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Dec 11 2006

‘Future Rapist’ mistakes feminist blogger for Dear Abby

The Twisty inbox is a violent and depressing place. Behold, by way of example, an excerpt :

“I got a disturbing comment on my blog today, from a guy who wanted to know how to avoid becoming a rapist.”

This email is from Thinking Girl, who posted the semi-literate would-be rapist’s psychotic remarks on her blog. These remarks reveal a chappie in a state of stunning oblivion; unable to distinguish between sex and violence, he views “women’s [sic] and girls in skirts and tops” as receptacles he’s just gotta penetrate, seems bummed that Thinking Girl does not advocate blaming the victim even a little bit, and asks “how he/she is going to mark a line in between seduction and attempt to rape or rape.”

Despite the gnawing suspicion that a dude calling himself ‘Future Rapist’ might be a troll, Thinking Girl offers a calm and measured response. She explains the facts of life to him, such as why women’s and girls might be wearing those skirts and tops in the first place. She gives him tips for interpreting body language. She reminds him that “rape is not only wrong and immoral, but also illegal.” She suggests that ‘when in doubt, go without!’ is the best policy.

She then wrote to me, wondering if I thought any of you cynical chumps might have anything to add.

As for me, I admire Thinking Girl for taking such a patient and articulate whack at him, but my bleak worldview prevents me from imagining for a second that ‘Future Rapist’ isn’t just what he says he is. If this sociopath had written me that ” [...] when women’s and girls are very open, I could hardly control myself,” I would have called for immediate prophylactic castration.

Of course, educating pornsick men in the finer points of rising above their natural impulse for vicious savagery is not really my line.

193 comments

1 ping

  1. Pinko Punko

    So the patriarchy either makes them that way or they are that way, and of course some people are that way. How black must our world view be to be accurate? I would prefer to have the patriarchy be responsible, just as its all powerful tentacles mold and shape women, certainly it must also shape men to conform. I supposed this is why I am troubled by the extent of the generalization, but I don’t need a list of dudely atrocities in response, I know that part is definitely true. It is the source of the dudely atrocities that I ponder.

    Crazy future rapist operates within the framework of patriarchy in being a reluctant psychopath. This asshole is not what I am thinking about. I wonder about the patriarchy. Does the patriarchy exist because men just are that way, or is it a social framework that self-perpetuates because it empowers one class over another?

  2. Twisty

    My own semi-untutored suspicion is that patriarchy evolved (in a social, not a biological, sense) because it produced favorable results, species-survial-wise, in stone age societies. Of course it had an untoward effect on individuals (the females, duh), but it kept reproduction clipping right along. And it kind of caught on, I guess.

    Of course, nowadays, rape isn’t quite as necessary for the success of the species as it used to be, but old habits die hard.

  3. Pinko Punko

    It is just so goddamned depressing. I think of very sick individuals and I think of them as little kids and that they were either born that way (some are) or screwed up beyond belief by a combination of society in general and the fact that a long chain of getting screwed up acted on their parents and then them. In this light, the Twisty fatwa against breeding seems enlightened. Hello, Monday, same as every other day, only more so.

  4. maiken

    If this sociopath had written me that ” […] when women’s and girls are very open, I could hardly control myself,” I would have called for immediate prophylactic castration.

    Twisty, here is a sincere question: do you mean this comment jokingly, or is this a policy you would actually support?

  5. HermitWithAVengeance

    IMHO, the “future rapist” commenter on TG’s blog was serious and joking. There is a precise lit crit term for this, but I’m not going to look it up today. Today I will use pop shorthand — think, Beavis and Butthead. Hey, Beavis — heheh, heh. What is it, Butthead (heheh heh)? How do you, like, you know, heheh, heh, screw a lady without, heheh heh, being a rapist?

    It’s serious in that the speaker (Butthead, in my example) can’t imagine himself seducing a woman without her putting forth significant protestation (and for good reason — for to him, sex is defilement and domination). It’s serious in that he thinks rape is funny (and he knows his peers do, too). And finally, it’s dead serious in that a Butthead with this attitude probably is a future (and/or present/past) rapist.

    But he’s laughing. Sometimes we laugh because something is so freakish or scary (out of our realm of comprehension — illogical — funny), or because someone else is laughing. Laughter is a funny thing like that.

    I’m no Twisty, but I think one appropriate response is to match this serious/joking tone by calling for immediate prophylactic castration. It’s sort of a way of saying: Hey, Butthead — I’m serious if you are. It avoids assuming what one is responding to is serious OR joking, thus cutting off the ol’ “I was joking/serious” riposte.

  6. Twisty

    Lemme ask you this, Maiken. Just how many destroyed female lives are a sociopath’s nuts worth?

  7. maiken

    I’m not sure why *my* opinion determines whether *you* were serious or not, but if you’re asking me to express my opinion first, I would have to go with “pre-emptive punishment is not morally acceptable”.

    Now will you tell me if you were serious?

  8. mel

    Well, Thinking Girl was a lot nicer than I would have been.

    Yeah, I think this guy was just “pushing her buttons.” And yet I don’t doubt that there are men who actually think and feel that way.

    Didn’t we just deal with guys who were all “just kidding” with that New Hampshire student who wrote about the safe-sex poster? Weren’t they all so funny? Rape, mutilation, humiliation, burning, killing, etc. They were a laugh a minute.

    I think our society breeds more and more every day guys who really can’t make the distinction between consensual sex and rape. We have porn to thank for that. We can also thank porn and plastic surgery for the fact that many men don’t even know what “real” women’s bodies look like, and when they see real women’s bodies, they get terribly disappointed and even angry.

    I really think at this point most men would just rather jerk off to porn. Anything they have with women these days seems so strange and weird. Bit of a tangent there, sorry.

  9. Pony

    Not a tangent at all Mel. Right on target.

  10. Twisty

    Maiken, the answer is, of course I’m serious. What’s so sacred about nuts, anyway? As body parts go, they are completely expendable. Over the past year I’ve had my uterus, my ovaries, and both my boobs hacked off, and I’m here to tell you that life goes on without sex organs.

    I know, I know. You’re concerned with due process. Good old due process. That’s where if a guy says to you “The mere sight of a woman makes me want to rape her,” you wait until the system gets catches up with him, if it catches up with him, maybe after the 10th or 20th or 40th time he rapes someone, and then lock him up for 18 months, where he can pick up tips from other sexual predators. Then you suggest that he go to therapy, and you send out postcards, like the ones they send me from time to time, notifying the neighborhood that a sex offender has just moved in next door so lock up your daughters.

  11. Twisty

    Whups again. I blamed prematurely, before I was done with my comment.

    The point I was going to make, which I already sorta made in the initial post, is that my view as a radical feminist blogger is necessarily not a nut-centric one. Rapists and their mental problems and their legal status are undoubtedly fascinating to some, but not to me. This blog’s concern is with women and how we are to remain in our natural, happy-go-lucky unraped state.

  12. grrr kitty

    See, I think it’s disingenuous at best when someone says they don’t understand the difference between seduction & rape.

  13. Pony

    I think seduction is very often rape, and not just when the victim is 10. I’m not one who needs an emergency room physician to give his stamp of approval on it.

  14. finnsmotel

    “Despite the gnawing suspicion that a dude calling himself ‘Future Rapist’ might be a troll”

    His post does read an awful lot like a Borat quote.

    “women’s and girls”

  15. finnsmotel

    “See, I think it’s disingenuous at best when someone says they don’t understand the difference between seduction & rape.”

    I think it’s really difficult to read someone’s comments without our own cultural biases creeping in.

    What constitutes ‘rape’ has evolved in US culture over time. To “take your good wife” used to be as common as kerosene lanterns. Not so much anymore.

    So, if that person is not a troll (though I highly suspect it’s someone who’s seen Borat a few too many times), it’s likely that he’s dealing with some culture shocks.

  16. maiken

    ((boggle))

    Twisty, of *course* I’m concerned with due process, since the man we’re talking about *hasn’t done anything wrong yet*, and yet you think the most logical thing to do, from among all the possible courses of action, is to forcibly mutilate him just in case?

    This blog’s concern is with women and how we are to remain in our natural, happy-go-lucky unraped state.

    Are you concerned with addressing that concern *in the real world*, where laws actually matter and other humans have rights even if you’re suspicious of them, or only in some kind of parallel universe where your whim is law and you get to castrate whomever you like without repercussion?

    I mean this question seriously. Will you be drafting a letter to your Congressperson calling on them to support the Castrate Any Man Twisty Doesn’t Like bill? Your blog is just fantasy, and inflammatory fantasy at that, if you take the tack of your last comment and breezily refuse to consider whether the courses of action you call for are legal, ethical, sustainable, or practical.

  17. Hattie

    I think she should report this posting to the URL it came from. And keep all the postings in a file. These things start with a little bit of harassment and escalate. Speaking as a woman who has worked around sex offenders, I would add, don’t get roped into looking at anything from his point of view, or trying to understand. Just cut ‘em off.
    OOPs. Meant cut him off, of course.

  18. CannibalFemme

    Maiken: in my experience, very few reasonable courses of action open to me as a woman are legal, ethical, sustainable and/or practical. If I move too far off the beam of what’s necessary for my sanity and survival, I am compromised, not to mention vulnerable.

    I do disagree with your assertion that the man in question ‘hasn’t done anything wrong yet’, but that’s a personal thing. He’s done enough. And as for his rights, as far as I’m concerned he invalidated those when he chose to do what he did.

    As for the castration-without-repercussion law, well, that law, unlike most of the ones designed to protect women from predatory assholes, would matter.

  19. Jodie

    There’s always chemical castration. Involves no cutting whatsoever.

  20. Ron Sullivan

    Your blog is just fantasy, and inflammatory fantasy at that,

    It’s all about the mayo, kid.

  21. Q Grrl

    Maiken: my six-month-old border collie can tell the difference between a receptive and non-receptive bitch and I’m *definitely* neutering him. I would think that castration would be a balm to the troubled minds of adult male humans who as yet cannot tell the difference between rape and seduction. Unless, of course, those males just want to make women responsible for their future rapes and are just trying out some fair-warning system.

    Funny how you jump all over the notion of castration but fail to find the threat of rape noteable. Castration of men = mutilation. ? Rape of women = normative?

  22. Hattie

    Picked right up on it, didn’t you? Snip, snip. Of course we blamers all want to castrate men.

  23. Nick M

    I think I understand why we are young onions. Maybe the first peel came off today. Reading the responses in the case of the UNH student made me think, for the first time really. Wow – men really do seem to hate women.

    And then today I thought, on my own – funny that violent sports when men play them are sexy sports when it’s women beating the crap out of one another – Heavyweight Fights versus Foxy Boxing. Could there be something hateful in there? It seems that way.

    I wouldn’t have had the mental equipment to even have that thought a couple weeks ago, frankly. I guess I’m learning to Blame.

  24. Twisty

    Maiken, the “man we’re talking about” doesn’t exist. Thus his precious scrotum is safe from my rusty feminist axe.

    Have the laws to which you so glowingly allude mitigated in the slightest the threat of institutionalized, class-based violence to which women are relentelssly subject? No, they have not. Therefore I submit that they are less ethical, sustainable, and practical than any hideous prevention scheme I could come up with.

    Finn, “what constitutes rape” has always been the same. In the US, the way rape is defined, in social if not legal contexts, is what’s changed, largely due to women’s inflammatory fantasies about a rape-free world.

  25. CannibalFemme

    Some other thoughts, while I’m babbling.

    On seduction -vs- rape: oddly enough, I’m with Mr. Future Rapist on this one. Watching seduction happen is actively painful for me. Not as painful as witnessing rape, but still painful. It’s a manipulation, whether it’s flying under the flag of ‘seduction’ or ‘flirtation’: it’s covert, indirect, passive-aggressive, and makes big red alarms go off in my head. Which is why I don’t tend to hang out in bars much, or turn my TV on.

    On testicular threatening: many years ago, an ex-girlfriend of mine registered me for levels 1-3 of Model Mugging as a birthday gift, in a touching but futile attempt to assuage my predilection for getting in fights with men bigger than I am. At the first class, the teacher told us that we were going to do some simple drills with the muggers, in that we’d each knee them in the groin over and over until we’d knocked them across the room. She said that we were doing this right off to ‘break social conditioning’, at which point I said ‘huh?’, and she said that most participants had a really, really hard time doing actual full-contact groinal violence. Which, to my dumbfounded amazement, they did: women cried, flinched, cringed away, and even threw up when faced with this task. It was a serious eye opener for me. I knew how men felt about their dangly bits, but I’d had no clue that so many women were willing to feel that way too.

  26. finnsmotel

    “Finn, “what constitutes rape” has always been the same. In the US, the way rape is defined, in social if not legal contexts, is what’s changed, largely due to women’s inflammatory fantasies about a rape-free world.”

    That’s what I meant. I need to stop posting today. My brain is still suffering from the power outtage we had last week.

  27. thinkinggirl

    aw, you guys! thanks for the comments in support of my post. Since I haven’t heard back from the ‘Future Rapist’, I am going to assume that he’s either too shy to respond or didn’t really care all that much to begin with. That’s fine, either way.

    The more important thing is, we are all talking about this.

    I actually don’t think there is a big difference between seduction and rape, either. I didn’t go into it much in my post, but I believe that the cultural scripts around sex, sexual attraction, sexual arousal, and seduction are really really REALLY damaging and can and do lead to relationship problems, intimacy problems, objectification of women (and sometimes men, but I’m not as worried about that), and indeed, rape.

    And I think Twisty’s got a point – although I don’t support genital mutilation, I do support stopping rape in any way that works. Since what we’ve been doing hasn’t worked thus far, perhaps we need to think about other options. Rape isn’t taken seriously as a criminal offence: many women don’t even report rape, conviction rates are low, and convictions result in sentences that are insulting to the victim and women as a whole. Considering that most people are pretty quick to blame the victim in a million and one ways anyway, what sense is it relying on the legal system to protect and defend women? Rape is a hate crime, I firmly believe that, and the way society deals with rape is not only offensive, but is a threat to women’s citizenship. Rape has to be stopped, and if the government isn’t going to make that happen, then we’ve got to think about other ways to make it happen. Although I don’t at all support making it the victim’s responsiblity to avoid rape – rapists are repsonsible for rape, not victims – I can tell you, I wouldn’t think twice about slicing and dicing a little man-meat to avoid being raped.

  28. ribbit

    Reading this made me think of a device I heard about recently. Basically it is a chastity belt with some pretty satisfying (to the victim) punishments to any would-be rapists.

    “The Rapex rape prevention device has been delayed until late this year. As you may remember, the gadget goes inside of a woman and clamps down on a rapist’s penis to force him into getting medical attention, which in turn will alert the authorities that he is a rapist(or the victim of a horrible practical joke).”

    http://www.gizmodo.com/gadgets/gadgets/rapex-the-rape-prevention-device-delayed-182437.php

    Some think it would lead to more violence against women. I think it is a great idea. Justice is immediate and pertinent.

    p.s. I am a first time blamer.

  29. maiken

    Maiken, the “man we’re talking about” doesn’t exist.

    He doesn’t? I thought we were talking about the real human being, presumed male, who send an email to Thinking Girl, and that you are, as you clarified, literally in favor of his forced castration. Have I misunderstood?

    Have the laws to which you so glowingly allude mitigated in the slightest the threat of institutionalized, class-based violence to which women are relentelssly subject? No, they have not.

    Please. For one thing, I’m sure even you could point out at least one law that has been positive for women. For another thing, I don’t see why your opinion of existing laws would make it OK to deliberately advance policy that is unethical or irresponsible.

    Therefore I submit that they are less ethical, sustainable, and practical than any hideous prevention scheme I could come up with.

    Twisty, you do yourself an injustice. I’m positive you could invent at last half a dozen “hideous preventions schemes” that would be a definite step backwards for our civilization without even trying.

    CannibalFemme, for one, seems to be taking your proposal perfectly seriously. She says:

    He’s done enough. And as for his rights, as far as I’m concerned he invalidated those when he chose to do what he did.

    So, just to recap, the public policy proposal under discussion here is that, in the event that a male writes an email like the one sent to Thinking Girl, this act instantly invalidates all their human rights, and we should send people with guns to their house to hold them down and amputate a chunk of their sex organs.

    This place is surreal. Perhaps I’m mistaking this for an actual social-commentary blog when, in fact, it is just a forum for violent revenge fantasies?

  30. ribbit

    When I was writing my previous post I could not put my finger on a certain word I wanted to use so I went to an online thesaurus. I was disturbed to find that when I searched for synonyms of violent that the results included: passionate and aroused! Unbelievable.

    http://thesaurus.reference.com/browse/violent

  31. scratchy888

    in my experience, very few reasonable courses of action open to me as a woman are legal, ethical, sustainable and/or practical.

    Yes– I have found this to be true as a female and as a proletarian. Supposing, for example, just one patriarch has it in for you because you are too certain of yourself or too full of the joys of life to sufficiently kowtow to the patriarchy? I have found that to have just one patriarch gunning for you can severely limit, in the long term: one’s health, one’s career prospects, one’s credibility (and so on).

    Why does it have to be that way? — Mostly because all the other patriarchs show their true colours in such a situation. At the very least, they will not step in to help you or to see it your way. And the women? Generally, they are just as blinded — terrified.

  32. yankee transplant

    Another excellent post.

  33. scratchy888

    Castration of men = mutilation. ? Rape of women = normative?

    I think the overarching meanings of this come from symbolic thinking. To be concice, women are always positioned, generwise, as masochists, and men are positioned “naturally” as sadists.

    So, to mutiliate a man is to do something to him which only a masochist (a woman) would supposedly tolerate, without going insane. To be raped, however, a masochist can tolerate, indeedy, and still not feel that her role in life has been radically altered.

  34. scratchy888

    Oh dear. Me typem too fast. Apologies.

    Should have been: “To be concise, women are always positioned, genderwise,”

  35. jaye

    I am with Maiken.

    If we surrender to the urge to respond with violence to every obviously mentally ill remark we are just like rapist who respond to every woman with violent penetration.

    If a woman is being raped she can choose to fight back even kill her attacker but I don’t think I can make that decision for another woman.

    But to suggest that a mentally ill man deserves violence isn’t feminist. It is psychotic. Like a rapist.

    Oh wait, there I go again thinking that well thinking people have advanced. Damn that Enlightenment and its romantic view that we progress as we move through history.

    So we are back to the Dark Ages–violence against mentally ill, violence for law breakers, meet one violation with another violation. And if we think that women are some how ruined if we aren’t in our happy go lucky unraped natural state then we are buying into one of the oldest tenants of patriarchy–the value of the pure vagina!

    Women are just fine whether we have been raped or not, whether we are cursed with awareness or not. We are not less valuable if we have been raped. If we mutilate our attacker then we are saying that he stole something valuable, something on par with a murderer stealing our lives. We don’t execute rapists because to do so would mean that the rape victim can never recover.

    Which is rather like making us into either pre victims or post victims.

  36. kitkat

    Twisty, would you please consider writing a post (now that this has so many comments…I think it’d get lost…*sigh*–kind of have to get in at the top of a comments list to get a discussion going in comments!) on the points I made over on Thinking Girl’s blog?

    (They’re not up quite yet–she still has to unmoderate them!)

    I would enjoy hearing what you have to say about this idea of making sure that our dialogues, memes, crosslinks, etc. don’t imply that women are unable to or will never ever bother to deliver physical/painful consequences to a man who crosses their boundaries.

    Not that we have to talk about that all the time…but I feel like we should make sure it’s something we don’t imply by omission anymore. I feel like we’ve been implying it by omission in past writings, and I really wonder if doing so–continuing to prop up that myth of female defenselessness in the human animal (out of all the other perfectly strong though small female animals!)–is hurting the cause of ending violence against women almost to the extent that our past brilliant writings have helped. Which could have kind of a “canceling out” effect. Ugh.

  37. CannibalFemme

    Maiken: I was pretty clear in taking sole responsibility for my statements, so there’s no ‘public policy proposal’ on my part. I own my vigilantism. I chose it, and continue to choose it, and will continue to do so until it’s no longer physically viable. I don’t speak for anyone else here but me.

    As for violent revenge fantasies, speaking personally I’d have to say that castration doesn’t even begin to satisfy them.

    And Ribbit: Howdy!

  38. kitkat

    Woah. Okay, I’m a bad reader…forgive me…I posted without reading lots of the comments–I’d just read your post.

    Nevertheless, the comments here, while they imagine various ways of delivering consequences to a rapist or would-be rapist, still don’t discuss the issue of whether we should bring up that this can and does happen in the text of blog posts we write, memes we forward, etc.

    So I still pose my question, but I apologize w/ a bit of embarrassment for implying that the “consequences” conversation wasn’t even on the radar in any form! ;-)

  39. scratchy888

    If we mutilate our attacker then we are saying that he stole something valuable, something on par with a murderer stealing our lives.

    Insofar as we are not disembodied entities, it is almost 100 per cent likely that a rapist will have stolen something valuable from the woman that he raped.

    What is significant is not so much the nature of the punishment to be imposed upon the rapist, but rather that he understands that his society does not condone the treatment of women as masochists. To take something away from women and expect them to carry on just as usual is to presuppose that it is in women’s nature to endure gratuitous pain, and not have our character structures altered by that. What should be said, instead, is that technically a male is free to take something away from me — however, since my character structure will be altered by that, and possibly for a long time in a way which is for the worst, the freedom to purchase the enjoyment of my unfreedom will certainly come at a cost to the “purchaser”.

    This is not a radical suggestion at all. It takes into account the law of basic economics: There is nothing for free.

  40. kitkat

    Oh, and it looks like it might be a while till Thinking Girl gets around to moderation, so until this goes online, there’s my blog…though I don’t talk much at all about the why behind my ideas in that post. It’s a bit more of a “how” post.

  41. kitkat

    If we mutilate our attacker then we are saying that he stole something valuable, something on par with a murderer stealing our lives.

    What should be said, instead, is that technically a male is free to take something away from me — however, since my character structure will be altered by that, and possibly for a long time in a way which is for the worst, the freedom to purchase the enjoyment of my unfreedom will certainly come at a cost to the “purchaser”. This is not a radical suggestion at all. It takes into account the law of basic economics: There is nothing for free.

    Scratchy888, I agree with the part of your comment that I just quoted, but do you think that there has to be an event with a cost attached to make this same social change happen?

    Men avoid fighting each other all the time because they perceive that the cost in injuries would be so high.

    Perhaps we can both change society according to good economics AND keep traumatic events from actually happening to women by focusing more on “transaction prevention” that involves women giving men a taste of the costs–or imposing costs for a mere attempt to rape–than focusing on “fair transactions?”

  42. thebewilderness

    Consider the ‘Florida Law’ on self defense. If you feel threatened you are fully entitled to kill the threatener dead. What Twisty is proposing is much milder than that. It simply would provide for castration of the threatener. Given the current state of bizaar law passing in our society, the Twisty law fits right in.

  43. maiken

    CannibalFemme, I honestly believed that you had stepped in to support the idea that pre-emptive forced castration is an objectively defensible public policy, as opposed to a private impulse that may or may not square with society at large.

    I respect your “owning” your “vigilantism”. I can understand the impulse to violent retribution, but would deplore the actual act of violence, particularly pre-emptive violence. But, as you say, you make your own choices.

  44. scratchy888

    Men avoid fighting each other all the time because they perceive that the cost in injuries would be so high.

    But this is precisely what I’m saying. When Borat broke the antiques, he had to pay for them. But generally, in society, because women as a class are positioned as “natural” masochists, there is the idea that these items are made to be broken, so no harm done! And this applies to all sorts of treatment of women, not just the act of rape. What has to change is that those who would mistreat women have to expect a cost to be imposed for that privilege — And it IS a sense of privilege which men choose to exploit, make no mistake.

  45. maiken

    Consider the ‘Florida Law’ on self defense. If you feel threatened you are fully entitled to kill the threatener dead. What Twisty is proposing is much milder than that.

    Nonsense. Self-defense laws operate when you have a reasonable belief that you are confronted, in the flesh, with someone who imminently means you bodily harm. Lest I be misunderstood, I would support a wide variety of acts of self-defensive violence against a man who physically threatens anyone, male or female.

    But here, as I understand it, Twisty is proposing that if a man is sitting at home and sends the wrong email, people show up at the door and amputate an organ. This strikes me as a little different, don’t you think?

  46. scratchy888

    Scratchy888, I agree with the part of your comment that I just quoted, but do you think that there has to be an event with a cost attached to make this same social change happen?

    And to answer this part: I think the best way to give an impression that there are consequences for hurting women is to impose a consequence every time a woman is hurt. That is as much as individuals can do.

    Of couse, all law works in a way which is more general, “on principle” and can at times be preemptive. There are few if any laws governing women’s specific well being. I do think that if there were such, then it would put the costs of hurting women into a prior context for certain men, thus doing them a favour. If even to threaten rape could get one into very hot water, then the act itself would be put into a context of even greater seriousness than the threat.

  47. kitkat

    It’s not quite precisely what I thought you were saying. I should’ve clarified my “men” example.

    Analogous to the idea of seriously body-violating costs to seriously-body-violating purchases in the world of men would be, oh, a boy’s childhood fights or a young man’s early fights where he tries to do serious damage and ends up feeling like he has had the shit kicked out of him at that very moment or the next day (whether he won OR lost the fight! After all, this castration talk is about whether the man succeeds or not).

    What I REALLY meant was this:

    Men avoid getting into seriously body-violating fights all the time because a hard punch from one man can communicate to another that the costs of going any further would be so high that it is not worth it.

    This is analogous to a woman kicking a man in the nuts and the face, then escaping from him, when he tries to do something to her against her will.

    And then, from there, you can even say:

    Men avoid getting into hard-punch fights all the time because an angry shout from one man can communicate to another that there would be costs to going any further.

    See, I don’t think men get to this “eyes and verbal” point with each other as an immediate next step away from the “shit-kicked-out” experience. I think there’s the painful and physical but not completely-violating level that I illustrated with the word “hard punch” (though it takes on a variety of forms).

    And I likewise don’t think women are going to get anywhere in an attempt to change our power dynamic with men if we try to go straight from really-really-violating “cost and purchase” transactions to the “verbal or eye-communication reminder of a cost to any purchase.” I don’t think it’s gonna happen. I think we need to really educate each other and make each other strong in that middle area where we can and KNOW we can hurt cruel men so badly when they try to cross our boundaries that they remember the pain forever.

    This is different from educating each other and making each other strong at the extreme end where we can and know we can violate cruel men when they try to cross our boundaries so that they’ll remember the pain & violation forever.

  48. Hattie

    “you are, as you clarified, literally in favor of his forced castration. Have I misunderstood?
    yes. For crying out loud!!! At least in my case!!!
    This is where stupid ideas about castrating females begin!
    Men have no sense of humor.
    Anyway, the castrators historically have been other men (castratos, Black men in the good old days, the unfit to breed in Nazi Germany, etc. etc.)

  49. maiken

    I asked: “Have I misunderstood?” and Hattie said: “yes. For crying out loud!!! This is where stupid ideas about castrating females begin! Men have no sense of humor.”

    I would be glad to learn that I had misunderstood, because this is all blowing my mind, but so far I’ve been misled by this set of exchanges with Twisty:

    Twisty: If this sociopath had written me that ” […] when women’s and girls are very open, I could hardly control myself,” I would have called for immediate prophylactic castration.

    Me: Twisty, here is a sincere question: do you mean this comment jokingly, or is this a policy you would actually support?

    Twisty: Maiken, the answer is, of course I’m serious.

    I’m alarmingly naive in this way: when people tell me they’re serious, I assume they’re serious.

  50. thebewilderness

    Maiken,
    Again, if it is perfectly reasonable and legal to kill a person because you feel threatened. Why wouldn’t it be perfectly reasonable to castrate a person because you feel threatened?
    The patriarchy minions have been doing this to women for centuries.

  51. maiken

    Again, if it is perfectly reasonable and legal to kill a person because you feel threatened. Why wouldn’t it be perfectly reasonable to castrate a person because you feel threatened?

    Again, it’s reasonable to kill someone if you reasonably believe that they are about to kill you. Do you believe the author of this email is about to rape you? Does Twisty? Does anybody? For all we know, this person is at home asleep right now.

    It’s not reasonable to castrate someone because you suspect that they may, at some point in the future, rape somebody, maybe.

    Think for a minute about what you’re saying. We’re talking about a specific email and a real human being. Go read it again. Is it really your sincere and honest suggestion that we call up the ISP, locate the person who wrote this, and send some people over there to forcibly castrate him? Does this not strike you as… well… *insane*?

  52. Pony

    Maiken let me stand you a drink. How about the house special. That’ll be one pico-salax for our friend, barkeep.

  53. maiken

    I suppose the results of that would accurately represent what I think of this whole forced-castration business…

  54. missginger

    “there is the idea that these items are made to be broken, so no harm done!”

    Or, that those ‘items’ aren’t very valuable to begin with. It’s no crime to break something that has little value.

    I’m in favor of a little vigilantism from time to time. One of my boyfriends tried to rape me (I’m not exaggerating either; he took me to a remote location after saying we were going to go to the movies. Then when he had me alone, it started). I beat his ass, and threatened him with a knife that I carried on me at all times. He stopped. Imagine that! He hadn’t anticipated the consequences of his actions, but once they became clear, he backed off.

    Of course, I was completely willing to gut him if he didn’t stop, and I’m sure that makes a difference. I was 14 years old, BTW. I grew up in a cop family, and we were taught to do ANYTHING possible to resist and get away. My father worked sex crimes – nobody knew better than he that raped women rarely receive justice.

    I realize that there is a small percentage of rapists who qualify as ‘sadistic’ rapists, meaning that they get off on resistance and enjoy beating a woman into submission before they rape her. However, most guys who rape do it because they know they can.

  55. scratchy888

    This is different from educating each other and making each other strong at the extreme end where we can and know we can violate cruel men when they try to cross our boundaries so that they’ll remember the pain & violation forever.

    yes — we need to be able to discern situations where we are called upon to be masochists in any way. If we decide to forgive pains visited unnecessarily upon us, we need to have a clear idea of why we are doing so. Invoking the higher moral ground doesn’t cut it, because, after all, we are not transcedent of men — we are humans with real economic, social and emotional needs. Now, unfortunately about the “extreme end where we can and know we can violate cruel men “, this is more or less what we are often stuck with, unless there are standards of common decency (or laws) already governing behaviour. It is most unfortunate indeed, but the powers I have work best in the extreme instances, rather than in those which are more middle range instances of violence. For example, if I was to punch a male for bullying me in the workplace, or for threatening me because I think for myself, then I will most certainly be charged with over-reacting and harshly censured by men and women alike. So, even if the situation is one of physical violence or threat of physical violence, to punch a man will cause all sorts of social condemnation to fall upon my head — the end result being that I will be in a worse off position, socially, than I had been prior to punching him.

    Above and beyond this, there is also the likelihood that just punching him will arouse his anger to the point where I am much more likely to become his punching bag than he mine. For these social reasons, it is preferable to wait until the situation escalates, and then impose a much more devastating amount of force.

    Let me explain: But waiting, not only will I feel more justified in using the kind of force which is more natural to me, as a less powerfully built person — a female — but, I will use the kind of force which is more likely to stop an aggressor in their tracks. This kind of force is not punching but “vital points” combat. one injures, therefore, in the most vulnerable spots: the groin, the eyes, the ears, throat, bridge of nose and instep. But, unfortunately, one has to be pretty certain that one wants to really do some harm to a person before going for these points. In any case, they are preferable to risking punching and enraging the other person, in a threatening situation. To choose these points over punching is about rationally minimising risk to ME.

    Now, however, we need to consider that although the above strategy (of waiting until the violence escalates and then imposing a series of devastating blows) is the most rational one for a female individual who has been tendered no social protection apart from the death dealing force of her own body, for women to be left with only this resource (as we often are) is not, broadly, a situation which would be conducive to a rational ordering of society at large.

    If there were, however, laws which governed that women should not be treated as masochists, and should not be violated emotionally and/or physically,then a lot of would-be violators could be saved from this more extreme catchment which I’m proposing as the most rational outcome when women have to deal with their situations individually.

  56. Clio Bluestocking

    Twisty, you are a muse. Why couldn’t I have found you when I was a young neophyte feminist those many years ago? Better late than never!

    I started to comment here; but the comment became so lengthy and in depth (and slightly off topic) that I just made it a post on my own blog. The summarized version: To most dudes, fucking is a predatory act regardless of whether the sex is consensual or not. The dudes fuck. The women get fucked. That is why so many every day dudes, not just the “Future Rapist” creep, still think somewhere in their little dark souls that some women are just “asking for it.”

  57. mel

    I’ve been checking and looking through my old Mary Daly books, and I surfed around on the internet too. I can’t find the exact words of Mary’s that I’m looking for, and I wish I could because you all know what a way she has with words. So if someone knows what I’m referring to, please speak up.

    Basically, I remember reading her saying that women needed their own space, their own discussions, their own everything–for a while, for quite a while. They need it because they’ve never really had it, and they need to know what it’s like, how to feel comfortable in it, and to see what’ll evolve when they have women space without worrying about men infiltrating it. She said (not exactly in these words) that men will basically try to crash this space, start spewing their ideas and opinions, try to get some women to support them, try to turn women against one another, try to trip women up with their own language (but not really because they twist it all), and basically just try to throw a monkey wrench in the women’s plans and turn all attention toward themselves, as usual, because underneath it all they are just big attention-seeking babies.

    I think I’m seeing some of that here. To any men reading, well, it’s not my intention to deliberately hurt your feelings, but the fact is that I really don’t care about your opinions and feelings on this or anything else. I can get those opinions everywhere else I go–and I mean everywhere. It’s nice to see a budding interest in feminist ideologies (and no, maiken, I don’t mean you because I don’t really see that interest in you), but I’m going to concentrate on the women here. The women here are who matter to me.

  58. Luckynkl

    Well, no, I’m not into castration. I personally don’t want to get anywhere near the things. Goddess only knows where they’ve been.

    We know sex offenders can’t be cured, so as far as I’m concerned, this boy should be tossed into a cage and not let out without a leash. Personally, I think all boys should be leashed until they can learn to behave themselves. Until then, I consider class men a genuine threat to society, and they should be caged, leashed or put to sleep like any other dangerous animal. I mean, would you allow a tiger to run around your neighborhood? Well, your odds are better with a tiger than they are with a man. Now think about that. Not only do we allow these predators to run around loose, we even invite them into our homes and sleep with them. Now how stupid is that?

    In the meanwhile, Maiken, me thinks thou dost protest too much. I mean, how many cocking men and rapists have you heard of being castrated by women? Needless to say, I didn’t find your feigned horror and indignation in the least bit convincing. Oh well, maybe you can work on it a bit and go for the academy award next year.

  59. missginger

    “your odds are better with a tiger than they are with a man.”

    Lucky, I have to disagree with you here. I’ve known plenty of good men, thank goddess. Saying that most men should be leashed plays into the Myth of Male Weakness a bit. Men have used such arguments (“I just couldn’t help myself, the meat was on the counter, so I had to eat it! It’s the meat’s fault!”) to re-victimize women time and again.

    Men are fully sentient human beings with a sense of right and wrong. They should act accordingly. Unfortunately, the social customs of a patriarchy make allowances for bad male behavior because this helps maintain the status quo, keeping women second class.

  60. mel

    I found this here: http://www.wie.org/j16/daly.asp

    “Okay . . . I could give you some sort of answer, but it’s not the kind of question that intrigues me because I don’t think about men. I really don’t care about them. I’m concerned with women’s capacities, which have been infinitely diminished under patriarchy. Not that they’ve disappeared, but they’ve been made subliminal. I’m concerned with women enlarging our capacities, actualizing them. So that takes all my energy. I’m not interested in the differences between women and men. I really am totally uninterested in men’s capacities. If you’ve read my books, you might notice that I don’t talk about their capacities. They talk about it all the time and they try to make it inclusive: “Oh, yeah, you’re included, too.”

    But I’m talking about something else. I’m trying to name something that can only be recognized by women who are seizing back our power. But the words have been stolen from us—even though perhaps they were originally our words—they’re our words, but they’ve been reversed and twisted and shrunken. I see myself as a pirate, plundering and smuggling back to women that which has been stolen from us. But it hasn’t simply been stolen; it’s been stolen and reversed. For example, the christian trinity is the triple goddess reversed. The trinity is aptly described as a closed triangle. It doesn’t go anywhere. It’s clonehood.”

    It’s on page 2. It’s an interesting interview, especially the part about “so that takes all my energy.” I love Mary Daly.

  61. mel

    Oops. A thousand pardons, Twisty! I just copied that straight from the internet and it has the dreaded “E” thing in it–I won’t even say the word because I know how much it bugs you. Yipes! Sorry!

  62. Heraclitus

    All of this talk about forced castration really has to stop. At least if all those psychologists on Law & Order are correct, the problem with rapist is mental, not physical. So “Future Rapist” and his like need to be euthanized.

  63. Twisty

    It’s OK, Mel. Ellipses don’t actually kill anyone. They’re painful, but one heals.

  64. kitkat

    It is most unfortunate indeed, but the powers I have work best in the extreme instances, rather than in those which are more middle range instances of violence.

    Not true, scratchy888! And this is why we need to first educate ourselves (feminists) and then educate other women about what a crock that idea is. I’ll explain more later, when I’m not on my way to bed, if you’ll excuse me for leaving you with a cliffhanger.

    For example, if I was to punch a male for bullying me in the workplace, or for threatening me because I think for myself, then I will most certainly be charged with over-reacting and harshly censured by men and women alike.

    That might be true of that example, but it’s not the only type of midrange “physical consequence” a person can deliver. There also exists a set of midrange violent/physical/painful tools a woman can deploy without social disapproval. Again, I’ll go over those when I’m wider awake. But are you interested in hearing about them? They do exist, they hurt just as much to the assailant, and yet they spare you a lot of harsh judgment. I believe that we feminists would cause a lot of good change in the world if we learned these, taught them to other women, and taught them how effective they are.

    The cool thing about these particular ways to fight is that they happen to be (or maybe it’s not such a coincidence) the mid-range pain infliction methods that are the ways everyone–man or woman–really should be fighting. In my opinion, even if men are allowed to throw a punch on account of workplace bullying without social censure, it doesn’t mean that they should be allowed to do so without social censure. I mean, if there were no other mid-range violent “delivering consequences” option available, sure…but there are much better ones for self-preservation, guarding one’s respect, etc. So in my opinion, some of the things that we “don’t get to do” aren’t things that are good for human getting along at all. The things that we are allowed to do tend to overlap with the conflict resolution methods that have proven to work best (not just in the moment, but also in all the ways that momentary decisions set patterns for others).

  65. scratchy888

    Again, I’ll go over those when I’m wider awake. But are you interested in hearing about them?

    Yes– I am quite ready for you to preach at me when you are fully awake. I’d be most pleased to hear about your conflict resolution approach for example, how to get an angry male parent out of one’s bedroom when he has thrown the bed over and one is standing there naked and outraged. I’m sure your skills would have come mightily in handy at that point. Also when angry fundamentalist parents are telling you: “See! You can’t even speak properly! How can you be an intellectual! You are disgusting!” I would be most interested in knowing of your special conflict resolution technique for getting out of said room, when they are blocking the door. And also, please advise me of the conflict resolution technique that you generally use for the male boss who tells you: “Demoralising? If you think me treatement of you is demoralising, well I had to sit at the same desk for 40 years, doing the same job in a chair which hurt my back, and I was very much demoralised. What makes you think that you deserve better than myself?”

    So, yes please divulge your opinions about conflict resolution regarding these matters, when you are lucid.

  66. Luckynkl

    Lucky, I have to disagree with you here. I’ve known plenty of good men, thank goddess.

    And I know plenty of good tigers that haven’t eaten anyone. But I sure don’t hear anyone say, but not all tigers do it! And then are willing to throw caution to the wind and allow tigers to run around loose their neighborhoods and depend on the tiger’s generosity to be good. Yeah, tigers are good all right. Right up until they eat you.

    Saying that most men should be leashed plays into the Myth of Male Weakness a bit. Men have used such arguments (”I just couldn’t help myself, the meat was on the counter, so I had to eat it! It’s the meat’s fault!”) to re-victimize women time and again.

    Men are fully sentient human beings with a sense of right and wrong. They should act accordingly. Unfortunately, the social customs of a patriarchy make allowances for bad male behavior because this helps maintain the status quo, keeping women second class.

    Yeah, yeah, yeah, the devil makes men do it. But the truth is, I don’t give 2 flying fucks at the moon about men and why they do or do not do things. My concern is for women and what’s in their best interests. Not men’s. Men have enough support. They rule the world. They don’t need your help, ok?

    In the meanwhile, go ahead and run this bullshit by yourself the next time you’re walking down a dark alley all alone at night, and you hear the sound of a man’s footsteps behind you. What are you thinking? This nonsense? How many good men you know? **chuckle** Nah, my bet is that all bets will be off. The hair will be standing up on the back of your neck, your heart will start racing, and what you’ll be thinking is “tiger.”

    Now why do you suppose this is? Answer: Because at some level, deep down inside, you’re aware of just how unpredictable and dangerous men are. All men. No exceptions. At least none you’re willing to bet your life and well-being on in that dark alley.

  67. winna

    Tigers are not all bad!

    I have a tiger that lives in my house and washes my dishes and cooks and cleans sometimes*. It’s a super tiger! It also only makes me feed it raw meat whenever it is hungry, but that’s okay, because I love feeding my tiger raw meat- it’s so empowering to watch its big white teeth shred into the quivering bloody flesh. My tiger is the best tiger in the whole world, and I won’t hear anyone telling stories about tigers that do bad things, because that might mean my tiger might do bad things, too, and that is too scary. But even so, it’s better to be scared than to not have a tiger, I say.

    *okay, this isn’t true, but it could be. Maybe. Don’t hate tigers just because they’re unable to do their share of the housework. You’ll give them a complex.

    Forgive my silliness, but I’ve been working on a paper for eight hundred years and the caffeine is beginning to fail to support me.

  68. Catherine Martell

    I took Twisty’s original comment about castration as a tongue-in-cheek aside but, since everyone else appears to be taking it seriously, here goes. Unsurprisingly, since I think biological reductionism is a crock, I’m with MissGinger.

    Twisty says: “Just how many destroyed female lives are a sociopath’s nuts worth?”, and I can’t help shrugging, nodding, and thinking, “Fair point.” But you could say the same about capital punishment or cutting the hands off thieves. And those forms of punishment don’t work.

    Thinking practically rather than ethically for a moment, it’s pretty well-evidenced that state-sanctioned violence increases the rate of violent crime. I can’t seem to find any evidence on whether castration of rapists actually reduces or increases rapes in a society. I’m not talking about whether it reduces an individual’s ability/desire to rape (though there seems to be some debate even over that), but whether it reduces the rate of rape overall. Any suggestions?

    Meanwhile, I am going to continue walking down dark alleys and not panicking about lions and tigers and bears (oh my!) every time I hear a man’s footsteps. For pity’s sake, they’re not *that* frightening. And I have no intention of envisaging myself as ‘pre-raped’.

  69. Edith

    I’m glad I kept reading this till I got to the Mary Daly, because I was getting a bit depressed with all this anti-castration talk. Thanks, mel.

  70. Luckynkl

    Thinking practically rather than ethically for a moment, it’s pretty well-evidenced that state-sanctioned violence increases the rate of violent crime. I can’t seem to find any evidence on whether castration of rapists actually reduces or increases rapes in a society. I’m not talking about whether it reduces an individual’s ability/desire to rape (though there seems to be some debate even over that), but whether it reduces the rate of rape overall. Any suggestions?

    Rape is about power and violence, not about sex. Again, what men eroticize is power, not sex. The penis is just one tool out of many men use to accomplish that goal.

    Meanwhile, I am going to continue walking down dark alleys and not panicking about lions and tigers and bears (oh my!) every time I hear a man’s footsteps. For pity’s sake, they’re not *that* frightening. And I have no intention of envisaging myself as ‘pre-raped’.

    Well I’ve never known a man to worry about rape, as they’re usually not the ones with the bullseyes painted on their ass. Until they go to prison.

  71. Pony

    Finally.

    “Rape is about power and violence, not about sex.”

  72. JJE

    To the extent that I think of this place as one of political discussion, I am not particularly disturbed by its “rhetoric”.

    It is a wicked entity, at times. As any “its” with melding, like minds can be when casting “a jaundiced eye upon” anything so insidiously evil, invasive, overpowering and testicular as the patriarchy.

    So be it/what. It’s an (amusing,) informative and enlightening place.

    And even though I don’t belong here, as I was not nutted before indoctrination into our horror, I will not leave…or sacrifice my nuts to any mean spirits. I am fine with being booted, however…in the testes, so to speak. If that happened enough, I would almost certainly and willingly give up the contents of my political scrotality.

    I’m not sure if that would remove my stripes, teeth, bulk, stealth and claws, though. So. While I understand moving through racking, towards removing nuts, I think it’s hardly fair to treat us all to anything “beneath” beheading…politically speaking, OF COURSE!~)

  73. Mar Iguana

    “Fair.” Isn’t that precious? Wah.

  74. Q Grrl

    Maiken: you seem to be ignoring that the “real” man behind the real email said he couldn’t tell the difference between rape and seduction when he saw women in tops and skirts. If prophylactic castration isn’t a good option, then certainly locking this man away into a mental institution is. I’d rather make the snip and tuck and give him a chance to lead a fulfilling life within society. That way he gets his freedom *and* his urge to rape is curbed; hopefully eliminated. In this scenario, castration would be a benefit from him, no? We’d save him from himself, as it were.

    What I don’t get about your protestations is that you’re fine with the “real” man of the real email writing inflammatory hyperbole about the irresistable fuckability of women in their, gasp!, clothes – but you take Twisty at face value and gush on about our violent fantasies and our urge to mutilate.

    Get with the program, dude. Your “real” man just as plainly wrote out his violent fantasies about women, and you want to chalk it up as just a badly phrased email. Gone on now, entertain us some more. Really.

  75. Twisty

    Christ on a crutch, yall. Do I really need to say it?

    Nobody’s going to castrate anybody. Rape will continue unfettered. The status quo will be preserved.

    Geeze, you guys act like feminism isn’t dead or something.

  76. bitter-girl.com

    What I want to know is whether or not maiken would support widespread distribution and use of Rapex. No pre-emptive castration required, but by golly, if you’re exploring the batcave without permission, you’re going to get a rather horrific surprise.

    (I cannot believe I just used the term ‘batcave’ for ‘vagina.’ Proof positive that a) I live with a comic book geek and b) I haven’t had nearly enough coffee yet).

  77. maiken

    Twisty, I guess I’m just not calibrated to the extent of your snark. When you said you were serious, I believed you.

    How Q Grrl, mel and Luckynkl concluded from my opposition to genital mutilation that I’m somehow anti-feminist, pro-rape, or unconcerned with the fact that our example email crystallizes confused, delusional misogyny towards women, I will never know. Maybe it’s because I agreed with everything Twisty said except the forced castration part, so that’s the only part I chose to call out. Since it seems unclear, I’ll underline that I am none of those things.

    bitter-girl, although I find Rapex to be a depressingly vivid reminder of how violating and brutal the act of rape is, I find it perfectly reasonable to do whatever one likes to things jammed into one’s body without permission. Rapex away, I suppose.

  78. Pony

    Vagina isn’t a whole lot better bitter-girl.com. It means “sword sheath”.

    Another day and another guy: “What about ME”. Geezus this goes on any longer and I’ll be begging to be euthanized.

  79. CannibalFemme

    Piping up again, with a few thoughts. Firstly, violence is a specific, rather than a general, deterrent. As in Miss Ginger’s example of her averted rape by her boyfriend, the end result was that she didn’t get raped. Whether or not it made the sonofabitch think twice before trying it again with another woman is unknown, and ultimately unimportant. What matters is that Miss Ginger went unraped that day.

    Violence and/or vigilantism isn’t going to make any kind of contribution to the improvement of overall male behavior, it can’t. But it’s a workable solution for specific situations, if the woman in question is willing to go there. It’s an intensely personal choice, and not viable or reasonable for every woman. No choice is.

    I’m in total agreement that rape is about power and violence, but I want to add hate into the mix. In my opinion, rape is one of the purest expressions of hate that the planet has to offer. When I was four I got stuffed into the footwell of a truck while my mother was raped at gunpoint on the truck seat right in front of me, and while the powerlessness–of myself and of her–was bad enough, the hate was worse. For me, anyway. Sorry if that was TMI.

  80. amananta

    Jaye,

    With all due respect – you are completely and uterly off base, although our culture encourages you to be, so you can’t be entirely at fault here.

    “If we surrender to the urge to respond with violence to every obviously mentally ill remark we are just like rapist who respond to every woman with violent penetration.”

    Are you implying Mr. “Future Rapist” is mentally ill? No, in this culture he is NORMAL.

    “And if we think that women are some how ruined if we aren’t in our happy go lucky unraped natural state then we are buying into one of the oldest tenants of patriarchy–the value of the pure vagina!”

    I have been raped. It didn’t “ruin” me but it sure fucked me up for life, and it has nothing to do with me mourning the loss of my “pure” vagina and everything to do with having been abused, violated, and having my self-determination taken for no reason better than some dude who was stronger than me had an itch he wanted to scratch.

    “Women are just fine whether we have been raped or not, whether we are cursed with awareness or not. We are not less valuable if we have been raped. If we mutilate our attacker then we are saying that he stole something valuable, something on par with a murderer stealing our lives.”

    Yes, rapists have stolen that from every woman they have raped. Do you think PTSD is a joke? Do you think PTSD doesn’t ruin lives? I will never be who I could have been, my life HAS been stolen.

    “We don’t execute rapists because to do so would mean that the rape victim can never recover.”

    Actually if I got to see my rapists castrated or executed I think it would be an excellent thing. I would throw a party, serve hot dogs for the kitsch value, and chuckle every time I thought about it for the rest of my life. You sound like you buy into the lie that forgiveness is what heals women and children who have been violently assaulted. I suggest modestly that REAL justice (which I’ve noticed men like to call “revenge” to make it sound like something they don’t deserve) would be a much better cure, and that spending two years trying to get a rapist in jail while being insulted by everyone in a male dominated court system only to see rapists get acquitted or receive suspended sentences unless they were particularly egregrious in their crimes is not justice, and that’s the best women get now. (And most women know the drill and prefer not to undergo the humilation of being publicly blamed for their own violent assault.)

    But hey, I’m willing to compromise: jail rapists for life without possibility of parole to keep non-raping people safe from them – that includes the hideously mis-named “date rapists”, not just the “stranger in a dark alley and black guy to boot” rapists – and they can keep their precious balls. But of course, both are just a fantasy – the male-run “justice” system could care less when women are violently sexually assaulted.

  81. MzNicky

    maiken said:
    “the man we’re talking about hasn’t done anything wrong yet, and yet you think the most logical thing to do, from among all the possible courses of action, is to forcibly mutilate him just in case?”

    and

    “Are you concerned with addressing that concern *in the real world*, where laws actually matter and other humans have rights even if you’re suspicious of them, or only in some kind of parallel universe where your whim is law and you get to castrate whomever you like without repercussion?”

    and

    “So, just to recap, the public policy proposal under discussion here is that, in the event that a male writes an email like the one sent to Thinking Girl, this act instantly invalidates all their human rights, and we should send people with guns to their house to hold them down and amputate a chunk of their sex organs.”

    and then he got all rude and insulting and stuff.

    maiken: Twisty said yes, she was serious, in that if Mr. Future Rapist had sent to HER the e-mail he sent to Thinking Girl, she, Twisty, would have “called for immediate prophylactic castration.” That’s it. Nowhere does Twisty advocate reversing due process, the calling of Congresspeople, nor the drafting of new castration legislation. YOU’re the one who started getting all hysterical (no offense) and huffing and puffing about “public policy” and so forth.

    Now, for cryin’ out loud, simmer down and quit forcing words into people’s mouths, will ya?

  82. Pony

    “And if we think that women are some how ruined if we aren’t in our happy go lucky unraped natural state then we are buying into one of the oldest tenants of patriarchy–the value of the pure vagina!”

    It isn’t the value of the vagina but the value of the self that has been ruined. I have been raped many times. Many times. First at seven, then 11, then 18, then by johns. Many times. Then by a husband. You trivialize what is a form of terrorism.

    I’m too angry to continue.

  83. Pony

    I will just say, that each time it happens, each time a woman is raped, it makes it easier for her to be raped again. The pimps know this. Actually so do our partners and our husbands. I could easily be raped again, today or tomorrow. At some point “I” would leave, and what I learned to do so long ago would just kick in without me even summoning it. I would just leave her there to be raped again, because there is no me, not really. That’s what was ruined.

  84. bitter-girl.com

    Vagina isn’t a whole lot better bitter-girl.com. It means “sword sheath”.

    Seriously, Pony? What, from the Latin? Well, I’ll be damned. Hurray for Wikipedia!

    This is my second sword-tastic day this week, then. (Last night was watching the Vikings pillage Mercia on the Science Channel).

  85. missginger

    “In the meanwhile, go ahead and run this bullshit by yourself the next time you’re walking down a dark alley all alone at night, and you hear the sound of a man’s footsteps behind you. What are you thinking? This nonsense? How many good men you know? **chuckle** Nah, my bet is that all bets will be off. The hair will be standing up on the back of your neck, your heart will start racing, and what you’ll be thinking is “tiger.”

    Now why do you suppose this is? Answer: Because at some level, deep down inside, you’re aware of just how unpredictable and dangerous men are. All men. No exceptions.”

    Sorry, but no. Not all men. I’m not some cheerleader shaking her pom-poms for the poor wittle boys; I’ve had enough problems with men to chuck my rose-colored glasses for good. I’ve had to be violent with a few, and I haven’t lost any sleep over it. I’m realistic about the prevalence of violence against women, thank you, having seen it firsthand. All bets are ALWAYS off when I or one of my loved ones is threatened. For me, that’s just a given. But I’m just not going to demonize half the human race, and I won’t live in fear. I will, however, live with Mace and a decent knowledge of how to inflict pain, just in case. I’m not superior, or doing it the “right” way. I’m just doing what’s right for me. That’s all any woman can do.

    This dark alley metaphor isn’t working for me either, particularly when 80% of women who are raped know their attacker. That was certainly true in my case, and my attack occurred in the blaring light of day, outdoors. Cannibal, you’re right that I have no way of knowing whether my ex tried (or managed) to rape anybody else. I really hope not. I should have reported him, but I was 14, and I had just been allowed to date. I was afraid that my parents would blame themselves and be wracked with guilt (they still don’t know). I would handle the situation very differently today.

    As one of my instructors once said, “Self defense doesn’t stop rape. It just changes the names of the victims.” Sad but true.

    Cannibal and adamanta, I’m sorry for what you went through.

  86. bitter-girl.com

    (Hmm — sorry about that, Twisty — cut and paste made some bizarro characters!)

  87. kitkat

    scratchy888 Dec 11th, 2006 at 11:18 pm

    Yes– I am quite ready for you to preach at me when you are fully awake. I’d be most pleased to hear about your conflict resolution approach for example, how to get an angry male parent out of one’s bedroom when he has thrown the bed over and one is standing there naked and outraged. I’m sure your skills would have come mightily in handy at that point. Also when angry fundamentalist parents are telling you: “See! You can’t even speak properly! How can you be an intellectual! You are disgusting!” I would be most interested in knowing of your special conflict resolution technique for getting out of said room, when they are blocking the door. And also, please advise me of the conflict resolution technique that you generally use for the male boss who tells you: “Demoralising? If you think me treatement of you is demoralising, well I had to sit at the same desk for 40 years, doing the same job in a chair which hurt my back, and I was very much demoralised. What makes you think that you deserve better than myself?”

    So, yes please divulge your opinions about conflict resolution regarding these matters, when you are lucid.

    Damn, scratchy888…I was going to come up with some easier illustrative scenarios to give an idea of my opinions.

    You gave me quite a challenge for the morning!

    I’ll do my best to form an opinion about those particular scenarios.

    Let’s see. What I was going to say is that the main strategy that works for making mid-range violence (which I would say is anything from a single blow to a knockout, but excluding post-incapacitation or not-while-perceiving-a-threat physical violence) acceptable is yelling. Yelling certain kinds of things, to be more specific.

    The simplest shout is “No!” when you go into a ready-to-fight stance (either standing up with your hands in front of your face, ready to block or strike, or lying down with one leg on the ground and the other leg up between your face and your threatener, ready to block by kicking or to kick on the offense), while you kick, while you strike, when you recharge into defensive position again, while you pound, while you punch, while you elbow, while you twist exposed nuts, while you poke someone in the eyes, etc. (“No” also has the advantage that it keeps your teeth off your lips and your tongue safely out of biting range just in case your attacker does manage to clock you.)
    If you are shouting, “No!” each time you land a blow, it communicates to bystanders how invested you are in fighting because you don’t want something to happen–because you fear something and want it to not happen. In practice, it just doesn’t happen that as soon as a person starts shouting, “No!” while defending herself, her attacker starts mimicking her to make it unclear who has bad intentions and who doesn’t. In the heat of the moment, luckily, these things work out according to the true intentions of the people involved in the fight.

    That isn’t to say that an attacker wouldn’t think of anything to say in the hopes that it would confuse bystanders about who is in the right and who is in the wrong. He might say, “No! Stop! You’re hurting me!” or “Ow! Help! Somebody help, this bitch is crazy!” At that point, it is handy to know a few phrases besides “No” that, though they take more breath and focus to get out, can make your position even clearer and bring bystanders to sympathize with you and accept your actions even better than “no.”

    “Get back!” (either while in defensive “ready” position or while striking)
    “Turn around and leave!” (best in defensive position, since it might not make any sense once you’ve started striking and there isn’t so much of an “around”)
    “I don’t want any trouble. [insert command here--command should communicate what the person can do to satisfy your desire to not be under threat. Examples are "get back" or "turn around and leave."]” (while in defensive “ready” position)
    “I said ‘No!’” (makes it clear to recent arrivals whose “No” was the first boundary-setter)
    “I DON’T KNOW YOU.” (either while in defensive “ready” position or while striking. heh. I saw my self-defense teacher do an entire fight with “No!” and “I don’t know you!” each time she turned to face an assailant (there were 2) and each time she delivered a blow and not only was it blood-curdling to hear her shout (I would NOT have wanted to be trying to attack her…it would’ve been too scary), but because of the words, it was also extremely clear that despite the dominance and assertion that she was voicing with that blood-curdling vocal register, she was clearly in the right–no ambiguity or arguing about it at all.)
    “IF YOU DO NOT _________, I WILL CONSIDER THIS AN ATTACK.” [Again, ______ should be a command that communicates what the threatener can do to satisfy your desire not to be under threat. Often times it was "leave," but "step back," "step back and calm down," "step back and lower your voice," etc. could also work.] (This takes a while to say, so you’d think the threatener might not even let you finish the sentence before charging you, but people often do tend to listen to things that’re being said…it’s habit. Of course, they might then yell at you, at which point you can repeat what you just said, even more slowly & authoritatively, or you can just think, “Meh. I’ve warned him,” and prepare for a strike after he’s finished yelling and before he charges.)

    There are some others that’re very good for establishing that you are in the right when resorting to physical violence, no matter what your gender is, but they’re slipping my mind right now. This is a good start.

    (By the way, if anything but “No!” seems hard to get out while under an adrenaline rush…well, it probably is. This is why we need to advocate these tactics more–so opportunities to practice them will be more widespread, better funded, better practiced in family hand-me-down lessons, etc.)

     

    Okay, on to your scenarios. Whew. I hesitate to answer them, because it might sound like I’m saying these are the best responses to such situations. That is not true. They are simply the first “mid-range violence” responses I came up with, with a few clarifications & explanations thrown in.
    Another thing you should understand about me is that I do not feel like mid-range violence is always the most effective response to a threat, attack, etc. It is simply the most under-discussed (yet highly effective) method. Heaven forbid it sound like a woman or girl is doing anything “wrong” by choosing other strategies in the moment, such as running, staying indoors at night, pleading, compliance, compliance + later reporting, etc. I am only giving these “responses” to your scenarios because we’re on the subject of the much underdiscussed strategy/”tool” of mid-range violence.

    how to get an angry male parent out of one’s bedroom when he has thrown the bed over and one is standing there naked and outraged.

    Getting the parent out of the bedroom is not the only goal worth considering. The only overarching goal is self-preservation, and depending on the situation, this might mean any of many immediate goals–one of which I suppose could be getting the parent out of the bedroom. But I will not agree that this has to be the goal.

    In determining what is “self-preservation” for you, and therefore what your immediate goal would be, your soul & intuition will balance out the psychological self-preservation that comes from making sure you preserve/protect sisters & brothers & mother, the psychological self-preservation of avoiding or minimizing whatever you consider most traumatic, the physical self-preservation of avoiding or minimizing whatever you consider most traumatic, the physical self-preservation of keeping your limbs in good enough shape to have the option of fighting at a later date when you can get other family members out before confronting the situation yourself, etc. Trust that and set your immediate goals accordingly. All of this paragraph is true for a son dealing with an angry father, too.

    If your intuition tells you that the immediate goal is getting the angry parent out of the bedroom, mid-range physical pain infliction is probably not the best option. I think this is why your question, as you presented it, is not going to be one I can answer with respect to mid-range violence. The only way that the ability to deliver mid-range physical consequences comes in handy here is in 1) bolstering your confidence and 2) weakening the father’s confidence (if he reads in your eyes’ flash or your voice’s power your confidence that you’ve got something up your sleeve that might not be something to be messed with). Other than that, mid-range violence is not a directly applicable tool here.

    If your intuition tells you that the immediate goal for self-protection is to avoid severe physical harm to yourself, even if it means leaving your room and perhaps even house after the fight, then knowing how to deliver mid-range violent consequences might be quite useful against an angry father.
    Fight him to knockout (it’s really, really, really possible, if only you know how! I know you don’t think so, but you’ve got to open your mind to believing me! Look at female animals that are smaller than the males of their same species. They can fight and are often even the ones that teach the kids hunting & fighting skills. Now, believing me on this won’t turn you into a fully-equipped animal right away…but if you & others believe that with a bit of un-conditioning this can be the case, it will increase the popularity (and thus affordability) of un-conditioning classes and soon it will be the case for you and any other woman who wants it to be true.) and escape.
    Now, you were talking about social acceptability–here is where I would say that the same shouts I outlined above are just as useful as before. If you’re so loud the neighbors can hear, it will make it clear that you are under attack (even if you counter-attack and win the fight). It will make clear to other people in the house that you are under attack (even if you counter-attack and win the fight). This is true if you’re a son fighting a father, too.
    Another tactic is to shout, “NO!” to your father (passed out or not…doesn’t matter…) at the top of your lungs after fighting to the point where he is incapable of preventing your safe escape but before you actually make that escape. It’s one more confirmation to bystanders that you were the one on the defensive, even though you’ve won the physical fight.
    There’s one more tactic, in addition to shouting your boundaries and desires before and while you confront your father, that can increase your social acceptability. Because it happens after the fight, though, you don’t have the advantage of feeling a threat that gets your outrage going, which is what helps you shout things like “No!” In fact, you even have the disadvantage of coming down off an adrenaline rush, confusion, fear, etc.
    This tactic is going for help as soon as you escape. Fair or not fair, it is one tactic that will increase the social acceptability of you using mid-range violence on someone who threatened you but did not necessarily use mid-range violence on you.
    On the other hand, though you have the disadvantage of coming down off an adrenaline rush, confusion, etc. you have the advantage of having avoided taking as much of a physical blow or–even worse–whatever you consider violation as you may have without fighting until the bitter end. That is something that should make you, a human animal, feel more confident. So perhaps this balances out the other factors and helps make it easier than it would be otherwise to go for help immediately. It’s a tough call, and this is why I say that it’s unfortunate that this has anything to do with social acceptability. It shouldn’t, because not everyone’s intuition will tell them to do it. (Practicing running for help while in a post-fight state of shock is one thing many good self-defense classes do. That way, the option will be a little easier if you decide you want to do it.)

    I would be most interested in knowing of your special conflict resolution technique for getting out of said room, when they are blocking the door.

    I think I covered this above under “even if it means leaving your room and perhaps even house after the fight.”

    I’ll take this short paragraph, though, to say that the reason “conflict resolution” popped out of my mouth is that many of the “tactics to earn social acceptance of your fighting reaction” that I have thus far laid out (shouting boundaries & needs & desires & “what you can do to make me stop feeling threatened” statements, shouting these things while fighting, shouting repetitions summarizing these things after the fight, seeking help…) happen to be the same kinds of techniques described in lots of “conflict resolution” literature. Okay, minus the “shouting” part if you’re in a meeting where everyone can hear each other, but the “boundaries & needs & desires & ‘what you can do to make me stop feeling threatened’ statements” bit before, during, & after any escalation that happens because your opponent chooses to ignore your statements–as well as seeking help from a third party after you have done what you had to when an opponent ignored your boundaries & needs–those bits are all there in “conflict resolution” literature. I didn’t mean that “conflict resolution techniques” are the road to self-preservation. I meant that the tricks that lead to social acceptance of “doing what it takes to preserve oneself” are often the same tricks that are taught in conflict resolution. But again, don’t confuse these with immediate self-preservation strategies. They’re only strategies that can help you to the extent that staying socially accepted is also a form of long-term self-prservation.

    when angry fundamentalist parents are telling you: “See! You can’t even speak properly! How can you be an intellectual! You are disgusting!”

    Again, trust your intuition to tell you what kinds of self-preservation factor in as most important to you in the moment.

    If the answer you give yourself is, “Fight back. I cannot take any more psychological damage, so I must fight back,” but you also know that delivering physical consequences to verbal abuse would not be socially accepted and thus would decrease your chances at long-term self-preservation, I think a strategy that would be effective is returning verbal boundaries to verbal abuse.
    Often times, if these do not work (which you implied is likely with these assailants), such a disrespectful attacker will be offended by boundary-setting and will escalate to physical posturing. Keep setting verbal boundaries (while always reassessing what kind of self-protection goal is most important to you–it might change from “I will not take this and will confront it” to “I will take this one more time to keep the resources I need to fight another day” if you get a certain threat, such as being cut off from some resource–money, transportation, friends, friendly adults, etc.) and if you’ve decided to stay on the “confront it” tack, then give loud & clear statements of what you need to happen. When these are ignored and you start to see physical threats–punching into a fist, etc. it is now time to communicate verbally (for bystanders) and with body language (because it communicates more subconsciously to your threatener(s)) that you are prepared to fight a physical attack. One of those, “If you do not _______, I will consider this an attack” shouts might be yet another socially acceptable response to an escalating situation–it puts an intermediary step in there between you perceiving the threat and you acting on it, which makes you seem more in the right after you win a fight. If the parent tries to slap you–ESPECIALLY after you said something like that, but even if you didn’t (you don’t have to say anything to be right about not being willing to take a slap. Shouting a warning is, again, simply a strategy for gaining agreement from others that you were right.), HIT BACK. Or kick back. Or knee-to-the-groin back. Shout, “NO!” while you are doing this, since in your scenario, there are two of them, and each attacker is also a bystander. If Dad attacks you first, make sure you’re communicating to Mom exactly why you’re giving Dad a knee to the balls–that it’s because you will deliver physical consequences for physical aggression, and not because you will deliver physical consequences for the verbal aggression they both gave earlier. (Shit, you might want to do the latter…but it’s still probably good self-preservation to put it out there that your physical consequences are for physical threats.) If Mom looks ready to fight, or Dad looks ready to charge, something like, “I SAID ["stay back," "do not attack me," etc.]” would help keep your fight more acceptable/justified in the eyes of bystanders.

    All that is an example of how to keep escalation step-by-step (the major element of which is inserting your own steps–with escape options for the agressor and communication of your boundaries at each step) so that if you have decided that “resisting anything that might happen” is your goal and “anything” becomes physical, you can–even as a woman or girl (though controlling how things escalate is helpful social acceptance strategy for both genders)–set yourself up to be accepted as right, not just right in your own heart.

    But again…nothing wrong with choosing another goal for the scenario–or changing goals mid-escalation and deciding to use passivity as a deescalation tactic.
    And this social creature (me) does not consider any of those options unacceptable. (And, it seems, neither do people in society at large. No tactics really needed, right now, to make those options socially acceptable when you’re smaller than, younger than, in the ‘weaker’ gender than (*sigh…hopefully this will stop being a criterion*), or outnumbered by your agressors.)

    for the male boss who tells you: “Demoralising? If you think me treatement of you is demoralising, well I had to sit at the same desk for 40 years, doing the same job in a chair which hurt my back, and I was very much demoralised. What makes you think that you deserve better than myself?”

    I would consider this scenario very similar to the parents one. The main difference is that social support & self-preservation consequences are different with parents & bosses. With parents, the long-term consequences of successfully preserving yourself in the short term are being cut off not only from certain life necessities, but being cut off from the only source of them that most people expect. The advantage is that since parents are traditionally considered one’s only shot at getting these basics, there are nonprofits, etc. that have been set up to support people who thought that short-term self-preservation was so important that they were willing to risk losing even that.

    On the other hand, since work is a more “chosen” source of life’s basics, there are [faulty] assumptions of “fault” if you’re getting your basics by staying in a bad situation. It’s assumed that you have a choice of another employer. This is sad and untrue, but it is definitely something that will go into your intuitive jumps as you decide what your immediate goal is going to be in this scenario as it pertains to your overall single goal of self-preservation.

    I can imagine that your immediate goal might be or turn into deescalation by appeasement or passivity because of this. If you lose your life support by losing your job, there aren’t as many shelters for “runaway workers of abusive bosses” as there are for “runaway children of abusive parents,” after all. This is okay.

    If you do feel and keep on feeling that your immediate goal is to refuse to take any verbal or physical abuse, then I can imagine it would go very similarly to a scenario with verbally abusive parents. Verbal boundaries & communication of needs, verbal warnings of consequences, physical stance warnings of consequences, and finally physical consequences for transgression of the boundaries & needs you laid out earlier.
    Repeating those boundaries loudly, firmly, and confidently all the way through the escalation and even during the physical fight / afterwards will keep your chances of your reactions being socially accepted very high.

    Also, when it comes to the scenario where an office aggressor escalates all the way to a point where it is socially acceptable for you to deliver physical consequences (that is, because you have been physically threatened) this may be the least gender-disadvantaged social scenario.
    Man or woman, the “making sure things escalate on a clearly communicated and step-by-step basis” strategy is the only way you’re going to get coworker support for a final act of physically delivering consequences to your boss. Even a man could not keep his job if he resorted to physical consequences for verbal abuse.
    Even a man would have to make it publicly clear that he is under a physical threat to deliver physical consequences and get away with it. (This might result in a firing that’s opposed by all the bystanding coworkers or it might turn out all right and result in a firing for the boss because everything was so clear and public and because he did not deliver physical consequences until physically threatened. The boss might get fired for trying to physically harm an employee. Man or woman, the employee doesn’t really know which of these scenarios is more likely, so that would go into the “immediate goal” setting.)

    As far as making things “publicly clear,” if the initial verbal abuse is going on in a private office, I would say that part of the boundary-setting needs to be something along the lines of, “Yes, I consider this demoralizing. But I am going to end this conversation and leave, because I am not comfortable with the way it is going.”

    Firm adherence to such a polite but firm line–perhaps repeating it verbatim–is the safest (for keeping one’s job) way to get out of the office. I would recommend walking quickly and firmly (showing confidence and righteousness, not fear) out the door so that if your boss tries to detain you, it will be on the outside of the door. At that point, your boss has made a gesture that communicates his musing of getting physical to impose his will upon you. Nevertheless, if it did not seem painful or immediately dangerous, I would recommend turning around, holding your ground, and saying in as loud a declarative voice as possible, “YOU NEED TO TAKE YOUR HAND OFF ME AND STEP BACK.” If he complies with the hand part (out of fear of a sexual harrassment suit) but challenges the step back part with, “This is my office area!” you can make yourself clearer to bystanders by saying, this time, “YOU NEED TO STEP BACK. YOU ARE TOO CLOSE TO ME.” Having your hands up in a “ready” position is even better, because it communicates that you will deliver physical consequences for physical persistence or escalation–which gives him a warning that it’s better to respect your commands. Or it sets him up to say something that you can easily refute, such as, “Put your hands down! Are you threatening me? What are you going to do, hit me?” (At this point, if you want social acceptance, do not say, “Yes,” no matter how badly you want to! ;-) We’re going for social acceptance, not absolute moral rightness here.) You could respond, “YOU ARE ACTING MENACING AND YOU ARE TOO CLOSE TO ME. I NEED YOU TO STEP BACK,” or something shorter if it feels more effective. Or when he hears you say the “too close to me” thing from before, he might say, “You’re too close to me! You step back!” Hold your ground and your ready position and say, “I DON’T WANT ANY TROUBLE. STEP BACK SO I CAN WALK AWAY SAFELY.” Communicating that you feel your safety is under threat is always great for bystanders. And none of this accuses the boss of being a bad or irrational person–it just treats everything in the moment of what is happening, without judgment. (That’s a key element of improvising loud statements & commands that 1) might just work on the aggressor & deescalate things and 2) keep bystanders on your side.)

    Somewhere in all of this repetition, the situation will stay at is current level (so you repeat again), deescalate (at which point you can walk away and face whatever risk you already assessed you would be facing when you decided that it would be best, overall, to confront all abuse), or escalate to your boss attempting to rush you, hit you, etc. At that point, you have every right to deliver physical consequences. (And, because of all that loud, robotic, verbal setting of physical boundaries, bystanders will have come to understand that you are intent on not delivering physical consequences unless you were physically threatened, so even if they didn’t see your boss rush you, they will trust that his physical threat to you increased in the moment just before you struck him.)

    Now, because this guy was not necessarily bent on violating you physically from the beginning, but simply resorted to some level of physical power communication after verbal power communication failed (at least in his perception), this is one situation where if things do go to a mid-range violent fight, you might want to pause if he complains that he’s hurt. I would NEVER say that for someone who has a history of intending to hurt you physically. Once the physical fight starts with such people, in general it is MUCH safer to fight them to knockout/incapacitation and escape than to trust them to back off and escape.
    (And again, I wouldn’t judge anyone harshly who did decide that it was better/safer/more effective for long-term self-preservation to back off the fight mid-fight with such a person. I can’t tell what kind of situation the fight was. I’m just telling everyone in advance that the crime reports and studies all show that in most situations, fighting to incapacitation/knockout and ignoring an assailant’s pleas for mercy is the safest & most effection self-preservation choice.)

    Anyway, if your intuition tells you that your boss never thought of physically harming you from the outset, it might be a good strategy for social acceptance to stop if he begs for mercy and hold a “ready” position and start the loud verbal statements of boundaries & needs all over again. There is an better chance (compared to the angry father) that this man really is ready to listen to your physical safety needs, deescalate (most likely walk away), and let you walk away safely at this point. ;-)
    Then again, if he was just bluffing, well, you’re ready to kick again and go for knockout if that doesn’t make him scramble to his feet and run away. First and foremost in a physical attack is your safety, and if you’ve decided confront abuse & attacks up to this point, while you always have the option of changing strategies, consistency probably helps your social acceptability–so fighting to knockout if he continues to fight you, after all this step-by-step escalation, might be your safest option.
    (Hold your ready position even as he walks away, though, turning to track him with whatever limb you plan to use to strike if he charges you again. He might try to embarrass you for spinning on the floor with your leg in the air, pointed at him, but just repeat your needs like a robot. That will communicate to bystanders that you’re doing this silly thing out of defense, not unjust aggression.)

    Anyway, there you go. That’s one way I imagine a scenario of mid-range violence coming to pass. I have trouble imagining any other way that mid-range violence could come to a socially acceptable point and be executed by a male employee, either, by the way. Again, I think the office situation is, unfortunately, a situation where most people (man or woman) will feel like passivity is the best long-term self-defense strategy, and where confronting abuse calls for the same trajectory of verbal resistance to physical resistance for a man or a woman.

  88. Kim

    Amanata:

    “Actually if I got to see my rapists castrated or executed I think it would be an excellent thing. I would throw a party, serve hot dogs for the kitsch value, and chuckle every time I thought about it for the rest of my life.”

    Much as it frightens me a bit to state it in writing, I’d feel the same if personal shitstick suffered castration and I’d like some humilation thrown in for good measure.
    These sorts of wounds never do heal for many of us, do they?

    Since castration will of course never happen I hope I live long enought to take a big ol’ shit on his grave. I wobble out the graveyard as an old women with my walker if need be.
    And yes, I’m deadly serious.

  89. Kim

    That was “my personal shitstick” should have been.
    Alluding to my rapist, natch.

  90. kitkat

    Firstly, violence is a specific, rather than a general, deterrent. As in Miss Ginger’s example of her averted rape by her boyfriend, the end result was that she didn’t get raped. Whether or not it made the sonofabitch think twice before trying it again with another woman is unknown, and ultimately unimportant.

    Violence and/or vigilantism isn’t going to make any kind of contribution to the improvement of overall male behavior, it can’t.

    I strongly disagree with you.

    I think it can. I think that appealing to consciences & humanity will work for men who are only somewhat socially conditioned to consider women rapeable. However, some men are not only socially conditioned to that idea, but they’re also conditioned (often just “raised,” as in the narrowest kind of conditioning–the parents–or chemically determined? who knows…) to be just plain mean people. I think that those men do respond to a general social-category-wide (such as “women”) deterrent of “immediate physical consequences for mean acts.” I don’t believe they’ve got special armor on that keeps general deterrents from working on them. (Unfortunately, I do think that they might just go on to pick another group of people they’re socially conditioned to consider rapeable, but let’s get the general deterrents going in order of status quo frequency.)

    By the way, I say this about the fear of immediate violence, not vigilantism.

    I agree with you that the general threat of vigilantism does not work as a general deterrent.

    I only think that the general threat of immediate violent consequences for cruel physical acts would be an effective general deterrent.

    Why? Because non-aggressors can get fearful of vigilantism. They can fear that they might be attacked for something they didn’t do. Non-aggressors are willing to support and promote in-the-moment violent consequences, though, because they don’t get paralyzed from doing so by irrational fear of being wrongly identified at a later date. And support, promotion, & publicity–especially from a pool of status quo “likely potential aggressors”–is a big factor in what makes general deterrents deter. Anyway, yeah, less fear and more support because immediacy means one has to actually be there, in the moment of consequence-delivering, so it’s socially more palatable as “fair” and thus “promoteable.”

    …if the woman in question is willing to go there. It’s an intensely personal choice, and not viable or reasonable for every woman. No choice is.

    ABSOLUTELY.

    And this is why the classes that teach effective self-defense for women, the classes that are working on making this “physical feminist” reconditioning of women (and therefore men) happen, always teach, right in the class, that no woman armed with these tools is obligated to use them. ALL they are doing is taking away her previous obligation to not use them (because she didn’t have them to use). I agree with that 100%.

    If every woman in the world knew that she could defend herself effectively and in a maximally socially acceptable manner, I still wouldn’t want any woman to feel pressured to do so in her individual moments simply to add to the “general deterrent factor.” If luck had it that every attempted rape in this world of fully-equipped-with-all-tools women played out as a scenario where using some other tool seemed like the best option, I would not dismay that the general deterrent factor “went down” or something. I would just say, “Well, that’s the way it turned out. They’re creatures of instinct, and they had all their options. They knew what they were doing.”

    (However, based on the current studies & crime reports about how attempted rapes actually get thwarted, I can’t imagine that happening. Nevertheless, I’d be okay with it if it did.)

  91. mel

    Maiken said:
    “How Q Grrl, mel and Luckynkl concluded from my opposition to genital mutilation that I’m somehow anti-feminist, pro-rape, or unconcerned with the fact that our example email crystallizes confused, delusional misogyny towards women, I will never know.”

    Maiken, what the fuck are you talking about? I never made ANY of those conclusions about you. What I talked about was Mary Daly and how fantastically accurate she was when she pointed out that men like to bombard women’s spaces, try to direct the slant of the conversation, try to twist words, try to pit woman against woman, and basically try to pathetically garner attention, as usual, for themselves. Or something.

    You don’t get it, do you? I’m not interested in you. I’m not interested in your thoughts or ideas. And I’m not going to waste one more bit of energy on you. This is the last time I will address you or even waste a thought on you.

  92. zawadi

    scratchy888: This is late, but I just read something that you wrote a while back:

    ‘I think the overarching meanings of this come from symbolic thinking. To be concice, women are always positioned, generwise, as masochists, and men are positioned “naturally” as sadists.

    So, to mutiliate a man is to do something to him which only a masochist (a woman) would supposedly tolerate, without going insane. To be raped, however, a masochist can tolerate, indeedy, and still not feel that her role in life has been radically altered.’

    It reminded me of a study I just came across that you might find interesting, titled “‘Women enjoy punishment’: Attitudes and experiences of gender-based violence(2002)”. It surveyed male and female nurses in South Africa (who are often those who provide first-line care to women who have been physically assaulted). They found some telling assumptions among both men and women that illustrate your point quite well, about women being casted as “natural” masochists.

    An excerpt:

    ‘As one male nurse stated, he would only make a referral to the police: “if she feels that she has had enough. So we will give her the chance. Women are very tough. Even if you hit them, they can still come back and tolerate the situation. That’s how they are made.” ‘

    If you’d like to read it, it can be downloaded on the second page of this site: http://www.genderstats.org.za/genderbased.shtml or found here:
    http://www.wits.ac.za/radar/PDF files/Women_enjoy_punishment.PDF

    Of course this isn’t particular to South Africa. The idea has been discussed on this blog that there’s a great tendency for men to assert that some forms of violence, or threats of violence, can ‘normalise’ women who step out of line.

    I’ve also noticed a pervasive romanticisation of how ‘tough’ (that is, masochistic) women are, especially but not exclusively in relation to commentaries on poor women in the Global South: Women are supposedly able to ‘endure’ any amount of suffering, abuse, hardship and whatnot, for the good of their families, and are ‘tougher’ than men.

    I think that the implications of what you said – that men and women are positioned respectively as natural sadists and masochists – help to understand a bit better the contradiction inherent in the ideas that: (1). Women are tough and can take abuse and (2). Women are weak and need protection. The implication of the sadist/masochist duality is that women/masochists *need* the supervision of sadists/men. Hence patriarchy.

  93. maiken

    MzNicky, Twisty since clarified that she was not serious, so I’m no longer “hysterical” or “huffing and puffing”. In my defense, though, Twisty was the first to bring up due process — in order to mock the very idea of being concerned with it.

  94. Kim

    Well hell — I’ll be the psycho turd in the punch bowl to state in the case of actual rape, I hope Twisty was at least a little serious.

    “I know, I know. You’re concerned with due process. Good old due process. That’s where if a guy says to you “The mere sight of a woman makes me want to rape her,” you wait until the system gets catches up with him, if it catches up with him, maybe after the 10th or 20th or 40th time he rapes someone, and then lock him up for 18 months, where he can pick up tips from other sexual predators. Then you suggest that he go to therapy, and you send out postcards, like the ones they send me from time to time, notifying the neighborhood that a sex offender has just moved in next door so lock up your daughters.”

    Sorry, but indeed the whole thing was worth quoting.
    Reading that, yes, I’d like to think she was bit serious.
    That whole kick-ass paragraph is enough to make this gal *almost* embrace radical feminism again.

  95. kitkat

    As one of my instructors once said, “Self defense doesn’t stop rape. It just changes the names of the victims.” Sad but true.

    Missginger, I don’t believe it’s true! At its current level of execution and publication, that may be true, but not if we work to get more women capable of doing it effectively.

    It’s just gonna damn well change perceptions of women as “rapeable” if enough women get capable of doing it.

    Fundraiser blog links for IMPACT!

  96. slade

    I woke up at 3:30 am this morning due to indigestion from those horrid burritos from Chipotle…Do I miss El Faro or what? So for the next two hours I ruminated about maiken and her demands for ‘So did you mean this?’

    I thought how maiken seemed to be itching for a fight…a fight in which she could stand and defend this sicko emailer who could right now be laughing at us or truly in need of some hormonal therapy. Why was maiken so in need of this confrontation here at IBTP?

    So I checked out maiken’s blog…she has a category regarding ‘Lark Junior.’ Aha…she has a son and I’ve read of a theory that some women who have sons will go to some strange lengths of defending the male species because she has one as a child…and of course that leads to the theory that a woman living in a patriarchy may have little choice but to live through the males in her life (the strong women behind the throne or the son attached to the apron strings).

    So I hit upon ‘Lark Junior’ and mother maiken asks Lark Junior “why are you putting a cracker in your ear? Yes, an ear just like Daddy’s.” I continue to read that the child is named Ryan….Ryan Marie.

    Are you familiar with Kathleen Parker, a columunist who goes to very great lengths to support everything that males do? And to make excuses for everything that a male does wrong? I refer to it as the “Katey P” Disease…and I think you just might suffer from it.

    Were you disappointed that Ryan wasn’t a male? Have you been so throughly dipped and fried in Patriarchy that you are willing to come onto a Radical Feminist blog and spout off about how rapists’ nuts need to be defended?

    My wish is that Twisty had some sort of ‘Ignore’ Button so I could block you from my eyesight.

    Amananta…and all others on this blog who have suffered at the hands of cruel and hateful males…My wish for you is pure and complete Justice. It breaks my heart and curdles my blood into anger to see women endure such hatred and violence at the hands of those sub-animal of our species. And I don’t believe for one moment, Catherine, that you walk down dark allies at night whistling a happy tune. At least without carrying some sort of protection. What a crock.

    Last, having been raised on a farm where I watched the effects of castration on animals, I gotta say, it’s worth a try. The pen that had to be built to contain the bull was something to behold. Yet after the bulls were castrated, they could roam freely in the fields. Same with the tom cats. And if our patriarchial culture keeps insisting that ‘boys will be boys’ unable or unwilling to control their strong urges, what choice does an Advanced Society have?

    One of the lessons I was taught as a child was: if you don’t take care of it or use it properly, you won’t have it anymore. It’s a very simple rule. I don’t see nuts as something sacred. And if they’re not used properly, then why should he have them anymore?

    I am Blaming with a rage today…

  97. maiken

    slade, you take the cake by far for most vitriolic and mean-spirited attack on me yet, all for having suggested that perhaps it would not, in fact, be such a hot idea to mutilate a man for sending an email.

    Leave my family out of it. Your cheap pop psychology is insulting and demeans both of us. I openly link to my blog and talk about my family there because I have an evidently misguided trust that people won’t take cheap shots at me as a result. It’s people like you that make me think twice about that trust.

  98. annared

    Maiken “it would not, in fact, be such a hot idea to mutilate a man for sending an email”

    An email that ends

    [...]a guy like me who could be a future rapist”

  99. finnsmotel

    “I hope I live long enought to take a big ol’ shit on his grave.”

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0077713/

  100. maiken

    annared, if you sincerely believe that the logical response to someone sending an email in which he, yes, says that he “could be a future rapist” is to mutilate him, we have utterly different ideas of what human civilization consists of.

    Mutilating people based on a hunch that they will do something bad in the future is not feminist or anti-feminist, it’s not sexist or anti-sexist, it’s anti-human. This is just not a reasonable way to treat other people.

  101. annared

    Maiken “utterly different ideas of what human civilization consists of”

    Yes, I do have an utterly different idea of hu-man civilization than you. Maybe if you got the hems of your petticoats dirty once in a while, ventured out of your Chocolate box, and worked with casualties of this so-called civilization you may find it is not that civilized. Since when has been civil with rapists or wanna be rapists change anything? Not in my ten plus years of working with survivors and that is without the personal.

  102. finnsmotel

    “it would not, in fact, be such a hot idea to mutilate a man for sending an email””An email that ends: […]a guy like me who could be a future rapist”

    In discussion yesterday, Twisty pointed out a verbal slip on my part that I think really speaks volumes.

    I had slipped up and said “what constitutes rape” had changed over time. She rightly pointed out that what constitutes rape has always been the same, but that the socially accepted definition of rape is what is evolving. (or something to that effect)

    I had proposed a rather long-winded theory about cultural evolution (claiming it as my own, despite the strong possibility that I’m inadvertently stealing from some as-yet-unread expert). That said, if you accept the idea that cultures evolve in the way that species do, it would logically follow that patriarchy is a mutation in human cultures. This mutation, at some point, proved successful in the survival and proliferation of our species. However, along with it, came all kinds of baggage. Like rape.

    The variable is not in whether or not rape is a result of patriarchy. It is. The variable is whether or not various human cultures on this planet are owning up to it and moving toward changing it, or moving toward rationalizing and accepting it.

    One problem is that any concilatory language on the behalf of the perp (or potential perp, as it may be) is going to perceived as rationalization or acceptance of the act. IMO, it’s not. I don’t think that defending a guy’s nuts against pre-emptive strike makes you a rapist sympathizer. But, it might mean that you’re a patriarchy sympathizer, and, to some in this group, those two may be seen as the same thing.

  103. maiken

    I don’t think that defending a guy’s nuts against pre-emptive strike makes you a rapist sympathizer. But, it might mean that you’re a patriarchy sympathizer

    I don’t see why it’s reasonable to assume the latter thing, either. If you would like to explain to me why it is, I would be happy to listen.

    All these accusations of being pro-rapist seem just as dishonest to me as the right wing’s description of anything that doesn’t hand massive power to the executive as being “pro-terrorist”.

  104. Mary Sunshine

    I think Maiken is a male.

    Look at the bottom of the blog, scroll all the way down to the bottom.

    It says copyright 2006 Mark Aiken.

    Mark, are you willing to cop to it?

  105. Q Grrl

    Maiken, why are you getting so upset with Slade? It’s all just words on a blog – no “real” harm in that, is there? Slade didn’t do anything. Just wrote some words. Even if the words were sent to you in an email, say, I don’t see why you would have to get upset. Maybe the post was poorly worded.

  106. Lya Kahlo

    Female or male, Maiken is a troll.

    “Since when has been civil with rapists or wanna be rapists change anything? Not in my ten plus years of working with survivors and that is without the personal. ”

    Exactly. Not in my (almost) ten years of volunteering with abused women & children either. Maiken has made it clear that we mustn’t explore – even facetiously – the options for stopping the assaults. We must remember that, above all else, we must THINK ABOUT THE MENZ!

    Twisty asked her/him upthread how many female lives are worth a sociopath’s nuts. Did s/he ever answer that question or has each subsequent response still been nothing but defense of the sacred balls?

  107. Kim

    Wow, Mary — you’re good :)

  108. maiken

    “Cop to it?” Yes, Mary, the lamentable truth is that I’m male, and my ‘maiken’ short-form just happens to be gender-ambiguous. I would say something here about how it would take near-complete obliviousness to hypocrisy for this to affect your view of my opinions, but I get the feeling that would fall on deaf ears.

  109. antiprincess

    “Mark, are you willing to cop to it?”

    like it’s some kind of charge? something to confess with shame?

    I have to admit, those times when I was called a man, I’ve felt deeply hurt. I’ve only been called a man two or three times, but each time I’ve felt more hurt than if someone called me a slut. because, in context, it seemed like being a man was the worst thing in the world ever to be.

    I mean, if that’s the case, well, so be it – but really? wow.

    and Slade: “I continue to read that the child is named Ryan….Ryan Marie.

    (snip)

    Were you disappointed that Ryan wasn’t a male?”

    and what’s wrong with naming a little girl “Ryan Marie”?

    I’ve known women named Jimi, Bobby, Kelly, Sydney – and a boy named Lindsay. Not sure what your objection is to “Ryan”.

  110. Pony

    maiken thinks we’d only know he was a guy by his posting addy. good one.

  111. finnsmotel

    “But, it might mean that you’re a patriarchy sympathizer

    I don’t see why it’s reasonable to assume the latter thing, either.”

    Well, unless you’re willing to discuss all possible changes to the status quo to alleviate the problem, you’re likely defending some element of the status quo.

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m in favor of keeping the status quo w/re to my nuts.

    But, I’m not shocked or morally threatened if someone wants to discuss castration as a viable means of preventing rape. I happen to think it’s a bad idea, but, I really can’t say if that’s because I like my nuts or if I think it’s immoral – it’s possible the two things are connected, you see, as our determinations about morality are dependent on the values of the dominant culture – our old pal patriarchy.

  112. MzNicky

    maiken: ““Cop to it?” Yes, Mary, the lamentable truth is that I’m male.”

    I knew it.

  113. maiken

    unless you’re willing to discuss all possible changes to the status quo to alleviate the problem, you’re likely defending some element of the status quo.

    Well I am clinging to our current principles of due process, true enough, but not *everything* to do with the status quo is enmeshed with the patriarchy… is it?

    I don’t think it’s a good idea to preemptively castrate people for the same reason I don’t think the government should be able to round up suspected terrorists and throw them in a hole forever without charge. That is, it’s because I don’t think there should be punishment without an overt criminal act, and due process. Note that conspiracy and threatening can be criminal. But, punishment based only on non-specific suspicion or anticipation is dangerous because of the tremendous potential for abuse.

    I don’t think of any of these ideas as having much to do with the patriarchy, I think of them as simply being humanist. That’s much of why I’m surprised to find myself attacked as anti-feminist. To the extent that I’m defending some element of the status quo, I think of myself as defending parts of it that are not to do with the patriarchy.

    Are these principles tied to the patriarchy in a way I’m not appreciating?

  114. Mandos

    The theory is that concepts of bodily integrity have been formulated in a patriarchal society by men, so that keeping our reproductive organs is a right but losing them is considered strange (for both sexes, in fact). Hence a radical feminist practice would be to reevaluate what we consider to be the source of bodily integrity. Rape is a violation of women’s bodily integrity as reported by women, and if removing male reproductive organs reduces the likelihood of rape, we have to evaluate why we prefer male bodily integrity in terms of keeping testes over women’s bodily integrity in terms of not getting raped.

    It’s not clear that women’s bodily integrity would be furthered by castration of males, but that’s besides the point.

  115. maiken

    Me: “Cop to it?” Yes, Mary, the lamentable truth is that I’m male.

    MzNicky: I knew it.

    Incredible. I knew it was pointless to talk about the hypocrisy of this attitude.

  116. Pony

    maiken thinks words and the way they are strung together have no meaning, that they give no message to the reader. maiken thinks images are profound with meaning, and he has some special visual sense. but he doesn’t get those either. have a look at his blog.

  117. maiken

    Pony, if you intend only to attack me personally, could you please just stop?

    Mandos, I found that very enlightening. Thank you for explaining it.

    Discussing castration as a punishment for, say, rape, strikes me as rather gruesome (like, say, amputation of a hand for theft), but potentially legitimate if there is a demonstrable benefit to society.

    It’s the pre-emptive part that I find much more worrisome. Here, the calculus is of men’s bodily integrity against a *potential*, *future* violation of women’s bodily integrity. Determining the degree of risk is intrinsically subjective, and the procedure is not reversible. To use your framework, it seems strange to value a woman’s *potential* violation more highly than the *definite* violation of a man, no?

    I suppose, though, if you assume that there will be *multiple* future rapes, the two may balance. There’s still the matter of having to guess at the risk, though.

  118. HermitWithAVengeance

    Since we’ve established maiken is a troll, I really shouldn’t do this. But I can’t help myself. I apologize to those who have set their blinders to maiken-ignore. If you are one of them, please stop reading here.

    Maiken: You know how Holocaust-denial is punishable in Germany by jail time and suchlike? This is because the German people — Nazis and their children, Nazi victims and theirs, and the inevitable overlap between all those categories — were so deeply traumatized by this wave of state-sponsored, systematic abuse and heinous violence.

    Women in this space are kinda like that. You need to stop denying the reality of the holocaust most Blamers have experienced. Your speech acts in this blog thread function in much the same way as Holocaust-denials by way of

    (1) calling the reaction hypocritical (this is part of a classic “blaming the victim” psychology, and we are here to blame not victims, but to blame what? can you say it with me now?)

    (2) creating straw-enemies in a further effort to denigrate the messages of others

    (3) playing on stereotypes of feminists in order to additionally bully, distort, and discount the views of others.

    Just as, in Germany, you don’t deny the Holocaust or vilify Jews for seeking to establish an independent state, on IBTP, you don’t deny that sexual assault and domestic violence are far graver threats to national security than terrorism, or vilify rape victims for putting forth suggestions, tactical or strategic, rhetorical or literal, to address these problems in our culture.

    There is a way, I think, to frame your important views and valuable questions or criticisms, in a less antagonistic manner. Deborah Tannen and Suzette Haden Elgin, for example, offer books on how to diffuse verbal attacks, to not use them yourself, and how male and female communication patterns might differ. As a man in a largely women’s space, you might want to seriously consider seeking that less antagonistic way, out of respect for the humanity you yourself espouse.

  119. Mandos

    Discussing castration as a punishment for, say, rape, strikes me as rather gruesome (like, say, amputation of a hand for theft), but potentially legitimate if there is a demonstrable benefit to society.

    That’s not the point. The point is *why* we conceive of bodily integrity one way and not another.

  120. MzNicky

    maiken: What’s hypocritical about sensing, and then being confirmed in that sensing, that you were a male?

  121. kitkat

    You know how Holocaust-denial is punishable in Germany by jail time and suchlike? This is because the German people — Nazis and their children, Nazi victims and theirs, and the inevitable overlap between all those categories — were so deeply traumatized by this wave of state-sponsored, systematic abuse and heinous violence.

    Women in this space are kinda like that. You need to stop denying the reality of the holocaust most Blamers have experienced.

    HermitWithAVengeance: Excellent use of the extended analogy as a clarification technique. Just wanted to say that.

    - Widely learned-about example (thus easy to understand)

    - “kinda like,” which helps people from your example population know that you are only using certain aspects of their real lives to illustrate a point, not trying to grab all the sympathy they get or whatever other problems there can be with making analogies

    (You helped bring to the conscious part of my mind something I already hoped I knew about posting here but am always a little afraid I didn’t! Now I have a better “why” guideline to help me decide what I am going to say when I comment, and that can be nothing but a good thing.)

    *clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap*

  122. kitkat

    strikes me as

    The point is *why* we conceive of…one way…
    *claps* to you too, Mandos. I’m going to write “strikes me as” with a lot more introspection from now on!

  123. finnsmotel

    maiken sez:

    “It’s the pre-emptive part that I find much more worrisome. Here, the calculus is of men’s bodily integrity against a *potential*, *future* violation of women’s bodily integrity.”

    I just recently watched Hilary Clinton give a speech where she said:

    “Zawahiri, bin Laden’s second in command, the architect of many of the
    attacks on our country, throughout Europe and the world, has said
    repeatedly that it is his experience that torture of innocents is
    central to radicalization.”

    Radical is a radical is a radical, dude.

  124. MzNicky

    I think it’s long past time maiken was steered toward Twisty’s sidebar. Over there, on the right, maiken. The part that says:

    “I Blame The Patriarchy is intended for advanced patriarchy-blamers. It is not a feminist primer. See Patriarchy-Blaming The Twisty Way for details.”

    Click and learn. Unless that’s not really your purpose here. Unless you’re just here to play a tiresome variation of the “taunt the feminists” game. Is it hypocritical of me to say I suspect the latter? Wait, don’t answer that. I don’t care what you think.

  125. maiken

    OK, enough. I give up.

    If Hermit’s take is honestly that what I’ve argued here is anything like Holocaust denial, then something has gone completely off track. I’ve been attacked for around twenty-four hours now, and the unending vitriol is just not worth it.

    I posted my original comment to ask Twisty if she was serious in calling for pre-emptive castration, and to suggest that perhaps that was not a good idea. Somehow, from there, we’ve gotten to people questioning whether I am disappointed in my children, accusing me of discounting the experience of rape victims, and of being an apologist for violent misogyny. This is personally hurtful to me, since not only do I firmly believe I have nowhere said anything that can reasonably be interpreted in those ways, but I have expressly disavowed those views more than once.

    I’m sure it’s comforting to just call me a troll. Because I’m a progressive blogger and committed to not unwittingly being an instrument of the patriarchy, I naively expected that Twisty’s blog would be a welcoming place, but that certainly hasn’t been my experience here.

    Looking back, I can see that I gave in more than once to the temptation to be snarky to people who were attacking me. For that, I am sorry. Perhaps Hermit is right and I badly misjudged the culture of communication here. The books by Tannen and Elgin sound interesting and I will look for them; thank you for the suggestion.

  126. Pony

    maiken’s getting pissed off. pass the popcorn.

  127. Mandos

    In any case, any world in which physical castration would ever be considered a serious option for rape prevention would have to be a world in which it would be rarely required, so this discussion is necessarily about (probably useful) hypotheticals.

    I have heard that rapists often have trouble with, um, arousal. I don’t know how far this is true. If true, then this suggests that a lot of rape cannot be attributed to hormones, since the hormones ain’t flowin’. The only reason why you’d consider physical castration is if you think that rape comes from male hormones.

  128. kitkat

    Well, maiken, I hope I didn’t give you the impression that I was judging you as a denier. All I meant was that the example made it clear to me that in a place where trauma has been very real, things that don’t seem like denial to the less-affected can seem like it to the very-affected.

    And, hey, as any good fan of certain postmodern principles should say…when it’s all “seems to me,” “seems to you,” who’s to decide who’s right? Might as well be more careful about the “seems to me” in areas where there’s been a lot of trauma lest one does hit that “seems to you” nerve where certain words are seen as denial of an experience. Why “might as well?” Because it’s good for getting along another day, and getting along is good for keeping communication lines open another day, and keeping communication lines open is good for continuing to make life better.

  129. Pony

    Oh fuck off maiken. You came here to lay it down on Twisty.

  130. MzNicky

    maiken plops into this blog and starts up right away with the condescension and rudeness. Then maiken starts bullying others and misconstruing their meanings and then expresses surprise that not everyone immediately acknowledges his superior opinions and world view. Then he calls me “hypocritical” because, for some reason!, I suspected, correctly and contrary to his claims, that he was a man.

    “Because I’m a progressive blogger and committed to not unwittingly being an instrument of the patriarchy, I naively expected that Twisty’s blog would be a welcoming place, but that certainly hasn’t been my experience here.”

    Uh-huh. Next up: a long-winded, self-aggrandizing, head-shaking post on his blog about how he tried to play nice at Twisty’s but everybody was mean to him.

    Lissen, bud, I’VE had more vitriol hurled at me on this blog than you have. Did someone force you to keep returning “for 24 hours”? I think you’re just upset because the girls didn’t make all nice and express gratitude for your presumed enlightenment. You’re not the first self-congratulatory “male feminist” to wash up on these shores and make that mistake. Forget the Deborah Tannen. I suggest some basic feminist theory, if understanding patriarchy really IS something you’re interested in.

  131. Pony

    I don’t know how to make those link things. You all want to read what Mad Sheila Musing has to say about maiken. Oh my Alyx is good.

  132. Twisty

    maiken:”Twisty since clarified that she was not serious,”

    Did I, Maiken? Did I?

  133. CannibalFemme

    Pony: is that ‘Den of the Biting Beaver’?

  134. mel

    I KNEW it. I fucking KNEW it!! And THAT, my friends, is why I quoted Mary Daly in the first goddamn place! Fuck!

    Hey all–imagine being upset after 24 hours of vitriol. Trying fucking 43 years!!

    BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  135. Pony

    Dickhead with inability to grasp obvious :))))

    http://madsheilamusings.blogspot.com/

  136. mel

    If you check out the archives for February 2006, you can find a self portrait of the troll–I mean artist–here: http://www.chromalark.com/about.html

    Actually, if I did it correctly, you can get directly to it from here:
    http://www.chromalark.com/2006/02/self_portrait_1.html

    What’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.

    It’s a shame, really. The pictures aren’t half bad.

  137. Erin

    A brief experiment for those in the audience who remain convinced that only hysterical, head-shaking, ball-revoking Maenads believe in the appropriateness of preventive interventions:

    Write a letter to the head of your national government. In the letter, suggest that you are so enraged with his (odds are, it’s a he, natch) policies that you have fantasies about taking his ass out assassination-style and restoring the world to its right and natural order. Now wait by your door. You’ll be getting a visit any minute now. And they won’t be wanting to discuss your right-minded policy initiatives.

    Or:

    The next time your life circumstances require you to travel by air, crack a joke to the friendly baggage inspector about how the hassles of airline travel make you understand why people want to blow the damned planes to kingdom come. Make sure that no one is waiting for you in a ticketing zone at your destination.

    You see, when the threats involve real people (hint: the ones who pee standing up), they’re often taken VERY seriously. When it’s the same old, same old of “sometimes I want to stick my penis where it’s not wanted,” we get these cautionary warnings to wait until the threat is realized. Whyever would that be?

  138. vera

    Erin, just what I was wondering.

  139. Pretty Lady

    Darlings, forgive me–I have read most of this very long thread, but I may have missed the place where somebody suggested that the poor deluded fellow who wrote the original letter might not be From Here. I saw some suspicions that he might be Borat-influenced, but none which suggested that he might be genuinely clueless.

    I note that his errors in spelling and grammatical construction are more consistent with those of a person learning English as a second language, rather than a victim of the American public school system. Moreover, his reference to ‘tops and skirts’ as an unusual and hard-to-parse phenomenon seem to indicate that he has not, until this point in his life, encountered many women wearing them.

    The next obvious inference is that he grew up in a location where women wear something else–like, perhaps, burquahs?

    You see, in countries where women wear burquahs, there IS an instrument of social control, other than the state, which exists to curtail the violence of men. That instrument is called ‘religion.’ Having largely dispensed with this controlling influence, in large swaths of our culture, we have created great confusion. People are operating at cross-purposes, to say the least.

    In my view, the lovely lady who originally fielded this man’s question did an excellent job in explsining to him the ground rules regarding sexual relations, in a country where the rules are fluid and ambiguous. He may have learned something, without harboring the sort of violent grudge he otherwise might, had some of the more extreme explanatory measures suggested here been applied.

  140. Mandos

    “What’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.

    It’s a shame, really. The pictures aren’t half bad.”

    Huh?

  141. Pony

    Right. We don’t have “burquahs” or religion here.

  142. Pony

    Yeah I saw the pbase sets too. I’ve done better with a Canon TX. I used to just love getting A1 with my TX while the guyes (check the shot) always had the big penis I mean lenses, the most expensive camera, wore those dorky pseudo-military hats. Oh geez, perhaps I could send him a pair of fingerless mittens?

  143. mel

    Oh Mandos, Mandos, Mandos. What’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander. If he can surf and infiltrate, so can we. If he can calls ‘em as he sees ‘em, so can we.

    And the photos. Well, yeah, they might not be half bad, but then they’re not half good either, eh?

  144. Mandos

    Oh. That’s not that interesting. I thought everyone was surfing and infiltrating already.

  145. ribbit

    I aploogize in advance is my comment is hard to follow. I am trying to express my thoughts to some of the issues of this particular bolg enty and comments.

    I hate the whole “boys will be boys” fucking excuse. If I decided to beat the unholy bejesus out of some patriarchy worshipping asshole (and possibly blaming it on PMS) it would not be swept aside with a simple “girls will be girls” or “women will be women”.
    I also have a personal disdain for this phrase because it is (no shit) what my father said to me when I complained to him and my mother that a boy in my class was being sexually intrusive. On another note… before I got home and told my parents I pushed the boy head first into a wall and got repremanded not by the teacher (a fucking botard that did not pay attention to what was going on in the class and allowed the males to dominate it as well as the other girls in the class) but by my female peers. Who asked ” Why are you so upset? He does it to everyone.” At the age of nine I discovered that not all women are on the side of women. And will not only tolerate such behavior but encourage it.

    And did Maiken really say ” if you assume that there will be *multiple* future rapes…”?!? So, basically, one rape per rapist is ok. As long as the rapist does not exceed his alloted number of rapes all is fine and dandy and the women-folk should just shut their yap and be happy that there is at least some semblence of order/justice? So men can assult women without worrying about a similar punishment.

    When reading the post from amanata to jaye at 11:04am I went from disbelief to satisfaction (with the party to be held when her rapist was castrated and/or killed)to sadness and immense anger when I got to “the male-run “justice” system could care less when women are violently sexually assaulted.” I am sad because it is just too true.

    On a lighter note: Cannibal Femme … Howdy back to ya.

  146. slade

    “Leave my family out of it. Your cheap pop psychology is insulting and demeans both of us. I openly link to my blog and talk about my family there because I have an evidently misguided trust that people won’t take cheap shots at me as a result. It’s people like you that make me think twice about that trust.” maiken

    You don’t care one iota about trust…you have your silly little blog because you think you’re important. You think the sun rises and sets on your ugly ass. And so funny that you talk of ‘trust’…a man playing as a woman on a feminist blog.

    And referring to a female child as ‘junior’ and calling her ‘Ryan’ is weird. This was done to my aunt….Roberta/Bobbie. She was the ‘boy’ in the family until, of course, the real boy came along. And then her status in the family changed forever, leaving some nasty psychological scars.

    Only good thing about the name is that Ryan may get more responses to her resumes when she grows up.

    And I am definitely losing my sense of smell…thanks for the catch, Mary!

  147. Pony

    I just love that shot of him on his blog. How long do you think he had to hang in front of the mirror to get everything just so. The stubble, that hat, squint, no the other eye, umm no this lens is too small the other, and that way, I look more…dangereuse. Har. Poseur.

  148. thinkinggirl

    wow.

    I have to say, I have less patience for this maiken character than I did for ‘future rapist’.

    as loathe as I am to participate in anything to do with this guy (of course it’s a guy):

    maiken: “not *everything* to do with the status quo is enmeshed with the patriarchy… is it?”

    yeah. it is.

    that’s kind of the point. you think rape would continue at epidemic proportions in this world if women had more social power? if men and women were equal? seriously.

  149. Mandos

    I’m not getting where maiken passed himself off as a woman or anything.

  150. Mary Sunshine

    Mandos,

    I had sensed that “Maiken”, (Mark) was a guy long before Slade threw down the gauntlet to him. That’s why I went to the Maiken blog to find out what the story is. It was all the male arrogance, abstract distance, and bloodlessness in his presentations here that tipped me off. So, after I knew that he was male I looked back through the thread to verify that indeed, he *had* never copped to it.

    *Then*, Slade tore a strip off him, all the while referring to Maiken as “she” and “her”. And the child as “her” son.

    So I figured OK, enough of this shit.

    The males who post to this blog *do* present respectfully, if they are pro-feminist. They identify themselves as males in their first post, and participate in a real give and take, rather than assuming a rigid I’m-right-you’re-wrong position.

    The frankly misogynist males boast of their injured maleness immediately.

    But Mark, the software engineer, ever into the textual nuances, took the advantage of allowing us to assume that he was a female, while never actually *claiming* to be female.

    Then, he allowed Slade to continue to think of him as a female while he tore a vengeful strip off *her*.

    That was enough for me.

    Time to pants the poseur.

    And my, my wasn’t he aggrieved by *that*.

    Makes sense, eh? After all he was defending the nuts of rapists.

    I can blame the patriarchy, but who I really *hate* is men. Although I wonder if I can ever hate them as much as they already hate me. Certainly, I can never do the damage to them that they have done to me. Just had to say that before pressing the “blame” button.

  151. amananta

    To paraphrase one of my favorite authors: Hate is not an emotion, hate is behavior. In other words, it isn’t the thought that counts, its what you do. Men who claim to love women and may even believe they do, but who rape women who get “too drunk” on dates? That is hate whether they feel an emotion of dislike or not. Women who feel disgruntled about the horrors men get away with and then simply work towards laws that promote equality between the sexes, never once behaving violently? That isn’t hate, its anger.

  152. Loosely Twisted

    Maiken said

    I don’t think it’s a good idea to preemptively castrate people for the same reason I don’t think the government should be able to round up suspected terrorists and throw them in a hole forever without charge. That is, it’s because I don’t think there should be punishment without an overt criminal act, and due process. Note that conspiracy and threatening can be criminal.

    By this logic then that would mean that a threatening email to someone is CRIMINAL. Least that’s what the cops said when my daughter recieved a “rape” threat on the phone, and in text message.

    SUPPOSE to be.. see those words? Oh they SAY it is, but it’s not, how can it be criminal if it’s never enforced?

    That’s the difference between Your world and Mine Maiken. Your male, your accusations towards a criminal are investigated, and found and charged and followed through with, My accusations towards a male of rape are laughed off and said to be my own fault.

    IF laws MEANT anything at all, Thinking Girl could charge him with Terroristic Threatening, and if we had a justice system AT ALL something would be done, and I would hope that on those grounds alone, he could be locked up and evaluated if not have his BALL CUT OFF!!

    You see the difference? I support it!! It makes them nice and comfy to be around without all that testosterone to cloud their thinking of JUSTICE.

    It’s not spoutting off, it’s wishful thinking. ALOT of it..
    Sadly none of my 3 rapes at 3, 7 or 15 were ever taken seriously. No, I lost my words at 3, I didn’t talk again til I was 5 yrs old and I ran out of fear from my own father. I beat my brother up constantly because I didn’t want him to touch me!! See, rape tears you apart, and this crap that people say we “get over it” BURNS ME UP.

    I WISH if I had one, that you could go through it, virtual reality of my nightmares, and then tell me if you wouldn’t make it CRIMINAL to threaten it!!

    No buddy if I had my way, it would be criminal to even THINK about rape and voice it to someone else.

    Using the word “rape” in casual context to mean something else would be criminal as well, it degrades and humilates those of us who have gone through it.

    and I am done on my rant, sorry Twisty I couldn’t contain my anger.

  153. CannibalFemme

    Having been plagued with brain-twitches about all this, I feel the need to wink yet another tiddle or two into this already-brimming cup.

    Firstly, I need to retract and restate something I said yesterday. I said that whether or not Miss Ginger’s would-be rapist went on to assault some other woman ‘was ultimately unimportant’, which is not true. What I was trying to convey was my own conviction, formed after years of scrapping around, that whether or not one perpetrator’s future behavior will change as a result of being on the receiving end of a righteous asswhupping isn’t something I can afford to factor into my choice, in that moment of self-defense, in that moment of survival.

    I’m sure that some rapists would think twice in the future, and some wouldn’t, and some would shift their strategy: use more cunning, go after ‘weaker’ prey, buy a tazer, whatever. I once saw a therapist who came highly recommended by a good friend–the first and last time I went to a male therapist–and his rationale for telling me that I should stop being physically violent towards abusive men was that they’d just turn around and take it out on some other woman ‘who didn’t know how to defend herself’. I was only eighteen then, and it fucked me up for months, although I’m not generally prone to guilt. So I felt the need to clarify what I said, which I hope I’ve done.

    Secondly, in babbling about what I thought violence could and couldn’t do, I forgot one thing: I think that physical violence can sometimes offer a sense of agency, which is in some ways a really small thing, but in some ways it isn’t. I guess it depends on how important agency is to you; I know how important it is to me. I’ve come out of fights with cuts, concussions, broken bones, bite wounds, pissing blood and so on, but I’ve never added all that up and felt like it wasn’t worth it to me, or that I made the wrong choice.

    And finally, I think Kitkat put a link in one of her posts to IMPACT!, but I don’t think it was live. So here’s another one:

    http://www.impactpersonalsafety.com/

    I took this back when it was ‘Model Mugging’, and hung around for a few years after that to volunteer with their youth program. It was a pretty good program, and I especially got a lot out of the ‘multiple assailants with weapons’ level. Back then they had scholarships, but I don’t know if they still do. At any rate, it’s an option.

  154. Lya Kahlo

    “Next up: a long-winded, self-aggrandizing, head-shaking post on his blog about how he tried to play nice at Twisty’s but everybody was mean to him. ”

    MzNicky called it. http://www.chezlark.com/?p=901

    A few of the comments are equally clueless and far more interested in petting Maiken’s ego then anything else.

    Is it just my imagination or does antiprincess spend an inordinate amount of time inventing reasons to not like Twisty (and pretty much all radical feminists)? Her comments to Maiken’s “Pity Me” post are astonishingly dishonest.

  155. kitkat

    his rationale for telling me that I should stop being physically violent towards abusive men was that they’d just turn around and take it out on some other woman ‘who didn’t know how to defend herself’.

    Oh heavens, CannibalFemme, I am so sorry. Especially since that was just, according to studies of reality, not true. I know this sounds kind of funny, but is there any chance that you’d be willing to give me his name & address so I could send him some literature that would teach him that what he thought was merely his hunch, and that in reality, the opposite is true, so he won’t tell more people his hunch as if it were truth?

    *hugs*
    I’m glad you got over being “fucked up” (you said it was only months, so I’m assuming you did).
    *sigh*
    *another hug, if i may*

  156. kitkat

    I think that physical violence can sometimes offer a sense of agency, which is in some ways a really small thing, but in some ways it isn’t. I guess it depends on how important agency is to you; I know how important it is to me. I’ve come out of fights with cuts, concussions, broken bones, bite wounds, pissing blood and so on, but I’ve never added all that up and felt like it wasn’t worth it to me, or that I made the wrong choice.

    *giggle*

    I wish I had a copy of last week’s arts newspaper from my town to send you, CannibalFemme! It had an illustration of a woman dressed in warm winter clothes, with a missing tooth, a bandaid on her face, and black eyes, holding a broken hockey stick that was partly held together with tape, and accompanied by a hockey puck that said, “Winter.”

    Just reminded me of your story of individuals who feel that agency is more important than cuts, concussions, broken bones, and so on. :-D

  157. kitkat

    A brief experiment for those in the audience who remain convinced that only hysterical, head-shaking, ball-revoking Maenads believe in the appropriateness of preventive interventions:

    The next time your life circumstances require you to travel by air, crack a joke to the friendly baggage inspector about how the hassles of airline travel make you understand why people want to blow the damned planes to kingdom come. Make sure that no one is waiting for you in a ticketing zone at your destination.

    You see, when the threats involve real people (hint: the ones who pee standing up), they’re often taken VERY seriously. When it’s the same old, same old of “sometimes I want to stick my penis where it’s not wanted,” we get these cautionary warnings to wait until the threat is realized. Whyever would that be?

    Erin–Re: “Whyever would that be?”

    I was mulling over this, and besides sexism, I had another thought. It had to do with a political article I read that talked about how certain groups in our society–mostly those with money–were able to make their group-based interests seem like the interests of everyone in society. This happens for a lot of reasons, but the main point is that it happens.

    So I thought to myself while mulling, “Why do travelers seem like everybody? We’re convinced that ‘anyone could be a traveler,’ and thus that random violence against travelers is a subset against randomized, non-social-group-targeting violence.”

    But that’s not technically true. Travelers are part of a wider socially divided group–they’re part of the social group with the money to move far from home and still visit it, etc. “Potential travelers” is not a set that shares the same characteristics as an equally sized random sampling of all people in the U.S.

    I thought, “Okay, then, who is it that’s behind getting ‘potential travelers’ perceived by decision-makers as a group that might as well include everyone in the U.S? Because it seems that one thing that helps threats be taken ‘VERY seriously,’ as Erin put it, is this perception.”

    My answer was, “Airlines.”

    Airlines 1) have lots of money and 2) earn their money by keeping the social classes from which “travelers” come happy enough to keep patronizing them.

     
    A) Even though they are only serving a certain part of the U.S. population, they know they need US-wide-governmental (that is, the entity authorized to use more force than they are) intervention to keep those potential customers happy enough with the services & goods they sell to keep using them.

    B) They also know that it is next to impossible to get the US government to intervene and let you use its right to use force unless you convince the government that the interests of your potential customers are the interests of everyone in the nation.

    C) They also know that the best way to convince the government (which includes convincing “the populace”–especially the politically influential parts) of this is to spend a lot of money making up justifications of that story until you hit on some that work.

    D) They have that much money.

    THEREFORE) They did!

     

    Now…we could learn a lesson from this. Maybe. ;-)

    Okay, what for-profit (and thus money-having) set of organizations makes money off of keeping women believing that sex, when it happens, is always an enjoyable experience for all parties? (And therefore has an interest in eliminating all experiences to the contrary for its customers, just like the airlines have an interest in eliminating all non-safe experiences for their customers?)

    Feminist sex shops!

    Hrm.

    Okay, I can’t think of any others.

    Can you?

    But man, think of it. Imagine if feminist sex shops had the billions and billions of revenues that airlines do. They could easily spend enough money to spread propaganda and convince everyone, government included, that consensual and enjoyable (or at least genuinely attempted at enjoyable / working towards finding enjoyable) sex is in the interests of everyone in this country?

    They would argue that they, the businesses that serve the interests of everyone in this country, will go out of business and cease being able to provide important–nay, essential in this day and age–services & goods for everyone in this country if the federal government does not put its right to use force towards eliminating non-consensual sexual experiences that frighten potential customers.

    Hey, the “women are the entire U.S. population and thus women’s interests are the entire U.S. population’s interests” line is no less true than “potential travelers are the entire U.S. population and thus potential travelers’ interests are the entire U.S. population’s interests” line!

    All the feminist sex shops (or any other business you think of that I didn’t) are missing is the money.

  158. kitkat

    (Oh, by the way, Erin, also consider that that analogy only helps elucidate the situation–and only calls for something like I proposed–to people who believe that preventive intervention even on behalf of groups that are perceived as the entire U.S. population is acceptable.)

  159. kitkat

    It had to do with a political article I read that talked about how certain groups in our society–mostly those with money–were able to make their group-based interests seem like the interests of everyone in society. This happens for a lot of reasons, but the main point is that it happens.

    I forgot to cite the article! 2.0.CO;2-#”>Here it is: Drs. Schneider & Ingram, “Social Construction of Target Populations,” American Political Science Review, Vol. 87, No. 2 (Jun., 1993), pp. 334-347.

    I’ll post a public-access link if I find one…that or maybe someone can download the PDF and re-host it on a personal web server & post a link.

  160. kitkat

    Shit…I suck at posting. 2nd attempt.

  161. antiprincess

    Is it just my imagination or does antiprincess spend an inordinate amount of time inventing reasons to not like Twisty (and pretty much all radical feminists)? Her comments to Maiken’s “Pity Me” post are astonishingly dishonest.

    lya – I know what I know.

    you say “dishonest”, I say “my experience.”

    of course, I could have the “called me a man” issue mixed up with another blog. I could be mistaken. which is different than dishonest.

    and I greatly admire Twisty. and I’m jealous. she’s Mozart to my Salieri. it’s complicated.

    however, you may be right in that I sometimes seem to have little to say that doesn’t boil down to “Twisty makes me mad.” point taken.

  162. Mandos

    But Mark, the software engineer, ever into the textual nuances, took the advantage of allowing us to assume that he was a female, while never actually *claiming* to be female.

    This is a bit byzantine. It’s far more likely that maiken, rather than having complicated nefarious motives, didn’t see the need.

  163. Mandos

    I wrote a fairly long post but only two sentences of it came through. This *can’t* be the spamulator. Is there a problem with the tags in my post? Can the rest of the content be salvaged?

    The general gist of my post was that maiken’s main sin was not reading the patriarchy-blaming fine print and being a naive liberal. Naive liberals tend to think of gender neutrality as being the pinnacle of feminist action, and hence he probably didn’t feel the need to correct people about his gender rather than have some nefarious plan to confuse the discussion. He didn’t get the context and just barged in. But somehow a Mary Daly anathema got pronounced over his head.

  164. slade

    The Goddess of the Internet has saved us from the long post written by Mandos which I am sure would have had me crying buckets full for the ever suffering, totally misunderstood maiken whose feelings have been trampled upon by the mean women who must immediately drop everything so to apologize and reinvigorate his Fragile, yet gigantic, Male Ego.

    Wah.

    I forgot that my purpose on Earth is to do nothing but coddle the FME.

  165. Pony

    Read the comments on this story at globeandmail.com, if you are still under the illusion that Canada is some haven for justice or forward thinking. Keep in mind these comments were veted.

  166. CannibalFemme

    Kitkat: thanks for the hugs, it made my day. While I’m certainly not about to lay claim to the title of ‘un-fucked up’, at the very least I’m unburdened by any residual fear that my antics of retribution are in some way endangering women unknown.

    As for the Psycho!logist, it was a bloody long time ago, and about all I remember is that he told me to call him David and he smelled like hummus and he was very avuncular, so tracking him down would be problematic. He was providing his erstwhile services at my local GLBT Centre, but he’s not there now.

    I appreciate your described ‘Winter’ picture, and it never occurred to me that hockey sticks don’t count as concealed weapons, so, yes! I’ll take that on.

    On your travel analogy: I’ve often mused on how fun it would be to restrict a bunch of air-travel businessmen to voyage by nothing but Greyhound for a year or so, just for the shivery glee of it–except that then I’d have to share the Greyhound with them. So it’s obvious that your idea of shifting airline-industry funding over to feminist sex shops is way cooler.

  167. Mandos

    The point, slade, is not to make you cry for him. It’s interesting that you would surmise that it’s a binary choice between sympathy or contempt for maiken.

    The point was that it’s not clear to me that the complex analyses of maiken’s nefarious motives have any better basis than a more charitable interpretation. Or that the reaction enlightened his or anyone else’s minds. It’s not clear that maiken understood that there was an issue beyond standard notions about pre-emptive punishment and that the rest of the blog commenters were coming to the discussion from a completely different context. If he had, I suspect he wouldn’t have reacted the way he did. I realize that this isn’t feminism 101, but still.

  168. slade

    I accept your apology.

  169. ginmar

    Yeah, antiprincess, whatever. You’re sitting there, commiserating with a sexist guy. Your site is basically mocking Twisty. Exactly how are you anything but a cheerleader for sexist assholes?

    Oh, wait….

  170. Edith

    For you, arguing about the rights of a rapist, or potential rapist, is an intellectual exercise. For some of the women over there, there is no way to deal with the issue in a solely intellectual manner because rape is a defining experience of their lives

    – from the maiken comments

    So here that, ladiezz? We can’t hang with the big INTELLECTUAL PHILOSOPHIZERZ because we are just such dang victims! Gettin’ all EMOTIONAL and all, what with all the rapin’ we’ve experienced! Gee whiz, silly rape victims of IBTP we must all be, ’cause can’t we just have a CIVIL and INTELLECTUAL discourse about something without taking it all PERSONAL and stuff? God, why do we have to be such emotional GIRLS??

    Once you’ve been raped, you’re never going to be able to understand it in a smarty-pants way again. Only those with no first-hand experience in rape can talk about it with cleverness. I mean, duh. That’s just the way it is.

  171. Lya Kahlo

    “Exactly how are you anything but a cheerleader for sexist assholes? ”

    Prezactly.

  172. antiprincess

    look – I’m just not convinced that what passes for radical feminism these days consistently reaches the ROOT of the problem.

    So I examine, like we all do. and I discuss the results of that examination, like we all do.

    if the results of that examination sometimes appear to some people like I’m a cheerleader for sexist assholes, well, hand me my megaphone.

    speaking up is a feminist value. so I speak up when I see the need. we all do. that’s why we’re here. I begrudge no one that.

    But I don’t feel like it should be an either-or choice wherein either you march lockstep in Twisty’s army or you’re shaking your pompoms for the patriarchy. I think too often that the debate is framed in that manner, and I really think that’s damaging.

  173. ginmar

    So tell me, dear antiprincess, what part of mocking Twisty with your blog title passes for examination and getting to the root of the problem? And how does consistantly bashing her and misrepresenting her do anything helpful for women? I’m kind of confused by how that helps. You sure seem to get a charge out of it. Oh, and by the way? Calling it ‘marching in lockstep’ is a classic trollism. What’s your next comment going to be? “You can’t handle dissent!” “You only like people who agree with you!” Oh, wait, your little buds over at that male troll’s blog already covered those, and there you were, nodding and aggreeing along.

    So tell me again, where’s the root of the problem there? Where’s that highfalutin shit you were talking about? Because if I didn’t know better, after reading your comments there, your words there belie your words here. You say one thing here, and another to a man who defended rapists.

    A charitable person might call this confusion. A person who’s seen it too often before would call it something else. I guess you call it analysis.

  174. antiprincess

    Ginmar, I can understand your frustration, but you’re not going to bait me. I stand by my comments wherever I may make them.

  175. ginmar

    Oh, can you? Spare me, please.

  176. antiprincess

    well, I’m assuming that you think something I said somewhere else contradicts what I said here, and you just can’t believe I could be so stupid/so disingenous/such a mouthbreathing bottomfeeder as to claim not to see the contradiction.

    yeah, frustrating. I hate it when I notice things that other people don’t, and when I point it out, the other people don’t get it, and they stubbornly refuse to agree with me. Very frustrating.

    but, you know, we can work it out, or not. as you choose. if you have specific questions, by all means ask them.

  177. antiprincess

    “Disingenuous”. Please pardon the spelling error.

  178. Twisty

    Ginmar:”Your site is basically mocking Twisty”

    There’s a site basically mocking me? Excellent! What is it?

  179. antiprincess

    http://feet2thefire.blogspot.com/

  180. Twisty

    Ha!

  181. antiprincess

    from me, upthread: “and I greatly admire Twisty. and I’m jealous. she’s Mozart to my Salieri.”

  182. Twisty

    Aw, shucks.

  183. Twisty

    But hey, you know who really hates me? That belledame22. I’m like a pube in the back of her throat or something.

  184. ginmar

    Yeah, no shit. What’d you do, Twisty? Decapitate her Barbie-does-Dallas doll?

  185. Twisty

    You know, I don’t know. Is she one of those BDSM gals? Because they just can’t stand it when I call their lifestyle corny.

  186. antiprincess

    as far as I know, no action figures were harmed in the forming of Belledame’s throat pube of rage.

    I mean, she can speak for herself, so if you’re curious you could ask her. That would be the grownup thing to do.

  187. ginmar

    Yeah, Twisty, I think that’s more or less it. They’re still smarting over bullshit and sneering at all those strawfeminists that are, like, so uncool as to give a shit.

  188. antiprincess

    Ginmar – you bet I’m still smarting. I’m way hypersensitive.

    nobody’s ever said something to you/about you/about your friends that you thought was out of line, misinformed, just-not-true? you don’t remember how that felt?

    it’s not for you to determine when I should “get over it”. just as it’s not for me to determine when you should “get over it”, whatever “it” is for you.

  189. amananta

    Belledame hates me too. She accuses me of all kinds of shit that I never did or said and takes great delight in saying snide, nasty things about me around the blogosphere, even though I have never bothered her over at her blog. She’s one of those women who can’t tell the difference between criticism of the system (patriarchy) which demands a certain number of women be meekly sexually available to men for sex without men having any consequences other than having to throw a few dollars at her and hatred of sex workers, so she accuses me of hatred of sex workers: which, considering how candid I’ve been in my blog, can only mean she is functionally illiterate or a shameless liar. Since her writing is not that of a functional illiterate, I am forced to conclude that she’s a shameless liar.
    Example: she came to my blog one day to start off with disingenuous comments which gradually led to great snideness, upon which point I deleted her thread and asked her not to come back with any more of the same – so she claims I “banned” her. She also pretends, along with her friends, that I leave anonymous hateful comments on their blogs. I never leave anonymous comments.

  190. Pony

    Ahem, Twisty. One of them corny gals goes by the name Saleri.

  191. antiprincess

    never claimed to the contrary, Pony.

  192. ginmar

    Antiprincess, given the people you hang around with, you’re not exactly the person I’m inclined to give a shit about when it comes to hurting you with words. As the other poster says, not only Belledame but bitch/lab and lis riba have twisted my words and caused me great harm, and remain unrepentant and indeed proud of it to this day. So cry me a fuckin’ river with your oh-so-sensitive self.

    Amananta, I’ve had that same experience with more or less all of that group. I know exactly what you’re talking about. I figure the nerve hit had to be one of Twisty’s shots about analyzing one’s choices to do what one has to do. In this case, you know, I kind of suspect the things done with such glee—-bashing other feminists the way guys bash women who won’t go out with them—–are undertaken precisely because they offer a chance at both business and pleasure: lots of sound and fury, and maybe some higher blog rankings, along with the personal satisfaction of being passive aggressive. It’s one of those classic stereotypes of women that are so treacherous and so easy to go along with. That’s the thing: going along with the patriachy is so damned easy. It’s rewarding. It saves you a lot of shit. But I’ll be damned if I can figure out how it’s some kind of rebellion.

    We all have to make decisions about what we do to get along every day. But it’s kind of interesting how some people just won’t budge that far, and won’t compromise, and how others go the opposite route–appeasement all the way, called some kind of rebellion. Any woman who tosses strawfeminists around with more enthusiasm than she fights them is not helping other women—but she sure is helping the men. Women who use other women—who bash other women who actually are doing some fighting—-those women are making things hard for women, not helping them.

  193. ginmar

    I’m trying to get back to the damned topic, but I’m too amazed at the poster who so accurately recalled Mary Daly. I’ve never read her, but that scenario she described is re-enacted everywhere there’s a feminist blog.

  1. ChezLark » On the fragility of comfortable privacy on the web

    [...] You can read the whole debacle here if you’re bored and have a lot of time. It goes on for a while. I might have more to say about the issue, and why reaction was so violent and nasty, at a later time, when I have calmed down a little and gotten some perspective. In the mean time, though, I would like to talk about an issue tangential to what was actually being debated. [...]

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