wood cat


incidents and accidents, hints and allegations

wood cat
Kate kate_nepveu
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On asking to touch the breasts of a stranger

If you are a stranger, especially a man, perhaps especially in a group of other strangers who are men, and you come up to me and say, "You're very beautiful. I'd like to touch your breasts. Would you mind if I did?":

You will put me in fear.

Because you could be someone who will go away quietly if I say no (which I will). You could be the exiled gay prince of Farlandia, cursed to wander this Earth looking for the key to his return that can only be revealed by touching the breast of a willing stranger, and who isn't enjoying this at all. You could, in short, not be a danger to me.

But how am I supposed to know that?

How am I supposed to distinguish you from the person who says he's really just whatever, but is actually going to put emotional pressure on me, or make a scene, or stalk me, or rape me?

I can't. Because that would require a level of discernment and of trust that is not possible, by definition, in my dealings with a stranger.

And therefore, if you ask to touch my breasts, you will frighten me.

If your goal is actually to make a better world, I suggest that you use a method that doesn't involve putting women in fear.

(Also, I find it hard to believe you can create "the kind of world where [people can] say, 'Wow, I'd like to touch your breasts,' and people would understand that it's not a way of reducing you to a set of nipples and ignoring the rest of you, but rather a way of saying that I may not yet know your mind, but your body is beautiful," by going up to women, touching their breasts, and then going away. Among many, many other problems that are noted in the comments to the original. But that's secondary to my main point here.)

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I have never been hit on or sexually harassed at a con. Not all cons are like this. Not all people at cons are like this.

(But OH JOHN RINGO NO clearly needs to be said in those comments!)

(But OH JOHN RINGO NO clearly needs to be said in those comments!)


Yes indeed.

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I don't think the conventionally lame ideas should be allowed to fade into the background, either, because they are more harmful there.

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Because I like my head in an unxexploded state, I have not read all the comments and so I cannot say. Alas.

LOL yes! if only we could put all ESR fans together on an island! He totally wrote the manual for geek creepitude!

Just wandering out on a limb here, but I read Ferrett's full post, and it seemed they'd later created a button system such that nobody would be asked the question unless she'd already chosen to wear a button saying she was opting into the, uh, game.

But yeah, outside the set situation that's a question concept best done without.


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