It’s been awhile since I posted. So I thought I’d offer up two recent exchanges I had on youtube for your edification.
It was on a video out of India that’s apparently trying to convince women that they’re so frail, a man can hurt them with his majik voodoo eyeballs!
Wow, I got to get me a pair of those +40 debuff ocular orbs of masculine potency!
Highlights: on a video that’s all about shaming men into changing their behaviour by presenting women as victims of their horrible horrible gaze, commentators insisted it wasn’t about “men changing things” but empowering women.
Empowering women by promoting the idea men are so powerful even their peepers can hurt you if they gets laid on you, if you’re a weak widdle woman!
Oh, the male gaze! Ephemeral thing that I am, I burst into a thousand shards of weeping womanhood the instant it alights upon me! WOE!
On with the show.
Exchange # 1
James Chiofalo 4 hours ago
Because men are the ones in the world that say things like “staring at women isn’t bad”. In a world in which women are treated like objects for sex, instead of like human beings (aka our world), who is the one that is targeting women? Is it a dog, or a cat? Typically it isn’t another woman. In this world, men treat women like slabs of meat.
Alison Tieman4 hours ago (edited)
+James Chiofalo Maybe you treat women like “slabs of meat” but all of the men in my life treat me like a person.
Maybe because I treat them like people and not some sort of inhuman menace with toxic eyes.
James Chiofalo4 hours ago
It is an issue of society. Just because there are exceptions doesn’t mean that problems do not exist. Congrats, you are an exception. There is a world outside of yours dude.
Half of advertising, films, and video games are based on women who rely of men, rather than being independent and fighting for themselves. Those who are independent have bodies which are unrealistic.
Lawmakers have tried changing rape laws in the US numerous times, to say that sex when intoxicated or on date rape drugs isn’t rape, focusing on women specifically in their defenses. Women are shamed for being raped because their clothes were too small, or someone shouldn’t have drinker, or you should have punched him, not realizing that they are blaming a female victim, rather than a male attacker. These are just some of the issues.
Alison Tieman 3 hours ago
+James Chiofalo “Just because there are exceptions doesn’t mean that problems do not exist.”
Bullshit. Good men aren’t an “exception”. The very idea of sexual “objectification” has no basis in science. It’s superstitious nonsense.
The normalization and justification of rape is only a problem… for male victims of female rapists.
Also lawmakers haven’t tried to change laws in the US “numerous times to say that sex when intoxicated or on date rape drugs isn’t rape”
“Half of advertising, films, and video games are based on women who rely of men, rather than being independent and fighting for themselves.”
And what does feminism offer women in terms of a role model aside from whining for men to saaaaaaaave them?
James Chiofalo3 hours ago
Whining for men to save them? Are you kidding me? Where have you heard that notion? I have heard feminism as the fight to ensure that people independent of race, sex, class etc are equal.
I have NEVER heard a single person state that men should be a saving force. Fighting for social change involves the individuals who are repressed (whether they are shamed for what they wear, being targeted because of their gender etc) can only occur when people of the group stand up. THIS is women standing up. this is not women saying that men should change things. This video, among many other videos, and dissertations, along with millions of other women, who I have had the privilege of working alongside, has women standing up for their right to be comfortable.
Alison Tieman 3 hours ago
+James Chiofalo “THIS is women standing up. this is not women saying that men should change things.”
So what’s the point of this ad if it’s not telling men to change things?
James Chiofalo3 hours ago
The women are saying no to this by forcing men to look at theirselves in a mirror. They are standing up by being a mirror and letting oppressors view themselves and what they are doing.
If a group rises against their oppressors, they will eventually need the force pushing them back to listen.
The Civil Rights Movement in the United States for instance. The powers that be in the United States were primarily people who were white. Congress, Supreme Court (barring one Justice), President, Governors etc were white. In order to fight against Jim Crow laws, peopl of color had to rise up and fight by showing the world the horrors of Jim Crow. By showing the beatings, and the violence. They rose up and they fought back with words, and as a result, those in power responded.
These women are rising up against being seen as a sexual toy by speaking out against this (similar to persons of color speaking out against Jim Crow).
Alison Tieman 3 hours ago
+James Chiofalo So this ad is telling men to change their behaviour in order to “save” women from oppression.
Comparing being ogled to jim crow is, well, if I were the type to get offended, I would say it’s offensive.
However I know why you have an urge to paint this as horribles!oppression of women… you want a damsel to save. Nay you want an entire society of them.
If ogling women is oppressing them… than what is forcing them into the role of damsel? (You’ve already acknowledge that’s BAD.)
Exchange # 2
A thought provoking video recently released by a Mumbai film school that highlights the issue of men leering/staring at women in public. Nearly 1,000 comments (expressing all kinds of opinions) have been left in response to it….
Good video. However, staring the women isn’t a rape. We all stare at girls all the time. It’s a natural trait.
+Ashish Pradhan Ashish as one of those women let me just say that your ‘natural trait’ FEELS like VISUAL RAPE so get over yourself and mind your manners boy
I think he needs a jolly good whack with your trusty umbrella!
+dianne sharma-winter YOU should get over yourself.. staring means men think you look pretty. It’s a compliment, nothing else.
Benjamin – please. There is a difference between staring and looking, glancing, etc. What, passing lewd comments should be accepted as a compliment as well, because, hey you are pretty? What kind of an idiot are you? Grow up! And learn to treat women with respect.
Yeah, Ashish – same goes to you.I looked as well when I was younger. But staring – now that’s something I did not do. So learn the difference. Stop making women uncomfortable by your “natural traits”.
You aren’t getting me. Staring like a rapist is a complete different things. Looking at beautiful girls is not bad. All men do that. Are you telling me to stop looking at girls?
Oh I am getting you loud and clear. Are you an expert on how women feels about being stared at? What, you keep your face a certain way when you stare at a woman? Is there a non-rapist stare? I see it all the time when I come there with my wife.No one says the guys who stare are rapists. That is not the issue here. But the stares – the visual rape – disgusts her.
I am not saying don’t look. You can – but if you make it obvious that you are looking at her, well, that’s what is the core of this issue. A girl, pretty or otherwise, needs to feel comfortable outside. When she feels like she is getting stared at, or even looked at, she tends to lose that safe feeling.
You all need to stop. There is nothing cool about it, and women hate it. And a lot of men hate it too – and some of us might do something about it the next time. Hope you get it now.
+Anil Pillai Thank you for saying this. Even in the UK I feel this unwanted attention and I’m sorry to say sometimes it is at work. Because they are just staring it feels as if you cannot confront them or say anything, but it makes me avoid walking in certain areas of the workplace because particular men sit there. Before people attack me for arrogance – I do not feel I am extremely pretty or attractive, yet men still stare. It doesn’t make me feel flattered or powerful, it’s intimidating and alienating.
Wow, get over yourself.. If men are staring at you so much that you feel the need to compare it to rape, then maybe you should stop dressing like a whore. I guarantee that at least 80% of the time, the only reason the guy stares, is because you’re wearing almost no clothes, booty shorts, half a shirt, push up bra, fake tan on your legs, $20 worth of makeup on your face… try not dressing like your role model Miley Cyrus and stop showing off your ass and fake tan, and I bet you anything this problem will stop for you.
Above all people, quit being little pussies and stand up for yourself. If there’s someone staring at you and making you uncomfortable, turn around and say “Hey, would you mind stop staring at me asshole?” I guarantee they will feel terrible and feel like a jackass, and stop staring at you, hell, they might even apologize.
Just because a guy is looking at you and appreciating your amazing beauty does not mean they are perverted, sexually violent rapists.
Ding ding ding.. we have a winner! It is Bushpilot! The first guy to take out the ‘blame the victim’ card on this post. Feeling pretty gutsy, punk, writing all that mcp bullshit from behind a keyboard?
+Anil Pillai How about you Anil? Do you feel like more of a man by promoting the idea that women are victims of men’s eyeballs?
I mean this entire video is essentially telling women that they can be hurt just by men looking at them? And the only solution is for women to beg men not to look? How much more disempowering does it get?
If women can be hurt by men just looking at them then they are trapped in the permanent social role of powerless victim. Their only purpose in life is to constantly beg men to change their behaviour.
Bushpilot is actually recognizing that women have the power to act and not just whine for men to save them.
What kind of man promotes the idea that women are helpless?
Listen +Alison Tieman, I do not think you understand the scenario in India. It is a major issue, and when you have the same men coming up to you and taking a photo of you with their phone, in your face, you will realize how widespread and pervasive the problem is. I have no idea where you are from, but you have to experience it to believe it.
+Sharell Cook who posted this, is no wallflower, and i am guessing neither is +dianne sharma-winter. Men’s eyeballs do not threaten them, so why don’t h you ask them what bothers them with the undressing stares? And why should the women be asked to talk to aholes to stop staring? Why don’t you ask yourself that question?
And finally, please, id rather not respond anymore to Bushpilot, who thinks you women are to blame for the way you look. Sad you seem to agree with him.
+Alison Tieman Woah, the stupidity in your comments just amazes me. It’s not saying women are hurt by being stared at. It’s that they are subjected to men who’s thoughts are far from innocent. REGARDLESS of what they wear and they shouldn’t have to feel uncomfortable and be leered at. Wow. Bushpilot is in no way saying women have the power to act. He’s saying women don’t HAVE the right to dress how they want. Are you fucking kidding me? As a woman, I have no fucking idea where your head is at. It’s not that women are not powerful, or that they’re begging, it’s that they shouldn’t have to.
” It is a major issue, and when you have the same men coming up to you and taking a photo of you with their phone, in your face,”
Look up “tube crush”; an entire website devoted to women taking pictures of strange men on transit that they like the look of.
” Men’s eyeballs do not threaten them, so why don’t h you ask them what bothers them with the undressing stares?”
Feel free to explain what’s threatening about being stared at.
If guys want to forfeit their dignity by goggling at me like simpletons, who gives a shit? Point and laugh.
As for the guys in the actual ad, one of them just glanced; another was just being socially awkward and smiling at a woman he found attractive. The guys on the moped were apparently a gay couple who found her hot pants amusing. And the ones in the train were obviously disgusted by the boob sweat and having a chuckle at the woman’s expense. (Get some antiperspirant lady!)
“And why should the women be asked to talk to aholes to stop staring?”
Because the alternative is to view yourself as a damsel who needs to be “saved”.
“who thinks you women are to blame for the way you look. Sad you seem to agree with him.”
What? Of course I’m responsible for the way I look. I’m the one making decisions about it!
Are you capable of recognizing women as people who make choices at all?
+shadooplucy How do you fit so much contradiction in your head?
“It’s not saying women are hurt by being stared at.”
Is directly contradicted by your very next sentence. “It’s that they are subjected to men who’s thoughts are far from innocent.”
Subjected? To what? People’s thoughts don’t affect me because people are not telepathic. I choose to be affected. And so do you.
“As a woman, I have no fucking idea where your head is at. ”
As a woman I have no interest in imagining myself a damsel to be saved. I have no interest in seeing men’s gaze as some sort of toxic something(?) to be saved from.
Let them stare. Point and laugh at how cheap men sell their dignity.
+shadooplucy Thank you. Precisely what I am trying to say.
Yes that women are defined by being victims.
I was saying they’re not PHYSICALLY hurt by ONLY men’s glances in this video. However, even the description of the video refers to a bigger incident and message at large. Staring’s not a crime, neither really, is leering. But it makes majority of women feel uncomfortable and it can lead to other atrocities LIKE the Nirbhaya’s Rape Case this video was made for. You’re not a damsel in distress, you’re a women who deserves to be treated with respect! It’s not that hard of a concept. The way you’re looking at this is very logical in that men’s thoughts don’t affect you, and cheap men sell their dignity, but men’s thoughts and gaze are toxic when they go beyond a certain extent that you have to fear for your safety or sacrifice your comfort. And just because you feel a-okay being stared at, does not mean every women is miraculously as unaffected as you are. You claim responsibility for how you look, does that mean it’s also your responsibility if men decide how you look is an invitation to something more?
This is your problem:
“You’re not a damsel in distress, you’re a women who deserves to be treated with respect!”
I don’t deserve to be treated with respect because I’m a woman.
I deserve to be treated with respect because I’m a human being.
Just like men are human beings who deserve to be treated with respect and not viewed as having “toxic eyeballs”.
“but men’s thoughts and gaze are toxic when they go beyond a certain extent that you have to fear for your safety or sacrifice your comfort”
Men looking at women is not a contributing factor to rape. Rape is a cycle. A small number of people who have been subject to rape go on to rape.
Did you know that Indian boys are at greater risk for sexual violence than Indian girls?
Google “Study on Child Abuse: India 2007”
You want to stop rape of adult women, start addressing sexual abuse of boys.
You are not going to convince me I need to be scared about men looking at me.
+Alison Tieman you do not seem to get it at all. The alternative is not to have women as damsels waiting to be saved. The alternative is that women can walk outside the same way as men, free of being stared at, free of being objectified. If you do not get this simple concept of personal freedom, you are just daft. Either that, or you are a troll.
The alternative is that women can walk outside the same way as men?
Great! Than I’ve already achieved that. I’ve actually done better than “walking outside the same way as men” because men still have to deal with 5 times the rate of violence compared to me. (Baby, you’re the real victim here, not me.)
Now start listening to what I’m saying. The way to women to achieve freedom is to not let people convince them they’re a victim.
Not to let people convince them that they are so frail and weak that a man can hurt them with just his majik voodoo eyeballs.
+Alison Tieman congratulations on making it then, ‘baby’.
+Anil Pillai Thanks! Now I got to save you, my fair lady.
+Alison Tieman No need to save me, mister. I am alright. I will continue the discussion when you get some real world experience living in countries like India, instead of surfing to Google.
You don’t like being the damsel, Anil? Why is that?
Sharell Cook 8:51 PM
You are such an idiot! There is nothing worse than people who make comments that reveal their ignorance.+dianne sharma-winter is a grandmother in her 50s who dresses conservatively and still has to resort to beating off Indian men with an umbrella because they sexually harass her. No one is spared!!
Sharell Cook 9:04 PM
I think this issue really highlights the difference between the way men and women think. Men are mostly glad to receive attention from women… it makes them feel attractive and good about themselves. However, men are not the most perceptive and emotionally intelligent of creatures, and as a result, they commonly think that women must also like such attention. This is not the case at all. Being stared at and leered at by a man often makes a women feel violated.. yes, it often feels like visual rape. Us women are quite well aware of what goes on in men’s minds when they look at us in that way. And when groups of men photograph us with their phone cameras… well, it’s pretty obvious what the photos will be used for. When a women looks at a man, she’s not thinking of penetrating his body, and men have no concern about having their body unwittingly penetrated… that’s the difference! The sooner men understand this the better.
Sharell Cook 9:09 PM
I totally agree with you. The situation in India is very different and needs to be responded to that way. Women who make ignorant comments like “Feel free to explain what’s threatening about being stared at” clearly have no real experience in regards to the matter.
aaaaaaaie 9:09 PM
+Sharell Cook Actually, I don’t think violence is an acceptable reprisal for looking at someone or trying to verbally defend one’s self, woman. Now look up “how can she slap” on Youtube for more wholesome Indian goodness.
Alison Tieman 9:29 PM
“still has to resort to beating off Indian men with an umbrella because they sexually harass her”
So she engages in violence because men look at her?
“Men are mostly glad to receive attention from women… it makes them feel attractive and good about themselves.”
If you deprive a person of touch long enough, they’ll even accept a beating… just to feel some sort of human interaction.
The fact that men will accept attention that women will not only speaks to the pain of isolation that they face on a regular basis. Just like the fact that a prisoner who lives isolated in a hole in the ground looks forward to his weekly beatings speaks to the pain of his isolation, not to the benefit prisoners get from being beaten.
“When a women looks at a man, she’s not thinking of penetrating his body”
Maybe she’s thinking of enveloping his body. Is there some reason to think envelopment (think bear traps, think being buried alive) is somehow more threatening than penetration? Is this more mystical magical man-powers? WOOOOO!
“Women who make ignorant comments like “Feel free to explain what’s threatening about being stared at” clearly have no real experience in regards to the matter.”
About seventeen years ago I was alone at night in a park. As I was walking through a dark grotto a man’s voice came from above me (he was standing on top of a rocky outcropping over looking the path. I was completely vulnerable. He demanded I tell him where I was going in a very aggressive, intimidating way. (Made even more so because he was directly above me and I couldn’t even see him.)
I pointed directly ahead of me and said “that way.” I continued walking without missing a step or going any faster.
It’s entirely likely that man was intending to assault me. Or kill me. Him shouting at me from the dark was the classic criminal “interview” technique to see if you startle. If you don’t, the criminal moves on to easier prey.
If I had trained myself to respond with fear to a man just looking at me it’s entirely probable I wouldn’t be alive right now, telling you this story.
Teaching women that they’re damsels, kills. It kills women. Congrats to all of you. You’ve just made women more likely to startle the next time some man wants to rape and kill them.
Sharell Cook 9:42 PM
+Alison Tieman I have training in both kung fu and kick boxing. I’m no damsel and have no problem responding aggressively if needs be, and as I’ve done a number of times. Yet, it sickens me the way men leer at me and photograph me (and I never dress to attract attention, in case people may think I reveal a bit too much skin or wear tight clothes). You may have been harassed 17 years ago but that kind of thing is frequent for women in India, along with many other issues. Come and live in northern India for a year an you’ll understand what it’s like and the way men behave. Until then, I don’t see any point having further discussion with you about this. There’s a difference between isolated incidents and endemic.
Alison Tieman 9:52 PM
I didn’t respond aggressively. Nor would I. Because aggression would most likely have gotten me killed.
If you’ve “responded aggressively” you were likely never in any danger. (Which is entirely consistent with the “harassment” in this video. None of those guys were a threat.)
The majority of women who end up raped (according to one self-defence expert, Dan McYoung) initiated the violence with a slap or a shove.
Being assertive is not the same as being aggressive. Aggression itself can signal insecurity.
” You may have been harassed 17 years ago but that kind of thing is frequent for women in India, along with many other issues.”
I wasn’t harassed. That man wasn’t interested in trying to get my attention in a sexual way, he was interested in finding out if I was a soft enough target for violence.
There is a difference. I’m not about to bore people with tales of being “disrespected” because they’re trivial. Just like all the incidents in this video are trivial to any woman who doesn’t define herself as a damsel in distress.
Men do not “rape” with their eyes.
You are not “experiencing rape” when men look at you.
That is superstitious mumbo-jumbo on par with evil eye and witchcraft.
(Also kung fu and kick boxing are just sports, not self-defence. If you don’t know how to grapple you don’t know self defence.)
Alison Tieman 10:13 PM
If I recalibrated my “give-a-shit” meter to “fainting couch” I could come up with a list of “harassment” I’ve endured in my life a lot longer and a lot worse than what’s in this video.
However if I were to train myself to be intimidated by men staring at me, I would make myself more vulnerable when I encounter a man who really does want to do me harm. Thus making me more likely to end up raped and murdered.
Why should I do this? Why should I make myself less safe? What purpose does it serve to embrace the fainting couch?
Anil Pillai 10:21 PM
Yep she knows all about beating back aggressive packs of men in your face because, um seventeen years ago, invisible man voice did not phase her. Oh and women <> damsels in distress. Got it. Dang, never realized it was that simple.
Such wisdom, coming from the warmth of some nice western city.
One last time, let me try. Do not mind about disrespect, etc. Just answer the damn question. Do you think a woman walking the streets of india is treated the same way as a man walking the same streets? Or, how about a woman walking the streets in India expect the same treatment as the woman walking outside say, in some city in Australia? If you say yes, you don’t know shit. If you say no, well, these PSA’s are one of the many different ways they are trying to make some positive change to this nastiness.
Alison Tieman 10:46 PM
Promoting a fearful response in women gets them killed.
“If you say no, well, these PSA’s are one of the many different ways they are trying to make some positive change to this nastiness. ”
Instead of promoting a fearful response in women to men–which only makes them less safe–why don’t you take this money and address the epidemic of sexual violence being perpetrated against Indian boys? Maybe there would be less of them growing up to be harassers and gang rapists.
“Do you think a woman walking the streets of india is treated the same way as a man walking the same streets?”
If what’s occurring in this video is indicative of the average experience of an Indian woman… than I don’t think there’s any significant difference between that and a woman in the west. Women were stared at–apparently in one instance by a gay couple–and one guy smiled and said “hi” (I assume.) Those things happen quite a bit in the west too. (And the damsels get just as upset about it here.)
As for Indian women being treated the same as Indian men… Taking a look at the world death tables, Indian men are 3x more likely to die from violence inflicted on them by others.. If Indian women became Indian men tomorrow, 3 times as many of them would be die violently. From these numbers I imagine women in India are treated differently!
“Yep she knows all about beating back aggressive packs of men in your face because, um seventeen years ago, invisible man voice did not phase her.”
I think you misunderstand. I didn’t DIE because I don’t view myself as a damsel. If I had, I’m certain mr. aggressive-interrogator wasn’t about to give me a bouquet of flowers.
I didn’t see any “aggressive packs of men” in the video. Perhaps my understanding of “aggressive” is different than yours. To me “aggressive” doesn’t involve quite as much giggling.
Anil Pillai Yesterday 11:34 PM
+Alison Tieman Wow. This is hopeless. I know when some one is beyond reason. Before I go, a suggestion. Next time you decide to barge into a conversation with your ridiculous opinions, do a gut check. Do you really have enough relevant experience in the topic, or you just have some links you read on Google? The people in that conversation above had years of experience living the issue in India. The video, since you somehow seem to think is an actual representation, is just a portrayal, almost whimsical in nature, something made without showing the real ugliness of the reality, so that they can show it on the local tv. So that a newer generation of boys might see it and tone down their behavior as they grow up. It’s got nothing to do with fearful response or any of the other issues you are mentioning.
Oh I am so done now. That was my last attempt to respond to an unreasonable person.
Alison Tieman 2:36 AM
You’re damn right this video does nothing to address the ugly realities; I see absolutely zip on the epidemic of sexual abuse of boys in India in it. That is the likely causal factor in many them growing up to be rapists.
Instead of doing anything to address the actual issues, money is used to create a “whimsical” video about how women are “raped” by men staring at them.
Or money is used to fund feminists groups opposing Indian boy’s protections against sexual abuse. Look up “Only men can be booked for rape.”
What was the point of equating ‘staring” with rape when Indian boys are being raped en mass and groups of people are actively preventing them from being protected by law?
BTW, Google is just a search tool. I read these studies on the scientific journals they were published on. Perhaps if you want to deal with reality, you should also consider looking into actual statistics and legal realities rather than supporting whimsical nonsense that 1. equates staring with rape thus either shaming men needlessly or frightening women needlessly. 2. Does nothing to either present an accurate picture or address the issues that really need to be addressed.
Once again, Anil, you’re the one who needs to be saved. As annoying as it is, and I know it is annoying to be the damsel.
It’s also annoying that a substantial fraction of men would rather indulge in a power fantasy of male invulnerability than recognize the solution (if you really want to reduce the rape of women) _is to address the sexual victimization of boys who grow up to rape women._ As long as your ego is flattered(wee! look how much more powerful I am than women, they can’t even withstand my _gaze_) what’s a few more raped women or boys?
I held up a mirror to both Anil and James. They didn’t like it.
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