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Storytelling, truth, and the world we live in

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Storytelling, truth, and the world we live in
Storytelling, truth, and the world we live in

http://www.elfquest.com/storytelling-truth-and-the-world-we-live-in/

Wendy posted this on Facebook, and it certainly bears repeating here. ===== I have something important to say - please bear with it because it ...

RobinG

Wonderful way to dismiss all those striving for change as haters, and brushing aside the cultural dialogue and criticisms that are going on to try to prevent this from happening again.

Duh- we know not all men (or white men). The point is that yes, all women have experienced men pull this kind of stuff to varying degrees.

And wow I am so sad for men who are still stuck trying to prove their 'manlieness' rather than realizing that maturity should be what is strived for rather than strict gender roles or strict expression of gender. Oh- and screw you for putting 'other' in quotes.

Grace

Long time lover of all things EQ, particularly the genderbending roles seen in the comic and the healthy attitudes towards sexuality.

Shocked and saddened to see the attitudes expressed in this article. Elfmom, I love you, but you and Elfpop just lost a whole ******** of my respect by doing what countless men have done over the past few days - ignoring the real problem to whine about their perception of an attack.

DUH as RobinG said - while there may be a very few "indiscriminate manhaters" out there almost ALL of us KNOW it's "notallmen" and there is by no means an outpouring of "unreasoning hatred against all men" - and if you perceive it as such you aren't listening.

#YesAllWomen have to deal with some form of attack from MANY, MANY men daily, weekly, annually - during our entire lives. It's "notallmen" - but it's pervasive and supported by those who whine about "inability to express their maleness "correctly" - the ****? I can't even walk down the street safely and you want to whine about insecurity over how macho to be?

How about you stop worrying about how men can "express their maleness" and listen to what women are saying about how NOT to - and work on your issues instead of singling out a few women who maybe expressed their anger and fear in a way you decided to take as a personal offense?

You want us to point out specific offenders? I could spend the rest of my life making a list. Seriously. Our anger isn't at some nebulous and unfair concept of "man", but the very real monster we face every day; one that is our collective experience; one that comprises a huge percentage of our waking and sleeping hours.

You saw a few women presenting a facet of the situation in a way you felt was unfair? OMG. So sorry they have disrupted your day. Go back to your regularly scheduled programming. Thanks for taking time out to reassure us that even though you have a mean male character in your comic, that it's "NOTALLMEN!!!"

We were so very worried about that.

[Moderator note: expletives removed]

Tavie

I don't think the howlkeepers are going to let the responses above stay in this thread very long, but I just want to say to the group in general, if you think the aim of #yesallwomen is to restrict men or bash them, I sincerely believe you've gotten it wrong. Just a few minutes scrolling through the powerful stories will tell you that the majority of participants are sharing honest experiences, not to lash out at men, but to show solidarity for fellow women who have suffered.

I participated in the hashtag for that reason:

https://twitter.com/therealtavie/status/470665344185806848

https://twitter.com/therealtavie/status/470664983572148224

I love the men in my life. I love men. Misogyny hurts men AND women.

That's all I want to say about this.

(If this is considered off-topic to Elfquest I understand if it needs to be removed. Nothing but respect is intended in my reply.)

Saint_Parallelogram

I find this article a little puzzling-there's only one real rule for both sexes-Don't be an asshole-it's not that hard a thing to do.

Rob

Privileged white dude that I am, my voice is the last that needs to be heard. But I thought that what Wendy wrote comes ultimately from the same place as the anger expressed here, rather than in opposition to it, and has the same goal of supporting women and preventing violence against them.

It's frustrating when the subject recenters around men, especially "not all men", but those striving for change weren't described as haters. Does supporting positive standards of male behavior necessarily deny the problem? While it is often part of an attempt to distract people from victims' experiences, I don't think that's what Wendy's about. The leap from what she wrote to "NOTALLMEN" seems more a reaction born of legitimate frustration at others in the media than a fair assessment of her. But maybe I just can't see it.

I've seen men--disgusting men--fix themselves when nurtured. Misogyny is sometimes a brittle habit and helping some men be better at being men complements the more immediate priorities of shutting down male violence and supporting women.

I'll hazard the reason "others" is in quotes is because with EQ, especially, the term is not just a reference to nonbinary gender status or even sociological otherness, but also to more metaphorical allusions.


Trollbabe

Small voice of ignorance here... not much into social media, know what Twitter is, but how does one "participate in a hashtag"? Do you send money somewhere, or sign something?

Been a lifelong feminist, have seen the best and worst of which men are capable, but I don't understand what is so offensive about Mrs. Pini's post.

It took me a minute to understand she was talking about the California shooting. It's gotten national coverage, but I haven't paid much attention. News has been about politics and hurricane season, and I've been buried at times in client work.

Tavie

Trollbabe said: Small voice of ignorance here... not much into social media, know what Twitter is, but how does one "participate in a hashtag"? Do you send money somewhere, or sign something?


No, no money, no petitions. It just means to write a post on Twitter that includes that hashtag. As in the examples I linked above.

Tavie

Rob said: The leap from what she wrote to "NOTALLMEN" seems more a reaction born of legitimate frustration at others in the media than a fair assessment of her. But maybe I just can't see it.


There's something to this.

I think some of the reaction is to Wendy's direct address of "brothers" - meaning men - may imply "not women" to some, and the leap may then be made to see the statement as a sort of way I'm saying, "I'm a woman, but I'm not one of THEM... I'm with YOU. I'm one of the GOOD women."

Again, just an extrapolation that takes, as you say, a certain type of mental leap. I prefer to focus on the last sentence in Wendy's statement, which I think is the most important one and isn't really acknowledged in the earlier reaction posts:

However, as an honest storyteller, I will also continue to represent the worst kind of behavior people are capable of because, even in this day and age, it really happens, it really needs to be called out and it really needs to stop.


eta: if I'm misrepresenting anyone's interpretations of the text here, I sincerely apologize. I may be making my own mental leaps.

lunakat

I think the thing is that it gets frustrating to have to continually reassure men of the obvious- that a criticism of a general problem with society doesn't apply to every single man alive. I mean... it's just so... like... I don't even know how to explain... self centered maybe? It inhibits talking about anything.

lunakat

Look- I'm white. I can have a discussion about how there are inequalities in our society that pertain to race without responding as if it's all about someone attacking me, casting blame on me and hurting my feelings. It's not about me. And I can refrain from pointing out the extremely obvious- that anyone can be racist- because I recognize that's an axiomatic statement and utterly beside the point when you are talking about larger forces in society. Men, when talking about sexism, should be able to do the same thing.

lunakat

Lastly, that said, I love Wendy Pini for making the greatest comic book of all time, and I believe she meant what she said in the best possible way. She made a good point:

"To all my brothers out there who are confused, frustrated, wondering what the HELL is the correct way to express their maleness in a world where pop culture urges one thing, politics another and religion another…"

The question of what it means to be a man today (like the question of what it means to be a woman) is probably evolving... I imagine the best thing one can do is try to be a good human being from moment to moment.

Heather

lunakat said: The question of what it means to be a man today (like the question of what it means to be a woman) is probably evolving... I imagine the best thing one can do is try to be a good human being from moment to moment.

I so agree with "be a good human being from moment to moment". Leetah said "We are all elves first." and that is true for us as well. We are all humans first.

Tam

thinking.

MrsGrizzley

I read ElfMom's post and I admit that I've been reading the stories of those who have been far more oppressed than I have by Male Privilege in so many ways.

Yes, we live in the world where the power balance between the genders is INCREDIBLY unfair and needs to be corrected. Not to the point, though, where women become what men are today.

Women need to be able to walk in safety down the street, but so do men who do not conform to a very fickle definition of "manhood". I would argue that freedom and balance in power would aid ALL humans, regardless of how they self-identify, or don't.

I agree with ElfMom, though, that monsters need to be called out, each and every day.

The problem with "notALLmen" is that so many men aren't even *aware* of how much their privilege protects them and how much they gain simply by conforming to social expectations.

ElfMom herself was given the most backhanded compliment I have ever read in my life, that she was "too good" for comics. How is that not the painful price a gifted woman pays for doing something she's good at that just happens to be in a market that society determines to be "male work"? She ultimately had to help START "independent comics" just to find the audience she deserves.

I agree that not all men are monsters, but that can be used as an excuse for those who simply aren't *aware* of all the little things they do that ARE oppressive, each and every day. Yeah, not all men are monsters, but they don't HAVE to be monsters to be part of the problem.

It's about calling out privilege and about working, together, to make things balanced.

Tam

So I wrote this whole long thing. And the more I read the article and people's disagreements, the more I saw what I wasn't wanting to see. :/ So I removed it and I'm starting over.

In part, I think this entry may be a pre-emptive defense. When the planes crashed into the Twin Towers on 9/11/01, many movies and shows removed scenes with the Twin Towers in them. Now, FQ #3 was already finished by the time the shootings in Isla Vista happened, and maybe she felt she needed to defend her choices in the issue in light of that, before some ignorant person goes (or perhaps they already have, who knows), BUT WENDY, DO ANGRIF'S ACTIONS IN THIS ISSUE MEAN THAT YOU HATE MEN??? without even taking into account the other fantastic, wonderful male HUMAN characters.

On the other hand, there are more important things to respond to than a handful of people who are like OMG MEN SUCK BECAUSE OF THIS ONE INCIDENT. Yes, it's kind of ridiculous to literally hate men because of the actions of one man. But in no sense is that silly attitude the majority.

I have a lot of feelings about the shooting; I used to live in Isla Vista, and my first partner lived in that same complex, so it hits home for me in a much more real way than other shootings. And I will absolutely say that every single man has a responsibility to respond to misogyny and try to make the world a better place. And every single woman does too, because there are things we do that are the product of this misogyny that's ingrained in society, and we don't even realize it. If saying that everyone is responsible makes me a hater, than so be it. But I don't think that's what Wendy was saying. There's a difference between calling out a group on their responsibility, and saying that all men suck and should die in a fire. I think Wendy was responding to the latter, not the former. Unfortunately, I think she should have responded to more than just that.

lunakat

I know someone who knew that guy. According to my friend, he was mentally deranged. He had a number of mental health disorders.

I think a lot of the discussion should really focus on mental health.

I wonder, though, how he came up with his ideas. According to my friend, he had been fixated since high school on the idea that women owed him sex... and that women should be subservient to men. He was completely obsessed and bitter. It creeped my friend out. He wasn't at all surprised that this happened.

But I do wonder if this guy took some general attitudes that float around our culture, absorbed them and amplified them in the prism of his insanity.

Speaking of casual sexism... I just found out today that most of my coworkers didn't want to hire me because I'm female. I love my coworkers. I am an artist in a office that is 90% male- geeks, gamers, animators, programmers, production crew, etc. The only other girl there threw a fit to get me hired-- in part because she thought my portfolio was more appropriate than the other candidates to the kind of work we do, and in part she wanted at least one more girl in the office. But yeah- wow.

Tam

I'm so glad that she fought for you. I can't imagine how hard it would be to work somewhere knowing that most of your co-workers didn't want you hired in the first place. :/

MrsGrizzley

*deep sigh*

I'm a storyteller by nature... do you know what I would give to be able to work with artists, geeks, gamers, etc in a studio making visual stories? I hate that I'm in a part of the nation where that's not possible.

I am sooooo glad that you were able to get in there, and that you managed to beat the odds. Yeah, the prejudices run VERY deep, in ways that we can't even understand because we LIVE with the limitations each and every day. The elves would be ASTONISHED at how much inequality we simply expect because that's "the world that is".

I would argue that the elves are so much more FREE to be inherently masculine and feminine because there are no expectations, no strict gender roles to uphold, and for that I am incredibly grateful to Wendy's vision. Because of her I was able to see an image of something that I hadn't even known was POSSIBLE.

That my gender didn't define me.

I agree, though, that there is a world of difference between saying that we need equal power and equal protection and advocating a reversal of the current power structure to put the bottom on top. That's not going to help anyone. Power Imbalance is Power Imbalance and it's wrong no matter HOW it's done.

I see no difference in the damage that is done socially by the male-centric power structure of the Djun's people and the *female*-centric power structure of the FutureQuest humans under the Doma. ANY time you have a preponderance of power in one group or another by virtue of some accident of biological birth, then something has gone horribly wrong somewhere and it's damaging for *everyone*.

I'd actually like to see more FutureQuest stories, to be honest, showing that power imbalance as what it is. Because if anyone can look unflinchingly at what power does to people, I can trust my ElfParents to be willing to do that.

lunakat

@Tam- Thanks! Me too! :) Honestly- it's not that bad. I think it's funny. And yeah- you do have to expect it in certain industries. It absolutely happens.

@Mrs. Grizz- That's also why I liked Elfquest as a kid. I remember seeing the scene in which Ember, in Book 2, was the tough, rambunctious one and her brother was sensitive and sweet. I related. I also liked Nightfall and Redlance. It's lovely the way the characters just are who they are.

Frankly, I don't understand why people claim it's so confusing for men these days to figure out what masculinity means. I think it should just be a matter of being yourself. Redlance is gentle. Strongbow is stern. Cutter is action oriented. Skywise is thoughtful. They are all male. And how each one of them is is fine. Shouldn't it be that way for guys in general?

The differentiation, I think, should be between being a child vs an adult. Adults meet their responsibilities. Decent adults treat others with respect.

MrsGrizzley

Lunakat... I hate to tell you, but the idea that men are OWED sex by women, that women and their bodies exist SOLELY for sexual satisfaction of males, is NOT a sign of mental instability. It is, sadly, a deep seated idea that exists separate from mental illness.

It exists in any culture that ascribes to a "fundamental" worldview that upholds a "Purity Culture".

It is, in essence, a painfully toxic idea that has been named, by several writers, "Rape Culture" and you would be shocked how deep those tendrils go and how far they impact our thought processes each and every day. The idea that "No means Try Harder", the idea that girls just "play hard to get", the stereotypes and myths get told and retold over and over and over again and we don't even REALIZE it until it's pointed out.

To label the man as having a mental illness might do a severe disservice to those with mental illness, like myself, who would NEVER act as he did. He might have had problems, or he might just have immersed himself in a worldview, though, that told him that he had certain rights that he didn't actually have and he ultimately, but logically, acted on them.

I think that saying that he has mental illness gives him too much of an excuse for his unthinkable actions, that it might tend to JUSTIFY his actions, and that is something none of us really want to do.

He was a monster and he committed monstrous acts which he *chose* to commit. That he felt justified in his monstrosity, justified in his acts because of his worldview that told him that he had been wronged is beside the point. We must, as a culture, condemn monsters when we find them, no matter how justified they may think themselves to be.

lunakat

You are correct. But he did also have a serious mental illness. You make a good point though- he didn't come up with those ideas on his own. If he hadn't been culturally exposed to them, maybe the outcome would have been different.

Tam

lunakat said: But he did also have a serious mental illness.


Did they announce that? (Honest question, I don't know) Last time I checked, he was in therapy for a long time, but I haven't seen anything about a formal diagnosis.

He certainly may have had a mental illness, but as you and Grizz have said, mental illness isn't the root cause of this...and I think the reason many are objecting to it being mentioned is because many others are like, "oh, he was mentally ill, there's not a problem, he's just some crazy kid," and trying to deflect responsibility. :/ Not to mention that automatically jumping to mental illness (again, not saying you did, Lunakat, just making commentary :) ) really shames those who have a mental illness (HI THERE!) and shines a very unfair light.

MrsGrizzley

Also, jumping on the "mental illness" bandwagon only increases the problems that those of us who have conditions face, whether it be in terms of cultural shaming or in legal limitations of our rights.

Mental illness does NOT make you more likely to use a weapon to harm your neighbors, but it can contribute to a tendency to harm yourself. But even in that there is an incredibly WIDE range of reactions and it's possible that part of what contributes to a person's tendency to harm themselves is the social stigma attached to having a disorder.

It's like... people who are gay/lesbian/bi/whatever or are simply *perceived* as being whatever are at higher risk for mental illness and suicide. There are those who argue, in all seriousness, that it's the *being* gay/lesbian/bi/whatever that causes that tendency, therefor the answer is more social stigma to force them to "be normal" because that's healthier. Never mind that it's the STIGMA that's causing the mental illness as the increased chance of suicide.

So yes, I'm a bit reactionary at the moment whenever the mental illness card is played because it can be taken sooo far out of context by those who don't have to face these problems and who want to tell me that I don't deserve the same human rights that they do because I'm "weaker". That I need to just "get over it".

I'm not accusing anyone here. If anything, I think the fan base for ElfQuest is among the most accepting groups I have ever had the honor of conversing with. And I think that it's ElfQuest which has encouraged us to BE this accepting, of ourselves and of others. It's why we have such a responsibility to look at all sides and face our preconceptions.

lunakat

I said that because I know someone who directly knew him who stated that he had long-standing mental health issues. He did. He had certain specific problems that made it impossible for him to relate to other people and caused psychotic thinking.

Tam

lunakat said: I said that because I know someone who directly knew him who stated that he had long-standing mental health issues.


*thumbs up*

MultiFacets

I know I'm in the minority, but I want to say Elfmom rocks for offering peace and respect. I have male friends who are very good dudes, and they get so frustrated by how guys can be misrepresented by the people who make their gender look bad. It's not fair to all the decent men and women out there.

roboturtle

I can't really say I was paying a whole lot of attention to #notallmen and #yesallwomen, but from what I've seen, and I'm sure there are some people out there that are generally man-hatey, but I only saw people calling out MRAs and PUAs, not men in general. It's possible that is going on, but as I haven't seen any of that, a lot of this really seems to be missing the point...

lunakat

I know I'm in the minority, but I want to say Elfmom rocks for offering peace and respect. I have male friends who are very good dudes, and they get so frustrated by how guys can be misrepresented by the people who make their gender look bad. It's not fair to all the decent men and women out there.


Can they just get over it? Because the point has never been to say that all men are bad. So that's kind of all in their heads. Talking about the fact that cultures around the world tend toward misogyny is not a personal attack on your friends or an attempt to make the male gender "look bad." It's a criticism of how many cultures, overtly or subtly, treat women like objects- sexual objects, things to own, second class people. And that's kind of a serious thing- because it can result in terrible consequences, like, say a woman getting stoned in Pakistan... or not being allowed to drive in Iran. So for a guy to make that about his hurt feelings not only completely derails the point, but is incredibly self centered. Sorry. I'm just sick of that. It's such an oblivious reaction.

RedheadEmber

To be perfectly honest; I don't even see what the problem is.
The way I see it what elfmom is saying is basically: "Yes. I know some men are horrible, but not all of them."
Surely, @RobinG and @Grace, you've met men who are wonderful. Wouldn't you be mad if they got called "monsters" without reason?
Besides; women can be "monsters" too, we're just "monsters" in a different way.

In-story:
Angrif is a major dick! But we also got Guys such as Khorbasi, Shukopek, Ikopek, the Woodcutter, Geoki, Adar, Olbar.
As for the women: I wouldn't want to invite the Bonewoman for dinner, and not just because she probably has horrible table-manners.

lunakat

To be perfectly honest; I don't even see what the problem is.
The way I see it what elfmom is saying is basically: "Yes. I know some men are horrible, but not all of them."

Well, yeah- but... duh. I mean, that's just... duh. Of course. The sky is blue. The earth is round. Not all men are d**ks. Well, okay. So what? Why do we even need to make such an obvious statement?

Surely, @RobinG and @Grace, you've met men who are wonderful. Wouldn't you be mad if they got called "monsters" without reason?

Talking about social problems is not calling individual people monsters.

I mean- this is what is irritating about it. You can't have this discussion without having to stop, pat a bunch of men (who feel this is all a personal attack on them) on the back, and reassure them you aren't angry at them personally- and then you have to doubly stop and talk about how women can hurt men's feelings too and focus on the hurt feelings of these guys- and then talk about how men can be victims of mean ol' feminism (which, incidentally, is the only reason women can vote and have careers), and say incredibly obvious things like "not all men are bad" so that these guys feel better... and suddenly you aren't even talking about the original subject. You aren't talking about problems with gender inequality in the larger society at all. You aren't talking about cultural sexism. You are simply placating bruised egos. And what's the point? It's just, ultimately, a way to smother the original topic of discussion. And yeah, it's a really effective way to do that- cus don't we all want to be nice?

When a guy says that discussions about sexism make him feel bad or personally attacked- tell him to bloody well get over it, because it's not about him. It's about something bigger than him. Blow his mind with that concept.

lunakat

When a guy doesn't do this- it is suuch a relief! It makes you want to jump up and shout "yay!", hug him and thank him for being able to see the bigger picture.

RedheadEmber

lunakat said: Well, yeah- but... duh. I mean, that's just... duh. Of course. The sky is blue. The earth is round. Not all men are d**ks. Well, okay. So what? Why do we even need to make such an obvious statement?


And that's what confused me in the first place. Why did such an obvious statement cause such controversy?




lunakat said: Talking about social problems is not calling individual people monsters.


But what is the social problems?
Is it that a few people (men, women and everything in-between) are being allowed to act as if their viewpoint is the viewpoint of everybody?

It's true, as RobinG so nicely put it; we do need to strive for change. Something which, as far as I'm concerned, is best done by all of us standing together and throwing every sexist asshole over a cliff.

NOT LITERALLY!

Trollbabe

FWIW, the act of throwing people off a cliff when we don't agree with them, will do nothing to solve problems in this world, except to galvanize extremists. (Several people on this forum would probably get some satisfaction from throwing me off a cliff, but what would it accomplish?)

I am tripping over the hashtags and acronyms in this thread - I mentioned Facebook tends to make my home computer freeze. I am a little familiar with Twitter, but keeping up with social media is overwhelming.

Glad that someone brought up the problem of mental illness. In a mental asylum, isn't it true that the vast majority of patients are no threat to anyone other than themselves? A very small minority are aggressive or predatory.

This is a rather unpopular opinion that I sometimes air at my own peril. Women, in the general population, outnumber men and outlive men. We have full custody of children for their first nine months. Men have more upper body strength, but technology has done much to level the playing field. In many countries, when a woman outlives her husband, she controls his property.

If women wanted to end violence against all women, instead of just looking out for ourselves, we could do it in a few years.

Regarding rape culture, I believe it is an artificial construction that, IMHO, does not naturally exist in human society. For example, (another can of worms, and yes, we have whole other thread devoted to this debate) whenever there's a discussion about abortion rights, someone always says that rape victims need access to abortion. That always leads me to wonder, why is sexual abuse so prevalent that it even needs to be a part of the abortion debate? This is like starting a Special Olympics chapter for children who are born mentally and physically damaged by mine runoff in groundwater in a rural community.

Women are oppressed because we simply don't look out for each other.

Tavie

lunakat said: When a guy doesn't do this- it is suuch a relief! It makes you want to jump up and shout "yay!", hug him and thank him for being able to see the bigger picture.


Exactly. It's so frustrating. Like you say, we continually have to stop and congratulate men for not being monsters, for NOT butchering up women that won't sleep with them. We should be able to say, "Hey, this stuff exists, these attitudes exist and they're not right" without men taking it personally. That's the ENTIRE POINT of #yesallwomen - it's a response to those men that feel the need to interrupt a conversation to point out that NOT ALL MEN do whatever it is that we're talking about. We know that. This isn't about you. This is about the ones who do that. Sit down and let people talk without making it about you, you "NOT ALL MEN" men.

That's the entire point.

The derailing is really frustrating.

lunakat

What Tavie said. And to answer Ember's question- THAT is why such an obvious statement causes such controversy.

@Trollbabe- no. Blaming women for sexism is bunk. Encouraging women to stand up to it would be great, but if that's what you meant, please clarify... because it sounds like a completely different thing than what you said. I don't know what you mean when you say 'rape culture' is an artificial construction. Do you mean that, in a healthy society, it shouldn't exist? Or do you mean that it is an idea that people made up that doesn't exist.

If it's the latter, this story has every example of it:
http://www.kansascity.com/2013/10/12/4549775/nightmare-in-maryville-teens-sexual.html
That sound implausibly bad- but it's what used to happened to people who reported rape. And yes, I know guys can be sexually molested too. But the truth is, many aspects of our culture publicly condone violence against women, and sexual violence against women, in ways that we don't with regard to men. And that's why it's called "rape culture." Look, also at this story:

http://www.cnn.com/2014/03/14/justice/wesleyan-university-rape-lawsuit/

In both these incidences, people stood around and watched it happen- recorded it on phones- called the girls "sluts"- and congratulated the perpetrators. That's what that term is about.

And wouldn't it be great if that were a strange and unusual thing? But we all know it's not.

RichardPini

lunakat said: Well, yeah- but... duh. I mean, that's just... duh. Of course. The sky is blue. The earth is round. Not all men are d**ks. Well, okay. So what? Why do we even need to make such an obvious statement?


I may open myself up to a sh*tstorm here, but my reply is, well, duh, isn't it clear that women (all people, actually, but within the context of this thread) should be treated with respect? Why then does anyone ever need to make obvious statements about that? And yet the airwaves and interwebs are clogged with people doing exactly so. If being obvious is absurd for one topic, then fairness demands it be absurd for all. If, on the other hand, it's allowable for any one to speak out and ask questions, then it must allowed - and the right respected - for all.

Tam

Trollbabe said: Women are oppressed because we simply don't look out for each other.


Giant problem with this idea is that we shouldn't HAVE TO. We shouldn't have to look after our sisters and friends and make sure they're protected from men. We SHOULD, as a tenet of basic friendship, but no one can watch anyone 24/7. Men just shouldn't rape and abuse women, or treat them like property, like they owe them something. I don't think that's a tall order, and I don't think that's gonna be solved by women magically looking out for each other more.

For example. Abusive relationships and rape.

-I was raped when I was on a date. Sure, we coulda double-dated, but not forever.
-abuse doesn't always leave visible marks, so even if a friend wanted to respond, she couldn't.
-when a friend DOES respond, even with love and care, the abused often makes excuses. I ran into a door. I'm just depressed lately. I fell. Even if the friend knows what's going on, what is she supposed to do at that point? Kidnap her?
-on average, a woman will leave an abusive relationship seven times before she leaves permanently.
-of the total domestic abuse homicide cases, 75% of the victims were killed while trying to end the relationship, or after it had ended.

Women stay in an abusive relationship for a variety of reasons, ones that mainly pertain to low self-esteem, feeling like their abuser is all the deserve or the best they're gonna get, or even believing that the abuse is normal and just how relationships work. There's also the high probability of not surviving the end of the relationship..."If I stay, he won't kill me or my children." How does "looking out for each other" solve that? I don't deny that it could be helpful, but it is definitely NOT the root of female oppression.

Tam

RedheadEmber said: But what is the social problems?


It's the beauty industry that tells women they're ugly and mannish.
It's the idea that everything a woman does is to attract a man.
It's that when others dislike a woman, they immediately start insulting how she is in bed, or her ability to get a date.
It's movies that use violence against women to forward the plot.
And movies where the hero always gets the girl in the end.
It's the fact that we still need the f***ing Bechdel test, which isn't even that great a test.
It's "no means yes, lol!"
It's how baby girls are "cute" and "adorable," and baby boys are "strong" and "tough" and "smart."
It's that we call grown women "girls." (I totally do this, I don't know why I'm so uncomfortable referring to myself as a woman, but I am)
It's saying "boys will be boys" when they are violent as little kids, and then being surprised when they grow up to be violent adults.
It's ascribing weakness to anything feminine.
It's the way women are reduced to their body parts, from the backlash against breastfeeding in public, to people getting kicked out of the Michigan House for saying "vagina."
It's rape culture and victim blaming.
It's whatever makes it okay in an EMT's mind to ask a woman if she was having a seizure to get a man's attention.
It's the emphasis we put on being in a relationship...it's the be all, end all of things. If you're not married by a certain age, you're doing it wrong.

It's so many MORE things, and some of them are big, and some of them are small, but all of them contribute to the idea that women are lesser than men, that men are violent and uncontrollable, and that women are only good for baby-making. That's what makes it such a big problem, because the cause is not any one thing.

Tavie

RichardPini said: I may open myself up to a sh*tstorm here, but my reply is, well, duh, isn't it clear that women (all people, actually, but within the context of this thread) should be treated with respect?



It is not clear. If you read #yesallwomen you can see that there's a very real need for an actual, existing imbalance to be corrected.

It is not clear to a very great number of men.

That is the entire point.

Trollbabe

@lunakat: Rape is horribly prevalent in our society. I would never suggest that it was made up, and didn't exist. I believe rape culture is unnatural. It is an artificial construction imposed upon human society, just like the idea that differences in skin colors and facial features are predictors of character. I just can't believe that so many men on this planet could have been born with the capacity to use their sexual organs as weapons. It's something they learn, then choose to do.

I don't have much luck with pages that have video ads attached. (Today the Internet is slow and my computer has had to be turned on and off twice.) But I do recall the Maryville story of out-of-control retaliation, starting with blaming the victim. I also remember that college campuses didn't do much about security until rape victims started suing the institutions, which was long overdue. I also hear that they are still teaching students "Don't get raped" instead of "Don't rape."

My persistent belief is that women are our own worst enemies. We have the power to change society. We don't band together and use that power effectively.

MrsGrizzley

Okay... Krwo has been writing a blog about the power imbalance in fundamental Christianity and a LOT of that power balance bleeds over into the rest of American/Western civilization because the whole REASON there has to be a fight for gays/lesbians/others to have the right to marry the love of their life is based in the fundamental power imbalance that is latent, and sometimes blatant, sexism in the Christian culture, whether you ascribe to it or not.

Because of reading HER blog, and she IS a member here of long standing, and one I would think a lot of people respect. I know that I sure as hell respect her. Because of her blog, I started reading around at stuff.

Let me get some links. These people tell it soooo much better than I ever could.

http://defeatingthedragons.wordpress.com/

Here is her archives
http://defeatingthedragons.wordpress.com/archives-2/

These people repost bits and pieces of other blogs, and sometimes whole posts with permission, so you get a bit from a LOT of different sources
http://www.patheos.com/blogs/nolongerquivering/

This is a link to an archive of one blogger who is discussing the Modesty Doctrine as it relates to other issues
http://www.patheos.com/blogs/phoenixandolivebranch/blog-series/the-modesty-doctrine-links/

This has to be the most powerful love story I have ever seen play out in blog posts as the couple recounts their Courtship and Marriage and their mutual Transition. It is simply astounding. The series you're looking for are about the Courtship and then one called Opening the Onion. I read it last night and it had me in tears.
http://www.patheos.com/blogs/permissiontolive/

If you want to know how BAD things still are, look at Game of Thrones lately and the fact that neither the writer nor the actors, nor the producers are AWARE that what they wrote and produced is a RAPE SCENE. They talk about how it's "complicated" when it's not that damn complicated at all. Let me get the one post from Defeating the Dragons because I happen to agree with her given that she comes from that same background of rampant abuse...
http://defeatingthedragons.wordpress.com/2014/04/29/cersei-lannister-rape-culture-and-a-lot-of-me-flipping-the-bird-in-general/

Rape Culture is NOT a "made up concept". I have felt that toxic belief permeate my life when a boyfriend who was a fiance at the time IGNORED my "no" and when I tried to tell my mother that I was raped she outright told me that it was MY FAULT.

This is why Book One of the OQ continues to mean so damn much to me. This is why I believe that ElfMom got some things so incredibly right. Because even with every instinct within his body screaming at him to "just take her", Cutter listens to Leetah and respects her boundaries as an individual being, one who owns her own body and who is the final judge of what happens with it.

Yes, not all men are monsters. But we cannot balance our society without facing just how deeply EVERYONE is affected by these beliefs, and how even those who really think that they're decent human beings are participating in these patterns of subjection and power.

I hope I'm not sounding angry or accusatory, because that's not my intent. I feel very strongly on this issue and I do, in fact, support ElfMom and ElfPop in their portrayal of monsters in ElfQuest. As well as their portrayals of those who most decidedly are not monstrous.

RichardPini

Tavie said:
It is not clear. If you read #yesallwomen you can see that there's a very real need for an actual, existing imbalance to be corrected.


I agree there is such need. That's not my point. This forum is Wendy's and my house-of-many-rooms. It's a large one, willing to accommodate, but while we encourage as much freedom of discussion as possible, I also insist on a minimum level of good manners. So I still want to hear why it apparently is acceptable for anyone (@lunakat, in this case) to be sarcastic and dismissive regarding something she feels is obvious beyond any need to be stated. Not everyone, I dare say, would agree with her in that; I'd bet good money there exist some women who do think that all men are dicks. (Just as there are certainly some men who don't naturally consider women worthy of respect or equality.) I don't care whether you agree with me or not. I do care that everyone here be treated respectfully. Disagreement and discussion are welcome here. Passion and personal feeling are welcome here. Sarcasm is not. Our house, our rules.

(And no, I'm not picking on @lunakat for any reason other than convenience; hers are simply the most recent comments that illustrate my point. Things in the old forum got way too lax; the new setup affords me much easier participation - and oversight. I'm glad of both.)

Trollbabe

For what it's worth. I spent my first four years of marriage helping my husband through seminary. He was a chaplain at a maximum security men's prison, before he had health problems. (Lots of health problems - an hour ago he took three aspirin, two Tylenol and a prescription pain pill just to reduce pain to a tolerable level.) I earned the primary paycheck so he could work for a shoestring ministry. We often paid out of our household account for chapel supplies.

Why? So he could use the Bible to reach men who had committed all kinds of crimes against women. FWIW I believe that Jesus Christ was a radical feminist, which is one of the reasons He ended up on the cross. (The story at the beginning of John 8 is my favorite illustration of this.)

Christianity empowers women as well as men. It's not a religion, it's a relationship with the Living God.

If any of the churches or other religions of the world are dominated by male leaders, how many are financed and supported by women? If women attend services, make donations and volunteer time in support of any institution that oppresses them, how much blame can we pass on to men?

Edit: Just caught that last post: "the new setup affords me much easier participation - and oversight. I'm glad of both." I am too.

Tavie

RichardPini said: also insist on a minimum level of good manners. So I still want to hear why it apparently is acceptable for anyone (@lunakat, in this case) to be sarcastic and dismissive regarding something she feels is obvious beyond any need to be stated. Not everyone, I dare say, would agree with her in that; I'd bet good money there exist some women who do think that all men are dicks. (Just as there are certainly some men who don't naturally consider women worthy of respect or equality.) I don't care whether you agree with me or not. I do care that everyone here be treated respectfully. Disagreement and discussion are welcome here. Passion and personal feeling are welcome here. Sarcasm is not. Our house, our rules.


I think we're all aware of the "our house, our rules" maxim - you say it a lot :) - I know I try to be respectful and most of the other people here too.

I think maybe this is just a matter of us interpreting @Lunakat's remarks differently, maybe? I saw her remarks as attempting to characterize the general position of those engaging in the larger argument on social media, etc, via the #yesallwomen discussion - I didn't interpret her sarcasm as aimed at @Redheadember, but aimed at the "not all men" people - the folks who can't see women sharing experiences of misogyny without having to chime in that THEY'RE not like that. @Lunakat can correct me if I'm wrong, of course.

What's puzzling to me is that you're zeroing in on her sarcasm when two people at the beginning of this thread actually used the words "screw you" and another post that was so hostile towards Wendy that a moderator had to edit it to remove profanity - are those examples of "passion and personal feeling" that are welcome here? But sarcasm used to characterize an argument isn't? I guess I'm just confused about when and where the "tone" rules apply. I thought the tone of the first couple of comments in this thread stepped WAY outside the boundaries of what's allowed here.

I didn't see that in @Lunakat's posts at all, but she's the one that's been "called out". I guess I just don't really get it.

kathynever

I think it's more people are ignoring those first two posters as they obviously just registered here to spit some vitriol and buggered off.

RichardPini

Tavie said: What's puzzling to me is that you're zeroing in on her sarcasm when two people at the beginning of this thread actually used the words "screw you" and another post that was so hostile towards Wendy that a moderator had to edit it to remove profanity - are those examples of "passion and personal feeling" that are welcome here? But sarcasm used to characterize an argument isn't? I guess I'm just confused about when and where the "tone" rules apply. I thought the tone of the first couple of comments in this thread stepped WAY outside the boundaries of what's allowed here.


After I made the original post, I got busy with other things. I was alerted to the fact (by other moderators) that some flames had erupted, and been dealt with. Had I been on watch from the beginning - and as I hope to be more so, though there are many of you and only so much time I have available to spend here - you may rest assured that I would have jumped on the comments you mention.

Tavie said:
I think we're all aware of the "our house, our rules" maxim - you say it a lot :)


Not nearly "a lot," and not nearly as often as I think it. ;)

kathynever said: I think it's more people are ignoring those first two posters as they obviously just registered here to spit some vitriol and buggered off.


It's possible. Some people - blessedly, a relative few - love to snipe and then scurry away. In my experience, they tend to imagine that they've struck a stealthy blow for ... I don't know, really. Whatever's gotten stuck in their craw that day. Often, I choose to leave the posts visible in the hope - often justified - that most everyone here is able to come to the same conclusion as @kathynever.

Trollbabe

@kathynever Thank you for pointing this out, as it didn't register with me at first. Looking at the photos, I wonder if those are even the actual people who posted these remarks.

Occasionally we get people who think that opinions are "right" or "wrong", and that anyone who doesn't agree with them needs to be properly schooled. I have two recommendations for these types: Toastmasters International and Dale Carnegie.

lunakat

I wasn't being sarcastic one iota. I meant every word I said. I honestly didn't know where Trollbabe was coming from and was asking for clarification- because I thought she could have meant her comments in two distinctly different ways and I didn't want to misinterpret her. And as far as my other remarks are concerned- I think if you read what i wrote, it should be clear that was not sarcasm.

My point was- exactly what Tavie said- that response from guys completely derails and redirects the whole discussion to be about reassuring them we don't think they are bad.

Look at it this way. I'm white. I can listen to and participate in a discussion about issues of race and inequality without feeling it is a personal attack against me as a white person. I don't need someone to reassure me that they don't hate me because I'm white or blame me for everything simply because they are talking about unequal access, mistreatment under the law, the wrongs of history, how the media portrays people of color, the racial make-up of the senate and congress, etc.

I actually believe it would be incredibly self centered of me and entitled of me to try to recenter that kind of discussion around my personal feelings of indignation that a group I am a member of might be criticized. I would not have the gall to demand that people reassure me that I'm not at fault so my feelings aren't hurt. Because that discussion is not about me personally- and it's not about every white person being racist or how white people can be victims of racism too. It's about the system of our culture. It's bigger than that.

And I guess, as much as I get fed up with white people acting defensive over discussions about institutionalized racism- I also get fed up with men acting as if acknowledging that our society and culture (along with many cultures around the world) has a problem with sexism is a personal attack. It's just entitled and selfish.

When a guy doesn't do that- I am legitimately impressed.

MultiFacets

lunakat said: Can they just get over it?


Maybe when other guys stop making them look bad.

Trollbabe

Getting back to one of Lunakat's earlier posts, I agree that "a lot of the discussion should really focus on mental health." She knows someone who knows the assailant, and the fixation with women owing him sexual favors was long evident. Again, I haven't read much about the situation, but at some point he could have sought help, and at some point, more help might have been extended to him.

American law now protects mentally ill people from being locked up and lobotomized or sterilized. But people sometimes go to the other extreme, ignoring warning signs because they are indifferent, overtaxed, or afraid of retaliation. (Former students couldn't have access to their old grade school records in my day.) Maybe that's what happened here.

In any case, of course the young man was not representative of the majority of men, any more than he was representative of the majority of the mentally ill.

I can't speculate how men feel about this tragedy, but I notice men get angry when they are helpless to protect women. Maybe they are angry, not just because they are misrepresented. Maybe it's because something like this can happen to the women they love.

Tam

MultiFacets said: Maybe when other guys stop making them look bad.


The problem is that the men who spend so much time talking about how others make them look bad often don't seem to care about anything else. Too many times have I seen people post the sort of stories featured in the #yesallwomen tag and some of the male readers will automatically jump to BUT NOT ALL MEN! or BUT I DON'T DO THAT! It's like...you know, good for you, you meet the criteria of basically decent human being.

It sucks that people are making your friends look bad, and I'm not saying they're the type to automatically jump on the "not all men" wagon. But it's a different topic. No one should be blaming an entire 50%-ish of the population for the actions of one person, or even the actions of a bunch of them. But we've got bigger fish to fry. There's a time and a place to address that. Many women don't feel safe walking around alone, they're in abusive relationships, they're only going out with close friends, they're mistrustful of men because trusting them has led to horrible, awful things. No, they shouldn't blame all men for what some have done. But when you feel like you can't trust half the population and like you're always having to look over your shoulder, the last thing you're thinking (especially when angry and venting) is, "oh, and I have to remember not to hurt anyone's feelings."

lunakat

@MultiFacets Maybe when other guys stop making them look bad.
This is exactly what I was talking about. It's not about them. To say this misses the point so very completely.

"I'll get over it when other guys stop making me look bad" is the wrong attitude to have and the wrong message to absorb. The right attitude and the right message is "I'll get over it when our culture no longer upholds sexist attitudes and beliefs- and until then, I'll do everything I can to make this the kind of world I want my daughter to grow up in." Can you guys see the difference? Like Tam said, they are two different topics.

This is what I was trying to say:
It sucks that people are making your friends look bad, and I'm not saying they're the type to automatically jump on the "not all men" wagon. But it's a different topic. No one should be blaming an entire 50%-ish of the population for the actions of one person, or even the actions of a bunch of them. But we've got bigger fish to fry. There's a time and a place to address that.

But I actually wasn't trying to say this:
the last thing you're thinking (especially when angry and venting) is, "oh, and I have to remember not to hurt anyone's feelings."
.. because I don't think it's about venting.

@Trollbabe - Thanks for bringing that up! I do think that his family had tried to get him all sorts of help. From what I understood, he was refusing to take his medications- and you can't force someone over eighteen to do that. They had already gone to the police about him, but he didn't seem to be an immediate danger to himself or others- so the police did nothing. Ever since Ronald Reagan recklessly dismantled mental health care facilities without providing any alternative resources, and defunded mental health care programs across the country- we have been having a crisis. We treat mental health issues as if they are shameful- but it's incredibly wrong to shame anyone for having a legitimate medical problem. There is a lot of discussion that should take place on this topic.

MrsGrizzley

As an aside, because we all experience the comics industry and how it objectifies women... I have found a freakin BRILLIANT blogger!

http://www.doctornerdlove.com/

He gets it. He really GETS IT!

Tam

lunakat said: But I actually wasn't trying to say this:
the last thing you're thinking (especially when angry and venting) is, "oh, and I have to remember not to hurt anyone's feelings."
.. because I don't think it's about venting.


It's definitely not about venting for all, but it certainly is for some.

krwordgazer

I'm coming to this discussion late, and I appreciate Mrs. Grizzley's kind words above! :)

But I do want to chime in a little bit about rape culture, and #yesallwomen. I contributed a few tweets to #yesallwomen, because the things they were talking about do apply to me. And I completely agree with Lunakat that this isn't about blaming men or hating men, but about systemic/institutional mindsets and ways of looking at women (and men!) that have negative overall effects on all of us.

I learned very early in life (first incident when I was about six years old, asked to undress for boys about a year older than me) that except to my family and (thank God!) my teachers, the main thing about me that was going to be focused on was my body. This held true throughout grade school (where we all wore shorts under our skirts because boys liked to flip up skirts on the playground, or run under the monkey bars to look up at our panties), junior high (where, among other things, a boy chased me down the stairs of the school and across the parking lot, trying to touch my chest), and high school (where only girls who had been claimed by a boy as a girlfriend received any real respect). Until I grew into my weight at age 14, I was also constantly harassed about being fat. All of this is what is defined now as rape culture-- the idea that girls and women exist primarily for the enjoyment of men.

Yes, all this was in the 1970s-- but what about the fact that my own daughter, in her young teens in the mid 2000s, suddenly started hiding herself in hoodies when her figure started developing? She, too, had imbibed a culture where on TV and magazine covers, women's bodies were on display for what is called the "male gaze" -- and she didn't like it.

None of this is about blaming men as a group. In fact, men are also disadvantaged when the same systemic mindsets expect them to behave in certain ways and mock them for less "manly" ways of being; when it considers them expendable in war or crime; when it refuses to acknowledge that they, too, can be abused.

Rape culture, and the male gaze-- these things are real. When men take our protests against these things personally, rather than seeing them for what they are (indictments on systemic injustice), then they're not being part of the solution.

I appreciate what Wendy Pini had to say about Angrif Djun. And I completely agree that some forms of feminism unfairly target and vilify all men. But that doesn't men that what #yesallwomen has to say in general, isn't real.

lunakat

I love what krwordgazer just wrote. And I love the link that Mrs. Griz put up. If you go to that link and read Dr. Nerdlove's article on 'Elliot Rodger and the price of toxic masculinity'-- personally I think that's the best and most comprehensive analysis I've seen so far. Love what the guy had to say!

Trollbabe

(Waiting for Doctor Nerd Love's page to load, then not being able to scroll down, I finally figured out how to read this article, minus the illustrations: Copy and paste it to a notepad program, then copy and paste the notepad text to a word processing program.)

Glad somebody else thinks that virginity isn't a bad thing.

I don't think that enough men realize that virginity is very attractive to many of us. We don't want all the baggage that comes with having given up your precious virginity to someone who won't be there for you ten, twenty, thirty years from now. We don't want to live up to the expectations created by Miss Wonderful-in-Bed, or clean up the clutter left by Miss Hump'em-and-dump'em.

I don't think the way a lot of my American peers do. I think virginity is a good thing, fornication is a bad thing. Yes, I read Elfquest, but I also know that elves aren't real.

That's what I think, I don't expect anyone else to think the same.

krwordgazer

I tend to agree with Trollbabe about virginity being a good thing. :)

I also wanted to contribute this link in regards to what Lunakat said, comparing this issue to the issue of racial privilege. This is an excellent article about what white feminist women can do to listen better to people of color, by letting go of our own egos and opening our ears and minds. The same thing applies to men listening better to women. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sarah-milstein/5-ways-white-feminists-can-address-our-own-racism_b_3955065.html

Here, for instance, is a good quote from the article, that applies to many areas of human interaction:

For white women interacting with women of color, we may reflexively, unwittingly assume our experience -- and therefore our intentions -- are (or should be) primary. I'd argue that's rooted in our internalizing cultural messages. But whatever the root, we have to get wise if we expect women of color to take us seriously.

So, when somebody points out that you've said or done something racist, perhaps something that hurt them personally, the game-changing response is first to understand that your intentions are not the centerpiece of the interaction. In other words: it's not about you, which can be a genuinely hard to see. Once you let your intentions fall away, you can focus on what the other person is saying (recommended: assume she has a very valid point and try to understand where you went wrong). It changes no games to insist that you meant to be perfectly graceful.

Trollbabe

This is a long blog post, but it's worth reading:

http://markmanson.net/school-shootings

lunakat

@Trollbabe. I agree with that article to the extent that it explains the behavior of the killer. But I also think that, whether "Eliot Roger became a killer because he was a misogynist" or "became a misogynist because he was a killer," misogyny exists- and it is a problem, and this is a chance to have a larger discussion about it.

It's smart to seize this opportunity. Because whether of not they go on to shoot up a school, numerous other men took part in the online hate groups that Eliot Rogers was a member of- and those men will work in companies, attempt to date women (which means having women in compromising positions- like, walking back to the car after dinner, etc.), may someday be in charge of hiring for positions or in charge of who gets promoted, may raise daughters, may end of teaching high school, etc. And whether any of them directly end up doing anything of that sort or not, it's very clear that their attitudes and ideas are amplifications of larger cultural forces that exist within our society- that affect girls and boys in negative ways.

So- to dismiss that by saying "he was crazy- and that's why he was misogynist" is to miss a opportunity to open a dialogue and fix problem.

krwordgazer

Seriously, friends, I had to post this. It's a comic-book guy telling it like it is.

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/05/27/your-princess-is-in-another-castle-misogyny-entitlement-and-nerds.html

Trollbabe

LOL! I was well into my teens when Pong came out, so I never played that game. (BTW "Wreck It Ralph" was a great movie!)

lunakat

That article- YES! Whoever the guy is that wrote that- I love him.

lunakat

Honestly- Krwordgazer was talking earlier about how her almost-teenage daughter suddenly started covering herself in bulky sweaters... I know why. When I was a teen walking home from the bus-stop- i did the same thing. I wore bulky sweaters and I slouched- because strange men would whistle and shout at me- especially if I passed a construction sight. Sometimes when driving by in cars. It scared me and made me uncomfortable with my body. She must be experiencing some variation on the same theme- that constant anxiety about being looked at that way.

I had five random strangers, between the ages of twelve and eighteen, feel me up out of the blue. This is not counting the pre-teen boys at school who, in Jr. High, would run across the school yard with their hands out and grab girls by the breasts- usually smacking them hard. That hurt- and it was annoying- but it didn't scare me. Looking back though, I wonder what gave those kids the idea they could do that. I would never have thought it was okay to walk up to a boy and grab his package just to feel it.

And yeah- I had my best friend, who I grew up with and thought of as a brother, climb on top of me one day and refuse to stop when I asked. I finally kicked him as hard as I could in the stomach. He told me I had led him on (by hugging him) and that I was lucky to be in that situation with him- because no other guy would have stopped under the circumstances. And I think he actually expected me to feel back for rejecting him.

Isn't this how girls grow up? I mean- you grow up being acculturated to this, as if it's normal. As if it's to be expected. And you just have to deal with it, because if you can't- you can't feel comfortable walking down the street.