Discussion in 'UK politics, current affairs and news' started by jusali, Oct 11, 2017.
Or to trollied to see what was going on...
Dunno if the problem has got worse overall but I do note that women are the target of a great deal of islamophobia.
Also, by far the politicians who get the most abuse are the female ones. This abuse especially from the right towards the left, there's Amnesty research on this. It's one reason why conservative forces have to froth about left wing nastiness and abuse, it's the old technique of accusing your opponent of the thing you yourself are guilty of. By far the most abused MP is Diane Abbot. Now, she may not be everyones taste politically or personally, but I get a sense there's SOME reason (beyond just being female) that she draws so much visceral hatred. SOME reason...I just CAN'T put my finger on *
* no way it could be r*c*sm, which is that's something mostly made up by The PC Brigade (tm) to indoctrinate us into multicultural madness
I genuinely don't think the y chromosome is the issue unless you think trans women are spree killers and mass murderers too.
That's an interesting point, despite the very small amount of trans women to base a statistical estimate on. It probably is more to do with testosterone than a single chromosome
Sorry, slightly flippant. Wasn't implying that the Y chromosome was the cause, merely that it was a common feature.
All penguins re birds, but not all birds are penguins. That.
I'm 52. I have been physically assaulted by men since I was 9 years old. I've been cat called, verbally abused when I told men I wasn't interested in them, been groped by bosses, men on the street, on the tube, in clubs and bars and at parties.
And the one really great thing about getting old is that I've become (largely) invisible to men and it's a blessed relief.
My experience is boringly familiar to almost every woman I know. We just don't tell you about it much. Sometimes because you laugh about it, sometimes because you get angry and want to commit violence on our behalf, sometimes because we're ashamed. But mostly because you're also men.
When I was younger I would get angry when women told me about the abuse and harassment they'd suffered. But if you actually pay attention it's easy to see that that anger is not helpful, that nobody is looking for another male to wade in and butt heads with the abusive ones as if this will somehow negate the effects of something that's already happened.
Another reason I don't get as angry as I used to is sheer fatigue, having heard so many similar stories over the years. There's a point at which it stops being about anger at certain people and becomes a sort of generalised despair at (the male half of) humanity. Which for us men, is also despair at our own natures to some extent. But I believe this is necessary, this awareness that you're at best a hair's breadth away from being part of the problem. Because as a man the most important thing I can do to stop the abuse of women is to not abuse women, and that requires not just the conviction that I'm one of the good ones, but actual ongoing effort to watch my behaviour and my treatment of others. Even in that, I've made mistakes. And there's a reason people feel bad when they make mistakes, it's their brains telling them not to make the same mistake again.
Before you can grope someone you have to first be able to identify them as a human being, vs perhaps being a tree, or some other rig's backdrop...
I was a feminist at university even despite some pretty tough opposition. People (not always men) would often ask stupid questions (how come you're wearing lipstick then? Oh, so you're a feminist but it's okay for you to get off with James at the party?!) and feminism was a thing and I was a bit of a pariah but I never ever understood why anyone wouldn't be a feminist - men or women.
It's not so much of a thing now. I don't think anyone whispers behind your back anymore. But I never dreamed that in 2017 my daughter would be going through the same shit. Not even different shit. The Blurred Lines video. The catcalls. The rape victim who wore the wrong skirt. The domestic violence. The gender pay gap (which in my case is fucking massive and I feel like a terrible role model on top of everything else)
So yeah. Here we all are. Still. I did actually have a brief idea that things were getting better in my twenties but I think that was just because I was mostly drunk.
It's the old cliché: "Everything changes, but everything stays the same".
We've seen developments in some institutions (universities and schools for the most part) that have done away with the more egregious sexism - options choices in schools, institutional attitudes in universities - but shit still breaks through, such as a vice-chancellor last year attempting to "buy" a sexual assault victim's silence, or unis hiring rooms and halls to groups who practice misogyny or (as discussed on here a couple of years ago) inviting a serial sexual assaulter to speak at a uni event.
For the most part though, while individuals seem to have changed, institutions and some communities haven't. We have a bit of a problem round here with British Somali youths catcalling and hassling women on their own. They get called on it, but when there's a group of them, they start doing it again. They've been so inculcated with women's supposed inferiority at home, that it breaks through outside too.
Workplaces (IMO) appear to be going backward from my days as a TU rep. I said on another thread that 80-85% of my caseload - and this is across three separate unions - were to do with sexual harrassment, and serious harassment/assault, not just leering and leching. Now, with fewer places unionised, several female friends who work in different branches of retail say they feel unsafe when alone with male co-workers or management, because if something happens to them, and they report it, nothing gets done, and they then get victimised. Not having a union means they've got no quasi-independent person to intervene.
We also need to bear in mind that in terms of sex crimes reported to the police, the majority are serious assaults and rapes. The supposedly "milder" stuff, the groping, the flashing, the verbal harassment and baiting - most of that isn't reported. Sadly, women believe that they have to "grin and bear it" as much today as they did 50 and 100 years ago, and then as now, our criminal justice system still treats these assaults as "banter" and "boys will be boys", even when the person(s) committing the crimes are well beyond their teenage years.
What our criminal justice system doesn't/refuses to take into account (possibly because it's still a male-dominated institution) is the effect of not treating such crimes seriously - that treating these assaults as slips of etiquette actually licences the offender to do it again and, as psychological research has long established, many sex offenders follow progressively more severe paths in their offending. Today's perve rubbing a hard-on against a woman on a crowded tube train, may be tomorrow's rapist.
To say nothing of the effect on victims of being unable to see their abusers exposed, or of having no choice but to continue working in an environment where their abuser goes unchallenged or (as is often the case) continues to hold a position of power over them. This can create a situation of ongoing trauma which may be as bad, or worse, than the original crime.
There's a bloke lives across the street from me, 'Dave'. Well known and liked, pillar of the community and all that. We recently went to Dave to tell him that a friend of his who had been to visit him recently was a habitual sex offender and generally violent sociopath, some of whose previous victims are also friends of Dave. Please, we said, don't invite this person to your home because one of his victims lives nearby and even seeing the guy walking down the street is very bad for them. We didn't even ask him to cut ties completely, just to not bring him into our neighbourhood. Dave, nice guy that he is, refused. He came out with some bullshit about how the guy has changed his ways or is no longer a risk to those people. At this point I think, well we gave him a chance but now he's willingly siding with a rapist and refusing to help protect victims so it's time to burn him out of the community. But the community, progressive feminist vegan do-gooders most of them, didn't care that Dave was mates with a rapist. They like Dave, they didn't want to rock the boat, they ultimately had better things to do than the bare fucking minimum. Community my arse.
Sadly, that particular phenomenon isn't rare. People have this strange habit of trusting their own "judgement" in the face of proof to the contrary, so both "Dave" and the local community are in thrall to the desire not to admit to themselves that their judgement may be faulty, and fuck whether it costs someone their peace of mind or sense of safety.
I was always the guy women felt safe with - for obvious reasons now I guess but confused me a bit at the time. So I would often be the person my friend went to when something shitty happened to them or id be the guy that they would open up to and then say, I've never told that to any guy before... etc.
I was asked by a female household to move in when I was looking for a new place to live - in stockwell - three women and me, four women but one of us looked like a man. One night they explained why. I was safe, they told me, they had no worries about me, and they were being pretty much pestered by men fairly constantly. I don't think I really understood then. I mean id been stalked and harassed by men on occasion and I brushed it off. But it was just that much more intense for women than for young feminine men, I was soon to learn. Anyway, they wanted me in there to deter men from thinking that they could harass my house mates. This is a theme that came back over and over, that a woman with a man gets a whole lot less shit than a woman out on her own. And now I find myself in that exact position. Only since my boyfriend moved in, and he's usually with me when I'm out, has the harassment I used to receive, both as a woman and as a trans person, pretty much stopped, and only ever happens now when I'm on my own.
This entire post is a cliche.
No it isn't.
Im sure most have noticed but just in case, this thread is in p&p. I hadn't and was just about to post something fairly personal and others might do the same.
Short answer, I think more people are talking about this stuff but it's always been there IME.
Your entire Urban existence is a cliché.
Hey, Beats and Pieces is an extremely knowledgeable and erudite poster. He MUST be right!
I have found that men sometimes get excited by the idea that someone would approach you sexually without invitation. They can't see how it would be unwelcome.
From middle age, I'm now just in a massive, massive hurry to be seen as asexually old. Eccentricity, whimsy, theatricality of dress are wonderful in an old woman, but because of the patriarchy, there's a very different appraisal of these qualities in a middle aged woman. It's seen as a particular type of mutton-dressed-as-lamb... a past it saddo apeing the style of a unicorn-styled 21 year old. Anything too theatrical is seen as a pathetic would-be cougar, trying to seem sexually relevant. Who is she trying to kid?
Because the assumption is twofold: i must want men to find me attractive, because I'm still young enough to have sex, but also, no man could possibly find my past-it carcass attractive because I've passed the acceptable, girlish stage of fecund youth.
This is further complicated because I haven't done what society expects of a middle aged woman, and moved helpfully from 'whore' to 'madonna', because i haven't had kids. I am a patriarchal eyesore, until i can be percieved as unthreatening granny.
Aaaarrrrggggh! spanglechick PLEASE don't stop the fabulousness. Not because I want you to be pigeonholed but I love love love your outfits. I was hoping to still be dressed from head to toe in glitter and leather and lace throughout middle age and I don't want to be alone (well, I mean there'll always be Cher but even so...)
I won't - Christ no! Just i cant wait not to be judged for it.
Like the landlord at my local, who told me "Well he says he didn't do it" when I complained that a new face had groped me. He took his word over mine, despite the fact that I've been drinking there for twenty years. Because blokes.
This is one of my hates. I fucking hate that the easiest way to get a bloke to back the fuck off is to demonstrate that I'm already "owned" or "spoken for". And they don't just back off, they try to shake my fella by the hand, even congratulate him for bagging such a doll. Of all the ways to objectify a woman, this one is pretty much the top of my hate list.
But I also hate how I am sometimes compelled to collude in it, because it's the quickest simplest way to get a public predator to back off. If I'm with a woman friend they just try to hit on both of us, or try to split us apart. Or they ask if we'll twos up on him. ugh.
Yeah to be fair i felt a hell of a lot better about myself during those days, but I suspect it was the MDMA
I always used to be confused by men's behaviour in these situations. It ranged from that which you described - shaking of hand and congratulating - right to being competitive and threatening. I never knew how to play this game so always felt uncomfortable. Never did get the hang of being a bloke tbh.
I found myself, a while ago, using the "my boyfriend" line to get some guy to back off. He was about half my age, sitting in my space, and started asking me stupid questions. Completely ignored me when I said my boyfriend is going to be here in a few minutes. Then started asking what was wrong with him. Did I think I was too good for him? Got so aggressive I got up and walked away. Boyfriend appeared right on cue or I don't know how that would have ended.
Another time, at Earls Court, outside the LU depot, I had a bloke tell me he wanted to fuck me and was pretty bloody aggressive about this, in broad daylight. I had to run, actually run, and hide in a cafe. I've been kerb crawled coming out of work at night and just jumped on the first bus that came just to get me away. I learnt within weeks that I'd lost my walking alone at night privileges in central London. Used to do it a lot. Never do it now!!
And I'm bloody 50. I'm told I look a bit younger than that, bit still. Not exactly a young woman!!
I used to just push em over, especially if they did the arse pinching thing. It had a suprisingly high success rate, luckily most of my really abusive encounters were confined to my childhood/teenage years .
Used to as in, I don't go out so much these days. :-D
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