Out of the “Mummy Returns” where Jonathan (the brother) is about to be killed…
“I told you! I told you!”
“And your point is?”
“My point is I told you so you wouldn’t kill me!”
“When did we make that arrangement?”
Fundamentally I find the problem with this article along the same lines. When did she make an arrangement with these ‘harrassers’ that they wouldn’t do it to her? That is a MASSIVE assumption. One that is being overlooked in this approach.
Take it a step further and ask what is ‘owed’ to her by complete strangers?
Believe it or not, it’s not feminism.
For those of you clutching your chests and saying “I’m coming Elizabeth!”, enough. I’m still in no-way shape or form a fan of 3rd wave feminism, its tactics, rhetoric or interpretation of ‘equality.’
That’s not why I’m saying it isn’t feminism. It’s something … bigger.
There are certain …. attitudes, that can only flourish within certain environments. There are things that are ‘required’ before these beliefs can become sustainable. But we don’t realize how what we accept, not only, as self-evident truth, but unquestionable bedrock, really isn’t. That it exists only under very specialized circumstances.
Let me give you a weird parallel/example. Western ‘civilization’ was a bunch of alcoholics. Everyone, and I mean EVERYONE drank booze. Why? Because drinking water was a great way to die. Water had to be boiled (used in cooking) or the Ph balance tweaked in some way to kill the bacteria (lemon aid, tea, etc, for example). This was SERIOUSLY circumscribed by available technology. Through a huge set of conditions, the absolute BEST way to handle bacteria, store/transport extra grain/fruit/vegetables was turning it into booze. Alcohol killed the things that would kill you. You drank beer/wine/cider with breakfast, lunch and dinner. You didn’t have a canteen of water, you had a cider bag. The question was how diluted was it? Oh yeah, and your kids were drinking with you too. No shit, if you’re white, your ancestors were a bunch of drunks. They HAD to be in order to survive. (Other environments had teas and acidic fruit drinks — as well as booze.)
It wasn’t until mass water purification started becoming normal, trade/economics allowed for the import of coffee and tea and food storage technology improved that the ‘Temperance” movement even became possible.
At the same time, while that craziness hit its height with Prohibition many of the standards and restrictions we take for granted about alcohol are very much reliant on the fact that we have water purification.
Stop and think about that. Those attitudes are ENTIRELY dependent on having clean water sources and/or something to kill the bacteria. Under those circumstances it works.
They wouldn’t work in an environment where everyone needs a low-tech, sustainable way to kill the bacteria in the water supply. (Oh and before someone who wants to show how smart they are by mentioning the Islamic prohibition on booze, closer to the equator, longer growing season for acidic drinks, dried teas, locally grown coffee were viable alternatives BEFORE the prohibition was put into place. Read the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam)
What are the environmental circumstances involved in the combination of dignity culture and individualistic culture? (Two different models with serious overlap). Let’s add on another layer. Rule of law. How have these three factors combined to affect our attitudes, beliefs and assumptions about ourselves and others?
That is a big question.
But another string of questions we have to ask is what have we come to take for granted? What do we think is a ‘right to demand?’ How limited are we in our strategies? Do we recognize that not everyone plays by these ‘rules?’ What other resources do we do when they don’t work? Are we responsible for enforcing them or do we put that responsibility over to others? And, if we choose to abdicate this responsibility, how much control do we have — or even should we have — over how those rules are enforced? Include in that last one, how much power should be given to the enforcers?
Here’s a simple truth. A woman can pull a trigger just as easily as a man. The same amount of trigger pressure will make it go BANG regardless of the position a person is in when he or she pees. We have the technology.
Now the question is ‘will she choose to shoot the bouncer’s balls off’ for his behavior towards her?
THAT is the question. Not whether or not she is capable. Hey you know what? Where I’m from rape was a killing offense. If the woman didn’t gut you right then and there, there’s a good chance she’d come back and shoot you later. If not, a family member would. Putting it bluntly, I have first hand experience that women are capable of taking care of themselves. Technology is a great equalizer.
However, the loudest complaints — and in essence this article — come from the position that she SHOULDN’T have to. This makes it not about protecting one’s body — or hell, even one’s self-esteem — it makes it about protecting one’s comfort zone.
“I shouldn’t have to do this. I shouldn’t have to put up with this. I shouldn’t have to have boundaries on my behavior. I shouldn’t have to change my mindset to function in other environments.”
Here’s a hanky, you just should all over yourself.
Now stop and think about what kind of environment it is that these kinds of attitudes can not only exist, but actively flourish?
That’s what I mean by it’s something bigger