by: _refugee_

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user-inactivated  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: Stop Saying "I Have A Boyfriend"

    Stop right there. The entire problem with this discussion is it's an attempt to inject gender politics into gender relationships.

How are gender relationships not saturated with gender politics by their nature? I'd go so far as to say that since gender is entirely social, gender relationships are in fact the only place gender politics exist.

    Your sentence is reversible: "the only reason a lot of women will accept is "I have a girlfriend." Men will get harassed non-stop unless they use that."

Sure, you could reverse it, but now it's no longer true and actually pretty absurd. That's the point.

    The issue is clouded by the simple fact that even in Our Enlightened Era, men remain the pursuers and women the pursued. That's the paradigm we're all used to. The context of this discussion is "women who wish to go to locations that exist largely for hooking up without having to hook up." That's pretty fucking empowered right there, but somehow men are oppressing women if they don't encourage women to be bitchy in their response.

Jezebel is the first place I've seen this placed ONLY in the context of a bar/club and I'm pretty disappointed in them. IIRC the original context of the tumblr reblog this article is based on was street harassment, but in that context your point is obviously bullshit so let's give you the benefit of the doubt and set that aside.

Perhaps you see bars and clubs as "places that exist largely for hooking up" but that's not what they are to a lot of people, and it's silly to insist it's true to everyone or to insist that everyone accept the asinine behavior of those who think it is true. There's a deficit of safe spaces for women to publicly drink, dance, socialize, etc without being harassed or targeted, and it's directly because of that attitude. In my area at least there's even a phenomenon of straight women attending gay bars to escape the situation, which causes its own problems, but that's for another time.

The issue is not that women must be "encouraged" to be "bitchy in their response", it's that harassers are so persistent that they literally won't take no for an answer unless you justify yourself in a way they approve, and there is no place where this type of interaction can be avoided. That's what's oppressive.

    Again - put the shoe on the other foot.

    "hey, handsome, can I buy you a drink?"


    "Uhh, okay. Was it something I said?"

    "I'm not interested."

    How do you think Jezebel would respond to that?

This happens daily around the nation, and nobody has a problem with it.

    So take it out of the dating milieu. You're walking down the street and a dude asks "Hey buddy, spare any change?" Two possible choices are "Sorry, man, no cash" and "get a job." If you say "sorry man, no cash" then you can end the conversation with no hurt feelings. If you say "get a job" you can end the conversation by asserting your belief in a merit-based economy.

    Also by being a douche.

    Or: You're hanging out at the club and someone asks "Hey, man - spare a cigarette?" Two possible choices are "Sorry man, don't smoke" and "buy your own." If you say "sorry man, don't smoke" you can end the conversation without hurting any feelings. If you say "buy your own" you've just engaged someone to fixate on your evening sucking for as long as you're in sight.

It's not the same. Spangers will take a simple "no" for an answer. They won't ask you to explain. They usually don't dog you until the corner, or all the way home, or mug you, and the ones that do receive a worse reaction than TFA. In our society there's shame in spanging, which affects their attitude and persistence, but there's no shame and even some bravado in harassing women, which accordingly has an inverse effect.

    You know what's keenly anti-feminist? Ascribing chauvinist motives to strangers looking to flirt simply because they're looking to flirt. You know what's also keenly anti-feminist? Arguing that rudeness is an acceptable vehicle for feminine empowerment.

What's anti-feminist is tone policing people who literally just want to not be harassed, and what's chauvinist is apologism for harassment.

It's not rude to simply say, "I'm not interested". Women shouldn't have to justify their lack of interest, or spend more than a second establishing it. Your perception of rudeness is influenced by your privilege. Oppressed people are always seen as rude when they begin to resist oppressive norms.

    But you know what's the worst? Arguing that feminists aren't being feminists if they're polite, while arguing that women who are polite aren't feminists.

Nobody is saying this. All that's happening here is:

1) Some women discussed the possibility that one particular method of avoiding harassment is disempowering because it effectively depends on the male privilege of someone else. It was suggested that this particular method be avoided.

2) Now you are demanding feminists conform to your expectations of what's "polite", expectations that just so happen to maintain that disempowerment, and support environments that enable men to harass women while still demanding respect from them.

    Because it leads to bizarro-world statements like:


    In two sentences you said you've done the same thing, only different, and then argued that women get to be rude because the "entire world" they live in is "controlled and dominated by the opposite sex."

Yes, it is different. Yes, it is necessary for women to be "rude" in order to resist and subvert patriarchy.

    Look. The glass ceiling still exists. Women do not have total equality. But this is some straight up Lysistrata shit here. And it's fucking stupid.

Lysistrata was rad as fuck and I love her, but this ain't comparable.