“Creep” shaming

There is a rule most boys learn by the time they reach high school: Be handsome. Be attractive. Don’t be unattractive.

When it comes to attracting the opposite sex, that rule is absolute. No matter how nice, how polite, or how respectful a man or boy behaves, his level of attraction plays the biggest role in whether the woman or girl will consider him likeable or creepy.

That reality poses a problem for feminists like Hugo Schwyzer. As he explains in a recent article:

What SNL played for laughs, many men (and some women) took – and still take – seriously: Some men can’t win with women, these people believe, no matter what they do or say. This attitude is best observed in the recent backlash against calling men “creepy.” […] Others argue that “creepiness” connotes something specific: male homeliness. […] I often hear something similar in my gender studies classes. […] Whenever the subject of sexual harassment or “creep-shaming” comes up in class, someone–almost always a man–makes the case that SNL was right: the only way for straight men to safely express sexual interest in women is to do so while following the skit’s three rules. With almost invariable bitterness, these young men complain that unless a guy has won striking good looks in the genetic lottery, he’s doomed to be rejected and seen as overstepping his boundaries, no matter what he does.

This eye-rolling response is nothing new for Schwyzer. He has previously expressed a disregard for men’s dating plights and condoned unfair suspicions about men by women. Schwyzer does not see this is a legitimate issue of unfairness on women’s part. Rather, he sees the “backlash” from men against being called creepy as “an unwillingness to accept [a woman’s right to decide whose attention she wants that has] given women unprecedented power to say ‘no’ to the lecherous and the predatory.”

Yet he provides no examples of anyone arguing anything remotely close to that straw man. Continue reading

Bulletin Board v192

Boy Scouts End Longtime Ban on Openly Gay Youths — The Boy Scouts of America on Thursday ended its longstanding policy of forbidding openly gay youths to participate in its activities, a step its chief executive called “compassionate, caring and kind.” The decision, which came after years of resistance and wrenching internal debate, was widely seen as a milestone for the Boy Scouts, a symbol of traditional America. More than 1,400 volunteer leaders from across the country voted, with more than 60 percent approving a measure that said no youth may be denied membership “on the basis of sexual orientation or preference alone.”

Former Church of England priest, 74, abused girls and boys at Barnardo’s home then savagely beat victims who tried to speak out — A retired Church of England priest found guilty of a catalogue of historic sex attacks on young children at a Barnardo’s home has been jailed for 10 years. Canon Gordon Rideout, 74, abused more than a dozen girls and boys at the now closed home at Ifield Hall in Crawley, West Sussex, over a four-year period. The former Anglican clergyman from Polegate, East Sussex, also indecently assaulted two girls at an army site in Middle Wallop, Hampshire, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said.

Gym coach tried to ‘hypnotise boy for sex’ — A GYM instructor tried to hypnotise a teenage boy so he could abuse him, a court has heard. Paul Schofield, who was a head coach at Bolton Metro Olympic Gymnastics Club in Farnworth, is accused of abusing the boy in the mid 1990s at his former home, when he was aged 14 or 15. The complainant alleges Schofield, aged 47, of Railway View, Hednesford, Staffordshire, tried to hypnotise him to engage in sexual activity. During a police interview Schofield admitted he learned to hypnotise people after buying a book and said he used it as a “party trick”, but only when there were witnesses around.

Juvenile Inmates Found to Be at No Greater Risk for Prison Rape — Youth advocates have long argued that juveniles incarcerated in adult prisons and jails are at heightened risk for rape and other forms of sexual abuse because of their age. But a government survey released on Thursday found that juveniles did not report significantly more sexual victimization than adult inmates. The survey, which also examined sexual victimization among adult inmates, offers the first national estimates of the prevalence of sexual abuse among juveniles housed in adult facilities. Continue reading

Pegging: The Answer to Misogyny?

Oh Hugo, Hugo, Hugo. Where do we begin? Let us start here:

Want to make straight men better in bed — and better feminist allies? The path may be simple: fuck them up the ass. According to one brand new book, the path to making men more compassionate, appreciative and playful may be straight through their butts.

Speaking as someone who had a feminist “fuck him up the ass” for quite some time when I was younger, I can assure people that it did not make me a “better feminist ally”, although it did prepare me for the kind of moronic logic Schwyzer uses in his article on Jezebel.

Schwyzer argues, using The Ultimate Guide to Prostate Pleasure: Erotic Exploration for Men and Their Partners written by Charlie Glickman and Aislinn Emirzian, that “pegging”, the act of a woman using a strap-on dildo to anally penetrate a man, is “liberation from the masculine straitjacket, with happy consequences that extend well outside the bedroom.” As Schwyzer explains: Continue reading

Top posts of 2011

These were the top posts that I wrote in 2011. There were posts that got more views, but I wanted to limit to this year alone.

Male victims of sex trafficking
You’re not helping v4
Sex, sexism, boundaries, and coercion
A Dose of Stupid v.55
A Dose of (Capitalizing on a Tragedy) Stupid
I know you are, but what am I?
Woman drowns her children, the media makes excuses
Lost in translation
Can an ideology teach hate?
The White House Council on Men and Boys


You’re Not Helping v5

Note: I intended to post this some time ago, but completely forgot about it – TS

The novelty of media attention. It is certainly a draw for some people. Some people will find any reason to make their personal decisions known, and when it draws media attention they are all for it… until it also draws a public reaction.

Take the case of Kathy Witterick and her husband David Stocker. The pair decided to keep their newborn baby Storm’s sex a secret. According to them:

‘We’ve decided not to share Storm’s sex for now — a tribute to freedom and choice in place of limitation, a stand up to what the world could become in Storm’s lifetime (a more progressive place? …).’

According to the article:

The couple believe they are releasing Storm from the constraints society imposes on males and females. They claim children can make meaningful decisions for themselves from a very young age.

They called parents who make choices for their children ‘obnoxious’, instead telling their children to challenge how they’re expected to look and act based on their sex.

That logic could easily apply to Witterick and Stocker. Continue reading

Bulletin Board v137

Bullied boy’s parents warn of devastating effects — Daniel Mendez was a Boy Scout, had plenty of friends, earned a black belt in Tae Kwon Do, played football and was consistently an honor student. But that didn’t stop bullies from going after him, calling him names such as half-breed, gay and mercilessly ridiculing him at Bernice Ayer Middle School in San Clemente. When he reported the bullying to school officials, his life became “a living hell,’ friends would later tell his parents, Anna and Danny Mendez. He hid the ongoing abuse by saying he would “handle it.” But he couldn’t. On May 1, 2009, Daniel, a 16-year-old sophomore at San Clemente High, shot himself in the street in front of a friend’s home.

Catholic order to pay $18 million to child sex-abuse victims — A Roman Catholic order which runs an elite boys private boarding school in Montreal, on Thursday, signed an out-of-court settlement of a class-action lawsuit involving allegations of sexual abuse of school boys. The Catholic religious order, Congregation of Holy Cross, made the out-of-court settlement with a payment of $18 million, and an apology for years of priest sexual abuse of school children. The payment is believed to be the biggest settlement payment ever made in Canada.

Couple jailed over horrific sex torture that led man they were holding captive to try and kill himself — A couple were jailed today for their involvement in the violent torture of a man who stabbed himself in the chest to try to kill himself after being kept prisoner for three days. The 21-year-old was beaten, whipped and handcuffed, sexually assaulted and made to drink bleach and act like a dog during the ordeal in March 2009. Anna Wibrew, 24, and Simon Weller, 38, continue to deny their involvement in the abuse, some of which took place in their flat in Crawley, West Sussex. Five other people have already been jailed over the incident, which is thought to have been motivated because the man had failed to pay his rent.

Help urged for male abuse victims — Men were the victims of domestic abuse on almost 10,000 occasions last year, figures have revealed. The campaign group Abused Men In Scotland (AMIS) published the statistics, which show that in 2010-11 there were 9,589 domestic abuse cases reported to the police where the victim was male. It said that was a rise of more than 10% on the previous year, as well as being the 11th year in a row that the number of attacks on men had risen. But AMIS secretary Alison Waugh said, despite this, ministers had failed to bring forward a campaign aimed specifically at male victims of abuse. Ms Waugh said: “Government spokespeople repeatedly state that they take all domestic abuse seriously, but that is hard to square with the reality that in 11 successive years in which the number of male victims has increased there has still not been a single campaign specifically directed at men and their children, giving them confidence to report and standing unequivocally with them.

Lott: Invisible Men — This Tuesday, I attended a panel discussion called “What I Wish I Knew As A Freshman Girl.” The female upperclassmen speakers talked very frankly about their mistakes as freshmen and offered their warm support to the assembled first-year women. The event seemed highly valuable, and I was left wondering why no similar opportunity existed specifically for first-year men. Continue reading

McInerney case ends in mistrial

After five days of deliberations, the jury handling the Brandon McInerney murder trial found themselves deadlocked:

A judge on Thursday declared a mistrial in the case of California teen accused of murdering a gay classmate at a Ventura County junior high school three years ago.

Jurors told Ventura County Superior Court Judge Charles Campbell they were unable to reach a unanimous decision on the degree of Brandon McInerney’s guilt for killing 15-year-old Larry King. The nine-woman, three-man panel said they took a series of votes with the last one being seven in favor of voluntary manslaughter, while five others supported either first-degree or second-degree murder.

This comes as a surprise. While I suspected the jury might go for a lesser charge, I never assumed they would consider voluntary manslaughter, let alone that the jury would split over the charges. The evidence the McInerney thought about killing King was pretty clear, from the boy talking about doing so with several to his bringing a concealed weapon into class and sitting behind King.

If anything, the jury’s deadlock shows that the state’s argument that McInerney was a white supremacist did not fly. Continue reading