Share good ideas and conversation.   Login, Join Us, or Take a Tour!
comment by b_b
b_b  ·  541 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: The unexamined brutality of the male libido

I will say in all sincerity that these past few months have caused me (out of curiosity, self-reflection, and muted fear) to think about how I've behaved in my life. I can say with a high, though not total, degree of confidence that I've never been guilty of these types of sins. However, I sure as hell have sat idly by while others have. High school in the 90s was a depraved place (as I'm sure it still is), and there were many guys I knew and some I was even friends with who openly bragged about forcing girls to blow them, e.g. I knew two separate guys who admittedly fucked women (girls, actually) who were passed out drunk. You'd kind of roll your eyes and think to yourself that he's a creep, but saying anything wouldn't have entered your mind, because it wasn't your business and being cool matters at that age.

I think the author is wrong insofar as his argument that it's inherent male sexuality that is problematic. He's bordering on negating men's agency in sexual encounters, which has been rejected by every court everywhere in human history. Of course were all ogres on the inside; that doesn't mean we're all (or even most of us are) ogres on the outside. Culture goes pretty far in saying what is and isn't permissible. If I observed any of the behaviors nowadays as I did back then, I'd never keep my mouth shut. Part of that is that I'm 35 and a lot more confident in myself and in the difference between right and wrong, but it's also that we've had these conversations in public that highlight how sexual violence affects victims. Those conversations matter and are effective, and it's a good thing that we're peeling back the curtains to shine light on this topic.

kleinbl00  ·  541 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I will say in all sincerity that these past few months have caused me (out of expectation, experience and general pessimism) to wonder who I've raped in the past and how it's going to ruin my life. Because of course, I can't recall ever raping anyone. I can't even recall ever pressuring anyone for sex. This does not mean I wasn't accused of rape by an ex-girlfriend while in high school - a girl whom I never even got to second base with. The logical conclusion of the chattering class on this roiling tragedy is "all men are bad" and the column makes the point succinctly.

Of course, I can't even profess my innocence - because that's backlash and as we all know, #notallmen is just an excuse to diminish the very real pain these women have suffered. Men, of course, are universally unaware of the trevails women face just to be women and if we merely attempt to nod and agree, we're complicit.

Here's what I know -

- I let a friend mic up Jessica Alba because I had a sense touching her even vaguely wrong would end my career.

- very powerful women have stripped down to their bras with just me in the room because "they don't care what I do." Right now, anyway.

- A costume designer tried to get me and my boom op kicked off a show because she said one of the actresses didn't like the way my boom op "looked at her" while wiring her up. Said costume designer had previously refused to help at all, or take responsibility of any kind for getting a microphone under skin-tight evening gowns. She suggested that we both be fired and a female sound crew be hired. We would have, too, if there had been any willing to take the job for the miserable wages we were earning.

I have the utmost of sympathy and respect for the massive iceberg of women under the tip of the scandal that's engulfing the public sphere. I am heartened that conditions might improve. But I also know that the terms being discussed take on a singular power of their own and that the safe move for everyone is to err on the side of purity, regardless of the circumstances. Thus we come full circle with this column: all men are bad, period.

I've read three screenplays that were bald-faced adaptations of Lysistrata. All of them were by aspiring screenwriters who were sick of a male-dominated industry. Good on 'em. But we have legitimately reached a point where it's easier to assume that a male in public is guilty of malfeasance than not because obviously, all men are scum even if we, personally, try real hard not to be.

b_b  ·  541 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    The logical conclusion of the chattering class on this roiling tragedy is "all men are bad" and the column makes the point succinctly.

It is instructive to find/replace "sexual impropriety" with "violent crime" and "men" with "black people". Doesn't come off so thoughtful in that case.