Calculating risk: Should we avoid men?

5 Jul

Allecto has a post up that has gotten me to thinking. I used to watch To Catch A Predator with a friend, and we often speculated about the general male population and what percentage of them might be the kinds of guys we saw on the show. We came up with a 25-10-5 percent scheme, in which we surmised that 25% of men, if they were presented with the opportunity and were reasonably sure they wouldn’t get caught, would have sex with an adolescent girl, that 10% of men were one life crisis away from getting on the internet to seek out an adolescent girl to have sex with, and that 5% of men are currently on the internet seeking such. Real scientists, I know. We then went to Central Park and watched men walk by, trying to decide if they were 25, 10, or 5 percenters (not capital F, capital P Five Percenters). I admit that the whole thing was more about our own warped idea of humor than anything else, but I’ve started giving it more serious thought recently.

I’m generally not afraid of dudes, but I’m a 30-year-old woman at this point and I have yet to be mugged (I’m sure I’m up soon). That might be because I try to avoid getting into situations in which men can harm me, meaning I don’t hang out alone with dudes I don’t know very well. But I can think of about a zillion examples of times when dudes’ behavior has frightened me, whether harm came of it or not, and I’m generally more likely to feel threatened by men’s weird behavior than women’s.

I can already predict that there will be men who take offense to my bringing this subject up, but I’m going to have to ask them to calm down and think about what I’m saying, which is not that all men are dangerous, just that men are statistically more likely to be than women, especially toward women. I’m not arguing for any specific course of action, or for anything really, but rather exploring the idea of how we can know just how many men are dangerous, how we can figure out how to avoid the danger that some men pose, and what kinds of precautions are necessary and/or reasonable to take.

I know I often say that women shouldn’t have to alter our behavior to avoid being hurt by men, but I’m aware enough of how things work to know that, for now at least, that’s wishful thinking. Until the whole world listens to me and we raise an entire generation of people who treat each other like human beings, thus creating ourselves a little Nine Deuce-topia, I’d like to come up with a risk assessment and minimization plan.

What percentage of men are dangerous? Could it really be as high as 25%? More? How do we formulate such a statistic? We’d first have to figure out what “dangerous” means. I’d say it ought to include sexual predators of all stripes (and that includes men who coerce sex), domestic abusers, and men who are generally violent and abusive. How do we figure out, then, how many men have one or more of these tendencies? The only way I can think of to even attempt to get at such a figure would be through crime statistics, which would give us a very low figure that wouldn’t take into account all of the unpunished abuses that occur. We could use whatever logarithm government agencies use to figure out how many more crimes take place than are reported, but I still think that’d leave us with a lowball because a lot of abusive behavior exists in the “gray area” that the law can’t (or — more accurately — won’t) deal with (verbal abuse, sexual assaults that don’t leave evidence, etc.). Of course, not all men who pose a risk will abuse in all circumstances, so I guess we’d also have to figure out what kinds of men are dangerous in what kinds of situations.

I’ve gotten a lot of grief lately from people who think my rape law suggestions make the assumption that all men are rapists, but I’ve never made such a claim. I know not all men are rapists because I happen to know at least 5 that I hang out with regularly that have never raped anyone. I DON’T HATE MEN. I think most men are assholes (fuck, I think most women are assholes), but I don’t hate all of them. I honestly don’t really hate anybody (except maybe Diablo Cody and Chris Martin). This isn’t a discussion of whether men are evil, it’s a discussion of mathematical probabilities.  Just based on my own life experiences, I’d say that at least 1/4 of dudes (out of the probably thousands I’ve met) have had the potential to be threatening and/or aggressive enough to be considered abusive. Not good odds.

Could a quarter or more of men pose a potential risk to vulnerable women and children? If so, is it really all that unreasonable to avoid strange men or to avoid leaving children alone with men? Everyone has probably heard about airlines instituting policies in which single men will not be seated next to unaccompanied minors on planes. Is that unfair? I suppose if I were a dude who wasn’t dangerous it might bother me, might make me feel like I was being looked askance at. It might make me feel like I was being accused of something I didn’t do. It might feel like I was… a black guy or something. But is that really more important than women and childrens’ safety?

Like I said, I’m just sort of wondering aloud how we’d ever be able to calculate what kind of risk exists and figure out how to protect ourselves. Does someone with a more scientific education than I’ve got have any ideas?


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50 Responses to “Calculating risk: Should we avoid men?”

  1. Jesse July 5, 2008 at 11:40 PM #

    What happens when you take this article and replace “men” with “black people,” as you suggest at the end? Is profiling groups with above-average crime rates okay if it reduces crime?

  2. Nine Deuce July 5, 2008 at 11:47 PM #

    If I was a cop, maybe, but I’m not. And that is in no way what I suggested at the end. I suggested that men as a whole, if women were suspicious of them all, might find out how they’ve made black people feel. It really has nothing to do with the post, but was rather an aside. Stick to the point.

  3. bonobobabe July 6, 2008 at 3:52 AM #

    What percentage of men are dangerous? Could it really be as high as 25%? More? How do we formulate such a statistic? We’d first have to figure out what “dangerous” means. I’d say it ought to include sexual predators of all stripes (and that includes men who coerce sex)

    Well, if you include men who coerce sex, the number is way high. Of course, men wouldn’t call it “coersion,” just like they don’t call it “rape.” Men have a way of justifying every little bad thing they do.

    If you throw verbally abusive in the mix, I’d say maybe 35-40%. However, all men have the potential for violence. If radical feminists really started trying to dismantle patriarchy in a serious way, the men would turn violent on us in a second. But probably there would be 1% or so of men who would still be holdouts. They’d be nice guys and would try to help us.

  4. bonobobabe July 6, 2008 at 4:17 AM #

    There’s a thought that I have that I can’t seem to flesh out, but it’s been in my head for a while, and since it relates to this post, I’ll mention it.

    I’ve always found it surreal that nice guys are real quick to help women and protect them. “Here, let me walk you home. The streets aren’t safe for a woman alone.” But who are the men protecting women from? Men!

    It’s almost like the nice men are colluding with the bad guys, on some level. It’s like the nice guys need to have bad guys to give them something to do…protect women. If women are frightened all the time, they’ll be more dependent on men.

    And as long as there are men who rape, beat, harass, etc., then the nice guys can claim godlike status for NOT doing those thing. “So what if I lay on the couch drinking beer every night, ignore your feelings, and sex is wham-bam-thank-you-ma’am. At least I’m not a wife beater.”

    It just pisses me off when men play the good guy card. It’s almost like an unspoken agreement with the bad guys. The good guys get to control women without using violence. The bad guys are like the pressure valve for all men.

  5. A.Y. Siu July 6, 2008 at 4:22 AM #

    I know you’re talking about all different kinds of dangerous, but from a sexual assault perspective, you’re actually more likely to be attacked by a man you know than by a stranger, statistically speaking.

    I think it’s somewhere in the area of 85% of rapes that are acquaintance or date rapes.

  6. Nine Deuce July 6, 2008 at 4:28 AM #

    AY Siu – Touche. I needed to change the title.

  7. Black Thirteen July 6, 2008 at 5:05 AM #

    Bonobobabe, you really need to learn to make a rational argument that doesn’t come from “I hate all men”.

  8. Nine Deuce July 6, 2008 at 4:07 PM #

    Black Thirteen – You need to learn to make an argument that doesn’t come from misogyny.

  9. bonobobabe July 6, 2008 at 4:08 PM #

    Bonobobabe, you really need to learn to make a rational argument that doesn’t come from “I hate all men”.

    You said you were through communicating with me. I knew you wouldn’t be able to keep up your end of the deal. And by the way, imbedding comments to me inside a comment to someone else is still communicating with me.

    I don’t post here for your entertainment or analysis. I read the blog because Nine Deuce has some brilliant insight. And I would like to feel comfortable posting in a feminist atmosphere that is free from whiny MRA’s.

    Why do you hang out here? To prove that we’re wrong? To prove we’re all man haters? Get a life. And keep your bargain to not communicate with me.

  10. Nine Deuce July 6, 2008 at 4:16 PM #

    bonobobabe – I think what you’re getting at is important. I’m often left wondering how patriarchy works so seamlessly, but it just seems to with no orchestrating force. Men benefit from each other’s own selfishness in so many ways it is nearly impossible to believe. It’s true, the bad behavior of some men allows other men to behave worse than they otherwise might get away with and then claim that they deserve applause for it. The entire definition of decency is skewed hard in one direction by the worst men.

  11. bonobobabe July 6, 2008 at 4:43 PM #

    I remember something I read by Anna Quindlen several years ago. It was a book of essays, I think, and one statement stood out. It was (and I’m paraphrasing from memory), “Do you ever notice that an extraordinary men would only be ordinary, if he were a woman?”

    I’m often left wondering how patriarchy works so seamlessly, but it just seems to with no orchestrating force.

    Yeah, we talk as if it’s one big conspiracy, but it’s not. It just happens so naturally. The men don’t get together and decide to oppress us. At least not currently. Who knows what happened in the past.

  12. Black Thirteen July 6, 2008 at 5:13 PM #

    “Black Thirteen – You need to learn to make an argument that doesn’t come from misogyny.”

    I do. It’s a shocking thing, disagreement. Someone can disagree with something you say, and it doesn’t mean they hate women.

    I made the comment to bonobobabe, because the statements she made all lead back to “all men are bad”.

    • Imaginary September 28, 2009 at 12:12 PM #

      You have no idea what you are talking about. Get one of your man-friends to pound your skull into a blender and turn it on. Then, while that’s going on, have your man-friend record the sound and post it on the internet. That would be more intellectually redeeming than anything you’ve ever said ever.

  13. Nine Deuce July 6, 2008 at 5:18 PM #

    You clearly have some misogynistic views, such as that we’re all manipulative gold diggers. Anyway, I’m not speaking for bonobobabe, but I don’t think she’s saying all men are bad, just that most of them are assholes, which I don’t disagree with.

  14. Dan July 6, 2008 at 5:31 PM #

    I would definately agree with 25% of men pose a threat to women, or to anyone for that matter. Hell, I’m a big guy, and I am pretty goddamn afraid of a good number of my own gender. There are men who will blow up at the slightest provocation, and then, as I learned a few years ago, there are some who will beat you up for jollies. I don’t understand where this behaviour comes from, but it is scary stuff.

  15. Black Thirteen July 6, 2008 at 6:43 PM #

    “You clearly have some misogynistic views, such as that we’re all manipulative gold diggers. Anyway, I’m not speaking for bonobobabe, but I don’t think she’s saying all men are bad, just that most of them are assholes, which I don’t disagree with.”

    Nah. I just use that as the easiest, most accessible, most well-known stereotype of women.

    When one insinuates that all men are a certain stereotype, I use that one for a counterpoint, because everyone has heard of it.

    I went by this statement:

    “The good guys get to control women without using violence. The bad guys are like the pressure valve for all men.”

    Which pretty much says that bad men are bad, and good men are bad. Therefore, no man can win in her book.

    • Imaginary October 24, 2009 at 2:36 PM #

      Perhaps bonobobabe would like a good man if she MET a good man. You can bitch about how men are being stereotyped as evil and such, but there is no reason to believe that there are any good men if one hasn’t met any good men.

  16. Sally July 6, 2008 at 8:25 PM #

    I remember when I was lil I proffered being around guys, but as I’ve grown a little older I’ve started to rethink my gender issues. Mainly because I’d been in so many situations where I’d be in a room alone with some guys, or one in particular who was always bothering me, who would gang up on me or try to intimidate me into taking my top off. When I first came across it my reaction was just “What the fuck? No”, but they would always ask/try to coerce/try to intimidate me into doing it. A lot of my big breasted friends had the same problems, and it’s always the jock type bastards. And I just think – Who the hell said that that was ok? Where did they get that from? I guess what pisses me off the most is that they bothered a lot of my friends so much that they gave in. Just… Argh.

    Tbh, if more people enrolled their lil girls in some martial arts lessons instead of ballet then maybe they’d know the basics and feel more confident to defend themselves, thus making her seem like less of a target to would be attackers. *shrug* Just a thought.

  17. Nine Deuce July 6, 2008 at 8:48 PM #

    No shit. I’d like to see a few more parents directing their daughters toward something that’ll serve them better than mother-daughter nail salon visits and other such pink-hued activities.

  18. gare July 6, 2008 at 9:05 PM #

    my computer has started baying at the moon, then coming to this blog… lets see … i want to take a sample of who looks dangerous .. what was that mom said about books and covers.. never mind that.. i want a normal, cross sectional place to see who looks dangerous.. i choose… CENTRAL PARK! the place they filmed the star wars bar scene and didnt need costumes! but dont despair men, ms deuce (would deuce-a-topia feature free ice cream?).. isnt prolly low estimating 25 percent of men on the street are potentially dangerous. threes a great equalizer so fear not… when women get behind the wheel, theys ALL DANGEROUS! 100 percent! haw haw. so sisters when driving PLEASE AVOID ME and my brothers at ALL OPPORTUNITIES! and stoplights too. hey deucester, wheres yer hit counter, made 70K yet? gare, running for the median (the statistical median that is)….

  19. Nine Deuce July 6, 2008 at 9:09 PM #

    72, actually. And yes, there will be free ice cream in Deuce-topia. Free tacos and grape soda, too.

    Central Park is much less freaky than it was in the past. On any given day, there are about 100 times more suits, moms with kids, and tourists than weirdos. Kind of sucks, if you ask me.

  20. Windstorm July 6, 2008 at 10:25 PM #

    Good post, Nine Deuce, thank you.

    Also, I love Sally’s idea of taking little girls to martial arts classes instead of (even in addition to) nail polish spas. I took karate for awhile, many years back, and it felt wonderful. I’m going to ask my granddaughter if she’d like me to bring her to a karate class!

  21. Claire (CJ) July 7, 2008 at 5:51 AM #

    I’d say 25-30% is a good figure for violent threats.

    Most of the rest are threatening on subtler and often more insidious levels. Shit, count my own boyfriend in on that one…he’s done a number of things in the relatively short period of time we’ve been together that have made me feel quite threatened…in physical, mental, and emotional ways. It’s an issue.

    Then we have the unicorns, the feminist/woman-centered/supportive men. Which as bonobobabe already said, likely comprise less than 1% of the male population, sadly.

    I always find it interesting to see that the most aggressive and insulting (re: patriarchal, though all men are, some are simply walking manifestations of the worst of it) men, the ones constantly lamenting how lame and useless women are in just about every way, are intolerant to any suggestions or ideas on how to encourage female independence from men, something they almost unanimously decry. They want us to support ourselves, but they don’t want us to know how and they certainly don’t want us to have access to anything or anyone that could help us get there. Ultimate irony.

    Anyway, my general rule of thumb with men is that if I am alone and it is dark, I avoid them like the plague. If they approach me, I bristle and act aggressive, or get to a safe location as quick as possible. Both have gotten my ass out of a jam in several instances.

    Basically, I don’t act like prey. I present as strong and mean, and if I don’t think I can handle a situation, I very blatantly exist stage right, all the while making sure they understand I know they’re up to no good, and I’m not having it.

    I don’t care if they get offended (and a few have). I don’t want to be mugged, beaten, or raped, and that is for more important than their hurt feelings.

    It is true that most sexually violent crimes are committed by people women know, however. I’ve been (sort of) lucky in that respect.

    Great post, ND.

    CJ.

  22. Spartakos July 7, 2008 at 4:14 PM #

    “And as long as there are men who rape, beat, harass, etc., then the nice guys can claim godlike status for NOT doing those thing. “So what if I lay on the couch drinking beer every night, ignore your feelings, and sex is wham-bam-thank-you-ma’am. At least I’m not a wife beater.”

    It just pisses me off when men play the good guy card. It’s almost like an unspoken agreement with the bad guys. The good guys get to control women without using violence. The bad guys are like the pressure valve for all men.”

    (above quoted from Bonobobabe)

    Doesn’t this shove all “good guys” (whether self-appointed or otherwise) into the asshole column automatically, without regard to their actions or motives? What about good guys who don’t expected to be lauded for treating women like human beings?…are they assigned negative motives anyway? What about guys who might offer to escort you, and when you tell them, “no thanks, I can take care of myself” they say, “I never meant to imply otherwise. Have a nice night” and go on their way?

    While there are undoubtedly guys who use “But I’m one of the good ones” to excuse their otherwise execrable behavior, aren’t there certainly some who genuinely are decent? Must we not only be suspicious of bad guys because they act like dicks, but be suspicious of good guys because they act decent?

    If the answer to all that is, “yeah, pretty much, but that’s just tough shit for ‘good guys’.”…okay, I’m cool with that. Because being a ‘good guy’ doesn’t entitle me to not get my feelings hurt, and it’s something one does because it’s the right thing to do. I just thought I’d ask.

  23. Genevieve July 7, 2008 at 5:06 PM #

    Claire (CJ)–
    I tend to follow the same behaviors you do. But it seriously pisses me off that I need to. I wish we lived in a world in which no woman ever had to fear being raped, no matter how dark it was or who was nearby.

    I also hate that even though my experiences have taught me that no matter what sort of shit I hear from random dudes on the street, the dudes I know will probably be more dangerous (and statistics bear this out)…I still feel concerned for my safety around strangers.

    God, patriarchy sucks.

  24. Bill July 7, 2008 at 8:49 PM #

    Well, the SCUM manifesto is never going to happen, so we are here, for better or worse.

    We can be wonderful, kind, gentle, or we can be cruel, vicious, and destructive. The problem is, most of us can be both.

    Pure punishment of the criminal is not enough. We need to raise males to become men. (By the way, I am claiming the title of “Men” for noble, deserving males. The assholes, the cruel, the vicious, the destructive – they are not allowed to use the title “Man” anymore.)

    I think progress is being made towards enlightening the gender. Not as quick as anyone would like, more must be done, but it must be done through enlightenment, not confrontation.

    As for the weird types of hits you get – maybe someone, maybe a few, will stick around and read a thing or two and some cell deep in their brain will go “Hmmmm…”.

  25. psych July 8, 2008 at 6:48 AM #

    Black Thirteen, if you are interested in this discussion and understanding anything we say, then please Google “male privilege.” Then you can come back to the discussion once you’ve stopped filling in the gaps in your knowledge by making stuff up about us hating men or thinking men are all bad.

    If you’re just trolling because it gives you a hard-on or something, then nevermind.

  26. allecto July 8, 2008 at 11:01 AM #

    I disagree with the idea that dangerous males are only 25%-30% of the male population. In my personal experience the numbers are far higher. I actually would correlate the number of pornography users to the number of dangerous men. I believe the stats for pornography use for men is at about 80%. There is no chance in hell that I would trust a man who is a user of pornography. If you know anything about pornography use, you know that research has shown that even ‘non-violent’ porn has a significant impact on the user’s perception of women and on the user’s idea of consent. Some would argue that pornography is a type of indirect rape in and of itself, as a woman must be hurt to make it and the integrity of the woman forced into pornography isn’t just violated once, by the bought rape on film, but violated millions of times over, by all the men who buy her blood.

    If men are wanking to women’s filmed rape, doesn’t that make them rapists by proxy? If 80% of men are users of pornography, doesn’t that make them dangerous? Would you feel safe leaving your child with a man you knew was a porn user? How do you know if a man is a porn user or not?

    In Australia there have been quite a number of child porn rings that have been busted up by the police. They use technology to track down the proxy child abusers. One of the men caught a couple of years ago was known to a friend. He was a nice, Christian (Uniting church, which is gay and lesbian friendly etc and not a scary fundamentalist church), father and husband, a normal family man. When the police tracked him down, he killed himself.

    Pornography use is normal for men in contemporary society. But it is my strong belief that porno users are dangerous men. I wonder if you know Nine Deuce whether your male friends use porn. Have you asked them? Do you know if they are lying? If they are users do you find this problematic? Just wondering what you think, not being accusatory.

  27. Nine Deuce July 8, 2008 at 3:48 PM #

    Allecto – I only associate with a few males, and the reason the number is so small is that I make a point of befriending only men who are anti-porn. I would probably say that even more than 80% of men use porn these days, especially among younger men, so they’re hard to find. I think I might agree with you that porn use and dangerous behavior correlate. I do know that porn affects men’s ideas of consent and their ability to empathize with women as human beings, so I suppose that leads to a higher number.

  28. psych July 8, 2008 at 6:06 PM #

    It takes some time and sadly, it takes a lot of learning the hard way, but you can develop a knack for spotting dangerous men. One “test” you can do is if he says something sexist, call him on it, maintaining civility. A non-dangerous man might get defensive and back pedal and say that wasn’t what he meant, but he will at least be apologetic and feel a little bad that you were offended. Because he thinks you’re an actual human being, you know. If every time somebody (who isn’t in a position of power over him) criticizes the way he treats people, he turns around and puts *them* on the defensive, then guess who he thinks is the only one with feelings that matter?

    Many dangerous men wear their dangerous habits on their sleeves because it is completely socially acceptable. You’ll hear men saying things like “Women are evil,” all the time. Not too long ago, I heard a guy talking about that song that goes “American woman, stay away from me.” He was saying that it was “revolutionary” (he actually used that word) because it showed that men were finally fighting back against the tyranny that women hold over them. Did the women around him call on it? Nope. They tried to convince him that not all women are like that, or at least that they aren’t like that.

    If you want a checklist of red flags:
    -Can’t admit fault or apologize.
    -Lives in a fantasy world where men are the oppressed group.
    -Lives in a fantasy world where the people in his life all mistreat him, when they actually don’t. All of his ex-girlfriends are evil and he wasn’t at fault for anything that went wrong in his previous relationships. He will often even play this up for sympathy as a way to get closer to you. A lot of women, sadly, fall into the trap of wanting to prove to him that they are the exception.
    -Shows a need for control over little things, like always having to be the one who holds the remote, order dinner for everyone else, be the one to drive, etc.
    -Orders other people to do things. It’s amazing how many people don’t notice this.
    -Makes socially acceptable degrading comments about others, like making fun of someone’s weight.
    -Always has to be right. Can’t stand it when he is wrong and won’t admit it.
    -The women in his life always defer to him and never disagree with him.
    -Wants to always be the center of attention, expects other people to put his needs before anyone else’s. Often complains of mistreatment if they don’t.
    -Spends a lot of time talking about the awful people in his life who victimize him. Will blame anything from a bus driver to a waiter to a cashier for any mistake he makes.
    -Is proud of being an “asskicker” who teaches anyone who deserves it a lesson.
    -Pushes you into things that are inappropriate for your relationship with him. Perhaps pushes you into spending time alone with him when you barely know him. Perhaps even acts insulted if you resist.
    -Gives you things or does favours for you that you haven’t asked for (perhaps inappropriately and in a way that makes you feel awkward) and then expects you to do something that he wants in return, because you “owe it to him” now. This can be really shifty, because you have to look carefully to tell if the guy is really a charitable person or if they are using a manipulative trick. These ones are often very chivalrous and think of themselves as protectors and rescuers.
    -When hearing about abuse or rape of somebody else, he will make excuses for the perpetrator and blame the victim.
    -If you ask him to stop doing something that you feel disrespects your privacy or boundaries, he doesn’t.
    -Makes inappropriate sexual comments to or about women. Or, just makes fun of people right to their face. If they don’t like it, they are “too sensitive” or “need to lighten up.” The same guy usually can’t take it if people make fun of him! Again, it’s amazing how many people don’t blink an eye when they see this. This is an example of putting someone on the defensive to prevent them from standing up for themselves.
    -Acts like he knows everything. If there is a subject that you are an expert on, and he knows nothing about, he will still act like he knows better than you on the subject. He will only admit ignorance of a subject if he believes the subject to be something only stupid/uncool/uncultured/whatever people are interested in.
    -He’s the nicest man in the entire world one day, and an asshole the next. Many people will put their hands over their ears and sing “lalalala” when they see the asshole, because they like the Dr. Jekyl so much that they don’t want to think about Mr. Hyde.
    -He treats people who have power over him very differently than people who he has power over. Watch out if you are someone who does have power over him, because he may be groveling and buttering you up. Look at how he treats service personnel, such as his waiter.
    -Look at his body language! Dangerous men often project an air or superiority about them.
    -He says “You’re not like other girls” or maintains the idea that “Everyone is stupid,” and expresses frustration that it’s so hard that everybody in the world (except for a small elite club that includes him and everyone who agrees with everything he says) is a moron.

    These are all things that tend to go by unnoticed for most people, so you have to be really looking out for them. You have to get to know someone somewhat before you can see if these red flags are popping up, so it’s not like you can tell right as soon as you meet someone. I wouldn’t spend time alone with someone or invest any trust in them until after getting to know them well enough to see if those red flags occur.

    • Silent Agony (@DiscordantFlesh) March 9, 2013 at 3:05 AM #

      THIS IS MY DAD AND HE SCARES ME! He also makes sexual comments to my mom right in front of me like I dont understand but I am a teen I DO UNDERSTAND! I can feel him staring at my erect nipples like a perv because I have a chronic health issue (idiopathic hypersomia) and my body temp cant regulate easily. Today he made a comment about putting a ‘real shirt on’ I was wearing a tank top and no bra because the fire was cranking and I was so hot I can feel him stare at my boobs he spends all his money on drugs and we can barely afford food because he needs the BEST weed, pills coke etc probably. I look up to radical feminists because it helps me better articulate his fucked upness. Also my mom is working her ass off minimum wage right now and hes unemployed with not even a thought of going to back to work. He is a leech. My mom is a warrior. She would do anything for me but he wont even listen to what i really feel. Once when i was little i went downstairs to get something to drink and my dad was watching porn and rubbing his penis it was scary and gross and it traumatized me. He also had a vhs called ‘butt fuck sluts’ when I used only I threw it in the trash when he wasnt home. Just the name disgusted me. We barely lets me and my siblings talk to my mom who we all really love. He always talks over us. Is always there so we cant say a bad thing about him. I just wanted to get my high school credits in my grade 12 and get out of this house and my equally awlful high school expereince. Now I have to get IH which has no little awareness and people are ignorant so they call the miserable suffers which can sleep 24 hours straight except for breaks to piss ‘lazy’ its enough to make a person without mental illness depressed. So along with society my dad basically tells me im a lazy lying cunt, so did the pysctrist, he said theres nothing that can be done but that is pure bullshit just because treatments are limited oesnt mean its impossible! I called my doctor today who always says I can call her when I need to but she took half the day and I told her I felt like killing myself and she said the only way I will be taken seriously is if I am ‘actively suicidal’. When I was 13 I tried to commit suicide by slitting my throat. My wounds werent cleaned til I was there for a number of hours and when I left the counselor made fun of me saying ‘nice scarf’. I used to walk everyda. I loved being active like that. I really miss it and the fresh air. My legs feel like jelly. Just walking up the stairs is so hard. I just want to give up not even doctors know much about this disease. I wish I had supportive prodessionals around me and I wish people werent blamed for being sick, I wish you didnt have to be already in the act of killing yourself before being taken seriously, and by then it may be too late… :( So sad. I thought Canada was more socialist than the US? What has Harper done?

      • sneekybunny March 10, 2013 at 7:01 PM #

        I’m glad you found this blog. I hope you can feel at least a little bit more support here than you are getting in your real life. There are many women here who can relate all to well to your experience. You’re not alone.

  29. Black Thirteen July 8, 2008 at 10:35 PM #

    “Then you can come back to the discussion once you’ve stopped filling in the gaps in your knowledge by making stuff up about us hating men or thinking men are all bad.”

    My point was, when someone says bad men are bad, and good men are bad, that leaves no men that are NOT bad.

  30. psych July 9, 2008 at 12:23 AM #

    My point was NOBODY said that. You just made that up to fill in the parts that you didn’t understand because you don’t know what privilege means. Ever hear a song playing at very low volume, and you swear you recognize the song, but then when you turn it up, you realize it’s a completely different song and your brain was just filling in the parts it didn’t know with something familiar to you? That’s exactly what you’re doing.

    It will take you 5 minutes to look it up and understand what it means. You’re probably not going to understand anything written on this site until you look it up, and so you will have to continue to assume that all those things you don’t get are just feminist code for “Men are all bad.”

  31. Genevieve July 9, 2008 at 12:45 AM #

    Psych–Also, if those who are commonly framed as “good men” are bad, then they were never really “good,” right? And therefore there could be an entirely separate category of men who are good who actually are good?
    That’s my thoughts on the matter, anyway.
    Or those “good men” mentioned above…might not be bad. They just might not be thinking very hard. They might need to have their assumptions and privileges questioned. (But so do most people.)

  32. Black Thirteen July 9, 2008 at 1:33 AM #

    “My point was NOBODY said that. You just made that up to fill in the parts that you didn’t understand because you don’t know what privilege means.”

    This:

    “It just pisses me off when men play the good guy card. It’s almost like an unspoken agreement with the bad guys. The good guys get to control women without using violence. The bad guys are like the pressure valve for all men.”

    Implies that good men are bad, because they control women, and bad men are bad, because they control women.

    How much clearer does it have to be made?

  33. Genevieve July 9, 2008 at 4:05 AM #

    How about this, BlackThirteen: how about men who decide they want to be good just stop trying to control women? Then it’ll be readily apparent who the good ones are and who the bad ones are. Asking us to reframe our memories and experiences to fit misogynist theories in which SOME sexist actions are better than others and therefore must be tolerated so as to not hurt men’s feelings doesn’t solve any problems, and it certainly doesn’t make the world better for women. You’re commenting on a feminist blog. Remember that.

  34. Black Thirteen July 9, 2008 at 5:02 AM #

    Based on her post, she seems to be implying that ALL men control women. Bad ones by violence, and “good” ones by not being violent.

    It’s a no-win. The only winning move is not to play, and simply not interact with women at all, based on what she says.

    The rest of your post, I don’t even know what you’re attempting to refer to, so I shall only acknowledge it by saying this.

  35. psych July 9, 2008 at 7:18 AM #

    Thirteen, yes, that’s kind of the point of privilege. It puts the privileged class in a position of control over the oppressed class. And yeah, you don’t need to tell feminists that patriarchy creates a no-win situation. We kind of noticed. That’s kind of why we’re here.

    But you have made your point. You are absolutely not going to stoop so low as to spend five minutes looking up the principle we are talking about, because you don’t need to. In order to intercept our discussions about issues that affect us, all you need to do is tell us that our principles are wrong. Finding out what those principles actually are is entirely unnecessary. You don’t need to know in order to achieve the goal of stopping anyone who talks about feminism by making sure that their time is instead spent defending themselves from ridiculous accusations.

    I gave you the benefit of the doubt and assumed that you were merely ignorant. You have proven to me three times now that you have no interest whatsoever in actually understanding what we are talking about by taking five minutes of your time to look up a single word. Every time I suggest you look up the principle we’re talking about, you simply tell me again that you don’t need to find out what this privilege thing is. You can just tell me again and again that it’s actually a secret code for “I hate men.”

    Every single time a feminist says something and you don’t understand it because you can’t be bothered to educate yourself, you just reply “I don’t care what you say, it’s really a secret code for I hate men.”

    Nine Deuce, you know that we don’t actually need Thirteen on our blog. I can spend thirty seconds writing up a bot that says “Whatever you say, you really mean that you hate men,” in response to every comment. This person is so very easily replaced.

  36. Jen July 9, 2008 at 9:33 AM #

    “It might make me feel like I was being accused of something I didn’t do. It might feel like I was… a black guy or something.”

    I laughed, laughed some more, and then shared it with everyone I know. Fuck, you’re brilliant 9-2.

    Oh, and Black 13, she was not referring to “nice guys” as in “bad guys” and “not bad guys”, she was referring to nice guys as those who identify themselves as such in order to get approval. Think of it as “bad guys”, “bad guys who pretend they’re not bad guys”, and “everyone else with a penis that I didn’t mention at all”.

  37. Not a Whisper July 9, 2008 at 11:08 AM #

    Black Thirteen, she’s not saying “good men are bad”. She’s saying “men who try to make out like they deserve cookies just for not being total assholes, are behaving badly, and therefore bad”. The logical space that remains is: you can be a good man, just don’t be an asshole, and don’t expect rewards for not being an asshole. It’s not that difficult to understand.

  38. Genevieve July 9, 2008 at 1:51 PM #

    I’m not surprised you don’t understand what I’m talking about, BlackThirteen. In fact, I’m not even surprised you’re not trying.

  39. Rachelle July 9, 2008 at 7:12 PM #

    There was this statistic…I can’t find the paper now, but psychologists asked several hundred men if they knew they would never be caught or punished, given the free opportunity, would they rape a woman, the number was alarmingly high, but went up to nearly 40% when the language was changed from “rape” to “have sex with a woman who didn’t want to”.

  40. Nine Deuce July 9, 2008 at 7:14 PM #

    Ugh. UGH!

  41. Mortality July 14, 2008 at 1:41 AM #

    Rachelle, I’ve read an article about that study or a very similar one in one of my mum’s magazines (Bang! is a Swedish feminist magazine that my mum subscribed to) and the study was done with college men and I can check the actual numbers if I can find that magazine.

  42. Amananta July 17, 2008 at 7:27 PM #

    RE: good men vs. bad men: Yes, there may be some “good guys” out there. But even if they are somehow totally free from the desire to objectify or harm women (were they raised in a box?) they will still benefit from male privilege. That is to say, if an average mother gets up in the morning, feeds and clothes and cares for her child in an adequate way, she will be subject to criticism and advice and judged for everything she does or does not do to the child even if the child is perfectly healthy and content – whereas if a man gets up in the morning and does the exact same things, he will be given bonus adulation by society for even bothering. A man who doesn’t rape or kill his spouse and has a job automatically gets credit for being a “good guy”. What does it take to be a “good woman”? Does society even have such a category that a woman can unambiguously fit into? I can’t think of a woman’s lifestyle that isn’t used by someone as an example of how she is pathetic or useless or evil. Just for one example, if she has a job just like him, she’s a ball busting career bitch who neglects her family – and if she stays home to keep house she’s a lazy gold digging mental incompetent. All men get male privilege, whether they are “good” or “bad”.
    Consider that men don’t deserve cookies simply for not committing crimes against women.

  43. munkie June 13, 2010 at 9:29 PM #

    I hear this same argument when I criticize nearly anything bad in American society. It goes like this: “yeah it’s a shame women aren’t safe on the streets at night, but wouldn’t you hate to be one of those poor women who get beaten in the streets over in Afghanistan?” or “who cares if we lag behind developed nations in birth mortality; less women die during birth in American than in Afghanistan.” Is Taliban occupied Afghanistan really the measure by which we want judge ourselves? It’s like saying, “oh, you’ve got melanoma? Oh, Mensch, At least you aren’t getting an aneurysm, like RIGHT now!” Head, meet palm.

    • Nine Deuce June 13, 2010 at 9:31 PM #

      Shhh. That’s the topic of my next post!

  44. Muhammad November 23, 2010 at 2:01 AM #

    I watch To Catch a Predator and it makes me so angry, I want to smash those guys in the face. My friend had to calm me down about a month ago when we were watching it because I get real animated and shout at the TV when that show is on. If I was on a Qantas flight or something and I was told I’m not allowed to sit next to a kid because I’m male, fuck, I’d be bummed out for sure, being accused of being a rapist or paedophile must be the worst thing someone could ever call me.

    I know that guys can be dangerous, I live in a big city and I’ve been mugged and battered a good few times (I’m a young man and the young men are cautious of each other around here because of gang culture and stuff), a good friend of mine was stabbed to death, young men getting stabbed to death is fairly common around these parts…it’s ridiculous.

    Like someone else said, I’ll try to carry on being a moral person, not because of what anyone else says, I don’t care about being praised, I’ll just be good for goodness’s sake, even if it doesn’t get me anywhere or make my life any easier…that’s all I can do. You shouldn’t need ‘incentive’ to act like a decent person.

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