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Post 80

Tuesday, May 3, 2005 - 7:29amSanction this postReply
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Oh my Lord, Alec, I thought I agreed with you until you started clarifying. Women have sexual power over men? What on earth do you mean by that? The only person who has any power over a man's thoughts, feelings, behavior, is that individual man or someone forcing him to do something. Women don't do any of that just by being attractive. A woman _should_ be able to walk down the street naked, and not just naked, but gyrating her hips and masturbating, without being attacked. Just as a person ought to be able to flash wads of cash in the ghetto and not be attacked. Is that the reality now? No. But a person's rights are absolute. No one may initiate force on a woman unless she initiates force on them. Back to your power thing, again. Being sexually attractive, acting sexual, is not initiating force on a man.

Kelly



Post 81

Tuesday, May 3, 2005 - 7:30amSanction this postReply
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About the statistic: I never heard that 1 in 4 women have been raped. The statistic I hear is that 1 in 4 women have been sexually abused or raped. That is the one that holds true in my circle of friends. Does anyone know anything about that statistic?

Kelly



Post 82

Tuesday, May 3, 2005 - 7:36amSanction this postReply
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Nicole, I don't think this is an us-against-them thing at all. The two people who have helped me the most in being safer are men. One, Gavin de Becker, wrote a book called Protecting the Gift about keeping children safe, and it helped me immensely as well. The other was a self defense instructor who helped me get in touch with how ferocious I can be when attacked. That gave me the confidence not to think of myself as a victim. These two men are not the enemy; they are our allies, as are many men, including the ones in bars who say, "Is this guy bothering you?" and then intimidate the creep into moving on. At least in the South where we both live, I know that if I was being attacked or even just harassed, almost any male passerby would get involved and help me. It is us-against-them, in a way: us, the good guys, versus them the criminals.

Kelly



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Post 83

Tuesday, May 3, 2005 - 8:23amSanction this postReply
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Alec wrote:  "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."

I agree with the thesis and content of Alec's article, but not the style and tone he chose to write it in.  I like his humor, but I doubt it will do anything to change anyone's mind.  It is preaching to the choir, hence better for a SOLO article than an article on a college newspaper.  This joke of his I quoted is a good analogy, but probably not in the way Alec intended.  Smacking a child in the face may shut the child up in the short-term, but in the long-term it does not.  It makes things worse (read "Between Parent and Child" by Dr. Haim Ginott for details).

To put it another way, Nathaniel Branden (who Alec did interview) said that you don't change anybody's mind by telling them how rotten they are (or something along those lines).




Post 84

Tuesday, May 3, 2005 - 8:28amSanction this postReply
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Kelly said:

"A woman _should_ be able to walk down the street naked, and not just naked, but gyrating her hips and masturbating, without being attacked."

I know one man who agreed with you: Robert Heinlein.

In his book "The Moon is a Harsh Mistress", he described the culture on the moon colony as subscribing to that rule. It came about because in the beginning of the colony there were very few women. The few women there were protected very strongly by the men. If anyone so much as laid a finger on a woman or girl against her wishes, he was "spaced". Beaten up and thrown out of the nearest airlock. So, a girl or women could be as provocative as she wanted (and they were) and no one would touch them against their wishes. I love that story.



Post 85

Tuesday, May 3, 2005 - 9:43amSanction this postReply
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Alec,

I have to concur with Kelly on her evalutaion of this statement of yours:
"Women have sexual power over men".

I will admit that I held this view somewhat at one point in my life. I let a few women in my life manipulate me with sex (or just "messing around") while we were dating. But the point is that I let them, I chose to put up with it. What I should have done was evaluated their character correctly and then "kicked" them to the curb so to speak. 

Aquinas




Post 86

Tuesday, May 3, 2005 - 1:14pmSanction this postReply
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Mike,

Indeed, a society where women could freely engage in such behaviour would be a step ahead of where we are now. However, I'd add that it's the women who ought to be doing the arse-kicking in such situations, not necessarily the men.





Post 87

Tuesday, May 3, 2005 - 3:59pmSanction this postReply
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"Ha! People wondered why I chose not to indulge in heavy drinking at SOLOC 4. "

I'm with Luther: The women were just circling him and me at SOLOC 4, waiting for us to get drunk so they could take advantage of us.



Post 88

Tuesday, May 3, 2005 - 5:20pmSanction this postReply
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A woman _should_ be able to walk down the street naked, and not just naked, but gyrating her hips and masturbating, without being attacked.


I don't think it's enough to just talk about principles like this. I think we ought to expect action towards their advancement. Preferably with photographic evidence.

But in seriousness.

Women have sexual power over men? What on earth do you mean by that? The only person who has any power over a man's thoughts, feelings, behavior, is that individual man or someone forcing him to do something. Women don't do any of that just by being attractive.


I think that Alec's use of the term “sexual power” may have been ill-chosen, since it seems to indicate an equivalence with “physical power”—i.e., the capacity to initiate force. Obviously, women cannot control men through sexuality. But I think it would be at odds with reality to claim that women do not have influence over men through sexuality.

If a man sees a woman walking naked down the street and gyrating as you suggest, he is most likely going to take notice. He's going to interact with her differently than he would if she were wearing a business suit. If he notices her on the street, he's going to be more likely to want to approach her. If he's already interacting with her, he's going to go to greater lengths to keep her attention, out of concern that she might lose interest in him. There's no coersion involved, but she is going to affect his choices—most likely, if he isn't inclined to assault her or objectify her, to her benefit. I know of no way for a man to influence a woman in a similar manner, and if one exists, I would certainly like for a woman to explain it to me.



Post 89

Tuesday, May 3, 2005 - 5:57pmSanction this postReply
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"the women who ought to be doing the arse-kicking in such situations,"...

...with help, as needed. I wouldn't expect a twelve year old girl to kick the shit out of a grown man. There may be exceptions.

Perhaps girls should be given their first handgun at the age of twelve, and already know how to use it.



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Post 90

Tuesday, May 3, 2005 - 7:56pmSanction this postReply
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A woman _should_ be able to walk down the street naked, and not just naked, but gyrating her hips and masturbating,

Kelly, if you can do all three of those at the same time, then by DAMN you have power over me!!

:-)




Post 91

Tuesday, May 3, 2005 - 9:40pmSanction this postReply
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Most of you have seemed to miss the point of my last post. My point is that my style is itself a thesis regarding an Sense-of-Life issue that transcends any particular subject I'm writing about. No matter what I write about, I'm advancing two points: one about the subject and one about how all subjects should be dealt with. As for the latter cause, it's very clear that I'm not preaching to the choir on SOLO. There are plenty of PC heretics. Eve has just said that my making an obvious joke is the equivalent of someone seriously labeling me a rapist for my views. This amounts to a total lack of respect for the context of humor. Scary stuff.

Aquinas, could we *please* not get into an argument about child-smacking? I was making an analogy that holds in context -- a real child can be dealt with in other ways, because it belongs to a parent, but the screaming child of academic feminism has unquestioned power and will simply go on screaming forever. The point was: can you engage a screaming baby in dispassionate debate? No and no.

Kelly, you should no better than to be guilty of dogged Objectivist literalism (as was displayed against you in the Talents And Values thread). By "sexual power over men," I was referring to the realm of nature and interaction, not politics. Of course rights are absolute. But the facts of nature have to be acknowledged and understood if their criminal products are to be minimized. When men and women deal with reality wisely, nothing bad happens. But sexual violence is the result of weak, immoral, defeated men resorting to their only recourse over the women who frustrate them. Even then, batterers come crying back, and their women often take them in, because deep-down they enjoy the confirmation of their superiority. Which is unhealthy, of course -- that's why battery is a recurring thing.

The point is that talking about a utopia accomplishes absolutely nothing. Mastering reality, on the other hand, does. It makes us safer. As for the "I should be able to stuff..." all it does is contribute to the PC prudery crusade, by jumping quickly against anything it views as a roadblock to utopia.

And the 1 in 4 stat is as I said. Rape or attempted rape. The one you mention doesn't exist, or it's just another perverted reprint, as so many of these feminist propaganda stats are.

Alec

(Edited by Alec Mouhibian
on 5/04, 1:27am)




Post 92

Tuesday, May 3, 2005 - 9:42pmSanction this postReply
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Mike,

Absolutely - it's one of the roles of a true gentleman to provide assistance with such arse-kicking if the situation warrants it.

W.r.t. handguns at a young age: if I had children, I'm sure I'd want them to be well versed with handguns by the age of 12, but I'm also sure I wouldn't want them carrying one on a daily basis.

I don't consider a child of 12 to be an adult, & so I don't think it's appropriate that such a child should be armed with lethal weapons for the purpose of self-defense.

A personal alarm and OC spray would be a better choice.



Post 93

Wednesday, May 4, 2005 - 12:59amSanction this postReply
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Alec, I was thinkin' today about your style...I didn't come up with any answers but I do have some thoughts on the subject.

The trick, I think, is to identify your intended audience. You have already established a fan club here at SOLO and if that is success enough you ought to be proud of it. If you intend to address those who are receptive but uncommitted to common-sense Aristotelian Objectivist ideas then that stridency is just not gonna work. But you can't lobotomize yourself either. You gotta be you.

Let me show you what I mean using this article as an example. You already know that rape and sexual assault is thoroughly awful and wrong. But re-read your article and imagine you are a rape victim. The problem isn't that anything you say is wrong necessarily. The problem is your insensitivity to their all-too-real experience. Your flippancy over the topic is also likely to make potential rape victims very uncomfortable. Actually, that's the most troublesome thing because there are a lot of potential victims out there living in a bit of fear about this.  

Is there a way to provide a benevolent and empowering theme and to still be the cutting and funny Alec? The more I think about it I think the answer is no because humor seems to always involve making someone somewhere look bad.

Just brainstormin'. No need to reply unless you wanna.


PS: you preach to the choir, not the quire. wink wink 




Post 94

Wednesday, May 4, 2005 - 1:08amSanction this postReply
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Nikki, congrats on your engagement! When are you guys tying the knot? It's nice to see a woman who cares enough about herself to carry pepper spray and a dagger around. Don't hesitate to use them if necessary.

To all potential victims: attitude is everything. Your attitude toward the attacker should be "I will not let you hurt me!" as you proceed to do anything and everything to get home safely. Specifically, consider a one or two finger poke to the eyes. We have a thing about touching eyes but if you strike that eye correctly (poke until you do!) chances are you'll create some space for yourself to get outta there. Groin shots too if the eyes aren't available.




Post 95

Wednesday, May 4, 2005 - 1:35amSanction this postReply
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Holy moly, thanks for the spelling heads up. I must've been dreaming when I wrote that. Jesus.

Lance, you seem to have concluded that it's impossible to be both effective and humorous. You are right that most good jokes have butts. And you are also right in assuming that you know what I *won't* give up no matter what.

But I would ask you to think harder about whether humor and comedy are inevitably ineffective. I disagree with that. I would also ask you to look back at some of my previous columns, since this is sort of an extreme example with an exceptional purpose. See if you really think that they don't have any appeal to the unconvinced.

And I don't see why you think my target audience in this should've been rape victims.

Alec



Post 96

Wednesday, May 4, 2005 - 2:16amSanction this postReply
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One of my pet peeves is the spectacle of folk getting criticised for not writing the article someone else thinks they should have written, as opposed to the article they *did* write. In a way, I'm glad this has come back to bite Alec on the bum, since this was precisely what he did to Ayn Rand over Rawls. But Lance, why on earth criticise Alec for not targeting his article at rape victims? If that's what you want, *you* write *that* article & criticise Alec's *on its own terms* if you wish to. Personally I hope he never succumbs to prissy PC platitudes, & I'm pretty confident he won't.

And leave his delightful Armenian mis-spellings alone, too. "Quire" gave me my biggest belly-laugh of the week thus far.

Enough, already! :-)

Linz



Post 97

Wednesday, May 4, 2005 - 2:17amSanction this postReply
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But I would ask you to think harder about whether humor and comedy are inevitably ineffective. I disagree with that. I would also ask you to look back at some of my previous columns, since this is sort of an extreme example with an exceptional purpose. See if you really think that they don't have any appeal to the unconvinced.

And I don't see why you think my target audience in this should've been rape victims.


You make fine points here Alec my man. I enjoy your writing very much. Naturally, you will refine things as you progress.

Humor is important but it is less of an obsession for me at 35 than it was at 25. Nowadays, to create a benevolent environment for others is a higher priority than getting laughs. The benevolent environment approach has proven more meaningful for me than the make-everyone-laugh approach.

I have a bone-dry sense of humor (drier even than yours rookie!) and I can't find a way to use the really funny stuff with strangers without losing their trust. Strangers feel attacked when you throw sarcasm on them and rightfully so. I know you personally and so that's a big help for me when I read your barbs and that's why I laugh like a madman at them.

And I agree completely with you that this particular article is extreme because of the nature of the topic. Other topics would be easier to consider with less emotional recoil. You make a good point.

You are also right that your target audience should not necessarily be rape victims here. But humor about rape just ain't gonna fly very high no matter who is in the audience. Imagine a Rodney Dangerfield one-liner with the punchline introducing rape or a rape victim. It just can't work because the focus shifts quickly away from the joke and squarely onto the tragedy. Rape is too evil to be funny.






Post 98

Wednesday, May 4, 2005 - 2:31amSanction this postReply
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But Lance, why on earth criticise Alec for not targeting his article at rape victims? If that's what you want, *you* write *that* article & criticise Alec's *on its own terms* if you wish to.


I intend to write a SOLO article on sensitivity dealing with the infirm and dying. To examine how to best introduce others to an earth-centered philosophy when their time on earth is short, or miserable and long. More precisely, to examine how to best present the circumstances of the sick and dying to the strong and living. How to avoid walking on eggshells just because we don't want to hurt the feelings of the infirm. That's a major cultural problem. The infirm are the basis of too much of our culture's ethic.

The rape victim scenario has the same dynamic. I'm not criticizing Alec's style here because I honestly don't have a better way for him to do it. Not yet anyway. I'm more interested in having Alec think about than anything else.




Post 99

Wednesday, May 4, 2005 - 9:36amSanction this postReply
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http://story.news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20050428/od_nm/crime_norway_sex_dc

I hope that will lighten up things a little :).

I think that in general, given the differences between men and women, men who think that they can understand how raped women feel should tread carefully.  That doesn't justify a lot of feminist nonsense, but I do think that there is something about being sexually harassed that a guy cannot understand.  Part of my view is based on studies (by evolutionary biologists) of rape in the animal kingdom, but I think that a little reflection on how men and women sometimes view sex very differently (on average) might bring the discussion into perspective.





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