Yeah absolutely, you’re right and I’m sorry for my initial comment @bigfoot
George Takei now.
My first experience of sexual harassment / assault was at 7 years old when a stranger tried to expose himself to me at the gates of my school playground. It’s not stopped since. Which is why I can’t understand the level of surprise being expressed here. Why are men shocked by any of this, and thinking that NOW they won’t go to see their favourite bands or films. Did you really for one minute think that men in bands with power, fame and money WERE actually going to be treating women well? Really? It’s not just the rapists and ‘paedophiles’ doing this, it’s your friends, your colleagues, your fathers and brothers.
but you’ve hit the nail on the head. they always knew. they knew their dad/best friend/brother/band mate was horribly shady. they just found ways to reconcile it because they weren’t confronted with it. they’ve known forever. anyone doing the whole ‘oh my god you guys i never knew’ schtick is just totally fibbing or measurably dense.
(will definitely add when i term people as rapists etc i’m very much referring to the fact that they’re literally everywhere and have been flying under the radar for years, not that there’s some far-removed demographic.)
But this is why it’s pointless worrying about whether you can still go to see your favourite band, or if you can still enjoy a Kevin Spacey film. Teach your sons not to do it and your daughters not to accept it and maybe the next generation will get it right.
Yep. My friend said ‘right now, if the reactions from men continue to be ‘i’m flabbergasted’ and not further reaching than that, then the only difference between now and the future is that this will be the year abusers learned about the need to cover their tracks a lot better from now on.’ and she’s 100% right.
I might be flabbergasted, but as someone married to a therapist who dealt with rape cases I know how far ranging shit goes. The point was I guess I have the benefit of the doubt part of me taken down a notch.
I apologise if my comments in this thread more generally saught to degrade the accusations and I sincerely didn’t mean it that way. I understand why they’d be read that way.
(This is coming from a place of love dude, you know I’m a xylo fan) BUT tbh I think we need to sort of be careful here, because some of the lads posting ITT - like me - will likely know and have suffered with close friends/family who have experienced a sexual assault or rape. Not that my experience is nearly as traumatic as a victim’s but I can personally say I’m not “surprised” or “shocked” per se by any of this, and sorry if it comes across that way. It’s more that, as these cases gain more exposure and stats pile up, I’m progressively more disappointed to realize the effort I/we put into overcoming the cynicism and mistrust of other people these incidents triggered was likely a waste of time, and we probably shouldn’t have bothered. Me feeling like this is only a tenth of how shitty some of the women I know are feeling right now wrt all this. This isn’t a #notallmen bullshit MRA thing, more trying to explain where I think some of us lads are coming from here, however clumsily we’re expressing our thoughts.
Nobody I especially admire has so far been reported for anything, but I don’t think, even given the above, that it would be unreasonable to express shock if someone I considered a male role model at a crucial point growing up, like a Cobain or a Yorke - men who provided a way into thinking about leftism/feminism for a geek from a council estate w/ very few other ways to learn about that stuff - was suddenly exposed for assaulting/raping somebody. It’s not making it all about “us”, I think it’s more we just don’t have the right tools in our kit to express what we’re trying to express, which is solidarity/support/comradeship.
Right, back to shutting up for me
Tbf to @xylo I don’t think he meant the wider populace, but the closer friends to the perpetrators. I could be wrong
Oh i’m def not saying people are hushing up anything specifically, more that it’s impossible not to understand that of the people you know there will be some who are of this ‘ilk’, and that the shock therefore is a bit mystifying. Maybe i am just more raw cynic than others.
Plus totally understand people feeling let down by their heroes too, have more just been a bit irked by the listicles of ‘movies i used to love’ and stuff, like it’s a hot talking point without actually talking about the important bit.
i guess i meant that if you think of the number of men you’re aware are pretty shady in their attitudes to women, whether that be in casual commentary or behaviour, then it’s sadly not THAT much of a leap to go ‘this is worldwide, at multiple different levels’. i understand disappointment and sadness and revulsion, but surprise that this is so prevalent is fascinating to me coz it’s always felt obvious. does that make more sense? @blueturtle
i’m aware though that i’m not a woman or someone who has been abused, and @laelfy already said it better tbh
Christ I’ve not seen that stuff, imagine hearing about Kevin Spacey and deciding to react by reordering your IMDB top 10 or whatever.
Just speaking personally, but I am somewhat surprised - even with knowing about all the standard shady men that you mention. Knowing so many men had damaging and problematic views doesn’t shock me, but the sheer number of men who seem to act on those and move onto actual physical harassment/flashing/assault, that’s what has taken me aback.
Maybe I’m just being naive still, but I just had a little more faith that people could keep their worst inclinations to themselves, but that was clearly deeply mistaken of me.
Naive is a good word to use to explain how I’m feeling, and I’m afforded that by being a man. You’re making great points
I’m so sorry that happened to you
Nothing you could ever do or anyone could ever do would bring about or justify it. It is completely on the person who chose to do it x
It’s weird really. I mean, in some ways I should always have been aware of this stuff - our school fairly regularly warned everyone about flashers known to be nearby, there was a fairly big sexual assault case at uni while I was there (in one of the safest towns in the country) and certain incredibly harmful ways of speaking are incredibly normalised and yet it probably wasn’t until the last 10 years or so that the scales started to fall from my eyes and I started to realise quite how ingrained in our culture degrading and harmful language, actions and hierarchies are. I guess beforehand while i was aware of things, I tended to mentally explain themselves away to myself as isolated individuals rather than a product of a culture that doesn’t just tolerate, but basically encourages this behaviour en masse. I even experienced low grade sexism (as if there’s a grading system for that kind of thing) when someone mistook me as a woman at distance while I was out running yet… but because I’ve only had it once I didn’t really make anything of that behaviour.
Indeed I contributed to some of the insidious culture myself when I was younger, not only by things like staying silent and not stepping in to tell my uni football team how fucking disgusting they were at times (it wasn’t just the casual stuff I wouldn’t have noticed back then, but proper grim language), but I suspect also by occasionally being that guy on the night out who makes someone else feel uncomfortable by looking at them too often/for too long or dancing a bit too close. No touching or anything like that, but still not behaviour that was or is in any way acceptable - I’ve spent a lot of time recently thinking about whether it was as bad as I remember, whether the self loathing part of me is making it worse, or if actually my memory has minimised the impact of my actions. And yet I know much as my mind is in turmoil at times about whatever small or great actions I may or may not have taken, it’s far worse for anyone who felt affected by anything I did on those evenings and anyone else impacted over the years by the culture I helped perpetuate in my own way. *
I also had a housemate who did something totally off with another and again I quite shamefully didn’t say anything or even realise quite how serious it was (nothing overtly sexual and just a one off as far as I ever knew, but still quite disturbing behaviour). And yet again I always just saw it as someone learning through experience rather than something I should have stepped in and said something about, even after the event. I’m even guilty of tone policing people on here in the past early on in learning about this stuff - I wish I had known better, but I didn’t (apologies @DarwinBabe and any others I did this to).
As I say, I’ve learnt an awful lot over the last decade or so (much thanks to the people I’ve met on here) and I’m certainly far closer to understanding much of what’s been discussed in this thread and elsewhere than I used to be, yet as I think i said further up, even though I’m aware of much more that goes on these days, it never makes an individual account leas affecting and often it doesn’t stop me from being surprised at some of the most egregious behaviour that gets discussed - the idea of a rock star taking advantage of young and vulnerable fans is obviously an age old story, as is the idea of an MP taking liberties with their staff. But giving head to an unconscious person you only just met and some of the other stories I won’t tell because they belong to the people who told me them in confidence? As @sheeldz and others said, I’m hugely naive, I’m privileged and I’ve in my own way taken advantage of that, yet my brain still really struggles to understand how that kind of thing is as widespread as it is as I simply can’t fathom how anyone would possibly go that far, and my mind always wants to rationalize everything. Even though the evidence before my eyes tells me it happens and that should really be enough, the fact I can’t comprehend the how and why stops me from processing how far the problem goes and how big it is.
Long post typed on mobile and I’m a bit aware It’s self indulgent stream of consciousness stuff with mass digressions that slightly crosses over with discussions that should be on the masculinity thread too, but (leaving aside the cases where people are acting with disappointment over being let down by a hero of sorts) hopefully it explains a little better why some of us still react with surprise when we really shouldn’t.
(Advance apologies for anything I’ve got wrong in all of the above - I’m still learning so please do tell me where I’ve got something wrong)
* - in a further irrelevant digression (I’ve put this at the end as I don’t want to detract from my own behaviour with something that casts me as a victim and it is getting a long way from your original point, but does somehow feel vaguely relevant to my wider post), I was subject to unwanted attention by a much older woman in a pub in my late 20s when away from home. Her daughter had come to a table with me and a couple of friends and was talking us before a little later I felt someone drape themselves over my shoulder (the aforementioned woman) and start kissing the back of my neck - while her daughter kept on as if everything was normal. We left the pub not long after that and I’d forgotten about it until last weekend, but the reminder of how I froze in context of what I wrote above makes me (selfishly) glad I never escalated my behaviour further to that kind of level. If I found it difficult to deal as an adult without the inherent power imbalance, it’s difficult to comprehend what others go through on a regular basis.
Just a small point on the “oh my god, X item of media is totally tainted for me now,” because while it is facile we are talking about an industry that does not give a shit about anything except money and so depressingly these are actually the reactions that will get stuff changed because they’re the only ones that hint at the bottom line being affected. Fucked up.
This is what I have been doing with myself too. I think of myself as a meek individual who really didn’t know how to talk to women until the past ten years, and seven of those I’ve been very happily married. Before then I was in a long term relationship throughout university. And yet. And yet…
I’m sure there have been times where I’ve made people uncomfortable, because I have felt uncomfortable too. And I’ve been thinking about this a lot too - am I minimising my own culpability? Did my ingrained own privilege preclude me from knowing what I was doing could be seen as unfathomable now?
And I guess that’s the point of change that is needed right? Not that I’m claiming credit for it.
I totally understand how earlier posts can have been read as “poor me, I can’t watch The Usual Suspects now, boohoo” but that was me processing it. I’ve not moved on and, like I said, it’s about my own inbuilt naivety and @colinzealuk has articulated that very well.
I guess I need to be shutting up and listening a lot more. My wife too has said very wisely that realising how bad the world actually is is one thing, but accepting that it actually happens to everyone all the time is another. One is easy to think about, the other is tantamount to a horror that you should break through like a sonic boom. Once you’re on the other side you can never look back.
I had a similar experience with an older female teacher at secondary school, and yeah I never really thought about it afterwards until I noticed the familiar ‘I just froze, nobody would believe this, is it worth this person losing their job because of how they touched me just now’ strain in all of these stories.
Also I do now remember me trying to retell this to my uni mates, and they were like “Fucking hell mate, you lived the dream!” Take it to the poisonous masculinity thread eh.