Feminism/Sexism and Gaming/Geek/Popular culture Catch All

Jonman wrote:
gore wrote:

Well considering that the other Ulysses was a king who hung out with gods [color=red][size=18]IN SPACE[/color][/size], a mere President might actually be easier to come by.

IMAGE(http://animespin.com/ulysses31-3.jpg)

I'm confused. I thought he was stuck on an ISLAND with Clypso?

kazooka wrote:

Come for the feminism, stay for the hideously obscure geek references.

IMAGE(http://i1094.photobucket.com/albums/i453/czpv/SmallChanges_zps0f3b82e0.jpg)

KingGorilla wrote:

So Iowa just ruled that a woman who was fired for being "too irresistible" is not sex or gender based discrimination.

Short story. Dentist hires woman, dentist and woman begin to flirt and text, Dentist's Wife gets pissed, woman gets fired.

Just wanted to clarify this: she had been working at the office for ten years, and the dentist flirted with her, not vice-versa. (Unless talking to someone you've worked with for ten years about your family suddenly counts as flirting.)

Goddammit you guys, I was sitting at work DESPERATELY trying to stifle laughter reading the last 15 or so posts.

Jonman wrote:
LarryC wrote:

It seems obvious to me that boys who turn into men without any contact with women would not know how to relate to them or act around them once they're grown, simply by dint of lack of experience. Practice makes perfect. Do we need a study to tell us that? If you never have any exposure to playing basketball, the smart money says you're going to suck hard.

The problem with this line of thought is that it's propagating the idea that interacting with women is a separate and distinct skill from interacting with men.

Which.
Is.
Bullsh*t.

Interacting with people is a skill. If you're a dickbag to women, the smart money says that you're a dickbag to dudes too.

I've probably read things on the internet I disagree with more than this statement, but none come to mind.

Hypatian wrote:
KingGorilla wrote:

So Iowa just ruled that a woman who was fired for being "too irresistible" is not sex or gender based discrimination.

Short story. Dentist hires woman, dentist and woman begin to flirt and text, Dentist's Wife gets pissed, woman gets fired.

Just wanted to clarify this: she had been working at the office for ten years, and the dentist flirted with her, not vice-versa. (Unless talking to someone you've worked with for ten years about your family suddenly counts as flirting.)

Outraged columnists are still talking about an Iowa Supreme Court ruling issued before Christmas that tossed a lawsuit by a woman who says her boss fired her because he considered her an irresistible attraction.

The Iowa Supreme Court ruled on Dec. 21 that the firing of dental assistant Melissa Nelson did not amount to unlawful sex discrimination in violation of the Iowa Civil Rights Act. Columnists for the Kansas City Star, A Better Iowa and Courthouse News Service are criticizing the decision (PDF).

Dentist James Knight had fired Nelson after Knight’s wife learned her husband and Nelson had been trading texts on work and personal matters, some of them involving updates on their kids’ activities and “other innocuous matters,” the court said. One of Knight’s texts, however, was sexual in nature (Nelson says she didn’t reply), and he had complained occasionally in the office that Nelson’s clothing was too tight and “distracting.”

The wife considered Nelson a threat to the marriage and demanded her termination, according to the opinion. Knight fired Nelson, a 10-year employee in his office, after consulting with his pastor. Knight later told Nelson's husband that Nelson was the best dental assistant he ever had, but he feared he would try to have an affair with her if he did not fire her.

Nelson had contended she was fired based on her gender, but the Iowa Supreme Court disagreed. “The civil rights laws seek to insure that employees are treated the same regardless of their sex or other protected status,” the court said. “Yet even taking Nelson’s view of the facts, Dr. Knight’s unfair decision to terminate Nelson (while paying her a rather ungenerous one month’s severance) does not jeopardize that goal. This is illustrated by the fact that Dr. Knight hired a female replacement for Nelson.”

The Kansas City Star and A Better Iowa say Knight’s justification for the firing has long been used to keep women out of certain jobs. “Law enforcement, the military, firefighting, construction—any number of fields have used this argument to exclude women,” the Kansas City Star says. “Just what were the justices thinking?”

A Better Iowa goes further with its analogy. “To accept that it is impossible for a man to control himself around women is to accept that sexual harassment, and maybe even rape, can result from uncontrollable urges, too,” the columnist says. “It is to accept the Taliban’s justification for keeping females out of schools and work sites: Those temptresses are just too much of a distraction.”

Wow, that's all kinds of f*cked up.

MrDeVil909:

Agreed. The entire thread is predicated on the observation that people treat other people differently based on gender. Dickbaggery focused on only women is pretty much the thread's reason for being.

I hope she fares better than the Woman fired from Citi. But chances are the lady from Citi will get 7 figures to pose for playboy, and will take it. Pro tip for anyone who is fired for dressing in a distracting way in the office, try not to parlay that into a chance to get hundreds of glamour shots taken of you. And don't make it public that you had your breasts enlarged to "Look like tits on a stick" to attract a man like George Clooney.

LarryC wrote:

MrDeVil909:

Agreed. The entire thread is predicated on the observation that people treat other people differently based on gender.

Precisely my point.

What you've missed is that the fact that treating each other differently based on gender has a name. It's called sexism. Turns out it's even in the thread title!

Ideas like "if you went to a boys school you don't know how to interact with women", and "interacting with women is different from interacting with men" promote and normalize sexism. They suggest that it's expected and business-as-usual to treat women differently.

Which.
Is.
Bullsh*t.

I'm going to need a paradigm-explaining bit of thinking to make sense of that, Jonman. It makes no sense on the face of it from where I'm looking.

This is how I see it.

From my experience in going to a few schools, both coed and segregated, boys from segregated schools inherently see girls (and women) as different because they have no experience with them, and derive all concept of them from frequently bad stereotypes and caricatures in media. Boys who grow up in coed schools see them as normal friends and companions because they form a commonplace part of the social landscape.

I'm not sure how this implies that interacting with women requires a different skill from interacting with men. I will add the caveat that romantic interaction is different from normal friendly interaction. If you're into guys as a guy, interacting with prospective mates is different from that of men who are not into guys. Similarly, romantic interaction with a woman as a guy will be different from nonromantic interaction with either a woman or a guy.

All that said, it's not true that men who are dickbags to women will also be dickbags to men, which is what you said. The thread proves otherwise.

Jonman wrote:
LarryC wrote:

MrDeVil909:

Agreed. The entire thread is predicated on the observation that people treat other people differently based on gender.

Precisely my point.

What you've missed is that the fact that treating each other differently based on gender has a name. It's called sexism. Turns out it's even in the thread title!

Ideas like "if you went to a boys school you don't know how to interact with women", and "interacting with women is different from interacting with men" promote and normalize sexism. They suggest that it's expected and business-as-usual to treat women differently.

Which.
Is.
Bullsh*t.

Quick carriage returns may work as arguments somewhere else, but it doesn't automatically make you right here. You're handwaving sexism into something outside of what is actually being discussed, and ignoring the points previously made - we're talking about interacting with everyone in a day to day setting, and then interacting with people you might be attracted to. If you want to righteously cry "THAT'S SEXISM AND THAT'S WRONG" to try and stop the conversation, that's cool and all, but not really useful.

edit: Just to put a finer point on it, calling a woman "ma'm" and a man "sir" is also sexism, but no one cares. So if you want to define the above as sexism, you're technically correct, but trying to state that everyone who engages in it is terrible and sexist and lump it in with the rest of the behaviors discussed here is kind of laughable.

Bloo Driver wrote:
Jonman wrote:
LarryC wrote:

MrDeVil909:

Agreed. The entire thread is predicated on the observation that people treat other people differently based on gender.

Precisely my point.

What you've missed is that the fact that treating each other differently based on gender has a name. It's called sexism. Turns out it's even in the thread title!

Ideas like "if you went to a boys school you don't know how to interact with women", and "interacting with women is different from interacting with men" promote and normalize sexism. They suggest that it's expected and business-as-usual to treat women differently.

Which.
Is.
Bullsh*t.

Quick carriage returns may work as arguments somewhere else, but it doesn't automatically make you right here. You're handwaving sexism into something outside of what is actually being discussed, and ignoring the points previously made - we're talking about interacting with everyone in a day to day setting, and then interacting with people you might be attracted to. If you want to righteously cry "THAT'S SEXISM AND THAT'S WRONG" to try and stop the conversation, that's cool and all, but not really useful.

I see what you're saying (especially about the carriage returns) but this is a response to the hand waving "oh, your culture just doesn't expose boys to women enough" concept. Jonman swung too far the other way probably, but still closer to correct, in my opinion.

Sure, but I guess I kept reading the thread where that was discussed and amended to venture into "interacting with people you want to make do sex time with" territory.

IMAGE(http://9thcivic.com/gallery/albums/post/Popcorn_02_Stephen_Colbert.gif)

If not this thread, another, but we went down the whole "everyone is the same" hole before.

Just go watch the US Office episode "Diversity Day."

I was under the impression that most US schools were coed. Not true? What Jonman is saying may make a heap of sense, I just don't understand it very well right now.

Jonman wrote:

Ideas like "if you went to a boys school you don't know how to interact with women", and "interacting with women is different from interacting with men" promote and normalize sexism. They suggest that it's expected and business-as-usual to treat women differently.

Which.
Is.
Bullsh*t.

Sorry, but there's a difference between observing a phenomenon and promoting it. The reality is: people fear/misunderstand the "other." Given that, for heterosexual boys, women will invariably become the objects of sexual desire (in addition to whatever else they may be), it's critical that boys are also exposed to women in other contexts (peers/mentors/subordinates/whatever) to avoid letting them become the "other."

The way to deal with this is to be honest about sexual attraction, and to demonstrate that one need not let sexuality define one's interactions with the opposite gender. I would argue strongly that lack of positive, non-sexualized exposure to the opposite gender for kids directly contributes to creating young adults who have issues (our "nice guys.")

It was mentioned before in this thread, but I firmly believe: the way to eliminate sexism/homophobism/racism/*ism is exposure to the "other" in healthy environments. If you don't do that people latch onto the differences between groups and are at best confused by (and at worst afraid of) the "other."

So I guess the long and short of my answer is: men interacting with women is different than men interacting with men, both due to the inevitable biological attraction our stupid little monkey brains cannot ever fully escape, and also due to the fact that boys grow up assuming that these interactions should be different.

LarryC wrote:

From my experience in going to a few schools, both coed and segregated, boys from segregated schools inherently see girls (and women) as different because they have no experience with them, and derive all concept of them from frequently bad stereotypes and caricatures in media. Boys who grow up in coed schools see them as normal friends and companions because they form a commonplace part of the social landscape.

I'm not sure how this implies that interacting with women requires a different skill from interacting with men. I will add the caveat that romantic interaction is different from normal friendly interaction. If you're into guys as a guy, interacting with prospective mates is different from that of men who are not into guys. Similarly, romantic interaction with a woman as a guy will be different from nonromantic interaction with either a woman or a guy.

I'll counter your anecdotal data with my own. I went to a boys school. I'll grant you that that made me bad at romantic interacting with girls, out of lack of practice.

But that is a small subset of interacting with girls. Turns out I had a bunch of friends who were girls when I was at that boy's school. I interacted with them just fine, despite never having had "practice". And that's where my bullsh*t detector goes off.

Because I practiced interacting with people every day at my boy's school. What I learned applied equally to interacting with girls as it did with boys.

I suspect that your caveat (which I bolded) is the reason we're knocking heads. I'm saying that there is no functional difference between non-romantic interaction with men and women, beyond using gender-specific pronouns and honorifics.

LarryC wrote:

All that said, it's not true that men who are dickbags to women will also be dickbags to men, which is what you said. The thread proves otherwise.

That's not what I said. What I said was "If you're a dickbag to women, the smart money says that you're a dickbag to dudes too." Correlation, not causation.

Jonman:

I'll counter your anecdotal data with my own. I went to a boys school. I'll grant you that that made me bad at romantic interacting with girls, out of lack of practice.

But that is a small subset of interacting with girls. Turns out I had a bunch of friends who were girls when I was at that boy's school. I interacted with them just fine, despite never having had "practice". And that's where my bullsh*t detector goes off.

Because I practiced interacting with people every day at my boy's school. What I learned applied equally to interacting with girls as it did with boys.

I suspect that your caveat (which I bolded) is the reason we're knocking heads. I'm saying that there is no functional difference between non-romantic interaction with men and women, beyond using gender-specific pronouns and honorifics.

I will say no, still. Broadly, yes, specifically no. I know this because I had to build my most basic social interactions from the ground up. Until high school, I did not realize that looking into people's eyes meant anything more during conversation than looking at their feet, a passing bird, or my sandwich.

I had initially treated boys and girls, men and women exactly the same way. I did not differentiate between them since I did not see a point to it. It turns out that men like being identified as men in a hundred different ways other than pronouns, and women also like acknowledgement as women in also a hundred different ways. It may be that you know instinctively not to say certain things, or your culture is entirely different, but even here, I cannot say certain things to certain people, apparently, based on their gender.

For instance, I once asked momgamer to calm down during a heated exchange. I did not know that this was a gendered statement; I say the same thing whenever anything of the sort comes up anywhere. It turns out that this was a particularly bad turn of phrase to use for (at least American?) women since it taps into a cultural phenomenon wherein women are frequently marginalized by saying that what they have to say is "emotional" and therefore meaningless or worthless. I now know better than to say that, but it's fairly specific to women (and particularly to Western women?), wouldn't you say?

That's not what I said. What I said was "If you're a dickbag to women, the smart money says that you're a dickbag to dudes too." Correlation, not causation.

With all due respect, I don't think you're applying that correctly. I did not imply a causative relationship of any sort. I also don't think that's a good bet. With most of the world being misogynist, I think it's a smarter move to say that being a dickbag to women won't necessarily mean that you're a dickbag to men.

LarryC wrote:

I will say no, still. Broadly, yes, specifically no. I know this because I had to build my most basic social interactions from the ground up. Until high school, I did not realize that looking into people's eyes meant anything more during conversation than looking at their feet, a passing bird, or my sandwich.

I had initially treated boys and girls, men and women exactly the same way. I did not differentiate between them since I did not see a point to it. It turns out that men like being identified as men in a hundred different ways other than pronouns, and women also like acknowledgement as women in also a hundred different ways. It may be that you know instinctively not to say certain things, or your culture is entirely different, but even here, I cannot say certain things to certain people, apparently, based on their gender.

For instance, I once asked momgamer to calm down during a heated exchange. I did not know that this was a gendered statement; I say the same thing whenever anything of the sort comes up anywhere. It turns out that this was a particularly bad turn of phrase to use for (at least American?) women since it taps into a cultural phenomenon wherein women are frequently marginalized by saying that what they have to say is "emotional" and therefore meaningless or worthless. I now know better than to say that, but it's fairly specific to women (and particularly to Western women?), wouldn't you say?

Telling anyone to "calm down" during a heated exchange is dismissive and disrespectful of their point of view, regardless of their gender. I suspect that you're right that many women might see it as more dismissive for the reasons you laid out, but it's still a hurtful thing to say to anyone.

In terms of learning to interact with people, the lesson there isn't "don't tell women to calm down", it's "be respectful of the other person's point of view". That's not a gendered lesson, you just happened to learn it in a gendered setting.

LarryC wrote:

For instance, I once asked momgamer to calm down during a heated exchange. I did not know that this was a gendered statement; I say the same thing whenever anything of the sort comes up anywhere.

I had a similar foot-in-mouth moment with another female poster here. Did I mean to be a jerk? No, and I certainly didn't mean to be a sexist jerk. But I still came off as a complete tool, and I learned from the experience.

I still have little moments like that. I guess I probably always will.

The fact is: humans are complicated. Social interactions are complicated. Behavior is learned, and behavior you learn early on can be incredibly different to unlearn.

Honestly I'm having trouble fully understanding Jonman's position. Is the position that boys should be able to interact with women effectively regardless of their upbringing?

I confess that I do not see what's hurtful to ask the discussant to step out for a minute and compose a more reasoned response in the face of obvious emotionality; particularly in a message board setting where time is absolutely not of the essence. There must be more background to this that I'm missing. It's not considered rude where I come from. It's considered helpful. I considered my replies on this count here most respectful of momgamer's POV. Far from dismissing it, I was asking her to take time out and present it when she had regained balance, so as to present a stronger statement.

The rude thing would be to (intentionally or otherwise) bait the person into saying something he or she would later regret, taking advantage of his or her temporary weakness. However, I thank you for the advice. I'll keep it in mind around these parts.

Considering strong emotions as "temporary weakness" and as a barrier to "a more reasoned response" is part of the issue, I'd say.

LarryC wrote:

I confess that I do not see what's hurtful to ask the discussant to step out for a minute and compose a more reasoned response in the face of obvious emotionality; particularly in a message board setting where time is absolutely not of the essence. There must be more background to this that I'm missing. It's not considered rude where I come from. It's considered helpful. I considered my replies on this count here most respectful of momgamer's POV.

The rude thing would be to (intentionally or otherwise) bait the person into saying something he or she would later regret, taking advantage of his or her temporary weakness. However, I thank you for the advice. I'll keep it in mind around these parts.

Asking someone to calm down has nothing to do with sexism, or at least it should not be. It could be a culture thing? Perhaps a state thing? It's usually an expression used in the form you just described. It's not insulting unless you scream it at someone, or say it in a snide or rude manner. The one thing about the internet is that it's difficult do determine whether a person is being snide or sincere with their "tone".

IMAGE(http://www.counselingexcellence.com/Josh_Mark/Thought_Is_The_Building_Block_Of_Reality_Torah%20Approach_files/Concentric%20Circles%20Wise%20Mind%20Logical%20Mind%20Emotion%20Mind.jpg)

Jonman wrote:
LarryC wrote:

From my experience in going to a few schools, both coed and segregated, boys from segregated schools inherently see girls (and women) as different because they have no experience with them, and derive all concept of them from frequently bad stereotypes and caricatures in media. Boys who grow up in coed schools see them as normal friends and companions because they form a commonplace part of the social landscape.

I'm not sure how this implies that interacting with women requires a different skill from interacting with men. I will add the caveat that romantic interaction is different from normal friendly interaction. If you're into guys as a guy, interacting with prospective mates is different from that of men who are not into guys. Similarly, romantic interaction with a woman as a guy will be different from nonromantic interaction with either a woman or a guy.

I'll counter your anecdotal data with my own. I went to a boys school. I'll grant you that that made me bad at romantic interacting with girls, out of lack of practice.

But that is a small subset of interacting with girls. Turns out I had a bunch of friends who were girls when I was at that boy's school. I interacted with them just fine, despite never having had "practice". And that's where my bullsh*t detector goes off.

Because I practiced interacting with people every day at my boy's school. What I learned applied equally to interacting with girls as it did with boys.

Well, your data is much more anecdotal than his. You're only describing an experience of one: you. He's describing his observation of observing multiple people. You could just be an exception to the rule.

I suspect that your caveat (which I bolded) is the reason we're knocking heads. I'm saying that there is no functional difference between non-romantic interaction with men and women, beyond using gender-specific pronouns and honorifics.

How about proxemics? One of the frequent complaints is that guys at cons invade the personal space of girls as if they were fellow guys. How about restrooms and changing rooms? Asking a guy is there's a 'full moon' out tonight as opposed to a girl?

gore wrote:

Honestly I'm having trouble fully understanding Jonman's position. Is the position that boys should be able to interact with women effectively regardless of their upbringing?

My position is that "interacting with people" is a skill that is equally applied to both genders. My point is that there is no such thing as "knowing how to talk to women", there's just knowing how to talk to people. My point is that to suggest that there is such a difference, further builds upon the "Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus" myth.

@ Larry - Demyx nailed it. I'll expand on that - telling anyone to "calm down" is attempting to assert intellectual superiority over them. You're saying that you know better than them how they ought to be responding, and that they're Doing It Wrong. It's dismissing their response, and telling them that they can do better. It's condescending and arrogant.

Demyx wrote:

Considering strong emotions as "temporary weakness" and as a barrier to "a more reasoned response" is part of the issue, I'd say.

In many cases strong emotions can often cause you to behave irrationally and say (or do) something stupid, or perhaps cause a blindness to a point you might otherwise see while calm and confident. This isn't always the case of course.

clover wrote:

IMAGE(http://www.counselingexcellence.com/Josh_Mark/Thought_Is_The_Building_Block_Of_Reality_Torah%20Approach_files/Concentric%20Circles%20Wise%20Mind%20Logical%20Mind%20Emotion%20Mind.jpg)

I can't help but see Claire Danes' cry face superimposed over the overlap.

Demyx wrote:

Considering strong emotions as "temporary weakness" and as a barrier to "a more reasoned response" is part of the issue, I'd say.

It's a common enough phenomenon, not isolated to any person. When it becomes an issue, then it's an issue. Some very impassioned people still make very logical statements. So long as the response is not rendered nearly incoherent with pointless emotional remarks, it's good. When it's not good is when emotional remarks edge out logic.

I have had frequent occasions to note that strong emotion often leads to impaired logic. It's a generalization based on purely empirical observations; which I only expect, not assume.

gore:

More's the pity. It actually annoys me a lot that I have to differentiate between men and women at all. I'd rather that I didn't have to. Cultural context, too. Apparently, it offends certain men to be ascribed qualities that THEY think are feminine (how in the nine hells can I be expected to know that?).

The Conformist wrote:

In many cases strong emotions can often cause you to behave irrationally and say (or do) something stupid, or perhaps cause a blindness to a point you might otherwise see while calm and confident. This isn't always the case of course.

If the person is saying something irrational, then point out what's irrational about it. Why bring their emotional state into it at all? For all you know, they'll feel exactly the same way when they're totally calm and cool as a cucumber.

It's especially problematic to try and diagnose someone's emotional state over text on the internet.

EDIT: Also, how much emotion is appropriate is entirely dependent on the subject of the conversation. If we're discussing scientific experiments or economic data, there's very little room for emotion, they're just facts. But feminism is about how people should be treated and how people want to be treated -- and that's emotion based.

Demyx wrote:
The Conformist wrote:

In many cases strong emotions can often cause you to behave irrationally and say (or do) something stupid, or perhaps cause a blindness to a point you might otherwise see while calm and confident. This isn't always the case of course.

If the person is saying something irrational, then point out what's irrational about it. Why bring their emotional state into it at all? For all you know, they'll feel exactly the same way when they're totally calm and cool as a cucumber.

It's especially problematic to try and diagnose someone's emotional state over text on the internet.

Of course, in the case LarryC is referring to, the person did behave emotionally all over the forum and was getting abusive towards him, so.

I'd also be interested to see if people think "you're just arguing semantics" or "you just like to argue" are a sub-type of bringing the other person's emotional state into it, and if not, why?