Share good ideas and conversation.   Login, Join Us, or Take a Tour!
_refugee_  ·  404 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: December 6, 2017

    Turns out there has been a secret network of women keeping a list of "bad men" (assault, rape, creepiness, etc.) in my community for several years. Over the last week, this has entirely toppled an arts organization I am very fond of, and has ousted quite a large number of people from the community.

Something happened in my hometown community recently which caused a metric splashton of drama and rape accusations and drama and SJW bullying of small business owners who happened to have the misfortune of employing someone who not only had never been accused of misconduct while on the job, but who was being called a rapist when all the accusations against him, despite being unsavory, stopped far short of rape. For a while I surfed the Facebook sea where feminists, vitriolic status-posters, band-wagon-ers, concerned citizens, and happy pitchfork-sharpeners engaged about these events all at once. At one point, it was suggested (by a person of one of the above groups, to a person in another one) that my local female community should keep one of those lists, or start a secret Facebook group, and so educate each other and keep each other safe by sharing the names of men who were sexually dangerous.

In theory it sounds like a sound notion. And in fact, if I am at the bar and I see certain men who I have had very bad experiences with - really, if I see those men attempt to approach women I consider friends - yes, I will walk up to the lady/ies in question and alert them. There is one man I so detest I do not even bother warning his targets privately; I will say in front of his face that he is a creep, and advise "you don't want to talk to him." In a way, that's your list in action.

In practice, especially after seeing such a flipping mess of a monsoon of accusations get hurled about over Facebook, many of them coming from women who self-admittedly had always felt rejected by the social/music/band circle in which this guy had 'power,' and several of whom did not only not currently live in my town but hadn't come through for years before to boot (some of whom no longer even lived in the same country), this idea left me with a very bad taste in my mouth.

It is very easy to throw out names of bad people behind closed doors. And we know; the internet loves its pitchforks. A forum to discuss 'bad men' is a forum to feed drama, create turmoil and gossip, and I strongly feel would be far more prone to abuse than provide help to innocent young women. And you know what? A list of names does nothing to help women except point out specific people to stay away from. It gives you nothing.

What I think women should do, who are concerned with predatory men in their social groups, is - yes - band together. Talk amongst themselves. Educate themselves.

But not with single names of single people who are transient and also, possibly capable of change. Get together and read books like The Gift of Fear and Why Does He Do That and start to discuss red flags that men (or people of any gender) exhibit when they are predators. This could also be a place for survivors to share their stories, be supported and heard. But if you tell a person a name to stay away from, you are not giving that person anything useful in the long-term. You are not truly helping arm them against the truth of how people are, or how bad people can be. Form a group, establish a code and a telephone tree, and make yourselves a network so if a girl is out and feels unsafe she can contact the network and hopefully, somehow, the network can reach back and help her - either someone showing up at the bar where she is in person, or someone calling her an uber, or providing support or advice if she feels in danger, or even up to calling the cops if her life might be in danger and she cannot.

There are so much better ways to make and use a network than by feeding it concrete names of specific people to stay away from; feeding it, essentially, a list of poisons in disguise as full-body cleanses. If you are going to band together and protect each other, do so in a way that will last after the group has disbanded. do so in a way that is permanent, and based off of shared experience, knowledge, observations, and grounded information and tools -- do so in a way that is positive.

not that limits oneself to hiding in a dark room and keeping a list of men who at least one someone said was undesirable, and in a way feeding into a chasm that is endless - and which always leaves its spit on you even though it usually will not swallow you in whole.