"Talks a good game about freedom when out of power, but once he’s in – bam! Everyone's enslaved in the human-flourishing mines."

Against Overgendering Harassment

About 30% of the victims of sexual harassment are men. About 20% of the perpetrators of sexual harassment are women.

Don’t believe me? In a Quinnipiac poll, 60% of women and 20% of men said they’d been sexually harassed. Opinium, which sounds like a weird drug, reports 20% of women vs. 7% of men. YouGov poll in Germany finds 43% of women and 12% of men. The overall rates vary widely depending on how the pollsters frame the question, but the ratio is pretty consistent.

The data on perpetrators is less clear. The best I can find is this Australian study finding that 21% of harassers are women. The German poll finds it’s 25%. I’m less confident on this one, but 20% seems like a conservative guess.

If you prefer anecdotes to data, you can sift through this Reddit thread with 2474 comments. For example:

I’m a junior ncm in the Canadian forces. I had a chief harass me daily which resulted in administrative actions when I tried resisting her abuse. My introduction to her was when she was telling the 20 or so people “Under her” that her dildos name is George…it went downhill from there and eventually she was groping me on the daily. I requested a geographic posting to get away from that lunatic and get an investigation underway but I was told by my WO that “these things happen for a reason”. Eight months later I was suicidal and that WO was signing my counselling and probation with her husband.

I went up to get a drink in a crowded bar and a rather large woman ruffled my hair and said ‘I like this one’. She then started thrusting into my backside. I wasn’t sure how to respond… I just kinda waited for it to stop. It was pretty uncomfortable and I felt kinda vulnerable. In the wake of all these sexual harassment stories, I looked back on this moment and considered for the first time that that was actual sexual harassment. Huh.

Don’t believe random Redditors, but do believe random bloggers? Then for what it’s worth I’ve been sexually harassed by two women, and I see no reason to think my experience is anything other than typical.

But then is it odd that so few of the recent high-profile victims of sexual harassment have been men, and so few of the high-profile perpetrators women? No. Everyone has made it clear from the start that they don’t want to hear about this. The viral Facebook message that started #MeToo – at least the one I saw – urged women to come forward with their stories of sexual harassment, and men to come forward with stories of times they perpetrated sexual harassment. The slogan “BELIEVE WOMEN” got enshrined into a mantra, pretty ominous if you’re a guy wondering whether people will believe your harasser’s story over yours. The mainstream media strongly discouraged men from coming forward with their own cases, with articles like I’m a man who has been sexually harassed – but I don’t think it’s right for men to join in with #MeToo. Their excuse was the usual – it’s not “structural oppression”, so it doesn’t count.

(The “structural oppression” model is false, by the way. Homosexual male harassment is more prevalent than the percent gay men in the population would imply, suggesting that gay men harass men more often than straight men harass women. The obvious explanation for gender differences in harassment has always been that men constitute 80% of sexual harassers for the same reason they constitute 83% of arsonists, 81% of car thieves, and 85% of burglars. Since most men are straight, most victims are women; when the men happen to be gay, they victimize men. Men probably get victimized disproportionately often compared to the straight/gay ratio because society views harassing women as horrible but harassing men as funny. If this theory is right then it’s men who are the structural victims, which means it’s your harassment that doesn’t count and you’re the ones who shouldn’t be allowed to talk about it. The “it only matters if it’s structural” game isn’t so much fun now, is it?)

Could this kind of ploy really shut up everybody? It didn’t have to. Men absolutely came forward with stories of harassment by high-profile women in Hollywood, and they were summarily ignored. By freak coincidence I came across this story from last month where Mariah Carey’s bodyguard accused her of sexually harassing him. Carey is much higher-profile than most of the men involved. But she didn’t even publish an apology, or a denial, or try to pick holes in his story. She just assumed nobody would care – and she was right.

Having silenced or ignored all men who might be sexually harassed, the media proceeded to treat sexual harassment in the most gendered way humanly possible, constantly reinforcing that only men can do it and only women can suffer it. The Guardian, being commendably honest about its priorities: We Must Challenge All Men About Sexual Harassment. Newsweek worries about how Women Are Attacked By Men In Almost Every Workplace. The Independent thinks the story is how powerful men seemingly never face the consequences of their actions toward women.

On the meta-level, the same publications pushed the narrative that men can’t possibly understand sexual harassment, or men will never believe accusers’ stories, or men refuse to believe other men can be harassers. The Guardian writes about Men Who Are Silent After #MeToo, and the Washington Post about how Some Men Disagree About What Counts As Sexual Harassment. Do any women disagree about what counts as sexual harassment? Yes, the stats show that they disagree exactly as much as the men do – but who cares? The story is that women are always victims and totally understand exactly what’s going on, and men are always perpetrators with their fingers in their ears denying that a problem exists. We are told to worry about Why Women Don’t Report Sexual Harassment (against themselves) but about Why Men Don’t Speak Up About Sexual Harassment (that they see happening against women). Needless to say, every line of evidence we have shows men are less likely to report harassment that happens to them than women are.

Is this really that bad? Might the 3:1 ratio justify focusing on women? Our society already has an answer to this, and in every other case, the answer is no.

I mean, for one thing, we’re telling people to stop using the phrase “pregnant mothers” since sometimes transgender men get pregnant. It seems kind of contradictory to think of this as a pressing issue, but also think that the fact that only 30% of harassment victims are men means that we should always use female pronouns for generic harassment victims, and always generically call perpetrators “males in position of power”.

But there’s also a deeper issue. Suppose I write about how we need to do more to support the victims of terrorism. Sounds good. But what if I write about how we need to do more to support the Christian victims of Muslim terrorism? Sounds…like maybe I have an agenda. If I write story after story about how Christians need to be on the watch out for Muslim terrorists, but Muslims need to be on the watch out for other Muslims being terrorists, and if I tell Muslim victims of Christian terrorism to stay silent because that’s not “structural oppression” – then that “maybe” turns to “obviously”. This is true even if the numbers show terrorists are disproportionately Muslim.

Or suppose I write about how we need to do more to help the victims of crime. Again, sounds good. What if I write about how we need to do more to help white victims of black criminals? Again, this does not sound so good, unless you happen to be Richard Spencer. If I write articles like “We Must Challenge All Blacks About Crime” or “Whites Are Attacked By Blacks In Almost Every Neighborhood”, then probably I am Richard Spencer. This is true regardless of whether the statistics show a racial skew in perpetrators. Nobody would accept “yeah, but I’m right about what the ratio is” as an excuse that your motives were pure.

Frames like “We need to do more to support the victims of terrorism” are an attempt to come together to stop an important social problem. Frames like “We need to do more to support the Christian victims of Muslim terrorism” are a hit job on the outgroup. Do I think that sexual harassment is being used this way? I have no other explanation for the utter predominance of genderedness in the conversation.

I’ve previously talked about two visions of social justice. The first vision tries to erase group differences to create a world free from stereotypes and hostility. The second vision tries to attack majority groups and spread as many stereotypes as possible about them in the hopes that the ensuing hostility raises the position of minorities. I think the gendered nature of the conversation is deliberate, being done with exactly this vision and for exactly the same reason some people talk about “Christian victims of Muslim terrorism”. I think this is unfortunate. Why?

Because it ensures that nobody has more than half the picture.

I wonder if the woman who wrote this knows any of her close female friends who are harassers?

I mean, statistically, some of them have to be. According to the German study, 6% of women admit to being harassers. Know more than a dozen women? One of them’s probably a harasser. Don’t know which one it is? Congratulations, now you can understand why some men don’t know which of their same-gender friends is a harasser either.

There’s a truism that rich people can’t understand what it’s like to be poor. Why don’t you just get a minimum wage job, earn $7/hour = $60/day = $18000/year, save half of it, after few years you’ve got enough to go to a cheap college and get your ticket to the middle class? It’s possible to figure out what’s wrong with this from a third-person perspective, but it’s much easier to get the first-person perspective and be like “Oh, I guess that’s what it’s like”.

The reason this tweeter can’t understand how it’s hard to believe that your friends are sexual harassers is because she’s never tried to consider the question from a first-person perspective. I predict the sort of person who makes tweets like this is exactly the sort of person who would say “How dare you say any of my female friends could be sexual harassers! Don’t you even understand structural oppression?!”

Likewise, do you think this woman knows any men who are victims of sexual harassment? If you were a man who’d been sexually harassed, would you admit it to this woman and expect a sympathetic ear? Once she contemplates why she doesn’t know so many men who have been sexually harassed, maybe she’ll understand why some men don’t know so many women.

But more than that, if men were included in the conversation – if it were understood that a man who was sexually harassed by a female Hollywood celebrity would have the slightest chance at a fair hearing – then maybe they would feel like it was more in their self-interest to support victims.

And if women were included in the conversation as potential perpetrators, they might understand why some people find it scary when people lose their careers over unsubstantiated allegations.

Instead, since we’ve chosen a narrative where one side can only ever be a victim and the other can only ever be perpetrators, we’ve made it impossible for anyone to see both perspectives. Self-interested men worry only about how to avoid allegations, self-interested women worry only about how to make sure all allegations are believed, and nobody worries about how to make a system where they expect fair treatment no matter which role they find themselves in.

The solution is to treat harassment the same way we treat terrorism. It’s something that’s bad. It’s something that some groups might do more often than other groups, but this is not the Only Relevant Factor About It, and we are suspicious of people who seem more interested in stereotyping the groups involved than in making sure everyone of every group gets justice.

And once we get good evidence that someone is guilty, we have drones bomb their house. Seriously, the terrorism model has a lot going for it.

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795 Responses to Against Overgendering Harassment

  1. TheWackademic says:

    Rather than reading you argue against headlines from random British tabloids, I’d be much more interested in reading you make the strongest possible case for a gender-specific anti-harassment movement, and then hear why you disagree with it. As is, you’re missing one of the strongest and most prominent examples for your position – Terry Crews’ experience as a victim. When you’re arguing against The Independent and PinkNews with reddit threads to support your claims, it’s not going to be a great discussion.

    • Scott Alexander says:

      Banned for three days.

      And if you don’t think that’s fair, instead of arguing against some random blogger’s moderation decisions, I’d be much more interested in reading you make the strongest possible case for banning you from this blog, and then hear why you disagree with it.

      (you’re not really banned for three days)

      • jasonbayz says:

        “you’re not really banned for three days”

        Too bad…

      • ManyCookies says:

        Oh come on Scott, what’s the point of having a Reign of Tyranny if you’re not gonna abuse your power now and then.

      • HeelBearCub says:

        Wow.

        Scott, you wrote the series of anti-X FAQs. Wackademic’s statement makes perfect sense in light of this. Charity, steel-manning and an attempt overcome your own bias was supposedly your calling card.

        • Viliam says:

          Copenhagen interpretation of ethics in steelmanning?

          (When a person is familiar with the concept of steelman and able to do it well, they are morally required to start each criticism by steelmanning the opponent. People who don’t practice this art, or don’t even bother to get familiar with this, are excused from this duty, and free to post their opinions directly.)

          • HeelBearCub says:

            No, when someone makes their reputation on being vociferously charitable to all ideas, and someone asks for that charity to be applied in this specific case, the polite response is not “snarkily dismiss as ridiculous”.

          • Thegnskald says:

            Cool.

            Why don’t you steelman the position, then?

          • gbdub says:

            There are times to steelman, and times to not. If a poor argument is popular, I think it’s fair to address that argument as presented.

            I think Scott was needlessly (although successfully) snarky, but at the same time, he was responding to a low-effort and rude dismissal of his whole post, based purely on his selection of who to argue against, with no alternative argument presented. I mean, the very first sentence of the very first comment of this post that Scott probably agonized over posting at all starts off “Rather than reading you …” Do you expect him to take that well? He’s still human.

            A simple “I think you’re arguing against a weakman version of the gendering argument” would have been a lot better and probably better received.

            EDIT: Basically, I think steelmanning can be a good practice. But demanding that someone produce a steelman before you’ll engage with them is hard to distinguish from rudely making them do your work for you.

          • HeelBearCub says:

            @gbdub:
            “Rather than reading you …”

            Put another way, the argument is simply: “Hey Scott, remember that weak men are super weapons”, and that is a fairly obvious reading.

            This was not some strongly worded attack on Scott, it was an ask for a more charitable and careful attempt at analyzing the issue. Scott then doubled-down, with glib snarkiness, in the very first reply to the very first comment.

            Frankly, given that Scott knows his own biases when it comes to feminism and social justice, by his own rule set he should be imposing more charity requirements on himself, not fewer.

          • Aapje says:

            Steelmanning is appropriate when you want to analyze an issue for yourself, to find the truth and the best solutions. It is not appropriate when criticizing others for their beliefs and/or their actions, because those other people are not arguing the steelman or using the steelman to guide their actions.

          • Viliam says:

            The ancient art of internet debate consists of finding your opponent’s weakness and then repeatedly pushing his buttons until he runs home crying.

            Scott’s weakness is feeling guilty whenever he publicly disagrees with the politically correct side of history, even when the things he criticizes are obviously stupid or evil. Therefore, the proper way to bully Scott is to keep publicly accusing him of not being charitable enough, whenever he writes the kind of text you want to condition him to write less.

            The beauty of this argument is that nothing is ever “enough”. If you go an extra mile, you can still be accused of not going two extra miles. Actually, your demonstrated ability to walk the first mile serves as a proof that you were technically able to walk the second mile, too; you just chose an arbitrary moment to stop, exactly like the bad uncharitable person would.

            Therefore, starting today, Scott is forbidden to ever publish an opinion without steelmanning his opponent first. (A duty which for all we know will never be reciprocated, not even by people who will come criticizing him on his own blog; but that’s okay because virtue is supposed to be its own reward.) What we effectively do here is establish a special kind of tax, exclusively for Scott, to make all his writing about certain topics cost him more time and energy. Hopefully, if we increase the tax enough, articles criticizing certain positions will disappear.

          • Thegnskald says:

            William –

            Yep.

            Steelmanning is good intellectual hygiene for somebody to do for themselves.

            As a demand, however, it cannot be anything except an isolated demand for rigor.

            I have contempt for the demand. If you have a better argument, make it. A demand for a steelman, however, is a demand someone else do work you yourself have just demonstrated an unwillingness or inability to do.

            The correct interpretation of a demand for a steelman, therefore, is that the person demanding it cannot find a flaw in the argument presented, and is thus attempting to distract attention from the argument towards the weakness of the position attacked, implicitly claiming the weakness is proof the argument is made in poor faith.

            I have little patience for this sort of weaseling. Either present a convincing case, or don’t complain that the host didn’t. If you want to complain, you should present the stronger argument with it; otherwise, you are demanding something that may not even exist.

          • Incurian says:

            The correct interpretation of a demand for a steelman, therefore, is that the person demanding it cannot find a flaw in the argument presented, and is thus attempting to distract attention from the argument towards the weakness of the position attacked, implicitly claiming the weakness is proof the argument is made in poor faith.

            I don’t think this is always the case. I’ll sometimes request someone steelman something when they’re being uncharitable or intellectually lazy, and I think the exercise will do them good.

          • gbdub says:

            @HeelBearCub – I guess agree to disagree on the initial comment? I read it as being rather smug and dismissive. Yeah, the argument is fine if rephrased, but since the phrasing was part of what rankled, that’s not a great defense. But whatever, probably not going to change your mind there.

            On the object level, I think Scott’s targets were fine. Whether or not he is answering weak arguments, they seem to be popular and generally accepted weak arguments, so it’s a worthwhile exercise to point out they are weak. As Viliam points out, this is an isolated demand for rigor – opponents can make terrible arguments, which Scott is not allowed to answer, because he’s only allowed to answer the strongest version of the argument. Like, if I wrote a blog post that was nothing but “Trump has great hair, vote for him!” over and over, must Scott steelman the pro-Trump position before telling me my argument is stupid? Actually, it’s worse than that because you seem to be saying that would be uncharitable – he needs to assume instead that I’m brilliant, have great reasons for supporting Trump, and totally ignore my “great hair” argument (never mind that it got a million likes on Facebook and has been featured on the front page at FoxNews.com).

            Actually, your objection that Scott’s arguments are uncharitable (I thought he went a bit far with the ‘this is definitely intentional anti-man stuff’) is a better one than Wackademics accusation of weakmanning (those are distinct objections!).

            So… how would you steelman it anyway? I really only see 3 good arguments for “overgendering harassment”
            1) I didn’t know men could be victims / didn’t know they were at a significant rate
            2) I know, but don’t care, because it’s not structural oppression
            3) I know, but don’t care, because the ratio is still big enough that focusing only on women makes sense

            Scott answers all of these in some way. What are the strong arguments he’s missing?

          • Scott’s weakness is feeling guilty whenever he publicly disagrees with the politically correct side of history, even when the things he criticizes are obviously stupid or evil.

            I would think that if Scott spent most of his time feeling guilty the rest of us would have noticed by now.

    • Dragon God says:

      Destroying the steelman huh.

      • Calion says:

        This rather nicely illustrates my problems with the idea of steelmanning. Constructing the best possible argument for my opposition shouldn’t be my job.

        • Mary says:

          Why not?

          How can you construct the best argument against it if you don’t know what it is?

          • Null Hypothesis says:

            Because he’s not arguing against a particular policy position. He’s not arguing for a decision between two paths.

            He’s identifying a massive, pervasive cultural norm. He’s criticizing people for the positions they hold, which they arrive at through their own poor thought processes and perceptions of the world.

            (He also criticized the position itself, but the basic statistics at the beginning and the basic comparison to disparate ratios in other social issues at the end is more than enough to handle any arguments there. And that’s not the part of his essay being criticized)

            If you’re criticizing someone for holding a position rather than the position itself, then there is no reason to strongman the position. The objective quality of the position isn’t even relevant. The only thing that matters is how strong that person’s version of the argument for the policy is.

            Like, if Johnny says that evolution is real, but his argument is because his friend Timmy says so, then you’re fully justified in criticizing Johnny for having a poorly constructed opinion. Coming up with a bunch of reasons why Johnny is ultimately correct is irrelevant and actually distracting to the question at hand. Johnny has very poor reasoning abilities and forms firm opinions on feelings and bad information.

          • benquo says:

            There’s an important difference between the question of what personal practice will lead you to truth the fastest, and the question of how we should distribute the burden of interpretive labor.

        • MugaSofer says:

          This objection only makes sense if you think of arguments as soldiers.

          • quanta413 says:

            An argument does have to cross a certain threshold though for it to be worth the effort of constructing a steelman though. Only so many hours in the day.

        • Placid Platypus says:

          That makes sense if your goal is to win the argument. But if your goal is to be right, then trying to come up with good arguments against your position is a valuable tool.

          • poignardazur says:

            That.

            It’s not about what you “must” do, it’s about how you understand stuff. You don’t need to make THE BEST ARGUMENT for the opposition, but genuinely trying to imagine a good one is a good habit.

        • Jiro says:

          Often the “best possible arguyment for my opposition” is something which takes advantage of my imperfections.

          If someone tells me that vaccines cause autism, and I’m aware of studies that disprove this but were about certain types of vaccines, should I steelman it to “whatever type of vaccine I haven’t heard of is the one that causes autism”? I’m certainly less able to refute that one (because of gaps in my knowledge).

        • raj says:

          You are participating in a community which asserts that it is

    • sohois says:

      Neither the Guardian nor the Independent are considered to be tabloids, though the Independent has slid towards clickbait since it ceased to publish a paper. Nonetheless, your categorization is false.

    • Gobbobobble says:

      Terry Crews is who I thought of too, but wasn’t he harassed by a man? The narrative there isn’t “both genders can harass and be harassed” it’s “the (white) dudes with the power are so harassful they’ll sometimes even harass (black) dudes in addition to women”

    • sclmlw says:

      There’s a difference between asking Scott to generate the best arguments for his opposition, and asking him to make up a whole new opposition. He has clearly done the first, arguing that structural oppression can’t explain the data, that the ratios are insufficient cause for suppression, that anecdotal ‘I don’t know men who’ve been harassed’ in an environment of suppression is rigging the deck, etc. He first cites the articles, pulls out their best arguments, then argues that those are insufficient to explain the data. That’s good practice.

      You seem to be asking him to do more than raise and answer objections any serious debater would raise, and I think it’s fair that his response was basically to call that out as an Isolated Demand for Rigor, since you clearly didn’t do the same for him when you complained about it.

      • gbdub says:

        Yes, I agree. “Present the best version of your opponent’s argument” is not the same as “Come up with the most effective argument that could support your opponent’s conclusion”, particularly if no one else is actually raising this argument.

        If everyone decided they should vote for Trump because of his majestic hair, and wrote many articles about why his hair was so great, what’s the point of arguing against the position that you should vote for Trump because of his tax policy? No one actually holds that position, so whether I support it or tear it to pieces is irrelevant.

        • johnmcg says:

          I have to say, the Trump victory has eroded my belief in the virtues of “steelmanning.”

          For years, conservatives (sometimes including myself) have been saying that, really, we don’t believe these things are the best policy because we’re racist/sexist/cold-hearted, etc. We have solid theory behind them!

          Then along comes this orange doofus spouting the same conclusions without any care for the reasons behind them, but stoking tribal justifications for them. And he wins the GOP nomination, then the general election.

          • Nornagest says:

            If you think most voters vote for high-minded theoretical reasons, you’re going to be disappointed every time. In any country, during any era, on any side of the aisle.

            That doesn’t prove that there aren’t high-minded theoretical reasons.

        • “Present the best version of your opponent’s argument” is not the same as “Come up with the most effective argument that could support your opponent’s conclusion”, particularly if no one else is actually raising this argument.

          But both are worth doing.

          • gbdub says:

            Sure, but if you’re trying to convince people, it’s probably more critical to reply to their actual arguments than to make up new arguments and debate those.

    • mupetblast says:

      The Guardian, Independent, Newsweek and Washington Post are not tabloids.

      • Nornagest says:

        The Independent is a clickbait rag that only appears to be otherwise because of its ever-diminishing reputation carried over from the print era, and the Washington “Democracy Dies In Darkness” Post isn’t far behind. The Guardian at least is still kinda respectable, if very very slanted. I don’t follow Newsweek.

  2. Incurian says:

    Scott, please move out of California so you can continue writing without getting lynched.

    • Brad says:

      Who was the last person to get lynched in California?

    • Null42 says:

      I’ve thought about this, actually. Why doesn’t he leave for a state where he doesn’t have to toe the liberal line in public? The guy probably leans liberal in general but he has some heterodox opinions for sure, and that is Not OK with the modern left.

      Of course Scott has the right to keep his own counsel and do things for perfectly reasonable or unreasonable reasons he doesn’t share with a blog the entire Internet can see, but I suspect nerdy, thoughtful guys don’t do nearly as well in the dating market in red or even purple states or counties, and so the benefits outweigh the drawbacks of staying. But I could be totally off base. I give myself about a 30% chance of being right.

      • Le Maistre Chat says:

        Living as an unburnt witch in the most expensive housing market in the United States when your job skills are extremely transferable is not good ethos for someone whose entire public persona is “rationalist”.

        • Null42 says:

          Oh, I don’t know.

          1. If they’re all that transferable, he can try it out at first and go somewhere else if he doesn’t make it.

          2. I never found rationalism all that rational. Conformity is much more rational for anyone who isn’t a huge talent at something. It strikes me as more of an idealistic searching after truth.

      • Scott doesn’t toe the liberal line in public” He posts on a widely read blog views that are frequently heretical from the standpoint of California liberal orthodoxy. It’s true that he posts under a pen name, but his real name is not that difficult to discover.

        I post under my real name, my views are more heretical than his by the same criteria, and I too live in California. Nobody has tried to burn me as a witch yet.

        • Null42 says:

          Your blog (from your link) suggests you are in the conservative/libertarian ‘law and economics’ field (yes, I know that’s an oversimplification), where I imagine some heresy is allowable, at least vis-a-vis the liberal point of view. Scott’s a psychiatrist. They lean pretty far left from what I’ve seen.

          • Economics in general is more friendly to pro-market positions than most other academic fields. On the other hand, for about the past thirty years I’ve been in law schools, for the past 22 years in a law school that is strong on diversity and sustainability and stuff like that.

          • lvlln says:

            I can believe that psychiatrists lean pretty far left, but I also think psychiatrists might be constrained in how far into absurdity they can go, because they actually have to help their patients to alleviate suffering, which means dealing with reality when it comes to human social behavior. At least, the couple psychiatrists I’ve talked to have given me that impression. For instance, they’ve found the leftist position of affirmative consent being THE standard for sexual relationships to be problematic and incompatible with how humans healthily communicate with each other. Similarly, they disagreed with the leftist pushing for turning basically every space possible into a “safe space” as it conflicts with what they understand about healthy psychological development.

            I have to emphasize that this is just a couple of people I talked to, so inferring anything from this is highly questionable. But it at least seems to me to indicate that perhaps psychiatrists, even if they might lean left, might be more open to heretical ideas where that heresy follows from an understanding of the science of their field of expertise.

            (As an aside, writing the above paragraph reminded me of Gell-Mann amnesia).

          • DrBeat says:

            They’ll be purged soon enough. They’re devoting at least some effort to having a positive trait, so they are spending less than a hundred percent of their effort on signalling for that trait to the exclusion of having that trait. They are doomed.

          • Besserwisser says:

            Experts in any specific field might be more likely to disagree with orthodoxy if it is directly contrary to their personal experiences but I wonder how far this goes. Worst case scenario, an expert might disagree with every facet of an ideology as it interferes with his field but believe everything else about it in areas where they can’t really know.

          • watsonbladd says:

            His patients have no idea who he is, and are unlikely to care.

        • Aapje says:

          @DavidFriedman

          my views are more heretical than his by the same criteria

          What criteria are those? Because I disagree. Challenging Global Warming is considered wrong by liberal orthodoxy. Challenging gender orthodoxy is considered specifically targeting an oppressed group and thus ‘violence’ and thus a reason to do violence back.

          • I have lots of views, not just the ones I happen to argue with you about.

            One of my often expressed views is that the assumption that the distribution of intellectual and psychological characteristics is independent of gender is evidence that the people who make it do not believe in Darwinian evolution even if they say they do, since one of its obvious implications is that we would expect the opposite.

            Is that a sufficient challenge to gender orthodoxy? It’s a considerably stronger claim than the one that got Larry Summers into trouble.

            I occasionally make a similar claim with regard to race, while noting that the argument there is considerably weaker.

          • Le Maistre Chat says:

            Yes, Mr. Friedman, because our racial categories are usually superficial rather than matching populations we could usefully make Darwinian truth claims about.
            Like, I’d be unsurprised if Australian Aborigines lack mutations to flourish in cities, but the West African populations African-Americans come from have had gene flow from the most ancient civilizations, plus they’re at least a quarter European on average. Black is not Black.

          • @Chat:

            The fact that people from Subsaharan Africa are recognizable by physical characteristics tells us that their ancestors adapted to a different environment than the ancestors of present day Europeans. The distribution of characteristics that was optimal for reproductive success in the one environment is unlikely to be the same as the distribution optimal in the other, so we can expect the distributions of characteristics in the two populations to be different.

            The argument would be stronger for people who were 100% SubSaharan ancestry, stronger still if we could separate out subgroups from different parts of Africa with substantially different environments, but it holds even if our populations are “black” as defined in present day America (enough Subsaharan ancestry to be noticeable) and “white” as similarly defined.

            The gender case is much stronger because what we are as if optimized for is reproductive success, and males and females differ precisely in their role in reproduction.

          • Aapje says:

            @DavidFriedman

            Do you teach these beliefs to your students, hold on-campus speeches about them or such? Or do you just write these things on your blog?

            Visibility matters.

          • @Aapje:

            My legal systems book, that some people here have read and more have discussed, came out of a seminar I taught every other year for quite a while. In the later years the draft of the book was the text.

            I give public lectures all over the world–in recent years that has included India, China, Moscow, Georgia, Hungary, Poland, Brazil, Iceland, … . Also many places in the U.S., occasionally including my university or one of the others in the area. Many of my talks are recorded, audio or video, and webbed–I have links to the recordings on my web site.

            Some years back my university had a week devoted to sustainability. They asked the professors if they would like to give a talk on sustainability. I emailed back asking if they had any objection to my giving a talk against sustainability. They didn’t. I gave it. The recording is webbed.

            My law school has a site with a bunch of faculty writings available for download. I pretty often get an email informing me that I had more downloads than anyone else–and that’s in spite of the fact that my stuff can also be downloaded from my web page. One of the things that gets downloaded is the second edition of The Machinery of Freedom.

            A shrinking violet I’m not.

          • Aapje says:

            @DavidFriedman

            If I look at what happens, there seem to be mortal sins and venial sins. I don’t think that climate change denial is seen as a mortal sin.

            Probably, mortal sins are just those that are seen as gravely hurting a severely ‘oppressed’ group. Climate change denial is seen as hurting everyone, which makes it wrong, but not ‘-ist.’ Similarly, I would say that most economic arguments, even those that are seen as hurting the poor, are not mortal sins (as most of the modern left doesn’t seem to see the poor as a severely oppressed group).

            I still have not seen any evidence that you specifically advocated something in a way that is very visible to your academic community, that would be seen as a mortal sin.

            Some examples of things that seem to be mortal sins if you advocate them publicly: opposition to gay marriage, a belief that women don’t achieve certain things due to biological differences, opposition to BLM, opposition to (mandatory) use of the gender pronouns that trans people prefer, etc.

          • Some examples of things that seem to be mortal sins if you advocate them publicly: opposition to gay marriage, a belief that women don’t achieve certain things due to biological differences, opposition to BLM, opposition to (mandatory) use of the gender pronouns that trans people prefer, etc.

            I don’t know what you count as “advocate publicly.” My public talks are generally about things I think I have something original worth saying about. But my blog has committed at least as much of a mortal sin as Larry Summers did–probably a little more.

            My position on gay marriage, as expressed on my blog, is that marriage ought not to be defined by the state. It should offer suitable contractual forms, and let people decide for themselves who they do or do not consider to be married.

            I can’t think of anything other than fathering a child that women don’t achieve due to biological differences, but I sometimes argue that the belief that the distribution of behavioral and intellectual characteristics is independent of gender, hence any differences in outcomes must be due to discrimination, implies not believing in evolution.

            I’m opposed to requiring people to use particular pronouns, but I can’t remember ever having occasion to comment on the subject in public. My own policy is to avoid using gendered pronouns in cases of ambiguous gender, because referring to someone I regard as male as female strikes me as dishonest and referring to someone who wishes to be regarded as female as male strikes me as rude.

          • grendelkhan says:

            Challenging gender orthodoxy is considered specifically targeting an oppressed group and thus ‘violence’ and thus a reason to do violence back.

            I want to push back on this just a bit. I find political violence disgusting, and blurring the lines between what is and is not violence is a blend of stupidity and evil.

            But. Trans mobs aren’t pulling preachers from their pulpits and beating them to death. Trans people are disproportionately vulnerable to suicide, and discrimination, ostracism and social censure increase that risk. It looks like, if there’s a tradeoff between accommodating trans people and accommodating people who want to challenge gender orthodoxy, the latter group are being treated much more gently.

        • Conrad Honcho says:

          But your job is to have those opinions. Conservative commentators on TV don’t get fired for having conservative opinions.

          • My job isn’t (wasn’t) having conservative or libertarian opinions–that isn’t what I was hired for, certainly not at SCU. My job was teaching economics and some related things having to do with law.

  3. GeneralDisarray says:

    When I was a waiter, I can think of three women who pinched my ass, and two men. Nominally, harassment. But I saw waitresses being harassed by managers and coworkers, and I never saw any men treated that way, by women or other men.

    I think there’s a false equivalence in the data because the definition of harassment is ambiguous, and does not adequately account for repetitive harassment, or the incorporation of fear-inducing dominance behaviors.

    My Facebook feed was interesting following presidential debates, as I saw nearly all of my female friends writing about being triggered. This is also consistent with my experience with female clients, for whom sexual degradation is a common theme, and men, for whom it is not. Also my graduate school acquaintances, though to be fair, there were many more make faculty than women. Of those men, there were a small handful female classmates knew to avoid, and why (and how often, and involving whom). Never did I hear a thing about female faculty. In my program (and allied programs at my university) we were a pretty highly-disclosing, not-so-rigidly-gender-roled bunch.

    I don’t buy it.

    • Brad says:

      My Facebook feed was interesting following presidential debates, as I saw nearly all of my female friends writing about being triggered.

      What is meant by that exactly? A PTSD flashback?

      • GeneralDisarray says:

        Yes. A disproportionate number of them are psychologists and other types of therapists, which means they are survivors of the graduate school gauntlet. I can’t say that environment exposed them to more harassment than other settings, but it certainly means that as a group they’re more willing to talk about it all.

        • Brad says:

          Thanks for the response. Just so I understand what you are saying: when your colleagues write “I was triggered by X” they intend for the reader to understand that they have PTSD and X caused them to have an intense re-experience of a traumatic event?

          • GeneralDisarray says:

            In the mental health community in general, “triggered” has a very specific meaning, and it is not (in my experience) overused.

            PTSD has various criteria associated with it, and the term “triggered” applies more broadly than in that population. But it’s always associated with trauma, and a dissociative response of some kind.

          • gbdub says:

            Here you talk about the mental health profession when talking about patients, but your original example, which Brad was referring to, was women on your Facebook feed (Women “disproportionally” but not exclusively in the mental health community, and obviously not speaking in a professional setting).

            So you’re saying that “nearly all” of your female friends experienced literal, traumatic, dissociative responses to the presidential debates?

            To borrow a phrase, I don’t buy it. Or, to be charitable, I suspect your sample is very atypical. To be slightly uncharitable, I suspect their reactions as described on Facebook were at least a little bit mediated by politics and the general hyperbole associated with discussing them on Facebook.

        • shenanigans24 says:

          I would say that makes it sound like they experience trauma so easily it calls into question their definition of it in past experience.

          • GeneralDisarray says:

            And this comment is an excellent example of the rational basis for women’s fears about disclosing trauma, particularly in situations where their subjective experience is called into question, or interpreted as their responsibility either because they provoked it, or they’re hysterical. Thank you.

          • gbdub says:

            I think shenanigans24 is being too flip to the point of cruelty.

            But at the same time, I do think it’s worth recognizing that, at least in the current zeitgeist of “circle of friends at a liberal university on Facebook”, the opposite of what you say is true: women who openly express dramatic descriptions of personal trauma / victimization get rewarded with positive attention and status.

            This may well be a necessary corrective for the times and situations where this was emphatically not the case. But it probably also means that a given Facebook tale is more likely to be embellished in the “more trauma experienced” direction (particularly if it also serves the purpose of bashing a political opponent), so that needs to be taken into account if you want to turn an anecdote into data. Anyway I’ll try not to prod too much more on this point as I’m dangerously close to asking you to question your friend’s veracity – I’m talking about faceless abstract people (easy to consider dispassionately) and you’re talking about specific people you know (much harder). Sorry.

            Incidentally this reflects a significant problem I have with the application of the Social Justice narrative – the application of generalized principles of things like “male privilege”, which may be valid on a culture-wide scale, to particular situations where they may not be relevant. Things like privilege and whether reaction to expressions of victimization will be supportive or not are highly contextual. This problem gets worse, not better, as society gets more equal, as the contexts in which the traditional “oppressor/oppressed” axis flips will get more frequent.

    • Yeah, there’s no definition of harassment that’s going to neatly separate out things that the person on the receiving end finds enjoyable, neutral, mildly annoying, or traumatic. Like, I’ve had a strange woman come up behind me and grab my ass. I enjoyed the attention because she was an attractive woman, and had it been a man or an unattractive woman I probably would have (given the context) taken it either as a compliment or as harmless fooling around. I’ve been blatantly sexually harassed in an obviously unwanted way by a (male) customer, which I found unpleasant, but even that is something that freaked me out mostly because the discourse had primed me to think of it as a Big Deal, which makes for an uncomfortable tradeoff between helping people who need their trauma recognized and (mildly, I hope) harming people who would otherwise not think of it as anything other than another annoyance of working in retail.

      Beyond that, there are so many things that have occurred between me and friends that could have been sexual harassment if they were unwanted, and that often didn’t involve explicit negotiation, and could have been something that either me or the other person found unpleasant without it being immediately obvious. I can’t help but wonder how many other women (and probably also men) thought of Louis C.K.’s actions as harmless antics- which shouldn’t take away from the experiences of those who were traumatized by them, and I don’t know how to address all this other than to continue to be mad at the discourse for oversimplifying and being terrible as always.

      • GeneralDisarray says:

        When 20% of women will be raped in their lifetime (and many others been in jeopardy), I’m not sure that attempting to characterize their reactions as, what? hysterical? is warranted. I wouldn’t ever have considered CK’s antics harmless.

        My first wife and I appeared an unusual match. She was over six feet and very striking, while I’m six inches shorter and, I like to think reasonably good looking, but I don’t look like a model. People generally assumed we weren’t together, or if we were, not as a romantic couple. Going out in public with her was enlightening, because it afforded opportunities to witness behavior men tend to quell when interacting with a woman who is paired with a man. As you’re walking into a mall, how many times has someone looked at you and said “Smile!” as though you were doing something wrong by displaying an impassive face? Happened to her countless times.

        It takes a toll, being told in one way or another that because you have an unusual capacity to bolster someone’s ego, you’re being rude when you fail to do so. This is the social context women are operating in. I don’t think most men get it.

        • swedishbitch says:

          I don’t think any reasonable person would discount reactions to rape as (overly) hysterical – although I do think the amount of attention and despair that surround the topic do their part to exacerbate the fear, which does not help anyone at all.

          But I would consider it hysterical to actually refer to the 20% as rape. Not even the authors, already jaundiced, used that term – it was sexual assault. And questions included gems like Have you ever had sex and regretted it afterwards? In view of that, I am actually surprised the result was not more like 80%. Among both men and women, by the way. Add to that myriad methodological inconsistencies, a tiny sample, and the author: a rape advocacy group – why in the world would anyone consider that figure an accurate depiction of reality?

          And as for the social context: of course, to some extent, and at some level, you have to be right. But my experience dealing with these issues is that women understand men’s experiences even less. An experiment in the 80s by Warren Farrell saw women outraged at the prospect of playing a game reversing gender roles in the dating game. No one had bothered to think even for a second about the emotional toll of the rejection that men – at least those among the bottom 90% – face. Nor, incidentally, how some of the gauche, ostensibly misogynist behavior some men engage in may in part be a way of emotionally protecting oneself from that toll.

          On the other hand, I read and hear every day about the problems women face. True, I have not experienced it (though, as a gay man that was, back in the day, reasonably attractive, I have had my share of unwanted advances and a few threatening situations and even a few incidents that would fit any definition of sexual assault). But, although it does not always seem that way, what distinguishes us from animals is our ability to communicate.

          • Kevin C. says:

            a rape advocacy group

            Can I just chime in to point out, much like with the suicide hotline (versus “suicide prevention hotline”) in Scott’s “Reverse Psychology” story, this seems to me an odd bit of terminology. That is to say, wouldn’t they be better characterized as an “anti-rape advocacy group,” and the term “rape advocacy group” better used to refer to folks like the “White Shari’ah Space Marines” guys?

          • GeneralDisarray says:

            That’s a legal definition of rape (unwanted penetration) and the estimate has been long-standing.

            I don’t think you’re quite getting what I’m saying about socialization pressures. It’s not just a smattering of unwanted advances; it’s being constantly positioned to gratify the egos of demanding men or face social retribution, both overt and covert.

          • That’s a legal definition of rape (unwanted penetration) and the estimate has been long-standing.

            Can you point us at the source or sources? My memory of tracing the figure back at some point is that it was from the victimization survey and included at least attempted rape, but I could be mistaken.

          • GeneralDisarray says:

            It includes “completed or attempted forced penetration or alcohol- or drug-facilitated penetration.”
            https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/ss6308a1.htm?s_cid=ss6308a1_e#Table1

            The actual questions used on the survey are here: https://stacks.cdc.gov/view/cdc/24726

            My understanding of “attempted” was that some form of penetration took place. But maybe I’m mistaken.

          • Aapje says:

            @GeneralDisarray

            In general, the law and scientific research consider a rape to have happened when penetration occurred. I don’t see how ‘completed’ can refer to anything but that there was penetration, especially if you look at the questions, which don’t seem to ask for duration of the penetration or whether the perpetrator continued to orgasm.

            The questions suggest that they call it ‘attempted forced rape’ when women answered yes to:

            “How many people have ever used physical force or threats to physically harm you to make you try to have {if female: vaginal,} oral, or anal sex with you, but sex did not happen?”

            So it doesn’t seem like penetration happened for ‘attempted forced
            rape,’ so if one considers the act of penetration to be uniquely harmful and/or the thing that separates rape from sexual assault, then it seems incorrect to call this category ‘rape’ (with no qualifications).

          • @GeneralDisarray:

            Thanks for the links. So actual forced penetration is a little over half the total, making it roughly one woman in nine, not one in five.

            I couldn’t find any definition in either of the documents you linked to of attempted forced penetration.

          • grendelkhan says:

            DavidFriedman: Thanks for the links. So actual forced penetration is a little over half the total, making it roughly one woman in nine, not one in five.

            If you’re interested in the details, there are sort of three tiers of statistics on sexual assault. The lowest rates are from the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reports, which ask, “how many rapes did the police investigate?”; the next lowest are from the National Crime Victimization Survey, which asks people “were you the victim of rape?”, and finally, experiential surveys which use a form of rationalist raboo and ask people “did [definition of rape] happen to you?”, and find considerably higher numbers, settling around one in six or so.

            The first study using the last category was Koss et al, 1987 (DOI 10.1037/0022-006X.55.2.162), which used a ‘Sexual Experiences Survey’. Not all positive answers were defined as rape, only the last three, one of which was “Have you had sexual intercourse when you didn’t want to because a man gave you alcohol or drugs?”. Which sounds pretty broad, but Schwarz and Leggett, 1999 (DOI 10.1177/10778019922181211) asked “Have you engaged in sexual intercourse when you didn’t want to but were so intoxicated under the influence of alcohol or drugs that you could not stop it or object?” and got the same results.

            The results have also been (broadly) replicated in the National Violence Against Women Study, the Sexual Victimization of College Women study, and the National Women’s Study.

            This wasn’t studied properly for male victims until much more recently; for compatibility with older studies, there’s a separate category, ‘made to penetrate’, which is tallied separately from ‘rape’; see, for example, the CDC’s NISVS, which finds that most male victims of sexual assault fall into the first, not the second, category.

        • gbdub says:

          I don’t think anyone is denying that women can and do experience legitimate trauma from harassment.

          We’re just arguing that more men would probably report sexual harassment, and more likely to describe our negative reactions to it as trauma, if we were not socially conditioned to ignore it (or actively suppress negative responses to it as unmanly).

          Both men and women can be hurt by unwanted sexual advances / comments / attention. But men are expected to never consider sexual attention unwanted, and certainly never to reject it (women, on the other hand, are expected to be the pursued, and thus face more advances total, so they do experience unwanted advances more frequently than men).

          • Kevin C. says:

            women, on the other hand, are expected to be the pursued

            Expected to be pursued? (Expected by whom?) Or simply the pursued, by reasons of Bateman’s law and Trivers’ sexual selection theory?

          • Aapje says:

            @Kevin C

            By gender role norms, certainly. Whether those gender roles have a biological basis is not particular relevant here.

          • Kevin C. says:

            @Aapje

            Whether those gender roles have a biological basis is not particular relevant here.

            Actually, it kind of is, in that it affects what sort of solutions might address the issue… or whether there are even any plausible solutions at all, or maybe it’s simply a brute, unchangeable fact of (human) nature that one simply has to learn to live with.

          • Aapje says:

            @Kevin C

            That is true, but I think that the evidence is very, very strong that the biological differences are substantially smaller than the absolutist gender norms.

        • Quiet Lurker says:

          …how many times has someone looked at you and said “Smile!” as though you were doing something wrong by displaying an impassive face?

          I’m a man and this has happened to me literally dozens of times over the years, usually by women.

          I never thought anything about this until the last few years when I’ve heard it consistently used as an example of the casual abuse which men use against women.

          When it was being said to me I always interpreted it as people assuming I was unhappy, and because of their good nature, wanting me to be happier.

          Even now I can’t manage to see something like “Smile!” or “Cheer up!” as anything other than positive and well-meaning (if a bit simple).

          • Cliff says:

            Same. Only happened when I was a young man though, but it was universally women who said it as I recall

          • gbdub says:

            “Resting bitch face” is a cross-gender phenomenon. Probably the best example of any gender is Kanye West.

            (Also, same, but not that often, as I am not afflicted with RBF)

      • JoeCool says:

        A lot of it seems to be body language, and yet body language can be honestly misinterpreted, but of course the flip side is it can purposefully misinterpreted and then the harasser can claim it was just an honest misinterpretation.

        Requiring consent to do every little sexual act ala burning man orgy dorm seems strange to me, yet if you don’t do that then malicious actors are going to pretend they can’t read body language.

    • deciusbrutus says:

      You will probably never see a man being sexually harassed, even if it happens blatantly in plain sight in front of you.

      Mostly because males are better trained by culture in how to bully, and would never reveal weakness by indicating that there was any weakness. That training will cause them to conceal that the harassment was unwelcome from the aggressor, to prevent the aggressor from knowing if they imposed their power over their victim.

      You will see a similar adaptive behavior among experienced truck stop waitresses, who will not object to harassment directed at them, instead using infantilizing language against the aggressor. The result is negative reinforcement of the aggression instead of positive.

      I have no idea how many people can explicitly see those interactions as such, because talking about the subject with bullies and victims is about signalling.

      • takashoru says:

        Nitpicking: In terms of conditioning, negative reinforcement is conditioning towards a desired behavior by removing an undesirable stimulus.

        In this case, I’d say it’s either negative punishment (removing a desirable stimulus: respect), or positive punishment (adding an undesirable stimulus: infantilizing language).

        This is an interesting point, though. I’d be interested in controlled studies into which gender hides negative emotions better, because I’m not confident about that.

      • alwhite says:

        I’m not sure this idea works. The so called “training in bullying” isn’t pervasive enough to cover a large enough group of men to become invisible. If you know 10 men, you know men who have failed to receive this training adequately.

        Additionally, I think women receive this training too, to similar levels.

        Therefore, if we don’t see bullying/harassment happening it’s because we don’t understand what it actually looks like.

        • deciusbrutus says:

          It covers every man who attended my public schools. I know a lot more than ten of those. It covers every man who can work three shifts at such a restaurant, because the ones who can’t will quit for being harassed or get fired for being rude.

      • GeneralDisarray says:

        Are you kidding? I’ve seen many situations in which women were being harassed, either overtly or covertly. It’s a pattern recognition exercise.

        What you seem to be saying is that, by complaining, women are contributing to the problem. Am I reading your correctly?

        • gbdub says:

          Deciusbrutus was saying that you wouldn’t notice men being harassed, because your pattern recognition for women being harassed wouldn’t trigger on the harassment that is directed toward men. Partially because men are trained not to give any indication that they are feeling harassed.

          What you seem to be saying is that, by complaining, women are contributing to the problem. Am I reading your correctly?

          I don’t think you are – that seems immensely uncharitable. I read it as, “like men who are bullied, women who are in situations where they are basically expected to grin and bear harassment, have developed certain adaptive behaviors to discourage harassment without drawing attention to their victimization and without being overtly confrontational to their harasser”.

          Not sure how you pull “complaining about harassment is bad” out of that (after all, he’s still talking about “bullies” and “victims”. Rather it reads more like a straight statement that certain groups (men and truck stop waitresses) are especially conditioned to avoid showing weakness in the face of harassment, and as a result the unwanted/hurtful nature of the harassment will be less obvious to an outside viewer.

          • deciusbrutus says:

            Essentially correct, except that “truck stop waitresses” was a stand-in category for the specific people who I observed manage specific bullies in that specific manner, and that exact behavior might not be as universally used as I might have suggested I thought it was.

        • deciusbrutus says:

          No. Women, by complaining and otherwise making it visible that they are being harassed, are contributing to the solution, not the problem.

          Defensive measures that target individuals are defensive; they reduce the amount of harassment produced by one person towards one person.

          Increasing visibility draws more abuse against the complainant, but can reduce the total amount of abuse in the world.

    • Murphy says:

      When I served tables during a student job hen-do’s were always quite grabby and office parties from majority-women offices too.

      As a 19 year old guy with kinda crappy self esteem I found it as at worst neutral and at best a mild boost that someone wanted to grab my ass. All gabbers I can remember were female but apparently there are some times I don’t remember.

      Some of my female cooworkers also got grabbed on occasion, them slapping the customer was pretty much automatic and the customer would be lucky if they weren’t kicked out by security.

      The 3 levels of managers above me were all female.
      My manager at the time had a distinct interest in the 18/19/20 year old guys working there.
      One of the senior female staff had the nickname [coworkers name ending in ‘er’]-the-molester for her habit of feeling up younger male coworkers. Last I heard she’d been promoted a couple times since I moved on.

      Laying out the items it sounds more like a terrible den of harassment.

      Thing is: I loved that job.

      I don’t feel traumatized and it doesn’t really internally feel right to put my experiences there into a box marked “sexual harassment” nor tic that “#metoo” box. Perhaps that’s social conditioning talking but if someone tried to give me a magic pill to change my internal experience so that I felt as bad about that as some women seem to feel I’d choose jumping out the window to get away.

      • Besserwisser says:

        Those two stories show the problem with personal anecdotes with statistical problems. There is no reason to believe either of those are untrue and we don’t have to disbelieve either to stay consistent. I can only say that both male victims and female perpetrators (as well as bystanders) seem to have far less problems or even awareness there could be a problem about such actions.

      • gbdub says:

        This is an interesting point. The biggest harm of sexual harassment for an individual victim is psychological trauma. This is real harm, but also a harm regulated by social conditioning.

        So on the one hand, you want people to be aware of harassment, for victims to come forward and perpetrators to be punished. Plus it’s probably socially corrosive to have a bunch of people being treated like dehumanized sex objects all the time.

        But on the other hand, at some point conditioning women to think that harassment is super traumatic, super pervasive, and unstoppable – that’s got to increase trauma, paranoia, etc at least on the margins, right? Which means at some point your awareness campaign is doing more harm than good. I don’t know how close we are to that line, but I think the line exists.

        • GeneralDisarray says:

          Meditating factors for trauma include a consistent positive, supportive social context and repeated trauma. Those factors both apply in this situation.

          You can’t address a widely denied social standard without calling attention to it.

          • gbdub says:

            Would you describe the current media focus on sexual harassment as “positive and supportive”? Because while some of it is, or is at least intended to be, a lot of it is sensationalist bordering on hysterical, paranoid, and vengeful. Those are the potentially counterproductive narratives I’m poking at.

            And I’d also object to “widely denied” – sexual harassment is widely acknowledged, to the point of parody in your average corporate environment. It’s ignored in certain contexts and for certain people with significant social power. A much more nuanced problem that requires I think a more precise solution than #YesAllMen.

          • GeneralDisarray says:

            Gbdub, people who are inclined to push limits capitalize on ambiguity to push harder. Nowhere is this more evident than in the area of sexual harassment.

          • Aapje says:

            Sure, but the ambiguity is cultivated by many people because it also provides benefits (to most people).

          • gbdub says:

            Since when is “ambiguity” the opposite of hysteria/sensationalism?

          • GeneralDisarray says:

            gbdub, it’s not. As Scott has eloquently pointed out, this is why we keep arguing about it. I think also why there’s been a a collusive effort to quell any discussion about it at all. Well, plus all the usual coalition-building via triangulation, which I understand may be what you’all are objecting to right now. Enantiodromia.

          • gbdub says:

            Either I’m being unusually dense (not a low probability event) or you’re being pithy at the expense of clarity – I’m still not quite getting how ambiguity factors into this part of the debate, would you mind expanding a bit?

          • GeneralDisarray says:

            gbdub, I’m agreeing with you and Aapje, and mentioning Scott’s toxoplasma effect. In a general sense, people dislike ambiguity in an operating field and are inclined to resolve it. In a systemic sense, ambiguity disrupts feedback loops, which I’d argue people attempted to resolve collectively by quelling disruption of the homeostatic status quo, and disruption of that feedback loop has set the stage for a positive feedback loop we’re witnessing right now.

            Scott’s arguing resolution via degendering the debate. While I think we’re headed in that direction anyway, I don’t think it’s a viable or desirable approach right now because what women are craving in this moment is validation of their experience, which in my opinion (apparently not shared by the majority of commenters) is warranted.

            What’s helpful to people who’ve been traumatized is providing an interpersonal space for emotional containment – an opportunity to reconcile feelings of emotionally charged uncertainty and ambivalence/develop modulating cognitive filters for their experience. Refusal to validate their experience precludes that. It’s what effective parents provide for children, and what effective therapists provide for their traumatized clients (and what effective friends, hair stylists and barbers sometimes also provide).

            It’s not that I don’t think Scott has a point, I just think he’s making it at the expense of accounting for differences in severity of trauma inflicted. What you’all seem to be countering with is, it’s only traumatizing because we’ve collectively decided it is – an argument I consider both inaccurate (at the very least distorted by lacking broader context) and unhelpful. But that’s a point that it’s difficult to reconcile, because the data is not dispositive.

            In a general sense, humanity, like all social organisms, has simultaneous programming for both collaboration and competition. Until we can resolve ambiguity around the issue, it’s difficult to make a persuasive case for why women aren’t just taking more than their fair share of, what, public sympathy? Same issue as Black vs Blue/all lives matter. They can be seen as violating their part of the social compact. So we argue/compete.

            Ambiguity is vexing, and is not always accurately or effectively resolved by extant objective data. Because sometimes the data is misleading, and unwarranted certainty can be terribly damaging.

            Sorry for the word count.

          • gbdub says:

            No need to apologize, I asked you to be wordy.

            what women are craving in this moment is validation of their experience, which in my opinion (apparently not shared by the majority of commenters) is warranted.

            That’s mean, please don’t do that. I don’t think many posters (certainly not the majority) are rejecting the notion that women’s experiences of psychological pain due to harassment don’t deserve validation.

            Rather, we are saying men are also warranted in seeking validation, and also that framing the issue as if validating women requires invalidating men (it’s not structural so it’s not real!) is counterproductive.

            What you’all seem to be countering with is, it’s only traumatizing because we’ve collectively decided it is

            Again, not what I’m saying. Trauma is still trauma, regardless of how you came to be traumatized. Rather, I suggested that how we (as a society) portray harassment, how pervasive we tell women to expect it to be, and how we selectively validate/elevate/give support to the most extreme stories and public displays of victimization and trauma, basically saying “this is what someone who experiences harassment should look like, and if you think otherwise, you’re part of the problem”, on the margins that might induce additional (and maybe avoidable) trauma.

            Provocatively (taking on something closer to the position you accuse me of for the moment, though I don’t really hold it): You seem to agree that men react differently to harassing behaviors, potentially experiencing or at least expressing, on average, significantly less trauma given the same stimuli. If that’s true, and it’s not purely biological, then it’s something we’ve socially constructed. So if we conditioned women to have the same response that we condition in men, there would be less trauma all around.

            /provocative off. Of course, I wouldn’t take it quite that far, and don’t think it would be good if we did that – frankly I think the problem of men being conditioned to underreport trauma is a much bigger issue than women potentially being conditioned to overreact to it. But that pushes me toward Scott’s position, not away from it – you seem to be taking for granted that most of the 20% of male victims are not traumatized. But men are probably more likely to underreport than women, so if anything the male segment of the victim population is bigger/worse than the study would suggest. Even if they aren’t, there are still probably enough men suffering that cavalierly dismissing that whole 20% is probably a bad thing.

            Less provocatively: consider the past panics over Satanic cults, and the epidemic of false “repressed memories” of abuse. Agreed that those moral panics created unnecessary (but real) psychological trauma? So it’s at least a thing that can happen, whether it is is open to debate of course.

          • Randy M says:

            Can someone tell me what it means to validate feelings?
            If it means anything like [eta: agree that they] “experience a reasonable emotional response to reality” than whether something should be validated or not depends on the particulars of the case but is not universally true.

          • Thegnskald says:

            RandyM –

            It means telling somebody that their feelings are legitimate and valid, particularly in the context of a situation in which they feel like they are having an emotional overreaction.

            I believe, but do not know, that the idea originated in dealing with emotional gaslighting.

          • Randy M says:

            [Edited post because I left out some words]
            I’ve heard “you’re invalidating my feelings” long before I heard the term “gaslighting”, but maybe that’s idiosyncratic.
            Also, my girlfriend was not terrible fond of my response, agreeing that that is what I was doing because they weren’t valid.
            ‘Course now she’d probably agree with me, lol.

            Elaboration: For example, someone experiencing PTSD is having feelings that are not reasonable for the situation at hand. Of course, that isn’t moral failing, since they have a psychological reason for the feelings; and compassion may be helpful, but they aren’t helped by being told that terror is a legitimate response to loud noises or seeing someone interrupt somebody else on TV.

          • Aapje says:

            @GeneralDisarray

            It’s plausible that women are biologically more sensitive than men. However, the data suggests that women are not so much more sensitive than the differences we see in practice.

            A common issue for psychologists is helping people with bad thought patterns or excessive reactions and a common solution is to make them reframe the situation in a more helpful way or weaken their feelings of fear through exposure therapy. For example, a woman who is fearful of all men and fearful of all contact, may be able to reframe it as only some men being dangerous and through exposure therapy learn that certain touch is generally not dangerous.

            The current cultural insistence that women who are raped or sexually assaulted must be severely traumatized and that all men are dangerous seems like the opposite of this treatment, pushing women into framing their experiences in unhelpful ways and pushing them into assuming that men are more often dangerous than they are.

            I don’t think that addressing this should involve telling women to suck it up, but rather that we should tell people that trauma can happen and can be treated, but that it’s also normal if they manage to process the event without developing PTSD. In general, research suggests that the majority of humans seem to be able to process traumatic events on their own, where a minority of victims develop PTSD. For example, this is also the case for soldiers who experience trauma during their work.

            So I merely suggest telling people these truths and giving them more reasonable levels of confidence that they may be able to (but are not guaranteed to) process the event successfully and move on with their lives.

        • pjiq says:

          I think this is a really good point. Most of the harm is social trauma. Sometimes emphasizing how awful something in the past will help you face it and heal, but other times it will just make it that much worse. And I’m of the anti-Freudian opinion that most emotional problems are not caused by distant past events, but by negative or isolating present circumstances. I think if we can get to a healthy place in the here and now, much of the past will stop mattering so much. And while punishment in order to deter future abuse is certainty a good goal with regards to the perpetrators, psychological health should be our goal for the victims. And I don’t know if defining themselves by their abuse is really going to help them move in a healthy direction.

          I mean, I’ve be groped twice, and it was not traumatic at all (because I could get away easily). But if I was a woman I could score huge political points right now by defining my life by those two insignificant experiences when someone grabbed my crotch. But would this actually be empowering? Would this actually be liberating in any conceivable way? Because it seems like I’d be defining myself by what a few strangers did to me rather than by what I actually accomplish with my life (which seems likely to reinforce attitudes of powerlessness rather than to combat them).

          • Murphy says:

            I think that may verge towards the direction of

            “Instead of protecting human values, why not reprogram humans to like hydrogen?After all, there’s a lot of hydrogen.”

          • Aapje says:

            @pjiq

            I do think that some experiences do psychologically damage to people even if they are not inclined to see it as traumatic. That is definitely what I’ve heard from some raped men who didn’t recognize that the event was traumatic initially, but who eventually recognized that their trauma was caused by the rape.

            The most healthy might be to not equate rape with trauma, as is the currently dominant narrative, but to tell people a message where they neither assume that they will be traumatized nor assume that they won’t be. So then they will be open to their natural emotions, rather than get pressed into conforming to a narrative.

            I think that men are too much pushed into the stoic narrative and women too much into the ‘you will never get over this’ narrative. Both genders would probably be better off by adopting more of the narrative of the other gender.

        • Protagoras says:

          Scott’s the expert, of course, but as I understand it the research indicates that there is a decent likelyhood that someone who says they weren’t traumatized really wasn’t (absent other symptoms), but that insisting that they were can have the effect of traumatizing them. And the current climate does seem to involve an unhealthy tendency to treat people who say that their experiences weren’t a big deal to them as in denial, or as traitors to those who really did suffer. But there does seem to be considerable value in bright lines that people will be punished for crossing. I wish people would rely on the (perfectly good) arguments for that, instead of seeming to think that they need to conclusively establish that every single case where the line was crossed involved inflicting major harm, since that never seems to be true and isn’t necessary to justify drawing a bright line.

      • jestersghost says:

        It’s interesting to note that the quoted examples of harassment against men were all in uneven power situations – shy boy vs confident women, new recruit vs superior officer, etc.

        In your situation, it sounds like you didn’t feel like the power was too uneven?

        Fundamentally, harassment is about power. It’s about making someone feel small to make yourself feel big. So yeah, the majority of harassment will be men against women, because that’s the general distribution of power and respect currently. But at any point that isn’t true, the victim’s and perpetrator’s genders can vary.

        Physical contact (sexual or otherwise) isn’t threatening for me. Admittedly, as a 6’4″ male who climbs and did parkour, that’s easier for me to say, but more unusually I have no instinctive personal space, not do I find proximity an issue. I could happily go to sleep on any random stranger’s lap without feeling awkward. At a fundamental level I don’t understand why it’s a problem. I have learnt that it is, obviously, and now mostly remember to not crowd a person, but it’s never threatening or uncomfortable.

        Coupled with my general apathy towards people’s opinion of me, I imagine it would make me fairly hard to harass – I can ignore most things, and what I can’t I have no problem actively stopping it, regardless of how many people see/hear what was happening. But the cases where that isn’t true really terrify me, and so I completely understand how if you’re more protective of your personal territory, and considerably less confident in your ability to defend it, harassment can happen and be traumatising. Regardless of the genders involved.

        • takashoru says:

          I challenge the dogma that harassment is about power. Cite me some solid studies that show evidence that fits that theory better than sexual gratification.

          Power is often necessary in order for the aggressor to feel comfortable attempting harassment, but I don’t think that it’s the primary reason. Otherwise, we should expect to see straight men harassing their male underlings, and women doing the same to their female underlings, if they do so to men.

          • rlms says:

            It’s about both (or can be about either). “Otherwise, we should expect to see straight men harassing their male underlings” — this definitely happens.

          • takashoru says:

            I’d be interested in seeing the numbers of that.

          • The Nybbler says:

            Indeed, I had a boss who occasionally liked to pressure his male employees into going to a strip club at lunchtime.

          • takashoru says:

            Nybbler: While I acknowledge that the behavior is coherent with sexual harassment, I can’t really count it in the same category as groping or sexual advances. I’m specifically looking at this in the context of people saying that sexual harassment and rape are power-driven rather than sex-driven.

            Unless you think your boss specifically did this to harass them, and not at all because he liked going to strip clubs, or thought it was a good bonding activity, it actually reinforces my point.

            (And now I’m wondering if you were agreeing with me or rlms)

          • Whatever Happened To Anonymous says:

            I think you’re more likely to see regular nonsexual harrassment towards male employees. Where a woman may be groped, a man might be constantly yelled at or berated.

          • takashoru says:

            That’s plausible – I would say that the correlation between the two behaviors in people would be a good way to determine which of us is closer to the truth, but I doubt we’ll have that anytime soon.

          • The Nybbler says:

            @takashoru

            I’m fairly sure he did it because it amused him to make people uncomfortable. And he didn’t threaten job-related consequences; rather he would suggest that you were less of a man or that you were gay.

          • takashoru says:

            @The Nybbler: Hmm, I’ll admit that definitely sounds like a power issue.

          • Mary says:

            I challenge the dogma that harassment is about power. Cite me some solid studies that show evidence that fits that theory better than sexual gratification.

            No reason why it can’t be both in some situations and sometimes one in other situations while the other in still more.

        • andagain says:

          Fundamentally, harassment is about power.

          It might be more accurate to say it is defined as involving power: if A does not have power over B, A cannot be harassing B.

          (So from a standpoint of what might be called Orthodox Feminism, female-on-male harassment is literally impossible.)

    • gbdub says:

      @GeneralDisarray:

      Your experience is entirely consistent with a world where
      1) Women are more frequent victims of harassment (which Scott acknowledges) but not exclusive
      2) Men are conditioned to ignore sexual harassment against men (including themselves), and to treat it as a joke
      3) Women are conditioned to treat sexual harassment as the worst most degrading thing ever, that they SHOULD be super traumatized about it, and that they will get harassed everywhere by potentially every man they see and no one will do anything about it

      Also I note that you’re only counting the times that women harassed you – what about men who harassed or teased you in sexual language? Again, we’re conditioned to either ignore that or call it just “bullying”, but the same language directed at women would be labeled sexual harassment (Scott acknowledges that most of the perpetrators are men).

      In other words, you say “I don’t buy it” but your anecdote doesn’t even anecdotally preclude a world matching Scott’s argument exactly.

      • bbartlog says:

        I think it’s reasonable to say that, all else being equal, women perceive harassment more negatively and are more likely to find it traumatic than men do.

        The thing is, if we accept your points 2) and 3) – that is, the idea that this is the result of social conditioning – then one obvious improvement would be to try to change womens’ social conditioning to be similar to that of men. That is, we’d want to try to teach them that it’s not a big deal and that they should just shrug it off where possible. Not so sure how well such a proposal would go over…

        I am however not so convinced that this is simply the result of social conditioning. No doubt that plays some role; but I think that women are instinctively going to find this kind of attention from men they have no interest in to be threatening, in a way that men will not.

        To me this looks like a case where the logical of gender equality leads you away from the correct solution, which is to treat M-on-F harassment differently than F-on-M harassment for perfectly sensible reasons related to evo psych and biological consequences.

        • gbdub says:

          I am however not so convinced that this is simply the result of social conditioning. No doubt that plays some role; but I think that women are instinctively going to find this kind of attention from men they have no interest in to be threatening, in a way that men will not.

          Some of column A, some of column B? Although, unless by “instinctive” you mean “biological”, women finding it more threatening is also socially conditioned. And we know this can be irrational (e.g. we tend to overrate the risk of forcible rape by strangers, and underrate the risk of coercive rape by friends).

          I guess I’m not convinced you need to treat it differently. I’ve yet to see a compelling reason why treating male victims as legitimate, and women as legitimate possible perpetrators or enablers, must necessarily detract from being supportive and positive for female victims.

          • mupetblast says:

            “I’ve yet to see a compelling reason why treating male victims as legitimate, and women as legitimate possible perpetrators or enablers, must necessarily detract from being supportive and positive for female victims.”

            Because to the degree you care about both, you’re not ALL IN for one. The same reason taking the focus off Nazi genocide by including other genocides in your lamentations creates some bad blood among certain kinds of leftists. Even worse in the case of female/male sexual harassment, supporting the male “side” is seen to be a kind of boosting of the perpetrator class found in the other “side.”

            The current age isn’t exactly rewarding to humanist universalists.

          • gbdub says:

            The solution is for men and women to be on the same “side”: anti harassment.

            You can’t “win” without male allies. Stoking the division between the sides causes potential allies to side with their gender, instead of their belief (anti-harassment). That’s a bad thing.

            To carry the Nazi analogy, you’re saying we should have bombed Moscow in 1943 to show how ALL IN we were for democracy.

        • shenanigans24 says:

          I think it’s more likely men perceive harassment against women to be more traumatic and less acceptable than they perceive harassment against men. Harassment against men is something they just don’t care about that much.

          Whether women themselves feel the harassment is as traumatizing as men perceive it to be is questionable.

          Men are likely driven by evolution to protect women, but not at all men. Look at wars, men have no issue sending other men to get slaughtered in large part to protect women and children.

      • GeneralDisarray says:

        What Scott (and you) are failing to take into account is the repetitive nature of sexual harassment trauma. We know quite a bit now about repetitive trauma (ACES, military trauma (and the impact of earlier life trauma on it), the cumulative impact of bullying). The situations are generally not equivalent, which is why the implications of it are not equivalent.

        • gbdub says:

          I hate to be that guy, but uh, citation needed.

          Bullying can be (and often is) pervasive and traumatic, and it’s often sexualized for boys (accusations of femininity or homosexuality, gendered insults, mocking for lack of sexual prowess/conquests). But boys are not conditioned to consider this “sexual harassment”, it’s treated as a totally different phenomenon.

          Women rating their harassment as more “pervasive” is still consistent with a world where men are also harassed frequently, but ignore most of it. (Not saying that’s absolutely the case, but your anecdotes don’t reject it).

          In general, you’re treating this as though the difference between male and female experience of harassment is so different as to be an entirely separate category, rather than a difference of degree. I (and Scott apparently) see it as the latter, and you’re asserting the former without data to back up your rejection of Scott’s numbers.

          • gbdub says:

            There’s plenty of interesting stuff in there, and it certainly supports:
            1) Harassment can cause real trauma
            2) The frequency of harassment is correlated to the severity of psychological impacts.

            But what I’m objecting to, and didn’t see in that report (maybe it’s in one of the cited studies?) is a statistic that would allow you to be so dismissive of male victims as a non-issue (which is all Scott is really arguing for).

            Basically, your argument as I understand it, is that Scott’s statistic of “20% of harassment victims are men” is misleading, because men receive less severe / less pervasive harassment. In other words, the total victimization might be 20% men, but the rate of severe enough to cause trauma victimization might be much smaller among men (say 1% for sake of argument).

            I didn’t see a number like that in a quick read?

            On the other hand there are quotes that suggest that men face trauma:

            For example, in an examination of the mental health correlates of sexual harassment among university employees, Richman and colleagues (1999) found that sexual harassment put both men and women at increased risk for depression, anxiety, hostility, and problematic alcohol use.

            And another indicating that harassment can be harmful even if not frequent / pervasive (although frequency can compound the harm):

            Such investigations have provided support for a model whereby sexual harassment occurring at one time point impacts job and psychological variables two years later, suggesting that the negative consequences of harassment are enduring and often compounded by further harassment (Glomb et al., 1999).

            Finally, found this bit interesting, since it supports a point in my last post, that men suffer sexualized bullying that may not fit the usual sexual harassment stereotype:

            The majority of men’s victimization experiences involve gender harassment rather than unwanted sexual attention or sexual coercion and, unlike women, men report high frequencies of same-sex sexual harassment. At least among military populations, it appears that same-sex sexual harassment may be more likely to occur when targeted men do not fit offenders’ gender-role stereotypes of heterosexual hypermasculinity (Stockdale et al., 1999).

            Speculation, but it may be that studies relying on self-reports could be undercounting male victims, because men may not label this sort of sexualized bullying “sexual harassment”.

      • GeneralDisarray says:

        I’m having a hard time discriminating your argument from victim-blaming. Women care too much? They’re overly sensitive? Their experience isn’t valid? If they’d just toughen up, women wouldn’t be harmed by sexual harassment?

        The experience of pioneering women in the military, who received copious training in toughing it out and pretending like it doesn’t hurt, would seem inconsistent with your argument.

        • gbdub says:

          Where, exactly, did I say women’s experience is invalid, or that traumatized women are at fault for feeling traumatized?

          You are once again being immensely uncharitable and putting words in my mouth.

          But to be perfectly clear, trauma is real, and bad, it’s not your fault if you feel legitimately traumatized.

          It only becomes a problem if you feel pressured to feel traumatized by something that didn’t actually bother you, and/or pressured to portray yourself publicly in a victim role that you don’t want to play. (Which, since that pressure is external, is also not your fault)

          So I’m more wondering if we aren’t doing something like stereotype threat to harassment victims. And/or causing harm via elevated fear of harassment that offsets some of the benefit from raised awareness. Like, elsewhere in this thread, it’s been implied that it’s perfectly reasonable for women to fear any awkward or unwanted proposition as a likely prelude to rape, and if that’s the message we’re sending, it seems like an unhealthy one that’s probably causing some irrational anxiety, itself a harm.

          • GeneralDisarray says:

            It strikes me that, rather than having a prolonged debate about the legitimacy of threat assessments and subjective experiences of being traumatized, it would probably be more productive to have a discussion about what women (and men!) can do to ensure they’re safe.

            #metoo made women feel safer and validated. If the strategy leaves something to be desired, perhaps presenting an alternative would be more palatable than either stating or implying (or opening yourself up to misinterpretations in that vein) that women are wrong.

          • Thegnskald says:

            Well, the cheap and easy alternative is to include abused men in the same movement, so they can feel safe and validated too, if that is really how we feel about it.

            The fact that a deliberate and systematic effort has been made to exclude men does tend to bring the entire exercise into question.

          • johnmcg says:

            See Pence Rule, ridicule of.

          • gbdub says:

            it would probably be more productive to have a discussion […]

            I see no reason we can’t do both. This is a blog comment section, not an actual policy debate.

            what women (and men!) can do to ensure they’re safe.

            Whether any men can be included in safe spaces, or have safe spaces carved out for them, is one of the points of contention.

            Also, “ensuring they’re safe” is a lot easier with an accurate threat assessment. People feel safer in cars than airplanes, even though this is objectively false. Fear of 9/11 type terrorism cost lives of people who switched from flying to statistically less safe forms of travel.

            When the thing you need to be safe from is psychological harm, overactive fear of the threat is itself harm of the same kind! Not to mention the opportunity cost of avoiding things out of fear of harm.

            What I’m driving at here is that we need to make people not only objectively safe, but also feel safe. An over-sensationalized approach could achieve the former at the expense of the latter.

            #metoo made women feel safer and validated.

            Some women certainly. But did it also make some women who have not experienced harassment, or have not been traumatized by it, more fearful/paranoid/anxious that every man is a predator and they will inevitably fall victim to it?

            opening yourself up to misinterpretations in that vein

            So I need to abandon my argument because you’re unwilling to make the minimal effort to interpret it charitably?

            Anyway, my main concern with #metoo is not that it allowed women to air grievances / get support. That’s good and fine. My concern was that it basically functioned as a DDOS attack on Harvey Weinstein outrage – rather than our outrage being focused on a truly toxic, specific target (Hollywood), it distributed the outrage (and blame) across all of society, as if everywhere was just as bad as Hollywood. It took a bunch of bad behaviors of widely variable objective severity and lumped them all together in a way that I think will cause us to overreact to the small stuff, but much more importantly, underreact to the really bad stuff.

          • Aapje says:

            @GeneralDisarray

            It strikes me that, rather than having a prolonged debate about the legitimacy of threat assessments and subjective experiences of being traumatized, it would probably be more productive to have a discussion about what women (and men!) can do to ensure they’re safe.

            Such debates are often dismissed as victim blaming and as misogyny, since any time a man makes a suggestion of what women can do to improve their lives, this is seen as ‘men trying to control women.’

            So men aren’t allowed to contribute to that discussion in greater society.

        • shenanigans24 says:

          I don’t have a problem with victim blaming. I don’t believe I’ve seen any evidence victims can never be responsible for anything. And when the crime is pschological trauma which varies wildly with ones emotional state it’s certainly a valid point.

          If I say your comment victimized me with its tone you should probably blame me- the victim for being too sensitive. Given the totally subjective and expanding definition of harassment asking at what point claiming trauma is being overly sensitive isn’t just good sense but a requirement for any legal definition.

          • GeneralDisarray says:

            If you say you’re victimized by my comment, what I’ll do is validate your experience, apologize for provoking that sort of unintended reaction, and attempt to dialogue with you about where the misunderstanding occurred and how similar misunderstandings can be avoided. If the issue is an emotional fraught one, like a sexual harassment claim, I’d be wise to bring a neutral third party in to the discussion, who can both referee and support if needed that a good faith effort was made to resolve the issue, or provide guidance to what sort of accommodations are reasonable.

            Or I can continue to try to ignore statements about how my pants really accentuate the size of my genitals, how great my ass looks, persistent side comments with frank sexual references, you rubbing my shoulders when I’ve asked you not to, and allegations of hysterical prudishness if I dare to mention it.

            Which sort of misunderstanding do you think happens more often? And why don’t you hear the ghost of Schopenhauer directing your attention to the booming sound of the devil’s laughter that’s drowning out my pleas until after the moment of your satisfaction? If you feel regret, what might you do to quell or deny those feelings, when admission has catastrophic consequences for your life?

            I find it very strange that this requires explanation in these enlightened times.

          • gbdub says:

            If you say you’re victimized by my comment, what I’ll do is validate your experience, apologize for provoking that sort of unintended reaction, and attempt to dialogue with you about where the misunderstanding occurred and how similar misunderstandings can be avoided.

            This is a good and compassionate approach generally, but hopefully you can see how the ability to provoke this response with even the most absurd claim of victimization could be abused?

            I’d be wise to bring a neutral third party in to the discussion,

            Again, great and compassionate approach assuming everyone is acting in good faith, but unless this third party is willing to risk being labeled a victim blamer / questioner themselves, they are going to side with the claimed victim whether they deserve it or not.

            I’m not saying your approach is worse than the past approach of just ignoring it (it’s not). But any system you set up is sometimes going to be used by people acting in bad faith to get an advantage. Bad faith / unscrupulous people come in all shapes, colors, and genders. So your system needs a good way to handle such cases, rather than taking it on blind faith that they will be ignorably rare.

          • Jack says:

            There are two issues here, no? gbdub, you raise concerns about being overly credulous. I think GeneralDisarray’s approach is perfectly consistent with applying one’s normal standards of credulity. Eg, if shenanigans24 now told us that they felt victimized by a comment, we would interpret them as saying so just to make a point. So we do not need to consider the “most absurd” claims. On the other hand, shenanigans24 seems to be talking about situations where the claim is credible, ie situations where we believe the speaker that they feel a certain way. Once you believe someone feels a certain way, GeneralDisarray’s approach seems like a good one; but shenanigans24 seems to think there should be another screening test of whether someone is “responsible” for their feelings or something, before getting on with the understanding and compassion.

          • Aapje says:

            @Jack

            The traditionalist ‘normal standards of credulity’ are that men are never considered victimized by women and that many/most women did something to cause them to be victimized and deserve to be punished (for example, by the traumatic experience).

            Many people are now pushing for new ‘normal standards of credulity’ where men are never considered victimized by women and where any claim by a woman should be believed and result in punishment, unless there are 3 witnesses that say otherwise, because women are never wrong or malicious. Also, we can never say that anything that a woman did increased their risk of being victimized, because this must imply that the perpetrator was justified to victimize her. Of course, this rule doesn’t apply to male victims, where we cannot merely talk about their risk-taking, but are also allowed to argue that they deserved to be punished/abused.

            I would like to have ‘normal standards of credulity’ where men and women are equally likely to be believed, based on similar levels of evidence. Where punishment only happens based on more evidence than merely a claim with no additional proof. And where we can talk about what behavior is risky, without this being perceived as a claim that the victimization was justified.

    • gbdub says:

      I think there’s a false equivalence in the data because the definition of harassment is ambiguous, and does not adequately account for repetitive harassment, or the incorporation of fear-inducing dominance behaviors.

      This is hardly unique to Scott. The current cultural zeitgeist makes it so anyone who tries to draw distinctions between Weinstein, CK, and Al Franken (who did objectively quite different things) risks being labeled a harassment apologist and misogynist. Or anyone who tries to draw equivalence between Carey’s victims and Franken’s for that matter.

      Frankly the whole #MeToo movement seems designed deliberately to erase any such distinctions, literally affixing the same label to everything from forcible rape to dance club ass pinching. Which might succeed in raising awareness of low intensity but pervasive harassment, but at a cost of diminishing how truly awful Weinstein is and how toxic Hollywood is compared to mainstream society.

      • GeneralDisarray says:

        In a country where women face a 20% chance of being raped over the course of their lifetime, I don’t think women are overreacting.

        • Standing in the Shadows says:

          I don’t believe your number. Citation needed.

          • dndnrsn says:

            The NISVS has around 20% of women in the US, lifetime report, as being the victim of attempted or completed penetrative rape, I believe. This may involve adding up categories, which can mess with the numbers a little.

        • Desertopa says:

          The percentages of men and women who report being raped, when “made to penetrate” is classified as rape, are pretty similar. If we’re going to say that the risk of women being raped by men justifies the magnitude of their reaction, then it should imply that the risk of men being raped by women should justify the magnitude of their reaction being much larger than it is.

          There are ways around this conclusion, but I don’t think that e.g. discounting men unwillingly being made to have sex with women as rape, or discounting figures achieved by the same means used to determine rates of rape in women, are particularly principled responses. And if we decide that the same acts are simply more distressing to one group than another and that we need to account for that when apportioning out social approbation, then I think we would have to make a good faith effort to determine what sorts of situations really fall under the category, and whether there are things we should similarly deliver social approbation to women for that we wouldn’t to men.

          • GeneralDisarray says:

            If you have statistics showing equivalent numbers of rape victims by gender, “made to penetrate” included, I’d love to see them.

          • Aapje says:

            @GeneralDisarray

            All the NISVS reports that have included “made to penetrate” as a category showed almost identical 12 month statistics of the female rape and male “made to penetrate” categories for most years (the most recent statistics even show a higher rates for “made to penetrate”; see tables 3-1 and 3-5).

            This strongly suggests that if one considers “made to penetrate” to be rape (which I do), that adult men and women are raped roughly equally often.

            The lifetime statistics do differ. We don’t have any clear evidence of why. It can be that women get victimized as children more. It can also be that men are far more prone to forget incidents in their past.

            So if one wishes to discuss the rape incidence of adults, it seems that the 12 month statistics are the most likely to reflect this correctly.

          • DrBeat says:

            It is universally acknowledged by every single person with any knowledge of victimization or memory or research who is not currently looking at that exact document that “lifetime” recall statistics are utterly without value, reflecting only the biases and vagaries of memory. You obtain no useful information by asking about lifetime rates of things happening to people; the longer the period of time you ask about, the less accurate your information is. Literally and not figuratively every single person involved in the field knows this.

            Unless they are talking about this document. Because knowing that might cause them to notice male victimhood, sexism robs that knowledge from them, and it never even occurs to them that the lifetime rates might indicate anything other than precious, vulnerable women are being menaced by disposable, threatening men, and that we should care more about women and less about men. They are not capable of even noticing things that they know. They never will be. Sexism has infinite dominion over them and it cannot ever possibly be defeated because it controls what they are capable of noticing. All is lost.

        • gbdub says:

          In a country where women face a 20% chance of being raped

          Non sequitur – it does not follow that a high risk of rape requires us to treat Franken and Weinstein as if their crimes are identical in magnitude. (And also, you prove my point, as arriving at that statistic requires conflating an entire range of sexual assault behaviors and regretted sex with “rape”, deliberately taking advantage of the emotional weight of that term which comes largely from fear of the stereotypical image of forcible stranger rape. “20% of women will have sex while intoxicated, have sex they later regret, or have someone touch their butt or kiss them in an unwanted situation” would have much less evocative power).

          I don’t think women are overreacting

          I wasn’t accusing them of such. I was arguing that eliminating nuance will cause people to underreact to much more serious cases. Applying the same label and reaction to rape/pedophilia and to taking pictures where you goofily pretend to grope a sleeping woman’s boobs is going to result in either a major overreaction to the latter or a huge underreaction to the former.

          In my very cynical mind, I occasionally think #MeToo started when it did (it was elevated by the media and by actresses) to distract some attention from how toxic Hollywood is. I don’t blame women in general for this, responding the #MeToo with your story of harassment was the whole point. Just saying that the consequences of that conflation may be negative.

          • gbdub says:

            (And also, you prove my point, as arriving at that statistic requires conflating an entire range of sexual assault behaviors and regretted sex with “rape”, deliberately taking advantage of the emotional weight of that term which comes largely from fear of the stereotypical image of forcible stranger rape. “20% of women will have sex while intoxicated, have sex they later regret, or have someone touch their butt or kiss them in an unwanted situation” would have much less evocative power).

            I would like to preemptively retract this part of the post, which was based on a faulty assumption that you were going off of some bad reporting related to a couple of famous campus victimization studies. You were referring to the NISVS numbers. Mea culpa.

            To quibble a bit though, I believe you still need to include “attempted rape” to get to 20%? So “20% chance of being raped” would be not quite right, not that that totally alters your argument.

        • UtilityScarf says:

          The same NISVS report found equal numbers of men and women were victims of contact sexual violence each year.

        • shenanigans24 says:

          There’s no way that number is correct. Look at FBI statistics. If a survey is going to be used the question “were you raped” is more valid than trying to piece together other answers and classify things as rape that the survey respondents didn’t think were rape.

          • Aren’t the FBI statistics limited to offenses reported to police? A major argument for victimization surveys is that they include ones that were not reported. Failure to report seems particularly likely in the case of rape, both because it’s often a hard crime to prove and because there may be stigma to the victim–although less now than in the past.

          • Aapje says:

            @shenanigans24

            No, because different people have greatly different definitions of rape. One person may believe they weren’t raped if someone had sex with them while they were dead drunk, while another person can believe that they were raped if they had enthusiastic sex with a person, who later turned out to be have lied about not being married.

            The question “were you raped” merely tells us something about whether someone perceived themselves as having been raped.

            Asking whether someone experienced a certain scenario gives us a much better answer as to whether that person experienced that scenario.

      • Randy M says:

        Indeed, and as I’ve remarked previously, this works out to Weinstein’s benefit.

    • Thegnskald says:

      I have observed many cases of women sexually harassing men, and only one of a man harassing a woman.

      Mind, I have observed lots of other bad behavior by both genders.

      Conservation of assholes.

      • GeneralDisarray says:

        That’s analogous to the frequency with which women strike men (which I’ve seen many times) and of men striking women (which I’ve seen a couple of times). The implications of the offenses are not equivalent.

        • Thegnskald says:

          We could, of course, return to the form of “justice” that existed prior to Hammurabi’s Code, in which we decide after the fact what behavior was acceptable based on who was doing what to whom.

          Or we can use the last few thousand years of judicial technology, and recognize that the acceptability of behavior isn’t dependent upon who engages in it, or who their victim is.

          • GeneralDisarray says:

            So, employing any epithet is equivalent, regardless of its applicability to a specific target?

          • Thegnskald says:

            Some epithets may be worse than others, but correct, it doesn’t matter who the target is.

            This is trivially obvious if you examine the way epithets have been repurposed to target new outgroups, such as adding “sand” to an epithet historically aimed at black people, to target a different racial group instead. Likewise, the use of same epithet historically, modified with “white”, to refer to Irish people.

            One might argue the modifier changes the epithet, but all it is really doing is making clear who the epithet is referring to within a social context in which this may not be obvious.

          • GeneralDisarray says:

            Well, I’m inclined to disagree; context is integral to the offense.

          • Thegnskald says:

            And I think that context is irrelevant unless you are trying to decide who wins at oppression Olympics, which everybody agrees is a stupid and counterproductive game anyways, at least when they aren’t trying to win at it.

            Because “worse” is subjective, context becomes subjective, and means approximately whatever is most convenient to the argument at hand.

          • GeneralDisarray says:

            You must be a riot at funerals.

        • gbdub says:

          The implications of the offenses are not equivalent.

          That’s an “IS” not an “OUGHT”. We really need to get over this idea that women can’t physically hurt men. Or heck, even if you accept that, I don’t think we really want to have a standard of “it’s okay to hit people as long as you don’t hurt them very much”.

          “Men are stronger than women” is not universally true, it applies only to a “fair fight” and it ignores the strong social conventions that make a man much more likely to be punished for use of force. The fact a man can do more damage if he throws a punch matters, but so does the fact that he will probably go to jail if he does while the punching woman probably won’t.

          • GeneralDisarray says:

            I never said women can’t hurt men. What I was referring to was a comparison of frequency that doesn’t take relative risk of harm into account.

          • gbdub says:

            Scott’s argument is not about the precise number of male victims of sexual harassment – it doesn’t need to be exactly 20% or whatever, just enough to be significant enough to be worth including in the conversation (instead of being dismissed as “not real”).

            You’re basically doing a slightly less severe version of the “structural oppression” argument: Male ‘victims’ of harassment don’t count because they can’t be easily harmed by it the way women can.

        • DrBeat says:

          “It’s okay for women to hit men, because women are weak and men are strong! I’m fighting sexism, and am super confident my perceptions cannot be dictated by sexism in any way, because I’m so feminist!”

          All is lost. Suicide is the only answer. All is lost. All is lost.

          • Conrad Honcho says:

            Suicide is the only answer.

            DrBeat, I love you, but please don’t say things like this.

          • Besserwisser says:

            Suicide won’t stop other people from being sexist. To the extent that you’re not sexist, it would probably be good for you to live to keep the number of non-sexists as high as possible.

    • Hyzenthlay says:

      My Facebook feed was interesting following presidential debates, as I saw nearly all of my female friends writing about being triggered.

      I suspect you’re in a bubble. I wasn’t triggered by the debates and don’t know anyone who was. Even among the people I know who actually have PTSD, triggers tend to be more specific sensory things (like the sound of tires crunching on gravel).

      The definition of the word triggered has become broadened and watered down considerably in popular culture, and even people who should know better tend to use the newer, broader meaning when talking about things that upset them. When you see something that makes you really upset and angry and your heart starts racing and you start shaking, etc., you are not “getting triggered,” you are having an emotional reaction to stimuli, which is a normal part of the human experience.

      • GeneralDisarray says:

        It’s entirely possible that the women on my feed were triggered in part because of the degree to which they identified with the televised target. They were describing intense emotional reactions, dissociative detachment and reliving their own experiences (which they didn’t go into, and I never asked about).

        I was surprised by it too. What they were referring to was Trump’s constant interruptions, talking over, and looming/stalking on the stage. But like I said, it’s a fairly select group and I suppose it’s possible that what was triggered was related to similar experiences in graduate school.

        My wife and I were both married once before. We figured out early on that we’d need to maintain good communication, including unexpected check-ins, when we were picking up on something we weren’t sure was legitimate. Sometimes that’s involved intense emotional reactions to what really constitutes relatively neutral stimuli. I joke that it’s the ghosts of our prior relationships, but “triggered” strikes me as accurate.

        Would you use that term in such a context, or would you employ a different term?

        • gbdub says:

          What they were referring to was Trump’s constant interruptions, talking over, and looming/stalking on the stage.

          Warning, I’m being a bit uncharitable again here, but how long after the debate did these Facebook posts come up? Because I definitely saw some articles / tweets from liberal pundits etc. making this same observation re: Trump at the debates. On the one hand, that’s evidence that the behavior was noticeable and maybe triggering for some people. On the other… maybe they saw the article, were like “oh yeah, now that you mentioned it…” and retconned their live reactions to the debate to fit that narrative they were politically sympathetic to.

          Either way, I still suspect that your reaction to that is going to be heavily influenced by politics. Trump’s nasty interruptions are going to look more positive, regardless of your gender, if you think he’s just cutting off Hillary’s lies/obfuscations/politician speak. And FWIW, I highly doubt Trump would be more deferential to say Chuck Schumer just because he’s male. (This is an area I think women underrate – how much asshole men (and women) can be dismissive of other men, interrupt them, take credit for their ideas, play body positioning power games, etc. and assume that such behavior at work is necessarily gendered. No, we men get to take all that crap too – welcome to corporate America!)

          Have you looked into that gender-flipped debate play project? In that I found it interesting that Hillary’s more quietly smug/dismissive mannerisms were themselves rated pretty off-putting when acted out by a male character.

          • GeneralDisarray says:

            I’m referring to the night of and day after one of the debates. And sure Hillary can be off-putting, but that’s another false equivalence. Whether or not Trump also displays dominating behaviors with men is less relevant than whether or was appropriate in that context, and whether this constitutes a legitimate trigger for women who’ve been abusively dominated.

          • Aapje says:

            @gbdub

            This is an area I think women underrate – how much asshole men (and women) can be dismissive of other men, interrupt them, take credit for their ideas, play body positioning power games, etc. and assume that such behavior at work is necessarily gendered. No, we men get to take all that crap too – welcome to corporate America!

            This is a consequence of excessive male stoicism and the general unwillingness by society to allow the discussion of an the honest & true male perspective. Warren Farrell discussed once how, in his NOW days, he would do gender debate sessions with men, but would dismiss any honest opinions by men that didn’t fit the feminist narrative. Most men would then shut down and turned into ‘yes dear’ nodders. Only after he realized this and opened himself to heterodox opinions, he began to truly realize how much men were not allowed to say and how emotionally open men could be if they were truly allowed to share their opinions.

            It’s funny, because Ozy on the thingofthings blog once discussed how trans people often lie about their trans experience, because most non-trans people can only relate to a simplistic lie, not the complex truth. Similarly, I think that most people can only relate to a simplistic lie, not the complex truth when it comes to men. Yeung found that a lack of benevolent sexism is perceived as hostile sexism, so actual equality is not accepted by most of society. I believe that this also extends to men who honestly talk about their needs and desires. They threaten the benevolent sexist standard by not downplaying male needs and desires.

          • gbdub says:

            I’m referring to the night of and day after one of the debates.

            Fair enough, it was just a thought. FWIW (not much) I also have a significant number of women friends on FB, basically none of whom are Trump fans, several of whom shared #metoo stories, and none of them had the reaction you say was ubiquitous among your colleagues. Hopefully this explains why I come at this from a place of skepticism.

            whether [it] was appropriate in that context

            It wasn’t, but…

            Whether or not Trump also displays dominating behaviors with men is less relevant than […] whether this constitutes a legitimate trigger for women…

            I can’t really get behind this. Trump is a bully, but he seems to be an equal opportunity bully. This strikes me as very relevant. You’re asserting that a gendered response (women are triggered, men aren’t) to a behavior that both men and women are subject to (men playing body position dominance games) is valid and to be expected. Trump’s behavior isn’t just objectively bad, it was bad because it was directed at a woman.

            That strikes me as pretty paternalistic. Basically, Trump (or presumably any man) should be held to a higher standard regarding how he holds his body, when he chooses to interrupt, etc, when he is dealing with a woman, because… otherwise he might upset her delicate feminine psyche? That makes feminism sound an awful lot like repackaged patriarchy.

            There are stupid rules in place in many traditionally male-dominated places (like politics). They tend to benefit some men, but hurt others (men get the same bullying). But if women want to be accepted as equals, they need to play by the same rules. Argue for changing the rules certainly, but the rules have to change for everyone at the same time, not by creating special carve-outs for the differently-gendered.

          • johnmcg says:

            Whether or not Trump also displays dominating behaviors with men is less relevant than whether or was appropriate in that context, and whether this constitutes a legitimate trigger for women who’ve been abusively dominated.

            Let’s say there is a quorum of men who have a history of being lectured at by different women — mothers, teachers, ex-wives, etc., recall feeling small and discounted by it, and found Secretary Clinton’s behavior triggering in that it brought up this experience for them. Would that be a legitimate topic of conversation? Or would it be dismissed as misogyny?

            The media was expected to call a foul on Trump or Bernie Sanders if they ever interacted with Hillary Clinton in a way that women found triggering. But any discussion of Secretary Clinton’s mannerisms was dismissed as misogyny.

            I think this was a disaster because the public may have went along with it in public, but resented the double standard in private. We all had to pretend that Hillary Clinton was a likable figure, when she wasn’t, or else be called a sexist.

            There is also the matter that we were choosing a president, someone who would have to deal with other world leaders, who would not be so respectful of potential triggers, and whining to the refs was not a good look.

          • Hyzenthlay says:

            Only after he realized this and opened himself to heterodox opinions, he began to truly realize how much men were not allowed to say and how emotionally open men could be if they were truly allowed to share their opinions.

            Yup. Feminists give lip service to the idea that men should be allowed to express a wider range of emotions, but in practice, any emotion that’s remotely threatening to the feminist narrative–or that is perceived as somehow taking attention away from women and women’s issues–tends to be met with shaming. When feminists say stuff like, “I wish men would share their feelings more” I can only imagine they’re thinking about a few specific, non-threatening examples (showing affection, crying at sad movies, etc.)

            Not that traditional patriarchy was great for men in that regard, either.

          • Aapje says:

            Not that traditional patriarchy was great for men in that regard, either.

            Certainly not. My alternative to feminism is not traditionalism, but true egalitarianism, for as much as biology allows.

        • Hyzenthlay says:

          Sometimes that’s involved intense emotional reactions to what really constitutes relatively neutral stimuli. I joke that it’s the ghosts of our prior relationships, but “triggered” strikes me as accurate. Would you use that term in such a context, or would you employ a different term?

          I think “having an intense emotional reaction based on negative past experiences” is more accurate, albeit wordier. Triggered (at least in its original meaning) specifically refers to disassociative flashbacks, the stereotypical example being the thousand-yard stare of the war vet reliving experiences in Vietnam. That absolutely does happen with abuse and sexual trauma as well, but someone who’s being triggered likely won’t be visibly emotional and shouting, they’ll seem out of it and disconnected from the world.

          I think people started using “triggered” in different contexts because of the superficial similarity to the phrase “that really pushes my buttons,” which refers to having a strong emotional reaction to something relatively minor because it’s associated with specific insecurities or bad memories (i.e. getting outraged at a partner because they used the same phrase your overbearing father used to use on you, or whatever).

          And yeah, language changes and evolves all the time. But I think something is lost when a very specific thing associated with severe PTSD is broadened to mean a different (and much more common) experience.

          • GeneralDisarray says:

            Sure. The friends I’m referring to are not laypeople by any stretch, nor am I. They are professors, diplomates, board members for our professional association etc. (Thinking about it, at least two involved in a conversation about the issue are retired, after long clinical careers.)

            This conversation does remind me of one I had with a physician I work with about prevalence rates of sexual abuse. He insisted that none of the women in his life had ever been abused, assaulted or harassed. I suggested (very politely/diplomatically) that he might examine whether he was in some way creating an impression that he would not be a safe person to discuss this with. (We live in a very religiously conservative area where sexual abuse and assault are quite common, and commonly not reported. He seems to have a blind spot regarding members of his faith.)

          • Hyzenthlay says:

            This conversation does remind me of one I had with a physician I work with about prevalence rates of sexual abuse. He insisted that none of the women in his life had ever been abused, assaulted or harassed.

            I’m not saying I don’t know anyone who’s been abused or harassed. I know quite a few people who have.

            I’m saying that I don’t know anyone who claimed to have had a disassociative flashback during the debates (though several did mention Trump’s aggressive behavior, which I noticed as well).

            People generally aren’t that predictable as far as what affects them or how they respond to trauma. Some rape/sexual abuse survivors avoid any media that depicts rape or sexual violence; others aren’t bothered by it, or even seek it out. Some people who’ve been persistently harassed develop PTSD, some don’t. Just like some people who’ve been in a car accident are terrified to get in a car for years afterwards, and some can get right back in a car with no trouble. Even two people who’ve been traumatized by similar experiences will likely express that trauma in different ways.

            Given that, it does strike me as bizarre that so many people in your social circle had the exact same response to this exact same highly specific stimuli, so yeah, I’m inclined to believe that there’s some kind of selection bias going on. I’m reminded of Scott’s “Different Worlds” post. Most people live in an idiosyncratic reality composed of the type of people they tend to unconsciously attract, and influence others with their behavior in ways they aren’t aware of, and mistake their own microcosm for reality as a whole. That’s true of the physician in your example, but also equally true of you or me or anyone else.

        • shenanigans24 says:

          It’s entirely possible that they were simply political hacks that know that men in general have a weakness to protect women and we’re manipulating that for political effect.

          Men have the physical superiority which they know how to use but women are aware of how to use their own unique biological advantages as well.

    • DrBeat says:

      When I was a waiter, I can think of three women who pinched my ass, and two men. Nominally, harassment. But I saw waitresses being harassed by managers and coworkers, and I never saw any men treated that way, by women or other men.

      I think there’s a false equivalence in the data because the definition of harassment is ambiguous, and does not adequately account for repetitive harassment, or the incorporation of fear-inducing dominance behaviors.

      Because you are incapable of noticing, remembering, or categorizing male victimhood. Sexism robs you of your ability to notice, remember, even conceptualize things that contradict the narrative. Then you conclude the narrative must always be correct, and based on this, you continue to create the narrative by attacking male victims and accusing them of exaggeration or fabrication.

      This will literally never ever change and only suicide will save us from the intolerable and irredeemable prison of being alive.

      • GeneralDisarray says:

        Existence is pain.

        • DrBeat says:

          Existence is pain because of you and people like you, shrieking agents of entropy who will never ever stop until all is devoured.

          “I said something that exemplifies why suicide is the only way out! Because that made you notice suicide is the only way out, now my words are inassailable! To win, you should be like me, and only notice things that are advantageous to your hypocritical, psychopathic politics!”

      • Aapje says:

        @DrBeat

        Are you OK? Please talk to someone or call a suicide hotline if you feel like doing something drastic.

        • gbdub says:

          Yeah this is over the top. Get help if you need it.

          • Kevin C. says:

            Yeah this is over the top.

            Actually, this is bog-standard DrBeat. “Life is not worth tolerating” is a common tag on his Tumblr, and “only suicide will save/free us” is practically a catchphrase.

            Get help if you need it.

            I believe he has, and none of it has worked. From his Tumblr:

            Please do not message me with your hints and tips to treat depression unless it is brand new and experimental because yes, I HAVE tried everything else, and yes, I HAVE heard of that thing.

          • gbdub says:

            I wasn’t implying it was out of character for him, I was saying it was objectively over the top and bad for discourse here.

            But anyway, if he’s actually suicidal or in danger of being so, he probably shouldn’t be getting involved in triggering arguments here, and if he isn’t, he shouldn’t be throwing that kind of language around.

            In any case, he’s being needlessly nasty to a (new?) poster who doesn’t deserve it, and I would kindly ask that he stop.

          • DrBeat says:

            It is not possible to “avoid triggering arguments”. They are omnipresent. They are present in all localities. They were the writhing of Popularity, and Popularity actively seeks to usurp every single place and every single thing. They cannot ever be escaped. That’s a huge part of what proves suicide is the only answer, because “fighting the evil” and “fleeing the evil” cannot ever possibly work.

          • Aapje says:

            @DrBeat

            You seem to have escalated from merely expressing despair to suicide advocacy. I don’t know whether this reflects a worsened mental state and if it does, I would like you to find help.

            I am also worried about the effect of your suicide advocacy on others and would like you to stop.

    • JoeCool says:

      Even if the true ratio is even more skewed than 3:1 or the true harm from harassment is compounded by the repeated harassment, I think Scott’s post would still have a good point in that we should treat harassment as bad thing and not gender it to the extent we do.

      • GeneralDisarray says:

        I think we’re headed that way already, but I also think that giving women (or minorities, or any other oppressed subgroup) some space to acknowledge their experience is not just polite, but necessary to forward the social discourse. Because that’s also a venerable tactic for shutting down acknowledgement of oppression/victimization. If people are showing up at the Holocaust museum protesting that there’s no mention of the native American genocide, it’s not that they don’t have a point, but that it’s neither the time nor the place to make it. #metoo is a validating movement. BLM is a validating movement. It draws attention to issues we need to have our attention drawn to. Eventually, it ought to be broadened into a more general discussion about oppression and victimization. But not prematurely, and not before addressing whatever structural or systematic factors that support or contribute to it. It’s all right to focus for a minute on women, or black people, or police officers, or religious fundamentalists. Shouting, “But what about the men!” interferes with the process, as groups compete for acknowledgement/validation.

        • Thegnskald says:

          In practice, this has always actually meant “Your issues do not get addressed”.

          So no.

          • GeneralDisarray says:

            What, you mean drawing attention to the maltreatment of a particular group, which is then drowned out by competition for victimization by a group the majority can more easily identify with?

            Glad to see you coming around.

          • Thegnskald says:

            No, I do not.

            I mean specifically excluding the harms experienced by specific groups from consideration.

            Which is why I object to excluding men, rather than objecting to including women, which is what your argument says I should do.

            So quite the opposite, in fact.

        • gbdub says:

          It’s all right to focus for a minute on women, or black people, or police officers, or religious fundamentalists

          It’s one thing to focus on one area, to validate one particular subset of experiences that are in particular need of validation.

          It’s quite another to actively invalidate experiences outside that area. Which is what Scott is claiming is happening to male victims.

          Basically, what’s going on is not the Holocaust museum just rejecting demands for a Native American section, but also saying, “Go away you nasty Native Americans, your genocide wasn’t a religiously motivated genocide so it doesn’t count – and anyway a lot of you are Christians now so you are part of the problem”.

        • Aapje says:

          @GeneralDisarray

          If people are showing up at the Holocaust museum protesting that there’s no mention of the native American genocide, it’s not that they don’t have a point, but that it’s neither the time nor the place to make it.

          That point depends completely on the Holocaust and the mistreatment of native Americans being mostly separate events, with separate causes, done by separate groups, in a different place, etc.

          I disagree that sexual abuse of men is so different that it should not be part of the same conversation.

          IMO, it’s less like demanding a native American genocide exposition at a Holocaust museum than demanding an exposition about the murder of gays in the concentration camps.

        • lvlln says:

          If people are showing up at the Holocaust museum protesting that there’s no mention of the native American genocide, it’s not that they don’t have a point, but that it’s neither the time nor the place to make it.

          If every time some Native Americans wanted to set up their own museum about Native American genocide, the owners of the Holocaust museum and its supporters came and physically prevented them from doing so, with the rationale that all displays about any genocide should be done at the Holocaust museum, and the only mention of Native American genocide at the Holocaust museum is a tiny booth in a basement which doesn’t get bigger no matter how much Native American members of the Holocaust museum push for it, well, maybe that might be the time and the place.

          Of course, if the Holocaust museum in this example also had access to a bunch of hired guns and powerful sympathetic media companies, that might not end well for the supporters of recognizing Native American genocide.

          • Thegnskald says:

            This is pretty much it.

            There are three central overlapping issues with feminism:

            1. Proponents of feminism insist it is egalitarian (to the extreme case of insisting that gender discourse outside the feminist framework is misogynistic)
            2. Mainstream feminism ignores and down plays men’s issues
            3. Proponents of the egalitarian perspective of feminism do not effectively fight its inegalitarian practice.

            The interaction of these three things is why I regard feminism as inherently flawed, if not outright evil. It is the combination that is problematic, in that it argued that a movement for men is not merely unnecessary, but proof of ill-intent, since, if feminism is about everybody’s rights, then a mens rights movement is necessarily not about women’s rights – it is a transparently sexist movement which puts one gender above the other.

            Once you notice that feminism is not actually egalitarian, and that it doesn’t seek to help men, the need for a men’s rights movement becomes obvious – but then you become the enemy of every right-thinking person who hasn’t noticed this, because you are supporting a transparently sexist movement, instead of the one that they think is about helping everyone.

        • DrBeat says:

          by “giving minorities some space”, you mean “colonizing the totality of all existence for this purpose and actively, aggressively scourging any space that might possibly be for anything other than this purpose”

          and by “focus for a minute on women” you mean “the totality of all time forever and ever and ever and ever going in both directions from this present moment is focused exclusively on how women are precious and wonderful victims and men cannot possibly be victimized and anyone contradicting this is ruthlessly, relentlessly scourged away”.

          There were no “if”s in those sentences. That is what those words mean, and what they will always mean. Feminism has been saying “let’s only talk about women for right now” for one hundred years. Talking about how women are wonderful precious victims whoa re menaced by threatening and agentic men is what is done during “now” for all definitions of “now”. Feminism has relentlessly colonized every single space that might ever talk about a thing other than that. And their power is invincible and inviolate. It cannot ever possibly be stopped. There is no combination of actions to take that could possibly cause you to even notice the hypocrisy. The power to notice things that are not the Narrative is stolen by your sexism, never ever to return.

          All is lost. One hundred percent of all things are lost. Every single thing that is lost will be regarded as okay because it is the only thing that is lost. You’ll never, ever be capable of noticing it. All is lost.

          • Thegnskald says:

            If it has always been like this, what was lost, exactly?

            And “All is lost” just means “Everything to gain, nothing to lose”.

            It is odd, but your posts actually cheer me up, because your characteristically dour outlook reminds me exactly how badly I don’t think things are going.

            That said, I really don’t think things are quite as bad as you think. People are getting pretty fed up.

          • Aapje says:

            @DrBeat

            There is no combination of actions to take that could possibly cause you to even notice the hypocrisy.

            Except there are several people here who point out the hypocrisy, which should not be possible according to you.

            In fact, you yourself should not have your opinions, according to yourself.

          • GeneralDisarray says:

            Welp, no. But you have got me wondering whether reductio ad absurdum might, in certain people, constitute a systematic thinking error. But maybe it’s just projective identification.

            Your responses have brought to mind my favorite snippet of scripture, which comes from The Thunder, Perfect Mind.

            For what is inside of you is what is outside of you,
            and the one who fashions you on the outside
            is the one who shaped the inside of you.
            And what you see outside of you, you see inside of you;
            it is visible and it is your garment.

            But of course I can’t throw something like that out there without questioning myself, so take it as you will.

  4. KeatsianPermanence says:

    It’s interesting to see this movement seep out of college campuses and into the popular culture at large. I’m confident that any recent US college grads who read this blog will be very familiar with feminist rallying cries like “Believe ALL Women” from their Title IX training. Anyone who has had the misfortune of being accused of running afoul of Title IX has likely experienced a kangaroo court with evidential standards marginally higher than the mass media. Accusation-as-proof has been happening in academia for nearly a decade now thanks to a series of Dear Colleague letters from the DoE OCR. In many cases, the accuser can report the alleged harassment or assault months to years after it allegedly occurred, retroactively revoke consent, need not compose a consistent story, and can’t be questioned. It’s amazing that the “sanction” (not a “conviction” because this isn’t a legal matter, merely an academic one) rate isn’t 100%.

    If rules are for thee, not me, then who really is, to use the fetishized phrase, “structurally oppressed.”

    • suntzuanime says:

      Fortunately the Trump administration has eased off the throttle on this stuff. Things were looking like they were going to get REAL ugly there for a while, but without top-down federal endorsement the local tyrants are acting much less emboldened.

      • What world are you living in where this got *better* as a result of Trump taking office? If anything, having a serial harasser and rapist in the white house (or at least, a more obvious one than usual) adds more fuel to the fire.

        • suntzuanime says:

          I am an actual grad student at an actual university observing the world around me, that’s the world I’m living in.

        • takashoru says:

          There are currently talks about restricting or cutting back Title IX. This is completely in-keeping with the Trump standpoint, which is that rape isn’t a problem.

          Anyone that thinks rape is a problem (hopefully everybody reading this) but supports a more nuanced view that includes restricting Title IX (probably a decent number of people reading this) is playing an even number of layers above the Trump administration, but even a stopped clock is right twice a day, as the saying goes.

          The point being that even if the Trump administration is cutting Title IX for reasons we disagree with, people who disagree with Title IX might still say things are getting better.

          • Jiro says:

            There are currently talks about restricting or cutting back Title IX. This is completely in-keeping with the Trump standpoint, which is that rape isn’t a problem.

            That’s nonsense. “Less of a problem than people claim it is” isn’t “is not a problem”.

          • takashoru says:

            Considering that Trump doesn’t seem to consider rape a problem himself, nor in his governmental candidates, I don’t think this statement is too far from accurate.

            If you would please provide literally any evidence that Trump doesn’t think rape is acceptable (to counterbalance the voice recordings which suggest otherwise), I would happily revise my statement.

          • Mark says:

            In that case, was it racist when he said that Mexicans were rapists?

          • Besserwisser says:

            While I don’t like Trump, I think the statements in regards to him being a rapist are overblown. Unless I missed something, most of those accusations come from him saying not that he would do anything to a woman against her consent but that they would let him do it if he were to do it. It was a tasteless brag about his attractiveness to women.

          • Aapje says:

            I think that Trumps comments are perfectly consistent with the narrative that a harasser would tell themselves; as well as the narrative that a highly attractive man would use.

            These can also overlap. Perhaps the most plausible is that some women are highly attracted to his fame/wealth/etc, but that he is also too eager to interpret behavior as interest and escalates so quickly that a substantial number of women can’t signal disinterest in time.

            It’s hard to tell without seeing what he actually does.

          • gbdub says:

            Interestingly, when the Access Hollywood tapes came out, the popular narrative was “Trump is a pariah, that’s not real locker room talk, real men don’t talk like that”

            Now that a bunch of Hollywood types are getting accused, the narrative shifts to “this problem is society wide, all men are responsible for this behavior, if not as perpetrators than as silent supporters”

            Of course, Trump swam in the same circles as these executives (the tape was for Access Hollywood, after all!). His culture WAS their culture.

            So it seems a wee bit self serving that such sexual boasting is a personal failing when a political enemy does it, but indicative of a social problem when political allies from the same culture start being accused.

          • Reasoner says:

            Why can’t we handle rape through the criminal justice system?

          • Conrad Honcho says:

            @takashoru

            If you would please provide literally any evidence that Trump doesn’t think rape is acceptable

            Because he said they let you do it?

            One of the things that a significant portion of women are attracted to is “high status.” The exact same man is way more attractive to women if he’s performing on stage at a rock concert or starring on a TV show than if he’s hanging off the back of a garbage truck.

            It is not unlikely that a woman who chooses to be alone with a reality TV star billionaire is not opposed to just letting him do whatever he wants to her. cf. the popularity of 50 Shades of Gray.

            This has been my personal experience, also. I was famous in an artistic community. I had no power, but I had high status, and women in that community found me much more attractive than random women at clubs who had no knowledge of my status. And when I asked these women who appeared to be attracted to me to be alone with me, and then I “just started kissing them” they liked it. Maybe there’s some women out there with a #MeToo about Conrad Honcho, but boy they didn’t give me any indication they weren’t happy with the arrangement before, during or after. (I now regret this behavior entirely because of my current religious attitudes that I was not following at the time, but not at all based on the secular “two consenting adults” standard).

            Also, there’s the other half of the story that nobody’s talking about, which is the women who like and enable this sort of behavior.

            Employer Bob says to employee Alice, “hey baby, gimme some sugar and I’ll give you a raise” and Alice says “okay! I enjoy both money and sex with Bob!”

            Then Bob says to employee Carol, “hey baby, gimme some sugar and I’ll give you a raise” and Carol says “harasser!”

            I agree with Carol. Now I can’t control Bob’s behavior, because I’m not Bob, I wasn’t there, and Alice never said anything about it. The only person, besides Bob, who could have helped keep Bob in line is Alice. Where’s the criticism of Alice?

            Pretty sure the same people who think all men are like Bob would get really mad about any criticism of Alice and denounce it as “slut shaming.”

            But if you actually want to help Carol and punish Bob, you’ve got to talk about Alice, too.

          • Iain says:

            @Besserwisser:

            Here’s a list of twenty people who have accused Trump of sexual assault or harassment. None of them, with the partial exception of his ex-wife, count as rape, but it’s pretty clear he’s a serial sexual harasser — not at the level of, say, Harvey Weinstein, but still bad.

          • shenanigans24 says:

            Does anyone have a quote on Trump saying rape isn’t a problem? Or maybe any proof he raped someone?

            I don’t hold such false accusations in high esteem.

          • grendelkhan says:

            Conrad Honcho: Employer Bob says to employee Alice, “hey baby, gimme some sugar and I’ll give you a raise” and Alice says “okay! I enjoy both money and sex with Bob!”

            You have a curiously rosy view of the employer-subordinate relationship; there’s an implied threat there. Try this on for size:

            Employer Bob says to employee Alice, “hey baby, gimme some sugar or you’re out of a job” and Alice says “okay! I enjoy being able to eat!”

            The important thing to remember here is that we censure relationships with that kind of power differential because of the implication. Even if the person on top doesn’t think of that kind of thing, the person on the bottom is pretty likely to understand.

            With that context, can you see why putting the onus on Alice to put herself at great risk or be considered responsible for her boss’s actions might be kind of mean?

            I think you have an image of how this kind of relationship works which comes from the same misunderstanding of power that leads one to think that, hey, the stripper actually likes me. Harmless in that context, much less so in this one.

    • deconstructionapplied says:

      “Believe ALL Women” isn’t a thing, and it’s especially not a thing from Title IX training. It’s a strawman.

      The actual phrase is “Believe Women.”

      • gbdub says:

        So “Black Lives Matter” should not be taken to mean that every black life should be valued?

      • FeepingCreature says:

        That’s … not meaningfully different.

        edit: unless it wants to express “believe at least a nonzero amount of women”, which seems ludicrous.

      • KeatsianPermanence says:

        Sorry, I didn’t realize the NYT allowed the publication of feminist strawmen. Of course, the author is challenging the mantra, but only after blue-tribe loyalist Al Franken was accused by a woman with ~alleged~ red-tribe loyalties. When the NYT, or any major publication, prints an op-ed arguing for due process and skepticism of accusations in the post-#MeToo world, let me know.

  5. Yaleocon says:

    This seems like a bravery debate. Isn’t it? Nobody seriously objects to the fact that there are trends like the 80% thing for men, right? That’s just an empirical fact. And nobody objects to caring about all victims despite that, right? That’s just an obvious normative fact.

    And it seems like it’s just a bravery debate, with one side shouting half of the truth and the other shouting the other, and extremes on both sides generating toxoplasmic rage and all that, but most people recognizing that both are true even when they think (for whatever reason) that one half is “more important at the moment”… right?

    Or am I being too optimistic?

    • KeatsianPermanence says:

      Pardon my ignorance, but which side is shouting “Don’t believe ALL women” or “Women are harassers too”? This “debate” seems to be one-sided with that side shouting down a strawman of anyone who utters the phrase “due process” or “false accusation.”

      • Yaleocon says:

        Let’s outline 4 positions here.

        1. A radical feminist who claims “‘male victim’ is an oxymoron because structures!”
        2. A moderate feminist who claims “women are disproportionately affected; men disproportionately harass; #notallmen is true, but unproductive, and our emphasis should be elsewhere.” (I hope this is charitable)
        3. Scott, who claims “narratives which overgender harassment often get the facts wrong and make things worse for (real and hurting) male victims; ‘justice for all’ should be our rallying cry.” (I hope this is charitable)
        4. An MRA who claims “women are the real harassers, media bias suppresses it!”

        I posit (perhaps unrealistically) that most people believe (2) or (3). But certainly, some people believe (1) and (4). Scott does an excellent job here attacking (1) from the standpoint of (3), and there is nothing incorrect that he says. Let me say that again to avoid any confusion: I agree with Scott.

        But people who believe (2) will be mad, since they will think Scott is straw-manning them. He’s not, of course–he’s attacking (1), not (2)–but if you believe in (2), it could feel like “your side” is under attack. And certainly, (1) looks like a weak man relative to (2), so they might claim that Scott is undermining feminism by attacking extremes while ignoring moderates (which I strongly doubt was his intent). This will muddy the waters, everyone will get mad, and even though there’s nothing wrong with what Scott said, this might not have been a wise way to kick off the discussion.

        So what would be a better way to begin the discussion? Well, leave the extremes to do their ranting and railing, and address (2) directly in the most productive way possible. Yes, this involves leaving (1) unrefuted, and that’s unfortunate. But if I’m correct that most people believe (2) or (3), then it’s the best and most productive way to change minds and influence people for the better, and might (might!) provoke less toxoplasmic rage.

        • Jack says:

          I mostly agree with this analysis. I am more or less of opinion 2 and so is more or less everybody in my social circles. I am less convinced than you that SCC is only responding to 1 because I think they are conflating 1 and 2 at points, certainly failing to distinguish them. (See my comments elsewhere on this thread for explanation.) This is too bad because I think the last part of the post where SCC talks about the potential pragmatic benefits of spending more attention on the 20% of female perpetrators or 30% of male victims has merit. These potential benefits though need to be balanced against a realistic assessment of the risks on the other side, which is what position 2 is all about.

          • Desertopa says:

            I think one could reasonably say that this post conflates positions 1 and 2, but I think that it’s also reasonable to regard it as particularly addressing 2, with criticism of 1 applying as an extension of that. The average moderate feminist, in my experience (this being an area of discussion I’ve spent more time in than I probably ought to,) will absolutely argue that #notallmen is not merely unproductive, but actively destructive to a discourse that absolutely needs to be gendered in order to promote proper social understanding and change.

            An argument that “no, it’s not a good thing for the discussion to be that gendered” absolutely makes sense as a response to most proponents of position 2. I think that the above synopsis of position 2 is not applying an appropriate strain of charity, because it ellides the relevance of this post as a response to a position that proponents of 2 actually hold.

        • deciusbrutus says:

          Most people, by number of people, believe in moderate positions.

          Most discussion, by volume (pages and decibels) is done by people who have extreme positions.

        • samuelthefifth says:

          Your progression mirrors “radical feminist” with “MRA” and “moderate feminist” with Scott. It’s this sort of bias that moderate MRAs, which I’d put at (3), complain most about, actually.

          A moderate MRA isn’t allowed to exist, because unless you make the requisite concessions toward female victimhood, you are automatically labeled as unhinged or radical. Even by well meaning rationalists. I always hear about how misogynist and right wing the men’s rights subreddit is for instance, and every single time the topics currently at the top are moderate, non-vindictive and socially progressive.

          Compare e.g. with “violence against women”. This topic is never introduced as “Of course men suffer more violence, but women are important too…” No, it’s just “There is an EPIDEMIC of violence against women and we must do something!” It’s utterly bizarre to me that this bias continues to be accepted as a reasonable default.

          • Besserwisser says:

            This is especially damning if you see someone concerned about giving 2) a bad representation, even with the distinction between radical and moderate feminists.

        • Jiro says:

          I’m not convinced that #1 and #4 have equal influence.

          I’m also not convinced that #1 should be defined as narrowly as defined above. The number of people literally saying that men can’t be harassed or that it’s okay to harass men is very small. But the number of people who promote policies whose effect is basically #1 is much larger.

        • Aapje says:

          @Yaleocon

          If most people believe (2) or (3), then why are so many media stories written from the (1) position where male victims and female perpetrators are completely ignored, not just downplayed?

          Do you think the media are disproportionately radicals? If so, isn’t it valid to criticize those who teach others about what happens in the world?

          And/or do you think that people who believe (2) choose to act like they believe in (1) because they think that works better? Do you think it matters whether people believe (1) or (2) if it makes them make the same sexist arguments, make the same sexist laws, etc?

          • Watchman says:

            @ Aapje,

            I think the contention that the media is dominated by radicals is widely circulated and accepted to be honest. I would certainly have to be convinced otherwise. Check the online offerings of most major ‘liberal’ (can we do something with the misuse of that word?) media websites, and the majority of opinion pieces are by people from fairly extreme viewpoints on things like feminism and the like – this may be because the clickbait model works for online comment. I see very few (2) commentators compared to (1) commentators, despite the fact that real life experience tells me that most females I meet are in the field (2~3). I’ve never seen any sign of anyone who normally meets (1) females and feels the commentators are biased towards (2) either.

            This model applies for most things that are socially acceptable, so actual socialist politics, racial identity politics, animal rights, veganism etc. I don’t really read the conservative media of the Breitbart type, but I suspect the same extremism of commentators applies there, so whilst the readership might be more (3) the media is more likely to actually find a (possibly atypical) MRA with extereme views, so a (4).

          • Aapje says:

            I’m more interested in whether Yaleocon agrees that position (1) is commonly expressed and whether he agrees that this makes it legitimate to address it, rather than (2).

            the media is more likely to actually find a (possibly atypical) MRA with extreme views, so a (4)

            My experience is that they rarely manage to find such a person and instead typically find a person who either never claimed to be an MRA or who opposes MRAs. The classic examples are Elliott Rodger and Roosh V (the former was an anti-PUA incel with no apparent connection to MRA beliefs, fora or organizations; while the latter is an explicitly anti-MRA PUA).

            Sometimes they bring up Paul Elam, who is at least an MRA, although he is an edgelord who believes that MRAs never get heard if they act nicely (and who sadly may be right) and who thus trolls to get attention. From what I’ve seen, his non-edgelord positions are actually just (3).

          • mdet says:

            (Replying to Aapje but directed at multiple people in this thread saying that the radical feminists in Yaleocon’s (1) are the pervasive/mainstream position)

            I don’t think the position that “sexual assault perpetrators are automatically men, victims are automatically women” is necessarily a radical feminist position. By that I mean, if you walk up to people on the street and start talking about rape and sexual harassment, I’m pretty sure most will assume a gendered “men harassing women” frame, and only consider the reverse after being prompted. In fact, I think the people MOST likely to deny that women ever sexually assault men are the casual misogynists who talk like men are *always* sexually available, like no sane/straight man would ever refuse a woman’s advance.

            I would only consider someone to be in Yaleocon’s (1) if they don’t just present “men harassing women” as the default, but also A) actively deny that the reverse is a problem and B) specifically cite some kind of structural power advantage as a reason, as opposed to citing “no real man would turn down sex”

        • frandavid100 says:

          Yaleocon,

          You say that there are few people who think 1. That may or may not be true, but I don’t think it matters as long as these few have the power and run unopposed.

          I’ll give you an example: I work as a teacher in Spain, and for the last few weeks my school has been doing all kinds of activities to raise awareness against domestic violence – but only against women. During these days, our students have been told once and again that boys abuse and girls are abused, and that, even if a girl happens to abuse a boy, it’s not the same because it’s not structural and she probably did it in self-defense.

          I thought that was not an appropriate message, because I wanted all my students (not just the heterosexual girls) to be able to avoid abusive partners. So I spent weeks talking to the person in charge, asking her to make those activities inclusive.

          She refused to. First she told me that it wasn’t necessary because there are few abused boys. When I proved that wrong she told me not no fight over numbers. When I asked again, she told me that since there are few abused boys, it was more egalitarian to only lower the number of abused girls than to lower the number of both abused boys and abused girls.

          Then I went to talk to the headmaster, and she told me that we weren’t going to do what I was asking for, because those activities were not really to prevent domestic abuse, but to prevent sexism, and men don’t suffer sexism.

          So, yeah, I’d say those are clear 1’s. And it’s only two people, but that doesn’t really matter that everyone else thinks differently if they also always do what they say, and never confront them about it. Does it?

          • Watchman says:

            those activities were not really to prevent domestic abuse, but to prevent sexism, and men don’t suffer sexism.

            I can’t help but feel that this is a statement that the people who agree with it would somehow fail to see is inherently flawed.

          • takashoru says:

            Wow, I kinda want to save a permalink to this.

            And yeah, I also know a not insignificant number of self-proclaimed feminists who believe this sort of thing. “It might be discrimination, but women can’t be sexist against men” while calling to reduce sexism, etc.

        • gbdub says:

          2 might be much more common than 1, but a) 2 is the motte to the 1’s bailey, b) many more 2s adopt the language of 1 than you’ll hear 3s talk like 4s, and c) 1s are tolerated by moderates in a way that 4s are not. Only 4s are really outside the Overton window.

        • rlms says:

          I think most people believe a fifth position: that essentially all harassers are male and all victims are female (because that’s true for the majority in each case and the patriarchy minimises the existence of the minorities). If they personally encounter a male victim or female harasser, they will treat them properly unless they have been sufficiently indoctrinated by the patriarchy. This position is obviously wrong — the minorities do exist and matter — but it’s less wrong than it might seem because men and women experience harassment differently (as discussed upthread).

        • gbdub says:

          Thinking more, there’s another obvious asymmetry: Scott, your prototypical 3, felt compelled to include in his argument numerous caveats about how men were clearly the more frequent perpetrators, women the more frequent victims, and was very careful to avoid any implication that women victims should be ignored (except in the structural oppression hypothetical, to demonstrate how absurd such a position would be). He also felt compelled to label this “things I will regret writing”.

          How many 2s are so careful to actually state the “well obviously men can also be victims…” part (in my experience, basically none, really the distinction between 1 and common 2s is whether or not they will be nasty to you if you mention male victims. 2s still write as if all victims are women, they’ll just be open to discussing men too if you bring them up)? How many of them regret writing about female victims?

          2s can freely talk like 1s and fall back to 2 without consequences. Heck, one of Scott’s examples actually does bother to mention male victims… but only to explain why they should explicitly be ignored! Imagine Scott doing that with the genders reversed… he’d really regret that. If a 3 slips and sounds like he might be a 4, he’s labeled a misogynist.

          • takashoru says:

            Dude, a 3 doesn’t have to slip to 4 to be labelled a misogynist. Just you wait, this post will have its own news day.

        • ninjafetus says:

          Yaleocon, your outline and analysis make sense, but your metrics to determine “a wise way to kick off the discussion” probably don’t align with Scott’s in this case. He’s probably more interested in the meta-goal of [addressing the bad logic and patterns that stigmatize outgroups and ruin conversation] than he is in specifically “addressing (2) directly in the most productive way possible.” I don’t know if going after (2) in a friendly, coalition-building way is the best way to deconstruct a bad norm.

          I don’t know though. Maybe baby steps would be more efficient. I wouldn’t blame him if he didn’t have the patience.

        • Hyzenthlay says:

          Yeah, I think most people do believe 2 or 3. 2’s are likely to see 3’s as 4’s and 3’s are likely to see 2’s as 1’s. But I think Scott is also critiquing 2 here. Whether you see #NotAllMen as a tiresome, irrelevant derailment or an important point that needs to be repeated (along with the idea that #YesSomeWomen are also harassers) is a pretty crucial distinction.

          I do think there are more female victims and more male perpetrators but that the numbers are probably closer than most people assume…particularly considering that men are less likely to see harassment aimed at them as being harassment, are less likely to talk about it, and are often actively discouraged from talking about it. I’ve witnessed plenty of instances where people are discussing the harassment of women and as soon as someone brings up the fact that men also get harassed, they’re accused of derailing or of “whataboutthemenz”ing, or someone says “well sure that’s still bad, but it’s not as bad because when people do it to women they’re specifically trying to dominate and oppress them on the basis of being women.” Which, as Scott said, doesn’t fit the actual data because gay men harassing men is just as common as straight men harassing women.

          The structural oppression narrative tends to be a self-fulfilling prophecy. Everyone “knows” that women are structurally oppressed, so women are encouraged to come forward with their stories, which means that there are way more stories from women, which “proves” that women are structurally oppressed, and so on.

          You can acknowledge that there are probably more female victims than male while still acknowledging that the voices of male victims are, in this case, being actively suppressed.

        • shenanigans24 says:

          The law supports position 1 more than the others, as does title IX so it’s not very clear that the reasonable position is held by society for the most part.

          Even witch hunters didn’t have a “believe all accusations” movement. They were more reasonable.

    • quanta413 says:

      I say too optimistic. Like to be honest, I’m male, and I just don’t have the same sort of emotional concern when a man is harassed by a woman. It’s not like I’m super progressive or super patriarchal and that’s why either (the irony of agreement between disparate groups). I can see the argument for symmetry intellectually and I think the media reaction is not ideal, but I dunno. The majority of men and women almost have to spend time together so I figure the damage in this sort of case almost has to be more limited than it is with people of different religions or ethnicities. On the other hand, since most people have to deal with people of the opposite sex at some point, so this may make added unpleasantness more harmful day to day for some personality types.

      A somewhat principled argument for asymmetry can be made. Most men are much physically stronger than most women. Even if most cases aren’t forcible, the animal dominance signals in this matter. Secondly, men aren’t taught as much that it’s important to protect their physical body from other people’s touching, so they might experience less distress for some types of harassment (epistemic status: extremely uncertain. Even just introspecting, I think it’s worked like that for me, but it actually may just be my much higher desire for physical touch than most people means I don’t mind it too much even when unwelcome)

      • jasonbayz says:

        Leapfrogging loyalties?

        • quanta413 says:

          Not quite sure what loyalties I’m supposed to be leapfrogging here in the similarities between people range. Even though it’s not my default mode, I’m normally ok at simulating that mode of thought, but in this case I’m failing at it.

          Explain please?

          • MugaSofer says:

            Women are further “away” from you than men, but you care more about them being harassed, I think is the idea.

          • quanta413 says:

            Wait, but shouldn’t leapfrogging involve one other group? I thought it meant care about X inmost group, dislike next group, like even further group.

            I’m putting women on the inmost ring or next closest ring to me if I’m only splitting people by gender. I think I’m missing something about where the possible splits are.

          • deciusbrutus says:

            Self-all men-all women?

            “You are like me, therefore your suffering is as unimportant as mine is; they are unlike me, and therefore might be capable of experiencing suffering”?

            (Not attributing those beliefs to the agent, just naming the dynamic which emerges from the Umbra to perform its play.

          • quanta413 says:

            @deciusbrutus

            That’s better than any interpretation I would have thought of. Thanks.

      • Steve Sailer says:

        Yeah, it’s kind of like lady schoolteachers going to jail for statuatorily raping 8th grade boys in their class:

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HhEfsx3W9aI

        It strikes most people as less like the Jerry Sandusky case and more like the Adam Sandler-Andy Samberg movie “That’s My Boy” in which Sandler is estranged from his 14-year-younger son Samberg, the product of an affair with his middle school teacher.

        In other words, most people see the effect on the boy as being pretty funny. My vague impression is that most boys who sleep with their female teachers tend to be macho, mature for their years, and crude (i.e., Sandler-like), and that they aren’t all that likely to be psychologically damaged by this.

        But I could be wrong about all this.

        • Steve Sailer says:

          Has there been an increase in the number of women schoolteachers having affairs with underage boy pupils?

          I can recall the first massively publicized case in the 1990s involving Mary Kay Letourneau (whose father was Republican Congressman and right wing third party candidate for President in 1972 John Schmitz).

          But now they seem pretty common. Were they just covered up before editors discovered how much readers enjoy reading about them? Or has there been a cultural change of some sorts generating more of this odd behavior?

          • deciusbrutus says:

            I don’t think it’s possible to tell, given that historically the actual belief was that those were consensual relationships that might technically violate rules but weren’t abuse, and that would have resulted in radically different records not being kept.

          • peterispaikens says:

            It’s not exceedingly rare – in my circle of acquitances I recall two guys (so, not counting those who don’t admit it) who have had sex with their female teachers while underage some two decades ago, and while this technically would count as abuse (and would be treated as such if the genders were swapped), they don’t seem to treat it as a problem – one of them married the teacher a year or two after graduation and they’re still happily married, and the other doesn’t/didn’t seem to mind either; so, as the other commenter said, “consensual relationships that might technically violate rules but weren’t [considered] abuse”.

            Perhaps there is an asymmetry in expectations – that if a teacher has sex with an underage student, then the likelihood that it’s desired/not coerced/not regretted is (or is expected to be) significantly different between the male/female and female/male situations.

      • vV_Vv says:

        There is an evolutionary explanation to the fact that we consider male-on-female sexual harassment and assault far more seriously than female-on-male or homosexual harassment and assault.

        Reproduction is much cheaper for men rather than women. Or at least it used to be before paternity tests and mandatory child support, but in the enviornment of evolutionary adaptation, if a man was sexually assaulted by a woman and she got pregnant, he could just refuse to provide for the child. In terms of evolutionary fitness the assaulted man would be more or less even or possibly slightly better: some expected fitness is lost due to the chance of incurring bodly damage or contracting a STD during the rape, but some expected fitness is gained by the chance that the child is born alive and survives to adulthood, even from a low fertility woman.

        For this reason, we don’t tend to consider female-on-male sexual assault a big deal, and similarly we don’t tend to consider homosexual assault (both male-on-male and female-on-female) a big deal since it can’t result in pregnancy.

        Contrast this with male-on-female assault: in addition to the lost expected fitness due to the risk of bodly damage and STDs, if the assaulted woman gets pregnant, she is at risk of dying during pregnancy or childbirth, and if both she and the child survive, then she’s stuck with a child to breastfeed and care for. Even if the child is abandoned or killed, she has lost ~1 year of fertile lifespan.

        For this reason women are always instinctively on guard against any sexual behavior that could escalate to assault from any man that they consider sexually unworthy, and men are instinctively on guard against any other men assaulting (or even consensually interloping) with women with whom they have a committed sexual relationship or a kinship bond. These innate tendencies probably developed into social norms condemning male-on-female assault and harassment.

        • Steve Sailer says:

          Right. Women get pregnant. That makes male-on-female a bigger deal.

          • gbdub says:

            On the other hand, if you also believe that abortion should be legal in all circumstances, and is a morally neutral or even positive act, I’m not sure you get to use “male-on-female is the most important, because pregnancy” as an argument that male-on-male or female-on-male sexual violence should continue to be treated less harshly legally.

          • vV_Vv says:

            Cheap, effective and safe abortion was not available in the environment of evolutionary adaptation.

            My hypothesis is that the moral intuitions that most people have regarding sexual abuse are not tuned to the modern environment, rather they are largely innate and therefore tuned to the environment of evolutionary adaptation.

          • gbdub says:

            I think it’s fair to say that there is not a ton of overlap between “vocal feminists” and “strong evopsych believers”.

          • Steve Sailer says:

            “I think it’s fair to say that there is not a ton of overlap between “vocal feminists” and “strong evopsych believers”.”

            But feminist women are still products of evolution so their feelings tend to follow the findings of evolutionary psychology even if reject the findings for ideological reasons.

    • moscanarius says:

      Maybe you’re right. But keep in mind that

      (1) Most positions that would be easy to criticize and that would render their bearer odious to the general audience are seldom discussed in broad daylight. I’m sure there are very few people who would say “ignore men victims” in a public forum (very few – “nobody” is too strong a word…), yet this does not mean the position lacks influence.

      (2) Lip service definitely exists, so we often know better about people’s beliefs by looking at what they do, not what they claim they do. I’m sure that if you look the average feminist in the eye and ask “Do you think we should also support male victims of harassment and punish female abusers?”, she is going to agree. But after that, the subject will completely leave her mind, and she will keep talking and acting as if these men did not exist. Most feminists will profess being against all harassment, but will drag their feet to even admit that it happens to a nontrivial number of men – and good luck getting any of them to actually condemn the behaviour of a harassing woman.

      • Yaleocon says:

        I think I agree–especially with your point (2). My point is roughly that, given that “most feminists will profess being against all harassment”, Scott is spending time rebutting a view that is not particularly prevalent. And since the view he’s rebutting *isn’t* the mainstream feminist position, a lot of people will dismiss his argument as not applying to their beliefs and not update their beliefs at all–or worse, they’ll become actively mad, thinking him uncharitable for attacking a “weak man” of their view.

    • gattsuru says:

      Isn’t it? Nobody seriously objects to the fact that there are trends like the 80% thing for men, right? That’s just an empirical fact. And nobody objects to caring about all victims despite that, right? That’s just an obvious normative fact.

      For a fairly extreme counterexample, the FBI’s crime reports model did not recognize rape of men until 2012, and even then was still vaguely worded on the question of forcible envelopment. More broadly, the Duluth model is probably the most common anti-battering program in the United States today, and institutionally refused to consider criminal domestic violence to be something women can commit.

  6. Yaleocon says:

    Also:

    Men probably get victimized disproportionately often compared to the straight/gay ratio because society views harassing females as horrible but harassing men as funny.

    You don’t need the societal/structural element to explain this. I haven’t looked at the actual numbers, but if men are a lot more likely than women to harass/assault people they’re sexually attracted to, then the disparity in assault rates between straights and gays could just come from the fact that there are two men in a gay relationship and only one man in a straight one: hence, a higher likelihood that a gay relationship contains an abuser.

    • Milan says:

      As far as I know, male homosexual relationships have less domestic violence than heterosexual ones, and female ones have more. This suggests that something is wrong with this model.

      • Steve Sailer says:

        The high rate of domestic violence among lesbians is often attested to but I’ve never heard a wholly convincing explanation for it.

        • Aapje says:

          Survey studies consistently show that most domestic abuse is mutual, the second most common type of domestic abuse is unreciprocated violence by the woman against the man and the least common is unreciprocated violence by the man against the woman*.

          So the lesbian domestic violence pattern is exactly what you’d expect when ‘replacing’ the least likely gender to commit domestic violence by the gender more likely to do so.

          I think that the most likely explanation of this pattern is that men get taught not to abuse more than women.

          * The hospital records are very different, probably in large part because the strength difference between men and women means that an equal intent to do damage results in much more damage on average if the perpetrator is the man than if the perpetrator is a woman.

          • sandoratthezoo says:

            I had a girlfriend who attested to the having been violent in previous relationships (she never was with me): specifically, she said she threw things.

            I think that women, probably particularly small women who aren’t notably athletic, can recourse to some violence with the understanding that they aren’t going to do a lot of damage. And incentives matter. There are probably a lot of people who would be interested in striking someone sometimes as long as they believed that it wouldn’t do any lasting harm or cause major legal troubles.

            And… those things should matter. I’m not saying it’s okay to throw things at someone or hit them knowing that the worst you’ll do is bruise them — it’s not. At all. But it’s also not as bad as hitting someone and breaking bones or putting their life in jeopardy.

          • Thegnskald says:

            sandora –

            No.

            If I am not allowed to hit you, you are not allowed to hit me.

            It isn’t about potential harm done, it is about stripping people of the right to defend themselves against attack. Incentives matter, and creating a situation in which somebody can hit me and then claim the legal high ground if I hit back is fucked up.

          • sandoratthezoo says:

            You aren’t allowed to hit me, and I’m not allowed to hit you (I mean, I think we’re both guys, but the same would be true if one of us were a woman).

            But we’re also both not allowed to speed. And we’re both not allowed to murder. It turns out that once you get past “not allowed,” we do in fact still have to quantify how bad was the thing that was not allowed. And sure, it kind of sucks that this is a potentially exploitable difference. But it would also suck if we treated “I got hit and I have a noticeable bruise” the same as “I got hit and went to the ER to deal with the hemorrhaging that put me in danger of organ failure.”

            Finally: My username is a spaces-removed version of “Sandor at the Zoo,” a reference to Vernor Vinge’s novel A Fire Upon the Deep. You’re welcome to keep calling me sandora, but if you’re looking for a shorter version, probably sandor is more correct.

          • Thegnskald says:

            Sandor –

            I just listened to the audiobook and I don’t recall the reference. Ah well.

            Exploitability isn’t a minor matter of small injustice – it is a major flaw. Historically we have treated this flaw seriously, such that hitting somebody after they insult you is treated less seriously than hitting somebody without cause.

            This isn’t even a question, if a small man walks up to the biggest guy in the bar, punches him, and gets his jaw broken. Generally the response will be “Well he was asking for it”. Likewise, we tend to laugh when some burglar breaks into a boxer’s house and gets his face mangled.

            The difference in strength as a mitigating factors is only brought up in the context of men and women, and specifically in the situation of women physically assaulting men.

            Maybe you play by different rules – maybe the beefy dude is wrong to beat up the little guy picking a fight with him. But no, I do not accept that relative strength matters. Assault is assault.

            And if you hit me, you have ten minutes of solid beating to look forward to before I regain my senses. I am not an angry person, either, but a blow to my face short-circuits my brain. I doubt I am alone, either.

            So, given that I have zero control of myself in the event that somebody is stupid enough to punch me in the face, and given that I am a pretty big dude, no. I do not accept that logic. You have taken the choice away from me, and chosen the mode by which we will interact.

          • sandoratthezoo says:

            So, just as a fence around this discussion, you’re wrong as a legal matter, assault is not assault. There’s aggravated assault and aggravated battery, and the degree of self defense that one is allowed is not unlimited.

            As a moral matter, it is absolutely one’s responsibility to retain a sense of proportionality in a fight. I imagine you think the same thing: is it permissible to whip out a knife in a fist-fight? If not, sorry, the same logic applies to beating the crap out of an assailant 100 lbs lighter than you and half your strength.

            Domestic violence situations are, I think, much more common than other highly disproportionate combats where the aggressor is the weaker combatant, and thus where we focus our attention, but I have seen it happen in, like, bar room situations, and the calculus is the same.

            Your rage issues are your own, and I doubt that in other criminal situations, you accept, “Well, but I was really angry” as a defense.

            (Sandor at the Zoo is a minor character. It is a commenter on the net during the crisis that makes fairly calm, sensible, let’s-not-get-carried-away posts. It is a High Beyond military consortium, and its full name is Sandor Arbitration Intelligence at the Zoo.)

          • The Nybbler says:

            As a moral matter, it is absolutely one’s responsibility to retain a sense of proportionality in a fight.

            What? That might be true in sport, or in ritualized mutual combat. It’s not true in general. If someone attacks me, it’s certainly not my moral responsibility to avoid hurting them. Legally the typical rule is I can use whatever force, short of deadly force, is reasonable to stop the attack.

          • Thegnskald says:

            Lost the first version of the response to a network issue.

            Shorter version: Proportionality both isn’t expected of women (a woman stabbing or shooting a man hitting her is considered acceptable), and isn’t expected in other situations, and rightfully so. Proportionality advantages the aggressor, who thus gets to pick the level of violence involved, and isn’t worthwhile as a principle.

            Additionally, I see no issue with berserking when I get attacked. If somebody chooses violence, they have already taken that choice away from me; overwhelming violence is the appropriate response.

          • sandoratthezoo says:

            Nybbler:

            “Amount of force necessary to stop the fight” (and no more) is proportionality. I didn’t say “don’t ever hurt anyone.”

            Thegnskald:

            For a typical woman, seriously attacked by a typical man, a knife or a gun is the only plausible way she has to attaining reasonable defense. Now, these things are complicated and each particular instance is difficult to dissect in retrospect.

            But here’s a hypothetical case involving A, a woman who’s like 110 lbs, and B, a man who’s like 200 lbs and has your attested reaction to being struck: going wildly insane for ten minutes.

            A strikes B, knowing that she is very, very unlikely to be able to seriously injure B even if she tries, and also not trying to seriously injure B.

            B goes insane and repeatedly strikes at A with full force and no restraint.

            At this point, it is not at all implausible that A will be seriously injured or killed. A’s only recourse is a weapon or just trusting B to regain his senses.

            In that example, neither person is a good person, but only B was attempting murder. He is significantly worse than A. And despite your protestations, this is a well-established legal precedent. A probably committed misdemeanor assault and battery, and B would have had a tort against her if he hadn’t retaliated. B committed aggravated assault and battery and is looking at prison time.

          • Thegnskald says:

            Sandor –

            So it is difficult to dissect a woman’s motivations, but it is easy to dissect a man’s?

            There is an assumption baked into your example: A isn’t trying to harm B, and B knows that.

            Invalid assumptions.

            Additionally, you gloss over an important moral consideration: A chose the mode of interaction. B did not. B didn’t attack A, B is responding to an attack by A.

            I do not divorce cause and effect in this way. If doing X causes Y to happen, and it is foreseeable, doing X makes you responsible for Y. And yes, I think getting a beat-down is a foreseeable result of hitting somebody.

            ETA:

            And the legal precedent isn’t quite that clean. Under some jurisdictions it would be plain self-defense, in others imperfect self-defense.

          • gbdub says:

            “It’s wrong to bring a knife to a fist fight”. Sure, but it’s also wrong to bring fists to a word fight. Why is the second escalation more objectionable than the first?

          • The Nybbler says:

            “Amount of force necessary to stop the fight” (and no more) is proportionality. I didn’t say “don’t ever hurt anyone.”

            It’s not “(and no more)”. It’s “no more” than could be reasonable to stop the fight, but I’m not required to apply the exact amount of force necessary to stop it. And this isn’t proportionality. Even if whoever is hitting me could never do serious harm, I can hit them back so as to do serious harm, as long as I stop when the fight is clearly over. If I’ve broken one of their arms, split their lip and broken their nose, blackened both of their eyes, and suffered nothing but a few bruises and scratches myself, and yet like the Black Knight they still insist on coming at me, I can hit them AGAIN. At least if it’s an adult man.

          • sandoratthezoo says:

            I didn’t say it was easy to dissect A’s motivations, and I didn’t say that B understood A’s intentions.

            I said, if we grant ourselves a perfect, fully-understood hypothetical situation, that both people were bad, but A was trying to cause minor pain to B, and B was at best being uncaring about whether he killed A, and those two things are not equal.

            So, I’d like a complete answer from you about that particular hypothetical, granting that it’s an unrealistically clean hypothetical: do you grant that B is doing something much worse than A in that particular, unrealistically clean hypothetical?

            If you’re sufficiently more physically powerful than your opponent, you don’t need to be able to read their mind, you just need to understand that there’s no need for you to escalate violence, and that “X punches Y, Y punches X” can be an escalation, if Y is sufficiently physically more powerful than X.

            @gdub:

            Escalation from emotional pain to emotional pain + some physical pain/small injuries.

            Escalation from physical pain/small injuries to risk of breaking bones, crippling, or death.

            Do I really need to explain why one of those is a bigger deal than the other? Are you sure?

          • sandoratthezoo says:

            @The Nybbler:

            Nobody said anything about exactness, you’re bringing that up to try to make your position seem more reasonable.

            I also don’t think that allusions to Monty Python’s The Black Knight are actually very helpful in clarifying real combat situations. Call me crazy!

            Let’s be clear that “an adult, healthy man who is legitimately being violent towards you but has no real capacity to do you any real harm, and persists in the face of your effective opposition” is a very unlikely scenario. Because it’s deeply unlikely, the law may struggle with how precisely to deal with it if you are exuberantly violent towards that person. (Though I think you’d be wrong if you expected a clean, simple exoneration). This is how the law works: it is often willing to deal with poor outcomes in very unlikely cases in order to give itself the tools necessary for good outcomes in much more common cases.

            However, your moral duty in that unlikely case is to do something reasonably close to the minimum harm necessary to stop the violence (not “exact,” because it’s impossible to be exact in this kind of situation), and you see that moral duty reflected in the law in plenty of cases where “unable to do you harm” is a more likely situation (such as “people who aren’t adult men.”)

          • johnmcg says:

            Escalation from emotional pain to emotional pain + some physical pain/small injuries.

            Escalation from physical pain/small injuries to risk of breaking bones, crippling, or death.

            Imagine A and B are in hand to hand combat. A has access to a club; B has access to a knife.

            A decides to start using the club. B responds by using the knife, to gruesome effect on A. How should responsibility for this be allocated?

            I think the assumptions in arguing in assigning the preponderance of responsibility on “A” are:

            * A’s escalation is chosen, while B’s is somewhat involuntary.
            * B does not have the option of simply matching this new level. B can either continue at a disadvantage, or escalate past the level A has established.

            Allocating responsibility to A also has the advantage of establishing a general norm against introducing physical violence to a situation.

            This may note be an airtight case, and doesn’t mean the responsibility is 100/0, but I think it is a stronger case than you are representing it to be.

          • Randroid says:

            Domestic relationship is an iterated game.

            Multiples of pain/damage as B’s response dissuades future aggression from A.

            10 minute rage is a game ending condition in most scenarios.

          • Thegnskald says:

            Sandor –

            A bit late, but the post going down ate my last three versions of this reply before I realized what was going on.

            No, I don’t think B is worse. Indeed, I think B is justified.

            Part of this is that I don’t think being better at violence means you don’t get to defend yourself.

            Part of this is that I am bisexual, and don’t treat women as special. Conservation of assholes; women are just as assholish as men.

            And a large part is that I think proportionality is an invalid criteria to apply to self-defense. I am not a utilitarian, but even if I were, minimizing short-term harm from interactions at the expense of long-term incentives is, well, short-sighted. If the worst someone is allowed to do to you is what you do to them, then all power is in the hands of the aggressor; the terms of engagement are set at the aggressor’s comfort level.

            That sounds insane to me.

          • gbdub says:

            Escalation from physical pain/small injuries to risk of breaking bones, crippling, or death.

            Do I really need to explain why one of those is a bigger deal than the other? Are you sure?

            I think you need to explain to me why I ought to give the same weight to injury suffered by an aggressor due to his aggression that I give to injury suffered by a victim of aggression.

            Let’s say you decide to attack me with your fists over our disagreement on this thread. I gave no indication that I was intending to physically attack you, and we haven’t come to any sort of mutual agreement to honorable fisticuffs.

            Now, maybe I could take you in fisticuffs – for the sake of argument let’s say we’re about the same size and strength. But maybe I can’t – in that case, you’d win, and if you’re not self-restrained (which I have no way of knowing if you are until it’s too late to do anything about it) you can certainly do serious or even crippling or fatal damage to me with your fists and feet. Maybe it will turn out that your normally restrained punch hits me just wrong and induces an aneurysm. Or, even if I will win, by definition you’ve said I’m only supposed to use some sort of proportional force – so there’s a good chance you’ll land some injurious blows on me before I can knock you out.

            I have access to a knife. You would say I should not use it, because that’s an escalation to something more likely to be deadly. But why should I increase the risk of injury to myself to avoid injury to you? You’re the one that made physical violence inevitable – I had no choice in the matter.

            Your standard, as others have mentioned, is unfair because it allows aggressors (that is, the bad guy!) to unilaterally set the terms of a confrontation. No! The bad guy should be at a higher risk of worse injury, because that’s how you discourage bad guys and prevent them from unilaterally initiating violence.

            In other words, I think when you make the initial escalation to physical violence, you forfeit the right to complain about additional escalations.

            Now, I think an “honorable” person would avoid causing serious injury if it’s obvious their attacker can’t really hurt them. But that’s still taking a risk to avoid hurting someone who could have avoided any injury at all by simply not attacking you. So I don’t think we should confuse “honor” with “obligation” and especially not “legal obligation”.

        • Desertopa says:

          Aapje already mentioned the “most women not taught not to be physically violent towards partners” angle, but one issue that I’d speculate might be involved…

          The rate of female domestic violence towards men is probably diminished by the fact that people are very often afraid to try and hurt people who’re bigger and stronger than they are. If you think the other person could beat you up if they tried, that’s a big disincentive to hit them. Women in relationships with other women likely hit their partners more than women in relationships with men because they’re less afraid of the possibility of being hit back.

  7. Toby Bartels says:

    I wondered when SSC was going to get to this topic!

    I’ve definitely heard of male victims in the post-Weinstein media narrative (Kevin Spacey’s for example). But not female perpetrators.

    I’d like to see statistics about whether female victims receive (or male perpetrators commit) more *pervasive* harassment, but I imagine that this will be hard to get; the problem of inconsistent definitions will be exacerbated.

  8. reasoned argumentation says:

    The “amusing” thing is that of the prominent accused harassers 80+% of them belonged to the author of this piece’s ethnic group (yes, you can check into this).

    It really really sounds like someone trying to distract from his ingroup by making it about a much wider group.

    • BBA says:

      Your antisemitism is duly noted.

      • Mark says:

        I don’t know who comments like this are aimed at.

        I think most of us grew up with the idea that anti-semitism was mad racism. Racism against people who were good. Jealousy.

        But if someone is giving an example of bad Jewish behaviour, I don’t think you can just dismiss it with “no, no nothing to see here (and if you do see it, you’re bad)”

    • quanta413 says:

      Second sentence neither kind nor true nor necessary. And probably the opposite in every case. Go away.

      EDIT: Should have mentioned. Maybe first sentence is true, but I don’t care enough to think a non-random sample like that means anything. Still not kind or necessary.

      • reasoned argumentation says:

        Maybe first sentence is true, but I don’t care enough to think a non-random sample like that means anything.

        Then you don’t understand probability.

        The probability that an ethnic group that’s 2% of the population would be 80% of the credibly accused prominent sexual harassers is staggeringly small unless the mean “harass-ish” behavior mean is radically skewed in that ethnic group.

        • quanta413 says:

          Not if the revelations are focused in particular industries with somewhat unique power and sexual dynamics that also happen to have that group very overrepresented at a high status level.

          Nice try though.

          • pipsterate says:

            I think this is it. Right now the focus is mainly on Hollywood, but eventually the focus may shift to other places and other institutions, with different ethnic/religious makeups. Hollywood is probably first because it’s, naturally, in the public spotlight and attracts the most attention.

            For example, did you know that among sexual abusers in the Catholic church, the abusers were found to be Catholic at a vastly higher rate than the general population?

          • Steve Sailer says:

            Hollywood brought some semi-instant karma on itself by giving its Best Picture Oscar 20 months ago to “Spotlight,” a decent but minor movie about the Catholic priest boy-bothering scandals at a time when Hollywood was sitting on tons of scandals and using its power to manipulate the press to keep most of them hidden.

          • reasoned argumentation says:

            For example, did you know that among sexual abusers in the Catholic church, the abusers were found to be Catholic at a vastly higher rate than the general population?

            Two things.

            First – so you’re saying that the entertainment industry and the press are Jewish the way the Catholic Church is Catholic? Sure, go with that – put that up on your social media and see what happens.

            Second – about the Catholic Church scandal – the Church was quite strongly against allowing gay men as priests but in the 1960s that prohibition broke down – which (of course) snowballed in a way that would be familiar to a Byzantine emperor – men with sexual ties to each other mutually protected each other and used alliances against men outside the gang. The nature of the abuse cases highlights this – priests fondling teenagers which got languaged to “pedophile priests” which went culturally viral as “child raping priests”. So yeah, by all means help to root out the gay men in the Catholic Church hierarchy and maybe notice the same pattern has the potential to play out in lots of other areas like the Boy Scouts, for example.

          • pipsterate says:

            I think it’s clear exactly what I meant, and I don’t think there’s any doubt who the anti-Semite here is.

            Catholic priest sexual abuse, by the way, was directed at children of both genders. It doesn’t matter in the slightest whether the priests were gay or not, what matters is abuse of power and pedophilia.

            This is from wikipedia:

            The abused include boys and girls, some as young as 3 years old, with the majority between the ages of 11 and 14

            And if you’re actually going to try to equate the sexual abuse of minors with consensual gay relationships, then I’m not even sure how to respond to that. Perhaps by leaving websites where people say such things.

          • Steve Sailer says:

            “Catholic priest sexual abuse, by the way, was directed at children of both genders. It doesn’t matter in the slightest whether the priests were gay or not, what matters is abuse of power and pedophilia.”

            That’s The Narrative all right. I remember a little sermon in “Spotlight” just like that.

            Unfortunately, it’s more misleading than informative. In reality, most of the priest scandals involved gay men.

            Mandatory celibacy is tough on a man. It’s a lonely life. That’s why most other religions don’t demand it of their religious leaders. And that’s why the Catholic church had so many more sex scandals than Protestant and Jewish sects. Being a Catholic priest was less and less an appealing career for straight men, so they let in a lot of gays, some of whom got lonely and slipped up, often while drunk.

            By the way, as far as I can tell, there wasn’t much of the brutal Jerry Sandusky-style rape that people imagine in the priest scandals. Most of the perps were gentle gay men, not linebacker coaches, so the sex acts were more on the groping end of the spectrum. (The James Levine scandals so far also seem not quite as bad as you might think.)

          • reasoned argumentation says:

            I think it’s clear exactly what I meant

            I agree but you seem to think your statement has some other meaning than “the media and entertainment are Jewish controlled in the same way that the Catholic Church is Catholic controlled”. What is that meaning?

          • Aapje says:

            I would expect asexual heterosexual men and relatively high libido homosexual men to strongly prefer Catholic priesthood over others, in a society/(sub)culture where heterosexual relationships are the norm and homosexual relationships get disapproved of. After all, Catholic priesthood gives both groups legitimacy for refusing to enter into heterosexual relationships that they don’t want.

            So I don’t think that a possible high rate of abuse by gay priests tells us anything about gays in general.

          • pipsterate says:

            I wrote a long reply earlier, but it seems to have disappeared. I don’t know whether it got automatically filtered out, or if Scott removed it (it broke at least one rule) or if I accidentally clicked the delete button while trying to fix a typo.

            So let me just state, briefly, that I think everyone here, including you, knows exactly what I meant. And I have nothing more to say to you.

            I think I’m done with this website.

          • skef says:

            Unfortunately, it’s more misleading than informative. In reality, most of the priest scandals involved gay men.

            Mandatory celibacy is tough on a man. It’s a lonely life. That’s why most other religions don’t demand it of their religious leaders. And that’s why the Catholic church had so many more sex scandals than Protestant and Jewish sects. Being a Catholic priest was less and less an appealing career for straight men, so they let in a lot of gays, some of whom got lonely and slipped up, often while drunk.

            It’s not quite this simple, or binary.

            Many of the priests in question were (“true”) pedophiles. Obviously, our culture also obviously requires mandatory celibacy of pedophiles (at least when it comes to their preference). Pedophiles often have sex preferences, but they tend to be less strong because children are much less sexually differentiated.

            Many of the pedophile priests are put into the “gay” column because they only abused boys. But of course they abused boys. Under what common circumstances have Catholics left girls alone with priests?

            (And what the Catholic Church requires of priests in practice is to forgo any public evidence of relationships. They can fuck as much as their conscience allows, which, one presumes, is quite a bit.)

          • Steve Sailer says:

            “Under what common circumstances have Catholics left girls alone with priests?”

            I don’t think there’s that much paranoia about priests being alone with girls on occasion. That Catholic priests were supposedly raping females in the confessional was a big Protestant Reformation tale, but it wasn’t a big deal to Catholics.

          • skef says:

            I don’t think there’s that much paranoia about priests being alone with girls on occasion.

            Different question.

          • The original Mr. X says:

            Mandatory celibacy is tough on a man. It’s a lonely life. That’s why most other religions don’t demand it of their religious leaders. And that’s why the Catholic church had so many more sex scandals than Protestant and Jewish sects

            The stats I’ve seen suggest that the % of abusers in the Catholic priesthood is, at worst, no higher than that among either Protestant pastors or the public in general (not sure how Rabbis compare, though).

          • rlms says:

            @The original Mr. X
            Which stats? I don’t think that’s true for Ireland specifically.

          • The original Mr. X says:

            @Rlms:

            Which stats? I don’t think that’s true for Ireland specifically.

            The ones reported here, for example:

            Yet experts say there’s simply no data to support the claim [that Catholic priests frequently abuse children] at all. No formal comparative study has ever broken down child sexual abuse by denomination, and only the Catholic Church has released detailed data about its own. But based on the surveys and studies conducted by different denominations over the past 30 years, experts who study child abuse say they see little reason to conclude that sexual abuse is mostly a Catholic issue. “We don’t see the Catholic Church as a hotbed of this or a place that has a bigger problem than anyone else,” said Ernie Allen, president of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. “I can tell you without hesitation that we have seen cases in many religious settings, from traveling evangelists to mainstream ministers to rabbis and others.”

            Since the mid-1980s, insurance companies have offered sexual misconduct coverage as a rider on liability insurance, and their own studies indicate that Catholic churches are not higher risk than other congregations. Insurance companies that cover all denominations, such as Guide One Center for Risk Management, which has more than 40,000 church clients, does not charge Catholic churches higher premiums. “We don’t see vast difference in the incidence rate between one denomination and another,” says Sarah Buckley, assistant vice president of corporate communications. “It’s pretty even across the denominations.” It’s been that way for decades. While the company saw an uptick in these claims by all types of churches around the time of the 2002 U.S. Catholic sex-abuse scandal, Eric Spacick, Guide One’s senior church-risk manager, says “it’s been pretty steady since.” On average, the company says 80 percent of the sexual misconduct claims they get from all denominations involve sexual abuse of children. As a result, the more children’s programs a church has, the more expensive its insurance, officials at Guide One said.

            The only hard data that has been made public by any denomination comes from John Jay College’s study of Catholic priests, which was authorized and is being paid for by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops following the public outcry over the 2002 scandals. Limiting their study to plausible accusations made between 1950 and 1992, John Jay researchers reported that about 4 percent of the 110,000 priests active during those years had been accused of sexual misconduct involving children. Specifically, 4,392 complaints (ranging from “sexual talk” to rape) were made against priests by 10,667 victims. (Reports made after 2002, including those of incidents that occurred years earlier, are released as part of the church’s annual audits.)

            Experts disagree on the rate of sexual abuse among the general American male population, but Allen says a conservative estimate is one in 10. Margaret Leland Smith, a researcher at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, says her review of the numbers indicates it’s closer to one in 5. But in either case, the rate of abuse by Catholic priests is not higher than these national estimates. The public also doesn’t realize how “profoundly prevalent” child sexual abuse is, adds Smith. Even those numbers may be low; research suggests that only a third of abuse cases are ever reported (making it the most underreported crime). “However you slice it, it’s a very common experience,” Smith says.

            So, not only is the Catholic Church not a hotbed of abuse, but the number of priests credibly accused of abuse is less than half what we’d expect based on the general population. Of course, not all abusers will have been accused, and not all genuine accusations will have seemed credible to the researchers, but there appears to be no basis for thinking that Catholic priests are more likely to abuse children than the average man, and some basis for thinking that they’re (perhaps significantly) less likely.

        • zoltan berrigomo says:

          80% sounds way too high. The list of men accused all the time changes but using this list as a proxy:

          https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/11/10/us/men-accused-sexual-misconduct-weinstein.html

          …I see some Jewish names but not nearly as much. In particular, out of this list of 34 I counted 12 people who are either widely known to be Jewish or have names that are typically Jewish (I did not google the ethnicity of every participant).

          The question of whether various ethnic groups are indeed over-represented deserves to be considered, but would benefit from a careful analysis (as opposed to throwing out questionable claims without support).

          Jews are generally over-represented in certain areas of life – Richard Posner in his book Public Intellectuals noted that 50% of the people he profiled were Jewish. For related reasons, Jews are over-represented in Hollywood as well. All of which is to say, the relevant baseline to compare to is emphatically not 2%.

          • Steve Sailer says:

            Seinfeld co-creator Larry David did something during his Saturday Night Live monologue last month that is almost unknown in 21st-century America: He engaged in Jewish self-criticism in front of gentiles:

            “A lot of sexual harassment stuff in the news, and I couldn’t help but notice a very disturbing pattern emerging, which is that many of the predators, not all, but many of them are Jews….

            “I don’t like when Jews are in the headlines for notorious reasons. I want “Einstein Discovers the Theory of Relativity,” “Salk Cures Polio.” What I don’t want? “Weinstein Took It Out.””

            Not surprisingly, David’s violation of the contemporary rule—Don’t joke about the Jews—was not well received.

            http://takimag.com/article/curb_your_self_awareness_steve_sailer/print#ixzz50MoEGPXZ

          • Le Maistre Chat says:

            Man, sometimes your taboo opinions don’t seem like either bravery or edgelording, but simply describing a parallel universe. This stuff about a pattern of Jewish men preying on shiksas is just incomprehensible to me.
            Obviously Jews are overrepresented by a factor of 20 in Hollywood and journalism. That seems sufficient to explain the data.

          • quanta413 says:

            @Le Maistre Chat

            It’s also often culturally more acceptable within one group to harass or harm women outside that group. I would be surprised if that didn’t end up having a sort of effect that cross-cultural harassment or rape ends up being more common than you’d expect given how different groups tend to be somewhat segregated. It could easily still be less common though than we’d expect if the population was a well mixed ideal gas of individuals (and I’d guess that it probably is although I haven’t checked numbers).

            EDIT: Just to be clear I don’t mean racial groups by groups although that’s one category I expect it to may apply to. I think class differences will be huge here and more significant although largely asymmetrical (with upper class people harassing lower class people with relative impunity).

          • reasoned argumentation says:

            quanta413

            It’s also often culturally more acceptable within one group to harass or harm women outside that group.

            Rachel Weisz noted this:

            http://www.indexmagazine.com/interviews/rachel_weisz.shtml

            RACHEL: Hollywood’s run by Jews. I was advised by an American agent when I was about 19 to change my surname. And I said “Why? Jews run Hollywood.” He said “Exactly.” He had a theory that all the executives think acting’s a job for shiksas.

            In some way acting is prostitution, and Hollywood Jews don’t want their own women to participate. Also, there’s an element of Portnoy’s Complaint — they all fancy Aryan blondes.

        • deciusbrutus says:

          With a sample size this small, what’s the p-value?

          And the ethnic group is already overrepresented in “high-profile people, but it’s hard to say by exactly how much.

          • Steve Sailer says:

            “And the ethnic group is already overrepresented in high-profile people, but it’s hard to say by exactly how much.”

            It’s funny how the news media have published tons of statistics about how whites are over-represented in Hollywood, Silicon Valley, and Wall Street, but the statistical question of Jewish representation in those three industries remains a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma.

            It’s almost as if the reason nobody knows much is because everybody knows you aren’t supposed to know much.

          • Watchman says:

            @ Steve Sailer,

            Or that it’s somewhat more difficult to define someone as Jewish if their name is not obvious than it is to define someone as black. Having a large nose is not actually diagnostic you know.

            Of course, the news media could do research. But how likely is that?

          • Steve Sailer says:

            Wikipedia generally lists the ethnic ancestries of celebrities in the first few paragraphs. Most celebrities have generally explained their ancestries in interviews, so it’s public knowledge.

            There are also numerous Jewish websites devoted to evaluating how Jewish celebrities are. And Jewish publications like the Forward and the Tablet tend to be pretty forward about the subject.

            There’s a lot of data out there if anybody is interested. For example, humorist Joel Stein didn’t have much trouble coming up with the data for his 2008 column in the L.A. Times: “Who Runs Hollywood? C’mon”

            http://articles.latimes.com/2008/dec/19/opinion/oe-stein19

            But most gentiles have gotten the sense that this is the single most radioactive topic in contemporary America so don’t dare be interested in it.

          • The Nybbler says:

            @Steve Sailer

            The news media can’t even figure out that whites _aren’t_ over-represented in Silicon Valley (or Hollywood; I don’t know about Wall Street), why would you expect them to get anything right regarding other ethnic groups?

          • Nornagest says:

            But most gentiles have gotten the sense that this is the single most radioactive topic in contemporary America so don’t dare be interested in it.

            I’m sure there are statistics out there somewhere, but why would anyone care? You know as well as I do that ethnic representation arguments (outside specialized contexts) always boil down to advocating for a couple of specific ethnicities, and Jews aren’t on the list.

            The entertainment industry’s full of Jews, and by and large Gentiles that know anything about the industry (most don’t), know that and are fine with it. That isn’t radioactive, it’s just not a going concern.

          • Steve Sailer says:

            “I’m sure there are statistics out there somewhere, but why would anyone care?”

            Because we are constantly told by the respectable media that White Privilege explains the over-representation of whites in good jobs, but nobody ever is allowed to make the analogous argument that Jewish Privilege would therefore explain the extreme over-representation of Jews in those same jobs. (See the #OscarsSoWhite campaign of recent years for a comic example.)

            If Jewish intellectuals and journalists were regularly confronted in respectable forums with questions about the evident, Jewish Privilege, then they might not be as aggressive in pushing the White Privilege storyline. But they’ve managed to rule out such questions so that most gentiles feel Crimestop descending like a fog on their brains whenever anyone is so rude as to mention it.

          • Nornagest says:

            If you’re trying to say that privilege theory is incoherent, I don’t disagree. But beyond that… eh, you see ethnic niches in any multiethnic society. There happening to be lot of Jews in entertainment doesn’t seem any more sinister to me than, say, the Patel Motel Cartel.

          • Steve Sailer says:

            I’m interested in the Patel Motel Cartel. I first read about it perhaps 30 years ago, and welcome updates. But … people don’t get hot under the collar and/or demand to know why in the world you’d be interested in Patels and motels when you mention it, the way well-trained Americans get “Crimestop” flashing in their heads when you mention Jewish disproportionate representation in the really influential jobs.

            The full scope of Jewish achievement in American life was summarized in 1995 by Seymour Martin Lipset, a Senior Scholar of the Wilstein Institute for Jewish Policy Studies, and Earl Raab, Director of the Perlmutter Institute for Jewish Advocacy at Brandeis University:

            “During the last three decades, Jews have made up 50% of the top two hundred intellectuals, 40 percent of American Nobel Prize Winners in science and economics, 20 percent of professors at the leading universities, 21 percent of high level civil servants, 40 percent of partners in the leading law firms in New York and Washington, 26 percent of the reporters, editors, and executives of the major print and broadcast media, 59 percent of the directors, writers, and producers of the fifty top-grossing motion pictures from 1965 to 1982, and 58 percent of directors, writers, and producers in two or more primetime television series.”

          • Whitedeath says:

            But … people don’t get hot under the collar and/or demand to know why in the world you’d be interested in Patels and motels when you mention it, the way well-trained Americans get “Crimestop” flashing in their heads when you mention Jewish disproportionate representation in the really influential jobs

            I wonder why that could be? Certainly not because Jews were genocided by people who constantly brought up how Jews were too influential in society. I’m sure that has nothing to do with it.

          • Steve Sailer says:

            I’m sure you could say much the same about the genocide of whites in Haiti in the early 1800s, but that’s not considered a decent reason to avoid all objective study, much less criticism, of whites as a race and an ethnicity.

        • shenanigans24 says:

          I think a sample of accusers who’ve made the news is too small to draw any conclusions from. Let’s say it were true that Jews were more likely to be harassers, the evidence needed would have to come from some better data.

          Any sample that involves the news popularity of an event is skewed. Watching the news I would think 90% of all the people who’ve ever died were actors and politicians.

    • jasonbayz says:

      ” prominent accused harassers 80+% of them belonged to the author of this piece’s ethnic group”

      Not really. The Great Purge has expanded quite a bit beyond Hollywood pervs, to people like this guy:

      http://www.unz.com/isteve/and-then-they-came-for-some-paraplegic-public-radio-sjw/

      As for the ethnic insinuation, if there is a pattern of a group promoting a certain viewpoint for ethnic reasons, it certainly isn’t men’s rights. But maybe that’s just my own parentheses talking.

    • Scott Alexander says:

      Are we talking whites or Jews here?

      • reasoned argumentation says:

        The latter – in fact the prominent names that are white and aren’t Jewish are about equal in number to the prominent black names.

        • Scott Alexander says:

          Since your comment was neither kind nor necessary, I’m interested it you can prove it true. Find me an unbiased list (ie not ad hoc made for this purpose) of people accused in these kinds of scandals recently where greater than 80% are Jewish. Otherwise this seems pretty bannable.

          • Steve Sailer says:

            80% is too high. One commenter here suggested 34% based on an NYT list of accused. And some of the accused, such as Matthew Weiner of Mad Men fame and, perhaps, Al Franken, seem relatively innocent to me (there is still only one accusation against Weiner after several weeks and the Franken stuff seems pretty minor to me), Yet, at least the NYT list is a start.

            But clearly Jews are disproportionately represented in the current scandals by an order of magnitude or more

            For example, the central figure, Harvey Weinstein, called a former prime minister of Israel to put him in touch with an Israeli deep state firm called Black Cube to help him intimidate into silence the 91 people on Harvey’s Enemies List. That’s pretty funny.

            As Larry David implied, if nobody publicly criticizes Jews for stereotypical (i.e., statistically accurate) tendencies toward certain types of bad behavior, why would they feel much need to do better? Harvey Weinstein, for example, behaved like a completely stereotypical Jewish movie mogul for 30 years, and was almost totally shielded from public criticism for 29.8 of those years.

            Human beings don’t like criticism and naturally try to silence it, but on the whole criticism is good for us.

          • Null42 says:

            Ah, finally some real numbers to engage with…

            I’d say this is an artifact of this sort of thing happening in the media industries, where due to economic factors (mass production of newspapers means there are relatively few jobs in media, giving the few gatekeepers enormous power and therefore free rein to misbehave until now) power imbalances are extreme and due to historical factors there are lots of Jews in charge.

            If they trained their sights on Wall Street you’d probably see a smaller but still disproportionate number of Jews. The oil industry or golf course architects, not so much.

            But it’s the media, so everything that happens is news.

          • reasoned argumentation says:

            EDIT – was posted as a reply to the wrong comment.

            Find me an unbiased list (ie not ad hoc made for this purpose) of people accused in these kinds of scandals recently where greater than 80% are Jewish.

            Such a list, of course, doesn’t and can’t exist.

            The NY Times list includes people like Moore – who’s credibly been noted to have dated teenaged girls when he was in his 30s and non-credibly accused of other stuff in a hilariously transparent attempt to throw a senate seat to the other party. It also doesn’t include Ron Jeremy and James Deen who were accused of sexual assault and rape (and are Jewish).

            That being said here’s the analysis of the NY Times list. Methodology was to check wikipedia for early life. In a few cases following through to links to parents’ wikipedia pages gave the answer when it wasn’t specified in the named man’s page. The NY Times decided that accusations against a few men who were not prominent enough for their own wikipedia pages were noteworthy – I excluded those from the list.

            The original list contained 10 Jewish men and 2 men who are half Jewish, 11 men who are not Jewish, 5 men not in wikipedia, 1 man that I couldn’t determine, and 2 men that I couldn’t determine definitively but seem unlikely to be Jewish.

            Summary – 12 out of 26 in the NY Times list for 46%.

            Other lists that I’ve seen contain higher percentages but of course there are going to be issues with motivation when someone sets out to make up a list of how many prominent accused sexual harassers are Jewish – on both sides (as people have helpfully pointed out the media is strongly disproportionately Jewish and if that applies as a reason for massive over-representation on a list like this, it also applies as a reason they wouldn’t want to point out the misbehavior of their co-ethnics).

            Additionally (as Steve Sailer has helpfully pointed out) everyone knows that it’s toxic to your career to notice this sort of thing so no one looks particularly hard into it unless they’re immune to media hate.

            If you want to ban me for pointing out bad behavior of your tribe / co-ethnics / in-group I suppose I’d understand that motivation.

          • Atlas says:

            @reasonedargumentation

            Let me first note that I don’t believe your comments should result in a ban, and I agree with you and Steve Sailer that attempts by Jews to silence/censor criticism are bad (for both Jews and Gentiles.)

            You wrote:

            Summary – 12 out of 26 in the NY Times list for 46%.

            So by your own admission, there is a 34 percentage point/40% gap between the unsourced floor figure you originally confidently provided and the sourced figure you actually produced? Do you think that this has any relevance to how people should interpret the truth value of your original comment?

            Other lists that I’ve seen contain higher percentages but of course there are going to be issues with motivation when someone sets out to make up a list of how many prominent accused sexual harassers are Jewish – on both sides (as people have helpfully pointed out the media is strongly disproportionately Jewish and if that applies as a reason for massive over-representation on a list like this, it also applies as a reason they wouldn’t want to point out the misbehavior of their co-ethnics).

            This proves too much—if mainstream media outlets disproportionately owned and staffed by Jews are in a conspiracy (or exercising a “group evolutionary strategy”) to quietly cover up accusations against Jews…why did they run investigations and print articles about any Jewish men being accused of sexual harassment in the first place? (A particularly important example being the NYT article about Weinstein that started the wave.)

            Surely, if these accusations were such a threat to Jews, and Jews are pushing an ethnic agenda in both Hollywood and the news media, Jewish influence over the mainstream media could have been exercised via ethnic networking to pre-empt any such media coverage in the first place?

          • reasoned argumentation says:

            So by your own admission, there is a 34 percentage point/40% gap between the unsourced floor figure you originally confidently provided and the sourced figure you actually produced?

            I take the NY Times as a biased source (again, if you’re excusing the Jewish overrepresentation on these lists as a consequence of their overrepresentation in the media you can’t then forget that same thing immediately afterward) but even by their sourcing which inappropriately includes some (Roy Moore) and inappropriately excludes others (Ron Jeremy, James Deen) the numbers come out as wildly disproportional for a population that’s 2% of the country. I assume the NY Times list didn’t include Matt Lauer because it was published before the accusations against him were made known to the wider public. Matt Lauer is half Jewish according to his wikipedia page. EDIT – (James Levine and Israel Horowitz as well)

            why did they run investigations and print articles about any Jewish men being accused of sexual harassment in the first place?

            They didn’t and such stories were squelched for a very long time (about Weinstein specifically – his reputation was widely enough known by insiders that Lena Dunham claims she warned the Hilary campaign not to have so many fundraisers organized by Weinstein – also Seth Macfarlane joked at the Oscars about Harvey in 2013). One particular man (Ronan Farrow) investigated and his story was (again) squelched by his bosses. That story got out anyway and the newly decentralized media paid attention. This caused a piling on to the original target and others for obvious game theory reasons.

          • Atlas says:

            I take the NY Times as a biased source (again, if you’re excusing the Jewish overrepresentation on these lists as a consequence of their overrepresentation in the media you can’t then forget that same thing immediately afterward) but even by their sourcing which inappropriately includes some (Roy Moore) and inappropriately excludes others (Ron Jeremy, James Deen) the numbers come out as wildly disproportional for a population that’s 2% of the country.

            I agree that Jews are disproportionately represented in media; I disagree that this automatically proves that media outlets are obviously biased in favor of Jews to the point where one can take that as a given in their composition of this list.

            Consider that your argument is the mirror of left-wing social justice ones, like: black people are underrepresented in the US government (e.g. I think there are only ~5 black senators at the moment, relative to ~12% of general population.) Therefore, when African-Americans are accused and convicted of crimes, of course they’ll be treated more harshly by a “structurally racist” justice system, because of course since white people hold more political power they would build a justice system that discriminates against blacks.

            Or: Silicon Valley programmers are disproportionately male. There must be discrimination against women playing a role in this, because of course men would create a patriarchal system favoring themselves in perpetuity.

            Thus, I don’t think that because journalists are disproportionately Jewish of course they’d always and everywhere coordinate to bias these lists in favor of Jews/against Gentiles. Obviously given sufficient evidence for its own merits I’d accept the claim, but I don’t agree that disproportionate representation of a group in a field is enough to assume that said group is coordinating in its own favor.

            The evidence you provide to support this contention is that the NYT didn’t include the accusations against Ron Jeremy or James Deen. The accusations against Deen seem to have been from 2015, which would seem to explain why—- one might as easily ask why e.g. Bill Cosby wasn’t included.

            The accusations against Jeremy seem to have been made this year, so it’s fairer to ask why he wasn’t included. But the most comprehensive detailing of the accusations I could find was in Rolling Stone, a magazine founded by a Jew and I assume disproportionately staffed by Jews.

            Thus, I don’t think that Jeremy was left off the list because he was Jewish—if so, it would be weird that Jewish influence would be exercised in this relatively trivial case but not in the much more significant one where RS researched and released a long article detailing and highlighting accusations made against him. I thus strongly suspect that some non-ethnic factor explains his omission and that if Jeremy was a Gentile he would not have been included on the list either.

            Incidentally, if you take a more expansive definition of “Jewish” (e.g. 1/2 parents) when identifying harassers, you also need to take one when defining the Jewish share of the US population, which, according to Pew’s 2013 report, would go from ~2 to ~4% if you do.

            They didn’t and such stories were squelched for a very long time

            So media outlets didn’t run stories about Hollywood harassment… until they did…so they didn’t? Your hypothesis didn’t have strong evidence against it, until it did, so it still doesn’t have strong evidence against it?

            One particular man (Ronan Farrow) investigated and his story was (again) squelched by his bosses. That story got out anyway and the newly decentralized media paid attention. This caused a piling on to the original target and others for obvious game theory reasons.

            But the story didn’t get out by becoming viral on Twitter, or written about on TDS or /pol/, it got out by…being published in that famously alternative, right-wing media outlet, the New Yorker. (And I’m not sure about the reporting chronology, but in terms of publishing the NYT article was published a few days earlier, and I recall that in her Radio Atlantic interview the journalist who co-wrote it said that she’d been working on it for months beforehand.)

            I agree that decentralized social media, such as Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook, played an important role in the spread of the allegations. But the bulk of the substantive reporting on the allegations has come from mainstream, left-leaning, disproportionately Jewish media outlets.

            As far as I can tell, openly or even implicitly anti-Jewish media has not played a significant role in reporting on the allegations of sexual harassment against prominent media figures. Thus, it is hard to see why media outlets that are allegedly tools of Jewish ethnic interests would ever, let alone at this moment, choose to report on and provide very important credence to these allegations, if as you claim they are so overwhelmingly damning of Jews.

          • Steve Sailer says:

            America had a giant to-do over sexual harassment in 1991 when the Democrats tried to use it to stop Clarence Thomas from getting on the Supreme Court. It then took a mere 26 additional years for the ace reporters of the mainstream media to get the goods on Harvey Weinstein, who only happened to have his hands on 341 Oscar nominations and be pretty much the main man connecting the Clintons to Hollywood.

            Harvey Weinstein was, in New York and Los Angeles media circles, extremely famous since about the release of “Sex, Lies, and Videotape” in 1989, 28 years ago. He has been the single most prominent figure in Academy Awards Season for the last 25+ years. His close ties to the Clintons made him a personality in DC media circles since 1992. The most famous movie stars in the world all know Harvey and have opinions on him. He shows up as a lightly fictionalized character in “Entourage” and other movies and shows.

            And yet, every serious press investigation into him got stifled until 2017.

          • Scott Alexander says:

            I guess the reason why I find the 46%/80% distinction relevant is because I could easily believe Jews are 30-40% of Hollywood celebrities anyway (in which case no overrepresentation), but 80% would imply extreme overrepresentation.

          • Steve Sailer says:

            Scott, Here’s a pretty good book:

            “An Empire of Their Own: How the Jews Invented Hollywood”
            Paperback – August 8, 1989
            by Neal Gabler

            https://www.amazon.com/Empire-Their-Own-Invented-Hollywood/dp/0385265573

            The title alone suggests that Jews ought to engage not just in self-congratulation over Hollywood successes (such as fighting off challenges from the rest of the world’s film and TV industries, leaving America economically supreme in entertainment), but also in some soul-searching over less admirable aspects of Hollywood culture, such as how attractive young people are treated by powerful people in Hollywood.

          • reasoned argumentation says:

            I guess the reason why I find the 46%/80% distinction relevant is because I could easily believe Jews are 30-40% of Hollywood celebrities anyway

            46% is a bare minimum.

            That was with 12 names. I can name at least 7 that aren’t on that list that belong there who are Jewish but haven’t encountered any who belong there who aren’t (and I think a few on there who aren’t don’t belong on the list).

            Israel Horowitz (playwright and father of one of the Beastie Boys)
            James Levine (Met Opera)
            Bryan Singer (movie director)
            Matt Lauer (press whatever he does)
            Ron Jeremy (porn industry general sleaze ball)
            James Deen (feminist branded porn star / producer)
            Jeremy Piven (actor / producer)

            80% might be high but 46% is far too low.

            Just including those added names the number is 58%. When I saw the 80% list it was something I chanced upon and didn’t save – looked credible to me (as in checking a few names and stories at random were matches) but I didn’t save the list.

          • reasoned argumentation says:

            Here’s another fun one – Chelsea Handler.

            This tweet contains screenshots from a biography of her by one of the (male) writers on her TV show:

            https://twitter.com/RaughnVicky/status/938608438489182208

            Opening quote:

            Chelsea Handler is a menace. Working for her is very much like working for a highly functioning, oversexed, drunken chimpanzee.

            https://books.google.com/books/about/Lies_That_Chelsea_Handler_Told_Me.html?id=Cl-qyLII3tMC&printsec=frontcover&source=kp_read_button#v=snippet&q=oversexed&f=false

            She introduces him as “little girl” to everyone in professional contexts (which he finds belittling for obvious reasons)

            https://books.google.com/books/about/Lies_That_Chelsea_Handler_Told_Me.html?id=Cl-qyLII3tMC&printsec=frontcover&source=kp_read_button#v=snippet&q=introduces%20me%20as%20a&f=false

            She gave him wedgies frequently (apparently bad enough to cause bleeding) and if he flinched when she approached she berated him for that. She also stripped him of his clothes on multiple occasions (at least once per week, he claims).

            https://books.google.com/books/about/Lies_That_Chelsea_Handler_Told_Me.html?id=Cl-qyLII3tMC&printsec=frontcover&source=kp_read_button#v=onepage&q=fruit%20of%20the%20loom&f=false

            Chelsea Handler is half Jewish.

    • Null42 says:

      Come on, )))reasoned argumentation(((. Go back to )))Daily Stormer(((, or (((Unz))), or heck, even )))Breitbart(((, which is actually (((Breitbart))), which you probably already know.

      Personally )))I))) think you’re trying to distract by making everything about a certain (((group))) )))you((( have it in for… people aren’t obligated to complain about (((them))) all the time.

      Seriously, Scott’s been having arguments with groups of feminists for a while…Google’s autocomplete function for ‘slate star codex’ has ‘slate star codex feminism’ as one of the options. So this is perfectly within the realm of his usual behavior. You don’t need to be (((Einstein))) to see that.

    • Atlas says:

      The “amusing” thing is that of the prominent accused harassers 80+% of them belonged to the author of this piece’s ethnic group (yes, you can check into this).

      (An actually amusing thing is that it is unclear from your comment whether you are referring to Euro-Americans and making a left-wing anti-white social justice critique or referring to Ashkenazi Jews and making a diametrically opposed right-wing anti-Jewish critique. Your other comments make it clear that it’s the latter, so I’ll respond to that, but I would find the former equally noxious.)

      Okay, I’ll check into this.

      Firstly, I like how you shift the burden of finding evidence for your claims to the people who disagree with you, rather than doing something crazy like citing it yourself so it can be evaluated impartially by readers. Interesting tactic there, but I’ll indulge you for the sake of argument:

      I found three lists of prominent men accused of sexual harassment from mainstream outlets, namely the New York Times, CNN and USA Today. (Including lots of links tends to trip the spam filter, but hopefully these are easy enough to find with a cursory Google search.) These names seem to match the coverage I’ve seen on right-wing sites like TDS and Unz, so I don’t think they can be credibly described as biased.

      In none of these lists do Jews seem to compose 80%+ of accused harassers. An earlier commentator found 12/34 (~35%) of men on the NYT list were Jewish, and that seems to match the other lists—maybe somewhere between 30-60% of the accused are Jewish, depending on how you define Jewish and accused.

      Additionally, pre-dating the current wave some powerful media men had been individually accused of sexual harassment, notably Bill O’Reilly, Bill Cosby and Roger Ailes, none of whom are Jewish.

      Furthermore, whatever the Jewish share of accusers is, Jews definitely do not obviously compose 80+% of men accused. This is relevant because you are conjecturing that Scott Alexander wrote this essay as a ploy to distract people from this fact, but whether or not it’s true (and it doesn’t seem to be true) it’s definitely not obviously true, so it would be counterproductive (“the lady doth protest too much”) to draw more attention to the issue. (Assuming that was in fact Scott’s goal, which I find highly implausible.)

      While Jews are still highly overrepresented relative to raw population share (though perhaps not among prominent entertainment industry figures) among accusers, the quantitative difference between the figure you claimed (80-95(?) %) and the actual figure (maybe 30-60%) is large enough that, Ship of Theseus style, it makes a qualitative difference in the veracity of your claim.

      Additionally, you have provided no reason to think that the motivating force behind the essay was to distract people from noticing the representation of Jews among the accused. The specific articles cited as objects of criticism in the OP are from mainstream media outlets like The Guardian and The Washington Post that approach the issue from a feminist/anti-feminist, male/female approach, not a Jew/Gentile one. The broader ideology that is being criticized is feminism/social justice leftism, which, whatever one thinks of it, is not generally regarded as notably anti-Semitic (except insofar as some people consider certain criticisms of the state of Israel as anti-Semitic.)

      Additionally, many of SSC’s most popular and controversial posts in the past have been critical of internet feminism (including internet feminists who are also Jewish), so this post hardly requires a new predictive “nefarious ethnic agenda” model to be explained.

      Your comment really really sounds like someone making an empirically false argument on the basis of particularly noxious motivated reasoning.

      • Mark says:

        Motivated reasoning is the best kind of reasoning. Who can be bothered to think about things that they don’t find to be interesting, beautiful, or terrible?

        I agree with you though, that the second half of the top level comment seemed to be beyond uncharitable, and the claim in the first half appears exaggerated.

        More generally, I’m kind of in two minds about Nazi chat.
        There are views out there that I find so repellent that I have no interest in engaging with them. The kind of thing that even if they were factually right, they would still be ethically wrong. I just refuse to live in that world.

        But, I think if I was going to view Nazi chat as falling into that category, I’d have to feel the same way about BLM, etc. etc. and all of the other privilege/race stuff.

        So, I kind of feel like “Jewish privilege” talk is necessary in the current climate (if not necessarily correct), and that Nazis are going to be the ones best at it. So… they should do that?

  9. eqdw says:

    This sure sounds like as good a place as any to tell the story of how I got sexually assaulted in the workplace.

    I am a software engineer in San Francisco. I am a white man. I am basically at ground zero for constantly hearing about how misogyny is everywhere and we live in a rape culture and this that and the other.

    So there’s this woman. Call her Alice. She is the lead technical recruiter. This means, among other things:

    1) She has a direct, private line of communication with every engineering manager, including my boss, and she uses it regularly.

    2) She reports to HR, which means that in any office conflict she will by default be sympathetic

    3) As a technical recruiter, she knows the details of every engineer that was hired. Which means she did the background check on me and knows things that I don’t even know about me. Which means she knows my salary. Which means she knows where I live and all my contact info.

    In short, it means she occupies an implicit position of soft power over me.

    Additionally, she is the leader of the company’s internal LGBT club. She is the lead of the company’s “Allies” club, which is the club for social justice activism. And, finally, she got a manager fired (for good reason) over a sexual assault incident, and openly brags about how she struck one against the patriarchy for doing this.

    In other words, she should have known better.

    —-

    It’s one of my teammate’s birthdays, and so about 15 of us are out for happy hour drinks. The crowd is mostly engineers, but there’s a few managers there as well as her. It’s happy hour, only like 5:30, and most people have had a respectable _one_ drink. The group is split about half inside, drinking and eating and being merry, and half outside, smoking.

    I get up to go outside and smoke/hang out with the others. I walk up to a circle of 1 manager, 3 engineers, and her. As soon as I walk up to the group, she grabs my head and gives me a big ol drunk kiss.

    I have a mini-heart attack, worried that somehow, due to who I am and who she is, and the manager that just saw this, _somehow_ this is going to be turned into “eqdw sexually harassed the recruiter” and I am going to get fired and deported.

    Everyone there, they all saw it. They said nothing, everyone played it off like it didn’t happen.

    I freak out and go back inside. She follows me, sits down right beside me, and starts trying to snuggle up on me. Again, at a fucking work happy hour event where this would, if the roles were reversed, be grounds for immediate termination.

    I try to keep my distance from her but I don’t want my night to be ruined. Eventually, most people go home, and there’s only four people left: me, her, and two engineers (call them Bob and Dave). Bob & Dave want to go to some other bar so we all start walking over there.

    Once we start walking, Bob & Dave get ahead of us and harasser moves in on me. Grabs my hand, starts walking as if we’re hand holding, and repeatedly tries to kiss me while we’re walking down the sidewalk. By this point in the night, she is visibly drunk while the rest of us are sobering up.

    In between attempts to kiss me, she drunkenly mumbles about OH MY GOD LOOK AT DAVE HE’S SO FUCKING HOT I’M SO GLAD I HIRED HIM (Dave had been hired one week previously) I JUST WANT TO GET WITH HIM DON’T YOU THINK HE’S HOT?!?!?!?

    In other words, she used her privileged position as the gatekeeper of our engineering team, to specifically hire someone based purely on the fact that she wanted to fuck him. Then, she pulls this shit on me, in front of half a dozen coworkers, including a manager, specifically to make him jealous.

    We all head to the train to get home, and she gets off first. Once she was gone, I turn to Dave and give him an abridged version of what happened: she did this to me, I have no fucking idea why, but I’m pretty sure she was trying to make you jealous. So, like, FYI. He says thanks but I’m not single. And then we go home.

    I would have gone to HR with this, but for the fact that (for unrelated reasons) I was planning to quit a few weeks after that incident. It didn’t seem worth it, risking my employer fucking with my work visa when I’m going to leave anyway.

    —-

    I tell this story and everyone (everyone who knows her, anyway) always react the same way: holy shit dude, she’s making out with you and you’re _upset_ at this? You see, Alice is very attractive, and most dudes probably want to get with her. But it’s really hard to communicate just how horrifying this was to me. Because this woman is a woman who goes around bragging about getting men fired for sexual harassment. It’s like she saw a SJW stereotype online and actively aspired to be that. She wears a pin on her bag that says “kill all men”, ffs. She is in the HR org. One tiny little fib from her, and what she did to me would have been a career-ending move, for me.

    And then, just twisting the knife, is that the only reason she did this was so that she could manipulate _someone else_ on the engineering team.

    This woman is a predator. She exerts significant influence over the engineering organization via veto rights on new hires, and she exerts significant influence over upper management as the one who formally represents both LGBT and Social Justice concerns directly to the CEO.

    She will continue to enjoy complete immunity from any consequences of her actions. She will continue to be able to get people fired, if she feels like it. She will continue to bias hiring in the direction of engineers she thinks are fuckable. She will continue to pull these shenanigans, influencing people, fucking with them for the lulz. And there’s NOTHING. I. CAN. EVER. DO. ABOUT. IT.

    Because sexual assault is a gendered issue, and nobody gives a fuck when it happens to men.

    • Nicholas Ramsey says:

      Should you ever need to speak with someone, 1in6.org offers 24/7 online support for men and boys coping with sexual abuse: https://1in6.org/chat-with-someone/.

    • Le Maistre Chat says:

      This is certainly twisted behavior.
      I really can’t assess a total stranger’s soul, so I don’t know if this is malicious power tripping or normal straight female flirting warped into something evil by LGBT and the rest of the SJ social package.
      Either way, I sympathize with the anxiety she inflicted on you.

      • Zorgon says:

        I’ve encountered this too, and the only explanation I’ve been able to find has been Cluster B Personality Disorders combined with near-total impunity.

        But I have a horrible, sinking feeling that the “total impunity” part is the only necessary element and every personality will act disordered in that circumstance.

        • Le Maistre Chat says:

          Absolute power corrupts absolutely?
          Yes, I too have a horrible sinking feeling that you don’t need a specific neural disorder to react thus to having total impunity.

        • deciusbrutus says:

          Not everyone will become evil when given power.

          The people who don’t are the abnormal ones, though.

          • Le Maistre Chat says:

            Hmm, I think I share this position.

          • deciusbrutus says:

            That there are people who wouldn’t use limitless power to optimize the world, or that they are the exception?

          • Conrad Honcho says:

            There are extremely few Cincinnatuses or George Washingtons.

          • Le Maistre Chat says:

            That they’re the exception; it’s abnormal people who won’t go evil with power.

          • deciusbrutus says:

            How do we make more?

          • Conrad Honcho says:

            Catholicism.

          • The Nybbler says:

            ?

            Neither Washington nor Cincinnatus was Catholic.

          • Conrad Honcho says:

            The question was how to make more people like them. I think the answer is teaching religious virtue, and stuck in my favorite one. That this wasn’t their specific religion is immaterial. If someone says “how do we make more Alan Turings” part of that answer will be “educate people in mathematics” but they don’t specifically have to go to King’s College.

        • Protagoras says:

          The ring of Gyges. For which most powerful people have had a servicable substitute throughout history. But yes, this is one case where we should want to do away with the thing, not hand it out to the people who haven’t had it before.

      • eqdw says:

        I don’t think she’s evil because she is a lefty activist.

        My judgement call is that she is cluster B in some way, and one of the following cases applies:

        1) She does all the activism stuff to create a smokescreen that lets her get away with all the other shit

        or

        2) She does all the other shit, feels vaguely guilty over it, and does the activism as a sort of atonement.

        But this is all speculation of peoples’ motives and at the end of the day I have no idea why anyone does what they do

        • Thegnskald says:

          Eh. That assumes she is aware of the discrepancy.

          People seem to fall into one of two buckets:

          Those who spend all of their social interactions thinking about what other people think of them (most people). This is the self-conscious internal narrative.

          And those who spend all of their social interactions thinking about other people, without regard to themselves. This is the un-self-aware internal narrative.

          People who routinely do both seem very, very rare.

          It is bizarre, but she may not have even considered how you were taking the interaction, since that would be thinking about what you were thinking about her, or more particularly, how she might be coming across.

          Also, this is the great secret to self-confidence: Realizing most people are so absorbed in their own worries about how they are being perceived that they don’t notice everybody else is doing the same thing. It is quite liberating.

        • Viliam says:

          I suspect this description applies to many famous activists. And by what I am sure is mere coincidence, there is already a defense ready: what you just wrote is ableist.

    • Zorgon says:

      My sympathies, friend. You were entirely correct that there was nothing you could do; because despite the fevered attempts by certain parties to pretend otherwise, power is inherently situational, and no amount of post-hoc rationalisation will make it otherwise. You did the correct thing in leaving her sphere of influence as quickly as possible in order to protect yourself.

      I will note that from my own experience it is actually quite likely that her declarations of being attracted to the other guy on the team were as much intended to provoke jealousy in you as anything else.

    • fahertym says:

      Scary story.

      My most cynical interpretation is that she was so far down the SJW path that men were basically subhumans in her mind. So maybe engaging in sexual mind/power games for her own amusement was morally permissible. It’s all “punching up” after all.

    • Deiseach says:

      That’s a bad story and you have my sympathies. And the real trouble that needs to be rooted out here is the attitude you describe: “holy shit dude, she’s making out with you and you’re _upset_ at this?”

      We’ve had discussion on here of the Weinstein scandal and some asking “but how is this unethical to trade sex for roles/how have these young actresses been harmed if they get a job out of it?”

      Well, I hope your story shows why it’s unethical and how people can be harmed by someone in a position of power abusing that power for their own sexual benefit.

      • eqdw says:

        I agree.

        The interesting thing about this is that, in some sense, I don’t think most people saying that actually mean it. I mean, keep in mind, these are computer nerds for the most part. Most of them are bookish boring introverts who are not terribly interested in hookup culture or casual sex.

        I think there’s a sort of preference falsification going on, where nobody actually believes that. But they think that everyone else believes it. Or it’s the safe social convention. So they say that because it’s what they think they’re supposed to say, and it functions as a sort of gallows humour, almost.

        In any case, I agree. As long as men aren’t taking sexual harassment against men seriously, it’s not reasonable to scream at women about it

    • sandoratthezoo says:

      I mean, I don’t know your company or your office, and certainly we see with Uber, for example, that some places have really bad practices about dealing with sexual harassment. But.

      It seems likely to me that if you complained about her to the head of HR, regardless of their personal feelings on the subject, they’d probably reprimand her and tell her to stay the hell away from you, just to head off possible liability. To the extent that they didn’t, you’d probably have a course of action against the company.

      I am not a lawyer, just someone who’s had to sit through manager sexual harassment training.

      • eqdw says:

        It’s a hard call. I was friends with most of the HR staff, but they had very recently hired a new head of HR. Not only was I unfamiliar with the new head, but (being polite) it was abundantly clear that the new head of HR was hired primarily for Diversity & Inclusion reasons.

        In general, I NEVER go to HR over anything. Because HR is not your friend. HR is there to make sure the company runs smoothly, by Getting Rid Of Problems as fast and cheaply as possible. And, in my case, there’s a very easy way to get rid of a problem: terminate me. Because I am not a US citizen, and my legal residence is dependent on work authorization. If they terminate me, the problem goes away, and I am highly unlikely to litigate against them for wrongful termination because that is rather difficult to do when you do not have permission to enter the country. Maybe this is paranoid, but the US does not fuck around when it comes to immigration law.

        Even in the best case scenario, had they intervened on my behalf, it’s not great. The company itself was only about 200 people, with almost all of them in one gigantic open plan office. There was no logistically feasible way to keep us separated.

        And, assume somehow this is overcome. The recruiter still knows what happened. She still knows it was me. She still knows that I narc’d her out to HR. Maybe she will take it in good faith and actually smarten up. But given her very openly stated politics, and my identity groups, I do not want her being mad at me for any reason. It would be very easy for her to rationalize away just about anything to “that guy deserved it”. It’s much easier to just keep your head down and not rock the boat

    • The Nybbler says:

      And there’s NOTHING. I. CAN. EVER. DO. ABOUT. IT.

      That is not so. The main thing you can do about it is unsavory — you could tell your story, names included, to any number of rightish culture warriors. But you have the option.

      • Standing in the Shadows says:

        Post your story to Glassdoor, after you leave. Name names.

        • eqdw says:

          Naming names in public, there’s no point, because nobody involved in this is high profile enough for that to matter.

          Additionally, and I’ll be blunt: I hold stock in the company, I believe they will be successful, I believe the recruiter’s actions were very much atypical for the company, and I do not want to cause the company major problems because of _one_ person.

          But I have been pretty open with many of the other people I worked with, to the point that they all know what happened and can take their own precautions. This is the constructive way forward

    • joop says:

      Others have said supporting things, but let me try to add something. Part of the #Metoo movement, flawed as it was, is protecting the next generation – if you can, and feel up to it, please see if you can get in touch with them and mention it to them. It might help protect someone who’s not able to deal with it, or let things not escalate, like you were.

    • grendelkhan says:

      I don’t have much to add here, but I want to at least say “Gaaaaaaaaaaah!”. That’s horrible, it is wrong that someone in a position of authority over you treated you like that, and it is awful that the people you’ve disclosed this too have missed the point so terribly. (“So, you’re saying that assault is cool if you’re sufficiently sexy? Really?“)

      You don’t have to go public with this. There’s not a social responsibility that outweighs your own safety. But if it helps, we’re in the middle of a great big preference cascade, a reckoning, and for my own sanity, I have to believe that not everyone thinks of this in terms of ‘how can I elevate women and degrade men’. If you do go public, I hope that you get a sympathetic ear, that people are better about it than you expect, and that she isn’t again placed in a position where she can hurt people like that.

      If it helps, people do care. That was wrong, and she shouldn’t have done that to you.

  10. Sniffnoy says:

    Ugh, there is probably a long comment I could write about this, but I’m not sure I have time at the moment. But, to be brief:

    The important thing here isn’t numbers but rather causal pathways.

    This is one of my big objections to a lot of this sort of stuff.

    • Alphonse says:

      Without you providing more details it’s hard to say much, but shouldn’t the numbers be pretty suggestive of what the actual causal pathways are (as opposed to the causal pathways that we might imagine exist for whatever internal reasons seem relevant to us)?

      Perhaps I’m misunderstanding your point, but if the argument is that the figures for the number of men who are sexually harassed aren’t as informative because the “causal pathways” permit harassment of women to a degree disproportionate with those numbers (e.g. higher than 3:1), then I would feel skeptical about whether the “causal pathways” being discussed are being selectively chosen.

      • wintermute92 says:

        I’m not sure I’m understanding your take either, but I think I read “causal pathways” as the opposite of what you do?

        To toss out something concrete: I expect harassment by Fortune 500 CEOs to be perpetrated >= 94% by men. That’s a massively gendered gap, except that this is what Scott has called ‘framing for heat instead of light’. I just restated the gender ratio for that sample; it’s only evidence of unequal offending of the number is noticeably higher than 94%.

        So as I read Sniffnoy, there’s a strong causal pathway for male Fortune 500 CEOs to harass, and almost no pathway for female Fortune 500 CEOs to do so. I’d expect similar results for governors and Congressmen. Given that the people near the peak of status/power in American society are usually men, the raw numbers are going to be determined not just by the rate at which men and women harass but the rate at which they have easy chances to do so.

        It’s probably impossible to test this by measuring harassment ratios among powerful people, because the evidence is so hard to get. But it might be informative to investigate less-gendered power dynamics like employee/customer and see if those have less-gender-skewed harassment.

  11. Steve Sailer says:

    It looks like the dam might finally be bursting on years of gay pederasty harassment rumors this week with top opera conductor James Levine. And today, director Bryan Singer got fired from the Freddie Mercury biopic.

    These cases will probably get redefined from “pederasty” to “pedophilia” in The Narrative, however, as with the Catholic priest scandals.

    • nfeltman says:

      These cases will probably get redefined from “pederasty” to “pedophilia” in The Narrative

      I’m sorry, what’s the difference?

      • Steve Sailer says:

        Pedophilia is sexual attraction to prepubescent children of either sex. Pederasty is homosexual activity with post-pubescent male youths.

        See Plato’s “Symposium” for a long salute to pederasty.

        The currently-breaking James Levine scandal involving America’s top opera conductor running a sort of pederastic cult among aspiring teenage male musicians would seem pretty familiar to ancient Athenians.

        Not many of the Catholic priest scandals involved actual pedophilia, but The Narrative explains it that way to distract from most of the perpetrators being lonely and often alcoholic gay men with fairly normal homosexual desires.

        • Steve Sailer says:

          Pederasty seems to be more common in the West at high levels of civilizational accomplishment, such as in ancient Athens or in British upper class educational institutions or in elite levels of Imperial Germany before 1914. Something similar might be true for samurai Japan.

          On the other hand, pederasty is common among Afghan warlords.

        • gattsuru says:

          At least to the folk I’ve talked with, the framing as pedophilia rather than ephebophilia seems neither focused solely on homosexuals (cfe Moore), nor intended as a distraction from modes of sexual desire so much as an overt condemnation of matters that might otherwise be less condemned (again, cfe Moore).

          I’d be interested to know where and how you’re getting that number on the Catholic priest scandals. The Jay Report had more than 20% of abuse targeting children under 11 and 60% under 14. That’s pretty iffy even by the Plato standard.

          I’m also not sure ‘fairly normal’ is the right term, even outside of the normal issues of heat vs light. Gay men tend to allow broader age differences than the general population, so in the sense of intergenerational relationships perhaps, but even in areas with actively enforced sodomy laws there’s been a difference between going after a college student as a professor and going after a high school student as a teacher. Not out of higher principles or even the tedium of dealing with brats; there’s just a lot of physical characteristics androphiles look for that aren’t there yet.

  12. Whitedeath says:

    From what I’ve read I often hear women say one big thing about sexual harassment is the strength disparity between men and women. Women seem to be very aware of the fact that most men could easily overpower them if they wanted to, while the opposite doesn’t usually apply. Not saying this disproves your point but it’s something to take into consideration.

    • Le Maistre Chat says:

      I’m tall, thin and didn’t work out while growing up in a rough neighborhood. The fear of being assaulted while walking was real. One time two men even blocked the bike trail I was cycling on, spoiling my previous feeling of safety while on a bike.

    • Murphy says:

      An utterly average man is physically stronger than ~97-98% of the worlds women.

      Of course above average women and bellow average men mean that sampling pairs of men and women any particular pair has much better odds of the woman being the physically stronger of the 2 and is only a little less common than male female pairs where the taller is female.

      But then there’s also confidence, I once read an interesting argument from a guy that even though he’s small and comparatively weak his gut feeling still tells him he’ll be fine if someone attacks him. That gut feeling probably isn’t correct but it means he doesn’t spend life afraid which is a boon in it’s own right.

      • Tarpitz says:

        This definitely fits with my personal experience. I’m in my thirties, of average height and heavier than average build, and stronger than average for my build. Perhaps I’m on the 85th percentile of adult males for strength. My conscious, reasoning brain knows that there are many, many people against whom I would have no chance in a fight. My inner lizard, on the other hand, thinks I’m some kind of Bruce Lee-terminator hybrid and the idea of being viscerally physically afraid of another human is alien to me. This delusion persists despite many years of playing contact sports with far bigger and stronger people.

    • liskantope says:

      I can understand how this is a serious factor in many harassment situations but not in many others — it seems to me that it’s highly relevant how secluded the surrounding environment is.

    • wintermute92 says:

      This certainly seems true in settings like “cornered in a club”, especially since size/strength enables not only safety but a low-key response. (That is, self-defense training might let someone win a fight against a larger aggressor, but sheer size lets one just push past a harasser without violence.)

      But when we’re talking about the recent media examples, it doesn’t really seem relevant. Pretty much no one has raised “fear of physical violence” as a concern here, because the harassment is coming from people with non-physical power over their victims. (Roy Moore is perhaps the exception, it sounds like he mixed force with social threats.) Some of the offenses happened in totally pubic settings (Al Franken), while others were perpetrated by men who were on a physical level not terribly menacing (Garrison Keillor).

      • gbdub says:

        “In a club” is a place where I might expect a low level of sexual harassment to be tolerated, mostly because we’re conditioned to treat it as an aggressively sexual / flirtatious place, and the line between “aggressive flirting” and “harassment” is not a bright one.

        But the club is also a place where, if a woman loudly objects to a man’s behavior, that man is likely to be physically assualted by his fellow club goers, and even more likely to be physically ejected from the premises by the staff.

        • Randy M says:

          But the club is also a place where, if a woman loudly objects to a man’s behavior, that man is likely to be physically assualted by his fellow club goers, and even more likely to be physically ejected from the premises by the staff.

          For game theoretic reasons if nothing else. What good is a club that women are afraid to go to?

      • liskantope says:

        in totally pubic settings

        This is an ironic typo…

      • Nancy Lebovitz says:

        Harvey Weinstein may also be an example where his greater size and strength made a difference. People keep mentioning how big he is, and he was actually physically violent– in public– and no one did anything about it.

        Status and strength blur into each other in these stories.

    • Besserwisser says:

      I find that kind of argument really dubious because if a man would defend himself against a woman to the point of hurting her, he’s going to be seen as the bad guy. This is besides all the incidents of a grope from a man earning him at least a slap. Physical strength might be the least important factor here, though I can understand if this is purely a mental thing.

      • Aapje says:

        Indeed, I’ve read an account by a rape victim who let the female rapist finish* because he was afraid that hurting her would make her accuse him and that the police would believe her.

        * She began raping him while he was asleep and he woke up.

  13. moscanarius says:

    About 30% of the victims of sexual harassment are men. About 20% of the perpetrators of sexual harassment are women.

    Don’t believe me? In a Quinnipiac poll, 60% of women and 20% of men said they’d been sexually harassed. […] The overall rates vary widely depending on how the pollsters frame the question, but the 3:1 ratio is pretty consistent.

    Sorry if I am being dense, but if the polls show that there is one harassed man for every three harassed women, shouldn’t you have written that men are around 25% of the total harassment victims, instead of 30%?

    • quanta413 says:

      Look at second paragraph you quoted. Numbers vary with survey; it’s noisy. He’s just rounding to a ratio of small whole numbers.

    • Scott Alexander says:

      Thanks, I fail at ratios, changed.

      • moscanarius says:

        Since you are still editing, may I abuse your patience once more?

        According to the German study, 6% of women admit to being harassers. Know more than ten women? One of them’s probably a harasser.

        If you are using the only this data and you mean that 6% of women are harassers, then knowing 11 women gives a chance of ~49% of knowing at least one harasser (1-0.94^11). Not sure this warrants a “probably”. Among 50 women, though, the chance is more than 95% of finding at least one harasser.

        (I know I am nitpicking now, but then someone on The Other Side would do it sooner or later)

        • takashoru says:

          +1 for nitpicking.

        • batmanaod says:

          Another +1 here. I jumped immediately to the comments to see if anyone had already pointed this out when I got to that sentence.

          I’d recommend “more than 17”, 6% is approximately 1/17. The actual probability that at least one out of 18 randomly-selected members of a population has some trait assuming a 6% occurrence of that trait is over 2/3, which I think fits most people’s definition of “probably”.

      • David Barry says:

        You changed the wrong sentence. Saying it’s a 3:1 ratio is OK, but a 3:1 ratio means that the opening sentence should say 25% instead of 30% (because 75:25 is 3:1).

  14. Mary says:

    Then you get people like Emily Lindin saying “Here’s an unpopular opinion: I’m actually not at all concerned about innocent men losing their jobs over false sexual assault/harassment allegations,” and “Sorry. If some innocent men’s reputations have to take a hit in the process of undoing the patriarchy, that is a price I am absolutely willing to pay.” — and complaints that by (actually) saying it, she was making the movement look like a witch hunt.

    (I have seen, predominately, complaints about the actual evil of what she said. But not from the people cheering “believe all women” and the like.)

    • nfeltman says:

      Has anyone ever seen Emily Lindin and Amanda Marcotte in the same room together?

    • moscanarius says:

      I love how she is absolutely willing to pay a price that she will never personally pay.

      Reminds me of a funny cartoon.

    • Deiseach says:

      That’s the attitude I was protesting with the “getting fired for being Nazi” tweet, and very little success I’ve had getting people to understand “no, this is not a good precedent, this is witch hunting”.

      Sometimes I feel like the world has just gone crazy, but I presume former generations have felt the same way. The only thing that will (temporarily) change minds is some big huge explosion that takes out and damages an awful lot of those currently having paroxysms of joy over “that Nazi interviewed in the NYT got fired, his wife got fired, his brother in law got fired, and they had to flee their house over threats” and “I don’t care if innocent men are accused”.

      • Witness says:

        The world’s always been crazy – consider the origin of the term “witch hunt”.

        It does seem subjectively worse now than it was ten years ago, but on the other hand some people who were getting away with some pretty despicable stuff are now being punished for it. Maybe we’ll settle on a better (if still imperfect) equilibrium.

      • Null42 says:

        You know, I’m now at the point in my life (and fortunate enough) where I could throw a few hundred dollars at a cause.

        So I kind of wanted to throw a few hundred dollars to Hovater over at GoyFundMe and say ‘hi, I’m half Jewish, and you don’t like me and I don’t like your beliefs, but I don’t like it when people get fired over their political beliefs, because, hey, then when does it stop?’.

        But the 4chan guys would probably just dox me and I’d get threats from Nazis.

    • Randy M says:

      Wasn’t this the opinion of one of the vox/salon writers back when some new college affirmative consent policies were being discussed? That it would only work if men were afraid, and a few false accusations were a good way of getting that fear going?

    • The original Mr. X says:

      I can’t help but hope that she gets falsely convicted of some heinous crime. Not that I expect her to have enough self-awareness to appreciate the irony.

  15. MugaSofer says:

    Likewise, do you think this woman knows any men who are victims of sexual harassment? If you were a man who’d been sexually harassed, would you admit it to this woman and expect a sympathetic ear? Once she contemplates why she doesn’t know so many men who have been sexually harassed, maybe she’ll understand why some men don’t know so many women.

    … because they, like this woman, are sexist jerks? I’m not sure if that’s what you meant to say.

    Is this really that bad? Might the 3:1 ratio justify focusing on women? Our society already has an answer to this, and in every other case, the answer is no.

    I mean, for one thing, we’re telling people to stop using the phrase “pregnant mothers” since sometimes transgender men get pregnant.

    Suppose I write about how we need to do more to support the victims of terrorism. Sounds good. But what if I write about how we need to do more to support the Christian victims of Muslim terrorism?Sounds…like maybe I have an agenda. If I write story after story about how Christians need to be on the watch out for Muslim terrorists, but Muslims need to be on the watch out for other Muslims being terrorists, and if I tell Muslim victims of Christian terrorism to stay silent because that’s not “structural oppression” – then that “maybe” turns to “obviously”.

    The solution is to treat harassment the same way we treat terrorism. It’s something that’s bad. It’s something that some groups might do more often than other groups, but this is not the Only Relevant Factor About It, and we are suspicious of people who seem more interested in stereotyping the groups involved than in making sure everyone of every group gets justice.

    Wow, you really are in a liberal bubble.

    • martinw says:

      Either that, or he’s using arguments and examples that will appeal to the Left, because that’s where most of the people whose minds he’s trying to change are. See item #7 over here.

      Or both, of course.

    • wintermute92 says:

      If you’re referring to the “the same way we treat terrorism” bit, presumably he means “the same way people gendering harassment treat terrorism”?

      Certainly it’s not true that your average American politician treats terrorism as a religion-neutral event, but the sort of person writing gender essays in The Guardian tends to. I read it as a call for consistency on the left, not a claim that society as a whole gets this correct.

  16. Jack says:

    The obvious explanation for gender differences in harassment has always been that men constitute 80% of sexual harassers for the same reason they constitute 83% of arsonists, 81% of car thieves, and 85% of burglars.

    What is that reason, and how is it inconsistent with the structural oppression hypothesis?

    • quanta413 says:

      It’s not inconsistent with a weak version of the structural oppression hypothesis (that the amount of harassment is influenced by social structures we can change) but it’s inconsistent with a strong structural oppression hypothesis (that the amount of harassment is due solely to social factors and has nothing to do with biological factors). I really wish I could say I haven’t seen endorsements of the strong hypothesis, but I occasionally have.

      To explain, men aren’t arsonists because society punishes them less harshly for it than women. They are more likely to be arsonists because of different hormones leading to different brain development that leaves them not only more impulsive, rash, and violent on average but much more likely to have a lot of those sorts of traits. The vast majority of men won’t be arsonists, burglars, muggers, or murderers but the tail end of impulsive, rash, and violent behavior will be dominated by men.

      • Jack says:

        I am intrigued. You are suggesting that the fact that 80% of many crimes are committed by men and not just 80% of harassment (or whatever) is inconsistent with social factors being the main determinant of that rate. But why not? Surely this comparison just means that the social factors identified must be general to criminal offences rather than specific to harassment. For instance it could be that “social factors” lead men to be more likely to engage in reckless behaviours. I don’t actually want to defend what you have called the strong hypothesis because I don’t think it is plausible or popular among feminists. Perhaps this is how SCC sees the idea of structural oppression (which is something I want to know). But I would say nearly all feminists think that “biological factors” (in particular the difference in prevalence of functional wombs in women versus men) are deeply entwined with oppression.

        • quanta413 says:

          You are suggesting that the fact that 80% of many crimes are committed by men and not just 80% of harassment (or whatever) is inconsistent with social factors being the main determinant of that rate.

          No, you misunderstand me. With only the rate information at hand (which is what I was talking about), I would not suggest what you are saying. There was a reason I separated the weak and strong versions. I suggest that this + biological evidence is inconsistent with it being the sole determinant of the difference in rates. Honestly, I also think the framing of biological vs. social or even assigning fractions of causality to one and the other is also not a very good framing, but I don’t want to go too deep in the woods quite yet.

          However if you’d like to continue down this route I will but I think there is more relevant evidence than just the rates. Once we bring additional evidence to bear (like what happens when you pump someone with testosterone or how behavior varies with differing amounts of hormones), I think it’s pretty clear that focusing on social determinants as the primary cause of men committing violent crimes is a mistake.

          At best, you can “fix” the problem socially by intentionally treating men and women very differently but given that humans suck at intentional social engineering even if you accomplish this miracle, this is unlikely to not make men and women different in other not desired ways as well. This isn’t a well understood engineered physical system where despite possible differences in a few parameters there is some hope of applying a control scheme that brings parity. At best we get to pick how to apply social forces to compensate for some biological differences while likely sharpening or reinforcing other differences.

          I don’t actually want to defend what you have called the strong hypothesis because I don’t think it is plausible or popular among feminists.

          And I don’t want to go dig up people actually claiming it because it’s torturous to read that sort of person, and like most people they usually don’t even think clearly anyways. So let’s ignore the strong, strong one. Let’s talk weak or medium hypothesis.

          But I would say nearly all feminists think that “biological factors” (in particular the difference in prevalence of functional wombs in women versus men) are deeply entwined with oppression.

          This is a bizarre physical difference to focus on if we’re talking about differences in crime rates. It’s obvious but almost certainly doesn’t matter for this. Work and family patterns, yeah 100% very relevant. But here? No.

          EDIT: Forgot an imporant adjective.

          • Jack says:

            I think I understand you better now and the things you say make sense to me. You write convincingly about the difficulty of social engineering and perhaps the implausibility of a goal of gender parity in assailant/victimization rates. That said, I’m not sure this is an explanation of what SCC was saying… It still seems like what SCC wrote is not an argument against the systemic oppression model, even the strong one that you might be able to dig up someone actually claiming.

          • quanta413 says:

            @Jack

            Thanks. That’s fair. I think I’m maybe closer to the median on this than Scott not because of a difference in logical reasons but for more emotional reasons. I think because I’m sexually closer to the typical male mind (uncertain about Scott’s mind sexually but from what little I know seems probably true).

            Or maybe the more important part is I think Scott is focused more on the performative aspect of people writing about harassment (which is endless pain if you ask me), whereas I’m focusing more on the object level.

      • insilications says:

        Sociosexuality predicts sexual harassment better than sexism. The biosocial model — and not the standard sociological model (SSSM) — indicates that sexual coercion is primarily about sex, not sociopolitical power differentials like the “systemic oppression model” predicts (http://www.ehbonline.org/article/S1090-5138(17)30001-6/fulltext). This explains the sexual coercion statistics between gays and lesbians as well (gays and lesbians score higher on SOI compared to straight women and even straight men), something that the systemic oppression SSSM model utterly and fatally fails to explain. Clearly we have a pattern and a more complete modem here. When it comes to sexual harassment power is often the means but sex (i.e. sociosexuality) remains the end goal (http://faculty.law.wayne.edu/browne/documents/articles/sex%20power%20%26%20dominance_browne.pdf).

        • Jack says:

          You are writing densely using a bunch of words I tried to look up. But if I understand you correctly, you are identifying what SCC called the “structural oppression model” with the idea that sexual coercion is “driven by male power, paternalism and the motive to dominate women” (quoting from the article you cited (the real one not the law journal one)). And this is contrasted with a model that suggests that the reason more men do sexual coercion is simply that men are more likely to want casual sex? Then the article you cite finds that sexual harassment is better correlated with high sociosexuality (ie wanting casual sex) than with “porn exposure, rape stereotypes and hostile sexism”.

          If I have you right, a few questions:
          a) Whatever the merits of this view, it’s clearly not what SCC was getting at right? “[M]en constitute 80% of sexual harassers for the same reason they constitute 83% of arsonists”–ie not high sociosexuality?
          b) To what extent are “porn exposure, rape stereotypes and hostile sexism” good proxies for “male power, paternalism and the motive to dominate women”?
          c) Am I right in thinking this study has nothing to say about what effect “porn exposure, rape stereotypes and hostile sexism” might have on the severity or quality of harassment rather than its rate?

      • Besserwisser says:

        To explain, men aren’t arsonists because society punishes them less harshly for it than women.

        It’s the opposite even. Men are regularly given harsher sentences, as well as just more likely to receive punishments at all. Which makes it kind of dubious if men really are 80% or so of criminals.

    • nfeltman says:

      Scott is alluding to the hypothesis that men are generally more deviant/criminal/anti-social, due to intrinsic biological factors, and that the difference in victims is purely a product of sexuality.

      Alternatively, the structural oppression hypothesis (as Scott presents it) posits that social structures cause the disparity, and that these structures are broad and pervasive, extending beyond harassment and even beyond anti-social behaviors.

      Broad social structures are not specific biological structures, thus the contradiction.

      • Jack says:

        So if I think that “biological factors” are a part of “social structures” then there is no contradiction? I mean, your and the above comment makes me think SCC is responding to a poorly-specified strawperson. The least they could’ve done is tell us what “structural oppression model” they’re responding to. The actual article linked just before the aside I quoted says:

        #MeToo was meant to highlight the structural oppression women face and the sexual violence that goes hand-in-hand with it. That is something that men, as a class, cannot possibly understand – even if we are sometimes the victims of sexual assault too (typically by other men). Women used the hashtag to talk about shared womanhood and girlhood, experiences I can never know as a man. Butting into that conversation felt counterproductive, at best, and flat out intrusive at worst.

        This seems to have nothing to do with a) the aside, or; b) SCC’s summary: “Their excuse was the usual – it’s not ‘structural oppression’, so it doesn’t count”. The author of the article does not say anything like, their assault doesn’t count, sexual assault is about purely social factors (whatever that would mean), biological factors have nothing to do with it, other crimes don’t have similar gender imbalances–nada.

        • vV_Vv says:

          The “structural oppression” hypothesis is that the more “privileged” groups: men, expecially straight men and straight white men, are more likely to engage in sexual assault or abusive behaviors, especially towards the more “oppressed” groups, out of a sense of entitlement and impunity, and that indeed society grants them special protections against punishment, compared to those granted to the more “oppressed” groups.

          It’s easy to observe that this theory is factually false. Straight men or straight white men don’t sexually assault proportionally more than other groups of men, men in general have a larger tendency towards anti-social behaviors for reasons which are consistent with biological differences but they don’t enjoy any special protection from punishment, if anything they are punished more harshly than women for the same violations.

  17. Squirrel of Doom says:

    I agree with a lot of this, but I still must make this point:

    Sexual harassment of men against women is inherently far more threatening than the other way around because of the inherent threat of physical overpowering and rape.

    When women make unwelcome sexual advances at me, it’s at worst really annoying. I know I can easily take pretty much anybody in a fight, so there is a clear upper limit to how bad it can get. For women in the same situation, the sky – or more literally a grave – is the limit.

    Just something to keep in mind when comparing the numbers.

    • quanta413 says:

      The difference in physical strength matters, although I think in the recent cases in the media mostly because it affects our lizard brain behavior. But the grave is such a rare limit and so severely punished (because murder) that I’m not sure it makes sense to ignore the fact that women can kill men they are harassing in other ways if they really want to.

      When women make unwelcome sexual advances at me, it’s at worst really annoying.

      This might be true for you (and it’s usually but not always true for me; I have once been significantly more scared of something much worse than mere annoyance and not without reason), but it’s not true for all males. And I don’t mean because of the strength thing.

      • Alphonse says:

        I agree. I think it’s reasonable to point out that women have more to fear from stranger-sexual-harassment, given the physical power differentials, but it’s plausible to me that men have more to fear from non-stranger-sexual-harassment, given the social power differentials.

        For an example in this discussion thread, I point to the comment by eqdw above.

        It’s certainly possible to imagine a man acting toward a woman in the manner which eqdw describes, but I suspect that if a complaint were lodged, a female victim would be more successful than a male victim.

        Similarly, although it was male-on-male and therefore not entirely on-point to this discussion, Terry Crews’ story of when he was sexually assaulted illustrates the irrelevance of physical dominance when social power is the controlling factor. The fact that Terry Crews could undoubtedly win a fight to the “grave” doesn’t change the fact the social dynamics that make it hard for male victims of such harassment / assault.

    • Le Maistre Chat says:

      This. I get uncomfortable if y’all reverse the evil stupidity of feminism and act like rape is a non-problem, it’s only a boo word for this annoying sexual harassment… occasionally a woman gets raped and killed by a mentally disturbed male misfit who literally hates women and has overpowered her just by being a man.

      • 天可汗 says:

        You know, I really don’t think Weinstein being able to physically overpower aspiring actresses was the operative factor there.

      • takashoru says:

        And this is, as sexual harassment training (at least in California) points out, grossly overestimated in the minds of the general populace. Almost all college rapes are by a perpetrator known to the victim, and often the result of one or more intoxicated parties.

        I am unclear exactly how well this generalizes to the general population, but I expect reasonably well. We should be afraid of men (raping && killing) women similarly to how we fear men being mass-shooters, not in the way we fear men being sexual harassers.

        (This is one of the many reasons I hate the conflation of intoxicated non-consent with violent non-consent with a-consent. If you mix the statistics, people have no idea what they need to be afraid of.)

    • nfeltman says:

      I see most of the recent conversation being about what happens after the harassment, when physical power differences are irrelevant but social power reigns.

    • themountaingoat says:

      Being afraid of someone physically assaulting you or murdering you is likely irrational in most situations given the rates of such things occurring, especially if we talk about otherwise safe situations. If we are dealing with a irrational fear then why don’t we ask people to condition themselves out of it the same way we demand people condition themselves to not have negative reactions to people that look different?

      If we do accept that male sexual harassment is worse because men are stronger then the narrative needs to change from “men are bad” to “mens greater physical strength means we need to hold them to higher standards of behaviour than women”. You can’t really justify the current narrative that way.

      • Squirrel of Doom says:

        Whenever the two people are alone, there is always the possibility of rape, and you can be sure the woman is very aware of that. It’s a perfect crime in that it leaves no evidence. Murder is far more unlikely and messy, and I regret choosing the word “grave” for a catchy turn of phrase.

        • takashoru says:

          I challenge this statement. Even assuming a condom is used, which isn’t a 100% assumption, finding some amount of genetic material is by no means impossible. Getting anybody to run the tests on the sample and the accused is another matter, but that’s not really what we’re talking about here.

          I will also, in an admittedly nitpicky way, say that I don’t really agree with the absoluteness of your primary point either. I know a woman who carries roughly two knives on her person at any given time, and knows how to use them, as well as some martial arts. While I am not saying that this is a necessary, expected, or reasonable precaution for all women to take, I would be more than slightly surprised to find out that she has any serious fears of being raped in a one-on-one situation with any of the weak, never-been-in-a-fight nerds that she hangs out with.

          • Besserwisser says:

            Evidence for sex is easy to come by, evidence for rape less so. Admittedly, there’s a strong push by people who say to always believe women to always assume rape but in a legal system which functions based on the presumption of innocence it’s really hard to get conclusive evidence for rape.

          • takashoru says:

            Fair enough.

        • Mary says:

          you can be sure the woman is very aware of that.

          No, you can’t.

    • cmurdock says:

      “I know I can easily take pretty much anybody in a fight”

      Off-topic: If you don’t mind, I’m curious what your background is that justifies this (rather strong) statement.

      • reasoned argumentation says:

        Yeah seriously – that’s one of the most Dunning-Krueger things I’ve ever read.

        Every guy who is actually fantastically great at fighting got that way by training constantly and getting beaten up tons and tons of times. Going through that makes you respect the capabilities of random strangers. Not having gone through that means that you’re speaking from ignorance.

        • Nornagest says:

          I’ve studied martial arts for twenty years, but I wouldn’t want to fight a woman half my weight if she was carrying a $10 knife and I wasn’t. I’d still think twice if I was.

          • Le Maistre Chat says:

            I suspect the media (and maybe D&D monks, if you’re a nerd) have warped people’s analysis of violence. They can understand that you don’t bring a knife to a gun fight, but not what a bad idea bringing kung fu to a knife fight is.

          • jimmy says:

            It wouldn’t be safe for her to fight you either though, which really puts a damper on her ability to bully you with a cheap knife if she is at all sane and has anything to lose. Knives also don’t escalate threats smoothly and can be taken in a momentary lapse of attention.

            I know the time I was sexually harassed I wasn’t at all concerned that she might have a knife, but if the large strength disparity had been in the other direction I’d have been pretty terrified.

          • Null42 says:

            There was that great bit from MAD:

            Jack be nimble
            Jack be quick
            Jack meet mugger
            Jack give kick
            Jack show quickness
            Jack show skill
            Jack learn bullet
            Quicker still.

          • Thegnskald says:

            I’d rather face someone who has a gun than someone who has a knife.

            I know what to do with a gun – if far enough away, run away in an unpredictable fashion, since few people can hit a moving target, much less an unpredictable one. And if not far enough away, close the distance and see if I can crush their trachea. I’d guess in the run away case, I have minimal chance of death or injury, and if I can’t run away, the odds are about break even.

            With a knife – if I can run away, great. If not, there is no way I am not getting cut.

          • moonfirestorm says:

            @Thegnskald

            Wouldn’t there be a pretty decent distance where the person with the gun has an easy shot, but is still too far away to be quickly closed with? Maybe running away is still pretty good odds, but I think the distance at which it’s “minimal death or injury” is going to be a lot further than the equivalent distance for running away from a guy with a knife.

            Plus the guy with the knife is going to have to run while carrying a knife, which school has taught me is a really bad idea.

          • Thegnskald says:

            Moonfire –

            Short answer: Not without training.

            You would be amazed at how bad people actually are at hitting what they are aiming at without extensive training

          • Aapje says:

            Even cops miss with amazing frequency at really short distances. It’s really hard to shoot well with limited training, especially when high on adrenaline.

      • Squirrel of Doom says:

        I’m a man and am talking about female opponents.

        I’m also taller than average and not entirely out of shape.

        • Thegnskald says:

          You are delusional.

          How do you think that self-defense court case will go, exactly?

        • xXxanonxXx says:

          What’s delusional about it exactly? I think society in generally is deeply deluded about an average woman’s chances in a fight against an average man. Having been in a few fights with both men and women I was surprised at just how easy it was to control the latter, but not the former. You’re mainly thinking about how to subdue the woman without hurting her. Weapons change the situation obviously.

          • Steve Sailer says:

            None of these starlets who played butt-kicking babes in Weinstein’s Tarantino movies seemed to be able to kick Harvey’s butt.

            Funny how that works.

          • gbdub says:

            Weinstein wasn’t able to overpower his victims because of his MMA skills. He could have been a 90lb weakling and done the same thing. It was his influence in the Hollywood power structure that did it.

            I suspect if he’d gone around beating up the women who turned him down, rather than just getting them blackballed, his crimes would have caught up with him a lot more quickly.

          • John Schilling says:

            Nit: Weinstein did physcially overpower at least some of his victims, including in one case the boyfriend of a woman he was trying to harass. But only a minority of the Weinstein harassment cases, and maybe Roy Moore forty or so years ago, and I think none of the other harassment allegations that have made for such juicy headlines of late. We are primarily talking about a sort of harassment that occurs without the victims needing to be physically overpowered and in contexts where it is highly unlikely that great violence would be used to overcome resistance.

            But our society absolutely sucks at teaching people to rationally assess the threat of violence. To a first approximation, all women are taught to fear male violence always as they are utterly helpless against it, and all men are taught not to fear violence at all because a Real Man ™ can take care of himself in a fight. I expect that this does have some effect on the perception and reporting of sexual harassment.

        • Barely matters says:

          Sounds pretty badass.

          How do you rate your odds against a couple of cops armed with pistols, batons, and as much backup as they like? Because that’s what any of those women will be bringing to the fight if they decide they’d like to hurt you.

    • len says:

      I don’t know how much of what you said actually comes into play. Most harassment isn’t done in dark alleyways. It’s done over the net or in public places, where the “inherent threat of physical overpowering and rape” isn’t a thing. I’ll concede that there might be a psychological effect, that if the harasser is stronger/bigger than you are this makes the harassment feel more severe, etc.

      But on the flip side, while a woman can easily complain about male harassment and get taken seriously, men don’t get such a recourse. So it also makes sense that women would probably complain about it more, since there’s no point for men to complain about it if no action would be taken anyway. To compare to domestic abuse situations, women-on-men domestic abuse usually becomes extremely severe before the police gets involved.

      Also there’s various other social effects for men to under-report harassment (admitting weakness, etc.), though I admittedly haven’t read the studies that Scott’s citing, so maybe they controlled for that somehow.

    • BlindKungFuMaster says:

      “When women make unwelcome sexual advances at me, it’s at worst really annoying. I know I can easily take pretty much anybody in a fight, so there is a clear upper limit to how bad it can get.”

      There is no upper limit to how bad it can get. “Hell hath no fury …” and all that. Realistically, you’d have to at least worry about her turning the story on its head, in which case you’d be pretty much done.

    • gbdub says:

      In modern society, physical power is much less important than social power. Most sexual harassment is abuse of social, not physical, power. Weinstein is a perpetrator, Terry Crews is a victim.

      A woman slapping a guy for pinching her ass is totally socially acceptable. A man hitting a woman for turning down his sexual advance is not. Social power is much less gendered.

    • shenanigans24 says:

      Okay but women can accuse you of harassment and then a group of men that you cannot “take” will overpower you.

      While physical strength is a power dynamics I don’t think it’s clear that the person holding the bigger muscles has an advantage over the person holding the ability to manipulate those with muscles. For instance if Hillary Clinton harassed me I would be quite aware that while I could physically overpower her, her entourage would overpower me and her power in general would make it likely I would be hauled off as the criminal.

      While strength is probably a power factor in some cases I think in many cases it is not as much as factors like career and social power.

      • While strength is probably a power factor in some cases I think in many cases it is not as much as factors like career and social power.

        I suspect that depends a lot on what part of the social spectrum you are looking at. High up you are surely right, at the bottom maybe not.

        On the other hand, Chimpanzee Politics, a very interesting book, described dominance among Chimpanzees as based more on the ability to build a coalition in your support than on raw strength.

  18. Jack says:

    I’ve previously talked about two visions of social justice. The first vision tries to erase group differences to create a world free from stereotypes and hostility. The second vision tries to attack majority groups and spread as many stereotypes as possible about them in the hopes that the ensuing hostility raises the position of minorities.

    Does anyone know the reference? As SCC’s previous argument has been summarized here, it sounds like an uninformed take on the well-trodden sameness/difference debate in feminist theory.

  19. mikemosz says:

    I don’t buy this argument. Like you, I’d say I’ve been sexually harassed by three or four women in my life, though it wasn’t til the recent scandals that I look on it that way. Each has been an isolated incident (in one woman’s case, two or three times at parties). This is nothing compared to what my female colleagues face day-in and day-out in multiple contexts in both professional and social settings – they have to keep track of who to be alone with and who not to be.

    I think the relevant statistic would be that of incidents of sexual harassment, how many happen to women and are perpetrated by men. I could be wrong, but my guess is that it would be much higher than 3:1. Surveys asking for people to whom it has happened ‘at least once’ aren’t very useful, because if sexual harassment happened a few times in a lifetime to each person, it wouldn’t be much of a societal problem.

    As many other commenters have pointed out, statistically men don’t have to fear that sexual harassment will lead to them being physically overpowered – I wouldn’t be afraid to be alone in a room with any of the women I mentioned the way an actress would with Weinstein. Moreover, I’ve never been in a situation (or seen my male friends be in a situation) where their career prospects depended on sleeping with someone, whereas I’ve had female friends give up on advancement within an organisation because they knew it was a barrier. I just don’t see the equivalence.

    One interesting question is whether because men are still disproportionately in positions of power, they have disproportionate opportunity to harass and get away with it (I presume this would be the position taken by the gender-is-a-social-construct crowd?). Nevertheless, in the world we live in, I think focusing on sexual harassment by men (of both men and women) fits the facts better.

    • GeneralDisarray says:

      I’m confident that ratios of repeat offenders do not match across gender groups either, which also supports the strategy of focusing primarily on male perpetrators.

    • Squirrel of Doom says:

      I’ve never been in a situation (or seen my male friends be in a situation) where their career prospects depended on sleeping with someone

      There are two possible cases here

      A: A woman who is the best person for promotion X will only get it if she sleeps with the boss.

      B: A woman who is not the best person for promotion X will get it anyway if she sleeps with the boss.

      Cases of A are discrimination against women, while cases of B are arguably discrimination against men, since they represent a career path only open for women.

      I’m genuinely curious how relatively common cases of A vs B are, but I don’t expect there is a lot of academic research on this topic?

      • mikemosz says:

        Insitinct tells me *B* is not that common. In large institutions, a manager has a lot of power to stall a career or generally make someone miserable, but doesn’t have that much power to promote a favourite unilaterally without corporate oversight. Basically I think even if the average boss _wanted_ to reward sex with advancement, it’d be hard, whereas punishing denial of sex is much easier. Note that the women who denied Weinstein sex had their reputations ruined in Hollywood, whereas few of the ones who slept with him became superstars.

        *A* is likely more common in industries where individuals have extremely broad decision making power (e.g. Weinstein) or low-level industries like restaurants where you can promote someone to assistant manager or something. In the corporate world I’ve more often seen the hiring of a girlfriend or mistress to some bullshit position than promoting an existing employee you’re having an affair with, but you’re absolutely right that actual data would be better.

      • wildtypehuman says:

        Your model of B for women is way off.

        I have never, ever, not a single time, heard a woman express gratitude or hope that she can find a workplace where she will be treated extra well if she sleeps with her boss. I suspect this is fairly representative of 99.9% of women for at least 3 reasons. First, giving people special treatment for sexual favors is also bad for ALL THE OTHER EMPLOYEES, not just men. Second, it’s gross and creepy for someone to OFFER to give you special treatment in exchange for sex (which most people do not want!), and ruins the tone of any future professional relationship. Third, anecdotally, you rarely find B without A–there’s ALWAYS an implication that if you turn down someone powerful enough to help you, they’ll hurt your career. (Bonus fourth: everyone often thinks they’re the best person for the job, so even a hypothetical boss trying to do B will come across as coercive to the target employee most of the time.)

        With 90% confidence: B is not more pleasant for women in the workplace than A is.

        • Squirrel of Doom says:

          Sure, even if this a career path only available to women, that doesn’t mean women appreciate it or would want to use it.

          Then again, the few who did would hardly go around telling their coworkers about it. I’ve never heard a man talk about his sexual harassment, but I don’t think that means it never happens.

          there’s ALWAYS an implication that if you turn down someone powerful enough to help you, they’ll hurt your career

          Here is perhaps the key insight: The woman in these cases may not be the most qualified for the promotion, and would not get the offer were it not for the possibility of sex. That is, as the woman, you may not know if you’re in scenario A or B.

        • xXxanonxXx says:

          Christina Pazsitzky did specifically say on Joe Rogan’s podcast when discussing the Weinstein scandal that she would appreciate an explicit option B.

    • Besserwisser says:

      I don’t think the specific numbers matter that much. The general argument seems not to be “it happens so much more to women that we should focus on them to maximize effectiveness” but “even if it does happen to men it doesn’t matter as much because structural oppression”. For the latter, it’s irrelevant how many men are victims of harassment how many times, other than really high numbers casting doubt on the “structural oppression” argument. It’s much more important to deal with the underlying assumptions directly. And, as many already pointed out, it’s men who have it harder to get claims of harassment against them recognized. Also, I think we should work with the number we have, not with our assumptions.

    • Mary says:

      This is nothing compared to what my female colleagues face day-in and day-out in multiple contexts in both professional and social settings – they have to keep track of who to be alone with and who not to be.

      What industry are you in?

    • shenanigans24 says:

      I am very afraid to be in a room with a woman. I will not work with women unless forced. Women at work make crass jokes that would be totally unacceptable from men. They joke about penis size, breasts, homosexuals etc. At the same time the only sexual accusations I’ve seen were false and ruined the careers of men even when they were found unsubstantiated.

      Women have tremendous power over men, and I think it’s rather obvious. Consider the evidence or lack thereof for the current hysteria. A mans accusation requires evidence, a woman’s does not. Men will believe her. That power dynamic is not trivial.

      My experience in life with women at work is just vastly different than what you describe.

  20. jw says:

    One point about making every problem “systemic”.

    If control of the structures and power within institutions is what you crave to acquire, what better way to grab that power but to claim that all societies ills are systemic and this institutions need to be repaired. Of course those repairs are beholden to a political strategy and belief system.

    And in so many of these cases the belief system the SJWs claim will fix things is the worst most violent political system in the history of the world…

    • Le Maistre Chat says:

      Well yes, the “systemic oppression” ideology is evil. Under no circumstances should my disagreements with Scott be taken for agreement with THEM.

    • Jack says:

      How does this line of thought differentiate actually systemic problems in the sense of problems needing broad institutional responses?

      • Aapje says:

        Actually systemic problems involves improving policies or people with bad behavior. Racist or sexist power grabs involve the assumption that everyone of a certain race or gender is a problem and that everyone or another race or gender is automatically better; and thus seeking to replace one race and/or gender by another.

        • Jack says:

          So the problem is the assumption that some people are “automatically better” rather than identifying a problem as systematic? It seems to me that assumption will lead to all sorts of pernicious results and that when institutions are infected with that assumption those results can become institutional. But the “belief system” (quoting jw’s comment) being criticized now isn’t the identification of problems as systematic but the assumption you mention. I draw out this distinction because while SJWs certainly care about systematic problems, they do not explicitly make the assumption you are talking about.

          • Aapje says:

            SJ people tend to fight very hard to get ‘oppressed people’ into positions or power, where oppression is defined by nothing other than their race or gender.

          • Jack says:

            I don’t think that is an accurate representation of a relevant position (the “where oppression is defined by nothing other than their race or gender” bit–the first clause I agree with entirely); but even if it were it would be only an implicit endorsement of the assumption.

  21. insilications says:

    Sociosexuality predicts sexual harassment better than sexism. The biosocial model — and not the standard sociological model (SSSM) — indicates that sexual coercion is primarily about sex, not sociopolitical power differentials like the “systemic oppression model” predicts (http://www.ehbonline.org/article/S1090-5138(17)30001-6/fulltext). This explains the sexual coercion statistics between gays and lesbians as well (gays and lesbians score higher on SOI compared to straight women and even straight men), something that the systemic oppression SSSM model utterly and fatally fails to explain. Clearly we have a pattern and a more complete modem here. When it comes to sexual harassment power is often the means but sex (i.e. sociosexuality) remains the end goal (http://faculty.law.wayne.edu/browne/documents/articles/sex%20power%20%26%20dominance_browne.pdf).

  22. Zorgon says:

    This post is well-thought-out, structured fairly well, and contains numerous references to hard cold facts, as well as attempting to present a case for its thesis even to people who disagree with its core premises.

    In the light of that, the only possible way forward is for someone to leak it to Gizmodo and then get Scott fired for his “misogynist screed” while he’s summarily monstered in the entire Anglosphere press.

  23. dtsund says:

    I agree with the general thrust of this essay, but:

    “I mean, statistically, some of them have to be. According to the German study, 6% of women admit to being harassers. Know more than ten women? One of them’s probably a harasser. Don’t know which one it is? Then maybe you can feel a little sympathy for the men who don’t know which of their same-gender friends is a harasser either.”

    This paragraph might be a little bit weak, using a 6% result from a survey. That’s dangerously close to Lizardman’s Constant. The surrounding point is a good one, though, which I’d hate to see gone.

    • liskantope says:

      I’m a little worried about this point too. There are all kinds of bubble effects, where most certain features are concentrated highly in certain subcultures but almost completely absent in others. Our host has talked repeatedly about how none of the people he knows are creationists even though they make up half the country.

    • Ketil says:

      Yes – those 6% could be all the women working in health care, or being of French descent, or have failed high school – in short, belong to an isolated group, not relevant to a random SJW woman.

      Another obvious thing is that the number of harasser does not necessarily (not likely, even) correspond to the number of harassed. If one in thousand men harass ten women each, then a circle of hundred friends is likely to contain a victim but not a perpetrator. And, of course, one would guess people would talk more loudly of being a victim than of being a perpetrator…

  24. Hyman Rosen says:

    Unfortunately, this column reads like “all lives matter.” Regardless of whether men get harassed by women in significant numbers, we are having a moment where, finally, the evils that women are subjected to by men are being addressed and those men are rightfully being shamed and punished. Piping up about female-on-male harassment at this moment is going to look like a whataboutist attempt to halt that progress by trying to distract attention to something else.

    It also looks like “to people with privilege equality looks like oppression.” Time and again, when society begins correcting horrendously unfair and biased practices, out come the defenders of liberty to insist that the resulting processes must be scrupulously fair and never tilt in the direction of the oppressed, even though they were nowhere to be found in the fight against oppression. If men have to walk on tenterhooks for a while, too bad. Sometimes the pendulum has to take a good hard swing in the other direction.

    tl;dr Too soon.

    • reasoned argumentation says:

      If men have to walk on tenterhooks for a while, too bad. Sometimes the pendulum has to take a good hard swing in the other direction.

      Thank you for making my above point.

      If Jews have to walk on tenderhooks for a while, too bad. Sometimes the pendulum has to take a good hard swing in the other direction.

      After all, men are only 80% of the harassers when they’re 50% of the population. Jews at 2% of the population are (from the lists I’ve seen) upwards of 80% of the prominent credibly accused harassers to at least 50%+ from the linked list compiled by the NY Times so are far far more overrepresented – anything you can say about “men” you can say about “Jews” far more strongly.

      I’m sure you’re on board with this sentiment, right?

      • Hyman Rosen says:

        As someone else here has already pointed out, the percentages to consider should be based on the number of Jews in positions of power or prominence, not on the general population. Controlling the banks, media, Washington, and Hollywood comes with some associated costs 🙂

        Jewish media isn’t trying to hide from this topic. If you look at the Forward, the Jewish week, Haaretz, and most other non-right-wing papers (unlike the Jewish Press, for example), magazines, and websites, you will see an outpouring of discussion about the various Jewish perpetrators (newly listed – Israel Horowitz, James Levine), and about how to prevent sexual harassment and why it occurs.

        If there really is a particularly out-of-proportion Jewish aspect to sexual harassment, I am completely on board with exposing it, punishing it, and curing it. That would be good for the Jews.

        • Hyzenthlay says:

          If there really is a particularly out-of-proportion Jewish aspect to sexual harassment, I am completely on board with exposing it, punishing it, and curing it. That would be good for the Jews.

          I commend you for your consistency, but this strikes me as really naive. Imagine for a moment that this turned out to be the case, and “Jews more likely to sexually harass women” became the sentiment splashed across headlines. Do you really think that the alt-right and neo-Nazis wouldn’t pounce on this and push it as aggressively as possible? Do you imagine there wouldn’t be any negative repercussions to that?

          And addressing your point more broadly, real life is rarely as simple as a struggle between “oppressors and oppressed.” Because identity is multi-faceted, a single person may belong to several “oppressor” groups as well as several “oppressed” groups.

          If a white woman accuses a black man of sexual misconduct and the man denies it, for instance, opinions will probably be split as to whether he’s oppressing her with his male privilege or whether she’s asserting her white privilege and revealing implicit racial bias.

          Or you could just look at the individual situation and the actual evidence. I tend to favor that approach, as opposed to approaching every situation from a “whoever is most oppressed is right” perspective.

          And this…

          “To people with privilege, equality looks like oppression.” Well, I’d say that does apply to a lot of the people who are talking about being oppressed these days. Many social justice activists who focus a lot on their status as minorities are, in the grand scheme of things, highly privileged people. Though I’m guessing that’s not what you meant.

    • Le Maistre Chat says:

      Regardless of whether Muslims get harassed by infidels in significant numbers, we are having a moment where, finally, the evils that women are subjected to by Muslims are being addressed and those Muslims are rightfully being shamed and punished. Piping up about infidel-on-Muslim harassment at this moment is going to look like a whataboutist attempt to halt that progress by trying to distract attention to something else.
      When society begins correcting horrendously unfair and biased practices, out come the defenders of liberty to insist that the resulting processes must be scrupulously fair and never tilt in the direction of the victims, even though you were nowhere to be found during all the years that European governments covered up Muslim rape and demonized the few crusaders who desperately needed your help against the jihad. If Muslims have to walk on tenterhooks for a while, too bad. Sometimes the pendulum has to take a good hard swing in the other direction.

      • nimim.k.m. says:

        I can take Rosen’s argument at its face value and agree with it.

        In the public discussion, rhetoric triumphs the content. It is quite common practice to wrap rhetorical attacks with certain set of plausible points and arguments that nobody really pays any attention to. What is said is only adjacent to what is meant to be said or only barely attached to the purpose of saying them at some particular moment instead of another. Consequently, making those points becomes coded as an underhanded rhetorical attack. This is why certain sort of rhetorics is bad for society: it pollutes the atmosphere.

        Consider also this very tiresome move in politics. “As everybody knows, we areof course very angry with a group of people X today because it was revealed yesterday that X have committed atrocity Alpha against some other group of people Y, but at this point I’d like to point out that also Z do Alpha against W and occasionally Y do similar bad things Beta and we don’t currently care very much about Z doing Alpha or Y committing Beta, and we should keep that in mind in our daily war against the combined evil forces of Alpha-Betaism”?

        On surface level, yes, such gestures are perfectly logical and make perfect sense. But the emotional punch is either missing or somehow directed more against talking about Alphaism, and as a consequence nobody believes that “we need to fight Alpha-Betaism” is a rallying cry meant to inspire the populace with the message “take the War Against Alpha-Betaism seriously”: everyone knows it’s a platitude with a message “Alphaism isn’t actually that bad or important”.

        If you want to actually participate in a discussion about Betaism when the discussion about Betaism has become a proxy for another discussion about Alphaism, the only recourse left is to do it very carefully (that is, if you want to sound sincere). Otherwise everybody will think you obviously you are talking about evils of Betaism only because you are trying to brush Alphaism under the rug.

    • Zorgon says:

      Unfortunately, this column reads like “all lives matter.”

      … in that it’s a salient and rational response that gets pre-emptively bingo carded away?

    • takashoru says:

      As a general rule, I am only in favor of policy as a position, not as a direction.

      The problem with directions is that nobody is the slightest bit concerned with going too far, because there literally is no “too far” when you are going in a direction. You just keep going. Is anybody looking out for icebergs? Is anyone making sure we don’t miss our stop? If I’m trying to get to LA from San Diego, going North is all well and fine for a bit, but by the time I reach San Francisco, you start to wonder if I really was interested in LA at all, or if I just wanted to go North. If I say “I want to go North, because LA is North”, and then after I pass LA I’m still saying “I want to go North to LA”, either I haven’t been paying attention to the map, or I didn’t really want to go to LA.

      Charitably, feminism isn’t paying attention to the map, and may not even have fixed firmly in their heads what their destination looks like. Less charitably, when going North just gets better and better, why would one ever want to stop in LA? More reasonably, plenty of women don’t consistently comprehend when men are treating them as poorly as they treat other men, so it’s more like they’ll think they’re in LA once they hit San Francisco, and may be convinced to stop once they hit Sacramento.

      If some random shitty movement ruins a bunch of people on their uncaring way to greatness, I can’t really work up *righteous* indignation.

      However, when you’ve been preaching *equality* for over a century, saying something like “I don’t really care if there’s some inequality on the way” starts alarm bells ringing. You don’t actually care about equality? Equality only for the in-group? Do you believe in some sort of sins-of-the-father thing where boys born today are complicit in the historical oppression of women by men?

      Why on earth should I trust someone who explicitly doesn’t have my interests at heart, and explicitly excepts me from the philosophical protections of the movement? Why are you not my enemy? Why should I not just redpill right now, and take everyone I can with me?

      Your arguments are unhelpful, unwise, and naive.

    • Mark says:

      It’s been manufactured in that way, though. That’s the problem. It’s not like some spontaneous good thing happened that bitter minded people are now trying to spoil – a narrative was carefully constructed, and continuing to oppose that narrative is somehow viewed as bad natured.

      Your next door neighbour won the lottery last week. That’s a good thing, let’s not spoil things by going on about how poor you are.

      Your next door neighbour won the lottery last week. You had a winning ticket too, but it was disqualified because your kind isn’t allowed to win lotteries. You come from a naturally lucky group and if you have to grub around in poverty, that is actually a good thing. In fact, let’s take your house away entirely and give it to your neighbour. Don’t spoil things by complaining about how poor you are.

    • gbdub says:

      “to people with privilege equality looks like oppression.”

      1) Scott is also talking about male victims, who are not getting treated with “equality” by any stretch
      2) As I (maybe) coined in the open thread “when you feel oppressed, becoming the oppressor feels like justice”. That’s not behavior we should encourage. It’s not even “an eye for an eye”, because the retaliatory ocular removal is not well targeted at the original perpetrators, whose crimes occurred in the past.

    • Standing in the Shadows says:

      @Hyman Rosen ‘s post is a great example of Poe’s Law in action.

    • shenanigans24 says:

      It should be noted that most of the #metoo is unprovable accusations and therefore could just as easily be proof of women’s bad behavior as men’s.

  25. Steve Sailer says:

    My guess is that if Hillary had won, then we wouldn’t be seeing all these revelations against key men in the most pro-Democratic industries. Weinstein, the key figure in all this, was a huge Clinton supporter and if his candidate had become president, that probably would have intimidated his victims for another 4 or 8 years. But with the Clintons washed up and people fearing them and their friends less these days, the dam has burst.

    Keep in mind that the Clintons and Hollywood have been interconnected at covering up “bimbo eruptions” at least since early 1992 when the Clintons hired Hollywood private eye Anthony Pellicano to get dirt on Gennifer Flowers.

    Pellicano’s specialty was bribing phone company employees to wiretap the victims of powerful men in the entertainment industry so they could be blackmailed into silence. He’s currently getting close to getting out of prison. The feds have his wiretapped files, but he has refused to give up the password. It would be interesting to know who is going to pay him off for his omerta when he walks out the door of prison.

    • Deiseach says:

      My guess is that if Hillary had won, then we wouldn’t be seeing all these revelations against key men in the most pro-Democratic industries. Weinstein, the key figure in all this, was a huge Clinton supporter and if his candidate had become president, that probably would have intimidated his victims for another 4 or 8 years.

      Actually, I’m more cynical than that. Weinstein seems to have lost a lot of the power he once wielded due to diminished success in recent years; he wasn’t involved with as many successful pictures and wasn’t making as much money. So Hollywood no longer had a prime interest in protecting him. I do think it’s less about which president is in power (after all, if we are to believe it, Trump is a serial harasser and rapist, and if he’s in power why wouldn’t that extend to protecting other men who are harassers and rapists?) and more about “is your star on the wane, so it’s now safe to speak up because you aren’t worth protecting any more and don’t have the same make-or-break power you used to?”

      • fightscenegrades says:

        This doesn’t entirely disprove your thesis, but keep in mind that the Weinstein expose wasn’t some collective Hollywood thing– Ronan Farrow had to go a little rogue to get it out. NBC spiked the story when he was working on it for them.

        • Steve Sailer says:

          Right. Various journalists have worked on Weinstein exposes over the decades, but nothing much was allowed to make it to the press until recently. Tina Brown explained how Weinstein expensively corrupted journalists to keep his misdeeds covered up:

          http://takimag.com/article/the_overlord_of_oscar_bait_steve_sailer/print#axzz50O88CZZy

        • albatross11 says:

          Once the allegations were out in public, though, it became safe for lots of his victims to come forward, because he looked to no longer be in a position to reward friends and punish enemies, and they would not be the single target. (I sort of think of this like one guy with a 6-shooter surrounded by 20 angry guys with clubs. Nobody wants to go first, and it may be that nobody ever lays a club on the gunman. But if anyone does, he’s going to be pounded into paste.)

  26. Does “SCC”, used multiple times above, refer to Slate Star Codex (normally abbreviated SSC), or to something else?

  27. skef says:

    (The “structural oppression” model is false, by the way. Homosexual male harassment is more prevalent than the percent gay men in the population would imply, suggesting that gay men harass men more often than straight men harass women. The obvious explanation for gender differences in harassment has always been that men constitute 80% of sexual harassers for the same reason they constitute 83% of arsonists, 81% of car thieves, and 85% of burglars. Since most men are straight, most victims are women; when the men happen to be gay, they victimize men. Men probably get victimized disproportionately often compared to the straight/gay ratio because society views harassing females as horrible but harassing men as funny. If this theory is right then it’s men who are the structural victims, which means it’s your harassment that doesn’t count and you’re the ones who shouldn’t be allowed to talk about it. The “it only matters if it’s structural” game isn’t so much fun now, is it?)

    I’m trying to recall something else Scott has been this sloppy about, and I can’t.

    “Since most men are straight, most victims are women; when the men happen to be gay, they victimize men.” Did you read either the article you linked to or the source article? Here is an example from the latter:

    An example of sexually suggestive comments/jokes in the male-to-male group was a casino worker who alleged he had been bullied by his co-workers about his sexual orientation. They had asked him how often he masturbated and if he was a virgin and whether he was trying to hide the fact that he was really gay.

    And another:

    Another example in the male-to-male group involved a transport worker who alleged his male co-worker put his finger down the back of his pants and touched his bottom with a stick, in addition to offensive homophobic remarks including ‘what is wrong with you bitch?’

    Sure, some proportion of these harassments are by closeted, overcompensating gay people. But most of them? How do these descriptions not fit the argument that much sexual harassment is about policing gender roles? And how does that explanation not fit the structural oppression argument? From the source article of the article you linked to:

    The findings also provide support for the idea that men perceive not only unwanted sexual attention and sexual coercion as SH, but also the enforcement of the traditional heterosexual male gender role (Berdahl et al., 1996). Indeed, many of the experiences described by complainants in the male-to-male group were characterized by taunts about apparently unmasculine conduct and appearance and insinuations that the complainants were gay. One explanation for this conduct is a power–sex association, whereby (male) harassers, who would usually prey upon vulnerable women because it arouses their power concept, may resort, in some circumstances, to the harassment of vulnerable males in order to activate the power concept (Bargh and Raymond, 1995; Lee, 2000). Indeed, the scenarios described in the complaints suggest that men who do not conform to dominant standards of masculinity may be singled out for demeaning, hostile and even violent sexual conduct, usually by other men, but sometimes by women.

    This is the sort of sloppy citation, where the article linked to completely fails to support the point, that in other circumstances you criticize at length.

  28. Eiður Á. Möller says:

    I am not sure treating this on a single type of crime basis is giving us a clear picture. I have no doubt the ratio you mention is about correct: Men show overt aggression more than women from childhood and up — but women show relational aggression more than men from childhood and up as well, often in the form of reputation ruining.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nicki_R._Crick

    We are dealing with two black boxes here. Overt sexual aggression and its majority prevalence among men, and covert relational aggression and its majority prevalence among women, and that is the real touchy subject (not the: “what group fits more into the former black box?”) — because it means we have no choice but to treat every case on an individual basis, and that is no fun for the press that likes to appeal to the mob with grand claims about societies ills, and then come up with inane platitudes of how to fix it.

  29. we’re telling people to stop using the phrase “pregnant mothers”

    The linked article only discusses the phrase “pregnant women”.

    And once we get good evidence that someone is guilty, we have drones bomb their house. Seriously, the terrorism model has a lot going for it.

    I think the sarcasm here is less clear than you want it to be.

  30. liskantope says:

    On a fundamental level, I interpret this post as coming down on one side of the Treating Situations Individually vs. Treating Broad Societal Patterns debate which is becoming more and more common in discussions about the social justice movement. To quote myself from another post:

    A lot of arguments about some systemic social problem boil down to one side complaining that instances of that problem that don’t fit the broader pattern get ignored while the other side retorts “But… look at the broader pattern!” For instance, some Bad Thing might happen to people in group X as part of a systemic problem whose underlying mechanics can be analyzed on a large scale, while that same Bad Thing still happens a fair amount of the time to people not in group X, which often gets ignored in discourse.

    The thing is, both sides are right.

    The issue here is one of making a distinction between problems for individuals and problems on a society-wide scale. When a Bad Thing happens to an individual person, they should receive equal sympathy and their struggle should be addressed with equal effort, regardless of whether or not they’re a member of group X and their pain fits into a particular model.

    But those who are dedicated to formulating these large-scale models and focused on solving the problems they underscore, of course it makes sense for them to only focus on the instances of members of group X suffering the Bad Thing, and constantly pointing out “But people in group not-X also suffer this too!” will only muddy their investigation. And if indeed there is some underlying sociological mechanic that is causing the Bad Thing to predominantly happen to members of X, then analyzing this society-wide phenomenon is a very worthwhile pursuit: it helps in the effort to save a large group of people rather than some individual.

    Those on one side fear that an individual suffering the Bad Thing will be taken less seriously or treated with less concern because that event doesn’t fit the large-scale model, while those on the other side fear that the large-scale model can never be analyzed without the investigators being forced to address all the instances that aren’t a part of it. But these concerns from each side aren’t contradictory, because supporting an individual acquaintance and engaging in activism for a society-level social cause are two entirely different pursuits.

    Of course for my framing to be applicable in this context, we have to agree that the “men harassing women” narrative is reflective of a real social phenomenon in the first place, a view that this post (and other SSC posts) does not seem to endorse (apart from citing the fact that arsonists, thieves, etc. are predominantly men). I usually view the gender disparity in harassment as a product of entrenched gender roles in the pursuit of dating/sex which nobody seems to be directly trying to remedy (my post on that is too long to quote here). But that’s my own hobbyhorse, which I acknowledge is only supported by intuition coming from my personal experience rather than any kind of hard statistics and might be influenced by my own bias as someone who hates the “man = initiator” role.

    • I’ve read your tumblr post.

      I think you are correct to look for explanation of sexual harassment by considering asymmetry of courting.

      Where I think you are wrong is in assuming that this asymmetry and resulting “creepy” male behaviour arises from the culture teaching us to behave this way. The simpler explanation is that a median man wants sex a lot more than a median woman. This is well established and there is a good evolutionary explanation.

      It’s a problem of supply. Men want infinity of sex cause that’s advantageous for their genes. Women only want a limited amount of sex cause having children is costly. I’m not saying that this is the conscious reasoning, I’m drafting what pressures have formed the desires both sexes have.

      Therefore, men generally try to turn interactions with suitable females into sex. Whether it’s a professional chat, friends party or bumping into someone at library. Women are usually totally puzzled by this and find this constant viewing them as sexual targets as offensive and what not.

      Also, for men there is asymmetric cost of being a harasser. In case of your Italian friend. Perhaps he angers 1000 girls until 1 ultimately sleeps with him. So what? He is optimising his personal utility function. Not some average of entire population. If you have to err on one side, better err on the side of being too pushy — in such case the women pay the price. If you are not pushy enough you pay the price by having less procreation opportunities.

      I’m not making moral claims here or as guidance, merely hoping to explain why people act this way. Personally, I’m very non-pushy, and I find it annoying when other guys succeed because women ultimately succumb to their pushiness…

      These thoughts are based on my experiences and conversations with my girlfriend, we are in a poly relationship, so we get to observe and compare the dynamics for both sides.

      • Thegnskald says:

        Evolutionarily, any women who is sufficiently fed and secure, and doesn’t currently have a child or is pregnant, should be desiring sex exactly as much as an equivalent man – if not more, since women have fewer fertile years.

        So evopsych says modern women should be hornier.

        It is very easy to construct evopsych just-so stories to support a position. It is harder to demonstrate that this is actually the case.

        • I agree, one has to be careful with evo psych. I don’t claim I’ve build a large case or even a complete argument in the comment. But understanding pressures coming from evolution is key. You can learn much about humans by considering other animals.0

          Higher promiscuity of males is not very controversial and general across many species.

          Propensity for sexual harassment from males also appears in other animals.

          • Protagoras says:

            In most of the species evo psych is constantly comparing humans to, one sex (usually male) does all the showing off, and the other sex (usually female) does all the choosing. It is transparent to anyone who observes humans that in humans both sexes show off and both sexes are choosy. In different ways, and perhaps not to the same degree (that part is less obvious), but still this is a massive difference from the animal models and it would be surprising if it didn’t have substantial consequences.

          • Thegnskald says:

            Define “promiscuity”.

            Because if you think it means the males have more reproductive sex than females, I am afraid your math cannot work out.

            If you mean they have more partners, that says nothing about reproductive drive itself, only how choosy they are about their partner.

            Neither suggests a lower sex drive.

            (Also, I don’t think you have ever seen an animal in estrus.)

          • @Thegnskald
            By “promiscuity” I meant kinda willingness to engage in casual sex, how choosy people are when selecting partners. Perhaps not the best word.

            Men are limited in how much sex they get by how many women are willing to give out sex. So we can’t measure desire by counting sexual encounters. But you can observe, for example, that men are far more willing to pay for sex.

            Or you can consider how things look like for homosexuals. Gay man have a lot more sex than gay women. That’s presumably because the supply of partners is much less restricted.

            Or how easy it is for a willing girl to bring a guy home from a dance night.

            Or try to infer something from women complaining that the only thing guys want is sex.

            @Protagoras

            Definitely, there are important differences between non-human animals and us. Still, there is a lot to learn from evo psych. Especially given that alternative psychologies are no less likely to generate “just-so”. Ultimately various sources of our understanding must be merged.

          • Thegnskald says:

            “Choosiness” is not a proxy for “sexual desire”, it is a proxy for “availability of potential mates”.

            We can derive a system in which men and women have, on average, equal desire for sex, and yet we still observe the same phenomena we observe now: Just assume the sex is more evenly distributed among women than men.

            Which looks like it matches up with both evolution and human behavior quite well.

            The idea that women have less sexual desire, less so.

            Now, there is a factor I expected someone else to bring up, but nobody did, and it is important: Hormonal birth control fucks all this up. While we would expect a non-pregnant woman with no nursing children to have equal or higher sexual desire than a man, when we have tricked a substantial percentage of women’s bodies into thinking they are, in fact, pregnant, this will have some substantive effects on the overall sexual market.

            And again, you should observe some animals in heat. I think your perceptions of animal behavior isn’t very accurate.

          • Aapje says:

            @Thegnskald

            All indicators point the same way: that men have more sexual desire. This higher sex drive is also very consistent across cultures, suggesting that it has a biological cause.

          • Thegnskald says:

            Aapje –

            And historically, the indicators pointed the other way.

            But I think we have already had this discussion, I doubt we’ll convince each other this time around.

          • The original Mr. X says:

            And historically, the indicators pointed the other way.

            Not all of them; for example, men have, as far as I’m aware, always been vastly more likely to visit prostitutes than have women.

          • INH5 says:

            Thegnskald’s theory that hormonal birth control is distorting this kind of thing in the modern world (even for women who don’t use hormonal birth control, through indirect market effects) seems very plausible, and like it potentially has a lot of explanatory value. Frankly, I’m astonished that this isn’t talked about more often.

            Not all of them; for example, men have, as far as I’m aware, always been vastly more likely to visit prostitutes than have women.

            That may have something to do with the fact that in nearly all pre-modern societies women faced severe restrictions on owning property or working outside the home. There’s no point in visiting prostitutes if you don’t have anything to pay them with.

        • Evolutionarily, any women who is sufficiently fed and secure

          And in the environment our species spent most of its history in–hunter gatherer bands–how common was it for a woman to be sufficiently fed and secure to reasonably believe that having a child without a mate helping to support her and it would not substantially reduce her chances of survival?

          • Protagoras says:

            If you want a serious answer, surely it is that we have no idea. Speculation relevant to this is all over the place, and evidence is thin on the ground.

          • Thegnskald says:

            No idea.

            Doesn’t matter, though. “Well-fed, with a secure food supply” would be a reliable metric for both having a stable and supporting mate, or for not needing a stable and supporting mate in order to successfully have a child – and is information that is relatively easily accessible to an evolutionary process.

        • shenanigans24 says:

          No a women could have sex with ten menn in one night but can only get pregnant by one. Men can have sex with ten women and impregnate them all. Women always have a selection pressure and men don’t.

      • liskantope says:

        I didn’t mean to imply in the Tumblr post that the initial cause of norms being what they are is culture, which would imply that a very long time ago our culture arbitrarily veered in one direction. The orientation of these traditional gender roles may well have their roots in biology and the way we evolved (although I agree with commenters further down that we can’t say anything too confidently about that right now). But culture tends to enforce and magnify norms that already exist, and my strong impression is that the behavior of individual straight men today, when pursuing women, is very strongly influenced by the culture we all grew up in.

        • Ok, I’m not confident about biological/purely evolutionary explanations at all. I merely felt I was correcting on strain of hypotheses “men are pursuing sex a lot because they learnt that from TV”. Sorry for that.

          • liskantope says:

            No problem, it’s possible I misunderstood the thrust of your response as well. It’s certainly plausible to me that having higher sex drives on average directly plays a role in male behavior which is distinct from the influence of culture.

      • liskantope says:

        Also, I’m not sure that you got my point in the example about my neighbors. Yes, they probably are trying to maximize on their personal utility functions, but their options are constrained in a certain way because of the expected gender roles in our society (in this case, more specifically, Italian society). Suppose that dating culture were totally egalitarian with respect to gender, so that men and women initiated equally. Then even if my neighbors still had higher sex drives than most of the women in the area, I think they’d feel much more inhibited from yelling vulgarities at attractive women in our building than they are now, because they would have much less room to fall back on the excuse of “What else can we do?” In fact, they would expect some women to approach them — if women did, great; if not, then they would probably suspect they aren’t very attractive and feel less confident that it’s worthwhile to aggressively hit on women. Thus, even if the norms are what they are ultimately entirely because of men having higher sex drives, that doesn’t mean that my neighbors’ behavior is accounted for entirely by their own individual high sex drives.

    • lvlln says:

      I just want to say that I really like the following sentence from the Tumblr post:

      But in order to effect large- scale societal changes, it’s obviously crucial to get inside the head of those who are causing problems and understand the forces that help drive them to do what they do.

      It’s something that I feel like should be obvious – so obvious that stating it should be considered as much a faux pas as breathlessly pointing out the blueness of the sky – but it seems to be something that is actively and sometimes violently disagreed to by a lot of people.

      Reading your post, I was particularly reminded of a This American Life segment I heard some time ago where the producer interviewed men she saw catcalling and talked in length to one of them about it and his motivations. I was struck by just how little she tried to understand his point of view and was obviously attempting to force her own set of values onto him, and how she considered it a failure on her part that she couldn’t get him to see things in her obviously correct point of view. It put me off, even though I 100% agreed with her opinion on catcalling and found the person she was interviewing to be reprehensible.

      Your post seemed to have avoided doing something like that, even while condemning catcalling as much as it deserves to be condemned. And I think that basic compassion or at least genuine desire to understand the point of view of people who do this thing which you consider problematic was a big reason why.

      • liskantope says:

        but it seems to be something that is actively and sometimes violently disagreed to by a lot of people

        Definitely. I think this is because explaining someone’s behavior in terms of external causes is often mistaken for morally excusing their behavior. In my view, this comes down to a very fundamental fallacy I call “conflating agency with moral responsibility”, which is another thing I’ve ranted about a good bit under this pseudonym.

        Do you remember which episode of This American Life you were listening to, or if there happens to be a link of it that I might be able to access? I’m curious to hear such an interview.

        • lvlln says:

          Definitely. I think this is because explaining someone’s behavior in terms of external causes is often mistaken for morally excusing their behavior. In my view, this comes down to a very fundamental fallacy I call “conflating agency with moral responsibility”, which is another thing I’ve ranted about a good bit under this pseudonym.

          Yeah, I’ve noticed this too. I always just categorized it as a variation of the naturalistic fallacy. At least, the examples I saw had to do with people explaining some sort of bad behavior based on human nature, and others being horribly offended that they were excusing that bad behavior. Which required a huge leap from the idea of something being human nature (which may or may not be true in any case) to that being something that’s good or at least something that’s not bad.

          One example that stuck to my mind was when Scott Adams – pre-Trump-running-for-POTUS, IIRC – claimed that a major reason for young men joining ISIS was that there were very few available women around them, and ISIS offered an opportunity for them to acquire women in the literal sense, and all the right-thinking people pilloried him for excusing young men joining a murderous regime for sex slaves. I didn’t know whether or not Adams was right on what he said, but at the least, I knew that he wasn’t providing a shred of justification for what they were doing or excusing them in any way.

          I found the This American Life episode. It’s the first 2 segments with Eleanor Gordon-Smith.

          • liskantope says:

            Thanks for linking me to the This American Life episode! I just listened to the first 19 minutes of it. Here are my thoughts.

            I found Gordon-Smith’s approach and the overall exchange less frustrating than you seem to have. She was certainly coming in with the primary purpose of persuading the men prioritized over understanding their point of view, and I didn’t much like her summaries near the end (both to Zach, and to the audience). But otherwise I thought she did try to some degree to get inside the minds of the men, argued persuasively and somewhat responsively, and overall handled the interactions well.

            Zach’s answers pointed to another factor behind catcalling behavior which had certainly occurred to me but I neglected to suggest it in my post: a lot of catcalling is influenced by the typical mind fallacy. A lot of men would love it if they were “complimented” by women while walking down the street — or they think they would, because it’s hard for them to imagine how it would feel to have that happen on a daily basis for years and years. But again I would trace back some of this difference in attitudes to our cultural traditions, which lead men on average to be so starved for sexual attention that it’s hard for them to understand what it’s like to be drowning in it, just like women on average are so used to drowning in it so it’s hard for them to imagine being starved. (Granted, there are other reasons for the difference in attitude, including of course the issue of men being more physically powerful as was discussed on the show.)

    • MugaSofer says:

      As Scott argues above, sexual harassment is somewhat gendered, but not overwhelmingly so. It seems most likely to me that sexual harassment (and related problems, such as non-belief of victims) has multiple causes, some of which are gendered and some of which are not.

      I’m certainly not opposed to fixing our society’s models of courtship – quite the opposite – but framing that as the only possible solution seems like a mistake.

      Scott brings up the example of murder, which is more heavily gendered than sexual harassment. One could take this to mean that any non-gendered attempt to reduce violent crime is a waste of time. But to my knowledge, the most successful methods of reducing crime have been non-gendered reforms to the criminal and economic systems.

      • shenanigans24 says:

        I don’t think you can fix courting as a norm since that would be saying we can change everyone which is IM