on relationship between the sexes


In the movie take the lead, Antonio Banderas tells the students that through dance, they will learn to respect and trust each other. He tells them, ballroom dance requires trust and respect. Now, people, you have often heard it said the African is in rhythm, they didn’t mean me, for I can’t dance to save my neighbour’s life.

In stories I have read about my ancestors, young people went around naked. Adults had loin clothes. I can understand people in colder climes requiring full body cover. This could apply to those in the desert too.

If you are still wondering where I am going with this, worry no more. This discussion and the #MeToo movement has got me thinking about how we are socialized on matters sexual relationships and nudity. Why do we have a lot of predation at work places and here include those of clergy from different faiths abusing young ones?

What is the way forward? In the post on nudity, Rautakky and Bob argue the issue with changing rooms is cultural relic that ought to go.

My second question is, has it historically been this way? That is, have we always been prudish about nudity and changing rooms? And how do we improve relationships between the sexes so we don’t have a scenario like that of Nassar ?

About makagutu

As Onyango Makagutu I am Kenyan, as far as I am a man, I am a citizen of the world

101 thoughts on “on relationship between the sexes

  1. Scottie says:

    I do not know if this counts for the history of gender different nudity, but as a young male in the Army I was stationed for a while at a barracks in Germany where all the facilities were gender neutral. No male or female, just combined. There was only stalls, no urinals. The showers were small enclosed stalls so no need to share. The only open areas were the sinks. SO while both genders were constantly in and out and using the facility, there was no problem or need to make separate male / female areas. Once you get use to it, and over the feeling something is wrong, it is normal and you don’t even think of it. Hugs

    Liked by 6 people

  2. Swarn Gill says:

    I honestly haven’t looked much into the research on this, but I do think that the more sexually repressive a culture is, the more likely they are to see sexual aggression. I’m not saying this is the only factor, because clearly gender oppression has it’s own set of problems. But I feel that humans actually crave a sort of openness with their fellow human being, and when you live in a society that is more closed, the hunger for openness is stronger and has more dire consequences.

    in 2008 I went to the Burning Man festival. If you want to know what it is look it up. It takes too long to explain, but basically a small city gets built in the desert of Nevada for a week and it is about radical self-reliance and self-expression. There is a fair amount of drugs, but there is so much more. Anyway at this festival, as you might guess, clothing is optional. I’m not going to pretend that this place of free of sexual aggression or rape, but it is quite uncommon. In my own experience I remember the first day I arrive. They have an entrance area you drive in. A gorgeous woman was at our entrance and she was topless and with a beautiful pair of breasts. I’m not going to lie. I was aroused…I was like this is the greatest place on earth, blah blah blah. Of course once you get there, there are all sorts of topless women, and no bottomless women, but definitely a few bottomless men. You see all sizes and shapes of breasts. Good ones, not so good ones. Young ones, old ones. By about the 4th day, I noticed that I wasn’t even noticing it anymore. For me it simply felt like this was just part of how people were supposed to be. It was the desert and hot of course, but nudity just didn’t warrant a second glance. What made someone attractive had nothing to do with an exposed pair of breasts. It caused no increased heart rate to even see a beautiful topless woman. Now obviously I’m not one likely to rape or stare for a long time no matter what the circumstances but I can see how short a period it took me to adjust once the norm had changed.

    Now one might argue, well if the norms change that’s just a new standard, and sexual aggression might be caused by something else. Now that may be true. We know that when societies were even more conservative, showing an ankle could be considered scandalous. But I do think that at some point once you have complete nudity there is literally no where to go. Maybe then it becomes a behavior that set’s people off. “Oh well she was dancing a certain way so she was clearly asking for it”. I could see someone making that claim in a less repressive society, but I do think there is something in the human psychology that the more taboo you make things the more violent behavior it can elicit. And there is a puritanical streak in many societies which I think is caused by religion which I think is overall unhealthy and is pre-occupied with identifying clothing or the lack thereof as being associated with some sort of sexual message. And I think it’s very bizarre. As you say, our hunter-gatherer ancestors were completely or mostly naked and seemed to get along just fine, and not have to worry about populations explosions because they were just turned on all the time by the nudity!

    I’ve probably rambled long enough. Sorry if this really wasn’t on topic! lol

    Liked by 7 people

    • I’ve been to Burning Man too and had the same experience. The points you raised about sexual repression in culture have merit. The causes of aggressive behavior, whether sexually oriented or not, are psychological and physiological. Nudity, by itself, is not a cause.

      Liked by 3 people

      • Swarn Gill says:

        In the interest of starting the trend to not separate the mind and body, I will say it’s all physiological, but I know what you are saying and I agree. I think it’s much more important how we think the about the body, and there are a large amount of societal norms present that really don’t make any sense. That seem to be constructs that are based on some idea of sin and sexuality that are in my opinion out to lunch. Do you think it’s possible to have a society without any constructs at all, in which we wouldn’t find away to classify someone as being sexually promiscuous or not?

        Liked by 3 people

        • Is it possible? Absolutely yes, because our species has proven to be quite adaptable. Is it likely anytime soon? Absolutely not, because we haven’t sufficiently evolved beyond our reliance on culture. Maybe someday if we don’t kill ourselves off first.

          Liked by 2 people

    • Nan says:

      And there is a puritanical streak in many societies which I think is caused by religion

      BINGO!

      Liked by 4 people

    • makagutu says:

      No need to apologize. It was not long and on the contrary, it was quite interesting. It’s a curious adventure, you know. I would love to be in such a place just for a week. Maybe by the time one leaves, its totally different things that will get your attention

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Violet says:

    Oh boy….what a complicated conversation.

    As for trans rights, I see no problem with trans people sharing women’s bathrooms. Similar to what scotty wrote, women’s bathrooms are all separate stalls so I don’t see a problem there. When I was in college I was assaulted in my dorm room bathroom at 5am while I was getting ready to go to my nursing clinicals. A guy, dressed in men’s clothing, walked right in the bathroom and assaulted me. So the idea that a man would have to dress in female clothing to assault a women is preposterous.

    Open changing rooms are a bit more difficult. The fact is that women are regularly preyed upon by men…not all men do such things, but it happens often enough that women need to be on guard constantly. For men to say women need to get naked (in front of men) in a common changing room and “get over” our concerns is in IMHO repulsive.

    For the trans kid, I think giving him his own place to change would be appropriate. Concern does need to be given to young girls who are fearful of having a male in their naked spaces. I’m interested to know if a female person who wanted to be ID’d as a male would EVER feel safe changing in the middle of a male locker room….my guess is no.

    Liked by 5 people

    • Swarn Gill says:

      In Poland the change rooms at pools are all common, but no woman is getting naked in front of men or vice versa. There are just lot’s of little booths to change in, and then you step out in your swim wear or vice versa. I would agree though that just getting naked in front of strangers, regardless of gender would be awkward.

      Liked by 4 people

      • Violet says:

        I have no problem whatsoever with people changing in separate stalls in one big room. Of course I’m a 44 year old women…when I was a 15 year old girl, I would have been afraid of a man coming into my stall.

        When I was a teen though my early 20’s, people would always make fun of girls because we’d go to the bathroom in pairs. The issue was we were afraid of being assaulted by males in the bathroom. So one of us would use the toilet and another would position herself at the door to try and prevent any guy from barging in (which only happened on very rare occasions).

        Sexual assault is a thing many young women are exceptionally terrified of. As a middle aged women I still have to be aware of it, but it’s not at the forefront of my mind anymore.

        Liked by 4 people

        • Swarn Gill says:

          Well the stalls do have locks on them. And I think a reasonable argument could be made that by having both genders in a locker room you simply double the amount of people who might be around to monitor the situation and prevent something bad from happening. As you said, if a man wants to assault you then he can walk right into the women’s change room and do so. The sign on the door isn’t going to make much difference. I guess I’m not even sure, is a change room a more vulnerable place to be sexually assaulted? Is the act of taking off your clothes and putting them back on invite abuse more easily because your victim might already be partially naked? That doesn’t seem like the motivating factor to me. But perhaps I’m wrong.

          Liked by 3 people

          • Violet says:

            As an adult women I don’t think a common changing room with individual stalls is any more dangerous than anywhere else, provided there’s a reasonable amount of traffic in and out of it. I can only say that as a teen girl, the idea of disrobing anywhere in the vicinity of males was scary. A lock on the door would definitely help the situation though.

            Liked by 3 people

          • makagutu says:

            Complex question here.

            Liked by 1 person

        • makagutu says:

          I prefer to change in private.

          Like

        • Barry says:

          I wonder how correct the perceived danger of males entering female only areas really was. I would have thought that there would have been more danger going to or from the bathroom than while being in one. That would certainly be the case here.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Violet says:

            I am a women who was sexually assaulted in a bathroom at my dorm. It happened at 5am….the time was an important factor because it meant I was alone in there. Had it been the middle of the day with many women walking in and out I doubt it would have happened.

            Like

    • makagutu says:

      You have actually raised one of the questions I have been meaning to ask. Do transmen have the same demands?
      In my high school, which was a boys only school, our ablution block was an open hall. It was one of the most uncomfortable environments in the whole school. Seeing all these dicks of different build and shade

      Liked by 1 person

      • Violet says:

        I’m not sure I’ve ever heard of a case of a female to male trans person wanting to share an open locker room with highschool boys. IMHO that’s just asking for bullying and dangerous situations to develop. Surely a private bathroom for a trans man would be a better option.

        Now for an adult tansman, perhaps that would be an ok situation to share male bathrooms and changing areas if they had some private areas.

        Honestly I think it’s time to just give people private changing/showering areas, regardless of whether the bathrooms are gender neutral or not. Both my husband I had completely open locker rooms in school with no privacy whatsoever. We both agreed it was very uncomfortable for us when we were going through puberty, and I imagine it would still be so for today’s kids. As adults, nudity around the same gender matters less to us.

        Like

  4. I often walk around the corridors of my apartment building naked. Many people have told me it isn’t my nudity that offends them, but how awful it is I look naked. Go figure.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. renudepride says:

    I think that part of the prudishness that we face in society today is based on certain religious traditions teaching that pre-marital sex was evil and a sin. Clothing was viewed as a civilized means of controlling sexual thoughts and desires. I really don’t think anyone in their wildest dreams ever thought that clothing itself would ever get to the point of being as sexually provocative or as sexually stimulating as it is, in some cases, today.

    I don’t believe society was a conscious about nudity in the past. It has only been in recent times that humanity appears to have universally embraced the textile notion. Again, I feel this is because of religious influences.

    Naked hugs!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Barry says:

    I find nudity among strangers extremely uncomfortable – gender is irrelevant. So changing rooms are out for me. On our recent tour of Japan, my wife and I spent 2 weeks staying at onsen (inns with thermal pools). Most onsen have public pools – one for males and one for females. So while the wife enjoy a hot soak, I had to make do with a shower in our room. Some onsen made pools available to family groups at specific times, and on those occasions I was able to enjoy a soak too. Even public toilets make me uncomfortable. Thankfully, the old long trough-like urinal is a thing of the past here, and urinals are more or less wrap around affairs, often with partitioning walls between them.

    In Japan, Some public toilets are gender neutral, but still have urinals – usually right by the entrance and visible from outside. To get to the stalls, males and females have to walk past the urinals. Outside my comfort zone, but the locals think nothing of it.

    I’m sure clothing was invented to protect us from the cold or the sun, and not to hide our nakedness. Religion tends to lock customs into rules that are then frozen in time. Not sure which came first – the idea that nudity was somehow bad, or the beginning of the Jewish religion. Certainly by the time the the story of Adam & Eve came to be, nudity seems to have gotten a bad name.

    From what I know of the various cultural backgrounds in my family (Pakeha, Maori, Tahitian, Japanese, Iranian, Thai, Swedish, Irish, French, Canadian, and American), the concept of nudity, and when it is “wrong” varies widely. I’m somewhat of an outlier being the most uncomfortable with nudity.

    Mention of males assaulting females has been made in the comments. I’m not sure if the situation here in Aotearoa New Zealand is common elsewhere, but here, women are far more likely to be assaulted by women in public restrooms than they are by men. Outside of restrooms, women are more likely to be assaulted by a male known to them than they are by a stranger. On the other hand, males are more likely to be assaulted by strangers than they are by those known to them.

    I’d like to think there’ll come a time when we’re all as comfortable with nudity as those who call themselves sun-worshipper/nudist/naturist. In other words, clothing is optional.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Violet says:

      sorry, I made a general comment instead of a comment directly to you…that’s a chronic problem I have on WP.

      In previous comments I was talking about women being *sexually* assaulted. Are you saying there’s a high incidence of women sexually assaulting other women in public bathrooms in NZ?

      Like

      • Barry says:

        Not a high incidence, quite low in fact, but it’s still much higher than being assaulted by a man in public restrooms. Also, I was referring to all forms of assault, not only sexual assault.

        Like

    • makagutu says:

      Barry, this is interesting on many fronts
      1. The experience in Japan
      2. Your aversion to public washrooms
      3. The attacks that happen in NZ.

      Like

      • Barry says:

        I think my aversion to being naked outside the familiarity of my own family (it’s not confined to public toilets and changing rooms) stems largely from the fact that I entered puberty more than a year earlier than my peers. As I was already the preferred target of their bullying (I was socially very awkward and had no idea that there different social expectations for males and females), the physical differences caused by early puberty became a major tool in their armoury. The groping of my genitals was their favourite form of humiliation and they even went so far as to encourage others to do so by concocting stories about what was hidden inside my pants. It wasn’t just boys that were tempted to find out if the stories were true.

        NZ is a relatively safe place, but it’s not perfect by any means. We have a high level of domestic violence, and quite a lot of low level violence. An unfortunate trend is that violence by females is increasing while violence by males is not. There’s been many suggestions as to why this is, but the most popular is that as the sexes approach equality, the taboos that society has placed on activities based on sex are breaking down. In the past it was deemed “unwomanly” to display aggression or resort to violence, but it was not “unmanly”. In much the same way it was considered “unmanly” to be a primary caregiver – that was the role of women, but that difference too is declining.

        Given that violence by females is on the rise, it’s hardly surprising that other women are the most likely targets. Restrooms are probably as good a place as anywhere else. On the other hand men entering women only spaces for the purpose of sexual assault is extremely rare.

        While women are more likely to be victims of sexual assault than men, men are more likely to be victims of all forms of assault combined than women.

        Like

        • makagutu says:

          I think NZ presents very peculiar data from what you are writing.
          In my place, violence against women I think is more widespread.
          I can understand your aversion with public nudity. I hope you are no longer the subject of bullying and brunt jokes

          Liked by 1 person

          • Barry says:

            As long as there’s testosterone, male violence is always going to exceed female violence by a significant amount, but a breakdown in gender stereotypes give women the “permission” as men to act non-passively.

            We have seen this phenomenon in other ways too. Before the banning of advertising and display of cigarettes came into effect, the rate of male smoking was in decline while that of women was increasing. Today the rates are almost equal and both are declining at a similar rate.

            When I was much younger, public drunkenness among women was extremely rare, while male public drunkenness was not unusual. Today public drunkenness by young women is almost on par with public drunkenness by young men.

            Like

  7. Violet says:

    “women are far more likely to be assaulted by women in public restrooms than they are by men.”

    There are a lot of cases of women raping other women in NZ’s bathrooms? Strange. Are there any theories as to why this is happening?

    Like

    • Barry says:

      See my other comment, but I don’t see where your suggestion of women raping women in restrooms comes from. Violence is violence whether or not it had a sexual element to it. Most violence against women by men is not sexual but because our society still to some degree holds to that primitive motion that might is right. And it’s an unfortunate reality that when it comes to might, men have physical advantage. There needs to be a social change where alternatives to violent “solutions” are more viable options and are more socially valued than they currently are.

      Like

      • Violet says:

        You said “women are more likely to be assaulted
        by other women in restrooms” when I was talking about sexual assault, so I thought you were referring to women sexually assaulting other women. Something which I doubt happens much at all.

        “Most violence against women by men is not sexual”

        I don’t care. A lot of violence against women IS sexual, and I have been the recipient of it on multiple occasions (as is every women I’ve known). As a man it is unlikely you have experienced this degree of harassment, therefore I don’t think you should tell a women that sexual violence is not any more relevant than other forms of violence.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Barry says:

          Does the experience recounted in https://anotherspectrum.wordpress.com/2015/05/11/last-meal/ count as harassment? That is not the worst I have experienced, but I’m not able to describe other events yet and perhaps never will.

          Like

          • Violet says:

            You were raped, and I am horrified such a thing should happen to any child. I completely understand why you felt you couldn’t report it, and also your fear of certain medical procedures is to be expected. I’m truly sorry you ever had to face such a trauma.

            Having experienced such a thing, can you not understand how sexual violence could be considered worse/more violating than other kinds of violence?

            Like

            • Barry says:

              Not really. I didn’t see it as any different from any other form of humiliation or ridicule I was subjected to, and to be honest I still don’t. All abuse is violence and if you are constantly subjected to it, the nature of the abuse matters little. Being subject to more than a hundred jabs per hour from pens, pencils and any other sharp object those sitting beside me and behind me in class could find, extending over a period of three years while teachers deliberately turned a blind eye (unless I protested at the hurt inflicted, in which case I would be punished for disturbing the class) seemed just as unpleasant as that event which was over in less than an half an hour.

              Liked by 1 person

              • Violet says:

                God Barry, I’m just so sad to hear what you have been through. How utterly traumatizing these experiences must have been. I’m thankful to read on your blog post that you’ve been able to speak with a counselor about this. I hope you’ve been able to find a way to cope with the inevitable scars such violence must have left upon you.

                Your comments bring up an important issue in the #metoo movement. It can play out a couple of different ways.

                1. #metoo can be used as a way to validated other sexual abuse survivors. It says, “I’m sorry you were abused…let us work out a way for us to all feel safe and reduce the incidence of sexual assault.”

                2. #metoo can be used as a weapon, as in “me too, you ain’t special.” In this way a sexual abuse survivor says to another, “I’ve suffered sexual abuse too and have had to suck it up, so you need to quit your bitchin’ and suck it up too.”

                I’m not sure, Barry, which camp you’re in. Are you for helping women (as an entire gender) feel safer in this world, or do you feel they have nothing to complain about?

                Liked by 1 person

                • Barry says:

                  Seeing the counsellor was over an unrelated crisis and some 30 to 40 years after the last incidence of violence The bullying I received as a child and young adult was never discussed, although looking back on it now, I recognise it was me who avoided the discussion.

                  As to which camp I’m in, I’m not sure if I’m in either camp. Let me quote a couple of passages from Towards a Quaker View of Sex:

                  First of all any element of force or coercion, or abuse of some superior position, must obviously put an act beyond the pale and leave it to be condemned.

                  Perhaps this one is more relevant in the context of this discussion:

                  Finally, we accept the definition of sin given by an Anglican broadcaster, as covering those actions that involve exploitation of the other person. This is a concept of wrong-doing that applies both to homosexual and heterosexual actions and to actions within marriage as well as outside it. It condemns as fundamentally immoral every sexual action that is not, as far as is humanly ascertainable, the result of a mutual decision. It condemns seduction and even persuasion, and every instance of coitus which, by reason of disparity of age or intelligence or emotional condition, cannot be a matter of mutual responsibility.

                  The essay is now showing its age – it was published in 1964 – but it put into words that which I had come to believe about violence in society.

                  In direct response to choice of camps: no one should be expected to suck it up. Abuse of any kind needs to be exposed if society is to change. The choice of whether or not to expose abuse is is a personal one, and one’s circumstances will often dictate what choice is made. I learnt early on that exposure resulted in retribution, so I remained quiet as the abuse slowly escalated. In hindsight it was probably not the best choice.

                  I see sexual violence as part of a bigger picture of exploitation and violence in society. I have neither the skills nor experience to deal with it specifically, but only as part of a wider campaign for a safer society. My specific interests, and where I have direct experience, are related to ableism, (and society’s response to migraine and autism in particular), and to gender identity and sexual orientation.

                  In my teens and early twenties, I openly campaigned against what I perceived to be violence ingrained in society. Perhaps I was naive and perhaps my lack of social skills resulted in offence when none was intended, but I discovered that rocking the status quo boat had (unpleasant) repercussions. These days I’m a little more circumspect.

                  Like

                  • Violet says:

                    So it looks like you think any kind of coerced sex is bad for both genders. To this I agree. However you fall short of admitting women on the whole have born the brunt sexual coercion/violence/slavery, and to this I would strongly disagree.

                    Like

                    • Barry says:

                      you fall short of admitting women on the whole have born the brunt sexual coercion/violence/slavery
                      I think it’s rather presumptuous on your part to disagree with something I haven’t stated. It’s a bit like me saying I disagree because you haven’t admitted that autistic adults without a learning disability are nine times more likely to die by suicide than the general population, or because you have failed to admit that 85% of adults with Aspergers are unemployed.

                      I responded to your query regarding #metoo camps and how I perceive sexual violence to be one aspect of a greater picture of violence in society. I’m not aware of our discussion requiring an admission on my part that women on the whole have born the brunt sexual coercion/violence/slavery. I would have thought that that was glaringly obvious. As you didn’t specifically ask me, it never occurred to me to make such a statement.

                      Like

                    • Violet says:

                      “I would have thought that that was glaringly obvious. ”

                      Barry, it is not “glaring obvious” to women that men give a shit about them getting raped, harassed, and sexually assaulted…if it was so obvious, we wouldn’t have a chasm filled with hostility between the genders, and the whole #metoo movement wouldn’t have happened in the first place. I’m glad to hear though that you, personally, feel it is a legit issue. Thank you for that acknowledgement.

                      Like

                    • Barry says:

                      I don’t see “a chasm filled with hostility between the genders” here. But that may be due to my inability to read many social nuances, rather than a chasm not existing.

                      Just to be clear where I stand on this issue of systemic violence in society let me briefly narrate two stories.

                      Around 12 years ago, my daughter was about to be married. She wanted a traditional wedding and asked me to give her away by responding to the traditional “Who gives this woman to be married to this man?” To be honest I was appalled that she even considered including that in the ceremony. She was somewhat taken aback by my reaction and I had to spell it out that the tradition implied that (a) I had ownership of her, and (b) I was transferring ownership to another person, and for that reason, under no circumstances could I participate in that tradition. She said she understood my position and then asked “Is it okay if I ask Mum or Granddad to give me away instead?” She clearly did not understand my position. Ownership grants certain rights, privileges and access to the property owned. How’s that different from slavery, which is perhaps one of the worse forms of violence known? What made it even more galling was the fact that my wife sneaked the same tradition into our wedding some 35 years earlier, against my wishes. I let my daughter know that I would excuse myself from the wedding ceremony if she insisted on being given away. It may be tradition, but it gives token acknowledgement to male privilege. No way can I condone that.

                      The second story relates to the time I first discovered that sticking to a principle can loose friends. I was about 20 at the time and a member of a mostly male social group that met monthly. On one occasion, one of the members made comments not too dissimilar to those made by Trump regarding the groping of women. I felt I had to say something and did, only to find most of those present came to the other person’s defence because “it was only a bit of fun, and no harm was done”. Let’s just say that the ensuing discussion where I tried to convince them that groping is a form of violence become progressively more heated until it was made clear that I was no longer welcome. From memory it was one against 10 with two abstentions. I think if the same situation was to occur today, eight out of the ten would support my position, so some progress has been made.

                      Like

                  • makagutu says:

                    This, I find very reasonable. I agree with you in so many ways.

                    Like

                • makagutu says:

                  If I understand Barry correctly, all abuse is violence and should not exist.

                  Like

          • makagutu says:

            Yes, Barry, it does.

            Like

  8. Violet says:

    Mak, you have asked how the relationship between the male and female genders can be healed. I can tell you the very first step in this process is for men to clearly and unequivocally admit that throughout history, women have faced an undue burden of sexual harassment and violence at the hands of men. Until they do this, the divide between our genders will not heal.

    This is not to say that men have not also suffered sexual abuse and violence…surely they have, and I have counseled many of them in my time as a psych nurse. But this does not negate the vast injustice that has been done to the female gender since the beginning of time.

    Once men can admit this, the genders can begin to negotiate solutions to the problem.

    Like

    • shelldigger says:

      Step one done.

      Step two, teach your children, I have brought it up but should really get serious about it.

      Step three, do not sit idle when we see it happen. I live so far out in the boonies I don’t see much, but I’m paying attention.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Violet says:

        Excellent, SD. I believe good men can and will come forward to help women (and others as well) find true equality.

        Like

    • Scottie says:

      Violet I have to ask you a question. I have normally agreed with you but one thing you said strikes me as accusatory and strident.

      I can tell you the very first step in this process is for men to clearly and unequivocally admit that throughout history, women have faced an undue burden of sexual harassment and violence at the hands of men.

      Do you pass the sins of the fathers to the sons? Do you think ALL males today must acknowledge some kind of guilt for the traditions and transgressions of the cultures of the past? If so I then must say I disagree and do not support your position.

      I agree that historically and even today the culture is stacked against females world wide. There are a few bright spots, but also in many areas both genders are struggling to increase equality. But just as a white male today I refuse to be held accountable for the slavery of people in this country I live in, before even one half of my ancestry even came here. I disagree with slavery and bigotry and have not every advocated for either. I can not ask forgiveness for someone else, nor can I be held guilty for their conduct.

      This is where I stop being an advocate for equality and other rights, is where they want to judge me and make me responsible for I had no say in nor any actions for.

      Have a great weekend. Hugs

      Like

      • Violet says:

        Scottie, I’m not getting into this conversation with you. You have attacked me in the past over my “misperceptions” of my own deconversion story…I certainly do not think you’ll support my concerns over the sexual abuses I and other women have faced.

        All I can say is that I would never say to Mak, a black African man, that he has no right to be upset about his people being enslaved and his country being pillaged by white people, simply because I/we have not personally owned a slave. I would expect Mak to be outraged over such a statement. I would expect that Mak doesn’t really need our apology…he needs our ACKNOWLEDGEMENT that he, his people, and his country has suffered because of the collective actions of some other countries, including the US. Same as women need from men ACKNOWLEDGEMENT that we have suffered a terrible price at the collective hands of men.

        You cannot hope to heal wounds without first acknowledging a wound has been inflicted.

        Like

        • Scottie says:

          Violet I sure remember things differently. I remember telling several bloggers how you attacked me with seemingly no reason because I was not pro-female enough. I was stunned and confused at the time, I even tried to apologize for something you accused me of I never agreed with or advocated. You were as I remember rather what I would say “rabid” on the issue. I believe it was over the minor issue of using a feline comparison for a word used as human female slang.

          In truth I don’t even remember talking to you on deconversion, but I process many things a day and may have forgotten that. Please feel free to remind me if you wish.

          As for abuse, sexual and otherwise, you would be surprised how I feel. In case you have not been to my blog and as you have not asked , let me share with you. I am a child adopted into a very disfunctional viloent family where I was sexualy , pysically, and emotionally abused. I think if you asked you would find I support and have fought my best to protect ALL genders and people from abuse. Infact I several years ago put my disabled body at risk taking on a man who chased a woman on to my carport and was beating her, and I needing a cane to support myself drove this young man off and got her police protection. So I do take offensive if you think I wouldn’t help, support, prevent anyone being abused.

          No you totally twist my statement and it does you a disservice. I never said

          Mak, a black African man, that he has no right to be upset about his people being enslaved and his country being pillaged by white people, simply because I/we have not personally owned a slave.

          Of course he should be upset about the treatment of his people. I should be upset over my own treatment. However I can no more be blamed for the treatment of black people in the past then Mak could be blamed for my own beatings and rapes. That is the whole point.

          Everyone can agree that slavery is wrong, and that sexual abuse is wrong, but the only ones who should be held responsible and to have to pay for it are the abusers and their supporters.

          Saying it has happened is not the same as branding everyone as the abuser. That was the point of my question to you and this response. Many people have acknowledged child abuse but not everyone is responsible for doing it. In my view if you can not see the difference then you are part of the problem. Hugs

          Liked by 1 person

          • Violet says:

            Here is the link to our awful conversation about my deconversion on Nan’s blog: https://sayitnow.wordpress.com/2017/10/28/satan-aka-the-devil-aka-the-big-bad-guy-part-one/

            Yes scottie, I am actually aware of the horrid abuse you suffered as a child. I’m outraged you suffered this abuse, same as I am outraged Barry was gang-raped. I applaud the fact that you helped a woman being beaten in your driveway.

            I was using a theoretical conversation one might have with Mak to make a point…I was not accusing you of saying those things to Mak.

            No, I do not for a moment believe all men are abusers…I have met many kind, caring men who would never harm a women. However, there are plenty of men who have harmed women and it’s been no small number….to deny this fact is to deny women have been victimized, and that I’ll not accept. Again, this is not about apologies and guilt, this is about acknowledging a group of people (women in this instance) has been legitimately harmed. Because the main tactic people use to continuing harming a group of people is NOT acknowledging the group was harmed in the first place.

            Like

          • Violet says:

            By the way, Scottie, you and I have never had a conversation about the word cunt. You’re confusing me with someone else.

            Like

            • Scottie says:

              I never said “cunt” again you are assigning things in your own mind to others. I was really referring to “pussy”. I am still reviewing what you sent trying to find the grand offence you spoke of. Be back when I get done the review. Hugs

              Like

              • Violet says:

                I do not recall “pussy” either.

                What you did to offend me was steal the narrative of my own deconversion story, then twist that narrative to best suit your own views. The fact that my deconversion was horrifically traumatizing to both myself and my autistic infant was of no concern to you….you just needed to blame me (when I was a child, no less) for being stupid enough to believe in religion in the first place.

                This is not unlike what some men say to women when they speak up about being sexually assaulted….they don’t believe them, they steal their narrative and twist it to suit themselves, and then they blame the woman. I’m very, very familiar with that tactic.

                Like

      • makagutu says:

        This reminds me of what Fannon wrote in Black skins white masks. He says

        I as a man of colour do not have the right to hope that in the white man there will be crystallization of guilt towards the past of my race.
        [….] I find myself suddenly in the world and I recognise that I have one right alone: That of demanding human behaviour from the other.

        Liked by 1 person

    • makagutu says:

      If, as you say, men too have suffered violence sexual or otherwise, is it then imperative to just take cognizance of the fact that people have been inhumane in the past, still are and demand that we treat each better? You know, with dignity and maybe as we would like to be treated. Though there have been argument that treating others as we would like to be treated may not bring about peace as different people find different things pleasurable

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Violet says:

    You know guys, this is getting a little out of hand. I’m feeling a bit salty and verbally combative, especially when the topic of women’s sexual assault is being discussed. I do note that while I expressed abject horror over the vicious, violent sexual assaults the men here have endured, no one offered one word of concern about my sexual assault in the dorm bathroom…and that’s a bit triggering. So I’m going to head out now. I apologize to Barry, Scottie, and any others who felt I was too aggressive. These particular issues (women’s sexual assault, and my own deconversion story) are issues that I’m personally very traumatized over…I’ll speak no further on them.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Scottie says:

      I do not want to in anyway traumatise you, but I do ask you to read my response. You don’t have to comment or respond, but you accused me of something and I went to a great effort to respond, I think you could read it at least. Again my best wishes to you. I hope we will talk again. Hugs

      Like

    • Scottie says:

      Violet one other thing. I guess I did not comment on your assault / sexual attack for two reasons. First I wanted to be compassionate and did not want to exacerbate the feelings you would have. I wouldn’t ever compare it to other feelings or even feelings I had. It was your experience and you deserved the right to define it. Second I felt you knew how I / we felt about your being attacked and to so keep referring to it would be offencive to you, sort of keeping reminding you of it, making you relive it.

      That is how it is with me so I assumed it was with you. When the subject of my own abuse or things like it come up , I relive it. To have people keep commenting on it just keeps making me go over it in my mind. I am grateful when people skip over it or use vague terms. It lets me keep my mind from going to the full horrors of my past.

      If this courtesy offends you I apologize. I do not nor ever will make lite of your assault. It was and is a serious event. If you wish to or need to talk of it, I am here and will give you my private email. I do offer my ear to you if you wish. Hugs

      Like

    • makagutu says:

      No, it’s alright to be angry. I don’t have the vocabulary to describe how such trauma must feel because I have no such experience. That said, all three of you have suffered violence and I think each person have responded to it differently. It is not possible that all your perspectives would be the same. To demand conformity in experience would be demanding too much.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Barry says:

      Violet, my reaction would have been exactly the same if it was my brother telling of being sexually assaulted. I come from a loving but non-demonstrative family. I can not ever remember my parents telling me they loved me, yet I had absolutely no doubt that they did. A lack of responding in a way you feel appropriate does not mean I consider your story less important because it was about a woman being sexually assaulted.

      I hadn’t conveyed the story told in Last meal to any of my siblings until late in the evening of the day of my mother’s funeral last year. We were sitting outside with a few beers recalling events from our childhood. At the end of the telling, there was a moment’s silence then a brother quipped “that deserves another beer!”. Nothing more was said of the incident and we went back to discussing more pleasant things. Personally, if I thought they might have reacted any other way, I would not have told the story at all.

      We all process unpleasant/uncomfortable information differently. I process it the only way I know how. I am sorry that it doesn’t meet your expectations.

      Like

  10. Scottie says:

    @ Violet. I have reviewed the first part of my statement. Is this what you are taking such offence about:

    Hello Violet. I am sorry what you went through. However even people deep in faith have access to information and the idea that not only are demons have not ever been shown to exist but that it is the same for many other mythical beings. So yes I will will continue to laugh and smirk at anyone who tries to tell me or maintain that this or that is caused by a demon. Yes I do take seriously any harm someone does due to this. For example recently a person killed their child because they thought the boy had a demon, like they did with your son. Had I heard them talking like this and knowing how little it takes to push a deluded person over the edge I would have taken steps to safe guard the child as best I could. But to say that we have to be serious when dealing with the ridiculous I just don’t agree. Be well. Hugs

    Is this what you really are claim is such an attack? If so tell me what century do you live in?

    Then you say you had no way to know what was real and what was not. I say as you moved into adulthood you gave up other mythical things and had access to information in the public domain, if you had wanted to view them.
    After you attack me for pointing out that the information was out there , and not everyone in the entire world moved in lock step to your faith, I responded:

    No Violet you misunderstand my comments and my intent. I have already expressed my sorrow at what you went through. I do not like anyone to be harmed. I do not take joy in others pain. Your story is your story and you have the right to tell it as you wish. I wont bother to continue the conversation because it is upsetting to you. Be well, have an enjoyable weekend. Hugs

    Here we can see I was trying my best to be nice to you , but you wouldn’t have any kind of reason or kindness from me. If I wouldn’t agree to your view totally and forever I was to become the bad guy in your view it seems.

    Even after what I thought was a great response of reason which I wont copy here I will copy and pst this part as it shows how much I was trying to be nice to you.

    This is not to challenge your perception, nor your experience. This is not to belittle your life. As I said your story is your own and you have the rights to it, to tell it, to explain it as you wish.

    As this has become a no win situation for me this will be my last comment on this. Be well, enjoy your Sunday. Hugs

    Please note the “this is not to belittle your life” part.

    I also noticed several other people disagreeing with you , Peter comes to mind reading the entire comments.

    So Violet I reject your criticism and stand by my statements. I have more to say but I think we should end it here. I won’t be bullied. I am willing to listen , and I am more than willing to be compassionate, but I will not agree to blame those not responsible for the acts of those who did them. I also will not give too much space to those who have the opportunity to know better and refuse it. I could use the example of the Turpin grandparents. They knew for five years the contact was cut off. They knew before that that there were older adults in the family. They flew three times across the entire country and were denied access to the family when they got there, and flew home. That is a lot of money for nothing and should have raised all sorts of red flags. Now those same grandparents are on TV saying they couldn’t have known and how horrible it is. I don’t buy it! They knew or should have known something was wrong. That is all they needed to know, something was wrong. Then act on it.

    So Violet if that is your entire disagreement with me, then I feel OK with it. I feel I was as kind as possible and you took offence for no real reason. Even after that I tried to be nice to you. So I again wish you well, be happy, and as always many happy hugs from me. Hugs

    Like

    • Violet says:

      I read your words and I will accept your non apology. I noticed you did not quote any of the more nasty things you said to me, but that’s ok. I do understand you feel I’m the only one to blame. Thank you for sharing your compassionate perspective.

      Like

      • Scottie says:

        Violet I am not saying you are to blame. Why are you so combative. Dang, as hard as I try to find common ground with you, you reject it. Thank you for accepting an apology I did not offer but I would much rather have a conversation and and meeting of the minds. I think I give up for tonight. Hugs

        Like

  11. Mak, I gotta say, I love your blog, but you need to spice it up a bit by posting topics of a sensitive and controversial nature that’ll inspire intense, very personal debate. This sugary stuff is just not doing it. 😀

    Liked by 2 people

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