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Post by Guest on Thu Jan 08, 2015 10:48 am

reboot wrote:Many of the men who posted here said that they feared being creepy because it would cause "egregious harm" as a woman who has been creepy on occasion, I feared being annoying, being disliked, getting on someone's nerves, etc but not of harming the men (and women - creepy behavior can occur in platonic interactions). My theory is that it is the lack of fear caused by a woman being creepy vs a man. The creeping by women is more akin to a gnat buzzing around an ear vs a man creeping that might be closer to....I dunno a growling dog? (do not love this analogy - improvements welcome).

I was thinking that a woman creepy would be like a centipede on your face, whereas a guy creepy is like a lurching figure in the dark. Both definitely creepy, both definitely DO NOT WANT, both with an element of grossed out, but the centipede on your face is both more quantifiable (whereas you don't know what the creepy guy is going to turn into if you explore) and less potentially dangerous (though there is some risk -- are some centipedes poisonous?) and potentially dangerous in a way you're less likely to take seriously.

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Post by celette482 on Thu Jan 08, 2015 11:08 am

I have four points

A. Empathy is a thing that is learned, not born with. It grows with time and practice

b. One way to improve empathy is through the consumption of media, since it forces you to ponder life through another's eyes (if I were a wizard, i would not have put up with that BS from the Dursleys for very long)

c. Non-default humans have more *incentive* (never said ability) to grow their empathy because society rewards them for being able to understand the pov of the default human (white male etc etc etc). It can help their safety, it can help their progress through society

d. Non-default humans have more *opportunity* to grow their empathy because the majority of Western media features white male protags.

Incentive and opportunity do not equal innate ability. Ignorant (in the sense that it is the result of being uninformed and can be ameliorated) could be the word I am looking for. But in no way did I mean (or say) that this was an innate characteristic. In fact, the Theory of the Mind point is that all humans are inherently NOT innately empathetic.
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Post by Mel on Thu Jan 08, 2015 11:35 am

nearly_takuan wrote:It just seemed to me that that particular line was trying to say this isn't a gender-coded problem after all. You've convinced me that confidence in one's own rightness is not necessarily a shield against insecurity (which would be of social benefit), but it still seems to me that there's some kind of qualitative difference between an unsuccessful man's experience and an unsuccessful woman's—one of them being the order in which "get to know someone" and "apply knowledge correctly for the specific person" typically occurs. So I think there may still be a place for a movement that, for lack of better phrasing, prioritizes men's problems.

Apologies if this is terse: I spent quite a while writing a reply and then had the browser eat it.

1. I think it's unfair to suggest that my saying "I don't think theory of mind means women are more socially competent" (which I only addressed because you were telling me I thought the opposite, not because I think it's especially relevant to the overall topic of the thread) means I was saying men don't face gender-coded social problems. I acknowledged that men face more pressure to approach. I also spent the second of the two paragraphs in that post emphasizing to the guys here that I support them in bringing up this issue of gender-coded social anxiety. I'm not sure how it would make sense for me to do that if I didn't believe said anxiety exists.

2. You are mischaracterizing what I said about "insight" and related ideas. I didn't say anything regarding "confidence in one's own rightness" and that is not how I see it at all. I could go into a long explanation trying to clarify exactly what I do believe on the subject of theory of mind, but given how you have responded to the last person who answered your direct request for similar clarification, I don't want to assume that you'd like me to offer one spontaneously. I will assure you, at least, that I don't think any particular person or group of people is stupid or that this has anything to do with who experiences social anxiety or how badly.

3. I also think it's unfair to imply that I in any way suggested there isn't a place for a movement addressing men's issues. That topic hadn't come up at all in the discussion between me and you until you mentioned it just now. If you'd asked me, I would have told you I don't just think there "may" be a place for such a movement, I think it'd be a great thing for men to form a movement to constructively address men's gender issues. And I'm pretty sure I have explicitly said as much in previous threads (not that I expect you to remember this, but if you wanted to confirm that I held this opinion before you brought it up).

I'm starting to feel that no matter what I say, it'll be assumed I'm being hostile or dismissive to the guys here, so I think I'd better step back now. I'd rather contribute nothing further than contribute anything that makes people feel further attacked. I do apologize for any lack of clarity in my comments.
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Post by nearly_takuan on Thu Jan 08, 2015 12:18 pm

Mel wrote:I think it's unfair to suggest that my saying "I don't think theory of mind means women are more socially competent" (which I only addressed because you were telling me I thought the opposite, not because I think it's especially relevant to the overall topic of the thread) means I was saying men don't face gender-coded social problems. I acknowledged that men face more pressure to approach. I also spent the second of the two paragraphs in that post emphasizing to the guys here that I support them in bringing up this issue of gender-coded social anxiety. I'm not sure how it would make sense for me to do that if I didn't believe said anxiety exists.

It seems we've both been reading things into each other's posts beyond what was intended. I believe I started off attempting to explain why I feel like others judge men to be at a social disadvantage compared to women, which have to do with the way I see myself and the way I've seen men and women describe themselves. To me, your response came across as saying that because non-gendered factors can produce similar results, and because everyone is uncertain of strangers' thoughts, it's unreasonable for me to feel like I have to work extra hard to prove my social competence in public (again, the "work extra hard" isn't necessarily coming from an actual impairment—though that certainly wouldn't help—but just baseline expectations and assumptions people start with, such as the idea that men haven't learned empathy).

Mel wrote:You are mischaracterizing what I said about "insight" and related ideas. I didn't say anything regarding "confidence in one's own rightness" and that is not how I see it at all. I could go into a long explanation trying to clarify exactly what I do believe on the subject of theory of mind, but given how you have responded to the last person who answered your direct request for similar clarification, I don't want to assume that you'd like me to offer one spontaneously. I will assure you, at least, that I don't think any particular person or group of people is stupid or that this has anything to do with who experiences social anxiety or how badly.

I know you were not directly arguing anything about confidence in one's own rightness, but I think you were displaying some by claiming to have insight while also claiming I (and other men) are less likely to have insight. This seemed particularly odd when most of the questions coming up in this thread had to do with why men do certain irrational things or hold certain irrational beliefs. So I said your argument convinced me of something, even though that wasn't exactly what you intended to argue.

Mel wrote:I also think it's unfair to imply that I in any way suggested there isn't a place for a movement addressing men's issues. That topic hadn't come up at all in the discussion between me and you until you mentioned it just now. If you'd asked me, I would have told you I don't just think there "may" be a place for such a movement, I think it'd be a great thing for men to form a movement to constructively address men's gender issues.

Yes, you and several others have actually been quite clear on this and other points. Not everything I say is expressed in disagreement, or only toward a single individual, even if it starts as a reply to something one person said. I apologize for failing to indicate when I'm not furiously disagreeing with others. I also apologize for snarky wording that probably further confused the issue; the subject does frustrate me, but for reasons I'm pretty sure we've already been warned against mentioning, so I can't really elaborate beyond this.

As a more general point and concession: I think a pretty wide variety of topics is relevant here (and elsewhere) because, like the many simultaneous conversations we have going on these forums at any given time, it's all connected. (I'm gonna pin newspaper clippings to a corkboard and hang yarn over everything. Wink ) So on re-reads, I can see how it may appear I'm changing the subject a lot; in some ways, I am, because by the time I get around to revisiting a topic, I'm usually thinking about it from a different angle. I'll try to make the subject(s) I'm focusing on come across more clearly in the future.

Mel wrote:I'd rather contribute nothing further than contribute anything that makes people feel further attacked. I do apologize for any lack of clarity in my comments.

For the same reason, I've already withheld other thoughts since this thread's inception and will do my best to avoid further comment in this thread.


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Post by reboot on Thu Jan 08, 2015 12:19 pm

azazel wrote:
So much yes!

Funny, I couldn't articulate my own theory very well, but here you are stealing words from my mouth.
I also agree it's quite insulting to women that they're on one hand delicate flowers, and on the other hand considered completely incapable of doing a man harm, but that's society for ya.

ElizaJane wrote:

I was thinking that a woman creepy would be like a centipede on your face, whereas a guy creepy is like a lurching figure in the dark.  Both definitely creepy, both definitely DO NOT WANT, both with an element of grossed out, but the centipede on your face is both more quantifiable (whereas you don't know what the creepy guy is going to turn into if you explore) and less potentially dangerous (though there is some risk -- are some centipedes poisonous?) and potentially dangerous in a way you're less likely to take seriously.

Yay! My fuzzy headed jogging musings were not totally crackpot!!

So when we are talking about being creepy men and women who have been creeps are talking about different situations because the person being creeped upon (if they are of a different gender - same sex is a whole different ballgame) is going to have a different threat assessment (and by the way, love the centipede vs dark looming figure parallel).

So, the question is, what do we do with this insight? Men probably ought to be more fearful of women who creep, but it is going to take a lot of highly publicized bad outcomes and personal experience with harm to make that happen and I do not want to advocate more women committing acts of rape, murder, assault, etc as a way to even out the risk and make men as cautious as women. Men can do some things to reduce the fear in women by being allies, being conscious of problematic behavior when they witness it, publicly condemning said behavior, believing women when they speak of harm, etc but that is going to be a long term process and one hampered by other men who are going to continue to instill fear.

So what can we do to help men who absolutely do not want to harm women in the here and now, while still calling out and trying to reduce overall harm caused by some men?

One idea I have is coming up with sexual harassment training that incorporates harassers of all genders and sexualities so that heterosexual men do not feel as targeted and addressing same sex harassment at the same time. My work's sexual harassment program is like this, but it only came about because of a harassment situation where a lesbian boss was harassing a lesbian employee. Without that impetus for change and the fact that most of our managers are women, it would likely be only male on female harassment.

Any other ideas?
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Post by azazel on Thu Jan 08, 2015 1:17 pm

reboot wrote:
Yay! My fuzzy headed jogging musings were not totally crackpot!!

So when we are talking about being creepy men and women who have been creeps are talking about different situations because the person being creeped upon (if they are of a different gender - same sex is a whole different ballgame) is going to have a different threat assessment (and by the way, love the centipede vs dark looming figure parallel).

So, the question is, what do we do with this insight? Men probably ought to be more fearful of women who creep, but it is going to take a lot of highly publicized bad outcomes and personal experience with harm to make that happen and I do not want to advocate more women committing acts of rape, murder, assault, etc as a way to even out the risk and make men as cautious as women. Men can do some things to reduce the fear in women by being allies, being conscious of problematic behavior when they witness it, publicly condemning said behavior, believing women when they speak of harm, etc but that is going to be a long term process and one hampered by other men who are going to continue to instill fear.

So what can we do to help men who absolutely do not want to harm women in the here and now, while still calling out and trying to reduce overall harm caused by some men?

One idea I have is coming up with sexual harassment training that incorporates harassers of all genders and sexualities so that heterosexual men do not feel as targeted and addressing same sex harassment at the same time. My work's sexual harassment program is like this, but it only came about because of a harassment situation where a lesbian boss was harassing a lesbian employee. Without that impetus for change and the fact that most of our managers are women, it would likely be only male on female harassment.

Any other ideas?

I think it's a great idea to change up sexual harassment in the way you describe, or actually discuss these topics at SexEd in high school!
(Off topic, but I'm suddenly remembering we only heard "telling a guy you're not ready is totally okay", while I don't think we really heard "if the other person isn't ready, don't be pushy", huh. The sudden realizations about how crappy a "progressive" school still was that these topics bring are sometimes a bit uncomfortable.)

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Post by reboundstudent on Thu Jan 08, 2015 1:43 pm

reboot wrote:

Many of the men who posted here said that they feared being creepy because it would cause "egregious harm" as a woman who has been creepy on occasion, I feared being annoying, being disliked, getting on someone's nerves, etc but not of harming the men (and women - creepy behavior can occur in platonic interactions). My theory is that it is the lack of fear caused by a woman being creepy vs a man. The creeping by women is more akin to a gnat buzzing around an ear vs a man creeping that might be closer to....I dunno a growling dog? (do not love this analogy - improvements welcome).

Reading through the responses from guys here, I'm actually wondering if maybe "creepy" just isn't an equivalent word between men and women. The way guys here talking about their feelings around "creepy" sound much more similar to how women relate to being called "crazy."

I have been called creepy, and I have been called crazy. Creepy bothers and upsets me, but it's also not something that I necessarily fear in the same way guys do. Crazy, on the other hand, oh yeah. I am constantly on edge around guys making sure I am not acting in any 'crazy' way. 'Crazy' also socially haunted me in a way creepy never did.

I think I've mentioned the story, right, where bad stuff went down with my very first boyfriend? 5 years later, I was working with a new coworker who finally connected how he knew me. "Ohhhh, you're that crazy ex." To this day, that story still makes my heart drop.

I learned last year that a group of ex-friends of mine were reading my posts on Dr. NL, and copy/pasting particular passages to share with each other and laugh over what a "crazy b-word" I am. I've tried to hold my head up and push past it, but whenever meeting a new acquaintance out in the Nerd World, I am terrified that they know this group of ex-friends and have heard stories of me.

"Crazy" is a word that it seems I can never fully scrub myself of, regardless of how hard I police my behavior, and carries with it a lot of shame and guilt and sadness over the idea that I've harmed someone or acted so inexcusably to have earned that label. I've heard other women relay similar stories about the "crazy label." Maybe that's a better equivalent?
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Post by OneTrueGuest on Thu Jan 08, 2015 1:51 pm

I think that could very well be a good equivalent RBS.  I'll also note that both you and NT have said similar things and that I think it really needs to be highlighted.  NT said he feared being creepy because he feared causing egregious harm to women.  Except that when he dove further into it in a follow up post it turned out he was less concerned about causing harm to women, but what harm socially it would be to HIM.  Ditto RBS's concern about "crazy".  It seems to me a big part of the concern is about us being labeled in a way that makes our lives miserable.  Which is a massive concern and one I share (trust me, the way I cry all the time, I'm terrified of the reputation that I've gotten for that).  But I think it's important to acknowledge it isn't all about being a good person and not harming others, it's about not harming ourselves.  Our reputations.  The end result of being creepy or crazy isn't that the other person is egregiously harmed beyond repair.  The end result is that our reputations could possibly be egregiously harmed beyond repair.  And that's a difference that matters.

ETA: I need to make it very clear that I think NT and RBS also don't want to cause harm to others, I'm not saying that they don't, I'm just saying that there's also a big part of it that is about not doing harm to themselves. And ditto with me too. I'm not excluded from this exact situation.

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Post by Caffeinated on Thu Jan 08, 2015 1:57 pm

reboot wrote:
One idea I have is coming up with sexual harassment training that incorporates harassers of all genders and sexualities so that heterosexual men do not feel as targeted and addressing same sex harassment at the same time. My work's sexual harassment program is like this, but it only came about because of a harassment situation where a lesbian boss was harassing a lesbian employee. Without that impetus for change and the fact that most of our managers are women, it would likely be only male on female harassment.

Any other ideas?

Maybe strengthen the ties in the way we address sexual harassment and assault and non-sexual types of bullying. One of the things that I've seen brought up as an effective measure against bullying and against sexual assault (though I don't know for certain either way about sexual harassment) is bystander intervention. I think it would improve the world in general to push a message of speaking up when you see someone being mistreated.
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Post by Hirundo Bos on Thu Jan 08, 2015 4:07 pm

reboot wrote:
So what can we do to help men who absolutely do not want to harm women in the here and now, while still calling out and trying to reduce overall harm caused by some men?

As I mentioned before, I'm someone who have made a lot of progress with this lately. I am so much less afraid now that I'll stumble around and end up doing something creepy, intrusive, inapropriate, or harmful. A main reason is that I'm more confident in my ability to avoid doing those things. I have aquired skills, I have experienced improvement, I have become just a little bit braver when I engage with people.

While I don't quite know how to make these things work for others, I have a fair notion of what it is I have learned, and I'll try to put some of it into words.

* I have learned to rely on general ways to interact, rather than on specifc rules of conduct, because as others have said in this thread, it is impossible to know exactly what willl make a person uncomfortable. That's not to say that there aren't any rules, but in addition to learning each rule, I have come to a better understanding of why they are there at all. It has made me better at improvisation.

Things like empathy, theory of mind, hearing other people's experiences have been an important part of understanding why, and I have found a lot of resources for that on this site.

(For me, this means that others "calling out and trying to reduce harm" have increased, rather than decreased my own confidence about these things, I'm not sure of all the ways in why it works for me that way; not sure of why I'm able to see, say, the elevator thing as a data point for improvement rather than as a reminder of all the mistakes I have still to make.)

* I have identified and defined specific social skills I need, and asked for advice on them from people around me (not the least from you people here). I haven't gotten around to specific flirting skills yet, but I have become better at asking conversational questions, better at keeping in touch with friends, better with asking or accepting, less wary about offering help to others... skills that are not only useful in themselves, they also lead to more social interactions, and opportunities to get even better calibration.

* One important example is how I set out to practice how to walk away from a situation. Before, one of my greater fears was that I wouldn't notice when I had gone too far, or I'd notice, but be too overwhelmed by emotion to disengage. In therapy, we identified the need for this skill, and began to talk about how I could get some practice with it. Then – and I talked about this on the old forums – got into an argument with some people that were mean to a homeless guy. And I managed to say just what needed to be said, and then walk away. I managed to withstand the (very strong) need to turn around for just one more shot, and... walked away.

After repeating this excercise a number of time (mostly by staying completely out of this or that stupid debate on Twitter, or shutting up when I'm told the discussion is over), I have become more confident that I can do the same thing when I find out I'm doing something creepy.

* I have worked a lot to become more conscious about my own boundaries – where they are, how I maintain them, what emotions are a signal that they're threatened. This has made me more conscious about the boundaries of others.

It has also made me feel more relaxed around people, and freed up mental resources for other social skills.

* One thing I have left to learn, is how to distinguish between "egregious harm", and "unfortunate, but recoverable mistake," or rather how to get a sense of where on the continuum between the two a given mistake would fall... So I can go out in the world and avoid the former completely, but still be able to risk and learn from the latter. I may, at some point, start a thread about something like that.
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Post by Dan_Brodribb on Thu Jan 08, 2015 4:17 pm

If I understand what reboot and others are saying, it's the threat of potential physical violence that makes men's creepiness scarier than women's creepiness?

And reboundstudent and OneTrueGuest see an equivalent between men's fear of being labelled creepy by women with women's fear of being labelled in "crazy" by men because for both the label carries an unspoken message of "DANGER: STAY AWAY" to the gender the label-ee is attracted to?

I also really liked everything Hirundo Bos wrote, especially this part.

Hirundo Bos wrote:
* One thing I have left to learn, is how to distinguish between "egregious harm", and "unfortunate, but recoverable mistake," or rather how to get a sense of where on the continuum between the two a given mistake would fall... So I can go out in the world and avoid the former completely, but still be able to risk and learn from the latter. I may, at some point, start a thread about something like that.
[/quote]


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Post by Caffeinated on Thu Jan 08, 2015 4:51 pm

Hirundo Bos wrote:
reboot wrote:
So what can we do to help men who absolutely do not want to harm women in the here and now, while still calling out and trying to reduce overall harm caused by some men?

As I mentioned before, I'm someone who have made a lot of progress with this lately. I am so much less afraid now that I'll stumble around and end up doing something creepy, intrusive, inapropriate, or harmful. A main reason is that I'm more confident in my ability to avoid doing those things. I have aquired skills, I have experienced improvement, I have become just a little bit braver when I engage with people.

While I don't quite know how to make these things work for others, I have a fair notion of what it is I have learned, and I'll try to put some of it into words.

* I have learned to rely on general ways to interact, rather than on specifc rules of conduct, because as others have said in this thread, it is impossible to know exactly what willl make a person uncomfortable. That's not to say that there aren't any rules, but in addition to learning each rule, I have come to a better understanding of why they are there at all. It has made me better at improvisation.

Things like empathy, theory of mind, hearing other people's experiences have been an important part of understanding why, and I have found a lot of resources for that on this site.

(For me, this means that others "calling out and trying to reduce harm" have increased, rather than decreased my own confidence about these things, I'm not sure of all the ways in why it works for me that way; not sure of why I'm able to see, say, the elevator thing as a data point for improvement rather than as a reminder of all the mistakes I have still to make.)

* I have identified and defined specific social skills I need, and asked for advice on them from people around me (not the least from you people here). I haven't gotten around to specific flirting skills yet, but I have become better at asking conversational questions, better at keeping in touch with friends, better with asking or accepting, less wary about offering help to others... skills that are not only useful in themselves, they also lead to more social interactions, and opportunities to get even better calibration.

* One important example is how I set out to practice how to walk away from a situation. Before, one of my greater fears was that I wouldn't notice when I had gone too far, or I'd notice, but be too overwhelmed by emotion to disengage. In therapy, we identified the need for this skill, and began to talk about how I could get some practice with it. Then – and I talked about this on the old forums – got into an argument with some people that were mean to a homeless guy. And I managed to say just what needed to be said, and then walk away. I managed to withstand the (very strong) need to turn around for just one more shot, and... walked away.

After repeating this excercise a number of time (mostly by staying completely out of this or that stupid debate on Twitter, or shutting up when I'm told the discussion is over), I have become more confident that I can do the same thing when I find out I'm doing something creepy.

* I have worked a lot to become more conscious about my own boundaries – where they are, how I maintain them, what emotions are a signal that they're threatened. This has made me more conscious about the boundaries of others.

It has also made me feel more relaxed around people, and freed up mental resources for other social skills.

* One thing I have left to learn, is how to distinguish between "egregious harm", and "unfortunate, but recoverable mistake," or rather how to get a sense of where on the continuum between the two a given mistake would fall... So I can go out in the world and avoid the former completely, but still be able to risk and learn from the latter. I may, at some point, start a thread about something like that.

That's some really great stuff you've done, Hirundo Bos. I like how organized and systematic it is. I think my favorite is the one about working to become more conscious about your own boundaries. I think that's such a valuable thing for people to do, and I think there are many messages in our culture telling various people they shouldn't.

Reading into some of the things some of the guys have posted in this thread, I would hazard a guess that there are messages in our culture specifically telling nerdy men they shouldn't have their own boundaries. (I don't have to guess about whether there are messages telling women not to have boundaries, as a woman I'm very aware of those kind of messages.) But in particular, it sounds like some nerdy men are hearing that women get to have boundaries to keep men away, but that men don't get to have their own boundaries when it comes to women. I'm thinking, for example, of a comment earlier in the thread about being hugged without permission but feeling afraid that of doing something wrong in the hug and being creepy. Which, you know, people should be able to set a boundary about whether they want to be hugged, and when, and by whom, and if you tell someone you're not up for a hug, it's on them to respect that boundary. There's no rule that anything a woman does to a man is automatically ok. But, does it seem like such a rule does exist?
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Post by Gentleman Johnny on Thu Jan 08, 2015 5:04 pm

I think that comes a lot from scarcity mentality. If this woman is you ONLY chance to avoid being Alone Forever, of course you can't have much in the way of boundaries. Its similar to the "women have all the power" argument in that guys who use it tend to lose track of the fact that they're allowed to walk away just as much as the woman in the situation is.

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Post by azazel on Thu Jan 08, 2015 5:36 pm

Caffeinated wrote:Reading into some of the things some of the guys have posted in this thread, I would hazard a guess that there are messages in our culture specifically telling nerdy men they shouldn't have their own boundaries. (I don't have to guess about whether there are messages telling women not to have boundaries, as a woman I'm very aware of those kind of messages.) But in particular, it sounds like some nerdy men are hearing that women get to have boundaries to keep men away, but that men don't get to have their own boundaries when it comes to women. I'm thinking, for example, of a comment earlier in the thread about being hugged without permission but feeling afraid that of doing something wrong in the hug and being creepy. Which, you know, people should be able to set a boundary about whether they want to be hugged, and when, and by whom, and if you tell someone you're not up for a hug, it's on them to respect that boundary. There's no rule that anything a woman does to a man is automatically ok. But, does it seem like such a rule does exist?

There was a really creepy thread on Reddit about how women flirt, where also an example was provided of a girl "sleepwalking" into a guy's bed and starting to suck him off while he was asleep, and the only thing going through his mind was "OMG she's going to think I raped her if I wake her up!".

You have no idea how... insulted certain women are when you greet them with a handshake instead of a hug. That is, if they give you the chance to react and not just force you into a hug.

You learn from a young age that refusing physical contact with a woman means you're not a Real Man, which is dangerous to let people know, I assure you. But you're also learned that physical contact with women is dangerous, so they're really learning you to keep licking the electric fence.

Gentleman Johnny wrote:I think that comes a lot from scarcity mentality. If this woman is you ONLY chance to avoid being Alone Forever, of course you can't have much in the way of boundaries. Its similar to the "women have all the power" argument in that guys who use it tend to lose track of the fact that they're allowed to walk away just as much as the woman in the situation is.

Wait wuuut? Where does this comes from? O_o
I'd appreciate it if you didn't just conjure up motivations for why I feel like I can have no boundaries, thank you very much, if I gave no indication of anything even remotely resembling your theory.

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Post by eselle28 on Thu Jan 08, 2015 5:52 pm

azazel wrote:
Gentleman Johnny wrote:I think that comes a lot from scarcity mentality. If this woman is you ONLY chance to avoid being Alone Forever, of course you can't have much in the way of boundaries. Its similar to the "women have all the power" argument in that guys who use it tend to lose track of the fact that they're allowed to walk away just as much as the woman in the situation is.

Wait wuuut? Where does this comes from? O_o
I'd appreciate it if you didn't just conjure up motivations for why I feel like I can have no boundaries, thank you very much, if I gave no indication of anything even remotely resembling your theory.

GJ doesn't appear to have been replying to you. This is a general discussion thread, not a specific discussion of your anxieties. I think a good faith reading would be that GJ is talking about his own experiences or those of other men he may know.


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Post by The Wisp on Thu Jan 08, 2015 5:52 pm

I think GJ was making a claim about one of the reasons that many men feel that way, but not why you feel that way specifically.

EDIT: Eselle beat me to it.
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Post by Caffeinated on Thu Jan 08, 2015 6:01 pm

azazel wrote:
Caffeinated wrote:Reading into some of the things some of the guys have posted in this thread, I would hazard a guess that there are messages in our culture specifically telling nerdy men they shouldn't have their own boundaries. (I don't have to guess about whether there are messages telling women not to have boundaries, as a woman I'm very aware of those kind of messages.) But in particular, it sounds like some nerdy men are hearing that women get to have boundaries to keep men away, but that men don't get to have their own boundaries when it comes to women. I'm thinking, for example, of a comment earlier in the thread about being hugged without permission but feeling afraid that of doing something wrong in the hug and being creepy. Which, you know, people should be able to set a boundary about whether they want to be hugged, and when, and by whom, and if you tell someone you're not up for a hug, it's on them to respect that boundary. There's no rule that anything a woman does to a man is automatically ok. But, does it seem like such a rule does exist?

There was a really creepy thread on Reddit about how women flirt, where also an example was provided of a girl "sleepwalking" into a guy's bed and starting to suck him off while he was asleep, and the only thing going through his mind was "OMG she's going to think I raped her if I wake her up!".

You have no idea how... insulted certain women are when you greet them with a handshake instead of a hug. That is, if they give you the chance to react and not just force you into a hug.

You learn from a young age that refusing physical contact with a woman means you're not a Real Man, which is dangerous to let people know, I assure you. But you're also learned that physical contact with women is dangerous, so they're really learning you to keep licking the electric fence.

Wow, that Reddit thing, that is so messed up.

And the being forced into hugs thing, yuck. I'm not a hugger, except in very particular, very close relationships, and it drives me up the wall how much pressure there is to hug people. But I think that, since I'm a woman, I maybe have a little more leeway in not hugging. At least, in not hugging men, because it seems to be the protocol that women are expected to initiate the hugging, so if I don't go in for the hug with a male acquaintance, he doesn't either. Female acquaintances though, I always have to navigate the 'do we have to hug' thing.
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Post by azazel on Thu Jan 08, 2015 6:22 pm

eselle28 wrote:
GJ doesn't appear to have been replying to you. This is a general discussion thread, not a specific discussion of your anxieties. I think a good faith reading would be that GJ is talking about his own experiences or those of other men he may know.

Remember that thread where a new poster suddenly decided that he knew how attraction works for most women (if not, http://nerdlounge.canadian-forum.com/t320p75-adv-discis-it-insecurity-if-it-s-true)? He even used the weasel word "most", which I see no mention off here.

Just mentioning this in the hope you can empathize with how GJ's post made me feel. I can either parse it as a direct response to me, which makes it annoying, or I can parse it as an incredible generalization that denies my experiences which is even more annoying. So in my point of view, I'm already reading it in the best faith I can.

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Post by Guest on Thu Jan 08, 2015 6:33 pm

Caffeinated wrote:I think that, since I'm a woman, I maybe have a little more leeway in not hugging. At least, in not hugging men, because it seems to be the protocol that women are expected to initiate the hugging, so if I don't go in for the hug with a male acquaintance, he doesn't either. Female acquaintances though, I always have to navigate the 'do we have to hug' thing.

I have definitely been pushed into hugs by a lot of guys, so I'm not sure whether that's universally applicable.  I will own that my discomfort with those situations is probably more socially acceptable than a man's discomfort with an unwanted hug from a woman.

EDIT: And I think we probably DO get a lot more hugs than men do as a rule, because of the female-to-female hug issue. In my experience, not many men will hug each other, but women do hugs to other women a LOT. And it is sometimes uncomfortable.


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Post by reboundstudent on Thu Jan 08, 2015 6:35 pm

Caffeinated wrote:
Wow, that Reddit thing, that is so messed up.

Yeah, those threads have always made me very uncomfortable. There was a particular thread where guys were telling stories about when they were oblivious to female attention; one poster talked about how he had no idea a girl liked him until she got in the shower with him. What the freaking hell? What was particularly sad to me was that so many of the stories had this strange mix of "Letters to Penthouse" alongside "I don't feel comfortable with this, but I don't think I'm allowed to say no or admit it."

The impression I got from a lot of these sorts of Reddit threads is similar to what GJ was saying; a lot of them believe they have few to no opportunities with women, and so have to "take" attention whenever it's given to them, even if it's potentially unwelcome, uncomfortable, or straight-up assault. I unfortunately find people (both women and men) who still endorse assault-like behaviors to ladies as a way to hit on men. For example, if a guy doesn't seem to be noticing your signals, "just grab him and kiss him!"

No. No no no no, you do not invade someone else's personal space without an invitation. You certainly don't use a stereotype of a gender's "obliviousness" (Oh guys just can't read body language, tra la!) as justification. Super gross. I sincerely hope we can soon advance to the point where we recognize that it is okay for guys to have and express boundaries.

I've tried to push back on the occasions where I've seen it, but it's tough to drown out the chorus of "Well I'd love if a woman did that to me!"
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Post by eselle28 on Thu Jan 08, 2015 6:42 pm

azazel wrote:
eselle28 wrote:
GJ doesn't appear to have been replying to you. This is a general discussion thread, not a specific discussion of your anxieties. I think a good faith reading would be that GJ is talking about his own experiences or those of other men he may know.

Remember that thread where a new poster suddenly decided that he knew how attraction works for most women (if not, http://nerdlounge.canadian-forum.com/t320p75-adv-discis-it-insecurity-if-it-s-true)? He even used the weasel word "most", which I see no mention off here.

Just mentioning this in the hope you can empathize with how GJ's post made me feel. I can either parse it as a direct response to me, which makes it annoying, or I can parse it as an incredible generalization that denies my experiences which is even more annoying. So in my point of view, I'm already reading it in the best faith I can.

<mod hat>This is a thread started by someone else and about a topic of general interest. You are free to disagree with people's claims about how they experience various pressures and anxieties, to add your own to the list, or to tell others that you feel hurt by their statements. You are not free to direct all discussion of a problem that several men here have said affects them so that it focuses on your specific feelings and experiences. If you wish to limit discussion to that extent and cannot participate in good faith past that point, you may start an additional thread.</modhat>
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Post by Caffeinated on Thu Jan 08, 2015 7:02 pm

ElizaJane wrote:
Caffeinated wrote:I think that, since I'm a woman, I maybe have a little more leeway in not hugging. At least, in not hugging men, because it seems to be the protocol that women are expected to initiate the hugging, so if I don't go in for the hug with a male acquaintance, he doesn't either. Female acquaintances though, I always have to navigate the 'do we have to hug' thing.

I have definitely been pushed into hugs by a lot of guys, so I'm not sure whether that's universally applicable.  I will own that my discomfort with those situations is probably more socially acceptable than a man's discomfort with an unwanted hug from a woman.

EDIT: And I think we probably DO get a lot more hugs than men do as a rule, because of the female-to-female hug issue.  In my experience, not many men will hug each other, but women do hugs to other women a LOT.  And it is sometimes uncomfortable.

Hmm, maybe it's a regional thing too. I've definitely noticed differences in how insistent people are about hugging when living in different places.
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Post by Caffeinated on Thu Jan 08, 2015 7:05 pm

reboundstudent wrote:
Caffeinated wrote:
Wow, that Reddit thing, that is so messed up.

Yeah, those threads have always made me very uncomfortable. There was a particular thread where guys were telling stories about when they were oblivious to female attention; one poster talked about how he had no idea a girl liked him until she got in the shower with him. What the freaking hell? What was particularly sad to me was that so many of the stories had this strange mix of "Letters to Penthouse" alongside "I don't feel comfortable with this, but I don't think I'm allowed to say no or admit it."

The impression I got from a lot of these sorts of Reddit threads is similar to what GJ was saying; a lot of them believe they have few to no opportunities with women, and so have to "take" attention whenever it's given to them, even if it's potentially unwelcome, uncomfortable, or straight-up assault. I unfortunately find people (both women and men) who still endorse assault-like behaviors to ladies as a way to hit on men. For example, if a guy doesn't seem to be noticing your signals, "just grab him and kiss him!"

No. No no no no, you do not invade someone else's personal space without an invitation. You certainly don't use a stereotype of a gender's "obliviousness" (Oh guys just can't read body language, tra la!) as justification. Super gross. I sincerely hope we can soon advance to the point where we recognize that it is okay for guys to have and express boundaries.      

I've tried to push back on the occasions where I've seen it, but it's tough to drown out the chorus of "Well I'd love if a woman did that to me!"

It seems like those "he's not reading my signals" moments would be a great place to try some of the kind of direct communication like "may I kiss you". Less assault and grossness, but still something that I assume would be greeted with the "Well I'd love if a woman did that to me!" chorus. Using words, it's like magic. And boundaries, also magic.
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Post by azazel on Thu Jan 08, 2015 7:08 pm

eselle28 wrote:
<mod hat>This is a thread started by someone else and about a topic of general interest. You are free to disagree with people's claims about how they experience various pressures and anxieties, to add your own to the list, or to tell others that you feel hurt by their statements. You are not free to direct all discussion of a problem that several men here have said affects them so that it focuses on your specific feelings and experiences. If you wish to limit discussion to that extent and cannot participate in good faith past that point, you may start an additional thread.</modhat>

So... generalizing about groups of women is bad, generalizing about groups of men is a-okay.
Glad we cleared that up. Or did you give GJ a warning too as Nolorn did that he shouldn't extrapolate personal experiences to global truth?

I really don't know why I let myself be lured into this thread again. Enjoy theorizing with each other and circlejerking how well your theory of mind is developed, while I go cool down with all the other False Scottsmen, who don't exist, really.

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Post by Robjection on Thu Jan 08, 2015 7:17 pm

azazel wrote:
eselle28 wrote:
<mod hat>This is a thread started by someone else and about a topic of general interest. You are free to disagree with people's claims about how they experience various pressures and anxieties, to add your own to the list, or to tell others that you feel hurt by their statements. You are not free to direct all discussion of a problem that several men here have said affects them so that it focuses on your specific feelings and experiences. If you wish to limit discussion to that extent and cannot participate in good faith past that point, you may start an additional thread.</modhat>

So... generalizing about groups of women is bad, generalizing about groups of men is a-okay.
Glad we cleared that up. Or did you give GJ a warning too as Nolorn did that he shouldn't extrapolate personal experiences to global truth?
Can you please quote what GJ said that you feel merited this warning?

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