Sex Object by Jessica Valenti – What It’s Like to Be Routinely Harassed by Men

Jessica Valenti started a popular blog called Feministing in 2004. Since I’m in the dating and relationship space and try to read whatever I can about modern gender dynamics, I’ve kept up with her work and found it admirable. Some may find that hard to believe, but, in general, feminists have far more trouble with their perceptions of me than I actually have with them. In my opinion, we share a common message: equality for women and the power to make smart, independent relationship choices.

The only way in which we differ is from our organic perspectives. I’m more likely to see and explain things from a man’s point of view than most feminists can. Similarly, although I’ve listened to women for over 13 years and understand women better than most men, since I have never walked a mile in your shoes, I can acknowledge that you have a valuable perspective that I can never obtain.

As I see it, women and men may not always agree on everything but if we acknowledge the validity of each others’ points of view, we can at least see the full picture. Women have valid grievances with men. Men have valid grievances with women. Neither is “wrong” for their feelings. But when we refuse to acknowledge the other side’s point of view, there’s gonna be a whole lot of shouting and blaming (as we too often see here).

With that preamble, I want to link to Ms. Valenti’s powerful piece in the New York Times – an excerpt from her memoir “Sex Object”.

Women and men may not always agree on everything but if we acknowledge the validity of each others’ points of view, we can at least see the full picture.

I have not yet read it, and yet, based on this article, I want to give it a shout-out and endorsement. Valenti – through personal anecdote – details what it is like to be objectified by men from a young age.

It’s not hard for me to admit that I’m one of those men. I never cat called. I never harassed. I never assaulted. But did I see attractive women as body parts and objects? Absolutely. And I remind myself that I’m one of the “good ones.” Sensitive. Honest. Loyal. Communicative. Devoted to women. All of this makes my head spin, because if I’m complicit in objectification to some degree, there are a lot more men who have taken the innocent nod towards an attractive stranger to a sinister and abusive level.

This is what Valenti writes about so fiercely:

“When a high school teacher asked me on a date just a few days after I graduated, I wasn’t traumatized. The day that an ex-boyfriend taped a used condom to my dorm-room door, scrawling “whore” across the dry-erase board, didn’t forever damage me. When I receive a rape threat via email, my life’s trajectory does not shift. But it would be silly to believe that who I am today isn’t in part created by the distinct combination of those moments.

I grew up in Queens, taking the subway to junior high and high school. My commute became a time when it wasn’t unusual for a man to grope or flash me. It happened on at least a dozen occasions. I still find myself anxious on the subway. This is not an unreasonable response.”

When male movie characters are overprotective of their daughters as they bring home a prom date, this is what they’re thinking about: they know their worst male impulses and have undoubtedly seen worse from other less evolved men.

I have – and never will – experience the commonplace harassment Valenti describes, but my wife has. My daughter will. And there’s nothing I can do about it, except write.

I couldn’t begin to tell you what’s to blame: testosterone, socialization, parenting, or media, but, to me, it’s imperative that women like Valenti (and men like me) point out the weight of such aggressive sexism. It’s not inherently sexist to admire or ask out a woman based on her beauty alone. But to dehumanize a woman because she rejects you? To threaten her with words or worse? That’s horrifying. There’s no defense for such men.

I have – and never will – experience the commonplace harassment Valenti describes, but my wife has. My daughter will. And there’s nothing I can do about it, except write.

I can only guess that my powerlessness is only a fraction of what it must feel like to be a sex object to leering strangers from the time you hit puberty.

Your thoughts and anecdotes below are greatly appreciated.

Join our conversation (74 Comments).
Click Here To Leave Your Comment Below.

Comments:

  1. 1
    SAL9000

    So why is a young girl riding the subway alone in Queens?

     

     

    1. 1.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      Because that’s how you get from place to place in a city. You take public transportation. Are you remotely suggesting that she bears responsibility for being sexually harassed – just by virtue of being a teenager on a subway?

      1. 1.1.1
        SAL9000

        She has to go alone though?

        Her parents bear responsibility. Pretty much everyone knows that the big city subway (and public transportation in general) in the USA is a concentrator for creeps, criminals and the mentally ill. Wishing/expecting/wanting it be different won’t change that, or might even make things worse.

        (There’s a lot to unpack with the “subway” situation but I’ll leave that for now.)

        1. Angela

          You sound like a helicopter parent

        2. Caroline

          FYI-Valenti was 13 years old 25years ago.  Perhaps things have changed since then?

        3. Lovely

          So should girls who live in urban areas just not go to school if their parents can’t drive them back and forth, for whatever reason? Not everyone has the luxury of a big yellow school bus picking them up in front of their house with the white picket fence while Mom is inside baking cookies for an after school snack .  I don’t think you realize how you sound.

        4. SparklingEmerald

          If someone would grope and grab in a crowded subway, 2 extra people won’t make a difference.  When I was in my late 20’s I was out at a crowded outdoor festival WITH a girlfriend, and some creepy guy, told me that I was too “buttoned up” and reached through a crowd, in an attempt to unbutton the top button of my camp shirt.  I shouted at him, and attempted to push his hand away, never did see his face, but luckily, he got swept away in the crowd of people.  And this was in what is considered the “upper class” part of town, a good neighborhood, a wealthy neighborhood. So there I was, with a friend, during the day, in a good neighborhood, at a crowded event, dressed very prudently, and some clown tries to unbutton my shirt.

          So how was that my fault ?  For not having a MALE chaperone ?  Do the public spaces really belong to men ? Do unaccompanied women, or even pairs of women get what they deserve for daring to leave the house without a male chaperone ?  Funny thing is, I used to dress in shorts and tanks, short rompers, sundresses, etc, since I live in a hot climate.  And I would get harrassed.  So I begrudgingly started dressing more modestly, because no, I don’t think “NICE ASS ! ” from a total stranger is a compliment.   The camp shirt, buttoned up all the way, and blue jeans was part of my deliberate decision to dress less “provacativleey”, and then I get harrassed for not dressing sexy enough !

          But this is the thing that is most infuriating about the sexual harassement.  Women are expected to change their lifestyle because “men are creeps”  We are either told to never go anywhere alone, we are supposed to give up our autonomy, dress a particular way etc. etc. due to the misbehavior of men.  (not all men of course, but I’ve never been sexually harassed by a woman) No one has ever told a man that he shouldn’t go out alone.

          I also had to stop walking to the convenience store 2 blocks from my apts.  This nieghborhood was a little on the “rough side”, it was all I could afford to live in at the time.  Once on my way home, some guy shouted “Do you wanna f***” and I as I sped up and started walking faster, he stood up and screamed “I asked you a question b*****, answer my question, do you want to f*** ?”   I was furious, but I wasn’t going to start driving 2 blocks for a can of ice-tea.  So another time I was out walking, and a man parked in his truck asked me for directions to a local mall.  I told him he was just a few block away and pointed him in the right direction, and started to walk away.  Then he shouted “Is there a JC Penny there ?”  and I said “No”.  Then he asked me if I knew where JC Penny was, and I was getting irritated at this point, and was about to ask “Do I look like a directory to you ?”, but before I did, he asked me “How would you like to make some extra money ?”, and then I noticed some odd movement of his shoulder and realized he was whacking off.  So I ran as fast as I could in the opposite direction of his truck, and NEVER walked to the convenience store again.  One of my friends even said I was “stupid” to give him directions (even thought she routinely gave money to pan handlers and talked to strangers herself).

          So we as women are supposed to dress a certain way, be accompanied by a male at all time, and never give a stranger the time of day, or else we get what we deserve ?

          When were men ever told they should never go anywhere alone ?

           

    2. 1.2
      Alain

      SAL9000, the point of this post when way over your head. The point of the article was on the subway and you completely missed both.

  2. 2
    Theodora

    There is one solution to completely stop the “objectification” – actually two solutions: getting old or getting fat. But then women complain that they’ve become “invisible” to men. Jessica Valenti herself wrote an article in The Guardian a while ago stating that sometimes she misses the cat-calling because when the cat-calls stopped she understood she’s no longer attractive to most men and she freaked out (yes, it’s for real, you can Google that embarrassing article).

    It seems Valenti, like all feminists, is a professional whiner and complainer: the evil men are guilty for noticing her body parts and then guilty again for no longer noticing her sagging body parts.

    1. 2.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      It seems that you, Theodora, in saying “all feminists” are engaging in a poor arguing style. I am a feminist. I believe in 100% equality for women. I am not a professional whiner. I do understand your final line and believe that it has an element of truth, but there’s a big difference between noticing a woman and pulling out your cock in front of her on a subway. If you can’t see that difference, I’m afraid we have little to discuss.

      1. 2.1.1
        Theodora

        Feminism is not and has never been about “equality for women”. It is about choosing those parts of modern “equality ” that are convenient or favorable for women while preserving those parts of old pre-feminist times which are also convenient/favorable for women. Meanwhile, men are left with the worst parts of both “equality” and “Patriarchy”.

        I can give dozens of examples, but the most glaring examples are:

        Her body, her choice. A man has no choice but to pay child support even if he didn’t want the baby.

        Women have no duties towards men in no circumstances, it’s sexist to even entertain that thought. Men still have the duty to be providers and gentlemen around women.

        A single woman is strong and independent. A single man is a childish Peter Pan and a comittmentphobe. A promiscuos woman is exploring her sexuality (don’t slut-shame!). A promiscuos man is at best an avoidant-attacher, at worst a pig. She is judged according to feminist standards, he is judged according to old chivalrous standards.

        Etc. Etc. Etc.

        Personally, I don’t understand how an intellectually honest person can take feminism seriously, and I am a woman. I don’t understand how somebody can take Jessica Valenti seriously either.

        Regarding “objectification”: when feminists complain about objectification, they conflate the extreme and rare cases of mentally ill men pulling out their cock on a subway with normal, mentally healthy men noticing and looking at the body parts of  attractive women. Valenti calls her memoir “Sex Object”, not “Harassment Object” or “Sexual Violence Object” or “Sex-offender-on-the subway Object” because she can guilt-trip men as a group for having sexual instincts – one of her favorite activities.

        1. Tom10

          @ Theodora #2.1.1
          “Personally, I don’t understand how an intellectually honest person can take feminism seriously, and I am a woman.”
           
           
          You’re a woman? Really? Come on now “Theodora”; I don’t think anyone is gonna buy that…

        2. Evan Marc Katz

          Sigh. This black and white thinking is so one-sided that it seems barely worth it to reply. But, since you asked:

          1. I believe in feminism that is based on equality. I think many women agree with me. I think others use it as a bludgeon to shame men and act hypocritically. I acknowledge the latter. You should acknowledge the former.

          2. I’ve written about why men should not be forced to pay for unwanted kids. It was not a popular stance

          3. I’ve also written extensively on how if women want men to be providers and husbands, they should “accept, appreciate, and admire” these men in return. You are very focused on what women are doing wrong, which is in part, true. You are less focused on how men disappoint women. This is the MRA/MGOTW blind spot. Anger at women without acknowledging the validity of their complaints. Which makes you sound just like… you guessed it: the feminists that you decry.

          4. Men are not childish Peter Pans for slutting around. Men are childish Peter Pans for not getting stable jobs, acting like they want commitment while pulling away, not telling women when they have no intention of settling down, etc. Once again, you seem very focused on the extremes and seem to ignore that, in fact, women ARE judged for sleeping around more than men are.

          5. Personally, I don’t understand how an intellectually honest person can NOT take feminism seriously and ignore how disgusting lecherous men can be around women. Here’s a Bad Date Contest I ran a few years back.> Let’s just say women don’t do these things. They do OTHER awful things, but usually not in the realm of creepy sexual aggression.

          So, Theodora, although I know you won’t acknowledge it, anyone who rails against feminists (as if all of them are extreme) is no different than someone who rails against all men (as if they’re all extreme). You sound EXACTLY like the people you despise – at least to anyone who sees the more objective middle ground between the sexes.

        3. ScottH

          “Her body, her choice. A man has no choice but to pay child support even if he didn’t want the baby.”

          Maybe the woman didn’t want the child either but she’s “stuck” with it.  But really, what a stupid position to say that he HAS to support a child he didn’t want.  Do you understand the concept of consequences to one’s actions?  You brought a child into the world.  That comes with responsibilities.  Be an adult (not going to say Man) and tend to your responsibilities.

        4. GoWiththeFlow

          @Tom10,

          “You’re a woman? Really? Come on now “Theodora”; I don’t think anyone is gonna buy that…”

          You read my mind!  Something tells me we’re dealing with a Ted. . .

    2. 2.2
      Tyrone

      Objectification will never stop. It’s what gets a man to go up to a women he finds attractive at the bar. Its what gets a woman to bat her lashes at the fellow across the room. There is nothing wrong with it in that regard. What’s not good is the “It puts the lotion on it’s skin or it gets the hose again” objectification. I’d say that most people like to be desired and would want to be objectified in the first way. Just not all the time. But no one wants to be treated like and animal or a thing.

      1. 2.2.1
        Nissa

        I think we might disagree with the definition of objectification. Webster’s defines it as ‘to treat (someone) as an object rather than as a person’, which is how I understand it.

        A man going up to a woman at the bar because he finds her attractive, is not an act which is innately objectifying. He may find her both objectively beautiful in the physical and choose to know her better in order to find out if her personality is beautiful – something that one generally cannot know at a glance. One can find others attractive and acknowledge their essential humanity at the same time. Conversely, we have all seen photos of people in war torn areas, covered in dirt and blood, helping another, and seen the beauty of their humanity in that photo.

        1. Tyrone

          I see what you are saying. But if I am at a bar and look over and see a girl, I think “Man, she is cute. I’m going to go talk to her.” That’s really it for my initial thought. It’s just an attractive woman that I may or may not have a shot with and I am going to go up to her and find out if I do. I don’t know anything about her other than I find her physically appealing. I wouldn’t say I am treating her like an object, but I have only focused on the physical part that I find sexually attractive at this point. Her personality, interests, desires haven’t had a chance to come into play. I’ve heard some people say that is objectification. I believe that it is to a small degree.

           

        2. SparklingEmerald

          I agree Nissa – There is confusion regarding the term “object”.  In one sense it means being treated like a thing, instead of a person.

          But in there is also the phrase ” s/he is the object of my affections”, but anyone who uses the word “object” in that context I don’t think is using that word to de-humanize that person.  Grammatically, a sentence contains a subject and a verb, and an  OBJECT is just any person, place or thing that is being acted upon.

          I prefer to think of people as sexual BEINGS, not sexual OBJECTS.  BEINGS have feelings, objects are things to be used.  I would rather be the former than the latter.

    3. 2.3
      Kyra

      I”m plus-sized. I’m 41 years old.

      I get cat-called, honked at, whispered at, whistled at, hit on, stared at, asked for a phone number, followed, rubbed up against on on the train nearly every single day. Your theory seems flawed and incorrect.

      1. 2.3.1
        Joe

        Dunno…not saying it’s nice, but I can think of 2 possibilities; there may be more:

        1) Some guys like a little cushion for the pushin’.

        2) Perhaps they think your age and weight will make you more desperate.

         

        1. Kyra

          You are absolutely correct. You “dunno.”

           

          The type and amount of attention I get now is exactly the same I got at 21 and a size 10. I could explain why, but it seems you believe there is a “one reason fits all” explanation to all women and there isn’t a way to have a reasonable discussion with anyone who thinks in such a way. That way of thinking, my friend, shows not only your lack of ability to think rationally about such issues as street harassment and some men’s need to show an exertion of power over women in public settings , but the exact reason why Theodora’s comment was ignorant and inaccurate to begin with.

        2. Kyra

          I find there is a strange demographic that think of the description of “old” or “older” as decrepit and haggardly looking; past physical prime. They never think of women (especially those melanin rich) like Gabrielle Union (42), Salma Hayek (50) or Alysia Rogers (41). Women who, by and large, look years younger than their actual physical age. You can add me to that list. I am regularly assumed to be between the ages of 34 and 36.

           

          I also find there is a strange demographic that think of the description of “fat” as a Mama June Shannon, Melissa McCarthy or a Rebel Wilson. They don’t think of individuals like Christina Hendricks, Ashley Graham, Dascha Polanco GabiFresh or Nadia Aboulhosn.

           

          There is no standard model for “fat” and “old,” which I find most individuals with a very rigid and strict ideal of standard beauty and female physical imagine is true.

           

          I have always been inundated with harassing behavior from men in public spaces since I was 14 years old and average body shape. And, the amount and type of attention has neither diminished or changed throughout the following 27 years of my life. The type of men never change, they’re all types, all ethnicities, all ages. The amount and type never diminished or changed during weight fluctuations, weight changes or aging. It neither diminished or changed when in the company of others. In fact, when with friends, acquaintances or even business colleagues (which, is just downright embarrassing and inappropriate), I am hit with a constant barrage of comments, come ons, whistles, honks, glares, stares and, often, disgusting comments, etc. while my companions are not (be they thin, young, fat or old). I have had two individuals in my life state they will no longer go out with me in public because of the attention I get on the street – it makes them highly uncomfortable and feel very unsafe. My current off-and-on beau – who has known me for 10 years (and is a tall, thin, moderately active man) has expressed his amazement and sadness at the amount of attention and harassment I receive from men on the street. Men have gone so far as to approach me when he is sitting next to me and approach him to ask if it is ok to approach me with comments or come ons.

           

          You also have the unfortunate belief that street harassment is about “cushion for pushin'” or “believing a woman to be desperate for sex or companionship.” Which, if you think of Christina Hendricks, Dacia Polanco, Ashley Graham, GabiFresh or Nadia Aboulhosn, I’d counter that none of these overweight women would be desperate for  a bone thrown their way. And, as Amy Schumer once said, they can more than likely can catch a d—- quite easily, just as I can.

           

          See, true street harassment is about the devalue of and dominance over a women and her body. It is about objectification. It is an exercise of dominance and power in order to force a woman to submit to a man’s needs, wants or desires.

           

          Street harassment isn’t always about hitting on someone. I’ve had very scary incidents of being circled by a car with dark windows upwards of 7-8 times until I had to duck into a business establishment to seek safety. I fully believe the individual(s) in the car were looking to kidnap me. I’ve had incidents where men follow me, for nearly 30 min-1 hour in a public mall until, again, I had to duck into a business establishment and ask employees to call security in order to escort me to my car. I’ve had bus drivers hit people’s vehicles (and place their passengers in danger) because they were too busy speeding up and honking at me. I’ve had an individual in a car hit a pedestrian on a bike in a crosswalk because he was too busy glaring at me from his window.

           

          These incidents weren’t about sex. These incidents weren’t about my desperation. These incidents were men attempting to coerce me to their will or force (even kidnap) me to see to their wants. This is about dominance. This is about power. This is about a need to flex and force lust, greed, ego, entitlement and privilege on a non-suspecting female body.

  3. 3
    Tyrone

    I don’t like JV. She has some ideas that I just don’t agree with in general. By some I mean almost all. Don’t get me wrong. I don’t think any women should be subject to harassment, lewd acts, groping, etc. The events mentioned in the article are terrible and should never happen. I think most men don’t engage in this type of behavior. And those men would condemn the minority that do. But sometimes, the word “harassment” is misused.
    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/oct/30/if-that-viral-street-harassment-video-shocked-you-youre-probably-a-man
    JV wrote about a video showing street harassment of a woman walking through NYC. There are definitely some shady comments and actions from men in the video. But there are also many comments that I feel in no way constitute “harassment” such as:
    “How are you this morning?”
    “Have a nice evening.”
    “How are you doing?”
    Talking to someone (respectfully) in a public place isn’t necessarily harassment. And let’s not sit here and pretend that some women don’t do shitty things to men and objectify them as well. I’ve never dehumanized a woman for rejecting me. But women have laughed in my face when I’ve tried to talk to them. They’ve made disparaging comments about things like my clothes, race, height, body type and my vehicle. So I imagine if feels a lot like that.
    I feel like JV is intellectually dishonest and only trying to push her everything is sexist agenda in her articles, causing me to doubt what she says. Some guy wrote “whore” on her door in college. That is pretty shitty. Obviously her ex was an ass and pissed at her. That seems like more of a plausible explanation than sexism. I had an ex throw a brick through my windshield. Obviously that was sexism, right? A girl locked me out of her dorm room because she was drunk and mad. My clothes were in there too. Had to get back to my building ninja style because I was bare assed. Must have been because of sexism. A high school teacher asking her out a few days after she graduated isn’t sexism. It’s just a shady teacher. Or was sexism to blame when female teachers like Mary Kay Letourneau, Pamela Turner, Debra Lafave, and Jennifer Fichter, has sex with their underage male students? If one considers someone saying “how are you” to you on the street to be harassment, I can’t imagine what that person would lump into the category of groping. Not saying that those terrible things don’t happen to women. Just that I question the categorization of this action by this particular woman.
    Regarding her online harassment, I believe this to be another case of misusing the term. Merriam Webster defines the meaning of the word harass as follows: to annoy or bother (someone) in a constant or repeated way. If I write a comment or send an email telling JV I think she is crazy and her ideas are garbage, she hasn’t been harassed. If 200 other people do the same thing, she hasn’t been harassed. If we are all part of the same group or organization however, that could constitute harassment. I think violent threats are terrible and that is definitely crossing the line. Getting called a bitch on twitter is nowhere near that line. Is sexism to blame all of the supposed harassment she receives? She’d like us to think so. But maybe it’s just because her ideas are unpopular and are often actually sexist.
    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/oct/21/yes-means-yes-standards-clarify-consent-for-all-of-us-not-just-rapists
    An article about yes-means-yes affirmative consent. Basically the initiator needs to ask permission before moving to the next level and receive the ok. Otherwise it’s an unstated no.
    “Can I kiss you?” – Yes
    “Can I touch you?” – Yes
    So if sexual assault or rape allegations were made, the accused would have to prove that consent was received from the victim. That isn’t how our US legal system works. But some colleges are allowed to do this. This is from a link in the article:
    “Corey Mock, a student at the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga, was expelled after officials there found him guilty of sexual misconduct because he could not prove he had obtained verbal consent from a woman who accused him of sexual assault. But a Davidson County Chancery Court judge ruled in August that the university had “improperly shifted the burden of proof and imposed an untenable standard upon Mr. Mock to disprove the accusation.” The judge called the university’s ruling “arbitrary and capricious.”
    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/may/18/you-might-not-think-youre-a-sexist-until-you-take-a-look-at-your-bookshelf
    Read more books written by men as opposed to women? Sexist
    A writer that you like lists his mentor and they are all men? Sexist
    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/jan/28/pc-culture-freedom-of-speech-freedom-to-be-offended
    “If the price we all pay for progress for the less privileged is that someone who is more privileged gets their feelings hurt sometimes – or that they might have to think twice before opening their mouths or putting their fingers to keyboards – that’s a small damn price to pay. That’s not stopping free speech; it’s making our speech better.”
    Unless you say hello to a woman walking down the street that, unbeknownst to you, didn’t want to be spoken to? I guess that isn’t true. She does feel that all women outscore all men in the oppression Olympics.
    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/jul/14/men-accused-predators-young-women-shamed
    She wants men ACCUSED of rape/sexual assault to be publicly shamed and face harsh contempt.
    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/nov/04/world-wage-gap-pay-women-more-men-less
    To fix the wage gap, we should pay men less and pay women more. Simple. Nothing discriminatory about that.
    https://www.theguardian.com/culture/2015/jul/16/amy-schumers-gq-cover-sucks#comments
    Amy Schumer chose to get paid to do a sexy Star Wars photo cover for GQ, thus disappointing her feminist fans everywhere. But it’s possible that it wasn’t her fault. She may not have been happy with what the GQ staff did to her, but was unable to walk away or criticize because she had to promote her movie that was coming out at the time. So we ended up with more sexist visuals. Because apparently feminism isn’t about women’s choice. It’s about women making the RIGHT choice.
    And lets not mention all the shirtless men on the cover of something like Muscle and Fitness. It’s only objectification when women are shirtless. That totally sounds unsexist to me.
    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/sep/11/men-help-decide-woman-abortion
    Men shouldn’t have any say over aborting their children because the potential for abuse is just too high. “Men who want to control what women do with their bodies are generally not men who have much respect for women.”
    Their baby, her choice
    “But even in relationships that are not abusive, giving men anything more than an opinion on abortion is dangerous and diminishes women’s personhood and autonomy.”
    But the personhood and autonomy of the man is irrelevant? No sexism here.
    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/sep/10/end-online-comments
    We should do away with comment sections on articles because not all thoughts are created equal. Some are wrong. She could just stop reading the comments, but she should have to. Telling her to ignore them just means that people are too lazy to fix the “real” problem.
    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/mar/13/feminists-do-not-hate-men
    It’s ok, even funny, to hate men. They still have all the power. They are doing pretty well. Misandry is ridiculous. But when men hate women they kill them in mass shootings or domestic violence ensues. Because no women have ever killed men in cold blood or instigated domestic violence against a man. I guess those broken ribs I got from a girl I dated all those years ago were just imaginary.

    1. 3.1
      Caroline

      Hello Tyrone,  you certainly have an inordinate amount  of time on your hands to be able to expound at such great length on Valenti’s view! Wowzers! I admittedly just skimmed your “rant”.  I decided, well lets look into this. I saw the “equal pay” excerpt. Because I realize it’s inherently flawed because how does one truly compare when there are so many factors. Then I read the article. Hmm, splashy headline indeed. Funny how I took the article as “tongue in cheek”. Did you actually read it? Or maybe it was just lost on you? Or maybe only a woman can view it this way?

      On the use of using the word “bitch” to describe women. Well, I thought what’s the male equivalent? Dick or bastard? Hmm, not even close. Put it this way Tyrone-here you are, hard working, smart working guy who has put in a decade or two to advance in his career. A female boss points at your guy parts and asks if you know what to do with it. She makes remarks about your “manly” parts whenever nobody is within earshot. She implies you could use your “talents” to advance. But oh my gosh, you have a woman at home who you love and is the mother of your children. Besides, you find this female boss disgusting. So, you go to your direct superior who happens to be a male and tell him you want to complain. He says “quit being such a bitch”. “You’re acting like a pussy”.

      The connotation is one of being viewed as less than, powerless, breeding stock. In reality, a female dog growls, yaps, barks, and defends the safety of her young tooth and nail. She’s able to ward off opportunistic predators while feeding and taking care of her babies. BITCH indeed. You know what it actually means? Being in total control of herself.

      On your references to the woman being harassed in the street-let me put it this way. Do you think these men really think they are gonna get to know the woman by such advances? She’s tirelessly followed, made advances to, on every corner. So when a guy says something seemingly innocuous-how do you really think she will view it? Is he trying to get her attention and stop and then he’ll say something gross? Men and women meet everyday but most men know to approach so there’s a level of comfort and control on her part. To me, the street corner harrassment is merely a sign of some men’s inability/knowledge/self awareness about the opposite sex. It’s about their sexual insecurity. If not, PLEASE give me one true (no urban legends) factually accurate, able to be verified time a guy got lucky or a girlfriend by yelling “hey baby, your ass is fine” as she walked by!

      perceiving everything as a sexual advance as described in the case of the woman.documented walking is actually quite similar to how Buck25 perceived “some” women’s comments on the “laborious labor” post. I actually looked up Sparkling Eneralds reference. It was ONE woman who made the comment. Nobody else chimed in. I’m fact, SE read her the riot act on it. Yet, buck perceived it as numerous women. Hmm, perhaps they did on another post. What I’m trying to say, the majority of men are NOT misogynists. The majority of women are not “feminazis”. Please dial it back “Tyrone” and “Theo”.

      1. 3.1.1
        Tyrone

        Hello Tyrone,  you certainly have an inordinate amount  of time on your hands to be able to expound at such great length on Valenti’s view! Wowzers! I admittedly just skimmed your “rant”.  I decided, well lets look into this. I saw the “equal pay” excerpt. Because I realize it’s inherently flawed because how does one truly compare when there are so many factors. Then I read the article. Hmm, splashy headline indeed. Funny how I took the article as “tongue in cheek”. Did you actually read it? Or maybe it was just lost on you? Or maybe only a woman can view it this way?”
        I am familiar with her work. And yes I’ve read all the articles and then some. Which is why I don’t believe that she was joking at all. If it was something that could seriously happen, she’d be all in. She’s repeatedly expressed sexism against men and has stated that it is perfectly fine to do so because we men still have all that male privilege and patriarchy on our side.
        On the use of using the word “bitch” to describe women. Well, I thought what’s the male equivalent? Dick or bastard? Hmm, not even close. Put it this way Tyrone-here you are, hard working, smart working guy who has put in a decade or two to advance in his career. A female boss points at your guy parts and asks if you know what to do with it. She makes remarks about your “manly” parts whenever nobody is within earshot. She implies you could use your “talents” to advance. But oh my gosh, you have a woman at home who you love and is the mother of your children. Besides, you find this female boss disgusting. So, you go to your direct superior who happens to be a male and tell him you want to complain. He says “quit being such a bitch”. “You’re acting like a pussy”.
        You are talking about sexual harassment in the workplace, which is illegal and shouldn’t happen to anyone (though I realize that it does). I was talking about twitter remarks online, which was listed as an example of online harassment. Like I said, things like rape and death threats are appalling and I condemn anyone making such remarks. But I could care less about name calling and dissenting opinions. Especially on something like twitter. She is choosing to put her opinions out there via articles, videos, tweets, etc. I find her views to be sexist and distasteful. I don’t resort to name calling (gender based or otherwise), but this is the internet and no one can control what random folks across the globe say. I think that folks start name calling when they find themselves unable to articulate a valid point against the person, when they specifically want to get under a person’s skin, or if they are just assholes (maybe sexists for the purpose of this article). What is an easy way to get under the skin of someone like JV in a twitter post? Probably a gender based insult or two. If I went around saying sexist things about women, I’d get insulted too. I would expect to be. Inflammatory remarks invite inflammatory remarks. If I make these remarks in a public forum, anyone else in that public forum is free say whatever they want (short of suggesting bodily harm). That’s free speech. People can make sexist or racist comments against me if they wish. If their ideas are less popular that others in said forum, their voice will be the minority. If I found those types of comments to be prolific, then my ideas must not be as popular as I think they are. If I feel that I need to spread my ideas, I need to engage more people. Not try to shut down their ability to comment as JV suggests.
        The connotation is one of being viewed as less than, powerless, breeding stock. In reality, a female dog growls, yaps, barks, and defends the safety of her young tooth and nail. She’s able to ward off opportunistic predators while feeding and taking care of her babies. BITCH indeed. You know what it actually means? Being in total control of herself.”
        So the tweets calling her a bitch were actually compliments?
        “On your references to the woman being harassed in the street-let me put it this way. Do you think these men really think they are gonna get to know the woman by such advances? She’s tirelessly followed, made advances to, on every corner. So when a guy says something seemingly innocuous-how do you really think she will view it? Is he trying to get her attention and stop and then he’ll say something gross?”
        My point was that “Hello”, “How are you doing?” and “Good morning” are not harassment. No women or man has a right for other people not to talk to them in a respectful manner while in a public place. This used to be considered common courtesy. I never said that following or making sexual advances was exceptable behavior. I said that most men condemn such things and that I don’t think they should happen.
        “Men and women meet everyday but most men know to approach so there’s a level of comfort and control on her part. To me, the street corner harrassment is merely a sign of some men’s inability/knowledge/self awareness about the opposite sex. It’s about their sexual insecurity. If not, PLEASE give me one true (no urban legends) factually accurate, able to be verified time a guy got lucky or a girlfriend by yelling “hey baby, your ass is fine” as she walked by!”
        I never said that I thought such statements were acceptable.
        “perceiving everything as a sexual advance as described in the case of the woman.documented walking is actually quite similar to how Buck25 perceived “some” women’s comments on the “laborious labor” post. I actually looked up Sparkling Eneralds reference. It was ONE woman who made the comment. Nobody else chimed in. I’m fact, SE read her the riot act on it. Yet, buck perceived it as numerous women. Hmm, perhaps they did on another post. What I’m trying to say, the majority of men are NOT misogynists. The majority of women are not “feminazis”. Please dial it back “Tyrone” and “Theo”.”
         
        Not sure where you read that I was talking about all women. I never said anything about all women or feminazis. I started my post by saying I was talking about one specific woman – JV.

        1. Caroline

          Tyrone-I read two more of her articles. Honestly, I don’t get it. Especially the one about yes means yes. You’re siting one incident which shows where it has “gone too far”. Did you even read the article? I’m flabbergasted. Are you for real? Can you not put your inclinations/slant to the aside for just a moment? IMO-you got a big chip on your shoulders. The idea that you think it’s awful to set standards. So both genders know EXACTLY what constitutes rape is not a good idea?! We really gotta tell guys it’s “not okay” to penetrate a woman who is passed out?!!! The classes are to set common sense guidelines; so both genders approach a sexual encounter wisely. I certainly would be glad to have my sons aware of a few guidelines so they couldn’t be accused wrongfully as if I had daughters I would want them to know how they should proceed and understand how a young man may not understand unless she SAYS no. These classes are to help our young men and women navigate their sexual relationships.

          On the comment about the woman being harassed in the city/Buck. The woman is constantly deluged around every corner by men. On Buck-he reads harsh comments on many/most blog posts he has read. Both the woman walking and Buck have a stilted view. They’ve both been subjected to it too much. Can you not see how the woman would view am seemingly innocuous statement poorly? Most of her go ins with guys on the street are harassing. Just like Buck, seeing a bunch of “harpies”/bigoted women on every blog post. I’m not saying the walking woman or Buck are wrong. It’s all about context and perspective.

          Lastly, the fact you can’t believe women view being called a “bitch” as hurtful-all I can think is how would you feel if every time you were trying to make (in your mind) a valid point on a blog post-Tyrone quit whining about females; you’re acting like a BITCH. You may laugh, but does it honestly feel good? Is it constructive?

          i only read 3 of Valenti’s articles. I think it’s tongue in cheek. Make you think. Make you reconsider your perspective. Thought provoking. But then again, I love men. I love my dad, my sons, my boyfriend for their difference. I’m glad to be a woman. They’re good men. They’re men who can take a little criticism. They’re men who know relationships are a fine balancing act where you embrace not only your commonalities but your differences. Good luck on finding your balance Tyrone and Theo-maybe one day women will be exclaiming to “men” like you-“you’ve come a long way baby”.

        2. Tyrone

          Tyrone-I read two more of her articles. Honestly, I don’t get it. Especially the one about yes means yes. You’re siting one incident which shows where it has “gone too far”. Did you even read the article? I’m flabbergasted. Are you for real? Can you not put your inclinations/slant to the aside for just a moment? IMO-you got a big chip on your shoulders. The idea that you think it’s awful to set standards. So both genders know EXACTLY what constitutes rape is not a good idea?! We really gotta tell guys it’s “not okay” to penetrate a woman who is passed out?!!! The classes are to set common sense guidelines; so both genders approach a sexual encounter wisely. I certainly would be glad to have my sons aware of a few guidelines so they couldn’t be accused wrongfully as if I had daughters I would want them to know how they should proceed and understand how a young man may not understand unless she SAYS no. These classes are to help our young men and women navigate their sexual relationships.”
           
          The point of the incident I listed was to show how it defies our legal system. It’s piss poor logic. Unless you think from now on everyone should be guilty until they can prove themselves innocent. Because that is what affirmative consent laws would create. You don’t need to tell regular, well-adjusted men that it’s not ok to fuck passed out women. I don’t know the details of your sex life obviously. But I can tell you that I have had zero sexual encounters where either myself or the female full on stopped at each stage of escalation (kissing, touching, removing clothes, etc.) and explicitly asked one another if it was ok to proceed. But no or stop was always a clear signal not to proceed. And you don’t have to be glad that your sons and daughters are getting guidelines from someone else. You could have the birds and bees talk with them and explain them on your own if you wanted – since they are common sense and all. They only real point I was trying to make was that not saying yes does not necessarily equal saying no and treating it as such in a legal nature would shift the burden of proof to the accused in cases of rape. Some people may be for that. I am not. We can’t just reverse the legal process for special kinds of crimes.
           
          “On the comment about the woman being harassed in the city/Buck. The woman is constantly deluged around every corner by men. On Buck-he reads harsh comments on many/most blog posts he has read. Both the woman walking and Buck have a stilted view. They’ve both been subjected to it too much. Can you not see how the woman would view am seemingly innocuous statement poorly? Most of her go ins with guys on the street are harassing. Just like Buck, seeing a bunch of “harpies”/bigoted women on every blog post. I’m not saying the walking woman or Buck are wrong. It’s all about context and perspective.”
           
          I don’t care how she views the (respectful) statements. That’s her prerogative. You go out in public, people may talk to you. If they do it in a respectful manner (examples: “Hello”, “How are you doing”, “Good morning”), she is NOT being harassed and the way she chooses to react to such statements is on her. You are not owed a right to not be talked to in a public place. Lewd comments, groping, following, etc., are not respectful interactions. They are rude, creepy, or whatever term you’d like to use. No one should be subject to them. I understand that they happen and it’s shitty. But I don’t believe that most men engage in those behaviors.
           
          “Lastly, the fact you can’t believe women view being called a “bitch” as hurtful-all I can think is how would you feel if every time you were trying to make (in your mind) a valid point on a blog post-Tyrone quit whining about females; you’re acting like a BITCH. You may laugh, but does it honestly feel good? Is it constructive?”
           
          You think everyone online wants to make constructive statements? I’m black and not a woman so when people want to go for the low hanging fruit and insult met, they call me nigger. Also if my valid points consisted of statements putting down other races (similarly to the sexist remarks against men JV often makes), I would expect a certain amount of that due to the nature of the conversation. Particularly if my points were inflammatory. But in the specific context of things related to the types of articles JV writes I’ve been called all sorts of things: rape apologist, manslpainer, woman hater. Been told by particularly upset women to die, get raped so I can see what its like (I actually have been raped by women – twice), been laughed at by women that I’ve told about being raped to.  But, when I type on blog posts and comment sections, I don’t give a damn. Because it’s the internet. And people are going to say what they want mostly because of anonymity and lack of consequence. I’ve been using the internet long enough to realize this. So I say get over it or don’t post your thoughts in public spaces. People can say what they please as long as they don’t threaten the bodily autonomy of others. The only real solution is to close comment sections. And if I come across an article or video that has comments disabled, I don’t read or watch it.
           
          “i only read 3 of Valenti’s articles. I think it’s tongue in cheek. Make you think. Make you reconsider your perspective. Thought provoking. But then again, I love men. I love my dad, my sons, my boyfriend for their difference. I’m glad to be a woman. They’re good men. They’re men who can take a little criticism. They’re men who know relationships are a fine balancing act where you embrace not only your commonalities but your differences. Good luck on finding your balance Tyrone and Theo-maybe one day women will be exclaiming to “men” like you-“you’ve come a long way baby”.”
           
          You are certainly entitled to your opinion. I don’t consider them to be tongue and cheek. Like I said before, I believe that she is quite serious.

        3. Caroline

          “Tyrone”- I have just one comment for you. I personally come here for clarity. Judging by your bullet points; this is your regular modus operandi. I’m just wondering how one gets so “one sided”. Hurt? Delusion? A seriously bad past? I seriously don’t see Valenti’s articles the way you do. I shall respect your opinion but I don’t agree. If you’re here to disparage the female audience and make them doubt -it hasn’t worked. I’m the only one who replied to you and your opinion. i suspect the others perceived the glaring red flags and didnt respond. i just would like you to know; your tactic is very ineffectual. i think the most understanding ive obtained from a male commenter in this blog was Buck when he answered GWTF on another post. it felt honest, vulnerable and TRUE. like I said -i will just have to agree to disagree with you. I’m afraid you’ll have to go to North Korea if you can’t take a little satire. What I don’t respect; your twisting of my words to somehow in your mind make “your point”. Frankly, you know nothing about my sons nor my sex life. And in my opinion, you’ve most likely never been a parent (fathering a child does not count. Raising a child does). All a parent can ever wish is for their child to know you’re their “north star”. My ex and I have remained diligent so our sons know we are there to guide them and we demonstrate what is a good path by navigating  that path ourselves. It may sound corny, but we are their moral compass and will always be there fir them. We may fail at times like all humans but we get back on that path. If we as parents were our sons only influence; the path would be rather clear. As parents, we embrace any other person in the “village” who preaches or teaches our path by example. It’s ludicrous to think as a parent your child will not be affected by peer pressure, the media, social media, porn, etc. the idea that a “birds and bees” talk or telling them to just say “no”-hilarious. I personally welcome any adult with good intentions. And both my sons current girlfriends; great influence to both.

          Have a good weekend “Tyrone”. Peace

           

        4. Tyrone

          “Tyrone”- I have just one comment for you. I personally come here for clarity. Judging by your bullet points; this is your regular modus operandi.”
           
          Nope. Just some comments about one women that has opinions that I don’t care for. That doesn’t mean that I think women should be subject to harassment or that I’m trying to explain it away.
           
          “I seriously don’t see Valenti’s articles the way you do. I shall respect your opinion but I don’t agree. If you’re here to disparage the female audience and make them doubt -it hasn’t worked. I’m the only one who replied to you and your opinion. i suspect the others perceived the glaring red flags and didnt respond. i just would like you to know; your tactic is very ineffectual.”
           
          That’s fine. Again. I feel that she is serious in her writings. Not sure how you feel I am trying to disparage anyone here. I agree that female go through these things and that they are terrible. But I don’t agree with JV’s blatant sexism. If you think her opinion pieces are all tongue and cheek, I can see why you don’t feel the same way. But again, I do not think that she is joking. There are no tactics in play here.
           
          “i think the most understanding ive obtained from a male commenter in this blog was Buck when he answered GWTF on another post. it felt honest, vulnerable and TRUE. like I said -i will just have to agree to disagree with you. I’m afraid you’ll have to go to North Korea if you can’t take a little satire. What I don’t respect; your twisting of my words to somehow in your mind make “your point”.
           
          I have no problem with satire. Once again, having read many of her articles over the years, I don’t have the impression that they are meant to be jokes. I’d imagine if they were, she would just tell people in the comment sections that she wasn’t serious and they would bother her a lot less. But she’d rather do away with comments all together. And how did I twist your words to make my point? My point was that she’d like to twist the law.
           
          Frankly, you know nothing about my sons nor my sex life. And in my opinion, you’ve most likely never been a parent (fathering a child does not count. Raising a child does). All a parent can ever wish is for their child to know you’re their “north star”. My ex and I have remained diligent so our sons know we are there to guide them and we demonstrate what is a good path by navigating  that path ourselves. It may sound corny, but we are their moral compass and will always be there fir them. We may fail at times like all humans but we get back on that path. If we as parents were our sons only influence; the path would be rather clear. As parents, we embrace any other person in the “village” who preaches or teaches our path by example. It’s ludicrous to think as a parent your child will not be affected by peer pressure, the media, social media, porn, etc. the idea that a “birds and bees” talk or telling them to just say “no”-hilarious.”
           
           
          I didn’t claim to know anything about your children or your sex life. In fact, I literally said that I had no knowledge of your sex life so I’m not sure what else to say about that. I had a son that passed and a potential child that was aborted without my knowledge, so I am currently not a parent. Parents should be there for their children. Why do you think explaining to your children how sex works or that they should tell someone no when they feel uncomfortable is hilarious? Those types of classes haven’t been around forever. I’m going to assume that you are not talking about consent classes when you mention peer pressure, media, social media, etc.

        5. Caroline

          Tyrone-once again you ASSUMED WRONG. It’s obvious I meant consent classes. I think it is HILARIOUS you would think a parent is the only person who has an effect on a child. I felt i made that clear in my response. I will once again elaborate but for the LAST time.  Teens/young adults don’t always proceed in the safest manner. Many tend to exhibit rather risky behavior. Peer pressure can be tough. There’s many a ridiculous bullying fight caught on teens cell phones; many don’t do the right thing if any at all. I suspect it would be hard for many young men to turn in a friend who they thought may have raped. What NORMAL young person could conceive a friend doing such an awful thing?!  am sure many thought a friend/acquaintance was bragging. And you see all kinds of horrid stuff/thoughts on young people’s private Facebook pages.

          Harrassment is also defined in more general terms as to subject another to hostile or prejudicial remarks or actions, pressure or intimidate.

          As Elemental said so well; women know the difference between feeling threatened and attraction. Women should definitely pay attention to their gut. It keeps us safe. It’s instinctual.

          I used the term “tongue in cheek” incorrectly. My bad.

          however SATIRE describes her writing style many times (not always) Satire is used to show foolishness or vice in humans, organizations, government, etc. I t uses sarcasm, ridicule, or irony. Like I explained earlier, she does it to be thought provoking, give pause. That you do not agree is of no consequence to me. There’s many an evolved man who realizes a man can be perceived as threatening (under certain conditions/context) just for his mere stature. The idea that one can think the seemingly innocuous remarks as respectful exhibits a real lack of self awareness.. The young woman looked straight ahead, stone faced and walked at a clip. One has to lack a significant amount if self awareness to think she was open to being chatted up. I have no problem with good morning, hello, etc but once again thinking it’s “courteous” is definitely not looking at the whole picture. Where I live in the south, I’m positive it’s most likely a “courtesy”. I also think it’s a FACT that I have an open awareness of myself and I make eye contact. That is an INVITATION. If I walked that quickly, looking straight ahead; I seriously doubt many men would bother.

          It’s rather sad, that some men feel the need to exert their “power” over women. They must be reacting from a very needy, powerless and hopeless place.

          Please note-the above was directed solely at Tyrone. As always, the majority of men on this blog add a great male perspective which is always appreciated. Even when I do not agree:) while Tyrone may have made rather lucid thoughts; they lack any ability to dig deeper and look at it from a woman’s perspective. It matters not if he dislikes/disagrees with Valenti; it’s the dismissive attitude shown toward the content/him trying to debunk and dismiss ANY relevancy.

           

        6. Caroline

          It’s rather obvious a “birds and bees” talk isn’t going to be enough to carry any young person through their sexual relations. It takes consistent teaching, openness, and authenticity with your teens. It’s a much different world than when I was growing up. Media, porn, social media, and as always their peers have so much influence over them.Any parent should welcome reinforcement of teachings from grandparents, aunts and uncles, teachers, friends parents….duh

      2. 3.1.2
        Tyrone

        Tyrone-once again you ASSUMED WRONG. It’s obvious I meant consent classes. I think it is HILARIOUS you would think a parent is the only person who has an effect on a child. I felt i made that clear in my response. I will once again elaborate but for the LAST time.  Teens/young adults don’t always proceed in the safest manner. Many tend to exhibit rather risky behavior. Peer pressure can be tough. There’s many a ridiculous bullying fight caught on teens cell phones; many don’t do the right thing if any at all. I suspect it would be hard for many young men to turn in a friend who they thought may have raped. What NORMAL young person could conceive a friend doing such an awful thing?!  am sure many thought a friend/acquaintance was bragging. And you see all kinds of horrid stuff/thoughts on young people’s private Facebook pages.
         
        I don’t believe that a class can teach someone not to rape. Or that without a class to guide them peer pressure will drive otherwise normal people to ignore a woman’s no or that social media will have them thinking its ok to have sex with passed out women. It’s probably difficult for people to turn in a dear friend REGARDLESS OF THE CRIME. Especially if your friend denied being involved in the crime. That in no way means that I don’t think a rapist to be brought to justice. Regardless, I have no issue with sex education, or explaining how to respect your partner’s boundaries. I specifically have an issue with affirmative consent being applied in the manner that I wrote about before.

        Harrassment is also defined in more general terms as to subject another to hostile or prejudicial remarks or actions, pressure or intimidate. As Elemental said so well; women know the difference between feeling threatened and attraction. Women should definitely pay attention to their gut. It keeps us safe. It’s instinctual.“

        Not sure where you are going with this. As I said multiple times, I don’t think anyone should be subject harassment, lewd/rude remarks, groping – otherwise known as hostile or prejudicial remarks, actions, pressure or intimidation. An individual woman knows the difference between what makes that individual woman feel threatened or attracted. Women aren’t a monolith.

        however SATIRE describes her writing style many times (not always) Satire is used to show foolishness or vice in humans, organizations, government, etc. I t uses sarcasm, ridicule, or irony. Like I explained earlier, she does it to be thought provoking, give pause. That you do not agree is of no consequence to me. There’s many an evolved man who realizes a man can be perceived as threatening (under certain conditions/context) just for his mere stature. The idea that one can think the seemingly innocuous remarks as respectful exhibits a real lack of self awareness.”
         
        Yes we have already established how you and I feel about the way we view the articles. You being threatened by a man because of his mere stature is on you or anyone else that feels that way. The man can’t change his stature because of your feelings. You are welcome to feel whatever you like and then act accordingly. But what is it that you expect this supposed statuesque man to do? Cross the street when he sees women coming to avoid potentially frightening them? That doesn’t mean that this man should be purposefully over- imposing, follow a woman and make rude comments or anything like that. Once again no one is condoning that. However saying hello or good morning isn’t a “seeming innocuous remark.” Those are quite literally examples of actual non-innocuous remarks.
         
        “ The young woman looked straight ahead, stone faced and walked at a clip. One has to lack a significant amount if self awareness to think she was open to being chatted up. I have no problem with good morning, hello, etc but once again thinking it’s “courteous” is definitely not looking at the whole picture. Where I live in the south, I’m positive it’s most likely a “courtesy”. I also think it’s a FACT that I have an open awareness of myself and I make eye contact. That is an INVITATION. If I walked that quickly, looking straight ahead; I seriously doubt many men would bother.”
         
        Ok I got it. So now it’s only ok to say hello to people ONLY IF AND WHEN they make eye contact with you. And they also need to be walking slowly. And if you are a man, don’t be too statuesque because that could be frightening. And be careful of what you say because although “hello” is a courtesy in the south, in other parts of the country it could mean anything. Saying “hello” isn’t chatting someone up. It is a fairly universal human greeting. If a man then continues to try to talk to a woman that has expressed disinterest, that is another matter.
         
        “It’s rather sad, that some men feel the need to exert their “power” over women. They must be reacting from a very needy, powerless and hopeless place.”
         
        The power of saying hello or good morning? I use it daily. I’m pretty sure you and every other woman also have that power. Women say hello or good morning to me on a daily basis. Sometimes even without me making eye contact with me first. Not very considerate of them.

        Please note-the above was directed solely at Tyrone. As always, the majority of men on this blog add a great male perspective which is always appreciated. Even when I do not agree:) while Tyrone may have made rather lucid thoughts; they lack any ability to dig deeper and look at it from a woman’s perspective. It matters not if he dislikes/disagrees with Valenti; it’s the dismissive attitude shown toward the content/him trying to debunk and dismiss ANY relevancy.”
         
         
        So, from female perspective, saying hello to a woman without eye contact is harassment and without affirmative consent policy/laws and classes, youth may rape due to succumbing to peer pressure and social media influences? Guilty as charged for dismissing both of those ideas. Or were there other things you feel I am not looking at from your perspective?

  4. 4
    Susan

    I look forward to reading her piece. My experience started at 9 years old and continues today (I’m 54). I have been propositioned at the grocery store more than once (within the last several months) while minding my own business picking out produce on the way home from work.  Strangers have told me how much my painted toes excite them…in the grocery store…with my 22 year old daughter present. Newsflash: I am at the grocery store to buy groceries, not look for men.

    I am no longer silent or polite about unwanted attention. I firmly say “you are making me feel uncomfortable.” If they persist I say “Get the f* ck away from me.” Of course I only feel safe enough to do this in a public place.

    I’ve been told I give off a vibe and that I am exotic-looking. Whatever. I do not exist for your viewing or touching pleasure. Consider me a bitch but go away.

     

  5. 5
    Nissa

    To dehumanize another is a terrible thing, and something both genders can strive to overcome. I do think that it matters if you have had opposite sex caregivers who treat you tenderly and with respect. It is easier then to realize that the horrible behavior is coming from an individual, who does not wholly represent his or her gender.

    I also think it’s harder for young men to genuinely understand that such behavior is unwanted. How many times have we seen it, even on this blog, for men to say they would like to be told of their attractiveness, pursued, given attention? How many times have we seen men say that does not enter their mind to be afraid of a woman, or that it never occurs to him that his walking quickly toward her / staring / touching her will cause her fear, because he knows he has only innocent intentions? I truly believe that for most men it just doesn’t occur to them, and that for the ones that disregard the effect of their actions on others, those men can be considered bad individuals not representative of the greater whole.

    1. 5.1
      John

      Hi Nissa

      Thanks for your level-headed comment on this issue. I’ve noticed that if I approach a woman in the grocery store and strike up a conversation about something in her shopping cart, she freezes. From reading all of these comments by women in this blog about being harassed gives me some insight. I’m a well-dressed professional looking guy and some of the responses I get from women in the grocery store are quite puzzling. Nissa. What would you suggest for a normal guy like me who wants to meet women in public places like the grocery stores do yo indicate to women I’m not Joe Stalker?

      1. 5.1.1
        Nissa

        That’s a toughie, for a few reasons.

        One, sometimes women are just ‘in their heads’ and don’t feel prepared to be approached. A reasonable, friendly approach by you might still leave them feeling uncomfortable or ‘caught out’ because of something you’d never notice –  a pimple or yoga pants.

        Two, many people project their expectations onto others. Meaning, because a jerk harassed a woman in the past, any experience which the brain categorizes as similar aka !unknown man approaching! can set off a red alert (which again has nothing to do with you personally).

        Three, this is a unisex experience. I’ve had men glare at me for asking about their white wine selections rolling down the counter, saying in a freezing tone of voice “I’m picking this up for my wife” –  while I’m thinking, Dude, chill, I’m just in a good mood today. Perhaps there’s something inherently violating about having someone peer into our cart when we are feeling guilty about the Ben & Jerry’s and the box of wine it holds.

        Last, sometimes women have not quite worked out their feelings about being asked out, and the freeze is their ‘mental blinking mouse cursor’ as they quickly sort through thoughts: He’s smiling at me – what does that mean- what do I want it to mean – am I ready – how much do I want to invest in a relationship – do I maybe want a friend with benefits – will I get hurt if I go too casual.

        My recommendation is to go to events such as Match singles where women are prepared to be approached. The probability of finding a woman who is single and mentally open to dating goes way up. You can even make sure to find an event that has women in your age range. Demographically, it’s a clear advantage. I’ve also considered using a matchmaker for the simple reason that they sometimes will add a lady’s information to their ‘roster’ until the lady matches up with a paying gentleman. This is especially simple near LA where there are lots of good looking but busy ladies who want to make their time count.

        1. John

          Thanks Nissa.

          Those were some enlightening answers.

  6. 6
    Elemental

    The first time I was groped was at a high-school football game. I was 13. That was 50 years ago.

    I don’t like the term “Objectify.” I think it’s too vague. I absolutely know the difference between a man paying attention to me because he is attracted to me and a man who is trying to assert power over me!

    Sexual assault and harassment isn’t about sex, it’s about power and, as a woman I can FEEL it! And I promise you, it’s a horrible, horrible feeling.

    The guy who groped me at 13 wasn’t attracted to me, he was attempting to assert his power over me. The guy who shouts sexually suggestive comments at me as I walk down the street isn’t attracted to me, he’s attempting to assert his power over me. The employer who makes sexually suggestive comments to his female employees isn’t attracted to them, he’s asserting his power.

    When a guy approaches me at a bar, or meets me after online communication and tells me I’m attractive and he wants to see me again, he isn’t objectifying me. If a guy gropes me while I’m kissing him passionately, he isn’t objectifying me.

    Sexual attraction is a dance. It’s a nuanced to and fro. The objective is a positive experience for both parties in the immediate future (recognizing that men and women don’t always have the same view of a one-night-stand the morning after).

    So how do we explain the behaviour of some men? A culture that objectifies women? Fuck that! I’m not prepared to give men who engage in inexcusable behaviour an excuse for it. We’re all responsible for our own behaviour. It’s about EQ.

    Maybe I’ve been lucky, but I know lots of men with a high EQ. These guys just know where the line is and don’t cross it. That doesn’t mean they’re not interesting, or sexy, or afraid to approach women, or flirt, or initiate – they are. They just manage to pull it off without acting as though they objectify the women they interact with – or not this woman anyway!

     

     

    1. 6.2
      Joe

      Very well said, Elemental!

    2. 6.3
      sandra

      Sex and power are intrinsically related.   I do not have the desire or ability to elaborate.  Many women want to believe this is not the case, because the truth is too complicated and uncomfortable.   Boys and young men have to be taught how to treat a woman with respect.   If not , they are often crude, entitled, immature.  Or worse, they are psychotic or sociopaths..  Of course an unknown man making lewd remarks is not attracted to you as a person, he can’t be.  But make now mistake, it is sexual.  Rude and stupid, but sexual.

      1. 6.3.1
        Caroline

        Thank you Sandra. I absolutely agree. The idea that a mere “birds and bees” talk is gonna do it? It’s overwhelming what young people are thrust into in this day and age. Even if you’ve guarded your child from much; it’s gonna hit them hard when they get into college life. It can be disheartening how unenlightened many young men are when you consider we as adults and women are always warning our young women to travel together, don’t leave your girlfriend at a party, be careful how they dress, don’t drink too much or get high. Danger, danger , danger! It’s hard as a mom of sons not to drill respect into their heads which of course if you do it too much; they’re gonna just tune you out. While, I believe I know my son’s hearts and don’t fear they personally would do harm; it’s worrisome to think they may stand by doing nothing Nd not standing up for what is right. Or even not understanding it’s Not okay to have sex when you are BOTH drunk. College culture can be rather disturbing. Entitled young men AND young women in fraternities and sororities that unfortunately have a social construct and culture that can do harm in terms of a healthy college life.

  7. 7
    Theodora

    To Tom10 above:

    I am a woman. I can prove it with my real identity if necessary. It’s true that I am from Eastern Europe and we are wary of lies, hypocrisy and totalitarianism masquerading as “equality” because we lived with the Bolsheviks in power for half a century. I recognize all the mental tricks and totalitarian inclinations of the Communists in feminists like Jessica Valenti. See the unbelievable, shameless quotations provided above by Tyrone from her articles. What a good Soviet commissar Valenti would have been! She sounds like a Lenin of the gender war.

    To Mr. Evan Marc Katz:

    Both men and women can be bad, sometimes in a general human way, sometimes in a gender specific way. The difference is that feminists have all the institutional and political power and media exposure they need, so the bad in women is officially encouraged, even celebrated.

    Jessica Valenti writes articles in NYT and The Guardian, MRAs occupy a small corner of the Internet. You make it sound like they have equal power and influence. They have not. Feminism is the establishment. If anything, MRAs are the dissidents of the current order, people who speak their mind, often anonymously, in a hostile society.

    Besides, anytime somebody expresses a point of view which can be considered even slightly pro-male can be labeled MRA, mysoginist or sexist nowadays. We’ve reached a point where the simple fact of a man disagreeing with a woman and defending himself or men in general can be dismissed as “mansplaining”, even abusive (another mental trick used by the Bolsheviks: if you criticize the regime, you hate the working class). So, the label “MRA” has become just a weapon to guilt-trip and silence people whose opinions go against the official Narrative.

  8. 8
    Sasha

    I went to college when Obama was running for president against Hillary Clinton. One day, my literature professor told the class the story of what happened when the women’s studies professors asked him who he’s voting for. He said “Obama”. They then implied that he was sexist because he was voting for Obama instead of Hillary. That’s feminism.

    My college was an ordinary liberal arts college. I think it’s safe to say that the stuff that happened at my college happens at the average American college. I think it’s safe to say that the “feminism” of my college’s women’s studies teachers is the “feminism” of the average women’s study teacher and the average professional feminist. And when you stop to think about it, it shouldn’t be surprising that those people who devote their lives to the ideological belief that women are oppressed by men tend to be the extremists. It makes sense that when their ideology is validated by academia, when the only people they discuss the issue with is each other, and when they’re allowed to present their ideology to impressionable college students as unquestionable truth, it tends to lead to the most extreme version of that ideology. Academia is designed to create extremists, not moderates.

    I also think that any ideology that divides all of humanity into “oppressors” and “oppressed” based upon one single characteristic (class [communism], sex [feminism], race [social justice]) is predisposed to fall into extremism. There’s just something about ideologies like this that appeal to a human desire to be part of a simplistic good vs evil crusade.

    I think i’ve told this story before, but i’ll tell it again to get my point across. On the first day of one of my mandatory social justice courses, the teacher walked in, wrote the words “oppressed races” on the chalkboard and then wrote the words “oppressor race”. She pointed to the words “oppressed races” and said “the non white races are the oppressed races”. Then she pointed to the words “oppressor race” and said ” the white race is the oppressor race”. In retrospect, that sums up the social justice ideology perfectly. Since this happened at my college, i think it’s probably happening at most. None of my social justice teachers were moderates. All were extremists. If i provided examples of some of the things they believed, i’m sure that everyone would agree that they’re extremists. When the adherents of an ideology are allowed to turn their ideology into an academic subject, it leads to extremism.

    So… here’s where I disagree with Evan. If you’re against rape, sexual harassment, etc, I don’t think you should call yourself a “feminist”. Just call yourself “normal”. The extremists have already hijacked feminism. Let them have it. To call yourself a feminist just creates confusion, muddies the waters, and draws the resentment of people who hate feminist extremism. So why bother? Why not just choose a different label?

    1. 8.1
      Theodora

      I agree. “Social justice” basically means applying the old Marxist binary model the oppressors/ the oppressed to gender and race. Thus, instead of bourgeoisie/proletariat we have men/women, straight/gay and white/non-whites. World history becomes a giant struggle until the oppressors are annihilated or converted to the good cause, with no nuances, no room for a different perspective and no mercy.

      As Lenin said, the Revolution has its own internal truths, there is no objective truth. All is fair in the name of progress and justice. We can see this Leninist mindset in the fragments from J. Valenti’s articles provided above by Tyrone. Women should be believed in cases of rape in spite of the legal system, evidence, proof or innocent until proven guilty. To repair a historical injustice, men should be paid less than women for a while, irrespective of how much or how good they work. Yeah, maybe some men can be wrongly accused of rape or they can be paid less while being more hard-working and more competent than their female colleagues. But so what? For comrade Valenti, the Revolution has its own internal truths. ¡Hasta la victoria siempre!

  9. 9
    Lisa

    Yesterday I was riding in my car with my aunt, telling her about an older, previous coworker who sent me a creepy e-mail the other day. I felt so disappointed, because he wanted to help me with my current job situation and I thought he’d just offered to help for old times’ sake and because of friendship. But I had to realize he was asking for some sort of compensation.

    She sighed and said: “I cannot believe what attractive, young women have to deal with. I feel really sorry for you.”

    I got to admit, it felt good to be acknowleged like that.

    Ever since I turned about 14 (I am 33 years old now), I have experienced some type of harrassment or approach on almost a weekly basis.

    It ranges from the physical (groping, grabbing, trying to kiss me, almost rape) to the emotional, mental, interpersonal. Like the e-mail.

    Only this week, some older guy quite aggressively hit on me in the gym and wouldn’t even leave me alone when I said I am not interested. I left earlier because I felt really annoyed.

    Last week I rode my bike and some guy who was also riding his bike started coming up next to me and started to chat me up. I wasn’t interested and therefore really short in my replies. He wouldn’t get the message so I fell behind intentionally and started ignoring him, until he finally rode off. Still I felt a little anxious driving along the route after that, I feared he would wait for me somewhere.

    It’s a constant nuisance in a woman’s life that some guys try to approach us all the time, won’t leave us alone even if we tell them no, even molest us physically sometimes.

    I sometimes get so angry because of that. Guys especially approach me when I sit by myself somewhere. Come on!!! Do you really think you are the only guy who came up with the idea to approach the girl sitting there by herself??? NO!!! So LEAVE HER ALONE!!!

    This is the angry, frustrated me talking. The other side of me knows that life is not fair and I just have to accept that as a woman during her fertile years, men will keep trying to approach all the time and I just have to deal with it.

    1. 9.1
      sandra

      Lisa,

      Somehow I think your aunt was being facetious and you missed the message.

      Sorry, but it seems like many women want the world to turn into one big “Bumble,” where only women can make initial contact with the hot men who interest them.

  10. 10
    Henriette

    I’m not a feminist; I’m a humanist.  I believe women should be treated well and with respect; I believe men should be treated well and with respect, too.  Hearing, “hey, gorgeous!” or a whistle when passing a construction site never made me feel anything negative.  Finding a note on my car from a stranger telling me (in graphic detail) that I was so beautiful he planned to rape me the next time he saw me, or being flashed almost 8 times in 6 months on the Paris Metro made my skin crawl.  My brothers, dad, male cousins, guy friends are disgusted when they hear of some men behaving in these ways.  Good guys treat women with respect.

    However do we, good women, always treat guys with respect, in return?  We send our boys to horrible conditions in service of our countries and we give little acknowledgement that they do the most physically dangerous jobs in our society.  (I will give feminists kudos when they push for women to die in combat or job-related accidents at the same rate as men.)  We are rightfully repelled when men approach us with lecherous comments but how often is a man who makes respectful advances rejected by women in the rudest, most demeaning way?

    Women are “sex objects,” who are unsafe bc of our physical 1. weakness (compared to men’s) and 2. desirability.  Men are “success objects:” ridiculed as “less than” if they’re not sufficiently high status, hunted like rare quarry if they are, made to fight our wars and build our empires.

    Sexual harassment is wrong and we should work against it.  However, at the same time as we point fingers at “the other,” it would behoove us women to examine our own behaviours and attitudes, too.

    1. 10.1
      Lisa

      The women don’t send the boys to horrible conditions in service of our countries, again, the patriarchy does. Hardly any woman I know is pro war. The patriarchy screws up men and women alike, that is why feminsm is so important to get rid of it.

      1. 10.1.1
        Tyrone

        Patriarchy huh? Here I thought men and women were just making personal choices. You ready to give up all of the good aspects of the supposed patriarchy as well? Going to start actively hitting on men paying for your dates? Are you one of the many women that are attracted to taller men because they make you feel safe or secure? That’s patriarchy right there. Do your part and be the tall one to show everyone that you can make your partner feel safe and secure. Better get on that wage gap. Stop women from choosing female dominated professions like nursing, teaching or women’s studies and force them to get degrees in typically higher paying fields like engineering for example. Some women don’t want to date a man that makes less money than they do. One reason I’ve seen for that is because they would like the option to be a stay home parent in the future. There’s that patriarchy again. Women better start dating men that make less money just as much as men do. Get rid of that patriarchal conditioning! Women are also going to need to give up alimony. 97% of the people receiving alimony are women. Its just more patriarchal oppression that proves that a woman needs a man’s money. We better get the law changed to require women to register for selective service. Patriarchy had everyone thinking they didn’t need to. More women seem to be graduating from college than men. Some say that is a victory for feminism. But it seems like its just more patriarchy. When more men were graduating it was patriarchy. When more women started graduating it was all good. Why isn’t it sexist when women are ahead? Because patriarchal conditioning makes us eager to please women, so we can’t call it sexist. That is problematic. Special treatment is definitely patriarchy and it has to go. Men tend to be more willing to help a women. We also tend to be less skeptical of them on the whole. Stupid patriarchy. No more of that. Helping women and children first in an emergency? That’s definitely patriarchy. Women can take care of themselves. From now on it’s children first, then every man/woman for themselves.

        If patriarchy is so powerful, why has it been failing so hard?

        1. Lisa

          Alright Tyrone, be a good slave to these old, grey-haired men in suits who rule the world and finances and make money of other people’s financial losses, send young men to war, keep people slaving away in sweatshops and ruin our environment.

          The examples you stated weren’t really about patriarchy. You have no clue of the concept, you just want to enjoy your little rant I suppose.

          Stop playing the victim and pretend as a man you have it so bad. You have obviously lost all empathy for other people’s situations by being so self-centered.

           

        2. Lisa

          BTW patriarchy is not failing, it is screwing us up again and again. Look who starts wars, who does the killings, who rules countries as violent dictators. Who runs companies that exploit people. Who uses people for sex in a cruel and heartless industry. And so on.

        3. Tyrone

          If you believe patriarchy to be a real institution that pervades all of our society by giving power to men and excluding women, while at the same time influencing men and women’s thoughts and actions, how can you say the examples I listed are NOT caused by the dreaded patriarchy? Don’t think too hard about it though. It’s much easier to say I am ranting and dismiss it.
          If said institution is for the benefit of men, and these men are allowing it to be dismantled by feminism, then patriarchy is a fail. Allowing women to have any of the things I listed (as well as any items that you might consider to be feminist gains) would be and is a major fail for patriarchy. Why would the patriarchy allow feminist into positions of power? That’s bad for patriarchy. Another fail. Why does patriarchy allow all this anti-patriarchy talk to continue? If I were patriarchy, I’d shut that shit down. Another fail. Patriarchy let women have all the reproductive rights and forces men to pay for children they didn’t want. Damn, I though patriarchy was supposed to benefit men. That’s a double fail. Some of the people that post here are pretty successful. Many of them are even women. Patriarchy failed again. With so many fails, it’s almost like patriarchy isn’t even trying to protect itself. Maybe because it’s not real.
          The only one playing the victim here is you if you believe this garbage. There are countries that have legitimate policies against women. The US (where I live) is not one of them. I never said I had anything about being a victim. You invoking the patriarchy is a direct claim that we all are being held down by a magical unseen force that targets women in particular. Sorry, it’s not magical. It’s the old grey haired men in suits that rule this world – the Illuminati.
           
          And are you trying to say that the patriarchy is starting wars? Or are you trying to say that men are starting wars? Quick question. If Hillary becomes America’s first female president and some instance of wars happens to occur while she is in office, would that be because of the patriarchy too? FYI, women also kill, exploit and use people. But that’s probably just more patriarchy.

        4. Caroline

          Only about 10% of divorces end up awarding alimony. The law was originally enforced to prevent a spouse from falling into poverty when they had delayed further education/career to take care of kids/household. Fortunately, it has been reformed so that a man making significantly less will also be compensated. They’ve also reformed the laws  many times limiting the amount of time it will be awarded. That way it gives the former spouse time to establish a career again. It also takes into consideration if they have a degree already if they can secure employment ( thus not awarding it). It’s obviously a flawed system which will continue to evolve.

          I’d like to note just like only 10% of divorces award alimony (of which I believe Forbes said 5-10% were men who were awarded-so yes, 90-95% are women). There’s only 10% of true “dead beat dad’s”. Men who have the means, know where the kids are, but still choose not to support their own children. Hopefully the stats put things into perspective. The majority of men and  w omen somehow try to find an equitable end to their divorce. While being flawed, it’s improving.

          The above figures are for the U.S..

          About women choosing careers which don’t pay more- once again while th  statement may not be inaccurate. It obviously does not tell the whole story. Because women are expected to play different roles in the workplace and home than men, it’s apparent women also look for different rewards from their work such as pay, intellectual challenge, flexibility (usually to raise children), work life balance , etc. However, times are shifting. Nursing is seeing a significant increase in men entering the field (I’m sure if you’ve been to any hospital recently you will have noticed this). The reason seems to be in part that there are diminishing traditional skilled positions due to the economy. And healthcare positions appear to be a bit more recession proof. Not only that, some careers are much more rewarding to people personally. You could definitely see how nursing may be a bit more fulfilling than being an IT tech. Btw- there is still a significant wage gap amongst engineers even upon graduation to their first job (same degree and same job title). The gap widens after a decade (maybe in part to the flexibility one may be afforded in certain positions? My sister who has been a n electrical engineer for 30 years made significantly less than her mechanical engineer husband (so that he could advance while she raised the kids while she also worked). I imagine her daughter who is a biomedical engineer will do the same while her mechanical engineer husband advances.

          IM saying this to point out wage gap is very nuanced. Claiming women just choose lower paying careers is not taking all into considerstion.

        5. Tyrone

          Only about 10% of divorces end up awarding alimony. The law was originally enforced to prevent a spouse from falling into poverty when they had delayed further education/career to take care of kids/household. Fortunately, it has been reformed so that a man making significantly less will also be compensated. They’ve also reformed the laws  many times limiting the amount of time it will be awarded. That way it gives the former spouse time to establish a career again. It also takes into consideration if they have a degree already if they can secure employment ( thus not awarding it). It’s obviously a flawed system which will continue to evolve.
          I’d like to note just like only 10% of divorces award alimony (of which I believe Forbes said 5-10% were men who were awarded-so yes, 90-95% are women). There’s only 10% of true “dead beat dad’s”. Men who have the means, know where the kids are, but still choose not to support their own children. Hopefully the stats put things into perspective. The majority of men and  w omen somehow try to find an equitable end to their divorce. While being flawed, it’s improving.”
           
          Regarding what I wrote, the percentage of divorces where alimony is involved is irrelevant. A higher percentage of women getting alimony is. If patriarchy is a thing, then I am claiming that it is failing by allowing something like that to happen. The protected spouses are overwhelmingly female. If patriarchy created this (and if you believe in patriarchy, then they did), are women ready to give it up? That was the point of my statement.
           
          “About women choosing careers which don’t pay more- once again while th  statement may not be inaccurate. It obviously does not tell the whole story. Because women are expected to play different roles in the workplace and home than men, it’s apparent women also look for different rewards from their work such as pay, intellectual challenge, flexibility (usually to raise children), work life balance , etc. However, times are shifting. Nursing is seeing a significant increase in men entering the field (I’m sure if you’ve been to any hospital recently you will have noticed this). The reason seems to be in part that there are diminishing traditional skilled positions due to the economy. And healthcare positions appear to be a bit more recession proof. Not only that, some careers are much more rewarding to people personally. You could definitely see how nursing may be a bit more fulfilling than being an IT tech. Btw- there is still a significant wage gap amongst engineers even upon graduation to their first job (same degree and same job title). The gap widens after a decade (maybe in part to the flexibility one may be afforded in certain positions? My sister who has been a n electrical engineer for 30 years made significantly less than her mechanical engineer husband (so that he could advance while she raised the kids while she also worked). I imagine her daughter who is a biomedical engineer will do the same while her mechanical engineer husband advances.”
           
           
          No it isn’t the whole story, but it is definitely a significant part. Everything in your first couple of sentences is true. I was not trying to point out the intricacies of the wage gap with my statements. However, roles that women are “expected” to play are on those women that choose to do so. It’s called personal choice. If you marry a man that “expects” to take on the household work and you chose to go along with that, then you’ve made your choice via free will. You chose to forgo traditional household work? Also your choice. My point was that if patriarchy is causing this, then women need to change their focus/expectations if they want to stop patriarchy. And that if the wage gap is shrinking, then patriarchy is failing. But I don’t actually believe in patriarchy, so I don’t care what careers women choose to go in to as long as it makes them happy.

        6. Caroline

          I was pointing out the above statistics to expound not at all statistics are created equal. Once again, you must look at the whole picture. I could have easily claimed there were something like 70% plus dead beat dads if I had not taken into consideration men who couldn’t pay because they weren’t employed or dads who had made other ways to pay for their kids like fixing the family car, or dads who couldn’t find their kids to actually pay (all are dads not paying) but Thst doesn’t make them “deadbeat dads”. Just like flippantly using a stat IMPLYING women are getting alimony hand over fist. The fact is only 10% of divirces are awarded alimony. New laws are curtailing the practice and are attempting to right the path so to speak. It DOES matter that only 10% of divirces award alimony. It’s a direct reflection of the fact that only 7-13% of married couples with kids have one income to support the family.

          I never claimed I was trying to say it was due to patriarchy. I was pointing out your flawed use of statistics.

          On wage gap-again I was attempting to enlighten that this is a more nuanced idea. Yes, women tend to want children and their choices in careers often reflect that. It often has NOTHING to do with women making crappy career choices as you claim. Man, you have a chip on your shoulder the size of a mountain. I’m floored you can’t even embrace an attempt to explain why there is a wage gap because of women wanting to have children! Women do this because we have a strong desire to have kids and we’d actually enjoy being able to be a part if their lives! It’s a GREAT reason to choose a more flexible career.

          I never once claimed patriarchy. I was merely pointing out you were once twisting statements which weren’t actually inaccurate-they just don’t show the full facts. It’s called CONTEXT. Context is defined as the circumstances that form the setting for an event, statement, or idea, and in terms of which it can be fully understood and assessed.  “Tyrone”-you really ought to try using context. Actually looking at all the facts. Not cherry picking the ones that suit your point of view. People appreciate authenticity. By purposefully using only the facts that suit your point of view; you nullify anyone actually seeing your point. It just proves you have to twist things to make your point seem valid. It erodes at the foundation of your argument.

        7. Caroline

          If also like to state, women most often gladly choose a career which can afford them the flexibility to take care of their children. It’s a great reason to make LESS money. Unfortunately it can bite you in the butt if you divorce because you may be in sudden need of acquiring a job which makes more money. Ultimately choosing a job bit on the fast track originally can stunt/impede your efforts to get the higher paying job to now support yourself and kids. I’d say most often, women gladly have chosen less high paying jobs so they can actually attempt to raise children. I’m not claiming patriarchy. It’s about life choices. One could also assert men miss out on many of those wonderful times raising kids because they work more. Once again, life choices. No matter if one is male or female you have to personally assess the pros and cons. One truly can’t have it all; at least not all at the same time.

        8. Lisa

          Tyrone, again, patriarchy is not failing hard. It has taken losses but men like you who fear for their privileges do a great job of keeping it alive as long as possible. Of course patriarchy is extremely powerful, however, there are other people, including men, who believe both sexes are equal, and of course, these people have some power too.

          And of course patriarchy is not an institution. It is a shared power network. And it screws up men and women alike, for example as you stated by starting wars. If you want to learn more about patriarchy and the effect it has on people, watch Game of Thrones, it does a quite clever job at depicting it. Only because two kings cannot agree on who’s in power men die, women get raped, homes get destroyed, children lose their families and so on.

          If Hillary Clinton starts a war, we still live in a patriarchy. Because most people in power in the US are still male.

          If you want to keep closing your eyes that the world keeps being ruled by old grey haired men in suits, keep closing them.

          And you don’t understand that this doesn’t mean you as a man are any less than a woman, that women see you as inferior etc. But this is what you seem to think. Criticizing patriarchy in your eyes obviously means criticizing you and being against ALL MEN. Which doesn’t make any sense, because one of the reasons I am against patriarchy is because I would never want to see a man I love have to fight in a war. Because my country Germany is flooded right now with refugees, most of them male, who had to fight so hard to get here and prepare for their families to follow them safely. They sent the boys because they thought boys were the only ones who could make it. But many of these boys are still so young. They have seen horrible things. What is happening right now to them is due to patriarchy I believe and I hate for this to happen.

        9. Tyrone

          I was pointing out the above statistics to expound not at all statistics are created equal. Once again, you must look at the whole picture. I could have easily claimed there were something like 70% plus dead beat dads if I had not taken into consideration men who couldn’t pay because they weren’t employed or dads who had made other ways to pay for their kids like fixing the family car, or dads who couldn’t find their kids to actually pay (all are dads not paying) but Thst doesn’t make them “deadbeat dads”. Just like flippantly using a stat IMPLYING women are getting alimony hand over fist. The fact is only 10% of divirces are awarded alimony. New laws are curtailing the practice and are attempting to right the path so to speak. It DOES matter that only 10% of divirces award alimony. It’s a direct reflection of the fact that only 7-13% of married couples with kids have one income to support the family.”
           
          I’m not implying that women get alimony more often than women. It’s actually a fact. The percentage of deatbeat dads, or the percentage of people that get divorced, or even the percentage of divorces that involve alimony have nothing to do with the point I was trying to make. The point of my statement (to Lisa) was that if there is a patriarchy, why is it allowing women to continue to get the majority of alimony payments? Since this IS happening, the supposed patriarchy is failing to keep women down on this front. The other half of the point is that this system was set up primarily to protect women. And if there is a patriarchy, then it is responsible for creating said system. Thus if one’s goal is to completely eradicate patriarchy, would that include getting rid of the protections and benefits it created for women along with the bad? I don’t believe that we live in a patriarchy system in the US. Nor was I trying to imply any judgement in regard to men or women receiving alimony.
           
          “I never claimed I was trying to say it was due to patriarchy. I was pointing out your flawed use of statistics.”
           
          I didn’t said YOU did. I was explaining why I used that sat the way I did.
           
          “On wage gap-again I was attempting to enlighten that this is a more nuanced idea. Yes, women tend to want children and their choices in careers often reflect that. It often has NOTHING to do with women making crappy career choices as you claim. Man, you have a chip on your shoulder the size of a mountain. I’m floored you can’t even embrace an attempt to explain why there is a wage gap because of women wanting to have children! Women do this because we have a strong desire to have kids and we’d actually enjoy being able to be a part if their lives! It’s a GREAT reason to choose a more flexible career.”
           
          Crappy career choice? I never made such a statement. I said LOWER PAYING CAREER CHOICES. Choosing something that one enjoys, over something that pays better is a choice and can, at times, even be a privilege. Women choosing lower paying careers, or careers with flexibility to allow more family time/work life balance, or taking time to have children, explains why there is an EARNINGS GAP – not a wage gap. By making said choices, women on average earn less over their life time than men on average. I don’t see this as a problem. In the US women and men are free to make these choice for themselves. And I say more power to them. A wage is an amount paid to an employee by an employer for tasks that are done, hours that are work, or intervals that are worked. Wage gap directly implies that the amount employers pay women for their work/hours/intervals is less (something like 23% less if I remember correctly) than the amounts employers pay men for the same work/hours/intervals. The only way to even accurately asses such a claim is to take a man and a woman at the same company, with the same qualifications, and the same experience, with the same job title, doing the same work, for the same amount of time, hired by the same person, possessing the same interview negotiating strategies, and the same amount/usage of leave or vacation time and look at their salary to see if the man made 20% more than the woman. If that happens to be true, that woman better get a lawyer because that is illegal.
           
          “I never once claimed patriarchy. I was merely pointing out you were once twisting statements which weren’t actually inaccurate-they just don’t show the full facts. It’s called CONTEXT. Context is defined as the circumstances that form the setting for an event, statement, or idea, and in terms of which it can be fully understood and assessed.  “Tyrone”-you really ought to try using context. Actually looking at all the facts. Not cherry picking the ones that suit your point of view. People appreciate authenticity. By purposefully using only the facts that suit your point of view; you nullify anyone actually seeing your point. It just proves you have to twist things to make your point seem valid. It erodes at the foundation of your argument.”
           
          I think you missed the context and points of my statements. I reiterated above. 

        10. Tyrone

          “Tyrone, again, patriarchy is not failing hard. It has taken losses but men like you who fear for their privileges do a great job of keeping it alive as long as possible. Of course patriarchy is extremely powerful, however, there are other people, including men, who believe both sexes are equal, and of course, these people have some power too.”
           
          Give me a list of the supposed privileges that I have as a man and I will send you a list right back containing supposed privileges you have as a women. I certainly can’t speak for everyone, but I’d say that the majority of people in the US believe men and women are equal. Note that equal does not mean same.
           
          “And of course patriarchy is not an institution. It is a shared power network. And it screws up men and women alike, for example as you stated by starting wars. If you want to learn more about patriarchy and the effect it has on people, watch Game of Thrones, it does a quite clever job at depicting it. Only because two kings cannot agree on who’s in power men die, women get raped, homes get destroyed, children lose their families and so on.”
           
          If patriarchy is a shared power network that influences world societies, then some people had to create it, making it an institution. An organization of, as you call them, rich old grey haired men. I don’t know if anyone told you this, but Game of Thrones is a fictitious TV show. Kings and queens are/were hereditary dictators. We live in a democracy in the US. That doesn’t really apply here. Couldn’t say how things are where you are from. Remember when I said you were playing the victim? If you believe that rich old men are responsible for the bad nature of humans, then you are absolutely claiming victim-hood. You are claiming we are all victims. That no one has any choice or free will. That no one is responsible for their actions. The patriarchy has screwed us all up. Except for those few enlightened folks that managed to escape the reach of the rich old men that control the world. Hey how did they manage to do that by the way? I mean it has to be damn near impossible to escape a global conspiracy while still residing on the planet. Did they have help from aliens?
           
          “If Hillary Clinton starts a war, we still live in a patriarchy. Because most people in power in the US are still male.”
           
          So woman becomes one of the world’s most powerful figures.
          Woman starts war.
          Other powerful men are to blame, not the woman.
          Seems legit.
           
          “If you want to keep closing your eyes that the world keeps being ruled by old grey haired men in suits, keep closing them.”
           
          Once the aliens find where the old grey haired men are hiding, I will relinquish all of my man privilege. I promise.
           
          “And you don’t understand that this doesn’t mean you as a man are any less than a woman, that women see you as inferior etc. But this is what you seem to think. Criticizing patriarchy in your eyes obviously means criticizing you and being against ALL MEN. Which doesn’t make any sense, because one of the reasons I am against patriarchy is because I would never want to see a man I love have to fight in a war. Because my country Germany is flooded right now with refugees, most of them male, who had to fight so hard to get here and prepare for their families to follow them safely. They sent the boys because they thought boys were the only ones who could make it. But many of these boys are still so young. They have seen horrible things. What is happening right now to them is due to patriarchy I believe and I hate for this to happen.”
           
           
          Patriarchy doesn’t cause war. War is caused the choices (right or wrong) of government leadership. By things like ambition – the desire to increase territory, the desire to prove one’s leadership ability. It’s caused by resources – they have something we need. It’s caused by hate – we want to drive them out of our area because we don’t like them. If all the men in governments all over the world were replaced by women, do you think that war would end forever? I think that assumption would be somewhat naive. 

      2. 10.1.2
        Henriette

        Oh, please.  We don’t send our men into war… and yet we’re quite pleased to live in a society where millions of young men died keeping Hitler out of power.   Yeah, Margaret Thatcher, Hillary Clinton, Golda Meir, Evita Peron: just a pack of peace-niks who sang/sing Kumbaya all day-long.  Few “companies that exploit people” could exist without women spending money on their goods and services; David Ogilvy, “The consumer is not a moron; she’s your wife.”

        In any case, the point is that YES, most women suffer sexual harassment and we should all work to change that.  However, we should also appreciate men who are respectful while acknowledging and correcting any disrespectful behaviours/ attitudes we, ourselves. might harbour.

        1. Lisa

          You listed the few women who started some real awful stuff, Henry. Mostly, it’s men though. You know it. I know it. We all know it. It is right in our faces everytime we switch on the news. Only you, dear Henry, try to deny it.

          You red pill guys come here on this blog and comment on an article that deals with the constant sexual harrassment women have to go through. And all you can come up with, again and again, is… “BUT women do this, women do that too…” You cannot empathize with women and just let them tell about their experiences on here. It is probably hurting your ego too much that men could, possibly, fail in any type of way. When you read stuff like this, you HAVE to point out perceived women’s flaws RIGHT AFTER.

          All you can “accuse” women of is of stuff that the entire society does, like sending men to war. BTW Hitler was lifted into power by his party and government peers, who made the rules at that time, all male. Back then, governmental power was even more in men’s hands than today.

          Men are more likely to kill.

          Men are more likely to harass.

          Men are more likely to rape.

          Men are more likely to be sex tourists.

          Men are more likely to exert physical violence.

          Men are emotionally abusive too, on top of that.

          Sorry but that’s the truth and we all know it.

          But you, Henry, keep denying it because you couldn’t take this blow to your ego, right?

        2. Tyrone

          Lisa,

          My original post had a link to a video about street harassment. It showed a video of a woman walking for several hours and noted that she received hundreds of comments and stares. If you watch the video, there are even one or two guys that follow her for a while. I honestly think I can speak for everyone when I say that is not ok. However, several of the comments made to this woman on the video we people  just saying things like “hello” or “good morning” as she walked by. The point I wanted to make with that was that saying hello to someone in passing is in no way anything close to harassment. I don’t think anyone is trying to discount experiences of actual harassment.
          Men are more likely to kill.
          But since women also kill, what is the point here?
          Men are more likely to harass.
          Women also harass. Some studies show that online, women are actually more likely to harass other other women
          Men are more likely to rape.
          Women rape too. I’ve been raped by two women. Once when I was 9 and once when I was 23. I hope you aren’t discounting my experience just because men do it also
          Men are more likely to be sex tourists.
          Ever heard of a gigolo?
          Men are more likely to exert physical violence.
          Take a look at this.

          Men are emotionally abusive too, on top of that.
          Women can do this too.
          So you just accused men of stuff that both men and women do. Weren’t you just complaining about people saying “but women do this too”? Sorry but that’s the truth and we all know it.

        3. Evan Marc Katz

          Weak argument, Tyrone. It’s like you’re focused on the exceptions instead of the rule. If I said “Men are taller” that would be true – mostly. Men average 5’9″. Women average 5’4″. Are SOME women taller than men? Yes. But that doesn’t mean that, in general, women are as tall. Same goes for everything you wrote above. Men kill, harass, rape, etc FAR more than women – to the point that most of us naturally associate rape, domestic abuse and sexual harassment as male crimes (even though occasionally women do it as well). So if 95% of cases are men, isn’t it safe to say that this is pretty much a male thing? Or are you going to be intellectually disingenuous and stay committed to finding the exceptions to attempt to disprove the rule?

        4. Chance

          To focus on people who rape, kill, and harass is to focus on the exceptions as well.  Therefore, it doesn’t really matter if these crimes are committed by mostly men or women.  That’s why collective guilt never works

        5. Tyrone

          I wasn’t arguing that some women kill, harass and rape. It’s just a fact. I wasn’t attempting to imply anything in addition to that statement. I didn’t say they did it more often. I wasn’t attempting to compare and contrast that aspect. Nor was I attempting to disprove a rule. My point was that Lisa was doing the thing she was complaining about when she made that list – women do this, men do that.

          To use your example of men being taller:
          I said men are taller that women But then someone else chimed in that not all men are tall. Then they accuse women of being short. Why do they do that? Can’t they just let me say men are tall? Tall men lifted a bad man into power. Patriarchy (from former posts)!
          Men are more likely to be over six foot tall.
          There are some women over six feet tall. What is the point here?
          Men are more likely to be physically stronger.
          Some women are body builders. Some men are scrawny.
          Men are tall. Some women are also tall. So what?

        6. Henriette

          @Lisa.  Hahahahaha.  Yes.  You nailed it.  I must be Henry, a red pill guy.

          Heaven forbid a woman assert that while women are subjected to inexcusable harassment we should also acknowledge that there are many decent, supportive men “out there.”  I couldn’t possibly be a woman who believes that one sex is not inherently “better” than the other.  Only a red pill man could suggest that while trying to fix issues that we see in others, we should also sometimes turn our critical gaze on ourselves and note our own flaws.

          Interesting to note that that your critical faculties are quite on par with your sleuthing abilities.

           

  11. 11
    Stacy

    I am a woman and a minority and I can’t remember a day going by where I was not hit on in some way, shape or form.  However, it doesn’t bother me and even today, I am flattered by the attention because I know it won’t always be this way. I see nothing wrong with being admired (partly) for what I look like as long as any compliments I receive are not disrespectful…I mean, what’s the harm?

    I think that many women call attention from men ‘objectification’ when it’s from men they are not interested in.  Of course, being groped/touched etc. is highly inappropriate/disrespectful and there will never be any justification for that.  However, I don’t see most men approaching women this way and of all the women I know (attractive and otherwise), being groped/touched randomly and inappropriately rarely (if ever) happens.

    One is only objectified when she is seen simply as an object to be degraded.  But when a man first sees you, he is not thinking about your awesome personality.  So partly, you are seen as an object of his affection.  So what?

    1. 11.1
      Tyrone

      I think that sounds very reasonable. There are some that would like men not to talk to them at all when they don’t want to be talked to. I’m sure everyone feels this way at times. But no one can read another person’s mind And since men are, for the most part, expected to make the first move, they are going to make the first move.  As long as they are decent and respectful about it, I don’t think it should be considered more than a possible minor nuisance. Same with someone just being courteous and saying hello.

  12. 12
    L

    Camouflage pattern on hoodie with hood up. big dark glasses, brown track pants. breasts bound down. ugly pack, old shoes. sexless as possible. war.

  13. 13
    KT

    Ya know….. I love when we over complicate things.. I read a lot of the above posts and I have to say:

    Don’t be rapey or a shitty human to others.

    Women don’t like men who cat call: it will not earn you points or a shag. Period.

    Talk TO YOUR KIDS. you are their north star and the compass for their behaviour. Let them know you will back them.. unless they are shitty rapey human beings.

    Love does not equal seeing a woman as a body part. Love is seeing a woman as a whole person equal to yourself. Treat her this way always.

    Don’t shame each other: women who shame feminists missed the point. The only reason you have the right to express your opinion is because somewhere in your people’s history some woman stood up and helped the world see you as a woman as a Person. Without feminism you as a woman wouldn’t be entitled to having any opinions. Thank them don’t shame them or denigrate them.

    No one has to see things your way.

    One more time for the folks in the back:

    No One HAS to see things your way in these conversations. But they should acknowledge the power of your convictions if they are unwilling to adopt them.

    Whether your the rapey guy on the corner or the third wave feminist trying to spread awareness of women issues.. Not one person has to be convinced of your opinion or it’s rightness. if you feel they do…make sure your not talking to someone who will refuse to acknowledge your humanity, not your femininity. Or your sexual identity. Your Humanity. We shouldn’t talk to each other as men and woman we need to talk to each other as human beings. Take the sex out of it and it’s a whole new conversation.

     

  14. 14
    Stacy2

    Reading these comments has been nothing short of astonishing. I suppose, my parents did a really good job because as  woman i have never experienced any of this. With the only exception of a guy who flashed in a school yard when i was 8. (But me and my girlfriends were too little to grasp the issue and laughed at him because a grown man dropping his pants seemed silly. I think he was the one traumatized by that experienced, especially given that the cops caught him.)

    I have never experienced any other forms of harassment described here. I supposed this is due to a combination of always living in good neighborhoods, having a bit of an  “ice queen” demeanor and my upbringing. I was taught some wise things by my mother, such as “if you make out with a guy he may not stop when you ask him to because this is how men are when they are sexually aroused. Don’t do that unless you’re a couple and you are ready”. Goes without saying that my parents educated me on the dangers of getting blackout drunk, taught me how to filter my circle, and how to be safe in the city. I remember reading a book on how to stay safe, with advise i  still use today (ie park under a street lamp. Flash into you car before opening it. When loading groceries stand sideways so that you can monitor your surroundings). My parents gave it to me to read when i was 12-13 years old. I really think this component is missing in a lot of cases these days. Somehow the idea that women should take charge of their own safety became unpopular and gets dismissed as “blaming the victim”.  Sorry, if you go into the woods in the Poconos there’s a good chance you’ll be eaten by a bear; if you walk on the wrong side of Chicago there’s a good chance you will get shot, and if you get blackout drunk at a fraternity party, there’s a good chance you will get raped. Now, we can get mad at the bears, the street thugs, and the rapists, and try to  make this world a better place, but honestly may be not doing those things in the first place is a good start.

    Also, I don’t understand why some women get so upset about cat calling. I think it is harmless. I wave at the construction workers smile and walk by. I am an attractive woman and they noticed. Wtf is wrong with that?

    And, I wouldn’t mind being approached when i am sitting alone, grocery shopping or walking down the street. Jeez ladies. May be lighten up a little? May be “that’s why you’re single” – because you scare away ever poor guy who wants to talk to you. And ruining it for the rest of us who actually want to be approached in a normal serendipitous way, not at some stupid matchmaking event with name tags and cheap beer. Not every guy out there who talks to you is a creep.

     

  15. 15
    Kevin

    Not sure how common it is but I’ve had a few run ins with weird men as well.  A few have tried to pick me up on the side of the road, looking for sex.  One was actually an Hasidic Jewish man.  One guy pulled out his dick and started shaking at me in a public bathroom.  One followed me inside a store after introducing himself outside and brushed up against me with his penis.  Another much older guy tried to befriend me and wanted me to go back to his boat with him and get drunk…just the two of us.  Another time a guy chose to sit next to me on a bus (there were tons of free seats) and proceeded to try and touch me the entire ride. I’m not sure if he was sleeping but his hands wandered onto my crotch and butt.  I kept pushing him off.  Yuck. I don’t envy women for this.  You never know who’s a pervert and you’d be surprised at who’s willing to grab your daughter’s ass.

    Women do have to exercise more caution out there and no, I’m not victim blaming.  It’s unfortunately the way it is.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *