• Benkei
    932
    Mmm consent is sooo pseudo-ethical.StreetlightX

    Considering his name he probably has a pseudo fixation.
  • Pseudonym
    129


    No one's confused about grabbing someone's groin. What's being argued is exactly what level of contact requires consent as you'd know full well if you'd actually taken the ethical debate seriously rather than posturing with virtue signalling.

    Do we need to ask for consent before touching a back, an arm, a hand? What about shaking hands? The kiss on both cheeks as practiced all over Europe for years? What about kids, do they get to say whether they get hugged by the grandparents?

    Who gets to decide all this? If I want to live in a world where people will just hug me when I need it, or put a caring hand on my shoulder without ruining it by asking first, do my wants not get to be heard in this debate without being lumped in with the perverts like Weinstein?

    Like most philosophy it's a lot more complicated than a YouTube video, and if that's ad hominem the so be it.
  • mcdoodle
    937
    Do we need to ask for consent before...Pseudonym

    There is a bit of a panic going on. We need to get back to due process and so forth about allegations; such things happen after a lurch in social mores. But I confess some of the remarks like these mystify me. And I'm not a monk: my last partner called me a serial philanderer, though she was smiling and touching me on the back as she said it.

    No third party is going to help you here. Philosophically I think David Lewis's 'Score keeping' paper of 1979 has it right: permissibility shifts in a language-game (including body language) according to what someone does in the next moment - 'if nobody objects'. The trouble is, many people, mostly women, have long felt they couldn't object, even if they didn't like the last bodily or linguistic move in the language-game. So they conceded permissibility ground against their own wishes.

    Now they're feeling empowered to object. People who in the past exploited their power, and the knowledge that the object(s) of their desire felt disempowered, are having to relearn how to act in situations.

    Daily life is anarchy; no-one gets to 'decide all this' but you and your interlocutors. It is possible to cultivate sensitivity to other people. Take it from a serial philanderer.
  • JustSomeGuy
    281
    I'm very surprised to see the number of irrational people in this discussion. Looking over the last few pages, Pseudonym seems to be the only one here who actually understands the issue. The things we're discussing are all completely subjective. There are no universal rules about what is and is not appropriate behavior. There have been times in the past when it was perfectly appropriate for men to have sex with women without their consent. It happens in nature all the time.

    It baffles me that anybody on this forum could fail to see the subjectivity of the issue.

    The trouble is, many people, mostly women, have long felt they couldn't object, even if they didn't like the last bodily or linguistic move in the language-game. So they conceded permissibility ground against their own wishes.mcdoodle

    This is a ridiculous argument. It's basically saying women haven't been able to think for themselves up until now. If somebody is making unwanted advances and you don't make it clear that they are unwanted, that is your fault and nobody else's. If women have honestly felt unable to object, I would ask why they felt that way. Who made them feel that way? Because the implication in this entire movement is that men, as a whole, made them feel that way. And what does that even mean? How would a man make you feel as though you could not object to his sexual advances? What would the consequences be if you "disobeyed" this apparently implicit requirement? Something worse than having sexual interaction with someone you don't want to have sexual interaction with? I really don't see how this line of reasoning can result in anything coherent or logical.
  • Benkei
    932
    No one's confused about grabbing someone's groin. What's being argued is exactly what level of contact requires consent as you'd know full well if you'd actually taken the ethical debate seriously rather than posturing with virtue signalling.Pseudonym

    Oh well done, this time it's an ad hominem at me. Once you've read the entire thread and my previous comments on the matter we can continue.
  • mcdoodle
    937
    If women have honestly felt unable to object, I would ask why they felt that way. Who made them feel that way? Because the implication in this entire movement is that men, as a whole, made them feel that way.JustSomeGuy

    That is indeed the analysis. Men as a class, not 'as a whole', I would say. Just as the majority of people in my impoverished town, as a class, know they are hopelessly disempowered compared to, say, bankers, as a class. This is basic sociology, it's how the world works. 'Subjectivity' operates within norms of behaviour that have become established socially and historically, and which relate to relative power of different classes and groups in that society.
  • JustSomeGuy
    281
    Men as a class, not 'as a whole', I would say.mcdoodle

    I suppose that is more accurate.

    Just as the majority of people in my impoverished town, as a class, know they are hopelessly disempowered compared to, say, bankers, as a class.mcdoodle

    I don't see how that example is relevant to this issue. When wealthy people disempower the lower class, it isn't through psychological means--they have created a tangible system where it is harder for lower class people to gain wealth. The prevention is due to the wealthy physically having power over the unwealthy. In the case of women being unable to deny unwanted sexual advances, we're talking about something psychological. So are you saying that men are psychologically stronger than women, and this is what allows them to have this power over them?

    My whole point is really just this: how is this supposed system actually enforced?
  • Pseudonym
    129


    I've read the entire thread, I always do, I'm not sure what it is you're expecting me to have gleaned from doing so, I still see no attempt in any of your posts to understand the ethical complexities of human sexuality, you just seem to repeat the same message that men should know how to behave already and are just being oppressive by not moderating themselves.

    Human behaviour is significantly more complex than one dominant group deciding arbitrarily how they would like to behave and all other groups just meekly putting up with it.

    Do you really think that men just spontaneously made up this kind of behaviour; that men, desperate to attract women, in their desperation somehow came up with a set of behavioural strategies that actually all women secretly hated but didn't tell anyone until Jack Dorsey was kind enough to invent Twitter.

    Men, in their sexual behaviour, by and large try to do things they think women will find attractive and women will do the same for men. For men, historically, that's been to show how powerful you are, to demonstrate your dominance. If you don't agree then perhaps you could explain why rich powerful men seem to have very little trouble finding sexual partners and poor, but very kind, toilet attendants seem to struggle.

    Personally, I'd rather live in a world where kindness and what I consider gentlemen like behaviour was seen as a virtue both in a friend and in a sexual partner, but we do not live in such a world and that's because men seem to like being bastards and because women seem inordinately attracted to bastards.
  • Benkei
    932
    You read my comments and accused me of virtue signalling because...? That doesn't make sense. I was giving you the benefit of the doubt thinking you hadn't read my comments but apparently you felt the need to gratuitously insult me. Classy!

    Do you really think that men just spontaneously made up this kind of behaviour; that men, desperate to attract women, in their desperation somehow came up with a set of behavioural strategies that actually all women secretly hated but didn't tell anyone until Jack Dorsey was kind enough to invent Twitter.Pseudonym

    This is so incredibly silly I don't even understand why you even write it. It's about power and men oppressed women where they could. It never was a negotiated relationship. The fact women didn't openly complain was not tacit approval. The insinuation they liked it is inappropriate. Men didn't invent these behaviours to attract women, they invented them because it pleased themselves and women were property.

    Men should know better and I've reiterated why before. Talk to five adult women and 2 of them have been sexually assaulted. 4 of them have been sexually harassed. But yeah, they love that shit. :-}

    Personally, I'd rather live in a world where kindness and what I consider gentlemen like behaviour was seen as a virtue both in a friend and in a sexual partner, but we do not live in such a world and that's because men seem to like being bastards and because women seem inordinately attracted to bastards.Pseudonym

    Whatever is that based upon? Movies? You realise what this sounds like right? The passive aggressive self described nice guy who thinks he finishes last because girls don't value the right things. Brings back memories of when I was younger. >:O good times.
  • StreetlightX
    1.6k
    "Of course men can't control themselves".
    "Women secretly like it".
    "Consent is pseudo-ethical".
    "It's all subjective tho lol".
    Retroactive addition: "If you disagree you hate men lololol"
  • Buxtebuddha
    1.4k
    Lots of self-loathing, neutered males in this thread. Gotta love the armchair historians slitting their wrists for the sins of cherry-picked examples that fit the hate spewing agendas of gender feminists.
  • Pseudonym
    129
    You read my comments and accused me of virtue signalling because...?Benkei

    Because you appear to be strongly defending a position popularly defined as a moral good without actually having an answer to the difficult moral issues it encompasses. That's basically the definition of virtue signalling. If you had actually answered any of my questions about the extent of physical contact that is to be self-regulated I might have re-considered my assessment, but as it is you've continued to ignore any of the difficult questions in favour of waiving your 'sensitive nice-guy' flag, so I'm quite happy to stand by my assessment.

    This is so incredibly silly I don't even understand why you even write it.Benkei

    Because it's based on 20 years study of social psychology and ethics. If you don't agree with it you will find plenty of support for your position in the literature, it's a very contested issue, but presuming anyone who doesn't agree with you must be 'silly' is childish.

    First of all, as the psychologist Martin Daly points out in his work on the evolution of human sexual behaviour, men generally seek sexual activity as a goal for contact, women, more often will be seeking a relationship. So to understand male sexual behaviour you have to see it as a culturally evolved response, not to the majority of women, but to the small minority of women who would be likely to respond favourably to the advance. Men principally according to the theory are 'fishing' for a particular type of woman, but crucially, if that type of woman didn't exist they wouldn't have evolved such techniques. This is why we see such an odd disparity between male sexual behaviour and the behaviour women typically want to be subject to.

    Studies such as Herold & Milhausen or the 2006 Li & Kenrick study, help to indicate how such responses may have evolved by showing that, in the short-term, such incentives may also be the case for women. Sexual behaviour preference differed for women looking for a brief sexual encounter and those looking for a long-term stable partner, with characteristics signifying social dominance, narcissism and physical attractiveness rating higher for short-term relationships and lower for long-term. Again, once you understand that a larger proportion of men than women are looking for short-term relationships it becomes clear why there is an incentive for men to display the types of behaviour favoured by women also seeking short-term relationships even when such preferences are unlikely to represent the majority of women.

    The fact that sexual motivation was initiated by external stimuli and is reward-response driven has been known since Frank Beach back in 1956 and has scarcely been challenged since. If you are at all interested in the subject I recommend "Functional and Dysfunctional Sexual Behaviour by Anders Agmo. Chapter 8 explains all about social evolution of male dominant behaviour, but as I say, there are many who disagree with that model.

    So no, in summary, it's not 'from movies', it's based on social psychological studies of human dating behaviour and some background from non-human primate studies. Yes, there's plenty of scope to disagree with these conclusions, many do, but I think it would make for a much more interesting forum if you were to raise your disagreement in logical terms, perhaps citing whatever research evidence you're using, rather than just writing various restatements of your beliefs.
  • Pseudonym
    129


    Come on, I thought this was supposed to be a serious philosophy forum, have I missed something.

    "Of course men can't control themselves".

    No one's said anything of the sort, the argument is that the behaviour men are being asked to control themselves too has been inadequately defined and potentially oversteps the mark by removing nonverbal communication systems from human interaction.

    "Women secretly like it"

    No one has said this either, part of the problem with this debate is that it seems to think that 'women' could possibly like or dislike a thing as a whole. There are 3.5 billion women on the planet ranging from nuns to pole dancers, the idea that 'women' want anything as a group is insulating.
    Some women may well find all sorts of behaviour attractive. I challenge you to find some universal preference.

    "Consent is pseudo-ethical".

    Once more, no one has said this, I said that the video was pseudo-ethical on the grounds that it did not address the complexities of nonverbal communication, or the limits of physical contact, something I note still had not been addressed. Simple question, do men have to ask before shaking a woman's hand in greeting, if not, why not?

    "It's all subjective tho lol".

    Of course it's all subjective, think of the alternative, that there's some externally ordained behaviour we are all obliged to stick to. Who decides on this and with what authority? (another question no one has yet had the intellectual honesty to attempt an answer to)
  • Benkei
    932
    Because you appear to be strongly defending a position popularly defined as a moral good without actually having an answer to the difficult moral issues it encompasses. That's basically the definition of virtue signalling. If you had actually answered any of my questions about the extent of physical contact that is to be self-regulated I might have re-considered my assessment, but as it you've continued to ignore any of the difficult questions in favour of waiving you're 'sensitive nice-guy' flag, so I'm quite happy to stand by my assessment.Pseudonym

    Repeating the accussation of virtue signalling just means this conversation is over. I don't accept it and you're crossing a line.
  • Pseudonym
    129
    Repeating the accussation of virtue signalling just means this conversation is over. I don't accept it and you're crossing a line.Benkei

    I haven't just repeated the accusation, I explained it, and I don't consider virtue signalling to be a wholly bad thing so my intention is not to insult you (which is more than can be said for your intimation that I'm a passive aggressive misfit with some kind of fixation).

    Where I do consider virtue signalling inappropriate is on a philosophy forum. We're meant to discuss the philosophical content of issues are we not? Just repeating over and again that men know how to behave and so should do so is not addressing the issue. How do you know men know how to behave? How have you arrived at the set of bahaviours you consider appropriate? How have you justified imposing that set of behaviours on other people? Those are the interesting philosophical questions.

    I'm quite prepared to give you the benefit of the doubt and presume you have some interesting answers to these, but you haven't stated any of them, hence the virtue signalling. Again, with the best will in the world you haven't exactly done anything to dissuade me from this conclusion by storming off the moment I actually ask you to deal with the complexities of psychological research and cite something in support of your argument.
  • StreetlightX
    1.6k
    Oh right, so what you're saying is you're not talking about any of the concrete cases and real life incidents that have defined the major thrust of me2 movement so far, and are speaking entirely specutively about nothing in particular. Okay, cool.

    Edit: I think I accidentally deleted my post (was trying to edit it), or it might have been deleted by someone else. Either way.
  • Benkei
    932
    I haven't just repeated the accusation, I explained it, and I don't consider virtue signalling to be a wholly bad thing so my intention is not to insult you (which is more than can be said for your intimation that I'm a passive aggressive misfit with some kind of fixation).Pseudonym

    I don't think it's appropriate to claim this (or explain it) when it's clear from my post I have tried to elucidate why time and again. To dismiss what I've written as mere virtue signalling to me is an indication you didn't read my posts or are being uncharitable. As to the "pseudo fixation", I'm not sure why that's interpreted as an insult as it was a quip due to the fact you used "pseudo" rather often. The stuff you pulled from those studies did read as a passive aggressive nice guy excuse but at no point did I say you were one and think you simply took that reply as personal. In fact, I disclosed I was one of those nice guys in the past. Perspectives change. I'm happy to apologise for whatever offence you took from it and I'll dial back the misfiring joking.

    More generally, I don't accept that studies have established women fall for bastards (if anything, some male traits might but the trait does not have to correlate with sexual harrassment or abuse). And to the extent sociobiology and evolution play a role in sexual behaviour, they need to be relegated to the back when current actions by women quite clearly communicate that certain sexual behaviour is no longer accepted. Explanations are not justifications and therefore have no place in this ethical discussion.

    How do you know men know how to behave?Pseudonym

    In light of recent reporting, I don't understand why this is a serious question to you. Open a newspaper, watch a little video on consent for kids and you'll get the general idea. Are there grey areas? Of course. I have arabic friends. One girl slided a bit more into Islam at some point and didn't want to shake hands or kiss any more. So that was a gray area the first time she decided she didn't want to do that any more for about 1 second when I leaned in and she said: "I'm sorry, I've decided I'm not going to kiss men on the cheek any more unless I'm in a relationship with them". What I then do is respect her decision. Simple.

    How have you arrived at the set of bahaviours you consider appropriate?Pseudonym

    Through empathy. I imagine whether I'm ever confronted with the type of unwanted behaviour women are complaining about. I conclude it doesn't happen, so there's an inequality there. Then I take at face value it is unwanted because they say so. From there I develop a reasonable idea of what I consider appropriate.

    How have you justified imposing that set of behaviours on other people?Pseudonym

    Do we agree women should not acquiesce to sexual behaviour they consider unwanted? Social norms have made it difficult for women to communicate or report unwanted sexual behaviour and they should be free to do so; e.g. it needs to be taken seriously and without fear of reprisal.

    EDIT: so the justification follows from agreeing to that first question.
  • StreetlightX
    1.6k
    It's the basic reactionary conceit: when faced with real life cases of concrete harm, retreat into abstract universals and ham up intectualized ambiguity, all the better to avoid the confrontation with actual, documented, and widespread hurt.

    Yes real life concrete human being Weinstein was evil, yes real life concrete human being Louie acted unconscionably, yes real life concrete human being Nassar was a child predator, but this metoo stuff is just so ambigious!
  • jamalrob
    1.6k
    women seem inordinately attracted to bastardsPseudonym

    A quick note to say that this is a misleading cliché. Psychological studies and ordinary experience suggest rather that many women are attracted to men with qualities that "bastards" often happen to have, but which many non-bastards also have: confidence, independence, a lack of neediness, emotional unavailability, and so on.
  • Pseudonym
    129
    To dismiss what I've written as mere virtue signalling to me is an indication you didn't read my posts or are being uncharitable.Benkei

    Likewise if you think my reading of your posts had been uncharitable with regards to the exposition of your argument then I apologise. Like I said, I don't think virtue signalling is a bad thing so perhaps did not consider enough the need to give a wide margin of error to my not identifying any supporting arguments in your posts.

    I don't accept that studies have established women fall for bastardsBenkei

    We seem to be falling, nonetheless into the same pattern. The studies do show that a certain group of women when perusing a particular partner-finding strategy fall for 'bastards', they also show that men disproportionately focus their partner-finding efforts on these women despite their being a minority. You might be able to explain these findings some other way than the psychologists who published them but I really don't see how just saying you don't 'accept' them is helpful here. Do you have some reason you don't accept them? Do you have some alternative interpretation of the data? Do you think the psychologists have just made it all up? Have I completely misunderstood the conclusions?

    Are there grey areas? Of course.Benkei

    I'm fully prepared to take responsibility for this if I've not been clear enough but this is my entire point and no more. The 'grey areas' as you put it are exactly what I've been talking about all this time. It's just that I think they are vitally important and disagree that solving them is as easy as you make out.

    Nonverbal communication is a vital part of human interaction and in the past this has included physical contact. It comes naturally to me, and many others, to put a hand on the shoulder or back of someone who is upset. I realise this might offend some people, but I'm offended by excessive swearing, others are offended by religious defamation, others by revealing clothing, why have we singled out the discomfort people might feel from physical contact and sexual language as something which requires prior consent when other ways of making people uncomfortable are not similarly addressed?

    Through empathy. I imagine whether I'm ever confronted with the type of unwanted behaviour women are complaining about. I conclude it doesn't happen, so there's an inequality there. Then I take at face value it is unwanted because they say so. From there I develop a reasonable idea of what I consider appropriate.Benkei

    Firstly, empathy is a process whereby you imagine you are the other person and speculate on how they may feel. It's an entirely subjective process. How do you know that the people accused of inappropriate sexual advances haven't carried out exactly the same empathy calculation but just got a different result? You're presuming that whatever you would like, must be whatever the other person in the exchange would like. This is not only flawed in that your assessment might be faulty, but in that the other person is probably different from you and has different wants.

    Secondly, you're begging the question by assuming that it is a given fact that all women are happy with having to 'say so'. What about any women who like the spontaneity, who maybe want to reserve their own right to make advances on a man and recognise that this requires an equal level of tolerance on their part. Some of the backlash against metoo from people like Catherine Deneuve has clearly shown that such women at least exist, are we to take a single viral campaign on Twitter as evidence for some kind of worldwide democratic vote on the subject?

    Do we agree women should not acquiesce to sexual behaviour they consider unwanted?Benkei

    Again this is a complete misrepresentation of the argument against metoo, no-one is suggesting that women should 'acquiesce' to men's sexual advances, what the critics of the movement are concerned about is a climate in which men cannot even make the advances in the first place.

    Social norms have made it difficult for women to communicate or report unwanted sexual behaviour and they should be free to do so; e.g. it needs to be taken seriously and without fear of reprisal.Benkei

    This goes back to the point that@JustSomeGuy made. No-one has prevented these women from speaking out. When women wanted the vote, they chained themselves to the railings, there were riots against segregation when people didn't want that any more. We're talking here about women not wanting to lose their job, often a very highly paid one in the case of the Hollywood scandals. Most of what Harvey Weinstein did was actually illegal, not reporting a criminal offence is itself a criminal offence and for good reason. If anyone (man or woman) has let someone get away with a series of sexual assaults potentially even including rape, just because they didn't want to lose their job then I'm afraid I have little sympathy for that particular plight (the reluctance to report, not the assault).

    As others have said before, it is deeply offensive to women to see them as these meek ineffective wimps who can't even speak out against some overweight executive who's just groped them for fear of what exactly, reprisals? What reprisals are we talking about? So they might get the sack, well that would be unfair dismissal and they could take the issue up with their union. Much progress has been made this way with child care rights at work, for example.

    Essentially, it boils down to the fact that there is a movement out there which is encouraging women to speak out about behaviour that they personally found uncomfortable, some of it is serious sexual assault and some of it is not. The implications of this which I take issue are;

    1. A single social media campaign over the course of less than a year can be taken to represent the permanent and universal views of all (or even the majority) of womanhood across the globe.

    2. Physical communication by contact and sexual advances are a special sort of behaviour for which you require the other persons consent before engaging in, lest you make them uncomfortable. All other forms of interaction that might make people uncomfortable remain unaffected.

    3. Men who engage in physical contact or sexual advances that turn out to be unwanted (other than criminal behaviour) are doing so entirely out of their own perverted desire to dominate and have been influenced in no way whatsoever by the historical responses of any women to this type of behaviour.
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