I admit it. I was wrong. And I take back anything I said. It's the girls' fault.
I would argue that maleness and whiteness are commodities in decline. And while those of us who are not male or white have enjoyed some benefits from their decline, the sort of violence and murder that took place at Sandy Hook Elementary will continue to occur if we do not find a way to carry them along with us in our successes rather than leaving them behind....From the civil rights and feminist movements of the 1960s and onward, young men – and young white men in particular – have increasingly been asked to yield what they’d believed was securely theirs.
She seems a bit of a nut herself, frankly.
I haven't read it properly, not the commentary, but doesn't she acknowledge that she has mental health issues herself, plus a history of abuse?
Fair call. But the fundamental biological differences between those with and without high levels of testosterone are clear. If you want to modulate testosterone driven behaviour you must acknowledge it is real.
Which I get isn't what Bart was saying.
But we see all the time: Well, we can't do anything about this, because well, men are wired to be aggressive, or whatever. (Or, for that matter, peeps be crazy, or guns are everywhere, or whatever).
When I complained to a friend on Monday about ridiculous high levels of street harassment in Wellington on the weekend, he said..."yeah, men and alcohol". Which a) it's way more complicated than that, and b) stop making it sound like it's a natural way of life, and we can't do anything about it. We can and should.
Anyway, I am aware this is something of a threadjack, so I'll stop.
Point of furious agreement long since reached :-)
Fair and balanced, that's me.
However. I, like Danielle, am wary of anyone who says "oh, but testosterone". The dude who broke my ribs when I was a teenager doesn't get to use that excuse any more than I get to say I provoked him cos I was on the rag.
I dunno, I am obviously leery. It seems awfully like saying women shouldn’t have control of the nuclear button because once a month they get bitchy.
Yes. This. It's not like women, and young women in particular, are immune to the effects of hormones.
Sure, let's acknowledge that testosterone plays a part in the development and behavior of young men. But let's use that to do a better job of raising them, and explaining hyper-masculine culture, rather than as an excuse?
She held on back like a child, and listened and smiled, even though I could tell the words weren’t really getting through. It didn’t matter.
When I was little, I loved nothing more than to play hairdresser with my grandmother. I'd give her mohawks and spikes and I think I once attempted dreads. But she loved having her hair brushed, so it worked out nicely. When my grandmother was dying, of alzheimers, I went to visit her. She no longer knew who we were, and hadn't for a long time. I couldn't quite cope with sitting there watching her, raspily breathing, so I picked up a hairbrush, and started brushing her hair. She visibly relaxed, her breathing got slower. I like to think she knew it was me, and while I know she likely didn't, it did demonstrate the power of that sense. And it made me feel better too.
Part of that change is generational, partly because I’m now in an artier and more liberal milieu. I also know a lot of people who live with depression, PTSD or other mental illness, and I think many of my friends are aware of the value of Platonic touch (as Ben, John and B Jones have pointed out) for maintaining self-esteem and human connection. It makes for a much more humane society.
I have always been a fairly touchy person, particularly with friends. Lately, I am less so, and am sometimes (not often) quite uncomfortable, even with my closest friends touching me - in non-sexual ways. It's a weird feeling to be on the other side of it, and to not have the words to say "you're making me uncomfortable, please stop."
See, I’m looking at it from this perspective. If I’m young, and same-sex attracted, and a woman in a bar is kissing me, how do I know if she’s attracted to me, or if she’s kissing me because she wants a man to find her attractive? Consider, for a moment, how fucking depressing that question is.
Oh, completely. I think I meant that maybe if (especially young women's) sexuality wasn't so performative, and so tied up in so many things, that would be easier to know?
Unless you find that “playing into the patriarchal narrative that faux-same-sex-attraction will get a guy to think you are hot” is annoying in itself.
Hate the game, not the player. Mostly.
There’s also the assumption inherent in the wording “straight girls who kiss each other in bars” that kissing each other isn’t something that real straight girls would do for its own sake, so they’re faking it.
I try really hard not to give myself a label, for various reasons, but I assume most people who know me would describe me as straight. And yet, I've done my fair share of snogging girls in bars.
Once, when I was (much, much) younger, because a guy dared my friend and I to - because female sexuality is illicit and therefore dangerous. (And also, hot.) I remember at the time doing it not at all because I was "scared" to kiss her, or required daring, but because drunkenly kissing a girl in bar seemed like the thing to do at the time. And this was pre-Katy Perry. And I wanted him to think I was hot. But yeah, as Amy points out, if I'm seeing two girls in a bar, how the hell am I supposed to know a) they're straight, and b) what their motivations for kissing each other are.
Except that a) the default position is that women are straight, and that sexuality it fixed, not fluid. And b) their motivations must have something to do with men, right?
Well, no, because I don't find it annoying. Well, much. I find the cultural biases behind it frustrating (if indeed it is two drunk girls pashing because someone told them to), but mostly, I don't give a shit who is kissing.