You are either not logged in or not registered with our community. Click here to register.
 
December 03, 2016, 08:15:47 PM

Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length

Click here if you are having problems.
Default Wide Screen Beige Lilac Rainbow Black & Blue October Send us your theme!

Hark!  The Herald!
Holiday Issue 2016

Wiki Blogs Dicebot

Author Topic: Sexual Relations (a post on feminism)  (Read 7116 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline AndyZ

Re: Sexual Relations (a post on feminism)
« Reply #50 on: August 27, 2011, 04:52:10 PM »
Not an idiot :) I appreciate your attitude on the subject; the big mistake a lot of feminists (and others with strong beliefs) make is that they tend to blast apart people who are well-intentioned, but may not necessarily understand or have all the information, especially when they bring up certain subjects or suggest things that may be offensive. I suppose this is where the 'raging, angry feminist' stereotype comes from.

This is why you rock.  I'm extremely Socratic and you've been nothing but nice and patient with me.  In a lot of places, even on this site, I just end up giving up because people attacking me makes me shut up and start arguing, which doesn't help anyone.

I'm guessing what you're getting at here is workplace discrimination between the sexes or is it something else? The issue with equal pay is that it seems there are women who hold positions that are the equivalent of another man's and they are routinely paid less, on average, which I think is worth investigating. There was recently a lawsuit by a group of women against Wal-Mart due to some issues where it seemed to be that there were women who were up for promotion, but were consistently passed over for men. I think they tossed it out because Wal-Mart was deemed to already have sufficient non-discriminatory practices, but I find it hard to believe that if you see a pattern of a certain group being routinely passed over, that it's purely based on merit.

I have absolutely no idea if it's discrimination or not.  I'll agree that it shouldn't happen if it's because of discrimination, but it's impossible to say.  I don't even know how you'd prove it.

There used to be things like Affirmative Action where you absolutely had to have someone of a particular race.  They probably still exist in various ways, but I don't know because I haven't looked into it.  However, I consider it completely the wrong direction to require people of a particular race/gender/etc. in order to fill a particular quota.  Maybe it used to be required; I don't believe it still is.

Personally, I think that if you don't hire or promote someone based on some sort of discrimination, and they're the best person, you're handicapping yourself.  Other people will not have such practices, and therefore they'll have better people on average, so you're hurting your business.  However, that's pretty academic.

Quote
In the 40's and 50's,

Absolutely no argument that we used to be very, very discriminatory.  However, this always seems to be the breakdown in the argument.  I call this the "Caveman Problem" because that's in the past as well, but I don't feel any compulsion to apologize for the sins of ancestry.  Doubly so when I'm not even related to the people in any significant way (like how my ancestors didn't come until after slavery had been stopped in the USA).

Just a point I've wanted to make for a while now.  I see so many arguments about people who hate white males, or Christians, for something that happened way, way back when.  As I read this over and over, though, maybe you're trying to say that it bled over, but I don't really understand why it would.  Consider how vastly styles changed in the 60s and 70s.

Nowadays, we have so many fashion magazines written up, like Seventeen, Redbook, and Glamour, just to name a few.  I don't know who runs them, but so many of the articles are written by women.  This suggests that women are pushing the fashion world in its direction, but I would figure that the primary force of such things would be what women actually buy and don't buy, that women are intelligent enough to choose for themselves what they do and do not want to wear in casual situations.

Professional dress I realize is very different.  Given the choice, I wouldn't even wear a suit and tie to my own wedding or funeral.  (If you're reading this, please bury me in a T-shirt and jeans.  If it's the last thing I'm going to wear for a while, I want to be comfy. ^_^  Sorry, serious convo requires at least one joke thrown in somewhere).  I do consider heels every bit as idiotic as a necktie, and will gladly agree to abolish both for people who don't want to wear them.  Beyond that, I don't know enough about female fashion to see if you're as limited at options of dresses as men are with suits.

Quote
I think you're misplacing my point a bit. I have nothing against women who want to dress provocatively - if they're doing so for the right reasons. This is the premise for female self-objectification. I personally think it's kind of a blurry subject because who am I to say what empowers one female and degrades another -- but at the same time, if they're emulating their favorite superheroes or anime characters or what-have-you, who created THOSE characters, and to what end? Wonder Woman is a strong female lead, but she's wearing bondage cuffs and a bustier, which are hardly practical for fighting crime. Are they dressing up as those characters because it makes them feel good and empowered, or are they doing it because it's expected? The whole joke about Halloween being one of the only times it's acceptable to dress "like a slut" pretty well exemplifies it, I think.

I've been to many anime conventions but don't really understand people dressing up.  I'm going to agree on the premise that it's possible that there's discrimination going on, but it's impossible to say.  However, nobody makes women dress up for these things, nor for making characters more based to their liking if they so choose.

Wonder Woman originally came from 1941 according to Wiki.  I guess this is part of how that bleedover occurs.  The funny thing there is that she was originally part of the Amazons, which was a sort of feminist movement all its own.  I guess it was just one of those "it was acceptable in the 40s" thing, but if they gave Catwoman a new outfit, I don't see why they can't with Wonder Woman as well.  (The original Catwoman had many, many different outfits, some sexier than others).

Of course, Batman's suit has nipples as well, and I think I already said that chainmail bikinis are idiotic.

Quote
I'm not condemning men for being attracted to women -- I think this is a point that kind of gets lost in a lot of these kinds of discussions. When you become fixated on a woman for her body, it is objectifying. Initial attraction isn't a bad thing, certainly someone's looks are the most readily noticeable thing about them, but things like staring and occasionally obsessing over body parts (tits and ass, if you will!) is objectifying and it is harmful. It reduces the owner of those things to the sum of their parts.

I honestly used to believe that girls were very concerned about their appearance, so if a girl was all dressed up and looked great, it was a compliment to stare or make comments.  Obviously, I have learned better.

Quote
(some feminist websites, for example, don't presume innocence until proven guilt, so they lump all reported cases of rape/sexual assault together regardless of the legal verdict)

To me, this is a major damage to the cause.  If you really believe that something is a problem, you should be willing to bring your case honestly and truthfully (which you have, don't get me wrong there).  It's sort of like the whole Climategate thing where they found out just how much various scientists were fudging the data on global warning.  If you have to lie, it only makes it look like the truth won't hold you out.


Quote
I'd say it's a fairly realistic guess to say that men, on the whole, are not being oppressed by rape in the same way women are and it is a more realistic guess with the given statistics to say that while male rape does happen and should be addressed and the victim-shaming stopped, it is simply not as prevalent as violence towards women.

Probably.  I'm not going to try to say which is more prevalent; my point is more that it's terrible regardless.

With a lot of these, it's more subjective.  Is WalMart sexist or isn't it?  Is the clothing line sexist or isn't it?  Rape is terrible no matter what.

Is there any truth to that statistic that Miekle gave about 16% of all women have been raped or had it attempted?  That just seems completely insane.  If nearly 1 in 6 of all women have, our justice system has completely failed us.  Even at 10%, I'd want to own a gun.

I guess a lot of everything is that I either want to be able to do something, or else prove to myself that I'm not doing this.  I've had people yell at me before and it makes me worry that maybe I am a little bigoted, but it seems like I'm pretty okay.

Offline meikle

Re: Sexual Relations (a post on feminism)
« Reply #51 on: August 27, 2011, 05:09:07 PM »
Is there any truth to that statistic that Miekle gave about 16% of all women have been raped or had it attempted?  That just seems completely insane.  If nearly 1 in 6 of all women have, our justice system has completely failed us.  Even at 10%, I'd want to own a gun.

http://www.rainn.org/get-information/statistics/sexual-assault-victims
Quote
1 out of every 6 American women has been the victim of an attempted or completed rape in her lifetime (14.8% completed rape; 2.8% attempted rape).1

http://www.slc.edu/offices-services/security/assault/statistics.html
Quote
At least 1 in 4 college women will be the victim of a sexual assault during her academic career. Hirsch, Kathleen (1990)”Fraternities of Fear: Gang Rape, Male Bonding, and the Silencing of Women.” Ms., 1(2) 52-56.

https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/grants/219181.pdf
Quote
Our findings indicate that about 20 million out of 112 million women (18.0%) in the U.S. have
ever been raped during their lifetime. This includes an estimated 18 million women who have
been forcibly raped, nearly 3 million women who have experienced drug-facilitated rape, and 3
million women who have experienced incapacitated rape.

the National Criminal Justice Reference Service pdf is the most recent source I found (after about five minutes of searching), published in 2007.
« Last Edit: August 27, 2011, 05:10:17 PM by meikle »

Offline AndyZ

Re: Sexual Relations (a post on feminism)
« Reply #52 on: August 27, 2011, 05:22:21 PM »
Is there a pervasive culture-spanning tendency of women to be in positions of power over men in the US that I've overlooked?

No, it doesn't.  If the hypothesis is, "Men objectify women," testing women to see if they objectify men is not relevant.  You can, of course, run your own study if you're interested in that topic.

There are not 'two sides'.  These are different problems.  When discussing the problems that women face, problems that men face don't matter.  The problems are not competing with each other.  We are not playing misery poker.  Men crying "what about us!" whenever the topic of problems that women face comes up is really tiresome.

Acknowledging that women have problems does not mean diminishing that other people face problems, as well.  Not until someone decides that there needs to be some kind of competition over it, anyway.

Let's go over this a little more slowly by talking about the study you mentioned.

How much do we really know about the human brain?  It talks about lighting up the part of the brain associated with tool use, but later goes on to clarify:

Quote
Men were also more likely to associate images of sexualized women with first-person action verbs such as "I push, I grasp, I handle," said lead researcher Susan Fiske, a psychologist at Princeton University.

Push, grasp, handle, could it just be that they're imagining performing certain verbs upon these women?  Is it sexist to have such thoughts?  When women see images of men, do they imagine doing things to them as well?

The importance of comparisons is to decide whether it's actually an issue of sexism or if there's something else at work.  I'm sorry about what happened in your past, but everyone has problems, and it doesn't automatically mean that things are worse for some than others.

There has been research done on it, just not as much.  It's not that we aren't curious how objectification affects both of the sexes, it's just that we have to set priorities.  Objectification seems to be a much bigger problem for women, so the priority is set to explore that component of it first and at greater detail.

Maybe the point I've been trying to make isn't very clear.

If you don't look at both sides, of course things are going to appear bad.  Knowing the white blood cell count of someone with leukemia doesn't mean anything unless you also know a healthy white blood cell count by comparison.  Science requires a control

If you have something like "science proves that men objectify women," if you actually care about accuracy, you should check to see if women react the same way.  Otherwise, you're making women out to be victims without even checking if this is just how primitive parts of the brain work for arousal, regardless of gender.


Quote
I know it's hard when talking about stuff like this to keep away from an us versus them mentality.  Human beings an innately tribal; we feel a need to defend groups that we belong to from outsiders.  When feminists use a lot of language like "some men do this" or "the patriarchy does that" you just have to remind yourself that if you're not one of those men, and not take it personally (unless you are, then it's time to do some soul searching).  If you've never done a catcall, touched a woman against her will, considered her intellectually inferior just because of her sex, or otherwise abused women, then you're fine and the fact that other men do this in no way reflects negatively on you.

You are not a representative for your sex.  You didn't choose to be born a man, so there's no need for you to defend that group.  There are a lot of men out there who are selfish assholes with disgusting attitudes towards women that they don't even realize they possess.  Take a personal inventory, ask yourself if that's you -- if you can honestly say no, then don't worry about it.

You are, of course, correct ^_^  I just get sick of being attacked purely for being a man, but very few people on this thread have done that, for which I am grateful.

http://www.rainn.org/get-information/statistics/sexual-assault-victims
http://www.slc.edu/offices-services/security/assault/statistics.html
https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/grants/219181.pdf
the National Criminal Justice Reference Service pdf is the most recent source I found (after about five minutes of searching), published in 2007.

Dear crap, it's over 1 in 6.  Our police force is completely incompetent!  Why are our jails not further stuffed with people?

Offline meikle

Re: Sexual Relations (a post on feminism)
« Reply #53 on: August 27, 2011, 05:34:01 PM »
I'm sorry about what happened in your past, but everyone has problems, and it doesn't automatically mean that things are worse for some than others.
o_O

Quote
If you don't look at both sides, of course things are going to appear bad.  Knowing the white blood cell count of someone with leukemia doesn't mean anything unless you also know a healthy white blood cell count by comparison.  Science requires a control

What exactly is a 'healthy white blood cell count' as it would apply to this particular experiment?  Presumably, your control is the male brain with no images to stimulate them at all, in the same circumstances as whatever situation they were in before the images were presented.  Not every test is a drug trial, after all.

Again, it's not a competition.  "Males associate the image of a scantily clad woman with a tool" is a literal proof of objectification; these men literally see these images as tools and not as people.  Proving that women do the same thing wouldn't change this observation.

Chopping the heads off of the women in the photographs might have swayed the results a bit and the findings should reflect that ("men recognize headless women as not being people" might be a meaningful difference"), and the difference between a photograph of a woman and an actual woman is probably interesting to look at as well, but hey.
« Last Edit: August 27, 2011, 05:42:37 PM by meikle »

Offline AndyZ

Re: Sexual Relations (a post on feminism)
« Reply #54 on: August 27, 2011, 06:02:01 PM »
"Males associate the image of a scantily clad woman with a tool" is a literal proof of objectification; these men literally see these images as tools and not as people.  Proving that women do the same thing wouldn't change this observation.

This isn't really what the study says.  It says that the grab/grasp/handle part of the brain lights up when men view scantily clad women.  Now, one interpretation is that men only see women as tools, but this is hardly the only possible reason.

I posit that when you imagine wanting to do something to a person, the "grab/grasp/handle" part of the brain activates, because you imagine grabbing/grasping/handling the person.

This is quite different from seeing women as nothing more than tools.  In order to understand which one it is requires further study.  We don't have a strong enough understanding of the human brain to make such a claim.

Quote
Chopping the heads off of the women in the photographs might have swayed the results a bit and the findings should reflect that ("men recognize headless women as not being people" might be a meaningful difference"), and the difference between a photograph of a woman and an actual woman is probably interesting to look at as well, but hey.

You're starting to see what I mean with this ^_^  Obviously you're not going to have too much social cognition because you're not having a conversation with a picture.

I'm not saying that there aren't douchebags out there who objectify women; I'm saying the science is far from adequate to claim that all men objectify all women.

Offline meikle

Re: Sexual Relations (a post on feminism)
« Reply #55 on: August 27, 2011, 06:15:48 PM »
This isn't really what the study says.  It says that the grab/grasp/handle part of the brain lights up when men view scantily clad women.  Now, one interpretation is that men only see women as tools, but this is hardly the only possible reason.

I posit that when you imagine wanting to do something to a person, the "grab/grasp/handle" part of the brain activates, because you imagine grabbing/grasping/handling the person.

That is not what it says.

It says that men associate women in bikinis with personal action verbs.  Not "she does this", but "i do this".  It also say "some of the men studied showed no activity in the part of the brain that usually responds when a person ponders another's intentions" and "The lack of activation in this social cognition area is really odd, because it hardly ever happens." (implies that other studies have been done that show that this sort of response is somewhat unique to women in bikinis)

It says that this response comes from "men who scored higher as "hostile sexists"—those who view women as controlling and invaders of male space".

Quote
I'm not saying that there aren't douchebags out there who objectify women; I'm saying the science is far from adequate to claim that all men objectify all women.
It's a good thing the claim looks more like 'the fact that some men objectify women is enough to cause significant problems.'

Unless you mean the claim in the article, which doesn't say anything about "all men" but simply discusses the findings from their experiment.
« Last Edit: August 27, 2011, 06:20:38 PM by meikle »

Offline rick957

Re: Sexual Relations (a post on feminism)
« Reply #56 on: August 27, 2011, 06:25:59 PM »
The thread seems to have turned into a case study in epistemological uncertainty.  (Wha?)

Sorry, I can never resist using a word like "epistemological," and I haven't had a fitting moment in a long long time!

Okay, carry on.  I'm out!
« Last Edit: August 27, 2011, 06:34:53 PM by rick957 »

Offline AndyZ

Re: Sexual Relations (a post on feminism)
« Reply #57 on: August 27, 2011, 06:48:15 PM »
That is not what it says.

It says that men associate women in bikinis with personal action verbs.  Not "she does this", but "i do this".  It also say "some of the men studied showed no activity in the part of the brain that usually responds when a person ponders another's intentions" and "The lack of activation in this social cognition area is really odd, because it hardly ever happens." (implies that other studies have been done that show that this sort of response is somewhat unique to women in bikinis)

It says that this response comes from "men who scored higher as "hostile sexists"—those who view women as controlling and invaders of male space".
It's a good thing the claim looks more like 'the fact that some men objectify women is enough to cause significant problems.'

Unless you mean the claim in the article, which doesn't say anything about "all men" but simply discusses the findings from their experiment.

Going to bow out now.  I believe we've reached the point where we're both repeating ourselves.


The thread seems to have turned into a case study in epistemological uncertainty.

:)

Sorry, I can never resist using a word like "epistemological," and I haven't had a fitting moment in a long long time!

Okay, carry on.  I'm out!

In my experience, scientific debates often turn out that way.  With science, you have to prove that your hypothesis is the only reason for a particular event, and it's so horrendously rare to actually see that nowadays.

People often forget that a theory is just a theory, and that scientific concepts are only accepted until another, better idea comes along.  It was less than 30 years ago when people came up with the idea of a meteor causing the dinosaurs dying off, and even that is being questioned now with the prospect of a supervolcano.

Of course, these are the same people who don't realize that Schrodinger was using hyperbole, that of course the cat wasn't alive and dead at the same time.  I'll put that in a spoiler tag because it's way off topic, but it's worth pointing out as a common misconception.

Spoiler: Click to Show/Hide
Schrödinger wrote:
One can even set up quite ridiculous cases. A cat is penned up in a steel chamber, along with the following device (which must be secured against direct interference by the cat): in a Geiger counter, there is a tiny bit of radioactive substance, so small that perhaps in the course of the hour, one of the atoms decays, but also, with equal probability, perhaps none; if it happens, the counter tube discharges, and through a relay releases a hammer that shatters a small flask of hydrocyanic acid. If one has left this entire system to itself for an hour, one would say that the cat still lives if meanwhile no atom has decayed. The psi-function of the entire system would express this by having in it the living and dead cat (pardon the expression) mixed or smeared out in equal parts.
It is typical of these cases that an indeterminacy originally restricted to the atomic domain becomes transformed into macroscopic indeterminacy, which can then be resolved by direct observation. That prevents us from so naively accepting as valid a "blurred model" for representing reality. In itself, it would not embody anything unclear or contradictory. There is a difference between a shaky or out-of-focus photograph and a snapshot of clouds and fog banks.[3]
The above text is a translation of two paragraphs from a much larger original article that appeared in the German magazine Naturwissenschaften ("Natural Sciences") in 1935.[2]

Offline Missy

Re: Sexual Relations (a post on feminism)
« Reply #58 on: August 27, 2011, 07:16:14 PM »
At this point I don't really want to be involved with this discussion and have only really continued reading because I want to better understand women and feminism and how those relate to me and the world.

I'm honestly annoyed that any person would suggest that because some men don't think about having a conversation with a photograph, we all don't, especially when the subtitle of that article clearly stated "some". Sorry, that's all I have to say.

Offline meikle

Re: Sexual Relations (a post on feminism)
« Reply #59 on: August 27, 2011, 07:25:02 PM »
I'm honestly annoyed that any person would suggest that because some men don't think about having a conversation with a photograph, we all don't, especially when the subtitle of that article clearly stated "some". Sorry, that's all I have to say.

I think you're seeing something that's not there.
« Last Edit: August 27, 2011, 07:34:20 PM by meikle »

Offline JudeTopic starter

Re: Sexual Relations (a post on feminism)
« Reply #60 on: August 27, 2011, 08:01:01 PM »
She hasn't said that all men are that way anywhere -- please calm down and stop being offended on behalf of a social group you do not belong to.  Don't take it personally, it isn't about you.  You're probably one of the decent guys out there :P  They're not rare.

It is also a good point though that we're talking about men's reactions to a photograph in that particular study.

Please also keep in mind that the statistics she gave on the prevalence of rape are projections based off of estimations about the number of rapes that go unreported and also self-reported questionaires (which is notoriously unscientific and unreliable due to the fallibility of the human mind and memory).  In 2009, there were 89,000 rapes in the United States that were legally proven -- spread across nearly 300 million people, over half of which are female.  Bump up the number to 100k for ease of calculation and say women comprise half, and you've got 100k/150000k = 1/1500 women were the victims of a convicted sex offender in 2009.

Small aside, I changed the language a bit there, because you have to remember that everyone who is convicted for rape is not necessarily guilty just as every instance of it is not reported and every rapist is not actually convicted when they deserve to be.  The real question is, how many rapes are actually occurring compared to those that resulted in a conviction?  If we believe the 1/6 number, then we have to inflate our 1/1500 number over the course of a year into that.  Start with a 75 year lifespan, and you're sitting at 75/1500 (which is a fraction reducible to 1/20).  So basically, if we ignore wrongful convictions, in order for 1/6 to be true, there would have to be roughly 2 rapists who get away with it for every convicted rapist out there (and if you compensate for all of the corners I cut in ease of calculation, it's closer to 2 and 1/2 or 3).  That's a haunting number.  There are other problems with my calculation though, like assuming that the rape rate has stayed the same for some time -- it probably hasn't.

You also have to be careful with any number that is given in these debates as feminist groups have a history of deception with rape statistics.
« Last Edit: August 27, 2011, 08:22:13 PM by Jude »

Offline gaggedLouise

  • Quim Queen | Collaborative juicy writer
  • Champion
  • Enchanter
  • *
  • Join Date: Jan 2011
  • Location: Scandinavia
  • Gender: Female
  • Bound, gagged and unarmed but still dangerous.
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 0
Re: Sexual Relations (a post on feminism)
« Reply #61 on: August 27, 2011, 09:06:22 PM »
Okay, I had all but decided to keep out of this thread for now, but I'll give it one more try to bring out something that's persistently bothering me about the way feminism is often argued these days, both in research and even more in the popular media. (As I've indicated before, I am happy to regard myself as, well, old-school feminist; nobody is obliged to buy the things sold today to be able to call oneself feminist).

If you'll splash enough pathos or personal, ranty expressiveness onto something you are telling, and perhaps add some moral coercion ("how can you not stick with my causes?" or "you have no say because you weren't there in the heat of it at the time" etc) it isn't hard to hide a lack of conclusiveness or good sense in what's being shown up as a proof or a solid argument. And this is easier to do if it's built around a sketched out "personal story" or an argument to the effect of like, this is what I always felt in such and such a situation, this is typical. "nearly all my women buddies have been raped, or been in situations that were close to rape, or called cunt" - how do we know this is true and just what does "close to rape" mean here, considering how often rape is used as an image or expanded to a "rape society" beyond actual violations?

I can buy that women are getting a bad deal some of the time and that this is partly rooted in old atttitudes and institutions (though I think this is being recreated by both males and females). Economic deprivation too, absolutely. But to get anywhere in discussing it we need to have real examples, some kind of evidence or indications, or it will soon just slide back to people pulling out stuff that happened three hundred years ago or that is happening in Africa, but which isn't necessarily a good pointer to what things are like in the modern Western world.

And that's where I can see a difference between two ways of corroborating this, offering some informal evidence - short of purely scientific quantitaive data or in-depth surveys. If someone is saying, "There are much fewer women than men painters in the modern age who have had the kind of consistent, long-term success and recognition over many decades that the likes of Picasso, Diego Rivera or David Hockney had" that's a statement we can all check against the outside world we know, not just against somebody's mind. If you say "How many women rockers (not pop or r'n'b acts) get the kind of adulation and artistic respect, over a long time, that Neil Young or Pete Townshend have enjoyed?" okay, that's got some sort of solid core to it (the contrast, if you look at women with long and brilliant careers as rock singer/songwriters, is probably even more striking outside of the U.S.). We can all form some sort of opinion whether this is so, from the outside world, from material facts, and add onto it with things we'äve read in reviews and so on.

But if a female rocker is saying, "everytime I started a band with one or two guys in it, they would have, like, better chops and be too eager to jump past us girls and take over the steering wheel - that's the way men will try to dominate us! Even if they didn't consciously want to push us down, it always, always ended up that way. You know, men are like that, and that's why we girls had to fight on our own., Men are pigs, they're just doing their own vein of bluesy potato virtuoso rock with as many intricate guitar licks as possible - that's male oppression!" (this is a roughly authentic quote off memory, from Marit Bergman, a feminist rocker and activist), what kind of evidence is that? She's tossing up a very stylized piece of private narrative, impossible to check and pretending to describe something that happened over a long period of time which, she indicates, was regular and which, it is strongly implied, happens in any mixed band if the girls are trying to stand up for themselves musically.

If I'd question that it actually happened like that, that the proficiency of the guys unyieldingly led to them putting down their female bandmates, that there were no other reasons for conflict, and if I question that this is what's going to happen generally - which has to be the glue in the argument - then that kind of "private story pitch" will essentially fall back on "you know me, are you trying toi suggest that I'm a liar?". No, if we're only discussing and haven't got to know each other "in real life" - and in public debate we most often don't know the debaters apart from their public life and talk/written output, nor do they mostly know each other so intimately they could check this kind of story as it's being told - then there's no way of knowing if it's true, hence if it could be valid. To be valid in this context it has to be a bit representative outside of her own life. But the next argument, if I'd point this out and question the other's honesty, is likely to be, "You don't believe me so why should I take you into account when you're just trying to debase my voice? You are part of the patriarchal conspiracy!"

Today, personal stories sell and they are avidly used to build up arguments and trademarks. Listen to any talk radio show or tv spot, check out most popular amagazines, the emphasis is on stories (sometimes pimped up with personal attacks, attempts to push the reader emotionally into a corner or insinuations bent on tarring all of a kind - men, Muslims, car drivers or judges... - into one bunch sharing the same sins) rather than penetrative, cogent argument where you're actually supposed to prove or explain something, pointing to the world we all have access to, or from trying to show something by the inner logic of a story and then use the principles shown, not the story itself, as the starting point for what you're saying.

If I'm reading a discussion piece I'm not interested in feeling cozy with the person who wrote it, I want to see if they have decent arguments and can offer reasons that'll stand up for taking their view. Unfortunately, the contemporary world soemtimes seems more interested in what sounds cool or brash than in what can be shown to be true or solid by argument, and many feminists these days, though they didn't invent this, seem to eagerly buy into it.
« Last Edit: August 28, 2011, 05:16:18 AM by gaggedLouise »

Offline Pumpkin Seeds

Re: Sexual Relations (a post on feminism)
« Reply #62 on: August 27, 2011, 11:15:52 PM »
There is a good point touched on here regarding relationship abuse.  While the link demonstrated by Andyz is not a particularly good one, he still brought up an issue of contention.  Violence between men and women actually does go both ways to a pretty devastating degree.  During research for a paper I stumbled across some research that showed the level of violence between men and women is roughly equal in terms of both physical and emotional abuse while in a relationship.  Unfortunately the actual research article is no longer in my possession, but was certainly an intriguing read.  Part of the requirement to get into the heart of the issue was not labeling an act as abuse but rather detailing the act.  For instance a woman does not view slapping her boyfriend as hitting him.  Whereas a man slapping a woman is an obvious case of abuse to most people and so the researcher, a woman, had to design her survey around the language problem.

Domestic violence against men is a difficult topic to research due to a man’s easy access to excuses and a cultural tendency to ignore the situation.  Research has shown that emergency room physicians are more willing to accept a man’s excuse for accidents at home/work than a woman’s excuse for the same injury.  Men are also less likely to seek help, have fewer resources available to them for abuse and are ridiculed to a greater extent for their plight.  One article I read had an interview with a man that said the police quite literally laughed at him over the phone when he called for help after his wife attempted to stab him.  In a way this highlights my greatest problem with feminist thought, but my problem is not merely with feminist thinkers but the public at large.

Much of the research regarding domestic violence against men is hard to find.  There are numbers but typically the studies are underfunded or poorly done.  Often times feminist researchers launch into attacks on this research in an attempt to turn the spotlight back onto women.  Feminism though is supposed to be about gender equality.  I do believe, personally, that one of the two greatest failings of feminism is ignoring the plight of men in the world.  The second is that feminists do not actually advance femininity but rather masculinity.  Feminists have allowed themselves to be drawn into a typical, “us vs them” argument that does not serve a greater purpose.  That being said, the fault lies with both sides as can be evidenced in this thread where sides between men and women are being sharply drawn.  The goal should not be a “well men are objectified too!” but rather a unified realization that the act is wrong across the board.  Unfortunately, much easier to point at the other side and accusations than to perform self-examination and unification.

A point was made regarding the enrollment of women in education.  In recent years women have surpassed men in enrollment of classes in college and in graduation rates.  Feminists of course jumped onto this information as proof that women were intellectually superior.  Fact is of course less interesting than fiction as women are enrolling in less science and math based courses.  This is not to suggest that such courses are inferior, but rather to highlight that women are following societal influences over a natural inclination to be smarter.  Studying and education are more acceptable for women to do than men.  Men on the other hand are pressured to pursue fields that generate money, required technical skills and heavily rely on math/science.  This is certainly a poor of equality that men feel pressured to leave college and pursue technical degrees over diplomas.  Yet here is the kicker for this particular train of thought as to why a focus might be best served on the female end of this problem.  Despite the larger graduation rates shared by women…. http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1983185,00.html

I would like to highlight a particularly interesting section of the article.

Perhaps the most compelling — and potentially damning — data of all to suggest that gender has an influence comes from a 2008 study in which University of Chicago sociologist Kristen Schilt and NYU economist Matthew Wiswall examined the wage trajectories of people who underwent a sex change. Their results: even when controlling for factors like education, men who transitioned to women earned, on average, 32% less after the surgery. Women who became men, on the other hand, earned 1.5% more.

Read more: http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1983185,00.html#ixzz1WI9BbnOA

While I am not trying to demean the plight of men that feel pressured and humiliated at having to pursue a career in carpentry or business over the fine arts, there is a certain importance in showing that women are still making less despite their pursuit of further education.  This has applications in their ability to take care of themselves, contribute to the country and lead a productive life.

Side Note:  Jude I noticed you made an attempt to account for wrongful convictions but not wrongful acquittals.  Any particular reason you believe that a conviction of rape is easier to acquire than an acquittal? 

http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2010/mar/20/rape-convictions-lady-stern-cps

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2009/mar/13/rape-convictions-low
“Of the rapes that were reported from 2007 to 2008, only 6.5% resulted in a conviction on the charge of rape. The majority of convictions for rape resulted from an admission of guilt by the defendant, whereas less than one quarter of all those charged with rape were convicted following a successful trial.”

Offline Oniya

  • StoreHouse of Useless Trivia
  • Oracle
  • Carnite
  • *
  • Join Date: Sep 2008
  • Location: Just bouncing through. Hi! City of Roses, Pennsylvania
  • Gender: Female
  • One bad Motokifuka. Also cute and FLUFFY!
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 3
Re: Sexual Relations (a post on feminism)
« Reply #63 on: August 28, 2011, 01:15:43 AM »
I would suspect it has more to do with the fact that it's rather difficult to get statistics on wrongful acquittals, considering the presumption of innocence that the US court system is supposed to use.

Offline JudeTopic starter

Re: Sexual Relations (a post on feminism)
« Reply #64 on: August 28, 2011, 01:49:49 AM »
I didn't really properly account for either to be honest.  My assumption was that if the 1/6 number was correct, the wrongful acquittals/unreported rapes would amount to the 2-3 rapists "free" for every one caught figure, and I ignored those who were wrongfully convicted entirely (didn't even begin to take them into account in any mathematical way because it's impossible to know).  To be honest, I have a suspicion the number is that high, but there isn't good data (and might not be a way to collect good data) to back that up.

But to answer your question, I don't know what is more prevalent.  If we're talking unreported and wrongful acquittals versus wrongful convictions, I assume it's the former.  However, I don't know whether wrongful acquittals or wrongful convictions are more common.  I have my concerns about the fairness of court proceedings in the United States.  We accept hearsay and illogical testimony; it doesn't have to make sense at all, the jury just has to be convinced.  For example, someone once testified that they were raped at a time where they'd already testified that they were asleep.  The prosecution pointed out the error during cross examination, but the witness persisted in claiming that they were molested in their sleep and that they knew it occurred somehow despite not being woken up (their justification was - I had other dreams that night, so that couldn't have been one).  There was no physical evidence to back up the story.  The accused was found guilty anyway, despite that the whole thing made no sense.

We also know for a fact that memory implantation is a serious problem.  There have been plenty of families torn apart and people sent to prison on the basis of faulty "memory recover therapies."  Human beings are remarkably vulnerable to suggestion, and that can even change the way they remember things to the point of altering their recollections in dramatic ways.

Sex is something intensely private that happens, basically by default, with no witnesses to corroborate stories.  Intense feelings of shame can definitely alter people's recollections of what happened.  With the way we shame women as a society for enjoyment of sex, I wouldn't be surprised if there were instances where the mind of some victims recalls things as less than consensual to shift responsibility for the shaming act onto the male involved.  We already know this is basically why women fantasize about rape when they do -- it isn't that they want to be victims of forceful sex, but that feeling of powerlessness decentralizes responsibility for the act onto the party that is supposed to be the sexual aggressor by societal standards, freeing them of guilt for enjoyment.  To be clear, I don't think that effect is that prevalent, not at all.  I'm just saying, this is a very tricky situations, and the only way we'll ever know for sure the actual numbers on sexual assault, is if we were to somehow monitor all human behavior.

I know some people are going to take what I've said the wrong way and assume I'm claiming basically that "women are deluded about rape."  That's not it.  I'm claiming that human beings are notoriously bad at accounting for truth, especially in gray areas where a lot of emotions and perception is involved.  I don't think women are any more prone to revisionist memories than men are, but I think all of this makes collecting reliable data on rape by asking people, "hey, were you raped?" with subjective questions on surveys a very problematic exercise.  With such inclusive, subjective decisions that ask nothing rigid of respondents aside from personal, anonymous testimony, the data just isn't that reliable.  Especially when you read the prompts being given by a lot of those surveys, check the methodology yourself if you like, in many cases it sounds like fishing.

Good news is, I agree there's a lot we need to do, and that if we change societal attitudes towards sex, that in and of itself will go a long way to fixing the problems we're facing.  I'm not saying throw monogamy or modesty out the window, but we need true sexual equality.  Follow that up with programs that teach men to be less violent, think of women in more humanizing ways, and destroy sexist stereotypes, and we'll have a much better society.

What concerns me ultimately is "the sky is falling" statistics.  We live in a very flawed world, we have a lot of work to do, but things aren't that bad.  People shut down when what you're saying is too dramatically out of touch with the world they know.
« Last Edit: August 28, 2011, 04:25:24 AM by Jude »

Offline gaggedLouise

  • Quim Queen | Collaborative juicy writer
  • Champion
  • Enchanter
  • *
  • Join Date: Jan 2011
  • Location: Scandinavia
  • Gender: Female
  • Bound, gagged and unarmed but still dangerous.
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 0
Re: Sexual Relations (a post on feminism)
« Reply #65 on: August 28, 2011, 05:37:15 AM »
I would suspect it has more to do with the fact that it's rather difficult to get statistics on wrongful acquittals, considering the presumption of innocence that the US court system is supposed to use.


And no doubt even harder to get statistics on the number of rape or sexual assault charges that were filed with the police and led to some kind of investigations or interrogations, but were dropped before they reached the court room. After someone has been acquitted at a widely reported rape trial it's often asserted that the police do not bother to investigate rape properly, or that the judiciary is overly fussy in allowing that kind of case to be handled, and so a huge number of cases of "practically certain rapes" are swept under the carpet: one more instance of patriarchal society protecting men and one more reason not to trust courts or police! It's also often baked into the said argument that "women do not lie or overstate this kind of thing" becqause of how traumatic it is to recover after a rape and to file charges with the sniggering male pig police.

That supporting argument about why women cannot lie is an obvious circular ride (if the incident wasn't rape then resistance to go through with the filed charges can't be written to the fact that rape is so traumatic, etc) and the whole thing forms a simplistic argument to try to balloon the numbers of rape and assault into a vague but huge figure, to make them overwhelming and support claims that almost any man will rape women, and will be protected if he does.
« Last Edit: August 28, 2011, 05:52:51 AM by gaggedLouise »

Offline Pumpkin Seeds

Re: Sexual Relations (a post on feminism)
« Reply #66 on: August 28, 2011, 11:24:05 AM »
So, to answer your question Andyz the numbers that meikle used are supported by the Department of Justice which is considered one of the definitive sources for criminal statistics.  The other set of numbers used is the Uniform Crime Report published by the FBI that tracks actual arrests and has a more narrow definition of forcible rape.  Their numbers estimate that 29.6 women out of every 100,000 are forcibly raped.  Note that does not include sexual assault and the numbers reflect actual arrests.  These are published numbers and as such carry the weight of scientific analysis, scientific inquiry and peer review. 

Keep in mind also when considering speculation that both the Department of Justice’s victim survey and the Uniform Crime Report both state that rape is considered the most under reported crime in the United States.  So among researchers, their unpublished speculation is that the numbers should be larger and not less.  A criminologist then, someone trained and dedicated to the research of crime, is more likely to state then that if speculation must occur then the numbers should be speculated up and not down.

And because I did not like the statement mentioned by Jude (whether by intent or not) that makes rape sound like a fantasy to many women.

"45.8% of men in a 1980 study reported fantasizing during heterosexual intercourse about "a scene where [they had] the impression of being raped by a woman" (3.2% often and 42.6% sometimes), 44.7% of scenes where a seduced woman "pretends resisting" and 33% of raping a woman.[1] Where male rape fantasies centre around raping rather than being raped, they may bring sexual arousal either from imagining a scene in which first a woman objects but then comes to like and eventually participate in the intercourse, or else one in which the woman does not like it and arousal is associated with the idea of hurting the woman.[2]"  Bader, Dr, Michael J. (2003). Arousal: The Secret Logic of Sexual Fantasies. Macmillan Publishers. p. 126. ISBN 0312302428.

Men and women both have fantasies about a loss of power.  A desire to be raped is another matter entirely.  Rape fantasy is a bit of a misnomer.

« Last Edit: August 28, 2011, 11:30:08 AM by Pumpkin Seeds »

Offline JudeTopic starter

Re: Sexual Relations (a post on feminism)
« Reply #67 on: August 28, 2011, 12:15:01 PM »
Sadly, I watched enough bad anime porn when I was like, 17, to know that men love rape fantasies too :(

Online TheGlyphstone

Re: Sexual Relations (a post on feminism)
« Reply #68 on: August 28, 2011, 12:29:19 PM »
If anime porn was a reliable indicator of fantasy prevalence, there'd be far more embarassing incidents at emergency rooms involving octopi and squids than hamsters and guinea pigs.

Offline gaggedLouise

  • Quim Queen | Collaborative juicy writer
  • Champion
  • Enchanter
  • *
  • Join Date: Jan 2011
  • Location: Scandinavia
  • Gender: Female
  • Bound, gagged and unarmed but still dangerous.
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 0
Re: Sexual Relations (a post on feminism)
« Reply #69 on: August 28, 2011, 12:39:02 PM »
So, to answer your question Andyz the numbers that meikle used are supported by the Department of Justice which is considered one of the definitive sources for criminal statistics.  The other set of numbers used is the Uniform Crime Report published by the FBI that tracks actual arrests and has a more narrow definition of forcible rape.  Their numbers estimate that 29.6 women out of every 100,000 are forcibly raped.  Note that does not include sexual assault and the numbers reflect actual arrests.  These are published numbers and as such carry the weight of scientific analysis, scientific inquiry and peer review. 

Keep in mind also when considering speculation that both the Department of Justice’s victim survey and the Uniform Crime Report both state that rape is considered the most under reported crime in the United States.  So among researchers, their unpublished speculation is that the numbers should be larger and not less.  A criminologist then, someone trained and dedicated to the research of crime, is more likely to state then that if speculation must occur then the numbers should be speculated up and not down.

If somebody's filing at the police for rape would be open-and-shut equal to an assured actual rape, why would we need trials? Seriously, you are implicitly making the assumption that 'women don't lie or overstate things when it comes to rape' - but this is patently false, and pointing this out has nothing to do with putting down any individual who has filed charges of rape.

(I am emending "women" for rape filers because it's almost exclusively women that file charges of rape; one reason being the stigma attached for a male to saying he was raped (or beaten up at home), especially by one or more women.)

And again, rape, as a crime, is not simply defined by the level of violence or outward force. Many a shag that took place with an established understanding of what was going on and for mutual enjoyment, though often not preceded by a formal request (because it's seen as cheesy and unromantic and not smart for the active part, mostly the guy, to ask in plain words for sex and then turn back immediately if it be not granted) can contain just as much violence or more than many rapes do. The difference is in the communication and not in the flood of violent acts or even words. That's why rape is not a simple smoking gun thing where it would always be possible to see at once if it's rape or mentally consensual sex (a fuck can be mentally consensual even if the sex plays at being non-con, and could well look like non-con to an outside observer, such as a police detective who was only gathering info about the sequence of acts and words).

Sex contains a good deal of theatre for very many of us, both in the lead-up to it and during the actual bed time.  Most people enjoy the chasing and teasing game on the road to intimacy, especially when it's sex between people who aren't married or in a steady union, so it's considered dumb and off-putting to always take a "no" at face value and break off. And lots of people, not just us kinksters, play at robber and hostage or teacher and naughty schoolgirl in bed. This is disregarded by those who want a simple "rape is rape" definition (=it is rape when the target person says it felt like rape, even a statement or a filing of charges that was made long after, and/or when there was no formal "yes" in advance from the person being penetrated) and then we don't really need much of research into the circumstances, the communication, we don't need any kind of impartial investigation, do we?


Quote
Men and women both have fantasies about a loss of power.  A desire to be raped is another matter entirely.  Rape fantasy is a bit of a misnomer.

Agree, or rather: a fantasy of being overpowered and forced does not equal an actual wish to be used simply like meat in real life, to have everything of the kind fantasized about truly happen to oneself.
« Last Edit: August 28, 2011, 04:32:58 PM by gaggedLouise »

Offline ColdBloodedJellyDoughnut

Re: Sexual Relations (a post on feminism)
« Reply #70 on: August 28, 2011, 03:16:11 PM »
Oh gosh, this is a long and slightly convoluted topic by now...

I mean, we all agree that rape in any form is wrong, and yet how many people who have commented about rape and how bad it is have RPed a noncon scene? Obviously, I don't want anyone to reply. It's just something to think about.

I believe that by focusing so much on rape in this topic, it has kind of lost the broad concerns of feminism. My friend told me while in class one day that I was a feminist. I was quite surprised by her observation of me. However, the more I thought about it, I realised she was probably right.

I am a feminist in an intellectual way. For years I have studied texts and media, seeing how relevant they are to the concept of gender. It taught me interesting things about our concept of gender, and how equal we are in that concept.

It's funny to watch programs or films from the 70s and 80s, at the pinnacle of the women's movement. The movie would start with the women being strong and independent. She works alone and calls the shots in her relationship. However, as the film moves along, she gets herself into strife and requires her man to bail her out. I think the film was called Coma, but I don't have my notes anymore so I can't verifiy that. And it's not an isolated case, by any stretch of the imagination.

Women in the media, even now are still portrayed in a few key roles. The sex goddess/femme fatale. The smart girl/hard worker. The mother/nurturer. The passionate/psychotic. The innocent/angel. Yes, their roles can change in any given text, but they mainly conform to these roles. Oh, there are set roles for men too, but this is about feminism. Look through history and you'll see the same roles echoed throughout, for men and women.

I'm a feminist in a way. My core belief is that the way we consider gender needs to change as a whole. I could go more into the way that nothing, not even gender is absolute, and as a whole it is on a sliding scale, however that would be getting a little off topic ^^

The problem that many people seem to be having with this topic is its generalisations. Unfortunately, gender in essence is a generalisation. There is no set parameters of what makes a man or a woman. Not even biologically, because, as people are just beginning to understand, there is whole sliding scale there too. What I'm saying is, look at it from a different perspective. If my degree has taught me anything, it's that nothing can be learned if you can't see the opposing side.

Offline Noelle

Re: Sexual Relations (a post on feminism)
« Reply #71 on: August 28, 2011, 04:26:46 PM »
Quote
I mean, we all agree that rape in any form is wrong, and yet how many people who have commented about rape and how bad it is have RPed a noncon scene? Obviously, I don't want anyone to reply. It's just something to think about.

These two may, on a superficial level, seem related, but in truth they are not at all. Rape has nothing to do with the victim - it has nothing to do with their pleasure, what they're feeling, or anything having to do with them as a person. The attacker is typically not at all concerned for whether or not they're hurting the person and doesn't care whether or not the person they're raping ever "comes around" to liking it.

NC, on the other hand, is pre-arranged and consensual. The partners know each others boundaries typically and respect them. The "attacker" is (or should be) concerned with the partner's pleasure. It's a facade, one that only exists because both partners have agreed on it.

Rape fantasies aren't about being raped; being raped is brutal and dehumanizing. It's usually the "controlled" loss of control (meaning you can choose who give up control to, as opposed to an attacker choosing you) that comes with NC as well as having an "attacker" that is able to pleasure them in the process. Rape is missing all of these elements because rape has very little (to my knowledge) to do with the victim and everything to do with what the attacker wants.

Offline ColdBloodedJellyDoughnut

Re: Sexual Relations (a post on feminism)
« Reply #72 on: August 28, 2011, 04:32:02 PM »
I think you're missing the point that the players are stimulated by the idea that it is not wanted. It is nonconsensual. Yes, the boundaries are prearranged, but it doesn't change the fact that they are being turned on by the idea of rape. Control is something central to this fantasy, and that doesn't change between the fantasy and the reality.

Offline gaggedLouise

  • Quim Queen | Collaborative juicy writer
  • Champion
  • Enchanter
  • *
  • Join Date: Jan 2011
  • Location: Scandinavia
  • Gender: Female
  • Bound, gagged and unarmed but still dangerous.
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 0
Re: Sexual Relations (a post on feminism)
« Reply #73 on: August 28, 2011, 04:52:38 PM »
I think you're missing the point that the players are stimulated by the idea that it is not wanted. It is nonconsensual. Yes, the boundaries are prearranged, but it doesn't change the fact that they are being turned on by the idea of rape. Control is something central to this fantasy, and that doesn't change between the fantasy and the reality.

Precisely. And it's not just people in the S/M lifestyle, or swingers, that are acting out more or less developed rape/robbery/loss-of-control scenarios in the bedroom. It's long since spread to what is sometimes called the vanilla world, and many of its people are not likely to set up formal rules, safewords - or to do it exclusively with their standing partners (which makes explicit rulekeeping easier, because the play session doesn't become so much part of a game to pull in the new lover).

Which pushes the question to the fore: if people are turned on by violent sex, or sex acts connected with actions that would appear degrading if taken by themselves even in a bedroom context, while bdsm sex or "rough sex" is no longer seen as a disease or an abnormity, then many "mentally consensual fucks" will contain more violence (in action or words) than on many occasions that are deservedly judged as rape - and if that is it, how do we differentiate between a consensual risk-averse bondage/rape session and the kind of sex that really should be marked as rape? How does the law do it, in some kind of objective way? Not all rapes are spiced up with violence, many times the rapist/s gets their way simply by coolly making the victim aware that s/he is low on chances to resist successfully.

This wasn't much of a problem fifty years ago because back then, much fewer people had heard of bdsm sex in a positive light, people were much less willing to file charges of rape and within marriage, rape charges were pretty much out of the question - they were not recognized as something that could occur between man and wife. But now it is a problem and saying "anyone who has been on the upper side in a more or less rough sex session, got charged, and who doesn't seem sympathetic must surely count as a vile rapist" is not a good solution.
« Last Edit: August 28, 2011, 04:57:39 PM by gaggedLouise »

Offline JudeTopic starter

Re: Sexual Relations (a post on feminism)
« Reply #74 on: August 28, 2011, 05:19:26 PM »
This is of particular relevance to the discussion of rape, and whether or not things are getting better:  http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=913013