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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!

AnyFucker Mon 04-Mar-13 18:01:39

Slug, that is a great blog post you linked to

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Mon 04-Mar-13 18:34:19

Larry, re claims emerging 10 years later...

Lots of women don't bother to report as they don't think anything will be done. When one person does report and it's publicised, then they think it's worth reporting as something is being done/they realise it was something there should have been a process on and not just "shit we have to live with."

I don't think it's that different to some other situatuons eg Someone tried to snatch my purse on a bus once. I knocked it out of his hand and didn't report. If I'd seen a poster shortly after saying "please report thefts on the no 23 as there's been a spate recently", I would have done so.

Additionally, in this particular case, I think some women did report to other MPs etc at the time.

You seem doubtful that an actual incident is behind their reporting now. What do you think is behind it, then?

FastidiaBlueberry Mon 04-Mar-13 19:00:37

"So, you cannot say a behaviour exhibited by an attractive man is charming but exhibited by an obese unattractive man is harrassment. "

Why not?

If the behaviour exhibited by the attractive man is welcome, then it's not harassment. It's harassment if it's unwelcome and it continues even though it's been made clear that it's unwelcome.

Unattractive men are incredibly resentful of the fact that women will allow attractive men liberties we won't allow them. Get over it. It's our choice who we accept advance from, we have the right to find attractive men charming and unattractive men repellent.

FastidiaBlueberry Mon 04-Mar-13 19:07:42

That Toby Young thing, about how they wouldn't have minded if it was George Clooney, was really indicative of a misogynist's view of women - if we fuck one man, we have to fuck them all. Because we have NO RIGHT to choose which men we fuck. Because it's NOT FAIR that George Clooney and Hugh Grant and Johnny Depp and Brad Pitt are more attractive than Toby Young and more women want to sleep with them. After all, he has a dick too, and it needs to be attended to by women (who are after all, there to attend to dicks in between domestically servicing men) just as much as handsome men's dicks.

They forget that outside of patriarchy, many male mammals never get to mate.

And then they try and tell us that patriarchy is naycher.


TheDoctrineOfSnatch Mon 04-Mar-13 19:17:59

Thanks FB. That's captured the point really well.

FastidiaBlueberry Mon 04-Mar-13 19:28:33

It says everything - fucking everything about the way misogynists feel so entitled about women, that attitude.

You find George Clooney attractive? Well then, you've got no right to turn me down.

Fair enough if you're a lesbian or a nun or the property of another man - but if you're single and would be up for sex or flirting with GC/ JD/ any other attractive man, it is simply unreasonable of you not to be up for sex or flirting with me.

Because you're not an individual with tastes of your own - you like one dick, you should be prepared to have any dick (particularly mine). Because actually, liking dick means you're a slut and liking a specific dick, means you're an uppity slut who thinks she's got rights and you probably need to be taken down a peg or two.

That is the real attitude behind views like this. It really is.

I could go on for posts and posts.... grin

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Mon 04-Mar-13 19:38:29

Sure - as if they wouldn't feel differently about an advance at work depending on their own attraction to the woman in question.

But m

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Mon 04-Mar-13 19:46:09

Sure - as if they wouldn't feel differently about an advance at work depending on their own attraction to the woman in question.

But mooncup's key point remains - no matter how classically attractive, or not, you are, make damn sure that there's some kind of reciprocation before acting on an attraction, if you are in any kind of professional situation, especially where you are professionally more powerful. The greater the power difference, the more diffident you should be. If you are older, physically bigger (muscle or fat) and have only just met the other person and are interviewing them - it's unlikely that you can get sure enough. So just leave it.

If, that is, you give a toss about whether there's reciprocation. Which, well, colour me sceptical in the case in point..

SolidGoldBrass Mon 04-Mar-13 23:50:40

While I agree with what FB posted about ugly men and their sense of entitlement, it's also worth pointing out that a man can be handsome, politely-spoken and apparently wealthy eg good suit and fancy watch but still be repulsive to an individual woman.

I was briefly discussing this sort of thing with a friend this evening: she has just had to involve the police because her ex-boyfriend won't fuck off and leave her alone. I was telling her that she did the right thing and that the police won't think she's a silly woman making a fuss about nothing (in fact, the police have been very efficient and helpful, he's been cautioned and may be arrested and charged). And we were discussing how gifts of flowers and chocolates are not invariably romantic if you don't like the man they are from.

larrygrylls Tue 05-Mar-13 08:56:23


You have turned my entire point upside down. My point is that any man has a right to proposition any woman (as does any woman in reverse). And every woman/man has a right to say no.

"If the behaviour exhibited by the attractive man is welcome, then it's not harassment. It's harassment if it's unwelcome and it continues even though it's been made clear that it's unwelcome."

Totally agree but the "and" in your sentence is important. If a man makes a clumsy advance and it is rejected, he has to accept it. However, making the advance in itself is not harrassment. You cannot make policy or law based on looks or subjective feelings.

namechangeguy Tue 05-Mar-13 09:09:21

Larry, I'd qualify your statement with '...any man has a right to proposition any woman (as does any woman in reverse) if it is appropriate. You may well have meant that, but I think it's important to add it in. And appropriateness is complicated, but we all know when advances are out of order, e.g. someone else's partner, someone is otherwise engaged, someone is out of kilter emotionally etc etc. Many, many people are completely oblivious to this.

Toby Young's attitude on Any Questions was one of an entitled prick. But then he did write 'How to Lose Friends and Alienate People: A Memoir', which probably says it all.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Tue 05-Mar-13 09:10:20

Appropriate, exactly NCG.

larrygrylls Tue 05-Mar-13 09:15:19


Within reason, yes, I agree. Although, again, I think that we have to make a firm distinction between good manners, employment law and harrassment, all of which are different.

Propositioning someone else's wife is ill mannered behaviour but nothing to do with law or employment.

Chubfuddler Tue 05-Mar-13 09:21:11

Someone else's wife eh? Women as property again. Couldn't make it up.

No, people do not have the right to proposition anyone they like. Absurdly not.

larrygrylls Tue 05-Mar-13 09:26:23


Can you explain why not and quite what you mean by "right" (which I think I was quite clear about). Would you like it to be made illegal? Or companies to have employment policies concerning it?

It is nothing to do with "women as property". It is about the right to free speech. To be honest, the idea that you cannot proposition someone else's wife is treating that woman as her husband's property and not as an autonomous individual able to make her own decisions. Yep, you are right, you could not make it up.

Hullygully Tue 05-Mar-13 09:26:39

yy fastidia

altho George's boyfriend might be a bit hurt if he did make advances.

namechangeguy Tue 05-Mar-13 09:35:26

Chub - my wife has exactly the same 'right' to be offended if someone made a pass at me, so don't go creating stuff in your head that doesn't exist.

MoreBeta Tue 05-Mar-13 09:38:52

I didnt see the programme but have read the thread.

slug - what you said is bang on and I know people this has actually happened to.

" That's potentially years of investment in an education, training and career building down the drain the minute he runs his hand up your leg."

It is generally done by men in power over young subordinate women. These men know perfecly well what they are doing and let nobody pretend that it is somehow all about innocent mistakes and misunderstandings.

Taking what I have read of Toby Young's comment from the thread there is a nugget of truth in it albeit I agree with a lot of what Fastidia said.

I think it is fair to say that most single unattached people will find an advance from someone they find attractive as 'welcome'. They will obviously find it less 'welcome' from someone who is unattractive. The problem is dealing with rejecting and the rejection in a courteous manner.

In the end I always think this comes down to good manners. A man or woman who keeps hassling someone else with advances even though they are not interested is just being damn rude and inconsiderate and needs telling in no uncertain terms.

namechangeguy Tue 05-Mar-13 09:40:26

Apologies, Chub - you weren't talking to me.

Hullygully Tue 05-Mar-13 09:49:24

Women are very good at giving signals that they are interested if they are. Why not wait, men, and not run the awful risk of rebuffment and terrible hurt of potential rejection?

Why would you approach someone who has displayed ZERO interest and be surprised and hurt at the lack of "Oh yes please"?

Because if someone has displayed interest, AND YOU WILL KNOW - you ain't gonna be rejected.

Hullygully Tue 05-Mar-13 09:51:32

There was a very good article at the weekend (Barbara Ellen maybe?) about bum-patters, gropers, harassers etc etc in which she wondered why they continued when never ever ever in the history of the world has any woman turned round to a bum-patter and said oh please fuck me now.

So it isn't about advances, is it?

larrygrylls Tue 05-Mar-13 10:01:28


You are way oversimplifying things. Firstly, not all women are good at giving unambiguous signals. Everyone knows of flirtatious women who enjoy innocently flirting. I think this is great but it will sometimes be taken wrongly. Equally, not all men are great at reading signals, especially after alcohol.

If you want women to be the "gatekeepers" of sex (i.e you want to be able to go out as a single woman and be approached by men), then you have to accept that sometimes there will genuinely be "innocent" confusion. If some other cultures (nordic ones, for instance) it is far commoner for women to approach men in bars. Friends I have known have been propositioned by women many times when they were married and clearly not interested. They have had no problem in saying no thanks without being hurt by the process. And if someone is stupidly persistent, they get told to go away in no uncertain terms, which is as it should be. If you want men to "wait", then you are essentially after a role reversal, where the woman de facto chats up the man. I don't think that is the majority view, though.

As I said it is a spectrum. Morebeta says it is all about manners. In the main it is. However, a man grabbing a junior employee's breasts at work (which I have known to happen) goes beyond that and on to assault. And when that happened the men all backed the woman and the guy (he was a very senior expat) was sent back to his home country by the company.

I think that there are areas of ambiguity. If a man, after chatting to a woman all evening, brushes her knee, she can choose to respond positively or to make clear that his advances are not welcome. If he does not persist, I don't think anyone has done anything wrong. A rejected pass is just that and, as many people have said, it is possible to reject a pass and accept rejection with good grace.

Hullygully Tue 05-Mar-13 10:05:17

Firstly, not all women are good at giving unambiguous signals. Everyone knows of flirtatious women who enjoy innocently flirting.


that was a joke right?

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Tue 05-Mar-13 10:09:39

I don't want women to be the gatekeepers of sex, for fuck's sake. What does that even mean?

If you can't read sexual signals after alcohol, that's your problem. Drink less.

namechangeguy Tue 05-Mar-13 10:14:25

'Women are very good at giving signals that they are interested if they are.'

Bit of a sweeping statement, that.

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