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kate_nepveu


incidents and accidents, hints and allegations


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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.)


montoya

2008-04-22 01:38 pm (UTC) (Link)

God, there is a reason I don't go to cons. Go back to reading Eric S. Raymond oral sex HOWTOS, creepy dude, and leave actual people alone!

kate_nepveu

2008-04-22 01:52 pm (UTC) (Link)

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!)

rivka

2008-04-22 02:00 pm (UTC) (Link)

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

*cackle!*

Yes indeed.

montoya

2008-04-22 02:42 pm (UTC) (Link)

It's not that so much as... well, regular people almost always have really stupid beliefs, but they're conventionally stupid, you know? They think women should stay home and not have jobs or that the evolution is just this unproven theory, which is all eye-rollingly lame, but you get accustomed to it.

But geeks come up with new and creative ways of being stupid all the time, and it's not as easy to let that fade into the background noise.

kate_nepveu

2008-04-22 03:03 pm (UTC) (Link)

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

(Deleted comment)

kate_nepveu

2008-04-22 05:32 pm (UTC) (Link)

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

badgerbag

2008-04-23 05:12 pm (UTC) (Link)

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

vvalkyri

2008-04-24 03:58 am (UTC) (Link)

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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