Man, some of us just love to step in it…

Posted: December 15, 2011 in Blogging, Humans, The Hardline According to Ren

nah, it ain’t another dog poo post….

Okay, so Hugo writes something over at Good Man Project.  Ren reads  (I can read you know! I can also annoyingly refer to myself in the third person!)  I think he kinda over does it, cause frankly, I’ve never found someone saying “hey” to me on the street- even if they are male- akin to a rape threat or harassment, but I’ve never been raped.  Some fella following me for a block being creepy?  Totally different…but you know, that’s not a daily occurrence, saying “hello” is.  Anyway, discussion ensues, some of it laughable, and since I went to bed early then woke up like two hours later and wasn’t able to fall back asleep, I laughed…

But yeah, I then prolly stepped in it in the comments too because I apparently failed PC101.  I just can’t help myself sometimes, it happens.  But see, I am sorta of the mind that if someone has been harmed in some way by a person who is in some way other, be it a woman who was raped by a man or a person who was mugged or otherwise harmed by a person of another race….its natural to assume for awhile, they just might be paranoid/afraid of/ made nervous by…well, folk similar to the person who harmed them, even if those similar folk had nothing to do with it.  I think that is something that logic and rationale aside happens.  Fear is a powerful and fucked up thing…and assuming it only applies in some cases, like a woman being afraid, ect., around or of men, plural, after being assaulted by one of them is just…asinine.

For instance, and I will admit it outright, once upon a time I was physically assaulted by a male person who was a different race than me.  Not sexually, not even very successfully, but yeah, assaulted.  And there for awhile afterwards, because the incident was scary for me, well, folk who looked like/reminded me of this guy made me nervous and I was afraid of/cautious around them.  Was that their fault?  Hell no, they weren’t the guy!  But still…its how it was for me for a while after the incident.  That knee jerk fear of folk who reminded me of that guy went away, but gee, you know, I did have it there for a bit.

Was it wrong of me to feel like that? Well, logically and rationally, it prolly was…after all, I was reacting oddly/paranoid of folk who had done nothing to me for reasons as simple and beyond their control as a resemblance to someone who had wronged me.  But fear and such are not logical, rational things….and saying in some cases (woman who was raped by man) its okay and justified and in other cases (person mugged/harmed by person of another race) it isn’t…

Well, I call bullshit…PC or not.

Guess I need to go clean my boots.

  1. rootietoot says:

    I think some people have a harder time getting past a trauma than others. I also think some people tend to wallow in them a bit. My mother is like that. She was in a car accident at 14 that kept her from learning to drive until she was 30, and even now, at 73, she’ll bring it up as an excuse for her uneasiness with driving or riding. I suppose I’m going to be accused of victim blaming, or of being unsympathetic, but i *have* been raped, and i had to get on with life, there just wasn’t an option. Being afraid of 50% of the world’s population, when there are 5 men in my household, just wasn’t something I could do and be able to raise my children to be sane, thinking men.

  2. I’m pretty much of the opinion that PC-ness is on the higher-level, “intellectual”, thinking-brain level of functioning. The underlying emotional brain doesn’t really do so well at PC-ness, and to be PC one has to negotiate with those kneejerk, gut-level reactions.

    The example I always use is the one I blogged about years ago, how I still have a gut reaction “eww” to seeing people whose facial and bodily expressions are different from the norm. To function as a responsible human being (i.e. to be PC), I have to be able to acknowledge that that happens, and then work out a better response than what the gut-level is telling me to do.

    The bigger the impulse/emotion to start with, the tougher that is to do, I guess, so yeah – PC is something that comes later, from the thinky-brain, and emotions will do their thing anyway underneath regardless.

  3. polly says:

    Am I being dim Ren, or have your comments been deleted?

    Anyway, where do these people live, Utopia? WTF do they think anyone has to not be suspicious of a stranger who accosts them on the street? In my experience the best thing that happens is they’re recruiting for a religious cult/a weirdo who has nobody to talk to, and the worst is that they’re going to rob you. Yes I live in a city on planet earth. Where we are automatically suspicious of our fellow human beings.

    But also dudes, dudes. Do you just randomly accost all women in the street, or only ones you’re attracted to? Well there’s your answer then. If she’s unfriendly in return, it ain’t mutual. And you’re being a pest.

    It would be really really nice if we could automatically assume the best of our fellow human beings, unfortunately it isn’t that realistic. We work on basic risk assessments. Fact is very few muggers wear three piece pin striped suits and carry briefcases, so you may feel a bit easier around a dude of that description at a railway station late at night than a gang of youths in hoodies. Unfair maybe, since not all hoodied youths are muggers, but it’s a question of probabilities.

    • Ren says:

      They may have been deleted, I’ll have to check…wouldn’t surprise me actually….

      And I am paranoid/distrustful of everyone initially, and I don’t think that’s too uncommon amid people who, as you say, live on planet earth.

      And also agreed wrt to the wardrobe thing. People do get judged, rightly or wrongly, by that…and I say that as a person who generally fails to dress “nicely” and look civilized. I realize there is backlash for that, but I know thats how it goes when I get dressed in the morning….to be offended or stunned by the fact I get treated different cause the way I dress would stupid, hell, I know that’s how it will be.

    • Ren says:

      ok, i checked, comments still there, but that site has older commets first, gotta hit the “older comments” button at bottom and scroll, but still there.

  4. ginmar says:

    The title alone made me pissed off. Hugo calls himself a feminist but he really just wants male approval.

    The biggest lesson I took away from being mugged by a black guy was:

    Christ, it’s not the muggers that irritate the fuck out of you, it’s the assholes who see you covered in blood and then ask you to stop screaming. Bystanders are assholes. Of course, mugging’s a real general crime, so ….Also, muggers are defined by….mugging. If you do not mug, you are not a mugger.

    Hugo just wants to have it both ways and it just gets fucking irritating.

  5. <i.But yeah, I then prolly stepped in it in the comments too because I apparently failed PC101. I just can’t help myself sometimes, it happens.

    We’d have to end our friendship and sisterhood if this wasn’t the case.

    For instance, and I will admit it outright, once upon a time I was physically assaulted by a male person who was a different race than me. Not sexually, not even very successfully, but yeah, assaulted. And there for awhile afterwards, because the incident was scary for me, well, folk who looked like/reminded me of this guy made me nervous and I was afraid of/cautious around them. Was that their fault? Hell no, they weren’t the guy! But still…its how it was for me for a while after the incident. That knee jerk fear of folk who reminded me of that guy went away, but gee, you know, I did have it there for a bit.

    That is a completely normal psychological response, in my opinion. That is your mind reminding you that someone with those features harmed you before and could do so again. Our minds aren’t always rational but, hey, it does have our best interests at heart.

    Polly: Yes I live in a city on planet earth. Where we are automatically suspicious of our fellow human beings.

    Just had a talk with a friend this past weekend about this, specifically her tendency to whip out her wallet to give money to beggars. It’s not the giving part I object to (obvs), it’s the opening your wallet on the streets of CHICAGO to give it. I’m sure she thought my philosophy of “If it’s not in my pocket and not dedicated to any other costs, then they don’t get it.” She also, apparently, gives them hugs sometimes. I just gave her this blank stare. She didn’t grow up in the city, nor has she ever lived in an actually dangerous neighborhood.She has gone to dangerous neighborhoods to patronize a restaurant there or to visit a friend, these are transient experiences. While my home wasn’t in a bad neighborhood, the schools I attended most definitely were. I had a co-worker dismiss the need to size up random folks on the street as “giving into dominator society”. What color is the sky in their world?

    • xena says:

      GASP! I know a formerly liberal peace loving fifty-ish Canadian lady who was naive enough to do that in Chicago. Some crazy woman jumped her from behind, spewing some badly misquoted Malcom X shite, while she slammed my former housemate’s face and neck into concrete. Housemate

      (my apologies for my reluctance to call the lady a friend– her ordeal almost makes her hatred forgivable– but I just can’t let her make me a target for angry misguided X worshippers, or an enabler of white supremacist hatemongerers)

      nearly died. She spent the next few weeks in a coma. When she woke up, she wasn’t the same person. I mean the part of her brain that allows us to go to whatever happy place was damaged. She was damn angry. And racist. With severe memory problems. She gained 150 lbs in a very short period of time. 3 years later, she regained enough of her thyroid function to lose about half the weight, but she’s on all this medication. Most of her teeth are gone. She’s in constant pain. She can’t even find anything nice to say about the Prez and the First Lady.

      At least some other would-be victim saw fit to put the crazy woman out of society’s misery, fair and square. She was killed before Former Housemate could convict her. Some people just can’t be helped. It has nothing to do with the colour of the woman’s skin. A habitual killer needs to die before she can kill again.

      If your friend wants to help the homeless, tell her to divvy her money into smaller piles of change, and keep them in a few changepurses in different pockets. Then she can hand it over without looking like a target. She should walk with her bills inside her sock or her underwear, and leave her jewelery at home. And the #1 rule in neighbourhoods where muggings are common: No Danglies. Angry bitches love to use other women’s pretty necklaces and earrings as weapons to maim&disfigure them. A man will break your jaw. A woman will stab the side of your tittie, hoping it’s an implant. Men strike at your usefulness. Women strike at your attractiveness–Maim&Shame.

      And no hugging!!! Jeez Louise! Homeless shelters are vectors for flu, scabies, head lice, bed bugs, dysentary…. HIV and hep are rare, but if some infected crazy decides to beat your friend down, she might have that to worry about, too.

      The best way to tell the truly needy from the addicts, scammers and muggers is to offer to take them to lunch, or shopping. Addicts and scammers will turn down raw goods. Muggers rarely (not never–but rarely) attack in a crowded shopping mall. I was always grateful for cooked vegetables and new boots when I was homeless.

      Knowledge, not superstition. Lest we become the monsters…

      But yes, Snowdrop. Lizard-brain usually takes awhile to listen to Thinky-brain when we’re feeling threatened.

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