Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Sleepers - An Ongoing Conversation

Right now there is an ongoing conversation, where a young woman asked for advice because she was stuck in a room listening to a conversation between two men who talked about how feminism was stupid, sexualization happened to men too because hey he was once hit on at a bar, and women coming to the doctor wearing string underwear were begging to be groped. Yes, they're doctors.

I've always wanted to find one of these little hidden pearls of Swedish equality and see what I would do.

Anyway, the response was that if she didn't dare confront them (which I can understand that she doesn't, especially if she isn't comfortable holding loud discussions, like women are rarely taught to do) she should contact media.

In this case, since the two are doctors, it's a matter of people in a position of power, and what they say means they're unfit to carry out their profession, at least parts of their profession. They would do better in some aspect of doctoring that didn't involve contact with patients. Contacting media however and exposing the ongoings would cause much conflict, much hate and anger and fear, and for what?

The underlying problem is of course that by removing them, you at most teach them to not speak about it, making them perfect sleepers for bad treatment of women because they'll have even more reason to hate them. Diplomacy, not war, would be better. A personal discussion, a good speaker, the right questions, and perhaps one could calmly explain why this isn't functional, how it's damaging to themselves and others, and instead of increasing rage and making them feel threatened, calm the situation down. As academically educated men, they shouldn't be completely and utterly impervious to logic, especially not when coming from another man in a private setting. These are apparently men who are well-liked by their patients and the rest of the staff, normally, so clearly they have the capacity to mask any thoughts, and if not honest compassion, a capacity to simulate some. Perhaps that is even what stabs them in the back. I know myself, as a good self-manipulator, that recognizing that most people fall for your polished exterior, they come to appear "stupid" to you, which is one of the definite traps of good instinctive acting and social manipulation. And as we're raised to show appreciation for certain types of attention, a lot of women would act, and even be, flattered by what they say or do that is within the traditional male role.

These are men who may never do anything directly aggressive to a woman, yet their attitude is sure, however good self-manipulators they are, to seep into their lives. Comments, looks, expectations, forming the women, and men, they encounter ever so subtly. If they're good enough to never let it affect their patients, it's almost more certain it will infect their selves. How will they raise their daughters? I wonder, as intelligent and skilled as they are, would they dare and be open to trying to view the world from a different standpoint? Or would they brush it off as unnecessary, stupid, or pointless? I wonder do they have good relationships with the women in their personal lives? And I mean that honestly. I wonder. I want information. I want to understand. Do they seriously believe that feminism isn't trying to help them too? Do they not recognize the difference between populistic expression of an ideal, and the actual intended thought? Do they feel like they live in a world where half the earth's population are the enemy? Because I don't. I'm a woman, and a feminist, and I certainly don't see enemies. I see fellow humans that I'd love to talk to, and understand, and wish they wanted to talk to and understand me too.

Removing them is an immediate response to an immediate problem, not a long-term solution. But the world doesn't work on long-term solutions. We don't work for rehabilitation, integration, or education. We work for finger-slapping, head-patting and numbers on papers. It gets us forward, perhaps even faster than doing it well, but at much grinding of teeth and trampled hearts, and who knows how much money and effort spent.

You know I could say this is a man's world. This is the world as it turned out under men's rule and we should try women's or some other militant bullshit. But that is to reduce an infinitely complex system to a few sexist, prejudiced words that serve nothing but make some feel better and some feel worse. I say everyone take responsibility. Raise our people to hold loud discussions in a calm manner, raise them to feel responsible for others, raise them to try to uplift each other.

I don't know how this current situation will solve itself, but whatever way it goes, someone will probably get hurt. Maybe most likely the young woman herself.

This is just my 2 cents.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Locking Your Door - About Reasonable Precaution, and Bears

I think I failed the previous post about this subject. But that's part of the point, to think, rethink, be educated.

Our original question was whether one could compare the precaution of locking your door with the precaution of wearing certain clothes to decrease the risk of being the target of crime, namely theft and rape.

I know it still sounds insane, but that's because in the current social climate, asking such a question is highly provocative. But that is also kind of the point, right. Ask all questions, sort them out, find some sort of truth to believe in.

In the previous post, I think I lost my way. What I was really trying to think about was, since we do put some kind of demand on people to take precautions for safety, such as wearing bike helmets or not go looking for bears, are there reasonable precautions for not being raped, and where does that line go? But perhaps I looked at it from the wrong angle. When a houseowner is robbed and left their door unlocked, the criminals are no less punished. But do the judge ask if the door was locked? Does the question have any relevance to the case? (Let's ignore insurance claims because insurances are strange and mystical creatures.)

We live in a world where women are raped. No doubt men too, but to a smaller extent. Nevermind. We live in a world where people are raped. This is fact. We (as in the majority of people, me included) would like to live in a world where we never have to be afraid of being raped. I'm sure this applies to people that currently aren't afraid too, just they never think about it. But realistically, even if we do take steps to ensure that safety, we at least won't be there in many years. So there is the situation. It is reality, just like "if I go into the forest there may be bears". The difference is that the perpetrators are humans. So the bike helmet thing is a better comparison. "If I ride my bike, some idiot may hit me with his car." Let's assume all people who hit cyclists are drunk drivers, so there are no real accidents, only people doing stupid things. The moment you get on a bike, you risk being the victim of a crime that will severely damage you physically and probably mentally. Now we've simulated something remotely similar. "The moment you walk alone in the evening or get in an intimate situation with a person, whether known or unknown to you, you risk being raped."

It would stand to reason that if you decided to bike, despite the danger of drunk drivers, you should take every reasonable precaution. Put on helmet. Use bike lights. It's not fair, because it's the drunk drivers doing wrong here, but nonetheless. What is reasonable? Is it reasonable to not get to wear what you want? Clearly you don't go around naked, but that's not for fear of being raped. When Jews for fear of violence hide their holy symbols, they are protecting themselves, but is it reasonable? Is it the society we want?

It is better to work the other end of the problem, than be rebellious for its sake. Try to encourage people to stop drunk people from driving, increase the penalties for doing so, or heck, ban alcohol. Better than not wearing a helmet and not using bike lights. But does that mean I'm saying, Jews, don't wear your holy symbols? For the individual it is surely safer that way. But for society, it's terrible. We give power to the criminals; we let them dictate. So where does the line go between reasonable precaution, and giving up?

There is of course another side to this line of thinking. When someone asks what a woman was wearing, why does it piss me off? Because it's a transfer of blame. If a drunk driver hits a cyclist, and the cyclist wasn't wearing a helmet and dies, the driver caused the death, not the decision to not wear a helmet. The victim doesn't cause the crime, they fail to prevent it (as we would all like to prevent all crimes, I imagine). Failing to prevent a crime is not a cause of blame for the original crime. She wasn't raped because she was wearing this or that, even if she wouldn't have been if she wore something else. She failed to protect herself, but that's no cause to lessen the punishment on the criminal, any more than saying that a knife stab victim failed to deflect the knife. Someone made the decision to do something criminal; whatever the outcome, they bear the blame. Since the victim isn't on trial, the question is irrelevant.

Although to be honest, part of me stops and thinks at the "the driver caused the death, not the decision to not wear a helmet". I do think that the driver should be charged with the full crime, disregarding the decision to wear a helmet or not, so as far as law and order it's clear cut for me. But did the decision to not wear a helmet cause the death? Did wearing a short skirt cause the rape? Logically, procedurally... maybe? The funny thing is that we can never know; we can make statistical models and talk about probability, but we can never know for each individual case, because we can't exactly replicate it. Did the rapist decide to do it because of the short skirt or not, we can't know that. Even if the rapist says this or that, even if the rapists truly believes this or that, still we can't know. Which means we don't know. No proof either way. No grounds for assumption one way or the other. Which makes for difficult thinking.

Another side again. Most rapes are done by someone the victim knows, in more intimate settings than "dark alleyways", where many other factors come into play. We get a return of true accidents and not just drunk drivers, because I do think in a few cases the rapist is too daft to actually realize what is going on, or perhaps the victim is too afraid to make an abundance of protests. There's also culturally fucked up ideas about courtship and gender roles and the built-in differences in what the traditional male and female roles say is initiative, invitation and agreement.

A man said to me the other day, "men are animals." It was unclear if he included himself in the statement, but he insisted that so was the case, from what he'd seen. Gender equality work in all honor, there's still plenty of animals out there, he said. Men who wouldn't be civilized no matter how equal the world was. Men who, regardless of what culture says, will take what their arms can grab.

The original question was sparked in my mind because I read a woman being angry because she'd walked with her keys ready to stab an attacker with, and she was angry because she had to be afraid in this modern society. I guess all this thinking boils down to whether or not I agree with her. Because a large part of me thought she was silly. I have walked with keys in my hands ready to stab an attacker, and I've been afraid, but I've never been angry because of it. Because to me, it would be like being angry at there being bears in the forest. It is that way, take it or leave it. Thinking that way however triggered the alarms in my head. Was this reasonable? Who was right? Where did her anger come from, and my acceptance?

We can't just accept people doing wrong. However if some men are truly animals (and surely some women too, just smaller ones than bears), perhaps in the end we have to think of them as bears. If most rapes happen in intimate situations, then the actual dark-alley rapists are rare, are metaphorical bears in the metaphorical city woods. Being angry at them doesn't accomplish anything. It's the intimate rapists we have to worry about. The drunk drivers. The humans.

There are bears in the forest. There are drunk drivers. I bike in the forest and on the roads, but I'm more afraid on the road.

Monday, August 4, 2014

The World I Live In

Conventional TV with parents.

We start out with a show made by... what does one call them these days, mentally challenged people? Where they interviewed leaders of two political parties in Sweden, which one can't say too much about since it's made by mentally challenged people.

No. They don't stand beyond scrutiny, or quality, or justice. If they have the same rights and value as all other people, something they liked to repeat over and over and I wonder if they even understand what it means, then they are just as accountable for their impact on everyone around them. So on best viewing hours, we have people lacking even the most basic grasp of politics, and any sense of impact on the environment or consequence, interviewing politicians. So that is clearly the level of intelligent debate we need. Obviously this provides us with information, like, for example, it's a glaring example of how it's impossible to have a discussion with a person who doesn't understand any of the basic underlying assumptions of the topic. One of the hosts came with the fantastic argument "we should keep nuclear power because then we have more power". Are you serious?

Maybe I'm upset because I don't trust the majority of people to remain uninfluenced by this. I can see a large number of acquaintances going "hey did you see that thing last night, you know they have some points those retarded people, maybe they aren't so stupid, because more power is great, and thinking about consequences is so bothersome".

We continue to regular news. Forest fire. Instead of straight information, like show on a map where the fire is, describe what the firemen actually do, ask questions like "why have you pulled only the nearby firemen and not firemen from further away, since people are at risk and you can't get control", we have a few sentimental interviews with people going "hey this shit sucks terribly", and some general complaints about "how the authorities are handling the issue" which is what media loves to do; complain on the people working their asses off to try to fix a problem. God forbid the police or the firemen show some humanity and forget to jump through every exact hoop. Of course people have complaints. Everything can be made better, especially in a high-pressure situation. These people need help and cooperation, not whining. If nothing else, evaluate AFTER for the sake of.

Also anti-semitism is rising in Sweden because what people of the same religion do in another country. Clearly they should abandon their religion because other people of the same religion are doing terrible things, because that's what all other religious people do, and that really speaks of character and true faith. Clearly by continuing doing exactly what they've been doing for generations, they are supporting every act of others. So when Christians are harassing abortion-clinics or beating up homosexuals in the US, we should start harassing randomly selected Swedish Christians. FUCK ME YOU FUCKING MORONS ARE YOU SERIOUS.

They interview a Jewish person about it, some kind of official or professor or something, that says exactly what the entire thing has said, that it's because of what Jews are doing in another country. The interviewer feels the need to bring up what the leader of the Swedish Democrats have said, because the man could use more media exposure, despite the fact that the question is phrased in such a way that it will get EXACTLY the same answer as the one he JUST SAID because there's literally no other way to answer it. So you just wanted to give SD some more media time, or you're so bloody stupid that you can't skip or modify a question that has already been answered. Journalism woo. Good job. Fantastic.

By now I'm starting to feel dizzy and my chest is hurting, so I stop watching actively and try to read my book. I notice that I'm taking everything I read in a really negative light; I've read this book before and I love it, but suddenly my brain is pointing out that it's objectifying the female characters (it's from 1921), and there's this bitter tone to it (that is certainly imaginary). I find it hard to concentrate.

When my brain calls me back to the TV again, they've moved on the sports news. They're talking about people behaving like assholes at a sports event; soccer of course. Can't breathe anymore, I feel physically sick, and if I read the book it'll only get more tainted by the ambient stupidity.

I drop some comment on how stupid it all is, and that I'm leaving. Dad says I shouldn't listen. I can't not listen. It's physically impossible for me, that's why I don't watch conventional TV, that's why I shut myself in most of the time. Just the *tone* of some of the news, while I was reading, without me actively taking in the words, made me *physically ill* and mentally super negative.

Are you all listening to what is said in your living rooms? Are you understanding the power of suggestion, of passive information absorption, of attitude assimilation especially in children? Is this the level of professionalism you demand from media?  The level of understanding you're after in immediate, relevant events?

And you are the people I'm supposed to share this "democratic" country with.