Creep Shots and Predditors and Cat-calls, Oh My

Brace yourself folks, I’m writing about creepers again.

I’ve heard from a number of folks asking just why I talk about creepers so often, and the answer is simple:

I’m totally angling for a staff writing job at Jezebel.

No. Really.

OK, not really.1

The real answer, is because my blog’s purpose is to help people be better, more confident, charming, socially adept and attractive individuals. And a big part of becoming a better, more confident, charming, socially adept and attractive individual is to not be an asshole.

One of the traits that women find almost universally attractive in men is respect for women; not in the guise of paternal protection or “I totally respect your right to be slutty as it may lead me to getting a blow-job on the first date that I will later judge you for,” but genuine, honest respect. Respect for them as people. Understanding the shit that women deal with on a daily basis that men do notby sole virtue of the fact that they are women and trying to make the world a little better and a little fairer.

Believe me, as much as I appreciate the comments and traffic I get when I write about dudes being creepy, I’d really rather not have so much material to work with. But we all have to pick our windmills to tilt at; this issue happens to be one of mine.

Creepers gonna creep, yo.

Which brings me to today’s topic: the infamous subreddit /r/creepshots.

Whole Lotta Creepin’ Goin’ On.

For the very few of you who read my blog and don’t know much about Reddit, it’s a a social network that is subdivided into user-created, topic-specific forums, called subreddits. You can find subreddits on just about every topic imaginable; one of the more perennial ones is the Ask Me Anything subreddit, where various people – celebrities, political figures and people of interest – come to participate in free-for-all Q&A sessions. Others revolve around social justice, politics, My Little Pony fandom… and still others revolve around less savory aspects of the human experience such as rape, racism and borderline pedophilia and hebephilia.

Reddit itself maintains a philosophy of free speech and expression; as long as it’s legal (occasionally stretching the definition of “legal” to near it’s breaking point; Reddit has had problems before with an active pedophile community), then the Reddit users are more or less left to run their subreddits as they so choose. The price you pay for an Ask Me Anything with the President of the United States, suicide counciling or fighting back against SOPA are subreddits for gawking at pubescent tweens in bikinis, complaining about how women keep accusing men of rape or talking about how minorities are ruining the world for white people.

One of these subreddits, /r/creepshots is all about taking and disseminating photos of attractive women – particularly upskirts, panty shots or down-shirts – without their consent or awareness.

“Hidden cam in the clipboard. BOOYAH!”

This is the most important part of a “proper” creep-shot; staged upskirts or girls posing provocatively is a big no-no.

The fig leaf that the subredditors hide behind is the idea that women out in public have no expectation of privacy; by being in the public space you – assuming that you’re an attractive woman – are giving up your right to not have photos taken of you. Morally and legally, they insist, there’s nothing different between what they do and paparazzi taking photos of celebrities to be posted on TMZ or the Daily Sun.

Let’s be honest: when you’re defending yourself by insisting that you’re morally equivalent to paparazzi and are “technically legal”, you know you’re on some sketchy goddamn ground.

Somehow “other people are totally as scuzzy as we are” fails to make it any better.

(Side note: this also isn’t strictly true; the federal Video Voyeur law of 2004 prohibits the taking or disseminating photos of people’s crotches, butts or breasts taken without their consent even in public space and most states have similar laws. However, not only is Dr. NerdLove is not a doctor, he’s also not a lawyer or in any way a legal expert and isn’t going to even try to parse the legality, technical or otherwise, of r/creepshots.)

/r/creepshots has already had it’s share of problems; one participant turned out to be a substitute high-school teacher posting photos of his students. Let’s stop and think about that for a moment; a person in a position of authority taking surreptitious photos of the children in his charge so that other people on the Internet can rub one out to them later.

“Hey, technically it’s legal!” doesn’t really seem to cover the rather massive violation of trust this represents.

Over 150 million cameraphones matched with the anonymity of the Internet and the determination of a group of people to make women a part of their sex lives regardless of consent. Taking away a woman’s privacy or security in the idea that she can go out of her home without being exploited against her will.

Think about living like that.

“Hey, technically, it’s legal!”

Remember Last Week When You Asked Me What The Definition of Irony Was?

Amusingly, as much as the denizens of /r/creepshots like to hide behind the idea of freedom of speech and legal technicalities, they seem to have a problem when they’re in the crosshairs.

One anonymous blogger created the Predditors tumblr, dedicated to outing the identities of creep-shot contributors which causing no end of drama for the poor, misunderstood lads. Meanwhile, after forgetting that “freedom of speech” doesn’t mean “freedom from consequences”, /r/creepshots was shut down in a panic over rumors that Gawker was preparing to expose the identity of one of the moderators.

Suddenly, free speech and the libertarian ideals of the Internet weren’t as cool as they were when it was about jerking off to women who didn’t know they were being turned into sex toys. One would think that someone hiding behind the idea that “technically, they’re doing nothing wrong,” would have no problem owning up to his actions. Instead, various subreddits have declared “war” on Gawker2 for daring to report on a person overseeing a forum dedicated to rewarding creepy behavior towards women.

“Wait, you mean someone’s about to use *my* image and information without my express permission? Oh irony, you are a fickle mistress indeed!”

I have to admit: there’s a certain level of schadenfruede to be found in people being hoist by their own petard. After claiming that being “no expectation of privacy” and “public space” to justify taking creepshots of women, men are finding themselves similarly exposed – metaphorically – because of information that they themselves released into the “public space”. But as much as I believe in accountability and enjoy laser-guided karma, I’m not generally a fan of Internet Mob Justice.It almost always proves to be impossible to control or even kept to it’s stated goals and the wrong people get caught in the crossfire.

“Hey, did we even check to see if these guys were involved?” “Fuck if I know.”

Too often, the bar for the vigilante mob’s attention gets lowered from “posting voyer pics of underage girls” to “Didn’t apologize sincerely enough”, the punishment goes from “name and shame” to “actual threats of violence” and this week’s ViolentAcrez ends up being next week’s Laci Greene.

“Your Body Is Public Property”

Lots of pixels will be spilled and spleens will be vented over whether what Predditors does is right or an overreaction to something people have a technical right to do.

But whether it’s legal or not is beside the point – at least for the purposes of discussing it here. The issue with creepshots and it’s copycat subreddits isn’t finding women attractive or wanting to ogle them;  it’s the fetishization of the non-consensual aspect of the interaction and everything that says about the attitude displayed towards the erstwhile subjects. Complaints about the subreddit’s existence or demands that photos be taken down are met with jeers and whining. How dare the Internet Moral Police come and try to ruin everybody’s innocent fun! You were out in public, you can’t complain when we decide to appreciate your body. You should feel flattered!

The message of /r/creepshots and it’s imitators and replacements is simple: “our desire to make you a sexual object for our pleasure is greater than your right to not be harassed, photographed or otherwise forced to take part in our sex lives.”

This, unfortunately, is a symptom of a wider, societal view that a woman is not allowed ownership of her own body. Women – by virtue of being women – are told that they have no right to control access or use of her body. We have no problem publicly trying to shame them for being “too fat” under the guise of “concern for her health” or dressed too provocatively or being too sexual. Women are subject to unwelcome attention, harassment and catcalls for the crime of being a woman in public.

The stereotypical construction workers wolf-whistling and shouting come-ons at the women who walk by, the drive by “hollas”… these aren’t people who mistakenly think this the best way to get a woman in bed; these are the actions of people who want to make women uncomfortable, to reassert their dominance over her by provoking a reaction from her.

Even the more innocuous of interactions – telling women “Hey, smile!” – carries the implication that women are public domain. Just because the man telling her to smile thinks he’s paying her a compliment  - “I just want to see that you’re happy”, what he’s really saying is “your expression should be as aesthetically pleasing to me at all times,” whether he realizes it or not.

What makes /r/creepshots – and it’s close cousins: revenge porn, ex-girlfriend sites, voyeur porn, slut-shaming blogs and Facebook groups etc – especially despicable is the glorification – the fetishization, really – of the non-consensual nature of it all. After all, there are plenty of sources for “upskirts”, nipslips, sideboob or voyeur porn where everybody involved is doing so of their own enthusiastic free will.

But that’s not they’re all about

Creepshots and it’s related genres isn’t about appreciating someone’s looks. It’s all about robbing the victims of their power and agency. The message is “you don’t have the right to refuse to gratify our needs if we want it badly enough.” You will be their sexual object because they said you will and you don’t have the right to control access to your person.

To make it even more insulting, women are told that it’s their fault. Women who suddenly find their private photos being spread about the internet without their consent or approval are told that they were “stupid” for having taken them in the first place or for having placed their trust in someone.  Kate Middleton committed the crime of being not just a woman in public but a famous one is castigated for ever being in a position of being naked in a place where someone with a massive telephoto lens half a kilometer away might possibly be lurking. Paparazzi literally fling themselves to the ground in order to try to catch photos of celebrities not wearing panties and hack into cellphone accounts in order to fish for intimate photos. We may cluck our tongues disapprovingly that Egotastic posted the photos even as we download them, but most of our scorn is held for the women who dared to be sexual in private and not for the people who violate their privacy.

Just as the general discussion about women’s safety is to tell them “Don’t get raped”, rather than telling men “don’t rape”.

Tired of worrying about being creepy? Sick of hearing about guys being creepers? Then you need to work to build a world where these beliefs and behaviors are unacceptable.

When I write about male privilege, this is exactly what I’m talking about. Men don’t face this the way that women do.

/r/creepshots and all of these other sites are the symptom.

It’s the attitude, the sense of entitlement that’s the problem.

  1. Unless you’re gonna hire me. Then I’m TOTALLY serious. []
  2. for suitably small definitions of war… somehow “banning links to Gakwer” doesn’t really reach the level of, say, Sherman’s march to Savannah. []

Comments

  1. i agree with this article but i want to comment on a few recurring assumptions that are typically made in discussions about these kind of topics:

    * We have no problem publicly trying to shame them for being “too fat” under the guise of “concern for her health” or dressed too provocatively or being too sexual.
    * Women are subject to unwelcome attention, harassment and catcalls for the crime of being a woman in public.
    * The stereotypical construction workers wolf-whistling and shouting come-ons at the women who walk by, the drive by “hollas”… these aren’t people who mistakenly think this the best way to get a woman in bed; these are the actions of people who want to make women uncomfortable, to reassert their dominance over her by provoking a reaction from her.
    * Even the more innocuous of interactions – telling women “Hey, smile!” – carries the implication that women are public domain. Just because the man telling her to smile thinks he’s paying her a compliment – “I just want to see that you’re happy”, what he’s really saying is “your expression should be as aesthetically pleasing to me at all times,” whether he realizes it or not.

    how do you know that these behaviors are related to a feeling of ownership over women? because i can offer you alternative explanations that has to do with equally bad personal qualities but that aren't related to sexism.

    • actually some of these points (like harassment) are related to sexism, but there are a lot of points that i see other explanations to, so i'd really like to know why all of the above is connected to "ownership of women".

      • x_Sanguine_8 says:

        Well, what else would you attribute these things to? why do people do these things? The simple, brush-off answer is "some people are dicks", but why are these people being dicks? what benefit is there to behaving like a dick?

      • That's an easy one. Because in the majority of the cases listed, the individuals performing the bad behavior are performing it exclusively at women. I have a tendency to frown intensely whenever I'm thinking about something, which means I frown quite a lot. NEVER in my life has anyone approached me and suggested I should smile. Never. __The only one I can understand thinking might not be related to the "ownership" feelings is the "too fat" concern, since people of all genders who are overweight get a lot of unsolicited advice. The difference is with women the fat shaming is typically accompanied by the assumption that she should be embarassed BECAUSE THE SPEAKER DOESN'T FIND HER ATTRACTIVE. The default assumption being that it's the woman's responsibility to be aesthetically pleasing to anyone viewing her.

      • VintageLydia says:

        I’m sure some guys might do these things with good intentions (especially demanding that women smile–that one is easy to defend if you don’t think critically) but the real test is how often this is done to MEN.
        I was talking to a friend last week. His wife introduced him to website like “Captain Awkward” and “Hollaback” and he had NO IDEA that people would go up to other people and do these things. He kind of assumed it didn’t happen to almost every woman because he never saw it happen to his wife, or me, or other females he was with in public. Then we pointed out it happened all the time when he or other males were NOT there. The thing stopping guys from honking their horns or demanding we change our facial expression was the presense of other men who could conceivably have a claim on us.
        It even extends to non-sexual things. I live in a tourist city with a subway/metro system. When I used to work, I took this system every day reading the paper on my kindle and listening to music. Tourists would ignore all the respectable looking business men who appeared to not be otherwise occupied and tap on MY shoulder for directions or instructions on how to read the map. Men, women, families, older people, teens, whatever. Didn’t matter who.
        And think about it the next time you take public transportation. Though the males might have a book or an mp3 player, the females almost always will. It’s like we’re trying to justify our existence in public while also being unavailable to the populace.

      • my explanations to some of these points would be the following:

        * fat-shaming is pretty gender-neutral because it's generally considered an unattractive trait. granted that men have it easier due to not being judged by their looks but rather by their actions, but that's only a certain kind of fat, i.e. the im-too-successful-of-a-CEO-to-bother-taking-care-of-myself-fat (in other words a kind of representation of male power and dominance), but even so, there is a paradigm shift in ceo-fatness-glorification as studies are showing that managers are expected to be fit at an increasing rate.
        * the asking women to smile is, as i see it, an angry response to a cold/off-putting behavior from the woman. a woman gives a guy a cold look, and the guy gets back at them by telling them to smile, which of course, nobody who is pissed wants to hear. in other words its a form of malicious teasing because the guy is pissed, not a form of entitlement to the woman's beauty.
        * construction workers cat-calling women is something i would consider self-loathing over a sense of ownership over women, and is somewhat related to the above point. what i mean by this is that guys who are generally fat, disgusting and lack social skills, yet have the sense of confidence that most nerds seem to be lacking, know that they are unable to attract women in normal ways, and instead express their frustration/anger by cat-calling women. "ill whistle at hot chicks to assert my masculinity and sexual energy". i dont really consider that a sense of ownership over women either.

        i dont know if that came across as vague, but this is the mental process that i've seen in a lot of guys who fit the creepy/disgusting behavior that is mentioned in the points nerdlove made.

        • So… why does the guy have a right to be angry about a woman giving him a cold look? That implies the woman has a responsibility to be accomodating to the man, you know, almost as if he owned her. Which is bullshit. And what you're describing from construction workers is an assumption that their desire to assert their "masculinity" is more important than the woman's desire to not be harassed. That's an "ownership/dominance" behavior.

          • i dont really see it as an entitlement of ownership of women. i see it as unintelligent men acting like children over something they want but cannot have.

          • i cant type today. =(

          • Do those same men make loud and provocative (whether sexual or not) comments to other men? Tell other men to smile when they get a cold look? If not, then they clearly see women as being better "victims" for some reason or another.

          • ill quote a relevant comment i just made to a sentiment similar to yours:

            "i think thats true to some degree, but i dont think jealousy is about control. its about resentment for lacking the things you desire in life, or an inability to cope with injustice.

            to me it's much like a homeless person yelling about rich people. he's not entitled to the rich person's money, but i wouldn't exactly say that he's trying to "control" the rich person either. he's just expressing his anger and frustration in a non-constructive way."

          • Your example is not even close to what happens, I doubt that rich people are going to be afraid of that guy, I know for a fact that I have gotten legitimately scared when a guy has come up to me and creepily told me that I'd be prettier if I smiled, but let's go where I think you were trying to go with this. This guy that's yelling about rich people does think he's entitled to their money, and is trying to be in control of them/their money, he is expressing his anger and frustration, but if people thought he might do something about it, they'd be scared.

          • "over something they want but cannot have."

            Er, that's ownership/dominance privilege, right there.

          • welltemperedwriter says:

            How exactly are those two things different?

        • On top of which I don't know what construction workers you know that their all fat, disgusting, and lacking in social skills (aside from social skills related to not harassing women), but that's a generalization that doesn't hold water.

          • my mention of slobby construction workers was more of a reference to a stereotype that i still holds truth in a general sense, i.e. i find that most guys who act in the primitive ways that are described in DNLs article tend to be both unintelligent and slobby. but of course this isn't something that is representative of all construction workers.

          • that i think holds truth^

          • I think that's a really damaging belief that somehow you can pick out "creepy" guys just by looking around for the dumb slobby ones. Especially because these are behaviors that plenty of perfectly intelligent/educated/nerdy guys, attractive or not, engage in.

          • i honestly dont think that's true.

            like, while frustrated guys and maliciously creepy guys exist in all social layers, i've personally found that the "stupid" kind of sexism exists only in dumb and slobby guys. i know this is anecdotal, but i have a hard time seeing that an intelligent or educated person would cat-call women in the street like a dumb redneck.

          • You'd be wrong then. The type of catcalling may vary by ethnic and social group, but the assumption that only dumb people would cat-call a woman is flat out wrong.

          • well maybe i'm wrong about that then, but i just don't see why an intelligent person would do that. i'd expect them to express their resentment in a less primitive way.

          • They would do that because they feel entitled to dictate the woman's behavior. Because there is a cultural belief that women's bodies/sexuality are public property. That was really the whole point of the post.

          • yes, but emotional impulses manifest themselves in different ways depending on factors like empathy, intelligence and social experience. you're not going to find a successful person with misogynistic tendencies cat-calling strangers in the street. to me, that's a behavior reserved for idiots.

          • There are catcalls and catcalls. Also, there is time and place. I've seen my intelligent, well-educated friends catcall a stranger from the car at night. They'd hardly do that in broad daylight with people seeing them, and less with someone they've seen before, but they did it anyway. Also, some things are catcalls even if they don't seem to be by our standard society, and that's wicked. Referring to you as a "princess" or a "cutie" to your father, brother, boyfriend or any man around you while you're around and giving you a seducing look (sometimes accompanied with a hand in your chin, like you're an exposition horse) is even worse than being catcalled at the street, because you can't just turn around and slap the bastard. It's more subtle than that: they're saying "oh, you sure got a prized one, congratulations, tiger" like you're some kind of doll or property.

            And unfortunately, I'd like to believe only idiots do that. Sadly, it's not true.

          • I used to live in New York City. Now, I assume bankers and other people in suits have to be fairly intelligent. I used to get catcalled by suit-wearing, well-groomed strangers in the street on the regular.

          • Just saw your comment… guess we're on the same page here!

          • welltemperedwriter says:

            No, in my experience they usually come into my workplace and harass me there instead. And gosh, that's just SO much better.

          • The well-dressed men in business suits in the financial districts do it, too. It happens on university and college campuses, where (one would think) the guys are intelligent enough to have been admitted. Being "book smart" or "intelligent" doesn't creep-proof someone.

          • You would be wrong. The type of cat-calling may vary between social/ethnic/economic groups but the belief that only the uneducated shower unwanted attention on women is just out and out wrong. Go back through the Doctor's past posts and you can find plenty of descriptions of women receiving unwanted attention by men of all sort of backgrounds and ages. I'm not trying to be insulting here, but your belief of this as a limited issue happening by a subset of older, ugly, socially awkward guys does not comport with reality. And that belief is part of the problem. It leads to marginalizing the experience of women who are mistreated by people who don't fall into that group. It leads into that "Oh he couldn't have raped her, he's a fit, attractive, educated guy. Only ugly losers need to force a woman to give it up."

          • you're misinterpreting my comments, because im not denying that the problem exists in all social layers. i just dont believe that it would manifest itself in such a primitive and stupid way among intelligent people.

          • I'm not misunderstanding. I'm telling you that you're wrong. It is a question of entitlement not intelligence. I think you may be using an improperly small definition of "cat-call." If you define cat call as "making an inappropriate/sexually-charged comment at a passing woman" instead of "wolf-whistling/construction worker displays of masculinity" does that help you understand the issue? The assumption that intelligent people never make inappropriate comments at women in public that show a belief they are entitled to the woman's body is wrong.

          • You'd be surprised at how stupid the supposedly intelligent people can be.

          • heathenbee says:

            Your insistence on this argument is unbelievably stubborn and ignorant. I've lived and worked in a wide variety of environments, over a long span of years. I've lived in crap neighborhoods and decent ones, lily-white ones and mixed ethnic ones, worked with construction workers (and was married to one), on construction sites, movie sets, in offices, in retail. I have always been pretty attractive and had my share of pleasant and unpleasant attention. You wanna know where I consistently felt the most threatened? When as an art student at a top-10 university, my assigned parking meant I had to walk down Frat Row every morning. Frat Row. They weren't uneducated, they weren't fat, they weren't sloppy, they weren't low-income. They were wealthy, smart, healthy, attractive, and above all: privileged. And they were also hostile, nasty, and a whole lot more vicious than any construction worker I've ever had to face down (and there have been one or two of those, as well). Even as a grown woman old enough to be their mother, I'd feel safer in a working-class bar than at a frat-house party.

            (And my apologies to all the decent frat-boys out there, because I know you exist as well; sometimes a stupid generalization can only be fought by making another)

          • welltemperedwriter says:

            I really wonder why you're so invested in scoring this particular point. Do you think stupid people are incapable of harassment?

        • VintageLydia says:

          I’ve been told to smile standing on a train platform looking at nothing but the clouds in the distance (or reading my book or otherwise not looking at or interacting with any other human directly or indirectly.)
          And I have to agree with @undefined that even your justifications are still power/ownership/dominance displays.

          • I think my browser is unhappy with the twitter interface. It's pulling in my avatar but not my twitter handle which is @Orvillius, not @Undefined. Silly web browser.

        • I can second VintageLydia's point–the time's I've had a guy tell me to "Smile" or "Cheer up" or whatever, I often hadn't even noticed he was there, and certainly wasn't looking anywhere near him. Usually I'm in the middle of doing something (collecting my groceries, trying to find a specific store) and focused on that, which is why I'm not thinking about smiling or looking friendly.

          And I agree with undefined's point that even with the examples of motivations you gave, those are all examples of men thinking that their right to get something from the women trumps the women's right to, you know, not be shamed or harassed. There are plenty of women who feel unattractive and lack social skills, but they don't go around loudly making comments/whistles/whatever at guys to "assert themselves". When a woman gets a "cold look" from a man, she doesn't feel she has the right to tell him to "Smile!" This is totally gendered behavior.

        • the asking women to smile is, as i see it, an angry response to a cold/off-putting behavior from the woman

          Uh, no. Way to blame the victim there. Most of the time when a random dude tells me to smile, it's while I'm doing something completely unrelated to him. Grocery shopping, riding the bus, coding. I cannot recall at this time any occasion where I was actually interacting with the guy in any way before he decided to instruct me on a more pleasant arrangement of my face. It has ALWAYS come as an opening gambit. It's a damn fine way to GET a cold/off-putting look from me, but a guy who is pissed because of a response from a woman is more likely to call her a frigid bitch than demand a smile.

          "Whistl[ing] at hot chicks to assert [your] masculinity and sexual energy" IS establishing a sense of ownership. Who do you think he's asserting himself OVER? He may be doing it as a display to himself or the other men with him, but a "successful" display of that type requires establishing, even if it's only for a few seconds, a sense of dominance over a lesser. There is a reason why video gamers yell "Owned!" (or variations thereof) when they defeat someone.

        • So, as a woman walking through a grocery store, checking items off my mental list, I am also supposed to be paying attention to every strange man in my path, and making sure I recognize him in a pleasant way?

          Despite being a generally smiley and friendly person, when I'm running errands I am in my own little world, but EVERY SINGLE TIME I go grocery shopping, some man takes it upon himself to remind me to smile.

          In my opinion, the only time someone has a right to tell me to smile, is when they are taking my CONSENSUAL picture.

        • Also Cat-calls can be "harmless" but are sometimes taken to a really whole new dangerous level. I was followed home once by a guy on a bike circling behind me and yelling obscene sexual things at me because I didn't respond to his initial "harmless" cat call. I don't live in NYC, so it was a pretty deserted street with an art gallery on one side and houses on the other, so no where really safe to duck into. I literally walked home the whole time thinking "well, this is it, I'm going to get raped now, well at least, maybe he won't kill me or give me AIDS"

          Show of hands, boys, have you EVER in your life had that thought?

        • I was once told to smile while I was standing at a corner on a sunny day trying to see if it was safe to cross by squinting. I wasn't being cold, I was trying to see.

    • Maybe it would make more sense to you if it was framed not so much as about ownership but as a right to control? The four examples you gave are all things some men do, overtly, to try to control women's behavior and self-expression, particularly in how they present themselves physically/sexually. If you're criticizing someone's clothes or sexuality, you presumably are hoping they'll change those things. If you're harassing or catcalling someone, you presumably want to provoke some sort of reaction you wouldn't get otherwise. If you're telling someone to smile, you're very clearly trying to make them do something they weren't already doing.

      Why do some men think it's okay to overtly control women's behavior? Yes, men will do things to try to control other men, and women to control men, but these really blatant controlling behaviors are mainly aimed by men at women. Most people, if they're trying to control someone else, are aware that this isn't really acceptable and do it in understated ways to avoid being noticed. But in the cases above, which happen frequently, the men are attempting to challenge or provoke the women without feeling at all embarrassed or uncomfortable with their own behavior. Presumably they're so comfortable doing this because they have the attitude that it's within their rights to control women, in a way they don't think they have a right to control other men, and that women don't think they have a right to control men.

      • well what im questioning is the framing of the situation as an attempt to control women. from the way i framed it, its more of a childish way of expressing frustration and anger and an exertion of malicious revenge tactics.

        a slobby/creepy guy that knows he's creepy is pissed about the cards he's been dealt and wants to get back. cue cat-calling by bald, 40-year old fat guy who knows he'll never have a shot at a woman, and instead seeks out ways to annoy them.

        i see it as a "if you cant make them love you, make them hate you" sort of thing, and i personally don't see the "ownership entitlement" aspect in that line of thinking.

        • Because revenge tactics/trying to get a specific reaction out of someone is an entitlement issue. It is a belief that you have a right to get a specific reaction out of a person by subjecting them to a behavior they don't want to be subjected to. The belief that you're right to your revenge is more important than their right to feel safe in their person. That's an entitlement behavior. Read what you're saying. The person "knows he'll never have a shot," that assumes he is entitled to a shot and this is his revenge for people not giving him one.

          • i think thats true to some degree, but i dont think jealousy is about control. its about resentment for lacking the things you desire in life, or an inability to cope with injustice.

            to me it's much like a homeless person yelling about rich people. he's not entitled to the rich person's money, but i wouldn't exactly say that he's trying to "control" the rich person either. he's just expressing his anger and frustration in a non-constructive way.

          • Gentleman Johnny says:

            The problem there is that a rich person getting harassed by a homeless person in the way you describe is rare. The kind of behavior you're talking about is strictly related to the "crazy homeless guy" types with a very tenuous grip on reality. Even a guy in a $5,000 suit walking through skid row won't usually be harassed by more than requests for spare change unless he's acting really out of place. Even then its still not OK. The kind of guy who will engage in this sort of behavior is the kind who can snap to violence at a moment's notice.

            On the other hand, the sort of behaviors you list are of a type that women on this comment thread face every day. Your seeming defense of that behavior by ascribing it to a weakness of character as opposed to an entitlement of control over others actually puts the perpetrators in the same category as dangerously insane homeless people. I think you'll find that the women on this forum agree with you. Regardless of motivation, people who engage in such publicly controlling behavior of others are potentially dangerous. The difference is you might get the homeless guy harassing you once in your life. Women deal with these behaviors every day.

          • we are not discussing danger right now though, we're discussing sense of entitlement to women.

            to rephrase my point, a homeless man being resentful toward a rich person for having the privilege of being rich is not about trying to control the rich person. in the same vein, a "resentful loser" who is bitter toward women aren't trying to control them, he's expressing the same kind of jealousy and inability to cope with the unfairness of life.

          • Gentleman johnny says:

            My point is that while either theory can explain such action, neither one excuses it. The psychological motivation does nothing to change the fact that the person in question is attempting to control someone, even if control means only inducing a negative reaction.
            Bullying is bullying, regardless of the motivation behind it.
            More importantly, and this is where danger comes in, there's no easy way to tell someone crudely but harmlessly expressing their inadequacy from someone seeing what he can get away with as a precursor to progressively less acceptable behavior. Sort of like how you can't tell if the crazy homeless guy is expressing his dissatisfaction with the current socioeconomic system or is getting ready to pull a gun. Now imagine that homeless guy popping up to bother you at the grocery store, on the bus, in the park or in any other public space every day. How long will it take you to stop feeling bad for him and start worrying about Schrodinger's gun?

        • I suppose the answer to your question is why a sloppy/creepy guy feels it's appropriate to act out his frustrations on women. Why doesn't he act out on other dudes, who have what he'd like to have?

          • It's like if we're going to be using the homeless guy as an allegory then he should be angry at the wallet full of cash, not the rich man himself.

          • he's angry at the rich man because the rich man represents everything that he wants, yet refuses to give him. in the same way, creeps resent women because to creeps, they are the gatekeepers of sex.

            "damn rich people, they have all the money in the world and dont care one bit".
            "damn women, always acting so important and self-absorved".

            to me its not so much that creeps feel that "this specific woman is obligated to give me sex" or "its womens jobs to please us". its more "at some point a woman ought to give me sex, but that never happens, so screw them all!"

          • meant to type self-absorbed

          • I see no difference in the harm caused by the idea that "women ought to give me sex, but don't, so screw them" and "its womens jobs to please us." Obviously, both are false statements. Beyond that, they are both creating a world where women are responsible to please men. The difference between 'ought to' and 'its [their] job' is minimal. Actually, honestly, I don't even know how you came up with the difference, because I really can't see one. 'Both' of these thought processes can lead to dangerous events for women. But, beyond that, 'both' can lead to disrespectful events for women. These are the kinds of beliefs that start to apply to everything in one's life. I've seen people allow one belief to pretty much color every single aspect of their life, and it can lead to seriously hideous places when the belief is one so harmful as this.

            I really can't fathom how anyone can defend behavior that stems from these kinds of beliefs. Trying to differentiate creepy behavior between controlling or immature (and this isn't binary – it can (and is) both) seems like your trying to defend it in some way. I do wonder why trying to delineate the difference is so important.

          • Pretty sure "at some point a woman ought to give me sex" = entitlement issue; "but that never happens, so screw them all" does not change that.

          • Yeah, but telling women to 'screw off' by behaving immaturely is just as bad. We didn't do anything to that cat-caller, so we shouldn't be subjected to his free-floating hostility just because we're there. We all know that men who are frustrated in getting what they want can and do try to get it by force. It's called crime.

        • As I said above, the situation is framed that way because whatever the guy's motivations, he's aiming his negative behaviors specifically at *women*. Why are women more the target for his overt anger than other men (who make him "look bad" by being "better", who have taken opportunities he wanted), if not because he feels he's more likely to be able to affect/control them?

          Also, things like slut-shaming by criticizing women for dressing provocatively/behaving in a sexual way (which you quoted along with the fat shaming but never addressed), men telling women to smile, catcalls and whistles, basically everything you quoted except specifically the construction man part (and honestly, I've never seen a construction man catcalling outside of a movie, but I've seen plenty of young fit guys do it for a laugh). Even successful politicians, TV anchors, and news reporters do the first!

          • well DNL kind of lumped all the points together and i did state that some of them are sexist. i addressed fat-shaming specifically along with the other behaviors i mentioned because those are the ones i felt didnt fit in.

            as for the rest of your comment, i think i answered you a bit further up in a different thread. =)

        • The problem with your reading of the situation is that it's predicated on the notion that only "slobby/creepy guys" engage in this behavior, and they do it because they're frustrated or angry at their situation.

          In reality, ALL TYPES of guys – popular, athletic types; well-dressed businessmen; successful professionals; men who are actually in relationships – engage in this type of behavior. These men are not angry at their situations. They are not frustrated by their lack of success in their personal or professional lives. They are misogynists, and misogyny knows no socioeconomic or physical attractiveness bounds.

          • (Sorry, the reply should have gone to Boat's comment *above* this one… not trying to say Mel is framing the situation this way…)

        • heathenbee says:

          The way you keep framing your statements is to make the "creeper" the victim. That's why you keep getting downvoted. You keep framing him as "childish", "frustrated", "angry"; he's been "dealt cards" he's pissed about, he's unloved, unlovable. He's just sad and downtrodden and wants to lash out.

          And guess what? That is not the fault of any woman in any of these scenarios. But the creeper-type feels he's entitled to make it her fault, or to vent his sad sad sadness on her, or to expect her to make him feel better. And she's supposed to be understanding of his sad sadness and be a good sport about his shitty abusive controlling behavior, cuz he's the victim of fate, and angry, and unlovable.

          • jealousy isn't about control, it's about resentment of circumstances. "i want this, but cannot have it, and so i resent it": the man knows that he cannot have the woman. that's where the resentment and envy comes from.

            and no, i'm not framing the statement to make the creeper the victim. i'm merely saying that i don't see how men feel entitled to control over women just because they resent them. i see it as a case of resentment of circumstances, which in this case regards the woman.

          • heathenbee says:

            Again, *as you frame it*, the woman=circumstance, the woman=something to be had. This is not framing a woman as an equal or another human; it's framing her as a THING which the man is denied. You don't even frame it as "a relationship with the woman" or "pleasant response from the woman" that he resents not acquiring or being granted. It's the woman herself he is being denied possession of.

          • i intentionally framed it that way as if to simplify the thought process, but that still has nothing to do with trying to control the woman.

            regardless of how you want to frame the situation, jealousy is not about exerting control over something in any way. its about resentment of circumstances, and coincidentally whatever might be denying you what you desire.

          • Well, isn't resenting random women irrational? He should take more agency over his life, then. If he's not getting the response he wants from women, maybe it's his problem?

    • 'how do you know that these behaviors are related to a feeling of ownership over women"

      Dammit, I wrote this whole thing out and it disappeared on me. TRYING AGAIN.

      For millennia, women were considered property, transferred from father to husband. Women were considered functional objects, like a car, that you bought and expected to do certain fulfill certain tasks: have sex, bear children, clean the house, reinforce (and never threaten) their owner's ego, and whenever possible, be a pleasingly decorative object to be around while doing it.* (NB: there are class intersections with this last one; much easier to maintain one's pleasing appearance if you're wealthy and saved the de rigueurs of child rearing and household chores, etc.) And while one's first duty was to the owner/husband, society was very firm in reinforcing the fact that you had a generalized duty to reinforce this dynamic with all men. i.e. You should be a decorative object on the arm of your husband as a reflection of his status, but there was halo-effect duty to be a pretty, flattering thing for other men to look at associated with it.

      These attitudes are so deeply embedded in our culture to a degree that the last 100 or so years of feminism can not have possibly have erased them from all human interaction. Women who are too fat are failing their husbands/men in general, because they are failing to be sufficiently decorative. Women who aren't smiling aren't sufficiently decorative or pleasing, nor are those who are not wearing flattering clothing or makeup. (Women who are dressed TOO provocatively are threatening the social structure by shifting the power structure and discomfit men by tempting them to a point where they lose control of themselves – or get resentful when they're not able to gain access- and those women need to be used and/or shamed accordingly to the situation.) In regards to catcalls, in the absence of a present "owner", any men in their physical proximity take a secondary "ownership" – telling them to smile, asserting dominance, shaming them when repelled, etc.

      It all stems down to a fatal misunderstanding that the person in front of them is actually a human being who might be worrying about carrying for her parents, organizing her day or balancing her checkbook, mentally organizing her next novel or run for office, or any numbers of things might be going on and her first and foremost concern just might not be being attractive for you and/or coddling your ego – but there's an assumed kind of public ownership that subjugates that internal life the women may have to whatever perceived failure of duty is most immediate to them.

      You can see this attitude in the r/creepshots community clearly, where predditors have asserted the fact that all men have the goddamned RIGHT to "admire"/wank off to any woman's body, take pictures and distribute it to their friends as nonconsensual pornography. Once you understand that they consider women's bodies to be pubic property to be consumed, and not belonging to persons deserving of respect/consent, it kind of all hangs together.

    • Dr_NerdLove says:

      Fat-shaming is almost always directed at women and usually under the guise either of “Honey, look at the freak!” or concern-trolling, where the framing device is “I'm only pointing out how disgusting I find you because I'm worried about your health.”An excellent recent example is Jennifer Livingston, an anchorwoman in Wisconsin who's been getting emails from people – about how she's “too fat for TV”, under the guise of how concerned the letter-writers were about the “example she was providing to others”. You don't see people trying to publicly shame Patton Oswalt for being too fat to be funny or Chris Christie for being too fat to govern. Gossip magazines don't run articles about male celebs asking whether they're fat or pregnant or speculating about their rapid weight-loss or gain. The number of “Men's ruined beach bodies” stories is DWARFED by ones about Christina Aguilerra's or which pregnant celebrity is being lionized for having lost all her “baby weight”.(Kevin Smith's being kicked off Southwest is different; that was discrimination and faulty company policy, not bullying).

      • well yes i'm not denying that women are judged by their looks and men by their confidence and social power, but i don't think that fat-shaming is almost always directed at women.

        obesity is generally considered an unattractive trait as it is a sign of underlying problems along the lines of depression, laziness, medical problems, or combinations of the above. it's also very often accompanied with other aesthetical flaws like zits, greasy skin and bad hair, depending on the underlying reasons for the obesity.

        the point is that even if male politicians are getting away with it (a trend that is changing), obese people are shamed regardless of gender.

        • Bruce McGlory says:

          Holy fuck what a bunch of bigotted bullshit. if only Kate harding were here to clean up this puddle of slimy horseshit bigotry.

          • i'm not saying that this is a good thing. im calling it as i think people see it – that severe/unhealthy obesity is often connected to an underlying problem, and people generally don't want to associate with people who have issues.

            in other words, both obese men and women suffer from fat-shaming and scorn.

    • An Engineer says:

      I think that most catcalling is NOT a case of You Fail Flirting Forever but something more sinister. However, I agree with some of these a little bit. I think all of these are related to sexism, but not neccesarily to ownership.

      • I really suggest, if you haven't read it, reading Norah Vincent's "Self-Made Man." She spent a year pretending to be a man to see what it was like, and makes some very good cases based on what men actually said to her when they thought she was another guy that things like catcalls and making sexual comments about women in the workplace aren't sexual in nature — that is, an expression of desire. They're about superiority and claiming the space.

  2. Where do you get your pictures? No, really. Is there a company whose business is prodcuing relevant photographs and pictures to illustrate blog posts? Your pictures are usually perfect?

    More on point, why would anybody in their right mind think thats its even remotely acceptable to take pictures of women, let alone semi-naughty ones without the women's consent? You don't even have to identify as a feminist to understand why this is wrong. Common sense and ordinary decency should make it clear that you respect the privacy of other humans and do not do to them what you wouldn't want done to yourself. Would these men want pictures of their members taken without their consent and knowledge and posted online? Why would a person even waste his or her time doing something thats not only evil but also petty and stupid. Its not like semi-naughty and naughty photographs are really hard to find, anybody with an internet connection and good could find them.

    • the people who do these things are creepy beyond what is normal. these aren't activities that normal men partake in.

      • Yep. And I think it's important to note that few (no?) women assume that normal men think this is acceptable behavior. We know it's the very extreme end. But as DNL suggests, it's a symptom of a larger problem, and we *are* aware of that. It's the extreme end of a long scale that includes lots of other less overt and less horrible but still unpleasant attitudes and behaviors, some of which are much more prevalent.

        Consider, for example, that when researchers talk about aggression being a bigger problem in men than women, they often cite the murder statistics and the fact that the majority of murders are committed by men. That doesn't mean that anyone thinks the average guy would murder someone. But we're also all aware that aggression isn't an either/or proposition, right? You're not either a murderer or completely unaggressive. It's another long scale, with murder at the extreme end and a whole lot of smaller aggressive impulses and behaviors along it that are more "normal". But we talk about murder because it's a very concrete, though not very common, example. Same with the photo-taking and sharing DNL describes.

      • I'm not really sure what constitutes normal behavior for any man or woman these days. There always seems to be seemingly ordinary people whose actions are beyond what seems acceptable and there seem to be an awfully lot of them.

        • Paul Rivers says:

          Yeah, but do you get that from real life – or the internet? Because the two are extremely, extremely different. It's the definition of news – anything unusual is reported because it's unusual, whereas normal things are not.

          When I was a kid my mother was terrified – terrified! That I would be kidnapped by someone. People used to say it was safer when they were kids – but in my opinion, it's simply that in the 50's nobody heard if someone in another got kidnapped, so there was no huge panic about it. It's not that it happened more later – it's simply that you never heard about it before.

    • Dr_NerdLove says:

      I have a subscription with stock photography bureaus for my photos. The animated gifs usually come from Tumblr or in today's case, DeviantArt.

    • I doubt anyone – even the people participating in /r/ creepshots – think it's "acceptable." They think they can get away with it as long as they're anonymous, which is not at all the same thing. The taboo of being a creeper is probably part of the turn-on – they're embarrassed this gets them off but they find that embarrassment a turn-on as well.

      And honestly, I don't hold it against them if they think these kinds of photos/videos are hot. Everyone's wired differently. There are ethical and unethical ways to go about getting your porn, though – the ethical way is to seek out material you KNOW was consentual. It's fine to pretend it's not, as long as you have made a reasonable effort to only get it from ethical sources. Same goes for rape porn and any other dub con material.

  3. Continuing my first post, my romantic success with women isn't that great but at least I can take some cold comfort in knowing that I've never had the inclination to inflict misery on women. I still can't fathom why anybody would think that this activity is even remotely acceptable behavior. Even by pre-feminist social norms this is evil behavior.

  4. I'm curious if there is as much outrage in feminist circles about the covert photos taken of men and the sites dedicated to them? I suspect there isn't.

    • Oh hey a straw man! Hi straw man! You're right, the objectification of men is a problem in society equally as large and impactful as the objectification of women. How dare people interested in women's rights not be concerned about such a huge problem. (I'm being sarcastic here. Because what you're talking about doesn't happen nearly as much as what the Doctor is talking about.)

      • We're comparing a small subset of men and using it to tarnish ALL men. Why can't we do the same thing with women? Why is it that a small group of bad actors can be used to tarnish all men and be used as a club with which to bludgeon us but to point out the bad actors among women is a completely irrelevant strawman?

        • Because we aren't actually using it to tarnish all men? We're suggesting that this is a problem that men can do more to combat, by not supporting or accepting this behavior from that minority. And it is an irrelevant strawman because it is an irrelevant strawman. Are there bad actors among women? Sure there are. Should they stop being bad actors? Of course. Is that a problem anywhere near the scope of the problem where men act entitled to women's bodies? No it isn't. One of these things is not like the other. Help reduce the creepy redditor problem to the level of the creepy woman problem and then they will both deserve equal attention. But trying to deflect the attention onto a much, much smaller problem rather than standing up and saying, "You're right, I'm not going to tolerate that sort of behavior in my social spaces," makes you part of the problem. Stop being part of the problem William.

          • That is exactly what is being done. I refuse to be held responsible for the actions of a small minority. It is not my responsibility to police the actions of other people, and I certainly will not stand for being painted with the same brush. It is as unfair as any other form of bigotry. Here's the problem. No one ever, EVER makes a point of calling out the women that are bad actors. Never. It is blame men 100% of the time. Not blame the skeevy creeps that are skeevy creeps, it is blame men for not holding skeevy creeps feet to the fire and because they don't tell them, "well, it is your fault because you don't sit there and police all the other men so we're being perfectly reasonable when we judge you based on the actions of other people."

            It's total BS

          • You're acting persecuted in a space where you aren't being persecuted. I know we're on the internet and tone is hard to read and all, but you are coming across as though you think the redditor thing isn't a problem because no one addresses the really small problem of women objectifying men. That's where I'm saying you're part of the problem. If you had stayed silent, or given a thoughtful "Yeah that's really a problem that I will personally never be a part of," even then NO ONE WOULD BE JUDGING YOU. Instead you tried to deflect the discussion from a serious problem to a minor problem. That's what you're being judged for, your actions, which implicitly support men dehumanizing women. That's what you're doing. You may not intend to be doing that, but part of being an adult in society is realizing when you are contributing to the bad parts of society and doing something about it. Even if that something is just changing your own attitude. No one is asking you to go out and find these men and speak out against them, just to make small changes in your own life to avoid creating a "safe space" for those creeps.

          • I am absolutely being persecuted and that's the problem. That's the problem! Good men, responsible men, respectful men, are being persecuted because of the actions of unsavory characters. If I'm not actively crusading against this issue, I am part of the problem. You said it yourself. I don't think it is a problem that I should be attacked over when I have absolutely nothing to do with it!

          • How?

          • You're right, dude. The biggest problem here is that this article about bad things that happen to women might make men who are enabling the perpetrators by giving them tacit approval with their silence feel bad. Won't someone please think of the men?

            *headdesk*

          • Well said, William! You are NOT alone, and don't let these anti-men posters make you think otherwise.

            Good, honest, normal men are being attacked by women simply because of the actions of a few. Its the same exact thing as attacking all black people because one or two of them shot somebody one time. Or attacking the entire Muslim faith because some people in the Middle East are trying to kill us. Its discrimination.

            All Muslims are not terrorists. All black people are not criminals. All women aren't sluts. All men aren't creeps!

            Its time to stop man-shaming, and start approaching these topics with an even hand. Stop discriminating against 99% of men and start writing posts that are useful instead of rehashing radical feminist attacks.

            This blog has gone downhill ever since the second "creeps" article. I can't solely blame the author: after all, many have succumbed to greed after seeing how posting/doing controversial things can get lots of attention and resulting ad revenue. I understand. You want money. You make money by getting ad revenue. You get ad revenue by getting hits. You get hits by writing controversial posts about "creepers." The more you can cultivate your female readers' unreasonable fear of men, the more money you make.

            This blog is now completely useless. It used to have practical, useful advice like how to dress, what to say in certain situations, and how to overcome social anxiety. Now its just another feminist attack site. A cheap cash grab where women can go to get a quick fix of man-hating.

          • Oh hai William. Back so soon?

          • Gentleman Johnny says:

            Hi, I'm a good, honest, normal man. . .well, that's probably not true. I'm a reasonably decent, mostly honest, not at all normal man. No one on this blog has ever accused me of mistreating women, even when I disagree with the salient points of a given argument. If you feel that you are being persecuted before you even make your first post, perhaps the answer to why lies in your feelings more than in the content of a given article.

          • Oh, so you don't feel like a responsible member of society? don't think women's concerns are relevant to your actions? You don't think women should judge you the way they do but the way you want them to?

            Um, that's entitlement, dude.

          • No, I think I should be judged based on my character as every human being has a right to be judged. I don't think black men should be judged as dangerous criminals because they black either. Why is it perfectly fine to judge men based on the worst actors but if you were to do that with say a black person, well, that's racism! There is NO difference whatsoever.

          • Because no one is judging you personally on other people's behavior. Hi, I'm a man too and I can tell you, this feeling that you're being judged based on other people's behavior? That's in your head. You're being judged because you spoke up in a way indicating that it is wrong to treat this creepy redditor thing like a big problem.

          • You have judged me repeatedly on the behavior of other people. I DO think it is wrong to treat this creepy reddit subgroup as a big problem. It's a small subgroup on reddit. There are hundreds of millions of starving children in this world, tens of thousands DYING every single day, and you're up in arms over a thousand creepy dudes taking creepy pictures of women.

            I have my priorities in the correct order.

          • Sooooooo what you're saying is that no one should give a damn about YOUR OWN ABUSE THAT YOU'VE BEEN TALKING ABOUT CONSTANTLY either because, hey, there are other problems in the world, right?

            You're a dumbass.

          • Jewthulhu says:

            It's been a rather hot topic for you. "Constantly" an exaggeration. On the other hand, you "constantly" calling people names is rather less out of line with reality, and certainly doesn't help your case.

          • Absolutely. You aren't the center of the world.

            Your life is insignificant. Its meaningless, and frankly I don't give two shits is some guy walked up to you and said something mean/pervy. Get over it, you fucking crybaby!

            How about taking responsibility for YOUR life, instead of crying about it to strangers on the internet? Grow a pair of ovaries and appreciate the fact that you are allowed to walk around without being forced to wear a burka on your head, you are allowed to have more than one child, you have a vote, and that people in high positions are fighting to give you equal pay. Tell the women in Saudi Arabia about your woes, because "oh no someone said something creepy to me!"

          • "Other bad stuff happens, man! So don't complain about your bad stuff, man!"

            "So what it'll more than likely escalate if it's not taken care of before it DOES get to that point, man? Stop doing things about stuff!"

            "I mean Hitler's just making Jews wear stars on their jacket. Pfft, not a big deal. It's not like he's actually gonna do anything beyond that if someone doesn't stop him!"

            "MAN!!!"

          • Jewthulhu says:

            You, sir, deserve a complement for satisfying the Huffman Hypothesis. Honestly, I'm surprised it took this long.

          • Jewthulhu says:

            Man, some people could be thick, but you're something special. Derailing, insulting, and victim blaming? I've never watched a house burn down before; I figure if I just wait for you to keep commenting, I won't ever have to.

          • Dr_NerdLove says:
          • you're using your expectations to judge how women react to you and demand that they react in a way that is more pleasurable to you. how is that NOT entitlement?

          • So you're saying it's perfectly fine for me to be judged based on the actions of others. Makes perfect sense!

          • I still don't see where anyone is judging you by anything other than the comments you have written in this thread…

          • He's talking about the way you treat all men in real life. Your reluctance to let any guy talk to you because "Oh no, there's a greater than 0% chance that I might be raped!" People like you attack all men for something that a few men do. How about instead of attacking all men, that you attack the few who actually deserve scorn?

          • Dr_NerdLove says:

            So I wasn't planning on whipping out the banhammer again so soon but if you really want, I totally can.

          • How do you know how I treat all men in real life? How do you know I'm reluctant to let any guy talk to me because I'm afraid of being raped?

            Oh, god… are you stalking me? You're stalking me, aren't you?! OH NOES, I'M BEING STALKED BY RANDOM GUY ON THE INTERNET!

            Oh, wait. Not at all.

            See, that was an example of overreacting, which seems to be happening a lot in this thread.

            I simply made an observation based on what William had said, and how others had responded to him. I'm really not sure how, from less than two lines of text, you were able to glean so much about who I am and how I act. Oh, wait, you weren't. Because your assumptions are completely wrong.

            All of your assumptions.

          • welltemperedwriter says:

            It's interesting how you know how Cat treats all men in real life.

          • heathenbee says:

            So far I think your character is pretty clear. Which is how your posts are being responded to.

          • Also, I have NEVER in my life on the internet, and it has been a long one, and I am a big of a pervy girl (I like porn, sue me?) seen whole sites or sub-sites dedicated to non-consensual acts towards men. Ever.

          • Most people who are about men's rights, like William, are people who confuse equality with sameness. Meaning, he doesn't feel entitled to call out the 'minority' of men who harass women until women who behave poorly are put into place by other women. What I don't like about this tit for tat argument is that it betrays the same mindset that causes the problem of men feeling entitled to owning women's self-expression. Basically, he's saying, that he won't unilaterally do the right thing until the other side does the right thing. You can see how far this kind of male 'logic' has gotten Israel and Palestine – nowhere. To a man, making a concession without an equal concession from an opposite party runs counter to their logic. I think William truly doesn't get that he wouldn't be losing any face or making the world a place where men are doormats for suppressing their rogue wing of harassers. In fact, I think women would celebrate men who make it safer for us to feel truly happy and at ease around men because we feel safe from harm. Until we don't feel safe from harm, we will continue to 'provoke resentment' from any man anywhere. I wish William could be a part of the solution.

          • And then you accuse men like me who have NEVER done ANYTHING bad to a woman EVER as part of the problem. You make no friends there accusing me of being some horrible person. If I see someone being harassed REGARDLESS OF GENDER, I'll say something. The same cannot be said for you, I'm sure, because if a man is getting harassed he probably deserved it, right?

          • just because you haven't done anything physically bad to a woman doesn't mean you're not doing something bad to women on here. I hope that you are telling the truth about saying something about people being harassed regardless of gender, but based on the comments you have made, I doubt it. Did DNL say anything about this being all men? Has anyone in the comment section said that this was all men?
            Also, in regards to your previous question about feminist circles, I am not a circle, I am just one feminist, but if I saw this kind of thing happening to guys I'd be pissed off to. No one deserves this happening to them, regardless of the gender they identify with.

          • too*

          • Gentleman Johnny says:

            See my crazy homeless guy example above. There's a big difference between saying "regardless of the gender of the perpetrators, this is bad behavior" and saying "why are you ignoring the menz?" The former is egalitarian. The latter sounds like an attempt to deflect the issue from the current topic to a much smaller problem. That's what you're being judged for. An apparent attempt to ignore an issue by refocusing on a non-issue.

            In fact, since you brought it up, could you point me to a single website, subreddit etc dedicated to non-consensual sexy photographs of men? If this is a problem, surely there are examples.

        • I'm sorry, *small* subset of men? I think you should start opening your eyes and see in how many uncomfortable situations you get for your gender, and then see in the street of around the women you know how much they go through. Oh, and how many places in the internet are devoted to objetification of men to women (noy gay men, no sir; gay men are *men*, and you're talking about women, amirite?) Do that, think a little, and come back here for conclusions.

          • Yes, a SMALL subset of men. I live in a very large city, and I have NEVER seen a catcall occur on the street. Not once. Not ever. I don't know anyone who has done it, and I have actually asked my female friends how many times it has occurred and they say it is extremely rare. My best friend, a woman, told me that she has been catcalled on the street a total of 5 times in her entire life. I don't deny that it happens and that it should happen less, but I reject the notion that it is some massive epidemic and that I'm to blame for it happening. I'm not.

          • Did you ever stop to think that you don't see it because you're priviledged enough NOT to see it?

          • Like I said, I live in a very large city and spend a great deal of time on the street. If it were is big an issue as it supposedly is, I am sure I would have seen it happen at least once. Also, you are clearly ignoring the fact where I've asked women I know about it, and they have told me that it happens very rarely.

          • And you've taken an extensive survey of women to determine if it isn't really a problem? Or did you just ask a few women and decide that the plural of anedote is data? Because I could tell you that almost every woman I know experiences street harrasment regularly.

            And no, you wouldn't have seen it because you're not a person who experiences it. Are you aware of how in-their-own-world most people are when they're on the street? You're priviledged enough not to worry about street harrasment, so you don't notice it.

          • Here's a thought: Why don't you try going out to see for yourself what it's like? Not just wander out and about in the city, but actively go and look. For best results, you'll want someplace which has high traffic and at least three males standing idle. Preferably you'll want a location where the identity of the males is fairly anonymous to the average passerby and the women aren't very likely to be open to random encounters. Dress comfortable and try to blend in with the population. You may have to wait for hours to spot a good group, and you'll have to be careful that you don't wind up appearing to be a potential threat yourself. Bars are no good. Coffee shops with an outdoor patio on a busy street make good camouflage. If your city has a mass transit system, hang out in one spot for a ways. Try to be aware of the interactions of the people around you without making it obvious that you're watching.

            If you think of it like an anthropology project, it's almost like science. Science where you learn that the world you live in is completely different from that of your average woman.

          • There's a great book called "Self-Made Man" in which Norah Vincent dresses as a man for a year, and gets into a lot of male-only strongholds, because she wanted to see what it was like. And it was eye-opening, and complicated. It made me feel simultaneous by the level of privilege that men have, but also really sorry for them in certain situations (there's an article on Cracked about how men suffer worse emotional and physiological reactions to breakups, and that book makes a good case for why — men don't get sympathy and support from other men in the way women get it from other women).

            I'm not sure if there's a book out there that does the reverse — a man passing as a woman for a year not because he's trans but just because he wants to see what it's like, but I think there should be one. And we should all read it.

          • Did you ever stop to think that you see it "everywhere" because you are looking at the world through a feminist anti-man vision, and take everything the wrong way?

            If some guy walks up to you and says "Hi" He's:

            a) 99% of the time NOT a creep
            b) NOT threatening you
            c) Most likely NOT a rapist

            But you feminists would think that this is a "red flag" because god forbid someone just talks to you! They are obviously trying to rape/stalk/harass you, because statistics.

            That's what's wrong with this whole conversation. Feminists and this blog always demonize the creeps, but NEVER say a word about the 99% of men who are normal, not pervy, not creepy guys. I want some balance on here. I want some recognition of normal guys on this site for once, instead of constantly attacking a few guys on the fringe and attacking all other men in the process.

          • Jewthulhu says:

            Keep the crazy comin'! I feel, when future generations look back on this comment thread, you will be held aloft as a glowing ideal, represent the great cultural concept of "… What?"

          • @Rob

            I'm sorry you aren't patted on the head for being a good boy….

            Seriously, what do you want, a gold medal? Just be a good person to be A GOOD PERSON, not for a damn reward. If you AREN'T one of those creeper types, don't take topics like this so epically personally. Especially when they NEVER resort to the "All Men Do This" route like you are accusing of this article of doing. Which of course you still aren't comprehending…

            There's a deeper seeded issue going on here rather than your hatred for "feminists" and what you claim they talk about.

          • Wow, you are like a shining example of everything that is wrong with anti-feminists and "what about the menz?!" types. Congrats on being the Platonic Ideal of Awful.

          • Sorry, but this just demonstrates how CLUELSS you are. I would reverse those numbers and be super generous and say that 85% of men who randomly "say 'hi'" as you put it, are complete and utter creepers. I mean men twice my age, men following me toward my car or chasing me through grecery stores, men who feel entitled to grab my ass at bars, men who continue say things until I have to SHUT THEM DOWN to get them to walk away.

            Your antiquated mysogynistic bullshit is what perpetuates this type of trend. I hope you're trolling because the idea of people like you outside of prison keep me up at night.

            (And by no means does that say that the remaining 15% of men are ones I'm interested in, but at least they realize "No means *no*).

          • hahaha. you don't see it because you're a man, you aren't looking for it, and it isn't directed at you. catcalls don't all involve screaming.

          • It *is* a massive epidemic. You don't notice it because it doesn't apply to you. That's one of the very bases of privilege.

            Do you understand what you're saying here? "Let me tell you, women, what your experience is like. It doesn't matter what you're saying happens to you on a regular basis. I don't see it, therefore it does not exist."

          • No, there is no "massive epidemic" of cat calls. You only think there is because you read nothing but feminist blogs and feminist websites that attack men in order to make money.

            You are being duped in the name of Capitalism.

          • Um, no? I think it because it happens to me, and most of my friends, on a near-daily basis. Every time I walk past the construction workers working next to my apartment complex. Every time I walk past a sports bar with a patio during happy hour. From random men in cars.

            This is my experience speaking, not the blogs I read.

          • But Delafina you aren't Rob or one of his friends, so how is he supposed to care about your personal life experiences? Are you really sure that these men aren't being paid by those feminist bloggers to drive traffic to their sites? For instance, have any of these men done this in view of ads for prominent feminist websites, or perhaps even given you a flyer or other advertisement for one of these sites while they were harassing you? (In case my tone comes across wrong I'm mocking Rob for being dismissive, and not suggesting that your experiences are wrong.)

          • Heh, you're right! Next time I'll ask them if they have a flyer for me. :-) The reaction should be interesting.

          • I always read comments from guys like William who has 'female friends' who say these kinds of things are 'extremely rare'. Actually, many men use the same line, word-for-word on other sites, which makes me wonder if they're lying since there's no way to prove they're not lying. How is it that I've never met any women in my life who say harassment is extremely rare? So, is it really possible that out of the tens of thousands of people I've met in my life that William and I are hanging out in completely different universes? I don't think so. All of these guys have a 'best friend' who's a woman. I highly doubt that. I was catcalled by construction workers daily for two years when I walked past the building under construction for which I was responsible to raise funds. I cringed at having to walk past them to get my lunch or to even meet a friend. Basically, I took the long way around them and finally, I got tired of it. I told their boss that I was raising money to pay their salaries and that they'd better show me some respect. One day, as I was waiting for the light to change so I could cross the street, one construction worker said to me, "You see that building over there?" in a surly tone. I replied, "Yes, it's amazing!" He said to me, "You should have been there to build it," and I replied, "I actually am a part of the team that raises the funds to build it." And he slinked away, resentful and mean to me. I was minding my own business. Why was he so hostile?

        • Cthulhu's Intern says:

          Saying that an article telling men to be decent human beings is attacking all men, even the ones who aren't doing this is like saying that signs in zoos that say "do not feed the animals" is attacking all zoo patrons, even the ones who don't feed the animals.

        • No, we're using the most extreme manifestation of a common societal attitude to point out and talk about that attitude.

      • Ah yes, the good ol "BUT WHAT ABOUT THE MENZZZZ??!?" strawman to be dismissive of what those conniving vagina carriers are fabricating to persecute us poor, innocent male egos….

        WITCHES I SAY!

    • Assumes 1000s of years of history where men were dehumanized and considered functional objects to be bought and sold and denied agency* that doesn't exist. When women physically admire men, there is never really a question that those men are not also respected as full autonomous human beings, which can't be said of women.

      (*Note that when race comes into play, this is not always true, but rarely do white women fantasize about enslaving and subjugating black men sexually. I'm sure the fetish exists, but I'm not particularly aware of it being widespread, and I say right now that I find/would find that kind of niche fetish incredibly offensive.)

      • Thousands of years of whatever have absolutely no relevance on the situation of today. You weren't bought or sold; you did not suffer. How is it that you can claim to be a victim of something you never suffered from. It's like when people tell me I have benefited from the patriarchal societies of thousands of hears of male dominance when I never lived in that world and derived absolutely no benefit from it because it no longer exists.

        • Hey William, did anyone catcall you today? Yesterday? Did anyone follow you too closely home from the bus stop making you worried they might sexually assualt you? Can you go out in public and frown without being told to smile? Mow your lawn without a shirt on when it's hot? Probably not… that would be deriving benefit from a patriarchal society. It may not be financial benefit. You may not be able to buy a woman from her father, but the societal impact of that society definitely impacts people today.

          • Women can do the very same thing. None of my female friends are worried about getting sexually assaulted on the street. I am more likely to be a victim of violent crime than a woman. Those are the facts. Men are more likely to be victims of violent stranger-crime than women. None of the women I know have been mugged or sexually assaulted, but I have half a dozen male friends who have been robbed at gunpoint. The vast majority of victims of violent crime are men. Perpetrated by men too, of course, but that is largely irrelevant when we're talking about victims.

            I don't in any way agree that it impacts people today. Certainly not here in the West.

          • Something like 1 in 6 women are sexually assaulted in their lifetimes. You probably know a woman who has been sexually assaulted.

          • The numbers of men and women who are victims of sexual assault are almost identical. Sexual assault is not a gendered problem; it is a human problem.

          • Dr_NerdLove says:

            Citation needed.

          • According to the National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survery, 1.1% of men and 1.1% of women surveyed were victims of rape in the past year. Of course, this assumes you believe women CAN rape men and classify it as such. Lifetime numbers have a whole host of issues including the fact that only 16% of men with documented cases of CSA actually remember such abuse as abuse when compared with 64% of women.

          • Yeah…. no.
            http://www.rainn.org/get-information/statistics/s

            "1 out of every 6 American women has been the victim of an attempted or completed rape in her lifetime (14.8% completed rape; 2.8% attempted rape).

            17.7 million American women have been victims of attempted or completed rape.

            9 of every 10 rape victims were female in 2003.

            Men

            About 3% of American men — or 1 in 33 — have experienced an attempted or completed rape in their lifetime.

            In 2003, 1 in every ten rape victims were male.
            2.78 million men in the U.S. have been victims of sexual assault or rape."

          • That's a bullshit statistic because it assumes that women cannot rape men and counts envelopment as other sexual assault. If you hold a gun to me head and tell me you'll blow my brains out unless I penetrate you that doesn't count as rape according to those statistics, but if I stick a gun to your head and force you to envelop me that is.

            Try again.

          • Dr_NerdLove says:

            That's a bullshit statistic because it assumes that women cannot rape men and counts envelopment as other sexual assault.

            Citation needed.

          • From the NISVS copied and pasted on the section of RAPE. Nearly 1 in 5 women (18.3%) and 1 in 71 men (1.4%) in the United States have been raped at some time in their lives, including completed forced penetration, attempted forced penetration, or alcohol/drug facilitated completed penetration.

            This EXCLUDES forced to penetrate.

          • LINK, MOTHERFUCKER. LINK.

          • "Being made to penetrate someone else includes times when the victim was made to, or there was an attempt to make them, sexually penetrate someone without the victim’s consent because the victim was physically forced (such as being pinned or held down, or by the use of violence) or threatened with physical harm, or when the victim was drunk, high, drugged, or passed out and unable to consent.
            - -Among women, this behavior reflects a female being made to orally penetrate another female’s vagina or anus.
            - -Among men, being made to penetrate someone else could have occurred in multiple ways: being made to vaginally penetrate a female using one’s own penis; orally penetrating a female’s vagina or anus; anally penetrating a male or female; or being made to receive oral sex from a male or female. It also includes female perpetrators attempting to force male victims to penetrate them, though it did not happen."

            Read the fucking thing you're citing.

            PS: "Approximately 1 in 21 men (4.8%) reported having been made to penetrate someone else in his lifetime (Table 2.2)." I'm rather at busy at work and don't have time to merge all the comparison data, but a prima facie glance at the numbers pretty much destroys your claim that this brings the ratio up to 3:2.

          • "Being made to penetrate someone else includes times when the victim was made to, or there was an attempt to make them, sexually penetrate someone without the victim’s consent because the victim was physically forced (such as being pinned or held down, or by the use of violence) or threatened with physical harm, or when the victim was drunk, high, drugged, or passed out and unable to consent…
            - -Among men, being made to penetrate someone else could have occurred in multiple ways: being made to vaginally penetrate a female using one’s own penis; orally penetrating a female’s vagina or anus; anally penetrating a male or female; or being made to receive oral sex from a male or female. ***It also includes female perpetrators attempting to force male victims to penetrate them, though it did not not happen.***"

            Table 2.2 states approximately 1 in 21 men (4.8%) reported having been made to penetrate someone else in his lifetime. But from the description given, it seems the exact scenario wasn't particularly common, and certainly not enough to bring the 9:1 ratio down to 3:2, unless you want to walk me through your troll logic.

          • Egalitarian says:

            If you're wondering where "did not happen" comes from, it's one of the questions on page 106: "How many people have ever used physical force or threats of physical harm to… {if male} try to make you have vaginal sex with them, but sex did not happen?"

            The "did not happen" in the definition is referring to this question. It means that "made to penetrate" includes cases where a women forced a man to penetrate her, and also cases where a woman attempted to do this but failed.

          • Dr_NerdLove says:

            Read pages 18 and 19 of the full study. Specifically “How NISVS Measured Sexual Violence” and “Sexual Violence Other Than Rape”.

          • Answer this simple question. Do you believe a woman holding a gun to a man's head and forcing him to penetrate her is rape?

          • Of course it is. It doesn't negate the fact that it's incredibly, vanishingly rare in comparison.

            (There's also nothing in that link that assumes anything about who is doing the raping or discounts the scenario you describe. Calm the fuck down.)

          • False. Entirely false. According to the study you cite — and many others — what I said DOES NOT COUNT AS RAPE. A woman forcing a man to penetrate her is not counted as a rape. When you count it as rape, the numbers are remarkably similar. Women still make up a majority of rape victims, but it's nowhere near a 9:1 ratio, it is far closer to 3:2.

          • I'm going to need a reliable source documenting this epidemic of "forced penetration at gunpoint" scenario, besides your emphatic comments in this thread. if it really does multiply the incidence of men being raped by the magnitude you claim, it shouldn't be a problem.

          • The point is not the "at gunpoint" the point is the forced penetration. Forced penetration does not count as rape; therefore, forced penetration at gunpoint does not count as rape.

          • Source it or drop it.

          • P.S. Nice denying the reality of millions of male victims of sexual assault. "it's exceedingly rare." "It doesn't really happen." Let's say we have someone who was a male victim of sexual assault and we have the constant denial of their experience and the insistence that men can't be the victims of sexual assault, we're only perpetrators. We're part of the problem.

          • Thortok2000 says:

            Speaking as a man who has been raped by a woman, shut up.

            This article is about how women get abused by men and how it is a problem.

            Every problem that exists has to deal with the apathy of others in regards to that problem. Men who are raped have to deal with people who don't care about men who are raped. Women who are raped have to deal with people who don't care about women who are raped.

            Where your error in logic lies is in problem comparison. "My problem is more important than yours" or "My problem is more ignored than yours is" or "My problem is just as important as yours" only contributes to the problem and/or apathy towards the problem the other person is speaking of.

            Person A says "There are not enough purple jellybeans."

            Person B comes in, uninvited, and says "Screw your purple jellybeans, there's not enough red jellybeans."

            The fight then devolves into whose problem is "more important" and the statistics of how many red jellybeans there are versus purple ones. Neither person is attempting to help the other and the more they argue, the more neither person cares about the other person's problem. Both problems stay problems.

            Instead of saying "Screw your issue, worry about mine" why not say "I'll help you with yours and maybe then you or someone will help me with mine?"

          • Love the jellybean analogy. Especially the citing statistics part.

          • That doesn't mean that it doesn't happen.

            I love the sexism coming from people like you. When women are raped it is a tragedy, but when men are raped it is not significant.

          • Dr_NerdLove says:

            Someone got their stats wrong while they were going for the gold in the Oppression Olympics.It's 1 in 5 women (18.3%) who have been raped in their lifetime and 1 in 71 (1.4%) men.In the past year, 1.3 million women reported being raped.In the past year, 5.6% of women and 5.1% of men reported sexual violence victimization OTHER than rape.http://www.cdc.gov/ViolencePrevention/pdf/NISVS_Executive_Summary-a.pdf

          • No, my stats are spot on, thank you very much.

          • Dr_NerdLove says:

            What a stunning and eloquent rebuttal!

          • Because you and I both know you're treating forced to penetrate as a non-rape sexual assault. This means you believe that women are unable to rape men unless they penetrate them which cannot be treated as something remotely resembling a legitimate argument.

          • Dr_NerdLove says:

            If only your mind-reading abilities didn't somehow preclude your reading the study.

          • Coming from someone who has only read the two page summary, I find this entertaining.

          • Thortok2000 says:

            Although I completely disagree with everything William said and have posted above why "My problem is more important than yours" is a stupid argument to be in in the first place, let me correct a miscommunication here.

            http://www.cdc.gov/ViolencePrevention/pdf/NISVS_R
            Pages 17-19.

            The statistic of 'rape' does not include "Being made to penetrate someone else." This act is instead lumped under Sexual Violence instead of Rape.

            On page 17 it clearly defines Rape and "Being made to penetrate someone else" as different. On pages 18 and 19 are the charts that show the statistics of 18.3% and 1.4%, where you can clearly see that "Being made to penetrate someone else" is not included in the calculation for 1.4% (and is so low in the statistics for women that it is not even recorded, only for men). This is obvious because there's over 3 times as many men who were "made to penetrate" as there are that were "raped."

            Because of the way the statistics were recorded, I am unable to conclude whether there is any overlap between the 1,581,000 (1.4%) that were Raped and the 5,451,000 (4.8%) that were "Made to Penetrate." All of the 'raped' could have said yes to the 'Made to penetrate' answer or none of them or any shade in between, so there is no way to have a sure result of "raped" in such a way that the definition of rape includes 'made to penetrate.'

            As such, the best that can be used for comparison is to compare the 18.3% (1 in 5) to 4.8% (1 in 20) which makes the ratio of "Raped women" to "Made to penetrate men" (note that this is not 'raped or made to penetrate men') as roughly 4:1 and not 9:1.

            William's conjecture (and it is conjecture) is that if you were to get a more accurate statistic of 'rape' that included "made to penetrate" that the 4.8% would bump up a few notches and make the 4:1 ratio even smaller of a ratio.

            In general, I disagree with the study by distinguishing between Rape and Sexual Violence in the way that they do. Sexual coercion (the way I was raped) is often 'rape' according to the courts (for men who rape women at least), for instance. If one really wanted to compare "who gets raped more," I don't feel that this study does a good job, based on the separation of these particular kinds of 'Sexual Violence.'

            But again, as I say in this comment, the "My problem is more important than yours" argument is making a zero-sum game out of something that isn't a zero-sum game.

            So all the statistics don't even matter, even if William was capable of making his own point. That's what he doesn't get.

          • Egalitarian says:

            The "1 in 71 men have been raped" stat from the CDC survey doesn’t tell the whole story. It defines "rape" as the attacker penetrating the victim, which excludes women who use their vagina to rape a man (rape by envelopment) which is counted as “made to penetrate”. The very same survey says “1 in 21 men (4.8%) reported that they were made to penetrate someone else,” which is far more than 1 in 71. Also, the study says that 79.2% of male victims of “made to penetrate” reported only female perpetrators, meaning they were raped by a woman.

            The above, lifetime stats do show a lower percentage of male victims (up to 1.4% rape by penetration + 4.8% made to penetrate = 6.2%) than female victims (18.3%) although it is far more than the 1 in 71 you stated. However, if you look at the report’s stats for the past 12 months, just as many number of men were “forced to penetrate” as women were raped, meaning that if you properly define “made to penetrate” as rape, men were raped as often as women.

          • That's the reported statistics. Currently, based on numbers of unreported or underprosecuted Sexual Assaults, the number is closer to 1 in 3 (or even sometimes speculated at 2). Out of my group of 4 close girlfriends, 4/5 have be Raped (including myself), and none of us ended up reporting.

          • And the statistics show that the majority of violent crimes in general are committed against men. You probably know a man who has been robbed, mugged, or assaulted.

          • I sympathize with men who have been assaulted in any way, but I've gotta say I'd rather be robbed, mugged or beaten up than raped.

          • "I don't in any way agree that it impacts people today"

            Do you see that? You just told all the women who've commented on here about how it impacts them that it doesn't. You, as a male, decided that you are the authority on what impacts these women in their personal lives. You just did that. Just now. And you want to claim that men don't treat women like they lack agency. The way YOU JUST DID. Are you a troll or just oblivious?

          • Silly me, here I was thinking that what happened in the year 1250 had absolutely no practical bearing on the lives of people today. Yes, my peasant ancestry who toiled under merciless rule for centuries is still plaguing my life to this very day!

          • On December 25th, 1066, William the Conqueror was crowned King of England. The laws he encoded governing restitution for crimes against a person or property form the basis of our current common law. What happened in 1250 can very certainly have an effect on current society.

          • By our, I mean specifically, British and American.

          • "None of my female friends are worried about getting sexually assaulted on the street."

            Pull the other one.

          • I have more female friends than male friends, actually. But hey, keep trying to attack me because I hold a viewpoint that does not accept carte blanche extraordinary claims without the necessary extraordinary proof.

          • Thortok2000 says:

            You can have 500 female friends that never get assaulted or catcalled.

            All it takes is for one woman to say "I was assaulted."

            You have no right to say "No you weren't."

        • Oh and that part where you say you've never done anything to women ever? You're marginalizing and denying the crap they have to put up with on a daily basis. Seriously, right now you are supporting people who marginalize women by denying it. By acting like it isn't a big deal. You don't get to make that claim any more.

          • Putting a problem into perspective and not blowing it out of proportion is not in any way marginalizing anything. Sorry, but your being told to "smile" when you're frowning is not even remotely in the same realm of other problems. Go help some starving orphans and then tell me you've got problems.

          • Oh please, I hate this argument above almost any other. Just because something is not the worst possible thing that could happen, doesn't mean it's not an important issue and it doesn't mean that it doesn't have a significant impact on people's lives. People are able to have concern about more than one issue at once.

            Street harrassment and the societal idea that my body is public property might not be the worst thing I could experience as a woman. But feeling every day like people think they have the right to comment on my body, to tell me to be more pleasing to them, to touch me without my permission, and any number of other things that I go through because I'm a woman is emotionally damaging. It IS an important issue and maybe your constant denial of women's lived experiences is why you think your female friends aren't worried about harrassment and assault: maybe they just know better than to tell you.

          • There is NO societal idea that your body is public property. There is that idea in the minds of a small subset of people, but that hardly is an issue with society at large. I don't deny lived experiences, but I am able to put things in perspective. I'm not claiming that I'm afraid to leave my house because someone said, "Hey, you have a great ass!" I've never met or spoken with a single women's rights person who has actually made an effort to work toward women's rights where it is most needed. I don't see NOW going over to Pakistan to fight for women to go to school. I see women of great privilege complaining about relatively unimportant issues while completely ignoring much more serious and widespread issues. I refuse to apologize for putting my time and money toward a more worthy cause than stopping men from looking at women funny on the street.

          • Hey man, you're really being an asshole. Like, you're denying the experiences lots of women here have had. That's really insulting and can be triggering to people. So stop. It isn't an issue YOU ARE CONCERNED WITH. We get that. But you don't get to tell people that have had to deal with this issue that it is "hardly an issue." You just don't. That's not the way the world works. That's the way entitled people think it works. You've got a choice here. Become bigger than that. Realize what you're doing. Apologize to the people you're offending. And be a better person. OR you could go on being an asshole. But if you go on being an asshole no one is going to have sympathy for you. We're going to judge you for being an asshole, and no matter how much you claim we're judging you for the actions of "a small subset of men," we're really judging you for being an entitled asshole who is dismissing women's feelings because they don't comport with your version of how the world works.

          • I'm really not. I am rejecting the notion that it is perfectly acceptable to blame all men for the actions of a few and to assert that any problem facing women is a BFD but anything that men have to deal with, well tough, because you're men and you deserve it. Victim blaming is perfectly cool (and totally in vogue) so long as the victim of something happens to be a man. It is the definition of offensive and ridiculous that women have some monopoly on victimization.

            The falsehoods that get spewed are truly stunning.

          • No one is blaming all men. No one. That didn't happen. It isn't. Seriously, NO ONE HERE has suggested that. No one. At all. Neither the Doctor in his post or any of the commentors. It really did not happen. You dismissing the experiences of harassment victims? That just happened. You just did it. Read what you wrote "There is NO societal idea that your body is public property…I am able to put things in perspective." I'm sure that's a huge relief to women who have been harassed and intimidated that you can put things into perspective. (That was sarcasm again.) But stop and think about that. You are speaking with the assumption that your perspective is more valid than the perspective of the victim.

          • It did happen and it is. Every man who isn't out there crusading is part of the problem. You've already told me I'm part of the problem.

            You all are speaking with the assumption that YOUR perspective is more valid than my perspective. You are speaking with the assumption that society as a whole not only allows things like street harassment to happen but actively supports it.

          • Yes dude because you're being part of the problem. Not because you aren't out there "crusading." Because you're being an entitled little shit. As the Doctor summed up his post "It’s the attitude, the sense of entitlement that’s the problem." And now here you are with your entitled attitude, being the problem.

          • Yes, I fully believe that I am entitled to not be judged for the actions of other people over whom I have absolutely zero fucking control. How dare I!?

          • William, read this part really closely… NO ONE IS JUDGING YOU FOR THE ACTIONS OF OTHERS. Seriously that didn't happen. It didn't. Anywhere in here. At all. Point out ONE PLACE where you were attacked (for the actions of others), or where someone suggested all men are responsible for the actions of creepers. Quote it.

          • It happens on the street, where women who buy into this hate speech hook, line, and sinker blow off, attack, demean, call creepy, etc. men who simply walk up to them and say "hi"

            This men-shaming affects normal men in social situations all across the country. I wouldn't be surprised if some socially awkward but otherwise great guy is now contemplating suicide because he came here for some dating advice but was instead called a creep & potential rapist. It is the same thing as a black guy who tries to make a decent living, but is denied opportunities because of a few people who can only see him as a potential criminal.

          • I actually pity how pathetic your arguments and your view of the world are.

            This is starting to get more sad than anything.

          • Gentleman Johnny says:

            Neither I nor my male friends have had problems with striking up conversations with unfamiliar women in public spaces.Or at least, those problems only came from our own anxiety. Not all of those conversations go anywhere. Sometimes some of my more overbearing friends find women making a quick exit or even another person finding an excuse to break things up. Even if I did get rejected by a woman when trying to say hello, so what? She doesn't want to talk. Why would I want to force her to?

            That's not feminism, its just common sense. if someone doesn't want to talk to you, being more insistent isn't going to change that,.

          • I still don't see where you're being blamed for any of this. I don't see where "all men" are being accused of being "bad actors."

            I see where men, in general, are being told: "If you find this behavior as repulsive as I do, then you need to speak up when you see it happening, and help to change the culture of acceptance that allows this behavior to continue."

            If you're not up to that, or you think it's not your problem, then that's your perspective. But don't expect everything to get better just because you're believing really hard that this problem doesn't exist.

          • There is no "culture of acceptance" behind creepers. That is another crock of feminist lies.

          • You don't believe in global warming either, do you?

          • At this point you're not just denying women's experiences, you're straight up denying reality. I'm done engaging with you.

          • Not everyone agrees with feminist anti-male "reality."

          • Yeah, if I were William's female friend and I'd experienced all the ways he's dismissive of people harassing women I wouldn't want to admit to it either. I'd be worried he'd start telling me about how it's my fault, and how I shouldn't make a big deal out of it because it happens to men too.

          • Yes, because I have to deal with them making up BS like this… Oh wait, they're reasoned and intelligent women so they don't go around making mountains out of molehills.

          • Bingo.

          • Funny how attacking me personally is perfectly fine — I was essentially being attacked in the article — and all the comments have come at me personally, but I am the one that gets accused of attacking other people. Funny how that works, isn't it?

          • 1) You weren't being attacked in the article. Creepers who post and view the redditor creeper forums were being attacked. If you're one of them then yes you're being attacked but I'm assuming you aren't.

            2) You're being attacked in the comments FOR THE THINGS YOU SAID. That's cool. When you get up and speak people get to respond. And when you get up and are an asshole people get to call you on your shit. T

          • Telling men we're responsible for the actions and resulting reactions due to a small minority of people is, in fact, being attacked. It is no more reasonable to say that it's perfectly fine to judge all black men as criminals first because, hey, there are black men who are criminals. Absolutely no difference whatsoever. There you go calling me an asshole again.

          • You have been attacked in the comments section for being a lead headed buffoon. The article, which you can't seem to comprehend, was saying that the men engaged in creeper behavior need to stop and we should decry such behavior. If you aren't that guy then no, the article wasn't attacking you.

            The article is not making a converse fallacy. This article says 1) Some men are being creepy by taking inappropriate public photos of women. 2) that behavior is wrong 3) our culture should strive to root out this behavior.

          • William, don't you have some 3rd world starving orphans to feed or something? Surely that is a more pressing issue than you being oppressed by women or some such foolishness.

          • 12% of my pre-tax income went to children's charities last year.

          • That's nice, but not really relevant. You can build yourself up all you want; it's factual and verifiable evidence backing up your opinions that is relevant.

          • Thortok2000 says:

            Exactly how is anyone telling men that we're responsible for the actions of the minorities?

            We have to deal with the consequences of it, which is a world where women are uncomfortable around strange men.

            But responsible? Nobody's claimed that.

            Dealing with consequences of things that aren't your responsibility is a sign of maturity. And frankly a part of life. This is where the phrase "assuming responsibility" can often apply.

            Saying that you should not have to deal with the consequences of an action to which you are not responsible for is entitlement. And it is your entitlement that people have responded to harshly and why everything you say gets downvoted.

          • Your persecution complex is bewildering. If the shoe doesn't fit, don't put it on, pal. We're talking broad cultural trends, not writing essays about YOU, WILLIAM, PERSONALLY.

            You are taking macro discussions and making them absurdly personal. If you're here at Dr. Nerdlove because you have problems with the ladies, you might want to get a big mirror and a magnifying glass and examine this part of your psyche in detail, pal.

          • Macro extends to the micro thank you very much. When you make assertions that men as a whole are responsible for shit that we're not responsible for, that means that you are asserting I am responsible for things I am NOT responsible for. I am a man, so when you blame men you are blaming me.

          • Dr_NerdLove says:

            "♫ We're blaming men – HALLELUJAH! ♬"

          • "The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing."

          • William do you notice you're the only man here who feels that he's being blamed? That the rest of us are like "Nope, not being blamed." I wonder why that is… could it be that you, somehow, are feeling persecuted where there is no persecuting going on? No, that would be ridiculous, obviously EVERYONE ELSE IS WRONG and only you know what's really going on.

          • Because I'm the only man here who isn't a self-hating feminist.

          • I love it when people use feminist as if it's some dirty word….especially since the way they try to use it, they COMPLETELY miss the point of what it actually means.

          • It is a dirty word. To be pro woman at the expense of all else is bad. I believe in universal equality, which makes me the very antithesis of a feminist.

          • feminism
            noun
            the advocacy of women’s rights on the ground of the equality of the sexes.

            Yep, sure sounds like feminists want women to be right at the top at the expense of everything else.

          • And what about when they keep advocating for the rights of women in areas where women are already well beyond men?

          • Jewthulhu says:

            Where is that?

          • Education, for one.

          • Jewthulhu says:

            I have no idea what you mean by that. Women are better educated? Doubtful; there are still people who think daughters shouldn't need to go to college. Teachers are more often women than men? That's possible, but I doubt privilege of any sort is what gets more women thankless jobs teaching children and getting yelled at by parents who won't take any responsibility for their own child's learning.

          • 60% of all college graduates are women. You don't think that women are just inherently more motivated than men and are more desirous of an education, do you? Or do you think that if it's 60% men as graduates it's a sign of oppression but if it's 60% women it's perfectly fine?

          • Jewthulhu says:

            I think we'd need to look in to actual causes before we could make judgements either way. I know the women I know in college tend to be more motivated than the many men that drop out or join the army or just take their sweet-ass time (like me), but that's anecdotal. This doesn't really invalidate the objectification of women as a cultural trend.

            Also, because I'm a curious person, where did you find this statistic?

          • My social psych professor had a great theory as to why this was; the number of boys staying home with their parents after high school has gone up in recent years as the need to be a breadwinner has declined with the increase of women supporting themselves.

            And depending on what college you go you, there are certainly more motivated women in my university. There are 70% women in my college in a state that is overwhelmingly male.

            Just a thought.

          • The only area in which women are "already well beyond men" is the high-fashion modeling industry. It is the only career in which women are paid substantially more than men are. And it's an industry that is predicated on selling a single image of beauty and to which only about 1% of the women in this world can even hope to break into.

            If you've got examples of "other areas where women are already well beyond men," then, please, give a list. Because I can't think of any.

          • Education. College degrees. Advanced degrees. Etc.

          • actually this one is true, but only because women need higher degrees to be hired for the same jobs as men i.e. I would need a Masters in CS to get hired for the same position as a man with a BS

          • Dr_NerdLove says:

            Used to be porn too, but the Internet more or less leveled that out. Pay rates in porn have been plummeting all around.

          • I think I have a pretty solid self-image. I certainly don't hate myself. I am willing to be honest with myself about areas of my life that I can improve though. Admitting that I'm not perfect doesn't mean I hate myself.

          • I'm with you, William.

            This blog isn't worth our time. It was once a great place to visit, but now I just pop in once in a while to make fun of the feminist mosh-pit that this place has become. You're never going to get through to this crowd of pretentious assholes.

            If you aren't 100% pro-women, then you will get down voted and attacked. How's THAT for "equality"?

          • Will, stop talking to yourself. That's unhealthy, man.

          • Dr_NerdLove says:

            Well hey, so long and thanks for all the pageviews!

          • I'm sorry if you feel this blog isn't worth your time.

            I'd like to point out, though, that I've never seen Dr. Nerdlove place women over men. He just does this radical thing where he doesn't place men over women, either. Whenever someone writes in about how to deal with a woman behaving unpredictably, abusively, or inappropriately, Dr. N takes the info he's given and tries to help the man, either by telling him, "That's not okay, you shouldn't have to deal with that" or "you said you did x, this may be the reason for y, I would try z."

            You get downvoted and attacked on here because you act as though someone's shooting a harpoon at you with this article, when the article is about a very specific group/type of men, and about *their* behavior. Unless you've been engaging in that behavior, or similar behavior, you shouldn't feel threatened. But for some reason, William does. And he not only feels the need to make the article about a much lesser or non-issue (I can't even think of a single site where women take pictures of men, post them, and then egg each other on about jacking off to it), but gets angry when the rest of us think he's trolling or being a general buffoon for it.

          • The macro does not necessarily extend to the micro. I'm going to be really technical and nit picky here, but what you said is the equivalent of saying a rectangle is always a square. A square is a type of rectangle, but most rectangles are not squares. Think of men as rectangles and creepers as squares. If we're talking about squares, squares are the topic of discussion, not all of the rectangles in existence. I feel like I'm repeating myself here, but I just don't understand how you can so completely fail to understand the relationships between categories.

          • Whoops, new to the site and posting order. That was aimed at William comment about macro and micro groups.

          • When you attack a collective group, you are attacking the members of that group. Your comparison is terrible.

          • Let's try a more specific analogy:

            Squares = Creepers and sexual preditors
            Rectangles = Men

            Assertion: squares are bad.

            You're position: "As a rectangle, whenever you blame squares, I feel you blame all quadrilaterals."
            Actual position: "Squares are bad, thus high-fiving squares when you see them squaring is also bad."

            Not really congruent.

          • Let's say you call all black people stupid. A black individual would take offense to that BECAUSE YOU ARE CALLING THEM STUPID.

          • Which is why YOU fail since you've failed to prove at ANY instance where anyone called the collective bunch of men something bad.

            Derp.

          • Well it's about damn time you revealed yourself.

            You made it too obvious here, Will.

            No one's this stupid.

            TROLOLOLOLOL

            I hope this trolling session you created filled whatever lonely attention-craving void you were looking for. You did one heck of a job, sport.

            Now hit the showers.

          • Jewthulhu says:

            And had someone called all men creepers, you would have grounds for a negative response in that vein. This has not happened.

          • as a mathematician, I approve this comment.

          • Thortok2000 says:

            Heh, I use the square/rectangle analogy all the time. High five!

          • people are only attacking you for your actions, the very thing you've said people are allowed to do. I am not attacking all men for those action, now am I?

          • Yes, I'm being attacked for complaining about legitimate hypocrisy.

          • you are being attacked for claiming that you know what women go through when you don't. I don't even claim I know what women go through and I am one, I know what I've gone through and that sucks enough, I know what some of my friends that are women have gone through and that sucks more than what I have.

          • So I'm being attacked for allegedly claiming I know what women go through but the denying of what men claim to go through is perfectly acceptable. Why the double standard?

          • Who denied what men go through? That's a serious question, who in this discussion denied that men go through bad things too?

          • Where has anyone here denied that men have problems too? Where has anyone told you that anything you said happened to you didn't actually happen? Telling you that you're unfairly dismissing women's problems is not telling you whatever you've gone through isn't real. If I say to you, "Hey, you're stepping on my foot, please stop," no part of that means "And any time someone stepped on your foot before is completely unimportant."

          • I've known guys like him and I agree completely. I would never mention my experiences around someone with his attitude.

          • Oh hey…there's a name for this too… suggesting that a problem isn't something we should be concerned about because there are starving orphans. It's not a straw man, you did that one already…

          • Dr_NerdLove says:
          • I still think "Starving Orphans Fallacy" sounds like a cooler name. Still, good to know the technical term for it as well.

          • I <3 You, DNL, that site is both hilarious and disturbing (the sarcasm + the fact that it needs to exist). I needed this after being annoyed by William, maybe he should read it.

          • Yes, because I'm going to read a link from someone who takes great pleasure in attacking me.

          • here's how it goes, you're not going to change my mind, I'm not going to change yours, I'd leave, but I feel like I agree with the rest of these people. You're not informing me of anything, you're not making me see things in a different light, maybe you feel the same towards me, if you do, can you let me know how many other people in this comment section you feel that way about? I could be wrong but rather than DNL finding pleasure in attacking you, is it possible he just wants a debate to be intelligent and based in fact if it is going to happen?

          • I've always heard it called the "How can you talk about blowjobs when people are dying in Darfur?" fallacy.

        • "It no longers exists."

          *pats you on the head* Whatever fairy tales you tell yourself, kitten.

        • We do suffer. This isn't a binary, dude: either you're enslaved, or you're equal.

          You *absolutely do* benefit from thousands of years of male dominance. (Not recognizing that is the very definition of privilege.) Assuming that you actually are here with some sort of good intentions, and not just to troll, go read this: http://www.nymbp.org/reference/WhitePrivilege.pdf It's a classic essay on privilege, although it's framed in terms of race rather than gender. Or, if you're one of those guys who gets sent through the roof any time the word "privilege" gets used, go read this: http://whatever.scalzi.com/2012/05/15/straight-wh

          • But I do not. Privilege has more to do with socioeconomic status than anything else. Poor people are shit out of luck regardless, and poor minorities more than others. I don't deny white privilege exists in the United States — I know it does — and I don't deny that there are a limited number of areas in which it is beneficial to be a man, but is the aggregate privilege enjoyed by men more than the aggregate enjoyed by women? I don't think so. I would much rather be a woman these days than a man.

          • Jewthulhu says:

            Privilege isn't about socioeconomic status; it's about the assumptions made about you simply because of what color/gender/whatever you happen to be. It's about automatic judgements of one's value as a person. It's true that how well one is dressed can effect judgements like this, but it's not really about rich or poor in any specific sense, though those can be relevant.

            Privilege is not even knowing other people need to worry about things that have never applied to you. And yes, the aggregate is what's important, because that aggregate privilege is applied to every individual of the group to roughly the same degree. If one women happens to have a particularly high socioeconomic status, she may have certain perks, but the same bad attitude toward women will affect her in the same way as it would someone much less well off.

          • Yeah, we're done here. I don't really think you're interested in a discussion, nor do I think your intentions are good, so I don't see any point in continuing to engage with you. I hope you find some happiness in life.

          • You caught me. I'm a terrible person because I believe in universal equality and I don't subscribe to the notion that men should be second class citizens to get back for the thousands of years where women were second class citizens. Shame on me.

          • Which is funny because you really don't know how horribly you're saying the exact opposite.

          • Yeah but no one (except you) has said men are or should be treated as second class citizens. So shame on you for accusing people of saying things they aren't, for refusing to have an honest discussion, and for basically being a shit human being. Yes you absolutely should be ashamed of the way you have acted here today.

          • Jewthulhu says:

            No-one has said men should be second-class citizens. You are once again equating actual feminism with what you see as this bizarre, misandrist uber-feminism, peopled by the willfully ignorant, overbearing women, and self-hating me. I'm not sure where you're getting this from.

          • Please point to even one instance here where men are being treated as second class citizens? I wasn't aware that saying, "hey, some guys do this awful thing, watch to make sure you don't have similar attitudes" = "all men are evil and should be treated as unworthy". Someone pointing out something you might be doing wrong, so that you can check whether you are and fix it if necessary, isn't oppression. This post doesn't affect your daily life in any way, and you have the privilege of being able to ignore it and forget about it because of that. Oppression is only oppression if you can't walk away.

        • Bruce McGlory says:

          Williams, You are either entirely clueless about the reality of the world, or one spectacularly bad liar.

          either way, you’re embarrassing MY gender with this wah wah coddle my feelings and do what I tell you bullshit, so cut it out.

          • I never said anyone to do what I tell them you moron.

          • Jewthulhu says:

            You're continually telling people to stop making a big deal out of something because you don't perceive it as a big deal, and it bugs you when other people talk about it.

        • William, we don't live independently of history. So, just because you didn't live it doesn't mean it doesn't exist. Or never existed. You drive a car today. That car became what it is today based on millions of actions that came from the past.

    • William, do you have any evidence that there are covert photos taken of ordinary men and sites dedicated to them? You are making a very serious accusation of hypocricy and all serious accusations should be supported by substantial evidence. You need to prove that (A) such sites exist), (B) that they are as bad as the sites with covert photos of women and (C) that feminits openly support these sites.

        • Not really sure that meets part B or C of what LeeEsq said. I have no doubt such a site exists. Pretty sure that tubecrush isn't close to the creepers on reddit, and I am really sure feminists don't support tubecrush.

          • I agree it isn't remotely close to the severity of the reddit, but everything doesn't need to be equal for hypocrisy to exist. And yes, I've seen many feminists on many websites claim that tubecrush is perfectly okay and that it's nice to see men being objectified for a change.

          • did you ever stop to think they might be being sarcastic? (which I find to be wrong, you don't make fucking jokes about this). The fact that their pictures are being taken without consent is still messed up, were you waiting for someone to say that?

          • Gentleman Johnny says:

            This blog isn't frequented by "many feminists". It is not "many websites". Kindly do not judge me by the actions of others who I know nothing about.

          • Not to mention that when you look at the "submitted by" lines, about half of the names are masculine.

          • Because we can't make names up? That's seriously your defense of a site that objectifies men. "Well, the anonymous names for submissions sounds masculine, so I'm sure it's men who are submitting the photos!" How far would that argument go if we were talking about the creepy ass subreddit? Not very far.

          • Jewthulhu says:

            It's based on an assumption that men are rather more likely to give themselves male-sounding handles on line, and likewise for women. It may be incorrect, but it's certainly something to go off of, especially when you're attempting to debunk major issues with things you yourself admit are comparatively minor.

            If your evidence is anecdotes, expect anecdotes to be used against you.

          • Well, it's also based on logic — the main consumers of Playgirl (before there were magazines directed openly at gay men) were gay men (I'm not sure if that's still the case). But maybe gay men don't exist in William's world, along with sexism.

            Assuming that if men are being objectified in the way that women are objectified, women must be the ones doing it, is a fallacy derived from the idea that female sexuality is a mirror of male sexuality. It's not.

      • I think the basic points of argument are lost on William. William is acting as if he is being persecuted when in fact he is not. The creepers are. The people who think it is okay to objectify women are being persecuted. The people who think personal autonomy exists so long as you have male parts, those people are being persecuted. Williams argument smacks of false equivalence, straw man fallacy, and attempting to derail the topic. In short, William is wrong in his statements and his assertions.

        • Yeah, I'm not sure that it pays to continue trying to have a conversation with him.

          It takes courage to listen. The default, when your assumptions are being challenged, is to double down and defend them without actually taking a step back, listening without automatic rejection to what others are saying, and then looking around at the world you're in, and trying to see it from the perspective of the people who are challenging you, especially when you're being told you're doing something wrong. And that's what's needed to actually have a conversation rather than an argument.

          It's totally possible that I'm wrong, but I don't see actual conversation going on here (just a lot of, "No, you're wrong about your experiences because I don't see them, and pointing out the experiences you have is persecuting me"), which makes it sort of pointless to continue.

          • You'll note that when he finally provided a link to "prove" his claim that men and women are raped in similar numbers and was completely debunked, he ran away.

          • Not true. Of course, analysis must be done on numbers but why should I continue to defend myself personally and my positions when I'm basically shouting at a solid wall.

          • Sure, honey. Sure.

          • It is impossible to have an argument between people on my side of the argument and feminists. Feminists use anecdotes to back up their positions while deriding the other side when the do the same. Why is it okay for one side to make arguments based on anecdote and the other side not to. There is no equality across these arguments and that is the most frustrating thing that happens. It happens on all these websites that embrace feminism. If you disagree with the party line, you're drawn and quartered. It's like the Republican party. If you stray from the party line, forget it.

            We could have a reasonable discussion about why some things are not given attention but so long as it is when a man brings up what he views as legitimate issues only to be savagely attacked and denied legitimacy with "BUT WHAT ABOUT TEH MENZ" and other bullshit, we'll get nowhere. I have been, and always will be, for universal equality. IN ALL INSTANCES. I support abortion as completely as I support the right for men to sign away paternity. I support unfettered access to birth control and free pap smears and mammograms as much as I support men having free access to family planning and testicular and prostate exams.

            If someone so much as suggests that men have problems too, we are told we're conflating two issues of differing severity, that we don't have problems, that who cares about men's problems we'll get to them later, we're only talking about problems for women. Women's problems should definitely be addressed, but what we have is a system where men's problems are COMPLETELY IGNORED AND OPENLY DERIDED. Why, exactly, is the focus always and entirely on issues facing women and any attempt, EVER, to say, "Hey, it isn't all sunshine and fucking roses in penisville" is met with "You worthless misogynist loser who is part of the problem."

          • Jewthulhu says:

            You didn't "suggest that men have problems, too." You derided the article for not mentioning men's problems, and then equated two issues of drastically different magnitude.

            Men have problems. I, for one, accept this. This does not mean that other problems are less significant.

            Also, categorizing feminists? Don't do that. Don't categorize any class, race, interest group, what-have-you, really. In fact "It's useless to argue with feminists" is actually the same sort of error as blaming all men for a few creeps.

        • This is spot on. Creepers of all types have a very strong tendency to feel sorry for themselves and that the world is against them and doesn't understand them. If they don't feel sorry for themselves, they tend to be bullies that can't simply understand why people find their actions objectionable and offensive. Usually, they manage to be both at the same time.

          Although, there is always the possibility that William really doesn't believe what he is posting and is just trolling. Trolls often feel sorry for themselves to or are bullies, so he is still a creep.

          • Wait, so now you're calling me a creeper? Someone who is so concerned about offending women that any remote sign of discomfort and I'm fleeing the scene like a criminal? I don't DO anything objectionable, ever. I do, however, take great objection with the fact that every bad thing any man does is front page news but there is never any mention of ways in which women could be better. Why is it that men are always the ones who are targeted but never women. How about a little equality? How about an article about the bad behavior of women and how they can, I don't know, stop doing it. That'd be awesome. It'd show that it isn't all about bad men being bad and show a little balance.

          • No, you're not a creeper. You're just a paranoid asshole.

          • Coming from the mouth of the biggest jackass in history.

          • And this is why no one is taking you seriously….

    • If this is the same William from "What women find attractive" comment thread. I think we just figured out why he is unsuccessful with Women.

      • Yes, because my distaste for misandrist bullshit clearly comes up in dating.

        • Sorry to break it to you, Mr. MRA-advocate, misandry is not really a thing. Kind of like reverse racism. Misandry is basically saying "I'm uncomfortable that life is less easy for me now that a big part of the population that was previously excluded, now have access to the spheres I operate in"

          • Yes, it is a thing the same as any other form of hate.

          • Jewthulhu says:

            Sure, there are people out there who hate men; this is almost definitely true. There are also people out there who dislike Christians. That doesn't mean that a reaction to being marginalized by major groups in any way equates to a major hate movement. You pick any group/category/thing/paint pigment, and you'll find someone who hates it. That doesn't make that 'form of hate' a real, cultural 'thing.'

        • Oh, and yes, women can tell when you are anti-feminist.

          Story time: Guy I was seeing like 2 weeks ago knew I was a feminist, but I never brought it up in discussion or tried to push my views, unless he brought it up first. Yet, every time I made a completely non-gendered comment like "Ugh, I hate it when someone yells at their partner like that in public, it's so demeaning", I would be challenged with something along the lines of "would that bother you if it was a woman yelling at a man?" Yes! Mo-fo! It would fucking bother me, people should treat each other decently! If you are sitting here disregarding the experiences of women as "not issues" you are not treating women decently. If someone was shitty to you, we would all listen and appreciate your experience, and sympathize. Which you are NOT doing. You are not sympathizing.

          THAT IS WHY WOMEN DON'T LIKE YOU.

          • Because you know how I'd react in that situation, right? No you wouldn't, actually. Very clearly, you would deny my experience of someone being shitty to me, say somehow I was to blame, and that'd be that.

          • Yes, if you were being an asshole and someone responded, then you are to blame. If you are just going about your business, and someone was shitty to you, decent people like myself would sympathize.

          • I doubt it. Maybe if a man were shitty to me, but certainly not if a woman were shitty to me. After all, you women have to stick together.

          • That is such complete shit. I have literally pointed a shot gun at a woman to prevent her from entering my apartment where one of my male friends was hiding out because she was abusing him.

            And I'm a liberal.

  5. Thank you for sharing the article. From the few things I have heard on Spill, I have avoided Reddit. I think education like you are providing is beyond necessary to overcome this attitude and privilege that creeps feel. I work in the reaction side and it is sad you cannot catch them all.

    Just an fyi for Texans:

    It is illegal to have photos taken (or promote photos knowing their non-consent/sexual nature) in a bathroom/private room without consent, or publicly (if the photos are without consent and used for a sexual nature). See TX Penal Code Chapter 21.15 (b) and it is a felony.

    • Dr_NerdLove says:

      Don't necessarily throw the baby out with the bathwater. Reddit is fascinating and vibrant community and it has a LOT to offer.But it's libertarian (small l) philosophy on free speech means that a lot of ugly shit is going to flourish there too. Just like the price of free speech in the US means the KKK, the price of having fascinating AMAs or incredible moments of humanity like raising hundreds of thousands of dollars for a bullying victim means that you get things like the more virulent men's rights groups and creepshots.

    • Martin Demling says:

      Please don't think that all reddit has to offer are douches like this. Actually the controversy around /r/creepshots started on reddit (see http://www.reddit.com/r/explainlikeimfive/comment… for a short explanation of the events). So if you stay clear of certain subreddits, you should only encounter the sad baseline dickishness of the internet, with the usual highs and lows here and there.

    • I've not trod reddit's shores and I don't plan to, but I recognize the value it has as a haven for first amendment speech (good along with the bad) and I am happy that those kinds of principles are embodied in reddit because that is necessary to our government.

      I think many states actually have laws, either through common law or by statute, against this kind of behavior making the "technicality" argument go away.

  6. (What William's responses sound like to me)

    "LALALALA CAN'T HEAR YOU CAN'T HEAR YOU LALALALA IT'S NOT MY PROBLEM LALALALA THERE IS NO PROBLEM, YOU OVERREACTERS LALALALA I DIDN'T DO ANYTHING LEAVE ME ALONE!!!"

    The only reason I think people like Will get so intensely defensive and dismissive about stuff like this (again, NO ONE EVER accuses problems like this to be about ALL men) is that it hits closer to home harder than they'd like to admit….

    Especially here. I'm sure other blog posts would have a more blunt and obvious slant one way or another, but DNL are usually much more fair-minded; he's just exposing a problem he sees pervading in our social circles and telling folks that are CAUSING the problem to chill out, and giving his two cents on what we ourselves can do to set a better example so crap like this doesn't keep sliding, or worse, become the social norm.

    No one's accusing you of shit, dude. Calm down.

    • No, it's because many of us have been victims and our reality has and continues to be rejected by feminists as not real and nonexistent and accuses us of being part of the problem. There are millions of men just like myself who have been victims of sexual assault for whom there are no services to help, for whom our experiences are denied in toto, and we must grin and bear the burden while being simultaneously accused of being part of a class of individuals that victimizes others while having our experiences as victims completely denied. I'm defensive because it's personal, and instead of being treated as a legitimate victim we are treated as people who victimize others.

      • Dr_NerdLove says:

        What kind of world do we live in where a heterosexual, cisgendered man can't catch a break?

        • Ahhh victim blaming. It's funny how the notion that men can be disadvantaged seems completely absurd to you.

          • Dr_NerdLove says:

            Hey I'm with you brother. We live in a world where heterosexual men are totes oppressed. Fight the power!

          • Color me surprised. A feminist dismissive of male victims.

          • You're using your victimhood as a dismissive dick to female victims as well. Something you're JUST NOW bringing up…

            So you're both in the wrong in this particular back and forth. Harris shouldn't be as dismissive as you, and you shouldn't use your trauma as an excuse to be just as bad as the ones who did YOU harm…

          • Cthulhu's Intern says:

            It's not radical feminists or even moderate feminists who dismiss the male victims. It's mostly men who have a hard time telling the difference between fantasy and reality. Just like whenever we get a news story about a female teacher molesting a male student, it's always guys who say "damn, I wish I could be that student."

          • Only if if the teacher young and "hot."

            You get someone that's older/frumpier/bigger/someone that is NOT conventionally attractive, and all the comments would be like "Ewwwww gross! That dude has such bad taste! At least bang the hawt teacher, bro!! Time for me to go back on Reddit…."

          • Cthulhu's Intern says:

            Exactly. Then he's still not someone who's a victim. He's just someone with bad taste in women.

      • …..you are so full of shit, it's staggering.

        If you as a man have been sexual abused, walk into your local sexual assualt clinic or the fucking police station and ask them for help. Where the FUCK do you get this idea that there's no help available for male sexual assault victims???

        Seriously, I want to know. I want to know, in detail and not some overly vague "Well this one time" story, about a time you were denied treatment because "LOL you're a man! You can't be a victim! Especially of sexual assault!"

        Hell, he made a who article dedicated to male abuse victims: http://www.doctornerdlove.com/2012/06/post-mortem

        Granted, this is more verbal/emotional abuse as opposed to sexual, but the fact still remains. You're honestly getting defensive for something NOBODY IN THE COMMENTS SECTION IS SAYING. Maybe it's because you think you have to follow "societies rules", maybe you're mad that "they" made those rules and you feel like you can't speak up about it (for….some reason…), but whatever the reason, it's all in your head.

        If you are legitimately a victim, by all means seek help. You WILL get it if you're honest about it.

        ….but even with all that, I still fail to see where we accused you or other male victims of anything. THAT part is still 100% Grade A bullshit.

        • It goes to show you you have no FUCKING idea what you're talking about if you think a man can walk into a police station and be taken seriously if he claims he's been sexually assaulted by a woman.

          • Have you tried?

            Honestly, where are you getting these ideas from? Even the "mainstream media" we're starting to see whatever stigma was associated with that start to die down, so you can't blame them….

    • Cthulhu's Intern says:

      I also found a video of him (on the right). http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fqs9DYisSsg

  7. Fetishisation of non-consent is perverted in a deeply sinister way. And I really don't think you can put cat-calling and wolf-whistling in the same league. From what I've seen, girls do it just as much as guys (especially the girls I've known). It's juvenile and mildly offensive, but I hardly think you can consider it dangerously oppressive.

    • Oh, yeah, my guy friends are always telling stories about how that girl who wolf whistled at them followed up by following them home and/or physically overpowering them. Girls will be girls, yo.

      • Goldfinch says:

        I totally understand the fact that that men need to be more mindful of their behaviour towards women than vice versa because they pose more of a potential threat.

        But still, the guys who are doing the cat-calling are by-and-large not dangerous sexual predators. Sure, a few of them are. But mostly they're just immature, inconsiderate dickheads who need to be taught some respect. Women should disdain them more than fear them.

        • "But still, the guys who are doing the cat-calling are by-and-large not dangerous sexual predators"

          You do not know that. And when we're on the receiving end of it, WE cannot know that.

    • It's not that the catcalling is in the same league as creepshots, which aren't in the same league as rape. The point is that they're all symptoms of the same problem. When I had pneumonia, I had mild abdominal pain. That was nowhere near as unpleasant or dangerous as the fact that I *couldn't breathe,* but it was still a symptom of the problem.

      • Goldfinch says:

        I don't think they usually are born of the same misogyny though. I mean, sure, some guys will shout at women because they want to belittle them. They may even shout things that are disgusting and abusive.

        But I'm pretty sure most of the wolf-whistlers are just immature and trying to emulate & impress their peers by sexually asserting themselves. Quite probably because they don't have the sexual confidence to be open and forward in person, so they take the cowardly option of doing it from a moving vehicle or first-floor window.

        • BritterSweet says:

          And, like someone else in the sea of comments pointed out, *who* do you think they're sexually asserting themselves *over*?! Even if the reason guy do this is just to compete with each other, it's still the woman who has to suffer from it.

    • It really does depend, but as someone who has gotten cat called, wolf-whistled, holla'd at, etc.etc. it really can range from the irritating to the legitimately threatening. For example, someone walks by, makes a comment about "wooo, them legs!", that's annoying. A group of guys walking by you late at night on a dark street, and start laughing and talking about "them legs," while turning to look back at you? Potentially threatening, definitely frightening. Similarly, people who pull up in a car to make comments or holla or whatever. Maybe they think they're being funny, maybe they're being stupid, whatever, but for me that always registers as a full blown threat because it's really too easy for people in cars to grab someone and go. For that same reason, sometimes women (never heard this told to men) are told not to park next to shady looking vans or large cars in a parking lot, because they might get abducted.

      • Commonly known as X says:

        I think there is often a misunderstanding from people that haven't experienced them, that most cat-calls are intended as compliments.. I've had ham-fisted flirting or compliments given to me on the street, and even when it was a bit annoying, its not the same as cat-calls. Cat calls are pretty agressive, and you learn not to answer back. Saying "please don't comment on my legs" is more likely to end up with an abusive response rather than an apology – which indicates the compliment was not kindly meant.

        My husband never got this, till I once asked him to follow me down a London street several metres back. It really opened his eyes, and made him incredibly angry. He just wasn't really, truly aware of how unpleasant some people can behave to people they see as weaker than them. Notably he got a few people to apologise. I've never been able to, by myself.

  8. Thank you Dr Nerdlove. Thank you for writing this. I’m blessed by mainly knowing sensible blokes who understand that women are treated differently than men by some men. I live in this little charmed bubble full of sensible people. Then I go outside and remember that some men think its ok to treat me as a vagina with breasts, not as a person. It was good to read your article.

  9. (What William's responses now sound like to me)

    "I WAS A VICTIM MYSELF SO THAT GIVES ME THE RIGHT TO BE DISMISSIVE OF OTHER VICTIMS!"

    Which is just…ice cold, and counter productive. You can't just shut down like that and go "if I can't get help, NO ONE CAN!" or whatever your stance seems to be. One, YOU'RE the only one stopping yourself from getting help if you are indeed a victim of sexual abuse. If you are straight forward and honest about whatever happened to you, they WILL take you seriously female or male. You may not get the full extent of justice by putting that person in jail or something (based on lawyer/legal mumbo jumbo yada yada), but again, there's NO reason the police or a counseling service won't take your case seriously if you're telling the truth. Yes, you'll get those closed-minded outsiders who will snicker at you like the immature losers they are, but you shouldn't concern yourself with what they say.

    Which leads to two; you DEFINITELY shouldn't be doing the same thing to female victims as you THINK we're doing to male victims. As the old saying goes, two wrongs don't make a right.

    • We're comparing apples to oranges (being shouted at on the street and being assaulted) and I'm done with being attacked. The simple fact is that men being victims of sexual assault IS NOT taken seriously by law enforcement as any man who has ever tried to do so can attest to. I'm done being attacked by hate-filled bigots.

      • Pro-tip: Stop being an angry bigot then, and people will stop attacking you. The post had nothing to do with men being victims of sexual assault. No one said men being assaulted isn't a problem. But talking about a women's problem doesn't create an obligation to talk about a men's problem. Being dismissive of a women's problem because it didn't include a talk of a men's problem isn't cool.

      • I asked earlier if you've ACTUALLY tried, or have just gone by assumptions of "what society tells you". Since you're so adamant against not even STAYING RELEVANT TO WHAT THE FUCK I JUST SAID TO YOU OR ASKED YOU BEFORE, I'll do some assuming of my own and say you did the latter. Because again, you're full of shit because you never tried because if you did, you'd be proven wrong quite swiftly.

        Now you just want to be a dick. A de-raiiling, dismissive dick whose just as much a piece of shit of the perpetrators that supposedly did things to you.

        Ever hear of the term "enablement?" Where you let shit slide because "Oh, it's not a big deal" and just let the problem get progress and progress until it DOES get serious enough to get a response out of you?

        I mean, Jerry Sandusky only touched little boys' genitals. It's not like he was sticking his cock in them yet, so why is everyone freaking out, right?

        THIS shit right here is why people are attacking you. You're being a dismissive enabler who wants to bury his head in the sand while he writes his OWN tragic story (one he himself said no one should care about because, hey, People Be Dying All Ova, right?), therefore deflecting any responsibility he has as a contributing member of a society to help make shit like this stop for EVERYONE. Males, females, boys, girls, animals, aliens, EVERYONE.

        So shut the fuck up, find your local counseling clinic that deals with sexual abuse victims, and get some fucking help. It's scary how far down the rabbit hole you are.

        • Spoken like the true piece of shit you are.

          • I don't feel that comment helped the discussion.

            The point you should be considering instead is that there are often questions asked at the ends of threads whose purpose is to verify your experience and position, and you seem to avoid answering them. The inference is then made that you are avoiding because the answer would damage your position. If, then, you simply answer the questions, we won't make inferences you find distasteful.

          • Oh, you totally shut ME up and didn't just prove my point for me.

          • Guys, seriously, I think it's best to stop engaging with him. He's not here to have a discussion — there's no way any of us are going to change what he thinks, and no one wins a shouting match on the internet.

          • Dr_NerdLove says:

            Aaaand you're done.

    • Bruce McGlory says:

      he was a victim of nothing but his disgusting bigotry and persecution delusions. he’s only playing the “im a victim!” card because he hopes it will guilt everyone in to not disagreeing or arguing with him.

  10. Thank you DNL for being your awesome self yet again.

    Thank you William for being proof of male entitlement. Those sad feelings you are having of everyone blaming you, its really just the fear of loosing your entitlement. My favourite part was going through the list of typical derailment. Someone should make an interactive bingo card for it all so I could just link every time they use it. So we can make a game out of it. The sexism in games one doesn't really apply.

    Thank you to everyone who pointed out his absurdity. It made my day.

    (the twitter login doesn't seem to be working correctly)

  11. i think the reason why these articles are causing reactions from men is because people come here expecting dating help for male nerds, and are instead funneled into feminist theory.

    it's true that part of getting better with women is becoming a better human being, but that doesn't necessarily mean that feminism needs to be the medium through which this improvement must be expressed.

    men are in no way obligated to subscribe to, or even care about, feminism. they are obligated to not oppress women and to be decent human beings, but that again does not mean that they must delve into feminist theory.

    what's weird i think, is that every time a man expresses his frustration with current dating dynamics, it is without exception related to the plight of women by either nerdlove or the large number of women fervidly arguing for the sake of women. on top of that, these women are arbitrarily downvoting every comment made by people deemed even remotely unfeminist (such as my comment, where i told another woman that she was awesome for telling her husband that he's cute, which had a steady "-7" at one point), and i can't help but think that this blog is dominated to a large degree by bitter and resentful people, and that it's no longer a good environment for nerds to learn how to get better with women.

    in other words, it appears that there is no room left here for men to express their frustration without it being twisted into man-shaming, man-hating or situationally irrelevant, feminist rants, which seems weird to me considering the mission statement of the blog; "Helping geeks learn how to get the girl of their dreams."

    • Why doesn't feminism = not oppressing, and treating women as human beings with agency, feelings, wants, and desires for you?

      • my point is that from the perspective of helping guys get better with women, feminist theory has nothing to do with dating. from the perspective of feminism though, dating has everything to do with feminism. and since this is a dating blog, i find it strange that, as i said in my original comment, every single issue that guys are describing are always segued into long explanations of how women suffer, and how every time a man expresses his frustration, he is always attacked by female commenters.

        • And how do you propose men get better at dating, if not by understanding where women are coming from and why they react the way they do to certain behaviors?

          • i got better with women before i even knew the difference between gender and sex, simply from trying to be a good person. men aren't bad partners by default, and feminism is in no way an integral part of dating.

          • If a man is objectifying women, if a man is creeping women out or dismissing her view points or treating her like an object or forming opinions about her based on sexist criteria (she's a fake gamer and does it for attention, for example)… how can he be good at dating? Because I assure you, I know plenty of men who call themselves good men who still do these things, and don't see the disconnect (maybe because they dismiss feminism as not integral to dating?)

            Congrats for getting better, but obviously you didn't suffer from the same issues and were able to get good with women on your own without the assistance of this blog, so maybe you're just not the target audience?

          • why are you assuming that the majority of the readers of this blog are creeps in dire need of feminist theory?

          • Because there's such a strong reaction anytime "creeping" or male entitlement issues are discussed. Because so many guys identify that they themselves have been called creepy…. "unjustly," according to them, but still. Like Dr NL said, he gets tons of questions from guys who are terrified of approaching women because they're so afraid of being labeled creepy. If they can understand WHY women label men creepy, they can avoid this.

            If you don't think feminism is integral to dating, what types of articles and advice would YOU be giving out? How does feminism not equate being a good person? What topics do you think are being ignored?

            Furthermore, WHY is it bad if feminism is being discussed? What could it hurt for guys who struggle with dating to know more about this topic, since it directly related to women's issues?

          • "Like Dr NL said, he gets tons of questions from guys who are terrified of approaching women because they're so afraid of being labeled creepy. If they can understand WHY women label men creepy, they can avoid this. "

            Not necessarily. After about two years of reading about this topic, I'm just as terrified, maybe even more than before.

          • How?? He has tons of good advice to AVOID being creepy and overcoming your insecurities. How can you be more scared?

          • This is really difficult to explain. My first attempt got way too philosophical…

            I think, fundamentally, avoiding being creepy and overcoming insecurities are incompatible. My reading of the context and the signals might be wrong, I might be influenced by cognitive biases such as 'entitlement', I might do things that other people misinterpret. All of this requires constant reexamination and effort. Even then there is no guarantee that I will be ok, but at least I have done my best. If I were to remove these insecurities, I might well have more success, but I would find it hard to forgive myself if I ended up causing harm.

            This even applies to actions that I am aware of. Let's assume that I am staring into space, lost in thought. A woman in my line of sight misinterprets me as staring at (or even ogling) her and feels threatened and objectified. Obviously, I did not intend to cause this, but she would be justified in feeling that way, I would be at least causally responsible, and quite possibly ethically as well. To what degree do I consider such possibilities in my behavior?

          • I would say just don't over think it. just be polite and treat the person who you want o approach as a PERSON. That is all women really want. This is why feminism overlaps with getting a date.

            I have had guys approach me who people may not consider attractive and are much older. They have kindly and politely given me compliments. I have not considered them creepy because they had sincere intentions of being kind. Not expecting to get into my pants. (The whole expectation of getting into a persons pants, that is where feminism comes in.)

            Now what do you consider a successful approach? Being kind won't guarantee she says yes to a date, but it does really avoid any feelings of encountering a creeper. Also if you see her again, she could possibly remember you as the guy who was polite.

            Polite guys who treat me like a person, stick in my memory. I am highly likely to interact with them again if I see them.

          • "I have had guys approach me who people may not consider attractive and are much older. They have kindly and politely given me compliments. I have not considered them creepy because they had sincere intentions of being kind."

            That's great but, as the saying goes "Intent is not magical". If I hurt with good intentions, it's still wrong. Compliments are a good example: On the one hand, they could make someone feel better, on the other, what gives me the right to judge them for the characteristic I'm complimenting? How do I make sure that what I am saying is not rooted in my privilege or entitlement? And how do I know that it will be perceived as such? The discussion in the previous threads has made it quite clear that this is my duty; I can not presuppose that other people will make an effort to interpret me charitably, and especially not when their safety is at stake.

            Let me give a concrete example. The Doctor tells us in this article that telling a woman to "Smile!" is really saying "Your appearance should always be aesthetically pleasing to me." I agree that this is a completely reasonable interpretation, and therefore something that one should not say (or even think, really). Now consider this situation: I'm at a dance event and see a woman I know wearing a vintage dress and hair style. I feel inclined to acknowledge this and say something like "Hey X, great outfit, you look very elegant today". How is this not saying "Your appearance right now is aesthetically pleasing to me, as it always should be. I have the right to judge you for that because your body is public property, and right now you pass. This is me rewarding you with positive attention for this effort."

            Now someone might argue that I really don't want to interact with a person who would interpret me this way, and therefore I should be glad that I found out. The first part might be true, but I don't think the second is: First, just because someone would interpret me in a way that is not what (I think) I intended, but seems reasonable, does not license me to hurt them. Second, if they are hurt by my action, they will not necessarily show that; maybe they feel that they shouldn't cause a scene, or fear that calling me out on my behavior could lead to negative repercussions later. Educating me is not their duty anyway.

          • "Let me give a concrete example. The Doctor tells us in this article that telling a woman to "Smile!" is really saying "Your appearance should always be aesthetically pleasing to me." I agree that this is a completely reasonable interpretation, and therefore something that one should not say (or even think, really). Now consider this situation: I'm at a dance event and see a woman I know wearing a vintage dress and hair style. I feel inclined to acknowledge this and say something like "Hey X, great outfit, you look very elegant today". How is this not saying "Your appearance right now is aesthetically pleasing to me, as it always should be. I have the right to judge you for that because your body is public property, and right now you pass. This is me rewarding you with positive attention for this effort." "

            You honestly don't see a difference between those two?

            Saying "Smile!" is saying, "You should be aesthetically pleasing to me at all times, and you are not, so you are doing something wrong."

            Complimenting a woman on her clothing choice is saying: "I admire the aesthetic choices you have made."

            There's no responsibility on her part implied by that, and saying there is is a long — and strange — stretch.

            The first is like going around to random people saying, "You haven't painted a beautiful painting! Shame on you!" while the second is telling someone the painting they have made is beautiful.

          • Um, yeah, telling a woman to "smile" is demanding that she change something about her face when she doesn't know you, and therefore has no reason to change her expression for you.

            If she's wearing something nice, telling her she looks nice makes no demand of her.

            It's not the same at all.

            The problem with the "smile" demand, is just that, it's a demand.

          • The question is not whether I see a difference, which I do. The point is that the difference I see is influenced by my standpoint, "privilege" if you will, and therefore I need to try to see it from other positions. From your position, my hypothetical interpretation is a long and strange stretch. To me, it seemed quite possible, considering the broader cultural context, and at least worth consideration if I want to check whether my behavior is entitled.

          • Paul Rivers says:

            This is the exact advice nerds having been getting, following, and completely failing with women with for…a long, long time now.

            It's just not true. Being nice to a woman is not "all she really wants" from a guy. She wants a guy she's attracted to – before we even get to how he interacts with her.

            If all you do towards a girl – as this site and even jezebel will tell you – you'll either be considered a "doormat" or "just being nice to her to get into her pants". Seriously, even feminists repeat this again and again now.

          • No being nice to a woman is not all that she wants. That doesn't mean it isn't important. Being nice is necessary but not sufficient.

            Being a good person is the right thing to do. Perhaps it won't get you one night stands but if you want a serious girlfriend it will work in the long term.

            Even if your friend Jane doesn't find you attractive you can meet her friend Sally who does. But if your behaviour is creepy Jane may say 'Don't be alone with Bob he's really creepy'.

          • "Women want more than just a nice, so it doesn't pay to be nice"?

            Weird logic. Being a decent person is generally necessary but not sufficient to finding a decent person as a partner. But "insufficient" is not the same as "unnecessary."

          • Indeed. It's like saying that because a good diet alone isn't enough to make you an Olympic champion, it's not worth having a good diet if you want to be an Olympic champion.

          • jashinlin says:

            "Being nice" is not all that a woman wants from a man (just like being nice is not all a man wants from a woman), but if a guy isn't nice, it will certainly turn me off in a hurry.

          • Paul Rivers says:

            Not necessarily. After about two years of reading about this topic, I'm just as terrified, maybe even more than before.

            Yeah. This kind of advice only works for the target audience – guys who are aggressive first, then afterwards wonder why they're getting responses saying they're creepy.

            For the crowd of guys who try not to be creepy first, then try to be aggressive / just say hi – it's horrible, horrible advice. All you're doing by taking is seriously is internalizing the presumption that you're being creepy, which ironically just either makes you afraid, or actually act creepy (holding back, not saying something right away, etc etc etc).

          • ive only seen a handful of comments by men expressing their fear of being labelled creepy. how is this indicative of anything?

            also, what kind of dating advice would i give? exactly the kind that DNL does, sans the segueing of everything into feminism, both by DNL and female commenters.

            how does feminism hurt guys trying to get good with women? simple. getting better with women is not the domain is feminism.

          • " if not by understanding where women are coming from and why they react the way they do to certain behaviors?"

            These insights certainly helped me become more successful with women. But I don't see what it has to do with feminism. Feminism as it now exists seems to be a collection of ego-assuaging pretty lies. I jettisoned them and have become much more successful for it.

            You ask a very good question. It's just that I doubt feminists will really like the answer.

    • "it's true that part of getting better with women is becoming a better human being, but that doesn't necessarily mean that feminism needs to be the medium through which this improvement must be expressed.

      men are in no way obligated to subscribe to, or even care about, feminism. they are obligated to not oppress women and to be decent human beings, but that again does not mean that they must delve into feminist theory."

      "Not oppressing women" is rather distinctly related to feminism, since feminism isn't about the subjugation of men (no matter how many trolls claim otherwise) but equality of the sexes. You can tell yourself that you're not oppressing women in your life but you might be if you remain ignorant of the myriad micro-aggressions that comprise the system. If you don't want to learn 'em, fine, but don't be surprised if your partner gets fed up with you and seeks out a more equitable relationship with someone who actively tries to learn and understand where they're coming from.

      • yeah but this is a dating blog, not a feminism blog. like i said above, feminism has nothing to do with dating in the context of helping guys get better with women, but dating has everything to do with feminism from the perspective of feminism. hence the confusion and frustration from a lot of guys.

        • "feminism has nothing to do with dating in the context of helping guys get better with women, "

          Yes, it does, as I pointed out above. If you're dating, and you're splooging ignorance and privilege and dismissing her opinions reflexively and saying sexist things you don't even realize are sexist, you are self-sabotaging. 4 out of my 8 ex-boyfriends fit this profile, and the dudes who never even got to the dating level due to this crap number in the dozens. Awkward is one thing, but awkward, entitled AND sexist is a three-point ladyboner killer that will likely doom you to singledom evermore.

          You can tell yourself it doesn't matter, but you're very, very mistaken.

          • where does the assumption come from that men do this by default? men can get along with women perfectly fine without learning a thing about feminism, and it all comes from trying to be a respectful human being. you don't need feminism for that.

          • "Where does the assumption come from that men do this by default?"

            It's not "by default." There are plenty of dudes who instinctively see the patterns, who don't really need it explained to them, rather than the odd privilege-check. (I say this as a white person who generally understood and recognized the vast majority of the patterns of racism, but who still misses instances of the nitty-gritties of the POC experience, because I've never experienced it myself. Thus: shutting up and listening and learning.)

            There are cultural tendencies to how we interact with each other. Socially awkward people who have trouble reading the patterns might need more tutorials on the things they're not picking up on, and reacting defensively or dismissively to people pointing out context and history and patterns is not going to help "their game." (NB: The fact that you seem to see DNL's blog as some kind of playbook for your "game" and that this "feminism" stuff is irrelevant to that is rather telling.)

          • i never said anything about "game". i'm saying that there's no need to delve into feminist theory in order to become a good human being, given that you are a man who have issues in dating.

          • You keep repeating "get better with women." That's how it's coming off, in conjunction with your rejection of basic feminist principles as helpful to dating.

          • im not rejecting feminism. im saying that the extent to which feminist theory is being expressed to readers by both DNL and commenters is not going to help men get better at dating women, nor is the way that female dnl readers behave in comment discussions. men are given little room to actually explore their frustrations and issues on this site, as it is almost always segued into feminism.

          • I don't think that's true. I think a lot of men who come here looking for advice are expecting to be attacked, and when people try to offer suggestions and insight, they take it as an attack and lash out at the people trying to help them. I think everyone would be really happy to address getting better at dating, but this particular post is about getting better at dating by being a better person, and being a better person by not tolerating this sort of creepy behavior in your social spaces. And instead of taking that lesson and learning from it, you are suggesting that this is diverting the focus away from learning to be better with women. There's a lesson here, and it is an important one.

          • im not just talking about the issue of creeps, but the way conversations tend to roll.

            guy: how come women never approach?
            nerdlove: because society condition men and women into gender roles and women tend to suffer a lot from being stalked and harrassed.

            and that's fine, but then there are the 1-15 comments along the lines of "what kind of talk is that!!!! can you imagine even for a day what being a woman is like!" which in my opinion shifts the focus from helping guys get better with women to using the blog as an excuse to rant about feminist theory.

            and like i've said before, i've seen many, many times how innocent and non-controversial, feminist-friendly comments have been completely twisted and taken out of context by certain people, just so that they can use it as an excuse to rant angrily about how messed up the person in question is for subscribing to some crazy notion (that the guy never mentioned in the first place).

            if this was a place of healthy discussions where the focus was to help guys get better with women, then there wouldn't be so much feminist derailing, hostility and twisting of words, but alas, this appears to happen quite often and by a big portion of the frequent commenters, which is why i earlier said that it doesn't appear like the site is a healthy place for nerds who are merely looking to get better with women.

          • "friendly comments have been completely twisted and taken out of context by certain people, just so that they can use it as an excuse to rant angrily about how messed up the person in question is for subscribing to some crazy notion (that the guy never mentioned in the first place). "

            You mean the way you're accusing anyone who suggests treating a woman like a person must be a feminist?

          • "treating a woman like a person"

            This is exactly what feminism actually is. The radical notion that women are people.

        • Bruce McGlory says:

          “I got better with women before i even knew the difference between gender and sex, simply from trying to be a good person. men aren’t bad partners by default, and feminism is in no way an integral part of dating.”

          Incorrect. Your ‘simply trying to be a good person’, presumably means you got better at treating women with respect. Which is Feminism. So, rail against it all you like, but you’re success is directly attributed to it.

          And whiny little boys get whiny about the word feminism because they’re whiny little boys. Men have no problem with it.

          • nobody is whining about feminism existing. i am saying that it's completely unecessary to delve into feminism to this degree on a blog aimed at helping guys get better with women.

          • Stop back-peddling. You said feminism is completely unnecessary to getting better at dating now you're saying it's completely unnecessary to talk about it *as much* as the Doc does on the blog.

            Pick one.

          • i've consistently said that there's no need to delve into feminist theory beyond telling guys to be sensitive to peoples wishes and personal experiences, which isn't really exclusively feminist theory in the first place.

          • Yeah its a blog about dating advice to male straight nerds, meaning that its not just a matter of being sensitive to *people's* wishes and personal experiences, it's a matter of being sensitive to women's wishes and personal experiences.

            Meaning that Feminism is absolutely relevant.

            Try again.

          • again, feminism is not dating. you do not need to know a thing about feminism in order to understand how to be sensitive to the situations of the people you encounter. men are aware that women get raped, beaten, murdered and treated badly because it is in the media on just about a daily basis. going in-depth about feminism does not go hand-in-hand with date advice.

          • When you've got as much socio-cultural baggage to unpack as the Doc does for nerds, who often try to critically think their way out of needing to be empathetic or understanding of different people's problems, yes Feminism completely and utterly and unequivocally goes hand in hand with dating advice. Just because men might see news reports about rape and abuse and murder doesn't automatically mean they're going to be sympathetic. "Oh she shouldn't have been drinking." "Maybe she was a bitch to him." "She was a slut and didn't care if she got raped anyways." You're assuming that every man is already effectively a Feminist, so we don't need Feminism.

            Your argument is circular. Try again.

            And you know what, Boat? You can stop being overly dismissive of Feminism by calling what the Doc is doing "delving into feminist theory" When the Doc brings Feminism into the blog, he is writing about boiler plate concepts like social privilege that are observably true. Let me know when DNL starts writing theses on the social ontology of gender and the methodological criticisms of Second Wave Feminism that ultimately lead to the development of intersectionality which has informed the Third Wave or how TERF theories that trans* people and their identities socially reify the patriarchy actually wrap around, philosophically speaking, and end up being just as misogynist as the oppressors they're trying to fight against. When that happens, then you might have a point.

            Until then, cut it out.

          • Dude, you're the one beating the "feminism drum".

            It seems to me that the dynamic has been.

            "Guys, here's a problem, avoid this and you'll be better with girls."

            Girls chime in, Yes, that's really annoying, by all means guys, avoid that!

            Then people angry about the subject of the blog post for whatever reason get defensive and start shouting. "Angry Feminists!"

            If anyone is a real number geek, they should go through this comment thread and see how many times the people who are being defensive mention feminism first.

            Just curious. We don't have to be this hostile, especially when so many of these posts are saying treat all people well and with respect.

            Why are we fighting that?

          • Dr_NerdLove says:

            And you are certainly welcome to start your own dating advice blog without covering feminism.

          • well, im not telling you how to run your blog. im pointing out that the site comes off as inconsistent, because its presented as a "helping nerds get the girl" blog, but is really a "helping nerds get the girl and also teaching said nerds about feminist theory".

            in other words, its very confusing and counter-productive for guys coming here hoping to get better with women, who express their frustration with lack of sex, success with women and whatnot, and are in 9 cases out of 10 yelled at for not understanding that things are the way they are because women are suffering from patriarchal gender constructs.

            like, its really, really weird and off-topic given how the site is presented.

          • note that im saying "women are suffering from patriarchal gender constructs", i.e. with emphasis on how women are hurting. this is what everyone on here keeps focus on, and does in no way help the guy with dating. it only informs him about feminist theory. its not going to help him much in the area he's hoping to get help in.

          • An Engineer says:

            I'd say that this ONE post is a bit off topic, not the other feminst/male privilege/creepyness posts.

          • Feminism is actually a pro-female movement. It doesn't really have a whole lot to deal with treating women with respect.

          • Nope.

          • That is to say, nope to what you said. Because it's wrong.

          • Jewthulhu says:

            It's necessary here, I believe, to point out that there are nutjobs in any organization. There are certainly people that call themselves feminists that think men are the scum of the earth; those are not what should come to mind when one says 'feminism', because that's not really what feminism is.

            If you think someone who has a vagina should have the controlling opinion in what happens to it, that's feminism. If you think the lack of a Y-chromosome means one shouldn't be paid less for the same work, that's also feminism.

            If you think one gender is better than the other categorically, that's being a jerk, no matter who you are.

            Now, keep your definitions straight.

          • bwuh? where is this fascinating world you come from?

    • My general understanding of why this happens is that one of the problems some maladjusted* guys have with dating is that they do something that might also be done by a creeper, and then don't understand why it gets such an acerbic response. Thus, being aware of what women deal with when calibrating actions can be really quite helpful.

      Also: "men are in no way obligated to subscribe to, or even care about, feminism. they are obligated to not oppress women…"
      I may be wrong here, but in my understanding, that *is* feminism.

      *I don't mean this term as an insult. It's a thing that happens. I've got my fair share of maladjustments; they're just things one needs to learn to readjust.

      • you are right, and i do think its important to explain to guys why certain things happen in the dating game, but i think what nerdlove and a lot of his female readers do goes far, far beyond that point. i also think that a lot of female readers here, though not all of them, obviously, come from a pretty malicious or bitter perspective, as i explained in my original comment.

        • Oh my, why ever would women be bitter about the way they are treated by men?

          • the question is, why are they hanging out on a blog aimed at helping men get better with women?

          • The blog is aimed at helping NERDS, is it not? And both men and women can be nerds.

          • no, it specifically says "guys".

          • So does that mean women aren't welcome in this space? If I were a guy trying to get better at dating I would be listening really closely to what nerdy women in my social space were saying… because that would probably be really helpful in learning how to be better at dating.

            /Tangent

            This drives me out of my mind, how could it ever POSSIBLY be a bad thing to have women reading and discussing articles aimed at nerds (male or female) getting better at dating. HOW? In what world could you point that out as some sort of negative? Are women really that scary to you that having some of them come and join in a discussion is a problem? EVEN IF THEY ARE talking to them on a relatively safe space like a web page or internet forum should be a huge first step in getting comfortable talking to women, which is important to dating! How do you miss that respecting a woman's opinions IN EVERY SPACE is important. Not just respecting the opinions of the special snowflake that you're dating, because if you are regularly dismissing the opinions of women as a matter of course YOU'RE PROBABLY DOING IT TO YOUR PARTNER TOO!!!

            /End Tangent

          • Well, not just that, but we're here because we are geeks. The guys we date are geeks. Our friends are geeks. Most of the people we love — sexually and non-sexually — are geeks. And we want them to be happy, have healthy relationships, meet and succeed with the partners they want, and so on.

          • Presumably someone sent them a link to this article, they read it, were pleasantly surprised, and came to the comments to say so – where they then encountered comments like yours.

          • Dr_NerdLove says:

            Because I cover issues touching on feminism from a male perspective and try to explain it to other men so they can start being better people.And like I said: because I believe part of getting better with women means a) having respect for women and their experiences and b) not being an asshole.

          • I like nerd boys and I want to see them happy and healthy, even though I'm married. I chime in frequently with the intent of trying to help. I'm a girl. I think girls should be treated fairly, and I think boys should be treated fairly. I'm not sure how that makes me part of a large feminist attack against the men on this forum.

          • "Helping nerds get the girl" may be the tag line, but our awesome doctor answered one of my questions, and I am not only a female but I referenced my ex that is male. I, personally, come here because some of the topics are generally applicable to everyone and also because I need just as much help getting into some guys' heads as they would need getting in mine. Seeing the questions that nerd boys ask and how the doctor responds helps me as much as it could help the nerd boys.

          • Dr_NerdLove says:

            Plus it's pithier than “Helping The Intellectually Gifted Discover Mutually Fulfilling Relationships Without Preconceived Notions Of Gender”

          • SpiltCoffee says:

            That just rolls off the tongue, doesn't it?

          • Bruce McGlory says:

            “the question is, why are they hanging out on a blog aimed at helping men get better with women? ”

            because they like some men, love some other men, and want to help.

            This ain’t rocket science.

          • Saying every problem is the fault of men is not really helpful.

          • Nobody is saying that.

          • SpiltCoffee says:

            Slight correction. William is saying that.

          • they aren't helping though.

            many of the women here on DNL are obviously more interested in twisting everything into a feminist debate, and angrily shouting at anyone who doesn't agree.

            a good example of this is my completely innocent explanation of how the male gender role and its related dating dynamics are affecting the self-image of a lot of men, and how this is a male problem since it regards the male gender role in particular.

            but despite the clear explanation, all female DNL readers heard from this was "men have it worse than women", which they angrily argued against for days, while completely ignoring my assertment that "no, thats not what we are saying. this is not a comparison between the genders."

            i really do think that a lot of the female commenters on here are blinded by anger, and this has nothing to do with wanting to help guys. the atmosphere here is pretty hostile toward men, and the only accepted mode of communication on this blog seems to be one that completely accepts that feminism is an integral part of dating women (which it is not), and the highly frequent mention of this.

          • I vigorously dissent. I'm a guy, i've gotten more up votes than down votes. I don't feel like it is very hostile at all on these boards. I don't feel victimized, and I don't feel like feminism is being shoved down my throat. I do see some rather philosophical debates in the forums and I avoid those mainly because I just don't know enough to add anything to the conversation. As a prime example, when you said "a good example of this is my completely innocent explanation of how the male gender role and its related dating dynamics are affecting the self-image of a lot of men, and how this is a male problem since it regards the male gender role in particular. " I didn't understand what that means. Thats not because what you said is meaningless, its because i just don't understand and deep philosophy conversations are not my bag.

            Regardless, I suspect that your experience is different on these boards because you have nominally come here to learn how to be better at dating women, yet you rail against women on these forums, and say that feminism is blocking you from achieving that goal. I am sure some advice you have received here is wide of the mark, but if you want to stop getting down votes you should instead focus on what is going on with you and ask for help after objectively analyzing your own weaknesses.

          • Gentleman Johnny says:

            Seconded. Never took a class in feminism. Don't really groove on the whole feminist theory thing. Also have never had a problem striking up conversations with women in the comments. Never been persecuted for my posts. Then again, I try to keep a flavor of referring to "people", "partners" etc because I believe that all people should be treated equally, its just that I only find certain ones sexually attractive.

          • Maybe it was because you repeatedly did say that men have it worse than women? You said that, repeatedly. We kept saying to you, both men and women struggle with self image, and you kept saying that men have it much worse. YOU were the one who turned it into a gendered debate.

            Most of the guys who post on here sound like genuinely awesome guys, and no women here have hostility towards men. We do have hostility towards people who specifically say the kind of shit that you say. I literally see your posts, roll my eyes and think "Oh god, it's Boat again." Don't really do that for anyone else's comments. Nearly everyone else on here is perfectly reasonable, and even if I don't necessary agree with them I respect the fact that they'll listen to what I say and take it into consideration just as I do for them. You do not do that. You don't listen to anyone, you twist your own argument and when people throw logic at you, you backpeddle and pretend you said something different to what you actually said.

            Also, feminism is not a dirty word. Feminism is equality of the sexes. If you believe in that, then you're a feminist too.

    • What exactly is the difference, to you, between "obligated to not oppress women and be decent human beings" and "feminist theory"? That IS feminist theory.

      I've always thought that the best way to succeed at dating is to treat your partner like a human being, and to be able to have empathy towards them. Relating men's dating troubles to women's dating troubles is demonstrating that BOTH genders have issues, and that we should have empathy towards each other, is it not?

      You can express your frustration…. towards dating. But expressing frustration towards WOMEN is a different kettle of fish all together. You'd STILL have problems with dating even if you weren't dating women (you were a man dating a man, or a woman dating a man) because this is a blog about dating problems, not "women" problems.

      • check my replies to the comments above. i think it answers yours.

      • Gentleman Johnny says:

        To be fair, as relates to the conversations above, feminist theory covers "don't oppress women" in a lot of detail. Yes, that one sentence is the main point but it wouldn't make a class, let alone a college major. I agree with everything you put in this post except that. There's definitely a dichotomy that you might call "common sense fmeinist theory" vs "classroom feminist theory". The common sense version you just summed up nicely. The classroom version I'm honestly unfamiliar with but whenever I see Doc using an unfamiliar term, I can safely assume that's where it comes from. Nothing good or bad about that, just an observation.

    • I think that a very good way to avoid oppressing women and to be a decent human being is to have a basic understanding of the way women are oppressed and the ways in which many human beings are currently not being decent. This is also a very good way to attain and maintain a healthy relationship with a woman.

      I don't see any digression into feminist theory in this article. Where does the author cite feminist scholars? Where are the references to feminist texts? Does Doc make some foray into Mulvey and Lacan somewhere? I must have missed the paragraph about post-structuralist paradigms and their relation to Dworkin's model of coercive sexuality. Maybe my browser window is too small.

      Look, dude, "our society is shitty to women" isn't feminist theory, it's modern-day fact. You don't need a degree in feminist studies to try and make the world a little nicer. The only person acting bitter and resentful here is you.

    • also i'm going to address what i think is a big elephant in the room, which is the huge disconnect between what the female DNL readers tend to express on behalf of women, and what women tend to express in real life.

      i think a very good example is the suggestion given in the "what makes a man attractive" article regarding a mans ability to relate to womens issues, because i've personally found that to be as far from the truth as you can possibly get. in my experience, women out there don't care one bit about feminism, gender issues, and don't at all consider themselves victims, despite admitting that they've been groped and oogled. even when i've expressed that "it must be awful being a woman in this society, constantly being seen as sexual object by guys everywhere" the response is usually "i dont really think of it that way, and i definitely wouldnt want to be a guy" and mostly women get annoyed or call you oversensitive when you talk like this. and this is coming from women that i know very well, not just some stranger.

      i just think this is worth bringing up, because it seems that female DNL readers are affecting the advice given by nerdlove, and i dont know if they are a sample group that is representative of women in general.

      • "even when i've expressed that "it must be awful being a woman in this society, constantly being seen as sexual object by guys everywhere" the response is usually "i dont really think of it that way, and i definitely wouldnt want to be a guy" and mostly women get annoyed or call you oversensitive when you talk like this. and this is coming from women that i know very well, not just some stranger. "

        Your anecdata is not particularly compelling.
        http://derailingfordummies.com/retaliation.html#b

      • And some black people think racism doesn't exist.

        Women are individuals, which means they have their own tastes and theories about their own life. But when you have the MAJORITY of women agreeing on a certain point (and it is a majority, going by how many women want access to birth control, read feminist blogs, marched for feminist rights, etc.) then there is probably some credence in that. Insisting that a minority isn't oppressed because not every single individual in that minority doesn't feel that way is ridiculous. There are documented cases of certain house slaves enjoying slavery and not seeing anything wrong with it… does that mean slavery was good?

        • im not saying that there aren't any womens issues. what im saying is that this is a dating blog, not a feminism blog, and that most women out there in real life don't at all seem to care one bit about the dating advice provided by the female feminist readers on this blog.

          • But (good) dating and feminism go hand-in-hand, because if you're trying to figure out how to avoid getting bad reactions from women, it's good to know WHY women are reacting that way.

            Women in real life (if we're taking you at your word that you've taken a poll of a large percentage of real life women) might not care about feminism theory or issues because they haven't encountered situations yet where it matters…. they might be taking feminism for granted (access to abortion, to birth control, being able to file a rape report, not being bought/sold to husbands.) Or maybe it makes them uncomfortable to discuss it…. yes, even with you.

            I know a LOT of women who do not identify themselves as feminist and even put feminism down because they know "feminist" is not an attractive word to a lot of guys. So in an attempt to seem cool and more attractive, they claim they are not one.

          • no, good dating and feminism does not go hand-in-hand, because it's absolutely not necessary to learn about feminism in order to be a good, respectful and understanding partner to a woman.

          • That's a feminist.

          • And how can you be a good, respectful and understand partner to a woman if you don't understand why she might be creeped out at something you do? If you don't understand why she's upset at men taking pictures of her on the street? If you don't listen to her concerns about sexual harassment at cons? All of these are "feminist" topics discussing in the blog… I would imagine that understanding these topics from a woman's perspective would only ENHANCE how respectful and good a partner a man is.

          • most guys are aware that there is a group of men who are creeps. feminist theory is everywhere. not a day goes by without media headlines reading "more women than ever in ceo positions" or "man convicted for photographing woman in toilet stall". international womens day, international girls day, highlighting how women dont just suffer in third world countries, but also in the west. us men see this all the time, everywhere. it does not escape us.

            so what im saying is, when looking to get better with women we really do not need to delve into feminist theory in order to understand that women are being assaulted, creeped out and whatnot. most of us have mothers, sisters, teachers, ex girlfriends who can attest that yes, they've been groped. on top of that you have countless social media campaigns trying to bring womens issues to light.

            so what im saying is that if a person is not inherently respectful, he's not going to care about the above, but if he is respectful, he will be sensitive to it.

            what's going to help is teaching a guy how to understand social dynamics and read social situations better, to gain confidence and abundance mentality so that he can act out of personal choice and not desperation. feminism is good too, but like ive said before, its not an integral part of dating. its a valid topic, but sort of out of place when you are trying to teach guys how to be better with women.

          • "its not an integral part of dating. its a valid topic, but sort of out of place when you are trying to teach guys how to be better with women. "

            That sentence right there? That's why you could only list "ex-girlfirends" in your list of women in your life.

          • Gentleman Johnny says:

            I think the point was more that one can be repectful and understanding through communication and treating one's partner like a valued human being. Actual use of feminist terms is not required. Even if neithter of you knows anything about formal feminism it is pretty easy to arrive the same conclusions through open communication and respect for others. It could be argued that any sort of egalitarian, respectful relationship is inherently feminist but such an argument will be lost on people with no formal background in feminist theory.

          • ….but….learning to be a good, respectful, and understanding partner would be part of supporting feminism. Seriously, that would be a pro-feminist thing to do.

          • Gentleman Johnny says:

            I think this is where my issue is. Yes, feminism encourages that behavior but it does not have a lock on that behavior. One can be all of the things above without self-labeling as feminist. Much like giving to the poor is the Christian thing to do but not all people who give to the poor self-identify as Christian.

            Now personally I don't have a problem with being called a feminist aside from my resistance to labels of any sort. I can understand why people unfamiliar with formal feminist theory may not like to see others apply a label to them.

          • People who date have issues that need addressing. Savage Love is a sex advice column, but as people that have sex tend to have issues that need addressing, it likewise tends to stray into civil rights and awareness territory.

          • "im not saying that there aren't any womens issues. what im saying is that this is a dating blog, not a feminism blog, and that most women out there in real life don't at all seem to care one bit about the dating advice provided by the female feminist readers on this blog. "

            Since Harris is obviously a male and is obviously writing these from a male perspective, maybe there ARE some stretches and leaps and assumptions that women might not take as seriously as we think. (We aren't mind readers, so you never know).

            But I do think having a better understanding of how you come across IN GENERAL as opposed to just out on the dating scene is important to overall improvement OF said dating life. We could give you all the same cheat codes and short cuts and what not to "win" at the Dating Game, but I think it is important to have an understanding of how the opposite side sees you and what could POSSIBLY going through their minds so you can chiggity-check-yo-self before you riggidy-wreck-yo-self and come across as something you're not trying to come across as. And if "feminist" articles like this help that, exposing bad behaviors and showing how bad they CAN get if not put in check, then he's doing his job.

      • Boat there are problems with what you are saying: You assume that feminism is academic and not for women in the "real world", you also argue that the women on this forum are skewing the website. IIRC, the what makes a man attractive article was more about characteristics not normally found in nerds that would help their dating style: being passionate, being respectful, and most importantly being self-confident. None of that has anything to do with feminism on its face.

        More importantly the point of feminism isn't to say "women are victims because men are dicks" at least not the feminism i've read. From what I can gather feminism is about recognizing that there are parts of our society that structurally and culturally block women from being considered equal like when a congressman says a candidate isn't acting ladylike or a comic con where a guy inappropriately fondles women because they are paid to exhibit the products there (the term booth babes …. no good). Assume women are constantly victimized misses the point, treating women with respect requires that we assume people, regardless of gender, have an equal claim to all parts of our society.

        If you thought telling women it must be hard to be oppressed was going to help your dating, well…. you are wrong. Look at that picture of Ryan Gossling eating some cereal. That look says, "Hey, lets enjoy some time together" not "Damn i'm sorry your oppressed"

        If you are going to persist by arguing that women on this forum are stopping you from getting the advice you need, you need to wake up and start taking these articles to heart. That doesn't by making fallacious arguments like "some people i know think differently, therefore real women don't care about feminism". You aren't going to get anywhere with anyone thinking like that. You're better move would be to see where you have shortcomings and ask for advice on how to fix that rather than blaming women on this board from stopping you from getting good advice.

      • I hate to be the bearer of bad news, sugarplum, but if the other female DNL readers are anything like me, they have no problem with expressing these views in "real life." They might even have lots of women type friends who *also* express those views in spaces which involve actual in person interaction. And men type friends with similar views as well. Also, just because the women in your offline space don't express them to you in particular doesn't mean that they don't express them when you are not around.

        • well, i think its more that people who are into feminism tend to congregate online and create an echo chamber among themselves, and that women in general aren't as sensitive to womens issues. its my experience that most people will label themselves feminist, both men and women, but mostly to express that they're okay with whatever progress feminists are doing, but without really being sensitive to the issues that feminism revolves around.

          • "women in general aren't as sensitive to womens issues"

            Um, seriously?

          • People who are into feminism tend to congregate offline, too. I know that I personally tend to prefer hanging out with people who hold feminist views, whether or not they are expressly willing to claim the term "feminist." I also tend to avoid people who *don't* hold feminist views because I have this picky little aversion to people who treat me like I am Lesser just because I happen to be female bodied. You don't have to be a feminist scholar to be a feminist, you just have to think that treating one gender worse than another based solely on their sex/gender is a bad thing. That's it.

          • what i mean is that the majority of feminists i know both in real life and online are people who either don't fit into normative gender roles themselves (geeks, transgenders), who have been introduced to feminism through anti-normative sub-cultures (punk, nerddom) or who have suffered from acts of violence.

            so what i mean is that there seems to be a pool of people who for one reason or another have turned to questioning norms and social constructs, and in my experience, the majority of mainstream people don't really seem to care much about it because they've never been exposed to a catalyst that made them question anything.

            so what i mean is, is this "feminist pool" really representative of how the majority of women reason and feel in regards to dating? a lot of you seem to say yes, and insinuate that women are merely uninformed or refuse to admit their position, but to contrast this i know a lot of strong, successful and capable women who brush off the kind of sensitivity that is being discussed here as uninteresting and irrelevant.

            so which side is right?

          • lots of redundant repetitions in that comment. guess im tired. =)

          • It's true that there are a lot of women who aren't knowledgeable about feminism or who wouldn't consider themselves feminists – but that doesn't mean that they don't experience the situations that feminism examines or have many of the same thoughts, just that they haven't thought about them as much. I think feminist ideas are being used here b/c it gives us words and ideas to talk explicitly about women's experiences so that they can be understood even by people who haven't experienced them.

      • Commonly known as X says:

        Boat: 'even when i've expressed that "it must be awful being a woman in this society, constantly being seen as sexual object by guys everywhere" the response is usually "i dont really think of it that way, and i definitely wouldnt want to be a guy" and mostly women get annoyed or call you oversensitive when you talk like this. and this is coming from women that i know very well'…
        As a woman who has experienced various forms of sexism, I still don't want to be a man. I feel happy in my own body – I would just rather I lived in a society that accepted people as equals. Racism definitely exists, but if you asked most black people wouldn't they rather be white I think most of them would disagree, and many of them would also be annoyed at the question.

    • Like I said in a comment on another one of the Doc's posts, if you express your frustration about something, I want to know what you intend to do about it. If you're just going to expect everyone else to do the work for you while you sit on your ass, or if you don't have any intention of seeing the source of your frustration dealt with or accepted gracefully, then I consider you to be nothing but a whiny little bitch.

      • expressing frustration is part of the learning process. to have feminists come in and twist what should be a process to help guys get better with women into a feminist theory discussion is counter-productive. feminism is not a necessary part of learning to get good with women, or being a respectful partner.

        • Bruce McGlory says:

          “no, good dating and feminism does not go hand-in-hand, because it’s absolutely not necessary to learn about feminism in order to be a good, respectful and understanding partner to a woman. ”

          Seriously. This is just painfully embarrassing. THAT IS FEMINISM.

        • Yes. Yes it is. And having a woman or man come in and say "Hey, those things you're saying are really kind of shitty and descriminatory," should be taken as CONSTRUCTIVE criticism. The right responses are "What makes them shitty? How do I avoid saying things that come across as shitty in the future?" Not "HOW DARE YOU SAY I'M BEING SHITTY YOU HARPY! YOU ARE STOPPING ME FROM LEARNING TO BE BETTER WITH WOMEN." (I'm being hyperbolic here, but do you realize that's basically how you're coming across?)

          • Yeah, in order to go through a learning process, you have to accept that maybe, just maybe, you've got it all wrong. Making statements about what you believe in generally doesn't give off that vibe of "I admit I could be way off here" unless you explicitly and sincerely state it. Asking questions that aren't loaded or just statements in disguise is a much better way of showing that you are open to the possibility that you might be wrong and that you actually care about getting it right for real, especially if you do not mention or only weakly mention what you believe the answer to be.

        • So if a man expresses his frustration in ways that are disrespectful to women, how are they supposed to learn to respect women as partners if no one points out that they're being disrespectful? As I noted in my other comment to you, the only men who get criticized for expressing their frustration here are those who do it in ways that objectify, dismiss, and/or demonize women, any of which I think we can agree is disrespectful?

          The basic definition of feminism is the belief that women should be treated as equal to men. How can you be a respectful partner if you don't see your partner as an equal human being? How can a blog discuss how to be a respectful partner without talking about how to see women as equal human beings? If you believe women are equal human beings, then you have feminist beliefs, whether you call yourself one or not.

          So I'm really not sure what the problem is here? Can you be more specific about what about this article is "counterproductive" to helping men get better with women and respect them as partners? Because it kind of sounds like you're saying, "Men should be respectful of women, but they shouldn't have to hear anyone tell them they're being disrespectful when they are, because that makes them feel bad. And it's more important that the men not feel bad than that they respect women."

          • you are wrong in assuming that the only men who are criticized here are ones with harmful opinions, and that's part of my complaint.

            the DNL site is kind of inconsistent because its presented as a support tool in helping nerds understand how to get better with women, but its mixed to a large degree with feminist theory, which is featured far more than what is necessary in order to help nerds get better with women.

            even when the feminist theory is relevant, such as in explaining to a guy why he is expected to do the approaching and why its not laziness on the girl's account, it's almost always twisted, by the commenters mostly, into rants about how much women suffer. that's when the whole thing goes down the drain, in my opinion.

            a simplified example:

            guy: why are women so lazy? this is the 2000s!! why cant they approach for once?!
            nerdlove: heres why. gender dynamics condition men and women into roles that….
            guy: but why isnt this changing??
            dnl reader 1: you think being a man is hard????? try being a woman for a day. every day we face the fears of blah blah blah blah.

            do i really have to point out how this website is too much of an echochamber for avid feminists to be helpful to men trying to get better at women?

            and thats not to mention that if a discussion ensues, the attitude becomes very toxic and even more heated.

            so like i said, it doesnt seem like the website is a good source of help for nerds looking to get better with women, because the above approach certainly isnt a good one, given that its aimed at helping the nerd who's currently getting yelled at for not understanding feminist theory when really he just need a bit of help understanding why things look the way they do.

          • Um, I *asked* you directly in my other comment if you could provide any examples of men who weren't being disrespectful to women being criticized here, and you didn't reply, and you haven't provided any examples in the comment above. A made-up one isn't proof. So where is your proof that women are doing this? Why should I believe it's happening when I haven't seen it and you can't seem to point to a single time it actually happened?

            Oh, and by the way, saying "why are women so lazy?" as if the reason women don't approach men is because of laziness rather than the increased risk and so on you claim that all American men are well aware of already, *is* disrespectful. It's no different than saying something like, "Why can't black people stop being so lazy and just get better jobs for themselves?" (Or maybe you think that would be totally not-racist?).

            I find it interesting that the only actual example of a comment being unfairly attacked that you gave to someone else is the thread about men not getting complimented by women. The thread in which I took the time to a) admit I was wrong to assume you totally agreed with the person whose arguments you were supporting, b) politely explained why you were getting a negative reaction–because the post you were commenting on had nothing to do with what you were commenting on, not because it was something that would never be good to comment on ever! and c) I explicitly gave you the benefit of the doubt, saying that I realized you probably hadn't derailed the conversation on purpose. Now I'm glad I never returned to that post after making that comment, if this is how you viewed it.

            Dude, if someone politely explaining a situation to you, telling you they don't think you mean to do anything wrong, and offering a suggestion of where what you want to say might be better received is something you see as an attack, then it's no wonder you think women are attacking everyone. I have to wonder what we could possibly say, other than "yes, you're completely right about everything always", would *not* be an attack to you.

          • i think you understand very well what kind of comments im referring to. in the last discussion, we explicitly stated that what we are expressing is a male-specific issue related to the male gender ideal, i.e. the role of the aggressor that the man is expected to play. i quite literally stated the following:

            "because nobody is dismissing anything that has to do with women. we are expressing what social dynamics are doing to guys."

            and

            "nobody is framing anything to make it sound like women are the winners in every area, but nobody seems to recognize the areas in which men suffer"

            yet somehow, we managed to get direct responses such as:

            "You keep saying men have it worse. Women take how good they have it for granted."

            or

            "And what we are saying is that our experiences are not comparable."

            i can't even fathom how innocently stating that "this is what is happening to guys, but we're not saying that it's worse than what's happening to women" is met with "how can you say that men have it better???"

            it's like female dnl readers are trying to force it into a gender debate.

            and as for the toxic attitude i've been describing, my "you are cool and awesome. keep doing that. =)" was at one point downvoted to -7, in response to "I tell my boyfriend that he's pretty every single day." which has had a steady +8. i was clearly downvoted by people who took issue with just about anything i said, regardless of what point i was making, which goes to show that people on here aren't exactly looking to have constructive debates to help guys get better, but rather look for excuses to fight about sexism.

            and that's why i keep saying that it's a bad place for guys right now.

          • Also, when a discussion has turned to an issue about ways people are discriminated against… trying to turn the conversation towards how a more privileged group is also discriminated against is insulting. In the same way that, if we were having a conversation about the struggles families living in poverty face, it would be bad manners to say "But there are totally problems facing middle class families too! Why are poor people always complaining about how bad they have it when middle class families face a lot of discrimination from corporations and rich people!"

          • the discussion actually started out with highlighting a specific way in which guys suffer from the male gender role and how this is the reason why a lot of them probably have a hard time looking past their own problems, so it was kind of relevant.

          • Boat… you are missing the whole point. Meet me halfway here, man. I'm going to point to Mel's comment below about the responses to the various topics raised and point out that overwhelmingly both male and female commentors are trying to meet you halfway.

            Let me break this down better:

            Guys come here wanting to get better at dating, in order to accomplish this goal they need to correct a number of factors:
            1) Poor attitude about self
            2) Poor understanding of how their behavior comes across, which is a symptom of a lack of understanding about how women view the world
            3) Lack of skills they can apply to being better at dating. I.E. Starting a conversation, dressing to look good, understanding specific nonverbal cues.

            So you see a couple different kinds of posts here, but at any point the discussion can wander around to topic number two. When women or other men helpfully respond by explaining how things come across to women, or the frame of reference women have when experiencing certain things (like men approaching them) it is counter-productive to assert that the topic has been derailed in favor of feminist theory. As people have been pointing out for the last 10 hours or so, understanding what I'm referring to as a woman's frame of reference, and you're referring to as "feminist theory" is actually a super important skill for having a functional relationship. When you ignore these points it creates the implication that either you view women as objects (whose feelings don't matter because they are just there as a relationship accessory for you) or that you are super entitled (because you can't stand the discussion veering from the very specific topic you wanted to address). What you are viewing as derailing and assaults is actually people trying to help you. If you listen instead of getting defensive you are going to learn SO DAMN MUCH.

          • you are entirely right about your comment, but the issue im taking is with the emphasis of #2 and how this is expressed through the attitudes of nerdlove et al.

            ill quote myself from another comment:

            "everything boils down to that if there's anywhere where male gender role suffering is relevant, it's on a website aimed at helping males deal with the issues associated with their gender role. it's weird to me that nerdlove et al always seem to prefer to respond to things through a women's issues perspective rather than a male "gender suffering" perspective.

            for example, a "why do women never pay attention to me" is almost always met with a "what makes you think you are entitled to women??????" rather than a "i know what its like being ignored, its just something we have to deal with as men. gender roles affect both sexes in different ways. it sucks."

            in fact, as was made obvious from the previous discussion regarding males and attention, merely claiming that men aren't receiving much attention is apparently highly controversial as it means that we believe that men have it worse than women, which is obviously not the case (and is a good example of the twisting of arguments that i mentioned earlier).

            understanding the female perspective is important, yes, but this website appears to be a bait-and-switch in the sense that if you come her as a male geek, expecting to have your male geek frustrations and issues understood and sympathized with by nerdlove et al and if you are expecting to get help with these problems in a frictionless manner, then you are in for a disappointment as people will always be interpreting your problems through female suffering glasses, ready to counter whatever frustration you have with how women have it worse."

          • I responded to that comment too. I really do want to see you get the help you're looking for. Please understand that I'm not trying to be dismissive of you, I'm trying to help you see that you are misunderstanding the first step in addressing the problem.

          • "i think you understand very well what kind of comments im referring to."

            No, I don't, which is why I asked. If I already knew they existed and where, why would I be questioning that? I'm trying to have an honest discussion with you here. I'm increasingly getting the sense that *you're* not interested in actually discussing the subject so much as trying to convince everyone that you're right regardless of what they say, though, so this will probably be the last time I attempt to reason with you.

            "in the last discussion, we explicitly stated that what we are expressing is a male-specific issue related to the male gender ideal, i.e. the role of the aggressor that the man is expected to play."

            I'm not sure which discussion you're referring to. You mean the comment thread about how men don't get physical compliments? As I explicitly pointed out to you there, and above (and as you keep ignoring), the reason you got a hostile response was not so much because of your argument itself, but because the thread was completely irrelevant to the podcast in the post. There was literally *no* reason for that topic to be brought up in that comment thread other than to make sure the points DNL made about women approaching didn't only show the women's side, even though the rest of the podcast itself, and most of the other posts here, focus on the man's side of dating. Just the fact that a guy can't even hear a woman's perspective without making sure she knows that he has problems too is disrespectful, and people were frustrated with you no matter what you said because the fact the conversation was going on there at all was oppressive. The commenter who started that thread (and *you*, by participating) are the ones who forced it into a gender debate, by responding to "Here's why women don't usually approach" not with "Oh, thanks for explaining" or asking questions about that, but by immediately turning it into a discussion of "but what about the problems men have!"

          • actually, the discussion started out with "here's why i think a lot of guys have trouble relating to women" which is kind of relevant to what nerdlove brought up in the podcast, regarding men constantly wondering why women never approach them.

            people then proceeded to argue, not against the fact that this comment itself was posted, but against the notion that men are suffering from lack of attention.

            i then proceeded to argue on behalf of men on that one, as i thought it was strange that so many people argued against the idea that men aren't experiencing this, despite the fact that gender roles dictate such a social dynamic.

          • Okay, I'll reply one more time.

            1) The "here's why I think a lot of guys have trouble relating to women" was followed only with a link to a post in which a guy clearly suggested that women are lucky to have men overtly sexualize them in inappropriate ways. It doesn't matter whether you personally agreed with that idea–that's how the thread started, and there's no way anyone who thinks women are equal human beings is going to agree with that sentiment, so it had an air of hostility and disrespect toward women from the very beginning.

            2) It wasn't even "kind of" related to what DNL mentioned in the podcast. DNL never said anything like "I wonder why men can't relate to women"–he clearly assumed that some men can't, which is why he *explained* what it's like from the woman's perspective. In no way, shape, or form did he so much as imply that men should be able to relate to women without getting some outside info like what he was providing. And he was specifically talking about understanding why women don't approach–the link in the comment that started the thread said *nothing* about men approaching women or women approaching men; it was all about the responses men and women get to their physical appearance. If I'm talking about how to peel a banana, and you start talking about how hard it is to pick apples, it's still off-topic even though we're both talking about accessing fruit.

            3) The fact that people argued with you rather than simply saying the comment shouldn't have been posted is not an example of people being hostile, but of people being flexible and engaging in the conversation to try to show you their point of view *despite* the fact that it was a derail. Witness that in a recent post about what love is, the longest comment thread was about a guy wanting to know how he can find more women to have no strings attached sex with. Nothing to do with the article, but people were still willing to answer his comments and try to discuss the topic with him, because most of us want to be constructive even when people start off on the wrong foot.

            However, the fact that it was a derail and started in a hostile way can't help but affect how friendly people are feeling. So while some people were willing to discuss the topic, they were already on the defensive and not feeling particularly generous in assuming you had good intentions at heart.

            I've gone back and checked the post, and even though my point about the derail was made in a separate, less active thread than the main discussion, and late in the discussion, it got three up-votes and someone commenting that she agreed. Clearly I wasn't the only person who saw the main problem as the derailing.

            4) While I was involved in the conversation (which was for a significant part of it), I didn't see anyone denying that men experience less attention from women about their appearance than women do from men. What I saw was people arguing that the majority of the attention women get isn't actually ego-boosting or anything men would find beneficial, that men having this problem didn't excuse them from trying to understand women's perspectives on what the podcast *actually* mentioned (approaching women), that women do compliment men on being attractive in other ways, and that this lack of attention doesn't automatically create horrible ego complexes in almost every guy. None of which is what you're complaining about here, or an attack on you, or an unwillingness to have any discussion about what men experience.

          • Look at the recent posts here. As I said before, the best example can be seen in the "What Makes a Man Attractive" post.

            -A commenter named William expressed that he felt women dismissed him because he isn't physically attractive enough. I see a whole bunch of commenters (many of whom are women) reassuring him that there are women who like his type, giving him suggestions of where he might find women who'd appreciate his looks and personality, and advice on how to build his confidence. I don't see a single person responding in a hostile way, even though he made comments about how hard it is to approach etc.

            -LeeEsq expressed frustration over women seeming to place such an emphasis on height. Again, I see lots of commenters reassuring and offering constructive advice, and the only time any real criticism came out was when he started talking about it as it being a problem of women being too picky–and after a few people explained why that wasn't a useful way of looking at the situation, he acknowledged that he could see that, and all was well.

            -The Mikey expressed frustration over feeling intimidated about approaching women, and three female commenters (including myself) wrote several long comments in response to his concerns trying to work out how he might work on feeling more comfortable around women. No hostility there either.

            -An anon commenter who actually started with a fairly combative comment ("So basically you have to be half-past perfect") nonetheless had several commenters talking with him trying to work out where specifically he was having trouble and offering suggestions, and the frustration that he did end up getting was not because of his feelings about women, but about the fact that he didn't seem to have any interest in or respect for *any* other human beings, male or female.

            -The only (few) people who got critical comments right off the bat (and notice these are by far the shortest threads–there weren't dozens of people ganging up once a few had made their point) are those who said really obviously problematic things, like suggesting that women don't care enough about fitting some traditional standard that all men want, or claiming there isn't and never was a patriarchy.

            So where are all these off-topic gender debates and rants about feminism you're talking about? Where's this supposed lack of support for men wanting dating advice? I don't see it in any of the other recent posts either. It seems pretty clear to me that when the men commenting are being anything less than total jerks about it, the women who follow this blog are happy to offer constructive suggestions and reassurance. Even in this post here, the comment threads that have gotten heated are the ones that started out with guys being hostile about how women supposedly exaggerate their issues/demonize all men/have turned this blog into an awful place. If you're hostile toward other people, those people are likely to respond in kind. You can't attack someone and then use the fact that they defend themselves as proof that they're so aggressive (whereas you of course are not). (And note that the article DNL posted was *not* an attack on any men except those who treat women as objects, so if you don't treat women that way, there was nothing to defend yourself from. So you can't say the hostility from guys here was because they were already attacked.)

            I'm sorry that your feelings were hurt that people didn't want to hear about a random problem that men had in a post completely unrelated to that problem. But your hurt feelings don't mean there's a widespread problem here on the blog, or that the women commenting are evil feminist harpies or some such.

          • everything boils down to that if there's anywhere where male gender role suffering is relevant, it's on a website aimed at helping males deal with the issues associated with their gender role.

            it's weird to me that nerdlove et al always seem to prefer to respond to things through a women's issues perspective rather than a male "gender suffering" perspective.

            for example, a "why do women never pay attention to me" is almost always met with a "what makes you think you are entitled to women??????" rather than a "i know what its like being ignored, its just something we have to deal with as men. gender roles affect both sexes in different ways. it sucks."

            in fact, as was made obvious from the previous discussion regarding males and attention, merely claiming that men aren't receiving much attention is apparently highly controversial as it means that we believe that men have it worse than women, which is obviously not the case (and is a good example of the twisting of arguments that i mentioned earlier).

            understanding the female perspective is important, yes, but this website appears to be a bait-and-switch in the sense that if you come her as a male geek, expecting to have your male geek frustrations and issues understood and sympathized with by nerdlove et al and if you are expecting to get help with these problems in a frictionless manner, then you are in for a disappointment as people will always be interpreting your problems through female suffering glasses, ready to counter whatever frustration you have with how women have it worse.

          • Because "why do women never pay attention to me" is a question that reflects the entitled belief that it is some woman's job to pay attention to you. "Why doesn't Girl X pay attention to me," is a slightly less troublesome question, but still suggests you think you deserve her attention. Patting you on the head and telling you that it isn't your fault doesn't help you.

            Pointing out that you're being entitled gives you the opportunity to get over that attitude (it is fucking unattractive) and to start addressing the actual problem… but we don't know what the problem is, because all you're telling us is that women aren't throwing themselves at you the way you deserve, god damn it!

            If you want sympathy talk to your mother or your best friend. If you want advice on how to get better with women come here. And once you're here you have to accept THAT THE PROBLEM ISN'T WOMEN, THE PROBLEM IS YOU (or the way you are approaching women, or the way you dress or something on your end)! And then you can fix the problems that are preventing you from being attractive and interesting to a woman.

            No one owes you shit. No one owes you attention, affection, or any of that. If you won't accept that the problem isn't "women never pay attention to me," but is in fact "I do things that turn women off or creep them out," then no one can help you. Seriously, as long as you are blaming women for you not being interesting to them you are going to have problems. Believing that there is something wrong with society because women aren't attracted to you IS ABOUT AS ENTITLED AS IT GETS. You, right fucking now are being entitled. And you are complaining that people are pointing it out.

            This is why I keep saying "Meet me half-way." I'm meeting you half-way in assuming you are a decent person who doesn't realize that he has things to improve about himself. You meet me halfway and assume that maybe, just fucking maybe, you need to take responsibility for your problems (the whole discussion about internal vs. external locus of control) and ask the right questions.. like "Shit, this entitled attitude of mine is a huge turn off to women. How do I get past this and start digging deeper into the things I need to work on?"

          • well, attention from women is not based on a condition where if you are not creepy, it is automatically given to you. i find that since gender roles dictate that men are meant to be assertive and dominant and women submissive and reluctant, this creates a social dynamic where men are ignored and shied away from unless they go out of their way to get attention the right way, which takes a lot of effort that doesn't come to a lot of people naturally.

            what im suggesting is, stop attacking men for expressing feelings that are in line with having been raised under such circumstances. it is quite normal to feel frustrated at being ignored when living in such a system, and on a dating site aimed at helping males, i really see no reason to accuse them of "feeling entitled to women" when this is clearly not the case.

          • Boat… it is never going to be "automatically given to you." That's what everyone has been saying. You refer to the problem as "feeling frustrated at being ignored," well the solution to being ignored is to learn how to be interesting, not to come online and sulk about it. When you say "Women don't pay attention to me," people are going to explain why that's an entitled fucking attitude (Clearly that is the case. You're the only one who doesn't realize that's the case. Your whole problem here is that you refuse to accept that you might be entitled.) And then help you move past that entitled attitude and learn 1) what is preventing you from being interesting to women and 2) how to be more interesting to women. But as long as you keep suggesting that attempts to help you are "attacks" you aren't going to get anywhere. No one is attacking men. You are classifying attempts to help you understand what you're doing wrong as "attacks." They aren't. I've said over and over and over again that they are constructive criticisms. You need to accept them and learn from them. Or keep rejecting them and being dismissive and entitled… but no one likes a sulky entitled man-child… (A claim that is validated by your feelings that women ignore you. Maybe they ignore you because you're being sulky and entitled.)

          • So basically you are totally ignoring all the concrete evidence I presented that your claims of women taking over the blog with their hostile feminism are unfounded, in order to just ramble on some more about your general complaints? I've presented several examples of commenters (including many women) being completely supportive of men who aren't being hostile or not very hostile, and you've presented all of one example of commenters being somewhat hostile (for which they had good reasons, which I've explained before), and yet you still think it makes sense to claim that men "almost always" get criticism rather than support. How does that make sense? It feels like you're sticking your fingers in your ears and saying "Na na na na, I can't hear you" at me, which really does not lend itself to the constructive sort of discussion you earlier claimed you wanted.

            And by the way, if you actually looked at the comment threads I pointed to, you would have seen *me* saying to one guy that I know what it's like to not get attention from the opposite gender for no reason you can see, that it sucks and I sympathize with him and his frustration, and to another guy saying something like "yep, gender roles are really screwed up for both men and women in different ways, and it sucks." In fact, I believe I said something along the lines of the first to *you* in that comment thread you keep referencing as being such a perfect example of awfulness. And that's just things *I've* said–I've seen other commenters sympathize with men's frustration plenty of times. So basically in your argument here you're also explicitly denying things are happening here that I personally have done multiple times in the past ten days–and one of those times, with you yourself! I'm sorry, but I'm going to have to believe the *facts* of what I have actively done over your unsupported *opinions* about what you feel is happening.

            I also agree with everything Orv's said about why just sitting around sympathizing about men's frustration is not actually going to help them get better at dating too. And now I'm going to completely bow out of this conversation, because you've very clearly proven that you aren't really interested in anything I might have to say.

          • "Why are women so lazy?"—> That's a question that phrases the problem "I'm nervous about approaching women," as "I don't want to have to approach women because it makes me nervous and that is way more important than anything that could make them uncomfortable approaching me!"

            That's why you get female readers who are angry about that sort of question. Because women are people too. They get to be nervous the same way you get to be nervous AND ON TOP OF THAT there is societal conditioning, experiences approaching actual men where the men were offput by their approach, and the always present dangers associated with approaching a male stranger. It is a question that indicates the guy feels entitled to a woman's attention and is angry (angry because he started by accusing women of being lazy) that they aren't giving him that attention. I'm not saying that's how you intended it to come across, but as the speaker it is your job to clear up misconceptions about your intentions and the thoughts behind your words.

          • You could always stop reading. Isn't there an internet term for people who read blog/sites/forums that they constantly disagree with just so that they can make negative comments and get people riled up and argue with them… What is it called? Tolls? Rolls? Crolls?

          • im pointing out that the site comes off as a bait-and-switch, and i provided some pretty reasonable arguments as to why (such as the answers i gave just above your post). if nerdlove and the dnl commenters don't want to take them to heart, then so be it.

          • Boat, no one here is baiting-and-switching. People are trying to have for real conversations about these issues, but look at how you've responded when people try to reply to your complaints. You aren't willing to meet anyone halfway. You are basically demanding that your concerns and ONLY YOUR CONCERNS are valid. That isn't how it works. This isn't Dr. Nerdlove teaches Boat to be awesome. You can, however, learn to be awesome if you engage with people honestly. You have to meet people halfway though. And instead of doing that you're getting (what seems) angrier and more defensive. I don't think you're trolling, I think you really don't understand how entitled you're being.

            Think of the site as a tool, like a hammer. It can certainly help you accomplish your goal, but you need to use it the right way. In the same way that taking the hammer and just pressing it against a nail wouldn't work, phrasing questions in insulting entitled language and getting angry when people have a poor reaction won't get you anywhere. I understand you aren't trying to be entitled, but the onus is on you to understand the message your words send. I feel like you definitely look at women as "other," as some vast monolithic group that is not on your side. It is hard to look at ourselves and identify our faults, but that is the first step to being better. I know you think you have provided "some pretty reasonable arguments" but what you've actually provided are increasingly persecuted sounding complaints, in an environment where no one is persecuting you.

    • Boat I will admit my understanding of feminist philosophy is very limited. But frankly, being a good person has no "ism" to it, its just the right thing to do. Part of the problem is that in our geek culture we have a set of norms that are rather unwelcoming to women i.e. victimization, being creepy, oneism, white knighting, and male privilege. Even this discussion about creepy culture is about background principles and unacceptable assumptions that men make in this culture (not all men but some).

      I think DNL is trying to get to the root of your frustrations in dating by making nerds realize that their behaviors need adjusting if they fruitful relationships. But to perceive dating problems as some kind of ingrained "dating dynamic" where you are powerless or where women are aligned towards hating men is wrong.

      Question what you are saying more seriously: Calling the women who must be "arbitrarily downvoting" your comments reveals some unsavory parts of who you are. 1) i doubt just women are down voting your thoughts, 2) calling such people bitter and resentful plays right into the patriarchal thought that feminist women just need to relax and stop being so bitter. These statements you are making belie a kind of thought process that leads to your next conclusion, men are powerless, they are the subject of shaming, and constant man-hating (and just men, you). If you want to break that cycle stop saying people are irrelevantly ranting, stop calling women arbitrary, stop assuming that you are being downvoted because women are bitter and start listening and empathizing with what critics have to say. What you are saying now, i bet, also bleeds into your dating and that will be a major turn off.

      I am man. No matter what genitalia you have, some behavior is just wrong and these creepers need to know that others won't tolerate it.

    • While I understand that when looking for dating advise, most guys don't want to be told horror stories about other men abusing, exploiting, and objectifying women. These stories are not about you. You are probably a decent person. But at the same time, I think it's important that the average guy understand that these dynamics have a huge impact on the way women live, because for better or for worse, they create obstacles that you absolutely must navigate if you want to be successful at dating. It's easy to brush these things off as "not my problem". It's equally easy to whine about how the small minority are giving the majority of men a bad rap. But ultimately, this is reality, and even if you are not an activist for feminist causes, the problems that feminists complain about also affect you, and it serves you to know about them.

      Yes, some guys have a good intuition for social interaction and are able to avoid freaking out women, and even those who don't usually are able to manage just fine in the end. But you are here, on an advise website, presumably because you want to get better. And learning about feminism and the social dynamics that inform the way women interact with the people around them is a perfectly good place to start. Take responsibility. Become informed. Let it help you.

      • And lets be honest, in our geek/nerd culture there is a higher probability of awkwardness towards women than in the general society. There are a lot of problems in our culture that nerds need to take into account and need to take responsibility for. If you need proof look at booth babes (cringe), many comic books, video games, fighting game culture, xbox live, and numerous other nerd past-times. For far too long our culture has allowed social awkwardness, victimization, and our own insecurity about women dominate the rest of past-times and its is high time we said "enough is enough, women have just as much claim to nerd culture as we do, lets treat each other with mutual respect".

        From what Boat has said, he is playing off the same victimization and is blaming women, writ large, for denying him from successfully getting what he wants, good dating advice. I disagree with that line of thinking. Boat, you need to look at yourself, change yourself, and things will get better for your dating lifestyle.

      • *Applause* That's a great way of putting it, thank you.

      • This. We live in a world where women have a lot of reasons to be afraid of men, and many reasons to be annoyed by them when we're not afraid. If you want to be successful at dating women, you need to not be fear-inducing/annoying. Understanding *why* women get afraid/annoyed is a basic first step in not doing that.

    • Can you give me a quote where this article, or any other here, claims that men are obligated to subscribe to feminism, as you put it? I'm pretty sure the article's saying, hey, here's a way some men oppress women, make sure you're not doing this and consider calling out men you know who do. How does that conflict with your suggestion that men do indeed need to become better people and not oppress women to get better at dating? How are men supposed to make sure they're not oppressing women if they aren't aware of the ways that oppression might play out in their attitudes and behavior?

      Can you point to even one example in the comments of any post here where a woman made a "hateful" or "shaming" comment to a man who wasn't already being hateful to women? Can you point to a comment where a man has expressed his frustration with dating *without blaming women for it* and the replies have said it's all his fault? You're making some very broad generalizations that I don't see any evidence to back up. The only time I've seen men get criticized for sharing frustrations here is when their frustrations are expressed as "Why are women so picky/superficial/paranoid/other criticism?" If you look at the "what makes men attractive" post, you'll see that a) it is possible for men to express their frustration with their dating lives without putting all or most of the blame on women, and b) when men do that, lots of women are happy to offer friendly suggestions and advice. You get what you give.

      Before you can say something like, "But this post started it by being putting all the blame on men," I will point out that nowhere does DNL say that all men have this attitude, that it's more than just one of the many reasons some men may have trouble with women, or that women never do anything wrong. Also, guess what, if you're looking for advice on how to fix something you seem to be doing wrong, part of that advice is going to be *telling you what you might be doing wrong*. How can DNL talk about how guys can get better at dating without discussing the mistakes they make? It's not "blaming" you, it's diagnosing the possible problems. And he's talked about tons of other possible problems that have nothing to do with attitudes toward women in tons of other posts.

      You're complaining about the number of bitter and resentful people here, while expressing an awful lot of bitterness and resentment yourself. Doesn't that mean you're part of the problem you yourself don't like? I'm not sure why you think making a bitter and resentful post will somehow contribute to making the discussions here less bitter and resentful…

    • Goldfinch says:

      I kind-of think men should be obligated to care about and subscribe to feminist theory. Most of it, anyway. Any decent human being can't really argue with the first wave, third wave and early second wave. (There was some pretty dodgy stuff in the late second wave which seemed to me rather like sexual shame and misandry dressed up as philosophy.)

      But yeah, I don't get the accusations of "derailing" on comments regarding "How does this affect my dating?". As far as I'm aware this is a men's dating website. I'll go to TEDTalks and Catlin Moran for my education in feminism.

      • Gentleman Johnny says:

        I think men and women should be obligated to learn to treat everyone: male, female, black, white or dragonkin as legitimate people. Feminism may be one route to that understanding but its not the only one. Its a pretty basic teaching of most major philosophies. In fact, I couldn't tell first wave from third wave from the fifth level of Space Invaders. I don't need to in order to figure out that taking pictures up women's skirts without their knowledge is wrong. From my experience, what feminism does is provide a framework of terminology to discuss specific issues in greater depth. Like any specialized field, though, that terminology can confuse rather than clarify if not everyone in the discussion is familiar with it. The good Doctor manages to avoid requiring me to read a glossary while still getting the message across.

    • And Doctor Nerdlove is giving nerds dating help.

      1st rule misogynist theory wont get you laid try feminist theory.

      try it respecting women goes a lot longer then dogging them.

  12. Doc,

    Thank you for being an ally in the fight against misogyny. It's good to hear a fellow internet male nerd dude take a stance on this, because our demographic is usually disappointingly silent.

    It seems like you have drawn upon other peoples' work to make your argument here. Could you be a bit more clear about indicating or linking to what you're drawing from so that I can browse around a bit? Or at least so that those people get a thumbs-up for their hard work, too.

    Keep on fighting the good fight.

  13. Wow, William derailed this so fast I suspect he works for Amtrak.

  14. I can think that both /r/creepshots AND doxxing attacks on the people of /r/creepshots are both bad, right guys? Right??

    • Bruce McGlory says:

      You can, but I’m not saluting that flag. I see absolutely nothing wrong with hoisting these repulsive pigs on their own petards. They say women should just deal with it, so THEY can just deal with it. What’s fair is fair, right?

    • I think that you may be misunderstanding the situation if you think the doxxed are being attacked. Unlike many doxxings, where peoples' emails/facebooks/etc. are compromised in order to collect information, the information posted on Predditors was all publicly posted by these Redditors in the first place. There's no mob/lynching/vigilantism going on here, just people be held accountable for things they are saying in public.

    • Dr_NerdLove says:

      The difference is how everything was obtained and disseminated.Unless I've missed some recent update, all of the information from the folks that Predditors exposed has been publicly available on their various social media accounts.As for Gawker's rumored expose on ViolentAcrez, nobody seems to have confirmed that a) it was going to happen in the first place and b) how Chen got the info. So I have no strong opinions on that matter yet.

      • I feel like the same argument could be made for many of the more innocent targets of /r/CreepShots. Saying that the submitters to that sub had "Information which was publicly available" seems to me to be very similar to saying that it's alright to post pictures of girls in public because they had already presented themselves to the public like that. Is there a flaw in my logic here that I'm not seeing?

        • I think the key difference is that the posters have gone out of their way to show they don't believe that anything you make publicly available is deserving of privacy, they have gone out of their way to espouse that ideology. Having that ideology turned against them is an effective way of creating an understanding of what the subjects of their photos go through. From a legal standpoint both are legal. From a moral standpoint I think there's a difference between taking pictures of women without their knowledge/consent to be used as fap material, and posting publicly available contact information. Taking/posting the pictures is objectifying the subjects. Posting the public information, while it is open to abuse, is mostly an exercise in stripping away the anonymity that these people hide behind.

          • "I think the key difference is that the posters have gone out of their way to show they don't believe that anything you make publicly available is deserving of privacy, they have gone out of their way to espouse that ideology. Having that ideology turned against them is an effective way of creating an understanding of what the subjects of their photos go through. "

            Not sure I like that. If someone does something wrong, the just act is not to do the same (or even necessarily similar things) back to that person. For example, it's not really defensible to posse up and beat the shit out of someone who mugged your brother. We condemn mob justice in other forms, why is it acceptable here?

          • That was one of the points in the post, that he's not a fan of Internet Mob Justice. I think there is a qualitative difference between encouraging public shaming of people behaving badly and assault. Personally I view the posting of this sort of picture to places like reddit a form of bullying, where the bully feels protected by his internet anonymity. Through that lense taking away the anonymity is an effective way of preventing the "bullying" behavior. It is definitely open to abuse (say friends of a woman who had her picture posted on reddit using the creeper's facebook page to find where he hangs out and assaulting him) but I feel like (and this is probably not morally correct) if you're going to bully people, I don't care when bad things happen to you as a direct result of your bullying. (Generic "you" not you specifically).

          • Well, there's a difference between beating someone who beat you, when presumably everyone involved knows that it's wrong to beat people.

            It's different when someone says, "I believe that X is behavior is right and justified." Ok, here's X behavior happening to you. Are you still okay with it?

            In addition, they're not really equivalent. I have not made my underwear public, if I am wearing a skirt. The very fact that I am wearing a skirt over my underwear implies, pretty strongly, that I do not grant permission for you to look at my underwear. Taking an upskirt shot is breaking into an area I have locked. If you post Facebook information on a non-friendslocked Facebook page, on the other hand, you're not wearing a skirt.

        • Yes. In the very simplest sense: Information that you post publicly is information that you have put out there.

          The body parts that are being exposed in upskirt and down-neckline shots are areas that women are trying to cover with their clothing. We are saying you do not have permission to look at those parts of our bodies.

          The upskirt shots are akin to breaking into your friendslocked Facebook page to post your personal information.

  15. Hey, DNL, may I make an article request? :-)

    I know that the main point of your site is to be a dating advice site, but you're up there with John Scalzi as one of the leading male voices on the internet tackling privilege in geek circles, so this doesn't seem completely out of line with the focus of your site:

    I'd love to see an article on being a good ally. What are good ways to speak up when you see stuff like the things we've been discussing in this comment thread going on, without coming across as sanctimonious or white-knight-y? What are good ways to call people on their behavior without making them lose face and react by doubling-down? How do you defang the "self-hating feminist man" thing?

    Or even the first step: how do you get better at *seeing* what's going on? I've noticed that a lot of behavior that makes life harder for women (which can be small things — the tipping point for a male colleague of mine was when I asked him to pay attention to the number of times his conversation was interrupted by men when he was talking to women versus when he was talking to me) is invisible to men until they have that "aha!" moment.

    And just as importantly, how can we as women make it easier to be an ally?

    • Actually, sorry to reply to my own comment here, but I thought of this after I hit "Submit":

      There's an even bigger issue here, which is "why should men care about feminism?" And the answers that often get cited — "don't you have women in your life that you care about?" "Because it's the right thing to do!" "Because equality is important!" and all that — still treat it as a women's issue, when it's not. It's a human issue. And it's absolutely not theoretical or abstract to most men — it affects them even if they don't realize it.

      And more importantly to your blog: it is absolutely a geek issue.

      The whole reason that geeks presumably need help getting girls, the whole reason that so many of them were treated badly in high school, and are possibly still being treated badly by society is the fact that society sees geekdom as something shameful/bad. (Less so now as geek culture becomes more mainstream, but it's still there.)

      To be a geek, according to our societal narrative, is to have failed at masculinity. Girls go for alpha males/jocks/mainstream guys. Geeky interests are a turn-off. Being a geek gets you looked down on by mainstream society, beaten by the jocks, etc. Nice, geeky guys finish last.

      And that, right there, is patriarchy in a nutshell. Patriarchy gets positioned in these conversations as opposed to the interests of women (feminism is a women's issue!) but the larger point is that feminism is the fight to get society to accept that it's completely okay not to fit the narrow mold of masculinity that patriarchy says is the only position of any value in our society, whether you don't fit because you're a woman or because you're a man who has different interests/gifts/priorities/qualities.

      Feminism, unfortunately, is saddled with a name that limits it. But feminism is ultimately the fight to ensure that biology isn't destiny — that your treatment and opportunities aren't limited because you're a woman, or a gay man, or an androgynous man.

      Or a geek.

      • It's definitely a geek issue, but it's not particularly a romance issue. Sounds like the good Doctor is down with the feature creep, though.

        Also, do not *remotely* expect geeks to back you just because patriarchy hurts them too – it also gives them a lot of advantages that they're flat-out unaware of, and puncturing someone's "woe-is-me" mentality with the news it could be *even worse*…doesn't win a lot of friends.

    • Dr_NerdLove says:

      I'll definitely consider it. It'll take some time to develop and making sure I don't end up coming across as trying to proclaim myself that I'm the Nerdax and I speak for the Feminists.

      • Understood. :-)

        And yeah, when I've brought up the "what can we do to help guys who want to do the right thing be better allies?" I've definitely gotten some "We shouldn't HAVE to give them cookies for being a decent person!" backlash, which I feel is absolutely true, and absolutely impractical.

      • Heh, Nerdax…..nice.

      • Since we're making article requests, I've been thinking for a while that a great article would be about the self-limiting beliefs that women hold when it comes to dating. Alot of them are similar, e.g. believing that you can't be too forward or you'll be seen as "easy" or that a guy won't date you if you "give it up" too quickly, thinking that your selfworth lies between your legs/ in your appearance, being afraid to express your emotions because you don't want to be the "crazy girlfriend," trying to be OK with hooking up when you really aren't (or visa versa), thinking that putting yourself out there (example online dating) would make you look "desperate" and that guys should just come to you…

        • Seconding this one. It seems more in keeping with being "Doctor Nerdlove", rather than "Doctor Nerdgenderrelations."

    • This reminds me of a time when I witnessed a guy creeping out my stepsister and, despite being no more than 2 feet from the two of them, I didn't do anything about it, partly because I wasn't actually sure whether or not I was supposed to do anything about it (at the time, I didn't realise that the guy was creeping her out) and I didn't want to risk sticking my nose in where it wasn't wanted. Today, when I think about that situation, it fills me with shame. I dread to think what my stepsister was thinking during the whole ordeal.

      That plus the unfortunate pattern I've noticed of perfectly valid arguments from women being dismissed by their male opponents is why I am seconding, thirding and fourthing Delafina's proposal. I couldn't care less about the effect it has on my dating chances. I just want to be able to do something helpful the next time a situation like the one above happens, and I'm sick and tired of ad hominem (or ad feminem) being used in argument (as well as a whole host of other fallacies).

      • It's understandable that you'd feel guilty for not stepping in and helping your stepsister, but the fact that you recognize that you made a mistake is the important thing. It's also understandable that you might not be sure what to do in that situation.

        Have you talked to your stepsister about it? Have you told her that you wish you'd done something, but weren't sure what to do? Have you asked her what, from her perspective, would have been a good and appropriate response from you? If you talk to her about it, you'll probably feel better about it, and it will give you a sense of how to respond in the future when you see that sort of thing happening (to her, or to anyone else). It might also bring you and your stepsister a bit closer together (even if you're already close).

      • Don't feel shame — it's *hard* to speak up in situations like that. That doesn't mean you shouldn't do it, but it's hard. We all quail sometimes when faced with a confusing situation we know is not okay.

        But I'd second Cat's suggestion to talk to your stepsister about it. How did she feel? What would she have wanted you to do? And honestly, in this case I don't even really feel like it's a gendered issue. When your friend or family member is the target of intimidating behavior, what do you do as someone who loves them? What's the best way to be a good friend?

        Asking her can help, and putting yourself in her place and asking what you would have wanted the person you were with to do can help.

      • Yeah, asking her about it seems like a good idea. I'm just not sure when would be the best time to do so – I can think of at least one reason why "next time I see her" would be the best time and I can think of at least one reason why "when the general topic of intimidating behaviour comes up naturally" would be a better time. Or maybe I'm overthinking (again) and it's like that thing where someone waits for the "perfect moment" to ask someone else out, in the sense that there is no perfect moment, there is only the moment I make? I don't know.

        • I'd say take her out to coffee, and say that there's something that's been bothering you: you feel like there was a time recently where you failed her as a brother and it's stuck with you. But you want to make sure you didn't misread the situation, and want to know how she felt about it.

          Describe the situation as you remember it, then ask her what her take on it was. If she was bothered by it, find out what she would have liked you to do. It may be that she wouldn't have wanted you to intervene directly and feels she should be able to take care of herself, but just knowing that you recognized that the guy was out of line would have emboldened her to speak up with the knowledge that there was someone there who had her back if she needed it. And maybe she wasn't bothered by it at all.

          But either way, you're not going to know unless you ask, and yeah, I don't think there is a "perfect moment." So make one. Reaching out shows that this is important to you, and you take it seriously.

  16. Well as usual great job on this blog post doc. It's always interesting to read these – but the comments in these posts are simply insane. It took me almost an hour to read all these comments and I skipped quite a bit! Some of them are spot on and some of them are – well – from what I can tell, some people have trouble accepting the fact that there are a lot of women who suffer from misogynist behavior – and because they, as men, haven't suffered from such behavior themselves, they try to dismiss it as a "minor" or "rare" issues.

    I have to say though, that after reading this and reflecting into myself – I began realizing what holds me back when it gets to getting better with women (kind of derailing the comments back to the MAIN subject of this blog – getting better with women – but bear with me please!).

    Yesterday I had a chance to talk to this girl during a salsa dance party. At first, before I got to talk to her, she seemed to be someone quite confident and then I felt a little intimidated by her. But once I got into a conversation with her – I realized my fears were completely irrational. I was a little shocked when I realized that she is kind of shy and different than what I thought she would be like (showing a lot of confidence when I saw her dance). Almost immediately after that, I felt ashamed of myself – because I realized I judged her solely on how she looked and not on WHO SHE WAS AS A PERSON. I now realized that I judged her prematurely in an unfair manner without even noticing it until later on. But even more interesting is that I think that I know where this thought pattern came from:

    I grew up in a home that RESPECTS women. I have always been taught to respect ALL people – women, men, black, gay whatever. Thing is being a geek in high-school was tough for me and I rarely have made any interaction with females. Only after the age of 18 did I begin to show interest in them and thus begin to interact with them. Problem was that for a long time I used to FEAR women that I found attractive – for a long time I used to psych myself out and think I had no chance with them or that I might disrespect them by even attempting to talk to them (the doc obviously have talked about these things in this blog plenty of times). Today, I can safely say I can interact with women with FAR LESS stress and anxieties and with more personal charm and energy than ever and a lot of it is also due to the aid of this blog.

    My point is that maybe some of the misogynist behaving men behave like they do, is not only because of a sense of entitlement, but because they FEAR women, kind of like the fear that I used to have inside me. But unlike me, instead of trying to overcome their own fear and become better people – they try to assert their dominance over women and blame the women for the irrational FEAR that they feel.

  17. The problem I seem to be facing here is I don't subscribe to a dogma. I believe wholeheartedly in total equality. It means I think abortion rights should be complete, total, and enshrined in the constitution. It also means I believe men should be allowed to waive their paternal rights and responsibilities. Somehow, because I don't think that some creepy ass subreddit should be getting this sorts of attention over bad behavior — and all male bad behavior gets tons of calling out on the web — without also calling out similar behavior on the other side. Attention toward men in gender discussions is always, always, ALWAYS done in a negative light. Sure, there are plenty of things that deserve to have a light shined upon them, but to have 100% of coverage as negative toward men and 100% of coverage as positive toward women, I don't see how anyone can sit there and say, "Wow, how can he be defensive?"

    • So what is the answer? If we want people to be treated equally, and some folks are treating women like sub-humans, what is the answer? Ignore it? Pretend it isn't happening? Say it isn't a big deal? How do you decide when it is a big deal? Do you personally get to make that determination?

      • Well he already said Orv, there's people DYING in the world, man! So he's got his priorities straight and isn't freaking out over it, remember?
        So as long as it doesn't happen to him or people like him, it's not a problem…..if it happens to the OTHER, then naw.

        (this is what we call "Being A Hypocrite", children.)

        Again, you're asking to feel for your plight yet dismiss others plights because of your preconceptions. Doesn't get more textbook than that.

      • The answer is if people are going to be addressing women's issues then men's issues need to be addressed as well. You can't just address one side and completely ignore the other side and expect them to be like, "Oh, thank you, can I have another?"

        • ??? what men's issues need addressing that haven't been addressed?

        • Which they are.

          Which you ignore.

          Because you use your victimhood as an excuse to be a shitty person.

        • But that's what you're doing. You're ignoring the other side, claiming it isn't a real problem, etc, etc. You aren't just saying "Hey men have probelms too." you're saying "Hey women's problems don't exist and if they do they don't matter because there are other problems in the world."

    • The problem is that you're being a bigger flip flopper than Mitt Romney and John Kerry combined. That, and your UTTER REFUSAL to believe that we are nothing but a bunch of man hating, victim blaming supervillians and doing everything you can to derail and ignore stuff we're saying to you is that…we don't know WHERE the hell you fall.

      That, and the whole "All Or Nothing" perception you have of the world…..yeahhhhh the world is never that black and white. It's just pure and simple naivety on your part. Just because we aren't discussing that particular topic here or out and outright saying it all the time doesn't mean we're just ignoring it or doing "100% this way and 100% that way."

      It's kinda common knowledge/common sense, dude. OF COURSE both genders are more than capable of doing stupid shit to themselves and one another. We're humans; we're dummies like that. But again, what you were bringing up was NOT what THIS particular article was about (like, at all) and you were using your naivety to derail the topic and turn it into something it COMPLETELY NEVER WAS.

      THAT'S why everyone is getting on your ass. The "You aren't talking about the other side so you must hate the other side" fallacy is just that, a fallacy.

      • I'm not flip flopping at all. You all ARE coming off as man hating victim blaming supervillians because that's exactly what's going on here. See, that's the bullshit you people always pull. "just because we're not discussing men's issues right here right now…" except the right here right now for men's issues NEVER FUCKING HAPPENS. "We'll get to that later." Bullshit.

    • Look William, that isn't true. The point of feminism is to show that men and women have equal claims to our culture and society. Confidence, intelligence, beauty, and similar characteristics and values are available equally to both genders. What people have a problem with, from what I can read, is that you are incorrectly assessing why people are mad at you. To say that the coverage is 100% against men and 100% for women shows how distorted your view of these boards and DNL's advice really is. If I recall correctly, DNL and these boards are mainly behind treating everyone with respect, not acting like a douche, ending creepy behavior, and learning how to be the confident people we need to be to obtain success in our relationships.

      I'm also particularly upset because you fail to make another critical observation: It is beyond cavil that creepy behavior, and all that it engenders, is a problem of greater significance for nerd culture. We all know that creepy behavior is a unique problem to nerds. So while you defiantly state that this behavior is small, you are missing the point that the root of this exact behavior is why many nerds cannot form successful relationships with women. This lack of observation is a critical error on your part. Nerd stereotypes are not positive and are the basis of why this site exists in the first place. There is a lot of good that can come from nerd culture but ours is one that is wrought with feelings of entitlement and being outcast from society. As a result creepy behavior is a problem our nerd societies have to deal with in greater frequency (if you want I guess I could bring out the parade of horribles from just this year to prove my point).

      We need to call out this behavior because our culture won't change unless we all collectively take a stand. When you minimize those efforts and minimize the effects of bad behavior you are saying these problems don't really matter. And that is fundamentally wrong with your posts, it does matter and creepiness happens more in nerd culture.

      • I have not read a single DNL article that took women to task for the things they do. I haven't read all of them, but I've read quite a few, and the only time anyone has been taken to task for bad behavior it has been men. Why can't we call out behavior on both sides? I have a big problem with the seriously fucking unbalanced coverage and it's fucking bullshit.

        Also, you and I both know that the vast majority of nerds and geeks are not out there taking upskirts of unsuspecting women.

        • 1)Why should it? How does being angry at women help men get better at dating? (Understanding how to avoid being creepy helps men get better at dating, thus articles discussing creepy things men do)
          2)What things do women do that they need to be taken to task for?
          3)Do you think creating a culture of "taking women to task" for their "infractions" is conducive to learning to be a better partner/better at dating?

        • I don't know what you mean when say women need to be taken task for the things they do. What is that women do that you feel is inappropriate?

          (Let me guess you are going to say women have all the power in a relationship, women lead men on, women use men all the time (Just look at bars!))

          Shitty behavior exists regardless of what gender you are. DNL has taken such behavior to task in numerous advice columns (particularly when a man is in a toxic relationship). That discussion however normally occurs when DNL is responding to letters sent to him and not in the sections designed to help nerdy men with their dating skills (which, by definition would not need to discuss women behaviors).

          Your argument is akin to saying "This science journal is great, but it doesn't discuss art so its bullshit." Some of the articles are limited to general dating advice for men. I just don't see why taking women to task makes sense in that context.

    • I call bullshit. Flat out denying and derailing the experience and issues of women and continuing to insult them into silence does not equality make.

  18. Anonymoose says:

    I have an online friend who works at an airport and fills his iPhone with pictures of travelling women and girls, especially teenagers. He's insinuated that he's taken shoes and/or socks from luggage before (he has a foot fetish) but I can never tell if he's just joking for the attention and playing up his online persona or not. It's creepy as hell. I (and my other online friends) mostly stopped responding to his attention seeking over it. I really think taking public forums away from people like this is a good thing. It may not stop their behaviour, but it also doesn't positively reinforce it.

    On a somewhat related note since we're talking about fap material, is there or will there be a Doc article about the dangers of being addicted to porn and/or withdrawing from it? I think it's something that really needs addressed if it hasn't been, since as male nerds we're generally not good with women as it is and porn just really screws with you psychologically and emotionally. And I don't even know how it would affect females who get too far into it.

  19. Is that why feminist organizations fight tooth and nail against federal funding being given to groups that support male victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. I'm not saying YOU are against it, but when the leaders of your movement espouse such views, it is hard to take seriously that the movement is for what your chosen leaders are against. It's like the Republicans that say their party isn't in any way racist but you've got leaders of their party openly trying to suppress minority voters and saying racist stuff about the president.

  20. On a lighter note, someone needs to take a creepshot of this baklava I made, it is totally fap-worthy.

  21. So I see a lot of posts in feminist areas of the internet like this one, basically saying "Look at this awful thing! Here's why it's awful!" I know that creepshots are awful and creepy. What I want to know is, what can we do about it? How do we fix the overlying problem of society's tolerance of this? Too often the solution given is "make the world a better place" (not really helpful), or "don't be a creepy asshole" (I'm already doing that). Basically, I think too much time and too many posts like this are focused on the problems, not the solutions.

    • Don't tolerate it. When you have a social space that is yours and people are engaging in those behaviors don't stand for it. Speak up against it. Not in a patronizing "I'm white knighting the shit out of this," kind of way, but in a "Hey man, that's not cool. It really makes me uncomfortable having you around" kind of way.

    • Well, for starters, if you're with another guy who shows you a photo he took, or catcalls at a woman, or makes a misogynist joke, or whatever, you call him on it. You make it clear that you're grossed out by it, and that you, another man, are not okay with it.

    • An Engineer says:

      For the most part we never run into that (with the exception of my rapejoking roomates who I called out)

      • I assume you meant to reply to Delafina, not Max?

        You may not run into mysogynist behavior in real life very often, because the kind of guys who do it in a noticable way are more likely to target women not in the company of a man, but online support counts too! Just what guys are doing here in this post, standing up to certain people in the comments and making it clear that they're a guy and still agree that women have a right to be concerned about these things, helps. The sad fact is that guys who don't respect women also don't respect what they say, but some of them may start to listen if they hear the same ideas from another man.

        A lot of society's interactions happen electronically now. Every time you voice your support for treating women as equal human beings, or your disapproval of someone slut-shaming or victim blaming or any other gross behavior online, you're participating in changing the general tolerance for that behavior. And believe me, we appreciate it! :)

    • Commonly known as X says:

      In terms of what to do, first thing is to speak up. I was at the Chaos Computer Club Camp when an otherwise nice guy made a really creepy rape joke. As the only woman in the group talking my heart sank as I thought I was going to have to be the one to make a scene, when one of the other guys immediately, and politely, explained why the joke was wrong and how uncomfortable that made him feel. Then another one of them said "Don't you want there to be more than 1% women at events like this?" I felt so happy and much more comfortable at the event because being vastly outnumbered by men can make you feel a bit weird.

    • Society doesn't really tolerate it. That's why these people are on the Internet. It's not something they can discuss openly in a coffeeshop, even without the cutesy euphemisms they doubtless use. You can say that it arises from societal problems, but this is not generally tolerated in society. Heck, it's probably not even generally tolerated on reddit, given how they usually support feminist causes and decry perceived misogyny.

  22. Let me help you too, Harris.

    Go fuck yourself you steaming sack of shit.

    • Jewthulhu says:

      I'm glad we're all friends here. Otherwise, I might worry someone could react with hostility were I to say something. Man, it's sure great that that's not the case.

  23. Dr_NerdLove says:

    OK folks, William has been granted the dubious honor of being one of the first people getting blocked.

    Time to let the discussion move on to other things.

  24. So. Public shaming (note, not vigilantism — that's a separate issue, I think): more effective or less effective than legal action?

    • I'm a fan of calling out people for bad behavior. Kinda like,

      "You have a right to your opinion, but I have the right to criticize them"

      "I may disagree with what you have to say, but I will fight to the death for your right to say it"

      two of my fave quotes.

    • Jewthulhu says:

      More, I'd wager. Legal repercussions are kinda this nebulous idea of something that happens to other people (until, of course, one becomes "other people"). Shame, though, is something most people are heavily conditioned to avoid. Honestly, if the fear of shame weren't a driving psychological force, would nerds even need half the dating advice on here?

    • In this case, legal action would do nothing, as the /r/Creepshots content was not actually illegal.

      • The group is not illegal. Some of the photos, depending on the state and the age of the women photographed, may have been. But yes, there's little support for a criminal case against most of the content on /r/ Creepshots. There may be some for civil cases, however. You can almost always sue.

        • Minors have no more expectation of privacy in public (leagaly speaking) than adults.

          • I'd be inclined to believe that you are right, Vic. However, if the photographs are, say, "up the skirt" types, which would already carry the penalty for voyeurism in some states, there could be an additional charge if it could be proved that the subject was underage. At least, I'd think that would be the case…

          • No, but there are stiffer penalties for possessing inappropriate photos of them.

    • I'm a fan of public shaming. Shame helps uphold a lot of social standards, like not peeing in the middle of the street. But, then again, we get accused of "creep shaming" for saying, "Hey, you're being a creeper. Could you knock it off? Thanks."

      So, maybe we should go for it – engage in some actual, no-question-about-it creep shaming. Then we can say, "Yes, I'm totally shaming that creep, because HE DESERVES IT!"

      I'm not being sarcastic.

    • I am an attorney and each state will have different laws governing this behavior. I some states this could be criminal, in other states there is a good argument that these kinds of photos are tortious (civil liability). I'm obviously biased but I believe that one should exercise their legal options when available because that is what our legal statement is for.

      I imagine that shaming is likely more effetive in the short term, but legal options change behavior in the long run. I also would be worried about shaming leading to physical confrontation. Calling people out for bad behavior is certainly a good thing, but it is smart just to also keep a cool head to avoid escalating a situation.

      At the end of the day, I feel the law, even if only the common law, is a better long term solution.

    • Gentleman Johnny says:

      In a strict sense of analyzing effectiveness of which ruins a person's life with the best effort:return ratio. . .it depends. Can you shame them publicly enough for their employers, spouses, family etc to find out? Will a Google search of their name turn your shaming up near the top of the list? Do they work in a field or for a company where such things will effect their employment or chance of promotion? If so, you get a lot of return for a lot less effort. Legal civil action guarantees that it goes on their permanent record but can generally be glossed over. Being on a sex offender list, though, is a pretty big thing. Legal action also takes orders of magnitude more effort, though. So you've got to really be determined to make it pay off.

      At a quick glance I'd say its an 80/20 thing. Public shaming gets you 80% of the revenge for 20% of the effort. Legal actions gets you the last 20% payoff but takes 80% of the total effort.

      • There's also the chance of shaming the wrong person. Most of the people I see who tilt at windmills over things like this and turn out to be wrong never apologize. It's someone else's fault, even when they were objectively wrong from the first.

  25. I wish William/Rob/whatever his name is would actually browse sites like Jezebel. They do actually address topics that affect men, such as discussing pedophilia as a sexual orientation and rape that affects both genders.

    • I understand I'm coming into this late, but would you or anyone else be able to elaborate on this? The reason I'm disinclined to read Jezebel is because I was curious what the website had to say about Catherine Kieu Becker's attack on her husband when that story was making headlines.

      I was… not impressed by what I read: http://jezebel.com/5820664/woman-disposes-of-husb

      By making references to Jay Leno's monologues and Muppets, I don't think Jezebel.com treated the drugging and torture/mutilation of a human being with the seriousness it deserved. Also, there were the comments. Whether a website should be judged by it's comments is the matter of some debate, but still, while a few people understood it was not a laughing matter, most of the comments were "wakka, wakka penis-pun" with some victim-blaming "he must have done *something* to deserve it" thrown in for good measure.

  26. Feminism is the radical assertion that women are human beings.

    If you can't treat me as a human being–not arm candy, not the peasant to your overlord, not your sex slave, not your doormat, not in charge of following your decorative scheme, not your cleaning service, not your mommy, and certainly not your metaphorical or literal punching bag–then I am not going to date you. It is Qualification One, and if you blow that then we're done.

    It seem to me that, if you want to date women who feel similarly, you might be interested in learning how to not screw up Qualification One. The good doctor is trying to explain that to you. He's doing you a favor. You don't want to listen, that's fine by me, and it's not as if Dr. Nerdlove will lose subscription dollars when you don't sign up for more issues. (Wait. His help is free? Wow.) Continue your lonely existence, but don't complain that no one ever tried to help you.

    • Dr_NerdLove says:

      Thanks for that. I'll have to read it.

    • Thortok2000 says:

      My favorite part of that article:

      Under Reddit logic, outing Violentacrez is worse than anonymously posting creepshots of innocent women, because doing so would undermine Reddit's role as a safe place for people to anonymously post creepshots of innocent women.

      I am OK with that.

  27. An Engineer says:

    This is incredibly horrible.
    And it's kind of sad, because the nice parts of Reddit are kind of nice.

  28. Goldfinch says:

    I rather like this article that coins the concept of "Shrödinger's Rapist" http://kateharding.net/2009/10/08/guest-blogger-s

    It does contains some pretty dodgy statistics which I don't think add up. But mostly it details very well the fears that women face when meeting men.

    It explains how and why men may inadvertently seem threatening; and how if they don't appreciate this, it makes them inconsiderate and offensive. But crucially it doesn't imply that this in itself constitutes sexual harassment or perpetuates a rape culture.

    • Goldfinch says:

      Here's another great article by Charlie Glickman on the same topic called "Something I Want Men to Know Before Flirting With Women" http://www.charlieglickman.com/2012/09/something-

      It begins to break down how men should adapt the way they approach and flirt to suit the contexts. Such as being less assertive in situations where it's not appropriate because they may come across threatening. And how this is mutually beneficial for men and women.

      • This articles make sense but I often feel that I'm walking on a tight rope when on a date or flirt. If I come across to strongly, I'll come across as a threat. If I come across to weekly, I'll get a response that I'm nice and all but they didn't feel any attraction. So far, its been the latter in my dating life. The dual mandate of safety and attraction building is often contradictory and results in many failures.

        • and that makes sense. Honestly, I do feel for guys, it's not easy when you're actually trying to find a relationship for both genders. Sometimes, I feel like the majority of people of both genders are kinda shitty. Seriously, kindness for me is the biggest thing I look for in a relationship (romantic and friendship) and it is extremely hard to come by for some reason.

        • I've been talking about this with Paul Rivers in the Dr. Horrible comment thread, so you can check that out for more detail, but essentially I think what guys need to realize is that what's threatening is not you accidentally crossing a woman's boundaries but crossing them when you know where they are. And that's something it's pretty easy to avoid doing.

          Examples to illustrate:

          Say you're looking at women in a coffe shop. A women engrossed in a book or avoiding eye contact with headphones on is clearly otherwise occupied, so you *know* you'd be interrupting what she's doing (reading, listening to music) if you try to start a conversation. So you just don't do that. With a woman who's either doing nothing and looking around at people, or doing so periodically, you can catch her eyes, make a friendly comment, nothing threatening about that. Even if the woman isn't interested in talking or isn't interested in talking to you, in the vast majority of cases, she's not going to be upset because she knows you had no way of knowing that. (And if she does get upset, I'd say that's on her, not you.) What's threatening is if you *ignore* her indications that she's not interested in talking (saying so outright, making a flat brief response and turning away). That's easy to avoid–only continue a conversation with a woman who smiles and answers enthusiastically to your opening comment/question.

          If you've been talking with a woman who's engaged in the conversation (in a random encounter or on a date), and you touch her briefly somewhere non-intrusive (say, forearm), as above, the vast majority of women are not going to see this as a threatening gesture. If they don't feel comfortable with you to touching them, they'll move their arm or their whole body further away. You're only threatening if you go in for another touch after seeing that. So you just only continue with flirty touches if the woman shows she's fine with it by not moving away or even moving closer. Pretty simple.

          Same with verbal flirting. You see how comfortable she's feeling by making a very mildly suggestive comment and watching her reaction. If she responds with a similar remark, and is still smiling and engaged, you're good. If she shuts you down in some way–you lose eye contact, she stops smiling, she responds flatly–you go back to the way you were talking before. You're only threatening if you keep making suggestive comments when she's withdrawing from that sort of talk.

          There are some ways you can come off as threatening right off the bat–by ignoring obvious signs that the woman wouldn't be comfortable talking to anyone (like the reading thing) or by jumping ahead to clearly intrusive or sexual behavior without seeing how she responds to less suggestive behavior (touching her thigh before you've so much as tapped her arm; talking about what you'd like to do with her in bed when the conversation before has had no sexual overtones at all)–but I think that's just common sense, right? There's nothing wrong with or threatening about coming on strong, as you put it, as long as you build up to it and get enthusiastic responses along the way. If you're not totally ignoring the woman's body language and words, you shouldn't have any trouble noticing when you've accidentally crossed a boundary and pulling back so as not to become threatening. No one you'd actually want to be in a relationship expects you to be psychic and know every detail of their comfort levels ahead of time.

        • I guess one of the most important things is learning to better interpret subtle social cues, so you can gauge people's response to your behaviour.

          I too have generally failed through not being nearly assertive, confident or forward enough. Largely because I was scared of coming across threatening. But now I get that it's all about context, and why there are some situations where that kind of behaviour is considered appropriate, but others where it's not.

          • This is basically what I said, but I just want to point out that I don't think the social cues are usually particularly subtle. If a woman's uncomfortable interacting with you, or on the other hand truly enjoying the interaction, it's usually pretty obvious unless you're not paying any attention at all. A very good measure of whether you really have trouble with social cues in general, or you're just too absorbed in your attempt to pursue the woman to pay attention, is whether you also have friends, family members, and coworkers getting annoyed with you for crossing *their* boundaries. If you can tell the difference between enthusiasm and discomfort with anyone except a woman you find attractive, then the problem is probably not your ability to read social cues, but the specific way you're thinking about and paying attention to the women you find attractive.

        • Also, just a suggestion, maybe re-evaluate your priorities when it comes to the type of woman you approach. Sometimes a girl might not be as hot, but with a good personality, she will become more attractive in your eyes over time. I know one of my guy friends was completely unattracted to his current girlfriend. He used to only date like super-high maintenance extremely hot women, but according to him they all turned out either dumb, self-absorbed, or generally shitty. His current girlfriend, while still a pretty girl imo, is plainer but she's smart, kind, and interesting, and puts up with his sense of humor.

          I did the same thing with men. I let go of some of my physical preferences, and was pleasantly surprised that some of them don't even matter that much if the person you're seeing is a genuinely excellent human being. Plus, as a bonus, men and women who think they are less attractive, tend to try harder in bed (I have done extensive field research on this one).

          So maybe try lowering your physical standards, and instead raising your personality standards, and you might get a more positive result.

  29. In case it wasn't implied by my adding my 2 cents every 20 minutes or so for most of the day I feel really strongly about the topic of geek men helping other/younger geek men understand when their behavior is harmful. I think lots of us slightly older nerdfolk don't do enough to provide good role models to the younger or otherwise less experienced nerdfolk. So I want to say how awesome I think it is that the Doctor (I'm never sure if I should say 'the Doctor' or "Harris") has created this site, and that so many people come here and try to be understanding/supportive/helpful to nerds struggling with dating/their place in society. You've made something impressive here and that's damn cool. /nerdfist…like a /brofist but for nerds.

    • Dr_NerdLove says:

      I think it a nerdfist should somehow involve sonic screwdriver.

    • heathenbee says:

      It's also you "slightly older [male] nerdfolk" that make us female types (geek or otherwise) feel a whole lot more welcome in geekdom; especially when we're also "slightly older" *cough* and that has not exactly always been our experience.

  30. Some of these comments have been precious. Especially the ones accusing the Doc of being a “radical feminist” lol do you peoe know what radical feminism is? Do some of you even know what “feminism” is? I suspect not, as I saw some comments along the lines of “I am not a feminist but I am totally against the oppression of women.” Like, lol.

    You call yourselves nerds? Educate yourselves ffs this is disgraceful.

    • Goldfinch says:

      The issue with the word Feminism though, is it encompasses so many different schools of though, some of which are at odds with each other. Men really need to learn about the different waves and schools of thought and use the terminology better.

      But on this website, we haven't really discussed any feminist theory beyond Rape Culture, which is one of the most controversial and divisive topics in a philosophy which is otherwise very progressive.

      Also, reading the comments here it does feel a bit like third-wave feminism never happened. There's an abject absence of sex-positivity compared to all the modern feminist commentators I've learned from, and all the women I meet in real life.

      • Do you have any links you can share where feminists argue against the existence of rape culture? Because I have never gotten the sense that it was a controversial or divisive topic *within* current feminist theory (obviously it's controversial amongst people who don't believe in feminism), but I admit that I'm as well-read as I probably could be, and if there are other takes, I'd be curious to hear them. I tried doing a google search for feminism and rape culture, but the only links coming up that question the existence of rape culture are from sites specifically identifying themselves as anti-feminist. Could you point me to places where you've seen the topic debated among feminists?

        And I've actually seen a lot of sex positivity in the comments on various posts. Not to mention people very actively shut down any sort of shaming of women enjoying sex. I'm not sure how arguing against seeing women as objects whose consent is less important than their potential partner's desires is in any way anti-sex positive? Good sex is when both people are enthusiastic, which means both people's desires have to be important.

        • I think any reasonable person agrees that a rape culture exists to some degree, and that it needs to be fought.

          Apparently Christina Hoff Sommers was an outspoken critique of the theory, but I don't really know anything about her writing.

          I've heard Naomi Wolf argue that women sometimes have far-too-broad a definition of what constitutes rape, and that they shirk responsibility for their own consent, blaming men's coercion and oppression for the decisions they regret.

          I've seen it argued that the failure to punish rape is more due to the nature of the crimes having no witnesses, than a cultural tolerance of the crimes.

          And there was a study that suggested victim blaming was a product of the The Just World Hypothesis, rather than genuine judgment. (i.e People are in denial that horrible things happen to innocent people, so they scrabble for excuses to manufacture guilt.)

          • Thanks! Gives me some areas to look into. I find it's useful to learn all the different ways people are approaching a problem, even if I disagree with some of them, so I can adjust and clarify my own position as necessary.

        • Regarding sex-positivity, you're right there's plenty of positivity about female sexuality here, which is great. For instance, a near total absence of slut-shaming. But I'm not seeing much positivity about male sexuality.

          For instance I largely agree with the Shrödinger's Rapist thing. Arguing that it's inconsiderate to approach women uninvited, because they don't know your intentions, and this makes them uncomfortable. That's totally reasonable.

          But what's not reasonable is how I repeatedly see it argued here that any expression of sexual interest from a man that doesn't have explicit prior consent is itself a form of sexual harassment. That if a man approaches a woman and she rejects him—too late—he has already violated her. And even if she does show an interest, she's probably just being polite, in which case he's continuing to violate her.

          Now, it doesn't seem to me that this is how the majority of reasonable people in the world actually think. And it seems to carry an undertone that male sexuality is somehow innately sordid.

          • I don't believe the majority of people commenting on this blog think that way either. What I think happens sometimes is you get a guy complaining about how women are so mean for not wanting to talk to him when he approaches them, and then he gets a push-back of people saying "she isn't wrong; you are for assuming you're owed a conversation (or whatever)". It isn't the approach that's a violation, it's when you make that approach assuming you're entitled to that woman's time and attention.

            By contrast, you can also find tons of examples here of people (men and women) offering suggestions to guys of how they can approach women in ways that won't be problematic and how to tell if the woman is interested. If most people here thought guys were wrong to ever approach any woman, then why would they be helping teach them how to do it effectively? We even had a whole off-topic comment thread a couple weeks ago in which a bunch of people offered suggestions to a guy looking for casual sex (in which yes, some people were critical, but mainly of the fact that he seemed to see no value in any non-sexual interaction with his partners–conversation, flirting, etc.–at all, even as a way of showing them that he was a safe and attractive guy, not the fact that he wasn't looking for a committed relationship).

            But I do agree there is a more negative vibe around male sexuality, which I suspect is a sort of backlash attitude. When women see some guys talking about women as if they are just objects to provide (or deny) sexual activity to men, we can start to feel defensive, and react more critically to any guy who says anything that hints of that attitude. I think it's understandable, but I don't think it's a good thing if we're trying to have open and supportive discussions. If I realize I've misjudged what someone was saying in a negative way, I do make an effort to apologize and try to get at what they really mean. I think we're best off if we all listen to and try to understand each other.

          • Dr_NerdLove says:
          • Also, I think you're misreading the Schrodinger's Rapist article. Nowhere does the author say it's inconsiderate to approach women uninvited full-stop. She says to be aware of the setting (e.g., if the woman can't leave that setting, your approach becomes inherently more threatening) and aware of the signals the woman is giving (e.g., if she's otherwise occupied, you're not just approaching her, you're interrupting her), and make sure you're approaching in a way that isn't going to immediately seem threatening or inconsiderate. And that if a woman indicates she's not interested, you should respect that and back off. She's giving guidelines for how to approach in a considerate way, and explaining why those guidelines matter, not saying "Just leave all women alone!"

            (Of course, if you already realized this and were just over generalizing in your quick summary, ignore this.)

          • Oh no, I don't think Starling's article suggests that; I think it sums up the issue nicely, with quite a reasonable, healthy attitude to the whole thing.

            But there were a fair few comments on previous articles that did effectively say "Just leave all women alone!" and I was pretty bemused at what a large number of thumbs-ups they had got.

          • Again, I think that's a backlash sort of reaction. From what I remember, I've seen it mainly come up in response to guys who start complaining about there being "so many" restrictions on when they're "allowed" to approach women, and why can't women just give them the benefit of the doubt, and why should they have to hold back their interest if they see an attractive woman reading a book or on an elevator and they just want to be friendly. And honestly, I think guys who feel that way probably should just leave all women they don't know alone! :)

          • Goldfinch says:

            Those guys do need to accept that approaching women in certain situations just requires far more advanced social skills. If you can't make comfortable conversation with girls in social settings, then you're probably not ready to try it at bus stops.

          • I don't believe that's what's being said here; I believe that no one here has any problem with a man expressing interest in a woman in an appropriate context. And no one has any problem with the man continuing to express interest assuming that the woman responds to the initial exchange by indicating that she welcomes the attention.

            The problem is when she indicates that she doesn't, and a lot of us here end up arguing with people who basically take the position that it's not okay that she doesn't (YOU MUST VALIDATE ME!!!), or that it's okay to keep pressing when she says no, or that women owe any man who isn't blatantly a rapist a chance to prove his awesomeness regardless of whether she wants to leave or has something else she was doing at the time (e.g. grocery shopping), and so on.

            I have no issue with male sexuality (hell, I am very enthusiastic about my partner's very male sexuality). I have no issue with being the target of male desire. Male sexuality is by and large a good thing. Passion is a good thing. People happily getting it on is a good thing. I just have an issue with when it interferes with me going about my daily life in peace.

            So no, you don't need explicit prior consent to express your interest. But there are cases where your interest is being preemptively rejected (e.g. a woman wearing headphones, who pretty clearly wants to be left alone), cases where your expression of interest may appear coercive (e.g. using your body to trap a woman in a corner so you can hit on her, hitting on a woman on a bus where she doesn't have the option to leave, etc.), and cases where your interest has been explicitly rejected (e.g. "I'm not interested, thanks"). Those are cases where you shouldn't be expressing (or continuing to express) your interest.

            And those cases get focused on here, because if you're a man and you're approaching women and getting their enthusiastic consent to continue, you probably aren't reading this blog.

            So it boils down to: are you not getting a returned interest from women because you're choosing women who are consenting to your expression of interest, and then blowing it? Or are you approaching the wrong women (e.g. the scenarios above)? Those scenarios have to be discussed quite a bit so they can be ruled out and you're focusing on situations where you actually have a chance.

    • Gentleman Johnny says:

      As stated elsewhere, subscribing to the principal tenet of a philosophy does not make one the appropriate "-ist". Believing (and acting on the belief) that all human beings should be equal partners in the human experience does not make me a feminist or a Martin Luther Kingist any more than it makes me a Buddhist. It might be accurate to say that I behave in a feminist or Buddhist manner. Insistently labeling everyone who behaves like a decent human being as a member of a particular philosophy is not something that's generally taken well. To be frank, it smacks of proselytizing.

      If feminism were a unified whole, a term on which everyone agreed to the simple definition "does not oppress women" then I might agree with you. Being a philanthropist, for example, is defined only by one's support of charitable causes. Feminism, however, does not have a single unified definition. The very fact that there are multiple waves points to differing views within the feminist community on the tenets of its philosophy. The term "feminist" has a broader definition and can mean different things to different people unless extra steps are taken to clarify. Because of this, I have no desire to apply the label feminist to myself even if I exhibit feminist behavior. Mostly this is because its easier to say "I think treating woman as anything other than people is silly" than it is to say "I'm a moderate first wave feminist which means. . ." Its simply less confusing for everyone.

  31. After ONE day, this has officially passed the Male Privilege articles as Most Commented On.

    ONE day.

    What insanity one little Willy can cause….

  32. I propose the founding of a geek city, for only men and women of the geek/nerd persuasion. It will make dating a whole lot easier, because I know most nerdy people don't really want to be with people who think their hobbies are lame and uncool. I know I don't. And I'm sure we could run a local economy, government better than all the normies doing it now. Who's with me?

  33. so… creepshots are creepy, thanks doc…
    I really think you could do better than this
    but hey, look that, almost 600 comments!
    my cynicism alert is ringing now

  34. The ironic thing is, I've seen women who have no problem "exposing" others, albeit socially, not sexually. That's what websites like DontDateHimGirl are for, and there is nothing to stop someone critically damaging someone's reputation with a lie. I've also seen women demand, without irony, men stop objecting women, while simultaneously asserting their right to objectify men. I've seen a witch-hunt over an interpretation of a certain webcomic that was not only false, but had been unequivocally denied by the creators. The idea that things like this only affect women doesn't exactly hold up.

    Which is not to say these guys aren't jerks, to say the least. I've just seen a lot of damaged windmills, so to speak, and there's more than a little hypocrisy in hoisting these folks by their own petard when you think there shouldn't be a petard in the first place. He who fights monsters and all that. I really, really hate the Internet Mob mentality you described, and I've seen it used for evil far more than I've seen it used for good.

    • Also, what happens if the creepers decide to try and expose the people exposing them? Then it turns into an eye for an eye nonsense. That webcomic I mentioned was a great example. The internet, far too often, wants great power and no responsonsibility whatsoever.

      • Gentleman Johnny says:

        Personally, I'd say in about 99% of all cases, if you're not willing to have your real name attached to something, don't say it. This may sound really old fashioned but my father once said to me "before you do something, ask yourself how you'd feel if it was on the front page of tomorrow's newspaper." Its clear from the actual article exposing VA that he was willing to do just about anything to prevent that whereas the author of the article was quite willing to attach his name to it on the front page of Gawker. When VA starts getting harassed by well meaning but outraged people, I'll apply the same yardstick to them as I am to him now. You might say I feel that no one has a reasonable expectation of privacy when victimizing someone else.

        My 1% exceptions are for whistleblowers and the like, people who are trying to do the right thing and are afraid of backlash. It seems like they always get identified, too, though.

  35. A Jezebelle says:

    Really, Nerdlove? Sideswipes at Jezebel? Are you trying to score homosocial bro points with your audience? Stay classy, my friend.

    • What? He didn’t say anything derogatory. He only acknowledged that these are the kind of issues that usually discussed on Jezebel.

  36. Its strange today at work one of my coworkers said someone was attractive to their face it was a nice compliment and done very well. He asked me if he went a little to far, mind you he has a girl friend and he even said it to the girl. He was making her feel welcome since they switched which job she was doing. But then later on after he asked if he went to far, he said she was sexy just to me when we were in the break room. I set straight saying thats too far but even when you complimented her that was a little to far but you did not creep her out. Im like how the hell does this guy have a GF and Im still painfully single. Its like im to good at not stepping my bounds but when I need to I cant. Like I cant be that guy that is lude when he needs to be to show interested. I can tell its in me but just brining it out at the right time. So that is why I play 2nd fiddle when it comes to relationships.

    • Gentleman Johnny says:

      Law of averages. Its the guys who aren't quite calibrated and don't know it who are completely willing to keep trying until it works. They don't see the negative feedback so they keep bull rushing on ahead until it works or they get slapped. The men who are actually concerned about and respectful of the feelings of others tend to be a lot less likely to make a move in the first place. Its the same reason that so many women think of being approached in public as inevitably involving a creeper or outright insane person. So if you're not That Guy, get out there and start meeting people. Back off when you get the cue to leave. You'll be a pleasantly un-creepy interaction in someone's day.

  37. It's stuff like this that makes me dress in conservative, unflattering clothes and not want people to take pictures of me. It's not out of a sense of vanity ("Everyone wants pictures of me!") but because once a picture's made and posted, there's no getting rid of it: it has left it's mark, its imprint, on the internet.

    You're sadly right, you know: we're told that it's our fault. We shouldn't have worn skirts. We should have worn a better bra. We shouldn't have gone out wearing X, Y, or Z. Our bodies are the property of the government (abortion, healthcare, birth control), and– apparently– the property of whoever has a camera and knows how to work the internet.

    Isn't this a sad, sad world we live in?

  38. Blackmale11 says:

    This is gross, love the other articles but this one so straight up man hating. Like everything in this article can't be done by both sexes. You asking for a worldwide ban on all camera's? If street photographers take a picture of a downtown setting an posts that to their flicker an someone jacks off to one of the people in that picture all of a sudden the photographer is sexist and wants to own women like sex slaves?

    To say that men are NEVER treated bad by the opposite sex, when Dr.Nerdlove admits to once being in a long abusive relationship, admits to being slapped, having drinks thrown in his face. That men are never treated as eye candy, or emotionally made to feel like less then a man (Which IS just as bad as feeling like less then a woman) you have a messed up sense of equality.

    Do men rape women? Yes
    Do women rape men? Yes
    Women rape other women? Yes
    Men rape other men? Yes

    The problem is being human. You are teaching men to be great people an to treat women with respect an not like they are hunks of meat, thats AMAZING. Is there anyone teaching women that MEN are great people an not just a pack of violent rapists who at any second will explode like a nuclear rape bomb? F no! Equality means compromise on BOTH sides.

    • Your example is nothing similar to the creepshots. Those were pictures taken with explicit sexual intention. If an innocuous photo is used by someone for different means, you obviously can't fault the photographer for that. And the article doesn't once say that women are never treat men badly. It says that women get the short end of the stick, which is the truth. This article isn't trying to say that problems only exist in the male-towards-female variety. It is about those problems, but it doesn't say those problems are the only ones that exist. You're attacking this article for not talking about something you want to talk about. Which, if you want to talk about that thing, it's totally fine. This is a blog primarily directed towards men, with some non-gendered stuff and rarely female focused articles being tossed in. It's totally fine for you to have the opinion that women hating on men is a really big problem that isn't being addressed. I'd tend to disagree, but as long as you're not taking that opinion and going to ugly places with it, there isn't a problem. But it's not helping your argument to attack an article for talking about something that it isn't even talking about.

  39. For people like Boat, who have trouble understanding the concept of "ownership" of women, a little elucidation:
    http://sodisarmingdarling.tumblr.com/post/3410602

  40. Its evil behaviour that everyone has to be a critic here, this ought to have nothing to do with those evil, mentally demented, selfish "feminists". Evil behaviour to pass judgement on being giving a catcall whic is a compliment. I mean I had someone talk to me without making compliments directed towards me, but no real insults either, and I didn't confront him, I just tryed to ignore him by not saying hardly anything to him, but I ont air my dirty laundry to everyone on the Internet thinking thats going to solve the problem.

  41. Lydia Marks says:

    we would have a perfect world if everyone on here found something better to do with their time than to bitch and complain about men whistling at them and typing it in on this computer. Men are subject to unwanted attention, harassment and discrimination for the crime of being a man in public. Everyone here loves Satan because the only thing going on here is blaiming and complaining on a electronic machine called the Internet. All this non-stop complaining and fault-finding is from the devil. This ridiculous idea body supposedly "public" "property", what a joke. What about women doing creepershots of men? How stupid mistaking whistle for cat and wolves, this has nothing to do with wolves and cat. Its inhumane and barbaric how judgemental every person is here, hassling men who compliment them and don't apologize for pestering men who giving them a complimentary whistle whic was not meant to disturb their peace but have decided to imagine things and delude themselves into believing that they are being harassed because they are good actresses.

  42. I'm not sure how everyone arrive at these conclusions that it' about being whistled at has anything to do with no "consideration", "humanity" ,"object", "appraisal" , "body without a person inside of it". Thats too bad that somebody who has the intelligence of a chimpanzee could say so many ridiculous things about something that shouldn't be such a problem that everyone has to complain about it on the internet because their childish girls who didn't learn right from wrong. They should have focused more on where they are going to spend eternity, whether or not it's with Jesus or the devil.Everybody here has something they should worried about more than something as momentary than a trivial cat call.

  43. I feel really sorry for all these dimwits who imagine they are being "irritated" and think they are not having a peaceful day or night, it's a pity we have so many people being self-deceived through this constant misinformation we have on this device that the devil is using with the greatest success to deceive over a billion people, and the devil is using the feminists to fullfill his agenda. The feminists are alot like Hulk Hogan who cant tell the difference between a revolution and a rebellion. Their inhumane behaviour telling women to do everything men do and wearing pants like them is from the devil. The so-called sexual harassment law should have been enforced different where a person should not have his time wasted with a humiliating dishonest apology and being falseby banished for something imaginary, a better solution would have been community service or maybe paying a fine instead . Not a arrest with, trespassing and harassment because of a compliment is the wrong approach, not the solution but the human race hould have re-educated it's self with what real harassment is not something thats imaginary, like the lies that the womens movement would have you believe.

  44. Trent Bolone says:

    Probably nobody's gonna read this, but the word "creeper" has many different meanings.

    Some people use it to refer to horrible people like these Redditors.

    Some people use it to refer to guys who clearly have no respect for other people's boundaries.

    But other times, I see the term used to refer to guys who have done nothing "wrong," and the woman is just throwing around the word because she automatically assumes that, being a woman, she has the moral high ground.

    Or, worst of all, the term is used as a method of gender role policing against men who don't get enough sex by society's standards.

    I was actually disappointed that you, DNL, didn't explore these other issues.

    • I think you are projecting into women's minds things you can't know. You have no idea with the woman automatically asumes that being a woman she has the moral high ground. You don't know what's in her head.

      As for creeper being use to gender role police guys you don't get enough sex…that is a different matter. Here on the college campus where I work, the female students are far more likely to call the frat guy getting lots of sex and who sends of date rapist vibes a creeper far more than they are the squeaky clean Mormon dude who doesn't believe in sex before marriage.

      You can be not getting a lot of sex and not come off like a creeper. And also, in the grown up world people don't generally know how much sex you are getting or not. None of my colleagues know how much sex I'm getting or not…because I don't talk about sex with my co-workers. Many of my friends don't know how much sex I'm getting…nor do I know how much sex they are getting…because we don't kiss and tell.

      Creepers are dudes who are coming off as creepy and predatory. You can come as creepy if you have a lot of sex and you can come off as creepy if you have no sex.

      • Trent Bolone says:

        I guess I misphrased the third line. What I was referring to were women who just throw around the word "creeper" to describe any guy they reject, regardless of his behavior. Basically, "creeper" = "rejected dude" in this case.

        When I refer to gender role policing, what I mean is that society's expectation is that men are supposed to be suave, sophisticated playboys who know exactly how to treat a woman. Unfortunately, that sometimes isn't the case. Women use the term "creeper" to punish men who don't fit this gender role, who might not be as "smooth" as they apparently should be.

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  1. unaimed says:

    “The issue with creepshots and it’s copycat subreddits isn’t finding women att…”…

    The issue with creepshots and it’s copycat subreddits isn’t finding women attractive or wanting to ogle them;  it’s the fetishization of the non-consensual aspect of the interaction and everything that says about the attitude displayed towards the erst…

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