I have never said that there is a conspiracy to harm women. Honestly, this seems to be where this type of conversation inevitably breaks down. Women and allies are not saying this is conscious or planned, but that doesn’t mean it’s any less insidious or harmful. We’re not saying men are bad and women are good. That’s why we need so badly to talk about all this and and make it conscious so that we can all do better. We are all run by a lot of unconscious things which are part and parcel of our conditioning and upbringing as well as any actual biologically based impulses. We all live in the dominance hierarchy of the patriarchy — men in particular. I’ll say it again, it’s the ocean you and other men swim in, which is why you aren’t particularly aware of it being wet.

“Men feel confused by the idea of evil sexual behavior not being sexually motivated” There’s the crux right there — it’s not sexual behavior at all. The sexual aspect is only a tool. Just like prison rape, just like rape as a weapon of war, just like people who aren’t particularly attractive getting harassed or raped. If it were losing control of sexual impulses, none of that would occur! Think about it.

And I don’t think all harassers hate women the way Les Moonves and Harvey Weinstein do, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t still trying to put them in their place (which is lower down the hierarchy) via harassment. Women in male dominated industries suffer significantly more harassment than their counterparts in more balanced work environments. “This heightened level of harassment is a problem even before women enter the workforce. One study found that women pursuing male-dominated university majors experience higher levels of harassment than women earning other degrees.” This is for the purpose of saying, “We don’t want you here.”

Around 50% of hotel housekeepers have experienced harassment. Is that because they are likely to be really hot and attractive? No, it’s because they are often immigrants who need the job and because they are vulnerable. https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/housekeeper-hotel-sexual-harassment_us_5a0f438ce4b0e97dffed3443

And if all of this is inevitable for men, then how do you explain what happens in sex clubs? Men are around nearly naked and sometimes completely naked women and they somehow manage to not ogle, grope, leer at, or demand the time and attention of the women who are there. They take “no” for an answer with no problem. The men there show respectful interest or attention and if they don’t, they get ejected from the club. That’s the real difference right there. They suffer consequences if they don’t, where quite often in the “real” world there are few if any consequences, so it continues to be pervasive.

I appreciate that if you believe this is about men who are evil doing bad things than it feels like all men are being painted as evil, but that’s not what this is at all. If you cease looking at it from that persective, perhaps what I’m saying will make more sense.

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Dispelling cultural myths with research-driven stories. My favorite word is “specious.” Not fragile like a flower; fragile like a bomb! Twitter @ElleBeau

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