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  1. #1
    The Black Knight Domino's Avatar
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    Default Women, "Play Nice" and the Danger Instinct

    GABRIELLE UNION - RAPE VICTIM UNION URGES WOMEN TO TRUST THEIR INSTINCTS

    Gabrielle Union was 19 when she was raped at gunpoint while she was trying to close up the mall store she worked at - and now she just wishes she had run when her gut told her to. She says, "When the man who raped me came into the store, my heart said run, but I was raised to be polite and not make others uncomfortable. Women are constantly second-guessing our instincts but you know your body, and your body is telling you something is wrong... We are given instincts for a reason."



    ************************************************** ***

    This began in depth over in CzeCze's blog. She mentioned feeling threatened in a recent encounter with men at a club where such behaviors are typical. Digest and I continued the conversation and realized it would make a compelling and timely discussion about women and social training to "play nice".

    In my home state alone, gun sales have jumped two to three times the normal rate because so many women have been murdered by men.

    As a woman, have you been even subtly trained to defer? Ignore your instincts to the contrary? Called names because you stood up for yourself? Made to feel stupid because you sided with your better judgment and resisted?
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  2. #2
    Strongly Ambivalent Ivy's Avatar
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    I will get into this in more depth at a later time. It's one of my favorite topics. But for now, here is a book on this exact issue that IMO we should all read:

    Amazon.com: The Gift of Fear: Gavin De Becker: Books
    The one who buggers a fire burns his penis
    -anonymous graffiti in the basilica at Pompeii

  3. #3
    Emerging Tallulah's Avatar
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    That makes a lot of sense. Often you can do little "tests" to see if you get a bad intention vibe. If you come up with an excuse to leave a person you feel iffy about, and they're trying to keep you around and engaged in conversation, it can be a bad sign. If you cross the street to avoid them and they cross the street a minute later, etc. At that point, you can kind of "treat it like a duck" and not really care if their feelings are hurt. Get somewhere safe, or where there are lots of people.

    A lot of these guys are counting on the fact that you don't want to hurt their feelings. btw, Ted Bundy used to fake a broken leg and ask women to help him carry his textbooks to his car, b/c he looked like he couldn't manage on crutches. And of course, there are some who stage a broken-down car scenario to prey on those who stop to help.

  4. #4
    mrs disregard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PinkPiranha View Post
    This began in depth over in CzeCze's blog. She mentioned feeling threatened in a recent encounter with men at a club where such behaviors are typical. Digest and I continued the conversation and realized it would make a compelling and timely discussion about women and social training to "play nice".

    In my home state alone, gun sales have jumped two to three times the normal rate because so many women have been murdered by men.

    As a woman, have you been even subtly trained to defer? Ignore your instincts to the contrary? Called names because you stood up for yourself? Made to feel stupid because you sided with your better judgment and resisted?
    Interesting topic. I used to be submissive to strangers, for whatever reason (stemming from insecurity and a need for acceptance is my guess), and it is amazing how much power the need to keep the peace had over me. The last straw was when I was taken advantage of (sexually) by an acquaintance of mine. I was nice all the way through, and even afterward (I managed to apologise to him and make him feel like everything was alright). After that, I found a new strength within me that hadn't been there before, and it is now the foundation of my vie de résistance.

  5. #5
    Scream down the boulevard LadyJaye's Avatar
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    Pink and I were taught to be excruciatingly polite, which I think completely obliterates a woman's ability to trust her own primal intuition. It enraged me that I was constantly talking myself out of feeling unsafe or menaced, because I was almost always correct. Living in an inner city area, there was a lot of violent crime, so we were very aware of ourselves and the people around us, so I finally just did myself a favor and told myself to go with my instincts if something made me feel endangered. Once, Pink, my best friend and I were walking around a lake in town that is popular for joggers - I kept noticing this guy, who passed us several times going in the opposite direction. I knew he was doing something because the lake was too large for him to have lapped us so many times. I mentioned it to my friend, and kept walking. A few minutes later, I made the habitual check behind me, and there he was, right behind us. I stopped abruptly and made a huge scene - I bellowed at him that I knew what he was doing, and that if I saw him behind me again I was going to call the police. He didn't say anything, just got this flat irritated expression on his face, and then disappeared. We decided it was time to leave, so we finished our lap around the lake, and then went to the parking lot - Pink and I got in our car and drove about 10 minutes to a shopping center, and right as we parked, the GUY pulled into the parking space in FRONT of us, smiling this creepy smile. I was FURIOUS - I grabbed a wrench out of the floorboard and started to get out of the car, yelling at him through our windshield - he stopped smiling and started looking freaked out, but thankfully, Pink did the right thing and prevented me from getting out. It would have been such a horrible idea for me to have gotten out of the car. We went to a friend's workplace a few doors down, and the guy disappeared.

    I used to think that Pink and I had more horror stories because we were in men's job fields, but the more I talk with my friends, the more I understand how easily women can be menaced.

  6. #6
    Scream down the boulevard LadyJaye's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by disregard View Post
    Interesting topic. I used to be submissive to strangers, for whatever reason (stemming from insecurity and a need for acceptance is my guess), and it is amazing how much power the need to keep the peace had over me. The last straw was when I was taken advantage of (sexually) by an acquaintance of mine. I was nice all the way through, and even afterward (I managed to apologise to him and make him feel like everything was alright). After that, I found a new strength within me that hadn't been there before, and it is now the foundation of my vie de résistance.
    I'm so sorry to hear that this happened to you. Being raped changes everything - it's one of the worst things that could ever happen to anyone. I was also raped, and I was terrified of men for years afterward. It was crippling sometimes, but when I became a preteen, I realized I was better off getting angry about it, and that then, at least, I had a chance. Once I stopped caring about everyone else's comfort above my own safety, it put me in charge of what could happen to me, to the best of my ability.

  7. #7
    Emerging Tallulah's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LadyJaye View Post
    Pink and I were taught to be excruciatingly polite, which I think completely obliterates a woman's ability to trust her own primal intuition. It enraged me that I was constantly talking myself out of feeling unsafe or menaced, because I was almost always correct. Living in an inner city area, there was a lot of violent crime, so we were very aware of ourselves and the people around us, so I finally just did myself a favor and told myself to go with my instincts if something made me feel endangered. Once, Pink my best friend and I were walking around a lake in town that is popular for joggers - I kept noticing this guy, who passed us several times going in the opposite direction. I knew he was doing something because the lake was too large for him to have lapped us so many times. I mentioned it to my friend, and kept walking. A few minutes later, I made the habitual check behind me, and there he was, right behind us. I stopped abruptly and made a huge scene - I bellowed at him that I knew what he was doing, and that if I saw him behind me again I was going to call the police. He didn't say anything, just got this flat irritated expression on his face, and then disappeared. We decided it was time to leave, so we finished our lap around the lake, and then went to the parking lot - Pink and I got in our car and drove about 10 minutes to a shopping center, and right as we parked, the GUY pulled into the parking space in FRONT of us, smiling this creepy smile. I was FURIOUS - I grabbed a wrench out of the floorboard and started to get out of the car, yelling at him through our windshield - he stopped smiling and started looking freaked out, but thankfully, Pink did the right thing and prevented me from getting out. It would have been such a horrible idea for me to have gotten out of the car. We went to a friend's workplace a few doors down, and the guy disappeared.

    I used to think that Pink and I had more horror stories because we were in men's job fields, but the more I talk with my friends, the more I understand how easily women can be menaced.
    Wow. 1) What a creep! and 2) Good for you for calling him out on it. But yeah, probably good you didn't get out of the car. If I go walking by myself or just with another girl, I usually have something on me that will either do some damage or make some noise. With those wooded park areas, it's too easy to imagine some guy jumping you and carrying you off without anyone even noticing.

  8. #8
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    I learned in my mid-twenties to never, ever distrust my gut. Also always, always lock the damn car door as soon as you get in and it never gets unlocked until you get out, just takes a minute and can make a lot of difference. Don't sit in car with windows down, even if you think you know the area well and have always felt "safe" there. That's my advice.

    I told the story that prompts my comments before here (I think!) but my mind is too tired to tell it today.

  9. #9
    Scream down the boulevard LadyJaye's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tallulah View Post
    Wow. 1) What a creep! and 2) Good for you for calling him out on it. But yeah, probably good you didn't get out of the car. If I go walking by myself or just with another girl, I usually have something on me that will either do some damage or make some noise. With those wooded park areas, it's too easy to imagine some guy jumping you and carrying you off without anyone even noticing.
    We also carry things with us when we leave the house. When I first started welding, I had a guy grab me in the shop, which turned into a brawl, and after that, my father bought Pink and I both bought us knives with thumb bolts on them, and he removed the locking screw next to the blade, so we could flip them out with only one hand if someone had us pinned down. Of course, I'm not some Cammie Streetfighter, so didn't exactly go around menacing guys with it. But, my shop foreman, a wonderful man, made sure that everyone there knew I had a "hog sticker", and that he was more than willing for me to hurt somebody if anyone tried to touch me again.

  10. #10
    Free-Rangin' Librarian Jae Rae's Avatar
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    The Kiss of Death for women is our training to be nice, not make a scene, etc. I feel I've spent a lot of my adult life unlearning to be nice.

    I've learned to listen to my gut. Once I got off BART in downtown Oakland - not a great area - and was walking the four blocks to work. I started getting a creepy vibe that someone was following me. I ducked into a deli and turned around to confront the guy who followed me in: "Stop following me." I looked right at him. He stammered: "I wasn't following you." I waited until he walked in the opposite direction and then headed out again. A woman caught up to me and said she'd seen him following me and I was absolutely right about him. Her hit was that he was going to snatch my purse.

    Another time I was walking in SF in the rain. A guy came up next to me, ostensibly to share my umbrella. He put his arm around me and touched my bottom. Immediately I swung my umbrella at him as a weapon. He jumped back several feet and then fled.

    There is no good reason for a man to follow, stalk or stake out a woman. Usually these are guys with poor social skills who feel they're entitled to her stuff, including her body and sexuality, if they can take it. No need to feel ashamed or worried you're going to offend a "nice" guy. If your body tells you it's wrong, it's wrong. Usually your body is screaming the message to get away.

    I worked with a guy in his 30s who used to touch the hair of the all the nice library pages who were in our early 20s. It bothered us a lot; I mentioned it to one of the other pages, but we were afraid of being thought of as troublemakers, so said nothing even though he was the troublemaker. I've learned a lot since then.
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