Ok, I'll be honest, I mostly hang out in chat and occasionally lurk in groups, which means that incidents where I'm calling people on inappropriate behavior are probably more frequent than they would be otherwise.  Fortunately, those who are the most vocally sexist/aggressive/inappropriate don't usually last long, but all too often, I'm the only one actively standing up to them.  While men in chat will occasionally PM me to let me know they agree with me, very few actually say anything to the offenders.  I once spent two hours explaining to another member why greeting me with a 'rape face' was completely out of line.  I also took a lot of flack for objecting to another member calling me a whore (and for ignoring him because of it).  I could go on, and on, and on.  Yes, I do report users who are abusive, but often nothing happens.

Consequently, I think I'm just going to start linking this article when that kind of nonsense is going on. It's a well written, straight forward explanation of rape culture from a male point of view.   And since the people who tend to have the most trouble understanding that they're being inappropriate have no respect for women, it may be a good tactic, although there's no way a man's words should be in any way worth more than mine.


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Thanks... that article was good for consciousness raising for guys in general. It points out one aspect of the invisible privilege we men have -- the feeling of security that everyone should be able to have!

[...] when I’m out alone at night, I rarely ever fear for my safety. Many men know exactly what I mean. Most women have no idea what that feels like [...]

That’s why I go out of my way to use clear body language and act in a way that helps minimize a woman’s fear and any related feelings. [...]

You may think it’s unfair that we have to counteract and adjust ourselves for the ill behavior of other men. You know what? You’re right. It is unfair. Is that the fault of women? Or is it the fault of the men who act abysmally and make the rest of us look bad? If issues of fairness bother you, get mad at the men who make you and your actions appear questionable. [...]

It ends with some concrete suggestions of things men can do when encountering aspects of rape culture.

I'm glad to see other people gaining things from this article, too. :)  It makes me feel better about things in general.  I do like that it offers concrete suggestions of what can be done to change the situation, and hopefully more men on AN will take it to heart.  

Merelen, I'm taken aback that you are experiencing this on A/N.  I don't take part in chat.  I guess they don't keep a record of what people are saying on chat, and people are more civilized in posting to the forums and groups, where there's a record of what they wrote.  
Here are good suggestions from the article:
1. Men can confront men.
No one is suggesting violence. In fact, that’s what we’re looking to avoid. But sometimes, a man needs to confront another man or a group of men in a situation. When I’m out in public and I see a man hassling a woman, I stop for a moment. I make sure the woman sees me. I want her to know I’m fully aware of what’s happening. I wait for a moment for a clear indication from her of whether she needs help. Sometimes, the couple will continue right on fighting like I’m just a hickory tree. Other times, the woman will make it clear she’d like backup and I approach the situation. I’ve never had to get violent. Usually, my presence alone makes the guy leave if he’s a stranger, or explain himself if they’re familiar. It changes the dynamic. That’s why I always stop when I see a woman getting hassled in public. For any reason. I make sure any woman, in what could become a violent situation, one I may or may not be correctly assessing, feels that she has the opportunity to signal to me if she needs assistance. I’m a big brother to a sister so that response is practically instinctual.
2. Men can correct men.
If you hear a guy say some jacked-up slurs in front of you and there’s no one from that particular community around to be offended, you can still say something. This is also true when you hear misogynistic language. Speak up. Tell your friend or co-worker that rape jokes are bullshit and you won’t tolerate them.
Similar things apply to violence against women - wife-beating jokes aren't any more acceptable than rape jokes.  
3. Men can make other men STFU.
Let’s say, you’re in a group of men, and one of your friends starts hollering at a girl — tell him to knock it the fuck off. You won’t be a punk for speaking up for the woman. As long as you don’t try to score points with her for “defending her,” you won’t be white-knighting it either. You’re just doing the right thing. No one needs some sexist clown hollering at her because the dude popped a mental woody. Cat-calling is one of the worst advertisements for male sexuality there is. Those assholes make us all look like complete tools. You get that, right? We need to cut that shit out.
The misogyny online is appalling.  I saw a "48 Hours" show on Youtube about a man who was a commodities trader, who lost a lot of money and turned into a very good, smart bank robber!  He was married and he had a big house and a family, and they were living richly.  
So there were masses of comments bashing on his wife!  And women in general!  Apparently it was all his wife's fault that he robbed banks - even though she didn't know about it.  
The Santa Barbara shooter immersed himself into the misogynistic "men's rights" culture and forums online.  One tries to get used to misogyny online, people try to shrug it off as "just kids" - but that culture seems to have helped justify him in his own mind.   Misogyny online contributed to the murder of women.  
One thing that I hate especially is the danger of rape when I'm out in a natural area by myself.  That matters a lot, because it matters to be able to experience nature in solitude, not as part of a social occasion. 

It's amazing what people (of both genders) will do if they think they can get away with it.  :/  

I really like the real time interaction in chat, and most of the time it is all positive.  However, it seems that if one person is getting away with inappropriate/rude behavior, more people join in.  When chat is good, it's fantastic.  When it's bad, it's horrible.  Currently, it's in a positive period. 

I'm always saddened by the tendency of both genders to blame women for anything and everything.  The standby example is always if a guy cheats on his girlfriend..... All too often, even the girlfriend will blame the other woman, rather than admit that the boyfriend made his own choice.  

I'm with you on wanting to get out in nature by myself.  I don't want to have to worry about needing cell reception if I have to call for help because of some creep, or trying to decide if I should be taking pepper spray with me on bike rides, or feeling like I shouldn't be going out alone.  

I'm always saddened by the tendency of both genders to blame women for anything and everything.

I wonder if this applies to judging people in relationships. 

I had a boyfriend who was very abusive once.  But on a "just friends" level with women he could be pleasant.  It when I got past a superficial level with him that he became abusive. 

And a woman friend of his was very judgemental about me. 

Similarly the girlfriend of a neighbor of mine complained after the breakup that nobody sympathized with her, everyone sympathized with her boyfriend and thought he was a great guy.  She said "actually, he's quite crazy but everyone thinks he's so ..."  so much a person person I guess.  

Later I found out she was right about him being crazy.  And he has a big problem with women, he's very angry at women and has issues about rejection.  Really a rather scary guy. 

I guess this is also an aspect of "blaming the woman". 

It does amaze me how much people manage to hide of themselves, both genders.  The most abusive people I've known in real life also managed to very manipulative and had a completely different public self presentation.  

I'm sorry to hear of your abusive situation, but I'm glad you got out of it.  It does raise an interesting question about how expectations change when you enter a relationship.  I think we all are looking for someone we can be ourselves around, but that's not a good thing when one's real self is abusive, or when people think they don't have to be polite and use common courtesy once they are in a relationship.  

I'm sorry to hear of your abusive situation, but I'm glad you got out of it.

At first I didn't realize, coming from an abusive family, that when a guy and me had a mutual attraction, it means there are elements in each others' psychology that mesh with the damage from our childhoods. 

That means I'm liable to be attracted to guys who are abusive and would hurt me. 

Our popular culture doesn't think of love and romance that way. 

Later I developed some defenses.  They don't work on a conscious level, they aren't integrated into my personality, because when you're attracted to someone it's hard to resist. 

One defense is that when me and someone who would hurt me fall in love with each other, I get very "shy" and stop talking with them normally. 

The last time it happened, I became very enthusiastic about working out.  I got aerobic exercise and lots of it.  I had cardiovascular fitness like an athlete, resting heartrate about 50.  It kept me from thinking too much about the guy. 

The other defense is that I get very outspoken in a relationship.  If I see something going on, I talk about it.  That pisses abusive people off. 

Being silent or unaware of what's going on, allows people to stay with an abuser and get hurt. 

At first I didn't realize, coming from an abusive family, that when a guy and me had a mutual attraction, it means there are elements in each others' psychology that mesh with the damage from our childhoods. 

I find this interesting.  I have never really looked at it like that, but it makes a lot of sense.  Most of the time, I find that men I'm physically attracted to turn out to be completely wrong for me, whether they are jerks or drug users or just have attractive guy syndrome (where they think their looks entitle them to anything they want).  Like you, I've become very outspoken.  If something bothers me, I talk about it and why it bothers me.  How the other person reacts always says a lot about them.  

Somehow, abusers and abuse victims have a kind of magical radar for each other.  They seem to see into each other, they somehow sense deep things you would think would be hidden, about how the other person's psychological makeup meshes with their own. 

I know, and it's a trap! Once you've had trouble like that, you should never trust yourself when you fall in love. Choose your next partner in a very concious and rational way, if you can. Easy to say, but hard to do.

you should never trust yourself when you fall in love.

I don't know about that ...

They used to say this in abuse survivor groups, that romantic love is dangerous.

I actually tried this approach, kind of, with my most recent boyfriend. 

I wasn't in love with him.  I was attracted because he radiated pleasantness. 

That relationship left a very sour taste though, and I concluded that a deep relationship DOES matter.  It seemed later that being with this guy had been a waste of time. 

It seems like, hard as it is, one needs to work through those deep pulls towards people from the past, enough to have romantic love for people who don't end up being abusive.

Those romantic relationships are deep relationships and they can change things deep inside oneself. 

It's a dangerous process though.  Women are sometimes even murdered by their abusive boyfriends, especially when they're trying to disengage from the relationship. 

And divorce rights are extremely important for abuse survivors. 

I'm struggling with illness right now, not in a relationship-seeking state.  Having a full life oneself as much as possible, is crucial for a good relationship - and my health problems prevent that. 

Romantic love is dangerous - so far that you tend to fall in love with the wrong person. You need to avoid those people and find people with the characteristics you need. Then you can fall in love with them..




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