Monday, April 22, 2013

This is being passed around on the internets...

...and everyone's passing it around with HELL YEAH! agreement, which bothers me:


Here is why I don't really like this. In the case of someone being forceful, I understand. But in the case of a polite proposition from someone genuinely interested, someone lonely and simply trying to reach out for very real affection, sometimes women will act as though showing interest is pure evil and the man must be emotionally destroyed or berated in a public way. 

For example, Skepchick who tore into a man who invited a woman at an atheist convention to his room, very politely, on her blog. I grow sick of the accusations of misogynist that haunt PZ Myers and Dawkins from that atheism community shattering event, just as I fear people will be considered a misogynist for hugely disagreeing with this graphic. Which I do. And for good reason:

Where it gets scary for me is in how quickly this compliment becomes justification for vile action against the person. Then I think of the many assaults on gay men justified by "he made a pass at me," and I get VERY uncomfortable that this is one step away from making those understandable and okay. Just bothersome to me. If I must excuse Watson's reaction at the atheist event, I must excuse theirs too, and oh HELL no, I won't be doing that. And this is why I need to be adding this perspective.

I do get the Idea that straight men might dislike being treated as they treat women. Totally understand that. 

But I don't grasp the idea that interest is assault. It's a compliment. One that might be rudely delivered by an idiot, in which case go ahead and ridicule. But often, it is not, and yet the person making the compliment is ripped to shreds if he's not muscly enough, or rich enough, or playing the game right. It was hell enough for him to be able to show the interest only to have that happen. Men can be hurt too you know. I think this is the reason they made the movie Hitch. Take the compliment if it is a compliment. And don't take a compliment as a reason to tear an already insecure man down further, which is the very kind of abuse assumed in the picture.

Go ahead and rip into me for being misogynist if you must. It'll show me you don't give a shit about anything except forcing people to agree with your short-sighted view. But I make a strong case here. It's insane that this is even happening in the atheist world. If I wanted a good preaching-to for my natural feelings, I'd go to church. Hell our propagation as a species depends on sexual interest, as this thoughtful disagreeing atheist woman points out, so it can't be that offensive to be equated with assault.

So seriously...