sexual advances - the big question

(458 Posts)
BramshawHill Sun 03-Mar-13 10:47:20

BBC the big question is currently discussing whether sexual advances should be accepted as a part of life.

The first speaker has said it weakens men and women if women complain about it every time, and that it IS a part of life.

Anyone else watching? Thoughts?

First time posting, hello btw!

larrygrylls Sun 24-Mar-13 08:47:40

Promqueen,

Were you missing me? Two kids, retraining for a new career, end of tax year investments, planning skiing holiday, voluntary finance work for a charity....you know, real life, kind of intervened.

I am always reflecting, though.

This social/genetic argument is always argued aggressively in the direction of people's views but no one really knows how much of each determine our behaviour. Yes, human beings are unique. Yes, we certainly behave very differently from other species in many areas. However, I think it is wrong to assume that because our language is more sophisticated and the learning cortex of our brains so much larger that the primitive brain areas and drivers are completely redundant.

apple1234 Sun 24-Mar-13 00:47:56

I have always had problems with 'can i buy a drink/take you for dinner' - the financial transaction part of courtship..with the implicit obligation to pay the person back with one's company.

Replies like 'No let's go dutch, but I would love to chat with you' or 'only if you let me buy the second round' would be charming, but I think are seldom used.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Fri 22-Mar-13 12:11:16

YY promchick. It's our evolutionary destiny to eat as much fat as possible then burn it off acquiring more food, be eaten by predators, die of a number of currently curable diseases, dress in furs, live in caves etc etc. But social, as opposed to biological, evolution has reduced or removed these factors for much of humankind.

Yet somehow social evolution, which shapes our day to day lives since birth and before,, can be set aside in favour of our common DNA with monkeys when it comes to certain areas...

I read this, and thought of this thread with its references to primate behaviour. It's from Vivien Burr's book on social constructionism:

"Language is unique to human beings. Undeniably, other animals communicate with each other. Scent, sound, markings, gesture and posture are employed by animals to signal danger, occupation of territory, sexual overtures and so on, but do they warrant the name of language? These behaviours clearly do have meanings, to which other animals respond (e.g. by fighting, running away, copulating, etc.) But the difference is that these meanings appear to be fixed and stable. When a dog rolls over and displays its belly, this is a sign of submission. It has the same meaning for all dogs, and this meaning has remained stable for countless generations of dogs."

PromQueenWithin Wed 20-Mar-13 18:54:40

Bumpa de bump. Not seen you around much recently Larry. Are you off reflecting?

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Mon 18-Mar-13 01:59:03

Bump

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Sun 17-Mar-13 12:11:35

I agree Bertie - I've been complimented like that before when I was all shiny eyed and happy with new lust love and the guy was very respectful... "I hope you don't mind me saying.." and then once he'd said it he walked off so I didn't feel crowded.

BertieBotts Fri 15-Mar-13 23:51:23

He wasn't expecting anything in return for his compliment.

Kim: Yes, interesting. I rather expect that what made the difference was that the man's intention was to pay a compliment rather than to humiliate, insult or even angle for a shag, or at least that's how it came across to the OP and he didn't subsequently wop his dick out.

There's also a big difference between 'You are beautiful' and 'Oi, big tits! Get a load of those tits!'

kim147 Fri 15-Mar-13 18:25:26

Not a sexual advance but an interesting thread about a man approaching a woman and telling her she's beautiful/

www.mumsnet.com/Talk/_chat/1708965-A-total-stranger-told-me-Im-beautiful-today-preen

luvlyb Thu 14-Mar-13 19:55:49

Hi dere

runningforthebusinheels Tue 12-Mar-13 17:06:11

This is it - Larry's posts are a bit of armchair pontificating. A bit of theory, a discussion about something that hasn't affected him, and is unlikely to affect him in the future.

But he's quite happy to tell all us silly wimmin that we're being a bit silly and that we just have to put up with it. After all, his mum does. And how else would any normal relationships get off the ground? Do we want to go back to arranged marriages?? shock

SabrinaMulhollandJjones Tue 12-Mar-13 16:53:36

This is not trivial to me either. I have written on MN before about my sexual harassment in the workplace when I was younger, and I posted on the everyday sexual assaults thread.

Larry. Do you really think your posts on here are appropriate? Saying things like this:

We then get the "I believe you" and "I'm so sorry" from one internet stranger to another. I guess if it comforts it serves a purpose but it is not really the discussion intended by the OP.

...to a woman who has just written about a stranger groping her on Saturday night, and is clearly upset about it?

It's just so dismissive.

Larry - you may be discussing this from a purely theoretical perspective, but you should understand that people are discussing real experiences too. Experiences that remain upsetting to them. Have a little respect.

PromQueenWithin Tue 12-Mar-13 16:28:43

I would respect you, Larry, if you were to read, really read the most recent set of posts, and then come back and apologise for the offence you have caused, inadvertent or not.

I will not respect you if you continue to construct nit picky arguments against what these women are telling you about how these issues look from the female, powerless perspective.

runningforthebusinheels Tue 12-Mar-13 16:28:38

That'll be it, WhentheRed. Or they're doing it for the publicity. Or money.

WhitegoldWielder Tue 12-Mar-13 16:24:40

And actually Larry your posts illustrate beautifully male privilege and your callous game playing. Your world is very different to mine and you don't give a shit. Why should you?

WhentheRed Tue 12-Mar-13 16:22:48

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

runningforthebusinheels Tue 12-Mar-13 16:15:35

As far as I can tell, even Lord Rennard isn't going down the 'consent' route. He's going down the 'total denial' route.

Why several women would all come forward to lie about him like this, I don't know. Perhaps they just want to bring him down, out of spite. Bitches.

WhitegoldWielder Tue 12-Mar-13 16:08:23

Presume you'd be ok with a much physically bigger and stronger man making a sexual advance towards you Larry? Presume you'll give the same advice to your sons about it being part of life when they also are subjected to the same interaction? Maybe when it's their male teacher, male university lecturer or male boss?

runningforthebusinheels Tue 12-Mar-13 16:02:41

This is perfectly reasonable as (d) and (2) make it much subtler and take normal human interaction out of it. There is no mention of (d) in the earlier linked-to definition, which I do take issue with.

Larry, it doesn't make it 'subtler' or a 'grey area'. A man is perfectly capable of being able to tell whether a person is consenting or not. The fact that they might use 'consent' as a way of wiggling out of something they have done, that they shouldn't have, is another matter altogether.

The situations that we are talking about here are men making unwanted advances towards women. There can be no mistaking whether it is consensual or not when a woman is frozen to the spot, rigid with fear and confusion, looking away, making excuses to get away from him, or any of the other ways women let men know they are not interested in them, without actually yelling fuck off.

Lord Rennard is not a stupid man, he couldn't have reasonably believed those women were consenting - any more than curry consented to the man groping her on Saturday night, or I consented to the old man that smacked me on the bum, when I was at my saturday job as an 18yr old.

People consenting to sexual activity make it obvious.

PromQueenWithin Tue 12-Mar-13 15:06:24

I don't think anyone's saying you should be excluded from discussion Larry, simply that you ought to realise that some posters have much more invested in the debate than you appear to. If you're here for some philosophical debate because you find it interesting, in a detached sort of way, then fine but in that case it would behove you to show some sensitivity in how you express yourself.

curryeater Tue 12-Mar-13 15:02:23

Well if you don't have any skin in the game Larry you are really fucking rude and insensitive because I fucking do, so just agree to be nice to humour me and stop quibbling about how you should be "allowed" to do what you want, or whatever the fuck you are quibbling about, because you won't come out and say it.

larrygrylls Tue 12-Mar-13 14:57:02

Fwiw, this is the actual definition of sexual assault, as opposed to the simplified one.

Sexual assault

(1)A person

(A) commits an offence if— .
(a)he intentionally touches another person (B), .
(b)the touching is sexual, .
(c)B does not consent to the touching, and .
(d)A does not reasonably believe that B consents. .

(2)Whether a belief is reasonable is to be determined having regard to all the
circumstances, including any steps A has taken to ascertain whether B consents.

This is perfectly reasonable as (d) and (2) make it much subtler and take normal human interaction out of it. There is no mention of (d) in the earlier linked-to definition, which I do take issue with.

And, no, I have zero personally invested in this. What is this assumption that to have an opinion on any subject, you need a "personal investment" in it. I have an opinion about life in other solar systems and God. I don't think I have anything personally invested in those, either.

And I wouldn't keep coming back to it if I were not repeatedly asked by name to come back and give my opinion on something. (I can link to multiple posts upthread to make this point if it is in doubt)

What a great way to shut dialogue down, though, a little nudge nudge, wink wink, we know what you are really like...

curryeater Tue 12-Mar-13 14:27:35

It's not trivial. Not to me, not to Larry. I am arguing for my bodily autonomy and he is arguing for his male privilege to disregard it.

curryeater Tue 12-Mar-13 14:26:41

Right, running. good question. Exactly.

If I am asked to do something that I think is trivial, but that matters to the other person, I will do it. I will address people as they like (not that this is trivial), I do not let dc take pork into muslim CM's home, I watch out for things that cost me little but matter a lot to others.

Why does this cost so much for Larry to do - so much that he can't bear to accept it and he has to argue at such length against it?

WHAT DOES HE STAND TO LOSE?

Bingo.

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