‘Witch hunts’, whiners, predators and prudes

whiners, predatory, creep, sex pest

whiners, entitlement, misogyny, sex pestIt didn’t take long for the whiners to show up, but then I didn’t expect it to. Some of them whined about ‘witch hunts’ (not noticing, of course, the irony in using a term that referenced what is often regarded as the epitomy of old-style institutional misogyny); most came out with the usual entitled-man crap about it being ‘impossible’ to flirt, date or ‘find love’ now all these nasty feminists were making all this noise. It is, as always, thoroughly annoying how many supposedly intelligent men claim not to understand the difference between flirting and being a creepy fucker: very few women are appalled by a polite, friendly approach in a suitable setting, such as a social occasion or one of the many clubs catering to people on the look out for new partners and playmates. Well, as long as the approach doesn’t turn to abuse if it’s politely rejected, of course…

The same goes for workplace flirting: we know that a great many people meet partners via their jobs and that, for many of them, the fact that they started out as colleagues doesn’t seem to have any more inherently bad – or good – impact on the ensuing relationship than if they met whiners, predatory, creep, sex pestthrough a hobby or via online dating. Again, what’s appropriate is more of an issue. If one person has power or authority over the other, that person should not make any kind of sexual or romantic approach at work, because it simply isn’t a level playing field. If you need – or want – your job, a payrise, a promotion or some useful networking, then you can’t give an honest answer to the person who has the power to award you those things if that person is making it obvious that your sexual availability to them will make the difference between yes and no. While some individuals may be psychologically robust enough to think that sucking a particularly disgusting dick is actually worth it for the subsequent perks, the power-wielders are all too often not content with a nominally-consensual bargain – it’s no fun if the pretty young thing isn’t scared, revolted, humiliated. It’s not enough fun unless you do actually get to force them…

We may be getting close to the point where more people see straight through the disingenuous howling and whining about confusion and ‘grey areas’, or at least the stuff that comes in the form of ‘Waaah, waaah, nasty feminists are stopping men from having sex with attractive non-feminist women!’ This might be partly why the next attack is going to come from the other familiar direction – porn, ‘permissiveness’ and sexual immorality (of the sort divorced from consent issues) get blamed. The government dodgy dossier on ‘sex pests’ is a worrying whiners, disgust, prudishness, predatorexample, given the way it blatantly conflates abusive behaviour such as harassment and assault with things like consensual extramarital sex, or gay sex, or paying for sex. We’ve already got issues with the government’s evident, prudish distaste for things which fall outside the definition of ‘normal’ (heterosexual, monogamous, mostly vanilla) sexual behaviour; the anti-porn stuff which strikes first and hardest at diverse, ethical, feminist, independent material, so there is a potential danger of the current, justifiable demands to put an end to predatory behaviour in the workplace to be diverted into further enforcements of heteronormative behaviour with a side order of slut-shaming and bigotry. The trouble with muddling up all discussions of predatory sexual behaviour with ideas of ‘misunderstandings’ and throwing a lot of very narrow sexual moralising is that this will do nothing to support vulnerable people against powerful bullies.

 

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