Skip to main content

Discussion about Rebecca Traister's "Your reckoning. And mine"

billydwilliamsthethethird23 hours ago
As a man I want to respect the feelings of women who have been subject to harassment/abuse of power.  Still, I do feel that principles of due process and fairness are important..   

Trouble is, hubris sells.  A measured, justice-seeking ethos would make it harder for a magazine to create a hard-hitting narrative of victims, aggressors, and reckoning. 

This is a story about gender.  It is also about human failing and wrongdoing.  Even though men tend to hold more leadership roles, other stories of men as "victims" are also valid.

How many dozens of female high school teachers or coaches have been found guilty of sexual conduct with their students in the past few years?   Obviously not the fault of patriarchy.  The truth is complicated.

Emotional and even some physical abuse by women is indeed widespread.

Starting my career, I found myself on the receiving end of what could constitute sexual harassment from one man and one woman with some power over me, and it sucked.  I can only imagine what it may feel like on a more severe level for victimized women working in a boys club.  

Dating, I have been assaulted by a (much smaller) woman (grabbed and restrained by the wrists when attempting to leave her).  With another woman, kissing in a car after a date, I was struck by her across face without permission in what appeared to be her attempt to add an element of kink.   

To the female cop who hit on me after she let me off for a ticket--standing over me with her gun--watch out, you might find yourself on an anonymous google doc of payback.  

Patrick McEvoy-Halston
@billydwilliamsthethethird When you refer to female high school teachers or coaches the numbers won't compare... you'll be informed by all the stats that show as much. You need to touch upon something untouchable: mothering. What cannot be connected here, absolutely cannot, is that women who are abused and humiliated through patriarchy cannot but emotionally have needs for their children that are not helpful for their development, are in a sense, incestuous. You cannot connect that a man's later need to attack women could be born out of early childhood mis-use by their emotionally deprived mothers. Why? Mothers are sacrosanct -- victims will never out their predator, for it means being lost to their love forever. So the problem is only addressed sort of innocently, by gradually evolving hate out of the world and encouraging support. People feel more esteem, and they have children for much better reasons than to provide attention not provided elsewhere in life. 

Sperlady18 hours ago
@billydwilliamsthethethird No. This is a story about MALE PRIVILEGE.
billydwilliamsthethethird15 hours ago
@Sperlady @billydwilliamsthethethird I would agree.  I also think it's about human failing.  What explains the many cases of female teachers abusing/seducing their male students?  How about emotional violence between same sex couples (which I assume is not more or less prevalent than it is among straight couples.)  

Again, I believe that most events have more than one cause or important aspect.  

When we reduce things down, we set ourselves up for the kind of lost trust that erodes democracy.  This is why it is across this type of fault lines that Putin's bots fans the flames of intense resentment...     

Patrick McEvoy-Halston23 hours ago
You were pretty affected with what happened to the Gores. What if it turns out that someone who cannot be allowed to be taken down unless our whole collective emotional equilibrium falters, not Bill Clinton but someone like Obama, gets taken down? He's like some kind of social leverage... where would this take our minds?

Isn't there a possibility that what will transpire is a lot of men openly confessing their guilt, and then submitting to some kind of public reform movement which will help them regain virtue... become populist Bernie Bros whose fidelity is to their Mother Nation? They gain integrity, sanction, by knowing that, for Her, they'll sacrifice everything pretentious about themselves... their careers, their previous prestige -- everything. The end result being that they will be transposed into citizens who are now markedly different from many of their chief accusers, in that they are way out of limelight, enjoying very few fruits of professional success. They stage their revenge without even their own noticing, by making everyone who is still staunchly for "empowerment" rather than self-sacrifice, one of the bourgeois who has spoiled themselves and ignored society/their mother nation. Isn't is possible that the end result will be that many liberal men will not reflect and change, but be lost to the only kind of liberalism worth sanctioning... because the source for their rage and hate against women cannot be so readily elided; requires some kind of out?

carll6023 hours ago
Why is there a post-Weinstein reckoning and not a post-Trump reckoning? Why did 53 percent of white women still go to the polls and pull the lever for Trump? While I sympathize with the plight of all women through history, I have difficulty taking this current outburst seriously from a generation of women who enabled the most misogynist president in American history. American women need to really take stock of themselves and the messages they are sending. This is one among several opinion pieces that I have seen lately on the matter of Weinstein that completely plays down the larger and far more powerful predator. This inconsistency requires attention. 

Miriam61021 hours ago
@carll60 So very true. And I think Trump as the background to all of this plays a big part in why it's all being exposed now. 

Patrick McEvoy-Halston21 hours ago
@Miriam610 @carll60 Or more generally populism... the picture that is coming to mind of the male oppressor is someone living large and having the time of his life these past thirty years. It corresponds with the era of liberalism that people like Chris Hedges are trying to take down. We'll learn a lesson about "human nature," about how letting people go unsupervised plays to an actually false sense of what human beings are about, and will lead to an era where we all agree to go about our business in more dour, self-recriminating, circumscribed mode. We need to correlate what is happening here, absolutely, with this weird eruption a couple years ago of populist nativism around the world. Even if there is no connection, it would seem wise to certainly consider it. In this era, I'm not entirely willing to be encouraged by what's happening. I don't sufficiently trust that progressivism is actually at the helm of our age. I'm worried that this might be a false thrust, for convenience purposes only. Don't we feel this when we get lured to explore the pedophiles in Hollywood? We're being lured to shape our selves... our matrix of liberal friends, as everything common lore has said about them. If Obama was ever guilty of any of this behaviour, it'll mean the end of the liberal era... aren't we sensing this too? 

blueshiva12 hours ago
@Patrick McEvoy-Halston @Miriam610 @carll60 No We Are Not Sensing This !  What I am sensing is that you are not who you claim to be.  What's with this subtle casting of aspersions at President Obama pretending to be liberal?  This is the same kind of unfounded insinuations that I noticed being made against Hillary during the election. I think it is deliberate and I think you are a Russian Troll. Making subtle unfounded, baseless remarks against people with quite respectable and well earned reputations is a well known and effective tactic to sway public opinion against those people and to begin to plant lies and larger false stories against them. You are not welcome here comrade Patrick McEvoy-Halston. 

Patrick McEvoy-Halston4 hours ago
@Miriam610 @carll60 @blueshiva @Patrick McEvoy-Halston @Miriam610 @carll60  He's liberal. But what has been his own behaviour towards women? Anyway, he very well could be the perfect gentleman, but Traister suspected that the Gore marriage was golden too... and was rattled when it proved, not so. We needed Obama to be squeaky clean. And that he might well be. But we should explore just how much we were willing to obfuscate from view, for his seeming exactly the right personage for us to associate ourselves with to go through this last decade -- one that produced teeming numbers of dispossessed -- feeling exultant, excused, righteous, without guilt. If the answer is a lot, and we've hinged our own virtue, the virtue of the age in which we prospered, on him, then populists know that exposing him as he is without our projections would leave us, our liberal age, discredited. It would give them the field, and we'd be checking ourselves in to insane asylums. 

Patrick McEvoy-Halston4 hours ago
@Miriam610 @carll60 If pedophiles are exposed in Hollywood, we worry that we won't be able to control the public narrative and homosexuality will be equated with it, and leverage to the populist right. If too many powerful Jews get exposed, then we worry we won't be able to control the public narrative and antisemitism gets a lift. If the numbers of powerful liberals who were extreme predators is staggering, then we worry we won't be able to control the public narrative and Hollywood/Washington/New York are the cesspools the populist right has always claimed them to be. We delight that people who have been cowed for decades are finally knowing what it is to be given the support they should have received from the very start, and in finding people who made roadkill of them but who prospered themselves finally no longer prospering. But we're all wondering if we've actually got full control over this narrative... one feels this especially when the matter of Corey Feldman comes up. We know he deserves, and must have... but we no longer believe we control how things get narratized, and so we think, as well, no, this one we've got to find some way to staunch. Victims, you're going to have to continue suffering. The consequences of exposure are to dire.

We have left ourselves with no way to understand why powerful centres of liberal prowess are seeming so easy now to conflate with criminal predatory behaviour. Not even explanations we might understand but that the larger populace might not, but rather nothing at all other than villainy. Ann Douglas argued that the 1920s got their game going by going to war against a tyrannical bully that they believe smothered their predecessors' creativity -- the Victorian matron -- and loved Freud's tyrannical castrating father because he intimidated her back into the shadows. What if some of our own creativity owed to empowering the same sort of predator in creative circles, leaving people with no recourse now but to join any movement that presents itself that allows them to be unassuming good boys to the worshipped matron again? Become sterile bernie bros.?


Popular posts from this blog

Old Youth

You write about how poverty breeds creativity. You think about how scavenging for wild food gives you the perfect opportunity to slow down, to really appreciate your surroundings. You talk about how frugality is more environmentally sustainable. You pontificate on why creating meals from scratch is cheaper, healthier and deeply satisfying. Then you run out of cooking oil.You love fat. As a child you ate margarine by the spoonful. You didn't know any better. Now you've moved on to more delicious pastures. As a cook you can never resist sneaking in that extra bit of butter, that tablespoonful of olive oil, that dab of bacon grease. You believe that cake is a vessel for frosting, that salad dressing should be two parts oil to one part vinegar, and that packaged low-fat foods are a symptom of the decline of Western civilization. Fat makes food taste good.Under the best of circumstances, you have eight or nine varieties of fat on hand. In ascending order of importance: chicken drip…

Superimposing another "fourth-wall" Deadpool

I'd like to superimpose the fourth-wall breaking Deadpool that I'd like to have seen in the movie. In my version, he'd break out of the action at some point to discuss with us the following:
1) He'd point out that all the trouble the movie goes to to ensure that the lead actress is never seen completely naked—no nipples shown—in this R-rated movie was done so that later when we suddenly see enough strippers' completely bared breasts that we feel that someone was making up for lost time, we feel that a special, strenuous effort has been made to keep her from a certain fate—one the R-rating would even seemed to have called for, necessitated, even, to properly feed the audience expecting something extra for the movie being more dependent on their ticket purchases. That is, protecting the lead actress was done to legitimize thinking of those left casually unprotected as different kinds of women—not as worthy, not as human.   

2) When Wade/Deadpool and Vanessa are excha…

True Detective cont'd

Recently, Rachel Syme wrote this
As the dust settles on the “True Detective” finale, and the adventures of Rust Cohle and Marty Hart fade into the television firmament like the distant stars they found so meaningful, at least one thing is clear: it didn’t quite end the way we wanted it to. There is no doubt that the writer, Nic Pizzolatto, and director, Cary Fukunaga, pulled off a midseason coup, giving us a show in the January doldrums that caused temporary mass insanity. Like one of Rust’s intoxicating philosophical koans about sentient meat, “True Detective” cast a kind of spell over its viewers, convincing them that no matter what it was they were watching it was at the very least something worth the hours of debating, clicking, parsing, and comment-section feuding. Moreover, the gorgeous cinematography depicting Louisiana in the gloaming, the delectable short-anthology format, and the movie-star bona fides made us believe that we were watching something novelistic, even approachi…