I like this. I don't have much to add otherwise, but I feel like this (and theferrett
's) framing of privilege/social experience is pretty clear and cogent.
I look forward to The Second Meditation.
I think the amount of attention the average woman gets is equal to that of the average white tourist - in some parts of India. For example, in the parts where women aren't supposed to leave their house unescorted, so if you do...
Oh dear, your tourist experiences! I feel a little guilty for laughing so much at them. It's a pity you didn't have a local guide or someone - I've seen that some of the (official) guides are pretty efficient at keeping beggars etc. away from their tourists, and anyway the kids are less likely to bother you if they see one or two people who know their game and can yell back at them in their own language.
Man, I just realized that between this and that one idiot doctor who happened to be Indian I must sound like I really hate your country. Actually it was a great experience and the overwhelming majority of (non-beggar) Indian people I've met have been awesome.
The annoyance relationship is similar, but I think the power relationship is reversed in your analogy, in that you're the one with the power.
It's not clear to me what "power" in these cases consists of. Can you expand on what you meant?
What is the distinction being made here between Creepiness and creepiness?
Amusingly, there was some thing going around on the internet which I am too lazy to dig up right now which also made a money analogy, but this seems to be much better because it is something that actually happens.
I just mean that although of course I'd heard of the word "creepy", usually used to describe either Halloween specials or else some guy with no teeth who lives in a cabin in the woods and pees into bottles and talks to the walls, I'd never heard the current use where a man who gives a woman unwanted attention is Creepy.
I wonder why they bother with a social pretext to solicit money, rather than just the threatening. Does it work better, make them feel better, or something else?
I would imagine that most people would prefer to acquire money under a benign social pretext than to be a threatening lout.
Also, benign social pretexts don't send you to jail as much as beating the shit out of people does, I'm going to assume.
I think the frustration that (resistant) men have about the whole "don't be creepy" discourse is pretty easy to understand: not being creepy is *work.* It's social-skills work that has to do with being alert to modulating your voice, body language, attitude, etc. to avoid making women uncomfortable. And it's a responsibility that falls on straight men but not on straight women. In modern egalitarian societies, people are really uncomfortable with claims that "You MUST do this because of the way you were born." Why do I have to? Why can't I opt out somehow? How can I carry an obligation in my chromosomes, without ever being consulted about whether I want it or not?
Before you can be on board with the "don't be creepy" stuff, you have to share the assumptions that
1.) Your actions *can* affect other people's feelings; it's not their responsibility to not be bothered by your behavior.
2.) You actually want to optimize your actions for not upsetting and disturbing people (e.g. women.)
3.) You're okay with the fact that contingent circumstances (like being a man) can cause you to have more responsibilities towards other people's states of mind.
I've met a number of women who have really fallen down on the job to not be creepy around me. (And straight women, too, from all evidence.)
I think the metaphor between people accosting you in India and creepy people may have the potential for unfortunate overtones (I know you don't mean that, but it might be prudent to avoid it :)), but the basic analogy of feeling intimidated by superficially reasonable requests is a very good one, as far as I understand the concept.
Your post contradicts PUA dogma.
Look at a group of people. Which guy has privilege and high status? The alpha. Which guy is creepy and pathetic, like the beggars in your analogy? The omega. They're not the same guy.
It also contradicts feminist dogma.
This is not even evidence, let alone proof, of falsity.
2012-09-11 01:04 pm (UTC)
Please don't go there. While I may agree with feminism's social aims, the feminist community and the vocabulary that has grown around it is the most pervasively un-Rational I have ever seen. You'd be better off just rampaging through the terms pointing out which biases they happen to tick.
Some of it is, some of it isn't. I for one welcome the chance to have more rationalist feminists.
I'm not sure your analogy is perfect, but I do think you've hit on the heart of how it feels, at least in my (thankfully long ago) experience. Certainly the part where your actions start being controlled by the behaviour of other people which is, on the surface of it, unthreatening, but one still feels forced to make concessions that one would rather not is quite familiar.
And now imagine being a white *female* traveling solo in India.
I'm new to reading your livejournal, and in (partial) keeping with the theme at hand, I hope it's not creepy to say I'm already a huge fan. :p
I think we all have some experience of this, with the onslaught of advertisements we all must endure, all the time.
I would like to see a calculation done, on just how many thought-hours have been wasted making and looking at advertisements. I wouldn't know where to start, but I'd guess the number would shock most folks.
Advertisements are the worst thing about modern life.
So I sympathize as well.
Edit: I am referring mostly to spam. Sometimes 'regular' advertisements are tolerable.
Edited at 2012-09-12 10:45 pm (UTC)
Enlightening analogy, thanks.
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