Monday Morning Fun

we made it big time. a few of you have said that when anti-women, pro-male blogs start citing to us, we have made it big time. well, HBDC! readers, WE’VE MADE IT! over the past week, we’ve been linked to several anti-feminist blogs or pro-manhood blogs. these blogs have said horrible, horrible things about us, the moderators, and about the HBDC! community.

instead of giving these bloggers attention, which is clearly what they are after, we have decided NOT to link to them or post their comments, many that use racist/sexist/derogatory language. we made this decision after talking to other bloggers and activists who have dealt with hate emails and comments. we understand and accept that they have certain points they want to get across, although the way they are approaching this dialogue is by being crass and immature.

in light of all the hate mail/comments we have received, we thought we would showcase a few of them to dissect and to just marinate on.

reporting men who sexually harass on the metro will ruin a man’s life.

ahhh, the ruining of a man’s life. victimize the perpetrator is a classic turnabout. it’s amazing how much sympathy people have for a perpetrator and his/her life. a few false reporting and corrupt/inappropriate police or government conduct has caused this notion that reporting crimes affects a man’s life. and, also we understand the implications of the criminal justice system and communities that have issues with putting another person behind bars. however, we don’t think this commenter was writing this comment from that stand point. nope. we think it was just plain ole victimizing the perp.

it is only 15 seconds of discomfort that should simply be brushed off.

ooh, this one is fun. you SHOULD EXPECT it, is generally the follow-up. ahhh….well, isn’t that what this blog is about? we are trying to push our communities (and on a larger scale, society) to redefine gender cultural norms. this blog also highlights that not only does street harassment last longer than 15 seconds, those 15 seconds can potentially create a real, tangible safety risk or a psychological shift from safe to unsafe. most of us do brush of MOST street harassment. if we didn’t, we would be showcasing so many more experiences. however, the experiences that we do get are the ones we can’t shake off.

women are attention whores [sic] they like getting cat called. they encourage it.

damn. you figured women out. yes, all women are attention whores. woot woot. not like, we love getting cat-called. we encourage it by using the sidewalks to walk to work or the gym or the metro to go home or to meet-up friends. furthermore, ladies, why are you encouraging it by wearing such provocative clothing? stop wearing your business clothes because some men find it sexy. stop wearing your halter top or shorts because it is hot. seriously, just go naked. be honest about what you want: attention & cat-calling.

public sexual harassment it just men filling their evolutionary roles.

seriously? evolutionary psychology? wasn’t this the same thing various anti-civil rights groups said (and continue to say) about people of color to perpetuate stereotypes? wasn’t this the same thing anti-women’s rights groups demonstrate to crumble various rights for women?

it is ingrained in men to chase women.

can we go tell that to our gay friends and lovers? fine. let’s assume that the commentator meant heterosexual men (let’s not get into the gender spectrum…), what does this have to do with street harassment? maybe that cat-calling, leering, and unwanted comments do get the attention of some women? recently, we read the washingtonpost express matrimonial section of a couple whose first interaction was through cat-calling. we’ve heard other stories of these actions being successful.

but stories like the one we read in the washingtonpost express are not the norm. we would like to go back to a point we previously addressed , quoting one of our sheros, Marty Langelan from her book Back Off!

On page 39 of her book she states:

if harassment really is just a sexual “courtship” behavior, it is a spectacularly unsuccessful one. as a means of generating sexual interest on the recipient’s part, it is not only ineffective, but consistently counterproductive: women react with disgust, not desire, with fear, not fascination.

she goes on to say:

there are infinite varieties of courtship behavior among human beings, mammals, and other animals, but none has a failure rate remotely approaching the failure of harassment as a sexual attractant.

we left many, many of the comments we received out of this section. what are your thoughts on the comments we’ve shared? let’s start a dialogue with these readers and see where it takes us.

5 responses to “Monday Morning Fun

  1. Sometimes people get angry and defensive when their privilege is confronted and threatened.

    I’m just sorry they manifest it by giving you all a headache and generally acting out.

  2. I was looking at “It’s fifteen minutes of discomfort that should simply be brushed off”

    This comment is problematic in all sorts of ways (some of which you covered), but I think many men fail to see that those fifteen seconds can occure repeatedly in one day for every day of the week. Fifteen seconds alone is enough, but the buildup of so many seconds becomes unbearable after a while.

    For every man who diminishes the experience of street harassment, I wish there was a way to, say, oh I don’t know,text them some anonymous but crude message about their penis or body every time I am harrassed. Then they could quickly see how unsettling the whole experience is.

  3. Blargh! Looking at these “men” trying to justify street harassment makes me embarrassed to have a penis.

  4. Salil Maniktahla

    People will go to all sorts of ends trying to rationalize their bad behavior, especially if they think it’s socially acceptable and others are trying to demonstrate that it isn’t.

    The “socially acceptable” stage is some hard-fought territory.

    I’m ashamed of men who think like this. But kudos to you guys for keeping the spotlight bright and focused.

  5. Pingback: “Catcaller Zero” « Holla Back DC!

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