Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Damned If You Do (and Are Male)

By sheer coincidence, just in the past few days, I have encountered (A) women who complained at length that men these days (thanks to online dating) rarely approach women in public places to ask them out -- and they thus spoke of my cowardly gender with contempt -- and (B) people who are at least nominally of both genders approving of a blog post that argues that if multiple men ask out the same woman in a public place (even without realizing others have done so), the cumulative effect constitutes "harassment" (even without any implication in the piece of threat or bullying or stalking or what have you) -- and naturally some contempt for males was also implied in this case.

And there will never, never be a conference of women -- nor a conference of feminists who are nominally of both genders -- who feel obligated to sort out that tension, nor will any woman feel guilt for presenting males with innumerable such can't-win scenarios (in fact, women and feminists tend to laugh -- literally laugh -- when made aware of such tensions, from what I've seen, with no subsequent attempt to change either position).  

Indeed, more than one person approving of that absurd blog post was a former philosophy major and another was a political scientist, and there was no hint even they see a problem with the myopic practice of declaring morally objectionable an unintended cumulative effect caused by a succession of individually-innocent people.  

(I had encountered this problem once before, in the form of a not-too-bright woman who actually asserted that if, say, twenty men asked her out, it was fair to bring harassment charges against the twentieth but not the first nineteen, if it was the twentieth that finally wearied her -- and I assumed this chronologically-arbitrary position of hers was solely a function of her stupidity, not expecting to encounter intelligent people holding essentially the same view years later.  As usual, I was overly optimistic.)

Humans are monsters, I'm increasingly comfortable admitting, and the worst offenders tend to be the ones who think themselves thoughtful and "aware."  My attitude more and more tends away from youthful fantasies of improving the world and toward questions of how best to bide my time until death, entertaining myself as best I can while avoiding the deeply irrational wrath of the reformers and the high-minded.


Franklin said...

As James T. Kirk said, "I don't believe in the no-win scenario."

Jake said...

Have you considered leaving NYC? Maybe less stressful environs would temper your misanthropy.

Anonymous said...

Maybe you should ambush them on Youtube and try to ruin their lives, like a cyber stalker they're exposing on Reddit.

You need to vaporize every reference to It here; that's the only way to move on. Grow some stones, loser.

Todd Seavey said...

You know, I considered including a final paragraph in that post saying that of course some dolt will likely way in, in a desperate attempt to prove his own machismo, saying something like "Sack up, bro!!" or "Man out, Kimosabe" or somesuch, as though a dry, game theory-like complaint can be invalidated by the likely-false assumption I somehow am lacking in courage relative to you.

I, for example, am not so insecure as to feel the need to prove that "There ain't nuthin out there in that there datin' scene that can faze me -- I's screwin' so much I loves it as-is."

_You_ should develop the courage to employ some critical faculties on the topic. Be not afraid -- assume we will all imagine your testicles are gigantic and invulnerable while you stop and contemplate the fact that there may nonetheless be some traditionally-ignored irrationality and inefficiency on the dating scene. Really, mull it over -- you won't be hurt by doing so, bro. Don't be scared.