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the horrendous trials which beset a right-thinking/liberal/progressive/etc person's path (i.e.YOU!)
  • _ch__ch_
    Posts: 1,855
    i thot i'd start a new thread, distinct from the "words" thread, since the area of "political correctness"/etc contains more territory than that of words alone...

    in that thread, i banged on about a new "sanitised" version of Mark Twain's "adventures of huckleberry finn"
    and then i said this:
    martin_p said:

    its funny you raise the issue of political correctness, because i was going to post something touching on the topic today

    i read a piece in the...independent (i think. no times...?) about grooming gangs in the north of england.
    basically men who befriend and charm teenage girls, shower them with gifts etc and then eventually these girls end up being passed around for sex

    right, it WAS the times and i can't get to the article because you have to pay for Times Online
    but, statistically, researchers came to the conclusion that the vast majority were muslim and pakistani in origin.

    i've read this kind of thing before, but in BNP/EDL literature/propaganda; where, as you can imagine, its somewhat dwelled upon...

    the thing is (according to the article) there has been a reluctance on the part of social services, police etc to stand up and say that there is a problem, and its a problem centred around muslim men of pakistani origin.

    this is understandable, since its a subject which could easily escalate into serious problems
    but if the pay-off is young girls being passed around for sex....

    hmmm.


    the point is, whilst the whole political correctness thing IS in many ways a bizarrely vague creation of the right wing media; the fact remains that many institutions/organisations are terrified of any notion that they are racist, and thus end up providing fuel for the right wing arguments

    stereotypical case in point - xmas lights etc
    as far as i can gather. muslims (for example) really don't care if towns have xmas lights up, or xtian decorations
    but thru well-meaning intentions, alot of councils end up providing a yearly basis for the Right to rant about ISLAMIFICATION etc

    and at the same time, some muslim extremists ARE dangerous, and this needs to be addressed by the Left, with the same energy that would directed towards xtian fundamentlists or neo-nazi groups

    i'm going to have stop - its taken me ages to write this. i think you all know the point i'm trying to make, but its so hard to WORD it correctly...






    which is where i'll pick up...
    (tho if yr keen, you should visit the thread and read the responses...)

    ok, rather than rabbiting, i'll just alert you to this

    whilst straw's words could be picked apart and made to teeter, is his general point not entirely valid?

    critics are pointing and saying racism on two points:

    i) the specific targeting of white girls
    ii) any significance of the perpetrators being of Pakistani origin

    now, the the first point could be indeed be argued away - tho straw makes the point that since Pakistani girls are "off limits", the perpetrators inevitably looked to girls of other backgrounds - but the second point is....well now

    I don't know - as i've been writing this, i've reflected that maybe my initial reaction was wrong, but for the sake of discussion, here was my initial reaction:

    i think males from some cultures have differing attitudes towards women. i feel i have to draw on personal experience, and so i would say that i regularly cross paths with six men of asian (at this point i raise my hand and say that i don't know the specific backgrounds of each, and thus i'm being racist by using this blanket term)
    in my opinion, all six of these men, to a lesser or greater extent, have worrying opinions towards women; three are particularly offensive.
    now, i'm clearly not going to accuse all men of these cultural backgrounds of being sexist; because that would be ludicrous and irrational. But, could i not question whether there a general tendency towards certain attitudes in certain cultures?
    it would be laughable of me to draw any conclusions from six specific individuals, thats clear; but to take a different example, is there not a generally held opinion that male turkish culture CAN be very intimidating to women? or specifically western women?
    (frankly, we needn't even discuss this in terms of "better" or "worse", but we can accept that its "different", no?)
    AAAAAAARRGGH
    i can't write this anymore, its doing my head in. (i've wasted all afternoon on this.)

    i keep reflecting on my initial reaction, and thinking, NO thats crap: on reflection ALL cultures have men with "unhealthy" attitudes towards women. but then theres still a quiet voice that says...but...?
    maybe the key tone here is "different", not "better/worse": "unhealthy but differing"

    ?

    please grant me some tolerance with this messy post, its been a minefield for my keyboard!
    maybe i could have expressed what i wanted to say more succinctly, as: why are people generally seeing this in terms of racist stereotyping, rather than asking if there IS anything in the cultural background of the perpetrators that has contributed to the crimes committed?

    racist stereotyping is abhorrent, totally. but my brain wants to approach the situation from the other end of the argument: "these" girls have been abused by "these" men, "these" men share a common cultural background - is there any significance in this?
    it feels like the girls themselves are getting forgotten...

    i've nearly deleted this post about three times, but i've decided to let it stand because if nothing else maybe you can all unravel my brain for me...

    this is an area which is interesting to me. times and situations where having a "liberal" viewpoint might sometimes cloud yr thinking, or affect it, in possibly negative ways...

    concrete examples:
    - if someone makes a right-wing comment about e.g. ""scroungers" and the welfare state" or "immigrants", i can physically feel my hackles rise, and i feel compelled to defend it/them - despite the fact that i know full well its not that simple
    - if i talk to someone who is non-white, or for instance gay or lesbian, i AM more polite/chirpy with them

    less concrete:
    - the general tendency of the Left in my youth to dislike the US, and like the USSR; despite the fact that the soviet union really wasn't alot of fun to live in


    to some extent this is about "the enemy of my enemy is my friend... - discuss."

    there, done.
    rip me apart. :-D

  • _ch__ch_
    Posts: 1,855


    some reactions as posted on the bbc site

    i shall merely post the "classic" response:

    The problem is not with the Pakistani community - it is with the white community. These Pakistani men are sexual predators, just as any sexual predator would be from any ethnic background. Jack Straw is trying to dodge the real problem of sexualisation of the young in Britain and instead trying to place the focus on the Pakistani community. Sanj, London

    ah, it was the GIRLS' fault...!
  • It IS interesting and it IS a minefield.
    I reckon the popularity of both Zizek and Larry David can be traced to those two facts. Larry D in particular is a comedy sacrificial lamb - stumbling over the lines in our place. Zizek is maybe more troublesome (and I wonder if the fracas at this post (http://codepoetics.com/poetix/node/36) and the general tenor of the Zizek backlash currently gathering speed is a species of what I talk about below - people not liking dissonance).

    It's kind of undeniable that cultures create and reinforce behaviours - for good and bad. That's almost a definition of culture. If membership of a culture didn't effect the behaviour of it's members then how would that culture be recognisable as a culture?
    There are absolutely going to be things that Islamic cultures in general get right more often than liberalism - maybe fostering a work ethic, a sense of community, abstinence, certain kinds of self discipline (and I acknowledge that this too is a string of simplifications and these tendencies are tied up with economics and shot full of localised exceptions). And if you look at it globally Islamic cultures do undeniably tend to tolerate/produce a species of sexual inequality that this country in this time bubble does not. This is not the same as saying that Muslims are sexist people, or even that Islam is sexist - just that a fair few Islamic cultures do deny certain significant opportunities and freedoms to women - legally by both the presence of certain laws and the ommission of others. There are other factors than just religion of course - and I would be willing to wager that if you do a comparison directly in each case with a country of similar economic makeup then the tendencywould begin to look rather less distinct. The point is that whatever the source of the sexual inequality, we think sexual inequality is bad - yes? Its as bad if it's a matter of economics as it is if it's a matter of religion/culture.

    Now to pick from another big monotheism, my feeling is that we should follow a Christian edict in dealing with this and hate the sin, not the sinner - see the sin as potential or even actual in ourselves. That is that we should accept - except where we are certain that it is otherwise - that the relationship between sin and sinner may be correlation rather than simple causation. We should focus on the thing we know we dislike, not the culture.
    For that reason, if one of any of your friends regardless of background says something sexist that offends you you shouldn't be afraid to say "steady on"/"fuck off that's a bit much". In practice it's a difficult art, and it requires that it be done in a certain manner and possibly with a certain charm. We all fuck it up/ hesitate/ go in too strong. I do.

    Without going all platitudinous on your ass - ultimately people are just going to disagree about certain things, there will always be certain dissonances, some of them are cool, some of them are taken far too seriously, some of them are heinous. I wonder if part of the problem with a lot of expressions of official multiculturalism is that they are obsessed with harmony (certainly France's official policy on ethnicity tends towards harmonisation to the key of France), and that focus means that any dissonance looks heinous. Perhaps they should be looking at varying shades of dissonance.
    Today I read a nice quote from a composer I've been getting into - Chaya Czerowin, she describes one of her pieces as working towards a "means of dialoguing which is not intended to reconcile or merge, but rather to allow each partner in the dialogue to create a landscape based on disagreement or dissonance." It's a species of something Free Jazz and global Hip Hop have done for a long time and where the music has done it, it's tended to come alongside an analogous tendency in the cultures they emerged from - not neccessarily a chosen tendency, partly a matter of (economic) circumstance - people living together in close proximity thanks to migration, lack of means etc.
    So there are good and bad dissonances, dissonance can be creative of something which was not present in either partner originally, we shouldn't be frightened of it, but we do tend to be. Disagreement is inevitable, conflict is inevitable. If we frame the argument more in terms of different degrees and qualitites of dissonance and not in terms of harmony vs dissonance, then certain of these problems become less muddied.

    Entirely consistent with that idea is that we shouldn't be afraid of standing up on red line issues. But when we do stand up we should be careful not to confuse the issue we're fighting with the culture from which it emerges. The tendency to fight the culture is a tendency to want to erase dissonance entirely - to bundle up the heinous dissonance between our cultures with all the common or garden dissonances.

    And we should be extra specially careful with our language so that everyone knows what's really going on. Jack Straw just stepped into that breach unprepared both existentially (as an old white guy in a position of power) and politically (since he hadn't got his words straight). And possibly he's a bit racist. Hes certainly a dick for phrasing it in the inflamatory language he did rather than talking to community leaders directly.
  • Oh boy. This is a potential minefield so I've got to step even more carefully. There's so much in this that could be unpacked and I'm not sure I have the energy right now.

    The thing is, my experience, as a woman, is that if I walk into *ANY* group of men and select 6, at least 3 of them will have deeply troubling ideas about women, regardless of their cultural background. This is true of Asian men, it's true of American men, it's even true of nice British men who think they're progressives.

    The difference, *I* think, is one of familiarity. When we see men from our own cultural/ethnic group acting abominably towards women, we're much more likely to understand the context, or ascribe them individual agency, or find some other explanation for why they believe those things or behave that way. When we see men from a *different* cultural/ethnic group acting abominably towards women, we are far more likely to ascribe that behavior to their culture, their ethnicity, their religion, their being scary-Muslim-OMG-brown-people oh noes.

    There's so much more I could write about rape culture and the hysteria over race, but it's just gonna frustrate me.
  • 100% agree with Miss Tregaskin on this one, its deeply ingrained in males to dickheads. Myself not excluded.
  • _ch__ch_
    Posts: 1,855
    yeah
    i spoke about this with a friend of mine today, and she thot straw's position, and thus mine, was racist.
    i agreed with her, and thru discussion reformulated my interest thus:
    i'm interested in the fact/notion that some areas of discourse become closed off, or marshalled/barricaded, or just plain treacherous; e.g. race

    (i'm very tired - i hope i worded that ok)

    that seems a better place to start.

    and yea, all men are scum


  • Ha-HEM. Please can we not misrepresent Mrs Tregaskin's views here.

    I do not think that all men are scum. I do not think that all men are dickheads. I think this is lazy cop-out thinking whereby, when confronted with habits which humans can change, lazy humans just throw up their hands and go "what do you want? Men are just dickheads."

    Men are strongly socialised and even incentivised in our society to behave like dickheads. Don't make me drag out the whole "patriarchy is bad for men, too" argument and beat you about the heads with it. I am aware of the pressures that most men face, and the contradictory expectations whereby men are presumed to be "gay" (or other epithets) if they actually behave reasonably towards women. Our ideas about gender roles are fucked up, and that's totally bullshit for everyone.

    All humans have the choice to be dickheads or behave like decent human beings and treat other humans with respect. But it requires a conscious decision to *try* to do so.
  • KNICKERS
    Posts: 1,230

    martin_p said:

    yeah
    i spoke about this with a friend of mine today, and she thot straw's position, and thus mine, was racist.



    I've tried and failed to reply to this thread for a few days now... This point above... I think this tendency to immediately rescind the possibility of being racist can be prohibitive to discussion. What if you are racist? I mean, I consider racism abominable (like every good wet liberal) but I'm happy saying that I certainly harbour prejudices, some of which I'm aware of (against Australians for instance), some of which I'm not. Does it make things easier to say 'Hey, ok, this is probably the wrong way to say it, but I've observed some very iffy racial/ gender identities in the British Pakistani communities I've encountered' ?

  • Sorry Karen, that was meant as 2 points, I agree with what you were saying, and as a separate point men are dickheads.

    By the way , documentary about the sexualization of children on BBC1 now...
  • _ch__ch_
    Posts: 1,855
    hi hi

    first off, APOLOGIES, i couldn't sleep last night, and eventually got up and typed the posting up there. it was 3:03 am, i was bleary-brained and i used a dumb, emotive word.

    tho certainly in the past i would have happily defended that stance

    but, "scum" is somewhat colourful, and i apologise

    secondly, i honestly wasn't pertaining to represent yr thots, Mrs Tregaskin - it really was just building on the "dickheads" comment, and as i've said i was not at my intellectual best, but certainly i apologise

    however, i have long held negative views on men, and i still do.
    to be really brief:

    nope, start again.

    its stupid for me to speak about "men", because i have no idea for certain what other people think/feel (THIS IS THE GOBLIN THAT PERCHES ETERNALLY)
    so speaking for myself, succinctly:
    basically my penis wants to penetrate women, and it doesn't really care too much how they feel about this, and the best i can do is control and filter this.


    i think thats the best i can hope for
    i don't think this can ever "change", i just think it can be managed responsibly.

    and yea i do think all men are scum - always have (i'm not being a bleeding heart liberal/whatever here - i just came to the conclusion in my late teens that they were.)
    i could build on this and say that as far as i can tell, other men appear to operate under the same conditions

    and thus i have a negative view on men.


    i used to post on a diy/hardcore forum, which should have been very "right on"; but i remember someone actually posting (in a discussion on feminism)
    "I'VE HATED FEMINISTS EVER SINCE ONE TOLD ME WHEN I WAS 16 THAT ALL MEN ARE POTENTIAL RAPISTS"

    and?
    it really doesn't seem like a very controversial statement to me.
    i genuinely think that if i removed all controls/filters/what-have-you, i would be capable of rape.
    the important bit is the "potential" bit.

    i realise these are very strong words, (and also that i'm rapidly turning into the "forum idiot"...) which is why i've cached them in terms of "me" and "i"
  • Seems to me like there's a whole lot of projecting going on, from your own self-admittedly potentially troubling ideas about sex - onto random Asian men you know.

    But, you know, I am not a shrink and I do not know you.
  • Sorry, that sounded snide and I hate snark more than just about anything.

    What I mean to say is this:

    1) it is incredibly ill advised to generalise from one's own experiences, especially regarding sex, to all members of your gender. I ran into this all the time, when I used to say things like "women think this about sex..." and there would be a chorus of women who would pipe up and say, uh-uh, no. Some thought like that, some thought in another way. One size did not fit all.

    2) With regard to urges. Human beings often have lots of strange urges that float up out of their (for lack of a better word) Id. I ride the tube every day, and sometimes, at rush hour, when people push in front of me, I am extremely tempted to push them under the approaching train. I do not do so, because I am a rational human being who has come to the conclusion that murder is morally wrong. I don't think it's reasonable to expand from these occasional flashes of anger to "I am a potential murderer" or "all women are potential murderers" or even "all harried commuters on the Victoria Line are potential murderers." I think most humans have urges to do things they know are wrong; only saints and deities do not *have* those urges.

    What makes us human is not *not* having urges. What makes us human is our ability to recognise them as potential, and make a judgement call whether to make those fantasies reality or not.

    3) I find the way that you phrase "my penis wants to penetrate women" a bit troubling. Is your penis a separate entity from you? That, to me, seems like some kind of abnegation of responsibility, for your urges and your actions. The idea that your penis and your sexuality is something apart from you is, to me, far more troubling than the idea that you sometimes fantasise about unknowing strangers.

    I admit, I often have a roving eye. I often see, walking down the street, or sitting opposite me on public transport, men that I find attractive, and I would, to put it bluntly, rather like to have sex with. How bizarre would it be if I said "my vagina wants to engulf them"? Maybe it's because I have internal sex organs rather than external that I don't depersonalise bits of my own body. But... your sexuality is a part of you. Pretending that it isn't is the first step to a whole boatload of problems.
  • SethSeth
    Posts: 2,444
    I'm formulating a reply to this in my brain, but just a quickie for now: I don't think formulating a part of yourself as separate to the whole is troubling in the slightest if that's what you're aware that you're doing. And martin_p is nothing if not acutely self-aware, so it doesn't trouble me at all. There's a ton of psychotherapuetic interventions that separate a part from the whole before reintegrating it, and language is full of examples of 'thinking with his dick,' 'feeling it in her womb,' 'having a funny feeling in his gut' 'being sure of what his heart tells him.' I don't even thing 'my vagina wants to engulf them' is that odd... I've heard people say lots stranger than that. I think unexamined/unfiltered sexual urges are of central importance to this discussion, and by offering access to those rudely unfiltered urges martin_p's getting close to some of the uncomfortable things that may need saying.
  • Well, actually I think that externalising the penis as something separate to (and therefore not controlled by) men is a central pillar of rape culture. And on that level, I think it's quite different from "having a feeling in your gut."

    But, you know, in discussions like this, I often start to get sick of being, like, token oversensitive rape survivor, so perhaps it's time for me to bow out of it.
  • SethSeth
    Posts: 2,444
    I don't think that's what martin_p is doing. I think he's making it clear that the problem is men who have urges without controls and filters. He's contextualising the problem discussed in this topic within a wider problem of male sexual violence and control towards women. We're talking about rape culture, after all. I think martin_p's just got an uncommonly honest understanding of the forces involved. I don't think he's condoning or approving of them.

    Put it this way: from Hollywood to porn to strip clubs and lads mags, men have been conditioned to think that they're entitled to sex with who they want, when they want it. When it comes to disentangling that mess of conditioning it helps to a) recognise that it's a part of you and b) recognise that you disagree with it. Positioning your sexual urges as something different to what the overall 'you' wants is commonplace, and using a 'what my dick wants' metaphor understandable.

    Conceptualising the your genitals as having a separate will of their own is also a facet of vaginismus and erectile dysfunction, it's not unique to rape. I think there are lots of people with sexual urges and hang ups that they don't fully understand, and that if there weren't Freud would have never found an audience. So we need to have some means of addressing this weird unconscious body/sex stuff.

    Agreed that we all should be finding a language that allows us to tread very carefully. I can think like a forensic psychologist as much as the next person, but perhaps we need something with a bit more distance here.
  • SethSeth
    Posts: 2,444
    A few half-formed observations:

    - There is a wider context in which this can be positioned as a male issue rather than a Pakistani male issue. This is an issue about men creating contexts in which they can sexually abuse women. There's sadly nothing new about that or restricted to Pakistani men.

    I'd argue that by lying about not being in a relationship in order to have sex outside of an agreed monogamous relationship a man is abusing both sets of consent, gaining consent where there might otherwise be none (admittedly that example isn't restricted to men, but I'd argue that fewer women would have to lie to secure sex outside of their relationship). And if I had a penny for every time I've heard a man announce that they gained consent by getting someone drunk, or advised someone else to get consent by getting someone drunk... Then there's sex trafficking is said to not be able to exist without those in positions of power turning a blind eye. There's porn in which women are manipulated into consent, at the end of which men get to have their fantasy of eventually willing/eager participation or sexual humiliation. There's the seduction psychology market. And as noted previously, the culture promoted by lads mags encourages an illusory promiscuity in which women appear to happily volunteer no-strings consent. And it's hard to watch a mainstream Hollywood movie without these ideas being reinforced.

    It seems to me that men attempting to manipulate individuals into sex, abusing women in non-consensual sex and attempting to culturally engineer promiscuity is fairly epidemic. I think this needs to be viewed in the context of an overwhelming culture of male entitlement.

    - Is there sufficiently robust information for us to be able to say that there's a genuine problem of Pakistani men abusing young white women? That's a genuine question, I don't already know the answer. The RAINN website claims 1 in 6 women admit to having been sexually assaulted in their lifetime, with an estimated 60% of rapes going unreported. Different communities, including the Pakistani community, are less likely to report sexual assaults (more commonly sited are issues of honour based violence and forced marriage, central to those problems are notions of women as a sexual commodity). Jack Straw's claim was that Pakistani men cannot access Pakistani women, so they seek out white women... I wonder how he's established that, when it's very possible that the under-reporting of rape in Pakistani communities has distorted our image of the issue.

    - The notion that constabularies are reluctant to recognise the issue. I'm no spokesperson. However, there's a general sense, recognised within many constabularies, that the ethnic demographic of the police is seldom to never an adequate reflection of the communities in which they operate. There are lots of reasons for that, and while I don't want to get into those reasons here I know that the police as a whole recognise that it's a problem that can endanger lives, with minorities distrusting an organisation that they feel - sometimes rightly - doesn't understand them or have their interests at heart. It's easy for me to imagine a context in which police hold the issue at arms length, not for fear of being branded racist (it barely hurts the police for people to think of them as clueless bullies, people will think that no matter what they do), but for not wanting to add fuel to already strained cultural tensions that are already contending with issues of honour violence, forced marriage, EDL marches and terrorism. As I said above, I honestly don't know how robust the facts are behind this issue, it will effect some constabularies more than others (depending on the make up of their communities) and so in some ways it doesn't surprise me that there's been a perceived slowness to plant a flag in the sand on this one.

    - England is a relatively multi-cultural society, with a slow trend towards sexual equality over the last hundred years that has become quite overtly sexualised even over the last ten to fifteen years. The different cultures within Britain are all moving at different rates on these issues, with a very complex boundary between what they will accept and reject from the wider society. When the rules that govern sexual behaviour seem to change constantly, from places of worship to families to workplaces or town on a Friday night to the internet and entertainment and sex industries (with the lines between each deliberately blurred) it can be very hard to know what the hell is going on, and therefore very easy for sexual predators to fin victims.

    - Systematised sexual violence often accompanies clashing cultures. If the problem does exist as stated then perhaps there is a power dynamic at play, whether conscious or unconscious.

    - I've noticed in the past that one aspect to ethnicity fetishisation could be the tendency to project dissociated aspects of the self onto some fantasy 'other,' often of the opposite sex and often of a different ethnicity. I disagree with Straw's simplistic diagnosis of this being about access to Pakistani women... there may well be some much more complicated factors at play.

    This post is in no way intended as a coherent argument... hopefully it's a constructive statement of confusion. While I can empathise with martin_p's ability to locate the Enemy Within (I firmly agree that's where it's located and have struggled with my own issues on that score), I think this topic needs a little more distance and a little less heat.
  • KNICKERS
    Posts: 1,230
    Just to make a small point on this - men getting women drunk to 'get consent out of them' is certainly a problem, but I feel there's another side to it. Women like to have sex. Some women like to have sex with multiple partners. Very rarely do you find a women who's comfortable with her sexuality, should it be outgoing, to source partners within the confines of sober society. Some women get drunk exclusively to lose the inhibitions that mean they have to play the coquettish 'chased'.

    I'm saying this not because I want to suggest that 'they ask for it', or anything as crude as that, but because I feel that a huge part of the problem with sexual relationships is to do with power dynamics. One thing I genuinely dislike about sexual relationships is my being forced to be 'the powerful one'. I hate it when a woman says 'he had sex with me' rather than 'we had sex'. I don't think the nature of the sexual organs is enough to cover the gender-defined nature of heterosexual relationships (for one, the sexual organs concerned are a very small part of what sexual relationships are).

    As I say, this is an aside to the general thrust of this topic, but I think the general nature of our sexual culture is stacked against women, primarily, but can also have a deleterious affect on those of us who don't particularly want to be the 'alpha male' stereotype. It's this point that's so often repeated about heterosexual relationships often involving a 'transgression' of certain (female) positions. I don't agree with that - but I do feel that the whole of the vernacular of sexual relationships for heterosexuals (and LGBT or non-conventional sexualities are a different kettle of fish) is generally stacked against every participant. I've been talking with a friend (actually an ex-) about this, so it's kind of fresh in my mind. She's in a personal space where she finds it repulsive that so many women will concede to sex for sex's sake, but not articulate to the partner that this is what she's after; this has the attached problem that men are 'allowed' to have flings without an emotional attachment, but a woman is generally labelled a slut (or whatever) just for enjoying sex. Another aspect of the vernacular - I don't know how many of you notice the general use of the diminutive forms? So often, and especially within matters of sexuality, heterosexuals will refer to the 'other' (and I've just noted that I don't like that particular 'other') as 'boy' or 'girl'; I think we very often perpetuate huge parts of the problem in our bizarre cloistering of the language surrounding our 'heterosexuality' (if, indeed, we really need to define our sexualities in a single term). And the consequences of juvenilising [sic] our gender-relations are pretty obvious, methinks.

    Just related to this as well - I'm part of a feminist reading group, and there's a very strong feeling (with which I tentatively agree) that there's a real need for a return to a second-wave form of feminism, a sense in which well-meaning (cis-gendered, heterosexual) men shouldn't be allowed to colonise arguments. My only decent defence of this is that I, personally, am a gobshite. I'm aware that's a shit argument - but necessarily so, because I only really have weak arguments against that claim.

    I hope this isn't too OT or inflammatory - I think the fact that we really struggle to talk about sexuality, from both perspectives (and I can only talk from my personal, existential, male perspective) partly because it's incredibly difficult to say 'Hey there, cis-gendered* heterosexual [male/female] human - would you consent to negotiating with myself a form of intimacy that, while ostensibly a transgression of my respect for your personal rights and bodily responsibilities, would actually constitute a mutually beneficial relationship on terms discussed to the point of mutual agreeability? Only you've got lovely eyes'.

    * And I realise that it's not really fair of me to implicitly dis-include various forms of TS bodily relationships. If it's any help, I had a crush on an MTF a while ago, but she had a boyf. Boo
  • KNICKERS
    Posts: 1,230
    And just as an aside to Karen - this IS a thorny and difficult subject, and I have to say I've found quite a bit in here that's made me uncomfortable, for various reasons. I don't think you should back out of it for fear of ruffling a few feathers. What you said made me feel uncomfortable and awkward, and I think that's something we (or at least me) need to encounter and think about sometimes.
  • SethSeth
    Posts: 2,444
    It's a tough one to call. Talking about abuse is hard enough, talking about abuse when you have no prior relationship (and therefore no established basis of trust) and no way of knowing whether people have been abused themselves is a minefield. As far as I'm concerned anyone can bow out of this conversation at any time. I would personally value it a great deal if people told me I was being offensive or making them uncomfortable, but I recognise that sometimes you've just got to take a step back and bow out.
  • Oh fuck this. I have written a long and considered response and tried three times to post it, and the forum will not let it go through. Testing testing, are you actually working?

    Watch this angry post work when the real one didn't.
  • SethSeth
    Posts: 2,444
    Gah. Ironic angry post made from frustration is reading a ok.

    If it makes you feel any better I lost an hour's worth of good work on an article this morning. Not related to the Borum, though.
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