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  1. #501
    The High Priestess Amargith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolis View Post
    I'm not usually "noticeably chipper or happy and smiling", but on the other hand, I don't make it a point to glare at people either. My usual demeanor in public is blank/neutral, and I am usually focused on internal thoughts. I ignore people individually while remaining generally aware of the situation: is anyone following me, is anyone moving too close to me, do I hear anything threatening (someone sounding angry or cursing, even if not at me). This is all just reflexive, though, and I suspect is much more type- than gender-based. Like many introverts, I value my personal space both figuratively and literally. I will be more deliberately aware if I am in a setting that seems unsafe, but my main concerns have always been getting robbed or mugged. I have honestly never been in a situation where I was concerned specifically about getting raped.

    I don't want to make any of this about me. I know I have been lucky, but can't attribute my positive experiences to luck alone. I started to wonder then, if there was something I do automatically that has spared me most of these troubles, can I figure out what it is and share it?
    While that would certainly be useful to find out and share to cope with these situations, the core remains that women shouldn't *have* to change how they look, walk, direct their gaze or avert their eyes in order to be safe on the street, though.
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  2. #502
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amargith View Post
    While that would certainly be useful to find out and share to cope with these situations, the core remains that women shouldn't *have* to change how they look, walk, direct their gaze or avert their eyes in order to be safe on the street, though.
    Should folks who dress like gangsters not have to change their style of dress for job interviews?

  3. #503
    The High Priestess Amargith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DiscoBiscuit View Post
    Should folks who dress like gangsters not have to change their style of dress for job interviews?
    Really? It is not like we can change into men in order to be safe. Not to mention that you live in fear and you would have to constantly 'change clothes' as you are amongst men non-stop in society. A job interview happens for a short period in your life, where you can adjust and you can *choose* not to apply or work for that company.

    Being a woman isn't a choice. Nor is it possible to stay indoors in your golden cage. Or do I fucking want to be told that my feminine qualities make me eligible for being harassed! Not to mention that when you actually do the whole retreat thing, you get told that you're not very warm, charming, welcoming and all those other nice feminine qualities men demand you display.

    You can wear and act the way you want - provided you don't harm others along the way - when you walk down a street, why can't I?
    Do not go there with me, dude
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  4. #504
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amargith View Post
    Really? It is not like we can change into men in order to be safe. Not to mention that you live in fear and you would have to constantly 'change clothes' as you are amongst men non-stop in society. A job interview happens for a short period in your life, where you can adjust and you can *choose* not to apply or work for that company.

    Being a woman isn't a choice. Nor is it possible to stay indoors in your golden cage. Or do I fucking want to be told that my feminine qualities make me eligible for being harassed! Not to mention that when you actually do the whole retreat thing, you get told that you're not very warm, charming, welcoming and all those other nice feminine qualities men demand you display.

    You can wear and act the way you want - provided you don't harm others along the way - when you walk down a street, why can't I?
    Do not go there with me, dude
    You can dress however the hell you want. No one is stopping you.

    No more than anyone is stopping folks from dressing like gangsters or rednecks or whatever.

    But to dress in a way that is likely to illicit a certain response, then complain complain about that response, whether it's people walking to the other side of the street when they see gangsters, or rednecks being treated like rednecks, is just stupid.

    I get that in a perfect world I should be able to dress however I want and not have people look at me like I'm growing a third eye out of my head, but that is not the world in which we live. You can pine for a utopia all you want, but we are all burdened to live in the real world, with all its faults.

    More to the point, tazers, stun guns, pepper spray, concealed carry, and stand up guys to hang out with all exist. Any one or combination of those should go a long way to preventing unwanted sexual advances, despite dressing however you prefer.

    Men are men, if we see something that looks like a duck, and walks like a duck, we can usually be expected to act as if it is indeed a duck.

  5. #505
    The High Priestess Amargith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DiscoBiscuit View Post
    You can dress however the hell you want. No one is stopping you.

    No more than anyone is stopping folks from dressing like gangsters or rednecks or whatever.

    But to dress in a way that is likely to illicit a certain response, then complain complain about that response, whether it's people walking to the other side of the street when they see gangsters, or rednecks being treated like rednecks, is just stupid.

    I get that in a perfect world I should be able to dress however I want and not have people look at me like I'm growing a third eye out of my head, but that is not the world in which we live. You can pine for a utopia all you want, but we are all burdened to live in the real world, with all its faults.

    More to the point, tazers, stun guns, pepper spray, concealed carry, and stand up guys to hang out with all exist. Any one or combination of those should go a long way to preventing unwanted sexual advances, despite dressing however you prefer.

    Men are men, if we see something that looks like a duck, and walks like a duck, we can usually be expected to act as if it is indeed a duck.
    All Im asking for is for the right to not be terrified and have to look at the floor to indicate that i dont wanna be harassed or force-kissed. You're making out like I'm going for the holy grail - aka walking around naked without any guy considering it an invitation to cat call or worse. While that is a nice utopia, Im aware that that one is out of reach still for a very long time.

    But I can at least try to achieve this small step, no?
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  6. #506
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amargith View Post
    All Im asking for is for the right to not be terrified and have to look at the floor to indicate that i dont wanna be harassed or force-kissed. You're making out like I'm going for the holy grail - aka walking around naked without any guy considering it an invitation to cat call or worse. While that is a nice utopia, Im aware that that one is out of reach still for a very long time.

    But I can at least try to achieve this small step, no?
    You don't have to be terrified and look at the floor. How you react is up to you.

    You can always hold your head high and say get lost creep. Don't allow yourself to be put in a mental prison of fear.

    Being terrified is up to you.

  7. #507
    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amargith View Post
    You can wear and act the way you want - provided you don't harm others along the way - when you walk down a street, why can't I?
    This isn't always true. Many things about how a man is dressed or how he is acting can make him a target for robbers/muggers. Wearing just the wrong colors in some urban areas can get you associated with a rival gang, when you have nothing to do with any of them. I know plenty of men who adjust their dress and behavior when going into certain areas or around certain people. They may have the right to present their usual, everyday appearance, but they should then be prepared to handle the likely consequences.

    Quote Originally Posted by Amargith View Post
    Being a woman isn't a choice. Nor is it possible to stay indoors in your golden cage. Or do I fucking want to be told that my feminine qualities make me eligible for being harassed! Not to mention that when you actually do the whole retreat thing, you get told that you're not very warm, charming, welcoming and all those other nice feminine qualities men demand you display.
    Perhaps part of my "success" comes from the fact that, while I don't exactly retreat, I also feel no compulsion to display warmth, charm, beauty, good cheer, or any other qualities for anyone, unless part of an established job or relationship. If men have been demanding that of me all these years, I have ignored those demands so effectively, they have not even made it onto my radar.

    Quote Originally Posted by Amargith View Post
    While that would certainly be useful to find out and share to cope with these situations, the core remains that women shouldn't *have* to change how they look, walk, direct their gaze or avert their eyes in order to be safe on the street, though.
    If ordinarily I had say an 80% chance of experiencing something negative, but could reduce that to effectively zero by doing something simple and minor that really doesn't affect how I go about my day, I would sure want to know what that something was. Options are good. Then I could weigh the bother/inconvenience of making that modification to the bother/inconvenience of the 80% risk.

    I have certainly made opposite choices. All the career advice for women says to observe fashion, wear makeup, do such-and-such. I have ignored the lot, because all of that is not me, and I refuse to compromise here. Generic advice like "dress for the job you want, not the job you have" I have observed, as it always felt more natural. Perhaps I would have reconsidered, had my professional success been more limited.


    Quote Originally Posted by DiscoBiscuit View Post
    You don't have to be terrified and look at the floor. How you react is up to you.

    You can always hold your head high and say get lost creep. Don't allow yourself to be put in a mental prison of fear.

    Being terrified is up to you.
    I agree with this. The times I have been terrified in my life are few, and have had nothing to do with the risk of rape. As for force-kissing, a guy is going to get a very physical response well before he is close enough to do that. That is too close for anyone outside my immediate circle of friends/family, and if one of them got away with it once, it would be the last time.
    I've been called a criminal, a terrorist, and a threat to the known universe. But everything you were told is a lie. The truth is, they've taken our freedom, our home, and our future. The time has come for all humanity to take a stand...

  8. #508
    The High Priestess Amargith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DiscoBiscuit View Post
    You don't have to be terrified and look at the floor. How you react is up to you.

    You can always hold your head high and say get lost creep. Don't allow yourself to be put in a mental prison of fear.

    Being terrified is up to you.
    Thats easily said. Not so much easily done when you re alone in a street with four guys who won't let you pass till you've answered all their questions. You automatically retreat and try to navigate it away from a conflict, I can guarantee that. And I'm not a timid little woman. Im not afraid to walk around normally (though I know many women who are, hence i mentioned it). Ive done martial arts, and I am confident in my social skills, but even I cannot take 4 guys on my own and so all Ive left is my charm to get me out of that situation.

    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolis View Post
    This isn't always true. Many things about how a man is dressed or how he is acting can make him a target for robbers/muggers. Wearing just the wrong colors in some urban areas can get you associated with a rival gang, when you have nothing to do with any of them. I know plenty of men who adjust their dress and behavior when going into certain areas or around certain people. They may have the right to present their usual, everyday appearance, but they should then be prepared to handle the likely consequences.
    That is something I'm less familiar with, though we do have a neighborhood in our city where it is beneficial to wear...long dresses and cover things as many of our muslim immigrants live there. So that I can sort of relate to. Still, women share in those risks I take it and take similar precautions in that kind of danger, Id hope. I'd also hope that, like in my city, those neighborhoods are limited and you can choose to avoid them. It isnt like you can avoid men altogether. I too avoid neighborhoods that are notorious for rape and assault.

    Perhaps part of my "success" comes from the fact that, while I don't exactly retreat, I also feel no compulsion to display warmth, charm, beauty, good cheer, or any other qualities for anyone, unless part of an established job or relationship. If men have been demanding that of me all these years, I have ignored those demands so effectively, they have not even made it onto my radar.
    That could certainly be a reason. In fact, I suspect it is. However, we aint all like you. I have to actively think about not smiling when I'm outside coz Im usually happy in my head thinking about stuff and..well without realizing it, smiling. I too however will assess what kind of man is coming towards me and chameleon into what I know will work with him; be it ignoring, looking down or asserting my confidence and taking down the smile.

    If ordinarily I had say an 80% chance of experiencing something negative, but could reduce that to effectively zero by doing something simple and minor that really doesn't affect how I go about my day, I would sure want to know what that something was. Options are good. Then I could weigh the bother/inconvenience of making that modification to the bother/inconvenience of the 80% risk.

    I have certainly made opposite choices. All the career advice for women says to observe fashion, wear makeup, do such-and-such. I have ignored the lot, because all of that is not me, and I refuse to compromise here. Generic advice like "dress for the job you want, not the job you have" I have observed, as it always felt more natural. Perhaps I would have reconsidered, had my professional success been more limited.
    Id say this is a good comparison to what I have to do to be left alone on the street. And I do feel for you that that is *still* something that is a factor in careers.

    I agree with this. The times I have been terrified in my life are few, and have had nothing to do with the risk of rape. As for force-kissing, a guy is going to get a very physical response well before he is close enough to do that. That is too close for anyone outside my immediate circle of friends/family, and if one of them got away with it once, it would be the last time.
    Ive had men using a ruse to do this. Asking for directions, then grabbing you and kissing you. I was so utterly shocked they would dare to do that, that I wasnt fast enough in responding. Ive also had the ones that just do it while you're walking around and are in your head. You dont even realize its happening till tis too late. And Ive had them be threatening (coz there were several of them) where I was trying to navigate my way out of the situation and they use it to come too close to you physically and force it out of you.

    It is not like I actively ask for this to happen, but it does happen. Now, since Im a touchy feely person - and I ll admit, I probably vibe this out and they take advantage of it - and prone to giving people the benefit of the doubt, while not easily frightened, it didnt scar me for life or anything. I mostly just laugh it off once Im over the shock. But nevertheless..it shouldn't happen.

    As for the threats I've actively observed:

    * I've had a group of guys in a car demand I get in so they could 'go out with me in the city'. I waited for the bus, they followed my bus, they followed the tram I got on and tehn asked me to wait while they parked. I said suuuure, and made a run for it.

    * I've had a guy stalk me and get off at the same bus stop as me - and I live in the middle of nowhere - where I was alone with him to have him confess he got off coz I did and almost have him follow me home (again, I live in the middle of a few farms where nobody would notice a thing)

    * I've had a guy I'd never seen before come up to me in the ladies bathroom which was empty, put his arm possessively around my waist and accuse me of being a virgin while trying to kiss my neck.

    * ... I can go on.

    Usually, those situations happened when we were alone and I tried to resolve it diplomatically coz I *knew* that if push came to shove, I wouldnt be able to take them. I was always able to talk my way out of it but sometimes it came at the price of having them invade my space, unfortunately

    And dont get me wrong, I got...used to managing this kind of invasion of personal space over the years. And none of it traumatized me for life. But I look back and realise what kind of risks I have had to take when really I shouldn't have to. And these werent people I talked to (coz those are another category alltogether in my storybook), or befriended or flirted with. They were complete strangers who felt compelled to do this.
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  9. #509
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amargith View Post
    Thats easily said. Not so much easily done when you re alone in a street with four guys who won't let you pass till you've answered all their questions. You automatically retreat and try to navigate it away from a conflict, I can guarantee that. And I'm not a timid little woman. Im not afraid to walk around normally (though I know many women who are, hence i mentioned it). Ive done martial arts, and I am confident in my social skills, but even I cannot take 4 guys on my own and so all Ive left is my charm to get me out of that situation.
    I would recommend walking with others, but that's not always convenient.

    There are a ton of pocket guns, tazers, and other deterrents that fit in a purse.

    EDIT- more important is the will to use it. If it were me I would have pepper spray and a gun. That gives you a relatively mild deterrent and a big step up in force if that fails.

  10. #510
    The High Priestess Amargith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DiscoBiscuit View Post
    I would recommend walking with others, but that's not always convenient.

    There are a ton of pocket guns, tazers, and other deterrents that fit in a purse.
    True. Though those can be used against you as perpetrators tend to be more willing to overcome the threshold of harming another. My mom used to advise a specific type of sugar. It leaves scars that never heal, and when it falls to the ground, it turns to powder, diminishing the chance of them using it against ya
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