Mansplaining

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Ekona
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Re: Mansplaining

Postby Ekona » Wed Mar 22, 2017 11:11 am

Finally spoke to Jo about this last night. Her first reaction was to ask me what mansplaining was, so I used Joe's handy guide which did a better job than I ever could. She wasn't particularly impressed with the term, or the fact it existed.

As far as strangers interacting, she said that she'd never noticed it at all, but that it's human nature to want to interact with other humans whenever possible, and that someone who wants the opposite probably needs help. She agreed that unwanted touching was unnacceptable, but that she'd never really experienced it except once as a student when in a club and she simply turned round, punched the guy in the face, and carried on dancing with her friends as if nothing ever happened.

She felt that maybe personal compliments might be weird (nice arse, nice legs, nice smile etc) but other random things like nice top, nice bag, nice hair etc would be very much appreciated. In terms of checking people out, she told me there was a specific reason she stayed behind after school to assist the other teachers with supervising the guy who comes in to teach kids ukulele :lol: :lol: Fair play to her, why not. Very Diet Coke, I think.

She suggested that the whole issue with things like that might well just be an age thing, given Helen's sister's experience and other stuff we then searched for on the internet as I tried to show her the broad range of complaints: Some genuine, some where SJWs were just being a pain. Would that partially make sense? I don't know. Certainly kids are always more gobby and every generation is worse than the one before (the 'back in my day' thing), but I've also personally noticed that a lot of youngsters these days 15-19 are more respectful and more decent than I've ever known kids to be, so who knows.
"Chav kids are like sand people. They're easily startled but they'll be back, and in greater numbers."

Joe
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Re: Mansplaining

Postby Joe » Wed Mar 22, 2017 11:43 am

As a quick aside, I've edited my previous post for clarity as there were a couple of things I managed to fluff through poor wording:

Firstly, I do think cultural appropriation is a valid issue but it's a hugely prickly, complicated subject and it's incredibly hard to draw the lines of respect in the right place. Generally we're talking about when one group takes something of cultural significance from another group and recycles it, stripping away the meaning for their own purposes without respect to where it came from.

A classic example would be the Nazis adopting the swastika - a spiritual symbol thousands of years old - and reversing it as a logo for hate to the point where the original meaning is largely erased. I would suspect there's very few who would disagree that this is cultural appropriation in its worst form.

A modern example might be girls wearing bindis or mandala tattoos because they think they're pretty or cool, without having any idea of the cultural significance of what they're appropriating into their "look". Maybe not quite as bad as desecrating a sacred holy symbol, but there's definitely a risk of offending a large group of people by doing it.

But what about yoga? Should you feel bad about taking a thousand-year old spiritual practise and reducing it to a form of exercise? Do you sit in the lotus position with your hands nested together, muttering OoOOhhhmm under your breath without really knowing why you're doing it? Is it hurting or offending anyone? Do you care?

So yeah, tricky subject.

Secondly, my original comment said something along the lines of "pick a fucking lane and stay in it", with respect to the Buzzfeed moral police basing their principles on contrary logical foundations. It was absolutely not a dismissal of LGBTQ rights and issues, nor the concept of gender fluidity. Yes, there are examples of where the support system for LGBTQ individuals has been abused (as per the one you cited) but these examples should never invalidate the rights of the thousands of others legitimately affected by these issues.

Joe
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Re: Mansplaining

Postby Joe » Wed Mar 22, 2017 2:05 pm

Ekona wrote:As far as strangers interacting, she said that she'd never noticed it at all, but that it's human nature to want to interact with other humans whenever possible, and that someone who wants the opposite probably needs help

This is fascinating to me, as it's adding weight to Helen's comments that there's definitely a divided view between those women who experience harassment regularly and those that don't. From what I've seen and heard both on the web and anecdotally among female colleagues and friends there seems to be a whole load of factors at play in determining which camp you fall into.

You've probably seen "10 Hours of Walking in NYC as a Woman", if not then look it up. Some say it's representative of what women deal with on a daily basis. But clearly if you're not a woman in your 20s wandering a sprawling metropolis like NYC every day your experiences may be somewhat different. Helen (and I assume Joey) both commute by car and are older, dressed for professional roles. On the other hand, Helen's sister is a student barely out of her teens and walks or cycles back and forth through the town centre where she's more exposed to this stuff.

So, on reflection I admit this statement is plain wrong:

This is what women experience from men, all the time, everywhere


Because no, there's simply no way to quantify the issue. However, I maintain that there's a difference between unsolicited attention and unwanted attention.

The woman whose comment you originally replied to is talking specifically about how women feel about unwanted attention, while your argument seems to be dealing with unsolicited attention and whether you should have a right to give it based on what the majority of women want. My position is that any judgement you volunteer to a stranger is by definition unsolicited, and you're making the assumption that it's also wanted at the very moment you open your mouth. I believe that communicates several things to the recipient:

  • You've just judged them - a total stranger - on appearance alone
  • You've decided that, by your standards, some aspect of their appearance has gained your approval
  • You've decided that your approval matters to them at all
  • You've decided that they should hear it regardless of whatever shit they might be dealing with at that precise moment
  • You've assessed the risks and decided that you're going to get a positive reaction
  • You've decided it's reasonable to expect that from them - again without knowing anything about this person and without them knowing anything about what kind of a person you are

Now clearly if you're at a party or in a club where that kind of social interaction is expected you can probably work through that little list and say "I'm ok with this" because context matters. Anywhere else? Personally, I'd find it a little more difficult to make that call.

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Ekona
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Re: Mansplaining

Postby Ekona » Wed Apr 05, 2017 1:29 pm

Sorry Joe, I missed this reply as I was in hospital, oops!

I think it very much depends on what is said, as well as where. I think as a general rule if you wouldn't say it to a member of the same sex (or whatever sex you're not attracted to) then probably best not to say it. That said, I've told random guys before that their shirt or shoes were awesome, for all they know I could be gay and have been hitting on them. I've told random women that the top they are wearing is ace, mainly because I've wanted to get one for Joey but they don't know that from my initial words. I've never ever stopped and thought about whether my approval matters to them or not: That's got precisely zero to do with anything, as you correctly say. I'll idly make small talk or compliment people or whatever if I'm in the mood for a chat, and likewise when others have started conversations with me I'll give as good as I get. No reason to get hostile, unless the intent to offend was there in the first place.

I think that the saying "Don't be a dick" works best. If you're a dick then you'll offend everyone, if you're a dick then you'll take offence from every little thing.
"Chav kids are like sand people. They're easily startled but they'll be back, and in greater numbers."


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