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Everything posted by zoogs

  1. Where on earth are we going with this? Moiraine said I should consider the source. I agree. I do respond differently based on where I think someone's likely to be coming from. The next thing I said is that I try to keep that to a limited extent, because no matter who is saying the thing, let's focus on the thing being said. Recognize imbalanced power dynamics. This is the argument against Bill Clinton, for example. The point is (a) be more mindful and (b) understand the times you might be unconsciously throwing your weight around, creating a situation that is hard to get out of nicely.
  2. You're not going to actually dig into, let's strip the names and the question of fact out of this, <Hypothetical Man Doing The Things In That Story> as totally fine, right? Because it's also clearly not that much of a hypothetical. It's an experience that is familiar to a lot of people -- women who, I mean, just read their responses to the story -- and men for whom it's dawned, "was that me? I don't want that to be me." And then there's "this is fine". Why pick that one, why?!
  3. Should I consider whether it's a woman or a man saying the line before deciding whether it's reasonable or not? I mean, yeah, I do agree with that. But I also think arguments should be dissected on the merits of their content. I am surprised that it was you who said this, and it did not make me think, gosh, Moiraine is secretly sexist. If it had been another source, then I would have probably felt differently. Nonetheless, I thought that we were running with "she made up these ridiculous stories" as incontrovertible fact way, way, way too quickly. The other thing was I felt like she was being treated as a juvenile-level writer. You tell me this was in my head, in your case, and I'm sorry for that -- but yours was also not the only perspective I was responding to. In other cases, "just a blog" especially, I felt it applied. And Guy, to his credit, has moderated his characterization of the writing substantially. I appreciate this. Anyway, the idea is maybe exactly to put a suit of armor, except it's not really like that. It's like the default is that everyone has this armor; we give a lot of benefit of the doubt, except it's missing in some cases. We're familiar with what those cases are. So point it out and set a higher bar to clear for making those types of arguments.
  4. OK, this falls under the classic category of "why didn't she just leave" and I think a million people have gone through this better than I will be able to. This isn't about pretending women have no agency. It's about recognizing that they are in a coercive situation that is difficult to get out of in a socially acceptable way. A variety of responses, from a quick Google. https://www.designmom.com/bad-date-or-coercion-aziz-ansari/ https://www.refinery29.com/2018/01/188734/sexual-assault-consent-physical-intimidation https://story.californiasunday.com/orenstein-consent https://twitter.com/theblowout/status/952692536254124036?lang=en https://www.elephantjournal.com/2018/01/why-didnt-she-just-say-no/ http://www.themalaymailonline.com/opinion/erna-mahyuni/article/women-cant-say-no-because-many-dont-know-how-to http://www.chicagonow.com/listing-beyond-forty/2018/01/21-reasons-women-have-sex-they-dont-want-instead-of-saying-no/ https://mashable.com/2018/01/15/aziz-ansari-consent-saying-no/#8NnsrnJ4Psq2 Also, let's be clear here. The timeline is she told him to back off; he'd forget shortly and come right back to it. And eventually, she left. It didn't need to come to that. If you feel this was a low blow to Aziz personally, fine. He's not the protagonist of the story, though, not to me. You can feel simultaneously that it's wrong to slime your partners publicly like this, and that there are lessons to take from his mistakes.
  5. I see. I don't know. I have a different view. I can understand why Aziz didn't realize, but the why is he wasn't all that concerned about where she was with all this. I'd like to think that going forward, it'll be something that's on his mind. And that'll be good for everybody.
  6. -- So this is almost the opposite scenario. Enthusiastic just means enthusiastically willing -- which you are, whether or not you're tired or thinking of cake instead of being in the moment, because you've made this choice to accommodate a partner you love, for example. The other scenario means having no idea if your partner for the evening has made that choice for you, or assuming *wildly* that they have (we can agree this is an extraordinary assumption to make on a first date with a stranger, right?), or just not even having the consideration cross your mind. That is what, allegedly, happened here, and that is something I hope we can all agree is a thing that both happens a lot, and could stand to happen a lot less if people were more conscious of it.
  7. It's maybe also the account of someone who was really not comfortable with things moving so fast, and the latter is not the proposed alternative. I think the case being made here is that she didn't want it, she wasn't just playing hard to get (these are dangerous lines to blur, aren't they?), and that a possible and much better outcome would be if the pursuit had stopped in its tracks much earlier on. Like, especially when it's early on and it's someone you don't know, maybe be a lot more clear on comfort areas and boundaries, this is something we can at least consider the ideal.
  8. Ugh. You are of course the last person I actually would think is sexist. I hope you do know that. "I don't believe her" is not an insult, but it -- the concept of not believing something claimed to be true -- is a way of dismissing what someone says that is, factually, more often and more easily used on women than on men. This is all I mean by gendered putdowns. You, again, think that nonetheless it applies. I do not. You are allowed to critique, but I am suggesting that the "not real" claim needs a lot more support. I mean, I still feel this way. You think the story sounds far-fetched and I can understand that, but there's nothing that indicates this wasn't drawn from her own personal experiences. So I think we need to be a lot more careful before leaping to all the criticisms that follow from "author made up stories to embellish her essay"....but, fine, you do not.
  9. Yes, the question does come down to whether or not we believe her recount of the events. It's inaccurate that Aziz has disputed her timeline. What he said was that it -- the events of the undisputed timeline -- had seemed OK to him, and he was surprised to learn that she had another perspective. He also said that he took her concerns to heart.
  10. Guys, it is just not that hard. Start with worrying less about having to prove to some third party whether or not your partner was enthusiastic. If there's actually doubt in your mind, maybe it's not the time. If you really want to and are happy to do this, then it's fine. I imagine you would agree that a hypothetical relationship where the woman is really demanding about it and takes what she wants all the time with no regard for her partner's wishes, then it would be a hell for that poor guy. (Why doesn't he leave? He should leave, right?) I mean, if you really love your wife and your wife really loves you, then you're both being extremely considerate of each other's wishes, which is the opposite of the scenario outlined here. Aziz messed up. Not in a he should go to jail kind of way, but for a guy who passed himself off as this super sweet, super sensitive, extremely woke feminist writing cute books on modern love, it's ... a good reminder that everyone can revisit some of their assumptions.
  11. The suggestion that Aziz needed to do a lot better than repeatedly badger her into first date sex she was clearly not comfortable with is not trampling on his rights, it is not an affront to gender equality. You dropped "enthusiastic" in your response, which was a necessary call. And you should probably drop "sustained" as well, if the events of the timeline are to be accepted.
  12. I'm just going to heavily, heavily disagree with: - "It's like she's asking him to read her mind" - "Why didn't she say no and leave" - "Newsflash, this is normal, this is natural, get used to it" and leave it at this. We are going to agree to disagree; I've gone over them in the past and I don't think I'm going to be making the case to anyone here, but maybe / hopefully these themes will come up in later discussions, eventually. Enthusiastic, sustained consent is not a difficult requirement to make sure you have met even if it is not one we are used to thinking of as a requirement.
  13. Yeah, maybe. It's not an episode of the Simpsons, though, and our disagreements aren't "hey I liked the big CGI things, you didn't like them, OK." It'd be like if there were a movie that I thought added some really important stuff to our cultural conversation on feminism, and my good friend thinks it was trash that embarrassed and set back the feminist movement. So, the stakes feel more real here -- on both sides. In a way that most movies, or most essays or most articles, aren't. We can agree to disagree, nonetheless. That is fine.
  14. I strongly feel the important takeaway here is that having sex you are not into, because the man is singularly focused on his own pleasure perhaps without being conscious of this habit of theirs, is extremely routine and this is a problem. In fact, this was a common takeaway from a community of people who responded very differently to the story, and feels, as I do, that making this a question of how much an unhappy woman deserves to be castigated for having an inexperienced reporter at a third-rate site publish her story is a misplacement of our attention.
  15. Oh, ffs. I’m pointing out, factually, that these criticisms are of similar kind as the ones that are disproportionately used in response to women. If you’ve considered this and still think it’s the right response in this case, then fine. We disagree that it is.
  16. I apologize for my "attitude", but your assessment is incorrect. I don't enjoy it when things I really loved get s#!t on, and I'm as guilty of anyone as snapping on occasion. However, I will maintain that we react to things in gendered ways. We're socialized to. We all do it, by reflex. Take a step back and look at the big picture of women whose capabilities are under evaluated, whose motives are interpreted as ulterior or frivolous. Consider the deference we tend to afford men, by default. To point to Sen. Gillibrand taking a stand on Al Franken and say, "Gee, she's probably doing this to raise her political profile" is to react this way. To see a story (for example, the Aziz story) of a woman speaking out about her bad experiences and think, she's embellishing for dramatic effect. It bears pointing out. Where I and others, even in our calmest, disagree is whether oft-repeated criticisms that are in fact of a kind that is habitual and gendered, are merited in this occasion. I do not think they are. But surely, sometimes they are. And I want to really, really stress that the point of this exercise -- to point out common threads in criticisms such as "lying" (Roy Moore's accusers? Al Franken's accusers) or "seeking attention" (Stormy Daniels? Monica Lewinsky?) in bold, capital letters, and at nobody's convenience -- is to keep us shaken from defaults that *all* of us, naturally, hold. It's not to accuse you, personally, of being a sexist any more than "Before you go on with that line of argument, consider that we have a cultural habit of speaking this way about Black people" is telling you that you are racist. But I do apologize for snippy language. I get upset sometimes. I wonder; a few pages ago I posted a litany of Twitter comments that can be approximately sorted into two categories: people saying thank you for expressing something I've been feeling, or thank you, this is making me think about myself; versus derisive or dismissive putdowns that at least to me didn't feel so dissimilar to what was being said here. To those who have nothing in common with the people in the latter group, doesn't it give you pause in the slightest that you're so in sync with them? No? I mean, if not, fine. I just thought that it would -- and also perhaps that although I seem to be the only one here who doesn't think this was awful, I'm clearly not the only one, anywhere, and I don't think those people are crazy, either. Do you all?
  17. I really don't know what sort of awesome blow you think you're landing in the culture fight here, but I hope you get a lot of +1s for it. Also, it's "role". -- @RedDenveryeah, I don't ultimately have very nice things to say about Hope Hicks. I think part of it is speaking to how overly quick we may be to bestow these lofty designations on people while being less critical of whether they deserve it, because we assume they do. So maybe we should just be a lot more careful with "wunderkind", in general. But with...say, Steve Bannon, Jared Kushner, we have to push *back* on the common practice of referring to their savvy, to clear the record. Or like, this Jordan Peterson guy, or recent Harvard Fellow Sean Spicer. Whereas with Hope Hicks, if there's any pushing it should be in the opposite direction. The things she are doing is bad, but she's a capable person doing them -- which is scarier.
  18. I haven't accused you of being sexist once, and when you asked about it, I clarified this. I will clarify again. I took and continue to take exception to the suggestion that this must be fiction, which I again feel is baseless. I apologize for snapping at you, but I valued and appreciate the piece a lot, on a subjective level, and have been quite unhappy about the treatment it is getting. I feel the treatment has been unfair - like the idea that it is objectively horrible, or objectively, plainly false, written by an author to which we should ascribe nefarious (she ought to have labeled it as fiction, which it clearly is!) or frivolous (she is just trying to get attention, a way we can talk about everything). I feel that the non-subjective nature of these criticisms reflected the way we too easily will regard the work of women which we don't like, and thus use as a rhetorical hammer to try to batter down its legitimacy wholesale. And yeah, women and men can both produce stuff that deserves going nuclear on them over; was this really it? Really? This? OK, fine. The people have spoken, and I must be the crazy one.
  19. I apologize for putting on my sarcasm voice again; I'll try to reserve it for facile retorts ending in multiple exclamation punctuations. To answer your question, yes, we are obviously no longer allowed to have this. And that is truly, the grand tragedy of our time. One day, humanity will venture towards bravery and once again find the courage to routinely sexualize women. Until then, it's a sexless matriarchial hellscape for us. Tough days for men but we had a good run, hey?
  20. I mean, how do you want me to respond to a characterization like that? I posted an article I enjoyed. It got a great heaping of really withering criticism, and I pushed back against parts of this, repeatedly emphasizing that yes, I liked it but you do not have to, for god's sake. But maybe we keep referring to the author as an uncredentialed blogger and not an award-winning essayist, and maybe it's really odd that despite no actual indication (please point it out, if you can see one) we are talking about how she might be trying to pull one over. Like, fine, let's leave it at you didn't like this, and you think those criticisms are fair in this case and I don't, but one basic, general thing on which I hope we can agree is that we do have a deeply ingrained habit of looking at women this way. Even (or perhaps especially) when it's one we disagree with -- for example, Vox had a good question about how we've been talking about Hope Hicks after her resignation: https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2018/3/1/17066420/hope-hicks-white-house-communications-director-resigns-aide-donald-trump-child-model:
  21. What those series of images did a good job of showing was the roles we give to men in our society -- central, protagonist ones, around which the rest of the story orbits. And the roles to which women are allowed -- side pieces and alluring body parts. Women are there to help men along in their stories and good ones are good eye candy in the meantime. This is because I am a melodramatic, hyper-aggressive feminazi.
  22. This was never to suggest women are automatically immune from criticism. The point is that by default, we are prone to trivializing interpretations of the work of women. That it takes work to not just see things firmly through this lens. That the lens is revealed when we reduce them to provocateurs looking for blog hits. To suggest that the problem is, in fact, the opposite one -- that we need to keep more in mind that the possibility this is the accurate interpretation exists -- and then to assert this as the real equality, would be breathtakingly backwards. I don't think you truly mean or agree with that idea. You just didn't like the piece. I did. Incisive commentary on the stuff that matters.
  23. Today is the day of the PA18 special election for one of Pennsylvania's traditionally red seats in the US House. This really sticks with me: " People who don't listen to Fox & talk radio have no IDEA how common this rhetoric is." It's true. Most of us live in a world where the only 'reasonable' people around us oppose and detest Trump. But 'reasonable' is completely arbitrary... Christ, it's scary. Listen to how normal it all looks and sounds -- this is something our intense national focus on Trump obscures. Vote him down, do it again in November, and push back against the ugly tide sweeping over our nation, which results in such sweet-sounding kindly-looking men talking like this before a cheering crowd of jovial, laughing, everyday Americans.
  24. https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2018/03/19/reddit-and-the-struggle-to-detoxify-the-internet : Behind the scenes at Reddit. 


    So fascinating. They (and consequently we) are all flying by the seat of our pants.

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