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Post 60

Monday, May 2, 2005 - 8:33pmSanction this postReply
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Kelly, I was going to post another retort to all of the hubbub when I saw this:

Am I the only woman here who likes being a sex object? It's not all I am, but it is why I get dolled up sometimes and why I walk swishier when walking by a group of admiring men. I like to be admired.
Outstanding.  That, my dear, is why I like you.  :)

I love being a woman -- and a sex object.  In fact, I revel in it.  It is not a burden to bear, ladies, but an aesthetic beauty to celebrate.  Yes, you should be loved for your mind -- but the fun doesn't end there. 

I am so tired of seeing women take a defensive stance on this -- it is the same set of arguments I see every time the "feminist" issue arises.  Sigh.

I'm wondering if the women who make such arguments are the same ones who complain that they can never find a decent man.  There are some premises to check there.




Post 61

Monday, May 2, 2005 - 8:58pmSanction this postReply
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I don't care whether the beholder in question is thinking of me as a living, thinking, breathing person, or is merely passing judgement on my appearance.

Why?

Jennifer,

Again, I'm not talking about sex. Also, we apparently don't agree on the definition of a sex object. I agree with your "aesthetic beauty to celebrate" notion, but I don't call it objectification. I call that appreciation of beauty.
(Edited by Sarah House
on 5/02, 9:05pm)




Post 62

Monday, May 2, 2005 - 9:00pmSanction this postReply
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One of the odd things am noticing here in this Objectivist conversation is the notion that to admire a woman's [ or , as with Duncan, a man's] physical attributes - the beauty seen, is to somehow declare that there is not like beauty within... such hogwash only is a hand-out to those of Dworkan's ilk....  If I see a beauty, and am admiring that beauty, rest assured it is implying there is more to it than just what is seen - Kathy, Sarah, Ginny, Jennifer - all seen walking down the street or wherever - are not as paper pullouts from Playboy......



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Post 63

Monday, May 2, 2005 - 9:08pmSanction this postReply
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Andrew:

I'm sure you have a nice ass too, Andrew. And I'd tell you so. The difference is, I'd never be able to rape you if I got you alone by saying it. (That's a hyperbole... just for discussion purposes.) It just... doesn't work in the reverse. I think it's alright to say that girls don't have the same worries as guys... crime stats are a pretty objective sign of that. Women have to worry about men and sexual crimes more than men about women. So... there's that. Oh, and I don't hate men. I actually dislike girls a lot more... catty snoots! Guys are more relaxed and straightforward. In some ways, it has to be us-against-them in this... I don't have to worry all that much about being raped by a girl or a homosexual man. Most guys aren't Objectivists, and they do not see women as equal to men... some even see us as potential targets. We as women are lucky to have good guys like you who do. Believe me, my flirting comment to you was in jest... I am not insulting you with what I said. I know you will find the perfect women... just as I found the perfect man. We have awesome sex (!) and an awesome relationship. And he can stare at my boobies all day long. But we worked up to that. It isn't how we started, and I liked it better that way, personally. (And we met at a party! And we danced! And it was hot! But he never made me uncomfortable... it's been 2 and a half years since then. *sigh*)

Also, this isn't about sticking up for feminists. I HATE feminists. They are ridiculous. They make no sense. Just because I take a different stance on what is offensive than you does not make me one. It was unfair of Alec to lump those of us who want to see change in the way men treat women b/c of  sexual violence in with feminists and penis haters. *shivers* It is not about supporting their ideology... but Alec didn't try to say that. He did seem to be going for shock value. There are plenty of non-feminists who are involved with rape counseling and prevention. Like... me. We try to help women see that there are things they can do to protect themselves, and to move past the incidents. Also, if I insulted you or lessened my argument with it the flirting advice, I take it back. Just, reserve it for the real cows, okay? ;o) I would have written in against Alec's article too. But I ain't no feminazi, darn it. The hoof don't fit.

Last thing... please just realize that there are plenty of reasons for us to be cautious of guys. Even if it's the one in a million chance... we don't want to risk it. Seems reasonable to me. Rape and sexual assault are too painful. If guys want us to stop thinking like that (walkin' 'round nekkid and whatnot), there has to be a change. I don't know how to do it, and I won't claim to. Until then, I'm content with my knife and pepper spray. But I'm workin toward somethin' better. I'm sure your comments to girls are clearly compliments. That's not true of all men. Forgive me for still being wary of Alec's article, however. You're free to express yourself sexually to girls... but the way we respond depends on what we've been through with this, and what we know others have. Alec seemed to be lessening rape... he did this by saying that it was only feminists who controlled rape discourse, and that therefore, all the hype about rape was feminist B.S. But it isn't... rape is prevalent, and too much so. There are girls that mess up and get raped, but there are a lot more who get raped when they do nothing wrong. Like I said before, the piece should have been about the crap that is "Gender Studies" and not rape. Alec was right about radical feminism: it does not empower women. But he does not either... not enough anyways. Too many women are victims, but they don't all act like victims and they do deserve a fair ear; not one that has a pre-conceived notion that they are penis-haters. Alec's article left little room for this. There was a time (and in some places, there still is) where getting raped was no big thing... maybe even expected. Articles like this demean the real problem by associating it with crap philosophy, and feminists do the same thing by making it a part of their crap philosophy. They're both wrong to some degree.

I'm still funny and sexy (believe it or not!), even if I am threatened by some men's ideas of come-ons. Ick. I like to be a sex object to the right guys too (and I am damn sexy when I want to be!)... but not to creeps in bars and those who wander drunkenly the streets of Athens in the evening when I am walking back from dinner. I also don't want that to taint the way guys think of me at work, where I want to be loved for my productiveness, not my booty. Kelly and Jennifer... I don't dispute what you say about liking to feel sexy; I love it and it makes my man want me in a way that makes it sooo much hotter. (Is that too much info? Oh well.) Alec's article needed to address the wider issues of feminism and its pitfalls. Otherwise, it was a great piece, and as a former Libertarian columnist, I know what it is like to receive hate mail... fun!

(Edited by Nicole Theberge on 5/02, 9:17pm)




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Post 64

Monday, May 2, 2005 - 9:13pmSanction this postReply
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It might interest you all to know that women are far safer in nudist resorts than outside them?



Post 65

Monday, May 2, 2005 - 9:13pmSanction this postReply
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Robert, Yes! That's what I'm getting at. (edit: I'm referring to post 62, not the nudist thing, although it is interesting)

(note: now I'm talking about sex)
Furthermore, when looking at someone walking down the street, physical beauty isn't the only factor. A person's gait, posture, the look in his eyes... all factors that have internal sources and profoundly influence, for me at least, how externally attractive someone is to me.
(Edited by Sarah House
on 5/02, 9:19pm)




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Post 66

Monday, May 2, 2005 - 9:11pmSanction this postReply
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Hi, fellow SOLOists, I'd like to address a few points that were raised in this forum. First of all, the question of "objectification" is puzzling to me. Why is it, if you focus on a specific trait that a woman has such as her sense of humor, her work skills, her hair, or her hands no one bats the proverbial eyelash. However, when the focus is on her beauty, her sexuality, her butt or breasts, all hell breaks loose and people cry "Objectification". Second, websites such as www.domai.com and www.bodyinmind.com have debunked the myth which says that everytime a man admires a beautiful woman, he wants to have sex with her. I know that this is true from personal experience. Third, it is morally virtuous to enjoy the sight of a beautiful babe. Why? Because it is life-affirming. It is a source of emotional and spiritual nourishment as I have stated in a SOLO article that I wrote several years ago. It is a concrete example of Ayn Rand's "Benevolent Universe" premise. and speaking of The First Lady of Objectivism, she had something to say as to why it is complementary and not derrogatory when a man has sexual desires for a woman. "The reason why people consider sexual desire insulting to a woman is in the deepest sense, due to the fact that to most people, sex is an evil, low, degrading aspect of man's life. Since most people, in their philosophical premises, have damned themselves and life (life on earth)-their sex desires and actions are an expression of evil...On such premises, sexual desire is insulting to a woman.....On the right philosophical premise about sex, on my premise, it is a great compliment to a woman if a man wants her. It is an expression of his highest values, not his contempt".



Post 67

Monday, May 2, 2005 - 9:19pmSanction this postReply
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Furthermore, when looking at someone walking down the street, physical beauty isn't the only factor. A person's gait, posture, the look in his eyes... all factors that have internal sources and profoundly influence, for me at least, how externally attractive someone is to me.


See, I consider all that to be subsumed by the label of “physical beauty.”

Which leads directly into that article that I've been postponing writing forever....



Post 68

Monday, May 2, 2005 - 9:20pmSanction this postReply
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Sarah,

Why not? I mean that seriously - why *should* I care if a stranger in the street is objectifying me?



Post 69

Monday, May 2, 2005 - 9:22pmSanction this postReply
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$%@#$!!!! Objectification does not necessitate sex you horny horny people.



Post 70

Monday, May 2, 2005 - 9:24pmSanction this postReply
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Sarah,

I don't understand your response (although I do understand your frustration, the signal-to-noise ratio in this thread is alarmingly low).

I wrote:

"I don't care whether the beholder in question is thinking of me as a living, thinking, breathing person, or is merely passing judgement on my appearance."

Then you wrote:

"Why?"

Then I wrote:

"Why not? I mean that seriously - why *should* I care if a stranger in the street is objectifying me?"

Then you wrote:

"$%@#$!!!! Objectification does not necessitate sex you horny horny people."

Obviously I'm missing something here. Either that, or your reply wasn't intended for me.



Post 71

Monday, May 2, 2005 - 9:25pmSanction this postReply
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That was in response to post 66. More on yours later Duncan.



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Post 72

Monday, May 2, 2005 - 9:31pmSanction this postReply
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Nicole,

Thank you for pouring some much-needed cool water on a thread that was bringing me to a simmering boil! I've given your post all the sanctions my three Atlas statues can muster.

Looking back at your posts and mine, I think I either a.) innocently misinterpreted your jesting as a snipe at me, or b.) unjustly leapt to judgment and issued a stinging and undeserved rebuke. Either way, I was wrong, I'm sorry.

It makes me furious that some men destroy the trust between the sexes through rape. And I won't deny that women have the shit end of that particular stick. But I still stand by my original point that men have been casualties of that shaken trust as well; we're told that so many things are "harassment," and that we have to be so careful with the "power" we have over women, that we're being turned into timorous romantic incompetents. And an innocent man is no less innocent just because he happens to have a few of the same bits-n-pieces as the rapists who create this situation in the first place.

Perhaps what we're facing here is some confusion as to who exactly Alec meant to castigate with this column. Personally, perhaps because I have met Alec in person and know he is a man of good character, I saw it as an attack on the very "ridiculous" feminists we all hate so much.

I would have felt very differently if I had seen it as an attack on the people on university campuses who counsel sexual assault victims. At my university the Women's Center and Student Assault Recovery Services are two different organizations, with very different philosophies and purposes. The former does things that deserve ridicule now and then. (Although they also put together cool stuff like a Glam Rock dance that was held last Friday... you've never seen a man look so good in women's clothing ;) ) The latter has never been anything but open, honest, forthright, and a force for healthy sex on my campus.



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Post 73

Monday, May 2, 2005 - 9:33pmSanction this postReply
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If the guys walking around Athens were thinking of sex as their highest value and they just wanted to share it with us to make their lives and hence world a better, they wouldn't all be single. They wouldn't try to find us when they were drunk. They'd be treating women like Cassanova would. They would call us their Venus. They would not drool on us, but be amazed with us. They would take us in and share their souls with us, even if it's just for one night. This isn't about the great sex that we can have, Paul. It's about the bad. It's about being afraid of certain folks in certain situations, and taking care of what happens to the unlucky that experience them. If you're a good guy, you can hit on me all day long. Ask my boyfriend and husband-to-be. Sex is grand when it is wanted. It is horrific when it is not. That is part of what I am addressing here.  It may be life-affirming when you're interacting with the right guy, but when you send clear signals to a guy to back off, it's no longer life-affirming. And when this happens over and over, you have to take the knowledge and do something with it. The fact is, some guys are not using sex in a way that is best for both partners. I am not talking about loving sexual partnerships. That's not what rape or sexual harassment is about. I do not think that sex is a low thing... not in the slightest. That's precisely the reason I think that guys should think more seriously about how they treat women. We already find it to be the highest value. You have to match up to that. Take in our bodies, enjoy them, but remember in the end that they are ours, and that when we say nope... you gotta listen, no matter how "affirmed" you are.

PS edit: Andrew... see! We can get along. ;o) I should have put a smiley next to my first cow comment. And trust me, I know guys like you get some of the crap from the bad apples. I'm sorry. But it's pretty easy to prove to me that you aren't one... even in a bar. You just say things like you just said. ;o) We need more like you in this town! 

(Edited by Nicole Theberge on 5/02, 9:40pm)




Post 74

Monday, May 2, 2005 - 11:43pmSanction this postReply
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Lots of dissonance in this thread... 

I like your article Alec and as always there are a few one-liners in there that cracked me up. Your writing style is most definitely abrasive...if your purpose is to encourage positive change in the culture then you might consider a different tack. This thread is a microcosm of the reaction you'll get from the culture-at-large. A thin percentage will understand and appreciate your cutting remarks while a plump percentage who might otherwise agree with your philosophy will dismiss you because of the harshness of your style.

Not telling you what to do. You have to decide that for yourself. Just offering my $.02. I'll support you either way.


Feminism and political correctness have slowly wormed their way into our subconscious minds. It's wreaking havoc on romance. Our social habits are based more on fear than on benevolence which makes interacting with strangers a battle instead of a pleasure. 

The current generation of teens don't appear to give a shit about much of anything. They don't respect themselves so they are pretty fucking far from respecting the opposite sex. That goes for boys and girls. I see a nihilism here today that the history books say was common in Russia in the late 1800s. What followed the nihilism of Russia was 80 years of terror. There are, of course, many exceptional teens but I'm not convinced there are enough exceptions to hold America together for much longer.

Happy Tuesday!



The modern woman has great potential for joy in her life. Once she sees the potential for herself she tends to reach it. Modern feminists hide and distort that potential whenever possible. Let's not sanction their behavior. Ever. 




Post 75

Tuesday, May 3, 2005 - 1:45amSanction this postReply
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HAHAHAHA! Thank you Andrew Bissell for your post 42. What a great way to start the day that was!

(And even more impressive that Nicole has taken it like a good sport. You two would make a great couple :-)



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Post 76

Tuesday, May 3, 2005 - 4:06amSanction this postReply
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Well well, what have we here...

It seems that while I was detained, the trusty anti-prude forces of SOLO -- led by bad boy Bissell -- have done a lot of my work for me on this thread. Now that I have a moment, I'll respond to the remaining yelps and also explain the general purpose of my column and why I wrote it as I did.

First, I'd like to amusingly note that it seems I've garnered an anti-Alec contingent on Solo that hates me sufficiently enough to have sanctioned self-admitted illiteracy (see Ginny's first post). It's not that I revel in being hated, but there's something vaguely enjoyable about fighting the devil in heaven. Perhaps it's the home-field advantage.

Second, much thanks to all of you who sung your praises. I appreciate it.

Kelly, the 1 in 4 statistic was the result of a study conducted by Kate Moss (and commissioned by Steinem for Ms. magazine). It has been famously and widely exposed for years now -- the fact that 73 percent of the victims "didn't believe they were raped" was admitted by Ross herself upon further questioning. You can read about it all over the net, but I recommend the most indispensable book regarding feminism of the past 20 years. It's called Who Stole Feminism? by Christina Hoff Sommers. She definitively exposed every lie and devious motive of gender feminists. That book was the death-knell for the credibility of academic feminism.

It's difficult to discern an accurate rape risk, but most impartial studies have indicated that the number is a maximum of 1 in 20 for women.

Eve, I'll address your general question in the last part of this post. But you seem to have no clue as to the definition of "straw man."

Lance, thanks for adding your two inches...(kidding; you know I love you)

Nicole, I respect your fundamental agreement with me, but my God how you've rambled and rambled! Your rambling has conveyed a few disturbing things. Apparently, there are women here who think they should be able to walk the streets naked and not have to worry about a thing. Um okay, but here in reality, that ain't ever going to happen, so there is no point in pontificating about it. Maybe if mankind goes blind -- although even then, the ribald life of Ray Charles has proven it won't make much of a difference. Even in the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king, if you know what I mean.

Another disturbing thing is your myopic view. Newsflash (if you don't mind the term): your flirtation preferences do not represent all women! That you expect them to, is indicative of a sheltered monocultural upbringing. Also, no matter how much you'd like a risk-less flirt life, that's just impossible, just as any sort of risk-less life is impossible. Every time you go outside, you are risking being murdered or robbed. Again, calling for utopia is totally pointless. False expectations only increase the risk. As for your accusation that I've minimized or dismissed rape, I'll get to that in a moment.

***

Gender feminism has been all but marginalized in the real world, but it maintains a petulant, shrieking, unquestioned totalitarian voice in academe. When you have a child who's screaming uncontrollably and endlessly, do you engage it in an dispassionate debate? No. You smack it in the face, so it can shut the fuck up. That's what my column served to do. It served to show my equally passionate contempt of impassioned feminist fascism -- and that I'm unphased by its tactics. Only a leveling can lead to a level discussion, and it seems that such a discussion might actually proceed now. In a day, a very sober follow-up of mine will be published, delving deeper into the problem. We'll see how the responses go, but I've turned an article of faith into an actual debate on campus.

And I defy anyone here to find a single unjustified characterization or straw man in my article. Every horror I described is true and accurate, which gives me the right to lampoon it as I wish. It was the respondents -- including some on SOLO -- who accused me of advocating rape and denigrating victims.

Those who think I've minimized rape by not claiming that it should be the world's first concern, are operating under the false premise that rape is solved by being whined about. Wrong. Only three things will decrease the amount of rape: better self-defense, better law enforcement, and minimization of risk. All of this can only come from a deep, honest, healthy study -- which I profoundly advocated, and which many oppose out of fear of offending victims. (The two undeniable facts of sex are: the physical superiority of men over women, and the sexual power of women over men. The roots of all sexual conflict stem from those facts of nature.)

All that whining about and maximizing "rape awareness" does is to contribute to the PC, prudish, anti-humor, anti-life crusade that seeks to drown society in vanilla and make life miserable. Gender feminism is one manifestation of this crusade, but it's my life's purpose to oppose it in any form. The comedic nature of my style is itself a rebuke of this. *Nothing* is off-limits to wit and humor, which are essential to dealing with reality *as it is* -- and hence getting the most out of it and affirming life to the fullest.      

Alec  




Post 77

Tuesday, May 3, 2005 - 4:52amSanction this postReply
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Alec,

I know this question is somewhat off the original topic but I would appreciate some clarification of a couple of sentences from your most recent post.

You said: "When you have a child who's screaming uncontrollably and endlessly, do you engage it in an dispassionate debate? No. You smack it in the face, so it can shut the fuck up."

Were you exaggerated here or do subscribe to this view?

Aquinas




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Post 78

Tuesday, May 3, 2005 - 6:20amSanction this postReply
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Alec,

I referred to your description of "any guy who [supports] feminism" as a straw man because there are a fair number of men who concern themselves with what you consider to be feminist issues but who are not "[doing] so in hopes of getting lip-service in return," as you claimed.  It was meant less as a criticism of your article per se and more in support of what I was arguing to Andrew: that your letter-writer no more mischaracterized your stance than you did his (keeping in mind that both were, perhaps to different extents, hyperbolic).  At least some "clue" on my part was implicit in the statement, I believe.

Well, there's "a single unjustified characterization" for you, though I suspect you will be more than happy to tell me in no uncertain terms why you think it isn't.  If the justification was humor, perhaps that's the heart of our disagreement.

Essentially, your tone seemed to me, more than simply being humorous or witty, to be inordinately vicious.  Maybe I read it wrong, or maybe that's the child-smacking part that you feel is necessary.  If, as a result of your columns, a level discussion commences that wouldn't have been possible otherwise (though I'm not sure how you'd prove the latter): kudos, you were right.

But I would have tried the rational debate approach first, and resorted to your method last.

(Edited by Eve Stenson on 5/03, 6:59am)




Post 79

Tuesday, May 3, 2005 - 6:33amSanction this postReply
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Nicole: I agree with your response to my post 100% Like you, I agree that being hit on by some drunken bum is definitely NOT life-affirming. To my way of thinking, pestering a woman for a date or any type of sexual favors after she has repeatedly said NO is an initiation of force, and as we all know, that is a no-no here in the Land of Rand. As for me being a "good guy" in your eyes, I hope I can measure up to that. Because I wish to be a good guy, I would not hit on you. Do I think that you're unattractive? You're a knockout!, But I do not make advances on women who I know are taken. Paul M. Kay



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