexual favours is problematic.

I think it would be quite nice if everyone in Westminster kept their hands to themselves, or at very least touched people lightly on the shoulder to show affection. In my limited interaction with MPs I've noticed several times that they can be extremely touchy-feely with women, which seems unnecessary.
 
Posted by Baptist Trainfan (# 15128) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Mudfrog:
I would also like a new law to be introduced that says an accused person cannot be suspended on account of an accusation, cannot be named on account of an accusation".


While I agree in principle, this would be difficult if the allegation was so serious and probably true that there might be a real danger of a (further) crime being committed.

quote:
They should only be named and suspended when an actual charge is made against them.
Certainly agree about the naming ... and possibly not even when the charge is brought, if they are to get a fair hearing. Problem is, the media soon cotton on to what's happening and drop brought hints such as "a 56 year old man from Acacia Avenue"; and, of course, it only takes one person to Tweet or Facebook and the secret is out.

I'm very unhappy with the current situation as anyone who has a grievance, real or imagined, can lash out and make an allegation which is totally false, causing untold grief. Believe me, I've seen it happen. IMO no allegation should be taken seriously unless (a) it is both seriously and provable and/or (b) several separate allegations are made by unconnected individuals - which is not at all the same as naming someone and inviting other victims to come forward.

It strikes me that the classic case is of a male doctor or teacher upon whom a female makes advances. He quite rightly declines those advances, at which point the disgruntled woman or girl claims that he tried to assault her. It's one word against another ... but mud sticks.

[ 08. November 2017, 11:01: Message edited by: Baptist Trainfan ]
 
Posted by beatmenace (# 16955) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Baptist Trainfan.

It strikes me that the classic case is of a male doctor or teacher upon whom a female makes advances. He quite rightly declines those advances, at which point the disgruntled woman or girl claims that he tried to assault her. It's one word against another ... but mud sticks.

Another good reason why there is a dearth of people going into teaching. I've found it doesn't take long at all to find a teacher this has happened to.

[ 08. November 2017, 11:50: Message edited by: beatmenace ]
 
Posted by Mudfrog (# 8116) on :
 
I know of a teacher who was at my sons' school a number of years ago.
An 8 year old girl accused him of touching her.
He was immediately suspended, the entire community was outraged that he had done this unforgivable thing - you can imagine a whole community of mothers and the hatred that was coming from them.
The poor bloke had a complete breakdown.

The girl then confessed that she'd lied because he'd told her off in class.
 
Posted by Brenda Clough (# 18061) on :
 
That is of course the classic defense: women are liars, you can't believe their accusations. This is an accusation with deep historical roots. You can quite see why it discourages women with real grievances from stepping forward.
 
Posted by lilBuddha (# 14333) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Mudfrog:
I know of a teacher who was at my sons' school a number of years ago.
An 8 year old girl accused him of touching her.
He was immediately suspended, the entire community was outraged that he had done this unforgivable thing - you can imagine a whole community of mothers and the hatred that was coming from them.
The poor bloke had a complete breakdown.

The girl then confessed that she'd lied because he'd told her off in class.

I'm sorry, but this is type of bullˢʰᶦᵗ used to ignore solving real issues.* Men would imply that this happens often when statistic back the reverse conclusion. Adding a child into the equation is playing to sympathy.

Everyone should be innocent until proven guilty. ✔

Accusation ≠ guilt. ✔

Accusations should be private until charges are made. Yeah, this one is problematic.
The Wienstien case shows why. The courage to bring a public charge gave others the courage to speak. If the first charge were brought to a court and failed, all the other victims would have been discouraged to speak out.

Suspension should wait until charges are brought. Also problematic. In cases where no further harm is likely, possibly. But there are situations where harm might be continued and those where ignoring the accusation feeds the attitude of dismissal which has so long plagued abuse cases.

*Not saying that what allegedly happened is OK, it would not be.
 
Posted by Barnabas62 (# 9110) on :
 
Well, it is a conundrum. I remember at the time of the Orkney satanic abuse case going to a training course re child protection policies in local churches. At one of those cases a social worker said, quite categorically, that children making accusations of abuse "should always be believed".

Greatly daring, I mentioned Arthur Millers "The Crucible" as a dramatic illustration that children might make false accusations for reasons of their own. The next few minutes were embarrassing - for me. All I was trying to do was argue that people of any age who alleged they were victims of a sexual assault should always be treated seriously, listened to without judgment. But "always" was a dangerous word in this context. It gave an accuser power (the point of "The Crucible").

The evidence that I have seen strongly suggests that the vast majority of accusations of serious sexual assault(over 90% in most studies) are indeed truthful. The studies themselves are problematical.

See here.

But that of itself cannot shift the burden of proof. Like Mudfrog, I know of one case of false accusation which caused very serious damage to the accused. But I know a good many others where the accusations were indeed found to be true. Based on my own experience, a non-representative sample, accusers are predominantly truthful. For justice to be served, the only safe way is case by case testing.

So far as suspension is concerned, the employer has no choice during the investigation, particularly if others, particularly minors are judged to be at risk. There is an obvious duty of care. So far as privacy of the accused is concerned, I don't see how that can be managed.

Personally, I think people should be prepared to await the results of investigations and trials, live with the uncertainty. We don't need to have an instant opinion on everything.

But it is a conundrum. If over 90% of the time, the victim is the victim, but up to 10% of the time the victim is the accused, how is that to be handled? Since we are not in a position to know for sure?

"Always" doesn't seem to be a safe word in these cases.
 
Posted by no prophet's flag is set so... (# 15560) on :
 
Most sexual assaults are not reported because the investigation and trial processes provide for copious secondary trauma of reliving and being attacked about the details of everything. Even in jurisdictions with "rape shield" laws where past reputation and behaviour is illegal to ask, the boundaries are case-to-case about what may be asked.

I think the best approach is preventative. Like publicizing behavioural advice: "If you are hiring someone for a job, don't have sex with them as part of the interview."
 
Posted by lilBuddha (# 14333) on :
 
quote:
The evidence that I have seen strongly suggests that the vast majority of accusations of serious sexual assault(over 90% in most studies) are indeed truthful. The studies themselves are problematical.
For a limited definition of problematic, perhaps. The only problem I see is exact percentage, not general accuracy of the studies. IOW, whether the studies are off by a few percentage points either way doesn't change that the majority of accusations are valid.
quote:
Originally posted by Barnabas62:

"Always" doesn't seem to be a safe word in these cases.

It depends on the sentence. Always take the accusation as undeniable fact? No. Always take it seriously? Yes.
 
Posted by Soror Magna (# 9881) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Mudfrog:
No.
This is the problem.
When a woman is believed just in her accusation that means automatically that the accused is seen as guilty and that what he says is disbelieved.

That entirely removes 'innocent until proven guilty' ....

I believe the complete phrase is "innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law". Many, many people don't seem to understand that finding a defendant guilty in a court of law requires a number of factors, not just establishing that the defendant committed the criminal act. One challenge in prosecuting a sexual assault is proving the "guilty mind". All a defendant has to say is, 'I thought s/he wanted it' and there's your reasonable doubt. It's like the "I feared for my life" defense for cops.

But if that doesn't work, or if the judge believes the defendant is lying,
quote:
The so-called W.(D.) test, set out by the Supreme Court in 1991, allows for an acquittal if a court has a reasonable doubt based on the totality of the evidence, even if the trier of fact does not believe the testimony of the accused. This has resulted in scores of trial judgments over the years, where judges say in written reasons that the defendant is “probably guilty,” but they must acquit.
The trouble with sex assault trials


Mudfrog's concerns about limited investigation apply to any crime, not just sexual assault. It is a risk in any investigation as soon as a suspect is identified. In the Canadian justice system, it is up to the Crown prosecutors to decide whether a) there is enough evidence to warrant a charge and b) whether there is a reasonable chance of a conviction. It is also up to a judge to determine whether the accused should be detained before trial or be released with or without conditions. To be fair, Mudfrog's suggestions would be greeted with joy by the thousands of "innocent" people in custody.

As for this:
quote:
... soon men will be afraid to leave the house ...
Now you know what it is like.
 
Posted by quetzalcoatl (# 16740) on :
 
Yes, I was just thinking that the risk of the innocent being accused occurs with many crimes, not just sexual ones. If I am accused of serious fraud, my reputation will suffer a lot. Should the police and courts therefore not investigate?

We have to be careful, as these stories of witch-hunts against men are classic methods of discrediting women, and the campaign against sexual harassment.

At the moment, the backlash is not all that strong, but it could gather pace, in a campaign to negate the anti-harassment struggle.
 
Posted by Barnabas62 (# 9110) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:

It depends on the sentence. Always take the accusation as undeniable fact? No. Always take it seriously? Yes.

Yes, that's my position exactly. It is much more likely too be truthful than not.

So far as the stats are concerned, I understand why they are problematic, from the viewpoint of statistical rigour. But the different studies all point towards predominant truthfulness.
 
Posted by mousethief (# 953) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Barnabas62:
quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:

It depends on the sentence. Always take the accusation as undeniable fact? No. Always take it seriously? Yes.

Yes, that's my position exactly. It is much more likely too be truthful than not.

So far as the stats are concerned, I understand why they are problematic, from the viewpoint of statistical rigour. But the different studies all point towards predominant truthfulness.

All true. But you can't send someone to prison based on statistics.
 
Posted by Barnabas62 (# 9110) on :
 
Exactly.
 
Posted by lilBuddha (# 14333) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Soror Magna:

As for this:
quote:
... soon men will be afraid to leave the house ...
Now you know what it is like.
No, actually he doesn't. Because even if his "Oh no's the false accusations" were accurate, it isn't a phenomenon limited to men. And he still doesn't have to worry about actually being raped nearly anywhere, being groped at work,* denied promotion or even a job, etc.

*Yes, I know, these do happen to men. But not nearly as often and typically by other men. And most men I know do not worry about it, but most women do.
 
Posted by Russ (# 120) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
even if his "Oh no's the false accusations" were accurate, it isn't a phenomenon limited to men. And he still doesn't have to worry about actually being raped nearly anywhere, being groped at work,* denied promotion or even a job, etc.

You'll have heard of Blackstone's ratio - better that 10 guilty people go unpunished than that one innocent person be punished.

You may or may not agree with that in the case of "ordinary" crimes. Like theft, where you as an individual run both the risk of someone stealing from you and getting away with it, and the risk of being wrongly accused.

Seems to me that the problem comes when people want to apply different rules to "gendered" crimes where someone's gender means that - to a first approximation - they run one risk and not the other.

Because if you change your mind about the relative acceptability of those two risks in the direction that your self-interest dictates, isn't that a contemptible double standard ?
 
Posted by lilBuddha (# 14333) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
You'll have heard of Blackstone's ratio - better that 10 guilty people go unpunished than that one innocent person be punished.

You may or may not agree with that in the case of "ordinary" crimes. Like theft, where you as an individual run both the risk of someone stealing from you and getting away with it, and the risk of being wrongly accused.

Seems to me that the problem comes when people want to apply different rules to "gendered" crimes where someone's gender means that - to a first approximation - they run one risk and not the other.

Because if you change your mind about the relative acceptability of those two risks in the direction that your self-interest dictates, isn't that a contemptible double standard ?

Predictable try, but rubbish. The problem is that sexual abuse/assault already has a different rule, one that we would see removed.
If we could see such crimes reduced to the level of Blackstone's ratio, it would be progress.
It is a contemptible dodge to suggest that victims receive most of the preferential treatment.
 
Posted by Soror Magna (# 9881) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
You'll have heard of Blackstone's ratio - better that 10 guilty people go unpunished than that one innocent person be punished. ...

Blackstone seems to work better for rapists than burglars or barfighters. Crimes against corporations get dedicated police teams and prosecutors and 80-90% are solved. And innocent people do get punished.


The criminal justice system is biased, and it is biased by gender, race, and a whole host of other factors. It is not a double standard to demand the same standard of justice for people of all genders and all races, whether victim or suspect, whatever the crime.
 
Posted by mousethief (# 953) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Mudfrog:
No.
This is the problem.
When a woman is believed just in her accusation that means automatically that the accused is seen as guilty and that what he says is disbelieved. [/QB]

That's not borne out by the statistics. Few of men accused of rape are brought to trial, and few who are brought to trial are convicted.
 
Posted by no prophet's flag is set so... (# 15560) on :
 
It's always about the accused's rights and ensuring they get everything about process. Court is very traumatizing for victims, usually experienced as a trial against them. There is no real due process for them. Even if they don't testify, they get subpoenas and have to show up, do nothing but wait, expecting to testify, and then get sent home, possibly seeing the attacker in the hallways of the court room, or their family. Very upsetting and re-traumatizing.
 
Posted by Brenda Clough (# 18061) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
quote:
Originally posted by Soror Magna:

As for this:
quote:
... soon men will be afraid to leave the house ...
Now you know what it is like.
No, actually he doesn't. Because even if his "Oh no's the false accusations" were accurate, it isn't a phenomenon limited to men. And he still doesn't have to worry about actually being raped nearly anywhere, being groped at work,* denied promotion or even a job, etc.

*Yes, I know, these do happen to men. But not nearly as often and typically by other men. And most men I know do not worry about it, but most women do.

Know that it is changing. We are not going to take this any more.
This is one of many similar articles, pointing out that this is the year that it has changed. It is from the NY Times so it will cost you a click. A quote:
"Not only are women expected to weather sexual violence, intimate partner violence, workplace discrimination, institutional subordination, the expectation of free domestic labor, the blame for our own victimization, and all the subtler, invisible cuts that undermine us daily, we are not even allowed to be angry about it. Close your eyes and think of America.
We are expected to keep quiet about the men who prey upon us, as though their predation was our choice, not theirs. We are expected to sit quietly as men debate whether or not the state should be allowed to forcibly use our bodies as incubators. We are expected to not complain as we are diminished, degraded and discredited."
 
Posted by la vie en rouge (# 10688) on :
 
A case that’s been attracting a lot of attention here is that of Tariq Ramadan, a prominent Islamic scholar accused of rape by two women. He has now been suspended by Oxford University, although the university has insisted that this is no proof of guilt and is to allow an investigation to take place. I think that’s about right. The accusations are extremely serious and I don’t see how he could carry on in anything like the normal manner in any case.

Incidentally, Charlie Hebdo put a lewd cartoon of Ramadan on their front cover last week and death threats followed in short order. Which is odd, because as a radio commentator pointed out the other day, even if the relationships were consensual as Ramadan claims, they were not anything a devout Muslim should have been getting up to. There’s a lot of unpicking to do there, ISTM.
 
Posted by Mudfrog (# 8116) on :
 
I have dealt with a case where the following was true:

The accused was elderly at the time of 'the offence'.
He was arrested and bailed but not charged for 5 months.
In that time the arresting officer didn't talk to me - though I was in the same building and was the line manager.
Neither did she come to actually view the place where the alleged incident occurred.
Neither were any of the defence's statements used in court.
The charge was that there was 'sexual intent' - I have no idea how one proves that.
The only witness to the event - and there was one, a woman! - disagreed with the story told by the alleged victim and, having seen the event take place and seen the reaction, said that it was nothing at all like the evidence presented. i.e. it was a pack of lies.

The judge actually said that she wanted to find the accused not guilty but because of the nature of the case felt she had no choice but to give him a conditional discharge, make him pay £500 to the victim and place him on the sex-offenders' register.

I have yet to find anyone, man or woman, friend or stranger, after all this time later, who believes this man was guilty.


The arresting officer was a woman.
The prosecution and defence were women.
The judge was a woman.
The accusers were women.

The enquiry from day one of the arrest right through to the handing down of the sentence was evidently and blatantly one of finding the evidence to justify the arrest. There was no attempt made to be objective and look at defence evidence - indeed anything that went against the accused's story was ignored.

A second point.
The difference between these kinds of crimes and any other is that there is a great deal of stigma around them.

If someone is arrested on suspicion - note that word, 'suspicion' - of serious fraud or even assault, they may well be suspended from work, named in the papers, etc; but if they are subsequently found not guilty, the case fades into the past.

If someone is arrested for a sexual offence there is no 'suspicion' it's condemnation by virtue of even being questioned! Just look at Sir Cliff Richard whose house as raided by the police for the TV cameras before he even knew anything about it!.
He was questioned later but never arrested but now, even after the case was dropped, there are still those who say 'no smoke without fire.'

That's the difference.
In 2017 even to be accused of an offence is to be automatically and indelibly guilty of the unforgivable sin - even if the case is dropped.

Mud does indeed stick and people will always whisper as the 'exonerated' and falsely accused man walks past them.
 
Posted by mr cheesy (# 3330) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Mudfrog:


The judge actually said that she wanted to find the accused not guilty but because of the nature of the case felt she had no choice but to give him a conditional discharge, make him pay £500 to the victim and place him on the sex-offenders' register.

If that's true, you need to find a journalist to follow it up because it doesn't sound like justice at all.

quote:
I have yet to find anyone, man or woman, friend or stranger, after all this time later, who believes this man was guilty.


The arresting officer was a woman.
The prosecution and defence were women.
The judge was a woman.
The accusers were women.

None of this, in-and-of-itself is really very relevant.

If the case is unsound, you should have someone investigate it and not bring all of this other irrelevant stuff into the conversation.

quote:
That's the difference.
In 2017 even to be accused of an offence is to be automatically and indelibly guilty of the unforgivable sin - even if the case is dropped.

Mud does indeed stick and people will always whisper as the 'exonerated' and falsely accused man walks past them.

This is certainly a problem, but I don't really see how it can be avoided.
 
Posted by Mudfrog (# 8116) on :
 
An appeal was offered but the man's family, wisely in my view, declined because of the significant strain on the his health if he went through it all again.
 
Posted by mr cheesy (# 3330) on :
 
Well if the judge said that they thought he was innocent but convicted anyway, that should be reflected in the court record.

I suspect it is more complicated than this - maybe the judge didn't think there was evidence of the more serious charges but thought that they were guilty of something more minor.

I suppose the conditional discharge suggests that the judge didn't think it was really serious.
 
Posted by Mudfrog (# 8116) on :
 
I fail to see how anyone can prove 'sexual intent'.
Plus why the use of the sex offenders' register?
Harsh!
 
Posted by mr cheesy (# 3330) on :
 
I don't know. And I'm not going to speculate.

As I said, if the thing was as blatant as you are suggesting, then I think you need to find a journalist to investigate it.
 
Posted by Barnabas62 (# 9110) on :
 
Mudfrog

There is always a problem in discussing real life cases unless there are reports in the public domain which you can link to. And you might not want to do that anyway, to protect the privacy of individuals.

Clearly what happened is close to your heart. It might be worth your while to consider whether anything further is to be gained from discussing details here.

So far as the principles are concerned, the legal position is that there has been no shift in the burden of proof, but greater consideration is given these days to the treatment of alleged victims in court. In cases where accusations are demonstrably false (there may also be evidence of malice), courts have been quite severe in their treatment of the false accuser. I think the courts do in general try to strike a reasonable balance these days. There will always be exceptions - it isn't a perfect system.

Sir Cliff Richard's argument was different. His anonymity was breached despite the fact that he was never charged. He considers that to be unfair and I agree with him. Once charges have been laid, I don't think there is a case for anonymity. You can't stop the wagging tongues - or inflammatory press reporting (at least not easily).
 
Posted by no prophet's flag is set so... (# 15560) on :
 
Musfrog: examples can be found and told in ways to prove any point. Proves nothing whatsoever.

In your example you say "conditional discharge". Here that means if the accused complies with conditions, there are no consequences. If he was finded and registered, it wasn't conditional.

Further, you as manager, did you observe the alleged offence? If not, then you're not a witness. If defence statements were not used, then the defence did not present them.

Was the accused in any form of supervisory, or other work-related relationship with the person accusing? Was there a status and positional differential between them?

[ 09. November 2017, 12:37: Message edited by: no prophet's flag is set so... ]
 
Posted by mr cheesy (# 3330) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by no prophet's flag is set so...:


In your example you say "conditional discharge". Here that means if the accused complies with conditions, there are no consequences. If he was finded and registered, it wasn't conditional.

I don't think this is the situation in the UK. A "conditional discharge" means that you get a fine and no other (eg custodial) penalty.

You get put on the register whether you go to prison or not.
 
Posted by Karl: Liberal Backslider (# 76) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
quote:
Originally posted by no prophet's flag is set so...:


In your example you say "conditional discharge". Here that means if the accused complies with conditions, there are no consequences. If he was finded and registered, it wasn't conditional.

I don't think this is the situation in the UK. A "conditional discharge" means that you get a fine and no other (eg custodial) penalty.

You get put on the register whether you go to prison or not.

No, it is as No Prophet describes:

https://tinyurl.com/y7vx769b

No punishment = no fine.
 
Posted by Barnabas62 (# 9110) on :
 
Not sure. I think conditional discharges are normally covered by a period of time, during which the original charge can be re-opened if there is a further offence. So I think someone may be placed on the Sex Offenders Register for the period of time set by the conditional discharge.
 
Posted by Curiosity killed ... (# 11770) on :
 
Placement on the Sex Offenders can be timed, I've come across that for a particular case.
 
Posted by Honest Ron Bacardi (# 38) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Curiosity killed ...:
Placement on the Sex Offenders can be timed, I've come across that for a particular case.

I think anyone getting a sentence of up to 30 months has to register for a spell of up to 10 years (presumably set by a tariff of some sort) and that above 30 months it's register for life.
 
Posted by Curiosity killed ... (# 11770) on :
 
I've come across someone who did not get a custodial sentence, but was put on the sex offenders register for a fixed period. I am pretty sure the offence was to do with downloaded illegal porn (ie children).
 
Posted by mr cheesy (# 3330) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Karl: Liberal Backslider:
No, it is as No Prophet describes:

https://tinyurl.com/y7vx769b

No punishment = no fine.

Well it seems absolutely sure that a conditional discharge means you get on the sex offenders register, see here - where it is stated that one is on the register for the duration of the conditional discharge.

And according to this you still pay the Victim Surcharge, and possibly other fines and costs.
 
Posted by Honest Ron Bacardi (# 38) on :
 
Ah, right. Presumably there is flexibility in the sentencing guidelines for that sort of thing.

(in response to Curiosity killed...)

[ 09. November 2017, 14:14: Message edited by: Honest Ron Bacardi ]
 
Posted by Karl: Liberal Backslider (# 76) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
quote:
Originally posted by Karl: Liberal Backslider:
No, it is as No Prophet describes:

https://tinyurl.com/y7vx769b

No punishment = no fine.

Well it seems absolutely sure that a conditional discharge means you get on the sex offenders register, see here - where it is stated that one is on the register for the duration of the conditional discharge.

And according to this you still pay the Victim Surcharge, and possibly other fines and costs.

Other costs yes. But a fine is considered a punishment and that doesn't happen under a conditional discharge. A fine is a specific thing in law; other costs are not fines. Having to sign the register is not considered a punishment either; it's a public protection measure. Things like 'fine' and 'punishment' have precise meanings in law.

[ 09. November 2017, 14:19: Message edited by: Karl: Liberal Backslider ]
 
Posted by mr cheesy (# 3330) on :
 
OK. I'm wrong. But it is consistent to say that someone got a conditional discharge and had to pay something to a victim and also was put on the register. Possibly this is not technically a fine.

[ 09. November 2017, 14:29: Message edited by: mr cheesy ]
 
Posted by Brenda Clough (# 18061) on :
 
This is everywhere now, US Senate candidate Roy Moore accused of molesting teen girl.
This is a good example of why waiting for the courts to grind around to a verdict is sometimes impossible. The election is in December; a good decision surely cannot be made in that time frame. The last thing that any voter would want to do is to vote for a man who gropes underaged girls. (Women beyond their teens? Oh, go wild, you can be president.) There are four women with similar stories, lowering the odds that this is just one lying slut. Moore himself is highly problematic, laden with baggage that you could kick up on Google, and this one more straw on the camel's back is already getting other Republicans to call for his withdrawal.
It is sad but too common, that public figures who loudly tout their own Godliness and moral stature are unmasked like this.
 
Posted by lilBuddha (# 14333) on :
 
One of my favourite comedians, and a bit of a hero, Jo Brand on why the smaller harassments matter.
 
Posted by Brenda Clough (# 18061) on :
 
Somewhere else on the internet we are discussing how far this should go. Like, suppose every other man you know has groped a pussy in the day. Should they be outed, shamed, fired, held up to ignominy and scorn?
I suggested the dividing line should be whether they are alive or dead. If you're dead, you get a bye, it can then be consigned to history. The past is another country; I do not care if Dwight D. Eisenhower or Benjamin Disraeli squeezed a knee. An exception could also be made for people like George HW Bush, who is clearly either senile or under heavy meds. Every other man? The pillory.
 
Posted by Brenda Clough (# 18061) on :
 
Missed the edit window, but this is too good not to cite. The headline says it all, but here's the money quote:
“Take Joseph and Mary. Mary was a teenager and Joseph was an adult carpenter. They became parents of Jesus,” Alabama State Auditor Jim Zeigler told The Washington Examiner. “There’s just nothing immoral or illegal here. Maybe just a little bit unusual.”
 
Posted by Ohher (# 18607) on :
 
Apparently he overlooked the Bible passage where Mary, unlike the women complaining about Moore, consents.
 
Posted by Barnabas62 (# 9110) on :
 
[Projectile]

Jim Ziegler's comment is just vile.
 
Posted by Mudfrog (# 8116) on :
 
Firstly, no consent in modern law can be given even if you wanted to. A minor can be as willing as anything, but legally it's non-consensual.

Secondly, there is nothing in the Bible about the ages of Mary or Joseph. There;s a lot of summising (Mary was 12, 'Joseph was an old man', as the song says).

I myself have said in carol services in years gone by that Mary, being unmarried, would have been 13 or 14.
I think it would be a brave minister who trotted that stuff out nowadays!

Best to stick to what the Bible actually says - just because she was a virgin doesn't mean she was a child. There's nothing to suggest Joseph was old, a widower, or anything like that.
 
Posted by lilBuddha (# 14333) on :
 
Given the time period, a young Mary/adult Joseph is a reasonable assumption.
But it isn’t a reasonable pairing now nor when Moore allegedly did so.
 
Posted by mr cheesy (# 3330) on :
 
I don't think we should really be taking marriage guidance (and/or sexual guidance) lessons from the bible. And those who do should be loudly mocked.

Stick to the damn point: we all agree that doing this with a 12 year old is bad, whatever the blessed Mary may or may not have been.

edit: sorry this isn't attacking Mudfrog, I was trying to direct it at the ridiculous Republican defenders

[ 10. November 2017, 11:14: Message edited by: mr cheesy ]
 
Posted by Ricardus (# 8757) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Mudfrog:

Best to stick to what the Bible actually says - just because she was a virgin doesn't mean she was a child. There's nothing to suggest Joseph was old, a widower, or anything like that.

Also, those traditions that say Joseph was an old widower also say he had no sexual contact with Mary ...

(As a point of ahistorical interest the Protevangelium of James says she was 16.)
 
Posted by no prophet's flag is set so... (# 15560) on :
 
I thought the point of the Mary story was to have God plant his seed into unplowed soul. With the ancient belief that women provided only the growth medium for the man's planting. Because the seed is wholly God, Jesus is fully divine. The biblical is of course that God asked for her consent.

The thing is anachronistic. Those who wrote the story didn't understand biology. The perpetual virginity of Mary is something else entirely. It seems the point is motherhood, not marriage. With Joseph a weak character, 2 dimensional in biblical accounts. He gets to raise another's child, and has an unconsumated marriage, notwithstanding mention of Jesus' brother, which means he and Mary had a normal sex life or we accept explaining away the other kids as from another mother or marriage.

There's something pathological in all of this mythology. Where women have sexuality as a precious possession which men regulate. Taking either legtimately or illegally. And it's not really women's.
 
Posted by Baptist Trainfan (# 15128) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by no prophet's flag is set so...:
I thought the point of the Mary story was to have God plant his seed into unplowed soul. With the ancient belief that women provided only the growth medium for the man's planting. Because the seed is wholly God, Jesus is fully divine. The biblical is of course that God asked for her consent.

And to me that is the difficulty, as there is such an imbalance of power here. Can one realistically say that Mary had any real choice in the matter? If not, then is God guilty of abuse?

The radical Catholic feminist theologian Mary Daly wrote: "It should not be imagined that Mary had any real role in this conception and birth. ... the Virgin means only the vessel waiting in purity for the bearing of the Saviour. ...

"In the charming story of “the Annunciation” the angel Gabriel appears to the terrified young girl, announcing that she has been chosen to become the mother of god. Her response to this sudden proposal from the godfather is totaled nonresistance: “Let it be done unto me according to thy word”. Physical rape is not necessary when the mind/will/spirit has already been invaded".

Strong words indeed - but does she have a point? (I preached on this a couple of years ago and got a wide variety of reactions!)

[ 10. November 2017, 13:09: Message edited by: Baptist Trainfan ]
 
Posted by Ricardus (# 8757) on :
 
These are very good questions. I've started a separate thread to discuss the tangent relating to Mary.
 
Posted by la vie en rouge (# 10688) on :
 
I’ve always assumed that Mary did have the choice to say no. The angel turns up and says she been chosen for something extremely special but which is also going to suck a whole lot in some very major respects. It’s up to her whether she wants to go with it. If she says it’s too hard, then God chooses someone else. She agrees to sign up for both the honour and the suckiness. I'm uncomfortable with narratives that take away her agency.

In the old cliché, God is a Gentleman. He could force us all to do all sorts of things all the time, but He doesn’t. God Himself (!) doesn’t abuse his power to get people to do things they don’t want to do. Predatory men everywhere, take note.
 
Posted by Brenda Clough (# 18061) on :
 
Mr Cheesy is right. Whatever the Alabama moron says, Moore had no business forcing himself upon a 14 year old girl. She was clearly below the age of consent, and in fact she did not consent -- she was horrified and upset. He has no business to force himself upon anybody, male or female (with male Republicans it's important to say that).

It is especially outrageous because Moore has set himself up for years and years, as an arbiter of sexual morality. He has been very willing to tell everybody what they should do in bed and with whom. A Post columnist has kindly collected a list of the many righteous pronunciations that Moore has made over the years.

Where's the verse about the whited sephulchre? That's the one for him.
 
Posted by Dafyd (# 5549) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by no prophet's flag is set so...:
Because the seed is wholly God, Jesus is fully divine.

Replied to this and Baptist Trainfan on the other thread.
 
Posted by Stetson (# 9597) on :
 
I look forward to hearing Jim Zeigler's biblical rationales for other examples of Republican misbehaviour.

Headline: REPUBLICAN CANDIDATE SELLS HIS DAUGHTER TO PIMP TO PAY OFF GAMBLING DEBT

Zeigler: Well, look at Lot...
 
Posted by Brenda Clough (# 18061) on :
 
Every time I think they've hit bottom, OMG, new depths appear. This is from Jerry Moore, the Senate candidate's brother. He was on NBC and said, "It's kind of like when Jesus Christ hung on the cross. King said turn him loose, we got nothing against him. Kill the other guy, Barabbas. Now they crucified Christ, and he never did nothing. And I'm not saying Roy's like Christ. I'm saying the allegations, the way they're treating him, it's like the way they treated Christ. They just don't want to believe that God's in control of this."

I only hope the NBC reporter asks whether God was in control of Ray's hand as he reached for th1 14-year-old.
 
Posted by Lyda*Rose (# 4544) on :
 
Moving a ways from politicians and deities... Now this is a pretty good apology: Lewis C. K.'s statement about his misbehavior. I very much hope it is sincere and not better-than-average PR.
 
Posted by Brenda Clough (# 18061) on :
 
There are those who condemn it as self-serving, inaccurate, and omitting the key word 'sorry.'
 
Posted by Brenda Clough (# 18061) on :
 
This is a great article, written by a conservative columnist. After years of dismissing the complaints of women, he allows that we should not always but some of the time be heeded. And what changed his mind? The Me Too movement, which produced so much testimony that he could no longer attribute it all to feminine cupidity or foolishness.
 
Posted by lilBuddha (# 14333) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Brenda Clough:
There are those who condemn it as self-serving, inaccurate, and omitting the key word 'sorry.'

Because it is self-serving. He thinks the damage done is that the women no longer have him as an idol.
quote:
Originally posted by Brenda Clough:
This is a great article, written by a conservative columnist. After years of dismissing the complaints of women, he allows that we should not always but some of the time be heeded. And what changed his mind? The Me Too movement, which produced so much testimony that he could no longer attribute it all to feminine cupidity or foolishness.

Too bad he will likely represent a minority who will change their minds.
 
Posted by Lyda*Rose (# 4544) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Brenda Clough:
There are those who condemn it as self-serving, inaccurate, and omitting the key word 'sorry.'

Good article. I had a feeling it might be mostly PR. And an unequivocal "I'm sorry" would have been much better than saying he felt remorse. But I don't always pigeonhole explanations as excuses. Where their brains were at is part of the truth of the situation. As long as they don't say that made it okay, I can cut a little slack.
 
Posted by Lyda*Rose (# 4544) on :
 
To clarify: I don't cut slack for their actions, just what they have to say about them.
 
Posted by Golden Key (# 1468) on :
 
{I've been trying to figure out whether I should say this, or how. I think it might be important. So please bear with me. If you get angry, please skip to the end and read that.}


...when there's a lot of justified rage against certain people, it can spill over onto other people...

So I gently suggest that decent guys and trying-to-be-decent guys be extra circumspect about touch, comments, and sexual behavior.

A few guidelines, which you probably already know, but just in case:

--Don't behave remotely sexually (however playful you might think it is) with someone over whom you have power.

--No whistling "appreciatively" at people passing by, or people you know (kids included). (I've yet to hear a woman say she likes that, and we generally take it as very inappropriate.)

--Hands off, literally.

--Don't make sexual jokes.

--ASK FIRST, politely, if you want to behave sexually with a person. Unless they very specifically say "Yes", don't proceed.

If, for whatever reasons, you find that problematic, talk to a therapist who can help you figure out if there's a problem you need to address.

I've been in a bunch of "me, too" situations, throughout my life. I know there are good guys. I also know that sometimes guys think boundary lines are fuzzy. And I know that many, many victims/survivors of abuse/harassment are raging. If we/they go all Krakatoa, you don't want to unnecessarily be in the way.

FWIW, YMMV. Apologies for any offense. I'm pragmatic, and this is me acknowledging that there are a) decent guys and b) I don't want them hurt. (Not always easy for me.)

[ 11. November 2017, 04:28: Message edited by: Golden Key ]
 
Posted by Brenda Clough (# 18061) on :
 
I could condense it down even further for you: Do as you would be done by. You do not want your crotch grabbed? Don't grab crotches. You don't want your boss chasing you around and around the xerox machine? Don't chase your secretary. You would dislike it if your 14-year-old were assaulted? Don't assault 14 year olds.

I can't find the article now that says this, but essentially all women are demanding is to be treated as human beings. Alas, that this is such a radical and controversial demand. I was going to pop back up there and change 'demanding' to 'asking', but I have left it. We asked, for a long time. Now we're going to demand.
 
Posted by mr cheesy (# 3330) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Brenda Clough:
I could condense it down even further for you: Do as you would be done by. You do not want your crotch grabbed? Don't grab crotches. You don't want your boss chasing you around and around the xerox machine? Don't chase your secretary. You would dislike it if your 14-year-old were assaulted? Don't assault 14 year olds.

Unfortunately I think the opposite is true: those who do these things to others do want others to do it to them. They want to live in a society where these things are normalised so that they can get regular sexual encounters to their taste.
 
Posted by Brenda Clough (# 18061) on :
 
Well, not exactly. They would like to be in a society of predators, I am sure. Crooked Don will not denounce Roy Moore; if Moore should become a Senator (God forbid) then the two of them would have a fine time chasing skirts and grabbing pussies. But they do not want to be in the vulnerable position. The victim. Nobody imagines themselves in that role, and it is this failure of imagination that makes the Golden Rule so unhelpful. The yobs who insist that they would not at all mind being catcalled or chased in the street are lacking in imagination. They cannot walk in another's shoes.
 
Posted by Golden Key (# 1468) on :
 
Pertinent scene from "Sex and the City":

Miranda is walking down a street in New York City. She's already having a bad day.

There's a group of construction guys in the street. One of the them starts cat-calling her--what he'd like to do with her, etc. He clearly thinks it's funny.

Miranda's had enough, so she turns and calls him on it. Total fury. Basically, "oh, so you want to do this, that, and the other? Ok, right here and right now!"

The guy looks scared, and says "hey, lady, calm down, I'm married!"

Miranda responds with an Italian insult and an Italian gesture. Then walks on.

One of my favorite scenes in the entire series.
 
Posted by stonespring (# 15530) on :
 
Sorry if this has already been discussed on this thread. If it has, what were the general sides of the argument?

It would help the Democratic Party and other institutions a lot I think if it showed consistency by distancing themselves from Bill Clinton. Not that he is likely to ever run for office again. And this has nothing to do with Hillary, at least for me (I'll let other people debate the stories of Hillary trying to intimidate, punish, or discredit Bill's accusers).

This would be as simple as not letting Bill campaign or fundraise for your campaign if you are a candidate or Democratic/progressive political group and not paying Bill the crazy sums he collects to speak if you are a corporation, nonprofit, NGO, educational institution, foreign government etc., that would like to appear morally upright.

I am not referring to adultery in Bill's case but to what looks like a long history (perhaps discontinued in the 90's but never really atoned for despite apologies re: Monica Lewinsky) of harassment of women, possibly extending to sexual assault and/or rape in some of the allegations. There probably is not enough evidence to convict Bill of a crime but it seems it is high time that he face the consequences to his reputation and livelihood that Weinstein, Spacey, Roy Moore, Louis C.K., etc., all are currently experiencing.
 
Posted by Brenda Clough (# 18061) on :
 
I hate to point out to you that Bill Clinton is no longer in office. i

[ 13. November 2017, 17:48: Message edited by: Brenda Clough ]
 
Posted by lilBuddha (# 14333) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Brenda Clough:
I hate to point out to you that Bill Clinton is no longer in office. i

His point is about the continued association with Clinton. Which is a valid question.
 
Posted by Soror Magna (# 9881) on :
 
I was watching Morning Joe this morning and Nicole Wallace made an interesting point about the people who withhold opinion or judgment because they're waiting for ... something or other. In the case of the Roy Moore allegations, she said there isn't anything more to wait for. There isn't going to be any trial. In her words, either you believe the accusations or you don't.

My corollary to that is that if there isn't going to be a trial in a court of law, then the court of public opinion will be the only trial, for better or worse. How to avoid this? Rather than never leaving the house, keep your supraesophageal ganglion to yourself. At least at work or when there are kids around. Geez. Is that so complicated?
 
Posted by lilBuddha (# 14333) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Soror Magna:
Is that so complicated?

The case of Roy Moore is the same as Trump. Christians willing to excuse transgressions because they think the transgressors will further the Christian agenda. Anti-homosexuality, anti-abortion, anti-immigrant...
 
Posted by Brenda Clough (# 18061) on :
 
George F. Will, the dean of conservative columnists, says in today's Post:
"Evangelical Christians who embrace Moore are serving the public good by making ridiculous their pose as uniquely moral Americans, and by revealing their leaders to be especially grotesque specimens of the vanity — vanity about virtue — that is curdling politics."

The church is doing itself no favors by embracing this piece of excrement. I know that the state of Alabama is racked with doubt, not because of their love of Moore (which is on the record) but the plainer and more painful fact that this will affect business investment, convention traffic, and tourism.
 
Posted by Tubbs (# 440) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
OK. I'm wrong. But it is consistent to say that someone got a conditional discharge and had to pay something to a victim and also was put on the register. Possibly this is not technically a fine.

In murder and manslaughter, (1) A person should be taken to intend a result if he or she acts in order to bring it about and (2) In cases where the judge believes that justice may not be done unless an expanded understanding of intention is given, the jury should be directed as follows: an intention to bring about a result may be found if it is shown that the defendant thought that the result was a virtually certain consequence of his or her action. The rules might be the similar for other offences, but IANAL.

It sounds like the judge decided the actions could result in an offense, the defendant was aware of that but did it anyway.

Sometimes a Judge might prefer to let someone off having heard all the evidence, but they have to follow the sentencing guidelines so they award the least they can. The entry on the Register lasts for the period of the discharge.

Someone who was in the building but didn’t witness the incident doesn’t automatically get interviewed. Or if they are interviewed, it would be very short.

Q: Did you see the incident?

A. No

Job done. Nothing else is relevant.

I read way too many crime books.
 
Posted by Golden Key (# 1468) on :
 
And now, per the news, Al Franken (senator and "Saturday Night Live" alum) has joined the list of offenders.
[Frown]

Will be interesting to see if, how, and when SNL handles this.
 
Posted by Golden Key (# 1468) on :
 
{Presented for your consideration, on a YMMV basis.}

I was looking around on Instructables, and came across "Street Safety For Women", written by a woman who survived two attacks on the street. IMHO, it's really well done, and she won a contest for it, too.

A lot of this could be used for indoor, at-work situations, I think. Worth a read.
 
Posted by Golden Key (# 1468) on :
 
[QUOTE]Originally posted by Golden Key:
[QB] {I've been trying to figure out whether I should say this, or how. I think it might be important. So please bear with me. If you get angry, please skip to the end and read that.}


...when there's a lot of justified rage against certain people, it can spill over onto other people...

So I gently suggest that decent guys and trying-to-be-decent guys be extra circumspect about touch, comments, and sexual behavior.

A few guidelines,
 
Posted by Golden Key (# 1468) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Golden Key:
{I've been trying to figure out whether I should say this, or how. I think it might be important. So please bear with me. If you get angry, please skip to the end and read that.}


...when there's a lot of justified rage against certain people, it can spill over onto other people...

So I gently suggest that decent guys and trying-to-be-decent guys be extra circumspect about touch, comments, and sexual behavior.

A few guidelines, which you probably already know, but just in case:

--Don't behave remotely sexually (however playful you might think it is) with someone over whom you have power.

--No whistling "appreciatively" at people passing by, or people you know (kids included). (I've yet to hear a woman say she likes that, and we generally take it as very inappropriate.)

--Hands off, literally.

--Don't make sexual jokes.

--ASK FIRST, politely, if you want to behave sexually with a person. Unless they very specifically say "Yes", don't proceed.

If, for whatever reasons, you find that problematic, talk to a therapist who can help you figure out if there's a problem you need to address.

I've been in a bunch of "me, too" situations, throughout my life. I know there are good guys. I also know that sometimes guys think boundary lines are fuzzy. And I know that many, many victims/survivors of abuse/harassment are raging. If we/they go all Krakatoa, you don't want to unnecessarily be in the way.

FWIW, YMMV. Apologies for any offense. I'm pragmatic, and this is me acknowledging that there are a) decent guys and b) I don't want them hurt. (Not always easy for me.)

A couple of additions. Some from my own experience, on the receiving end. And, while I'm mostly writing to men to keep them from over-stepping boundaries with women that they may not have considered, I think it probably applies to women and other genders, too.

--Do not sneak up behind a girl/woman. Even if you know her. Especially not in an isolated place. Don't poke, tickle, or grab her. Do not try to scare her. No matter how "funny", "cute", or "clever" you think it is, or think *you* are.

(IME, some normally decent guys can be totally and completely clueless about this.)

--Do not put your hands around a girl's/woman's neck to choke her, whether pretend, playfully, or seriously. And if you find out that you spaced out or lost time while doing that, {get thee to a therapist immediately. No excuses.

--Don't block a girl's/woman's way--on the street, on the stairs, on public transportation, at work, at school.

--Don't grade girls/women, put notches in your bedpost (figuratively or otherwise), compete over getting a girl/woman, or toss money at a woman or girl.

--In an elevator, don't stand close to a girl/woman--especially if you're the only ones there.

--If anyone tells you that the way you treat girls/women is way out of line, take them seriously--even if you think they're being over-sensitive spoilsports. You're lucky they're telling you, rather than beating the crap out of you. Seriously. Take the hint.

--Don't keep targeting a girl/woman, like she's a prize to win. Get a hobby.

--Don't take/hide her keys, purse, phone, etc.

--Don't offer her a ride home, if the purpose is to behave sexually with her--or if you think that's your deserved bonus for being a good guy.

--Don't pursue the babysitter.

--Don't assume that a girl/woman is "playing" hard to get. If she doesn't specifically, verbally say "Yes, I want to be involved with you", leave her the hell alone.

--Just be a *good* man.

[Votive]
 
Posted by mr cheesy (# 3330) on :
 
I'm not sure who you think you are talking to or how typing this list here is helping, GK.
 
Posted by Golden Key (# 1468) on :
 
mr cheesy--

It goes with my original list, which I also included in this recent post.

I suggested that "decent and trying-to-be-decent men" be extra circumspect, because it would be easy for the righteous anger at abusive men to spill over onto them.

I've also found, personally and repeatedly, that a lot of guys I know to normally be decent sometimes truly don't get where the boundaries are--ESPECIALLY if they think they are being funny. Sometimes, when a person thinks of something they find funny, everything else in their mind/brain seems to shut down. No behavioral filters. No empathy. No common sense. Even if they normally excel at those things. I've found that, after some guys have fallen into that "oh, I'm sooo brilliantly funny" trap, they have a really hard time understanding what they did was over the line. So, if they know ahead of time, and can avoid crossing the boundaries, life will be much easier for everyone concerned.

And...well, I'm in the "me, too" camp, and a good many things on those lists have happened to me. And all the news and revelations are triggering a lot of things with me, and I figured this was a positive way to deal with that.

FWIW, there are people who agreed with my original list.
 
Posted by mr cheesy (# 3330) on :
 
I understand, I just don't think your list is particularly helpful. And isn't really helping discussion here.

For example these two:

-- Don't keep targeting a girl/woman, like she's a prize to win. Get a hobby.

-- Don't assume that a girl/woman is "playing" hard to get. If she doesn't specifically, verbally say "Yes, I want to be involved with you", leave her the hell alone.

If I'd listened to these, I'd have never have met my wife properly.

We met briefly but not for long enough to exchange contact details. I had to use various other ways (bearing in mind this was more than 20 years ago and things like facebook didn't exist) to get back in contact.

At some level one has to go out on a bit of a limb in order to risk meeting someone. The problem is the point where that become stalking and/or creepy unwanted attention. I think almost everyone has to "target" a desired lover.
 
Posted by Golden Key (# 1468) on :
 
FWIW: I said "don't *keep* targeting". As in, over and over again.
 
Posted by mr cheesy (# 3330) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Golden Key:
FWIW: I said "don't *keep* targeting". As in, over and over again.

Almost everyone has to keep targetting a desired lover. What does this mean?

I suspect what you are intending to say is that if one gets the brush-off, then a "good man" realises that the lady isn't interested and stops pursuing her.

But it isn't as easy as that - which is another reason why posting a list isn't very helpful in-and-of itself. For example - many stalkers are people who previously were in a relationship with someone else, the relationship broke down and the person continued trying to get back together until the point where it became incredibly creepy, unwanted and horrible.

On the other hand, someone who is attracted to someone else and then tries to see them again (and again and again) but isn't given a direct instruction to stop is not necessarily being creepy. Quite often in human relationships things are ambiguous - and not everyone has the emotional intelligence to pick up signals (in both directions).
 
Posted by Golden Key (# 1468) on :
 
Re emotional IQ:

That's one reason the boundaries need to be pointed out.
 
Posted by mr cheesy (# 3330) on :
 
But the boundaries are not as simple as those suggested in your list.
 
Posted by rolyn (# 16840) on :
 
Whilst many accept there is a problem to be addressed here, an equal number realise this issue is indeed by no means clear cut.
I'm sure many men would like to be called good but is overly simplistic to group men into 'good' or 'bad'. Because if we do then it continues to baffle when observing women who reject relationships with the so-called good kindly type and gravitate towards the rather more disingenuous category.

This was the whole business with the trump pussy tape wasn’t it? A couple of reasons Americans didn’t outrightly dismiss him as a creepy perv were...
1/ he has a hot wife
2/ it must have been generally considered that those who'd formerly had their pussys grabbed by him were, 'up for it' as it were.
 
Posted by Leorning Cniht (# 17564) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by rolyn:

2/ it must have been generally considered that those who'd formerly had their pussys grabbed by him were, 'up for it' as it were.

AKA a variant of the "but she was wearing a miniskirt" rape "defense".
 
Posted by Brenda Clough (# 18061) on :
 
The root assumption seems to be that women are black holes, mysterious and unfathomable beings. You poor man, you cannot know what we are thinking and therefore you have to keep on pestering us, looking for secret signal flags.

Could you instead treat us as adult human beings? Ask. "Is there a possibility of this going somewhere, or should I move on?" When she says no, believe her and seek elsewhere; do not ask again. If she says 'maybe,' then ask her what your next move should be. (If she says 'yes' then I assume you can manage the picking up of the ball and running yourself.)

And you will be aware, won't you? That sometimes she feels she cannot say no, because you're an employer, a teacher, a Congressman, because she's 14 years old. But at the very least you can ask out loud and get a verbal consent. That gets you past the 'grope her pussy' bar.
 
Posted by Golden Key (# 1468) on :
 
Brenda [Overused]
 
Posted by lilBuddha (# 14333) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
quote:
Originally posted by Golden Key:
FWIW: I said "don't *keep* targeting". As in, over and over again.

Almost everyone has to keep targetting a desired lover. What does this mean?

I suspect what you are intending to say is that if one gets the brush-off, then a "good man" realises that the lady isn't interested and stops pursuing her.

But it isn't as easy as that - which is another reason why posting a list isn't very helpful in-and-of itself. For example - many stalkers are people who previously were in a relationship with someone else, the relationship broke down and the person continued trying to get back together until the point where it became incredibly creepy, unwanted and horrible.

On the other hand, someone who is attracted to someone else and then tries to see them again (and again and again) but isn't given a direct instruction to stop is not necessarily being creepy. Quite often in human relationships things are ambiguous - and not everyone has the emotional intelligence to pick up signals (in both directions).

OK, so please stop saying targeted in defence of your position, it is creepy as fuck.
There is a distance between obvious stalker and innocent, but determined wooing; but there is also an overlap in the middle.
One problem I see is that people can see another person as a potential partner and then begin the pursuit. The problem with this is that the potential partner is not always viewed as a complete person, but a goal. Becoming a friend along the way is never part of the plan.

[ 18. November 2017, 02:02: Message edited by: lilBuddha ]
 
Posted by Leorning Cniht (# 17564) on :
 
Another idiot completely fails to get the point. It's not about having lots of sex - it's about consent.

You can be a "red-blooded heterosexual male" and have lots of sex with a parade of enthusiastically willing young ladies, and there isn't a problem (well, not this problem. Promiscuity might also be a problem for people, but it's not at all the same problem.)

Having an affair is an "indiscretion". Sexual harassment is not an "indiscretion". To his credit, Al Franken seems to understand this given his apology. Judge O'Neill doesn't seem to see the difference.
 
Posted by RuthW (# 13) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
OK, so please stop saying targeted in defence of your position, it is creepy as fuck.
There is a distance between obvious stalker and innocent, but determined wooing; but there is also an overlap in the middle.
One problem I see is that people can see another person as a potential partner and then begin the pursuit. The problem with this is that the potential partner is not always viewed as a complete person, but a goal. Becoming a friend along the way is never part of the plan.

I very much agree with all of this. I'd add that cultural traditions are highly problematic here. The dating culture of my youth seems to have largely disappeared, but the assumption behind it have not - men are still assumed to be the stronger actors in the beginning stages of relationships. Women used to wait to be asked out; now they wait for men to send them messages on dating sites. Obviously a lot of people have figured out that they don't need to do things this way, but the narratives in popular movies and books are a potent reminder of the highly gendered roles of pursuit, and it will take time to make that go away and replace it with a more egalitarian model of relationship building.
 
Posted by Tortuf (# 3784) on :
 
My wife and I became friends before we started dating. I view this as a good thing because we tend to treat each other as partners.
 
Posted by Doc Tor (# 9748) on :
 
Back when I was younger, I was inexplicably 'pursued'. Entirely unreciprocated, and yet the pursuee remained adamant I was the One.

Awkward as fuck. Don't do it.
 
Posted by Tubbs (# 440) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by RuthW:
quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
OK, so please stop saying targeted in defence of your position, it is creepy as fuck.
There is a distance between obvious stalker and innocent, but determined wooing; but there is also an overlap in the middle.
One problem I see is that people can see another person as a potential partner and then begin the pursuit. The problem with this is that the potential partner is not always viewed as a complete person, but a goal. Becoming a friend along the way is never part of the plan.

I very much agree with all of this. I'd add that cultural traditions are highly problematic here. The dating culture of my youth seems to have largely disappeared, but the assumption behind it have not - men are still assumed to be the stronger actors in the beginning stages of relationships. Women used to wait to be asked out; now they wait for men to send them messages on dating sites. Obviously a lot of people have figured out that they don't need to do things this way, but the narratives in popular movies and books are a potent reminder of the highly gendered roles of pursuit, and it will take time to make that go away and replace it with a more egalitarian model of relationship building.
Not so much an overlap as the potential for things to go either way depending on the situation and the people involved.

A determined wooer moves on if the person they’re attempting to woo gives them no encouragement or tells them to go away. They give it a go, but accept the other person has agency and may not want the same outcome as them.

The stalker takes no hints, however blunt, or any account of the other person’s feelings / situation. They are convinced if they keep at it they will eventually get what they want.

We definitely need a different dating model. And movies / TV needs to stop normalising behaviour that in normal circumstances would be deeply weird.

Tubbs
 
Posted by Golden Key (# 1468) on :
 
And now journalist Charlie Rose. (Am currently listening to the PBS Newshour on the radio.)

[Waterworks]
 
Posted by Brenda Clough (# 18061) on :
 
Finally, someone proposes a solution that I think will actually work. Of course these allegations are being weaponized. Here's how to cut that off at the knees.
 
Posted by Doc Tor (# 9748) on :
 
Non-disclosure agreements are simply hush-money, and have no place in this, or any world.
 
Posted by Alex Cockell (# 7487) on :
 
What do i do with the naggng despair that I as an autistic male virgin at 40 don't know the first thing about what to do if ai was ever presented with possible signals of interest- and may not know what they are.. but the testosterone is blasting away and i feel that knot of despair of ever experiencing that thing Successful Men experience.. when a couple finally unite and that is written about in Song of Songs?

I don't want to do wrong - but I also don't want to die a virgin...
 
Posted by lilBuddha (# 14333) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Alex Cockell:
What do i do with the naggng despair that I as an autistic male virgin at 40 don't know the first thing about what to do if ai was ever presented with possible signals of interest- and may not know what they are.. but the testosterone is blasting away and i feel that knot of despair of ever experiencing that thing Successful Men experience.. when a couple finally unite and that is written about in Song of Songs?

I don't want to do wrong - but I also don't want to die a virgin...

The word but absolutely, in the strongest possible sense and with the utmost emphasis, does not belong in that sentence.
Sex is a not a guaranteed right to every individual, nor is the "Successful Men" experience.
The sentence, as structured, implies that the first part is conditional on the second. This may well not be the way you mean it, I don't wish to imply it is.
However, it is the priority of the selfish of the rights of others that is part of the problem we are discussing.
 
Posted by Brenda Clough (# 18061) on :
 
I believe the SoF Commandments prevent the giving of personal advice. So I will only point out that the solution must be found locally, close to you. By definition having (partnered) sex involves being in proximity to a partner.
 
Posted by lilBuddha (# 14333) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Brenda Clough:
I believe the SoF Commandments prevent the giving of personal advice. So I will only point out that the solution must be found locally, close to you. By definition having (partnered) sex involves being in proximity to a partner.

Willing partner. This, apparently, cannot be emphasised enough.

And the last sentence of my previous post should read - 'However, it is the priority of the selfish over the rights of others that is part of the problem we are discussing.'
 
Posted by Brenda Clough (# 18061) on :
 
There is a movement (can't find the link) to adjust the definition and make it accurate.
Sex, by definition, means consensual. If it's not consensual, it's not sex. It's assault, rape, a crime, harassment, etc. Only the good and pleasant meanings adhere to the word; bad actions are no longer permitted to masquerade under it.
Thus, by this definition, Roy Moore was never trolling the shopping malls hoping to have sex. He was hoping to assault a 14-year-old girl. Donald Trump was never sexy. He was ogling and groping helpless women.
 
Posted by Eutychus (# 3081) on :
 
hosting/

quote:
Originally posted by Brenda Clough:
I believe the SoF Commandments prevent the giving of personal advice. So I will only point out that the solution must be found locally, close to you.

Just to clarify this, the Ship's FAQs say this:
quote:
The Ship is not an adequate stand-in for counselling services. Posts which seek to elicit such responses are strongly discouraged, and repeated posts along those lines will be deleted
Y'all's attention is drawn to this and the rest of the FAQ on sharing about personal circumstances.

All of you, please engage your brains extra specially before posting again on personal stuff - or refraining from doing so.

/hosting
 
Posted by Leorning Cniht (# 17564) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
quote:
Originally posted by Alex Cockell:

I don't want to do wrong - but I also don't want to die a virgin...

The word but absolutely, in the strongest possible sense and with the utmost emphasis, does not belong in that sentence.
[..]
The sentence, as structured, implies that the first part is conditional on the second. This may well not be the way you mean it, I don't wish to imply it is.

That's not how I parse Alex's sentence.

My reading of Alex's post is that he doesn't want to miss out on an opportunity that is being offered though an excessive abundance of caution.
That it would be easy to avoid committing sexual assault by avoiding all sexual behaviour completely, but that he, quite understandably, doesn't want to do that, which leaves Alex in a huge mental tangle over what to do if he thinks someone might want to engage in adult activities with him, but isn't sure.

Euty's post about the Ship not being a substitute for counselling is correct, and that's not what I offer here. But in the spirit of a group of friends at the bar, I'll take a long draught of my beer, and offer the suggestion that if you go slow, and explicitly ask if you're not sure what signals you're being presented with, then you won't go wrong.
 
Posted by lilBuddha (# 14333) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Leorning Cniht:
That's not how I parse Alex's sentence.

My reading of Alex's post is that he doesn't want to miss out on an opportunity that is being offered though an excessive abundance of caution.

Pedantically, but is used to contradict or modify the preceding statement. Using and would have been a clearer choice, regardless.
However, I’d did say I didn’t want to assume.
Dating, for the unsure, is a fraught affair. False expectations, such as the “Successful Men experience” certainly don’t help.
 
Posted by Golden Key (# 1468) on :
 
Alex may also simply have meant that sex outside of marriage is proclaimed to be wrong; he doesn't want to do anything wrong; but he doesn't wish to remain a virgin.

From what he said, and from what I've seen from his posts over the years, I don't think he's referring to doing anything non-consensual. He simply has a rough time picking up on signals, because of his autism.

[Votive]

I wonder...would it be wise to start an All Saints thread for this branch of the discussion? There's a little more leeway there for personal matters.

FWIW.
 
Posted by mr cheesy (# 3330) on :
 
I can only offer Alex sympathy and reflect that navigating this is a minefield for people with autism.
 
Posted by Karl: Liberal Backslider (# 76) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
I can only offer Alex sympathy and reflect that navigating this is a minefield for people with autism.

It is. I am married to the only woman I ever dated, who I met when I was 25. I was lucky.
 
Posted by Twilight (# 2832) on :
 
What in the wide world of sports makes ugly old men think that women want to see them naked? If your being a rich, powerful congressman in an expensive suit and tie doesn't interest her, seeing all your saggy parts, moles and white flabby flesh will not change her mind. Trust me on this.
 
Posted by Alex Cockell (# 7487) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
I can only offer Alex sympathy and reflect that navigating this is a minefield for people with autism.

Yup.

Add to that how I'm hauling myself back from the very gravemouth - after 30 years of suicidal eating (you know the story). It's difficult to believe oneself as "attractive" and somehow magic up this "confidence" I am supposed to have from nowhere...

Add knee damage from carting around all the excess weight... and after all that internalising of sex-neg.. and get hammered by even more of it...

[ 23. November 2017, 12:59: Message edited by: Alex Cockell ]
 
Posted by Golden Key (# 1468) on :
 
Alex C--

Would it be possible for you to talk to a therapist? At least for a few sessions?

I'm in therapy for other things, and I know that it helps me a lot to vent, let everything out, and have someone there who can help me figure out what to do next.

If you already have a therapist, great. I'm not trying to push you away from talking to us. But a therapist can be there just for *you*, uninterrupted, and has skills we don't.

[Votive]
 
Posted by Brenda Clough (# 18061) on :
 
Yes, that was my first thought: hiring professional assistance. There are therapists who can help with these issues.

As to the sending of ucky photos, I would hope that by this late date all men, everywhere, know what shall ensue. An unsolicited photo is likely to be laughed at, shown to girlfriends over drinks with many snorts and giggling, memed with witty captions and shared on social media ("Planter's Peanut, the Return of the Inadequate!"), and (if you are unlucky) discussed solemnly on the evening news. Do not let Anthony Weiner's suffering be in vain, gentlemen. Learn from the folly of your elders.
 
Posted by Eutychus (# 3081) on :
 
hosting/

Let me say this again, in bold for emphasis:

The Ship's FAQs say this:
quote:
The Ship is not an adequate stand-in for counselling services. Posts which seek to elicit such responses are strongly discouraged, and repeated posts along those lines will be deleted
Alex, your posts here are in definite danger of being interpreted by the Admins as seeking to elicit counselling support.

Golden Key, you are not helping by offering advice in response to these posts.

Either keep this discussion focused on the general rather than the personal, or expect admin intervention. That applies to everybody taking part.

/hosting

[ 23. November 2017, 13:56: Message edited by: Eutychus ]
 
Posted by Golden Key (# 1468) on :
 
Eutychus--

Eeep! I apologize. My understanding, from a variety of past Ship circumstances, was that we were supposed to refer a Shipmate in need to counseling, which is what I did.
 
Posted by Marvin the Martian (# 4360) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Golden Key:
Eutychus--

Eeep! I apologize. My understanding, from a variety of past Ship circumstances, was that we were supposed to refer a Shipmate in need to counseling, which is what I did.

It's preferred if you leave that task to the Hosts/Admins.
 


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