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  1. Aaron DC
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    Aaron DC Contributing Member

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    35 practical steps men can take to support feminism

    Discussion in 'Debate Room' started by Aaron DC, Aug 17, 2015.

    http://www.xojane.com/issues/feminism-men-practical-steps
    I have 2 questions:

    1. I am particularly interested in people's thoughts on #4 (the red example):

    Examples: If a seat is available on public transit next to a man, take that seat rather than one next to a woman. If you are walking outside in the dark close to a woman walking alone, cross the street so that she doesn’t have to worry someone is following her. If a woman is standing alone on a subway platform, stand some distance away from her.

    2. As I read each item, I am struck by the thought: women are fighting for independence, yet many items in that list provide an opportunity for a woman to do something about the situation, to assert herself, to prove her independence, but men are expected to "fix" the situation for her?

    eg: if she feels uncomfortable, why doesn't the woman cross the street instead? if he follows her, she knows now, right?

    I have selected a specific example for discussion and as a thought experiment. The other problems I had with the crossing the street example included: what if I am about to turn down a side-street soon, what if there's another woman on the other side of the road, etc.

    ETA: I am specifically interested in what people think about saying: men should do this, men should do that, to "solve" or "fix" situations where women can do exactly the same thing themselves. It seems to me this is I dunno, disempowering?
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2015
  2. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    I don't know about some of the examples you cite. Some seem patronizing. But sometimes it is just courtesy or empathy - I have a few times been in a parking garage or crossing a fairly empty area of town late at night and found myself coming up on a woman walking alone through the same area. I tend to walk fast, and on those occasions I slowed way down. No reason to scare anyone - they don't know me. Once I waited to enter a parking garage until a woman got into her car because there was no one else around, it was late, and I saw her look back, then speed up, when she heard me coming up. It's hard to understand how that must feel without having been there. What's a little inconvenience if you can avoid truly scaring someone in that situation.
     
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  3. Aaron DC
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    Aaron DC Contributing Member

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    Oh boy I did wonder about posting. I have slowed down exactly the same. Or jogged past if I am jogging, and am soon long gone.

    I am specifically talking about crossing the road. Which is why I wrote that and highlighted it in red.

    Nothing better than someone answering a question you didn't ask. Not sure how else to ask a specific question. Happy to unwatch the thread if this continues. :agreed:
     
  4. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    Astounding though it may seem, people don't feel bound by whatever specifics you type when you start a thread. In a forum full of writers, some may even have the audacity to follow a tangential issue or offer a related observation rather than be locked into a specific question, use of colored fonts notwithstanding. Usually don't get people crying about it, though.
     
  5. Aaron DC
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    Aaron DC Contributing Member

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    And you don't always get people being bitches when asked specific questions either. Good humble brag segue though, bro :agreed:
     
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  6. Aaron DC
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    I am specifically interested in what people think about saying: men should do this, men should do that, to "solve" or "fix" situations where women can do exactly the same thing themselves. It seems to me this is I dunno, disempowering?

    Curious specifically as it relates to the article linked, and the specific example highlighted above.

    More than happy to debate whether men should open doors for women or hold their handbags while they adjust their junk, etc, but my question would also like a look in at some stage.

    Thanks!
     
  7. 123456789
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    123456789 Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think this list was written as a joke.
     
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  8. Aaron DC
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    Aaron DC Contributing Member

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    Satire? I did wonder but dunno, I think it's for reals.
     
  9. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    My first thought here is: Why does the woman need to "prove" her independence? Why can't there be simple courtesy and social customs that happen to account for women's concerns as well as men's concerns?

    Your specific example was about giving a woman space. There are a lot of occasion in society when we give each other space.

    For example, an episode of Silk just assured me that when given the choice, a second man entering a restroom will choose a urinal at least one urinal away from the first man in the restroom, rather than right next to the first man. If I were to say that the second man should take the urinal right next to the first man, saying "Isn't this an opportunity for the first man to assert himself and prove his independence?" wouldn't you look at me as if I were just a little insane? Isn't the custom of giving the other man some space a matter of simple courtesy, because many men would rather have the illusion of a little privacy in that moment? Is it really a situation where the second man is "fix"ing a situation for the first one?
     
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  10. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    Because a man doing half the housework, taking some responsibility for contraception, or being an equal parent is so patently absurd that of course it's all just to be funny?
     
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  11. Aaron DC
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    Aaron DC Contributing Member

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    I thought prove would be a stumbling block :agreed: I am struggling to express an intuition, so please accept my apologies. I tried to clarify after someone went way off track in response, not sure if you saw that?

    My specific example was about crossing the road. Slowing down would be my preference. I am usually on a side of the road for a purpose. But a woman can cross the road herself, right?

    The urinal example is interesting, but fails because the newcomer wants room for himself, not the other person.

    The other version of my question would be: what are women doing to change the situation? To make it better for themselves?
     
  12. 123456789
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    123456789 Contributing Member Contributor

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    >80% of those rules are asking for special treatment for women and telling men how they should behave. I think this article is a mockery of modern day feminism, which is less about equality and more about winning ground for white, middle/upper class women and telling men how to think.
     
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  13. Aaron DC
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    Aaron DC Contributing Member

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    I am curious how @ChickenFreak feels about men being allowed to have their legs open when sitting.

    Although I have seen instances where it's taken to a ridiculous extreme, so perhaps that's what they meant -- the way it's worded is open to interpretation.
     
  14. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    Slowing down seems fine. And, yes, the woman can cross the road herself. My objection wasn't to the suggestion that women should take a share of the responsibility for this situation, but to the suggestion that she needs to "prove" her independence.

    Also, this isn't entirely about women. While men may(?) not feel comfortable expressing the idea that they feel vulnerable, surely there are times when men feel vulnerable in public?

    But what if he doesn't? What if he's perfectly comfortable with the urinal-next-door proximity? Doesn't the etiquette still frown on him taking the urinal right next to the other man?

    Imagine some parallels:

    - What are car owners doing about the situation where cars are stolen? To make it better for themselves?

    - What are people of nationalities or religions that are sometimes targeted doing about the situation where they are attacked? To make it better for themselves?

    - What are people with wallets doing about the situation where people get their pockets picked? To make it better for themselves?

    Don't the above feel a little weird? Why are people who are just going about their lawful business responsible for fixing the fact that crimes may be committed against them?

    Anyone, man or woman, could be a criminal, and therefore has some responsibility to avoid triggering the fears of others. I've been thinking of buying a particular model of car, and peering at that car model when I see it, but I don't spend too long pacing around a car or peering into it, for fear I might look likely to steal, break into, or vandalize it. I don't strike up conversation with unaccompanied children, or for that matter with accompanied children, for fear that their parents may think that I have nefarious motives. I keep my distance from the either people at the bus stop, simply because being friendly with strangers in a city tends to make those strangers nervous.
     
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  15. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think that if the seat I am sitting in is X inches wide, then those X inches are mine to use, and are not intended for the man sitting next to me to use. If my seat is 21 inches wide, and so is his, and his legs are splayed to 30 inches wide, so that I have to lock my knees together or even lean them away from him (unless another man on the other side is occupying the space in which I would lean), that's a problem. And that has quite often happened.
     
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  16. Aaron DC
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    Aaron DC Contributing Member

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    I personally had an alarm installed. I see a lot of steering wheel locks in use also.

    No idea. Travel in groups?

    Personally: put item in zipped pocket, attach chain, be mindful of being bumped?

    Honestly? No, not really.

    Are you equating a man not paying for half of the contraception with committing a crime?
     
  17. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    Weren't you the one objecting to discussion of anything but the crossing-the-street example?
     
  18. Aaron DC
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    Aaron DC Contributing Member

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    No. It's not an etiquette at all. It's something people do as naturally as scratching an itch, due to their own internal feelings of not wanting to be next to someone waving their dick around.
     
  19. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    You really feel that, for example, people of targeted religions or nationalities are responsible for traveling in groups? Isn't it more reasonable for society to be responsible for protecting them from attack?
     
  20. Aaron DC
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    Aaron DC Contributing Member

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    Yes I am, but not sure why you are being hostile when I am responding directly to your post. o_O

    If it helps, let me reword the question then: are you equating a man not crossing the street when he accidentally happens to be walking on the same side as a woman with committing a crime?
     
  21. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    You're attributing your feelings about it to all other men. I wouldn't be so sure you're right.

    But whether you are or not, I believe that society is dependent on customs that arise from empathy, from a concern about others' feelings.
     
  22. Aaron DC
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    Aaron DC Contributing Member

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    I see that you like to quote selectively. Out of 3 items, I already do things to help 2. So that's 67%. On balance, that gets a "No, not really -- doesn't feel weird".

    If I did 1 or 0, then yes, it might feel weird.

    You are focusing in on "targeted" religions and nationalities, but in my nation, I am unaware of this happening, so answering is difficult at best. No mentally stable individual would suggest people being attacked should be solely responsible for their own safety, but if I am walking somewhere or have friends who walk places and are unsafe, I would indeed modify my behaviour to make it safer for myself, taking responsibility for my safety, yes. In France, for example, public toilets at night were deemed relatively unsafe so we avoided them.
     
  23. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    Did you read any of the following paragraph?

    Did I say that having a conversation with children was a crime? It's not a crime. I refrain all the same, because I don't want to alarm their parents. The same for peering into other people's cars, or standing right next to strangers at the bus stop.
     
  24. ChickenFreak
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    Wow. What's your nation?
     
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  25. Aaron DC
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    Aaron DC Contributing Member

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    I'll take my male empathy about males and urinal behaviour over yours ;)
     
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