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// Boobies. / - casual synchronicity
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aaangyl
aaangyl
YES WE CAN HAS!
Wed, Apr. 30th, 2008 04:51 pm
// Boobies. /

Since everyone else in the known universe had had something to say about the Open Source Boob project, I'll add a comment.

If you, be you male or female, ever touch my naughties without my explicit permission, I will touch your naughties back... with my fingernails... and PULL HARD. I will MAKE YOU CRY. Don't even go there.

If you ask my permission, you'll probably get a no, but I won't damage your reproductive organs. In this case, rejection IS in fact clearly nicer than the consequences of not asking. I honestly think one of the reasons the skeeve goes on is because in most cases, getting rejected for explicitly asking has a higher "pain" toll than just grabbing for what you want.

I know violence isn't always the answer, but think about it. If a guy grabbed another guy's junk, he'd get slugged 99% of the time. Guys don't "accidentally" grab another guy's crotch, like, ever. If guys got a similar response from invading women, don't you think the learning curve would be much smaller?

I like the idea of the "women back each other up" thing, except for when it suggests you should start invading other people's interactions if you "get a skeevey vibe". If you see someone screaming "NO NO LET GO OF ME" yes, interject yourself, but it seems like a bad idea to walk up to the low-esteem girl getting her own twisted form of affirmation from a predator - that's not a cycle you can break by telling him to go away, and you might even piss off the chick and give her more reason to go home with him. Helping her find self-value in some other way is a long process, and you can't take them all on (unless you're a therapist by profession anyway). In other words, YES back up women (or men) that ask for it and clearly need it, but don't appoint yourself the great scourge of skeevishness for all women; that's a great way to be That Guy too. Just be responsible for you. If that seems insanely easy, you're probably doing it wrong.

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ashley_y
ashley_y
Ashley
Thu, May. 1st, 2008 01:31 am (UTC)

Sooo one week ago...

Green button idea: "ASK IF YOU WANT TO TOUCH MY MONKEY"


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aaangyl
aaangyl
YES WE CAN HAS!
Thu, May. 1st, 2008 01:58 am (UTC)

Bwahahahahaha!


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agentsteel53
agentsteel53
Danger Moose
Thu, May. 1st, 2008 01:58 am (UTC)

Is there a positive side to all this?

Namely, the last N posts on the topic have all - in my perception, anyway - carried this undertone of "dear males: you are horrible human beings, failures at all forms of interaction. Here are a few basic edicts to prevent you from getting your ass kicked, your testicles clawed out, etc etc."

Now, I can obey those rules. In fact, they make perfectly good sense, but their presentation is terrifyingly dictatorial. I'm a big fan of providing balanced lists - a roughly equal quantity of "don't even think about doing this" and "here's what to do".

and by "what to do", I mean not just "stay out of trouble, as a zombie whose feelings of attraction are to be buried, a total zero" but rather some positive way in which attraction can be shown to be a Good Thing - Hell, even returned every so often.

I'm not That Guy. I'm That Zombie. I've had it beaten into me from the time I was in diapers that The Penis Is Evil, and now my only luck with women is if they essentially hand me a four-page contract, signed and dated, filed in triplicate, promising that if I were to express my attractions, they would not sue me for sexual harassment... and then throw themselves at me. (That does not happen often.)

And posts like this ... I just don't know how to gain much from them other than redoubling my fear, uncertainty, and doubt with regard to the human race.

Where's the other half of the equation?


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ashley_y
ashley_y
Ashley
Thu, May. 1st, 2008 02:16 am (UTC)

Don't worry about the last N posts: they're all by folks exercising their outrage muscles. For all the talk about "That Guy", the OSBP was something invented and largely perpetuated by women. Though it was of course a guy who wrote about it in such a creepy way...

Anyway, what worked for me is... I became more attractive by becoming more confident. I became more confident by feeling better about myself. I felt better about myself by becoming a better person per my own values, and finding out more about what I really wanted and what those values were.


ReplyThread Parent
agentsteel53
agentsteel53
Danger Moose
Thu, May. 1st, 2008 02:22 am (UTC)

I think my problem is that I view my values to be pretty incompatible with what other people find attractive. I'm not a "creep" or any of that, I'm just a bit eccentric. I may be very, exceedingly, marvellously good at a lot of things, like work and my hobbies and whatnot, but none of those things are particularly interesting to other people.


ReplyThread Parent
aaangyl
aaangyl
YES WE CAN HAS!
Thu, May. 1st, 2008 03:03 am (UTC)

This is pretty rambling, but it's harder to edit in these little comment boxes than the big post boxes!

When I was a kid, we'd sing this song about "your rights stop at the end of my nose" and then we'd have discussions about what that meant. Essentially, it means that your skin, your physical personhood, is a boundary space. You are responsible for what goes on inside that boundary (emotions, thoughts, etc) - someone can't MAKE YOU feel happy or sad with their words unless you're giving them the power to make you feel that way. What you do OUTSIDE your skin is an ACTION, as opposed to thoughts and feelings, so if you say something, or touch someone, you've made a decision to turn something INSIDE into something OUTSIDE. You are and will be held responsible for your actions OUTSIDE. When you ask someone about their boobs and they feel threatened, it's not solely about either party. You may have asked poorly - it's helpful to have honest female friends you can bounce some of your approaches off of so they can point out things that you might not realize you could be expressing. They may be reacting poorly because of some past experience, trigger, bias, or issue you have no clue exists - in the end, that's for them to work out, someday, maybe.

- There's a lot of culture and society and psychology in the verbal exchange space, and seriously, the best way to get more comfortable in this realm is to find some "safe" friends, people with more social savvy than you but that also understand you might lack those skills and say things "badly" a lot, and they like you and understand you and forgive you anyway, and want to help you, you know the type? (But do them a favor and don't ask for their help in that unless you seriously want it, because it's a LOT of work and you're going to get told you're wrong a LOT and it is a SKILL, absolutely not some natural gut-based thing - it might seem like it is for a lot of people, but it's just that they learned it so early they've forgotten the process or even that there was one, but seriously I SWEAR to you, it is a skill and it can be learned by anyone willing to WORK HARD to learn it.) -

Now, the physical action realm is much more clear-cut, and is what I was intending to touch (ha) upon with my comments today. The skin is a boundary point. Touching without asking is an explicit no-no. (Now, don't get all letter-of-the-law stupid about it. Accidents are accidents, crowded spaces are crowded spaces, and certain social groups are more or less touch-friendly than others. It is YOUR responsibility to move yourself out of social groups that don't match your preferences and into ones that do, and if the groups you'd like to be in don't want you, you may or may not be able to figure out why. This is all pretty complicated, huh? It's usually a bad idea to be reductionist about social things, because they're just such diverse, complex systems.) Actions against someone's person would also involve throwing shit at them, stealing their shit, and, to some, deliberately telling lies about them so as to damage their image or reputation.

"That Guy" does not respect boundaries. He does not respect HIS OWN boundaries, he does not respect HIMSELF, so it's practically impossible for him to be capable of acknowledging and respecting the boundaries of others. "That Chick" has the exact same problem with respecting boundaries, incidentally, but TYPICALLY the male way of this disrespect is invading others' boundaries and the female version is failure to defend one's own boundaries, but that's a 20-page essay I'm not going in to now.

[cont'd]


ReplyThread Parent
aaangyl
aaangyl
YES WE CAN HAS!
Thu, May. 1st, 2008 03:03 am (UTC)

Now, for the topic of you. You've got a LOT of fear oozing out of your responses, both here and what I've seen from you elsewhere, on this topic. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little death. Err. Wait. ---
Fear. What are you so afraid of? Why? This calls for some mindfulness. (Actually, mindfulness is where the respect and the compassion and all that starts. Mindfulness is a lifelong process, a path, a way of life.) If you understand who you are and what you value and why, and you live honoring that AND ALSO respecting that others might be different (which brings us back to asking - the best way to find out if someone is different is to ask them about things. Might they lie? Sure, but that's NOT actually your responsibility, outside of a general caveat emptor.), you may some day discover some chick that thinks your fumbling, overly-blunt honesty is, in fact, charming and utterly refreshing.

I'm going to drop in a paragraph about communication here. Communication isn't "I talk you listen or nod along". Proper communication involves pausing to parrot back to each other what you think the other person just said, in your own words. It involves asking clarifying questions. It shouldn't involve very much explaining to other people why they're "wrong" about anything non-factual - that is, the rules of conversation ask you to assume that if someone reports a FEELING, an OPINION, or an EXPERIENCE, that you accept that that is their experience, even if you don't think (or know) that it would be yours in a similar situation. The word "I" is to be favored over "you" - this is a concept called I-statements, and is meant to differentiate between "You hurt my feelings when you said X" and "When I heard you say X, I felt Y because of Z." One way, how the person feels is someone else's fault, an the other way the person is owning their feeling and exploring where it came from.

Notice words like "mindfulness" "communicate" "boundaries" and "responsibility" a lot? That's because that's really, at the core, what the triggers in this issue are. Nerd culture in particular has a lot of fail in these areas, as has been observed by approximately everyone on the internet ever. I'd say start by learning to communicate, and differentiate "your shit" from "other people's shit". The respect may very well flow naturally from the development of that mindfulness. It's a path, never a destination.

There's enough here that you'll probably have some more questions, so I'll just post now and see what if any of this you find interesting.


ReplyThread Parent
lemurling
lemurling
lemurling
Thu, May. 1st, 2008 03:17 am (UTC)

Things like this are why I kick myself every once in a while that I was in such a cave when I had a chance to actually know you.


ReplyThread Parent
hansandersen
hansandersen
Hans Christian Andersen
Thu, May. 1st, 2008 05:11 am (UTC)

You should come up and visit sometime!


ReplyThread Parent
aaangyl
aaangyl
YES WE CAN HAS!
Thu, May. 1st, 2008 08:08 am (UTC)

Yeah what he said! Every time you come up in conversation we have to pause for a moment of fondness.


ReplyThread Parent
agentsteel53
agentsteel53
Danger Moose
Thu, May. 1st, 2008 03:18 am (UTC)

to tell you the truth, now I feel like a total failure. A lot of these points raised seem to paint the picture of me being completely, reprehensibly, disastrously bad at communication. My first instinct is to say "wait, the Hell you say!" - but there's gotta be a reason for it.

I am really, really upset suddenly.


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adameros
adameros
A Quark of A Different Spin.
Thu, May. 1st, 2008 02:28 am (UTC)

What is this "Open Source Boob Project" you speak of?


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aaangyl
aaangyl
YES WE CAN HAS!
Thu, May. 1st, 2008 03:13 am (UTC)

ICGATM!


ReplyThread Parent
ashley_y
ashley_y
Ashley
Thu, May. 1st, 2008 04:51 am (UTC)

According to Urban Dictionary, that acronym is "seen almost exclusively in the Seattle LiveJournal Community".


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