Open Thread, Death Star Edition

This Open Thread has been brought to you by the fact that my school has a sign on the doors that only open one way that says “ceci n’est pas une exit”…

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72 Responses to Open Thread, Death Star Edition

  1. bttf4444 says:

    I have a question to ask:

    What are your thoughts on the social justice community at tumblr? What are your thoughts on things like plurals and otherkin being part of the social justice community?

  2. Being a tumblr person who mostly sticks to fandom and kitties, I view it as ridiculously hypocritical. For example, a “kill all men” post gets over 1000 reblogs, while a “sexism isn’t just directed at women” gets about forty.

  3. ozymandias42 says:

    I support plurals and otherkin. It is really none of my business what other people get up to, as long as they’re happy and not bothering me. I’m doubtful of whether otherkin count as oppressed, but then I have a fairly stringent definition of ‘oppressed,’ and certainly people should not be bigoted against them.

  4. OirishM says:

    I have just begun reading this:

    Author: David Benatar. He’s arguing for greater acknowledgement of sexism against men and the role that feminism can play in it.

    It has already caused quite a storm on the news sites I frequent.

    (Apologies if this is poorly or insensitively introduced/phrased – just think it’s an interesting book to see come out)

  5. Engineer Krause says:

    @bttf4444: I’m pretty skeptical of both groups, partly on scientific grounds.
    Seems strange that highly optimized human brain could hold 10 fully functional, interacting human beings. What about conflict? Plus it’s apparently possible for a shoddy psychologist to accidentally create something sort of like this in some people. What they claim is also not the same as borderline/multiple personalities disorder, apparently. (in which the personalities are unaware of each other and cannot collaborate to talk about each other to the outside world). This needs to be analyzed by science; it could have profound effects on the understanding of human consicousness and congnition and I imagine that it could also provide a way to develop non-multiple transhumans with better multitasking ability.
    Otherkin, often have verifiably false scientific claims, and while (for example) male, female and genderless, etc identities seem within the purview of human experience, animals are nonsentient (except perhaps for some apes and cetaceans) and alien enough that a human brain cannot model them or assume their identities. If it could they would not be able to function in human society. Also, past lives as imagination made belief (consciously or subconsciously) are much more likely than past lives being real contrary to established science. The accidental creation of alien abduction memories is documented.
    Doesn’t mean that we should attack them the way other SJ types sometimes do or stomp their subjective feelings. In addition, the otherkin and trans-ethnic groups _may_ consist partly of people who genuinely have the experience, surrounded by others who are appropriating. I’ve heard of some pretty questionable stuff with otherkin whose claimed identites are much more badass than they are in real life, plus people like fictionkin. And it seems that most times their claimed beings are fairly likeable and appealing to humans, such as cats, foxes, wolves, and other medium-sized mammals, or dragons and the like.

    I think otherkin is an mental health/ableism issue, not an otherkin issue. Dysphoria for an animal form is not completely impossible. People who embrace delusions or odd subjective experiences as part of themselves, while recognizing them not to be objective fact, are OK.

    My general take on this is that actually, identities are what someone (may, if honest) actually feels. Opposing someone’s feelings can be painful. But identity is not truth or a reason for rights. We really need to let this go. That which may be destroyed by the truth should be — and some things can and some things cannot.

  6. d.d says:

    I think otherkin and the like should be treated as religions, because in my opinion that’s what they basically are. They have beliefs that can’t be substantiated by (and indeed sometimes run contrary to) scientific data, and have communities built on those beliefs, just like most other religions.

    My stance on religious beliefs in general is: the people who hold those beliefs should be respected and allowed to hold those beliefs, but that doesn’t mean that the beliefs themselves should be respected outside the bounds of their particular religious contexts.

  7. dancinbojangles says:

    @Engineer_Krause: I totally agree, identity does not equate to fact. I mean, even in the case of trans people, we accept them as their identified gender, but it doesn’t change physiological and genetic traits which might contradict that identity. And let’s face it, gender is waaaaay more of a social construct than species is! I mean, there’s a (large) gray area in gender, but there is no wiggle room for how much of you is an actual dragon. If we make it so that anyone can identify as anything, then the whole world would just be stupid. Kind of like religion, I take a rights-first approach. You can believe whatever bonkers stuff you like, as long as it’s not hurting anyone. As soon as it becomes a question of fact, though, identity can’t supplant physical reality.

    So yeah, if you want to be a dog, that’s great. Claiming that you’re a dog, and not a human, for tax purposes, though? Not so great. That’s the line, for me.

  8. JE says:

    Is it just me, or do supposedly sex positive people saying “there’s nothing wrong with people expressing their sexuality” really mean “there’s nothing wrong with people expressing my sexuality”

  9. L says:

    Re: tumblr: I get some really great soundbites out of all the SJ/activist blogs I follow, but nothing more than that. “Angry, self-righteous shitstorm” pretty much sums up the entire thing, IMO. There’s a lot of emotional blackmailing, a lot of bitterness, a lot of anger (productive and completely unproductive), and a lot of hypocrisy. Unfortunately, there’s a lot of oppression olympics going on too, even though pretty much everyone says they aren’t doing it. Basically it’s useful as a means of surveying the landscape, I guess, and getting links to more in-depth, less stream-of-consciousness writing, but getting caught up in it can be pretty stupid and miserable.

    @JE: I think in some and perhaps many cases, yes. It’s also usually code for “you’re only human if you have a sexuality; people that claim not to are probably also just lying”.

  10. L says:

    ETA: Okay, granted, there are some really good, well-thought out tumblogs that I do like a lot. But still, generally avoid looking at the notes and starting arguments. I think part of the reason that I personally think a lot of discussion over there is more like hamsters running in their wheels is just the nature of the way information gets organized and reblogs work. The structure of the site doesn’t really lend itself to deep discussion very well.

  11. Engineer Krause says:

    Sex positive? Of course it has different forms all over the place, and the good form of it is neccesary, but that is a problem. There do seem to be two issues in particular: Ignoring asexual people, and the “what do you mean it’s not normal” effect. In discussions about sex, (not on tumblr mostly, to a degree here) I sometimes feel left out because I’m totally gender conforming AND almost totally vanillia, with zero BDSM interest, AND not in any way gay, bi, queer or trans, AND am not really intersted in polyamory, AND my desires are fairly conventional AND I’m actively repulsed by some of the people who SJ demands that we find attractive. This is no biggie, of course, but for some people it fuels oppression Olympics I think. Geek social fallacies of sex, also.

    My biggest problem with Tumbler is the cult of the identity and the favoring of individual group’s egos over the greater good.

    @Bojangles: I tend to insist on a bit more respect for verifyable truth than that. That said, I think people should react to otherkin with less insulting incredulity. And even if it’s not like actual supernumerary phantom limbs, a subjective experience somewhat like that is possible. However, people MUST check their beliefs against what is true. You can hold ideas that are untrue, but it is hazardous to believe them.

  12. coffee_queen says:

    I just read a little bit of the book through the Look Inside feature, and I must say that Benatar’s tone and logical presentation of his argument are very appealing. Too bad this seems only available in the UK! I’d love to read the whole thing, but the dollar-to-euro ration isn’t that great these days, at least from an American perspective haha, and though I have a Kindle reader on my computer I can’t abide paying so much for an e-book.

  13. monkey says:

    I need a hug.

  14. monkey says:

    What are plurals?

    In spite of my nickname, I’m quite happy being human.

  15. WKB says:

    No, no, no! The exits should read “Ceci n’est pas une entry,” and the entries should say “Huis Clos.”

  16. Engineer Krause says:

    Plurals claim that their bodies contain multiple human beings with their own memory, identity, and body image. They share the physical body, and are referred to as headmates. They are complete beings, not just personalities, and are aware of each other, and are sometimes described as dating each other, and having virtual bodies that live in a virtual space that they can interact in. It’s sometiems described as multiple personality disorder but this is incorrect as MPD is different and much more disabling. Sometimes members of the system come and go, and may have conflicts; even violent ones.

    I am very skeptical of this, although I think it is possible.

  17. ozymandias42 says:

    *shrugs* I see no reason why species dysphoria ISN’T possible, given that gender dysphoria and ability dysphoria are. And if the otherkin is one of the “my soul is a dragon!” people, then it’s a religious belief– and one with almost no meaningful power to cause harm, hence it’s hard to justify mocking it instead of one of the bigger and more socially accepted religions.

    Given our current level of knowledge about neuroscience (not much!), I think “people say they subjectively experience X” is enough evidence for subjective experience X to be considered plausible, at least until we come up with evidence that it isn’t.

    Monkey: *hugs*

  18. monkey says:

    Thanks Ozy. I’m not bummed about anything specific, it just seems like a lot of little things are adding up.

  19. daelyte says:

    “And if the otherkin is one of the “my soul is a dragon!” people, then it’s a religious belief– and one with almost no meaningful power to cause harm, hence it’s hard to justify mocking it instead of one of the bigger and more socially accepted religions.”

    Any belief has the potential to cause harm.
    “Yes, there are some shifters who have declared that if they could really change into wolves, they would happily kill off as many humans as they could manage.”

    Not as obvious with some other varieties (killer rabbits?), but you get the picture.

  20. monkey says:

    Daelyte: it’s not as unlikely as you’d think!

  21. ozymandias42 says:

    I dunno, man, when I compare it with the harm caused by even a relatively small group like the Quiverfull movement– not to mention that caused by the sex-negative, queerphobic, child-rape-covering-up attitudes of huge organizations like the Catholic Church– a couple people fantasizing about killing humans and not actually DOING anything about it seems… a bit minor.

  22. Not Me says:

    It’s got huge… very sharp pointy… it can jump a… look at the bones!

    Wild rabbits are good at fighting, they just prefer to run away from anything around their size or bigger when possible. So as long as you’re not really short or a child, you’re probably fine.

    (I apologize for the off-topic semi-randomness.)

  23. Paul says:

    I am disturbed by this article, and I really hope the actual movie is better… but I suspect it isn’t

  24. Tamen says:

    This is about our society in the first place and asking why women like Teresa find themselves so lonely. They go to these places where they think they can get what they need — their desire for happiness, sexuality and tenderness

    Yeah, female buyers of sex have noble motives and only ends up buying sex (in reality exploiting men in third world countries) because there is something wrong in society that makes them do that (they feel lonely because society fails). This article again paints the male prostitutes as somehow exploiting the women, again making the women the real victims (lonely, craving tenderness, sexuality and happiness) and when the male prostitute is revealed to pretend towards his client he is violently attacked – a reaction I sadly think will be portrayed as most violence against men – as something he had coming.

  25. SpudTater says:

    Yay open thread.

    Things not true about me:
    1. “Swarthy”
    2. Loud
    3. Lazy
    4. Fan of gold medallions
    5. Can’t cook
    6. Won’t clean
    7. Misogynistic
    8. Employed in international shipping

    Things true about me
    1. Long name
    2. From a large family
    3. Hirsute

    This comment inspired by people who pre-judge me based on my surname — and by yesterday’s keftethes, which turned out very tasty indeed.

  26. monkey says:

    God, that sex tourism movie sounds horrible.

  27. dancinbojangles says:

    I think the theme here is that otherkin or whatever is people’s right, but that doesn’t make it a good idea, even though it’s a better idea than other, stupider religious and spiritual beliefs.

  28. daelyte says:

    “it’s not as unlikely as you’d think!”

    Good point.

    @Not Me:
    “Wild rabbits are good at fighting, they just prefer to run away from anything around their size or bigger when possible. So as long as you’re not really short or a child, you’re probably fine.”

    Or a president.

    “a couple people fantasizing about killing humans and not actually DOING anything about it seems… a bit minor.”

    There is a long association between clinical lycanthropy and serial killers.

  29. Not Me says:

    So… in the past few days, I’ve been checkin’ out the ol’ Manosphere, to get a bit of a better idea of what it’s like. And in the process I noticed a glaringly huge blind spot on the part of the MRAs that I haven’t seen any of their detractors point out yet. (Maybe they have, but I just haven’t encountered that yet.)

    Let’s pretend that the worldview of a typical MRA is a good representation of reality. (It’s obviously not, but let’s pretend anyway.) Well… what about the Alphas?

    It seems like everyone is treating them like they were some sort of passive background characters. Do you really think these guys, many of whom are rich and powerful, and all of whom are over-entitled assholes, and benefit more than anyone else from the way things are in MRA-land, have absolutely *nothing* to do with the way things are? And that they would just idly sit by and say “sure, whatever dude” if there was ever a serious threat of a Beta uprising smacking down feminism and then rationing all the pretty young girls?

  30. daelyte says:

    @Not Me:
    I have a different view of the whole “alpha” thing.

    omega = loser – needy and unreliable, wish they were alphas or at least betas
    beta = follower – stable, often good providers, seek to follow an alpha
    sigma = loner – independent and self-reliant, walking their own path
    alpha = leader – agentic, decisive and indomitable, take care of their “tribe”

    This definition of alpha has nothing to do with gender, looks, wealth, power, or jerkhood. In my mind an alpha can be poor, powerless, friendly, polite, in chains or even DEAD – yet still be an alpha. (ex: Jesus)

    Some alphas are bigoted assholes, just because their tribe is well cared for doesn’t mean they won’t crack your skull and eat your brains. However this is not at all a requirement.

    Alphas take care of those around them, yet don’t let people walk all over them. IMO this is desirable in either gender.

    From what I’ve seen, feminism seems to attract a lot of alpha females, who don’t think they should be subservient to betas (or worse, omegas!) just because patriarchy. A relationship between two alphas is complicated, because it requires sharing power between two people that aren’t used to doing so. Therefore alpha females often prefer beta or sigma males, and some may even have a harem.

    “Well… what about the Alphas? It seems like everyone is treating them like they were some sort of passive background characters.”

    Goodness no. In my view alphas are anything but passive, they are by definition agentic.

    I see many in the manosphere as omegas who fancy themselves alphas without having a ghost of a clue what that really means.

    “And that they would just idly sit by and say “sure, whatever dude” if there was ever a serious threat of a Beta uprising smacking down feminism and then rationing all the pretty young girls?”

    Whuh? I don’t understand this part.

  31. On an unrelated note, since this is an open thread, what does everyone think about the whole Tentacle Bento game thing?

  32. daelyte says:

    They could double their market if they added a version where the intended targets are male? Surely some tentacle monsters prefer boys?

  33. Not Me says:

    @daelyte: The portion of the Manosphere that I’ve encountered so far seems to be saying that the population consists of 10% “Alpha Asshole Males”, 40% “Beta Nice Guys”, and 50% “Women”. Women attempt to have sex with as many Alphas as possible while financially leeching off of the Betas, and this is like totally unfair and we need to fix women by destroying feminism. Apparently Alphas are the spawn of Satan yet largely irrelevant (or at least, rarely talked about outside of the context of Women’s interaction with them), Betas are a narcissist’s delusion of what an actual nice guy is like, and Women would revert to their natural state of personality-free semen receptacles if only feminism didn’t exist.

    Then again, if the “Manosphere” consists of more than just MRA stuff, then I may not be getting a balanced look at it. I also may be applying my own values to a system that revolves around a different set of values alien to my own.

  34. L says:

    @Not Me: LOL that’s pretty much how I’d sum up the entire “alpha/beta vs females” idea.

    Again, I think the MRA definition of “alpha male” describes something that bears closer resemblance to Bigfoot or Nessie than anything else.

  35. ozymandias42 says:

    Schadrach: I am against rapey card games! I should hope that position’s not controversial.

    Daelyte: Uh, do you have any evidence that human beings function like discredited ideas of how wolves work?

  36. Hugh says:

    “a couple people fantasizing about killing humans and not actually DOING anything about it seems… a bit minor.”

    I’m not sure if you’d hold this position if the people doing the fantasising and the people they wanted to kill were differently identified. Example: men fantasising about killing prostitutes, white people fantasising about killing black people, straight people fantasising about killing gay people, etc etc.

    Having said that, I think the idea that furries are going to flip out and kill people is a pretty major exaggeration.

  37. daelyte says:

    @Not Me:
    That’s a pretty accurate portrait of how loudest the among both MRAs and PUAs see things.

    Many PUAs try to become what they see as alphas instead of trying to force women to conform, but most of them are using the same flawed model, including the assumption that women are all the same.

    Some (not all) differences between their views and mine:
    1. Attraction is complicated. Not everyone wants an alpha, just more demand than there is supply.
    2. My model doesn’t care about gender, or orientation.
    3. Women have personalities too, which can overwhelm other factors like looks. That’s right, fat ugly women can be desirable because of personality! Eat that, misogynists objectifiers.
    4. They fail to differentiate between what I call alphas and sigmas, and between betas and omegas. I’m not sure that’s even complicated enough, but I think it’s an improvement.
    5. In my model, niceness has little to do with it. You can count on a beta to pay the bills, but that doesn’t mean he can’t get drunk and beat you half to death every night just as reliably. I wouldn’t call that nice.

    “Apparently Alphas are the spawn of Satan yet largely irrelevant (or at least, rarely talked about outside of the context of Women’s interaction with them), Betas are a narcissist’s delusion of what an actual nice guy is like, and Women would revert to their natural state of personality-free semen receptacles if only feminism didn’t exist.”

    “Uh, do you have any evidence that human beings function like discredited ideas of how wolves work?”

    No. I don’t even have evidence that human beings function like my model says they do. In fact I’m pretty sure they don’t, but until I find better…

    Is it really worse than trying to explain privilege using linear difficulty levels in video games?

    If the greek letters bother you, feel free to replace them with other terms. Maybe dominant, submissive, free spirit, creep, etc. Or various ponies.

  38. daelyte says:

    “Having said that, I think the idea that furries are going to flip out and kill people is a pretty major exaggeration.”

    Just like christians are mostly nice, but bad people can misuse their beliefs to do bad things with impunity, I think the same is true about any belief or ideology. At this point I don’t think furries have much power, but if they became the social standard then it could be cause for concern.

  39. Hugh says:

    @daelyte: If you think all ideologies and beliefs have the potential to make people act in dangerous ways, why the focus on furries? If somebody was arguing that furries are incapable of doing violence you’d have a point, but that’s not anybody’s point – it’s that there’s no particular reason to view furries with apprehension. Your contention that furries are exactly as dangerous as any other belief or ideology seems to confirm that.

  40. daelyte says:

    Not exactly as dangerous. There are most certainly other beliefs and ideologies that are more dangerous and harmful, some of which are regularly attacked on this site with good reason.

    I have nothing against otherkin, in fact I think the whole thing is cute and mostly harmless as subcultures go. When Ozy said “no meaningful power to cause harm”, I felt the need to point out that even a belief as innocuous as this can have its dark side. That is all.

  41. ozymandias42 says:

    Uh, guys, furries and otherkin are not the same thing. Furries are fans of anthropomorphic animals. Otherkin identify as animals.

  42. Dr. Anonymous says:


    Do you have the same problem with card games depicting wars and killings?

  43. Captain Thark says:

    The reason I don’t think there’s much reason to fear otherkin is because most of them mean that in the same way teenagers mean they wish they could kill all the stupid people. Because most of them ARE teenagers, and usually ones who never fit into society all that well.

    And to speak to what Ozy said, I’ve had otherkin get a bit testy at me when I’ve called them furries before. They usually hang out in the same places, but they see it as something different in my experience.

  44. Engineer Krause says:

    {Trigger warning for discussion of violence, rape, rape culture} I’ve come to a bit of an odd view of violence. Sometimes I imagine utopias where (nonlethal) violence in general is actually more common than it is in our ridiculously violent world but in which humans are much more resistant to it. The way that even transitory acts which leave only a brief inconvenience can lead to a lifetime of psychological damage. My idealized transhumans (I call them eigenmensch, for characteristic to humans since such self-improvement is the very image of the human power, and to contrast with the term ubermensch) do not know fear or trauma or PTSD.

    I do have my own comments on fictional or roleplay violence.
    As to rape specifically, I’d say the problem is that 1. it represents a very peculiar and specifically horrific evil, out of proportion to the harm it does and 2. since it is so horribly widespread that basically everybody knows a victim, any making light of it of any kind should be hidden rigorously from anybody who might be negatively affected and should only be done with that attude which can find human suffering in general funny. (Please, please don’t deny this, even if you agree that it is bad.).

    Non-sexual violence is something that people don’t have the constant threat of, plus it lacks the nigh-intrinsic evil, even if it is more destructive.

  45. Engineer Krause: I thought non-sexual violence was more common than sexual violence, actually. I don’t have any source right now to back this up though… But one have to remember that non-sexual violence doesn’t have to be being beaten to hospitilization by a gang of thugs – it could be simply getting hit, once, by somebody. And just like most people know a rape victim I bet that most people know somebody who have been non-sexually punched or similar. I certainly do.

    I think the reason people, women mostly, percieve rape as a “constant threat” is that people around us always go ON AND ON AND ON about how “oh you’re a woman so you can’t ride the subway alone at night” and “you’re a woman so you should always travel in groups” and stuff. Non-sexual violence isn’t talked about as much.

    I don’t think either that there’s an important difference between rape and non-sexual violence in that only the former is “intrinsically evil”. Perhaps you need to be evil to plan and commit a total stranger-rape, but then again, perhaps you need to be equally evil to attack people with a gang of thugs and beat them to hospitilization. When it comes to more common forms of rape the perpetrator might just be horny and inconsiderate – the idea that only flat-out EVIL people could do it is a dangerous one. And that’s once again pretty analogous to non-sexual violence – to just punch somebody it’s probably enough to be pissed off and not bothering with controlling yourself, because letting steam out feels better than bottling it up – you don’t have to be EVIL to do it.

  46. Sorry, you didn’t use the phrase “intrinsic evil”. And you didn’t actually say that rapists are more evil than other criminals, only that the crime REPRESENTS a peculiar evil.

    Anyway, I realize too that it seems like I argue that there are NO relevant differences between rape and non-sexual violence. I do think there is. We don’t, generally speaking, view genitals as just another body part or sex as just another activity. We have rules regarding sex that we don’t have regarding other activities – like it’s not allowed between parent/offspring and there’s an age of consent (despite the fact that it’s not physically dangerous like driving a car is). Even a really slutty slut (like I was when I was young) will be much more picky when it comes to choosing sex partners than when it comes to, say, which people zie is prepared to talk to, or shake hands with, or work with on a school project, or whatever. So although it’s not easy to spell out EXACTLY why, I do think sexual violence is more of a violation of the victim than non-sexual violence of roughly equal brutality. But I don’t think the difference is that rape is a “constant threat” while non-sexual violence isn’t. Nor do I think that rapists are extra evil, although I realize on re-reading your post that I might have been arguing against a straw-man there.

  47. JE says:

    “That’s right, fat ugly women can be desirable because of personality! Eat that, misogynists objectifiers.”

    To me this is no different than MRAs criticizing women for prefering alphas over betas, it’s both just different lists of traits that you should/shouldn’t base attraction of of.

    Which is why I like to say that Nice Guys(tm) are men who talk about women the way women talk about men. (that’s not to say all women do talk like that but it’s both expected and encouraged. No one would think of having a special name for women who say that guys are shallow and don’t appreciate the right things in women)

  48. L says:

    @Dvärghundspossen: But sexual violence isn’t just rape either. It’s being groped or getting your ass smacked by a stranger. It’s attempted rape and sexual coercion. I’d also put unwanted “dirty talk” or threats of sexual violence to be in this same general category, because I think they build up to a similar effect.

    So although it’s not easy to spell out EXACTLY why, I do think sexual violence is more of a violation of the victim than non-sexual violence of roughly equal brutality.

    Of course it is. Sexuality and nakedness is very personal and intimately tied to one’s very identity. You never hear of someone being too humiliated to file a police report for a mugging or bar fight.

  49. Schala says:

    “You never hear of someone being too humiliated to file a police report for a mugging or bar fight.”

    Unless it involved their wife beating them. Whereas the police will say the only remedy is for him to man up.

  50. @L: But if we include unwanted so-called compliments, cat-calls and the like in “sexual violence”, wouldn’t we also have to include calling people “idiot”, rude pushes and similar non-sexual insults in “non-sexual violence”? I’m still not convinced then that sexual violence would be much more common than its non-sexual equivalence.

    I’ve been groped and cat-called and stuff, and I’ve been through one attempted rape and one other sexual assault (or whatever is the right term for it in English – a guy facing me in the subway who pulled out his cock and started jerking off while looking at me). And that sure is no fun. But I’ve also had a drunk neighbour of my parents screaming at me that I’m a psycho (I have had episodes of psychosis on and off since I was ten), and that hit me the worst. Being sexually attacked in some way will either totally piss me off, or I’m gonna think that it’s not worth being pissed off about and shrug it off – but being called a psycho, that was completely HUMILIATING. This idiot neighbour just made me… devastated. (I think I would have reacted differently, less humiliated and more pissed off, if the same thing had happened today though… This was ten years ago.)

    @L and Schala: I think the feeling of humiliation when being the victim of a crime depends a lot on victim-blaming. If you know that this is a situation where others will victim-blame you, or particularly if you have internalized this victim-blaming so you start doing it to yourself, that’s when the feeling of humiliation kick in. This is much more common when it’s about sexuality, but might happen with other crimes too. Like my “being called a psycho” example or Schala’s example of a man being beaten by his wife.

  51. Karellen says:

    “You never hear of someone being too humiliated to file a police report for a mugging or bar fight.”

    Hello, delurking here because I feel a compulsion to say something about this. It’s very interesting you’d use the word “bar fight” here. Just what makes it a “fight”? Fights, more often than not, start when someone elects to hits someone else, and (according to a study of uncertain validity cited in a magazine I read), in two thirds of the cases, the other person apparently doesn’t even hit back. And yet, the very term “fight”, as opposed to, say, “assault” or “battery” indicates that there are two or more equal participants, and thus the burden of responsibility is shared by definition.

    The way I see it, the prevailing cultural norm for men is that being subjected to violence and threats of violence is no big deal, and that the thing to do is to suck it up. What’s a couple broken ribs between lads, eh? Eh? Hence this terminology. It’s not inherently humiliating to get into a “fight”, since by calling it that, it’s not like you’re really complaining, right? It also maintains the illusion of agency – the victim decided to go out and get drunk, so it’s really kind of their own fault they ran into other drunk people who happened to be violent.

    This is, basically, internalized victim-blaming; it’s waiving the right to complain and feel bad about about being assaulted and physically harmed to save face and avoid mockery for being a bad sport about something that society doesn’t think is very bad, and which was probably 50% your own fault anyway. It’s the same culture that tells victims of bullying not to tattle.

    It isn’t the same thing as sexual assault, no. Certainly not. But really, the reason we hear so little about it, despite that it happens quite often, actually, is because we live in a culture which belittles violence and threats of violence, and encourages people not to make a big deal out of them.

  52. L says:

    @Dvar: (I’m just going to use this because, I’m sorry, your username is just too damn long and copypastaing it every time gets tiresome :B) Yeah, I’d put insults and the like under the general umbrella of violence too. You know, like how verbal abuse is just as much of a thing as physical and sexual abuse. Some people can stand up to words better than fists– some can’t. I think a person’s capacity to better take some things than others is very clearly gendered and socially conditioned as well.

    As for my own anecdotal opinion and experience (which means little in the scheme of things), I’ve been inundated with sexual harassment and violence, physical and non, far more often than I’ve ever had a hand laid on me. As far as “attention” from strangers, sexual shit gets me far more than being called a dumbass or an idiot or any other such thing that could technically be directed at anyone. Basically any insult that isn’t gendered I can shrug or laugh off, whatever. I’ve also received blows and threatened with physical harm, by strangers and acquaintances alike, and I wasn’t bothered much in those instances. You know, aside from spending the next hour recovering from a slug to the gut that I didn’t see coming. (If I ever start getting anonymous death threats, though, I think it’s safe to say that would bother me.)

    @Schala: I should just start appending every single one of my posts with “With the usual caveats for subjects both directly and indirectly related to the above”.

    Also, your wife beating you isn’t random violence by a stranger, which is more what I was talking about. A street mugging is about as impersonal as a potentially violent crime can get. There’s that same sort of intimacy there with the spousal abuse that cased lawmakers to believe that there was no such thing as marital rape also.

    …with the usual caveats for subjects both directly and indirectly related to the above

  53. Schala says:

    It could also be just about ANY violence, from anyone at all (including police themselves) directed at a trans woman, visibly trans or not. It’s not that it’s necessarily humiliating, it’s that “you had it coming” from “living while trans”, and “going somewhere while trans” (wherever ‘somewhere’ actually is).

    Men get slightly less victim blaming, unless it’s sexual violence, where they actually get more.

  54. AGBirch says:

    You never hear of someone being too humiliated to file a police report for a mugging or bar fight.

    It’s pretty common actually, many people don’t report physical, non-sexual violence because of shame and embarrassment..

  55. L says:

    @AGBirch: Okay, but do we differentiate between a bruised ego and something that actually fucks you up for a while, let alone is traumatizing? I mean, I can only cite from experiences that I’ve had and those that people around me have had, and the delineations they’ve, perhaps unconsciously, made between the “categories” of personal vs. impersonal, humiliating vs. irksome, big deal vs. not a big deal, etc.

    Anyways, my original point still stands: rape isn’t the only thing that falls under the category of sexual violence; just like how being slapped and being stabbed are both “physical violence” all the same.

  56. Engineer Krause says:

    1. Since I was responding to the idea of the rapey card game (which I doubt depicted date or intimate partner rape), my focus was on stranger rape and how the representation occurs.
    2. There are a LOT of kinds of violence. However, rape (and some but not all other sexual assault) and certain nonsexual violence I think have a particularly harmful effect on the mind due to their controlling and torturous aspects. I’d also be interested in distinctions in what happens to soldiers vs. what happens to other people who see/suffer a LOT of violence in both combatative and controlling ways.

  57. Hugh says:

    @ozy: Sorry, you’re quite right, and I’ll try to use the correct terminology in future.

    When I was talking about “furries” earlier I should have been saying “otherkin”. That’s what I meant.

  58. monkey says:

    L: I know someone who was VERY traumatized after being mugged.

  59. Schala says:

    News from Quebec:
    Anonymous supports the students in their movement against the government’s move to raise schooling fees (for tertiary education), and especially its move to have a special law to prevent public manifestations and greatly restrict them.

    The student’s have been manifesting for over 3 months now. The government has made half-hearted attempts to negotiate on other points (not the rise of fees), and then called the students as having bad faith for not wanting to compromise (and accept worse than crap an offer from the government). A government who would (and has in the past) negotiate fast enough with public-sector workers, but would ignore students, in favor of adopting the hardline stance on his policies.

    The government claims to want to rise the schooling fees on the basis of being able to “compete more” with other provinces and states. And according to them, this means following in the footsteps of said provinces and states of charging exhorbitant amounts of money. Money that is then given to administrators of said universities to have very high 6 digit wages and unnecessary fees (as opposed to quality education).

  60. L says:

    @monkey: “With the usual caveats for subjects both directly and indirectly related to the above.”

    Wow, guess I really do need to put that. Too bad there’s no post signature functionality for wordpress.

  61. monkey says:

    L, I didn’t mean that to be an argument or say “you’re wrong.” I’m just talking about the experience of someone I know.

    My take is not to belittle sexual assault, but to say that violence can be traumatizing. And maybe this part *is* being argumentative, but I find that talking about “bruised egos” is often used to belittle men’s pain.

    I was once punched in the nose in the middle of school, causing much bleeding. It may not have been as traumatizing as sexual assault, but it was not nothing.

  62. daelyte says:

    Off topic but, due to an earlier discussion on this site, I created a forum for gender-egalitarian, coed, universal… pickup, dating and relationship advice.

    Coffee_queen asked about Strategies of Approach, especially about messaging guys on dating sites and whether it’s approaching guys at the gym is off limits.

    Also, I just posted a very rough draft of a Mission Statement, and Forum Rules.

    I was hoping for a bit more activity, and maybe a little help?

  63. dancinbojangles says:

    @Daelyte: Rad, good luck! I’ll hop on, though I don’t really have any advice. Not like I”m an expert picker-upper or anything.

  64. daelyte says:

    I think the most important thing is just to start the conversation. There’s a lot we can learn by talking about our experiences, instead of assuming what’s in each others’ heads.

    For example, until I came to this site I never realized the importance of a woman inviting a man to her room for the first time, and the sudden change of tone she may expect in their relationship as a result. For a man it seems like no big deal, because we’re not raised to worry about our safety like that.

    I’m sure it can get even more complicated for those dating while trans, or asexual, or whatever.

    So do you have any questions for the ladies? Rants about dating and relationship issues? Links to relevant articles you want to discuss?

  65. L says:

    @Monkey: Which is why I asked the question to begin with. Because I’ll be damned if there’s nothing in between “life-altering trauma” and “zen bliss” on the scale of How Things Affect People. IMO, pretending that there isn’t for the sake of discussion makes for a pretty useless discussion.

    And for the record, you’re the one that gendered “bruised egos” here, not me. The idea that women don’t have pride is something I find kind of mind-boggling, especially with the narrative that describes all women as competitive, back-stabbing, and superficial harpies. Unless “ego” is used exclusively in reference to men and something else that means exactly the same thing that I don’t know is used for women.

  66. L says:

    @daelyte: Hey, that’s pretty damn neat. Be sure to get some discussion going about internet and long-distance dating as well, seeing as how that sort of thing is on the rise and apparently reliable sources of information about how to be in those kinds of relationships (or even start them) is far and few between.

  67. dancinbojangles says:

    @L: You should do that! At least get it started! Cmoooon, it’ll be fun!

  68. daelyte says:

    That’s a good idea, maybe it should even get its own sub-forum because it’s a broad subject with considerations different from other forms of dating.

  69. Lamech says:
    Search this for “female”. … I mean seriously is the random sexism really needed?
    Also Lamech’s guide to stopping Prison Rape
    1) Camera’s everywhere. They are cheap as hell now everything should be recorded.
    2) If their is a complaint check the camera.
    3) Press Charges against the guilty party. Not any of this administrative in house crap. Its a crime use the justice system. Oh and separate them from the rest of the prison population. This is trivial you have video evidence.
    4) Make sure you have decent rape laws. Also prisoners can’t consent to sex with prison or other state officials.
    5) Significantly reduced repeat offenders.

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