Thus Spake Zuska

Women and Their Sexy Hawt Bodies: Reprise

So, to recap:

A couple of women are having a conversation, and the topic turns to tit-ogling. “No one should be staring at my tits in the workplace,” they all agree. “That makes me uncomfortable, creates a hostile work environment, and constitutes sexual harassment! How difficult is it to look at my eyes? Staring and ogling is a threatening display of power enacted in a sexual manner. This isn’t the Mad Men era. Haven’t men figured out how to behave in a professional situation by now?”

A dude at the table next to them has been listening in and feels compelled to pipe up:

“Ladeez, ladeez, ladeez! What’s all this fuss about sexual harassment?
How can we not look at your hawt co-ed behinds when you are jogging?
Men are biologically hardwired to look at the boobies!
It’s part of mating behavior!

It’s nature, baby – you can’t fight it!
Why do you women get boob jobs and dress all hawt if you don’t want us to look?
Men can’t control themselves!
Evolution makes men constantly scan the horizon for lovable boobies!
Why do you hate sex?
It’s not sexual harassment unless he gets physical with her!
Looking at boobs is not sexual harassment!
Dress modestly if you don’t want to be stared at!
It’s your own fault!
Why can’t you ladeez think scientifically about why menz look at teh breasticles? That is the REAL question here!
Because if it isn’t SCIENTIFIC!!!!11!!1!**** it isn’t knowledge – it’s ideological!

The women sigh heavily. One of them opines:

Looking at breasts? Normal

Being creeped out by having your breast leered at? Normal

Are there a complicated balance of social rules required to navigate this, and is self-restraint required to keep looks from becoming leers? You bet.

However, in a workplace it’s fairly simple. Please look in my eyes. Or at my nose, if you’re East Asian. But not my breasts. If you inadvertantly leer, look at *your* shoes…If we didn’t have such a generally screwed up culture with respect to men and women and power and sex then it would probably never come up.

And then finally another d00d sez:

I’ve disagreed with Zuska before, and largely for me it was an issue of the tone of the post relative to the relative importance, to my perception, of the issue under discussion. But I will admit that I am at times surprised to find how certain notions that are seemingly innocuous and very acceptable, culturally, are, when you break them down to their most essential parts, actually pretty sexist. I didn’t even think of them that way at all, but if one is willing to do the work to look critically, it’s right there.

And the women said, “Hallelujah Amen, brother!”

And added:

Yup. I think the comments rapidly altered the subject, and you drifted along because you honestly find the new question interesting. My perception is that the comments swiftly turned the subject from something that makes many readers uncomfortable (systematic harassment of women by a minority of ordinary men) to something that we can all pretty much agree on (“noticing” people we find attractive is normal and OK, no matter your sex and sexual orientation). See how that works? Your mileage may vary of course.

Just then, Lora from HR dropped by and gave the official word on the whole mess.

“Really? We should pretend to ourselves that we are completely sexless creatures while we’re at work?”

On behalf of personnel managers and HR departments everywhere: Yes, yes, please, for the love of FSM, please imagine while you are at work that you are sexless monks and nuns…

Good heavens, if you want to get a good long social look at your co-workers, do it on your own time at the coffee shop or bar or whatever. I ain’t payin’ you to lollygag!

Then that Paul Murray d00d came back and said something long and rambling and, I must confess, I just wasn’t able to keep listening after this:

Do women feel that they are made to feel, or expected to feel, shame and guilt just for being female?

Oh, Paul. Seriously. What planet are you living on? Is this really something you have to ask about? I mean, doesn’t everybody just know this? Paul, Paul, Paul. What are you even doing on this blog??????

This concludes our retrospective of Women and Their Sexy Hawt Bodies. The management wishes to thank all interlocutors because we actually covered some major ground in this conversation. I am absolutely completely serious here. Still to come: When scientists offer up the “biology makes men do it” argument, how are they helping the ultra-right religious wingnuts?

****SCIENTIFIC!!!!11!!1! means “something vaguely about biological hardwiring or evolutionary psychology”. It does NOT mean anything to do with feminist psychology, sociology, or analyses of scientific culture and practice.

Comments

  1. #1 Jason Failes
    September 10, 2008

    My girlfriend is in Oman right now, and when they glance upon her cleavage….they propose marriage, without even asking her name!

    We have a long way to go, for sure, but there is some reason to give our culture credit for how far it’s progressed thus far.

    As for looking, I’m with Seinfeld: “Looking at cleavage is like looking at the sun. You don’t stare at it. It’s too risky. Ya get a sense of it and then you look away.”

    Also, I don’t think this is an issue to be solved via debate on a blog, but will be played out over millions of individuals over decades:

    As women make it clear that they have no interest in men who leer, the norm will change. Ironically, men, in their desire to get laid, will be forced to become more gentlemanly.

  2. #2 Greg Laden
    September 10, 2008

    Zuska: I puke on your shoes.

    You imply (not very subtly) that I said: “It’s nature, baby – you can’t fight it!”

    You lie.

    Why do you need to lie when you have otherwise perfectly good arguments to make?

  3. #3 CK Rock
    September 10, 2008

    Great idea to put the comments into a narrative! I wish more people would do this for interesting comment threads.

  4. #4 O3
    September 10, 2008

    That was a fantastic recap. I especially liked “Looking at breasts? Normal — Being creeped out by having your breast leered at? Normal”. If I “can’t help” staring at someone’s cleavage, I shouldn’t be surprised if some woman “can’t help” poking me in the eye.

    In other news, hawt babe singing about hadrons. Hope you like it :) (The sound’s kinda borked, sorry)

  5. #5 PhysioProf
    September 10, 2008

    Laden, you are such an incoherent gibberer, no one ever has a single fucking clue what the fuck you are ever talking about. Your incomprehensible writing sucks shit, people struggle to glean some kind of point from it, and then you moan and groan about how no one understands you.

    Here’s a clue my friend: When no one ever understands what you are trying to say, maybe the problem is with you, not the entire rest of the world.

  6. #6 Zuska
    September 10, 2008

    I quote Greg Laden:

    However, let’s keep track of the biological argument as well. All else being equal, as a society develops on its own, the men are going to be bad unless society makes something else happen. No society ever produced a preponderance of not-bad men without trying very hard to do so, and that is still not working so well.

    Emphasis added by me.

    Yes, indeedy, it’s hard to see how I got “it’s nature, baby” out of that!

  7. #7 Zuska
    September 10, 2008

    Also Greg: don’t try shoe-puking. You clearly haven’t mastered the nuances.

  8. #8 MissPrism
    September 10, 2008

    I interpreted that post of Greg’s as more of an “It’s nature, baby, but we should fight it”.
    I’d still probably disagree, but it’s not nearly as bad as the alternative interpretation.

  9. #9 lolscientist
    September 10, 2008

    Naturally Greg would be indignant, because he thinks he’s all cool with us ladies and our issues, without having ever bothered to examine some of the drivel that regularly comes out of his mouth. Sorry Greg, no free pass here.

  10. #10 Zuska
    September 10, 2008

    Greg is making an evo-psych argument that men are inherently bad by their biological nature. He says society can try to fight it but that that doesn’t work very well either. If that ain’t “it’s nature baby”, then tell me what is.

    As I’ll argue in a subsequent post, this type of argument is used by right-wing wackaloons to shore up the patriarchy. I have no patience for the “men are bad by nature” crap especially because the flip side is “women are good by nature” and that, my friends, leads down many bad roads.

  11. #11 Isis the Scientist
    September 10, 2008

    I’m interested in the “men are bad and women are good” argument that seems to flow “naturally” from all of this. Because, I can’t lie, I am just as guilty as the dude next door of ocassionally oogling. Does that make me an exception to the female rule or actually a man?

    And Isis is all about gender/sex equality. Yesterday I was called “young lady” and almost put my boot into a man’s eye as a result. However, I am surprised by the number of women who have posted comments on a blog I wrote on a similar issue confessing to have also used their hooters to their advantage to manipulate a male colleague.

  12. #12 Greg Laden
    September 10, 2008

    Zuska: I did not say, nor do I believe, nor could any reasonably unbiased moderately thoughtful normally intelligent reader get from what I wrote, that “you can’t fight it baby.”

    Your shoes are looking pretty crappy these days.

    End. Of. Discussion.

  13. #13 Zuska
    September 10, 2008

    Why is that surprising? Think about it. In a culture where the only real power women are allowed to have is sexual, why wouldn’t a certain percentage of women go ahead and try to wield it? Even though that power is essentially illusory, because we don’t really wield sexual power over men – men as a class wield sexual power over women as a class via the fear of sexual assault. Men made helpless by the flashing boobies obscures the real power dynamic in society and at the same time it reproduces that dynamic. It says: woman, you are a sexual creature, and man, you can’t be expected to control yourself around those sexual creatures. Flash ‘em and get what you want is the flip side of you got ‘em so I have the right to grab ‘em.

    I seem to be hooked on the flip side thingie…

  14. #14 Zuska
    September 10, 2008

    Again quoting Greg Laden:

    No society ever produced a preponderance of not-bad men without trying very hard to do so, and that is still not working so well.

  15. #15 Jenny F. Scientist
    September 10, 2008

    We have a word for poorly-supported pseudoscientific babble: “scientifical”. Like, “George Bush is so scientifical in his denial of global warming, isn’t he?”

  16. #16 Joel
    September 10, 2008

    because he thinks he’s all cool with us ladies and our issues, without having ever bothered to examine some of the drivel that regularly comes out of his mouth. Sorry Greg, no free pass here.

    Applause.

  17. #17 Stephanie Z
    September 10, 2008

    Zuska, why is that “you can’t fight it” instead of “we’ve still got a lot of fighting left to do”?

  18. #18 Zuska
    September 10, 2008

    IMHO, that’s a really really charitable extrapolation.

  19. #19 Stephanie Z
    September 10, 2008

    Charitable? When looking at the words of an avowed political progressive and feminist who later in the same thread specifically decried the naturalistic fallacy? I realize that this is not a topic designed to elicit charity, but I don’t think that takes much extrapolation. Even if it does take some, is there a good reason to be uncharitable?

  20. #20 AnonymousCoward
    September 10, 2008

    I agree with Stephanie Z’s take.

    The statement read to me as “There’s much to be done, and we haven’t been trying hard enough.”

  21. #21 PhysioProf
    September 10, 2008

    The only reason that this exegesis of Laden’s assertions even needs to occur is that he writes so abysmally incomprehensibly that there is no way to tell what the fuck he is talking about at any given moment.

  22. #22 MyaR
    September 10, 2008

    Greg, your cause is not helped by effectively calling a bunch of people unreasonably biased, fairly thoughtless, and abnormally unintelligent. Because I read it the same way. So I guess I’m biased, thoughtless, and stupid. And unreasonable, immoderate and abnormal to boot. Perhaps, as PhysioProf suggests in his inimitable way, you should reread what you write with your best attempt to find ways it could be misread and then rewrite to avoid triggering this sort of response. Although calling people coming from a different perspective (ie, people who don’t really know you and can only go by your literal words on the screen) all those epithets doesn’t really suggest you care if you’re misread.

  23. #23 bj
    September 10, 2008

    men as a class wield sexual power over women as a class via the fear of sexual assault.

    Ah, the old “every man is a potential rapist” gambit.
    Nice.

  24. #24 DrugMonkey
    September 10, 2008

    GregLaden: No society ever produced a preponderance of not-bad men without trying very hard to do so, and that is still not working so well.

    actually, with respect to this particular statement of Greg’s I tend to agree. I read it much as Stephanie Z did:

    Zuska, why is that “you can’t fight it” instead of “we’ve still got a lot of fighting left to do”?

    I happen to think that yes, people are shits in their native state and it is by virtue of rule of laws and social controls that we manage to make anything of ourselves as a species. Are men particularly bad / worse than women? well, if we gate on inter-personal violence, um, yeah. Does this mean that women are all to the good? Hell no. Are our myriad systems of rules of law and social controls working to ensure optimal behavior? I would agree with Greg that humanity’s track record is not so hot in that area.

  25. #25 JaneDoh
    September 10, 2008

    men as a class wield sexual power over women as a class via the fear of sexual assault.

    Ah, the old “every man is a potential rapist” gambit.
    Nice.

    This is way off-topic, but I couldn’t let it pass. Spoken like someone who never has to have that small niggling voice saying “yeah, I know we’ve been friends for years, but should I really stay overnight here?”

    I know waaaaaay too many people who have been assaulted by “old friends (including family members!)” who were “nice guys” and “not the type” not to have that small worry myself. I’ve already learned the hard way about not trusting my dates too soon. And it sucks both for me and for the men I think it about. It is only a gambit if it isn’t really true for many people.

    Back to the original topic–great recap. While I am heartened that we’ve made lots of progress in a short time (blah, blah, blah) I worry that so many younger, more educated men seem to be stuck in unquestioning sexist attitudes. Everyone says “wait until the dinosaurs die off” but I see lots of folks ready and able to replace them, for all forms of discrimination.

    No one WANTS to be considered prejudiced. It took me quite a lot of processing to understand that white privilege is about my position in society and not about me personally. Once I got there, I could start to examine the privileges I take for granted. It sure helped me understand the concept to be a woman and a religious minority. I want to think that many men are in the same position with regards to male privilege. I suspect many men who hit the privilege lottery in the US (white, male, heterosexual, Christian background, non-disabled) have more of a challenge ahead, precisely because it is SO HARD to see privilege you never live without and can’t imagine not having.

  26. #26 Zuska
    September 10, 2008

    men as a class wield sexual power over women as a class via the fear of sexual assault.

    Ah, the old “every man is a potential rapist” gambit.
    Nice.

    Yeah, that’s not what that statement means and you know it. Or maybe you don’t.

    Women, with good reason, do live with the fear of rape. (Ironically, though we are taught to worry more about stranger rape, it’s those close to us who are more likely to sexually assault us.) That fear constrains women’s lives and choices. That gives ALL MEN, whether they want it or not, an advantage over women. It doesn’t have to do with fearing that every man is a rapist. It has to do with living daily with the pervasive fear that you could be raped at anytime – and if you are, don’t expect much sympathy or support from the judicial system.

  27. #27 Mecha
    September 10, 2008

    There’s another solid socially bad side to the ‘Men are bad/lazy/etc. by nature’ argument (which it sure looked like, to me, that Greg was reaching for, even if he might have been thinking more generally about people in general), and it is that the obvious implication is that any man who is better than bad is not just normal, or even good, they’re amazing. They fought nature and the way that they were made to do such things as not (obviously) stare at women, or not hit people weaker than them, or take care of their kids in a way that doesn’t involve playing sports, or whatever other garbage men are supposed to ‘naturally’ not want to do. Give that man a cookie, he did the dishes! Give that man a trophy, he gives a damn about his kids! Pfaugh. I expect that’s where Zuska’s going to be taking her later post, but it seems relevant to the people who don’t seem to be getting it now. (And see the ‘Men are slavering animals who, all things being equal, would rape a woman who isn’t covered from head to toe’ arguments that some people engage in on an extreme example of the ‘men are bad’ state, what it means, and where it tends to lead.)

    The idea, ultimately, ends up not only being essentialist crap, but takes what should be considered societally normal functional decent behavior and turns it into exceptional behavior. Here is a perfect example of that entitlement, as expressed in modern pop culture (in the context of the original post, even!): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Y9G8k3JUxQ .

    So while Greg -might- not have meant anything bad about it, and might be trying for a more ‘original sin’ like approach where everyone is initially an awful person but for society (which is doing us few favors), I think it might be a good idea for people who are defensively protesting to, instead, think about what the espousing of that sentiment, in that way, means for people who aren’t Greg. It’s little more than an excuse for bad behavior, especially when used defensively and for men, as well as a way to make people accept normal behavior as exceptional, and it’s far more scientifical than scientific.

    -Mecha

  28. #28 Ben Zvan
    September 10, 2008
    men as a class wield sexual power over women as a class via the fear of sexual assault.

    Ah, the old “every man is a potential rapist” gambit.
    Nice.

    Yeah, that’s not what that statement means and you know it. Or maybe you don’t.

    I knew there was a reason I’d never read this blog. If the power wielded is via the fear of sexual assault, then it is useless without the assumption that every man is a potential rapist.

  29. #29 Dave L
    September 10, 2008

    Women, with good reason, do live with the fear of rape. That fear constrains women’s lives and choices. That gives ALL MEN, whether they want it or not, an advantage over women. It doesn’t have to do with fearing that every man is a rapist. It has to do with living daily with the pervasive fear that you could be raped at anytime – and if you are, don’t expect much sympathy or support from the judicial system.

    Although I agree with the gist of your post (with the exception of how looking at someone is supposed to be some type of ‘power’ play on the part of the male; I must have missed the post where you demonstrated your telepathy), I thought this was just a little over the top. Not to downplay the risk or gravity of rape, but no, you have no reasonable reason to fear you could be raped ‘anytime’ or, depending on your habits, even most of the time; I doubt that you are really that frightened of being raped during the day at the mall, grocery store, gas station, classroom, or many other public places. Point taken on the inconsistent lack of recourse via the judicial system though.

    Men are victims of homicide 2-3 times more often than women. That gives ALL WOMEN, whether they want it or not, an advantage over men; fair statement?

  30. #30 marsha
    September 10, 2008

    Ah, the old “every man is a potential rapist” gambit.
    Nice.

    Posted by: bj

    huh, I just heard about another male friend who raped a female friend. I’ve had male friends confess rape to me as well, although they had reached the point of trying to make amends. I’ve had male friends stalk female friends.

    The list goes on.

    No only are we told constantly we’re not safe, but it’s our own fault if we do get raped, but the truth is men are predatory in our society, whether it is due to nurture OR nature.

    Dismissing it as an argumentative gambit simply tells me you to have the potential to rape and harm women because you don’t acutally see the real harm that goes on all around you. You Dismiss the person (female) making the argument as having any experience or understanding of these things.

    It’s offensive, misogynistic and childish.

    Women are raped. More than is ever reported in the statistics. It is usually by someone they know. And too often they are considered the problem.

  31. #31 Becca
    September 10, 2008

    There are clearly destructive applications of the “men are bad by nature” line of reasoning… but there’s another problem.
    Classifying men into Good Male Oglers (ht to Samia for the terminology), who are presumably just being appreciative, OR Bad Men (possibly Potential Rapists) is inaccurate.
    All men I know, even the most thoughtful and caring of them, are capable of misusing sexual power. Granted, such men are mortified when they accidently step over a line. They strive not abuse their power… and they generally succeed.

    “No society ever produced a preponderance of good acts without trying very hard to do so, and that is still not working out so well” strikes me as a rather wise statement. But I’m not a huge fan of Original Sin type worldviews.

  32. #32 Mecha
    September 10, 2008

    Dave L: Ogling someone, especially in groups, is a power play. It’s ‘look at me stare at you, what are you gonna do about it’? When challenged, the response is typically defensiveness and ‘I’m doing nothing wrong, and what are you gonna do about it anyway, I outnumber/outmass/am taller than you.’ The answer is most commonly ‘Nothing’, thanks to the threats and fear.

    And trying to play oppression Olympics with rape of women vs murder of men is not only a losing proposition if you’re in any way an ally, it misses the point. The fear of physical violence, harrassment, and rape due to _societal power inequity and sexism_, which is hammered into women quite frequently, is very different from, saying, ‘But men do more dangerous work’ or ‘But men are murdered more’ and then implying that evens it up because it sucks for everyone. Almost no woman can escape the power inequality here. Almost every woman that gets raped will have to deal with people examining ‘was she too drunk, was she not wearing enough clothes, had she had sex before, then clearly the guy couldn’t help it.’ Many men are not actually subject to this higher risk of murder, or more dangerous work (although poorer ones may have less of a choice, we don’t want to be classist there.)

    Men do have their own societal issues and problems, but this is not the forum for them. There’s multiple Patriarchy Hurts Men Too groups and forums out there.

    -Mecha

  33. #33 Interrobang
    September 10, 2008

    Every man is a potential rapist, at least when seen from a woman’s point of view. It’s not like there’s a good way to tell the rapists from the non-rapists; men don’t wear signs, and if they did, who could trust the signs? The only difference between a rape situation and a non-rape situation is the presence or absence of a rapist, so that’s what makes the discussion kind of hard to have, especially when men are so quick to avow that they would never do anything like that…but at the same time, non-rapist men aren’t doing a whole lot to stop rapist men.

    Hell, we’re still talking about rape in the passive voice half the time, like rapists don’t even exist. Even upthread we have it “Women are raped.” Who’s doing that raping? Most overwhelmingly, male rapists.

  34. #34 Joel
    September 10, 2008

    Men are victims of homicide 2-3 times more often than women. That gives ALL WOMEN, whether they want it or not, an advantage over men; fair statement?

    Only if women are committing the murders. I don’t think that’s the case.

  35. #35 Stephanie Z
    September 10, 2008

    Becca, I like the rewording. I don’t think of it as “original sin,” though. I think of it as social behavior evolving to replace the instincts we gave up to become more flexible animals. The struggle is to figure out what that flexibility gave us and how much of it we want to/should give up for the good of the group as a whole.

  36. #36 Felicia Gilljam
    September 10, 2008

    Maybe I look and act exactly like a man, or I’ve simply been extremely lucky in my life, because I really don’t at all relate to the various broad statements Zuska and others are making about how women are made to feel. Seriously. What’s up with the rampant generalisations here? How is there to be a rational discussion if we can’t even allow for the fact that many women don’t live in constant fear of rape, many women don’t feel ashamed because they’re female, many women don’t constantly experience disgusting ogling…

    I do realise I’ve been treated differently from how I otherwise would have on occasion, but nothing like what’s being said here. While I realise that some generalisations are necessary, please don’t presume to speak for all of woman-kind when you go on about how oppressed you are. It drives those of us who don’t have the same experience away.

    (Or is it just the case that Sweden really does live up to its reputation, and all other women, everywhere else, live in constant fear? I sort of doubt it.)

  37. #37 Rev Matt
    September 10, 2008

    @Felicia: this conversation is very heavily US-centric. The cultural, gender, power, and political issues are not unique to the US but most issues involving sex here are writ large and often (though not in the case of rape) blown all out of proportion to the risk. The US still lags the rest of the industrialized world by a few decades in attitudes on social issues. Acquaintance rape is a very real problem in the US and most likely vastly underreported.

    While it would be perfectly accurate to say every *person* is a potential rapist, statistically speaking it is wildly more likely that a male will be the rapist than a female, regardless of the gender of the victim.

  38. #38 Dave L
    September 10, 2008

    Dave L: Ogling someone, especially in groups, is a power play. It’s ‘look at me stare at you, what are you gonna do about it’? When challenged, the response is typically defensiveness and ‘I’m doing nothing wrong, and what are you gonna do about it anyway, I outnumber/outmass/am taller than you.’ The answer is most commonly ‘Nothing’, thanks to the threats and fear.

    Mecha, that is exactly what I’m talking about; you scripted the entire thing, including everyone’s thoughts and intentions, including threats and fears. The fact is that a man may be staring at/ogling a woman for lots of reasons that have zip to do with ‘power’. If some creep ogles an attractive woman for the sole purposes of masturbation fodder, is that a ‘power play’? And I’m sorry, but the response ‘I’m doing nothing wrong’ is absolutely correct; ultimately no one or group has to justify to anyone why they are looking at them, especially when that anyone is going to take it upon themselves to imagine the absolute worst about what that staring ‘means’. Where one points their eyes and for how long harms no one. It may be creepy, perverted, and antisocial, but it’s no more (perhaps less) harmful than words.

    Mecha said:

    The fear of physical violence, harrassment, and rape due to _societal power inequity and sexism_, which is hammered into women quite frequently, is very different from, saying, ‘But men do more dangerous work’ or ‘But men are murdered more’ and then implying that evens it up because it sucks for everyone.

    and Joel:

    Only if women are committing the murders. I don’t think that’s the case.

    I admit I may be confused on the calculus of ‘this gives ALL MEN, whether they want it or not, an advantage over women’. Men have an advantage over women because men are much more likely to rape women than women are, and therefore women are ‘justified’ in being fearful of all men? Men have an advantage because of the agreed difficulties of what women have to go through as far as the questioning of how ‘responsible’ the woman may be for the rape because of what they were wearing and the other things Mecha listed? I took the comment as ‘men have an advantage over women because they don’t have to worry about being raped’, which is why I brought up murder; agreed the percentages are higher for the likelihood of rape, but in most cases, the repercussions to a homicide victim are obviously greater than most rape victims. I again I admit I might be missing some nuance here though, and was wondering exactly what this ‘advantage’ is that men have.

  39. #39 Muse142
    September 10, 2008

    Speaking of not generalizing to all people..

    I doubt that you are really that frightened of being raped during the day at the mall, grocery store, gas station, classroom, or many other public places.

    I’ve been afraid of being raped walking from my classroom to my home. Gas station? Alone, at night, with a guy loitering by the next pump staring at me…?

    Though if I were to be raped, it would probably be by my boyfriend or a close male friend. (Just sayin, statistically.)

  40. #40 Joel
    September 10, 2008

    Dave, I’m not sure if I have this right.

    What I think they are saying is that because it is nearly impossible to tell which man will rape you, it is impossible to really let your guard down. Having to be guarded, fearful, and feeling vulnerable to attack would put you at a disadvantage.

  41. #41 Cherish
    September 10, 2008

    Where one points their eyes and for how long harms no one. It may be creepy, perverted, and antisocial, but it’s no more (perhaps less) harmful than words.

    How easy it is for you to say that when you’ve never had to experience it. And for the record, the wrong words can become criminal…as in, creating a hostile environment. Words are not harmless. Nor is the message that my body is there to supply someone else’s sexual satisfaction.

  42. #42 bioephemera
    September 10, 2008

    I’m so glad you started and continued this conversation, Z. Just a couple weeks ago at work, I met with a very nice guy who, for some reason, could not keep his eyes on my face instead of my chest. His manner and his ogling were so at odds, I couldn’t figure it out. I wonder sometimes if men are even aware they’re doing it, or that we notice, or that we’re offended by it?

    I subsequently discussed it with a number of male friends, all of whom agree that a) most heterosexual men can’t help looking occasionally, but b) they sure as hell better not creep a woman out by looking, or they’re total assholes. Just because touching isn’t involved doesn’t make it okay – if it did, we wouldn’t prosecute hate speech.

    If a guy doesn’t know his leering will creep women out, he’s an idiot. If he does know, and does it anyway, he either a) is an asshole, or b) has a serious problem with self control. Men with serious self control problems that are oriented on women’s bodies SHOULD creep us ALL out. Can we agree on that?

    And for those commenters who don’t think women worry about rape in public places or broad daylight: once, in college, a guy I didn’t know followed me from the dorm study room at lunch time, entered my room, blocked my door, grabbed me and kissed me. He had at least fifty pounds on me and was six inches taller. I was very, very afraid. And given that I had to live down the hall from the guy for three months afterward, and go past the study room to the showers to bathe, I continued to be afraid every day for that entire summer.

    Most women I know have a story like this. But I don’t think most men can relate, because they’ve never had to feel that way. They’re lucky.

  43. #43 Katharine
    September 10, 2008

    Let’s replace some of the statements with the word ‘penis’ and see how the men react.

    “So, to recap:

    A couple of men are having a conversation, and the topic turns to penis-ogling. “No one should be staring at my penis in the workplace,” they all agree. “That makes me uncomfortable, creates a hostile work environment, and constitutes sexual harassment! How difficult is it to look at my eyes? Staring and ogling is a threatening display of power enacted in a sexual manner. This isn’t the Mad Women era. Haven’t women figured out how to behave in a professional situation by now?”

    A woman at the table next to them has been listening in and feels compelled to pipe up:

    “Boyz, boyz, boyz! What’s all this fuss about sexual harassment?
    How can we not look at your hawt frat-boy behinds when you are jogging?
    Women are biologically hardwired to look at the cocks!
    It’s part of mating behavior!
    It’s nature, baby – you can’t fight it!
    Why do you men stuff your pants and dress all hawt if you don’t want us to look?
    Women can’t control themselves!
    Evolution makes women constantly scan the horizon for lovable penises!
    Why do you hate sex?
    It’s not sexual harassment unless she gets physical with him!
    Looking at penises is not sexual harassment!
    Dress modestly if you don’t want to be stared at!
    It’s your own fault!
    Why can’t you boyz think scientifically about why womenz look at teh testicles? That is the REAL question here!
    Because if it isn’t SCIENTIFIC!!!!11!!1!**** it isn’t knowledge – it’s ideological!”"

  44. #44 Schrödinger's Cat
    September 10, 2008

    marsha said:

    huh, I just heard about another male friend who raped a female friend. I’ve had male friends confess rape to me as well, although they had reached the point of trying to make amends. I’ve had male friends stalk female friends.

    You need better friends or higher standards for friendship. Just sayin’.

  45. #45 Azkyroth
    September 10, 2008

    Greg is making an evo-psych argument that men are inherently bad by their biological nature. He says society can try to fight it but that that doesn’t work very well either. If that ain’t “it’s nature baby”, then tell me what is.

    I haven’t read Greg’s argument on this specific case, but my impression so far has been that “people, especially men, seem to have an instinctive drive to look at attractive stimuli, which can be amplified or dampened by social power structures and customs, and we need to be doing more of the latter rather than the former” is consistent with what I’ve observed of him – and conflating that with “it’s nature, baby, you can’t fight it!” is consistent with my previous observations about the discussion here.

    The only reason that this exegesis of Laden’s assertions even needs to occur is that he writes so abysmally incomprehensibly that there is no way to tell what the fuck he is talking about at any given moment.

    Aren’t you a little old to be trying to score points like that?

  46. #46 Azkyroth
    September 10, 2008

    Men do have their own societal issues and problems, but this is not the forum for them. There’s multiple Patriarchy Hurts Men Too groups and forums out there.

    Err, why not?

  47. #47 PhysioProf
    September 10, 2008

    Aren’t you a little old to be trying to score points like that?

    I’m not trying to score points. I’m pointing out an indisputible fact.

    Laden is constantly having to explain that he didn’t mean what people thought he meant. This happens over and over and over in various contexts, and many different people seem to “misunderstand” or “misrepresent” Laden’s assertions. The reason for this is that he is a shitty writer, who cannot construct a sentence in the English language that means what he later claims he intended it to mean.

    Err, why not?

    Because this is Zuska’s fucking blog, and it exists to serve her purposes, not yours. And her purpose is clearly stated in her “About” page as follows:

    This blog exists to complain loudly about the hideous conditions women in science and engineering must routinely deal with.

    You got any other stupid questions, dipshit?

  48. #48 Isis the Scientist
    September 11, 2008

    Zuska,

    I hope you will see my comments on this at the post below.

    Isis

    http://isisthescientist.blogspot.com/2008/09/open-letter_10.html

  49. #49 Stephanie Z
    September 11, 2008

    PP, if you keep having to argue the same point with “many different people,” it’s hardly indisputable. Dead on about a person’s blog existing to serve their own purposes, though.

  50. #50 Jay
    September 11, 2008

    One more thing on the women good/men bad construction: the next step in reasoning for many people is “it’s a woman’s job to civilize her man”. This provides a basis for denying women’s sexual impulses. It’s also one of the reasons women were kept out of the public sphere – the Romantic/Victorian notion that women were “too fine” for the real world and our job was to provide spiritual upliftment to men and children.

  51. #51 Mecha
    September 11, 2008

    Dave L: If someone were to, hypothetically, punch you in the face, I could ascribe myriad reasons to why they did it. Maybe it’s because I was defending myself, maybe it’s because I don’t like your face. But you cannot say that it is not, to some degree, about power. If you had ‘equal’ power, you could stop me, or punch me back. If you did not, you would not. It is inherently a struggle of power, the victor defined by who is most powerful.

    Typically, looking at breasts/women in an obviously sexual manner is in the same box: The few people who do it innocently or for a justified reason are largely outweighed by people who don’t. And women can’t ‘ogle’ back, or in any significant way hit back, or stop people from ogling them. It is inherently based on a power differential: If women were ‘more powerful’ than men, do you think that guys would be staring at women nakedly, catcalling, etc, all this ‘it’s natural is a first level defense’ bullshit aside? I think it becomes clear that it would rarely happen. And men pretty much always win that power struggle. They get to leer, or catcall, or do whatever the fuck they want, and it’s always the women who are overreacting. See the discussion, in fact, that has happened on this blog.

    Furthermore, any action which can be considered communication has two sides: the message you intend, and the message received. It is a negotiated medium in EVERY case, where men, due to the societal norms, hold the larger share of the power. This means that men in general can ‘define’ ogling as ‘okay’ ‘normal’ ‘natural’, and women, such as the ones around a table in the post, might try to discuss how they don’t like it, but then men/society come down and say all the things Zuska pointed out. So where’s the women’s power to define it? In an equal world, the _meaning_ of leering would not be ‘What I say goes’, women would have a say, right? And it would be respected, right? Yeah. This is tied to the concept of ‘male gaze’, which I’d recommend you look up.

    As to your second part, you seem honest, so I’m going to point you at the concept of privilege. Specifically, male privilege. Being a guy gives us all sorts of minor advantages that we never have to really consider. ( http://www.amptoons.com/blog/the-male-privilege-checklist/ ). While many men may not get all of these privileges at full level (especially if they are gay/feminine/trans/people of color/etc.) pretty much every guy gets ‘em implicitly. There are some disadvantages to being male, but they just do not overwhelm these big and small advantages. And sexual power is one of the biggest areas where men have the upper hand. (Relevant male/female stereotypes: He’s a stud, she’s a slut. If a woman is showing some skin, she’s available to any guy, and can in no way be doing it for herself. Guys can’t help but look, grope, and sleep around, it’s their nature.) It doesn’t make isolated men evil or bad, but it helps create an atmosphere of inequality which society supports, many men simply don’t have to think about, and is incredibly pervasive.

    -Mecha

  52. #52 Markus
    September 11, 2008

    Over the last weekend, my still pregnant (but now mother of a 2nd kid) sister-in-law was talking about how her husband (my brother) was getting a LOT of looks by the students and even the parents at the gym they work at. All because he started getting back into shape.

    I was laughing at tears listening to this. Women are such pigs.

  53. #53 PhysioProf
    September 11, 2008

    PP, if you keep having to argue the same point with “many different people,” it’s hardly indisputable.

    WTF are you talking about? It’s Laden who keeps having to argue that he is being “misunderstood” and “misrepresented” by many different people. What’s indisputible is that this is what occurs. And, as I have already stated, the best inference from this is that Laden writes like shit, and that is why many different people have no fucking clue what he is trying to say, and, thus, why he always seems to be “misunderstood” and “misrepresented”.

  54. #54 Stephanie Z
    September 11, 2008

    And yet, you’re doing most of the commenting, PP. Are you arguing with yourself?

  55. #55 the real sockpuppies
    September 11, 2008

    Pysio: no, what’s indisputable is that Laden is being misrepresented by some seriously deluded, controlling and manipulative social violence in a very small shit-stirring navel over here at Zuska’s and over at your blog, etc.

    More importantly, his field necessitates that he be more objective (less feministically cauterized) in his observations of both 1) sexual violence 2)human/chimp/bonobo behavior 3)politicized conversations that occur in linty little navels of ‘misunderstanding’like, um, two or three highly inflammatory and opinionated lil’ sciblogs that use orchestrated controversy and shit slinging to get even one or two hits on their lil’ counter.

    BTW: many ethnographiers can demonstrate that this world of sexual violence possible stems from controlling women who 1) fondle 2) caress 3) digitally manipulate 4) masturbate 5)laugh at 6)bite (in the case of Elian Gonzalez and his grandmother–when he was returned to Cuba–and many other such behaviors which create a strange cultrual dynamic that has led some to assert a “defense of cultural practice” and others to minimize as “random observations.

    In the case of Elian Gonzalez and his granny feeling that she has an a priori ‘right’ to the boys penis, it is possible to extrapolate many conclusions about the well known Cuban machisimo, and sexual violence as well, but that is another conversation–one best left alone when talking to militant bonobos…

  56. #56 the real sockpuppies
    September 11, 2008

    OOOPs…pp 3 should end “6)bite the penises(in the case of Elian Gonzalez and his grandmother–when he was returned to Cuba–and many other such behaviors which create a strange cultrual dynamic that has led some to assert a “defense of cultural practice” and others to minimize as “random observations)of little boys.

    http://books.google.com/books?id=zyWr3dSXUrIC&pg=PA243&lpg=PA243&dq=Elian+Gonzalez+grandmother+penis&source=web&ots=EfgAQpxnNj&sig=UEhCqkch-OWPvhJjqXV2hrl7oAI&hl=en&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=7&ct=result#PPA244,M1

    http://www.thecolumnists.com/littlefield/kinney1.html

  57. #57 PhysioProf
    September 11, 2008

    his field

    His field!?!? He’s a low level administrator at a backwoods college. What fucking “field” are you talking about?

  58. #58 Stephanie Z
    September 12, 2008

    PP, if you want to talk about what supporting a spouse’s career and being primary caretaker to a young child can do to one’s career, we can certainly pimp Greg’s femcred a bit. But suggesting that the U of M Twin Cities is a backwoods college is a bit rich.

  59. #59 John Knight
    September 12, 2008

    Throw out 5,000 of social wisdom & custom and people start acting like jerks. Dangerous jerks.

    Funny how that works.

  60. #60 jomega
    September 12, 2008

    You had me at “Staring and ogling is a threatening display of power enacted in a sexual manner”.

    That, ma’am is Horseshit. Staring and ogling is something that for many guys takes a conscious effort not to do when confronted with a nice pair o’ titties (or whatever other Sexy Hawt Body Bits a fellow might be drawn to). Appreciate those of us who make that effort, and castigate, if you must, those who don’t, but don’t think for a minute that such lack of control constitutes a “display of power”. Just the opposite, really.

    Full disclosure: Yeah, I ended up on this page because I saw “Women and Their Sexy Hawt Bodies” on the ScienceBlogs front page and just had to click the link…

  61. #61 The Chemist
    September 12, 2008

    Hrrm, I remember listening to a bit on This American Life about a female-to-male transgender person. He talked about how the boost in testosterone turned him into a complete horndog. Women don’t believe him when he explains it, but he says he turned into a freaking beast.

    Anecdotal, I know, I’m not making a point, I just thought it was interesting from the bio perspective.

    I refuse to let this discussion affect the way I look at people, though this has nothing to do with obstinacy on my part. I actually have a lazy eye, and the direct effect of that is to impair my ability to meet people’s gaze.

    It has also made me deathly afraid to look anywhere within the general vicinity of women I don’t know well. I’ve become very fairly good at carrying on conversations without looking at people for extended periods of time. Believe me it’s hard.

    Trust me, where you gaze is very cultural, and you can help it if the response is negative enough. I know this from experience.

  62. #62 Stagyar zil Doggo
    September 13, 2008

    Katharine:

    A couple of men are having a conversation, and the topic turns to penis-ogling. …

    I don’t think your exchange of roles in the narrative is effective, as it fails to reverse the power dynamic between the groups. I suspect that (most?) men would not mind (and may even welcome) being ogled by women since it would constitute positive feedback as to their attractiveness and they don’t feel the same fear of potential sexual assault from someone who appears at first glance, to be physically weaker. The analogy might be more effective if the role of oglers was played by a group of well built gay men instead of women.

  63. #63 Zuska
    September 13, 2008

    Well…that would sorta work…except that gay men, as a group, don’t actually have a lot of power over straight men as a group. What you are talking about is playing on straight men’s homophobia, which is different than fear for one’s physical safety. In the homophobia case, the straight men, or at least some percentage of them, would be incited to some form of gay bashing that might even include physical violence. So the potential outcome isn’t even the same. In terms of creating uncomfortable sensations…maybe there’s an equivalence there. I just wanted to point out that the power differential does not translate in that example, either.

  64. #64 film izle
    September 14, 2008

    PP, if you want to talk about what supporting a spouse’s career and being primary caretaker to a young child can do to one’s career, we can certainly pimp Greg’s femcred a bit. But suggesting that the U of M Twin Cities is a backwoods college is a bit rich

  65. #65 Cannotbenamed
    September 15, 2008

    Was at a conference. There’s a few women there, not presenters, but claiming to represent women like myself.

    They are loud. Confident, handing out flyers for their group. A group that claims to promote gender equality, with the sexy equals smart attitude. Some dress revealingly, but not as much as others at other presentations at the conference, admittedly. But they make a point of stockings, heels, a particular form of dress.

    One of the presenters openly films one of these women, walking from behind, wearing her FM boots – I was sneered at for (not that I said a thing, but it was thrown at me) supposedly thinking that this was ‘sexist’ behaviour. Sure, these women are not presenters. But they run the ‘side-show’ somewhat, hosting parties and being a social crowd.

    I notice later that a few males then make panting noises during presentations, claiming that the voices of the females who are _presenters_ turn them on – rather than paying attention to what they say. Some female presenters play along, some pause – and then get back to the topic at hand. But it’s still distracting, although one apologises later to a ‘pauser’.

    By the end of the conference, the one group who did dress up, who did make an overt link to their sex appeal as being a prime part of their identity – are singled out and praised as being ‘typical’ of the women they want to attract to future conferences. Not education. Not parenting. But just that these women were what they wanted – none of whom presented nor wrote later of what issues were raised by the conference. This was all ‘just fun’. They plan to do it again.

    I later find one of these women runs a forum where explicit content was only recently locked down, after running riot with images and details that you would expect. Thinking that one rape reference made it beyond the pale, it is temporarily in hiatus. Not appreciated by the main population, of course.

    Sure, I felt that important issues were marginalised in favour of this behaviour at some points. That people were missing the point somewhat and that now a ‘standard’ of behaviour is being set or being started by a minority at this conference, that will certainly have more implications than what was said and done. Perhaps it’s a ‘no true scotsman’ attitude in parts… but I don’t know why these women are setting up more than themselves to be make more than themselves up for a potential ‘fall’.

    Maybe this is off-topic. But the weight of the clique is such that I know you can’t talk about it openly without being seen as ‘anti-women’. It depresses me that I only feel I can write about it here and that our own ‘icons’, male and female, are implicitly and even explicitly supporting it.

  66. #66 daedalus2u
    September 15, 2008

    The problem isn’t that all men are potential rapists, the problem is that some women cannot tell which men are potential rapists and which men are not potential rapists until it is too late. The “evolved reason” for that is that women who could tell who might rape them avoided that man and so didn’t get raped by him, and so didn’t bear his child carrying his genes for propensity to rape, his genes for being sneaky about it, and her genes for being oblivious to him being a potential rapist.

    This is why the ability of raped women to abort a pregnancy due to rape is such an important right. It is the only way to eventually purge from the gene pool, those genes for men who rape and are sneaky enough about it that women don’t avoid them. I am not saying that raped women should be forced to abort a pregnancy of rape, but it should be their absolute option to do so.

    There really are some men who would never rape a woman under any circumstances. Some women can tell that, some women can’t.

    It is unacceptable that some men are rapists. It is unfortunate that some women are unable to tell which men are and which men are not, and it is unfortunate that they then throw up their hands and say (in effect), “no one could have predicted” that male XYZ was a potential rapist, and that “all males are potential rapists”.

    That is a logical fallacy of the same type as saying “because some women like their boobies being looked at then all women like their boobies being looked at”.

    It is the Patriarchy that supports the idea that all men are potential rapists. That gives the potential rapists cover, and makes it harder for women to select out the potential rapists and select in the men who would never rape a woman under any circumstance.

  67. #67 DrugMonkey
    September 16, 2008

    male XYZ was a potential rapist

    OMG, is “Z” the rape chromosome? Stockholm, here comes daedalus2u!

  68. #68 daedalus2u
    September 17, 2008

    no DM, there is no “rape chromosome”, or even a “rape gene”. A propensity to rape is obviously supported by the nervous system of some men (and some women too), which originates during development from genetic and environmental factors. If a propensity to rape did increase reproductive success, even by a small amount, then over evolutionary time it would become universal. If there was a heritable genetic component that increased reproductive success by even 1%, over 10,000 generations it becomes universal in the population. (1.01^10,000 = 10^43)

    The selective breeding of dogs has shown that quite complex and characteristic behaviors can be bred into mammals in very short time frames. It would be unreasonable to suppose that propensity for a behavior as directly connected to sex and reproduction as rape would not have a genetic component.

    All humans are descended from ancestors who were conceived via rape. That is all humans male and female. What ever genetic propensity there is for rape, began in deep evolutionary time, from tens of millions of years ago. It is a very complex behavior, obviously any genetic components that support the formation of neural systems that support such complex behavior are extremely complex too.

    The most sure way to eventually have rape never happen, is for the propensity for rape to be purged from the gene pool. That is going to take a long time. The only way that can happen is for women to be careful in who they choose to be the father of their children. Children tend to be attracted to mates who are like their opposite gender parent. If a woman wants her daughter to be attracted to a certain type of man, that is the type of man she should choose as her daughter’s father. She should choose wisely.

  69. #69 Zuska
    September 17, 2008

    Ooh, the choosey wimminz just-so story! I luv it!

  70. #70 DrugMonkey
    September 19, 2008

    umm, that was a leeeeetle joke about the XY chromosome thing…geddit? no? i gotta get some better material…

  71. #71 daedalus2u
    September 19, 2008

    Jokes about rape are only funny for people who think rape is funny. Same about jokes about causes of rape, be that sexy hawt bodies, heredity, environment or music lyrics. Once there is no more rape, and no more victims of rape then maybe jokes about rape won’t be unacceptable. That won’t happen in my lifetime, or in the lifetime of any victim of rape.

  72. #72 Zuska
    September 19, 2008

    Um, d00d, that was not a joke about rape.

  73. #73 DrugMonkey
    September 19, 2008

    Same about jokes about causes of rape, be that sexy hawt bodies, heredity, environment or music lyrics.

    OMG you TOTALLY nailed Zuska! I mean, that ‘sexy hawt bodies’ post was clearly intended to be funny so there musta been a joke in there somewhere. and I am almost positive that she’s made a joke or six about men before. Men are a proximal cause of rape so….

    oh jebus.

    Zuska, I don’t know you anymore and I totally couldn’t attend your rocking millionth comment eve. I might laugh at something you say, you know…

  74. #74 Podblack Blog
    September 21, 2008

    Interesting comments and original read – Zuska, do you have a comment about the following article just released?

    http://www.redorbit.com/news/science/1562379/foolishly_seeking_gender_equity_in_math_and_science/
    I’ll be blogging it on Podblack.com, myself.

  75. #75 Podblack Blog
    September 22, 2008

    … and yes, I’m aware that it’s a reprint of ‘Why Can’t A Woman Be More Like A Man’ by Christina Hoff Sommers… was originally in American.com. Didn’t get enough attention, perhaps?

  76. #76 Cara
    September 22, 2008

    …the obvious implication is that any man who is better than bad is not just normal, or even good, they’re amazing. They fought nature and the way that they were made to do such things as not (obviously) stare at women, or not hit people weaker than them, or take care of their kids in a way that doesn’t involve playing sports, or whatever other garbage men are supposed to ‘naturally’ not want to do. Give that man a cookie, he did the dishes! Give that man a trophy, he gives a damn about his kids! Pfaugh.

    Exactly.

  77. #77 Zuska
    September 23, 2008

    Oh that pesky Christina Hoff Sommers, she just will not go away. I am going to have to write something about her eventually. Been putting it off for months now.

  78. #78 Karen
    September 24, 2008

    Long ago when my Best Beloved (someday to be my husband) and I were undergraduates, he confided that he’d had a terrible time working with a particular female colleague. They were both student employees at one of the campus labs that required grunt work so pedestrian that it was even considered beneath the duties of those ever-present slaves known as graduate students. BB is acutely aware and admiring of females who are especially well-endowed in the, er, chest. BB was still enduring late-adolescent hormonal gremlins, and found that concentrating on his work in the presence of a well-stacked female was completely impossible.

    But he took great pride in never, ever, admitting, by lack of eye contact or other cue, his obsession. He was enough of a feminist to understand how unacceptable that was.

    He also chose me, a classic B-cup, as his bride.

    Today we celebrated BB’s 50th birthday. He’s still entranced by the presence of well-stacked women. He’s still proud of his ability to not show it.

    He still comes home to me at night.

  79. #79 Anonymous
    September 29, 2008

    This is obviously a hot topic and will probably always be such. As a lesbian I notice breasts and yes, i think there is and is not an acceptable amount of cleavage. I look at a persons eyes, man or woman, not because it is respectful but because it’s the person I’m interested in not, predominately, their bodies.

    Out culture encourages men to look at women as objects rather than people, it also encourages men to look at men as Men not people. This is a serious issue that permeates all societies and it is a concept that needs to be addressed and evolved.

    But when I’m put face to face with a woman who has her boobs out almost to the nipples and is using and gesturing in a manner where her sexuality is being used to manipulate people I get pissed off and yes, i think she is asking for something. No, she’s definitely not asking for oogling or abuse but she is deliberately putting people in an uncomfortable and awkward position and no, it’s not acceptable in a professional environment.

    And on a side note, I find men to be more uncomfortable with the idea of sexuality than women and socially conditioned that way as well.

  80. #80 Mickle
    October 22, 2008

    “And on a side note, I find men to be more uncomfortable with the idea of sexuality than women and socially conditioned that way as well.”

    Well, yes, which is part of why any argument that boils down to “but you just don’t understand how horny we guys can get!” is pretty much shit.

    Having spent much of what should have been our sexual awakening learning to pretend that our sexuality only consists of pleasing others, never of finding others pleasing, is it any wonder that women tend to scoff at the idea that men can’t control something as simple as where they look and how obviously they look?

    To all the dudez who say “but you are trying to make me feel ashamed of my sexuality!” when women have conversations like this, I say:
    Try being a (hetero) teen girl whose is not only too scared to admit to anyone that she has discovered male bodies (because she knows that good girls don’t), but also has to subsist on Bop magazine rather than being able to find her mother’s copy of a decent mass marketed porn mag for (hetero) women – because one doesn’t even exist.

    You complaining about not being able to openly “appreciate” the bodies of the women you work with is so chock full of ignorance and selfishness that I don’t even know where to begin.

  81. #81 Luna_the_cat
    November 1, 2008

    @daedalus #68:
    All humans are descended from ancestors who were conceived via rape.

    Uh. WTF??

    Daedalus, have you ever, I mean ever looked at primate ethology?

    Rape is known amongst chimps. Goodall wrote about it. She estimated that “forced copulation” where the female appeared unwilling accounted for about 3% of sexual encounters, if I am recalling correctly. I believe that other primate ethologists back that number up.

    The only primate with a higher “rape” incidence is orangs, where forced copulation may account for between 30-50% of sexual encounters, depending on where and who you talk to.

    In general, mammalian ethology would support the assertion that primates in general have a far higher rate of forced copulations than just about any other furry critter on the planet. Females can and do drive off males when they are unwilling.

    Your assertion that we are the products of millions of years of rape…first thing is, if you are drawing info from Randy Thornhill, you have to understand that the man is about as dishonest as Monckton on global warming or a creationist on evolution. I’ve caught him asserting (with great confidence) flatly wrong info a number of times in the past, knowing that it is wrong. He keeps writing the same old BS anyway. Second, do you actually have ANY physical evidence to back up your assertion? Any?

    Look, in general I like you, but please don’t repeat stupid shit.

  82. #82 Luna_the_cat
    November 1, 2008

    Sorry, meant to add, that although orang-utans have a very high incidence of rape, the number of pregnancies resulting from those encounters appears to be very low. This has led a number of the ethologists studying them to hypothesise that, rather than being reproductive, the rape functions as a dominance-assertion device for orang males. But given that most reproductive sex in orangs is initiated by the female with a male of her choosing, even there, the primate with the highest incidence of rape in the world, you can’t claim that “their ancestors were conceived from rape.”

    Did not mean to leave that important tidbit of information out.

  83. #83 Katherine
    May 10, 2010

    @Mickle: Omg. Your comment was so awesome.