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Me an' all

Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by willie45, Jan 23, 2018.

  1. willie45

    willie45 Well-Known Member

    I'm starting an activist group called "Me an' all" which aims to draw attention to the large number of people intent on belittling real unpleasant experiences by claiming trivial incidents of rudeness or crassness have ruined their lives.

    I'm hoping to get some support from, well anywhere really, because the constant reading of allegations made by extraordinarily privileged movie stars etc has actually caused me to have PTSD and I feel I might be going mad.

    Can anyone with a story to tell of how these people have also effed up your mental health please get in touch.
  2. EightBitTony

    EightBitTony Well-Known Member

    Your desire to paint their experience as trivial is part of the problem.

    I think the key is for all of us to listen, believe, and reflect.

    It's no surprise to me that celebrity women have suffered at the hands of men, because I know some women. And if you know some women, you know women who've been abused or harassed by men. I think it's absolutely right that celebrity women come forward with their stories, because it's absolutely right we shine a light on our own behaviour as men that negatively impacts women.

    You only have to read some of the powerful press articles written by women over the last 6 months to understand how big this issue is, and how it's all of our responsibilities to ensure it doesn't continue into the next generation.

    So I don't support your assertion.
  3. taxor

    taxor Well-Known Member

    Quite right. Why would any sane person get angry at the victim rather than the perpetrator
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  4. willie45

    willie45 Well-Known Member

    Well I certainly admire you three gents' impeccable feminist credentials. Well done all of you. I realise your responses are pretty much the orthodox ones at the moment. Is it possible that what you might be missing, though, is that a perpetrator is guilty when he or she has committed an offence, not when he or she has annoyed someone else?

    I actually have no tolerance of sexual harassment when it happens somewhere other than in a person's imagination. I have not the slightest doubt some men in Hollywood and elsewhere have abused their position just as I have not the slightest doubt that some women have encouraged this behaviour to their own advantage. It takes two to tango. (I will await the usual responses)

    Just because there are some high profile examples where some men behaved badly, it doesn't validate every silly claim being made in the wake of some high profiles examples. By extension it doesn't actually make anyone who happens to accuse someone or be accused by someone, a victim or perpetrator except in the minds of those keen to believe with no evidence.

    And, although I disagree that every woman has been abused by a man at some point, I do indeed know some women and I know some women who have been abused. And I even know one, a family member, who was sexually assaulted to the point of hospitalisation; not because someone came on a bit stronger than is polite in a drunken flirtatious situation or put his hand on her knee in a pub or called her love or winked at her, or suggested they might go somewhere quiet when her husband wasn't looking or ..........

    I also know of some women who agree that the idiocy currently being displayed by some women in the current situation is not healthy. I even know of some women, internationally well - known for having made an even bigger contribution to the feminist movement than you chaps have, who have criticised the "me too" thing and, predictably, paid the price.

    Here's some articles written by women recently. I'm not saying we should agree with everything they say but I kind of hope it might add some nuance to the debate rather than the typical gut reactions we normally see on here




    It isn't really about women though. Men are just as desperate to jump on the victim bandwagon about harassment. What about that bloke who claimed to suffer from PTSD because Kevin Spacey grabbed his crotch in a bar? Perhaps a slight overreaction? It's the fact that so many of us in the Western hemisphere are so desperately offended and upset by everything people do that we don't like. And if we aren't personally involved we just love to take offence on behalf of the last person who whinged on about how offended they were. This is just the latest in a long line of lunacy. I admit I tend to get slightly more irked than usual when any of it comes from publicity - conscious glitterati but I suppose that's just me.
    SqueamishOssifrage likes this.
  5. EightBitTony

    EightBitTony Well-Known Member

    With all due respect, take your condescending response and shove it. I made my point in my first response, I've got nothing to add.
    willie45 likes this.
  6. willie45

    willie45 Well-Known Member

    Wasn't meaning to be condescending Tony. Perhaps I was being a little bit flippant but no offence intended though, yes, I take your point.
  7. Geren

    Geren Well-Known Member

    I think if you've never been on the receiving end of it you can't possibly tell what impact a behaviour will have. And if you've never worked in a climate where it's just expected that you'll suck it up and live with it because that's just the way things are, then you can't possibly know what it feels like to understand that you have no control over your own life or your own body. What all men need to understand is that while not all men are abusive harrassing rapers, some are, and nearly all women are aware that the men they're dealing with *could* be. I'm not saying that women don't ever try it on, or aren't ever abusive but how many men, walking home late at night on their own would see a lone woman walking towards them and feel the potential threat in the air?
  8. willie45

    willie45 Well-Known Member

    That's a completely fair statement, and I agree 100%. What I'm saying is that a number of women and men seem intent on raising frivolous claims for whatever reason. As I say it isn't just this issue and it isn't confined to women. This is a different point from the one you raise on your post.
    Gezza likes this.
  9. Geren

    Geren Well-Known Member

    I would agree that it does nobody any favours if trivial complaints are made out to be more than they really are and it is especially damaging if false complaints are made, but I would equally argue that what may seem trivial to you (one), might not feel that way to another. If trust has been broken and confidence eroded by an abuser, the abused may not react well to something that another person might be better equipped to brush off.

    However, that said, I do have some degree of sympathy for the original question. I think the internet has allowed the ushering in of a new age of puritanism with jo public as judge and jury and it's very easy to whip up outrage over very little which doesn't help the cause of those are genuinely suffering. I just don't know that it's our place to decide who's suffering and who isn't though.
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  10. willie45

    willie45 Well-Known Member

    Fair enough. would just repeat that in my original post, I didn't defend sexual harassment but criticised people for saying trivial incidents have in some way ruined their lives. I didn't even mention women, but borrowed the idea of the "me too" phrase as it was current and apt.

    Mind you even if I had outright condemned Me Too, given the varied reactions by women and in particular politically active feminists to the actual "Me Too", maybe I could be forgiven for, in the view of some men and women, for being mistaken. For example

    Anyway, how about if we put that aside and stick to my less controversial case I mentioned of the guy who claims he had some sort of alleged breakdown due to Kevin Spacey groping him?

    The reason I'd argue that to take his allegation seriously is unfair is that it immediately caused a backlash of disgust at Spacey and the suggestion that somehow a healthy individual was caused to develop PTSD from such an incident was apparently accepted by many as perfect plausible, to Spacey's disadvantage. Now I'm not in favour of indiscriminate groping but it would surely have been enough for the victim just to say Spacey was a bit of a shit and he'd annoyed him?

    To me this would be an example of a possibly unpleasant but relatively minor incident leading to vilification by internet and resultant abuse of a person via social media. Of course it could be argued that, to this man, this wasn't a minor incident but I'd counter that by saying that by any standards of mental health, the fellow's reaction - if genuine - would fall well outside parameters considered "normal". In other words, if this chap's argument was examined in a court of law informed by the opinion of a Psychiatrist, it would almost certainly either be found to be extremely unlikely or to be found that the man was already in such delicate mental health that a breakdown of some sort would be almost inevitable, irrespective of groping, and as such his allegation would be condemned as ridiculous and not given serious consideration. This isn't an option afforded by the current wave of hysteria and at the very least, and such allegations should be at the very least treated with suspicion and probably with contempt.
  11. Learning

    Learning Ethelred the Ill-Named

    No. The response is to ignore or taunt if the action was legal or collect evidence and destroy to suicide of the offender if it wasn't.
  12. EightBitTony

    EightBitTony Well-Known Member

    @willie45 sorry, but your whole argument is flawed. @Geren already explained why. You can't say 'This is how I think these people should have taken this incident'. You can't decide for them how serious it was. You can't choose for them how much it affected their life. You need more empathy. You need to accept that you're not everyone, and not everyone feels like you do.

    We've spent years preventing people from speaking out by dismissing those that did. We've spent years _being complicit_ in the abuse of children, women, and men, by not listening, not believing, not investigating, not being there, not trusting. We have to stop being complicit. Yes, people are innocent until proven guilty, but far too often, people have raised issues, reported people, and received _no_ support. That has lead to a culture of repressing the problem. We need to go through a phase of allowing people to talk, trusting them, and encouraging proper investigation, and the first step of that is listen, trust, and believe.
  13. willie45

    willie45 Well-Known Member

    Tony, I understand that and I accept the fact that we need to listen to people who allege abuse seriously, and you are of course right in what you say about the historical context. Of course I can't be the judge of peoples' behaviours or how they felt. That is correct and we all know only too well the sorry events surrounding Savile et al. I totally agree with you and take your point. However, it doesn't mean that anything anyone says, no matter how bizarre, should be accepted as true without reservation.

    Neither can we allow gossip or trial by social media become acceptable. So it isn't up to me or the media, but the correct place for these allegations to be judged is within due legal process. In the case I mentioned I'd be pretty surprised if a court found in favour of the complainant's PTSD being attributable to Spacey's fingers. I might be wrong and if so then fair enough, but at least it will have been properly assessed and a conclusion drawn by appropriate means and not just because some guy in a bar says so.

    I guess there are two things here. One justice and the other is the PR aspect of allegations whether founded or not ( witness the demise of Spacey's career ) and I'm guessing the latter is what actually matters more in deterring a lot of the responses by corporations and leading figures in the movie industry.

    It's right that each person who feels abused go through due process but that doesn't include trying to appeal to you or me for our judgement. That's why we have the law and what is surely wrong is to encourage people to give creedence to unproven allegations. Accused people have rights too.
  14. EightBitTony

    EightBitTony Well-Known Member

    We need a sea change before we can get there. Because the law has consistently let these people down. Accused people have rights, indeed, but people who abused their position for years, and years, and years, and hidden behind a broken system, need to be called out.

    People fighting for the right to vote didn't continue asking nicely. Only once 'the establishment' realised they couldn't hold back the tide, did the people demanding change step back. Until we all listen, accept and believe the people who come forward, and until the authorities do so, and until we don't stand by while people we know abuse others, and until we all accept that our throw away comments can build up into a norm of abuse, then the only way for people to get justice currently is to go public.


    It's up to the law to find Kevin Spacey guilty - but why did his alleged victims not come forward earlier? Well, because they expected not to be believed, and your opening gambit was to push victims back into the same old 'well, maybe you're doing it for some other reason' bag. You said, "...the large number of people intent on belittling real unpleasant experiences by claiming trivial incidents of rudeness or crassness have ruined their lives." and you did it by trivialising the #MeToo tag. You actually trivialised that sentiment. Can you see how that's unhelpful?

    Sure, you were making a throw away comment, but you're making that into an ocean of suppression and abuse.

    We have to change, and once we've changed, we can have a conversation about the tiny, tiny, tiny number of people who make false accusations.
  15. EightBitTony

    EightBitTony Well-Known Member

    Additionally, and sorry, but you were immediately dismissive of my response, claiming I was somehow being 'orthodox' and that was a bad thing. You also, in the same paragraph, suggested feminism wasn't something we should all aspire to. You might not see your intent as that, you might not see your words as that, but that's what they were.

    I am a feminist. I am a white heterosexual middle aged bloke. I'm privileged. I've never suffered sexual abuse, or sexual harassment, or racism, or homophobia. I have _no idea_ what the experience of other people is who do suffer that. What I do know, is that far too many men are abusive, harass women, casually abuse women, denigrate women, and don't even know they're doing it. That's got to change and it'll ONLY change if we all accept that feminism is about equality.
  16. willie45

    willie45 Well-Known Member

    Well the thing about forums and typing in general is that context and nuance can be tricky. I understood from your earlier response that you felt attacked by my own response which wasn't my intention. I was being flippant and attempting to engage in a bit of banter, though I can see how it came across as something else. If we had been sitting down talking face - to - face having the conversation I doubt we'd have fallen out. You might tell met to feck off or something, we'd probably laugh and move on. I might be wrong but it's how I read it. I genuinely don't see what you mean about me saying feminism shouldn't be embraced by men though. I was saying that women probably have more authority to speak about harassment and how to deal with it and that even they were divided on this Me Too thing. But anyway....

    I work in a sector dealing with marginalised people, ( and trust me, I know how thorny the debates around approaches to such social issues can be ) I also have two daughters, a wife, and many female friends and I agree completely re the abuse and harassment comments you make. I believe I might surprise you if you met me. I however, have an idea that some of the utterances made by parties of all sides both before and in the current situation are not helpful and might be damaging in the longer term but I appreciate I might be wrong and I know others disagree. It is a difficult issue that has split feminist activists quite a bit.
  17. EightBitTony

    EightBitTony Well-Known Member

    No it hasn't. The press feel obliged to give equal space to the debate, and so a small number of very vocal women have made some commentary. I long since gave up listening to Germaine Greer, putting her in the same bucket as Richard Dawkins. They both had a point, but they've dined off it for years.

    The entire point of the #MeToo meme is to get beyond this idea that only a small number of women are affected, or that only celebrities are affected, or that only <some other group> are affected. This affects all women, all the time, and it's wrong.

  18. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Well-Known Member

    Most of the women whom I know well (well enough to discuss such matters) have been sexually harassed and even assaulted; some have even been raped. Obviously I don't know much detail: you need to know someone pretty well before the subject is even discussed, and then, you seldom discuss it at length.

    And all of them say that although it was deeply unpleasant, it doesn't define them and it has not completely destroyed their lives. This to me is the problem. Yes, let's go for #MeToo. Let's bring it out into the open. Let's stop it, or at least, greatly reduce it (we probably can't stop it). But equally, let's not tell everyone that minor (or even major) sexual assaults are the end of the world, thereby bringing up the expectation that their lives will be ruined forever. They are unlikely to be -- unless that is their expectation.

    This is not a lack of sympathy; this is not male privilege. Frances agrees with every word I have written above: with whom, after all, am I most likely to discuss such matters? It is however a plea for a sense of proportion, above all when it comes to reporting -- though as soon as I say this, many will immediately interpret it as, yes, lack of sympathy and male privilege.


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  19. willie45

    willie45 Well-Known Member

    Well, Tony, I suggest that there are a number of people who are well qualified to debate this who would disagree with you. However, there's a limit to my appetite for having a yes/no argument on the forums so I'm going to give up after this. Your contemptuous dismissal of those who disagree with you on this subject including Ms Greer and fair few others is difficult to engage with. You have a view. I disagree with it. There's really no point in us arguing because you've decided your point of view is correct and nothing I say will, or anyone else it seems, will change that. As is the case in so many of these debates, a sense of proportion is what's missing IMHO.

    This might be worth a read, Or not.


    What constitutes harassment is often a grey area. There are many women who would disagree on it actually is. No wonder men and women are confused. The trouble is that if we leave it up to an individual to define harassment it becomes impossible for men or women to decide what is appropriate and what not. That way lies madness and the evidence is around us.
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2018
  20. EightBitTony

    EightBitTony Well-Known Member

    This is of course, a deep fallacy. It just takes a moment of open communication to determine that. Yes, mistakes still get made, and people need to resolve those in an adult manner, but if both parties are open and have empathy, then it's far from impossible.

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