Brute Reason

A collection of thoughts about psychology, social justice, and anything else I give a shit about. freethoughtblogs.com/brutereason

Topics: feminism / psychology / lgbtq / sex / politics / abortion / health / mental illness / language / depression / sexism / sexual assault / fashion / racism / education / social justice

my actual writing, if you're curious

In addition to the difficulty of comparing data sets of varying size and depth, however, comparing male versus female online “harassment” is problematic for many reasons.

First, as Young points out, women’s harassment is more likely to be gender-based and that has specific, discriminatory harms rooted in our history. The study pointed out that the harassment targeted at men is not because they are men, as is clearly more frequently the case with women. It’s defining because a lot of harassment is an effort to put women, because they are women, back in their “place.”

Second, online comparisons like this decontextualize the problem of harassment, as though a connection to what happens offline is trivial or inconsequential.

Third, the binary frame camouflages the degree to which harassment of people, often men, is frequently aimed at people who defy rigid gender and sexuality rules. LGBT youth experience online bullying at three times the rate of their straight peers.

For girls and women, harassment is not just about “un-pleasantries.” It’s often about men asserting dominance, silencing, and frequently, scaring and punishing them.
To imply that affirmative consent policies turn well-meaning gentlemen into unknowing rapists is to reject the real world in favor of fantasy. Because we do not live in a world where people fabricate stories about sexual assault and report their bumbling but well-meaning sex partners willy nilly — statistically, false rape reports are extremely rare. Rather, we live in in a world where rape prevention is a marketing opportunity directed at potential victims. Where young women are driven out of school due to harassment after reporting sexual assault. Where young men livetweet gang rape. Where protesters come out in droves to side with rapists. Where college universities deem sexual assault prevention programs “not cost-effective.” Where thousands of rape kits across the country sit untested because catching rapists is, apparently, not a top priority.
You have the right to choose whom you engage with, and when, and you get to decide how that engagement takes place. People who are not treating you with respect and giving a conversation their full attention are not worth your time, and you know who those people are. Maybe you’ve been socialised to ‘be nice’ and always take people seriously, but this is an attitude that reinforces structural oppression — if you’re too wrapped up in answering every Tom, Dick, and Harry, you can’t get on to the real work, which is way more important. They’re aware of this, too, using your frustration and anger as tools of distraction to draw you away from other things you could be doing.
A lot of times these guys will pick a woman and send her a list of questions and say, “You, as a representative of feminism, will have to answer all these question about feminism for me!” And if they decline to do it, they harass them and call them cowards. The guy who made the “Beat Up Anita Sarkeesian” game, when people asked why he made that, later said he thought it would get her attention and make her engage in a discussion with him. Which is funny, because if someone would make a game about beating me up, I would be less inclined to talk to them.
If you talk to the people threatening Sarkeesian, they all feel completely justified. They are saying: She is trying to destroy gaming, so we have to destroy her. Women—mostly women—are getting targeted for critiques of sexism. When people write movie reviews, they don’t get death threats from movie fans. But feminist cultural critics writing about games do. Men’s right’s activists think like abusers. They actually do nothing to help out men who are having difficulty in society. They talk a lot about how men get killed more often. But basically all their “activism” is finding women they can scapegoat and attacking them.

The Awful Reign of the Red Delicious - Health - The Atlantic

I feel so validated in my hatred of (most) apples now. ‪#‎notallapples‬

Q
I was wondering if you had any thoughts about the term "butch" and who's allowed to identify with it? Another blog I follow that had multiple mods ended up not really being able to answer my question on the topic. I don't use the term to describe myself, but I had wondered if a straight cis woman could identify as butch or not? Or is it a term only for the LGBTQIAP community?
A

I don’t identify as butch, so it’s not really my place to say.

I do think you’re “allowed” to identify yourself however you want. That said, some queer folks may be rubbed the wrong way when straight cis people start using terms that originated within their communities. Others won’t. I don’t get rubbed the wrong way by that, personally, but I am not all queer people.

None of us represent All Of Queerdom, which is probably why those other mods were unable to answer your question and why, most likely, nobody will be able to answer it.

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