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November 13, 2017

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It gets weird.

When I was young, there were times like the one at a party with lots of underage drinking going on when a male friend suddenly showed up and said, "The party got too loud; the police are on their way; please take my gorgeous 17-year-old cousin to my parents' house in a couple hours." (Plausible deniability that he'd taken her to that party, and I found out later that his parents assured her parents that "She's with Mike, it's cool.")

There were also things that, looking back from now, I feel bad about.

he bad news is, there is a tendency to come down on people who were not doing anything particularly exceptional in the culture they were raised in. In short, they (the guys telling crude jokes or patting a woman on the butt, not the rapists!) see themselves on the receiving end of what amounts to an ex post facto standard ...

The problem for me with this argument is that it pretty well ignores the half of the population who have seen themselves on the receiving end of this kind of shit for just about forever...

That's where my sympathy lies.

Another interesting article on the Democrat's reaction to problems in their own party:
https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/11/27/liberals-and-sexual-harassment

I'm in accord with the author's impatience over the whataboutery used to shrug off behaviour which is unacceptable.

I'm in accord with the author's impatience over the whataboutery used to shrug off behaviour which is unacceptable.

Frankin's behavior demanded a public apology. That happened.

What does "unacceptable" mean, in practice? The electoral system has a built-in mechanism for making that judgment manifest.

Copying my comment (on the same subject) from LGM:

"This is about whether someone should occupy high political office."

Okay, then is it better to have someone who has LEARNED a difficult, harsh and important lesson, or one who has NOT?

No evidence so far that Moore or Trump have learned a damned thing, ever.

also, Franken didn't attempt to diddle 14 year olds.

No evidence so far that Moore or Trump have learned a damned thing, ever.

......

also, Franken didn't attempt to diddle 14 year olds

Absolutely correct, on both counts, and necessary to remember.

Roy Moore is a christianist mullah. Al Franken isn't.

That's all you need to know to decide which of them belongs in the US senate and which doesn't. It really depends on whether you think Jehovah wrote the Declaration of Indpendence and Jesus was a delegate at the Constitutional Convention, or not.

Even if Franken were accused of exactly the same behavior toward women as Moore, and reacted exactly the same way as Moore, I for one would back Franken over Moore -- and defend my choice to all my female friends and relatives.

While the GOP is attempting to rape women and men financially, focusing on individual politicians' sexual offenses is distraction at best and collaboration at worst.

--TP

Someone took a picture of Franken he really couldn't even get sued for, so yes it isn't in the same category of the other allegations. But let's not paint him a saint. He "remembered differently",denied, the unwanted kiss, which was the worst part of what he did.

So his apology rings hollow to me. But yes, it's not on the same part of the spectrum as Moore.

Sorry to change the subject, but bob mcmanus wrote lj can give me permission to fannypat a stranger

I'm not sure why I'd be giving him permission to do that, though I seem to remember that when I was HS, fannypatting in sports was pretty common. I also read an article about Jordan and Scottie Pippen that said that they knew not to fannypat each other because often on their dunks, they landed on their backsides, so they were bruised.

If my memory of fannypatting is correct, and it's no longer au courant, it's interesting to wonder why. A first pass might be as homosexuality is more (or less) considered to be acceptable, the fannypat then carries the possibility of sexual meaning, whereas back when I was a kid, to suggest that someone was gay was essentially to book a fight. If this is the case, it's interesting how the liberalization of some aspect of sexual identity creates a situation that makes other behavior problematic.

I'm not sure why I'd be giving him permission to do that

Just random permitter, point being that permission has to come from authority. I hesitated.

Idk, it still seems to me that fannypatting is still and always kinda trangressive, but such a common transgression that interpretations have gotten complicated. I think it works precisely because it is transgressive, like guys punching each other in the shoulder.

It's transgressive but shows mutual trust, and the trust can't be there without the transgression. Or with a coach, it shows that the acceptance of the hierarchy marks the personal over the social.

When I was writing about I thought an analogy might be talking about tv shows on company time (or sports, or surfing the net, etc). You're stealing from the company, everybody does it, there is a mutual complicity.

While in the military, I once had some beers with some British marines at an NCO club. As they were trying to get loaded on 3.2 beer, they spent a lot of time in the heads. While therein, they would fanny pat each other. The American marines thought they were all gay.

as unsatisfying as it is, i think we're going to end up with some kind of Dirty Grandpa Exemption (trade; cleek, 2017) where men who clearly sexually abused women in the distant past will be pardoned because things were different then.

we already see this with GHWB and others.

it's the same kind of thing that lets us revere Washington et al even though they owned salves (and were probably terrible to women, by today's standards)

as unsatisfying as it is, i think we're going to end up with some kind of Dirty Grandpa Exemption

Less than ideal. But if we manage to get current behavior modified, that would be an enormous step forward.

The last thing we want is to let the (lack of an) ideal solution become an excuse to do nothing. "They did it then, so I should be OK doing it now!" just doesn't work for me. Even if it means giving some guys a break on some past behavior.

The good news is, a very real problem is starting to be addressed. The bad news is, there is a tendency to come down on people who were not doing anything particularly exceptional in the culture they were raised in

besides culture, there is also a question of socialization and maturity.

wj's comment here makes me think of a friend of mine, a young man who is also the son of friends. he is 26, and is on the asperger's spectrum. he is very "highly functioning", which I guess means you wouldn't really notice he has asperger's if you didn' know him well. but, he does.

he's not socially adept. whether due to asperger's, or just personal immaturity, he doesn't always appear to understand what's appropriate.

long story short, my friend isn't really good at talking to young women. he'd love to be in a relationship, but doesn't have much success with it.

a year or so ago, this became an issue. he began approaching younger girls - he's mid-20's, the girls he was approaching were as much as 10 years younger - and basically creeped them out and frankly scared them. he's a physically big guy, which no doubt made things worse.

the parents of the girls were, rightly, disturbed by this. who's this adult guy making awkward approaches to their high-school age daughters?

he was asked to stop. he stopped for a while, then started again.

it became kind of a thing. an intense, fraught thing. friendships were strained, in some cases ended. a small number of folks, perhaps motivated by issues of their own, accused the young man of planning rape, or worse.

looked at in a certain way, my young friend is arguably guilty of, minimally, being a weird creepy adult man who is hitting on teenaged girls.

looked at another way, he's an immature and awkward young man who doesn't really have the social skills to be successful at making good connections with women who are, age-wise, his peers, and who ends up trying to connect with girls who are not appropriate for him to try to connect with.

the end result of this was my friend being basically banned from a community that had been an important part of his life. it was, and continues to be, a source of real pain to him and his family.

i don't know what the right answer here is. in a perfect world, my young friend would have the social skills to successfully engage with his peers. he doesn't have them, at least now.

my friend's issues are largely a function of his neurologocal wiring. for other people, poor socialization and plain old immaturity come into it.

the phenomenon of harassment seems to occur on a spectrum. from rape and assault, to stalking, to creepy and threatening behavior, to inappropriate behavior that makes people uncomfortable.

rape and physical assault is obviously wrong, and should never be tolerated, anyplace or anytime.

what do we do with inappropriate behavior - behavior that makes people uncomfortable, behavior that seems off and weirdly out of context? what do we do with the people who, for whatever reason, engage in it?

can we find a way to give women (or whoever) who are made uncomfortable by some folks' behavior the sense of safety they deserve, without demonizing people who are, for whatever reason, prone to behaving in inappropriate ways?

can we find a way to give women (or whoever) who are made uncomfortable by some folks' behavior the sense of safety they deserve, without demonizing people who are, for whatever reason, prone to behaving in inappropriate ways?

There must be a lot of people in this situation, and I can't imagine how heartbreaking it would be to have a family member who couldn't manage relationships in this basic way. Even if services are available to help people navigate these issues, I'm sure that there are a lot of people, especially older folks, who are undiagnosed, and possibly reluctant to seek assistance. Thanks for reminding us to think about this.

A very good post. I'm reluctant to sign on only because I feel like there is a whole continuum of behavior that is inappropriate but we aren't able to distinguish between say Franken and Weinstein while it seems that their behavior, what we want out of talking about their behavior, and the penalties for their behavior might all appear on radically different scales.

But on the other hand, it is an important enough problem, too long buried, that insisting on fine distinctions seems like a distraction so I'm loathe to do that too.

But I can answer the coffee question.

"if I was in the business of selling coffee makers, and a bunch of those coffee makers got smashed beyond repair by an earthquake, a hurricane, or a herd of yaks, wouldn't that increase my sales next month?"

You aren't understanding the market. Keurig is in the business of selling millions of tiny coffee capsules that get used on a daily basis by their machine. The machine is important mostly because it takes their capsules. If the machine is destroyed, they have lost the lock in for their brand of coffee capsules.

Brennan Lee Stewart

I agree with Seb. Its been frustrating to watch coverage or hear commentary or read articles that treat fratboy clowning as if it was the equivalent of pedophilia or sexual assault, Particularly when the "victim " of the clowning made it clear by her own behavior (dry humping a soldier, climbing all over Robin Williams, and running on stage to run her butt up against the guitarist's thigh during a performance I suppose the next claim out of her will be that she didnt want to do any of that, that it was all scripted ans she had to do it etc etc False claims or exaggerated claims are attacks on the real thing. I can see the whole discussion descending into ta welther of argument that just foes on until everyone burns out on it with no real subsgtantive change excep maybe temporary paranoia about touching each other.

I do know this: Every single sexual abuser is 100% responsible for their actions and there is nobody else to blame than the person who is choosing to violate another person.

I can agree with that sentiment--but only if the term "sexual assault" is defined to leave out clueless immature behavior that arises from lack of experience, or reciprocal behavior such as is becoming apparent in the Franken situation (she enjoyed sexual teasing in public and initiated behavior that could have been called sexual assault but is now objecting to being on the receiving end herself).

There needs to be room for misunderstandings and poor socialization, and there needs to be an understanding that there is no double standard Behavior that is obnoxious when a man does it is obnoxious when a woman does it

One of my concerns about this topic is the assumption some people have that the female accuser much be believed because anything else is acting on behalf of the patriarchy and shifting responsibility for the event onto the victim. That;s going too far. I have no desire to go back the days when the woman was always wrong, but I think we do need to remember that human affairs are often messy and complicated and sometimes the "victim" was not a victim

add Jeffrey Tambor and Glenn Thrush to the list of the accused.

I can agree with that sentiment--but only if the term "sexual assault" is defined to leave out clueless immature behavior that arises from lack of experience, or reciprocal behavior such as is becoming apparent in the Franken situation (she enjoyed sexual teasing in public and initiated behavior that could have been called sexual assault but is now objecting to being on the receiving end herself).

I apparently haven't been following all the developments in the Franken saga, but I'm having trouble distinguishing what you're relaying here from victim blaming crap like, "what did she expect dressed like that."

The basic problem is that dancing suggestively with the bass player on stage, for example, doesn't actually imply that you're consenting to whatever the drummer wants to do to you in the dressing room later.

There needs to be room for misunderstandings and poor socialization,

Not that much room. Distinguished pedigrees aside, these are both actually pretty shit excuses for sticking your tongue down someone's throat when when they don't want you to.

and there needs to be an understanding that there is no double standard Behavior that is obnoxious when a man does it is obnoxious when a woman does it

There *is* necessarily a double standard though. A female performer's butt being rubbed against a male performers crotch has entirely different contexts depending on who is doing the rubbing. That is simply a fact of our society, and will continue to be so for the foreseeable future -- it could possibly change, but only after we have put the specter of (overwhelmingly male-perpetrated) sexual assault far enough in the rearview to fade from living memory.

Are both obnoxious? Possibly. But equally obnoxious, or at all equivalent? Nope.

There *is* necessarily a double standard though.

I disagree, but think it's more complicated than a double standard. Nancy LeTourneau has an excellent piece today, with a clip of Rebecca Traister. Although calling out some particularly egregious behavior is appropriate, we also have to look at ourselves (including women) to see where we fit into the cultural picture.

It's not victim blaming to say that humor based on titties (and Tweeden's role in enabling that) is furthering the kind of culture that makes it hilarious to pretend to grab breasts. If this kind of humor is so wrong, or if these kinds of values are wrong, we're all adults, and we're all taking part. We all need to look in the mirror.

As a parent I am a total and, if need be, militant anti-sexism/harassment Nazi.

And yet I have to ask: how bloody narcissistic and parochial can we get?

Since the Weinstein revelations 300 people have been killed by a truck bomb in Mogadishu, 450 have died in an earthquake in Iran/Iraq and people are dying like flies in Yemen.

For one article about any of the latter there are 100 about Weinstein et al.

And yet I have to ask: how bloody narcissistic and parochial can we get?

Agree.

sapient:"It’s about the culture that empowers white men to abuse their power in a million ways"

I watched that clip the other day, and suspending the main discussion, this by Traister (who is pretty good) is of a interesting pattern that has become more pronounced since 2016.

It’s about the culture that empowers white men to abuse their power in a million ways

Well, I'm glad Mugabe or R. Kelly never abused their power.

This has to do with I think a tension between white women/feminists/Democrats and their black counterparts women/feminists/Democrats that has existed since the 1970s. Donna Brazille may be connected to it. Basically I think the unwritten rule in those circles is that white liberal women don't criticize black men or include them in these discussions.

It's not victim blaming to say that humor based on titties (and Tweeden's role in enabling that) is furthering the kind of culture that makes it hilarious to pretend to grab breasts. If this kind of humor is so wrong, or if these kinds of values are wrong, we're all adults, and we're all taking part.

The logical flow here is giving me whiplash. Just to make sure we're on the same page--

a. Making dumb jokes about breasts (especially one's own): Mostly OK, at least in the right context.
b. Touching other people's breasts without their permission, even as a joke: Not OK, ever.

Agreed?

I mean, I get that in some sense these are part of the same general adolescent humor oeuvre. Nevertheless, it seems like there's a pretty clear line in there that adults can be expected to figure out how not to cross.

We all need to look in the mirror.

That much I'll agree with.

Insufficiently attributed: the italized quote is from Traister in sapient's clip.

And yet I have to ask: how bloody narcissistic and parochial can we get?

This is an ineffective argument, answered by why are you minimizing women's concerns, pushing them to the back of the bus, practicing whataboutism, etc.

And I have to somewhat agree, the Mogadishu truck bomb doesn't affect me or women in any serious everyday way. Sorry.

It’s about the culture that empowers white men to abuse their power in a million ways

Well, I'm glad Mugabe or R. Kelly never abused their power.

Well, the reality is that some people abuse power. (A depressingly large portion of them, actually.) And, in Western Civilization, those have historically tended to be a) white, and b) male. Other places have other groups . . . behaving the same way. It gains nothing to focus on the differences -- no matter the ideological attraction.

Not only do members of other racial/ethnic groups abuse their position when they have a position. I have also observed women doing so as well, when the opportunity arises. They may, perhaps, be a little more restrained; perhaps because of having been on the receiving end in their own past. On the other hand, they (like some members of other racial/ethnic groups) may simply see their new situation a chance to get some of their own back -- albeit virtually never against the specific individuals who harassed them.

Since the Weinstein revelations 300 people have been killed by a truck bomb in Mogadishu, 450 have died in an earthquake in Iran/Iraq and people are dying like flies in Yemen.

True. I am totally sure that in the absence of the Weinstein stuff, the media would at this time be exhibiting a non-stop outpouring of useful concern for the human suffering in and around Mesopotamia and the Gulf of Aden.

Totally, totally sure.

Back in the real world, I'm just glad that our celebrity gossip receptors appear to have been temporarily hijacked by a meaningful conversation that could lead to some much-needed self-reflection, and hopefully, a few permanent changes.

So the media should only report and we should only care about things that affect us in a "serious everyday way"?

Jesus Bob, that's rather weak tea, especially coming from you.

BTW, as I tried to make clear I'm not minimizing anything here, but whatever.

Making dumb jokes about breasts (especially one's own): Mostly OK, at least in the right context

If you've seen any of the USO clips, they revolve around a woman allowing her body to be ogled and objectified [her choice, obviously, and consensual and fine]. The photograph of Franken pretending to grab the objects [her breasts] is just a riff on that theme, and was apparently intended to be funny.

Sure, I recognize that she didn't consent to that photograph, which is why I called it "deplorable" earlier. But why was it even imagined to have been funny? What is the cultural context? It's that her breasts are seen as objects to be grabbed. She participated in reinforcing that concept.

Blaming women (or men) for participating in sex work isn't my point. Sure, she has a right to do that with her own body, but I think it's worth talking about how that affects the larger culture. Yes, it's consensual, but it also feeds an underlying notion that women's bodies are something for men to evaluate, leer at and grab.

Is there anything wrong with that? Like most people, I'm quite conflicted. I don't think we should deny our own participation though.

Well, the reality is that some people abuse power.

Well, I am not arguing the truth or fairness or privilege and power here, or with Traister on the matter. I may later.

I am just trying to watch some internal dynamics and coalition building and relative power within, say as shorthand the Democratic Party.

Two other places this kind of thing turned up were the Cali gay marriage initiative and the older white feminists (Steinem) attacking the young black women who supported Sanders. We olds can also remember the split in the party during the Thomas hearings, and that Senators like Biden faced pressure from blacks in the party to confirm.

Probably not very important.

Making dumb jokes about breasts (especially one's own): Mostly OK, at least in the right context

Women and their male and LGBTQ allies get to make that call, and make it retroactively. Deal.

This is about power and privilege and politics and the forces are shifting. Justice, reason, fairness, truth has little to do with it.

For the record, I am skeptical about the most recent accusation against Franken, the ass grabbing at the fair, the one where she says "But the Republican was so nice that day."

My guess is that as usual, Republicans will play this harder meaner and better than Democrats. Moore will get seated, or replaced by a Republican, and we will lose Franken's seat in 2018.

Do not for God's sake nominate a man in 2020, especially Booker. There will be headlines in October.

Has anybody taken a look at the wonderful matrix of graphs in wj's Economist link? Whoever created it knows how to present information visually. (Tony's 2nd Law: raw data != useful information.) The consistent downward slopes with age certainly show a cultural evolution. The general match between men's and women's responses shows that "culture" is made up of both sexes.

Curiously, and a propos recent comments, the biggest consistent spread I see between men and women is in the "Looking at breasts" column. (What, legs don't matter?) I'm old enough to remember the "lifts and separates" commercials for bras, which I always assumed were aimed at women -- but were no doubt (in retrospect) created mostly by ad men.

On the beach of a Greek island, some years ago, I had a pleasant half-hour conversation with a beautiful French woman who was watching over her 3-4 year old son as he played with a couple of my cousin's little kids. She was topless -- not unusual on Mediterranean beaches -- and completely not self-conscious about it. She started chatting with me when she heard me speak to her little boy in French. I enjoyed our talk for the opportunity to practice my then-not-so-rusty French skills, but spent the whole of it consciously trying to both avoid looking at her chest and avoid being obvious about it. I must have succeeded both ways, for we carried on as pleasantly as a pair of casual acquaintances at a cocktail party, until the kids went their separate ways.

Was she "flirting" with me? Of course not. Was I "flirting" with her? No. Did she feel "harassed"? No sign of it. Did I feel embarrassed? Maybe, but only to the extent of feeling that I had to be careful not to seem either a lecher or a prude. Was the Mediterranean beach unique and separate from all other settings? I don't know: would either of us have felt differently if we were at a cocktail party and she was wearing a strapless dress with a plunging neckline?

(This walking-a-fine-line thing reminds of what Voltaire supposedly said when he was invited to a second orgy after having participated in a first one: "No, thank you, my dear. Once, a philosopher. Twice, a pervert.")

Anyway, I just want to say that women's breasts seem, universally, to be a touchy subject.

--TP

But why was it even imagined to have been funny? What is the cultural context? It's that her breasts are seen as objects to be grabbed. She participated in reinforcing that concept.

Obviously there's a cultural context here, but I stop short of seeing how it's relevant or meaningful to say that "she participated", or that she managed to reinforce that context in any significant way, particularly as an individual.

Women who get up on stages in skimpy outfits are doing so in part because our culture is that way, they're not in any meaningful sense causing it. Consider a counterfactual cultural universe where women were indeed fully appreciated as human beings, never simply bodies for men to 'evaluate, leer at, and grab'. I don't think we'd expect women getting up on stages in skimpy outfits if they chose would alter that society's fundamental views of women's value.

No, causality runs almost entirely one direction here.

Even if that weren't so, suggesting that the women who participate in this system are (partly) responsible for it is at least impractical. What's the solution? Are we suggesting that all present and future performers whose business involves showing cleavage simply turn down work in some kind of mass boycott? That's just not reasonable. Many of them may well enjoy it on the merits. Almost all of them probably need the work. Not going to happen.

Now, should comedians, etc. avoid making jokes that excuse or otherwise make light of sexual assault? Yeah, that's a pretty good minimum standard to hold them to. Should they avoid making jokes that implicitly rely on retrograde cultural contexts where consent or female personhood aren't things? Also yeah, because, at minimum, just not funny anymore.

Stepping back, should entertainment producers like, e.g., the USO organizers try to raise the standards a little bit all around? Sure. Do we as audiences have a responsibility to raise our own standards and hold all of the above to it? Yep.

But should no one ever joke about sex and sexy bits at all out of fear that someone might get all cloudy and confused and then touch them without consent?

Does not compute.

I don't care if Franken was sharing the stage with performers doing a straight up live sex show, it would still be entirely on him if he grabbed their boobs later.

I was watching La La Land last night and there is a scene at the movies, spoiler alert I guess, where they position their hands to touch like I remember doing a few times in my youth. It brought to mind that there were other scenes much like that: should I put my hand on her leg, so on. First base, second base, and yes she was always complicit in the game knowing I would stop when she created a barrier or just said no.

Now I was, and am, a socially awkward guy completely mystified by any positive signals I might have been getting. But some of the activities that get described I feel like were some guy waiting to be told no. Or if not, sweet!

Sex is complex, it was more complex thirty or forty years ago. Back then if a guy didn't try then no one had sex. Well, not really but that was the cultural norm. I don't believe I ever scared a woman, if I did I can assure you I was more scared than she. But you know, I roaming hands a few times that I got told no.

Jack,

Is there a difference between a woman pretending to grab a man's butt and a man pretending to grab a woman's breasts? On-stage? Off-stage?

--TP

Is there a difference between a woman pretending to grab a man's butt and a man pretending to grab a woman's breasts?

Are we sure she isn't just "being on of the guys" while they are playing "grab-ass"?

Seriously, where do we draw the line between genders here. Especially now that we can accept that there are homosexuals among us. (And without the world, or even Western Civilization, ending.)

If you grab my ass I better like you or like the way you look or you're in trouble. No matter which sex you are.

That's my line in the sand.

Is there a difference between a woman pretending to grab a man's butt and a man pretending to grab a woman's breasts? On-stage? Off-stage?

You know that thing where you point your index finger at someone and bring your thumb down, like it's the hammer of a gun you're shooting at them?

If you're sitting across the dinner table with someone and they do that to you, does it make a difference whether it's your kid brother or Kim Jong Un?

Seriously, Jack, I'm missing the analogy between my question and yours. I can think of scenarios in which I'd feel more threatened by my kid brother (or my kid sister, for that matter), than by Kim Jong Un, "pretending" to shoot me.

--TP

As a good liberal, I submit we create and empower a Department of Double Standards (DDS).

Do not for God's sake nominate a man in 2020, especially Booker.

I stab pins in my Booker doll every other Sunday. But if he is the Dem candidate in '20 going up against either Pence or Trump, he gets my vote, or as many as I can get away with casting.

Anyway, I just want to say that women's breasts seem, universally, to be a touchy subject.

I saw what you did there.

Seriously, Jack, I'm missing the analogy between my question and yours. I can think of scenarios in which I'd feel more threatened by my kid brother (or my kid sister, for that matter), than by Kim Jong Un, "pretending" to shoot me.

Sure. And there are a handful of (mostly carefully crafted) scenarios where a woman pretending to grab someone's butt would be scary or threatening for the recipient.

And of course there are a metric ton of scenarios where either version could be totally ok with both of them, depending on the particulars of their relationship, camaraderie, etc.

But, being, say, an audience member not privy to those particulars, are you trying to say that one of those doesn't tend to make you a little more uncomfortable then the other?

What about being on the receiving end, sharing the stage with another performer you barely know? Whose shoes would rather be in?

Are you trying to say there's no difference in context here?

Maybe it'd help if we made a list of all the abusive show biz relationships, all the serial harassers and sex offenders. Then let's tally up the 'male victim/female perpretator' vs. 'female victim/male perpetrator' columns. Should be interesting. I have no idea what to expect!

Charlie Rose, too.

The flood gates are open.

Sure. And there are a handful of (mostly carefully crafted) scenarios where a woman pretending to grab someone's butt would be scary or threatening for the recipient.

Whether it's scary or threatening is determined by culture. We need to think about our culture.

Whether it's scary or threatening is determined by culture. We need to think about our culture.

I believe that's exactly what I'm saying.

I believe that's exactly what I'm saying.

I don't read what you're saying as that. I read what you're saying as "Men can easily avoid all of these problems by keeping their hands to themselves."

And, yes, individual male perpetrators would certainly help a lot of people by doing just that. But they won't as long as they have the key to power by objectifying women, and seeing them as body parts, Everyone, including women, has to help figure out how that's done.

Some of this is happening already, because women make more money and are less dependent on men, which is why we're seeing people called out. Maybe we can sit back and watch the culture change, because it's changing already. I have a feeling though that life isn't going to be fair to a lot of folks who are caught in the crosshairs.

But they won't as long as they have the key to power by objectifying women, and seeing them as body parts, Everyone, including women, has to help figure out how that's done.

Edited to read:

But they won't as long as they have the key to power by objectifying women, and seeing them as body parts. Everyone, including women, should help to change that.

Objectifying women is pretty much meats favorite phrase as I watch the late night commercials for six pack and and hair replacement and huge chest muscles and penile enhancement.

That's just crap. Societal definition of attractiveness crossed with individual taste will always be first indicator of overall attractiveness. And big hands.

Meats = my least

It might also make a difference if it is an actor pretending to do something unacceptable, and a non-actor doing the same.

Other than the (most likely) higher level of skill and craft involved.

Marty, presumably you're not saying that men are objectified as much as women? You can't believe that, surely?

"I don't care if Franken was sharing the stage with performers doing a straight up live sex show, it would still be entirely on him if he grabbed their boobs later."

Can we at least be clear of the facts. Franken did not grab her boobs later.

He made a publicly comical parody of pretending to grab her boobs.

We can decide that is, or is not horrible or maybe somewhere else on the scale between is or is not horrible.

But whatever it is, it isn't the same as "Franken grabbed her boobs later".

But whatever it is, it isn't the same as "Franken grabbed her boobs later".

Thank you.

Objectifying women is pretty much meats(sic) favorite phrase as I watch the late night commercials for six pack and and hair replacement and huge chest muscles and penile enhancement.

I am curious. What channels do you watch late at night?

So, somewhat OT, we are apparently planning to deport 50,000 Haitians pretty soon.

Although it's not really OT. What happens to people who have less power is that they get screwed. Without their consent.

Link fixed.

So, somewhat OT, we are apparently planning to deport 50,000 Haitians pretty soon.

One of the areas where much of what government does causes more harm than good. And some of it, from my point of view, is straight up out and out evil.

"The war on immigration has taken a great toll on unauthorized aliens, its targets. But it is also badly affecting Americans themselves, its intended beneficiaries. Those who think they can escape the crossfire because they are authorized, naturalized, or native-born, with American ancestors going back generations, are simply fooling themselves.

There are already many ways for American citizens to lose when the government can detain and deport citizens without due process, shut down and criminally penalize businesses that don't hire from a preapproved pool of workers, treat border towns like they are enemy territory, and raid humanitarian outfits for simply pursuing their missions. If the Trump administration keeps ramping up its crackdown, there will be even more. No one will be safe."
How Immigration Crackdowns Screw Up Americans' Lives: The war on immigration has taken a great toll on unauthorized aliens, its targets. But it is also badly affecting Americans themselves, its intended beneficiaries.

My link fixed too. :}

How Immigration Crackdowns Screw Up Americans' Lives

"I don't care if Franken was sharing the stage with performers doing a straight up live sex show, it would still be entirely on him if he grabbed their boobs later."

I wont care either. But I do care that the "victim" showed her enjoyment of public sexualized teasing over and over. And if a person enjoys a certain kind of activity three times, it is logical to think that person will enjoy it the fourth time, I do not think that anyone gets to dry hump over people, rub their butt against another person, and to a full on whole body grabbing kiss to a person they are not emotionally connected to and then go oh poor me! Someone groped me! I didnt want it! What Franken did to her was less than what she was doing to other people. He hade absolutley no way of knowing that she would not think it funny to be treated herself the way she treated others. You cant always tell when people are assholes until too late.

1) Charlie Rose

tweetstorm:

"A lot going on here: 1) John Conyers settled a serious sex harassment claim and taxpayers are kept in the dark 2) Buzzfeed got the documents from Mike Cernovich."

Cernovich one fugly Rethuglican. Enjoy your righteousness in Salvation, Laydeeeez. Enjoy ten more years of Trump/Pence.

Delurking to say I was really surprised by Charlie Rose. No great fondness for the guy or his show. However, I guess I am showing my naïveté, because I would not have expected this from him. That soft spoken southern gentleman act was quite effective on me.

Franken I am not sure about. Maybe his show business background coarsened him. But then so far from what I have read it seems the women who have worked with him seem to defend him, so maybe he had one moment of really bad behavior. ( Yes, I have heard of the second accusation. Withholding judgment for the moment, if it is true I expect more women will come forward, since I gather men who squeeze the butts of strange women probably don’t just do this once. Or maybe they do it just twice. Hell, I don’t know.)

Bill Clinton’s scumminess is something I suspect no one really disbelieves. It corrupted the Democrats making excuses for him.

Just read the Buzzfeed story about Conyers. It doesn’t matter that Cernovich is the source— no wait, it does matter because Buzzfeed confirmed the four women exist and do accuse Conyers of nasty things. So why was it Cernovich who found out? There are two interesting questions there— first, are people going after Democrats, but second, has the press been covering this stuff up until now?

One other thing interests me. It seems that our society is a lot sleazier and more corrupt and dishonest than was openly admitted just a month or two ago or else we mostly agreed to look the other way and now, on this one topic, a lot of the sleaze is coming out and the ground is crumbling beneath various abusers and even rapists who had expected the unwritten rules to protect them. I doubt it is the only part of our culture where terrible things happen and for various reasons people in both parties agree to look away.

As for people without power getting screwed by people with it, the NYT Sunday Times magazine just ran a piece saying we are killing far more civilians than our military admits. I expect this story will receive almost no attention. But yes, this is off topic except in a broad sense. As is Yemen, where the Saudis with our help are passing the war crimes stage and are on the verge of committing full fledged genocide. Hell, why not? If we had objections we could cut the military assistance we provide. Will the ground crumble underneath people responsible for these kinds of policies? I would like to see it happen.

1) Charlie Rose

With there be a clay feet bubble?

LJ, I read Donald's post and asked myself, how much have we looked, shrugged our shoulders, and in effect said, "shikataganai"?

Saying things cannot be changed is how you guarantee that they won't change. Until someone comes along and you discover otherwise.

Hi wj, I'm not sure why I was invoked. I'm actually currently involved in a situation where I'm trying to change something that a number of people who I respect are saying it is not a big thing, but I can't believe that it isn't.

Also, there was an astonishing incident on Sat, I was out with some people and a person who came along who was totally inappropriate. He came along because one person thought another person knew him and vice versa. Though he wasn't grabbing breasts, but he was behaving in a totally creepy manner, so much so that when I was with two of the women from the previous nite at breakfast and saw him, I immediately grabbed another person I knew and said 'ok, you have to sit with us' because I did not want to possibility of this creep asking to sit down with us. Would we have turned him down? Yes, but I didn't even want to possibility of him coming up to ask.

It is difficult to explain how he did what he did, but we were at a restaurant that was a ways away and we couldn't simply get up and leave, we couldn't move to avoid him and we couldn't get him to stop behaving in an inappropriate way, he was impervious to any kind of suggestions, all the way up to 'please stop that'. One thing he did was, when someone was talking, especially one of the women, to loudly say 'can I tell you a story' or interrupt and say 'excuse me, I have something to say'. He was drunk, and an explanation or a request asking him to stop would just have him sit for a moment, nod his head and then start up again.

I'm not sure if this is related to what you ask, but there is something there. The most effective scammers are not those who break norms, they are those who use the norms in a way to extract what they want. The answer is not to break and discard those norms, but to clearly understand the situation. We've already seen how Franken's act, in the space of a handful of comments, has moved from "publicly comical parody of pretending to grab her boobs" to "Franken grabbed her boobs later". This is why I think it is important to be very accurate about our descriptions, and discuss them clearly. If we don't, it becomes easy to demonize. Not sure if this makes any sense, so apologies if I'm missing your point.

That the Republican Party would have the edge in a war of attrition over this abuse issue is no surprise to me. They have much more practiced and ruthless dishers of dirt who know how and are happy to politically weaponize this stuff to the advantage of their party.

They have and eat their cake and won't share it with gay nuptials.

I'm also certain that liberals do not realize the fucking Civil War with this corrupt grasping republican monstrosity we are on the cusp of.

I'm also quite certain that the Cernovitches of the world and the rump White House would be happy to add pussy grabbing in the name of their God to the list of genocidal depredations we as a country are bestowing upon the Yemeni people.

This morning I read at Kevin Drum that the entire California republican congressional delegation, save one, refused to request federal disaster aid for the coming fires destroyed in the recent fires. Further, Democratic requests for aid are being ignored by the republican junta in Washington, the filth who stole the 2016 presidential election.

Meanwhile, Houston and Florida choke on my tax dollars. Puerto Rico has no power or water.

No country survives this conservative cocksucking bullshit. This one hasn't the character to survive it either without door-to-door street fighting world-ending calamity.

I

There are coming fires, but not in that paragraph. Should read "communities".

Make note to self that auto correct wil perish along with the Republican Party.

If it was up to Kelly Ann Conway, all of Roy Moore's gropings of teenyboppers would have come with tax cuts.

"They have much more practiced and ruthless dishers of dirt who know how and are happy to politically weaponize this stuff to the advantage of their party."

There is not an inch of space between the two parties in this regard.

To pretend there is only to make you feel better.

Democrats try as hard as Repubs, but as is obvious with say Trump p-grabbing, project too much and are much less competent.

No, I'll feel better when liberals. ... I don't give a crap about the Democratic Party .... are exponentially more ruthless on the partisan playing field than the conservative machine.

I don't want things to resolve to mutual niceness on the political level. I want a partisan Godzilla with snapping jaws of vengeance to eat Kelly Ann Conway.

When Conway applies for Medicare in a decade or so, I want laws in place that say she must show her voter registration card and if there is an "r" on it, she will do without. Her pay stub contributions will be confiscated and distributed to the Other.

"rape" ? what's that? it used to mean something. now we just don't know.

https://www.mediamatters.org/video/2017/11/21/breitbart-editor-chief-word-rape-now-means-any-sex-woman-ends-regretting-she-had/218618

Franken may be a sexist creep with uncontrollable wandering appendages, what do I know, but am I the only one who see that photo as sarcasm poking fun at male obsessions more than poking fun at a sexy woman who sells her wares on stage and keeps them secured behind kevlar when down?

1) Charlie Rose

There is something bandwagon-y about events of the last couple of weeks, and it makes me somewhat hesitant to pile on.

But who the hell walks around co-workers with no clothes on? WTF?


There is not an inch of space between the two parties in this regard.

To pretend there is only to make you feel better.

First, who the hell feels better? Quit trying to read everybody else's mind.

But I have a question: who is the (D) Roger Stone? Or the (D) Lee Atwater? Or whoever the hell it was who (for example) spread the rumors of McCain's illegitimate black daughter? I'll stop there, the list of (R) ratfuckers is really, really long.

I'm not saying such persons don't exist, I just can't think of one. Maybe you can.

LBJ is dead. Joe Kennedy Sr. is dead. Total pricks, both of them, although I'd say LBJ had numerous redeeming features. But they're dead.

Who are you talking about?

No, jeff, you're not alone.

You may be right about what was going trough Al's mind in that photo, or you may be wrong, but what it shows is Franken NOT groping a woman.

If that woman was a comely but entirely straight-laced reporter, say, the photo might be telling a different story about Franken, but it STILL shows him NOT groping her.

Except in the lecherous imagination of He, Trump of course. But a man who faithfully watches Babes on a Couch every morning on Fox News is likely to get all sorts of ideas in his head.

--TP


Who are you talking about?

i'll tell you who we're not talking about: pedophile Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore.

success.

Dick Cavett's big break in show biz happened when he sold a joke to the Jack Paar show, to be used as an introduction to Jayne Mansfield's appearance on the show: "And here they are, Jayne Mansfield."

Mansfield's career was not hurt either. She wasn't a teenager and she wasn't a god-botherer. If she had lived and changed careers, say, to chief of staff for John Conyers, I'd have been pleased to hear that she kicked him in the nuts and reported him to the Congressional Quarterly for similar behavior in a different and inappropriate context.

All of these things can co-exist in a society not fraught with sexual and religious denial, confliction, and equivocation.

Priapic humans screw and humans say the Eucharist, and you can do both, but not at the same time, though some give it the old college try.

Men are afraid women are going to laugh at them, but women are afraid men are going to kill them.

Figure it out, fellas.

My late mother would relate a story in which at a party at our house when we were kids, consisting of high level execs and their wives, including my Dad, a guest with a reputation for hands-on drinking got a bit fresh with my mother and she slapped his face and he went on his way into the night.

I don't believe there was any Marxist analysis going thru her mind at that moment, unless it was the thought of Margaret Dumont pushing Groucho down an elevator shaft, but just a summons to good manners and propriety.

I happen to like bawdy humor, so to me fairness in these matters would be for a female comedy writer to sell a joke to Paar: "And here it is, Milton Berle" or "His reputation precedes him, say hello to Forrest Tucker." and be named chief of the writing staff with pay higher than the male writers

Look it up.

Bob Hope was described as a "satyr" by anyone who knew him.

June Allyson, the plain but cute girl next door was the horniest female adulteress in Hollywood at the time.

The actress Gloria Graham, who played the small town tarty but oddly virginal Violet Bick, in "It's a Wonderful Life" was a cradle robber late in life, but unlike her male counterparts, her career suffered, because Hollywood, as a reflection of America, despite conservative claptrap to the contrary, was and is full of shit, just like the shoe industry and the Church.


My fury at Leeann Tweeden is because ehe initiated and enjoyed sexually-related groping type behaviors which were NOT part of a skit, just part of how she related to men during that trip. The butt rubbing was not part of a performance--it was just her. The dryhumping, the climbing up Robin WIliiams as if he was a Christmas tree---
ANd it turns out she is a pal of Hannity and has been a Fox employee. And she went to an award ceremony with Franken several years go which she did not have to attend ans was all smiles there NOw suddenly she has been mad at him for years--says so on her "Look at me " tour of TV news. Mad about what? That he did to her a milder version of what she did to men? .

Leeann is a Republican hit jib, like the Swift Boat Liars. That makes her a threat to every woman who ever experienced real harassment.

And that includes the second woman who a= has accused Franklin. I know the gist of it but I am waiting for details before deciding to believe her or not because of fucking Leeann.

Gloria Grahame, Woody Allen.

Compare and contrast.

"But who the hell walks around coworkers with no clothes on!"

Men who didn't get the memo that they are supposed to be afraid women are going to laugh at them.

Obviously,, there is some other reaction, probably dominating and chimp-like, while simultaneously pathetic, in Rose's mind, that he is angling for or signaling. He's getting the male excitement with the visual confused with what is going on in female minds, which are much more compartamentalized on these matters.

As Elaine Benes said in Seinfeld in response to one of the guys joking that what would she think if men just walked around naked: "hmmm, no. That's just not a good look."


The Count mentioned Jayne Mansfield, reminding me that back in the day when I used to actually watch TV, Law and Order: Special Victims Unit was a favorite. Mariska Hargitay, who played Olivia Benson, was the daughter of people whose names were big in gossipy headlines when I was a child: Jayne Mansfield and Mickey Hargitay.

Mariska Hargitay's major charity work is with Joyful Heart Foundation, an organization [she] established in 2004 to provide support to survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence, and child abuse

Maybe this stuff is related to the male attitude exemplified by the Koch Brothers, who said, when asked what they thought they were doing stealing oil out from under Indian Reservations, "I want my share, and by share, I mean all of it."

Patty fingers by other means.

If any Republican ever wrote what wonkie wrote at 10:39 the response would be immediate and overwhelming. Even if I kind of agree with her on motive, questioning the integrity of the accuser is just blaming the victim. Ask anyone.

Because Roy Moore, as creepy as he is, went out with 14 year old girls, with there parents permission and theirs. He didn't kidnap anyone, he didn't actually pick anyone up at the mall, when he called the school, creepy as that is, the girl said yes she would like to go out with him.

She was 16, age of consent. There is only one account of him forcibly attacking someone, and it is the Gloria Allred represented person that came late to the party.

So should we excuse him.

Well no, certainly not, but a tale can be spun to justify anything. That's what is happening with Franken. The picture really doesn't show him touching her, she participated in sluttyy behavior, he didn't really force the kiss on her.

I don't read what you're saying as that. I read what you're saying as "Men can easily avoid all of these problems by keeping their hands to themselves."

I'm not even sure how to parse that. If by "all of these problems" you mean "being personally accused of sexual assault", then yes. In part I am saying that. Or was upthread.

Now, obviously, in the context of practical solutions to the systemic problems of misogyny, rape culture and abuse of power, "keep your hands to yourself" is a solution in the same way that "don't do drugs" is a cure for substance abuse. The real change does have to come from somewhere else. It's important to keep straight what and where the actual problem is though,

But they won't as long as they have the key to power by objectifying women, and seeing them as body parts, Everyone, including women, has to help figure out how that's done.

Let's back up a bit.

This digression started with the comment where you linked to the Traister video. That's a solid clip, and I appreciate the pointer. I took her thesis to be 1) that the simplistic media focus on punishment of individuals is often misplaced -- recognition, apology and reconciliation are at least as as important, and 2) that all of us are on the front lines of this; yelling back and forth about which public figures heads to chop off is easy, but examining the ways we might be enabling or encouraging this stuff in our actual daily lives is much more difficult.

Both of those are excellent points, and a big part of that 'real change' up above.

And if you'd stopped there, that would have been great. But then there was this:


It's not victim blaming to say that humor based on titties (and Tweeden's role in enabling that) is furthering the kind of culture that makes it hilarious to pretend to grab breasts. If this kind of humor is so wrong, or if these kinds of values are wrong, we're all adults, and we're all taking part. We all need to look in the mirror.

Even leaving the parenthetical aside for the moment, that strikes me as kind of a weird comment.

Traister's point was (AFAICT) highly concrete: she talked about the problem with culture generally, but then mapped that straight onto the personal level, "our husbands, our friends, ourselves." That makes a ton of sense, as that level is ultimately the only place we as individuals actually have any power over culture. Everything else is jeering from the sidelines.

Your paragraph doesn't sound very self reflective in that way though. You remind us to look in the mirror at the end, but the rest is about the harm possibly caused by making and laughing at titty jokes.

Ok, I mean, maybe your personal environment has a lot more titty jokes than mine does, and you've decided you need to stop enabling them. I dunno. Good on you.

Except... There's that oddly specific calling out of Tweeden. And "it's not victim blaming to say" looks an awful lot like "I'm not a racist, but" in this instance. I mean, that is quite literally victim blaming. And you went out of your way to jeer from the sidelines at Tweeden's supposed faults in a context that was supposed to be about reflecting on what we ourselves can do.

Traister's points are great. Coming up with other ways to move forward is great. Implying that Tweeden was in any way complicit merely by being professionally sexy on stage is neither coherent nor helpful.

Because Roy Moore, as creepy as he is, went out with 14 year old girls, with there parents permission and theirs.

14 year old girls can't give permission: they're minors.

and it's illegal regardless of parental permission - and according to current law there is no statue of limitations on what he did.

and Moore's 14 year old target seems pretty upset about it, still. and she's been telling anyone who would listen about the incident, for the past 40 years.

Woody Allen is funnier.

But this raises another sideboard. I'm not going to stop watching and enjoying Allen's or Graham's entertainments because of their private behaviors. I won't stop watching Franken SNL skits. I'm not going to avoid Weinstein produced movies, or Polanski films or Kevin Spacey movies.

I can still enjoy Rock Hudson romps with Doris Day.

I'll not twirl the dial because the Phil Spector produced Ronettes are on.

Unlike some, such as Roy Moore and his God botherers, I can spend a long time gazing at and appreciating the gay artist Leonardo da Vinci's epicene John the Baptist and his glorious "Last Supper" in the Louvre, despite the fact that da Vinci was arrested for soliciting/committing sodomy in, was it Florence?

If Roy Moore becomes an accomplished tap dancer, I'll take a look, but I wouldn't vote for him, nor would I invite him to the girl' swim meet at the country club.

If Moore broke the law and the statue of limitations hasn't passed, he's liable to be charged. By "liable" I mean just that, not that he necessarily will be, but that he could be.

Whether someone would want to take that on or not is another question. I think DA's are generally disinclined to pursue things that can be seen as politically motivated, which I think is laudable.

If the voters of AL want Roy Moore as their US Senator, then they should by god have him as their US Senator. If the Senate then wants to chuck him out, they should feel free to do so, although I'm not sure that's a precedent that they will want to live with.

Moore is an embarrassment to the national (R) party, so they want to hold him at arm's length. They also want his vote for the tax bill, so if he's elected I doubt they will do anything about chucking him out until after that vote happens.

Politics is not a virtuous endeavor. Nobody should mistake it for one.

Personally, I don't really give a damn who Moore dated. If a law was broken, prosecute it. If not, it ain't my business. I don't live in AL, and it wasn't my daughter. I won't be inviting him over to dinner, but beyond that I'm just not losing sleep over it.

I don't really give a damn if Al Franken tried to lay an unwanted smooch on Tweeden. If the voters of MN think that means he should go, then he should go. He should have minded his manners.

I actually do kind of give a damn if Bill Clinton raped Broderick. If he did, he should be prosecuted, assuming statutes of limitations etc. allow.

There is a widespread cultural tolerance of men harassing women, assaulting women, even raping women. That should be exposed and the folks who engage in it deserve to be shamed or worse.

The noise about Roy Moore / Bill Clinton / Al Franken, specifically, is political gamesmanship. To the degree that it shines a light on the crap that women live with every day, it's useful. But mostly I think it's a distraction.

If we want to prosecute Bill Clinton, or Roy Moore, or chuck Al Franken out of the Senate, fine with me. Go for it.

But then I want GWBush and Dick Cheney and their entire cohort prosecuted for war crimes and for the establishment of a deliberate regime of torture.

Then I want DJTrump impeached for obvious self-dealing and violations of the emoluments clause.

Then I want every MF'er in Congress who has enriched him or herself by exploiting privileged information to engage in insider trading to be exposed and prosecuted.

Then I want every MF'er in Congress or any arm of government who has exploited their position of oversight over any industry or resource to enrich themselves or their family to be exposed and prosecuted.

Wrap it all up. Clean house. I'm not only fine with it, I applaud it. I'll provide the pitchforks and torches.

I have some agreement with Marty that a lot of the outrage is selective. I'd agree more strongly if he wasn't so freaking selective in his own tolerance for outrageous behavior.

But Roy Moore and his weird theistic obsessions and taste for young girls is a freaking gnat in the big picture. Maybe we should be looking at the camels.

russell for Attorney General!

If any Republican ever wrote what wonkie wrote at 10:39 the response would be immediate and overwhelming. Even if I kind of agree with her on motive, questioning the integrity of the accuser is just blaming the victim. Ask anyone.

Agreeing with Marty feels weird, but here we are.

Documenting any connections from Tweeden to the right wing chum machine is probably apropos -- though we should be careful, because that is not actually prima facie evidence that nothing happened to her. But the stuff about acting out on stage seems totally uncalled for. It is absolutely classic victim blaming. (Even assuming it's exactly the same thing, one assault does not deserve another.)

though we should be careful, because that is not actually prima facie evidence that nothing happened to her.

indeed. we should probably assume that any attractive woman who has spent time working with Fox News people has been a victim of sexual harassment.

Except... There's that oddly specific calling out of Tweeden. And "it's not victim blaming to say" looks an awful lot like "I'm not a racist, but" in this instance. I mean, that is quite literally victim blaming. And you went out of your way to jeer from the sidelines at Tweeden's supposed faults in a context that was supposed to be about reflecting on what we ourselves can do.

The reason that I have been specific about Tweeden is because she fits into the conversation as an example of how we need to remember that not all accusers are actually victims and not all accused are actually guilty NO it is not victim blaming. I dislike people who fake victimization just as much as I dislike people who fake being the target of victim blaming. Both threaten the people who are targets of real abuse and find themselves under attack, blamed for the situation.

I also object to the conceptualization of women as humans who are in a special category along with minors and people with mental disabilities as automatically assumed to be exempt from responsibility for the consequences of our own behavior.

Leeann Tweeden indicated through her behavior an enjoyment of sexually loaded play in public. I an not condemning her for that.She was young and having fun. But I am saying that any responsible adult woman who exhibits behavior A three times with three different men is responsible if a fourth man thinks she likes that kind of behavior She was not wearing a sweatshirt that said "I get to grope men, and I like being groped by them, except for Al Franken".

Victim-blaming is when the victim exhibits one type of behavior which is later sued to justify very persistant behavior back or to justify a different and more aggressive behavior. For example, is a woman flirts with a man or several men that is not permission to rape her. It is only an indication that she is open to flirting and that only lasts as long as the woman likes it.

SO it would be victim blaming to say that a rape victim or a sexual assault victim is responsible because of how she ws dressed or becuase she did some flirting

ON the other hand if she flirts with three guys and a fourth flirts with her, she can of course let him know that she does not what to flirt with him, but she is not in a position to complain of harassment (unless he keeps it up persistently or , escalates)

Human affairs are not simple. And and all sexual harassment is not the same ANd us women are not brainless victims unable to think about an d take responsibility for our own behavior.

The article was about examine ourselves to see what we can do. I am a veteran of many workshops and classes about various kinds of abuse: sexual harassment, child abuse, elder abuse because of my job. We all got run through everything, so these are topics Ihave thought about a lot.

And with sexual harassment of adult women there are many many factors to consider including the situation (because the behavioral expectations of a party are different than a job), credibility, responsibility, whether or not the target's future prospects were threatened or harm, whether the behavior was a one-off or repeated, whether violence was part of it or threatened, and probably more. It is not simply men bad, keep your hands off woman always the victim and all victimhood is alike.
I htink we have a responsibity to think all this through, diffecult as that may be, especailly in a highly partisan politica envornoment

But the stuff about acting out on stage seems totally uncalled for. It is absolutely classic victim blaming. (Even assuming it's exactly the same thing, one assault does not deserve another.)

It's called context, which is relevant to determining whether Franken's conduct was "assault". If everyone in the vicinity is clowning around in a sexual way, Franken's clowning is not any more assault than Tweeden's. Pretending that her conduct has no relevance whatsoever to the atmosphere surrounding the allegations seems to me to be an overcorrection.

Also, wonkie's points are well taken.

Implying that Tweeden was in any way complicit merely by being professionally sexy on stage is neither coherent nor helpful.Implying that Tweeden was in any way complicit merely by being professionally sexy on stage is neither coherent nor helpful.

It also reveals an enormous lack of awareness of what the acting profession entails. As the Count noted (10:20), lots of folks in Hollywood had real personalities very different from their stage persona. In a variety of directions. (And we haven't even gotten into the male leads who turned out to be gay.)

In short, assuming someone who is "professionally sexy on stage" is somehow like that off stage is wrong. As anyone who has ever worked in the theater (even community theater!) or movies is aware.

I can't link on the MEpad, but it looks like the rump administration and the Republican Party just stuck their gang-raping diseased members up the ass of the Census Bureau in order to forever steal elections and let 14 year old cracker white republicans vote in exchange for no sex whatsoever.

Link to an article about the Census Bureau.

In short, assuming someone who is "professionally sexy on stage" is somehow like that off stage is wrong.

Maybe, but if they are so puritanical in real life that a bawdy photo of someone pretending to grab their breasts is going to set them over the edge, then they should probably rethink their career.

Here is the thing.

I believe that in the course of everyday existence people do things that are inappropriate. Sexual interaction is a part of our lives and unlikely to become less. Men have been tasked, culturally, with being the aggressors in sexual affairs for a long time. That is and has been changing but, it is still largely true.

In that environment men need to know how to instantly take no for an answer, but women need to understand that certain things, (a pat on the butt, an innuendo misplaced, an over aggressive kiss) may or may not be from a misinterpreted signal even if they never gave one. Most important, no is a definitive line that once crossed invalidates all excuses or need for understanding.

I suspect from my limited understanding that many of the perpetrators on the scale from Franken to Trump, short of Moore, thought they had or were seeking permission, and were being granted it by silence.

So, yes, women don't get to act any way they want without potentially being misinterpreted, that misinterpretation does not last beyond no.

And the line will be grey in the everyday interactions between even normally aware and conscientious people so some amount of leeway for the initial action should be granted.

Well Shit

Just kinda idly searching for some of the freelance writers I follow intermittently and who move from outlet to outlet I see that Sam Kriss, a British socialist I liked a lot has f'd up and been nailed. I expect very few of you would recognize the name. Damn.

Here's a sample from his blog. Iron Law of Online Abuse

In other news of pervert people obscure, the mangaka of Rurouni Kenshin has been arrested in Japan for picture of real live little kids on harddrives. The manga/anime fandom is aghast.

In short, assuming someone who is "professionally sexy on stage" is somehow like that off stage is wrong. As anyone who has ever worked in the theater (even community theater!) or movies is aware.

Or as I think anyone ought to be able to infer from common sense. Thank you.

Take that clip with Tweeden and Robin Williams, part and parcel of Tweeden's 'enjoyment of sexually loaded play' if we are being led true.

Except here's what I actually saw: It cuts in with Tweeden and and Williams already on stage together, extremely close, with Williams' arm looped all the way around Tweedens waist in a very...friendly manner, his head almost resting on her shoulder, while Tweeden stands straight. As she finishes her introduction, and starts to step back, Williams appears to initiate a parting hug, and goes for a kiss on her cheek. Tweeden rolls with that, stepping in and wrapping her leg around while they embrace.

This last move is a good show, and clearly plays very well with the audience, despite looking a little bit awkward.

But how either of them felt about it, if anything, or what happened before or after, if anything, is, AFAIK, anyone's guess. I don't think we've heard any accounts of that, or even the general back stage atmosphere*. For all we know she waited for Williams to come back and then cussed him out for being too handsy. (Or wanted to but didn't -- because Robin Williams.) Or maybe he cussed her out for crawling all over him. Or maybe it was all real, and as soon as she got Williams alone, she slammed him up against a wall and finished that kiss properly. Or maybe it was all just acting on all sides, forgotten almost as soon as it happened. Any of this is perfectly consistent with the documentary evidence available.

So who knows? Not us. Which is kind of the point.

---
* I actually tend to view the airplane photo as a better point of departure for imagining whatever behind the scenes clowning might have been going on. Much better than anything on stage, which by its nature offers very little insight. Strictly speaking though, it's only evidence of Franken clowning.

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