July 27th, 2011
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I just love you!
Now you’ve done it.
Just when we thought it was safe to go back in the Elevator.
Now you are gonna get it!
The very phrase “sisters in skepticism” has a tinge of the ridiculous, doesn’t it?
Hehehe. Moses looks good in those glasses.
What’s the matter Author, not getting enough traffic? 😉
I absolutely love this, I really genuinely do. Thank you!
That’s just like Moses, always laying down the law….
Bad author. No coffee for you.
@FF (from previous). Aw, shucks. Now you done gone and made me all blushy. I love you too.
this was funny,we need something funny after this wery wery bad things happens in Oslo ( norway)
Absolutely fucking brilliant!
Funny! (with a backbone)
Why does this HHGTTG quote spring to mind?
“Curiously enough, the only thing that went through the mind of the bowl of petunias as it fell was Oh no, not again. Many people have speculated that if we knew exactly why the bowl of petunias had thought that we would know a lot more about the nature of the universe than we do now.”
when did The Cock and Bull move to the US? Or has the ‘c’ key seized up?
@KdK – I prefer the US spelling of skeptic.
@ Author – at least I’m less likely to pronounce it as if it were an infection.
@Haggis – exactly!
The girls will be okay. The UN is watching out for them.
Is there a spanking couch here?
’cause I’m sure Author is in deep trouble.
and where’s the limerick?
Clearly, the world needs you, Author.
Excellent. Can’t think of what it’s based on though 😉
I am having flashbacks to a night many years ago, when during a production meeting for the local gay newspaper and I was one of 2 women who were voting members of the collective who ruled by consensus (meaning, I have car and can stay later than you who take the bus) – when one new member of the group started to lecture us 20 something dykes on what it was to be a lesbian, because he’d been around as a gay man in the 1950’s.
Being the early 1990’s we would have had no interest in a 50’s dyke telling us how to be dykes and him even less.
Women know how to be women, they know when they feel intimidated and it’s nothing to do with the man’s intention and everything to do with his considering the time and place and appropriateness – as well as his manner in this approach.
Much like no longer coddling religious sensibilities, it’s time for men to stop expect to be coddled and expect they can do what they whant where they want without thought to appropriateness
I’m sure Richard Dawkins finds this very humorous. Rebecca Watson, on the other hand, won’t have any such sense of irony.
Unfortunately RD was way out of line and should have apologised once he got his brain working again. Proof that a brilliant mind can still have brain farts.
Author, I wouldn’t have touched this one with a barge pole. Very brave of you. Also, very funny. The idea that anybody can tell feminists how to be feminists is pretty funny all on its own. But Moses? Just loved the “confused girls” condescension.
Wow Author, you’ve got a titanium set to take this one on. Especially after a certain someone has bullied people from her lectern and her followers are so rabid.
There’s a rumor that I’m the barmaid, but it must be false, because I wouldn’t say what she said; not after the past couple of weeks. Some of the males in the “atheist community” have in fact revealed a depth of contempt for women that causes me to go cold with despair, and some others have given tacit support to that contempt by saying nothing about it while heaping odium on the “side” that resists it.
In particular, after a week of seeing women called twats and cunts and fucking bitches by one sector of the “atheist community,” I couldn’t possibly say “not particularly, no.”
@ Sondra. I do not agree with this guy’s rhetoric but there is some truth in it, unfortunately.
But is there another way? We have to include them and hope that in some moment they will understand that women might be different but not that threatening. Exclude them and expect them to miraculously change their behaviour seems a bit idealistic. :S
And it really doesn’t take a “titanium set” to take things on. I don’t have a “set” of any kind, but I don’t shy away from controversy.
No Nassar poem?
Is it me, or doesn’t Moses on the flyer look like Dawkins in a fake beard/wig?
That was delightful. I hope the Pharyngula crowd sees this…
The most illuminating (and soul destroying) outcome of this has been to see how many atheists and skeptics believe the correct response to a women who has been made to feel uncomfortable or harassed is to tell her to shut up about it because it could be worse. I guess we just add another name to that list.
Brilliant. And those wondering about the k should check here…
I haven’t had this much fun since the 70s…
Wonderful cartoon. All experiences are equal, but some are more equal than others. 😉
@Ophelia Benson It is unfortunate, not to mention invalid, this conflating testicles with bravery. I’m embarrassed for the less evolved of my gender, and VERY embarrassed that RD has not, as far as I know, apologized. His letter was beyond stupid. But please be aware that there are men on MY side of this issue, the side that says SOME men are complete fucking jerks when it comes to their attitudes toward women. I can’t do anything about the jerks, but I do not want to be counted among them.
All of this being said, I think it’s good that we are talking about all the issues that elevator guy brought to the surface. Men can be educated. It takes time and effort, but it is possible. The more men try to trivialize the discussion, the more they prove your points.
@ Sondra I do agree with this guy’s rhetoric. Because, unfortunately, everything he says is true. Sometimes sarcasm has its place.
Another winner! And by the way, hope you never remove that Giberson blurb over there on the right; it’s priceless!
As an atheist man, I sadly suspect it’s true that there are an awful lot of sexist assholes in the atheist “community”. Anyone who refers to women as “cunts”, or makes “jokes” about raping women, etc, is, in my mind, beneath contempt. To the extent that the phrase “atheist community” can be considered sensible, I certainly don’t want to belong to any “community” that includes those jerks.
I unequivocally reject all statements of the sort, “only a woman is allowed to say which behavior is objectionable; her judgment is absolute and may not be questioned by anyone.”
If your world-view is a rational one, I don’t see how you can put such a crown of godly perfection on ANYBODY. No-one, not man, woman, adult, child, white, black, no-one, can be afforded the status of Papal infallibility; everyone and everything should always be subject to skeptical questioning.
Which of course also means that everything I have said here is open to challenge. And that’s just the way I want it, for myself and for everyone. I don’t understand anyone who calls himself/herself a skeptic and doesn’t agree with this.
Awesome! You evil “mansplainer” you… :-p
I’m trying to remember when Rebecca and the other feminists told other women that had to experience treatment from men the way they do.
I guess I don’t remember it because it was the other way around.
Given a chance, boys and girls
replicate like hyperactive squirrels
The silly fembots
With their panties in knots
Twist in social machinating whirls.
Sondra, nice comment, you have a sense of humor. I wish the UN would “grow a pair” come down a lot harder on our Islamic friends when they want to disgrace women, keep girls out of schools (If the fools stopped to think they might be running off their best scholars), and act as if women were 2nd class citizens. If they had a brain, and used it, they would have realized that they might have robbed another “Margaret Thatcher” or “Golda Meir” of a chance to lead and made the world a better place.
I guess this means we can expect to find that Moses will open a half-way house, for girls that don’t go all the way?
So ladies should now take offence
At each and every occurrence
Of behavior that might
Be seen as a slight
Lads, just put it down to the mense(s)
I’d like to challenge the cartoonists here to try and hold a “profound philosophical discussion” as is noted in the comments notes.
The Bible shows Jesus and Mo could hold their own when called out into a debate. Maybe there is a marginalized bar made, feminist, or resident atheist guru who would like to take up the challenge.
I challenge you to disprove the following article or at least create a cartoon that attempts to reduce it to irrelevant satire:
As far as spam goes, I swear I’m not offering any ready-formed, processed pork, commercial appeals or disruptive comments, as far as the definition of spam goes.
1. Trademark . a canned food product consisting especially of pork formed into a solid block.
2. ( lowercase ) disruptive messages, especially commercial messages posted on a computer network or sent as e-mail.
If anyone needs to “get” this comic it is you, but sadly, it seems beyond you.
I guess you can add me to your list of enemies as well.
Been to long since I really kept up with what was going in the world of skeptics, despite being one, so I didn’t hear about this until reading the links the other commenters kindly supplied. Honestly, I really don’t get it, in the larger sense. Intimidation or discomfort stemming from being a minority in a given group, even without any actual threats or overly overt conduct, is pretty much felt by everyone, ever. It sucks, yeah, but being upset about it, and trying to insult and guilt the majority into changing their behavior, doesn’t really work either. It reminds of all the stories of black people in universities who get flak because other people believe they only got into the college because of affirmative action or something similar. Even if it’s not true in that particular case, the knowledge that special treatment is being handed out causes resentment, undoing any gains achieved. “Get over it” isn’t a great response, no, but honestly, it seems like there are more important things to spend your time doing in the skeptic community (like, y’know, fighting for equality for atheists and rolling back theistic laws and all that) than talking about how some men within it are sexist, because that’s true of basically any group of straight men ever. The best way to handle this problem isn’t a big to-do, but by ignoring it, publically, and working on it bit-by-bit privately.
I can’t think of a clear example of how boys and girls tend to view sex and relationships differently than the reactions to the Rebecca Watson incident. Now, if only there were a science, a psychological science, perhaps? That sought to investigate how the …oh…maybe evolved histories of each sex and therby different adaptions to reproductive challenges, tended to give them different slants on things? Gee, would’nt that be swell? What would we call such an evolution-ma-bob psycholgica-ma-thingy, I wonder? Could someone please invent it for us please?
Read “clearer” for “clear” in previous post. I dun got my lil ol self all over-excited at the prospect of a new and exciting scientific project that no-one has thought of before.
Sorry, but you seem to be saying that reactions to “the Rebecca Watson incident” can be broken down according to gender lines?
That’s just not true.
Nope. I’m saying that boys and girls view the world differently. That’s the bit we in polite society pretend not to know. Then it gets interesting.
The nice boys pretend that they understand exactly what Rebecca Watson was on about (while secretly thinking “Shit! That could have been me in that lift publicly humiliated! Better cover up”)
The nasty boys think “Dumb women, duh, can’t please them–they got da vote what more do they want!? Shee–it!”
The nice girls think “Oh for god’s sake ease up, Rebecca–he just asked for a coffee after you stayed up until four in the morning getting pissed with him” While the nasty girls think “Hah, another chance to give the phallocentric rapist edifice a kicking–take that penises!”
Of course the only people the nasty boys really upset are the nasty girls (the nice girls tend to ignore them), and the only people the nasty girls upset is the nice boys (nasty boys ignore them).
Darwin Harmless – oh I know! There are lots of such men…just not quite as many as I had thought.
Of course I am also saying that a bit of attention payed to evolutionary theory as it pertains to human beings might shed light on why males tend to over-interpret signs of friendliness as sexual interest, and females tend to over-interpret signs of sexual interest as threats.
It’s called the smoke alarm principle: http://tiny.cc/bkry0
Essentially, each sex has slightly different cost/benefit biases as regards opportunity costs for lost matings (males) vs the catastrophic results of forced matings (females) leading to emotional and cognitive biases.
Once again-attention paid to such biases can help correct them, just as we do with (e.g.) laws, institutions etc to correct the bias towards nepotism.
“silly fembots” “panties” “grow a pair” “Lads, just put it down to the mense(s)” “the nasty girls think “Hah, another chance to give the phallocentric rapist edifice a kicking–take that penises!””
Gee, I can’t imagine why women would start to think maybe “the atheist community” isn’t quite as liberal and universalist and egalitarian as they had thought.
Thanks, that is somewhat clearer.
I don’t think I agree with you at all and that does seem to be a terribly binary way of viewing things. (and arbitrarily so – nice/nasty -WTF?)
Hell, to date I’ve seen barely any agreement as to exactly what the disagreements over the “Rebecca Watson incident” are about.
Still, just so long as we maintain our commitment to free sceptical enquiry and respect one another’s right to differing opinions.
~runs like hell
Ophelia: “Gee, I can’t imagine why women would start to think maybe “the atheist community” isn’t quite as liberal and universalist and egalitarian as they had thought.”
I’m also guilty of tending to project onto my “fellow atheists” those other opinions which I hold and therefore regard as correct, but I’m starting to wise up. The fact that someone is an atheist may make him/her statistically more likely to hold certain other opinions, but the numbers we’re dealing with are so large as to make this observation close to useless in one-on-one or even small-group encounters.
As an example, if all we knew about two people were that one was an atheist and one a Christian, and that one was pro-life, the other pro-choice, we’d all tend to jump to a certain conclusion. But what if the atheist were Christopher Hitchens and the Christian Nancy Pelosi? (Apologies for the intellectual disparity, but you get my point.)
I’m ready to chuck the whole “atheist community” idea, at least as it applies to the attendees of atheist conventions, as one of those Vonnegut granfalloons. The “atheist community” is a group of joiners who like to go to conventions, wear funny hats, and meet fellow geeks, and therefore an atheist conventioneer is very likely to have more in common with a sex-starved adolescent comic book fan than with Bertrand Russell.
If I have the chance to attend a talk by Richard Dawkins or Dan Dennett, I’ll jump at it, but I won’t attend any atheist conventions. My attitude toward them has become the same as Kurt Vonnegut’s attitude toward science-fiction conventions.
First Mr Deity, now Jesus and Mo. You know you’re in the right when the comedians are on your side!
oriole, I never have really believed in “the atheist community,” which is why I keep scare-quoting it. But I suppose I did think there was something of an online “community” of like-minded atheists…and I suppose I still do but I think of that “community” as a good deal smaller than it was two or three weeks ago. The atheists who sneer and jeer at feminism and those who call women cunts and fucking bitches are not part of that one; in short, two “communities” where I thought there was one.
I don’t attend atheist conventions either, except ones that invite me to talk.
Notung – Your comments on Abbie’s thread are all reasonable in themselves. Are you not in the least bothered by the use of “Twatson”? By all the cunting and fucking bitch-ing? Do you really like your company there?
@Ophelia. Sorry to rattle your cage, and sorry that you had an unpleasant encounter. Sorry to disagree with you as well–I often enjoy what you say and have recommended it to others on many occasions.
Not sorry to stand by what I said. I think men and women should make a little bit more effort to understand each other, and not adopt a: “Gotcha! Told ya so! You see they are all bitches/bastards” attitude.
I don’t find anything to admire in either male or female chauvinism–both of which I find to be intellectually cowardly.
OK, watching this place of all places go from zero to Slimepit* in under sixty seconds was sobering, and not in a good way.
*see link in Ophelia’s first comment
I love this site. It makes me smile each and every time I get that new link. Richard Dawkins and any other man (atheist or not) who tries to tell me how I should feel or how I should act can kiss my middle aged hot a$$. Until you’ve been on the receiving end of unwanted and even scary advances, you don’t know sh!t. If it were up to me all young adolescent men would have to spend time in a prison whereby they were placed in an environment where the power play is switched up and they have to watch/defend their a$$es. Then come and tell me that we should all be pleased to have any attention paid to us.
Daoloth, well oddly enough I too think women and men should not adopt a: “Gotcha! Told ya so! You see they are all bitches/bastards” attitude, but I don’t see that as being the only issue here. It’s Rebecca Watson who is being called every name in the book, not her critics.
Seeking Comfort – I think you have the meaning of the toon reversed. Moses isn’t portraying Dawkins.
Ophelia: I don’t like swearing and insults in general, and as a result I haven’t commented much there recently. I’d prefer it if they stopped, though I suspect for almost all of them it is motivated by mere anger/frustration/dislike of an individual rather than actual sexism or misogyny.
This Rebecca Watson fuss made me *facepalm* so hard. Lot’s of otherwise smart people that don’t know when to shut up. Anyway I hope this will settle it:
@ophelia – yeah, i got it…
(Sorry, Seeking. I just thought the first two sentences didn’t lead into what followed; beg pardon.)
Notung – but that’s just it – if “mere anger/frustration/dislike of an individual” emerges as cunt fucking bitch Twatson – that is misogyny. It’s not just swearing. By the same token, if a white person feels anger/frustration/dislike for a black individual, there’s no law of anger and dislike that says that has to emerge in racial epithets. If it does, that’s racism.
I love this to bits. Brilliant & spot-on 🙂
Ophelia: I’m just talking about their motivation really. Perhaps certain words are inherently sexist (although I’m not sold on this), but I think it is possible to say something racist (for instance) without actually being a racist. I realise that I have just said something hugely controversial…
Either way, I may not know much about theories of meaning but I know what I like. What I don’t like is putting personal insults in place of arguments, as there’s really nothing to be gained by it.
Ah, Miranda. How do you feel about “Twatson”? Is that brilliant and spot-on too?
Notung, I suppose it’s possible to say something racist (for instance) without actually being a racist, but that’s not really the point. The point is that it’s not possible to say something racist without saying something racist. It’s not about the “soul” of the agent, it’s about the act.
@ Daolath – “The nice boys pretend that they understand exactly what Rebecca Watson was on about (while secretly thinking “Shit! That could have been me in that lift publicly humiliated! Better cover up”).
A bit late in replying, but as one of the “nice boys” (nice old man more like, ask Mrs Brains), I resent the implication that even nice guys are simply pretending to agree, while secretly thanking fortune that it wasn’t them in the lift (sorry – elevator). Some of us are genuinely appalled at the stupidity and insensitivity of “elevator guy”.
Interesting to see that no-one so far has risen to the bait offered by Templestream. I had a look at his website, but started to lose the will to live after a few paragraphs (and not just to try to have a near death experience), so cannot honestly comment. Perhaps leave it to Author to come up with a suitable put -down.
Daolaoth: ssentially, each sex has slightly different cost/benefit biases as regards opportunity costs for lost matings (males) vs the catastrophic results of forced matings (females) leading to emotional and cognitive biases.
You’ve got to love naturalizing your own political biases! Why not just search how “God made ’em” in the Bible?
You want to go from evolutionary forces affecting variation in a subset of base pairs over millions of years under highly variable conditions — and predict from that biases in behavior in the short term under novel conditions?
What kind of psychotic would think that you can from the paltry information we have on the evolutionary forces on human beings to predicting significant differences in psychology today? This is at about the intellectual level of positing that possibly different seasonal cycles among human ancestors half a million years ago created genetic variation leading to psychological differences among human populations today.
It’s ludicrous to use the inherently unknowable as the base for pseudo-scientific speculation, like evo-psych. Pseudo-scientific “common sense” is even more destructive than religious lies. At least the lies are obvious.
Love it. Fine for Rebecca Watson to complain, not so fine for anyone who didn’t agree to be told they were blind agents of patriarchy. Female, agreed with RD, or rather RD agreed with me since had own reaction before I read his comments. I am not *that* nice by the way. A half century of feminism tends to free of you the urge to be sweet all the time.
I never understood why “balls” are measure of courage, given that the average boobs are much bigger than balls.
Daoloth, you don’t seem to have a category for “rational adults”.
@Ophelia. I am in general agreement with the “gender traitors” and, of course, RD. I am curious why you presume to know what’s in my mind. You seem quite certain that I have contempt for women. You don’t like it when we think we know what it’s like to be a woman; why are you so quick to think you know what it’s like to be me. I think there are many explanations other than contempt (or some form of evil non-egalitarianism), some quite reasonable, for what I think of this whole situation.
@AJ. You hit the nail on the head. This whole thing is a matter of *opinion*, not fact.
Moses telling women how to be feminists is pretty funny, so I’m not writing off the author as totally clueless yet. Yeah, it can be read otherwise, but it’s not like Moses is the voice of reason in this strip.
Daoloth, on the other hand, is either an idiot or has not seen anything of what Rebecca Watson actually said. As compared to what the screaming howling mob say that she said. (Hint 1: RW had not been staying up until 4am drinking with the guy. First contact was the proposition in the lift.)
joe: So what you are saying is that millions of years of evolution and gender roles are utterly irrelevant and have no effect on anyone, ever? Or are you saying that because no one knows for sure, we have to pretend like it doesn’t exist? Either of those answers is perhaps correct in a strictly scientific sense, but inapplicable to real life. THAT is like applying a 2000 year old text to current life. The vast majority of studies to date show that there are gender differences built-in, that there is definately a “nature” aspect no matter how one is “nurtured”. Dismissing all the existing data, even if it’s not alot, is not scientific, it’s political.
Ophelia; I disagree. Racist comments require racism, sexist comments require sexism. I mean, I’ve seen lots of women call men “dicks” without being sexist. I’ve seen women call other women “bitch” without hating their own gender. Just because these words are gender-specific, it doesn’t mean the user is sexist, as in both cases, one could use the word “asshole” to the same effect. The point is merely to insult someone, and certain words, with built-in limitations, only work on certain people. Calling a white guy the N-word is seen as silly, even if the user meant the same level of insult regardless of race.
Also, let’s not forget that most of what we are seeing on this is online. People burst out with every manner of anger and rage online and don’t in real life. I’ve actually lost friends because people I got along with for years started getting on Facebook or whatever else, and suddenly started just tearing into people. Perfectly nice folk became preaching (not always literal), loudmouthed, narcissists online. I don’t think it’s fair to say that 95% of the population is really evil because they are jerks online; they just stop feeling empathy and consideration for their words. But that’s just me; I became an atheist partially because I didn’t buy into the idea of human depravity, because I thought people were generally good.
Is this unbelievably good satire? Are you making the point that when male patriarchal figure dismisses an obvious cases of sexism concerning an example of sexual objectification in the sceptical/atheist community using an appeal to the unharmed, that the dismissal itself damages both women in particular and men by association? If so it’s damned subtle. I’m glad that the author has the chutzpah to approach such an important issue via the medium of faux oblivious comedy.
That is it? Isn’t it?
My $1/50 (having followied the kerfuffle cursorily): both parties at fault… i give “e-guy” a bit of a benefit of the doubt: likely a socially-awkward atheist geek [takes one to know one], starstruck by Rebecca. He clumsily overstepped his bounds, made a somewhat dehumanizing proposal. Creepy, but hopefully without overly salacious intent [?].
RW took the event to heart, and felt it necessary to make a larger point. Admirable in a sense, but also less than respectful, to make an “example” of someone. If she’d just called him out at the time, this whole thing might have been avoided. (Not easy, I realize, given the situation.) More discretion = less drama.
Still with me? Dawkins sticks his well-heeled, confrontational foot in it. Perhaps a multi-generation gap makes it tough for him to view someone who labels themself “chick” as an actualizedl feminist (whatever that means). Cue the shitstorm. Yes, it all pales beside larger events. Still, worth discussion. Sexual dimorphism is a double-edged sword. (phallocentric, but it’s all i’ve got…) Can’t we all just get along as sexual beings, make babies and raise them as freethinkers? The “enlightened bonobo” way? 🙂
This whole shit storm seems to be losing the thread of what happened. Here’s a reminder. A woman explained that being hit on in an elevator early in the morning was something that made her uncomfortable. A famous intellectual responded with scathing sarcasm, basically telling her to shut up because others are treated so very much worse (as if that is somehow relevant). That’s it. That’s what happened.
My opinion: the woman made a very valid point and the famous intellectual is the one who should have shut up. Having failed to shut up, he should apologize. Where did he get off trivializing another person’s discomfort? Truly asinine, and I say this as one of his biggest fans.
Anybody who puts the woman down for expressing her discomfort is a complete fucking idiot. She had a right. She was right. Nobody can tell another person that their issues are trivial. That’s just bullshit.
@doaloth I’m with HaggisForBrains in being offended by the suggestion that I am only pretending to be disgusted by the behavior of some other men. More offended by the suggestion that I empathize in any way with elevator guy. Trust me, I truly am disgusted. And while I suspect you are trying to be light and sardonic, on this occasion you slipped off the high moral ground and hit the gutter.
@DH and HfB. Ah, bless!
I guess that you both are either kind of gorgeous hunks that have to fight women off at every turn, or are either celibate. In either case you are far too elevated types for lil ol me to be debating with. I am used to normal humans.
The sort of boys I am used to (not your elevated selves, of course!) sometimes make clumsy, unwanted passes which can be typically handled without slamming their ego into the floor in a big “look at me” production.
Try to understand what it’s like for those poor boys, eh guys-not everyone has your godlike qualities of mind-reading, irresistablity or sexlessness.
Seriously. People–can we raise the tone in here somewhat? This is getting pathetic.
@SeekingComfort: *Feels hot anger rise to my head* I AM a man who as a 15 year old WAS put into prison, and I KNOW what this debate is about on that level, ok? (*fights hard to suppress misogynic expletives*) Wishing this on anyone only shows to me that YOU don’t!
@Mrs Benson: About the name-calling. *Trying to chose words very carefully not to step on any toes while sticking to his curiosity* As Daoloth pointed out, certainly any kind of name-calling in a debate is impolite and needlessly charges the debate with hostile motions and thus makes any sort of resolution less likely. But… it usually isn’t percieved to be as low to call a man an arsehole as it is to call a woman a cunt, or so it seems to me. Or a “dick”, or whatever, you know. Like Moses does in the comic, the feelings of women are still considered more delicate, the offense worse. I am not saying it isn’t misogyny… just that misogyny seems to be percieved to be a worse offence than misandry. Same about the inciting elevator incident… not only does the threat of “rape” still seems to loom so large, it also still carries this smack of the “fate worse than death”. And I really do not want to down play it. Seriously. I do know what I talk about (queer in juvie, so…). What I mean to, um, wonder about, is how somewhere on the verge between conscious and sub-conscious in this debate on the one hand women are being seen as “naturally” weak victims and men as vile aggressors (by both men and women), but on the other hand all those structure inequalities (being cut of more often, lower expectations of work excellency, etc) are all there and real, and it is hard to keep both levels emotionally apart, so that there never is any clarity in the discussion… fuck… I screwed that up… maybe someone can untangle it, it’s just a feeling I always get in these debates that makes me feel all helpless and unscientific and unable to form an opinion on either side. It feels as if somehow there are two discussions being held at once, with participants switching from one to the other at will and muddling things up.
@Daoloth and others: I think finding reasons for the apparent difference between men and women is so hard bc it’s an issue where everyone has a bias and a strong emotional investment. Maybe you’re right and the bias is that smoke alarm thingy. But maybe the smoke alarm theory is just an expression of another bias, maybe one created by culture teaching boys to want to conquer and girls to want to stay pure. I don’t know, but from all I’ve seen nobody does, and everybody just subscribes to that theory that best legitimises their own feeings – wherever those feeling really come from. We would need to invent some method to substract bias from our search for the truth… and standards how to measure this attempted ‘objectivity’… oh damn, we do. It’s called science. So why can’t anyone find an answer on this that peeps can actually agree on even if it goes against what they wish is the truth?
@Paula and others: Again, speaking only from my experience as a queer bloke (who grew up mainly amongst expat muslims and catholics desperately struggling to prove their manliness in a culture that marginalised them and made them feel impotent) – while I can feel the angry gut feeling that nobody but those who experienced it have a right to talk about being a victim, I don’t think it’s a very practical approach. For purely political reasons: This bellingerent group thinking only deepens the chasms to “we against them”. And the goal must be to bridge the differences and find ways to understand each other, feel empathy and mutual respect. Not to create island protectorates. Even if the Moseses make fools of themselves every now and then, let’s slowly and carefully explain to them where they are wrong, not try to gag them into silence with guilt.
@ John: I’m not certain Mrs Thatcher or even Mrs Meir actually made the world a better place. But then of course, neither have Mr. Reagan or Mr. Netanjahu, so that’s probably more to do with them having been politicians than them having been of any particular gender. ^_^
Congrats, FreeFox. You get the last word on this subject. I’m closing comments down now. Emotions are running high, and I don’t have the time to keep a constant eye on proceedings. Apologies to anyone who is in the process of replying to anything. It’s for the best.