Why "Smile, baby," is unacceptable.

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Shenorai, Jul 11, 2014.

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  1. Yes, it's a link to an article I feel needs to be shared. Why? To nip the bud before it blossoms.

    It's a crying shame that THIS is the world that we live in. The world we fear daily. The world we'd love to pretend doesn't exist.
  2. Here's the problem; they never specify where the women are that they've surveyed, and the number that they've surveyed. So this between 80 and 90 percent thing might just be from 100 people from the US for all we know (not saying it's true, but it's a possibility) not to mention claiming this is an "universal" problem without at least backing it up by saying that they've surveyed this number of people in this country, this number in this country and so on. Bottom line is; yes there are some pretty obscene things going on in the world, but if one wants to take the problems they have with them to this level, it's best to provide more evidence on the matter, otherwise in a debate; this won't last too long.
    #2 york, Jul 11, 2014
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2014
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  3. *steps into the thread, knowing that he will die*

    I don't think this in danger of blossoming, nor the world that we live in and should fear on a daily basis. It is a simply a part of it. A proportionately small part. Having lived in the UK and America, and having travelled Europe and South America, this street harassment is, like any other public dickery, just something that happens in certain places. And they are isolated incidents.

    I think the author is exaggerating this as some kind of anthropological pandemic. It really isn't. Uneducated men can be dicks, the whole world round. But that's more because they're uneducated - not because it's something boiling in their genes like an inescapable human facet.

    The greater part of public interaction is indifference. People blatantly ignore each other. It's only some cultures, some crappy areas, and some late night drunken antics, which lead to aggressive public flirtation.

    My father squeezes the shoulders and "pecks the cheeks" of unfamiliar women. Should I dropkick him? Is this an expression of his underlying sexual violence and misogyny? Maybe. But he's old and eccentric and he means it in an endearing way. He's just trying to be an adorable Englishman. And he is... kinda...

    I've touched women in my time. I've put beer bottles on their heads. I've poked them in the shoulder while making jokes. I've even simulated teddy bears attacking their legs. Does this mean I'm trying to sexually control them? I hope not. I always thought that I was breaking the ice and showing how strangers don't have to be cold and insular around each other.

    It's a little impulsive to declare that public streets are the battleground of gender politics. Sometimes human behaviour is just.... human behaviour.
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  4. Touché right there! I agree with you on this one totally.

    Especially since I, myself, I live in the UK right now and English men tend to do or say such things.

    I find it rather amusing now and doesn't bother me anymore to be honest.^^

    Like you said it's part of our Nature as Humans.
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  5. It's part of human nature for grown men to follow behind women for an indeterminate amount of blocks, honking horns, asking for names and numbers, and generally making asses of themselves? Cause I didn't realize men had no control.

    I'm not condemning every man who gives a compliment out to a woman he finds attractive. But sweeping the men who catcall and chase and harass women under the rug, as isolated unrelated cases, as a small percent of men, as "Not all men", cheapens and undermines all the women who do have to deal with these issues.

    Don't tell me not to worry about the man following behind me, asking me for my number. What happens if he's one of the isolated cases who flies off the handle when I refuse? Don't tell me I'm over exaggerating when men become aggressive with me when I ignore them, doing their very best to shame me and verbally rip me apart. Don't set me aside as a special case, because I'm not. It happens to women everywhere, and it's a problem.

    Maybe the article isn't fact checked. That doesn't mean what she's saying doesn't hold weight, and it certainly shouldn't mean her words should be immediately dismissed.
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  6. Just to make this absolutely clear; we're not in any way saying her words should be dismissed, but rather they should be explained and backed up better (perhaps with less exaggeration). Yes some particularly crappy areas, and people (and drunken endeavors) tend to lead to these things and end up with others flying off the handle however that doesn't mean this problem is a global pandemic. Another thing to note; some people don't take failure to let's say grab someones attention very well and end up expressing it rather rudely and often turn the blame towards that person. This isn't something restricted to males either (depends on the situation) as it's in general someone reverting to their primal instincts to handle a situation when something goes quite awry. In short; us humans in general still need alot of growing for these sorts of problems to subside (some more than others).
    #6 york, Jul 11, 2014
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2014


    The frequency of this form of harassment is both shocking and serious in its implications. In Sarah's case, she was restricting her behavior and fearful of being alone. At a critical stage of development, this fear was hindering her ability to gain confidence by completing tasks independently. She even turned down a job offer to walk her neighbor's dog, something that could have increased her sense of responsibility and self-esteem.
    via http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-new-teen-age/201108/hey-baby-hurts

    Women discussing experiences of harassment in public spaces often encounter the rather surprising response that they should just deal with it — surely, it’s not actually that traumatic an experience, and instead of complaining, they should just recalibrate their expectations for public environments. Better yet is the not infrequent claim that ‘it’s a compliment!’ so they should be, er, flattered by the fact that people are yelling crude things at them in the streets, or groping them in the subway, or attempting to take photographs of them while they’re going about their daily business.
    via http://meloukhia.net/2014/04/why_cant_you_just_deal_with_it_its_a_compliment/

    There’s a difference between a warm greeting or a compliment and catcalling, which, like it or not, is a verbal assault. The difference is context. The problem is that the defenders of catcalling—those that would have you believe that you should smile and thank the dude yelling some crude thing about your body—seem oblivious to the setting where these remarks are being hurled your way. If someone came up to me at a party and complimented my necklace, well sure, it would just be saying hello. If I’m walking down the street with my headphones on and someone screams something from a passing vehicle, it feels threatening and dangerous.
    via http://hellogiggles.com/notjusthello-street-harassment-matters

    What I really love though, is the people who refuse to believe this is taking place all around them or, better yet, that people targeted for harassment “can’t understand what flirting is.” Let me put this as simply as possible: If your way of flirting scares and repulses people, then you need to stop and find a new way of flirting.
    via http://www.huffingtonpost.com/soraya-chemaly/street-harassment-is-runn_b_4004394.html

    Sidenote: Soraya Chemaly is the shit.

    via https://twitter.com/imransiddiquee


    EDIT: Hollup, I will add in some pennies on this shit though. That shit being, "Things do not exist in a vaccuum."
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  8. I speak from experience when I say that this isn't restricted to "street" harassment.

    I've worked in retail over the past couple years, specifically the produce department. So while I'm working my ass off to ensure I'm helping to provide food for the community, I still get picked on by both customers and associates alike.

    Now before I start getting snarky comments like, "It's probably what you were wearing, lol," allow me to describe the dress code at my workplace. Brown pants, blue shirt. If you work around food, you must wear long-legged pants, an apron, gloves, and long hair must be tied back for both customer safety and your own safety. Personally, being over two hundred pounds, I wear a dark, baggy tee and men's khaki's for practical sizing purposes. Nothing flattering, nothing showy, not even showing all that much skin aside from arms, neck, and face.

    Yet I STILL get propositioned by men while on the job, both customers and coworkers alike. They don't care that I have my beloved at home. They don't care that I am fiercely loyal to him. They don't care that I don't need his help to make them bleed. All they care about is the fact that there is a hole between my legs they want to fill and the only thing stopping me from snapping them in half for making the oh-so-nauseating "Nice melons!" pickup line is the fact that I'm on the clock and do not wish to be fired.

    Don't get me wrong, I still voice my displeasure at their disgusting attempts at male dominance. But it's more than ridiculous when I have to say, "My favorite form of castration is a cheese grater. How about yours?" to multiple guys just to get them to leave me the fuck alone.
  9. Now there's a different scenario; this would be the case where I'd probably have to agree with you. After all in public places like that there's a wide array of people flowing in, both good and bad, and this results in plenty of shit like that going on as there's not exactly a "filter" on the doors to prevent the uneducated from getting through and dicking with you along with others. Personally if I was around, I'd be actively "regulating" that problem to say the least, and it's quite sad that there aren't more people going around doing it. Though the sad part is, this is because of Asmodeus's take on the general public reaction of "indifference" to these things. Common thoughts are "It's not my problem, I'd rather not get involved" and shit like that. Now back to the point; what we're trying to point out is not that this isn't a problem, but that it's not neccesarily something boiling within ones genes. (the less educated tend to resort to more primal ways of thinking as I may have mentioned before)
  10. Education really has dick all to do with it. Harassment comes from all sorts, from the poorest uneducated mind to the most affluent, cultured gentleman. And, again, your "Not all men" argument is NOT HELPING. At all. If anything, it derails the entire conversation about harassment. Instead of trying to rationalize that you are one of the good guys and aren't a source of harassment, try to understand that all women, despite what they're wearing or what they look like, from all walks of life, will deal with harassment of some form in their life.
  11. Most humans will deal with some sort/form of harassment at some point. It's not just strictly women, harassment is often either a) due to lack of better knowledge/judgement b) ones view on a certain gender, race, personality type, etc or c) due to a mental disorder. Conclusion; how about this, instead of strictly concentrating on one form of harassment to negate, let's just concentrate on harassment in general. This way another form of harassment won't just "fill in" the place that this form we're currently debating over after this particular thing has been dealt with.
  12. Cages. Consider a birdcage. If you look very closely at just one wire in the cage, you cannot see the other wires. If your conception of what is before you is determined by this myopic focus, you could look at that one wire, up and down the length of it, and be unable to see why a bird would not just fly around the wire any time it wanted to go somewhere. Furthermore, even if, one day at a time, you myopically inspected each wire, you still could not see why a bird would have trouble going past the wires to get anywhere. There is no physical property of any one wire, nothing that the closest scrutiny could discover, that will reveal how a bird could be inhibited or harmed by it except in the most accidental way. It is only when you step back, stop looking at the wires one by one, microscopically, and take a macroscopic view of the whole cage, that you can see why the bird does not go anywhere; and then you will see it in a moment. It will require no great subtlety of mental powers. It is perfectly obvious that the bird is surrounded by a network of systematically related barriers, no one of which would be the least hindrance to its flight, but which, by their relations to each other, are as confining as the solid walls of a dungeon.
    • Marilyn Frye; "Oppression", in Politics Of Reality – Essays In Feminist Theory (1983)

  13. Now, put this cage analogy into conception but have different forms of harassment or even better, problems in general as the wires. Now, each and every one of those wires working together are what imprison us humans, and other organisms we know of in general from something known as perfection. You see, one particular bird cage in one scenario could just be contributing to almost infinite amount if you keep "zooming out" of the picture enough, and again; not saying the issues we've all stated aren't issues, that need to be dealt with. However, looking at the bigger picture; they're just some of the many that still require adressing to this day.
    #13 york, Jul 11, 2014
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2014
  14. I haven't been harassed that often- but then again, I'm a minor.
    Guys at school can be asshats and I hear them whistle at me or other girls and I remember I was at a public swimming pool and some old guy asked me to take my bikini off- I was like, thirteen.

    But I don't live in a large city, the one I live in has roughly 15 thousand people and no one really walks around on the street, so who knows.
    I will say though, as negative as this harassment is, I think it's slightly overreacting. We girls tend to do that and I often overreact over stupid things. I think it's one of those things where it's best to just move on and forget.
  15. [​IMG]
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  16. I'm sorry, BETTER problems? What, the fact that a woman cannot go outside alone and feel safe isn't good enough? That she can't walk to her car in a lit parking lot when leaving work without holding keys between her fingers just in case? That a woman can't go out and have a good time without worrying what she's wearing, who she's with, how much she drinks, who she speaks to, whether a polite conversation is just that or that she might be leading him on… These aren't good enough for you to talk about?

    Yes, there are other issues and other forms of harassment that we still need to clean up. But that's not what this thread was about. Trying to change the subject away from the issue first brought up, saying that it is just one problem among many, lessens the impact it has on the minds of others, gives the appearance that it isn't a sever a problem as it truly is, and is disrespectful to all the women who deal with this, whether daily or not, and utterly offensive.
  17. Oh, did I forget to put the comma in "even better, problems"? That's my bad, anyways, look, first of all you're letting your emotions do the talking in this debate which isn't a very good thing to do, and second of all; we've both done the old red herring thing, shifting the topic from this particular type of harassment to just harassment in general. So in the long run, perhaps we all need to settle down and at the very least resolve this in a more civilized manner.
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  18. ... While I got a sticky nose, I know my personal-ass patois'n my loving habit of vulgarity interspersed all over my pop culture referencing don't do shit for folk so why the fuck not substitute my shit with nicer, more agreeable shit tho


    The Opposite of Emotional Isn’t Logical
    People often dichotomize logic and emotions, the thinking and the feeling, as if being analytical is incompatible with being emotionally sensitive. You’re left-brained or right-brained, or for the Myers-Briggs personality types, you’re either a (T)hinker or a (F)eeler. It bothers me when personality traits are dichotomized, as they often are, because I know I am full of seemingly contradicting traits. If “thinking” and “feeling” lie on opposite poles, I wouldn’t lie in the middle, but I’d be split into two. The logical side doesn’t cancel out the feeling side, making me a little bit logical and a little bit feeling. In other words, I wouldn’t consider myself less analytical than the typical analytical person nor would I consider myself less sensitive than a typical sensitive person just because I have these “opposing” traits. If we’re talking about Myers-Briggs types, the descriptions of INTP, INTJ, INFP, and INFJ all describe me quite well even though they contradict each other at times (though if I had to pick one, I would say INTP fits me best).

    I believe people have the capacity to be both logical and emotionally sensitive. Whether one is able to be both empathetic and logical at the same time remains an open question (here’s some sensationalized pop-psychology that I’m skeptical of), but if not both, one can at least alternate between logical reasoning and empathetic reasoning (probably with individual differences in this ability to alternate). We wouldn’t be human if we were purely logical or purely emotional.

    Unlike compassion, analytical abilities are often linked with intelligence, yet it would be impossible to properly reason about the human condition or social problems without understanding people. I can see why emotionality is frequently associated with irrationality; it’s easy to have tunnel vision when you’re emotionally caught up in something. When it comes to critical thinking, the ability to step back from your own emotions and biases to take different perspectives is an important skill. However, don’t confuse emotional statements with illogical ones. I know that when I’m feeling emotional, I often say things that aren’t what most people would call “logical”. For example, I may say things like, “I feel like jumping out the window” or “I want to punch something” when I’m in distress, but these statements don’t exactly hold any significant logical values (even though they would be automatically logically true by the subjective nature of the statements). They don’t make claims of what I should do; they are simply statements of how I feel. There is not much up for debate.

    On the other hand, being unemotional, cold, or uncaring doesn’t necessarily make you logical. I would even say that not having enough empathy and lacking the ability to take different perspectives can be a big disadvantage when it comes to critical thinking. How are you to argue about something you don’t understand? Is your egotism a symptom of your superior intelligence or a product of your ignorance? Being unmoved by others’ emotions does not mean you are uninfluenced by your own emotions, and being an asshole doesn’t make you any smarter. If you pride yourself on having a stone heart but you still make judgements about people or human problems, you’re probably not as logical or stone-like as you think; stones don’t feel, nor do they make judgements about people (or anything, really). Or if you consider yourself akin to a computer, realize that computers don’t make judgements about people either.

    via http://facingluck.com/2014/05/18/the-opposite-of-emotional-isnt-logical/


    k now im done lolbye
  19. Again, just because in that particular incident things got a little out of hand with the entire emotional thing, I'm not saying I'm against it. Though hell it's hard to back that up since the internet isn't too good with the entire conveying emotions thing now is it. I might be repeating myself is, but I'm not saying those statements she said earlier are illogical, just misplaced due to a misunderstanding. Sorry if I'm not the best at wording things properly, because 1) I'm a 16 year old (if that even means anything) and 2) explaining has never been my forte though it's better done online.
  20. I think it's wayyyy easy for a guy who, while men do face harassment on some level but not nearly to that of women, to think street harassment or whatever other term people would like to use is not that big of a deal. Let me say, as a woman, that it is. Period. I don't know a single female in my entire group of friends, family, fellow church members etc, who hasn't experienced something like that on some level. While the article made good points I can see some things that were perhaps reaching a bit too far but overall her point and the problem can't be diminished. As someone who will have earned a degree in Sociology (study of societies, not just the USA) I think it's very safe to say that this is a problem everywhere not just in good old 'Murica. Admittedly Europe has less of a problem with this in general due to most European governments having closer to equal female representation in their governments while countries like India and Japan have frequent instances of cultural victims shaming that is so intense that women won't speak up when they're sexually assaulted in public and neither will those around them. All that to say that it is completely impossible to write off the problem of street harassment on any level for any reason. A flaccid attitude about a 'less severe' abuse towards women like street harassment leads to larger problems in American society like, oh I don't know, approximately 60% of sexual assault cases not being reported in the US? And that might seem like a leap, but I think it's an obvious fact about people in general that if they can get away with something 'small' that it's only a matter of time before they attempt something more extreme. And the dismissive attitude that 'it's not that big of a deal' does invalidate the feelings of those being victimized, which encourages silence on the victim's part to avoid ridicule in both street harassment cases and in crimes like rape, incest, or less gender based crimes like child abuse, abuse of the elderly, prejudices in the workplace and any other number of injustices. All of that to say, this is a problem. All of us need to say something when we see an instance like this happen in public or private, even if you don't know the person. The victim will feel safer and a harasser is likely going to back off if there are other people involved. And if it seems like you or the victim could be in danger, call the cops by all means.

    Also here's a helpful site for verified statistics for topics like these.

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