• WISDOMfromPO-MO
    562
    Would complete realization of the Sexual Revolution--complete liberation; complete openness --result in the end of sexual harassment?

    Men are overwhelmingly the perpetrators of sexual harassment, and women are overwhelmingly the victims. Therefore, we are told that sexual harassment is a product of patriarchy.

    Sexual assault, we are told, is not about sex. It is about power, we are told.

    On the other hand, the recent tidal wave of sexual harassment accusations involves only the most powerful men in society. They already have power over most of the people in their lives, and that power is respected. It seems more like abusing power than asserting power.

    Power is not enough, maybe?

    The sexual rules, mores, beliefs, attitudes, etc. of conservative traditions make even the highest political and economic power useless, maybe?

    What if all of those rules, mores, beliefs, attitudes, etc. were suddenly gone and the only limit on human sexuality was consent? Poof! They are all gone. Do we still have sexual harassment?

    Then again, this recent tidal wave of sexual harassment accusations has mostly been against men in some of the supposedly most progressive/liberal places in society, such as Hollywood, the news media, and the Democratic Party.
  • Joshs
    51
    I agree that power isn't the crux of the problem of sexual harassment. The main issue is un-evolved sexual self-awareness among men(and women too), particularly older men, emotional insecurity, an inability to sift out and recognize differing erotic feelings, and a blindness for the perspective of the other person. A more permissive sexual cultural would be helpful, but it would have to include an active environment of sexual education, including legitimate venues and institutions for safe, serious, reflective and mindful sexual exploration. Such venues barely exist at present, outside of a handful of organizations like the Body Electric and Tantra.
  • TimeLine
    1.6k
    A more permissive sexual cultural would be helpful, but it would have to include an active environment of sexual education, including legitimate venues and institutions for safe, serious, reflective and mindful sexual exploration.Joshs

    There are a plethora of avenues in which sexual exploration is possible, but if intended to be serious in nature would cross into a domain concerning mental health and sexual identity in a psychotherapeutic sense. How people form intimate relationships is pivotal in our understanding of behavioural disparities that ameliorate what is 'bad' and what is 'good' but this is social or environmental. If the environment is very anti-homosexuality, for instance, this can largely affect the mental health of gay men and women and how they approach sex and their sexuality and usually in the negative. I think it is not really about accessibility to programs, but rather a more holistic, sociocultural approach where we resist oppressive attitudes to all forms of consensual sexual behaviour as part of a positive psychology movement by avoiding discouragement of sexual exploration during development to prevent this 'unevolved sexual self-awareness' later in life and fostering better education on serious aspects to sexuality such as sexual health including pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, relationships etc.

    I still think that we would still have sexual harassment, however, because this is largely about sexual objectification and motivated by equating worth to body (both for men and women) and while largely framed by acculturated perspectives, interventions would be much more complex. Ethical implications here are more difficult to counteract despite the interaction between the two domains.
  • ssu
    326
    Would complete realization of the Sexual Revolution--complete liberation; complete openness --result in the end of sexual harassment?WISDOMfromPO-MO
    Of course not.

    It's not just about power.

    It's about power and not just about sexual pleasure when let's say women are systematically raped in war. It's power when it's the boss doing it to his employee. Yet everything is not about the society we live in. In a nutshell, sexual harassment can be also the most simple thing: that one person wants to have sex with someone who doesn't feel the same way and the first person simply doesn't get the message and continues with the purposals.

    And really, would complete openness make it go away?
  • charleton
    299
    Would complete realization of the Sexual Revolution--complete liberation; complete openness --result in the end of sexual harassment?WISDOMfromPO-MO

    SH is really about a power relationship, and complete liberation of sexuality would not change the fact that some men are in positions of power over women.
  • T Clark
    1.2k
    Sexual assault, we are told, is not about sex. It is about power, we are told.WISDOMfromPO-MO

    I agree that power isn't the crux of the problem of sexual harassment.Joshs

    It's not just about power.ssu

    If allowed, people will use other people without consideration for their well-being. That's a fact. Sweatshops use children's labor and destroy the children's lives; mine owner's send miners into dangerous mines to be crushed quickly or asphyxiated over decades, soldiers use rape as a tool of war, slavery has bee an institution far back into human history, cigarette companies sell their products long after it is well known they will kill those who use them.

    Why? For just about any human benefit you can think of - money, sex, to promote a political program, revenge, the feeling of power, hatred, to form armies or police forces to give them more power over more people, punishment, money, money, money.

    How? 1) Power. Whenever one person or group of people have power over another person or group, they will use them. Rob them, kill them, rape them, use them for free labor, pay them less than they need to live on, confine them, repress them, What's flabbergasting, what I have a hard time understanding, is that they will feel justified in doing so. 2) Dehumanization - lack of respect for the other person as a human being deserving treatment as such, kindness. Item 2) leads directly to Item 1).

    The issue is power. Sex is just one of the possible benefits. If you want to stop sexual harassment, change the power relationships. I don't think education will do much. Maybe that's not true. Maybe education will have an effect on Item 2). Maybe it will provide a sign that Item 1) will no longer be tolerated.

    Deal with the power. The rest will follow.
  • jamalrob
    1.6k
    If you want to stop sexual harassment, change the power relationships.T Clark

    But some power relationships are personal: there will surely always be people who have more forceful personalities, who are more aggressive, or who are more willing to use people to get what they want than others. I'm reminded of the anarchistic hippy communes of the sixties, which had no power groups or hierarchies, but which apparently degenerated because certain individuals were able to bully others into submission.
  • TheMadFool
    1.7k
    Biology doesn't know the meaning of ''harrassment''.
  • Wayfarer
    4.9k
    I think on the contrary a great deal of sexual misconduct is stimulated (I won’t use the word ‘inspired’) by pornography. This depicts women as eager participants in all types of fantasised sexual acts including many that would have been universally regarded as perverted only a couple of generations ago. Quite a few of those accused insist that their victims were willing participants, and I think for sure the onus must be on the aggressor to prove that this was the case. But I think the question could be asked, do the enormous numbers of women who do participate in porn media actually encourage the very behaviours that these aggressors exhibit?

    Now of course it could be said, that in this case, the women involved in pornography are consenting (and I’m sure that’s true in many cases, although there is probably some coercion involved also.) But as the behaviours being modelled are often the same in both porn media and harassment cases, with the variable being ‘consent’, then I think society ought to consider whether the ready availability of material depicting such acts might be a contributing factor.
  • Akanthinos
    289
    Sexual assault, we are told, is not about sex. It is about power, we are told.

    On the other hand, the recent tidal wave of sexual harassment accusations involves only the most powerful men in society. They already have power over most of the people in their lives, and that power is respected. It seems more like abusing power than asserting power.

    Power is not enough, maybe?

    The sexual rules, mores, beliefs, attitudes, etc. of conservative traditions make even the highest political and economic power useless, maybe?
    WISDOMfromPO-MO

    Sexual assault can be about sex. It's the type of dynamics of sexual exploitation, violence and repression that grows in an abusive couple that is generally refered to "not being about sex, but about power", as in asserting power in a manner that is, after all, proven to work most of the time.

    The recent events in regards to sexual misconduct is notable because it aims at men in power. Men who until now could use their power and influence to silence the victims. The recent narrative that is springing out, where every men must now watch their every moves to make sure that nothing will be interpreted as misconduct is pure interwebs hogwash. Unless you previously had the power and influence necessary to convince, often by doing nothing whatsoever, often over a dozen of women that nothing good could come out of reporting what was clearly misconduct, then nothing has changed.

    In other regards, I think the simplest way I can formulate what I see to be the problem underlying current sexual mores is that men need to stop thinking in terms of seeking to convince their sexual interest into having intercourses. In thinking that seeing an attractive women is in itself an invitation into flirtation. My personal experience is that male attraction signaling is very very obvious, while female signaling is much more subtle. Yet every man act as if they have to lay it incredibly thick or else the woman won't notice he's interested.
  • charleton
    299
    Sexual assault can be about sex.Akanthinos

    I think we might need to have a few weekly prizes awarded on the Forum.
    This one gets my vote for "Bleeding Obvious Comment of the Week".

    Sexual assault is what sex is most about.
    Sex is a natural reward provided by evolves responses of survival, in that animals who seek out sexual pleasure are more likely to provide the species with progeny. Nature, being dispassionate and disinterested, cares not how and when such pleasure is gained, so much so that the link between reproduction and the pleasure of sex is not well forged.
    To the degree to which the orgasm is accompanied with the production of the elements of preproduction (semen) is the limit of this connection. Many animals do this much better even than humans in that ejaculation and oestrus is also the stimulus for the pleasure. Most mammals have limited interest in sex and this is most expressed seasonally when at particular times the males and females are brought together with pheromones. Violence is the common outcome of such meetings, with males often forcing themselves on females often having fought off other males.
    Sex then is naturally linked with violence, and pleasure.
    For the primates this seasonality is less marked with several species demonstrating sexual behaviours which are not directly related to the fertilisation of the egg. But violence is a common accompaniment to these practices which also relate to hierarchy.

    Culture prevents us from acting like animals, but this is a denial of our nature.
    As i said above, every man wakes up every morning and has to deny his natural sexuality. There are two sides to every balancing act. On the one hand society provides us with rules of behaviour, and on the other there is man's natural tendency to insert his penis into something warm and soft to leave his semen, preferably a woman (in the case of a heterosexual).
    Each man is his own unique set of scales.
    For some, complete sexual repression would work to emasculate the individual completely, though i think the tension would emerge in other ways, such as rampant oppression of others. For others it would make them more devious to seek out others willing to participate willingly or otherwise in sexual practices. This is the Victorian model - every thing swept under the table; including covering table legs incase they inflamed the desire of men; apparel contra onanism were sold to prevent a man from touching his own genitals at night.
    There again in a world were sexual repression were minimised or ended would work in a number of ways for different people. For the abuser it would be the licence they were always looking for to use their power to more freely impose themselves onto others. Although the wider knowledge would 'protect' some against the vile advances of a Weinstein, there would always be submissive females who would continue to be abused.
  • T Clark
    1.2k
    But some power relationships are personal: there will surely always be people who have more forceful personalities, who are more aggressive, or who are more willing to use people to get what they want than others.jamalrob

    And those are among the power relationships I'm talking about. I didn't say get rid of power relationships, I said to change them. I am in all sorts of appropriate power relationships - I have a boss, I am a boss, I used to be a father with non-adult children, and so on.
  • Akanthinos
    289
    I think we might need to have a few weekly prizes awarded on the Forum.
    This one gets my vote for "Bleeding Obvious Comment of the Week".
    charleton

    My point, and I guess this might have gone over your head, is that the Duluth Model doesn't explain or apply to #MeToo. Weinstein doesn't need to force sex on the women in his surroundings to find a way to assert power, it's that he has power that he can get away with forcing sex on women.

    As i said above, every man wakes up every morning and has to deny his natural sexuality.charleton

    Nope he doesn't. What you are doing right now, that is part the problem. Framing the situation in terms of repression of normal drives. Unspent libido is easy as fuck to channel away into something productive, and it could always be masturbated away. Sexual violence and domination can be sublimated in any number of ways, or framed as an accceptable game within willing partners.

    If one truly wake up every morning feeling that you must somewhat adjust your behaviour in order not to assault someone today, sexually or otherwise, then I can only suggest that one seeks professional help.
  • javra
    361
    Would complete realization of the Sexual Revolution--complete liberation; complete openness --result in the end of sexual harassment?WISDOMfromPO-MO

    It seems obvious to me that the power-over-other structure of sexuality goes deep in our, and a few too many other, cultures. The penis as a gun that shoots off bullets, as a sword that penetrates, etc. All these “fun” metaphors are inextricable from notions of non-consensual violence/harm on those that are penetrated. Furthermore, modern science has evidenced ( :-} ) that women too enjoy sex—though, most don't enjoy being shot at with bullets as a bad/nauty/dirty things, or else repeatedly stabbed at with a knife/sword for the same reason. (Though, we all adapt to the culture we have no choice (or virtually no choice) but to live in, emotively and cognitively.) But, fuck, "fuck" is understood and used by both men and women. And to say “fuck you” is most often not used to express “let’s have loving, rambunctious, passionate sex that brings both of us into closer proximity to ecstatic being of mind, spirit, and flesh” but, basically, to express “may you be brutally raped”.

    Fuckin’ hell.

    So my impression is that this equality of value/worth/respect between the sexes and their sometime unique ability to accomplish (aka, their unique power) is gonna take some time in actually manifesting, and this only at a progressive, step by step rate.

    Still, in terms of the 70s-like notion of love = sex within the slogan of “free love”, I don’t believe that were (consensual) orgies to be the norm everywhere and at all times within the workforce, that, then, sexual harassment would miraculously begin to vanish. OK, me, I’m not an orgy guy. But even so, you can’t have orgies all the time while working. What about during the hours when orgies don’t occur. Would sexual harassment then be reduced? I think not.
  • Joshs
    51
    You seem to be approaching the topic of increasing sexual self awareness through a broad socio-cultural perspective, while my interest is in the the way each of us, while members of a larger culture, also interpret our relationship to that larger culture and, in particular our psychological self-understanding, in a unique way in relation to that larger culture. We, as individuals, are not just cogs of a community we belong it. You mentioned psychotheraeputic venues. This could imply that the difficulites individuals face in understanding themselves sand others sexually is one of pathology, although you may not have meant it in that way. To me, sexual undestanding is a subset of larger belief systems that evolve culturally. Think of cultural movements like the Rennaissance, enlightenment, modernism and the postmodern. These eras express overlapping conceptions of the world in art, literature, philosophy, science and music. They also mark changing erotic worldviews.
    Sexual harassment originates in attitudes that mark an attempt to transition from an older cultural, and more specifically psychological worldview, to one that involves greater mindfulness and body-mind connectedness, among other things. It goes well beyond simply transcending prejudices against gendered groups and has to do with intricate issues of what it means to connect intimately with others.The progress against sexual harassment is about t he progress of sexual self awareness, which is itself about the evolution of psychological self-understanding, which is at the same time a cultural development.Those of us here who see harassment in primarily moralistic, legalistic , power-related terms are not getting the psychological issue, Punishment and repression of the alleged power-hungry abuser will not make a dent in the prevalence of harassment, which is fundamentally not an issue of too much power but of the opposite, lack of psychological power in terms of self esteem, self-awareness, other directed awareness.
  • T Clark
    1.2k
    Sexual assault is what sex is most about.charleton

    If you are a woman, I am sorry for whatever experience you had that made you feel this way. If you are a man, stay away from the people I care about. You should stay away from everyone.
  • charleton
    299
    Unspent libido is easy as fuck to channel away into something productive, and it could always be masturbated away. Sexual violence and domination can be sublimated in any number of ways, or framed as an accceptable game within willing partners.Akanthinos

    But you are reducing nature to just an ejaculatory reflex, when I've made clear, had you read the whole of my post that violence and power-over is also closely linked to the male sex drive.
    Wanking is not enough it's what chimps have to do when in captivity.
  • charleton
    299
    If you are a woman, I am sorry for whatever experience you had that made you feel this way. If you are a man, stay away from the people I care about. You should stay away from everyone.T Clark

    Stupid! I was talking about nature in the wider sense, and was a quip in response to the silly statement "Sexual assault can be about sex".
    I've never assaulted anyone at anytime for any reason.
  • Joshs
    51
    You dont explain why a group of people need to have power over another in the first place. It's significant that this group can organize itself in the first place without each member destroying the other. You could argue that even within a small group, it is hierarchical power relations that keep them together. But if we look at parent child bonds, or those between friends or spouses, it would be more clarifying to point out that we dont have the need to resort to power, or at least not for the most part, in relating to people who we identify with , who we can relate to and empathize with, who seem like us. Because in that instance, hurting them is like hurting ourselves. So need for use of power, it seems emerges as a strategy in situations where we are dealing with those who we relate less effectively to, are to some extent alien from us in their worldview, behaviour or goals in life. Its hard to explain a history of culture on the basis only of the dynamics of power. Because it seems to me that there would be no development of culture at all if not for a psychological development of the capacity to relate to a larger and larger range of people different from ourselves in language and customs. Empathy is a product of psychological insight, and without the development of this insight, there would be transformation of culture from prehistorical tribal structures to more and more complex forms of society.
    If you view sexual harassment as a result of sociopathology among certain individuals or merely the actions of people who do what they do because they can get away with it, then you have no recourse but to resort to power politics to cordone them off, Its power as criminal enforcement, and is not likely to have much of an overall effect on these behaviors. And it only makes sense as a sole strategy if you deny that sexual harassers reflect a stage in cultural understanding(perpetrated through media and figures like Hugh Hefner).
    But the most interesting thing about the harassers currently being paraded in front the media for our entertainment is that they fall into a common psychological profile, they are mostly older men who feel emotionally isolated, are not comfortable with direct affective communication, and are blind to how their actions affect those they reach out to. What Im describing fits not just harassers, but to a large extent a whole generation of males. The difference between the harassers and this larger cohort isnt nearly as great as you might assume. It might be convenient to want to put them in a psychopatholgical box, but would be missing the larger picture. Focusing just on changing power structures so as to eliminate harassment would be like trying to eliminate homosexuality by punishing gay sex.
    Doing so would be missing 90% of what it means to be gay.
    In short, dealing with sexual harassment purely through changing power relations is succumbing to the same limited psycholgocial insight that harassers suffer from, in which case youre part of the problem rather than part of the solution.
  • Bitter Crank
    4.3k
    Would complete realization of the Sexual Revolution--complete liberation; complete openness --result in the end of sexual harassment?WISDOMfromPO-MO

    Question 1: What were the goals of the Sexual Revolution?
    Question 2: Was the Sexual Revolution planned?
    Question 3: What was/is complete liberation?

    1. The liberation of women's sexuality -- separation of sex and pregnancy with birth control pills
    2. The entry of women into the workplace in peacetime to pursue careers
    3. The freedom from financial dependency on men
    4. Freedom from obligatory housekeeping and child rearing duty

    Where were men in the SR?

    Men didn't need to seek liberation (so they thought) because they didn't recognize male oppression, for the most part. The liberation of women's sexuality was enthusiastically endorsed by men because it meant more sexual opportunities. The cost of careers in corporate America, the burden of breadwinning, and the narrowness of male roles wasn't considered until decades later.

    Gay men had more concrete goals in the SR: protection from blatant discrimination, equal access to civil rights, repeal of criminalization, and freedom to pursue sex without fear of prosecution.

    To some extent the sexual revolution was successful. Birth control effectively separated sex and pregnancy (along with Roe vs. Wade). Large numbers of women entered the workforce--either for a career, to achieve financial independence, or to help the family financially (especially true after 1975). Many women found it possible to live independently of men.

    The sexual revolution in the workplace didn't really change or improve the lives of men very much. It is likely the case that many men didn't perceive a need for change. It didn't change their social lives much either.

    Family life did experience declines after the "decade of sexual revolution" and I would attribute some of the decline to the increasing independence of women, but primarily to the decline in income and purchasing power which commenced around 1975 and has continued since. The economic change has required parents to spend more time working to obtain or maintain living standards which have continued to decline. The result is increasingly stressful home and work lives for everyone -- parents and children together.

    The SR delivered well for gay people. Civil protections and decriminalization were both gained, and eventually, even marriage. I wish the gay liberation effort had focused more on the collective sexual lives of gay men, and much less on the right to adoption and marriage. Under the cover of AIDS, there was an across the board suppression of the "sexual community". Institutions which had worked well to facilitate gay community (bars, baths, parks, adult bookstores, etc.) were closed -- totally, in some places, mostly in others.

    The Sexual revolution wasn't planned, of course. It just happened at a certain time when circumstances were propitious.

    Had the revolution gone further, deeper--especially for heterosexual men and women--we wouldn't be having all the perceived problems around touching, groping, assaulting, seducing, flirting with, and so on. The revolution could have led to much more equalization of power and sexual prerogatives among men, among women, and among men and women together.

    But it didn't.
  • simian1
    1
    This is my first post, thanks for having me.

    Patriarchy is an overused term in my opinion. The last patriarchies died out or are dying out with the last of the tribal societies. Hunter gatherer societies tend to be more egalitarian, but some could be classified as patriarchal I guess.

    What we have here is a plutocratic oligarchy, built around an exclusionary male priesthood. This is directly reflected in the Hollywood scandals.
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