Up Front by Emma Hart

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Up Front: Does My Mortgage Look Like a Slag in This?

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  • Lucy Stewart,

    May I humbly recommend an enrolment at Charm School?

    Just assume varying degrees of euphemism, dependent on the situation.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2105 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    Me: “Well, not right now. Right now, I just want to read my book.”

    Awesome. The only place where I'm ever that witty, is in my imagination.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Megan Wegan,

    Right, folks. It is my weekend, and in about an hour, I am about to sit down to lunch at the Restaurant of the Year.

    I am fairly certain that my dining companion isn't going to assume my low cut dress isn't an invitation of any kind, but rest assured, I will be vigilant. I was considering putting on lipstick too, but that could be a bridge to far for teh men of Welly to cope with. But rest assured I will be vigilant.

    Anyway, you've all (mostly) been charming, and Emma, and this thread rock 15 kinds of awesome.

    I'll be back on Monday, or earlier, depending on how slow the internet is in rural Canterbury this weekend.

    Welly • Since Jul 2008 • 1275 posts Report Reply

  • Carol Stewart,

    The only place where I'm ever that witty, is in my imagination.

    Or on the stairway?

    Wellington • Since Jul 2008 • 822 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    In my case more like l'esprit de several days later while I'm doing the dishes.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    Stephen - don't threaten people.

    Very seriously, how can you tell that's a threat? Can you use your threat-detecting method in other contexts to detect other things concealed in speech, do you think?

    And secondly,doesn't my right to free expression protect me? Why doesn't it trump your right not to be threatened?

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3122 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen,

    a woman's virtue being like a castle

    Hey baby, can I maraud your castle...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4451 posts Report Reply

  • Stewart,

    I'm sorry to say, but I reckon George is wrong about

    He is not a mere animal, reacting to provocation. He is a human, and we hold him to much higher standards.

    because in a lot of cases the man in question is a mere animal (admittedly a human, but still an animal).

    Which is really a shitter for the woman being harrassed or the man being threatened. Some guys just don't get it (and their behaviour tends to mean thay are seldom getting it either) and this reflects badly on all men. Some of it is immaturity, some of it is compensation for insecurity, all of it is wrong.

    It still happens, and we should keep working to educate people to reduce the incidence but we can't lose sight of the fact that it does happen. There is an element of risk recognition and risk mitigation that we need to be aware of - more for women than for men.

    Be aware & have fun out there!

    Te Ika A Maui - Whakatane… • Since Oct 2008 • 577 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen,

    teh interhosen

    The internet is pants.

    roflnui

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4451 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    because in a lot of cases the man in question is a mere animal

    Isn't that just a copout*, though?

    *Whenever I use the word 'copout', I think of the film Bob and Carol and Ted and Alice, in which people call each other copouts in a particularly late-60s sort of way. It makes me giggle.

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3828 posts Report Reply

  • Stewart,

    In terms of not being amenable to reason and being intent on predation, no I don't think it is a cop-out. I've taken the beatings (OK, anecdote) and I've never been happy about it.

    I wish there weren't blokes like that, but I have to acknowledge that there are.

    Te Ika A Maui - Whakatane… • Since Oct 2008 • 577 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen,

    It is my weekend, and in about an hour, I am about to sit down to lunch at the Restaurant of the Year.

    Two things are required before you are allowed to post again.

    1 A description if not a picture of the shoes you wear to this fine establishment.

    2 A mouth watering description of the food

    AM SO JEALOUS!

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4451 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen,

    If men are merely animals then they need to be trained or on a leash surely.

    Since I don't like the idea of being on a leash I'm going to work on training

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4451 posts Report Reply

  • Stewart,

    Not all men, Bart. But some men, particularly when freed of some of their inhibitions by alcohol.

    Te Ika A Maui - Whakatane… • Since Oct 2008 • 577 posts Report Reply

  • Angus Robertson,

    You seem to think that no one would ever fuck if someone wasn't acting like a douchebag to someone else. Believe me: I have bonked some people, and they didn't have to harass me to get me to do it. That's what 'active consent' means.

    No. I think that even "douchebags" are capable of making each other happy and that this happiness should not be denied them on the basis of any qualitative judgement I have about their actions.

    I think that people operate to differing standards of what constitutes proper behaviour and that your standard likely falls foul of someones norms of moral & proper behavour. However your standard is a good deal north of where I think society should draw the line - that we do not harm or hinder or coerce, beyond that go for it. It is an admittedly low standard, set low so that it maximises the amount of people who can attain happiness.

    Auckland • Since May 2007 • 984 posts Report Reply

  • 3410,

    And as a general point of netiquette, I think that whenever you find yourself arguing against a particular 'group' about what happens to that group, when it's a group you don't belong to, it might be time to inhale for a minute and just listen.

    I inhaled 27 pages ago!

    I think part of the problem here is that guys often can't really comprehend the experience, for two reasons.

    a) For many of us, the idea of "unwanted sexual attention" is, frankly, bordering on oxymoronic. Exceedingly handsome, suave and wealthy bastards aside, for most men actual sexual attention does not outstrip desired sexual attention by an unbearable margin.

    b) Having such attention become un-deal-with-able harrasssment or even physically dangerous is just not really on our radar. Yes, it's a possibility but, like being struck by lightning, it's just not something that one worries about much, if at all.

    In short, we don't generally experience this sort of thing as very much of a problem.

    Where to from here, I don't know, but that's my partial take on why guys sometimes don't get it.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 2618 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    I find it intriguing Angus that you zip so easily from a position based on absolute rights to one that "maximises the amount of people who can attain happiness." Classically those who believe that maximising happiness is the way to go also believe that rights are nonsense on stilts.

    I am also intrigued by your utilitarian calculus. How exactly are you offsetting the unhappiness caused by rudeness from the unhappiness caused by being restrained from rudeness? For example, I am tempted to infer that you believe the unhappiness of harrassed female bar patrons is more than offset by the happiness of boorish male ones.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3122 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    we do not harm or hinder or coerce

    Isn't that exactly what we've been saying? I don't understand what you think 'harassment' actually is.

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3828 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Folks, it seems we have a problem beyond the whole "disagreeing with women's gendered experience" one.

    However your standard is a good deal north of where I think society should draw the line - that we do not harm or hinder or coerce, beyond that go for it. It is an admittedly low standard, set low so that it maximises the amount of people who can attain happiness.

    Libertarians fair crack me up. What they really mean seems to be more like: "set low so that people with power can maximise their happiness". And screw everyone else for being unhappy about that. Gee I wonder why people might find it offensive, and why it is such an unfashionable belief system.

    I for one am not about to try reasoning with you. It was more enjoyable hearing people discuss shoes and music.

    On that note, a picture of the interior of Megan's lunch venue graces my phone screen. Aspirationally. Still one of the most awesome spaces I have ever sat in, and some of the most impressive food. Envious salivation ensuing.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19688 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    guys often can't really comprehend the experience

    And thank you 3410. Totally agree.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19688 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch,

    guys often can't really comprehend the experience

    I certainly agree. I do think you can explain it in terms that anyone can relate to, however, even those who can't get into that headspace.

    Someone wanting some item of yours, something that in certain circumstances you'd be happy to share with certain people, and acting aggressively to get it when you've said no. In this case, that item happens to be your personal space and/or your body.

    When I think about it like that, it suddenly becomes much more compelling, and the implications are pretty moving.

    WLG • Since Nov 2006 • 2264 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Stowell,

    It is very hard for men to 'get' this, but for me, working one night at the "Mr Gay NZ" final led to a tiny insight.
    It was a hoot. People were having a great time.
    And I got hit on a few times: that was ok. But one guy was persistant enough to disturb my working (I was trying to record the show) and make me feel uncomfortable. Using the toilets later, someone else grabbed my crotch and ran off snickering.
    I didn't feel threatened. But for the rest of the night, I couldn't help thinking: this is probably an everyday, anytime thing for women.
    On one level, it was just stares, a few words, a little groping. And the vast majority of attendees were as friendly and helpful and welcoming as you could wish. There was a lovely party atmosphere.
    But the unwanted sexual attention was not ok.
    I can only begin to imagine what effect living in a world (this world, our world) where being an object of undifferentiated male lust is the norm must have.
    It needs to change.

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 2091 posts Report Reply

  • Angus Robertson,

    Stephen,

    I am a centrist swing voter and like politics. Political sites where arguments are conducted are left (maximising the good) or right (maximising freedom). And being a centrist they both sound sort of good.

    For example, I am tempted to infer that you believe the unhappiness of harrassed female bar patrons is more than offset by the happiness of boorish male ones.

    More like, I believe that boorish behaviour by male and female patrons in a bar is mostly in the pursuit of happiness and in the wish to provide some happiness to another. If into this context someone enters (and like 3410 portrays it is almost always a woman) who holds boorish sexual advances to be harrassing she will be harrassed, by people who have no intention to harrass her. So yes her unhappiness is more than offset by people who have happily congregated in the bar for the purpose of boorish sexual pursuit.

    I think that places exist where people can engage in a consensual activity even if it fails to meet the standards of proper behaviour.

    Auckland • Since May 2007 • 984 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    If into this context someone enters who holds boorish sexual advances to be harrassing she will be harrassed, by people who have no intention to harrass her.

    So, a bar is a place to be okay to grope and harass and bother a woman after she has made it clear that she's not interested? And the fault is the woman's for being too sensitive?

    You are going to stop digging at some point in this conversation, right?

    I think that places exist where people can engage in a consensual activity even if it fails to meet the standards of proper behaviour.

    Consensual doesn't mean what you appear to think it means.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    But the unwanted sexual attention was not ok.

    I had the same experience with a friend, repeatedly, in front of his partner and others, and at no point I felt that if I had been of the correct sexual orientation it would have been in any way less unplesant. And the only way to bring to an end was to stop hanging out with that particular group of friends, which was sad.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

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