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PostPosted: Mon 16 Oct , 2017 8:55 pm 

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Today, I stumbled across an opinion piece I thought was reasonable and thoughtful, but somewhat of a novelty compared to most stories covering the Harvey Weinstein accusations. It certainly made me stop and think "I'm guilty of thinking like that sometimes, and he's right - it's wrong."

I do think the writer missed one important thing - that the media might be an appropriate venue to first air things when the accused is rich and powerful and has powerful friends who might help him/ her bury things. Especially if the accusers are neither rich nor powerful. But I do think he has some valid points about the intolerance of dissenting opinions that sometimes ensues. Not to mention the cynical attempts to gain political points with the news.


We don't seem to have a place to share such things, so I decided to create a thread for anyone else who wants to post an interesting article and doesn't feel like starting a whole new thread for it. I figure that if articles provoke discussion, fine. If they don't, that's fine, too.

A small contribution, perhaps, to exposing each other to viewpoints that may be a bit outside our usual echo chambers. :)



http://www.spiked-online.com/newsite/article/the-hysteria-in-the-harvey-weinstein-scandal/20414
Quote:
Is the accuser always holy now?’

Those words spoken by John Proctor in The Crucible, a voice of concern in Arthur Miller’s swirling Salem, keep intruding into my mind as I read reports about Harvey Weinstein’s alleged foul behaviour. Actress after actress is coming forward to allege that Weinstein harassed her, molested her, or in some cases raped her. All these women must be treated seriously and sensitively. It seems likely, given what we know, given what we’ve heard, that Weinstein abused these women.

But are the accusers holy? Are their accusations all we need to decide Weinstein is a criminal creep? Should their allegations be sufficient to condemn him? That’s how it’s looking right now, and this should worry us. A lot.

Across the media and Twittersphere, on TV talk shows and in newspaper gossip circles, the allegations against Weinstein are treated as truths. Almost as final judgements. He’s guilty as sin – that’s how you feel, right? Admit it. It’s how I feel. I’m just not sure I should.

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Trump Warns That Democrats Would Drag Nation Back to Days of Tolerance and Decorum


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PostPosted: Tue 17 Oct , 2017 8:15 am 
of Vinyamar
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I've been feeling somewhat similar lately. Its got to the stage where even questioning the Left wing ideology gets you branded an apologist, or worse.

An example from a few weeks ago. An Irish broadcaster, George Hook, who is in his 70's I believe, was reporting on the alleged rape of a woman. She had gone back to a room with a stranger to have sex, while drunk. After he left, a friend of his came in and attempted to have sex with her also. Now, George's arguments was as follow:

Quote:
She was passed around, went the story. And apparently she went to bed with one guy and he goes out and another guy comes in. She doesn’t want to have relations with the second guy but he forced himself upon her. Awful.

But when you then look deeper into the story you have to ask certain questions. Why does a girl who just meets a fella in a bar go back to a hotel room? She’s only just barely met him. She has no idea of his health conditions, she has no idea who he is, she has no idea what dangers he might pose. But modern day social activity means that she goes back with him. Then is surprised when somebody else comes into the room and rapes her. Should she be raped? Course she shouldn’t. Is she entitled to say no? Absolutely. Is the guy who came in a scumbag? Certainly. Should he go to jail? Of Course. All of those things. But is there no blame now to the person who puts themselves in danger?

There is personal responsibility because it’s your daughter and it’s my daughter. And what determines the daughter who goes out, gets drunk, passes out and is with strangers in her room and the daughter that goes out, stays halfway sober and comes home, I don’t know. I wish I knew. I wish I knew what the secret of parenting is. But there is a point of responsibility. The real issues nowadays and increasingly is the question of the personal responsibility that young girls are taking for their own safety.


Now, he worded it badly. The word "blame" should never have been used, and of course, nobody "deserves" to be raped. But he had a point. Nobody "deserves" to get mugged, but if I walk through Harlem at 3am, (or whatever your local dangerous area is) I am putting myself in harms way. Is there no personal responsibility on me to use my common sense and avoid danger?

Well, George apologized profusely, but there was what can only be described as a witch hunt, and he was fired. And I think that was wrong. What do the rest of you think?

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PostPosted: Tue 17 Oct , 2017 9:30 am 
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The problem with the excerpt quoted above is that it makes a whole bunch of assumptions: how does he know that she has no idea who she is, or of his health conditions? How does he know that she didn't question him carefully until she was satisfied?

And besides, he wasn't even the guy who raped her. Why shouldn't she expect to be safe when alone in a hotel room, since she was alone at this point?

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PostPosted: Tue 17 Oct , 2017 9:51 am 
of Vinyamar
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Well, those are not assumptions, that was made clear during the case. It was a random hookup with a complete stranger.

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PostPosted: Tue 17 Oct , 2017 1:14 pm 
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I'm going to say here what I can't say on HoF - what the fuck, Al? So fucking what if it was a random hookup? A woman's consent to have sex with one man, or multiple men, does not imply consent to have sex with every other man.

You were the one who berated Lali when she wouldn't let her daughter go to a guy's place. You were the one doing the #NotAllMen thing. Now you are saying that yes, every man is suspect, and a woman's default assumption should be that she just met a rapist?

There may be an example that bears your point, but this one is just appalling.

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PostPosted: Tue 17 Oct , 2017 1:16 pm 

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I agree with you, Alatar, that the word "blame" is where he went wrong. A woman who chooses to have sex with one man, however much a stranger, shouldn't have to worry about being raped by a different man. To propose a different scenario, what if the two original participants knew each other well, she was drunk, and a sleazy friend of man #1 came into the room afterward? There is no way you can know 100% whether someone has sleazy friends.

Now, was she foolish in general? Well, yes - I happen to think that it's a dumb thing to do, getting drunk with total strangers, because anything might happen. If I did that, and something happened, I would certainly blame myself for being really stupid and putting myself into a dangerous situation. But I wouldn't blame myself for what happened afterward. I think that's where his argument falls down, in not separating the two things (except to say that part B is why you should think long and hard about not doing part A).


Btw, the earlier I article I posted, which is more about trial-by-media (and automatically and righteously turning on each other for posting a different opinion, and withholding judgement until a formal trial) certainly does seem to apply here, given the response to his comments. I have a LOT of trouble with people getting fired due to public outrage if they express a differing opinion, within the bounds of reason. Disagree with them, yes. Make them pay for their sin of disagreement by losing their job, no.


Edit: Frelga, I think the trouble with indignant, angry responses to Alatar's article is that the author's main point seems to be that part of parenting should be to teach young girls about taking care, not getting yourself into bad situations, etc. Let's face it - who among us hasn't met a creep or two, out in the world? And they will always exist, even if most men are decent. I don't think the guy made his argument perfectly, but I can see past the part I find problematic (as did Alatar) to understand his other point.

Edit #2: And I don't get where Alatar is supposed to be saying that the default judgement is that all men are rapists. In the other situation, I assume Lali's daughter was not drunk, knew the man, and was capable of making a reasonable judgement about his decency or lack thereof.

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Trump Warns That Democrats Would Drag Nation Back to Days of Tolerance and Decorum


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PostPosted: Tue 17 Oct , 2017 2:47 pm 
of Vinyamar
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What aninkling said. Thanks Inky.

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PostPosted: Tue 17 Oct , 2017 4:43 pm 
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The woman in question decided that she wanted to have sex with a guy, which she did. The "she should have known" crowd may have had an excuse, given the prevalence of rape culture, if she had expected the original guy to just have a coffee with her, although in a civilized society that should have been a reasonable assumption. Instead, he trapped her into being raped by another man. That anyone is considering defending that behavior or blaming the woman for it is, frankly, revolting. That I should find this defense here is deeply distressing.

BRB, I need to go put down my faith in humanity. I just can't bear watching the poor thing suffer anymore.
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PostPosted: Tue 17 Oct , 2017 5:10 pm 

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Oh, please, Frelga.

If you go have sex with a complete stranger in the real world, you're taking a chance that he might be a creep.

If you meet him in a bar, where he's hitting on drunken young women, your chances that he's a creep are increased.

If you're drunk when you make the decision to go have sex with him, your ability to judge his general creepiness is impaired.

Hence, some of us are saying that we would not willingly put ourselves in that situation, it's not generally a good idea to do it, and if you do it, you should recognize that you did something dumb.

No one is saying that she deserved to be raped, just that some of us think we can understand what an elderly man is trying, not very well, to say. That's hardly a reason to lose your faith in humanity. For me, it's more a sign of hope in people trying not to demonize people who they don't completely agree with.

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The building of castles in sand, of queens in snow,
That we cannot make any corner in life or in life's beauty,
That no river is a river which does not flow.

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PostPosted: Tue 17 Oct , 2017 6:51 pm 
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Don't oh please me, inkling. She went in expecting to have sex with a man, and she did. Are you saying she should have expected him to enable her rape by another man? What kind of jungle are we supposed to live in?

Just because I wouldn't put myself in that situation, doesn't mean it is fair that someone else suffered for being in that situation.

And yes, I know what that old man is saying. That's the problem.

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PostPosted: Tue 17 Oct , 2017 8:31 pm 

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I said "oh, please" in response to your remark that you have lost your faith in humanity, seemingly because we're not all agreeing with you.

You are putting words in peoples' mouths as well. Did I say it was fair or right for her to have suffered for putting herself in that situation? Did the person who lost his job? But I reserve the right to judge an act as unwise. It could have been unwise and she got lucky, or unwise and she didn't get lucky. In this case, unfortunately, it was the latter.

Admittedly, I am skeptical that the first man, who she did have sex willingly with, isn't a creep. It seems a very strange coincidence, otherwise, that his rapist friend would happen to be hanging out at a random hotel he and the woman visited. Or that he would conveniently leave, not come back and make any attempt to intervene, etc.

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It is this we learn after so many failures,
The building of castles in sand, of queens in snow,
That we cannot make any corner in life or in life's beauty,
That no river is a river which does not flow.

- Louis MacNeice, Autumn Journal


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PostPosted: Tue 17 Oct , 2017 9:58 pm 
of Vinyamar
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This is precisely why we need a thread like this. The inability to even assess the validity of the argument without throwing out an immediate kneejerk reaction that I'm just another revolting man. That's what happens when you only listen to like minded voices. And you've known me online for over ten years. Imagine what its like when the other voice is a random name on Facebook.

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PostPosted: Tue 17 Oct , 2017 10:23 pm 

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Some of you might find this interesting.

http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2017/05/09/why-liberals-arent-as-tolerant-as-they-think-215114
Quote:
The political left might consider itself more open-minded than the right. But research shows that liberals are just as prejudiced against conservatives as conservatives are against liberals.


Quote:
Research over the years has shown that in industrialized nations, social conservatives and religious fundamentalists possess psychological traits, such as the valuing of conformity and the desire for certainty, that tend to predispose people toward prejudice. Meanwhile, liberals and the nonreligious tend to be more open to new experiences, a trait associated with lower prejudice. So one might expect that, whatever each group’s own ideology, conservatives and Christians should be inherently more discriminatory on the whole.

But more recent psychological research, some of it presented in January at the annual meeting of the Society of Personality and Social Psychology (SPSP), shows that it’s not so simple. These findings confirm that conservatives, liberals, the religious and the nonreligious are each prejudiced against those with opposing views. But surprisingly, each group is about equally prejudiced. While liberals might like to think of themselves as more open-minded, they are no more tolerant of people unlike them than their conservative counterparts are.

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It is this we learn after so many failures,
The building of castles in sand, of queens in snow,
That we cannot make any corner in life or in life's beauty,
That no river is a river which does not flow.

- Louis MacNeice, Autumn Journal


Trump Warns That Democrats Would Drag Nation Back to Days of Tolerance and Decorum


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PostPosted: Thu 19 Oct , 2017 12:20 pm 

Joined: Fri 10 Aug , 2012 4:42 pm
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One final thought from me about the case Alatar posted, where a man lost his job after he expressed an opinion about drinking and having sex with strangers after a sexual assault:

Out in the real world, opinions on sexual assault situations range the whole spectrum from the internet extremes of the vile "She deserved it" to the PC (for lack of a better shorthand term) "The victim always bears 0% responsibility for the situation that preceded her assault." This is not necessarily related to the case Alatar posted, but in all situations. In the Harvey Weinstein case, for instance, I've heard "Isn't that how Hollywood works? Some actresses sleep with the producer to get the part." (this was from people who had only superficially heard about the case and didn't realize it was about actual assaults and not sexual advances)

On this spectrum, I'm sure the average opinion also varies with the society and group - tending toward the "It wasn't/ mostly wasn't her fault" in some societies like ours, but somewhat further toward the other end in some places. Judging by what I've read of India after high profile rape cases, for example, I'd guess that some groups there would fall into the latter category.

If the automatic reaction to anyone not 100% on the PC end of the scale is a knee-jerk "How can you say that, you horrible person?" I don't think you're going to change any minds. People may become silent when constantly challenged but that's not necessarily because they agree.

And I don't think that's a healthy situation, either for the people who see shades of gray and become silent, or the ones who are convinced they have the only enlightened view of the situation.



Pretty much what Alatar said but more long-winded. :)

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It is this we learn after so many failures,
The building of castles in sand, of queens in snow,
That we cannot make any corner in life or in life's beauty,
That no river is a river which does not flow.

- Louis MacNeice, Autumn Journal


Trump Warns That Democrats Would Drag Nation Back to Days of Tolerance and Decorum


Last edited by aninkling on Fri 20 Oct , 2017 11:43 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri 20 Oct , 2017 9:30 am 
of Vinyamar
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That's a great post Inky. Mind if I cross post it to Hall of Fire? With attribution of course.

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PostPosted: Fri 20 Oct , 2017 12:00 pm 

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Thanks for asking, Alatar. And sure, if you like. I made one small edit to clarify the Harvey Weinstein remarks I'd heard. Because I suspect that people will jump all over that as an example of reprehensible views that must not be condoned. Even with the clarification.

To be honest, I threw that Weinstein sentence in as bait - so leave it in or edit it out as you like. Because you could jump all over someone with that view, or you could point out that the news was about true assault and not "casting culture." And/or talk about how casting culture hurts those who don't participate in it, as well as those who do. Etc. In other words, persuade and let the other person present their points, or condemn and shut down the discussion.

btw, I took a look at that thread, out of curiosity. Good experiment, with a very predictable outcome, IMO. But I'm afraid I would have suspected something like that was up from the start, given the culture over there. :) Cerin saw through and analyzed the actual question/ topic, though.

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It is this we learn after so many failures,
The building of castles in sand, of queens in snow,
That we cannot make any corner in life or in life's beauty,
That no river is a river which does not flow.

- Louis MacNeice, Autumn Journal


Trump Warns That Democrats Would Drag Nation Back to Days of Tolerance and Decorum


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PostPosted: Fri 20 Oct , 2017 12:18 pm 

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btw, Alatar, you might be interested in these two links and the contrast they present. I don't know how accurately the first represents what people actually say, since it's in the Huffington Post. But her qualifications are listed as College Wellness Educator and Health Communication Specialist, so I assume it's what they're teaching these days. Some remarks in the other article, where people are afraid to tell young women that they shouldn't get drunk, seem to bear that out.

http://www.smh.com.au/world/getting-drunk-makes-women-more-vulnerable-to-rape-why-shouldnt-we-say-so-20131016-2vnl8.html

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/leah-berkenwald/stop-teaching-students_b_3604345.html

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It is this we learn after so many failures,
The building of castles in sand, of queens in snow,
That we cannot make any corner in life or in life's beauty,
That no river is a river which does not flow.

- Louis MacNeice, Autumn Journal


Trump Warns That Democrats Would Drag Nation Back to Days of Tolerance and Decorum


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PostPosted: Tue 24 Oct , 2017 2:27 pm 

Joined: Fri 10 Aug , 2012 4:42 pm
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https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/10/on-safari-in-trumps-america/543288/
Quote:
On Safari in Trump's America

The country’s elites are desperate to figure out what they got wrong in 2016. But can they handle the truth?

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It is this we learn after so many failures,
The building of castles in sand, of queens in snow,
That we cannot make any corner in life or in life's beauty,
That no river is a river which does not flow.

- Louis MacNeice, Autumn Journal


Trump Warns That Democrats Would Drag Nation Back to Days of Tolerance and Decorum


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PostPosted: Mon 27 Nov , 2017 3:20 pm 

Joined: Fri 10 Aug , 2012 4:42 pm
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Quote:
A panic is not an answer: We’re at imminent risk of turning this #metoo moment into a frenzied rush to blame all men

http://www.nydailynews.com/opinion/panic-not-answer-article-1.3651778

It fact-checks some of the stats being tossed around by the media to promote their stories:
Quote:
A recent Newsweek/Wall Street Journal poll found that 48% of American women had been sexually harassed at work. Time.com ran with this statistic in a video showing American women at work in laboratories, factories and offices.

It then declared: "Almost Half of the Working Women in America Have Been Harassed on the Job," accompanied by images of a menacing Harvey Weinstein — suggesting that vast numbers of American women are plagued by Weinstein-like predation. Except upon closer scrutiny, the Newsweek/WSJ poll showed nothing of the kind. It defined "harassment" very broadly. And women were asked if they had ever received "unwelcome sexual advances" at any point in their working lives.

... The General Social Survey is one of the most trusted sources of data in the social sciences. In 2014, a random sample of Americans was asked a straightforward question: "In the last 12 months, were you sexually harassed by anyone while you were on the job?"

To that question, only 3.6% of women said yes. That is down from 6.1% in 2002. These results do not suggest an epidemic. Nor even a trendline moving in the wrong direction.


The opinion piece also talks about the trouble with "collaps[ing] important distinctions between criminal predation and unwelcome flirtation," a new, nonmainstream trend in feminism, where anonymous accusations are OK and it doesn't matter if some innocent men are hurt in the process, and a rise in new puritanism...
Quote:
Timothy Noah of Politico suggests we could limit sexual harassment by making meetings with anyone behind closed doors a fireable offense.

Quote:
Vice President Mike Pence has a rule: He never eats alone with a woman other than his wife. ... now, in the aftermath of the scandals, some think it might be a good way to protect women. New York Times columnist Ross Douthat finds the Pence Rule too sweeping, but he does say "some modest limits on how men and women interact professionally are useful checks on predation."

Quote:
The panic has even struck the Girl Scouts, who warned parents that their daughters don't "owe anyone a hug" this holiday season. Parents who insist a little girl give grandma or grandpa a hug for a present can set her up to believe "she 'owes' another person physical affection because they bought her something."

Personally, I'm also bothered by what seems to be a rise in the idea that adult women are always victims to be protected, not capable human beings who should hold ourselves responsible for saying "No, this is NOT OK - keep your hands to yourself" or "Sorry, you read the signals wrong - I'm not interested" directly and immediately, when it's something like an unwanted kiss.

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It is this we learn after so many failures,
The building of castles in sand, of queens in snow,
That we cannot make any corner in life or in life's beauty,
That no river is a river which does not flow.

- Louis MacNeice, Autumn Journal


Trump Warns That Democrats Would Drag Nation Back to Days of Tolerance and Decorum


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PostPosted: Mon 27 Nov , 2017 4:20 pm 
of Vinyamar
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Agree with all of this aninkling, but I'm too depressed by how badly this discussion went on HoF to get too engaged.

Its a worrying state of affairs when I'm the right wing nut job on a site.

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