Underneath my yellow skin

Tag Archives: taking sides

Reflection and Projection

One of the frustrating aspects of all this predatory men bullshit is how ardent and vigorous randos will defend a man they don’t know. It’s not just with the famous predators, either. It’s in real life, too. Many women have had the experience of trying to explain why they’ve uncomfortable around a man they know for maybe inchoate reasons, and the man they’re explaining it to gives a hundred reasons why the guy is acting the way he is. The reasons may make sense on the surface, but there’s a ‘yeah, but’ feeling inside the woman as she’s listening that she can’t squelch no matter how hard she tries.

I realized a long time ago that the reason some guys are quick to defend questionable behavior is because they can put themselves more easily in the shoes of the man than they can the shoes of the woman. It doesn’t matter if the woman is wearing pumps, flats, or heels, they’re still shoes the man has never worn. Even sneakers, as they’re smaller and tighter and–OK, I’ve taken this metaphor as far as I possible can. They hear about a man catcalling a woman on the street, and they think, “Hey, I’ve talked to a woman on the street before. I’m not a bad guy. Maybe that random guy isn’t a bad guy, either.”

There was a post at Ask A Manager by a woman who was pretty sure a coworker was hitting on her, but wasn’t sure how she should turn him down since he never actually issued an invitation. He didn’t work in the same division (if I remember correctly), but he was above her in rank. They were out of town at a conference, and they had gone out for drinks with coworkers once and another time with friends of her (it was her hometown, I think). The letter writer (LW) includes texts in which the coworker pushes to do things in private and she gives him ‘soft’ nos in various of ways. Reading the texts, it’s clear to me he’s hitting on her, and she’s politely declining.

Predictably, some people picked apart what the LW texted and did (going out to drinks with the coworker and her friends) without concentrating on how he escalated his requests despite her soft nos, even to the point of suggesting she change her flight to a later time so she could watch a game with him! She said no, she was going to stick to her plans, but it shouldn’t have had to come that far. There was far too much focus on what she should and shouldn’t have done, but thankfully, there were people also pushing back on it. They said it was a shame that women couldn’t be friendly to men without being taken as flirtatious.

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If My Team Does It, It’s OK

look at that wiener
No diggity, no doubt.

When the first Anthony Weiner scandal broke out waaaaay back when in 2011, I was disappointed because he was one of the louder progressive voices always seen on political TV. He was my political crush at the time, though I feel uncomfortable admitting that now. I thought he was smart, funny, and, yes, sexy. Look. I said I’m ashamed of it now, but hindsight is 20/20 and all that. The scandal itself wasn’t particularly surprising, and I was on the fence as to whether he should be made to step down or not–side note: I find it very ironic that the party of moral/family values (Republicans) can have affairs willy-nilly and suffer no consequences, but when a Democrat does it, off with his head! By the way, I’m not saying the Democrat shouldn’t be remonstrated if need be, just that Republicans love to talk about how full of values they are, so they should be held to at least the same standard, if not higher than are Democrats who don’t act all holier than thou about morality.–until it turned out that he sent lewd pics to women who didn’t specifically ask for them. That is harassment, and I had a hard time watching some people on the left dismiss it or ignore it altogether. I’ll get into that more in a minute.

I don’t give a shit about affairs in general. Someone’s marriage is their own business, even if that person is in the public eye. I only care if it was not consensual/has problematic power dynamics or if there is hypocrisy involved. Larry Craig (hypocrisy). David Vitter (hypocrisy). Mark Sanford (hypocrisy and the misuse of public funds). All the other Republicans caught doing the wide stance in the international Minneapolis airport bathroom*. Speaking specifically about Weiner’s sexting, if it weren’t for the unwanted pics, I wouldn’t care at all about Weiner’s sexting, nor would I have thought he needed to resign over it. People have affairs. That’s a fact of life. In addition, he and his wife, Huma Abedin, may have had some kind of agreement that they can have outside partners. I will say that I thought there was something desperate about the way Weiner sexted other women–it made him seem so empty inside. The fact that he used a fake name and it was Carlos Dangerous just made him look pathetic to me.

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