Street Harassment and the Helen-Lewis Law of Feminism

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Street Harassment and the Helen-Lewis Law of Feminism

Post by Altair on Wed Oct 29, 2014 9:08 pm

http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2014/oct/29/woman-records-10-hours-of-harassment-walking-through-new-york

An actor who recorded 10 hours of catcalls and remarks from passersby in New York City has received rape threats in response to a video detailing the harassment, the advocacy group that commissioned the video said on Tuesday.

In a two-minute video, actor Shoshana B Roberts was told to smile, told, “Somebody is acknowledging you for being beautiful – you should say thank you,” and comments were made about her clothes and appearance.

At one point in the video, which has been viewed nearly 5m times in fewer than 24 hours, a man walked alongside her silently for five minutes.

Another followed her, while offering to give her his number.

“The rape threats indicate that we are hitting a nerve,” Hollaback director Emily May told Newsday. “We want to do more than just hit a nerve though, we want New Yorkers to realize – once and for all – that street harassment isn’t OK, and that as a city we refuse to tolerate it.”

A journalist named Helen Lewis once observed that "the comments on any article about feminism justify feminism." This is now known as the Helen-Lewis Law, and it has been increasingly cited in cases such as these, where any woman who dares to speak on behalf of women (ie Emma Watson) thus becomes the target of harassment, threats of violence, and rape threats... and even cases such as the one in this particular article, which included absolutely NO commentary, are to the same end. As a woman who has experienced much of the same as in the now-viral video (which is linked within the original article), this kind of behaviour is unacceptable, unwanted, and, to put it simply, impolite.

Viewing different articles about this latest expose, I have witnessed some men argue that it is too harsh to consider everything in the video 'harassment', and that they think it is now impossible to even approach a woman without being deemed creepy. Many men are, in fact, declaring chivalry to be to be dead!

To them I say: there is a difference between talking TO someone and AT someone. The former, when done politely and appropriately, is a perfectly acceptable way to approach a woman, so long as the other party consents to it. However, despite how nice you think you are being, a woman is NOT obligated to entertain you. Simply because you are being 'nice' does not mean anyone has to entertain or date you, it's as simple as that. The same logic applies to women approaching men.

The latter, talking AT someone, is harassment and, let's be honest, no one is seriously trying to pick up a woman by yelling at them in the manner these men did (and if they are, they have the worst, most creepy method ever... ). They view the woman as an object, and being so full of themselves, believe that the woman wants or needs to know their opinion. Furthermore, even the more 'innocuous' comments are unwanted. Does every man making these comments actually say them because they think it's a nice, noble thing to do? Are we really to assume there is nothing at all vile as the motivating factor? And even if there is no ill intent, why should a woman have to like or be happy that a random stranger is telling her (whether outright or subliminally) how he values the way she looks? I am here to say that women do not want, nor do they need random strangers to tell them what they think about them. I think that, as humans capable of rational, higher thought, it should be considered impolite to say things of that nature to a total stranger, which usually only serve to make the person uncomfortable, not happy.

There has also been much said on how she ignored them. I even saw a few comments calling her rude for ignoring them, claiming she was hurting their feelings! The point is this: ask any woman (and I mean any, seeing as most women have experienced this) and they will tell you that this kind of behavhiour is intimidating and scary. It does not empower you; it makes you feel small and afraid. To react, which some men think is the solution, could escalate the situation and lead to more verbal harassment, assault, sexual assault, or rape.

A woman should be able to walk down the street the way everyone else does, without comments, without being made unconformable, and without being made to feel guilty for wanting to be left in peace.

I sincerely hope that more men will be enlightened after this video and that the many women speaking out about their own experiences help convince men that, instead of barbaric behaviour, the goal should be to protect and empower women, in healthy ways.

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Re: Street Harassment and the Helen-Lewis Law of Feminism

Post by HomelessArtist on Wed Oct 29, 2014 11:41 pm

A two minute clip of ten hours of footage? She's cutting the silence, leaving the douchebags and claming it was all of it.
Sure these guys ARE douchebags, there is no cure for douchebaggery but claming that those ten hours were all like in the edited version is going too far.

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Re: Street Harassment and the Helen-Lewis Law of Feminism

Post by HomelessArtist on Fri Oct 31, 2014 8:24 am

You are going to love this: https://storify.com/Aut_Omnia/why-you-shouldnt-share-the-nyc

This only validates what I think of feminism and probably other members of the forum.

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Re: Street Harassment and the Helen-Lewis Law of Feminism

Post by Altair on Sat Nov 08, 2014 4:25 pm

HomelessArtist wrote:A two minute clip of ten hours of footage? She's cutting the silence, leaving the douchebags and claming it was all of it.
Sure these guys ARE douchebags, there is no cure for douchebaggery but claming that those ten hours were all like in the edited version is going too far.

You are going to love this: https://storify.com/Aut_Omnia/why-you-shouldnt-share-the-nyc

This only validates what I think of feminism and probably other members of the forum.

I am of the opinion that the people behind the film used the most shocking footage for their short film. While the original video was 10 hours long, I highly doubt it would be feasible to publish such a long film, as well as being unnecessary in order to convey the message you were supposed to 'get' from it. Making the video as short as it was with the most vulgar, shocking highlights is the best way to send a message, which I think most people would agree with. That's basically all I have to say in regard to that issue. The majority of the people I've debated who are objecting to the featuring of minorities in the video often don't find anything wrong with what was occurring in the film in the first place, rendering me unable to accept their opinions as totally unbiased or without an agenda.

My problem is this: there is so little need to critique this short video. It is indicative of much of what most (read: all) women will face at various points during the lives. These things happen to me all the time, and it is absolutely disgusting. The incidents left out of the video are no doubt bad as well. Why do people (men) have to argue with it to such a point? Is it so hard to just accept that this is wrong and try to understand? It is extremely transparent that the video's most outspoken detractors are men, many of them anti-feminist, or male rights activists. What I don't understand, however, is when men who don't do these vulgar, harassing things defend the men that do, or go on a crusade about "not all men!", which is completely beside the point and unnecessary to say, anyway. It's as if they are purposely missing the point!

I implore you to peruse the following websites if you want to understand even an inkling of what women and young girls have to deal with on an almost daily basis. I find it incredibly sad how easy it is for men to go on about how things are not such a big deal when they have never had to experience anything like this, and never will.

http://everydaysexism.com/

http://usa.everydaysexism.com/

http://stopthecatcall.tumblr.com/

I do have a question, though; what exactly do you think the general consensus on feminism is on this forum? I am fairly sure the majority of the Executive Committee, who most wholly represent the general political, economic, and social ideologies of the forum, are supporters of feminism. I would also like to hear your definition of and ideas about feminism.
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Re: Street Harassment and the Helen-Lewis Law of Feminism

Post by HomelessArtist on Sun Nov 09, 2014 8:19 pm

How do I explain this? its a class issue.
The men who flirt her are just common assholes or poor men are more assertive/dominant in order to impress women, they don't have money, social status... jobs or anything to court women whle assholes are just assholes and that brings me to the issue with feminism, feminists want to make this class issue a gender issue un order to defend the bourgeois status and values and the video is a showcase of that, bourgeois looking down at poor people and saying "Rude scum undeserving of fine-brand clothes"
feminism and identity politics where a troyan horse to the left who have done better than any other anti-communist to hurt the workers movement dissmising working class values and customs as 'mysoginist' or 'racist', those cristicisms are valid but none of those issues can be solved unless capitalism is eliminated.

I think many other people in the forum shares my feeling of hearing feminists complain about trivial stuff and then roll our eyes at how loud they are about such trivial stuff.
Recently I been thinking that feminists are women who were poorly socialized with men and their lack of undestanding of masculine traits evolved into fear then hatred. There has been the buzz about this book of a feminist woman who spend some time as a man, I read an article about it and a part that really cought my attention is that she didn't know that men insult each other casually as a form of friendship and right now I think that she never knew that before because she never had a brother, father or anything that gave sense to those attitudes.

After writing this I know you are going to say that not all feminists are like that but there is an issue that they have failed to adress: The fact that there are feminisms, feminism is diverse as women themselves are so it isn't a single and choherent ideology so when I say feminism I'm refering to the profile of those who identify as such.

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Re: Street Harassment and the Helen-Lewis Law of Feminism

Post by Altair on Wed Dec 03, 2014 6:34 pm

HomelessArtist wrote:How do I explain this? its a class issue.
The men who flirt her are just common assholes or poor men are more assertive/dominant in order to impress women, they don't have money, social status... jobs or anything to court women whle assholes are just assholes and that brings me to the issue with feminism, feminists want to make this class issue a gender issue un order to defend the bourgeois status and values and the video is a showcase of that, bourgeois looking down at poor people and saying "Rude scum undeserving of fine-brand clothes"
feminism and identity politics where a troyan horse to the left who have done better than any other anti-communist to hurt the workers movement dissmising working class values and customs as 'mysoginist' or 'racist', those cristicisms are valid but none of those issues can be solved unless capitalism is eliminated.

Your assumption that feminists are turning a class issue into a gender issue is incorrect. What proof of this grand feminist-classist conspiracy to defend bourgeois values do you have? I don't think any feminists are intentionally turning what you call a class issue into a gender issue. Men of all socioeconomic and racial backgrounds harass (not flirt, as you called it - what happened in the video was not flirting, and what I am discussing is not flirting), and while the methods can differ by culture or simply person to person, on the whole, the same general behaviour is exhibited and looked down upon by women in the same way. Regardless of class.

Just the other day, while walking to my condo, two older, middle to upper middle class white men made vulgar gestures behind my back and said extremely vulgar things to me which I will not repeat here; I was the only one in the indoor hallway at the time and was very afraid of what they might do.  This is something that happens regardless of the socioeconomic or racial background of the perpetrators, to millions of women, every day.

What many anti-feminists attempt to argue is that if a man a woman deems attractive enough or wealthy enough behaves in a harassing manner toward her, she will not object to it. This is simply a false assumption. While there are some women who do welcome any sort of attention, harassment specifically, they are outliers and generally looked down upon. Another argument, like yours, tries to say that this is the only way certain people know how to interact with women, although they usually come from the stance of the harassment not actually being harassment instead of citing a class issue. I have already said why this is not acceptable as well as untrue.

What I find most disturbing about what you said is your belief that this sort of harassment reflects "working class values and customs." Even if these harassing practices were solely limited to lumpenproles and even members of the proletariat, their being 'customs' does not justify or excuse the practice itself, nor does it make it something so trivial that one cannot object to it. Even though you say criticism of the behaviour is justified, I cannot really gather you totally believe that judging from the general disdain toward feminism and feminists you have displayed in this thread. Another problem is, despite making distinctions between harassment and flirting, you and others refuse to see a difference and continue to act as if what we are objecting to is totally harmless.

When it comes to identity politics, I have always said that, of course, many of these issues would be easier to solve after capitalism. However, I think it is fair to argue that educating those who can be educated about these sort of problems is worthwhile.


HomelessArtist wrote:Recently I been thinking that feminists are women who were poorly socialized with men and their lack of undestanding of masculine traits evolved into fear then hatred. There has been the buzz about this book of a feminist woman who spend some time as a man, I read an article about it and a part that really cought my attention is that she didn't know that men insult each other casually as a form of friendship and right now I think that she never knew that before because she never had a brother, father or anything that gave sense to those attitudes.


Exclamation  Where do I begin? You are arguing that any woman who considers herself to be a feminist simply misunderstands men, and are citing one instance of a woman not realizing that men insult each other in a friendly manner as an interesting tidbit of evidence.

When men insult each other in a casual manner, it is in a friendly setting, often when a relationship has already been established. If you were to approach a random man on the street and insult him, you would be punched in the face.

One woman's lack of knowledge of how men casually insult each other cannot logically be applied to all women. Her individual ignorance could be equally as likely a scenario as her being a woman leading to ignorance on the matter. Women insult each other casually all the time - after a friendly rapport has already been established.

It is even more evident now that you truly see harassing behaviour not as such, and that it is somehow inherent to men and instead of pointing out the problems with it, we as women should try to better understand what men ~mean~ when they are harassing us.

Women fear men and harassment because they have been raped and murdered for thousands of years just for being women, not because of any misunderstanding. Harassment and a general lack of empathy for women leads women to act in a flighty manner when yelled at or approached in such a way. Flirting and consensual interactions, which I have already discussed in previous posts, are perfectly acceptable methods of interacting. You continue to lump harassment and flirting into the same category.

HomelessArtist wrote:After writing this I know you are going to say that not all feminists are like that but there is an issue that they have failed to address: The fact that there are feminisms, feminism is diverse as women themselves are so it isn't a single and coherent ideology so when I say feminism I'm revering to the profile of those who identify as such.

There are many different types of socialists, does this mean that because there is no single party that agrees completely on everything, socialism should be dismissed or generalized?

Feminists and even women who don't consider themselves feminists would like to see street harassment ended, because it is wrong, it is disgusting, and it is scary. I am sure these issues do seem trivial to you, as you have never been on the receiving end of them. It is always easy to dismiss what does not apply to you, but I would suggest looking at it from a woman's point of view before continuing to write this kind of behaviour off as trivial or misunderstood, or simply as a classist conspiracy.

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Re: Street Harassment and the Helen-Lewis Law of Feminism

Post by HomelessArtist on Fri Dec 05, 2014 5:32 pm

Altair wrote:Your assumption that feminists are turning a class issue into a gender issue is incorrect. What proof of this grand feminist-classist conspiracy to defend bourgeois values do you have? I don't think any feminists are intentionally turning what you call a class issue into a gender issue. Men of all socioeconomic and racial backgrounds harass (not flirt, as you called it - what happened in the video was not flirting, and what I am discussing is not flirting), and while the methods can differ by culture or simply person to person, on the whole, the same general behaviour is exhibited and looked down upon by women in the same way. Regardless of class.

I admit its the generalization of another topic partially related to this discussion and that maybe is worth its own thread.

Just the other day, while walking to my condo, two older, middle to upper middle class white men made vulgar gestures behind my back and said extremely vulgar things to me which I will not repeat here; I was the only one in the indoor hallway at the time and was very afraid of what they might do.  This is something that happens regardless of the socioeconomic or racial background of the perpetrators, to millions of women, every day.

I fotgot what I said on my last post but didn0t I mentioned something about feminists not being able to tell beatween normal guys and assholes? They are assholes, they don't even worth space in your memories.

What many anti-feminists attempt to argue is that if a man a woman deems attractive enough or wealthy enough behaves in a harassing manner toward her, she will not object to it. This is simply a false assumption. While there are some women who do welcome any sort of attention, harassment specifically, they are outliers and generally looked down upon.

I do recognize those ideas are sexist.

Another argument, like yours, tries to say that this is the only way certain people know how to interact with women, although they usually come from the stance of the harassment not actually being harassment instead of citing a class issue. I have already said why this is not acceptable as well as untrue.

What I find most disturbing about what you said is your belief that this sort of harassment reflects "working class values and customs." Even if these harassing practices were solely limited to lumpenproles and even members of the proletariat, their being 'customs' does not justify or excuse the practice itself, nor does it make it something so trivial that one cannot object to it. Even though you say criticism of the behaviour is justified, I cannot really gather you totally believe that judging from the general disdain toward feminism and feminists you have displayed in this thread. Another problem is, despite making distinctions between harassment and flirting, you and others refuse to see a difference and continue to act as if what we are objecting to is totally harmless.

I was going to say something about the fact that I'm white from a country where white people is a minority (colombia) and how people in the streets always asume I'm foreign and how does it compare to to that but I thought about it and and saw that I was missing the context of the video, catcalling does exist here but in a way lesser extent and the video just showcases rude americans being rude like if americans already where not the rudest country in the world.

When it comes to identity politics, I have always said that, of course, many of these issues would be easier to solve after capitalism. However, I think it is fair to argue that educating those who can be educated about these sort of problems is worthwhile.

I see the opposite, people has been educated with ideas of people being different and to see race, age or sexual orientation as lines that separate us. You should not educate people about what the either/or needs but about how to help anybody irregardless of any criteria.
I want to add "educating those who can be educated" sounds like you enjoy talking down to people.

Exclamation  Where do I begin? You are arguing that any woman who considers herself to be a feminist simply misunderstands men, and are citing one instance of a woman not realizing that men insult each other in a friendly manner as an interesting tidbit of evidence.

I base this on the feminists I've seen seem to have a hard time understanding anything men do and how they seem to be scared of pretty much every man they see on the streets.

Altair wrote:When men insult each other in a casual manner, it is in a friendly setting, often when a relationship has already been established. If you were to approach a random man on the street and insult him, you would be punched in the face.
One woman's lack of knowledge of how men casually insult each other cannot logically be applied to all women. Her individual ignorance could be equally as likely a scenario as her being a woman leading to ignorance on the matter. Women insult each other casually all the time - after a friendly rapport has already been established.

I'm aware of the first point and the second point but I have to add that men and women engage in the same activity very differently.

It is even more evident now that you truly see harassing behaviour not as such, and that it is somehow inherent to men and instead of pointing out the problems with it, we as women should try to better understand what men ~mean~ when they are harassing us.
See my coment about americans being rude.

Women fear men and harassment because they have been raped and murdered for thousands of years just for being women, not because of any misunderstanding. Harassment and a general lack of empathy for women leads women to act in a flighty manner when yelled at or approached in such a way.

Everybody has been a victim of something at some point and not because you are a woman makes your victimhood any different.

There are many different types of socialists, does this mean that because there is no single party that agrees completely on everything, socialism should be dismissed or generalized?

I dunno if I have already discussed this but most of those diferences are dialectical and dialectics make me roll my eyes.
Some of those differences may sound important on paper but how many comrades are required to change and lightbulb isn't worth my time.

Feminists and even women who don't consider themselves feminists would like to see street harassment ended, because it is wrong, it is disgusting, and it is scary. I am sure these issues do seem trivial to you, as you have never been on the receiving end of them. It is always easy to dismiss what does not apply to you, but I would suggest looking at it from a woman's point of view before continuing to write this kind of behaviour off as trivial or misunderstood, or simply as a classist conspiracy.

Again my coment about how americans are rude.

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Re: Street Harassment and the Helen-Lewis Law of Feminism

Post by Altair on Mon Dec 15, 2014 9:07 pm

Since I do so love "talking down to people", I will continue to reply to your posts.  flower

Your argument keeps coming down to "assholes vs real men" and "women not being able to tell the difference", as well as "everybody has been a victim of something at some point and not because you are a woman makes your victimhood any different" argument.

A person purely being an asshole is not the crux of the matter, as you should understand by now. As for just Americans being rude, it is erroneous to assume that only Americans are doing this sort of thing. Huh? That is your opinion and not based on any facts. Please, tell me what you would say to women in European countries where things can often be worse than in this country, and not to mention women in developing countries who are subject to countless atrocities that make our Western struggles, important and relevant as they are, seem small in comparison.

I feel rather redundant at this point, but it's a simple truth that what happened in the video is wrong and needs to stop. I already addressed the complaints you has about it otherwise, so I'm not getting into that again. It may help you to think of any woman you care about or know, a sister or mother, being in the situation the woman from the video was in and how you would feel about that. You may dislike certain women or certain people you consider feminists, or what you believe all feminism to be, but there are just as many (and more) women who are deserving of respect and safety.

I'm not sure why you (and MRAs, for that matter) feel a need to reduce certain struggles to "we all have it bad, so... ". What an incredible revelation that is! You know, the reason I continue to be a leftist despite my shaky and misguided entrance into the political arena years back is because I believe that everyone has a common struggle. However, when I see a woman who is also a wage slave - just as much as a man is - being sexually harassed, objectified, or raped, I'm not going to tell her "well, we all have it bad... so", because I have empathy for her unique situation.

I hope that you come to realize that beyond our common fight, we all have struggles that should not be diminished simply because everyone has problems. My bringing up catcalling or feminism =/= saying these issues are greater or more important than class struggle or egalitarianism. The sooner you and MRAs understand that women are allowed to talk about their individual struggles without it being an attack on men or on equality, the better it would be for all involved.

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Re: Street Harassment and the Helen-Lewis Law of Feminism

Post by HomelessArtist on Wed Dec 17, 2014 2:07 pm

I don't know how'd you landed a place on this forum since you are such a shining example of a revlefter.

Your first line just reeks of sass, it just says that you like to argue for agueing sake's, you may accuse me of going is circles with my argument but your circles is just bigger and lacks spikes. Feminists always come with the argument that women have it worse like if you could mesure how bad people has it with a ruler.
I was going to say something like you should try living like a man or similar but thinking about it I saw that even then you will not understand my point but it reminds on its place. You and I will never understand what the other feels but looking for differences is self defeating, class is what truly joins the people (not you and I since I bet you have a higher social status than mine) and the line that separates an identity from another is just a crack on the working class and rocognizing said differences is only chieseling them and making them bigger.

Yes, we all have it bad but nobody has it badder specially you. You lack spirit... a spirit willing to sacrifice for a larger cause.

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Re: Street Harassment and the Helen-Lewis Law of Feminism

Post by Altair on Wed Dec 17, 2014 7:57 pm

HomelessArtist wrote:I don't know how'd you landed a place on this forum since you are such a shining example of a revlefter.

That was quite uncalled for. Just because I disagree with you does not mean I think you belong on a right wing forum. I don't agree with RevLefters on the majority of anything, and I have never even made an account there. There are other members of this forum with accounts, however. The people on this forum, in general, are united in their beliefs in terms of being syndicalists, socialists, whatever. There are many different views on topics such as these, but this doesn't mean one belongs on a different forum solely for having a different opinion on this matter.

Your first line just reeks of sass, it just says that you like to argue for agueing sake's, you may accuse me of going is circles with my argument but your circles is just bigger and lacks spikes.

No, HomelessArtist, I was directly quoting you when I said that. You initially took an innocent comment I made ("educate those who can be educated") personally or something, I'm not sure why, and then said what I quoted. Your initial comment which said that "it seems [I] enjoy talking down to people" was also uncalled for. This has nothing to do with me arguing for arguments sake, although I can tell you are now trying to use that as some proof that I am wrong and you are right.

Feminists always come with the argument that women have it worse like if you could mesure how bad people has it with a ruler. I was going to say something like you should try living like a man or similar but thinking about it I saw that even then you will not understand my point but it reminds on its place. You and I will never understand what the other feels but looking for differences is self defeating, class is what truly joins the people (not you and I since I bet you have a higher social status than mine) and the line that separates an identity from another is just a crack on the working class and recognizing said differences is only chieseling them and making them bigger.

While I have maintained throughout this thread that I believe both men and women have different issues they face, pressing that point over and over again, the fact of the matter is that I, as a woman, have a right to talk solely about my issues, without having to qualify my statements and explain why men have it bad too. This is a forum meant for such discussions, which is why it has different sections other than just political theory, and nothing I am saying here is hindering or setting back the class movement. You really need to move on from that incredibly black and white thinking. I have explained throughout this thread mostly female-specific problems, and while I have not begun to cover all of them, the fact that it seems I'm now going to have to qualify a simple thread objecting to objectification of women with historical-materialist explanations is a bit ridiculous. If you continue to push this issue, I will go that far, but I highly doubt you will read all of it. I have personally seen you state in the past that when people start getting wordy when talking with you, you stop reading, so I feel it will be redundant to say much more if you will just ignore it.

Yes, we all have it bad but nobody has it badder specially you. You lack spirit... a spirit willing to sacrifice for a larger cause.

Just because I am discussing objectification or feminism on a forum built for this type of discussion does not mean I am setting back or dividing the greater movement. Everyone on this forum has differing opinions on various subjects, but most of us are still united politically. Your comment about my "lack of spirit" is another uncalled for statement. Simply because you do not care about issues that don't affect you does not imply that someone who does care or speaks about the issues lacks spirit or cannot sacrifice for the common cause. Everything you have said so far is riddled with logical fallacies and until you rectify that, there is not much else to be said on this matter, unless I am forced to delve even further into the issue vis a vis materialist explanations.

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Re: Street Harassment and the Helen-Lewis Law of Feminism

Post by Celtiberian on Thu Dec 18, 2014 12:59 am

HomelessArtist wrote:I don't know how'd you landed a place on this forum since you are such a shining example of a revlefter.

Comments such as these are unwarranted and unacceptable, HomelessArtist. Altair's espousal of feminism (and a rather sensible form thereof, it seems) doesn't put her in league with the likes of RevLeft by any stretch of the imagination. Address the content of her message or abstain from responding any further. I will not permit this thread to degrade into a a barrage of insults.

Feminists always come with the argument that women have it worse like if you could mesure how bad people has it with a ruler.

Feminism is no more homogeneous a philosophy than is socialism, as has been pointed out on several occasions. And I've not read anyone claim that women categorically "have it worse" than men, but rather that they face situations which are quantitatively worse than what males endure, e.g., sexual harassment and rape.

Yes, we all have it bad but nobody has it badder specially you. You lack spirit... a spirit willing to sacrifice for a larger cause.

Were Altair claiming that the class struggle should be subordinated to feminism, or even that the two should be conjoined—as certain Marxist proponents of "intersectionality" advocate—then you could legitimately criticize her. As it happens, she has not written anything to that effect.

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Re: Street Harassment and the Helen-Lewis Law of Feminism

Post by HomelessArtist on Thu Dec 18, 2014 11:08 pm

Altair wrote:That was quite uncalled for.
Comments such as these are unwarranted and unacceptable, HomelessArtist.

Yes and I should had made my point by saying that identitiy politics go there.

No, HomelessArtist, I was directly quoting you when I said that. You initially took an innocent comment I made ("educate those who can be educated") personally or something, I'm not sure why,

It just strikes me like such an arrogant statement, a holier-than-thou type of statement.
Like, who are you to think you can educate others? Under what authority?

While I have maintained throughout this thread that I believe both men and women have different issues they face, pressing that point over and over again

Without offering a counter argument just returning to the first point and that is why this ducussion dosn't advance.

I was thinking in the counter arguments that you could come up with and an interesting question come up to me.

Isn't it sexist to think that because you are a woman you deserve a different treatment? I think I am not sexist since I judge women with the same criteria I judge men, now imagine you are a man complaining that somebody said something mean to you on the street... that is just 'eh'. I could tell you to man up but I want to hear what you have to say.

I highly doubt you will read all of it. I have personally seen you state in the past that when people start getting wordy when talking with you, you stop reading, so I feel it will be redundant to say much more if you will just ignore it.

Ad hominem

Celtiberian wrote:Feminism is no more homogeneous a philosophy than is socialism, as has been pointed out on several occasions.

I am the one that pointed that out.

And I've not read anyone claim that women categorically "have it worse" than men, but rather that they face situations which are quantitatively worse than what males endure, e.g., sexual harassment and rape.

I feel your second statement conflicts with the first.
I will also like to add that men experience harrassment and sexual abuse it may be on different conditions but that dosn't make them less or more valuable.

Altair wrote:Just because I am discussing objectification or feminism on a forum built for this type of discussion does not mean I am setting back or dividing the greater movement.

Celtiberian wrote:Were Altair claiming that the class struggle should be subordinated to feminism, or even that the two should be conjoined—as certain Marxist proponents of "intersectionality" advocate—then you could legitimately criticize her. As it happens, she has not written anything to that effect.

My statement was a more rhetoric than argument but I should make my point clear: identity politics clash with a collective mind set, you have to choose beatween being part of the collective or being your identity and what I'm seeing in your arguments is a clash of this.
I should abstain from rhetorical figures now.

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Re: Street Harassment and the Helen-Lewis Law of Feminism

Post by Celtiberian on Sun Dec 21, 2014 4:55 am

HomelessArtist wrote:I feel your second statement conflicts with the first.

You're misinterpreting my statement. Notice the careful terminology I employed in my previous post: women don't categorically have it worse than males, meaning the plight they face in society isn't worse than men's in an absolute sense. There is instead a quantitative distinction which exists, e.g., in ordinary circumstances, women are at a higher risk for sexual harassment and assault than are males. On the other hand, men are at a higher risk for suffering occupational injuries.

I will also like to add that men experience harrassment and sexual abuse it may be on different conditions but that dosn't make them less or more valuable.

"Value" was never a component of my argument—nor was it of Altair's, as far as I can discern.

My statement was a more rhetoric than argument but I should make my point clear: identity politics clash with a collective mind set, you have to choose beatween being part of the collective or being your identity and what I'm seeing in your arguments is a clash of this.

Identity politics can easily undermine a movement engaged in class struggle, of that there's no question. And it's precisely that practical concern which informs my refusal to permit such issues to be integrated into the organization of which I'm a part. Nevertheless, there's absolutely no evidence that being, say, an anti-racist or feminist necessarily diminishes one's class consciousness or commitment to proletarian revolution.

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Re: Street Harassment and the Helen-Lewis Law of Feminism

Post by Altair on Sun Dec 21, 2014 5:50 am

HomelessArtist wrote:It just strikes me like such an arrogant statement, a holier-than-thou type of statement.
Like, who are you to think you can educate others? Under what authority?

You continue to read further into this phrase than necessary. I would appreciate if you stopped bending my words to make me out to be what you're describing.

Without offering a counter argument just returning to the first point and that is why this ducussion dosn't advance.

The debate doesn't advance because I have my opinion and you have yours. I have made my arguments, and you simply don't agree with them. This is the way many debates go. It does not mean I have failed in my argumentation.

I was thinking in the counter arguments that you could come up with and an interesting question come up to me.

Isn't it sexist to think that because you are a woman you deserve a different treatment? I think I am not sexist since I judge women with the same criteria I judge men, now imagine you are a man complaining that somebody said something mean to you on the street... that is just 'eh'. I could tell you to man up but I want to hear what you have to say.

No, it is not sexist. As I have already said why it is not, and Celtiberian has once again reiterated why it is not, I am not sure how else to convince you of this matter.

Ad hominem

That was not ad hominem, it was simply pointing out a statement you have made in the past. But if you are, however, interested in me detailing anything in further depth a la dialects (something you, previously in this thread, have expressed a distaste for hearing when I tried to explain how socialism and feminism both have various interpretations, I will do so).

Celtiberian wrote:Feminism is no more homogeneous a philosophy than is socialism, as has been pointed out on several occasions.

HomelessArtist wrote:I am the one that pointed that out.

No, I pointed this out. I made the point that both leftism and feminism have varying incarnations. This is where you expressed disinterest in these kind of "dialectical discussions". Strangely, while lumping all feminists into one category during your argumentation throughout this thread, you have also tried to argue that the ideology is incoherent as well. I don't know how to effectively argue beyond what I've said when you have such varying opinions on what feminism actually is, and even your own definitions.

As for the rest of what you said, I believe that Celtiberian has once again summed it up.

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Re: Street Harassment and the Helen-Lewis Law of Feminism

Post by HomelessArtist on Tue Dec 23, 2014 12:57 pm

You continue to read further into this phrase than necessary.
You already took a pair of my rhetorical figures out of place; pot calling the kettle black.

The debate doesn't advance because I have my opinion and you have yours. I have made my arguments, and you simply don't agree with them. This is the way many debates go. It does not mean I have failed in my argumentation.
Then why don't you offer a counterargument?
Why keep posting if you don't want to advance the discussion any further?
There are lots of places where to take this.

No, it is not sexist. As I have already said why it is not, and Celtiberian has once again reiterated why it is not, I am not sure how else to convince you of this matter.
I don't remember any of you addressing this specific issue.

How isn't it sexist anyway? Isn't admitting you require a special tratment admitting you are weak?
And even if you deserve it why should I give you said treatment anyway?

That was not ad hominem, it was simply pointing out a statement you have made in the past. But if you are, however, interested in me detailing anything in further depth a la dialects (something you, previously in this thread, have expressed a distaste for hearing when I tried to explain how socialism and feminism both have various interpretations, I will do so).
No, I pointed this out. I made the point that both leftism and feminism have varying incarnations. This is where you expressed disinterest in these kind of "dialectical discussions". Strangely, while lumping all feminists into one category during your argumentation throughout this thread, you have also tried to argue that the ideology is incoherent as well. I don't know how to effectively argue beyond what I've said when you have such varying opinions on what feminism actually is, and even your own definitions.
I am aware that they are not homogeneous idologies that is why I pointed that my definition of feminism is "when I say feminism I'm refering to the profile of those who identify as such"
And even if I dislake dialectics I don't have a problem with bringing it up.
I also recognize that socialism is not homogeneous, so I chose whith whom I sympathise or not ignoring dialectical contradictions.

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Re: Street Harassment and the Helen-Lewis Law of Feminism

Post by Rev Scare on Mon Mar 02, 2015 10:52 pm


I think HomelessArtist was unfairly criticized simply because he dared to offend Altair's sensibilities. Yes, we all have women we care about in our lives, Celtiberian, but that does not justify white knighting.

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Re: Street Harassment and the Helen-Lewis Law of Feminism

Post by HomelessArtist on Tue Mar 03, 2015 3:27 am

http://www.funnyordie.com/videos/8aeb78deb2/10-hours-of-walking-in-nyc-as-a-man

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Re: Street Harassment and the Helen-Lewis Law of Feminism

Post by Leon Mcnichol on Sun Mar 15, 2015 7:38 pm

It doesn't strike anyone here as odd that suddenly, we are being bombarded with radical feminist rethoric right in the middle of the euro crisis, the debt crisis, the Ukrainian crisis, and all the other crisis? it sure does to me...

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Re: Street Harassment and the Helen-Lewis Law of Feminism

Post by Uberak on Sun Mar 15, 2015 8:28 pm

Leon Mcnichol wrote:It doesn't strike anyone here as odd that suddenly, we are being bombarded with radical feminist rethoric right in the middle of the euro crisis, the debt crisis, the Ukrainian crisis, and all the other crisis? it sure does to me...

We incidentally are also getting bombarded with the backlash, both justified and unjustified. And thus, it took a simple spark involving video game journalism to draw the entire Internet into the biggest flame war ever to exist so far.
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Re: Street Harassment and the Helen-Lewis Law of Feminism

Post by Rev Scare on Mon Mar 16, 2015 1:37 am

Leon Mcnichol wrote:It doesn't strike anyone here as odd that suddenly, we are being bombarded with radical feminist rethoric right in the middle of the euro crisis, the debt crisis, the Ukrainian crisis, and all the other crisis? it sure does to me...


I can't stand these obnoxious twats. Their puerile antics seem to be spreading across all of Europe.

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Re: Street Harassment and the Helen-Lewis Law of Feminism

Post by Leon Mcnichol on Mon Mar 16, 2015 5:37 pm

It is spreading yes, there is clearly a media campain around it, there is not a single week without another "news" regarding the subject, to the point that it is starting to alienate any sane male out of the gender egualitarian cause.

For me it's clearly yet another divisive strategy to put proletarians against proletarians.

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Re: Street Harassment and the Helen-Lewis Law of Feminism

Post by Rev Scare on Mon Mar 16, 2015 10:16 pm

Leon Mcnichol wrote:For me it's clearly yet another divisive strategy to put proletarians against proletarians.

Which is precisely why the time is long overdue for the left to banish feminism from its midst. Modern feminism does not simply represent equality between the sexes, period. It is a gynocentric movement that infantilizes (largely privileged) women and demonizes (working class) men.

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Re: Street Harassment and the Helen-Lewis Law of Feminism

Post by Altair on Wed Apr 15, 2015 6:19 pm

Rev Scare wrote:

I think HomelessArtist was unfairly criticized simply because he dared to offend Altair's sensibilities. Yes, we all have women we care about in our lives, Celtiberian, but that does not justify white knighting.

HomelessArtist was 'criticized' because his arguments were incoherent and incorrect. Both Celtiberian and I refuted him succinctly.

Furthermore, appropriately explaining why a man is wrong about feminist principles is not white knighting and frankly, I tire of meninsts calling men who understand these concepts white knights.

As for the video from The American Enterprise Institute, this is a typical response from a bourgeois 'feminist' who finds harassment to be a compliment. She tries to equate implicit sexual advancements on the street with solicitors. Not only does the latter not demean you sexually, it does not put you in danger of fearing grievous bodily harm should you not respond in kind (numerous examples of which exist - though I'm sure any statistics I cite will be written off as being made up, as has happened before, so I will not be bothering). In addition, she tries to claim that showing only the incidents of harassment is disingenuous, for there are 10 other hours of video. I have already said this, as well, in this very thread, but having people watch 10 hours of footage is infeasible, and just because it only happened these "few" times in a span of hours does not lessen the severity of the larger issue.

I now request, as the thread's creator, that this topic be closed as it has devolved into conspiracy theories  and discussions of veins of feminism which I do not support and which I do not find germane to the original topic denouncing the reality of men objectifying women. That can go in another thread if you all wish to start it. Thank you! Cheers

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Re: Street Harassment and the Helen-Lewis Law of Feminism

Post by Rev Scare on Tue May 12, 2015 11:53 pm

”Altair” wrote:HomelessArtist was 'criticized' because his arguments were incoherent and incorrect. Both Celtiberian and I refuted him succinctly.

My remark was in response to Celtiberian's reproach of HomelessArtist due to the latter's innocuous comparison of your feminist rationalizations to those found on the feminist dominated left, such as is often encountered on RevLeft, not to whatever merit you believe your arguments to possess.

Furthermore, appropriately explaining why a man is wrong about feminist principles is not white knighting and frankly, I tire of meninsts calling men who understand these concepts white knights.

Cute terminology, but “feminist principles” were not central to his criticisms of you. Furthermore, any man who pushes feminist talking points and irrationally defends women in opposition to men, spins a gynocentric narrative, or disparages other men on the sacred altar of pussy will be called out for being the white knight mangina that he is.

However, there is a valid point in the claim that feminism is not a homogeneous ideology. In order for any meaningful debate to transpire between feminists and critics, there must be some general agreement or at least understanding about what feminism means. Therefore, I will explicitly define feminism as the project for increasing the power of women. This may not be a universally accepted definition, but it is the one I will use.

She tries to equate implicit sexual advancements on the street with solicitors. Not only does the latter not demean you sexually, it does not put you in danger of fearing grievous bodily harm should you not respond in kind

No, she correctly points out the vague criteria used to determine the “harassment” on display in the two minute video compilation and the arbitrary manner by which feminists would restrict the type of behavior documented therein, ranging from rather innocent greetings to potentially discomforting sexual innuendo, and which cannot be logically separated from other unsolicited attention from strangers. She also rightly draws attention to the sheer injustice it would be for the most vulnerable men in society to be targeted by the bourgeois state if it decided to police whatever petty behavior a woman found disagreeable in a public setting, which is the stated objective of the feminist group behind the video.

(numerous examples of which exist - though I'm sure any statistics I cite will be written off as being made up, as has happened before, so I will not be bothering).

That is because anecdotal evidence, ranging from trivial annoyances to stalking and violence, and dubious rape statistics, such as the 1 in 5 women are victims of rape figure, which is based on the same methodology that produced the 1 in 4 estimate by feminist Mary Koss, are not nearly sufficient to establish the existence of a “rape culture” or sexual assault “epidemic” for any individual capable of critical thought. The simple fact is that a study like Mary Koss' and those based on it, such as the CDC's, with their “behavioral” approach to assessing sexual assault prevalence and incidence, are wildly at odds with other studies that find much lower rates, such as the National Crime Victimization Survey conducted by the Bureau of Justice Statistics, which is administered by professional criminologists. One would have to assume incredibly high rates of unreported rapes in order to arrive at figures anywhere near the CDC's given FBI and BJS statistics. As it stands, and given the propensity of feminists to muddy the waters on this issue, we really do not know the true extent and frequency of sexual violence. Common sense would dictate that rates of rape could not possibly be as high as 1 in 4 or 1 in 5 women (along with extremely high estimates for other forms of sexual assault), for if this were true, it would indicate nothing less than a state of emergency, and no amount of Take Back the Night rallies could rectify it. Martial law would have to be imposed, and it might even be necessary to segregate colleges, workplaces, and households based on sex until a viable solution was found.

I also do not trust nor have the time to properly assess studies conducted by feminist researchers, who have a clear incentive to inflate numbers, since one cannot receive grants, extensive speaking engagements, book signings, and national media attention on the basis of unremarkable figures. High and controversial estimates ensure publicity, which is what feminist academics and their universities are incentivized to promote.

In addition, she tries to claim that showing only the incidents of harassment is disingenuous, for there are 10 other hours of video. I have already said this, as well, in this very thread, but having people watch 10 hours of footage is infeasible, and just because it only happened these "few" times in a span of hours does not lessen the severity of the larger issue.

Yes, that is what you said, but the problem here is that your reasoning is flawed. Without the remaining footage, we cannot determine whether the multifarious behavior in the video represents only 0.3 percent of the total or was merely the dirty crust in a sea of grime. As such, like any other piece of good advertising, the viral video intended to maximize exposure and irrational thought, and thus it presented us with a disingenuous portrayal of the situation, implying that the woman endured a deluge of everything from simple greetings to possible stalking (you know, the “continuum of normal male behavior of which rape is only an extreme” that some feminists, like Mary Koss, have written about) throughout the entire time she sauntered across NYC. The remainder of the recording is necessary precisely because we wish to establish whether there is any basis for the existence of a "larger issue" around this subject.

I also disagree that it is infeasible to post 10 hours of footage, and it definitely would be worthwhile to upload all of the negative male behavior they captured. For example, if they were in possession of five hours worth of catcalling, the impact would be far greater than a brief viral video. People would not need to watch the entire video. The simple fact that it exists would carry enough weight on its own, with 50 percent of a “typical” woman's experience walking in a major American city involving crude sexual advances. In fact, they could have uploaded the rest of the footage along with the propaganda, so that the latter shows only the most prurient content.

I now request, as the thread's creator, that this topic be closed as it has devolved into conspiracy theories

It isn't a conspiracy theory to suggest that feminism's academic and mainstream success can be attributed largely to the needs of capital accumulation, with its continued promotion serving a divisive strategy to diminish class consciousness by teaching women that at the root of their (mostly imaginary and trifling) problems are “patriarchal” norms and men, not the capitalist system, and the fact that some feminists have criticized certain facets of capitalism on rare occasion (just like social democratic reformists and more “progressive” liberals) is irrelevant—revolutionary socialists who identified as feminists having always played a marginal role in the movement. Also, whatever subjective motivations may prompt feminists to promote their ideas do not detract from the fact that, historically and up to the present, they are objectively serving the interests of capital.

the reality of men objectifying women.

Men do not objectify women; women objectify women. It is also decidedly easy to show, using reasoning analogous to that of feminists, how men are objectified by women and society. Every worker is objectified in a capitalist system, since all wage labor is treated as a commodity. The fact that models and pornstars choose to exchange their sexual attractiveness for large amounts of money is not something I feel particularly alarmed about. Once women stop using their sexuality as a bargaining chip and contributing greatly to a culture of shallow promiscuity, they will cease to be “objectified.”

Let us not delve further into objectification. Needless to say, I am unimpressed by the standard approach to this subject by feminists, and the topic would probably warrant its own thread.

That can go in another thread if you all wish to start it. Thank you!  Cheers 

Now that I have responded to you, it would be unfair to close the thread without providing you with an opportunity to reply. However, should you do so, I will continue to respond to anything I consider worthy of a response.

With all of that out of the way, I do not condone catcalling and have never engaged in the practice myself. I view it as quite a vulgar form of expression, and I frown upon the men who do it. I can understand if some women find such crude advances offensive or even intimidating, on account of their smaller average size and weaker psychological constitution, but if you think that women in the Western world face a serious risk of being attacked by strange men while walking down busy city streets in broad daylight, you are simply courting a paranoid delusion. The best response that women can give to annoying comments really is to simply allow their strong independent legs to swiftly carry them away. A woman cannot have it both ways and ask for men's protection while declaring herself an empowered being who "needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle." I must also put forward the question of whether it is truly necessary to form an entire campaign around a phenomenon as relatively innocuous as catcalling? Is this what modern feminism has descended to? Perhaps we can meet each other somewhere in the middle. I will take this street "harassment" grievance remotely seriously as soon as a man's sexual mutilation no longer receives this sort of reaction on a nationally broadcasted talk show.

All in all, what this entire crusade truly demonstrates is women's greater propensity to complain relative to men.

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