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Sometimes I hate being male
JohnH
I was doing some errands today. It was a beautiful, warm, sunny day and so a lot of other people were out. As a consequence I exhibited the behavior I usually do when I approach a woman on the street.

Generally when approaching a woman, escorted or not, I look away, usually at the ground. I do not want them to think of me as a threat.

I was not always this way. About 30 years ago a friend and I were on the way to a movie. We passed a rather attractive young woman waiting at a bus stop, we both looked at her. We both are as big a threat to a stranger as a mouse or fly (absent phobias), though some of our intimates can become quite upset with our behavior. About 15 feet further on we realized we were very early for the movie. We should go to a bar was the decision, I told him the only bar I liked in the neighborhood was back the way we came. About 30 feet from where we passed the woman we turned around. She immediately stood up from the stoop she was sitting on and hurried around the corner. About a block further on my friend asked me if we had frightened the woman. I had already decided yes and said so.

I used to hang out in a beer, wine bar and restaurant in Oakland CA. I was watching a sporting event there on TV. I was next to a woman, we were the only people watching the event. I made a completely innocuous comment about it to her. She immediately informed me she was lesbian, a situation I had already concluded from having seen her before. I assumed her apparent sexual orientation would allow her to understand that my comment was only that. I was wrong.

Also in Oakland I was waiting in the line at a coffee shop. The woman in front of me had obviously come from a soccer game she had played in, she was still wearing her cleats. I asked her how her team had done. Her response was curt, dismissive and intended to end any further discussion.

I understand that absent certain social situations women can, and maybe should, be careful around men. I hate this attitude when it is applied to me and I hate my acquiescence to that fear. My behavior only aids the fears that conflict with our understanding of the other.

Social barriers are difficult. They should be recognized and resisted. The difficulties that exist with understanding others are only exacerbated by fear and acceptance of that fear. I will acknowledge that women have some reason to fear unknown men.

I hate it when it is applied to me, and I hate my response to that fear.
Edited by JohnH on 11/22/2010 02:49
 
Bob of QF
That certainly sucks.

I'm re-reading a bit of fantasy from author L. Neil Smith; he writes of an alternate dimensional place he calls the North American Confederacy, and is naively libertarian.

No, not the neuvo-"libertarian" that the Teabaggers exhibit, but rather the original, near-anarchistic version.

And I do think it's a bit naive, human nature being what it is--but I'd move to the N.A.C in an instant if given a chance.

In that near-Utopian* place, everyone over the age of 5 is armed; often to the teeth. Women, children--everyone more or less.

How this rambling applies to your post is this: when a woman (or a man for that matter) has learned to take their own defense seriously, and has taken steps to ensure it, it allows them the freedom to not worry about random males (or females) that they may or may not encounter in the course of a typical day.

Thus, ordinary politeness can happen-- each person realizing that they are safe from unwanted attention by the simple fact of being armed.

Did I mention it's a fantasy? I did? Good.

But in spite of that, I think there is some merit to the whole idea, that an armed society is often unctuously polite to one another.

The only time this does not work, is if the arming is strictly one-sided, with the "haves" being armed and allowed to do as they will, and the "have nots" being unarmed and at the tender mercy of the "haves".

As I have pointed out in the past, 9/11 never would have happened, if everyone on the plane was armed with frangible rounds (so as to not damage the airplane's controls). So what if the terrorists had weapons-- so would everyone else, and enough would know what to do with them, if the terrorists had tried anything.

I dunno which is better, though-- violence would certainly go up for awhile if everyone was armed.

Eventually, it'd reach a plateau, and would taper off, as the most likely types were eliminated one by one.

But the real winners, I would imagine, would be women on their own, in public-- they could proudly look in the eye, random strangers without worrying. Because they could back up their "no thanks" with deadly force at need. And the random strangers would know this already, and likely wouldn't even try-- and after a few years, those that would, would be dead already.

I could live with that, I think.

But, alas, it's only fantasy--- and the direction the US seems headed toward is the exact opposite: one where only Homeland "Security" is armed, and everyone else cowers in fear.

Remember: the average response time for police is 30 minutes ... a lot can happen in that time.

_________

* I said it was fantasy, did I not? Wink
Quantum Junction: Use both lanes

Reality is that which is left, after you stop believing.
 
Kowboy
JohnH:

Fuck those bitches.

There are a lot of wonderful non man-hating women out there. They smell good. I love them.
 
catman
Bob of QF: I don't agree that the real winners would be women. On second thought, maybe they would, the problem being that JohnH would probably be dead by now, due to not living through those innocent encounters that he described. Those women likely would have shot first and asked questions later.

Sometimes I hate being a male when I see the way some of us treat women (and behave in general). Let's face it, some guys are total jerks, and all the other guys have to pay for it.
"If I owned both Hell and Texas, I'd live in Hell and rent out Texas." - General Sheridan
 
JohnH
Kowboy, I was not talking about women per se but the reactions I sometimes get from women in public circumstances. Reactions that indicate they perceive me as a threat. I do not believe that all those women are man-haters. I believe that rightly or wrongly they perceive men they do not know as a potential threat. I find that a difficult situation in general and personally. I also find it reflective of a bad social situation.

We have all allowed ourselves to be afraid of many others. This is bad for all.

Bob of QF, I generally agree with you but I am with Catman on this one thing. I would be more frightened then more secure if I knew everyone could be carrying. I have been riding public transportation fairly exclusively for the last year. I have seen people there that I would be concerned about if I thought they could be carrying. A much different crowd than the one when I was commuting to and from work.
Edited by JohnH on 11/17/2010 13:40
 
catman
I didn't mean to make this thread into a debate about gun control and right to carry. I was being only half-serious about those women shooting JohnH, although it's a possibility. My main point was that men's mistreatment likely caused those women to be so paranoid (or perhaps they were simply 'bitches', as Kowboy alluded). In any case, one would hope that a concealed-carry course would acquaint them with the realities of using a gun on another person, that it is always a last resort, and and that there are legal consequences even if it is found to be justified. It isn't to be taken lightly.
"If I owned both Hell and Texas, I'd live in Hell and rent out Texas." - General Sheridan
 
JohnH
Catman, my OP was about personal experiences and yes they are related to the bad behavior of others. You and I and almost all of the males I know pay for the bad behavior toward women of a very few. I believe that the situation has been exacerbated by media and peoples general detachment from each other. We drive our cars to work and play, we limit our connections to people, in general, to those we meet in school or in organizations or at social events with people most of whom we are familiar with.

On the street we far to readily assume the worst about people we encounter. This is not a good social situation. I honestly think it is one of the reasons for our disconnect with or have sympathy for the needs and situation of others. We have no knowledge of them, and we prevent ourselves from getting that knowledge.
 
Bob of QF
catman wrote:
Bob of QF: I don't agree that the real winners would be women. On second thought, maybe they would, the problem being that JohnH would probably be dead by now, due to not living through those innocent encounters that he described. Those women likely would have shot first and asked questions later.

Sometimes I hate being a male when I see the way some of us treat women (and behave in general). Let's face it, some guys are total jerks, and all the other guys have to pay for it.


You forget, in your little "shoot first" scenario.

Everyone is carrying.... everyone.

That alone would eliminate much of the shoot first thinking.

And the few that tried it? Would only get away with it once, maybe twice, before they too end up being shot.

And overall, the race is improved....

.... yeah, I'm a cynic.
Quantum Junction: Use both lanes

Reality is that which is left, after you stop believing.
 
catman
JohnH wrote:You and I and almost all of the males I know pay for the bad behavior toward women of a very few.


Unfortunately, I think it's a sizable percentage. Otherwise, I agree with your post.

Bob of QF: The idea of EVERYONE carrying doesn't sound all that great to me. The people who can't pass the CHL course shouldn't be carrying. I mean, I like Gunsmoke, but I don't want to have to practice my draw.
"If I owned both Hell and Texas, I'd live in Hell and rent out Texas." - General Sheridan
 
JohnH
Catman, I once again defer to you, it probably is a sizable percentage of males who behave badly to women. This speaks poorly about how our sex is trained.
 
Bob of QF
catman wrote:
Bob of QF: The idea of EVERYONE carrying doesn't sound all that great to me. The people who can't pass the CHL course shouldn't be carrying. I mean, I like Gunsmoke, but I don't want to have to practice my draw.


I said it was a fantasy novel, did I not?

Wink

In grim reality? With a genuine Libertarian society? Most folk are sheep and would refuse to go along; some folk are wise and also refuse to go along. Just as bad, some folk are bullies and would insist on participating ...

... I don't think it would work in the real world, with real people.

Then, there's the little matter of panic--- many people simply panic when frightened or stressed. Such folk form the core of large mobs, in fact.

And lastly, there's the fact that many folk simply refuse--no matter what-- to think at all.

Proof of the existence of these people? Fox News....
Quantum Junction: Use both lanes

Reality is that which is left, after you stop believing.
 
catman
Wouldn't the people who are sheep go along by definition? They are the people who refuse to think at all.

I think you are correct concerning "the little matter of panic"!
"If I owned both Hell and Texas, I'd live in Hell and rent out Texas." - General Sheridan
 
seeker
The grim reality is that a Libertarian society would quickly become a fascism. In any group there are always a few who are simply more aggressive and better at collecting resources. They acquire money and power; Before long they have the resources to ensure that they can do whatever they want with relative impunity.

The whole idea of a society where everyone is armed is a nightmare. Any brief moment of anger could flair up into a shootout.
"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." - George Santayana
 
Bob of QF
seeker wrote:
The whole idea of a society where everyone is armed is a nightmare. Any brief moment of anger could flair up into a shootout.


Well... seeing how poorly people drive? (as an example of how much people bother to learn to be skillful at common tasks...)

I would imagine the only people in real danger, in your example, would be bystanders...

Wink

I also suspect that kevlar would be a popular clothing item...
Quantum Junction: Use both lanes

Reality is that which is left, after you stop believing.
 
Kowboy
seeker wrote:
The grim reality is that a Libertarian society would quickly become a fascism. In any group there are always a few who are simply more aggressive and better at collecting resources. They acquire money and power; Before long they have the resources to ensure that they can do whatever they want with relative impunity.

The whole idea of a society where everyone is armed is a nightmare. Any brief moment of anger could flair up into a shootout.


seeker:

What a crock of liberal pap. Please show me one society in which collectivism has worked successfully long-term. Just because some of us get off our asses and make things happen does not mean we are taking anything from anyone. If you don't like your slice of the pie, bake a bigger one.

The whole idea of an unarmed society is a nightmare. Oh, it's been done before. Hitler, Stalin, Mao, gun-grabbers all. I feel safer already. Your theory of "a brief moment of anger could flair up into a shootout" has been thoroughly discredited by the success and expansion of the concealed carry movement. People are armed more than ever and the crime rate is falling. Don't make me look it up, please.
 
seeker
Kowboy - You seriously can't think of an example where collectivism works? Take a look at most of Europe where the countries are all 'collectivist' to a greater degree than we are and are all out competing us right now. We could throw China and Japan in that mix as well.

Your problem is that you only think in extremes, pure communism is just as flawed as pure libertarianism. You have to have some degree of both.
Edited by seeker on 11/20/2010 10:41
"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." - George Santayana
 
Kowboy
seeker wrote:
Kowboy - You seriously can't think of an example where collectivism works? Take a look at most of Europe where the countries are all 'collectivist' to a greater degree than we are and are all out competing us right now. We could throw China and Japan in that mix as well.

Your problem is that you only think in extremes, pure communism is just as flawed as pure libertarianism. You have to have some degree of both.


seeker:

Yeah, how's that multicultural admit-all-the-Muslims working out for Britan? Sharia law there now. You can keep your Euroweenie model, thank you very much.

Sure we need regulated capitalism, but capitalism has created more wealth for more people than anything humankind has come up with so far.
 
seeker
Kowboy - You are mistaking the coincidence that we are further away from the Muslims for a greater effectiveness in dealing with them. The fact is that because it costs so much more for an immigrant to come to the US it weeds out some of the most disaffected. Were we closer to those Muslim countries we'd be experiencing the same difficulties.

Who do you suppose should do the regulating kowboy? Since you do admit we need regulation in our economy are you willing to further admit that regulation needs to be done by an entity that is accountable in some way to the people or do you naively think that corporations will self regulate?
"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." - George Santayana
 
Kowboy
seeker:

What we need is to strike a balance and where we strike that balance is where we disagree. We need as little government as possible, not centralized planning like we're getting from Washington now.
 
Kowboy
JohnH:

Imagine if a woman got on a bulletin board and said sometimes she hated being female because of the way men made her feel. Then her girlfriends get on the board and tell her she deserves it because she should pay the price for the way others have treated men.

That is insanity and eventually one woman would stand up and tell the guilt-trippers to go F*&% themselves and tell the woman who hated being a woman sometimes to not let the opposite sex excercise such power over her. That's excellent advice and I suggest you take it.
Edited by Kowboy on 11/22/2010 19:43
 
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