Out From Under the Umbrella

playing in the rain

Can the Frogs Get Out of the Pot?

131 Comments

In my last post I talked about the excesses of male privilege. It might have come across that I’m averse to affection. That couldn’t be farther from the truth. I’m a hugger. I like to give hugs and get hugs – appropriate hugs. I don’t care if you’re a man or a woman.

The trouble is casual sexism and misogyny often go overlooked. Women look the other way when there are catcalls on the street. Or when they’re told to, “smile, it’ll get better.” Or when the joke is at the expense of their gender. All because they don’t want to appear as though they don’t have a sense of humor, or can’t take a joke, or a compliment, for that matter.

A compliment is: “That’s a nice dress”. A man who works here in the office with me told me one day that I always dress so classy. I didn’t take that as a pass. He wasn’t looking me up and down. I didn’t get the impression he was undressing me with his eyes. I didn’t think it sexist or misogynist. I politely smiled and said thank you. Because, yes, I can take a compliment.

Not only can women take compliments, but we do, indeed, appreciate appropriate affection. Appropriate affection can be a touch on the shoulder – not a massage. Touch and move on. It’s nice to know a person cares about you. An affectionate greeting with a small, friendly, hug is appropriate. Sliding your hands below the waist down to the small of a woman’s back and not letting go is not a friendly greeting.

I know that what a person looks like is the first thing we notice as human beings, but don’t rate us solely on that score alone. We’re tired of comparing ourselves to airbrushed Victoria’s Secret models and trying to live up to unrealistic expectations. We look in the mirror everyday and instead of seeing beauty we see flaws.

To the men out there, you no longer need to wield a club and drag a woman by her hair to your cave. We aren’t pieces of meat on display at the market. We aren’t property to be claimed. Think about the scenarios in which you are involved. If it were happening in the reverse would it be uncomfortable? Creepy? Inappropriate? If it would be then it’s uncomfortable, creepy and inappropriate. Period.

To the women out there, it’s time for us to stop glossing over misogyny and laughing along with sexist jokes. When we do that we’re only sending the message that it’s okay; that it doesn’t bother us; that we accept unequal treatment.  We perpetuate misogyny and sexism when we seek to profit from it. We need to send the clear message that inequality is a problem and we’re not going to take it anymore.

Casual sexism and misogyny may not seem ‘that bad’.  It doesn’t have to be ‘that bad’ to be wrong.  Isn’t inequality a good enough reason to address these issues and make them better?  It is the only way we’ll ever climb out of the pot of boiling water.

I do see progress over where we were even twenty years ago.  It is slow, but it is progress.  Sometimes, though, it seems like two steps forward and one step back.  Thank you to all the male readers who expressed concern and compassion over these issues.  Perhaps there is hope after all.

Well, this sermon hasn’t been three points and a prayer, but how about a poll(thanks for the idea, Roughseasinthemed) and a song?

 

I also want to open up the comment section, not only to discussion about the content of the post, but to any woman who would like to share her story.  Not to make any men uncomfortable, but sometimes it helps just to be able to share it, even anonymously.

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131 thoughts on “Can the Frogs Get Out of the Pot?

  1. I called someone out the other day on FB (a man who I thought wasn’t sexist) because he posted an image with a message that people need to take off their pink shirts and man up when being bullied. I told him that I thought it was inappropriate because he was basically comparing weakness to being female. I got raked over the coals. I was also told I was being too sensitive.

    I am reminded of this quote:

    “What’s the worst possible thing you can call a woman? Don’t hold back, now.
    You’re probably thinking of words like slut, whore, bitch, cunt (I told you not to hold back!), skank.

    Okay, now, what are the worst things you can call a guy? Fag, girl, bitch, pussy. I’ve even heard the term “mangina.”

    Notice anything? The worst thing you can call a girl is a girl. The worst thing you can call a guy is a girl. Being a woman is the ultimate insult. Now tell me that’s not royally fucked up.” ― Jessica Valenti

    Liked by 6 people

  2. Of course, if you don’t know what misogyny or sexism is, how do you know whether you know what it is? You might think you know what is.

    Anyways, as I didn’t want to write stories on the last post, here are a couple.

    As a sixth former we had two history teachers, one was young and good looking. We were chatting generally in class and she told us about how she’d been walking in the city centre and someone had commented about her breasts and promptly grabbed them.

    A year or so later, I was at university walking through the park, and a dog came up and nuzzled my backside. That was ok, I’d been brought up with dogs. It didn’t even freak me out. I looked round for the dog. There wasn’t one. Just a man running off … I don’t think a word of my 11 o’clock lecture sank in. Because, it was a big park, and often very quiet. You know what it’s like to be a woman when you think, thank goodness that’s all he did.

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  3. Pingback: Mr, Mrs, Miss, Dr. But … no Ms? | Clouds moving in

  4. Yup. All starts in The Garden. (I need a puke emoticon.)

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Oh, too many to mention. I remember being harassed by some random slimy idiot on the street in Paris when I was in my 20s. When I was clearly less than interested he launched into an aggressive tirade that seemed to just stop short of violence about who the fuck did I think I was, Claudia Shiffer? Because clearly only supermodels can say no to men. I’ll try not to go on one of my ‘men are disgusting’ rants.

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  6. Well said and great post Ruth. Yes, some folks should get with the program and realise we don’t live in the middle ages anymore. If there’s one thing that I hate, it’s people that makes personal and sexist comments about another person, whether male or female and I hate jokes about things like that as well. It’s like Victoria said – when you do stand up for yourself or others in cases like this, you are being told you’re ‘sensitive’. To hell with that! No one has the right to make a sexual remark or attack another on his/her person. My stepfather was like that. It’s humiliating and disgusting.

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    • Am I too sensitive? Very well, then, I’m too sensitive.

      I don’t remember my dad being like that, but my ex-husband and my ex-father-in-law certainly were. Disgusting, indeed.

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      • I totally agree Ruth and if they can’t accept us like that, too bad for them.

        Well said hon. Disgusting indeed!

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        • I can remember my ex-father-in-law making lewd comments about his step-daughter when she wasn’t in earshot. Made me want to toss my cookie.

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          • My FiL tried that one day and I let him have it – never again. The day I stood up to my step-father and started attacking him personally, he was furious and told me it’s rude to say something like that. I said to him : ‘And what you’re doing and saying to me is not? Duh!’ He didn’t talk to me for months. I was very glad for that. 😈

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  7. I’ve taken a few days to contemplate my comment. And it shows. HAH! 😛

    So much of the problem lies in parenting and the family environment passed down over generations. I want to offer a slightly different angle to this subject and its manifestations in adolescence and into adulthood. One perspective will be from a woman’s, ex-girlfriends of mine, and the other from my own perspective based on my paternal grandparents then my father. This is of course just one perspective but with perhaps a wide theme in American culture, particularly in the South.

    I have dated long-term 2-3 women who came from conservative-to-ultra-conservative parenting, i.e. Christian-based homes. All but one of those women were taught and raised to be a living example of a “Proverbs 31 Woman.” The one girlfriend who wasn’t was encouraged by her dad to go to nursing school and become a nurse, which she did. This sort of widespread rearing and teaching SETS UP a woman not just to be very dependent on a man to survive, but also sets up subsequent risks for other types of dominant/submission social dynamics, including misogyny and sexism. If one does a study of the popular “Proverbs 31 Woman” throughout America, especially the South, it is clear that the edicts place a woman at a social and household DISADVANTAGE! The longer she abides by these biblical virtues, the harder it becomes for her to escape both economically and socially. Two of those ex-girlfriends are now in their late 40’s and because their parents did NOT encourage them to get Bachelors or Master’s degrees (just wedding rings or diplomas), they are struggling horribly to make it on their own. Ironically, they always have 5-10 men (wealthy men) lined up to date them & soon marry them. I could write two or three posts on the dysfunctions of their love-lives because MOST of the men (Southern men?) that seek to date them explicitely or implicitely view them as Chinadolls, or arm-candy. I feel the focus of their Proverbs 31-parenting has played a HUGE part in their love struggles!

    Growing up in Texas and spending a majority of my life throughout the Southern U.S., I have learned that I am a minority, an exception in the South, with regard to viewing and treating women, and I don’t mean that egotistically. Seriously. Why?

    My father (the oldest of five) grew up in a verbally and physically abusive home where my grandfather sometimes beat my grandmother, often verbally abused her, and my Dad and his closest brother had to step-in to protect my grandmother from getting seriously hurt! This continued from a young age until my father left for university. When my father had his own family, he made it vehemently clear that NO SUCH ABUSE OF WOMEN would ever take place in his home! Dad made it his sworn duty that his son not only would never TOUCH a woman in anger, but he would also treat her with the upmost care, attention, and chivalry possible! He DID NOT FAIL. On the otherside of that coin, in high school and all throughout college, girls labeled me overly sweet and non-aggressive, sometimes TOO passive. Take it from me, that’s not necessarily a great label. During my 30’s I had to bring that pendulum back but not to the other extreme; a LOT of redefining took place. Why? Because many women thought I was too passive, which they saw as a probable weakness in life-wife-family protection financially and socially.

    So… is there a happy medium? Obviously sexism and misogyny are wrong and the dispicable extreme. But is nice and sweet to the point of toothache the answer, where those men often get overlooked and passed by? What should parents teach their sons and daughters? What do women value most in men or a man!??? 🙂

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    • Good, grief, you’re taking thoughts right out of my head, man! My next post was going to ask some of these very questions because it can be so very confusing and I want to get male and female perspectives.

      As an aside: What I value most in a mate is honesty, kindness, and partnership(equality).

      Liked by 2 people

    • I also noted you were the only man who has weighed in to this point. But this was intended to be a conversation starter and I think you’ve done an incredible job of framing your questions to do just that.

      As to the Proverbs 31 woman: I kind of disagree about it setting women up to need a man to take care of them. The woman in that story is busy out buying a field, having it planted, starting a business enterprise, trading all on her own and nowhere does it say she asked her husband’s permission to do it. Nowhere does it say her only task is taking care of her husband and family(though these are certainly addressed). It’s clear she has her own interests and ambitions. It is clear she could be independent.

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      • Ruth, your points are valid for sure. I find when I’m listening to Fundy Xians talking about the biblical virtuous wife, they FREELY jump between 8th century BCE Levant-region scriptural context and 21st century Western contexts…which I find to be impossible. Yes, it is pretty well-known in the scholarly communiities that during Antiquity in the Levant women held higher social status than what eventually transpired after Paulian theology and the Roman Vatican (with Emperor Constantine) pushed, enforced, and amputated from older Judeo-Jerusalem dynamics that gave women (Mary Magdalene?) much more equal status. Your interpretation of the Proverbs 31 woman is more accurate, IMO, than today’s popular Fundy interpretation. One of those ex-girlfriends of mine was raised Seventh Day Adventist, if that helps in clarifying my 21st century female perspective. 🙂

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        • I was raised Southern Baptist and the interpretation isn’t much different. It was only after I left the faith that I looked at the scripture in a much different light.

          Your ex-girlfriend’s interpretation is pretty standard.

          Liked by 1 person

          • That ex-girlfriend was the “black sheep” of her family; still is to this day. And it wasn’t her interpretation, it was how her step-dad and mother TRIED to raise her. Unfortunately, because of that teaching she never pursued any education beyond a high school diploma, she got married the 1st time at 18 to get out of the house as fast as possible! She got pregnant weeks later. LOL

            And here’s a delightful wrench to throw into this discussion… 😈

            She was also one of the WILDEST freaks in and out of the bedroom, and when she quickly discovered I was a BDSM Top of 20+ years (at the time), she was insatiable with the lifestyle; still is today. LOL 😉

            So perhaps I might have some perspective to throw on this subject? 😛

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        • “One of those ex-girlfriends of mine was raised Seventh Day Adventist, if that helps in clarifying my 21st century female perspective.”

          Which girlfriend was raised SDA? The one who went to nursing school? I joined the SDA and was quite active. It was the last church I was involved in before I deconverted. One of the things that attracted me to the SDA was that they encouraged women to be in leadership roles except in the home, of course. Typical Christianity.

          “Two of those ex-girlfriends are now in their late 40’s and because their parents did NOT encourage them to get Bachelors or Master’s degrees (just wedding rings or diplomas), they are struggling horribly to make it on their own.”

          When I was in high school, I was in the top 10 percent of my class. I excelled in science, but I was never once encouraged to go to college by my guidance counselor or teachers. In fact, they really pushed the home economics classes on me. From jr. high to high school, I had taken 5 home economics classes. So, it wasn’t just their parents who didn’t encourage them to go to college.

          OK Professor, you are going to hate me right now, but I must be honest here. I know I have been sexist before and didn’t realize it. But because this has happened twice in the last month I am going to bring it up. When you tease a woman about putting something in her drink so that you can have your way with them, that can scare the chit out of a woman even when you come across as jesting.

          Both times you brought that up, jokingly, I had a trigger. But I got so pissed at myself, afterwords, for not calling you out on it and just going along with it, joking back. I felt like I’d betrayed myself, and other women who have had roofies put in their drinks, my sister included. I don’t think you meant any harm, but it just goes to show you how conditioned our society is to turn something has horrific as date rape drugs into a joke.

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          • OK Professor, you are going to hate me right now, but I must be honest here. I know I have been sexist before and didn’t realize it. But because this has happened twice in the last month I am going to bring it up. When you tease a woman about putting something in her drink so that you can have your way with them, that can scare the chit out of a woman even when you come across as jesting.

            Were both of these instances elsewhere? I’ve read over his comments here and I’m not seeing that.

            Both times you brought that up, jokingly, I had a trigger. But I got so pissed at myself, afterwords, for not calling you out on it and just going along with it, joking back. I felt like I’d betrayed myself, and other women who have had roofies put in their drinks, my sister included. I don’t think you meant any harm, but it just goes to show you how conditioned our society is to turn something has horrific as date rape drugs into a joke.

            This is exactly what I’m talking about. We’re either desensitized to it or we’re taught to just laugh it off. Date rape isn’t funny.

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          • “Were both of these instances elsewhere?”

            Yes. Once in V-chat and another time on FB. The first time I responded jokenly, the second time I did not but still didn’t call him out on it, which made me even more pissed at myself. I’ve no doubt that the Professor has a good heart and would never actually do that. It was all due to me not being into the BDSM nor did I ever want to be, and especially a sub/bottom, which we’ve (he and I) discussed at length, and he jokingly said:

            “Awww, as a token of my peace, let us fill our goblets for a very “advantageous” acquaintence, and drink my “special relaxing” concoction. You may just find yourself in a…….
            …let’s say, different position. 😈 (cheers!)”

            My response was “I make it a habit to not drink from a goblet offered to me by men with a diabolical motive.” About a week later, after thinking about it a lot, I deleted the second part of my comment (the joking part) about having a sippy cup to make sure he didn’t slip anything into it.

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  8. Wow. Okay, please give me a moment (and the initial respect?) to clarify some things that have been stated here. This could potentially escalate out of control and my integrity seriously challenged! So please give me some time to formulate my response to Victoria and indirectly all other women here….

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    • Please do clarify. If there has been some miscommunication clarification is certainly in order.

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      • I am Ruth. Objectively Victoria knows me well enough to know that I’d NEVER even consider purchasing GHP or Rohypnol in the first place; it’s illegal. There are all sorts of serious ramifications right there! Second, I’ve explained enough to her about our “charged” bantering due to our juxtaposed lifestyles… 95% of it ends up being a subtle power-struggle where I will and always have humbly bowed to her deserved & confident position regarding BDSM or about sexism/misogyny, and those too often get erroneously maligned as simiilar or the same thing.

        Nevertheless, let me better formulate my complete response. 🙂

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    • Thank you, and I’m sorry for putting you in a position to have to defend yourself. It’s just that this kind of joking around is quite common — and ever since Ruth brought it up about us being either desensitized to it or we’re taught to just laugh it off really hit home for me — and I am guilty of just laughing it off among those I’ve become friends with. It gets damn confusing sometimes.

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      • Much of this is on the fly and done in haste so with that it should be understood that misunderstandings & miscommunication increases.

        I think using some other male as an example would have made your point better and certainly more necessary than using me and our “joking” subtle power struggle conversations. The reality is that I would NEVER do anything that you didn’t consent to first. Now verbal gesting that unintentionally hurts DOES INDEED need to be communicated and changed; I wish you had immediately done that AND expressed the seriousness of your triggers! I deal with those triggers often due to the very problem we’re discussing and the very MEN I despise for understandablly causing such extreme yet natural fight-or-flight reactions. Extremes either way are typically bad in general. I am an advocate for awareness, understanding of these problems, I divulge them freely when appropriate, ESPECIALLY awareness of date-rape drugs and their intention, BUT Victoria, do I really know all the gory details of your abusive past with men? Do I REALLY know the extent of your triggers? How quickly should you divulge that seriousness to me? Was THIS the best way?

        Now, HOW do I explain adequately in a format like this to people here, women especially, that date-rape drugs, sexism, misogyny, etc, etc, all goes against every fiber of my being, let alone completely against how my father raised me… and stay true and open to myself and my lifestyles??? Is there enough time and patience from readers for me to sufficiently explain myself and my true honor? I wonder.

        Next I will address the reason for my unintended triggering. Geezzz, with my psych/A&D background had I known that was off limits, I wouldn’t have even brought it up at all. But silence is usually NOT the best solution either. To be continued…

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        • Professor, even if I didn’t have bad experiences with men, and even though I believe you would never actually do that, it still seemed inappropriate (from my perspective) for you to jest about it. When you jested about it again I got confused.

          For clarification, this conversation is not about you being “raw” and open about BDSM or your other chosen lifestyles. It’s about your two comments joking about slipping something into my drink so that I would be more inclined to yield to your ways. I did question whether I was being too sensitive about all this. But Ruth’s post confirmed that I wasn’t. I’m more disappointed in myself than I am in you, Professor.

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          • Then I apologize Victoria for the harm or initial disillusionment I caused you by my “triggering”. It was seriously only meant in context of our power-struggle game. Sometimes I can go too far with my proking, I’m aware of this. It won’t happen again. :/

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      • Also, I think it pertinent to note that just by me EXPOSING myself like this…RAW…has to say something of value?????

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  9. It gets damn confusing sometimes.

    Amen and amen. For both sexes!

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  10. Why I joked about ficticiously slipping something into Victoria’s fictional drink and why my “triggering” had the wrong effect:

    First, what was said as Victoria stated above…
    “Awww, as a token of my peace, let us fill our goblets for a very “advantageous” acquaintence, and drink my “special relaxing” concoction. You may just find yourself in a…….
    …let’s say, different position. 😈 (cheers!)”

    I stated that because frequently Victoria, you do not hesitate to challenge me & my lifestyles, which is fine and I enjoy being challenged. No harm done. Note that I did not specifically state any date-rape drug; it could have easily been “special relaxing” wine, which often makes anyone change their physical position. 😀 But honestly, I was fine with that being interpreted also to mean date-rape drug, which would imply that — in our power struggles — one way or another (verbally) I will not change who I am and the lifestyles I am part of because of your unfortunate background caused by OTHER MEN. I am the furtherest thing from those men in innumerable ways. Please understand I do not say that to diminish in any way what you’ve been through Victoria, or any other women! Please know that! As a sidenote, it might be worth stating too that I have never and still do not have any criminal record, ever! Squeeky clean except for speeding tickets.

    Why did my triggering have the wrong effect? Is it because I did not know the full extent of Victoria’s trauma? Is a lack of appropriate full disclosure to blame here? How fast should personal traumas be concisely conveyed??? Is that communication safer over the internet than live in-person, in a semi-public or private setting!??? 🙂

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    • Should I comment here? This seems like perhaps it should have been a private conversation, though I do not know how private the initial conversation was.

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      • I agree Ruth, but here we are with it. LOL

        However, it does have its relevance at LEAST in all the initial unknowns, articulation, disclosure questions, expectations, and unearned liberties, etc.

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        • Okay, well, I’m going to dive in and call you both out.

          Victoria,

          I realize that because of the nature of this post it probably bolstered your courage to say something to Professor Taboo(which I applaud because this is the type of thing that should be addressed). However, since he had not said those things in this comment thread it did lay him open to all sorts of conclusions by people who had not been privvy to the initial conversations. Perhaps a private email or addressing this issue on the threads where they occurred might have been a better choice. I do commend you for taking him to task on it. Just maybe not the way in which you did it.

          Professor Taboo,

          Having been laid open and raw here, I’ll throw my two cents in. Regardless of whatever “subtle power struggle” exists between you and Victoria or any other woman, even joking about either getting a woman drunk or drugging her(because when I read the text I did think your concoction could just be alcohol as it lowers inhibitions), really would be a cause for concern. It’s scary. I think you should know that. Also, regardless of the manner in which it was done, when it was pointed out to you it seems you are defending your use of such rather than recognizing that even in the absence of any abuse or trauma that might be perceived as a veiled threat. I’m not attempting to challenge your character. I’m attempting to challenge your thinking. Personal traumas and abuses need not be concisely conveyed to recognize that some things might just be better off not said at all in any setting.

          This is my two cents. You get what you pay for.

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          • Ruth, I should have addressed the Professor on my blog where the first quote was taken from. I acted impulsively due to the nature of this post and the Professor’s reply. This kind of jesting is so common and I don’t think guys realize how disconcerting it is to even joke about it, even if they would never do it.

            Professor, I have sent you an email with a snippet of our private chat session we had on FB. I think you will understand why I took it that you didn’t just mean wine in the above comment I quoted from my blog. And for clarification, I know you were jesting. It’s just not something anyone should jest about.

            I apologize for bring all this up here.

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          • I’m not upset that you are discussing this here. My thinking was that since it was brought up in a forum where the initial conversations had not taken place that the Professor might have been caught off-guard and, obviously not realizing the effects of his words, its impact and effectiveness lost. Instead of really contemplating the nature of what you are addressing he might feel the need(and understandably so) to defend his character to people who had no other knowledge of the situation.

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          • Those are worthy two-cents Ruth. Thank you. I humbly accept my reprimands. Also, thank you for pointing out the pointlessness of challenging my character. If you knew the entire context of the history of our blog-friendship (Victoria’s and I), you’d see that despite this hickup, our communication is uncommonly forthright and open; some conservatives might even be appalled by its bluntness. For both of us, I think Victoria would agree, and select others it is 98% of the time REFRESHING! I’ll go even further here by saying this: if many more males and females communicated the way we did, I’m sure there would be untold amounts of clarification, nurtured maturity, and MORE introspection. 🙂

            But we both know that’s not real world. Too many socially and/or personally imposed reservations and unspoken feelings and fears occur between men and women, and then as parents the risky timidness gets taught (or not) to their children and adolescents. Alcohol is not always a bad thing to help facilitate such adult communication and honesty. Two of my ex-girlfriends (the SDA woman included) OFTEN referred to alcohol as the “truth serum” in a good way. In other words, due to their childhood oppressions in a Fundy or religious home, it gave them the necessary inhibition push to open up their deeper heart. In that context, lower inhibitions are a good thing. A person’s TRUE character usually comes out when inhibitions are lowered. I find that good. And on the contrary, I find sometimes too many are overly reserved and timid causing psychological (and physical?) damages sooner or later socially. This doesn’t mean become reckless, however, and not in control of your behavior and words.

            You said, “…some things might just be better off not said at all in any setting.” Yes and no.

            Yes, in that if liberties have not been first earned through trust and sufficient history, then absolutely leave them unsaid! If the liberties HAVE BEEN earned through much trust and plenty of history, then more often than not, the interaction is quite healthy, stimulating, and bonding between a couple.

            I now know clearly that the level-of-comfort I thought Victoria and I had established is NOT as much as I had previously concluded. Now thankfully, I do. 🙂

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          • “I now know clearly that the level-of-comfort I thought Victoria and I had established is NOT as much as I had previously concluded. Now thankfully, I do. :)”

            Again, please know that this isn’t about BDSM or your character. I think you realize by now after reading the email with our FB chat conversation that no matter how much open communication we may have between us, there are boundaries we should never cross even when it’s done in a joking way. I know many men that I consider my friends who still don’t realize that they say inappropriate things because they are generally not be called out on it (especially by other men), and because it’s so common in our culture — socially accepted behavior.

            Thank you for your understanding. 🙂

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          • Then what we’ve been doing here is one small part in changing that social behavior! For that, I’m ECSTATIC to be a part of it even if I appear to be the current Piñata! 😉 😛

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          • If one chooses to lower their own inhibitions in order to do something they want to do but are afraid of then I heartily agree. But that wasn’t what you were implying. You were implying that it was you who would coerce them into lowering their inhibitions through alcohol or drugs. Do you see the distinction there?

            I’m being perfectly honest when I tell you that I know men quite well who I think wouldn’t do things of this nature. However if any of them said something like that to me it would stick in the back of my head and I would be more guarded around them. This has absolutely nothing to do with any particular lifestyle. Victoria and I are trying to point out to you that women actually do face this on a daily basis. Men who they never thought capable of such doing the unthinkable.

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          • As I mentioned in another one of these threads (spreading out everywhere – lol), I incorrectly thought Victoria and I had a level-of-comfort to gest about my maniacal ways of FICTICIOUSLY coercing her over to “the Darkside” that deep down MIGHT be hidden down there, but where in reality being well over 400 miles apart, could NEVER happen. Victoria equates the BDSM lifestyle to Christianity, which I feel is erroneous. I feel there are many areas in the human psyche many of us are too afraid to explore or confront. But that’s me. Would I say something like that to you Ruth, or a semi-stranger? CERTAINLY NOT! Never. So you both might ask WHY then did I say it to Victoria?

            Again, I had misjudged our level-of-comfort and literal distance. But it was my (twisted?) way of putting fear into a task of changing me back to a vanilla man; it won’t happen. The dynamic benefits in my intimate romantic relationships, that actually have resulted due to the lifestyle, have been spectacular for both her and myself, and all done perfectly legally. Victoria and I have shared some very vulnerable, heart-wrenching, intense facts and stories about each other with each other. I mistakenly, and as it turns out wrongly, took that comfort-level as a liberty to joke about a GENERAL subject that should never be joked about. Am I making any sense, or just making my already big Piñata bigger for more vicious sticks!? LOL

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          • I don’t necessarily think that Victoria is equating the BDSM lifestyle to Christianity. She is simply stating that, for her, it triggers feelings of the submission she was exposed to in Christianity.

            Again, even when you have someone’s complete trust there are lines which shouldn’t be crossed. Having a person’s trust isn’t a carte blanche invitation to do or say whatever we want to. Some of the most traumatic events are due to abuse of trust.

            You are making sense with your explanation. I’m not trying to whack you with the pinata stick. I’m just trying to get you to see another viewpoint.

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          • I don’t necessarily think that Victoria is equating the BDSM lifestyle to Christianity. She is simply stating that, for her, it triggers feelings of the submission she was exposed to in Christianity.

            Ahh, when put that way it properly compartmentalizes the two subjects with more distinguishable parameters.

            even when you have someone’s complete trust there are lines which shouldn’t be crossed. Having a person’s trust isn’t a carte blanche invitation to do or say whatever we want to.

            Yes Ruth, but much further defining is needed even with that generally agreed upon statement. For instance, in my last BDSM relationship — I was the Top, she the bottom — after four years doing “scenes” together in the lifestyle, both publically in a dungeon & privately, she readily admitted to me and others this:
            I trust him with my life.
            That was/is a MASSIVE responsibility for me to uphold and I take it, took it unbelievably serious like I do being the father of my own two kids! Her explanation to others about why she trusted me to that extent was how I earned it from her. As Victoria can attest, my father taught me the DEEPEST meaning of trust & how deadly serious its value is and its cost! He was pretty extreme with it in the end.

            Thank you SO MUCH Ruth for allowing us all this extensive discussion! ❤

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          • That was/is a MASSIVE responsibility for me to uphold and I take it, took it unbelievably serious like I do being the father of my own two kids! Her explanation to others about why she trusted me to that extent was how I earned it from her. As Victoria can attest, my father taught me the DEEPEST meaning of trust & how deadly serious its value is and its cost! He was pretty extreme with it in the end.

            Perhaps we are talking past one another here. The issue isn’t so much about your trustworthiness. It has little or nothing to do with your personal character or integrity. It’s not even about you, really. It is about defining what is and is not acceptable treatment of women. It is about putting yourself in another’s shoes for just a fraction of a second. I have read enough to know that you know how to do that. Imagine that you’re a woman. Imagine that you are faced with the reality that there are men – men who you would trust with your life – who would abuse that trust with a foolish decision to suit his own ends. Imagine that there are a lot of those men in this world, men who try to and do earn the trust of women for the very purpose of abusing them. Imagine it for a minute. After you’ve done that do you think you’d find it funny to jest about it?

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          • WHAT!? IT ISN’T ABOUT ME!? 😮

            Yes Ruth, everything you’ve stated is true and relevant to the bigger picture: “what is and is not acceptable treatment of women.” This needs to be clearly defined in all circumstances face-to-face, over the internet, over phone conversations, etc. Are our current state or federal harassment laws adequate? Clearly male social-etiquette is lacking, in some cases horrendously! Do I find it funny to jest about? To a total stranger? No. To someone I’ve known several hours? No. To someone I’ve known a few weeks? No. To someone I know very well over many months? Perhaps; depends on the conversation and the person. I grew up around and tend to gravitate toward and get along (well) with people/women who can dish it out as well as take it… we actually ENJOY the teasing and poking. Not everyone is like that. Obviously, I need more refined discernment in how to raise or approach the subject. And to be more forthright, I absolutely have a deviant side; won’t deny it. However, given my upbringing I know exactly what 90% of the do-not-cross-boundaries are — I’ve just stepped into the unchartered 10%: via the internet today. 😮

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          • LOL — now you know how I feel, Professor, with your assumptions that I have some “dark, hidden” desire to be submissive to you in your dungeon. Bop, bop, bop. Almost two years and counting. 😛 😉 😀

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          • Alrighty then. I won’t bother bringing up the taboo subject anymore unless you want to. 🙂

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          • Thank you. 🙂

            As an aside — while your moniker my be intended to be sarcastic sprinkled with truth about perception, from a psychological perspective, you may be inadvertently reinforcing the BDSM sigma.

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          • You might be correct Victoria. Though I’ve been speaking (theoretically) two different “languages” for 25+ years, I’m always learning a slightly newer sensitivity to the stigma; it will likely always be that way as long as BDSM is considered taboo in America. But that will not stop me from being outspoken about misconceptions and S.S.C. BDSM, or Safe Sane Consensual (and legal) BDSM. My fight is mostly with the Right and pious extremists who want to control other people’s bedroom activities! 😈 Not you, thank goodness! 😉 😛

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          • “I incorrectly thought Victoria and I had a level-of-comfort to gest about my maniacal ways of FICTICIOUSLY coercing her over to “the Darkside” that deep down MIGHT be hidden down there, but where in reality being well over 400 miles apart, could NEVER happen. Victoria equates the BDSM lifestyle to Christianity, which I feel is erroneous. “

            Regarding my equating the BDSM lifestyle to Christianity, Ruth did clarify what I meant. Goodness knows I’ve tried to be open-minded about all this for quite some time and have tried to get past my own discomfort when you would bring the subject up, which was often, ; _ I believe I went the distance in understanding for the sake of our friendship, considering that I can still get triggers, which I made you aware of early last year after reading one of your posts. I’m just not sure it sunk in, until perhaps now after this discussion.

            With regard to you believing that we had a level-of-comfort about “ficticiously” coercing me over to “the darkside”, a conversation which took place over a couple of days, and was quite extensive’ it was being read by other readers on a public blog.

            Anyway, it’s water under the bridge now. Oh, and one last note: I’m sure you are well aware that 400 miles is a drop in the bucket in this day and age, if I told you that I was ready to visit your dungeon, you would find a way to make that possible. Am I right? 😀

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          • My reference to having a level-of-comfort/trust was to our phone conversations. 🙂

            If you stated you were ready to visit a dungeon with me, no… I would not immediately put you in the car and go. I’m too experienced with first-timers to know that isn’t the best introduction. Given our lengthy open phone conversations & other correspondence, I fully realize that it my permanently traumatize you. 😉 Honestly, the ribbing about it is one thing, actually doing it — and doing it adequately in real-life — are completely different! So no, I would not be overly quick to get you to one. I’d be very hesitant and cautious. 🙂

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          • I’m sure you would be very hesitant and cautious, but I didn’t say you would “immediately” put me in a car. My point was that your point about the 400 miles being a barrier was not the best argument to make. 😉

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          • Being over 400 miles away presents a plethora of obstacles in my mind. The biggest would be the R.O.I. to use a financial term — i.e. Return On Investment. All sorts of preconditions would and SHOULD be determined first to decide whether the expense of 400+ miles is wise and feasible. 🙂

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          • “Return on investment”

            Ouch. Screw friendship. No pun intended. 😛

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          • OMG WOMAN! YOU ARE EXHAUSTING SOMETIMES!!! Geeezzzz. *bangs head on table repeatedly!*

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          • OMG WOMAN! YOU ARE EXHAUSTING SOMETIMES!!! Geeezzzz. *bangs head on table repeatedly!*

            Now you know how it feels from my perspective with regard to you bringing up the BDSM subject with me, jesting or otherwise, on a regular basis. 😉

            Glad we got this all worked out. 🙂

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          • Yes, clear and firm boundaries are good and 95% of the time to be respected by those closest to you. 🙂

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          • For clarification — I meant to write, “if you were to meet up with me in my state.” When we had the discussion, you were thinking of other ways of making it worth your while (ROI) to visit me in my own state besides just meeting up for solely friendship reasons.

            I think we were cut from two separate clothes when it comes to that. I’ve been very fortunate to have friends through the years, both male and female, from all over the country who’ve gone to the expense to visit me for just that reason. Friendship, and not it wasn’t “friends with benefits”. 😉 😛

            Alright. Stop banging your head. I’ll shut up.

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          • LMAO — I meant to write “two separate cloths” not “clothes” 😀

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          • Hmmm, platonic visiting trips, platonic friendships, I am VERY familiar with and extensively experienced in that art! 😀

            However, other aspects of those dynamics when the platonic friend is/was married could be a LENGTHY intensive and entirely new post! I’ve been incorrectly labeled as a “threat” (to their marriage) and correctly as a “beneficial third.” When I have a long-term female partner, we are most definitely viewed as “highly beneficial” couple for a number of reasons… but not in the closed rigid vanilla world! LOL 😉

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          • Btw, I would have paid my own way, thank you very much. 😉 Again, my point was that 400 miles doesn’t mean squat as a barrier whether it’s related to meeting up because of friendship or for any other reason. I did bring that to your attention during a phone conversation we had when you were trying to think of a ROI if you were to meet me based solely on friendship. But I digress again. So what’s new.

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          • Not everything is valued monetarily. 😉

            I have mentioned that a get-together once a year, twice a year(?), of several of us like-minded… umm, for lack of a better term, “liberals”(?) would be VERY fun!

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  11. “I stated that because frequently Victoria, you do not hesitate to challenge me & my lifestyles, which is fine and I enjoy being challenged. “

    Right, and I recall you saying you were very patient as if to mean that you would eventually convince me — that I would eventually be persuaded by you. Basically, it was you continually bring up BDSM, and doing the challenging. I’m only stating this here (due to your reply) for clarification as a Christian woman, my husband believed that he had permission from god and the Bible to rule over me (dominate) whether it was in the bedroom or not, and expecting me to be submissive, whether it was in the bedroom or not. My point being — because I lived this in reality, it wasn’t on my bucket list to engage BDSM activity (and especially as a sub) in a fantasy. I’m pretty sure I made that clear. For you, its therapy. For me, its a reminder of one of the things I hated about Christianity.

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    • I am “very patient” in my platonic friendships and more so in committed relationships for many reasons, but here (or when I stated that to you) it means — I MUST be very very patient with those who know little about the BDSM lifestyle other than the common stigmas unfairly associated to it by abuse-groups and Hollywood, e.g. 50 Shades. Equating the Christian life to BDSM is a huge leap Victoria. As someone in it for 25+ years in different parts of the world, that equation is a square-peg in a round hole. 🙂

      There’s plenty more I should address, but for the sake of Ruth’s comments and post, I think it’s best to conclude our personal discussions… unless Ruth feels it is beneficial.

      Thank you Ruth for your patience with us two! LOL 😛

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      • I understand, Professor. I’m pretty sure I made it clear to you that I spent hours reading all the data you shared with me about the lifestyle, and I do think I have a fairly good understanding of your lifestyle after viewing the videos and reading the research. I even posted (in your honor) the psychological research that did not show it in a negative light. I didn’t condemn you or the lifestyle. I said “to each his/her own several times. I only reiterated like a thousand times that it just wasn’t for me, lol. 😛

        But again, this isn’t about BDSM or your character. This is about saying inappropriate things, often at the expense of women, and we, as a society, sweep it under the rug for any number of reasons.

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        • But again, this isn’t about BDSM or your character. This is about saying inappropriate things, often at the expense of women, and we, as a society, sweep it under the rug for any number of reasons.

          I addressed the “saying of inappropriate things” up above to Ruth. BDSM is indirectly relevant & connected because it is the context of the “inappropriate things” said. For first time readers here it could easily be made about my character BECAUSE of my alternative lifestyles, much like LGBT’s must deal with in society. So even though you and Ruth don’t feel it has anything to do with BDSM and character, it is critical to me that the mainstream world, or the vanilla world (to use a BDSM term) is presented with a correct impression — much like I was able to offer you Victoria as you mentioned — of the lifestyle and character… as it is all unnecessarily “Taboo”.

          Silence is not good. And “fear stifles, courage fulfills.” 😀

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          • Professor, thank you for clarifying your perspective. It’s just that by you incorporating that very comment to me (about putting something “relaxing” in my goblet) in with the conversation about BDSM, you kind of set yourself up for people to make that assumption.

            However, inappropriate language, joking or otherwise, as noted in the OP should be considered taboo, but it’s generally not.

            Btw, I was in the middle of writing my reply to your initial reply at 10:30 AM here (that did not include you bringing up the BDSM lifestyle) and was not aware at the time that my comment would fall under the comment (at 11:18) you made which included BDSM. I didn’t notice your comment until after I had posted.

            Again, I apologize for putting you in an uncomfortable position (no pun intended :razz:), and for any misunderstandings and assumptions about your character I may have caused by my comments. Thank you understanding in seeing it from a woman’s perspective, and for your willingness to engage in further dialog here.

            Liked by 1 person

          • Well, heartfelt, honest, open communication between men & women can sometimes be on the Endangered Species List if not already extinct! I don’t care to be one of those statistics! 😛

            As uncomfortable as this entire discussion has been for me — it is EXACTLY why I took so long in deciding if I even wanted to comment given my person, my lifestyles! — I stuck it out for the sake of a male perspective, and to be one of the first male genie “pinata” pigs that would probably stick his foot in his mouth too! My biggest desire here (as it almost always is) was to get the “revealing” significant discussions going, even at my perceived expense.

            Ugh, yuck. Now I sound like a masochist! 😮 lol

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          • Bwahahaha! That’s friggin hilarious and exactly the image I had in my head! Well done Ruth. 😀

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          • Ack, Professor, my “bop, bop, bop” comment that posted in the wrong spot, was suppose to be under your comment regarding the video Ruth posted. I’m having to post from email due to not being about to reply directly on the post, and that’s where it landed. I hope this one lands in the right spot. lol

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          • Then I’ll repeat my other answer in the wrong spot. LOL It was…

            Alrighty then, I won’t bother bringing up the taboo subject with you again unless you want to. 🙂

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          • Oops, I meant to write “stigma”.

            Liked by 1 person

      • I don’t take issue with you discussing it here. Talk away. It just occurred to me that rather than having the impact it might have, you felt the need to defend your character, which is understandable. So that rather than really considering what was being said you might be more inclined to salvage your reputation. Again, understandable.

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        • You are spot on Ruth! Yes, I defended BECAUSE unlike Victoria — who wants nothing to do with any sort of physical pain and rightly backs up her position with tons of neurological studies and research! — there are men and women who DON’T fear pain, but in fact see it (in healthy doses of course) as EXTREMELY beneficial to their well-being, stress-relief, growth, crisis management, etc, etc.

          If my reputation needed no salvaging, fine. But I can’t take that risk lightly given my daily life and occupation. 🙂

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  12. Being male and the Professor, I may be sticking my neck WAY OUT with this one! 😮 Oh well, here goes… LOL

    Headline reads:
    Penn State frat suspended over Facebook page that had photos of naked women — Washington Post, March 17, 2015

    Here’s the link to the article: http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/grade-point/wp/2015/03/17/penn-state-frat-suspended-over-facebook-page-that-had-naked-photos-of-women/

    Ruth, this sort of male-mob (disguised as a university fraternity) sexism is exactly the type of unexcuseable mentality and behavior that you and me (in my now diminished appearance and subsequent weaker voice here), parents, undergraduate and graduate campuses, and academic/athletic organizations MUST stand up to and change. My immediate question to this incident is to the boy’s parents: Have you thoroughly taught them appropriate respectful treatment of women? The answer is obvious.

    Believe it or not, had I been inside that fraternity at the time as an invited member — understand that despite my warnings to those girls, I may not have been able to deter their choices — I would’ve tried to STOP those boys as best I could, and quickly, I’m sure I would’ve become VERY unpopular in the house, possibly physically attacked if no other boys stood with me. At that point, I would have left the house (cautious of my own safety!) then notified campus police. Why? Because even though those girls were there at the fraternity house of their own volition, they OBVIOUSLY were not consenting to those photo images, much less aware of the implied RISKS of being unconscious!

    I post this because for the last 25+ years in my alternative lifestyles, I do and always have subscribed to & practiced S.S.C. BDSM. This Penn State frat behavior would not have been tolerated at all at any legal public dungeon! This type of social behavior anytime, anywhere is flat out inappropriate and wrong. It MUST be taught and enforced thoroughly in childhood thru adolescence and beyond by the boys parents! It has to start there! Now as legal adult college students, they should be subject to all appropriate laws and fines, as well as the university policies of conduct and discipline.

    This is sad and the chances of this type of adult behavior could’ve been greatly reduced, or possibly avoided completely, at a very early age by the parents, especially the father, step-father, or male guardian! :/

    Now on a POSITIVE female note, this woman’s story from a Hooters waitress — and everything implied by that business! — to multi-billion dollar business owner is a FABULOUS story of how an empowered woman got her “success break” in a pseudo-sexist industry! Meet the attractive Kat Cole and her story! 😀

    http://www.businessinsider.com/cinnabon-president-kat-coles-biography-2013-9

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    • Thanks for the links, Professor. I’ve been following that frat house story in the news. Unfortunately, some or even most of these boys probably acted like perfect gentlemen in other settings. It is likely that girls trusted them and had no idea they were capable of what they did. It is a violation, plain and simple. While it might not have been advisable for those girls to be so intoxicated that they weren’t in control of their situations it is also completely unacceptable to blame them as victims. They weren’t “asking for it”. I do hope, though, that you can see why your use of even “fictitious coercion” really wouldn’t be very funny. Your attempts to justify it haven’t fallen on deaf ears.

      Yes, all of this could have been prevented in a number of ways. First of all is, as you mention, in the home. If parents taught boys to respect and value women as anything other than sex objects this could have been avoided. If parents taught girls that they are more valuable than the sum of their worth to a man this could have been avoided. Men and women get both blatant and subtle messages their whole life long that a woman’s worth is in what she has to offer a man. First it’s virginity, then it’s children, then they are expected to lose their innocence, forget about all that purity, and act like a porn star to please her man.

      Fuck that!

      While I find Kat Cole’s story refreshing and inspiring, I wish it were not so that in order for a woman to get ahead she feels she has to exploit her sexuality.

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      • Genuine apologies that this reply is so long, but this subject is critical to discuss and heighten awareness!

        While it might not have been advisable for those girls to be so intoxicated that they weren’t in control of their situations it is also completely unacceptable to blame them as victims. They weren’t “asking for it”.

        Your point might be debateable, and here’s why. Since you’re following the developing story Ruth you can probably shed more light on this.

        The frat boys and girls probably share some of the same classes. Both may participate in some of the same campus activities or intramural sports. Both may even hangout off campus at nearby local pubs or restaurants. Unless they are all freshmen, both have a level of familiarity with each other BEYOND total strangers. There might be 3-6 (more less?) of these boys and girls that come from the same high schools or same small town or city neighborhood back home and hence know each other very well. It is very likely that the instant the girls saw the alcohol in the frat house or were first asked if they wanted an alcoholic drink — or more poignant saw, or were asked if they wanted to partake of any of the visible “party favors” laid out (I’ve been in many of those type parties; it’s common at frat houses) — right then and there ANYBODY, including frat boys, have the choice (impulsive as it might be) to leave at once, even call the police or campus authorities about what is being offered or is visible for the get-together. Summing up quickly the “situation” is advisable and wise when planning or organizing the party as a frat boy, or when walking in the front door as an invited girl. Can one sum it up quickly and accurately as total strangers? In my opinion and experience, yes. That’s risky or VERY risky as a total stranger. But since the get-together was by invitation only that could imply that the frat boys and girls had previous knowledge and familiarity with each other. Correct? Here’s my point Ruth and why your point above, “They weren’t “asking for it””, might be debateable…

        Because I am an extrovert, very sociable, and unabashed about meeting any sort of people from varied backgrounds, ethnicity, occupations, etc, I will mix with almost any sort of person, initially, if I don’t know them. I try not to be prematurely prejudice. HOWEVER, if I were to enter, for example, a known hardcore, tatted-up, body-piercings everywhere, vulger-talking biker bar/club (possible gang hangout?)… prior parenting, teaching, knowledge and experience has told me 99.999% of the time I WILL be “asking for it” if I stay and bad things go down. But those are strangers — despite the reality that I have been friends with two hardcore biker men that I very rarely hangout with; we don’t have much in common. Was this Penn State frat house and its male members that sort of crowd/group? No. What sort of reputation on campus does this frat house carry or most frat houses? Apparently it was not bad enough for girls to initially walk in and stay for at least 10-15 minutes (or whatever length of time they stayed until unconscious) and immediately turn around and leave. So my question and what makes your point debateable is what did those girls know about those frat boys and their behavioral history and reputations beforehand? Nothing? A little? A lot? Now before anyone jumps to the erroneous conclusion that I am trying to paint the girls as victims of their own decisions, PLEASE read on!

        Now, in support of your valid point Ruth, if those girls knew NOTHING about those frat boys and their house history and hence could NOT have asked for any of what happend, then ABSOLUTELY with no arguments, those boys must be disciplined and/or fined based upon what was done, with what chemical(s), and according to applicable laws and campus policies and conduct. If that is the case, I’m all for full punishment of those boys and their frat house closure.

        You later state, “I do hope, though, that you can see why your use of even “fictitious coercion” really wouldn’t be very funny. Your attempts to justify it haven’t fallen on deaf ears.

        I was hoping by now there was no longer any need to discuss that private dialogue between my friend Victoria and I. It has been closed — satisfactorily I believe — up above with my sincere apology and Victoria’s explanation of her impulsive incomplete outing of our history of chat-games together. Privately, Victoria and I have resolved that inappropriate hickup. Continuing to bring it back up here I think diminishes and weakens my stance & important voice on this subject when I am CLEARLY on your side, Victoria’s side, and definitely these Penn State girls regarding rampant sexism & misogyny.

        Regarding HOW Kat Cole gained her break and success, you’ll have to ask her and the other thousands/millions of women who have done the same thing over many many centuries. It’s probably best she/they address that subject rather than me. However, I can offer personal history and experience on the method(s) of personal gain via sexism and adultery if anyone cares to read/hear it.

        — Sidenote: It sure would be nice if other males spoke up here on this issue/problem other than me! — :/

        At first I wasn’t going to bring this up for various important reasons, the biggest being that everyone here with your blog Ruth (with the exception of Victoria) doesn’t know me from Adam. Yet that shouldn’t deter or undermine the fact that I myself have been drugged (by someone) PERHAPS like these Penn State girls at a place I frequent weekly with the majority of the patrons and servers knowing me and each other for over 8-years. Because of that personal experience and the importance of this subject on your blog, I feel I have a unique perspective to contribute significantly to this social problem and discussion! Ruth, if you feel at this point it is important for me to share, I will. I would kindly like to know your reasoning please either way. Thank you. 🙂

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        • The story is still developing and I’m sure more details will come out. But here is the way I see this:

          I have a $100.00 bill and I leave it in plain sight. Is that irresponsible of me? Of course.

          Someone steals the money. Do I blame myself? Of course I do. I should be a bit more prudent than that.

          BUT

          It is not my fault that there are unscrupulous people in this world. The money has still been stolen. My momentary irresponsibilty does not excuse the behavior of the thief. The thief is still a thief. And the thief is just as guilty of theft as if he or she had gone into my wallet and taken it.

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          • I agree with everything stated EXCEPT your last two sentences Ruth. 😉

            And the thief is just as guilty of theft as if he or she had gone into my wallet and taken it.

            A $100 bill dropped or left out in the open and no one is nearby is NOT the same thing as someone illegally going into your purse/wallet and stealing cash & credit cards that WASN’T dropped or left out in the open.

            Assuming you believe it is the same thing, then let’s explore this scenario…

            Replace the $100 bill with a woman who dresses with VERY revealing clothes in public where there are multitudes of lesbian, bisexual, and heterosexual men and women around. Explain responsibilities of the scantly-clad or tight tube-dressed woman AND everyone who sees her.

            For me in that situation, I am MOST DEFINITELY going to at least glance at her, if not take a long look. I always appreciate beauty in life. However beyond that, I have absolutely no right to approach her rudely or disrespectfully! Besides, that would be in very poor taste on my part and not speak well of my character…

            UNLESS

            …she is soliciting approaches. Even in that case, I’ve learned the hard way as a hetero male that in those pseudo-unknown situations, if it’s too good to be safe and true(?)… 98% of the time its bad, risky, and dangerous on many levels! But then the question becomes “what is soliciting?”

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          • A $100 bill dropped or left out in the open and no one is nearby is NOT the same thing as someone illegally going into your purse/wallet and stealing cash & credit cards that WASN’T dropped or left out in the open.

            Perhaps not in the eyes of the law, but as for what is right and just, yes it is. I see you’d take a hundred dollar bill you found lying in the open rather than turn it in or inquire as to it’s owner. You’re not helping yourself here. 😉

            I almost used that as an example, to be honest, but decided to use a different metaphor to make the same point.

            Replace the $100 bill with a woman who dresses with VERY revealing clothes in public where there are multitudes of lesbian, bisexual, and heterosexual men and women around. Explain responsibilities of the scantly-clad or tight tube-dressed woman AND everyone who sees her.
            For me in that situation, I am MOST DEFINITELY going to at least glance at her, if not take a long look. I always appreciate beauty in life. However beyond that, I have absolutely no right to approach her rudely or disrespectfully! Besides, that would be in very poor taste on my part and not speak well of my character…

            Can a woman not dress to please herself with becoming an object? Yes, it is hard not to notice how attractive or unattractive, even, people are. But does that mean they should be the object of ogling? Even so, we cannot control the eyes of men, but dressing scantily is NOT an invitation to anything. It doesn’t mean, “help yourself”.

            Also I think I’ve already addressed that this does cause confusion When women use their sexuality for personal gain it is sending mixed messages.

            UNLESS
            …she is soliciting approaches. Even in that case, I’ve learned the hard way as a hetero male that in those pseudo-unknown situations, if it’s too good to be safe and true(?)… 98% of the time its bad, risky, and dangerous on many levels! But then the question becomes “what is soliciting?”

            So if she is soliciting she is fair game for rude and disrespectful behavior? Are prostitutes fair game for rape, too, then?

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          • First answer, no I am not at all saying I would take the freely-floating $100 bill for myself. Unsure how you came to that. LOL 🙂

            Final answer at the bottom? No, prostitutes are not fair game for rape, ever… despite their unscrupulous risky occupation. I’ve never been one to standby quietly around immediate rape-culture, certainly not the illegal act of it.

            Since we’re only now just getting to know each other in cyberspace Ruth, I’ll let the erroneous implications slide. LOL 😉 However, we all should NOT be silent on every aspect of this social problem, right!?

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          • First answer, no I am not at all saying I would take the freely-floating $100 bill for myself. Unsure how you came to that. LOL 🙂

            I read into your previous answer that freely-floating money was fair game, though I see it as theft. Like I said, it may not rise to the same level as having “broken and entered” so to speak in the eyes of the law, but it is theft nonetheless. The person pocketing the money knows it’s not theirs. They know it likely belongs to someone. They likely even feel a little guilty about it(one can hope) knowing that it’s wrong.

            Final answer at the bottom? No, prostitutes are not fair game for rape, ever… despite their unscrupulous risky occupation. I’ve never been one to standby quietly around immediate rape-culture, certainly not the illegal act of it.

            Right, I concluded that if what you are saying here:

            For me in that situation, I am MOST DEFINITELY going to at least glance at her, if not take a long look. I always appreciate beauty in life. However beyond that, I have absolutely no right to approach her rudely or disrespectfully!…

            UNLESS
            …she is soliciting approaches.

            is representative of your opinion on the matter then if a woman is soliciting approaches, for free or for money, that it would be okay approach her rudely or disrespectfully.

            My apologies if that is an incorrect conclusion on my part. But that is the way it came across to me.

            Liked by 1 person

          • Ruth,

            First off, I want to say to you that I am thankful & happy that we are both hashing-out and clarifying what each is conveying on this hypothetical but important subject. 🙂

            Free-floating” for me doesn’t mean a Bee Gees song (Jive Talking) or that it designates “fair game”. To me and what I was perhaps poorly communicating is that the $100 bill was dropped and blowing around in the wind. Depending on WHERE the bill was free-floating and how many people were nearby, I would try to locate the owner. If it were just outside a bank door, I would go inside and explain where & how I found it then give it to the bank manager. If it were blowing around in the country where only horses and wild bears were roaming, I’m honestly NOT SURE how to best get it to its rightful owner. It may have blown there from a city 100 miles away. What would you do in that remote place & circumstance Ruth? 😀

            Regarding your sentence: “is representative of your opinion on the matter then if a woman is soliciting approaches, for free or for money, that it would be okay approach her rudely or disrespectfully. I should clarify MY OWN convictions…it is perhaps a little more acceptable for me to approach that woman based on body language and inviting remarks she might give — in Rio de Janeiro on Copacabana beach, a group of 6 lesbian prostitutes approached me dressed similar but quickly got “friendly” then VERY friendly to the point I had to draw-up my fists to make them stop! Much later I realized my wallet had be stolen from me by their clever approach! LOL 😉 — I am not shy and I am almost always approachable. HOWEVER, in our scenario here & what you stated: “approach her rudely or disrespectfully,” …no, that still does not give me any right to be rude or disrespectful. Not only is she a complete stranger, but verbal and non-verbal cues must be quickly ascertained on my part with so many unknowns. If I felt I’d be making too great an assumption or presupposition — DESPITE how she’s dressed — then I’d find some way for clarification.

            Now, could my desire for clarification be misconscrued, even blown out of porportion?

            P.S. Apology accepted! 😉 But let’s not end all of this prematurely! It’s way too important! 😀

            Like

        • Just for the record, Professor, since you made this public — we have no history of “chat games” together, where I encouraged your sexual flirtation even if you were doing so in a joking way. I don’t know, but your comment just came across as though we were playing sexual fantasy games during chat. I’ve been very straight up with you (and not just jokingly) that I’m not interested in you in that way, vanilla or otherwise. I think you just continued to persist (via joking around) because as you noted in a previous comment, you thought that could change.

          Like

          • This is my fault because I brought it back up. I should have left well enough alone rather than attempting to make a point. I put The Professor back in damage control mode.

            Liked by 2 people

          • Thank you Ruth for that comment. 🙂

            Like

          • Victoria, you and I have been VERY forthright and upfront with each other which I’ve always taken as a REFRESHING wonderful aspect of our personalities. As I’ve said many times — and you’ve never disagreed — we have more IN COMMON than we do uncommon.

            So I ask you politely and respectfully… Have I not also been upfront with you as to who I am, what I am, and why I am who I am?

            I really really hope this does not go sour for us because I feel we both have SO MUCH to offer to this subject and dialogue. 🙂

            Like

          • Yes, you certainly have been forthright and upfront about your alternative lifestyles. But that’s not what this is about. It’s just that I thought your comment ” incomplete outing of our history of chat-games together.” put me in a damage control mode, too.

            I’m going to make a confession to you here, Professor, and I’m ashamed of myself for initially misleading you about how taken aback I was by both comments to me of a similar nature, public and private, but it coincides with Ruth’s OP. I was afraid I’d be perceived as being too sensitive, or not being able to take a “joke”. After that incident in FB chat, my computer didn’t crash that night. It had been acting up (running slow) but that’s not why I went offline. I just didn’t have the courage to tell you how that affected me and that I felt offended and disrespected. I spent the rest of the evening trying to deny my own feelings. It’s also why I thought that comment you made on my blog regarding putting something (relaxing) in my goblet, as meaning more than just wine, even though done in a jesting tone, wasn’t appropriate, either. Again, I apologize that I made this known to you, initially, on Ruth’s blog. In that slit-second of weakness, the pressure cooker valve released, but it had been building up for a good while.

            My apologies to Ruth and other readers, as well, for first bringing it up here.

            Liked by 1 person

          • While I did call you out on bringing up a third-hand situation here I completely understood why you did so and I’m glad it gave you the boost you needed to say something. While you and The Professor might have rather personal details not be broadcast I think it’s opened up an important dialogue.

            Liked by 1 person

          • Thank you Ruth. I must say that it’s opened up better communication between me and the Professor (at least from my perspective), which I’m not sure would have happened had all this not taken place. He’s a good person, and a good friend. I know he didn’t mean any harm, but at the time it did bring up trust issues with him and the importance of establishing clear boundaries. However, I think the trust issue has been resolved, and boundaries clearly established, primarily due to your post and the following dialog.

            Liked by 1 person

          • Now I really do wish I could give you a big hug Victoria, but doing it from my knees, if that makes known how humbly and imperfect this extroverted hetero male wishes he could take back any & all flirtations toward you that were not appropriate or uplifting. I sincerely mean that!

            Btw, for any other readers at this point, as I’ve mentioned to Victoria before over our long friendship, I’ve also done (and sometimes caused) the same ill-effect with my flirtations & comments toward men — I also frequent some places where many bisexual & homosexual men hangout for socializing, dancing, and relaxing. Many a gay man have also voiced their struggles with me. In those cases I was acutely aware of my wrong-doings and they had volunteered their struggles, I QUICKLY apologized & started dialogue in order to maintain the decency and integrity of us and the establishment! Why? Because in the end, sexual orientation, race, gender, et al, SHOULDN’T make any difference, but because we are all sometimes emotionally impulsive (especially under any influence of alcohol, the truth-serum) and imperfect, that doesn’t mean it has to always be fight or flight (silence). And that is the reason myself, you Victoria, Ruth, and anyone else who chooses to join-in, should not backout prematurely on this IMPORTANT social problem but instead see it through; work through the process so that next time we fail better. 🙂

            Maybe to closeout our discussion to this Victoria, I should reiterate why I haven’t completely left it alone: I felt from the very beginning I had MUCH to offer this subject given my lifestyles & experience, I felt the value to the subject & conversation I could offer was being overlooked by you and Ruth. But I wasn’t trying to skirt what Victoria outted me on — I wanted to own it and see all of this completely through to the end for the sake of Ruth’s OP and this social problem.

            Does any of that make sense?

            Liked by 1 person

          • Professor — after your last comment, I have gained the utmost respect for you. Thank you!

            Now get off your knees so I can give you a big hug back. 🐻 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

          • ❤ May I call you?

            And of COURSE with the utmost professionalism! LOL 😉 😛

            Like

          • Of course, Professor. Give me about 10 minutes to wrap up a few things.

            Liked by 1 person

          • Whew! I’m glad that’s settled! 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

          • Actually Ruth I think now this should be finished to its proper end — it is way too important to throw-in the towel now! I’ll leave that to your discretion though, but I’ve rarely been known to be quiet — as I think it’s clear by now! LOL 😛

            Like

  13. Pingback: Missing the Point | Out From Under the Umbrella

  14. I completely agree with this post. I think it’s so important to voice the fact that misogyny and sexism is not okay, and it needs to stop.

    I have experienced weird situations in which guys wanted to hang out with me, and would message me on Facebook saying so. However, they had never met me in person. They had only “seen me around” (the college campus), and based off of what I looked like, they wanted to hang out. And this isn’t an isolated incident, either. Throughout my four years on a small college campus, I probably got this exact same Facebook message (“I’ve seen you around campus, and I know I’ve never talked to you, but you’re cute! Wanna hang out?”) roughly ten to fifteen times.

    I’ve also had situations were men in bars would harass me and try to hit on me, and if I denied them, people would make it seem like I was being a “bitch” and that I should have taken his advances as a compliment and that it wasn’t a big deal.

    Another weird situation was one in which I wasn’t interested in a guy who liked me, and his friend took it upon himself to call me a “bitch” and “cunt” on Facebook for everyone to see.

    I think that it’s important for us to be a strong voice for women who are oppressed and mistreated. Writing is such a wonderful tool in that regard.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Rebecca, discerning WHEN and WHERE to state something controversial or out of context is sometimes difficult and shouldn’t be impulsive, especially over social-media like those boys did to you. I’m very sorry for the pain that must have caused you.

      BUT

      Do not get fearful about addressing it with any offenders face-to-face FIRST, then with appropriate others if it continues. Be courageous & seek appropriate support!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for commenting, Rebecca. I almost, and still haven’t decided not to, reblogged The Deer and the Hunter. It so adequately and visually(in my mind) described what happens when trust is shattered.

      Those are disturbing things, but as you said, sadly not uncommon. Both men and women tend to act like the menfolk are doing us a solid by throwing us a bone. Literally and figuratively.

      Liked by 1 person

      • You’re welcome. Thank you for considering reblogging it. I’m glad to hear you appreciated it. A lot of us have experienced trust being shattered, and all the disturbing thoughts that can arise when it happens.

        Liked by 1 person

  15. Although I know next to nothing about BDSM and related subjects, nor do names like Cinnabon and Hooters mean anything to me because I don’t live in the USA, I followed this thread with interest. I appreciate the respectful way an misunderstanding was cleared up; I think that a right upbringing is responsible for the “happy end” of this discussion. Cheers to both parties involved and, of course, to Judge Ruth!

    Liked by 2 people

  16. You’re right Ruth, in reminding us of the amusing difference. A judge always has time to think it over, read other sentences, consult with people; a referee cannot avoid deciding on the spot. Until recently, his verdict was irrevocable. In some sports, f.i. rugby and tennis howvever, he can now be overruled by video shots! –

    Liked by 2 people

  17. You are a much better writer than I am which is both annoying and great a the same time, but somehow just reading what you have to say has me completely agreeing but also going off in all sorts of directions. This is what I started thinking about. Ferguson, MO. The DOJ found that the whole “Hands up, don’t shoot” narrative was false. Fine. Conservatives had a field day, but what the DOJ also found was the extreme racism present in the Ferguson police department. The Michael Brown incident was not fueled by the “hands up don’t shoot” narrative that conservatives claim, but by years of prejudice that they faced at the hands of people who were supposed to protect them. So was Michael Brown a reason to riot? Perhaps not. But are they justified in rioting in general? Most definitely. So is every touch or comment that a man makes necessarily intended to demean, creep, offend a woman…probably not. But are women justified in reacting negatively to men given how often they do face misogyny, sexism, and patriarchal values thrown in their face? Most definitely. If we had true gender equality we might take a more forgiving approach in a situation that on the surface seemed questionable. Just like if we had true racial equality, perhaps the Michael Brown incident would have just been another unfortunate incident in which we don’t understand why it happened the way it did. I just wonder what the tapestry of language and political correctness would look like in a society where we had equality. Chances are it would be pretty awesome with all the best things preserved.

    I also wonder if the “caveman dragging the cave woman by the hair into the cave” ever really happened. Studies of “primitive” hunter gatherers show them to be more egalitarian than us “civilized” people.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. You really know how to give a compliment, Swarn Gill. Thank you for the high praise.

    The things we’re talking about here definitely not only apply to sexism but a whole host of social ills.

    I agree with you about Ferguson. “Hands up, don’t shoot” is really just a symptom of the problems that have been occurring over years and years there and likely many more places, if we’re honest with ourselves. I think it would be foolish to believe that Ferguson is as rare as a unicorn. The Michael Brown incident was just the straw over the camel’s back. It gave the people of Ferguson the incentive they needed to finally stand up to an entire system that has marginalized them for so long.

    So is every touch or comment that a man makes necessarily intended to demean, creep, offend a woman…probably not. But are women justified in reacting negatively to men given how often they do face misogyny, sexism, and patriarchal values thrown in their face?

    Exactly. It isn’t always about the character of the person giving the affection. It’s more about taking to time to stop and think how this really might be received. How will it make the other person feel? Women do face these things regularly. So for a woman it isn’t one isolated incident that she might overlook. It’s a culmination and accumulation of aggressions and microagressions that form her reaction to any one situation.

    We are so civilized with all of our social graces, eh?

    Like

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