Redditor Convinced Women “Have it Easy” on OKCupid Poses as Woman, Lasts Two Hours

by Belle Waring on January 14, 2014

I hear that the chicks have it easy on online dating sites. They say the dicks flow like the waters of the Nile, carrying all away before them. Also the pictures of the dicks. I am led to believe that they are very easily obtained. Men who want dick pics use Grindr and that’s apparently working out great for them. But what about straight guys? What? About them? One brave redditor decided to test his theory, by using science. Which is real.

Last night I was bored and was talking with a friend on skype about her experiences with online dating. I was joking with her that “girls have it easy on dating sites” etc. etc. ….I decided that I would set up a fake profile. Set it up as a gender-swapped version of me essentially see what would happen. So I did the username, and I was up. Before I could even fill out my profile at all, I already had a message in my inbox from a guy. It wasn’t a mean message, but I found it odd that I would get a message already. So I sent him a friendly hello back and kind of joked that I hadn’t even finished my profile, how could he be interested, but I felt good because I thought I was right that “girls have it easy”

Do go on. Wait, no, I’ll summarize. Dudes started messaging him right away (he notes here that his female friend is only average in attractiveness and is fine with his saying so.) They said things that were not immediately sexual, but weird. Then when he said no or responded neutrally, they said unpleasantly sexual things. They repeatedly proposed NSA sex, like maybe in the next hour? and some skyping, maybe? Webcam action?

Guys were full-on spamming my inbox with multiple messages before I could reply to even one asking why I wasn’t responding and what was wrong. Guys would become hostile when I told them I wasn’t interested in NSA sex, or guys that had started normal and nice quickly turned the conversation into something explicitly sexual in nature. Seemingly nice dudes in quite esteemed careers [NO! Not in ESTEEMED CAREERS, surely!—ed] asking to hook up in 24 hours and sending them naked pics of myself despite multiple times telling them that I didn’t want to.

I would be lying if I said it didn’t get to me. I thought it would be some fun thing, something where I would do it and worse case scenario say “lol I was a guy I trolle you lulz”etc. but within a 2 hour span it got me really down and I was feeling really uncomfortable with everything. I figured I would get some weird messages here and there, but what I got was an onslaught of people who were, within minutes of saying hello, saying things that made me as a dude who spends most of his time on 4chan uneasy. [LOL—ed] I ended up deleting my profile at the end of 2 hours and kind of went about the rest of my night with a very bad taste in my mouth.

I came away thinking that women have it so much harder than guys do when it comes to that kind of stuff.

Wow. Mind-blowing stuff. The hilarious thing is he only talked to 10 dudes total, I think. WEAK. C’mon, like Tootsie it out for a week or something. I read about this at Jezebel, which is being valiantly trolled in comments by some evo-psych moron making the following two pronged argument: a) perhaps if women would just have casual sex with men they don’t know way, way, way more often, then the [remaining?] women wouldn’t be drenched with all the free-flowing ween. And further b) women claim to be afraid of sexual assault and give this as a [compelling!—ed] reason not to hook up with randos, and yet they overwhelmingly choose to have sex with testosterone-filled, chiseled-jawed, tall alpha-males, who are more likely to rape people because [???]. [This is why short, weedy men 1) never commit the crime of rape via force or the use of weapons or threats or drugs 2) never have children, btw.—ed] So really, when you take it all in all, bitchez be trippin. Hmmmm. Jezebel can be excellent, but it is trolled by such a dedicated, ad-hoc band of MRAs, PUAs and evo-psych douchecanoues that comments are unfortunately often crashed, hard, every single thread. I have never been an online dater, being too old for it. I was just saying to John that the worst thing anyone ever said to me in a political argument was to wonder whether the top of my mouth would feel velvety on his cock. Mostly I can ignore that kind of thing but he got to me with the velvety.

{ 510 comments }

1

Niall McAuley 01.14.14 at 4:00 pm

Velvety? Like your tongue might be furry? Eww!

2

MPAVictoria 01.14.14 at 4:03 pm

“They repeatedly proposed NSA sex”
NSA Sex? Is that sex with the government watching?

3

mattski 01.14.14 at 4:04 pm

some evo-psych moron making the following two pronged argument:

MCJ will be here any minute.

4

Ronan(rf) 01.14.14 at 4:07 pm

I remember a friend telling me a few years ago that first time she used online dating the next morning she woke up to an email from her date which was simply a picture of his dick.
She replied something along the lines of ‘dude, what the f**k are you doing emailing me a picture of your tiny cock?’

5

Belle Waring 01.14.14 at 4:09 pm

No, that the roof of my mouth might be velvety soft! Pleasantly…ah…it’s difficult to think of a not extremely obscene way of saying this…pleasantly textured so as to make the insertion of the cock in question similarly velvety smooth. He elaborated somewhat before getting modded out. Like I say, dudes will say gross things to you online if you have an obviously female nym, and whatever, but ‘velvety’ stung. I inadvertently created a pseudonym for another site that is neutral, and people default to the assumption that I’m male, and they really do treat me very differently. This is just in 2013. I had never done it before. I was surprised.

6

Hector_St_Clare 01.14.14 at 4:09 pm

Belle Waring,

It boggles my mind that a trained philosopher would say that a site as vacuous as Jezebel is ‘excellent’.

Incidentally, women who want large families generally pick lower testosterone men, since high testosterone correlates inversely with being a good father.

7

Belle Waring 01.14.14 at 4:10 pm

MPAVictoria: no-strings-attached sex. It’s DTF, i.e., down to fuck. It’s a box you can tick, and this person did NOT tick it, but got repeatedly propositioned anyway.

8

Belle Waring 01.14.14 at 4:16 pm

Hector: trained philosophers watch movies, and play video games, and read Maigret novels they have already read, and waste time doing various things which may be nonetheless be excellent in various ways. Jezebel is fluffy, it’s like a continuously published, huge version of Marie Claire. I like Marie Claire, I always buy it to read on the plane. Qua fashion magazine it’s an excellent one.

9

Belle Waring 01.14.14 at 4:17 pm

Nite all!

10

Hector_St_Clare 01.14.14 at 4:19 pm

Jezebel is surely fluffy, if you mean like marshmallows. both of them make we many to barf.

I’m afraid you would classify me as an evolutionary douche canoe.

11

Mao Cheng Ji 01.14.14 at 4:19 pm

I never used online dating myself; don’t they have the ‘block’ feature? If they don’t, they should; if they do, I imagine it has to make it manageable. Depending on the magnitude of it, of course.

12

MPAVictoria 01.14.14 at 4:28 pm

“MPAVictoria: no-strings-attached sex. It’s DTF, i.e., down to fuck. It’s a box you can tick, and this person did NOT tick it, but got repeatedly propositioned anyway.”

Thank you!

13

Layman 01.14.14 at 4:29 pm

Hector, you say the oddest things!

“Incidentally, women who want large families generally pick lower testosterone men, since high testosterone correlates inversely with being a good father.”

What is the socially acceptable time, place, and manner they use to ask for the biological sample for the testosterone test before deciding who will be their daddy…?

14

Kenny Easwaran 01.14.14 at 4:34 pm

Mao Cheng Ji – The “block” feature only helps you block each individual profile after they have done something offensive once. (If they haven’t done anything offensive yet, you can’t tell if you’re blocking an offensive profile or a non-offensive one.) If you’re in a major city, and have several thousand people with profiles living in a reasonable radius where you’d like to date, then even if only a few percent of them merit blocking, that’s dozens of blocks. And you never know when a new one will be created that you’ll have to block again.

15

Alex 01.14.14 at 4:37 pm

16

Hector_St_Clare 01.14.14 at 4:42 pm

Layman the facts are the facts, even when they make feminist ideologues annoyed. when it comes to dating, evolution and Ephesians agree.

17

mattski 01.14.14 at 4:43 pm

Hector,

Why don’t you make like Alex and provide some citations? It sure beats assertions.

18

Mao Cheng Ji 01.14.14 at 4:57 pm

@14, a few dozen blocks doesn’t sound unmanageable, especially if they tend to advertize themselves immediately. I suppose you could just block every attempt to communicate in the first 3 days or something, without reading it. As for creating new profiles: don’t they charge for that? They should.

19

Katherine 01.14.14 at 5:02 pm

Honestly, I’m glad the guy learned something, but this whole thing smacks of the constant issue where men have to experience something themselves and say “wow, it really is that bad” rather than just believing women. Like the videos going round of dudes volunteering to experience simulated versions of the pain of childbirth and ending up writhing around screaming and declaring that they’d never ever ever do that again and wow all those women who said so really weren’t kidding. Yeah dudes, women as a class of people generally aren’t all lying all the time.

20

Katherine 01.14.14 at 5:07 pm

And here’s Mao Cheng Ji to assure us that it really isn’t that bad and honestly can’t women just do a few dozen blocks after they’ve received a few dozen obscene, sexually aggressive or other just plan creepy messages. A few dozen would be, what, 48+ unpleasant messages you’ve got to read before blocking? Honestly, what are they whining about? Why on earth do they think it might be nice not to have to wade through mounds of shit just to exist on the internet? Mounds of shit, by the way, that men do not have to wade through.

21

Hector_St_Clare 01.14.14 at 5:15 pm

Matt Ski,

Because you ought to be intelligent enough to know all this stuff already.

You can assess prenatal testosterone exposure through things like facial structure, length of ring finger, etc.. Funnily enough, highly masculinized facial features are an indicator of a less reliable father, and so those types of men are less attractive to girls looking to have a bunch of babies. Which is just fine for me- as far as I’m concerned, if the nutty feminists end up with the lounge-lizard casanovas, the rest of us are all better off.

22

Hector_St_Clare 01.14.14 at 5:16 pm

Katherine,

The average woman still has a better chance of procreating successfully than the average man.

23

Barry Freed 01.14.14 at 5:17 pm

O Crooked Timber comments, don’t ever change!

24

Katherine 01.14.14 at 5:29 pm

Hector, I have no idea what you are talking about.

25

Billikin 01.14.14 at 5:31 pm

NSA sex? What is that? Sex with the NSA watching?

26

Barry Freed 01.14.14 at 5:33 pm

Nah, they just collect the metadata.

27

CJColucci 01.14.14 at 5:34 pm

The average woman still has a better chance of procreating successfully than the average man.

Of course. The most procreatively competent man without a fertile woman is no better than a wanker But then you’d know that.

28

Billikin 01.14.14 at 5:35 pm

Katherine: “Honestly, I’m glad the guy learned something, but this whole thing smacks of the constant issue where men have to experience something themselves and say “wow, it really is that bad” rather than just believing women.”

Empathy is good, but there really is no substitute for experience. Just believing is not enough, IMO.

29

Moby Hick 01.14.14 at 5:47 pm

I’m not a woman, but could someone who is tell me if being pestered for sex is less or more annoying than having every r^2 = .03 bit of psychosocial science dragged out as if it were the irrefutable secret code to understanding all my thoughts.

30

MPAVictoria 01.14.14 at 5:52 pm

“Layman the facts are the facts, even when they make feminist ideologues annoyed. when it comes to dating, evolution and Ephesians agree.”

Do you ever get bored posting the same thing in thread after thread?

31

MPAVictoria 01.14.14 at 5:54 pm

“NSA sex? What is that? Sex with the NSA watching?”

Hey! I already made that joke at post 2!
;-)

32

Katherine 01.14.14 at 5:55 pm

Empathy is good, but there really is no substitute for experience. Just believing is not enough, IMO.

I certainly wouldn’t deny that sharing an experience is good. Trouble is, this and several other examples aren’t cases where men have gone “that sucks, I’ll try it myself too so I can understand better”, they are cases where men have disbelieved the women in question, assumed that they are exaggerating, being over-sensitive, or, like Mao above, assuming that women should just take on the extra burden of dealing with this shit like it’s no big deal. Trying it themselves to prove how manly and correct they are and then… whoops! Like I said, yay for learning a lesson, but fail for initial lack of empathy.

33

Katherine 01.14.14 at 5:58 pm

And it’s the fact that other men will now believe that the situation in question sucks because they were told so my another man , rather than believing women in the first place.

34

Sisyphus 01.14.14 at 6:11 pm

I’d rather that we men weren’t all lumped together by statements like “Honestly, I’m glad the guy learned something, but this whole thing smacks of the constant issue where men have to experience something themselves and say “wow, it really is that bad” rather than just believing women.” Sure, I concede that there is a vocal portion of dudebros that have internalized privilege so much that they don’t recognize that they’re doing that, but surely it’s not all of us. Though, I suppose I do see that if something isn’t your reality, you might be initially surprised when someone does bring it up. I suppose what I’m trying to say is that a lack of perspective (and the surprise of having one’s eyes opened) shouldn’t immediately be taken as a sign of disbelief.

Also, some of us may look at this not so much as validation because we were told by another man, but as a reminder that we need to raise our sons in such a way as to try to stamp out this behavior (both the disbelief and the neigh-ubiquitous harassment).

35

mattski 01.14.14 at 6:14 pm

Hector,

Because you ought to be intelligent enough to know all this stuff already.

That’s pretty remarkable. You don’t need to demonstrate the validity of your claims because, to hear you tell it, if I don’t buy what you’re selling that just proves I’m not intelligent!

Sweet.

36

yabonn 01.14.14 at 6:47 pm

Someone do the history of the term “alpha male”. I remember, should have been late 90s, thinking these documentaries about wolves/apes were weird. When? Who?

37

lucius 01.14.14 at 6:53 pm

. . . NSA sex.

Is that like in Being John Malkovich?

[Or eXistenZ?]

Or both . . .

38

AcademicLurker 01.14.14 at 7:09 pm

Hasn’t the “alpha male” concept been basically abandoned by the people who originally introduced it?

39

js. 01.14.14 at 7:13 pm

I’d rather that we men weren’t all lumped together

Oh, for fucks sake. No one’s saying it’s _all_ men. But the problem is widespread enough that Katherine’s phrasing (@19) makes perfect sense. Honestly, this is the kind of fairly obvious statement that, in almost any other context, all of us can straightforwardly parse without drawing absurd inferences (like supposing the sentence has universal quantification).

40

Katherine 01.14.14 at 7:16 pm

What js said.

41

mud man 01.14.14 at 7:25 pm

@Kathrine #33

That’s good and true, and it’s also true that a lot of this shit exists on the male side and is gonna have to get worked out among men. Eg, for example. Women who are game and women who aren’t.

42

Straightwood 01.14.14 at 7:47 pm

Belle,

Although the online dating environment is filled with men who are nasty, brutish (and short), the fact of traffic asymmetry remains. Women are swarmed with offers, while men get few inquiries. If you are a male under 5’10″ or aged over 55 or low-income, you can fuggedaboudit! The fact remains that most women can have non-commercial sex at their discretion, while that is not true for most men.

43

Substance McGravitas 01.14.14 at 7:52 pm

the fact of traffic asymmetry remains

If it was an objection to attention that was being raised we’d be discussing a not-dating site.

44

Dr. Hilarius 01.14.14 at 7:53 pm

Where has this guy been? I cringe thinking that I might be placed into the company of evo-devo douches, so I propose no causal mechanism, but anyone who has ever looked over personal ads on almost any site knows that male posters vastly outnumber female and male posters are often seeking NSA sex while female posters are more often seeking an actual relationship, even if only FWB (friends with benefits).

Production of dick photos appears to be so commonplace that many female posters feel it necessary to state they will delete or ignore missives with same.

Women might be said to have it easy on dating sites but only if their goal is NSA sex with total strangers who think a dick pic is introduction enough.

45

Shelley 01.14.14 at 7:54 pm

Previous story on pollution, this story on pollution: but both worth telling.

46

Ryan 01.14.14 at 7:55 pm

“I would be lying if I said it didn’t get to me. I thought it would be some fun thing, something where I would do it and worse case scenario say “lol I was a guy I trolle you lulz”etc. but within a 2 hour span it got me really down and I was feeling really uncomfortable with everything.”

Blocking wouldn’t have avoided this.

47

Anderson 01.14.14 at 8:05 pm

I understand Katherine’s frustration, but that is part of The Patriarchy Experience – women’s experience is presumptively exaggerated, emotionally biased, hysterical. I mean, men didn’t end up dominating women & running the planet by listening to women, now did we?

48

Moby Hick 01.14.14 at 8:10 pm

I think that the subdued rendering of my dick in pastels will really let me stand out from the crowd.

49

Mao Cheng Ji 01.14.14 at 8:12 pm

I’m reminded of the blues I heard in the latest Woody Allen movie: ‘Un bon homme est dur pour trouver, vous toujours trouver l’autre qualité.’ Beautiful thing. Lizzie Miles.

50

Barry Freed 01.14.14 at 8:17 pm

O Straightwood , you do not disappoint!

51

Hector_St_Clare 01.14.14 at 8:21 pm

Re: I mean, men didn’t end up dominating women & running the planet by listening to women, now did we?

I listen to women who say meaningful things, Anderson. Not the ones who don’t.

Re: Do you ever get bored posting the same thing in thread after thread?

If you folks are going to constantly whip out rhyming slogans like ‘Get your rosaries off my ovaries’ and expect it to convince people, then I demand the right to respond in kind.

52

Mao Cheng Ji 01.14.14 at 8:27 pm

53

Niall McAuley 01.14.14 at 8:28 pm

Mao writes: Un bon homme est dur pour trouver

Translation: A hard man is good to find.

54

Anderson 01.14.14 at 8:30 pm

” The fact remains that most women can have non-commercial sex the kind of sex that typically does not appeal to them at their discretion, while that is not true for most men.”

FIFY.

55

MPAVictoria 01.14.14 at 8:33 pm

“If you folks are going to constantly whip out rhyming slogans like ‘Get your rosaries off my ovaries’ and expect it to convince people, then I demand the right to respond in kind.”

Who even said that here you wacko?

56

Anderson 01.14.14 at 8:35 pm

“I listen to women who say meaningful things, Anderson. Not the ones who don’t.”

Don’t ever change, sir.

57

Substance McGravitas 01.14.14 at 8:37 pm

Who even said that here you wacko?

HECTOR did, the first and only time it’s ever been seen here.

Perhaps the forums at windmills.com are not active today.

58

Layman 01.14.14 at 8:39 pm

@ Hector

“Layman the facts are the facts, even when they make feminist ideologues annoyed. when it comes to dating, evolution and Ephesians agree.”

Hector, your claim isn’t enhanced by your ignoring my question about it.

59

Ronan(rf) 01.14.14 at 8:39 pm

I liked, ‘get your transubstantiation out of my midnight masturbation’ ..

60

mattski 01.14.14 at 8:39 pm

@ 52

Bingo.

61

MPAVictoria 01.14.14 at 8:40 pm

“I liked, ‘get your transubstantiation out of my midnight masturbation’ ..”

Ha!

62

Layman 01.14.14 at 8:45 pm

@ Hector

“You can assess prenatal testosterone exposure through things like facial structure, length of ring finger, etc.. Funnily enough, highly masculinized facial features are an indicator of a less reliable father, and so those types of men are less attractive to girls looking to have a bunch of babies.”

It sounds like you’re well equipped to choose a husband, but how is it that you think women learn these things? Is that what finishing school was all about?

Or are they born knowing it?

63

Layman 01.14.14 at 8:50 pm

” If you are a male under 5’10″ or aged over 55 or low-income, you can fuggedaboudit! “

Not according to Hector. You’re a baby-making machine. Check your ring finger length, my man.

64

ambzone 01.14.14 at 8:52 pm

That’s barely legible French. Try “à trouver”. And “bon homme” connotes bonhomie by the way, not goodness.

65

Lynne 01.14.14 at 8:53 pm

Katherine @ 33,

Love all your comments about this. About 33, I’m pretty sure Dale Spender wrote about this very thing in the 1980s. Has nothing changed?

66

Mao Cheng Ji 01.14.14 at 8:53 pm

” The fact remains that most women can have non-commercial sex the kind of sex that typically does not appeal to them at their discretion, while that is not true for most men.”

But why doesn’t it appeal to them? Is it in their nature or is it their social conditioning?

67

Jeffrey Davis 01.14.14 at 9:08 pm

My own father was not a pre-possessing hunk of magazine masculinity. His draft card says he was 5’5″, but subsequent pictures say that must have been a self-reported figure. He and my mother produced 7 of us which is well above the average.
[We resemble each other as much a litter of Labrador retrievers does. So, knock wood, we're all "wise children" in that regard.] He never swore or spoke of sex in my hearing. [Other than on the day of my 12th birthday a 90 second talk about the mechanics of sex and VD.] He was staunch enough in nerve to have had a field promotion to major during WW2. He saw action with the Corps of Engineers on D-Day + 1, and the air fields he was charged with building were often shelled. The pictures of him with his officers show a bantam man in Army sun glasses surrounded by lieutenants the size of NFL linemen. I learned what I know of masculinity mostly from his example, obviously, and I’m constantly amazed by the anxieties and fetishes our society evinces about it.

Evolution would suggest that a man with average penis length and testosterone level would have the most success in producing off-spring. It doesn’t take much in either regard to get the job done.

68

alex 01.14.14 at 9:08 pm

I don’t think being unable to use okcupid without getting dickpics is really a horendous oppression. Just don’t use it. Most of humanity has gotten along okay without online dating. Is it really a shock that dating sites are flooded by weirdos looking for easy sex? I know lots of women log on after being sold romance, but that’s just falling for an ad pitch. I don’t think there is any possible world where these sites are flooded by handsome, wealthy, caring guys who just haven’t found the right girl.

And look at it from the guys pov. They got some asshole trolling as a chick.

69

Theophylact 01.14.14 at 9:10 pm

“But you can always find the other kind.”

70

Hector_St_Clare 01.14.14 at 9:12 pm

Layman,

It’s innate. Highly ideologically feminist women don’t want many children, so they go for the sexy stud who is going to make a bad father (and this explains why so many feminists at places like Jezebel have bad dating experiences). More traditional women tend to go for the caring provider type since they want to have a large family, and no doubt they end up happier.

71

Ronan(rf) 01.14.14 at 9:13 pm

But if biology is all, then why does feminist ideology matter?

72

Barry Freed 01.14.14 at 9:15 pm

“Christ, what an asshole!” <– it's not just for New Yorker cartoons anymore. It now works for roughly a third of all Crooked Timber comments too.

73

Mao Cheng Ji 01.14.14 at 9:17 pm

“I don’t think there is any possible world where these sites are flooded by handsome, wealthy, caring guys who just haven’t found the right girl.”

Nevertheless, there are definitely cases of people finding husbands and wives online. It could be just a matter of website’s design, policies, and management efforts.

74

mattski 01.14.14 at 9:20 pm

But why doesn’t it appeal to them? Is it in their nature or is it their social conditioning?

You poor thing.

75

Hector_St_Clare 01.14.14 at 9:25 pm

Mao Cheng:

The reason why women are less into casual sex is pretty obviously due to nature. But, believe it or not, you will find some clowns that will tell you it’s social conditioning, particularly among the jezebels at Jezebel.

76

Hector_St_Clare 01.14.14 at 9:25 pm

Sperm are cheap, eggs are expensive. You can deduce most of the rest of it from that.

77

Layman 01.14.14 at 9:31 pm

“It’s innate. Highly ideologically feminist women don’t want many children, so they go for the sexy stud who is going to make a bad father (and this explains why so many feminists at places like Jezebel have bad dating experiences). More traditional women tend to go for the caring provider type since they want to have a large family, and no doubt they end up happier.”

Which part? The part where they’re born ideologically feminist, or the part where they confuse parenting skills with fertility? Or just the bit where they’re always measuring ring fingers? Really, this is fascinating. Do tell!

78

Chris 01.14.14 at 9:38 pm

@71: or it could just be that if enough millions of people use a site, some of them will get lucky, and not (just) in the usual slang sense of that phrase.

The odds of finding the right person are not great for either sex, but women are overwhelmingly more likely to find a lot of the wrong people, rather than finding no one. Which is worse seems to be somewhat of a judgment call, no?

79

Moby Hick 01.14.14 at 9:39 pm

Sperm are cheap, eggs are expensive.

I just had a horrible thought about Denny’s Grand Slam.

80

Mao Cheng Ji 01.14.14 at 9:43 pm

Hector, I can’t deduce. In any case, procreation is not the main purpose of sex anymore. Contraceptives are common; you know, The Pill, the sexual revolution (what happened to all that, btw, if it typically does not appeal to them anymore?). And women have and enjoy sex long after the menopause. I don’t think they become more promiscuous.

81

PatrickinIowa 01.14.14 at 9:45 pm

Katherine at 32 points out that she faults Redditdude as one of the “cases where men have disbelieved the women in question, assumed that they are exaggerating, being over-sensitive.”

If this was only true about online dating it’d be bad enough. But if you’ve been around the medical literature a time or two, you’ll know that when women and minorities report pain, they are widely disbelieved, and don’t get nearly the aggressive and effective symptom management that we white dudes get. Here’s a place you can go for links to said literature, which is pretty overwhelming.

Who was it said that there was no substance so precious as a white man’s tears?

82

PatrickinIowa 01.14.14 at 9:46 pm

83

Aulus Gellius 01.14.14 at 9:54 pm

@71: from all the accounts I’ve ever seen or heard, successful dating sites (OKCupid, match.com, whatever) generally include BOTH (a) overwhelming waves of jerks sending women unwanted pictures and messages AND (b) a significant possibility of leading to a real relationship. There are lots and lots and lots of accounts of this kind of thing, many of which take place on the most popular dating sites; if it were just a matter of poor moderation, there would be sites with good moderation available where the problem didn’t exist.

84

Sumana Harihareswara 01.14.14 at 9:56 pm

Bikini Kill cofounder Kathleen Hanna, in the new documentary “The Punk Singer”, says something about how a man speaking the truth gets to just say it, whereas a woman’s truth always has someone saying “umm, I don’t think so.” I can’t find the quote online – anyone else remember it?

85

alex 01.14.14 at 10:01 pm

“And women have and enjoy sex long after the menopause. I don’t think they become more promiscuous.”

I don’t buy the evolutionary biology either. And some women do enjoy sex. But it is just a fact that huge numbers of women – by some counts the majority – are sexually dysfunctional. That’s just reality. If your average woman hooked up with a random dickpic emailer for nsa sex, he’d have a great time, her not so much.

86

Walt 01.14.14 at 10:04 pm

I can only assume that Hector comments here because I’m being punished by God. The rest of you are just collateral damage.

87

Hector_St_Clare 01.14.14 at 10:13 pm

Sumana,

There’s no such thing as ‘man’s truth’ and ‘woman’s truth’. there’s simply truth, lies, and error. I make it a point not to suffer fools gladly, so if it turns out that most of what feminists say is either lies or error, then that’s just too damned bad. I am not into dumbing down the truth in order to avoid hurting people’s feelings.

If you can’t stand the heat, then stay out of the kitchen.

88

LFC 01.14.14 at 10:13 pm

Walt @86
priceless

ronan’s transubstantiation line also +1

89

AcademicLurker 01.14.14 at 10:13 pm

I nominate this for the Crooked Timber-est thread that Crooked Timber has had in the last 12 months? Any other contenders?

90

Dingbat 01.14.14 at 10:13 pm

Curious: why no link to the original piece? (Seems a departure from typical CT style, no?)

91

MPAVictoria 01.14.14 at 10:19 pm

“But it is just a fact that huge numbers of women – by some counts the majority – are sexually dysfunctional.”

Maybe the problem isn’t the women Alex…

92

MPAVictoria 01.14.14 at 10:20 pm

“I nominate this for the Crooked Timber-est thread that Crooked Timber has had in the last 12 months? Any other contenders?”

Well Hector and Mao our both in fine form.

93

js. 01.14.14 at 10:20 pm

But it is just a fact that huge numbers of women – by some counts the majority – are sexually dysfunctional. That’s just reality. If your average woman hooked up with a random dickpic emailer for nsa sex, he’d have a great time, her not so much.

So… you’re thinking that a woman not having a great time hooking up with “a random dickpic emailer” is evidence of the woman being sexually dysfunctional? Jesus fucking christ.

94

MPAVictoria 01.14.14 at 10:22 pm

“There’s no such thing as ‘man’s truth’ and ‘woman’s truth’. there’s simply truth, lies, and error.”

Did you even read her post? Because that whooshing sound was her point flying by your head.

95

Layman 01.14.14 at 10:31 pm

“But it is just a fact that huge numbers of women – by some counts the majority – are sexually dysfunctional.”

Totally! Every one of them! It’s true. Well, every one of the ones I have sex with. They don’t seem to enjoy it at all. What’s wrong with them?

Sheez.

96

Substance McGravitas 01.14.14 at 10:36 pm

It’s innate. Highly ideologically feminist women don’t want many children, so they go for the sexy stud who is going to make a bad father (and this explains why so many feminists at places like Jezebel have bad dating experiences). More traditional women tend to go for the caring provider type since they want to have a large family, and no doubt they end up happier.

The thing that’s dumbest about that is that sentence one has nothing at all to do with sentences two or three (both of which are idiotic). Choosing the right wine with dinner is then possibly also innate, although I here concede my genetic inferiority.

97

SoU 01.14.14 at 11:00 pm

@86 ” it is just a fact that huge numbers of women – by some counts the majority – are sexually dysfunctional. That’s just reality.”
What if, perchance, mayhaps, it is our society which is so sexually dysfunctional, and some women end up paying most of the price for this because of the particular way in which our society introduces them to that sexuality. i am thinking here not just the jarring stuff like encounters with abuse or violence or being generally threatened by that aspect of yourself b/c of the *erm* boldness of others, but also worth noting is all that shifty subliminal-get-in-your-head stuff like barbie proportions and airbrushed magazine covers and catcalls on the street and just the straight up claustrophobia of the (acceptable) portrayals of female sexuality in public society.
and then perhaps it is worth considering that many men are themselves ‘sexually dysfunctional’ – i wouldn’t characterize sending out dickpics to a person you have never met (and who could very well be a man! [or whoever you have a taboo against sleeping with] ) as sexually ‘proper’ or whatever. and on that note, defining ‘sexual dysfunction’ and sexual ‘normalcy’ does not seem like a worthwhile enterprise, not scientifically, not morally.

98

CJColucci 01.14.14 at 11:43 pm

But it is just a fact that huge numbers of women – by some counts the majority – are sexually dysfunctional. That’s just reality.

Not being Casanova or Wilt Chamberlain, I suppose my experience can be dismissed as “small sample size,” (go ahead and giggle), but I haven’t found this to be so. Unless you have some idiosyncratic definition of “sexually dysfunctional,” e.g., “they don’t do it/like it with me.”

99

Plume 01.14.14 at 11:47 pm

We’re in a Meta-PoMod world. We can’t discuss sex with any semblance of the authentic, the real, the true, because we have too much cultural baggage and the realization (and fear) of that baggage on our minds. Even those who think they’re “telling it like it is” are subject to hedging, redirecting, sleight of word, etc. — not to mention just getting lost in translation.

So, how much of our online discussion about sex and gender is due to what we want people to think, within the context of what we want to think about ourselves as we think all too much about ourselves? And how much do we hold back because of that? What do we alter? How much do we tailor our speech to sound “good” whether we actually sync up with what we’re saying, or not?

In short, there’s a lot of static (and confusion and mendacity) out there, and online is one of the worst places to cut through it. More than 90% of communication is non-verbal, and we lose all of that online.

Read this article and the subsequent comments for an idea of what I’m getting at. I’m thinking we all should reread Susan Sontag’s Against Interpretation. Sometimes a soup can is a soup can is a soup can.

http://www.salon.com/2014/01/13/jared_leto_and_michael_douglass_homophobic_golden_globes_speeches_show_the_worst_of_hollywood/

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Matt 01.14.14 at 11:52 pm

It’s innate. Highly ideologically feminist women don’t want many children, so they go for the sexy stud who is going to make a bad father (and this explains why so many feminists at places like Jezebel have bad dating experiences). More traditional women tend to go for the caring provider type since they want to have a large family, and no doubt they end up happier.

Here’s a good map illustrating the point. The places where women are fertile, traditional, and exceptionally happy are in warm colors. Bad but sexy fathers with unhappy ideological feminist wives are the norm in the cooler-colored zones.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Countriesbyfertilityrate.svg

This map was probably made by an ideological feminist or sexy stud who’s trying to keep the truth hushed up:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/worldviews/files/2013/09/happiness-rankings.jpg

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Plume 01.14.14 at 11:53 pm

Apologies for the long link above. Next time, will use a secure short url site, like

http://mcaf.ee/

102

UmptyCandy 01.14.14 at 11:59 pm

I’ve read about some of the things that Hector mentions – relationship between testosterone levels and ring finger length, facial structure etc. – and it’s quite plausible that women pick up on these things subconsciously, as evolution would have primed them to do. It’s just the withering pomposity of his delivery which makes his message unpalatable, more than his lack of citations. [citation needed]
A personal anecdote about dating sites – I used one for a few months and found that merely by virtue of not being an asshole, I enjoyed a lot of attention and had my pick from a number of smart, attractive, passionate women with decent jobs and a real desire to find a guy whom they could perhaps be serious about. The difference between men and women in why they use such sites, and their experiences of them, seemed very marked. The stories these women told, and other female friends have told me, about the cruel and boorish way that the majority of men from these sites behaved, online and in person, made me angry and ashamed of my sex.
Katherine’s point is uncomfortable but true. But in our defence, it’s difficult always to keep uppermost in your mind that women’s experience really is so different, when you so rarely see it and you really don’t want it to be true, because of what it says about so many of your fellow men.

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Tom Slee 01.15.14 at 12:12 am

Hector_St_Clare #87: You are both arrogant and wrong: those are just facts. But you are also being insulting here. You need to stop. Also reflect, but I’m sure that’s too much to ask.

104

Hector_St_Clare 01.15.14 at 12:19 am

Matt ,

How do you account for the fact that relatively gender- traditional women, in the Euro-American world, are happier with their lives?

Substance,

The idea here is that feminist women don’t want large families, so they end up selecting for (and attracting) Cads as opposed to Dads. This isn’t difficult.

105

Hector_St_Clare 01.15.14 at 12:21 am

Tom Slee,

Excuse me. I believe foolishness needs to be called out, regardless of the race or sex of the person spouting it.

106

godoggo 01.15.14 at 12:28 am

Come out, foolishness, wherever you’re hiding!

107

SoU 01.15.14 at 12:33 am

hec·tor (hktr)
n.
A bully.
v. hec·tored, hec·tor·ing, hec·tors
v.tr.
To intimidate or dominate in a blustering way.
v.intr.
To behave like a bully; swagger.

108

Substance McGravitas 01.15.14 at 12:35 am

Foolishness is innate. The fool wants attention and goes bananas. Others want fewer fools and roll their eyes.

Biology triumphs!

109

John Quiggin 01.15.14 at 12:41 am

The story sounds right, but it leaves me with the question: how do these sites stay in business? It seems as if no woman would want to stay on long enough to deal with this kind of thing.

My depressing conjecture: the real-life dating marketplace is as bad or worse.

Anyway, I’d be interested to hear from any female commenters who’ve actually used these sites successfully – don’t think any have commented so far.

110

Sumana Harihareswara 01.15.14 at 12:47 am

(So I’m guessing no one has the Kathleen Hanna quote.)

(Belle, you would love The Punk Singer and should check it out. It’s so rockin’.)

111

alex 01.15.14 at 12:53 am

I kinda find the feminist anti-science horrifying and hillarious. How is a basic disorder like anorgasmia a definitional trick? You can do something as simple as masturbate to orgasm, or you can’t. Relative to men, shockingly high numbers of women can’t.

I don’t think you’re doing women any favors by pulling out the usual crap about idiosyncratic definitions or it rather being society that has a problem. There’s a huge literature showing lots of women actually do have problems and trying to bullshit them away because the concept of gender differences in sexual response is politically inconvienient for you is pretty shitty.

112

Jacob McM 01.15.14 at 1:01 am

If you think this is a prickly topic, try broaching the matter of racial preferences on dating sites:

http://blog.okcupid.com/index.php/your-race-affects-whether-people-write-you-back/

113

Ed Herdman 01.15.14 at 1:07 am

#67: “Average” for humans is, hopefully, somewhat less oversexed than a chicken is bred to be bad-tempered. “Average” in humans, actually, is quite different from many other apes. “Evolution” here indicates (or rather the cross-species comparison) that the human form hasn’t caught up with recent social innovations like atomic marriage.

Penis length doesn’t seem to be the key factor – testes size (as an analogue for semen production) is. Humans’ positioning on that scale compared to many other apes seems to indicate that we aren’t too far off from the days of every guy in the tribe chasing after the same woman.

(Sarah Blaffer Hrdy has a short discussion on this, I think, in Mother Nature. Basically, gorillas = physical strength to preclude competition, therefore small testes. Chimpanzees = larger testes. Humans are closer to chimps than gorillas, even after a long period of more social order than chimps, which indicates to me that social orderliness alone doesn’t reward males with offspring.)

@ John Quiggin: In some way, apparently, but probably not in terms of behavior: Internet psuedonymity makes every bad tendency worse and more proudly displayed. Granted, on the Internet you are potentially isolated from physical violence, but that balances poorly against “look at all the favors I am giving her” mentality-bred aggressiveness.

I think the factors you haven’t looked at are the (equally depressing) reality of urban loneliness and the feeling of many women that many males they know are next to worthless (which is certain to be partly true!) mixed in with a little hope that perhaps an online dating profile would increase their visibility to desirable males.

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Mao Cheng Ji 01.15.14 at 1:10 am

“usual crap about idiosyncratic definitions or it rather being society that has a problem.”

Why is it crap to think that it might be a society’s problem? Sexual repression; the Moral Majority got them somehow (or whatever: TV, Hollywood, K-12). Sounds plausible to me.

115

adam.smith 01.15.14 at 1:10 am

I know you’re all busy with the Troll circus here (and I’m not really objecting to capturing some Trolls and trying to get them to do tricks, though I wonder when PETA will show up) — but I’m curious about whether anyone knows whether that’s actually a typical OKC experience (that also goes to JQ’s question at 109). I’ve talked to a number of women using OKC, and there have certainly been plenty of complaints (carelessly crafted initial messages, misrepresentation, general quality of male profiles) but this type of NSA/dickpic harassment has never come up. I can think of three reasons:
1. If you know what you’re doing this type of stuff is easy to block and/or ignore
2. The women I talked to were so used to this that it didn’t seem worth mentioning
3. Something particular in the fake profile attracted this — before you dismiss this entirely, note that this was a guy who spends his time on 4Chan and just switched his profile, so it it may very well have attracted the weirdos in force

116

Hector_St_Clare 01.15.14 at 1:14 am

Alex,

I do agree that men flashing dickpics is pretty dysfunctional.

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Layman 01.15.14 at 1:20 am

@111

“How is a basic disorder like anorgasmia a definitional trick? You can do something as simple as masturbate to orgasm, or you can’t. Relative to men, shockingly high numbers of women can’t.”

I’m prepared to be shocked. What is the rate of women who have anorgasmia?

118

ambzone 01.15.14 at 1:30 am

French grammar nazism aside, y’all are getting trolled hard here. Evo-psych nuts have this same exchange of blows ten times a week with perfect strangers. They have entire libraries of confirmation-biased anecdotes and cherry-picked datums to back their externalised inadequacies. Regressive vermins are anathema to online discourse.

Or is Crooked Timber prepared to also entertain populations of bell-curve bozos and creation cretins?

119

Nine 01.15.14 at 1:31 am

alex@68 – “And look at it from the guys pov. They got some asshole trolling as a chick.”

So that’s an a**hole trolling a bunch of dic’s ? Chuckle …

120

Substance McGravitas 01.15.14 at 1:38 am

Anyway, I’d be interested to hear from any female commenters who’ve actually used these sites successfully – don’t think any have commented so far.

I am not one of those, but I have met good people through it. Yes, all those people tell stories about weird/unpleasant guys. And maybe I became one after that juice-spilling incident, but anyhow…

Some things: it’s free. It’s flexible as to what sex you want to meet. There aren’t files to attach, so no dick pics unless someone wants to surprise you with a link. The strength of the site isn’t just being on it, you have to use it; you answer a bunch of silly questions – as many as you like but more is always better – and this gradually narrows the field to people who answer those questions in the way that you do, or close to it. The questions range from important to trivial, well-put or badly worded: it eventually doesn’t really matter how stupid or smart they might be as you’re just lining yourself up with people who answer similarly. You can turn the chat option off and also block people. For me, and the friends I’ve made, that behind-the-scenes math gets kind of spooky in its effectiveness. When the numbers are good – there’s a match percentage, a friend percentage and an enemy percentage – things are pretty easy; it’s not a problem to talk to people who are close to you in outlook. Also it is free.

Now that I have finished advertising, I will acknowledge that my ease with the site is not quite matched by my friends on the other side of the sex divide. It is sad that there is more to worry about for them, but there is.

121

Matt 01.15.14 at 1:40 am

Hector,

Please provide peer reviewed studies to comment on, not behind a pay wall, if you want a detailed response.

It’s a biological fact that men can’t get pregnant. Pretty much everything else about sex-linked social roles and attitudes is up for negotiation. If they weren’t so malleable, cultural conservatives wouldn’t even have a problem to bemoan or fight against — encouraging women to have professional careers or plan family size would be as inconsequential as encouraging men to bear children. Every one of today’s low-fertility societies is descended from a high-fertility society, so I wouldn’t pin great hopes on conservatives eventually winning the cultural war by attrition and breeding.

122

Lee A. Arnold 01.15.14 at 1:47 am

Ambzone #118: “…exchange of blows…”

I wouldn’t touch that with my ten-foot pole

123

Hector_St_Clare 01.15.14 at 2:05 am

Re: Every one of today’s low-fertility societies is descended from a high-fertility society, so I wouldn’t pin great hopes on conservatives eventually winning the cultural war by attrition and breeding.

Sigh. You are aware, right, that (for example) one’s views on abortion rights are a little over 50% heritable? And that pro-life people have about 50% more babies than you folks? What do you think that says about the future of abortion ‘rights’ in America?

Of course most of our behavior is up for negotiation. You can negotiate people into doing lots of things they wouldn’t otherwise do, like invading Russia in the dead of winter, to take a classic example. But that ‘negotiation’ happens on a landscape shaped by our biological inclinations and predispositions. Of course it’s possible to encourage all women to seek career success and financial equality with men. The question is, should we, and will that be for the best all-around?

124

MPAVictoria 01.15.14 at 2:24 am

“The story sounds right, but it leaves me with the question: how do these sites stay in business? It seems as if no woman would want to stay on long enough to deal with this kind of thing.

My depressing conjecture: the real-life dating marketplace is as bad or worse.

Anyway, I’d be interested to hear from any female commenters who’ve actually used these sites successfully – don’t think any have commented so far.”

I know a number of very happy couples who met online. In fact it seems to be a very common way for women and men in my age group(late 20s to mid 30s) to meet a partner.

125

Collin Street 01.15.14 at 2:27 am

and this gradually narrows the field to people who answer those questions in the way that you do, or close to it

… this is a selling point? I thought the whole point of relationships was that they were with people who fundamentally differed from you: if I wanted to have a sexual relationship with someone who was identical to myself there’s one sitting in my chair in front of my computer.

126

Matt 01.15.14 at 2:28 am

I support abortion rights, yes, but I think that reduced fertility is more attributable to pregnancy prevention than pregnancy termination. There is much lower public support for restricting access to contraception. That’s how e.g. Ireland, Brazil, and Iran can all have sub-replacement fertility rates despite having some of the world’s most restrictive abortion laws. It’s also how Italy, Denmark, and Poland can have substantially lower abortion rates and lower fertility rates than the USA.

127

Substance McGravitas 01.15.14 at 2:30 am

… this is a selling point?

If you require a Mary Matalin to your James Carville I am not one to judge. You monster.

128

Belle Waring 01.15.14 at 2:31 am

As far as I can tell, women just resign themselves to the fact that they will have to wade through infinity bullshit, they benefit from the fact that they are likely to be messaged back by a man whose profile they find interesting, and most of the messages are SO bad that a single grammatical response relevant to the woman’s profile can get you a look. Otherwise you are just going through messages like “dismiss dismiss dismiss” etc. But the claim that every woman can get a man to have sex with online is sorta kinda ish true only in the way the same claim is made about women who go out for the night to a bar. Men (and particularly evo-psych trolls *cough*) love to say this, but it’s not true for women who are really overweight, or who are black in a region where they’re very much in the minority, or who are really unattractive (because some people are, let’s not pretend no one is). And if the claim boils down to: you could probably get a 60-year-old meth-head in your small town in Oregon, who is currently unemployed but used to drive logging trucks, to fuck you if you and he were the last people in the bar after last call, yeah then maybe, but telling that to a 30-year-old who is having trouble finding someone she’s interested in is sort of stupid.

Katherine is totally right that this is one of those “Man says water is wet! (women have been reporting on the dampness of water for 100 years)” things. I mean, yes, it’s a “yeah, duh” experiment, but notice the thing that happened was that he felt uncomfortable and unsettled, and went around with a bad taste in his mouth for the rest of the night. And that was just two hours! How would he deal with a full day of street harassment as a 13-year-old? Nnnnot so good, I’m thinking.

UmptyCandy: “…in our defence, it’s difficult always to keep uppermost in your mind that women’s experience really is so different, when you so rarely see it and you really don’t want it to be true, because of what it says about so many of your fellow men.” Erg. Do you feel that way about racial prejudice, because you don’t want it to be true about your fellow white people that they are racist? (I’m assuming you’re white here; if not, then the analogy fails.) If so…isn’t that a kind of weird, head in the sand behavior? Wouldn’t you want to know the truth of the situation, so that we could try to fix the problem?

adam.smith: “this was a guy who spends his time on 4Chan and just switched his profile, so it it may very well have attracted the weirdos in force.” Oh for fucks sake. So there’s literally nothing anyone could do to convince you that women who set up profiles on online dating sites are constantly barraged with messages from men way outside their upper bound age range, inappropriately sexual messages, and conversations that turn disturbingly violent when a polite “no” or just a dropped conversation is given? Nothing? You literally have to do this yourself to believe it. Go do science then. But maybe read the Jezebel comments first, ignoring the full 2/3 that are trolls/people being trolled? The rest are recounting people’s own experiences and they range from gross to kinda harrowing.

Finally, I’m surprised that no one aside from the initial commenters were surprised that someone said something so gross to me in a political argument? It’s the grossest, but people have said plenty of other repulsive and inappropriately sexual things. Dudes of Crooked Timber: are people arguing with you about drones inclined to speculate how your upper palate would feel on their cock? No? Do you find this at all disturbing or is this just ‘ho hum another day on the internet, why, someone threatened to rape me just nine days ago!’ Someone threatened to rape me like nine days ago on io9 but his head wasn’t totally in the game so it wasn’t as disturbing as it would have been if he were really staying focused. You can dismiss responses to your comments, so…DEL. Ah, and there I have a default male nym, but had said something that indicated I was a woman in comments! Fatal error/blow in the battle to wage war on sexist commentariat who assume all commenters are male.

129

Francis 01.15.14 at 2:33 am

What do you think that says about the future of abortion ‘rights’ in America?

All the hot liberal chicks who like to have pregnancy-free sex are going to move to California?
You’re so deluded you’re not even wrong?
The National Academies of Science need to investigate the possibility that the women’s rights movement was caused by an alien invasion?

130

Kaveh 01.15.14 at 2:35 am

I’m curious if any female commenters here have tried online dating and had experiences similar to this guy’s.

131

marcel 01.15.14 at 2:35 am

t’s bn mn mns snc ny f th pstrs dsmvwlld cmmnt, bt mthnks — hps — t s rp fr cmbck. Hw bt t Bll?

132

roy belmont 01.15.14 at 2:42 am

Women in France didn’t get the vote until 1944.
Whereas the US in its enlightened modernity granted that basic right to women in 1920.
Switzerland 1971!
So how come that? Women too dumb? Men too crazy?
No answer.
There were no toilets on television for the first 4-5 decades of its existence. People would get up during commercials and go pee, but not on TV, not even on Ernie Kovacs. (For which he was grateful no end I’m sure.)
Lenny Bruce was driven to an early grave for going up against that sickness with humor and truth.
Many heavily made-up attractive sexy women smoking cigarettes or lounging on the fenders of brand-new cars, on TV, in magazines, all around in mid-20th c. US.
The word “f*ck” is still, today, the most obscene of the no-no bad words.
It means to have sex with. You knew that.
But why is it obscene? You don’t know why, you just know it is.
This thread, and the experience it’s about, are sitting in the middle of a massive pathology, still unhealed. We all have some damage from it.
The immediate problem is ones amongst us who are encouraged and rewarded for it.
But the bigger deal is how pervasive it is. Women are not getting fair treatment. So give em the vote!
But but wait wait…wtf was that?
Everyone makes do with what they’re given, whether it’s a circumcised penis, or shame at sexual desire and pleasure, or a sense of entitlement viz. verbal dominance. Velvet sadism as male privilege.
But the first stats, the franchise numbers, those should be the deal-breaker.
Serious symptom.
Not about politics. Not about ignorant unenlightened fools.
Sickness.

133

Not my usual 01.15.14 at 2:43 am

how do these sites stay in business? It seems as if no woman would want to stay on long enough to deal with this kind of thing.

I can give you a few answers:

For one thing, there are things you can do to reduce the amount of this kind of stuff you have to contend with. At the extreme end (which I have customarily done) is post a profile without a photo. This is a remarkably good weeding-out tool. It’s like a speed bump. People suddenly have to write a few sentences and send them to you before seeing your picture, and somehow the instinct to unload (sorry) on a total stranger seems to lessen when you can’t see a pic.

Of course you will still get furious responses from men who are enraged that you dare to “make” them write you to ask for a picture, but the upside is you can now block those guys and worry less that they can track you down somewhere else online and harass you there. It’s an extra layer of protection.

In less-extreme form, you can make your profile more “serious” (complete sentences, slightly wonky sounding pastimes, etc). This often helps to weed out men who think you look like too much work. For me this wasn’t much of a stretch, as I am by nature fairly serious and wonky. It does mean that every man I’ve ever dated seriously has been somewhat-to-very boggled by my silly and raunchy side, because I kept that almost completely under wraps in my online persona.

It also helps to be older (I was 27 when I started dating online; 34 the last time I tried). IME, just like in person, bullies go harder after people they perceive to be more vulnerable.

NONE of the above eliminates jerks and harassers, or guarantees you won’t catch the attention of a serious stalker. So some of this is adam.smith’s point #2: This stuff gets normalized.

Even to ourselves, IME, women tend to minimize, reframe, or adjust reality just so we can deal with the psychological implications of knowing that there are some men out there who are thisclose to being homicidally angry at our rejection.

As careful as I was — and I was very, very, very careful — I still found myself on a date with a guy who casually spoke of being angry enough to throw someone down the stairs. At times like that you’re just running through the mental checklist: OK, he outweighs me by 50 points and he’s 4 inches taller, BUT we’re in a public place; OK, he’s telling me something important and flag-raising about himself by this remark, but he doesn’t seem to be angry at *me* [yet]….I got home safe. And luckily he took “no” for an answer on further correspondence.

(Confidential to Katherine, Lynne, Anderson, and CJ: Thanks for being in this thread. And Matt, kudos on bringing the data.)

134

Not my usual 01.15.14 at 2:44 am

50 pounds. Don’t know how that typo happened.

135

Hector_St_Clare 01.15.14 at 2:48 am

Re: That’s how e.g. Ireland, Brazil, and Iran can all have sub-replacement fertility rates despite having some of the world’s most restrictive abortion laws. It’s also how Italy, Denmark, and Poland can have substantially lower abortion rates and lower fertility rates than the USA.

That’s very true, but I’m surprised to hear such a nuanced position coming from your side of the aisle.

I don’t at all think pro-life people have more kids, at a causal level, because they refuse to abort unplanned pregnancies. I suspect there are much deeper psychological factors that lead one to both want more children, and also to take a dim view of abortion. (Also, the citation for this was an unpublished paper at some sociology conference that drew from the General Social Survey, and I don’t remember what they corrected for, or not. Less educated women are much more likely to be pro life, and to have larger families, so that could be the causal factor right there, although I can’t imagine the authors would be shoddy enough not to correct for education).

136

js. 01.15.14 at 2:49 am

Something particular in the fake profile attracted this — before you dismiss this entirely, note that this was a guy who spends his time on 4Chan and just switched his profile, so it it may very well have attracted the weirdos in force

This seems not that implausible actually. And my experience talking to women who’ve used OKCupid would seem to roughly match adam.smith’s. I have tho heard of topless pics that go down to the lower abdomen, etc. (Tho it’s an extremely small sample in my case, so I wouldn’t put too much stock in it.)

137

Belle Waring 01.15.14 at 2:51 am

Francis, I like the cuts of your varying jibs, which are set at angles to one another and are sure to turn the boat right over if the wind is high enough.

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Belle Waring 01.15.14 at 2:59 am

I mistakenly made a failed link to the original piece on reddit. Perhaps you all would be interested in some comments from female users of online dating sites?

“I had an okcupid profile for a little bit and got a message from a man who was 33, far outside my age range of 18-23. I told him in my first message that he was far outside my range and not my type, but he seemed nice so I was willing to chat a little bit platonically. We talked for an hour….when I get busy and stop responding immediately. I think 10 minutes passed and I didn’t respond so he started getting angry. He sent me a message calling me a whore and said I wasn’t good enough for him, amongst a ton of other stuff probably spread out over 12 or more messages. I said, “I’m sorry you got heart broken by a 19 year old girl that you talked to for an hour. Maybe you should stop feeling like every girl owes you something”. I blocked him but he harassed me using alternate accounts for a while. It sucks.”

“Yeah, female here, and I’ve read on several guy’s profiles that they’d rather have women message them and to tell them they’re not interested. Every time I have done exactly that, I received venom spat back at me.”

“I did get a few civil, respectful responses to a “no thanks, but best of luck in your search” kind of message. They were drops in an ocean of insecure, angry, abusive rants, but I always appreciated them. “

“I’ve heard that kind of reaction so much that at this point I find it increasingly hilarious. Like, dudebro, the fact that a random internet stranger isn’t interested in your unasked-for dirty message has you so butthurt you’re going to throw obscenities out about my hotness as if your opinion matters to me? Seriously? Ok. Hope that insecurity works out for ya.”

“Thanks for sharing your story. I’ve read about several experiments like this recently, and they all end with the same disturbing result. People try to tell us to take it lightly, ignore it, or brush it off and move on, but there’s only so much of this sort of thing that we can handle without becoming irreversibly jaded. If I can’t go to professional events without getting cornered by a creep, I sure as hell am not going to start an online dating profile where anonymity is a factor. I’d rather be single.”

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js. 01.15.14 at 3:00 am

ps. I only meant to say that I’ve not heard of friends of mine who are women and have OKCupid profiles getting unsolicited dickpics. (And again, v small sample.)

140

Kaveh 01.15.14 at 3:01 am

…aaaand I forgot to reload the page before entering my comment, and now I see that several other people asked the same question, and Belle says that people on Jez are saying they had these experiences? So I’ll go over and look. But in the meantime, I’m really curious to hear first-hand from a woman who has tried online dating. I never doubted that female profiles get weenie-pics, but from the references people made to them I couldn’t tell if it was a once-a-week thing or several-a-day…

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adam.smith 01.15.14 at 3:03 am

@Belle – not sure why I deserved that. My post started with a question and then an observation about the actual women I actually talked to about their experience being on OKC (as opposed to some anonymous douchebag on Reddit, who no – is not going to convince me of anything). I think it’s quite clear I took and take what they conveyed as their experience at face value (so there’s the anyone: any woman I know will easily convince me of that). And these weren’t quick “oh I’m on OKC” conversations. They were 20min to 1h rants about their experiences with online dating that didn’t seem like they were trying to paint an overly rosy picture… Still, they didn’t include this. So I was wondering about the reason for that divergence. And I started out by asking (!) whether that was really the case and I posited three possible explanations. The second one of which is actually quite close to your explanation.
So for you to say

there’s literally nothing anyone could do to convince you

is just bizarrely uncharitable. It takes one sentence of my post, makes sure to interpret it entirely devoid of its context and then personally attacks me. This is now the second time you have attacked me personally in this way based on such super-selective readings. And I really don’t get it.
When you ask for epistemic humility and stuff like that — do you mean that or is it just a shtick?

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Substance McGravitas 01.15.14 at 3:03 am

Perhaps you all would be interested in some comments from female users of online dating sites?

Those all sound familiar.

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Belle Waring 01.15.14 at 3:04 am

Oh wait, extra verification factor here, it’s a dude, and it includes the bonus phrase “flood of jizz-stained messages”:

I ran a similar experiment. Set up a page as my friend with her permission just to see how men acted. I don’t have male friends and I really don’t know how men act toward women, and I thought I might learn some things to avoid, and possibly some things to do. She is an extremely good looking petite girl so I knew there would be unusual amounts of attention but the response was absolutely disgusting and simultaneously amazing.
I now hate men more than I did before. And I’m a man. Out of over 300 messages, less than 10% were actual introductions rather than a plain ‘hi’ or some rude sexual commentary. I responded to every single one of them. 90% of those turned into something sexual in less than 8 back/forth exchanges. In the end out of somewhere around 340 first contact msgs received, only one guy actually carried on a normal, reasonable conversation longer than a few paragraphs, and even he made one or two not entirely subtle hints in the process.
I now feel even worse for women than I did before, and I’ve basically given up on online dating because I know that even if I’m sincere and polite, I’ll be lost in the flood of jizz-stained messages. Luckily, the day I was going to delete my POF account, I came across a ridiculously cute girl from down the road… she’s exactly my type, really short with really short hair and tattoos, has 2 awesome kids, and is a decade younger than me. Honestly I don’t know why in the world she’s stuck around, but we’re almost 3 months in and I feel lucky every time I think of her.
But back to the point – men hiding behind keyboards and screens are foul-mouthed deviant fuckwads and I am truly sorry you women have to deal with them.

Compelling, mmm? Do you guys actually spend a ton of time on the internet and not think men hiding behind keyboards are [in many cases surely not true of any Crooked Timber commenters] foul-mouthed deviant fuckwads? Before you ask–ya sure women can be foul-mouthed deviant fuckwads too. Due to whatever cause, it just happens to be the case that I don’t see as many of them, for some reason unknown to me, possibly involving the phases of the moon.

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Alan White 01.15.14 at 3:14 am

Belle (if I may) the fact that straightwood comments on crooked timber about this topic is sufficient uberirony to make me gag while laughing. But your story frightens me about the prospect of reforming the defaults of what is accepted as the far boundaries of propriety in so-called mixed company.

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godoggo 01.15.14 at 3:14 am

Well, the thought did occur to me that this must be a little bit of what women deal with back when I was in the habit of taking a morning walk in Whittier Narrows, and occasionally (well twice) (although there was a third one whom I was preemptively rude to) (maybe with reason, maybe not) (and if I’m not, then sorry if he happens to be reading this) I would be approached by a seemingly pleasant (well the first one was seemingly pleasant, to the extent that I responded “you too,” when he bid me “have a nice day,” whereas the second simply wouldn’t give up, to the extent that I ended up flipping him off) young man, who would start chatting with me only to suddenly come out with, “I really want to suck your dick.” Later of course, I would get to thinking how odd it seemed that someone would offer such a thing to a complete stranger ostensibly for his own pleasure, I mean I always thought that was something you just did as a “favor,” I mean was there an expectation that I would reciprocate at some point? And now you’ve all got me wondering if their mouths would… but I digress.

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Matt 01.15.14 at 3:15 am

I don’t at all think pro-life people have more kids, at a causal level, because they refuse to abort unplanned pregnancies. I suspect there are much deeper psychological factors that lead one to both want more children, and also to take a dim view of abortion. (Also, the citation for this was an unpublished paper at some sociology conference that drew from the General Social Survey, and I don’t remember what they corrected for, or not. Less educated women are much more likely to be pro life, and to have larger families, so that could be the causal factor right there, although I can’t imagine the authors would be shoddy enough not to correct for education).

Yes, I think that there are co-extensive but not synonymous factors that cluster together in people who oppose abortion and tend to have more children. I thought of bringing up education as well earlier. Among nations with near-universal female literacy (>= 95% literate), only Tonga has a fertility rate high enough to make large families the norm. I suspect that most nations with fertility rate above 4 will see that number shrink considerably when/if they reach 95% literacy.

Percentagewise, global human fertility peaked in 1963; in absolute numbers of births, it peaked in 1989. I don’t expect new high points to be reached within my lifetime regardless of abortion restrictions. If things go on like this, in 150 years Earth may again be as woefully underpopulated as it was in 1950 :-P

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MPAVictoria 01.15.14 at 3:19 am

” I would get to thinking how odd it seemed that someone would offer such a thing to a complete stranger ostensibly for his own pleasure, I mean I always thought that was something you just did as a “favor,” I mean was there an expectation that I would reciprocate at some point? And now you’ve all got me wondering if their mouths would… but I digress.”

Many people, of both genders, enjoy giving oral sex. Is that really a surprise?

148

UmptyCandy 01.15.14 at 3:20 am

Reply to Bella at 128. (Sorry, don’t know how to do the block quotes thing)
“Erg. Do you feel that way about racial prejudice, because you don’t want it to be true about your fellow white people that they are racist? (I’m assuming you’re white here; if not, then the analogy fails.) If so…isn’t that a kind of weird, head in the sand behavior? Wouldn’t you want to know the truth of the situation, so that we could try to fix the problem?”

I know, that passage comes across as gauche. I was thinking of an afternoon when I walked 10 feet behind two female friends of mine in Paris, and was shocked by the non-stop comments and gestures that were offered to them, all of which stopped when I walked alongside them. (We’re all white, and the men were mostly Moroccan/Algerian, but these are all details– they assured me that the experience was common in other situations and countries.) You can be told this, and fully believe it, but you just aren’t prepared for the full impact of it until you see it. They were living in a different city to the one I experienced. I ‘knew’ this was so, but hadn’t been confronted with it before.

No, I’m not trying to make an apology for the Redditor’s complacency, or for anyone who prefers not to face ugly realities because ‘surely people aren’t really that horrible’. I am surrounded by that kind of intellectual cowardice and laziness, and like all CT commenters I’m sure, I take that on as often as I can. I do indeed want to know the truth of the situation, and at least to bear witness to it so others should not take refuge in ignorance. I just wanted to admit to Katherine’s point that men are often blind – even someone as painfully right-on as myself finds that their understanding hasn’t kept pace with the reality.

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adam.smith 01.15.14 at 3:21 am

FWIW – I find the comments from women on Reddit you cite a lot more convincing than the male “experiments”. But you had all but told us not to look at the Jezebel comments and not linked to the Reddit piece, so I asked.

150

MPAVictoria 01.15.14 at 3:23 am

Not that I think it is appropriate to proposition a stranger out of the blue as happened to you.

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Modulo Myself 01.15.14 at 3:25 am

Funny how evo psych teaches that if women liked sex they would sleep with subway flashers and street harassers with frequency, but it doesn’t teach that if men wanted sex they wouldn’t spend their time threatening women with their alleged fantasies.

152

godoggo 01.15.14 at 3:26 am

Yes I am aware of this. I have more that I could say on this topic but I don’t think I will.

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Hector_St_Clare 01.15.14 at 3:28 am

Modulo,

Actually, Evo psych doesn’t teach anything of the sort.

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godoggo 01.15.14 at 3:29 am

My previous was to MPAVictoria in case that wasn’t obvious.

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phosphorious 01.15.14 at 3:44 am

As far as I can tell, Hector St. Clare is in favor of sending dick pics to random women.

Because. . . and I am surprised as anybody to learn this. . . it’s in Ephesians.

St. Paul, apparently, sent pictures of his dick to various women.

Because evolution!

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Hector_St_Clare 01.15.14 at 3:45 am

Phophorius,

Where did I defend the practice of sending duckpics to women? please show me.

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Collin Street 01.15.14 at 3:48 am

Actually, Evo psych doesn’t teach anything of the sort.

You have to remember, “what you think” and “what positions you agree with teach” aren’t actually independent data points. There’s a subtle and hard-to-spot interaction between the two, see.

158

phosphorious 01.15.14 at 3:52 am

Belle, quite rightly, criticized certain internet practices. One of which was the sending of dick pics to women who posted on OKcupid.

YOU dismissed Belle’s criticisms as being evolutionarily naive. Belle was OBVIOUSLY, to your mind, being hysterical in her criticism.

Belle was disapproving of sending dick pics, and YOU were disapproving of Belle.

There is a law of double negation, is there not?

But. . . by gad and by gum. . . I have once again been lured into feeding a troll!

You Hector St Clare, are not worth the bucket of spit it would take to drown you. Continue to smirk, and quote Ephesians and despise women.

It won’t save you from hell.

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Hector_St_Clare 01.15.14 at 4:01 am

No, man, I criticized her for quoting Jezebel. keep up.

I pointed out further down the thread that, no, dickpic flashers are not a healthy social phenomenon.

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Lee A. Arnold 01.15.14 at 4:03 am

I think dating sites are yet another example where people are quickly realizing that the internet isn’t all it was hoped to be. Consider the whole internet: damaged egoes, people who can’t take rejection, dangerous predators, kids can get bullied, you can get your money and your identity stolen, new crooks will always find a way to get around any new security mechanism — and the government will ALWAYS be recording everything. This isn’t like a telephone, it is like standing on a busy sidewalk; it is a public thoroughfare. It is like plastering your picture and stats on a roadside billboard. I think we ought to teach every kid in school that this can be a tool, but it is also a very, very dangerous thing. We should teach it at every grade level, adding new information along the way. We should test them to make sure they have learned it. I think it is going to stay this way.

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Hector_St_Clare 01.15.14 at 4:04 am

Belle Waring,

For what it’s worth, I agree with you about the duck pics and obscene messages, as well as ignoring people’s stated preferences.

I don’t really participate in online dating myself, other than I’m on one site specifically geared towards age disparate romances , but on my occasional half hearted forays I haven’t ever sent a duck pic or proposed a sexual encounter. I’m generally skeptical of online dating mostly because my impression is it skews culturally liberal.

162

GiT 01.15.14 at 4:22 am

Duck pics?

Is the word “dick” like “Yhwh” for you, Hector? Can’t actually type the word or you’d be offending your chosen totem?

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godoggo 01.15.14 at 4:33 am

I get spam for Christian dating sites. I think there’s all kinds of specialized ones. Probably even for people who are into duck pics.

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Britta 01.15.14 at 4:56 am

115 et al:

I know multiple people of both genders who have had successful experiences on OKCupid, and pretty much all women I know get lots of sexually inappropriate spam. It’s common enough that only really really egregious and funny ones are thought fit for comment. I imagine you never talk about all the emails you get from long lost Nigerian royal family members or penis enlargement.

The internet is a more extreme version of IRL dating, but the principles are the same. Men assume that quantity of attention is somehow correlated to quality, when actually most of the attention a woman gets is some combo of annoying, creepy, and scary. The ev psych obsession with female age operates in the same way. Most ev psych men assume that women reach a peak of beauty/desirability in their late teens and then lament the fact they [the women] get ‘less desirable’ with age, when really most women are happy that they’ve aged out of being hit on by jail-bait seeking creeps. In my opinion, being less likely to get molested by homeless men on public transit is actually a huge perk to looking over 18.

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Lee A. Arnold 01.15.14 at 4:56 am

Hector St. Clare, would you please provide a link to a real study that says that women deliberately choose men with lower testosterone levels for childbearing? Googling suggests this assertion to be a speculation combining several different studies that could be interpreted rather differently. I cannot a scientific result in one study. Thanks!

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adam.smith 01.15.14 at 5:30 am

@Britta – thanks, appreciate that – the sex stuff as “spam” (albeit without a spam filter) – which you don’t usually talk about either – makes sense as a framing, so that’s probably why it didn’t come up.

167

Pat 01.15.14 at 5:34 am

Wow, an experience from OKCupid as described on Reddit and link-baited on Jezebel. It’s like a desperation inside an obsessiveness, wrapped in an inadequacy.

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Substance McGravitas 01.15.14 at 5:45 am

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Michael Harris 01.15.14 at 6:36 am

I don’t use OKCupid or anything similar, but I am a member of a Facebook group of friends who use it (or other dating sites) where they post their experiences, amusing and creepy alike, of internet dating. The group’s name is simply OMGLOL, and its contents are both hilarious and confronting.

This story was posted in there today to a uniform reaction of “Mmmmhmmm” head-nodding from the female members.

John Q, in response to your “why do they stick with it?” question, something about the presistent triumph of hope over experience, I think.

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Michael Harris 01.15.14 at 6:42 am

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Michael Harris 01.15.14 at 6:44 am

Well that was impressive. Try again.

Perhaps Hector meant these duck pics?

http://antiduckface.tumblr.com/

Or

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I_Wish_That_I_Had_Duck_Feet

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John Quiggin 01.15.14 at 7:05 am

“I imagine you never talk about all the emails you get from long lost Nigerian royal family members or penis enlargement.”

On the contrary, as soon as the money comes through from General Taylor’s widow, I’m plonking it straight down on those pills Big Pharma doesn’t want me to know about. After that, OKCupid here I come!

173

Collin Street 01.15.14 at 7:32 am

age disparate romances

I don’t think he means thirty and fifty, guys.

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godoggo 01.15.14 at 7:36 am

I just want to say I find the name of OKCupid a turnoff. Not Jezebel though.

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Mao Cheng Ji 01.15.14 at 8:07 am

May I ask, respectfully: what’s the deal with this tremendous contempt for the evo-psych thingy? Is the correct view that the whole complete thing a bourgeois pseudoscience, or is it only some reductionist version of it that is being scorned? Because if it’s the later, you probably should refer to it as “dime-store evo-psych” (or something), to avoid the confusion.

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Niall McAuley 01.15.14 at 9:12 am

The tremendous contempt for evo-psycho nonsense comes from the fact that its loudest proponents are jerks who want to retroactively justify jerky behaviour because savannah.

Hector, for example, is a character written to simulate one of these. See how his author scores in this thread in a game of Evo Psycho Bingo!

177

AJ 01.15.14 at 9:21 am

I haven’t read all the comments but my sympathies with Belle. have been exposed to way too much evo-psych for me not to comment on this. The biggest problem is that the arguments are couched in a scientific terms and some people seem to simply inhale this stuff. Furthermore, they unwittingly propagate the worst ideas in the field because it all seems so scientific – and therefore unprejudiced. It’s a general problem of pop theorization, in general, but it is a problem that is particularly acute for evo-psych .

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Mao Cheng Ji 01.15.14 at 9:28 am

So, is the whole discipline being scorned as pseudoscience, or just the jerks who want to retroactively justify jerky behavior?

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Niall McAuley 01.15.14 at 9:34 am

Personally, I have no opinion on the discipline as it appears in technical journals that I don’t read. It is the pop-science version which irritates me.

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Alex 01.15.14 at 9:45 am

Jesus, what a mess. By the way, 68/85/etc aren’t me. (PS, is there anyone else here who thinks there must be a really enormous social divide between people who send dick pictures and, well, anybody else? I mean, I yield to no-one in my status as Weirdo McWeblog, but I can’t imagine doing that in a million years. And apparently it’s not a generational thing either – people older than me seem to do it.)

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Katherine 01.15.14 at 9:51 am

Finally, I’m surprised that no one aside from the initial commenters were surprised that someone said something so gross to me in a political argument?

You’re right Belle and I apologise. It is a wider issue that deserves a lot of attention. It is also a very common experience among on the internet generally. Woman campaigns for a woman on a banknote – rape and death threats. Woman starts a Kickstarter on how women are treated in gaming – gets rape and death threats. Hey, here’s another one:

http://www.slate.com/articles/double_x/doublex/2012/10/sexism_in_the_skeptic_community_i_spoke_out_then_came_the_rape_threats.html
http://skepchick.org/2013/10/why-i-dont-just-go-to-the-cops/

This is just a small sample. This deserves to be better known, and talked about outside the usual circles. This affects the whole internet by sullying the experience of a large proportion of users.

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William U. 01.15.14 at 9:54 am

“I don’t think he means thirty and fifty, guys.”

Is it the sort where one party spends rather more…. freely…. than the other party? Please elaborate, HSC.

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Ed Herdman 01.15.14 at 10:04 am

@ MCJ:
http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Evolutionary_psychology

It’s pretty obvious that there’s a lot of “oh look I has a theory” amateur hour couch-based analysis going on. There is also a huge danger of the average intelligent layperson being convinced by the experts – when looking at the field more broadly reveals that there are often very profound differences from one camp to another. It is kind of like the person who goes “everybody used to think that evolution can create any structure, but now nobody thinks that.” What’s actually happened is just that the field has fragmented, with some adhering to a new view, some the old view, and probably others holding on to different views entirely.

Schisms in other “mature” scientific fields (Einstein vs. the Copenhagen School) often are debates at the very edge of the field, while what remains is still more than useful enough for writing a textbook that will get you almost all the way where you need to go. School kids and even professionals are taught simplified versions of what’s actually happening, but almost always you can use these simplifications with no problem.

That’s not true at all where psychology is involved. Especially weird psychology that says things like “fat people are dumb” or “Jews are smarter, therefore we should club them all to protect ourselves.”

However, even if it’s not clear there’s a consensus picture (as is the case with climate change science), there shouldn’t be resentment that people would have the temerity to talk about what are (at least apparently) pressing social matters (the horror!) and to want to find some scientific way of talking about such things (even if it isn’t really scientific). Probably the greatest victory in this arena has been the reintroduction of ethics and social norms into the discussion with science – these are at least baby steps since “SCIENCE!” had people measuring noggins, theorizing about the “hysterical female tendencies of mobs,” and having active discussions about forced sterilization programs (and, I need not mention, worse).

Personally I think the term “sociobiology” might be more helpful here because it’s explicitly mentioning group interactions, rather than some ginned-up lab experiment with no relevance to the world, and it doesn’t promise that level of analysis from the start. Start with the modest claims first.

I don’t think that Sarah Blaffer Hrdy is a good author because she’s a woman (although it does give her some natural insights that a man will have to ask for help understanding), but precisely because she seems to succeed in keeping assertions fairly well-grounded and close to the evidence – in general, not falling prey to many of the sophomoric failures that some tenured amateurs have. She does get into politics ever so slightly when talking about the implications of human fecundity (babies are going to be hurt if we don’t have contraception) but, you know, I can’t imagine somebody reading those passages and thinking “gee, she doesn’t support this assertion at all.”

Somebody like Geoffrey Miller, PhD, rolling headlong into other disciplines (Socrates: What is it with the professionals thinking they know everything?), and even failing to understand the basic implications of evidence in his own field, is something else.

(By the way, Noam Chomsky is obviously guilty of this as well – although, when I look at how bad some of this actually is, it does seem far worse than even the worst of Chomsky.)

Overall I am hopeful about sociobiology (or evo-psych, but not under that label), but the much increased difficulty in procuring and interpreting evidence convinces me that there is only so much that the top professionals in the field can do to ride herd over the out-to-sea ones. Anthropology and archaeology have some of the same problems (What was this dinosaur thinking millions of years ago? How do I know?) but to a lesser degree (especially where psychology is less important).

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Mao Cheng Ji 01.15.14 at 10:16 am

“there must be a really enormous social divide between people who send dick pictures and, well, anybody else?”

Could it be a psychiatric condition, rather than a mere social attitude? I mean, if ‘affluenza’ is a condition…

185

Ed Herdman 01.15.14 at 10:18 am

@ Katherine:

I think the moral of the story is simply that the old appeal to authority was never justified after all. People who act like wild animals when they are caught outside their range of expertise, or who surround themselves only with like-minded individuals and act like wild animals to suppress any contrary views or personalities from destroying that conformity and social order / social game (because having a “goat” can be highly motivating – often in a harmful way, but not always), are always lurking at the edges of any order or group.

Also, I feel bad for anybody who thought that Richard Dawkins was going to be the staunch defender of everything right and reasonable here. I consider myself an atheist, but after seeing the “don’t worry” campaign and many other totally unnecessary, aggressively demeaning campaigns (and the inevitable wave of thoughtless excursions into that theme) it was clear that they really don’t care about helping out other people, but just trying to shame or even repress people who don’t share the same view. There especially was little capacity for attempting to comprehend the best arguments from the other side – atheists steelmanning (as opposed to strawmanning) arguments has always been very rare.

Perhaps Dawkins isn’t naturally the kind of person who would do this – but as somebody who has taken on such a visible role I would like to be able to expect he would take a moment to try and insulate himself from being egged on to adopt the harmful methods and attitudes of camp followers who just want to smash something and believe that sketch arguments are the final word.

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Belle Waring 01.15.14 at 11:24 am

adam.smith: I made a mistake in my post coding when I failed to link to the initial piece–I corrected that above, I’m sorry that it was unclear, though you could click through.
“I’ve talked to a number of women using OKC, and there have certainly been plenty of complaints (carelessly crafted initial messages, misrepresentation, general quality of male profiles) but this type of NSA/dickpic harassment has never come up. I can think of three reasons:
1. If you know what you’re doing this type of stuff is easy to block and/or ignore
2. The women I talked to were so used to this that it didn’t seem worth mentioning
3. Something particular in the fake profile attracted this — before you dismiss this entirely, note that this was a guy who spends his time on 4Chan and just switched his profile, so it it may very well have attracted the weirdos in force”
I really don’t see any way to interpret this as anything other than dismissive of the whole problem. If he listed “watching hentai” and “tentacle porn” as his favorite activities then I agree that would attract weirdos, but do you really think he would bother to run the experiment that way and then completely fail to mention it? “If you know what you’re doing this type of stuff it’s easy to block and/or ignore.” This is just saying: “it’s your own fault if you let this bother you. You should be able to ignore it.” I’m speaking from the experience only of being a blogger, not an online dater, but it’s difficult to ignore this kind of thing. I don’t understand what your sentence can imply other than: women who don’t find it easy to ignore vitriolic, sexually charged messages “don’t know what they’re doing.” Can it mean another thing? I’m sorry to have snapped at you about it, but it honestly seemed straightforwardly offensive.

187

Michael Harris 01.15.14 at 12:00 pm

188

Anders Widebrant 01.15.14 at 12:12 pm

You are aware, right, that (for example) one’s views on abortion rights are a little over 50% heritable?

While it’s of course unfair to judge evopsychomolologists using Hector as a yardstick, it does seem to be very hard to combine biology and psychology while avoiding howlers like the one above, mixing concepts from both disciplines without any kind of model for how the whole thing would fit together.

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Katherine 01.15.14 at 12:27 pm

Ed Herdman, I wasn’t talking about sceptic communities particularly. I was pointing out that internet harassment is not specific or isolating to internet dating, or Belle’s individual experience. This is a very wide, one might even say pervasive, problem.

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Katherine 01.15.14 at 12:28 pm

And I’d recommend reading the second link too, about the woefully inadequate response of law enforcement.

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Hector_St_Clare 01.15.14 at 12:50 pm

Anders,

The facts are the facts. Twin studies demonstrate that ones views on abortion rights are. 55% heritable . Please see Olson JM, et al. 2001. ‘The Heritability of Attitudes’. J. of Personality and Social Psychology 80: 845-860.

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Hector_St_Clare 01.15.14 at 12:52 pm

Katherine and Belle,

I think sending dickpics and velvety-mouth messages is outrageous, what do you expect me to say? my annoyance is that you’re tarnishing the good name of a valid scientific field by associating it with dickpics and velvety harassment messages.

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Katherine 01.15.14 at 12:55 pm

Why are you talking to me Hector? I haven’t said anything about whatever it is you are talking about?

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Hector_St_Clare 01.15.14 at 1:07 pm

Katherine,

Because you highly implied this is a ‘man problem’ rather than a ‘some men behaving badly ‘ problem.

Do we have evidence as to the number of men who send dick pics? because even if only, say, 20% are doing it, if they deluge every woman they see with the pics, then there are going to be a lot of pics floating around and a lot of women seeing them.

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Yods 01.15.14 at 1:17 pm

“The facts are the facts. Twin studies demonstrate that ones views on abortion rights are. 55% heritable . Please see Olson JM, et al. 2001. ‘The Heritability of Attitudes’. J. of Personality and Social Psychology 80: 845-860.”

Hector finally gives a reference for one of his many ‘facts are facts’ opinions. Let’s see shall we? This study gives a 0.54 heritability factor for opinions on abortion on demand, and then goes on to say in previous studies low to no heritability was found for this opinion and that their sample different substantially from general population and you can’t generalize from their results.

Also from this study: “Attitudes toward separate roles for men and women were not heritable, replicating previous findings for similar items dealing with gender roles.”

Clearly a good citation proving Hector’s views.

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Ed Herdman 01.15.14 at 1:25 pm

@ Katherine: I think it’s also clear from my post that I also think it’s a pervasive problem, and I painted that opening with a broad brush purposely. Sceptical communities and other “enlightened” groups are just very easy to spot this as a discordant note because of those groups’ purported affiliation with just and rational causes.

I would like to be able to say “everybody’s got something they’re nuts about,” but that may not be true and it’s not really descriptive enough for my liking. Actually it also sounds dismissive, which isn’t helpful either.

Also, about the “4chan effect” thing (Belle Waring’s point #3) – the guy set up the profile fresh, so while there may have been some kind of “out of the ordinary” thing that attracted weirdos from it being actually a guy setting it up, it wouldn’t be directly tied in with 4chan or anything similar (unless the guy didn’t reveal all the facts to us). The only way it would be tied to 4chan is if the guy made a thread in one of their subforums stating “come look at my profile” or something similar. 4chan is an independent site, and totally separate from OKCupid or any other dating site (I don’t think they even run dating site ads).

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Hector_St_Clare 01.15.14 at 1:25 pm

Yods,

They’re using self reported scores to judge whether gender role attitudes are heritable or not. Certain key items of the feminist agenda, though, I.e. Abortion rights, are heritable . I made no claims, I think , about the heritability of gender attitudes per se.

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Yods 01.15.14 at 1:33 pm

Hector, either you believe your own cited study or you don’t.
Anyway, it quite clearly says that while this study found abortion views to be heritable, others have not. Why do you find this one more convincing?

And yes, you have VERY often said that gender roles are innate.

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P O'Neill 01.15.14 at 1:33 pm

If this kind of thing catches on, next thing you know there will be someone going into Israel Palestine chatroom to take the opposite of their usual position and being shocked at how mean his side is.

200

Ed Herdman 01.15.14 at 1:33 pm

Hector, what about “you can’t generalize from these results” is hard to understand? They aren’t saying what you’re saying they’re saying.

Also, 0.54 – flip a coin, heads or tails. Even if that was set in stone (and it’s not), that’s at best a factor, not overwhelmingly determinant.

So, in short, “key items of the feminist agenda [... but maybe not] gender attitudes [are heritable]” has got to be the perfect example of what the evo-psych (or should I say, devo of evo) criticism is about. Funny numbers and no logical thought as to why some things are protected from effects while others are susceptible.

In short this is basically Sir Francis Galton all over again, except without even the numbers to back it up really.

201

Hector_St_Clare 01.15.14 at 1:37 pm

Yods,

I think gender role belief is heritable, I just don’t think asking people about their beliefs on gender roles is a good way to assess their beliefs on gender roles.

202

Ed Herdman 01.15.14 at 1:39 pm

But don’t you have some scruples against using whatever materials are handy to try and convince others of your case, even if you don’t know yourself why it is you believe what you believe?

203

Hector_St_Clare 01.15.14 at 1:40 pm

Yods,

In any case, I don’t use Evo psych to justify flashing duckpics, nor (I suspect) do many of its proponents, so I don’t see why Evo psych is even relevant here. It’s like tarring communists in Cuba for crimes that Stalin did before most of them were alive in another continent.

204

Lee A. Arnold 01.15.14 at 1:40 pm

Hector St. Clare, would you please provide a link to a study which finds that women deliberately choose men with lower testosterone levels for childbearing? I cannot find this result. Thanks!

205

Katherine 01.15.14 at 1:40 pm

Ed, fair enough, I misunderstood.

Hector, I am entirely uninterested in having any conversation with you.

206

Yods 01.15.14 at 1:41 pm

I haven’t mentioned evo-psych, I’m just replying to the study you posted.
Which does not say what you claim it does.

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Niall McAuley 01.15.14 at 1:43 pm

Yods writes: Hector, either you believe your own cited study or you don’t.

If evo-psych is phrenology, Hector is a retrophrenologist.

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Mao Cheng Ji 01.15.14 at 1:49 pm

Well, to be fair, an attitude towards something is different from the thing itself. I suppose it’s possible for a person to a have a negative attitude towards separate gender roles while being hardwired to follow his or her gender role.

In any case, frankly, I can’t imagine how an attitude can be heritable. Rather, I imagine, it’s something like introversion that can be heritable, which might lead to conformism, which would lead to accepting traditional attitudes. Something like that.

209

MPAVictoria 01.15.14 at 1:54 pm

” so I don’t see why Evo psych is even relevant here.”

Then what the hell are you posting about?

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Hector_St_Clare 01.15.14 at 1:56 pm

I also was told over lunch by a very esteemed evolutionary biologist, who’s written a textbook on evolution, that he has a hunch women are naturally more into babies than men, for biological reasons.

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Yods 01.15.14 at 1:58 pm

“I also was told over lunch by a very esteemed evolutionary biologist, who’s written a textbook on evolution, that he has a hunch women are naturally more into babies than men, for biological reasons.”

What does that have to do with anything?
And is some (unnamed) guy’s hunch the best you’ve got?

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Mao Cheng Ji 01.15.14 at 2:03 pm

Not a single appearance of ‘mansplaining’ in the whole thread. I don’t believe it. What does a man have to do to qualify, these days? Or has it morphed into ‘evo-psych’? I feel nostalgic already.

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Ed Herdman 01.15.14 at 2:03 pm

Mao, the problem with Hector is that he believes something totally different from what he cited there. So yeah, it’s maybe fair game to say that you have a ‘strong suspicion’ that this-or-that is true, but how can we use science if our reasons basically boil down to compound anecdotes and self-selected self-reports?

About your second point, I think it’s relatively straightforward to say that certain traits can increase the tendency towards holding beliefs in a certain spectrum (if not in immediate details). This being said with the

Random thought on the topic:

It is interesting to note that a lot of people assume what is clearly functional – being “first to the prize” – is inseparable from what is not so clearly functional – using various behaviors in mysterious ways to try and impress the female. This is especially true on the rather socially-impoverished and lonesome person-to-person interaction of a website.

There are a lot of bad behavior apologists out there who appeal to manliness and machismo to say that “look, you need to be aggressive (and if nothing else you will gross all the other guys into fleeing / having heart attacks so that you’re the last person standing).” It’s appealing enough but not really related to what is actually doing the work here – especially in the modern context where we have a long tradition of emphasizing good behavior, common (though not universal) family-mediated courtships and the like. Yes, change is scary and nobody wants selection to be the result of a computer-optimized selection process, with every male’s balls shrinking down to nothing from the lack of competition. That said, I can’t shake the feeling that enough is enough – and there is also really is no reason to believe these beliefs are as functional as some people think. I think there’s even a possibility that these guys end up selecting in dysfunctional ways (from the standpoint of “did you have offspring”).

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Ed Herdman 01.15.14 at 2:08 pm

@ Hector St. Clare:

Sarah Blaffer Hrdy has a “hunch” that the tendency for bonds to be strongest between infants and their mothers is the result of proximity, not genetics. At the very least, it’s a competing hypothesis and we have no means of testing it because you won’t sign onto a standard of evidence for determining what is true and what is false.

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Mao Cheng Ji 01.15.14 at 2:09 pm

“…not so clearly functional – using various behaviors in mysterious ways to try and impress the female. This is especially true on the rather socially-impoverished and lonesome person-to-person interaction of a website.”

Right, social atomization has to play a big role here.

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Chris Armstrong 01.15.14 at 2:11 pm

In reference to the question someone asked a while back (‘how on earth do you block *all* of these idiots? There are just…so *many* of them!), my friend invented a thing called the BlockBot (blockbot.com) for Twitter, which essentially is a massive list of trolls and other assorted idiots, and in signing up for the bot, it means that the aforementioned people a) cannot contact you, and b) are not informed that their comments are not reaching you (and, therefore, that they have been blocked). And it gets updated a lot, as the aforementioned people find new names.

This is only for Twitter, as I say. I guess each medium could do with its own version. The list of people blocked would be long, even though the list, currently, concentrates largely on people who make threats of violence every time someone (usually female) says something even remotely egalitarian or progressive or even liberal. Or anything, to be honest. My friend, naturally, has attracted many such threats himself, as well as various legal overtures, but the project seems to be working in a small way. Not well enough to stop many women leaving Twitter, I understand, but it makes the day go slightly less shittily.

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Lynne 01.15.14 at 2:13 pm

Belle @ 128:

“Finally, I’m surprised that no one aside from the initial commenters were surprised that someone said something so gross to me in a political argument?”

It’s a couple of years since I read Sady Doyle talking about the threats she received regularly, of rape and death, including from some evidence that the threatener knew who she was and where she lived. She may have linked to some other columnists writing about the same thing—I read quite a bit more at that time and you bet I was surprised. I was gob-smacked, horrified, dumbfounded….it was, to say the very least, eye-opening. These women were talking about the threats as awful but routine. What really freaked them out was the times men actually mentioned their (the women’s) addresses or some other personal detail that wasn’t up for public consumption, showing they had done their homework (which is to say the threatener had stalked them.)

So I wasn’t surprised by your statement, but I am certainly sorry it happened. And you say nine days ago you received a rape threat?! That is just terrible. I am so sorry.

I admire women who keep on posting in sites where these threats happen. I don’t do so myself (but I should! At least sometimes.) The broader issue that concerns me is how this environment silences a huge whack of the population, like half. Not that all women are silenced, evidently, but many are. We are, shall we say, under-represented.

Years ago I was walking in a Take Back the Night March. It wasn’t a big march. There were people on the sidewalks along the way. We were chanting I forget what when a man on the sidewalk stepped toward me and said, “Have YOU been raped?” If I had said “No,” I suppose the implication was that I had no business on the march. If I had said “Yes”…what then? I believe from his jeering tone that he would have enjoyed that.

Not saying he had raped anyone himself, necessarily, but the idea of my being raped didn’t seem to dismay him.

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Hector_St_Clare 01.15.14 at 2:15 pm

Ed Herdman,

I’ll concede that perhaps the case for some of my beliefs is not as strong as I’d like, and maybe I should refrain from calling them facts.

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Sumana Harihareswara 01.15.14 at 2:16 pm

Chris Armstrong, is your friend’s project theblockbot.com ?

220

Ed Herdman 01.15.14 at 2:18 pm

@ Hector: There is of course something melancholy about having to admit it, but I’m glad you took the step. I hope that there’s more helpful measures of these questions in our future – but until then we have to be careful.

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Hector_St_Clare 01.15.14 at 2:19 pm

Belle Waring,

I also think it’s outrageous that you got the velvety mouth threat and the rape threat, I wanted to go one record as saying that. In spite of our political disagreements.

222

Belle Waring 01.15.14 at 2:29 pm

Mao Cheng Ji: “Not a single appearance of ‘mansplaining’ in the whole thread. I don’t believe it.” Don’t be so self-deprecating, Mao. You’ve been splendid. The other male commenters are sometimes loath to mansplain in a thread, lest you shown them up–I know this because the lurkers tell me so in email. Really! Don’t hide your light under a bushel. After all, Hector has taken the light of his mansplaining out from under his bushel, built a massive pyre made from the beams in his own eyes and the straw from his countless, poorly-constructed straw-feminists, and lit the whole thing ablaze, so that it can be seen for miles around. It’s like Burning Man for sexist Anglicans who have internalized pro-colonial attitudes, and the self-doubt and constant anxiety about social status associated with them.
[HStC: this be pretty cold and all, and in truth I am fond of you in my way (as is not the case with the Chairman here), but you could be less irritating, you know. The power is in your own hands. Why don't you give up trolling us for Lent?]

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Hector_St_Clare 01.15.14 at 2:34 pm

Belle Warring,

I think I will take you up on your suggestion, and at least try to be a bit less abrasive. Again, sorry about your experiences.

224

Mao Cheng Ji 01.15.14 at 2:40 pm

Another one bits the dust.

225

Hector_St_Clare 01.15.14 at 2:46 pm

Re: Is it the sort where one party spends rather more…. freely…. than the other party? Please elaborate, HSC.

Not on the site per se, but I’d certainly *expect*, in any relationship, to be spending more money. I’m explicitly looking for a relationship where I’m providing for/taking care of someone financially, and thereby fulfilling the traditional gender role that I aspire to, so I’m only really looking for a girl who’s into that, and I’d like to screen out anyone who has more modernist ideals.

226

matttbastard 01.15.14 at 3:00 pm

Hmmmm. Jezebel can be excellent, but it is trolled by such a dedicated, ad-hoc band of MRAs, PUAs and evo-psych douchecanoues that comments are unfortunately often crashed, hard, every single thread.

Good thing CT doesn’t have that problem amirite?

227

Belle Waring 01.15.14 at 3:03 pm

Thank you Hector, I appreciate the sympathy.

228

MPAVictoria 01.15.14 at 3:08 pm

“Good thing CT doesn’t have that problem amirite?”

Actually I would say that CT has some of the best comments on the interwebs. Sure there are a few special cases but people are mostly polite and I often learn as much from the comments as I do from the (usually excellent!) main posts.

229

Belle Waring 01.15.14 at 3:12 pm

matttbastard: yessss, lucky in that respect, aren’t we. But luckily it’s only when we post about anything tangentially related to feminism so it never really affects m– oh. Oh, yeah, no, it does kind of suck. To be fair the the Crooked Timber commentariat, it’s not as though any of them has ever threatened to rape me! No, fuck, hahaha, that’s not even 100% true either! LOL. Someone did send me a sexually threatening email one time. Like four years ago or something. He dropped off the face of the blog though, and so I never really had to deal with banning him. And do you know what? I didn’t tell my fellow bloggers about it because I was embarrassed. :-( I would have asked for help from Kieran to ban his IP address if it had kept up but it was a one-off thing and he never really commented again (as that person, anyway). I didn’t even tell John. I guess I was traveling in the US with the kids and he was here in Singapore. Not that that’s a particularly good reason at all.

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matttbastard 01.15.14 at 3:25 pm

Actually I would say that CT has some of the best comments on the interwebs.

I would contend that, for political-ish sites, TNC sets the standard. Compared to his (*heavily* moderated) comment threads, CT comments, quite often (eg, when icky giirrrrllllssss post about icky girrrrrllll stuff) almost unreadable.

Unless you find Hector’s incessent trolling (SPECIAL CASES!) to be an example of ‘the best’ that the interwebs have to offer.

Belle: Do you happen to have a reliably manly man’s testimony to cite that could corroborate your totes unlikely story?

Pls & thx.

231

MPAVictoria 01.15.14 at 3:25 pm

“To be fair the the Crooked Timber commentariat, it’s not as though any of them has ever threatened to rape me! No, fuck, hahaha, that’s not even 100% true either! “

Now that makes me very, very sad. I am sorry Belle.

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matttbastard 01.15.14 at 3:25 pm

*are almost unreadable.

233

MPAVictoria 01.15.14 at 3:30 pm

“I would contend that, for political-ish sites, TNC sets the standard. Compared to his (*heavily* moderated) comment threads, CT comments, quite often (eg, when icky giirrrrllllssss post about icky girrrrrllll stuff) almost unreadable.”

I don’t read the comments at TNC so I really cannot comment on that. I will say that in my experience CT has a large number of excellent commentors. Of course it isn’t perfect but it is FAR better than average.

“Unless you find Hector’s incessent trolling (SPECIAL CASES!) to be an example of ‘the best’ that the interwebs have to offer”
Ummm… I think my comment makes it clear that I don’t. What part of “special cases” don’t you understand?

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Hector_St_Clare 01.15.14 at 3:35 pm

I occasionally drop in at TNC, but usually leave in disgust. The place is an echo chamber that polices itself with the most annoying kind of hipster political correctness, and most of the talk that goes on about race, colonialism, etc. is just hilariously wrong.

Rod Dreher has excellent comments, with minimal moderation (though he does weed out abusive material).

235

Lynne 01.15.14 at 3:35 pm

“To be fair the the Crooked Timber commentariat, it’s not as though any of them has ever threatened to rape me! No, fuck, hahaha, that’s not even 100% true either! LOL. Someone did send me a sexually threatening email one time.”

Oh, Belle. That makes me sad. Here I’m moseying along, mostly lurking at CT and you have had a completely different experience than I have had, or that I’ve seen you have even with the GRR Martin thread.

236

GiT 01.15.14 at 3:40 pm

I continue to find Cosma’s piece on heritability useful:

“If you’ve taken any kind of statistics course at all, what I’ve just said may be enough to give you an idea of how to figure out heritability: identify the relevant environmental variables, measure them, regress the trait on them, and figure that the residual variance has to be genetic. Many people, I find, have the impression that heritability studies control for the environment, in the sense of regression…. [T]he procedure is vastly more indirect and model-dependent [for humans, as compared to plants/animals], which matters a lot when evaluating the results, as we’ll see.

Supposing that we somehow learn the genetic variance, the usual next step is to split it into two uncorrelated components, one associated with the distinct, additive contribution of each individual gene to the trait (“additive genetic variance”), and one associated with specific combinations of genes…. The ratio of additive genetic variance to total trait variance is the “strict” or “narrow”, as opposed to the earlier “broad” heritability.

Implicit in the last steps is the assumption that the value of the trait is, in each organism, just the sum of a genetic contribution and an environmental one, i.e., that there is no interaction between the relevant genes and the relevant environments; also the assumption that the genetic contribution to the trait is completely uncorrelated with the environmental contribution. If these assumptions fail, one can still calculate heritability-like quantities, somewhat like in the simple analyses of variance, which can play similar roles in some evolutionary calculations, but they become strongly context-dependent, so it no longer makes any sense to speak of the heritability of a trait….

Saying a trait is highly heritable is saying that, in a given distribution of genotypes and environments, most of the variance in that trait is associated with genetic differences. Maybe the most important point I’ll make here is that this is not the same most of the value of the trait being genetically controlled…. Similarly, heritability says nothing about malleability, about how much or how easily the trait changes in response to environmental manipulations: heritability is defined with respect to a given distribution of environments, and does not predict the response to environmental changes….

What heritability does predict is the response to selection, in a constant distribution of environments…. The response to selection, the phenotypic change in the next generation, will be large if the selection pressure, the trait’s variance, and the trait’s heritability are all high, assuming that the distribution of environments is held fixed and uncorrelated with genotype.”

go here for more: vserver1.cscs.lsa.umich.edu/~crshalizi/weblog/520.html

Also, one should note from Hector’s study:

“It is also worth noting that nonshared environmental factors (i.e., unique experiences of each member of a twin pair) were the most powerful contributors to variability in both sets of items. The other nonattitude items (athleticism, attractiveness, academic achievement) also yielded high e2, with the exception of level of completed education.”

So, in other words, the strongest driver of variation in attitudes is making different choices for oneself and being treated differently by others. As Shalizi puts the point about malleability:

“Does a trait’s heritability tells us anything about its malleability, about how easy it is to change the trait with environmental manipulations? The answer is “no, of course not”, even assuming (1) the basic biometric model holds, and (2) we are talking about true heritability and not biased-to-nonsensical estimated heritabilities.”

And to develop an earlier point: when we talk about ‘heritability’ we’re talking about explaining variance. Doesn’t tell us why the base rates are what they are.

In Eastern Europe, pro-Abortion attitudes are 80/20 for. Here in the US it’s 50/50 or whatever. It might very well be that the variation, in both cases, is explained 50% by genetics. But why is the base rate 80 in EE and 50 in the USA? You think that’s best explained by genetics and evolutionary pressure on attitudes, or by political development? I mean, natural selection pressure seems prima facie ridiculous as a causal mechanism here, but maybe I’m missing something.

I have no idea why we’re even on this topic for this thread, so sorry for that and hopefully the quotes don’t take up too much space.

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matttbastard 01.15.14 at 3:55 pm

Of course it isn’t perfect but it is FAR better than average.

“Better than average” is faint praise when the baseline comparison is so low. 2 or 3 ‘special cases’ can easily dominate and derail a discussion, no matter how great the majority of commentors may be (case in point: um, this thread). While I agree that CT at times indeed enjoys “some of the best comments on the interwebs,” one regularly has to sift wheat from chaff in order to find them. And that process can be extremely tedious on threads where the signal to noise ratio is so unbalanced.

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Belle Waring 01.15.14 at 4:02 pm

I think most women bloggers have people men say some pretty awful things to them at some point, not that that makes it so all-fired awesome. But it is lame that I didn’t tell anyone, actually, now that I think about it. And now I feel kind of embarrassed about that too, like I should have done something better.
TNC’s comments are very good in some ways, because he is so heavily and personally involved in modding them, kind of like Making Light used to be (but I haven’t read it in quite a while so I’m not sure how it’s faring.) In both cases there’s also a praetorian guard of commenters who tell people to shut up when they say awful things. I must shockingly agree slightly with Hector and say that TNC’s comments can veer into the self-congratulatory vein of politico-esthetical agreement. And, as much praise as Coates deserves for his writing, which is a lot, because he is an excellent writer and a vivid storyteller and just an interesting person, the degree of praise he gets on his own blog can be a little much to my taste. But it would be hard for him to tell people to tone that down, that’s really all on the commenters. Unfogged is the other ‘has the best comments on the interwebs,’ and has the decentralized model of “large ad-hoc group of dedicated and entirely pseudonymous commenters give you shit until you either run away or become more interesting.” Or alternately, the “you are either so baffled by the in-group jokes that you stick around to figure out what the hell is going on, or you are so baffled by the in-group jokes that you say, fuck this, and go away” model. Readers interested in checking Unfogged out may be interested to know that the pseudonym “Wry Cooter” is still available.

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mattski 01.15.14 at 4:03 pm

Finally, I’m surprised that no one aside from the initial commenters were surprised that someone said something so gross to me in a political argument?

This is absurdly tardy, but I found that anecdote so gobsmackingly disgusting that I said nothing. Certainly the sort of behavior that, in my imperfect universe, merits a left hook to the proboscis.

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bexley 01.15.14 at 4:03 pm

The place is an echo chamber that polices itself with the most annoying kind of hipster political correctness

Damn those hipsters with their silly clothes, facial hair and political correctness.

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Ronan(rf) 01.15.14 at 4:07 pm

Yeah, not that it matters I guess, but I have to agree with all the pushback TNC’s comments are getting — which are awful to my mind. Which is a pity as he’s an always interesting, self critical writer himself

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Hector_St_Clare 01.15.14 at 4:07 pm

Belle,

I think Coates has an interesting life story and is clearly smart and an excellent writer, but I disagree so strongly with the content of most of what he says that I can’t deal with it for long.

Missed this, though:

Re: “I don’t think he means thirty and fifty, guys.”

No, I don’t.

243

Chris Armstrong 01.15.14 at 4:10 pm

Sumana @ 218 – yes, that’s it. He’s an old school friend who has had an interest in atheist debates for a long time, which debates attract their fair share of (religion-defending) crazies. Now the bot is mainly used for the kind of reasons Belle is talking about.

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matttbastard 01.15.14 at 4:11 pm

TNC’s comments are very good in some ways, because he is so heavily and personally involved in modding them… .

Which, I acknowledge, is a lot easier to do when you are paid to do so. Alas, hobby bloggers doin’ it solely for the love/affirmation don’t always have the luxury of ample free time to mod on top of producing content, as I’m sure you are all too aware. (BTW, TNH is now modding comments at Boing Boing, because Xeni & co. wanted to replicate the ML model. So far, it seems to be working). As for hipster amen choruses, I’ve found that there’s a lot more pushback at TNC’s pad as of late, especially since TNC has been throwing racial pipe bombs with less restraint (and good on him for that).

Anyway, has the hive mind ever considered enlisting some of their trusted, dedicated commenters in a mod capacity to keep the oh-so special cases from Hectoring threads to death?

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mattski 01.15.14 at 4:13 pm

***Also too: There are a lot of angry, inept and lonely men in this world. They show up disproportionately on dating sites. No surprise there. Their behavior is abysmal, and it sucks.

But, speaking from a male perspective, I think dating sites are useful. I know couples–happy couples–who have met that way. I have had successful, respectful long term relationships with women I’ve met this way. And god knows, it’s hard enough to meet people in our society.

From my experience the key to online dating is patience. It is necessary to put up with many bad dates to get to a good one. Just the way it is.

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matttbastard 01.15.14 at 4:13 pm

I suppose it depends on what you’re looking for in a comment thread. Some of us find endlessly combative give and take to be tedious.

Then again, some of us aren’t philosophers.

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Phil 01.15.14 at 4:14 pm

We were chanting I forget what when a man on the sidewalk stepped toward me and said, “Have YOU been raped?” If I had said “No,” I suppose the implication was that I had no business on the march. If I had said “Yes”…what then? I believe from his jeering tone that he would have enjoyed that.

Ow.

I keep flashing back to the way Germaine Greer put it: “Women have no idea how much men hate them.” I think there’s a deep truth to that, even if it’s not necessarily true that each individual man is a woman-hater. It’s as if misogyny is an energy-source for men – we don’t have to tap into it, & we can go years without doing so, but when we do (and get away with it) we get an instant power-boost, or status-boost. (Compare racism.)

And if it’s not an individual hatred on the men’s side, it’s not (necessarily) hatred of individual women, either. The guy metaphorically wiping his feet on a woman isn’t doing it because he hates her personally – he’s doing it because he wants to feel better, and he despises her as a woman enough to use her in that way. It’s not so much an attack on her personhood, more a denial that she has any personhood to be attacked.

248

Lee A. Arnold 01.15.14 at 4:14 pm

Hector St. Clare, do you know of a study which establishes that women deliberately choose men with lower testosterone levels for childbearing? I would hate to think that I cannot trust anything you say.

249

MPAVictoria 01.15.14 at 4:16 pm

“And that process can be extremely tedious on threads where the signal to noise ratio is so unbalanced.”
I simply disagree. However I respect that everyone is going to have a different experience.

250

JanieM 01.15.14 at 4:19 pm

I’m with matttbastard. It’s just not worth it a lot of the time anymore.

But I’m not asking for my subscription $ back. ;-)

251

MPAVictoria 01.15.14 at 4:20 pm

“you are either so baffled by the in-group jokes that you stick around to figure out what the hell is going on, or you are so baffled by the in-group jokes that you say, fuck this, and go away”

This is exactly how the comments at Atrios’s blog always feel to me. They might be great but I am on the outside looking in.

Balloon Juice and LGM also tend to have pretty good comments and a real sense of community.

252

Hector_St_Clare 01.15.14 at 4:25 pm

253

Substance McGravitas 01.15.14 at 4:35 pm

Thanks Chris Armstrong, good to know. Surely the blockbot or iterations of it will expand, and like the various adblockers become cross-site tools.

254

a.y.mous 01.15.14 at 4:41 pm

I saw ”sexist Anglicans” and just had to comment. No, I have not been AWOL!

Hector in no way is an Anglican. I am itching to out him. His profile had been published by him, earlier here on CT, by himself, under a different pseudonym. His denomination is a very privileged and extremely inbred one, though.

Sorry Belle for the really disgusting experience you had, recently. Implementor rationalization apart, no excuse for anyone to be a recipient of such reprehensible behaviour.

On the subject, having watched the online society grow over the past decades, it is surprising to see so many of you being surprised. Anonymity is a powerful tool for, as has been coined, an NSA-anything. Bad behaviour foremost amongst them. The kind of ASCII images I’ve had the misfortune of viewing is unerasable from memory. Dick pics are nothing compared to them.

What has not been spoken of is comparable abuse of anonymity by women. They do exist. Particularly in the sexual oriented parts of the Internet. Age may be a factor, but any lady here who can confirm this independent of my assertion? Anonymously, of course.

255

Hector_St_Clare 01.15.14 at 4:44 pm

A_y_mous,

No, I’m an Anglican, of sorts, and I haven’t had any other pseudonyms here. Which one are you thinking of?

256

Mao Cheng Ji 01.15.14 at 4:47 pm

Phil 246 “It’s not so much an attack on her personhood, more a denial that she has any personhood to be attacked.”

Where do you get all this? I have a completely different impression. Typically, people get angry at each other and they insult each other. At some point they get exasperated, and then they go for the most insulting words they can think of. Here you’ll get miscegenistic, racial, and other slurs. Not an attack on the personhood, or denial of personhood, but an equivalent of a punch in the face, in the heat of the moment. True, they do it because they want to feel better, but what’s the evidence that they don’t immediately regret it? I would like to think that they do.

257

Katherine 01.15.14 at 4:55 pm

I’ve quit reading CT once before because of comments, at the time when Zombie Economics was being done – not because of that, I hasten to add! I was really enjoying that, and was very sad to quit. But I’d had enough.

I was quite pleased to return later and find some things had improved. And I’m mentally stronger when it comes to dealing with that sh*t now.

258

Ed Herdman 01.15.14 at 4:59 pm

re moderation: Supposedly user-moderating…er, “user-curated” comments can work, but then again people always seem to choose the weirdest stuff to vote up or down, unless there’s a clear good thing / bad thing to root for or against which everybody rallies around. Doing philosophy by vote seems…well, I don’t know, but surely it would be a laugh to find out how many people lurk the comments and have their favorites, at least!

So far that argument has mainly been “we need to chain the peons to slosh through all this garbage they upload,” an economic one, but with the right core of users it might work out, maybe.

259

MPAVictoria 01.15.14 at 5:01 pm

Mao at 255

So your argument is basically that they don’t really mean it? Really?

260

a.y.mous 01.15.14 at 5:01 pm

HstC, if you did not have any other handles here, then, sorry. But, somehow I’m still convinced you were someone else. Will take your word this one time. No on sharing which one I have in mind.

261

Hector_St_Clare 01.15.14 at 5:09 pm

Ed,

Doesn’t your estimation of moderation quality depend partly on your ideological viewpoint? Like, no doubt many of the ideas you want to see filtered out of the comment sections are because you don’t agree with them? as do I, of course, but which ideas we would like to see excluded is going to differ.

262

Lee A. Arnold 01.15.14 at 5:12 pm

Hector #251 — Those are iffy results, because testosterone in that case is a conjecture. Instead, you would need to research women who already have many children, and then analyze the photos of their husband’s faces at the time of the wedding. On the other hand, young women asked on a experimental questionnaire about the future of having children will think of their own successful fathers and uncles, who would have experienced a large drop (indeed a 50% drop?) in testosterone during child-rearing, which softens the male faces. We know for sure that young women in the real dating market are usually sexually attracted to high-testosterone male faces, which then soften later during child-rearing.

But this is a ridiculous way to worry about your own looks, because evo ain’t everything.

However, how this relates to Paul’s injunction to the Ephesians that wives should be subordinate in all things to their husbands, is also rather questionable.

263

Hector_St_Clare 01.15.14 at 5:21 pm

Lee Arnold,

Women’s preference for masculinized vs less masculinized faces varies depending on different stages of their cycles, actually, it’s not as simple as saying ‘young women in the dating market’ like one kind of face vs. another. It also varies depending on disease load in the society, possibly the economic basis of the society, and other things. I don’t see why it’s implausible what this study says, that women with a focus on childrearing tend to prefer the less masculinized face.

264

Mao Cheng Ji 01.15.14 at 5:22 pm

@258, I didn’t make an argument, it’s just my personal impression. When I’m insulted, I don’t immediately assume a pathology in the aggressor, which is what Phil described. Nor do I essentialize the aggressor based on gender or race. Just another human being, annoyed at me for some reason, and acting like most annoyed human beings act.

265

MPAVictoria 01.15.14 at 5:41 pm

” Just another human being, annoyed at me for some reason, and acting like most annoyed human beings act.”

If they are annoyed why not reach for other insults? Doesn’t it say something that the person decided to use racist/sexist language? I mean you annoy me all the time but I don’t start hurling racist slurs your way.

266

godoggo 01.15.14 at 5:55 pm

Just for future reference, though, Mao, what race are you?

267

Mao Cheng Ji 01.15.14 at 5:56 pm

“Doesn’t it say something that the person decided to use racist/sexist language?”

That the person is flying off the handle, and that the place is not well-moderated.

268

Ed Herdman 01.15.14 at 5:56 pm

@ Hector: Well, there’s two axes here: Ideology and severity (of moderation). Having some kind of ideological bent is pretty much a given on any website that has any human oversight at all. This can be counteracted (or strengthened, as a tendency) depending on how involved you like the moderation.

Personally, I would like to see something a bit different from the YouTubes and Reddits which basically allow users to single out posts while burying others. Singling out posts for praise is OK – I would like to be able to find those posts with ease.

Probably, in even the most busy CT comments thread, there simply isn’t enough critical mass to make it any more useful than just throwing extra highlighter markers on the same old passages we’re familiar with, though. To understand these discussions you still probably have to read all the responses, so anything that gets in the way of that could be a problem. It would be nice to have some kind of tags (if people used them well enough) to be able to sort out the reply chains, maybe, but again this could also end up being inconvenient depending on implementation and how much people use it.

Also, I’ll say that I recall hearing about one of the things Hector is mentioning here – women’s preference for male faces (which, by the way, you’d want to test for immediately after a woman has made a choice – easy enough to do in a lab session, not at a wedding at a moment that a person’s preference at that moment may not be reflected in their new spouse’s face) being influenced by the reproductive cycle did get mentioned somewhere in the media in the last 10 years or so, although again I am thinking more cautiously now about how we treat individual study results.

The study I’m thinking of probably found a correlation between women’s ranking of men along the continuum of how muscular / slender a they looked (or possibly even personality types), and where a woman was in the reproductive cycle, if that’s any help. I’m not going to bat for its truthiness right this instant, though…

269

Ed Herdman 01.15.14 at 5:58 pm

Somebody correct me if I’m wrong, but wasn’t it Oscar the Grouch who said “Power comes out of the banhammer?” More muscular moderation for everyone! *ineffectual Ron Paul celebratory hand-waving pose*

270

MPAVictoria 01.15.14 at 6:02 pm

“That the person is flying off the handle, and that the place is not well-moderated.”

Does it only and always say that?

271

Mao Cheng Ji 01.15.14 at 6:02 pm

Today I feel a bit like a Louisiana Creole. Because earlier, after someone upthread criticized Lizzie Miles’ French, I read something about various Louisiana dialects.

272

Hector_St_Clare 01.15.14 at 6:02 pm

MPA Victoria and godoggo,

You can call me a wog if you like. unfortunately, English has a notorious dearth of slurs for my racial group.

273

Witt 01.15.14 at 6:08 pm

I have to admit I find it a bit bewildering to see the kind of praise for CT comments that comes out upthread. My experience of CT comments is about 15:1 useful:notuseful (which on any site is enough to keep reading, and why I’ve stuck around this long).

The problem is that every so often the ratio on a given thread balloons to 45:1 or so, and many of those 45 end up being a tedious re-statement of the ways in which women are less-than.

I wouldn’t mind a bit more assertive cutoff of commenters who are spending a lot of oxygen on non-abstract theories that actually affect actual human beings. Call it the bartender model. You’ve had enough, I’m cutting you off.

Shorter me: The fact that CT comments are relatively good does not make them absolutely good.

274

Witt 01.15.14 at 6:09 pm

Whoops, that would be 15:1 notuseful:useful. The reverse would be truly amazing, and I have not seen it yet in my 24 years online.

275

Plume 01.15.14 at 6:09 pm

I didn’t read through all the comments, so apologies if this has already been posted. A radio article on the above subject from the On Point (NPR) folks today:

http://onpoint.wbur.org/2014/01/15/women-internet-harassment-safety

276

MPAVictoria 01.15.14 at 6:23 pm

“Whoops, that would be 15:1 notuseful:useful. The reverse would be truly amazing, and I have not seen it yet in my 24 years online.”

Obviously everyone has different experiences and expectations but I find the quality of comments to be much, much higher than you. Of course maybe I am just more easily impressed.

277

MPAVictoria 01.15.14 at 6:24 pm

“You can call me a wog if you like. unfortunately, English has a notorious dearth of slurs for my racial group.”

I wouldn’t call you that Hector because I believe that one shouldn’t use racial slurs.

278

godoggo 01.15.14 at 6:36 pm

Hector, I believe paki also applies.

279

godoggo 01.15.14 at 6:41 pm

So that’s one more. Thought it would please you.

280

Plume 01.15.14 at 6:45 pm

Apparently, scientologists call non-scientologists “wogs.” Sounds a bit like “muggle” in Harry Potter.

281

Mao Cheng Ji 01.15.14 at 7:05 pm

Hector, a British friend told me that ‘wog’ is absolutely a taboo word there. And that is where this website probably is, according to the clock. And it’s bad for us to break taboos, since we are but small-minded petty bourgeois.

282

Ed Herdman 01.15.14 at 7:05 pm

Better a wog than a repressive, I guess.

@ Witt: I like that bartender model. It’s always good to remind myself not to write too much.

283

Hector_St_Clare 01.15.14 at 7:19 pm

Re: I had an okcupid profile for a little bit and got a message from a man who was 33, far outside my age range of 18-23. I told him in my first message that he was far outside my range and not my type, but he seemed nice so I was willing to chat a little bit platonically

I’ve never gotten this. Like, I have unusual (= out of the norm) age preferences in terms of what I’m looking for in a partner, as well as out of the norm preferences in a lot of other ways, but I take people’s stated preferences at face value. If someone is categorically not interested in dating my age range, then what’s the point of trying to convince them otherwise? It’s a big world, with three and a half billion women in it, and I don’t see the point of wasting their time, or mine.

Of course, maybe some of these guys are really more interested in trolling than in looking for a date, so that could explain it, I guess.

284

Hector_St_Clare 01.15.14 at 7:20 pm

Mao Cheng,

Well, I’m a wog, so I can use the term (and do).

285

Ronan(rf) 01.15.14 at 7:28 pm

Well I’m with MPA I guess, in general.
I mean bartenders manipulate their enviornment, water down drinks, kick you out, advertise happy hour, give you a free drink so on and so forth..so using that analogy sure, if you post a short something about that dude from that duck show who said something racist you’re going to get 500 not exactely mensa level comments.
If you write something thoughtful and more specific (no offense to J Holbo’s post btw) then you’ll get a better class of comments.
I guess it’s a case of being selective in what one reads and responds to. If one was to pay any particular attention to Mao or Hector’s general theories of everything, well then thats on them, I guess..

286

MPAVictoria 01.15.14 at 7:35 pm

“Hector, a British friend told me that ‘wog’ is absolutely a taboo word there. And that is where this website probably is, according to the clock. And it’s bad for us to break taboos, since we are but small-minded petty bourgeois.”

“Help! Help! I am being oppressed.”

287

Mao Cheng Ji 01.15.14 at 7:37 pm

I didn’t know I had any general theories of everything. What do they sound like?

288

The Raven 01.15.14 at 7:40 pm

The people who do these things, who send the dickpics and so on—they are at least wannabe rapists. Like most real-life rapists, they are opportunists. I suspect they just hit on as many women as they can, as fast they can. I wonder how many of them are rapists in the physical world.

There are perhaps not that many of them proportionately (at least, I would like to hope so) but there are enough to pollute any open forum. And this brings us around to the problem of forum management. A free site either can’t afford or doesn’t want to spend the money (but, likely, it is can’t afford: this takes real human time and a lot of it) to police itself adequately to ID and shut down the trolls, while at the same time maintaining the privacy of its participants.

289

Hector_St_Clare 01.15.14 at 7:46 pm

Re: “Help! Help! I am being oppressed.”

Eh?

290

MPAVictoria 01.15.14 at 7:46 pm

291

ambzone 01.15.14 at 8:18 pm

@MPAVictoria

My own experience with Balloon Juice comments is that they’re positively necrotized with Blue Dog Obamabots. They hunker down further and further after every Obama drone strike or Obama spying scandal.

292

MPAVictoria 01.15.14 at 8:34 pm

“My own experience with Balloon Juice comments is that they’re positively necrotized with Blue Dog Obamabots. They hunker down further and further after every Obama drone strike or Obama spying scandal.”

Eh. I would use the term partisan democrats rather than Obamabots but you make a good point.

I guess I just really like the sense of community there (though I almost never post) and I love the, very rough around the edges, founder John Cole and all of his crazy pet related posts.

293

js. 01.15.14 at 8:36 pm

I’m surprised that no one aside from the initial commenters were surprised that someone said something so gross to me in a political argument

It’s hard to know how to even respond to this—that is to the original mention of the harassment, not this particular sentence. On the one hand, it’s so unbelievably horrific (and along the lines of what Phil said @246). On the other hand, having read about the consistent online harassment of bloggers who are women, it is sadly not surprising.

(Unrelatedly: GiT, that CS piece is really excellent—cheers.)

294

godoggo 01.15.14 at 8:47 pm

#287 this makes me think of a guy I knew who hit on pretty much every half-decent-looking female he knew by slipping “I really want to have sex with you” into conversations at opportune moments, and managed to do this without causing any apparent social friction, let alone face slapping or the like, regardless of his success or failure in a given case. His secret seemed to be his extremely relaxed manner, which he claimed he was able to maintain by regularly ingesting a large quantity of pills supplied by and individual he referred to as “Dr. Feelgood,” and suggested I do the same. Also he knew how to say “You are very beautiful” in every language. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that he was Croatian.

295

Plume 01.15.14 at 8:59 pm

@MPAV 292,

Picking nits here:

We all, hopefully, are “democrats.” Personally, I would prefer it if all true lefties left the “Democrats” in order to make the Greens a truly viable political entity/option. Or, to at least establish a serious one-two punch that could defeat the Republicans and the right and enact truly leftist legislation — on the way toward a more serious change/alternative.

296

mattski 01.15.14 at 9:00 pm

Approaching 300 comments so I hope some liberties are in order:

Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that he was Croatian.

When I was very young I had the opportunity to work alongside a Croation cabinetmaker. He was a brilliant craftsman. After producing yet another perfect joint in walnut or teak or some exotic wood he would say, “look at this joint, tight like frogs ass… water tight.”

He also had the habit of saying, “Matt. I’m going to fuck you in the ass.”

Just saying.

297

Layman 01.15.14 at 9:12 pm

“I’m surprised that no one aside from the initial commenters were surprised that someone said something so gross to me in a political argument.”

I’m sorry people do these things to people, but I can’t say I’m surprised by it. There are lots of bad people out there, and only social convention or law serve to keep many of them housebroken. Remove those conventions, or the threat of punishment, and this will be what you get. It is especially bad for women – I can barely imagine how bad – and I’m sorry you must suffer it.

This is why I’m not entirely sure of the notion that one should ‘not feed the trolls’, if it means one should ignore them. The trolls will troll – it’s what they do – and silence does not seem to me to be the consistently right response. When people say objectionable things, without any ensuing objections, they are emboldened (to use my favorite GWB word) to say even more objectionable things. Pretty soon, you’ve got dick pics, or rape threats.

Just my two cents.

298

Jenna 01.15.14 at 9:14 pm

The discussion seems to have moved on somewhat, but, I have used OKCupid and am female. I can tell you a bit of what I have experienced.
Lots of guys message without even reading the first line of a profile. Otherwise how do I explain all the guys who sent, “hi how r u lik ur pix” to me when I had written in the very first line that any spelling variation of that was my very least favorite pick up line? And, no, they weren’t all trolling me, because I had to get fed up with that line and ALL its spelling variants before I added the note to my profile. I hate being negative on a profile. I don’t like it in other profiles and I don’t like it in mine, but, it sure showed me who hadn’t even bothered to read and therefore who I could really just ignore.
I started off feeling like I had to reply to people who messaged me. When I started I replied to anyone who sent me a message even if all I sent was, “we really have nothing in common. Have a nice life!” The volume of messages, though, soom exhausted me and I started replying to fewer and fewer. I did things like putting up a picture of myself that I KNEW would attract less notice(no makeup. Hair pulled back and not visible. High neckline) and I still got too many messages. I got fewer, though! I left the less attractive picture up. Anyone that was really a good match would read my profile, so, I only bothered to respond to people that referenced something in my profile. I’m so sorry Mr. I Think We Have So Much In Common Guy, but, I won’t go check your profile and message you back about anything there that catches my eye. The fact that you mentioned nothing actually on my profile? It means that you VERY LIKELY have a copy/paste message that you are shotgunning (it’s a thing!) out to all the girls that look remotely interesting. I don’t want to do all the work. Will I message guys? Yes! I have messaged guys! I have gone on dates with guys that I messaged first! If there is interest, and both sides are willing to take the risk of seeing someone, then YAY! But, I don’t want to do all the work. Tell me what you think is interesting about my profile(and please don’t say my hair/eyes/smile. Let me know you got past the picture, yes?).
I guess I get a little ranty? Still?
Guys will message me on OKCupid with only a 50% match percentage(or, actually, lower…) This is LOW. This usually means that their views and mine will drastically conflict. I’m looking for someone that I can talk to, not a screaming match partner. I need someone who will fit in my life, though experiencing new things is welcome. I screen out anyone who still wants kids, because I can’t do that. I screen out the ultra religious, because I won’t do that. I screen out the bigots because …..do I need to explain that one? See the lack of screaming desired above.
My age probably has reduced the number of messages that I get. I pity the girls aged 18-25. They must get TONS more messages than I do at 45. I am occasionally amused at the 21-25 year olds messaging ME. You, sir, are WAY out of my indicated age range. My age range is more like my age plus or minus a decade. I might stretch that either way for someone interesting, but, I actually think an older guy has a better shot at being interesting, having probably done/seen/read more.
I hear guys complain about dating sites and that the girls don’t answer them. I haven’t been answered also, and I get that it is no fun. However, there are so many reasons to not get answered. Just don’t take it personally and move on, ok? You are not owed a response. Miss Manners isn’t going to come down and smack someone for not responding. Sometimes there’s a reason and sometimes maybe that’s an inactive profile(maybe she really did get hit by a bus, or maybe she got married and forgot to delete the profile? There’s no way to know).

299

MPAVictoria 01.15.14 at 9:27 pm

“Picking nits here:”

Pick away Plume. I should have capitalized that D.
I disagree with you about starting/supporting a third party. If all the internet leftists actually joined the democratic party and took an active roll they could shift it significantly to the left.
/Should note I am a Canadian and an active member of the Canadian social democratic party (the NDP) so I try to practice what I preach.

300

MPAVictoria 01.15.14 at 9:30 pm

Jenna, thank you for posting your experience. That sounds exhausting.

301

Plume 01.15.14 at 9:35 pm

MPAV,

I’m guessing your party is well to the left of the American Democratic Party. IOW, it’s probably not that much of a stretch or sacrifice for you to stay with them — if you’re a real lefty.

IMO, the American Dems are clearly a center-right party, and I despise the right. It is a big stretch for people like me.

For example: you Canadians have Single Payer. The Dems here didn’t even try to push for it and shut down all discussion along those lines. Obama and the Dem leadership even caved on a “public option,” which is already weak tea in comparison. Instead, they ended up with a Rube Goldberg monstrosity, meant to appeal to “the markets” and formerly the system embraced by the Republicans. “Obamacare” came out of a right-wing think-tank, the Heritage Foundation.

That’s what passes as “progressive” legislation in America these days.

302

The Raven 01.15.14 at 9:36 pm

ambzone@291, MPAVictoria@292: Hee. I have become more acceptable over there as the front-pagers views drift left towards mine. (I’m Raven on the Hill over there. Help! Someone stole my ‘nym. Ha! If I’d realized how many people chose corvid names, I’d have qualified mine more.)

And yet people like John Cole and Jim Wright (Stonekettle Station) are probably the future of progressive politics in the USA. Sigh.

303

Hector_St_Clare 01.15.14 at 9:39 pm

Plume,

I am not a democrat, though I am a Democrat.

304

Hector_St_Clare 01.15.14 at 9:39 pm

Which is to say, I believe in vanguard parties , etc.

305

js. 01.15.14 at 9:40 pm

Just when you thought this thread couldn’t get any worse… (No, seriously, this dumbass argument is already taking place on another thread right now! Is that not enough for you all?)

306

Plume 01.15.14 at 9:46 pm

@Hector 303,

I definitely put democracy waaaay above any party. For me, it’s not remotely close. Promoting real democracy is far more important, IMO, than the health of the Democratic party or any other option — even my preferred American party, the Greens.

We don’t have an ecosocialist option right now, unlike Europe, or that would trump the American Green Party for me . . . . but it’s democracy itself we need, etc. etc.

307

Lee A. Arnold 01.15.14 at 9:48 pm

Hector St Clare #263: “I don’t see why it’s implausible what this study says”

It isn’t implausible, it just isn’t proven here, and there are other reasons to think that, really, it is neither here nor there. Yet at your comment #6, you stated it as fact. You further wrote in #6, “High testosterone correlates inversely with being a good father.” But that may be because men in fatherhood drop testosterone levels. You present a pattern of bad inferences to buttress your arguments.

308

MPAVictoria 01.15.14 at 10:07 pm

“And yet people like John Cole and Jim Wright (Stonekettle Station) are probably the future of progressive politics in the USA. Sigh.”

John isn’t so bad. At least he is willing to put up a fight. Plus anyone who loves his animals that much gets a little bit of love from me.

309

godoggo 01.15.14 at 10:22 pm

Well, hell, I might as well just start talking about skull some more if no-one objects.

310

Hector_St_Clare 01.15.14 at 10:31 pm

Plume,

I’m not certain I trust the American populace (i.e. the Honey Boo Boo fan club) to run a government. Actually, I’m quite sure I don’t.

311

Hector_St_Clare 01.15.14 at 10:33 pm

Re: Just when you thought this thread couldn’t get any worse… (No, seriously, this dumbass argument is already taking place on another thread right now!

Which argument? Voters versus Vanguards?

312

MG 01.15.14 at 10:44 pm

John Cole the future of the left? The guy who voted for Reagan and Bush? No thanks. I’m with Plume – there has to be a real alternative to the corporatism that exists now in the US.

But this is far afield of the topic which is harrassment of women on the internet. It happens too often and occurred even in the pre-web usenet days to me. And it seems like it’s gotten worse over time. It’s very troubling.

313

Layman 01.15.14 at 10:44 pm

“Well, hell, I might as well just start talking about skull some more if no-one objects.”

See? Emboldened.

314

godoggo 01.15.14 at 10:52 pm

I said, “if no-one objects,” didn’t I?

315

Hector_St_Clare 01.15.14 at 10:55 pm

Re: However, there are so many reasons to not get answered

Jenna,

The most obvious reason not to get answered is that, in general, only a minority of women are going to find a particular guy appealing. Because statistics. It’s not about you, or them, it’s just the luck of the draw.

Re: I am occasionally amused at the 21-25 year olds messaging ME. You, sir, are WAY out of my indicated age range

Well, if they’re out of your indicated age range then they shouldn’t message you. I don’t think there’s anything ‘amusing’ about it in general, though. Maybe some 21 year old guys like older women. I hope they find someone who feels the same way.

316

Layman 01.15.14 at 10:59 pm

Yes. The absence of objection is emboldening. It emboldeningates you. With emboldeningness.

317

Plume 01.15.14 at 11:00 pm

Hector 310,

You make a good point regarding the overall state of the American experiment. Honey boo boo, etc. etc. But, I still believe in the wisdom of crowds.

But perhaps the biggest reason to move away from capitalism, business hierarchies and our two-party system overall is the insanity of the few ordering around the many, doing what’s best for the few at the expense of the many.

When you install a “vanguard” at the helm, you reproduce just that very same insanity.

To boil it down: You have this community garden, and 100 families make up that community and take care of that garden. They all benefit from that garden, and they would all be hurt by its destruction.

Who should make decisions about that garden for that community? The CEO of Monsanto, from his office a thousand miles away? Or the 100 families living in that community?

It’s not rocket science. And the same principle should be extended throughout the entire country.

Our revolution was ostensibly over rule from across the pond, but it didn’t go nearly far enough. It essentially replaced one ruling class with another — the home-grown one. It still didn’t let that metaphorical 100 families run their own garden. And when it came time to create a Constitution? Less than a dozen white men, most of whom owned slaves, were involved . . . . and they decided everything for millions of people who had zero input.

Uh, no. America was built upon the same mistake humans have repeated for thousands of years. Time to end that.

318

Plume 01.15.14 at 11:06 pm

Oh, and yes, the above applies to the topic at hand. Women are harassed as much as they are because they don’t get to control their own destinies with our setup. While a majority of the population, they hold minority power. Add class to that mix and it gets far worse.

The people impacted by decisions should decide. Not those sitting on the throne. Conservatives often say that government is wasteful because it spends other people’s money and couldn’t care less about it. Well, no. That’s not really the problem, as the same thing happens, but even moreso, in the private sector. The problem is that the people in charge make decisions for others and remain largely immune from the impact of those decisions.

How many pols would start wars if they knew they’d have to fight in them, or their kids, etc.? How many men would make rotten decisions for women if they were always already hurt by those decisions too?

319

Anders Widebrant 01.15.14 at 11:23 pm

I think gender role belief is heritable, I just don’t think asking people about their beliefs on gender roles is a good way to assess their beliefs on gender roles.

This is an example of what I’m getting at with a lack of model. How do we tell in a principled way which types of beliefs can be assessed through questionnaires and which need other methods of detection? We are nowhere near a biological model of beliefs, and the psychological models that exist are, unless I’ve missed something, wildly contradictory and not at all suited for the kind of precise measurements that the biological model of heritability wants to impose.

That, combined with the subtleties and open questions about heritability and genetics just as a biological model, makes evo-psych results extremely hard to interpret.

320

Plume 01.15.14 at 11:46 pm

Anders Widebrant 319,

Of course, the search for greater and greater precision can lead to abuse. Obviously. It brings to mind a host of dystopian SF themes, and actual science seems to be heading in that direction.

Major invasive tech, used in the name of marketing, control, “security,” etc. etc.

We may want to know much more about the people we interface with online, especially with regard to threats, etc. etc. But invasive, incredibly intrusive tech isn’t that far off the horizon, and it may soon be rather impossible to have any privacy of any kind — if one wants to be connected at all. The “innocent” won’t be shielded from this.

A curse and a blessing, the Net.

G’night, all.

321

Martin James 01.16.14 at 12:53 am

Isn’t the obvious reaction to the story to recall Plato’s Republic and that a philosopher king would make sure even the less desirable got sex?

Does no one care about those men at all?

322

Michael Harris 01.16.14 at 1:17 am

Does no one care about those men at all?

“Won’t somebody think of the uggos?”

323

Saurs 01.16.14 at 2:40 am

What about the ugly, unloveable, socially awkward straight, lesbian, bisexual, queer, and asexual trans and cis women, no dude on the internet ever said ever ever ever.

324

Belle Waring 01.16.14 at 3:09 am

Saurs: they sure didn’t ever ever ever ever say that, nope. “What about the trans men!?” the cis straight men didn’t say.

325

Saurs 01.16.14 at 3:24 am

Fucking hell, they don’t even acknowledge the existence of trans men. Let’s get down to brass tacks, Waring: dudes who feign sadness for the plight of other straight cis dudes and their dry, unhumped boners don’t really give a fuck about other dudes, boners or no. Women who aren’t fucking them are on the internet, talking to one another, and this means misandry is now.

326

Martin James 01.16.14 at 3:24 am

For the record, I intended my first sentence to include them and just contextualized to the post with the second.

Makes me a bit of a one-off dude I guess.

327

Martin James 01.16.14 at 3:26 am

Furthermore, that is so 20th century. I mean its not even porn anymore if the people are attractive.

328

Saurs 01.16.14 at 3:30 am

Why are trans men “less desirable,” Martin James?

329

Hector_St_Clare 01.16.14 at 3:33 am

Re: What about the ugly, unloveable, socially awkward straight, lesbian, bisexual, queer, and asexual trans and cis women, no dude on the internet ever said ever ever ever.

Not really. If you have some suggestions to equalize the dating land scape and make unhappy women happier, I’m all ears.

330

Martin James 01.16.14 at 3:35 am

I thought the ugly, unlovable adjectives applied to the whole string in your list.

331

Martin James 01.16.14 at 3:37 am

Hector,

Well, we could re-criminalize fornication and adultery for starters.

332

Saurs 01.16.14 at 3:38 am

Now there’s a rum go. The fellow that posits women don’t enjoy sex now wants to know how we can make “unhappy,” un-sexed-up women happier with sexing. It’s like a funhouse in here.

I’m sorry, but who died (was fired, resigned) and made you guardian of women’s happiness, bro? Why are you collecting suggestions? Who asked you to? What’s going on? I thought the “dating land scape” was already skewed in women’s favor, and it was the men who were pathologically unsexed?

333

Saurs 01.16.14 at 3:40 am

Not quite right, Martin James. You had a theory about “less desirable” people. Later, you indicated trans men were implicitly included. Why so? Less desirable to whom?

I was talking about women, and their Right to Get Sexed.

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Hector_St_Clare 01.16.14 at 3:43 am

Re: I thought the “dating land scape” was already skewed in women’s favor

Not really. It’s easier for women to get * casual encounters* than it is for a man, because men are pretty unselective about casual sex, but it’s not that easy for them to find an actual relationship.

335

Martin James 01.16.14 at 3:46 am

Saurs,

I misunderstood your sentence. I don’t even really know for sure what a trans man is.
Also what does cis mean?

And out of too much empathy I assumed the online posters were less desirable also when they may just really like frequent anonymous sex or online posing.

It all just seems a bit sad, but saying that sounded too condescending and judgmental so I went with the Plato quote.

336

DN 01.16.14 at 4:06 am

My wife has posted on Chinese language forums for years on issues involving feminism, politics, etc. It’s all in Han Zi so it really is pretty much only Chinese native speakers and readers. She has never had a threatening post, email, etc. in all that time. All of my female friends posting on English language sites have had threats. It is very strange and I really don’t have a theory to explain the difference. It does seem to (strongly) imply there is something cultural involved.

DN

337

Tyrone Slothrop 01.16.14 at 4:23 am

DN: That’s because China has a rich culture and civilizational roots that run deep. The English-speaking world has talent contests and gag porn.

338

Belle Waring 01.16.14 at 4:39 am

Tyrone: I’ve been to China, and I’m pretty sure that’s not it. Saurs: I’m totally confused by Martin James here and thought he was being sarcastic at first and then feigning ignorance, and then turning the knife around on Hector ??? but now I really don’t understand what he thinks is going on at all. It is my vague feeling that he is actually a lefty commenter–but that ain’t never stopped anyone from not caring about whether overweight queer women are getting the sexual satisfaction and love and respect each human being deserves. Suddenly not knowing what trans men are is like…I dunno.

339

Saurs 01.16.14 at 4:46 am

Martin James:

And out of too much empathy I assumed the online posters were less desirable also when they may just really like frequent anonymous sex or online posing.

That, indeed, is a generous interpretation. I hesitate to support the theory, given what women have said here and elsewhere re dudes harassing them with unsolicited photographs of their penises (not to mentioned unsolicited threats of rape), that said photographs are likely to result in anonymous sex, frequent or otherwise.

Whereas out of too much experience as a woman on the interwebs, I assumed the anonymous harassers were harassers, not men we were expected to pity because of our misplaced presumptions about their sex life, desirability, et al. Harassers gonna harass, yeah?

Hector:

Not really. It’s easier for women to get * casual encounters* than it is for a man, because men are pretty unselective about casual sex, but it’s not that easy for them to find an actual relationship.

Well, Heck, we were, actually, talking about sex. The kind philosopher kings in the Platonic sense would, ostensibly, provide men on tap because they deserve it. You supplied the euphemism “dating land scape.”

Never mind. Your answer is a bit curious, though. Since we’re separating sex from relationships (for some reason) while generalizing about the hets, let’s sort out some confusion, yeah? How is it that heterosexual women can fuck easier (because heterosexual men are sluts with no standards*), but it’s more difficult for them to “find an actual relationship,” presumably with a man? How can het men have a comparably easier time of it sorting out a girlfriend, partner, wife, if we’re talking 1:1 ratios? The girlfriend / partner / wife is also party to the “actual” relationship, right? So it’s all even, right?

*again, I’m going to ask, on behalf of ugly women everywhere, where is our mandatory zipless sex? How can we sort out a program where specific men and women, conforming to our exacting physical and intellectual standards, are obligated to fuck us, free of charge?

340

godoggo 01.16.14 at 4:53 am

“No person is too ugly to have sex with… The next time you see an ugly person, I want you to put your hand on their shoulder and say, ‘Dammit, let’s have sex.’”

- Eddie Murphy

341

Saurs 01.16.14 at 4:53 am

Oh, hell, I’m just going to answer my own rhetorical, asterisked question: you get people to love you and fuck you by becoming a lovable, fuckable person. You don’t get it by complaining that the monolith that is Woman isn’t being compliant enough with her pussy (for Evolutionary Reasons).

that ain’t never stopped anyone from not caring about whether overweight queer women are getting the sexual satisfaction and love and respect each human being deserves

Belle! If I was a combination sado-masochist, this would be my band name. Try fitting that and the name of the opening number on one of those cheap little handbills.

342

Hector_St_Clare 01.16.14 at 5:06 am

I will say, a quick glance at my city’s ‘s Craigslist: Personals section includes a number of ads from purportedly straight women demanding dickpics before they will talk to you, so there may be a small subset of women that are into it. more likely these are just spambots though.

343

Saurs 01.16.14 at 5:15 am

Chalk it up to the mysteries of the Fairer Sex amirite. Strange that when a woman explicitly asks for a photograph of your dick (to masturbate to!), she enjoys it, and when she doesn’t, she doesn’t.

344

Bryan 01.16.14 at 5:33 am

maybe he couldn’t spell velveeta.

345

Hector_St_Clare 01.16.14 at 5:58 am

Saurs,

Oh, it’s possible. I still stand by the theory that they’re a scam, though.

346

Saurs 01.16.14 at 7:18 am

Yes, your theories. Any chance you explain the once I inquire about in 339?

347

Martin James 01.16.14 at 7:32 am

Saur asked *again, I’m going to ask, on behalf of ugly women everywhere, where is our mandatory zipless sex? How can we sort out a program where specific men and women, conforming to our exacting physical and intellectual standards, are obligated to fuck us, free of charge?

Well, if you buy Socrates method, you start by taking away all the music and poetry and have the children raised by the village and after a bunch of selective breeding (I think?) and then a bunch more seemingly impossible stuff, you end with people who will do their sexual duty with the old, fat, citizens. It is one of my favorite parts of Plato; the fairness of it against all practical concern.

Belle: I’m not your average political animal being ambidextrous politically and fitting in basically nowhere. The trans comment had to do with not knowing whether it meant transvestite, transexual (then is a trans man a former woman or the opposite?) or shorthand for some other thing. I actually had in my mind when I first read it what used to be a labeled a hermaphrodite but that’s not a trans man I don’t think. And then this cis thing and I’m not sure if one is still cis ( I googled it) if you are a male lesbian in a man’s body or what. What are you if you are cis but don’t identify with typical cis male preferences like oral sex. Is there a name for that it because it seems both gay and straight men like that, right?

I totally misunderstood your concern with the “velvety” comment. I thought you meant by “it got to you” that you were aroused against your will and were pissed about it. I guess the reason I thought that is that I couldn’t see what the word velvety added to the offensiveness. I mean its not nice even without the velvety. Hard to keep up with this, particularly because you are no prude and use colorful and sarcastic language so its sometimes hard to tell where you are going with things.

So, being the literal guy that I am, I thought the focus of the post was still about which sex had it easiest in finding a willing partner and the guy was upset because he realized that it was even worse that he imagined and that the number of males wanting sex so hopelessly outnumbered the females that he couldn’t stand being in a woman’s shoes for more than 2 hours. Kind of like someone who thought the rich had it easy and then got sick being in a a really wealthy person’s shoes for a while and seeing how they could buy whatever they wanted and it just so totally blew their sense of fairness that they couldn’t hack it. I can see now that I missed the point nearly completely. However, it does bring me back to a question I have been wondering about for quite a few years.

You have made the point in previous posts that men underestimate the sex drive of women and their desire for it and enjoyment of it. I have wondered how that squares up with the difference in how they go about getting that need met and the reputation (at least in Woody Allen movies) of wanting it with less frequency. I think that I am understanding you (and some others) to say that it is just that they are more choosy than males. Is that correct?

Now, I realize that you are going to destroy my logic here but it would seem (first order, without the depth of think that you are likely going to say that I’m lacking) that this would make women’s sexual preference a great source of inequality and drive for status among men. If women primarily desire sex with the minority of males that are the most physically (or insert your characteristic of choice) outstanding then they have created a scarcity of a desirable good in a way that leads to considerable social trouble in terms of the drive for males to get status. Its like you are saying, yep, you pretty much do need to compete like hell to be the top of the heap or else you aren’t getting any!

What am I missing here?

348

Alison P 01.16.14 at 7:44 am

Sorry to wade in Martin. I think one issue you are missing is the much greater physical risk for women compared to men, which means they have to protect themselves against violence and other kinds of harm that men will do to them. This combined with the fact that men struggle, as do we all, with bad feelings around sexual desire, and the social status of women being lower than that of men.

I think there is a masculine feature which most women are seeking, and that feature is that he perceives women as ‘other persons’, and has a certain baseline of decent behaviour to other persons. I know some women do not have this standard, but I honestly believe most do.

349

Martin James 01.16.14 at 8:21 am

Thanks for jumping in but I’m not totally understanding what you are saying.
“This combined with the fact that men struggle, as do we all, with bad feelings around sexual desire, and the social status of women being lower than that of men”

What do you mean more precisely? Bad feelings about their own desire or others or what? What kind of bad feelings? And how does that relate to the social status of women?

As for the safety issue, when men say “well, women have less sexual desire” and the response is “less desire for you is more like it”, I don’t think they are taking about safety.

I get your concern. But I’m a bit sheltered so every male I know thinks women are “other persons.” Some put more emphasis on the “otherness” but I don’t know any males who treat a women like a doll or a tree or a robot. Again some treat women as enemies, but enemies are at least persons. Why is it a “masculine” feature? Did you just mean a male should have that feature or that it is a particular quality of masculine males?

350

Mao Cheng Ji 01.16.14 at 9:29 am

“the social status of women being lower than that of men”

How is this true? The social status of a street cleaner or construction worker (or any laborer, for that matter) is lower than that of almost everyone else, and they are mostly men.

351

GiT 01.16.14 at 9:34 am

Typically when talking about classes or groups, one looks at some measure of central tendency. No reason to be obtuse about that.

352

Mao Cheng Ji 01.16.14 at 9:39 am

Was that addressed to me? I don’t understand what you said.

353

Michael Harris 01.16.14 at 10:02 am

What the hell just happened here?

354

Mario 01.16.14 at 10:25 am

I don’t know how the law is in the US, but in many parts of the civilized world a man sending an unwanted pic of his crooked timber to a woman is committing a crime. As the evidence is material, all that is needed is a lawyer that files the charges. For some reason, that hasn’t been addressed in this thread.

Part of the reason many men can’t relate to the issue is that 1) it doesn’t normally happen to them (although some gay men can be similarly obnoxious) and 2) most men aren’t that way.

And finally, I will say (perhaps controversially) that women really have to handle this themselves, i.e., “deal with it” in however way they feel appropriate, including ganging up and making life miserable for this kind of guy. But they have to do that themselves. That is part of this emancipation business, I think. Myself being a man does not imply that I have to apologize for what other men are doing.

355

Ed Herdman 01.16.14 at 10:36 am

You might not want to apologize (and how could you apologize for something you didn’t do?), but it’s still in a male’s interests to push back against this kind of stuff, too. Men have the ability to do that via social interactions. And there may be a prize for being a “good guy” here, too! (Not to mention it doesn’t seem terribly adaptive for men to do things like this.) That being said, I think women are going to have naturally more proximity to unwanted events of this kind, so many men can go along totally oblivious to this as a trend. Realistically I think that militates towards the point you’re making, but as a matter of principle I don’t see the harm in saying that I also would take action to prevent this, if I was given the opportunity.

356

Saurs 01.16.14 at 11:04 am

Now, I realize that you are going to destroy my logic here but it would seem (first order, without the depth of think that you are likely going to say that I’m lacking) that this would make women’s sexual preference a great source of inequality and drive for status among men.

Martin James, are you suggesting (amongst other foolish things) that inequality is caused by people asserting the right to freely choose their sex partners? Because that is about as thoughtful as your earlier solution to the problem of men harassing women on-line (that they’d be nicer if they were being sexually serviced on a regular basis) and about as plausible as Hector’s unified dick pic theory (that, owing to a shocking scarcity of on-line images of penises, some entrepreneurial ne’er-do-wells have decided to trick men through weirdly elaborate impersonations in order to create a photographic stockpile of genitalia for future use, probably in a war against feminists and their mad, bad, and very dangerous to know biker boyfriends named Corey).

357

MPAVictoria 01.16.14 at 11:25 am

“about as plausible as Hector’s unified dick pic theory “

Actually it wouldn’t surprise me if Hector is right on it being a scam. And I almost never agree with Hector on anything.

358

Saurs 01.16.14 at 12:22 pm

What sort of scam did you all have in mind? If it’s collecting e-mail addresses, there are easier ways to solicit a lot of them quickly without muddying the waters by requesting a photograph (requiring a camera or a phone and the wherewithal to use either). Apart from which, one can anonymize addresses through Craigslist quite easily now or relay correspondence through a third party cloaked address.

359

Barry 01.16.14 at 1:21 pm

Mario 01.16.14 at 10:25 am

“I don’t know how the law is in the US, but in many parts of the civilized world a man sending an unwanted pic of his crooked timber to a woman is committing a crime. As the evidence is material, all that is needed is a lawyer that files the charges. For some reason, that hasn’t been addressed in this thread.”

At a guess, the reasons that it hasn’t been addressed are the ones which are so obvious that people felt that they didn’t need to.

360

MPAVictoria 01.16.14 at 2:08 pm

“What sort of scam did you all have in mind? If it’s collecting e-mail addresses, there are easier ways to solicit a lot of them quickly without muddying the waters by requesting a photograph (requiring a camera or a phone and the wherewithal to use either). Apart from which, one can anonymize addresses through Craigslist quite easily now or relay correspondence through a third party cloaked address.”

I believe amateur pornography sites use this kind of thing to collect pictures. Mostly for other men. While I am no expert in the area it seems plausible to me.

361

Hector_St_Clare 01.16.14 at 2:34 pm

Saurs,

‘make yourself more lovable’ is helpful in a sense, but not as much as it would be as knowing what men and women find lovable, and how many of them find Trait X lovable compared to Trait Y. that’s where behavioral biology and statistics come in.

For example, part of the reason I’m more economically competitive and money focused now compared to ten years ago (and less into following my bliss) is because I realise that the sort of women I’m looking for tend to value social status and the ability to provide, so I need to work hard at my job so I can afford the bling that they want.

362

Hector_St_Clare 01.16.14 at 2:37 pm

Likewise working out and building muscles, etc.

363

Layman 01.16.14 at 2:42 pm

“but I don’t know any males who treat a women like a doll or a tree or a robot. “

You are lucky, and most definitely a bit sheltered.

364

Layman 01.16.14 at 2:44 pm

“Likewise working out and building muscles, etc.”

You’re after women who don’t want children, then. I’m told your finger might give you away…

365

Hector_St_Clare 01.16.14 at 3:50 pm

Layman,

No, ring finger isn’t going to change. The damage has been done, it happened sometime while I was gestating. Building muscles is a good way that men can self-improve and make themselves more attractive.

366

Niall McAuley 01.16.14 at 3:56 pm

Hector writes: Building muscles is a good way that men can self-improve and make themselves more attractive.

I saw that ad too, but I ordered the X-Ray spectacles and the baby Venus Fly Trap plant instead.

367

Aaron Evan Baker 01.16.14 at 4:35 pm

“. . . but he got to me with the velvety.”

And that got to me, too. In fact, I think it’s burned into my memory for the duration.

I feel like apologizing that so many males are, well, dicks–but what good does that do? The, well, schmucks who do this stuff will probably never apologize, never even have a glimmer of an inkling that they need to apologize–and never, ever stop doing it. There needs to be more shaming (and other social penalties) for this kind of behavior, or I fear it will never abate.

368

Martin James 01.16.14 at 4:36 pm

Saurs,

Its interesting how different people are. I didn’t think I was offering a solution to harassment. I didn’t think Belle requested solutions to harassment. If anything she seemed to spend the most time being focused on the problem of males being naive. You seem a bit like John Kerry, kind of “obsessive and messianic” about solving problems in the world. I’m just humbly trying to understand the world, not change it. That is why I enjoy Belle’s posts. They provide a perspective that I don’t get in other ways.

Now, back to the inequality question. Inequality in being attractive and lovable seems to be the state of nature, that is pretty much agreed upon. For example, having an asymmetrical face. The question I had was how selective women are in what pleases them. How steep the curve of attraction is would seem to matter in terms of determining how this starting inequality is compounded. It would seem to matter a lot if 90% vs. 50% vs. 10% vs 1% vs. .001% of males were reasonably desirable by women. I was making the argument (and Hector said he himself is an example although he was focused on his version of quality not just access) that men would compete more aggressively the smaller the percentage of men that women found desirable ( or said another way, the amount of resources required to offset less attractive physical, mental or emotional attributes.) Now my wife says that no amount of money could make Donald Trump acceptable to her because of his ugly face, hair and fingers but obviously some women feel otherwise.

So to be more specific, I wasn’t saying that it was their right to choose that created the inequality, it was their preferences and behavior that contributed to it. This is a more extreme version than what I believe but could it not be the case that “deregulating” sexual practices and providing more liberty has the same effect as deregulating the financial sector, the rich get richer?

I eagerly await your next dismissive comment, its just a wee bit like getting a “dick pic” of your soul. ( I guess I have low self-esteem.)

369

Hector_St_Clare 01.16.14 at 4:44 pm

Re: This is a more extreme version than what I believe but could it not be the case that “deregulating” sexual practices and providing more liberty has the same effect as deregulating the financial sector, the rich get richer?

Yes, if the Platonic guardians chose our partners for us, things would be more equal.

370

Layman 01.16.14 at 4:50 pm

‘You seem a bit like John Kerry, kind of “obsessive and messianic” about solving problems in the world. I’m just humbly trying to understand the world, not change it.’

This is quite a juxtaposition, given how that first sentences demonstrates your failure to understand the world, not to mention humility…

371

Martin James 01.16.14 at 5:12 pm

Layman,

So am I incorrect that Saurs thinks other people have problems that she would like corrected? I didn’t say I was particularly good at understanding the world, but I think I know with about 75% accuracy when I’m being put down.

Also, I didn’t mean that I was personally humble in an all-around way, I meant that understanding the world is a humbler goal than changing the world.

You seem to be pretty level-headed. Why do the men(we assume) send the unwanted pictures?

It is pretty much a mystery to me.

372

Hector_St_Clare 01.16.14 at 5:20 pm

As you point out, Martin, resources (and other traits like social dominance, status, confidence, etc.) can balance out looks to a large extent. People are looking for a variety of different traits, and generally end up trading off some against others.

373

Martin James 01.16.14 at 5:33 pm

Hector (or anyone else),

I’m not sure whether people think the people sending the unwanted pics are harassing the women for sex or just that they are harassing them because they enjoy causing other people discomfort. Is it some kind of punning, disclosure screening, that says upfront “I’m only interested in women who like dicks?”

If they want sex, why aren’t they trying harder to pass “safety” or “not weird” criteria?
On the other hand, the payoff for harassment seems too abstract and abrupt, but like I said, I don’t get it. In your terms, what is the evolutionary payoff?

374

Jake 01.16.14 at 5:35 pm

Saurs@358 – the scam is you get people to send you dick pics from their work email and then you either send said pics to their boss/wife/whoever for the lulz. Or you use the threat of doing so for blackmail. One might hope no one would be so foolish, but one would be sadly disappointed. Look up Jason Fortuny (?) some time.

375

Hector_St_Clare 01.16.14 at 5:40 pm

Martin James,

I don’t think dick pics are a viable evolutionary strategy.

376

Martin James 01.16.14 at 5:56 pm

Yes, but you can’t pick and choose. From an Evo-psych basis one would either hav eto say they are a prior adaptation that isn’t suited to the current environment or they are a variation that doesn’t enhance fitness. I think that’s one of the things people don’t like about evo-psych, the picking and choosing of what is explained.

377

Mao Cheng Ji 01.16.14 at 7:36 pm

Perhaps they send dick pics because they think that this is a place full of horny women. That every woman who created an account is horny. They are horny themselves, and they get overexcited.

Martin James also thinks (if I understood correctly) that the women with accounts are horny, and that their expectations are unreasonably high.

That’s plausible. But perhaps it’s even worse: they are not all that horny. They are looking for a companion, a friend, a husband, a partner for latin dancing. Perhaps, sex is a low priority. And that’s what makes dick pics counterproductive, in a place like that. They should send videos of themselves dressed in tuxedo, dancing tango on a stage in a park in Buenos Aires.

378

Soru 01.16.14 at 7:38 pm

Why are we assuming it is men sending the dick pics?

A perhaps surprisingly large percentage of online rape threats made to feminists come from women; one of the two people recently arrested ifor thatthe uk is female.

No doubt less than a proportionate share; I suppose the final triumph of a certain definition of feminism would be it there were equal opportunities for misogynists of all sexes.

379

The Temporary Name 01.16.14 at 7:44 pm

If it’s collecting e-mail addresses, there are easier ways to solicit a lot of them

While I myself don’t think there’s a whole lot of scamming around dick pics, people who do bad things are not necessarily smart or efficient. Which has some bearing on the behaviour described in the original post.

380

Zora 01.16.14 at 7:48 pm

Can we throttle some of the more assiduous cranks who infest CT? In moderation, they’re useful examples of how some people think. When a thread turns into an endless, pointless argument with H—- S– C—- (who will not be swayed by any argument or evidence), all utility is lost. Perhaps if some people were limited to, say, ten posts a day, it would be possible to have discussions that range widely, highlight several viewpoints, and actually illuminate the issue.

We would still be exposed to the cranks. They would not be excluded from the conversation — but they couldn’t hijack it.

381

js. 01.16.14 at 8:06 pm

Perhaps if some people were limited to, say, ten posts a day, it would be possible to have discussions that range widely, highlight several viewpoints, and actually illuminate the issue.

I second this very enthusiastically! As well as the rest of Zora’s post.

382

elm 01.16.14 at 8:17 pm

Completely agreed with Zora and js. above. This discussion began with an opportunity for interesting discussion, but that doesn’t seem likely or possible after 200+ off-topic/crank comments.

383

Martin James 01.16.14 at 8:28 pm

“They should send videos of themselves dressed in tuxedo, dancing tango on a stage in a park in Buenos Aires.”

Ok, I’m taking notes Mao. Why Buenos Aires?

384

ambzone 01.16.14 at 8:32 pm

Agreed of course. Far too many threads are taken up with repetitive, inane, regressive contrarianisms leaving no one the wiser, except a few hypothetical first-time Web users. Let a thousand flowers bloom, not a thousand clones of the same.

385

Hector_St_Clare 01.16.14 at 10:59 pm

Ambzone,

Frankly, I find Mao Cheng to be one of the more interesting posters here, and a refreshing contrast to the echo chaber.

386

Ronan(rf) 01.16.14 at 11:00 pm

Ambzone didnt mention Mao though
or are you just assuming from:

“repetitive, inane, regressive contrarianisms leaving no one the wiser”

387

Hector_St_Clare 01.16.14 at 11:00 pm

Re: I’m not sure whether people think the people sending the unwanted pics are harassing the women for sex or just that they are harassing them because they enjoy causing other people discomfort.

I think more the latter than the former. But again, I don’t think *everything* has an evolutionary strategic reason behind it.

388

Hector_St_Clare 01.16.14 at 11:18 pm

Ronan,

From context, we all know that myself and Mao Cheng are the most, uh, controversial posters here.

389

Belle Waring 01.16.14 at 11:22 pm

We have done this on an ad hoc basis. I’ll be happy to say to Hector and Mao: “your ten comments in my thread are used up,” the next time I post.

390

Zora 01.17.14 at 1:35 am

Ten comments per thread seems even-handed and generous.

391

Hector_St_Clare 01.17.14 at 1:41 am

Belle Waring,

I’ll try to comment more, uh, judiciously. As you are the proprietor of this blog, I’m happy to defer to your authority.

392

AJtron the Invincible 01.17.14 at 4:03 am

> I inadvertently created a pseudonym for another site that is neutral, and people
> default to the assumption that I’m male, and they really do treat me very
> differently. This is just in 2013. I had never done it before.
I am really glad you mentioned it. Oh, thank God! I have experienced the
exact same thing. (I now strongly believe that this type of judgement bias
exists and that it has to do with both gender and ethnicity.)

393

Mao Cheng Ji 01.17.14 at 10:19 am

“Why Buenos Aires?”

Well, it’s romantic, to tango in Buenos Aires. Or is it Paris?

“I’ll be happy to say to Hector and Mao: “your ten comments in my thread are used up,” the next time I post.”

And I’ll be happy to have this opportunity to increase the aggregate happiness in the world, albeit in a small way. It’s a win-win.

394

Ed Herdman 01.17.14 at 11:14 am

@ Ronan(rf)
The clue is in “let a thousand flowers bloom” (actually, it should be “hundred flowers” but the allusion is clear).

I tried to read the non-moderation stuff from the last dozen or two comments but my eyes literally can’t fasten on the words. Frightening stuff. I have no idea where the thread went. 10 posts/poster/thread seems like a good rule to me!

395

Michael Harris 01.17.14 at 11:24 am

Is it just me who thinks that Hector_St_Clare is a bot designed to combine Poe’s Law and a Turing Test? That the trick is to figure out whether (a) his posts are satire and (b) he’s really human?

Just me? OK.

396

Ed Herdman 01.17.14 at 12:10 pm

Well, before you can figure out whether it is human, you should at least know what gender it wants you to identify it with, right?

397

MPAVictoria 01.17.14 at 12:29 pm

“Just me? OK.”

If you go back to some previous threads you can find multiple examples of people wondering if Hector is an example of Poe’s Law. He always denies in when asked so I guess we can assume he is serious.

398

Layman 01.17.14 at 1:03 pm

@ Martin James

I’m commenting on the unintended comedy of your Kerry reference combined with your expression of humility. The Kerry reference is a claim to know Kerry’s motivation – apparently by reading his mind – and a sneering put-down of that presumed motivation. Not exactly a reference I’d use when making my claim to try to humbly understand others.

As to why men send unsolicited dick pics to women, I’d say it is relatively straight-forward male primate dominance behavior. If bonobos could use iPhones, I imagine that would be among the first things they did with them.

399

Chris M 01.17.14 at 2:36 pm

If you look at the blog post by OKCupid on trends in responding:
http://blog.okcupid.com/index.php/your-race-affects-whether-people-write-you-back/

you’ll see that a woman’s message to a man has a 42% chance of getting a response, whereas a man’s message toa woman has a 27.6% chance of getting a response. Moreover, if you break this down by race (into 9 subcategories), you can see that that the entire distribution of women falls above the entire distribution of men. When you write to someone on a dating site, would you rather have a 42% chance of getting a response or a 28% chance? Probably 42. So there are tradeoffs.

400

MPAVictoria 01.17.14 at 2:54 pm

” When you write to someone on a dating site, would you rather have a 42% chance of getting a response or a 28% chance? Probably 42. So there are tradeoffs”

Okay sure but personally I don’t think the trade offs are worth it.

401

jack lecou 01.17.14 at 3:08 pm

Chris M –

Especially given the background of this post, it doesn’t seem like those numbers are of much value without first accounting for the proportion of “first contact attempts” which contain nothing but ungrammatical copy-pasted gibberish and/or unsolicited photos of body parts.

Everything I’ve ever read or heard on this topic suggests that a man messaging a woman in even a merely halfway coherent way, with a reference or two suggesting he might have actually read her profile, probably has a quite a high chance of at least getting a reply.

402

Martin James 01.17.14 at 3:38 pm

Layman,

The comedy and irony was intended kind of showing that even I made a sneering put down I didn’t really mean it to stick.

As for the theory, thanks for putting one out there. It still leaves me with the question of why, if you are right,that particular dominance display is more offensive than saying you are athletic or wealthy or funny or even a good lover.

Plus I thought bonobos had a more matriarchal or egalitarian dominance pattern than say the small penis gorillas or the gang fighting chimps.

403

Ronan(rf) 01.17.14 at 4:02 pm

“When you write to someone on a dating site, would you rather have a 42% chance of getting a response or a 28% chance? Probably 42. So there are tradeoffs”

But isn’t the point that men are far more likely to initiate a “conversation” ie send a pic of their dick? So response stats will be skewed by that
Full disclosure, I didn’t read your link yet

404

Chris M 01.17.14 at 4:05 pm

Jack

Admittedly women don’t seem to send pictures of body parts, but we don’t have any information on what percentage of women also send gibberish or generica. So to be fair, we shouldn’t be that skeptical of these numbers. Also in my experience, a coherent well written message by a man to a woman has a less than 10% chance of getting a response. This number would only be meaningful if I had some counterfactual woman that would serve as a reference, and I don’t. However, you should know that the odds aren’t great.

Also, regarding the private parts pictures, a meta-analysis of the evidence shows that men have a stronger sex drive than women:
http://www.carlsonschool.umn.edu/Assets/71520.pdf

I’m not saying that men shouldn’t be held accountable for being crass; I think they should be held completely accountable. However, this difference explains why in large samples (such as OKCupid), you see men sending lewd messages at higher rates.

405

Ronan(rf) 01.17.14 at 4:06 pm

Sorry, Jack made my point. Don’t know how I missed that

406

MPAVictoria 01.17.14 at 4:17 pm

” It still leaves me with the question of why, if you are right,that particular dominance display is more offensive than saying you are athletic or wealthy or funny or even a good lover”

Are you really asking why sending someone an unasked for picture of your dick is more offensive than telling them you are athletic? If so, fuck you. If not I apologize for misreading you.

407

jack lecou 01.17.14 at 4:21 pm

Ok, so the average man->woman contact on OK Cupid has a 27% chance of getting a reply, but your anecdotal messages have a rate of 1/3 that?

There could be any number of things going on there, but whatever is happening, I don’t find that at all a convincing rebuttal to my point that the raw OK cupid numbers are relatively meaningless without accounting in some way for content (and probably selectivity).

We lack the hard data for now, but I feel very comfortable speculating that men are rather more likely to be sending gibberish and generica. I observe that (many) men are strongly acculturated to both a) exhibit harassing behavior toward women (I expect many of these messages are the online equivalent of wolf whistles – with no actual rational expectation of a positive response), and b) to expect a positive response is owed to them by women from the merest (non-)effort on their part.

408

jack lecou 01.17.14 at 4:43 pm

Also:

You concede that men might be sending more dick pics. Note that on that alone, if just one third of men’s messages are dick pics which are ignored completely, that is consistent with an underlying ‘true’ response rate of 42% — same as the ladies. (28% ‘response worthy’ + 38.6% ‘not dick pics but not response-worthy’ + 33.3% ‘dick pics’, and 28/(28+38.6)=42%)

409

Lynne 01.17.14 at 4:51 pm

@ MPAVictoria “Are you really asking why sending someone an unasked for picture of your dick is more offensive than telling them you are athletic?”

He sounds like a charmer, eh?

410

Chris M 01.17.14 at 5:02 pm

Jack, I’m Asian. The Asian rate is 22.2% per the blog post above. My estimate of 10% isn’t that far from 20%. And that’s just an estimate; if I did an analysis, I might find that my response rate is closer to 20%.

411

MPAVictoria 01.17.14 at 5:08 pm

“He sounds like a charmer, eh?”
It is just so appalling.

412

Hector_St_Clare 01.17.14 at 5:10 pm

Dickpics are bad, can we all come to a common understanding on that?

413

MPAVictoria 01.17.14 at 5:14 pm

“Dickpics are bad, can we all come to a common understanding on that?”
Apparently not.
/And they are not always bad! Dickpics sent to a willing recipient can be fun! Think of it as a more modern version of phone sex. Great fun between two consenting adults.

414

jack lecou 01.17.14 at 5:18 pm

That makes sense. Like I said – there’s a lot that could be going on. Maybe there’s other stuff too. Like maybe you’re messaging more, or fewer, or just different women than “average”, even the “average asian”. Or maybe there’s some other detail about your profile that’s throwing people off. Or who knows what.

The point being that one anecdotal experience, however exceptional, doesn’t actually tell us anything. The fact remains that I, at least, would expect a significantly higher fraction of the man->woman contact attempts to be dick pics (or otherwise valueless) than the woman->man responses. It’s as good an explanation for the disparity in response rate as any — it wouldn’t take very many of these ‘empty’ attempts to throw off the raw numbers ok cupid is publishing, even if the rate of responses to serious contacts for both men and women is actually identical.

Bottom line: we really cannot take those unadjusted numbers at anything like face value.

415

Bloix 01.17.14 at 5:24 pm

I wonder whether the prevalence of on-line pornography effects male behavior on dating sites. Is it just that men feel able to say things to women that they would never say in person because of the anonymity granted by the internet? Or does the experience of masturbating to on-line porn make men feel like the computer is the place for porn, so that for them, dating sites become a sort of adjunct to porn sites?

And what are these men expecting when they contact a woman on OKC? Do they have even the remotest hope of a positive response? Or are they all flashers and frotteurs who get off on causing women discomfort?

416

Mao Cheng Ji 01.17.14 at 5:32 pm

This discussion has turned puritanical.

417

Hector_St_Clare 01.17.14 at 5:41 pm

I don’t see what the fuss is about ‘generica’ though. Most initial messages you send out will not get a response anyway, so it’s best not to spend more than a minute or two composing them. Initial contacts are supposed to be generic, just like telemarketing phone calls are.

418

Barry 01.17.14 at 5:43 pm

Mao Cheng Ji 01.17.14 at 5:32 pm

“This discussion has turned puritanical.”

For a wildly non-traditional definition of the word.

419

Ronan(rf) 01.17.14 at 5:48 pm

To the puritans, Snapchat and dick pics would have been seen as a manifestation of God’s will, afaik.
So it’s not puritanical, afaict
Maybe common sense?

420

Ronan(rf) 01.17.14 at 5:52 pm

No not common sense so much as understanding basic societal norms?

421

Mao Cheng Ji 01.17.14 at 5:54 pm

Prudish, then?

422

MPAVictoria 01.17.14 at 5:55 pm

“Prudish, then?”
What comment did you find prudish?

423

Phil 01.17.14 at 5:55 pm

And what are these men expecting when they contact a woman on OKC? Do they have even the remotest hope of a positive response?

Net access can have the effect of concentrating & amplifying extreme behaviour. I once knew a guy who was notorious for approaching women in clubs & asking straight out if they wanted a shag. He took the view that if he ended up with nine refusals (and three slaps in the face) plus one shag, he’d come out ahead. He was the only guy we knew who took that approach or anything like it – he was talked about – but that’s in the setting of one (white collar) workplace in one city in England. So let’s say there’s ten of those guys in Manchester, ten in Liverpool, a couple each in Bolton, Oldham and Wigan… it soon adds up. Say a hundred or two hundred guys like that in the UK, and four or five times as many in the US; put one tenth of them on OKCupid and there you are.

424

Hector_St_Clare 01.17.14 at 6:01 pm

Asking if you want to shag is still different from flashing your d*ck, Phil.

425

LFC 01.17.14 at 6:13 pm

M. James @402
Re your comment on bonobos: the picture of them has apparently gotten somewhat (though I think not completely) revised in recent years. (I have a ref. to this somewhere but can’t take the time to find it right now.)

426

Niall McAuley 01.17.14 at 7:24 pm

Hector writes: Most initial messages you send out will not get a response anyway, so it’s best not to spend more than a minute or two composing them. Initial contacts are supposed to be generic, just like telemarketing phone calls are.

Hmmm, more evidence for Hector being a Poe’s Law script triggering off recent keywords.

427

bekabot 01.17.14 at 8:58 pm

douchecanoues

Can I use that word? A lot?

428

Ronan(rf) 01.17.14 at 9:34 pm

Mpa@422

I wouldn’t mind Maos halfwittery

429

Christina 01.17.14 at 10:14 pm

I tried online dating once. I set up a profile that specifically said I was not looking for casual sex, that I generally don’t have sex with someone until we’ve been dating for several months, and that I would be uninterested if your initial message to me was an obvious cut-&-paste job that you sent to every single woman on the site. I put the profile up late at night, and when I got up in the morning I had over 300 messages in my inbox. I read through maybe the first 150. About 100 of them were dickpics or offers for NSA sex. Three seemed like thoughtfully written messages, the others were obviously canned messages with no personalization at all, or were angry messages asking why I hadn’t replied yet to their first generic message. By the time I made it through these, I had received another 200 messages. Seriously, I’m supposed to reply to all of these? I had to take a break. When I got back to it the next day, my inbox was full and when I saw additional message from the three “thoughtful” guys they were invective-filled rants about what a cunt I was for not replying to them quickly enough. Killed the profile and went on with my life. So I really can’t see what use the “response rate” is when deciding who to send a message to. Perhaps she’s swamped.

430

Martin James 01.17.14 at 10:39 pm

Lynne and MPAVictoria,

Layman proposed as explanation for the pics, that it was a primitive male dominance behavior. This didn’t seem to explain to me why they selected an offensive form of dominance display. I could have just asked why they picked that form, but in trying to decide if the pics were in fact a dominance display (after all compared to a fist or a club or even an angry look, they just don’t seem that dominating) and wondering if i grant that they are did that make the other forms offensive as well, but rather than asking that I chose to ask why the pics were offensive relative to others. To me, the dominance aspect isn’t the only or even primary offensive part, I mean if they sent an anus photo that would be pretty offensive, too.

Asking questions about the obvious can lead to insights.

As for the charmer comment and the “if you question why X, then Fuck you”. Firstly, there is much more to fear from the often charming sociopaths than from the ignorantly offensive and the second seems to not be of the two wrongs don’t make a right school of thought, where I deserve an offensive response because I was obviously “asking for it” with my question.

431

Layman 01.17.14 at 10:46 pm

“This didn’t seem to explain to me why they selected an offensive form of dominance display. “

Describe an inoffensive form of dominance display.

432

Layman 01.17.14 at 10:50 pm

“The comedy and irony was intended kind of showing that even I made a sneering put down I didn’t really mean it to stick.”

You can of course claim you intended the absurdity, and the rules of polite discourse require that accept that explanation. Privately, though, I don’t believe it.

433

Hector_St_Clare 01.17.14 at 11:03 pm

Re: This didn’t seem to explain to me why they selected an offensive form of dominance display

Because they’re not intending it as a dominance display, they’re trying to be offensive and bother the recipient. I doubt they *actually* get very many positive hits from the unsolicited dickpick approach.

434

Hector_St_Clare 01.17.14 at 11:05 pm

Re: Hmmm, more evidence for Hector being a Poe’s Law script triggering off recent keywords

I don’t see what I said that was so Poe’s Law triggering.

If you’re trying to sell yourself, just like if you’re trying to sell a vacuum cleaner or a microwave, you need to figure most people aren’t going to be interested, so best not to spend too much time crafting your sales pitch.

435

Bloix 01.17.14 at 11:08 pm

#423 – “I once knew a guy who was notorious for approaching women in clubs & asking straight out if they wanted a shag. He took the view that if he ended up with nine refusals (and three slaps in the face) plus one shag, he’d come out ahead.”

Yeah, well, I don’t know much about English pubs, but I tend to think that the odds of the guy getting laid with that line were not 9:1, but maybe 9999:1, and that what he was really doing was getting off on making women feel uncomfortable and unwelcome. There are a lot of men who find pleasure in making women miserable.

436

Mao Cheng Ji 01.17.14 at 11:34 pm

What if a young lady was going around the pub asking men if they wanted a (free) shag? I wonder what people think her odds would be. If they think the odds would be better than 9999:1 or even than 9:1, then I wonder how they explain the asymmetry: nature or nurture? If they explain it by nurture, I wonder if they think that in the ideal world the odds should be equal for men and women, and if not, why not? Thanks.

437

Martin James 01.17.14 at 11:36 pm

Well, I thought stating your height if you are tall, your job if it is prestigious, your address if it is desirable, your forty time if you are an athlete, but I admitted above that the line between polite and impolite display of social status seems a bit subjective.

To risk more scorn, precisely how different is a pic of dick from getting a breast enlargement and wearing a very low cut shirt in public? Opinions do differ on these things and not just by gender and not just for puritans.

438

Hector_St_Clare 01.17.14 at 11:39 pm

Martin James,

Yes, prestigious jobs are a classic way that males try to gain status and dominance, in order to attract women. I suspect that’s one of the prime reasons men try to achieve in their profession/jobs, as a sexual strategy.

439

Martin James 01.17.14 at 11:41 pm

Layman,

I probably wouldn’t believe me either, but I don’t think you will see a pattern of sneering first in my comments.

440

Martin James 01.17.14 at 11:51 pm

Layman,

Do you find ultimate fighting offensive? I’m not a fan, bit I don’t find it offensive though. Old school professional wrestling does make me feel icky morally.

441

Ronan(rf) 01.17.14 at 11:58 pm

Well I’m with Mao, as an old time liberal. People should be able to send what they like to each other, all things being equal. But why associate with hector s authoritan Marxism, Mao? Because you’re just being a contrarian toll

442

Ronan(rf) 01.17.14 at 11:58 pm

Tool

443

Martin James 01.18.14 at 12:06 am

Hector you said,

“Because they’re not intending it as a dominance display, they’re trying to be offensive and bother the recipient. I doubt they *actually* get very many positive hits from the unsolicited dickpick approach.”

Isn’t it possible that they get off on humiliation and are hoping for a response like Ronan had in 4 above “She replied something along the lines of ‘dude, what the f**k are you doing emailing me a picture of your tiny cock?” That seems to me the most likely type of response. The pleasure in offending others just seems so much easier to get without a picture.

Taking the scorched earth defense (I’m sure someone will say that I’m just projecting)

444

Hector_St_Clare 01.18.14 at 12:08 am

Ronan,

I thought Mao is a Marxist. I may be wrong about his previous pseudonym though.

445

Martin James 01.18.14 at 12:15 am

Mao,

In an ideal world no one would say no and no one would want to ask someone who would say no.

Its called true love, baby.

446

MPAVictoria 01.18.14 at 1:14 am

Is anyone monitoring this thread?

447

LFC 01.18.14 at 1:40 am

Two things (well, more than that, but will limit it) have made me laugh:

This from Hector @385, which I just noticed:
Frankly, I find Mao Cheng to be one of the more interesting posters here, and a refreshing contrast to the echo chamber.

And this, from MPAV:
Is anyone monitoring this thread?

448

MPAVictoria 01.18.14 at 1:47 am

Well in my defence LFC we do have a poster defending unsolicited dick pictures.

449

Hector_St_Clare 01.18.14 at 1:49 am

Re: we do have a poster defending unsolicited dick pictures.

We do? Who?

450

MPAVictoria 01.18.14 at 1:52 am

“We do? Who?”

Really?

451

Hector_St_Clare 01.18.14 at 2:04 am

Certainly I have not done so, MPA Victoria. I’ll point you to the evidence.

452

LFC 01.18.14 at 2:11 am

MPAV,
No defense needed. Wasn’t intending to be critical.
I’ll think I’ll leave it at that.

453

LFC 01.18.14 at 2:12 am

shd be: “I think”
I can’t even type simple sentences. A sign to get off the internet for the evening.

454

Ronan(rf) 01.18.14 at 2:14 am

Hector. Martin James has. By any reasonable standard. I can’t reply after this but I’m with mpa on this. Don’t try and play it down

455

godoggo 01.18.14 at 2:15 am

For G-d’s sake Hector. Use an i, u, or an asterisk, but not all 3 in the same thread. Puck one and st*ck with it. Consistence is imprortant!

456

Layman 01.18.14 at 2:18 am

Martin James @ 439

I’m sorry, I should have made it clear I’m talking about sexual dominance – the assertion by primate males of sexual dominance over primate females. I’m not talking about alpha male competition.

Are there any sexual dominance displays – efforts by males to assert sexual dominance over unwilling females – which you think are not offensive?

457

Layman 01.18.14 at 2:20 am

“Isn’t it possible that they get off on humiliation and are hoping for a response like Ronan had in 4 above “She replied something along the lines of ‘dude, what the f**k are you doing emailing me a picture of your tiny cock?” That seems to me the most likely type of response. The pleasure in offending others just seems so much easier to get without a picture.”

I don’t want to make the same mistake again, so: Is this more of your comedy?

458

Michael Harris 01.18.14 at 3:02 am

If you go back to some previous threads you can find multiple examples of people wondering if Hector is an example of Poe’s Law. He always denies in when asked so I guess we can assume he is serious.

A Poe’s Law testbot would deny being a Poe’s Law testbot, so I am still unconvinced.

Moreover, combined with the Turing test element, all the more reason to claim sincerity. I mean, a real human would claim sincerity and seriousness of purpose, right? And there we are, doubly fooled.

459

Hector_St_Clare 01.18.14 at 3:06 am

Lyman,

If they’re ‘unwilling’, then it’s objectionable. If they’re not, then it isn’t. Also, there are forms of dominance other than sexual- economic or social, for example.

460

Layman 01.18.14 at 3:24 am

“If they’re ‘unwilling’, then it’s objectionable. If they’re not, then it isn’t. Also, there are forms of dominance other than sexual- economic or social, for example.”

Hector, rapists routinely claim their victims were willing, so your distinction is a meaningless one. And, I’m quite aware that there are other forms of domination, but since we aren’t talking about unsolicited photos of their bank balance, can we not stick to this particular form?

461

Syl 01.18.14 at 3:40 am

Bloix : Reality doesn’t match your assumptions.

I have a friend who had a friend who literally asked every woman in the pubs they went out to if they wanted a shag, if they said no they didn’t take offence but moved on to the next woman. The last time they knew them, they were approaching triple figures in partners (they were not being choosy). They do it because it works.

The one thing I do have to ask about the OKC experiment is that two hours is very short and the experimenter seems terribly inexperienced. Two hours is not very long for a number of decently crafted messages to be sent, and if they’re single line bollocks messages, why were they even bothering replying?

I’m a bi guy, and I get hit on by ‘straight’ guys on OKC. They’re extremely obvious (short, content free messages) and I never bother replying. This is basic Internet Dating 101. There were some other guys who were much more entertaining about it and I do hope they found what they wanted.

The only thing I will question, which may be somewhat reflective of the dating style I want, is complaining about suggestive comments after a number of messages. Now, I realise this is for some people utterly verboten until after the first date, but in all honesty : Get A Fucking Life.

People are on dating sites to have sex, unless they are asexual. This may be in the context of a relationship, but you would expect a lot of fucking to be involved. Once you’ve chatted enough to establish there are no major red flags, there need to be subtle (or slightly less than subtle) indications that the other person in addition to finding you interesting, also potentially fancies you, wants to rip your clothes off and have hot sex (after you’ve got to know each other, not in half an hour behind the bushes unless you’re obviously both into that sort of thing).

This, in my opinion, is normal. For the class of suggestive, but non instant dick pic jockeys, it’s a case of establishing levels of desire and relationship expectations. You get annoyed by vaguely suggestive comments? I get irritated by conversations with no commitment to meeting for dating or friendship and the distinct suspicion my time is being wasted as they’re too polite to ignore me and not honest enough to say they don’t fancy me.

462

Martin James 01.18.14 at 4:19 am

Ronan,

I said it was offensive. I have never defended it. Is asking why people do bad things, defending those bad things? Is hypothesizing the particular reason they are motivated to dominate defending than domination?

I’m not going to post any more on this because it sounds like I’m too easily misunderstood and not aware of what is acceptable inquiry here.

463

Hector_St_Clare 01.18.14 at 4:34 am

I’m not sure why were going in circles, Layman. If she expresses interest in a dominant male, and he expresses interest in a submissive female, then that’s cool. If not , then it’s objectionable.

464

MPAVictoria 01.18.14 at 5:56 am

“MPAV,
No defense needed. Wasn’t intending to be critical.
I’ll think I’ll leave it at that.”

Sorry LFC I guess I misunderstood you. My sincere apologies.

465

MPAVictoria 01.18.14 at 5:57 am

“Certainly I have not done so, MPA Victoria. I’ll point you to the evidence.”

I was not referring to you Hector. My apologies if it appeared like I was.

466

MPAVictoria 01.18.14 at 6:07 am

“I’m not going to post any more on this because it sounds like I’m too easily misunderstood and not aware of what is acceptable inquiry here.”

And nothing of value was lost….

467

Martin James 01.18.14 at 6:19 am

MPAVictoria and Ronan,

I’ve been feeling sick and racking my brain about what I may have said that made anyone think I condoned any kind of unwanted sexual advances or domination. The only thing I’ve come up with is the post where I said no one would say no. As the rest of that post I thought made clear, that in my idea of an ideal world we would only desire those that we truly love and that we magically would only fall in love with those that also truly love us.

Harassment would have no place in a world like that.

468

Mao Cheng Ji 01.18.14 at 7:54 am

“Its called true love, baby.”

True love is form of male domination. Because PENIS.

469

LFC 01.18.14 at 4:11 pm

Before the thread closes I want to follow up on my vague comment @425 on the side-issue of bonobos. What I had in mind was a 2007 New Yorker article, purporting to debunk the view of bonobos as peaceful etc., to which Frans de Waal responded here:
http://www.skeptic.com/eskeptic/07-08-08/
The link contains in a footnote the date of the New Yorker article to which he’s replying.

Not that this has v. much to do w the main topic but since it arose upthread and I picked up on it, I figured I should track down the ref.

470

elm 01.18.14 at 4:49 pm

Layman @456

There is a real kink/fetish in which men find sexual gratification in being verbally humiliated about their sex organs. Its likely that that some people who send those messages are hoping for insulting/humiliating replies.

However, that factoid is irrelevant.

You shouldn’t push unwilling participants into your sex acts, full stop. I disapprove of that behavior and will not defend it in the least.

Whether you seek humiliation, or are trying to entice, or just enjoy exposing yourself, its wrong to send unsolicited photos or sexually explicit messages to another person, because that other person did not consent.

471

Belle Waring 01.18.14 at 4:56 pm

“I totally misunderstood your concern with the “velvety” comment. I thought you meant by “it got to you” that you were aroused against your will and were pissed about it. I guess the reason I thought that is that I couldn’t see what the word velvety added to the offensiveness. I mean its not nice even without the velvety. Hard to keep up with this, particularly because you are no prude and use colorful and sarcastic language so its sometimes hard to tell where you are going with things.”
REALLY? I mean, you not only misunderstood me in this way, you misunderstood and then realized how horribly you had it the wrong way around, and then told me about the former and the latter even though the former would have been, to any ordinary person, in conjunction with the latter, embarrassing if not actually humiliating, (so most people would have kept shutting up there) AND THEN you thought it an excellent opportunity to ask me something you’d been meaning to for some time, about my interesting claims about women’s higher sex drives?? Really? REALLY AND FOR TRUE? Re-read that and think again about which part of any of that sounded like a good idea to you, dude.

“So to be more specific, I wasn’t saying that it was their right to choose that created the inequality, it was their preferences and behavior that contributed to it. This is a more extreme version than what I believe but could it not be the case that “deregulating” sexual practices and providing more liberty has the same effect as deregulating the financial sector, the rich get richer?”

Again, if women were just allotted to men against their will, or had to have sex with all comers, equality would return to the sexual sector of the market? You do realize this equality would return only for the men right? You’re getting that? On account of the total entire inequality on the women’s side, what with them not being allowed to choose their sexual partners based on any qualities whatsoever?

“As for the theory, thanks for putting one out there. It still leaves me with the question of why, if you are right,that particular dominance display is more offensive than saying you are athletic or wealthy or funny or even a good lover.”

Aaaaaannnd we’re done, people. I have zero fucks to give, pal.

472

elm 01.18.14 at 5:26 pm

Belle @ 469: You’re a far braver person than I to wade so far into the post you quoted.

I’m afraid that the phenomenon described in the original posting touches on far too many social dysfunctions (many exhibited mostly by men) to have a productive rational discussion about it.

Among the behaviors on display:
1. Men initiating overtly sexual communication with unwilling people.
2. Men dismissing the accounts of women.
3. Men dismissing the accounts of other men who confirm women’s experiences.
4. People who insist in having every last detail of every phenomenon explained to them.
5. Website operators who permit and (probably a unintentionally) facilitate sexual harassment on their sites.
6. Men who intentionally use overt or slightly-veiled threats of sexual violence to silence people who disagree with them.
7. People who bloviate about hypothetical utopias during discussions of real peoples’ real lived experiences.

I’m sure I have missed some of the dysfunctions on display here, but I think I hit the big ones.

473

elm 01.18.14 at 5:31 pm

Oh, I did forget one big one:

8. Women who feel that they have no choice but to tolerate such harassment.
8a. A society that makes tolerating such harassment a sadly I reasonable option.
8b. A society that socializes girls into not standing up for themselves yet blames and shames victims of sexual violence and harassment.
9. Men who are deeply ignorant of women’s experiences and take personal offense at any attempt by a woman to guard or protect herself.

474

bianca steele 01.18.14 at 6:01 pm

Belle: Totally devils-advocate on your “velvety” story: I have run into men who use that kind of language even in (presumptively) all-male groups. I’ll leave it to gay men (and S&M people) to decide whether that kind of language is presumptively offensive. But couldn’t one interpret it “charitably” as his saying something like, “Wow, it’s almost like I’m putting words in your mouth?” The problem there is that it then becomes problematic because is the next step in the “charitable” interpretation something like “Did you really have the right to have sex with me at that point, or does the fact that you’re uncomfortable when I bring up blow jobs make you realize that you shouldn’t have said what you did–shouldn’t have agreed with me because hey it’s my body!–?” And then it gets all squicky again, better not to go there.

475

bianca steele 01.18.14 at 6:07 pm

I’m so curious about the dominance displays though, because not to go all Unfogged here, I’ve been watching my preschool age daughter in mixed-gender and all-girl groups, and wondering whether she’s being crowded by the slowest boys because they, like her, are slow in part because they like to group together and crowding one another because they’re fairly clumsy, or whether they are crowding her because being relatively slow they would like to assert dominance over somebody if they can.

476

Layman 01.18.14 at 6:21 pm

Elm @ 468

I understand that some such photo transmissions result from a desire for humiliation; I just reject as silly the idea that most, or indeed all, are. And I agree with the rest if your post.

477

elm 01.18.14 at 6:22 pm

Returning to the original text:

the worst thing anyone ever said to me in a political argument was to wonder whether the top of my mouth would feel velvety on his cock.

I don’t think there is much room for charitable interpretation and I think devils-advocacy obscures the reality and comes closer to excusing and normalizing it than I would prefer.

Clearly Belle knows more about the context than I do, but one charitable nterpretation is that the poster was trying to bully or offend Belle out of the conversation with sexual language.

A less charitable (but still reasonable) interpretation is that it was a thinly-veiled threat of sexual violence against a woman who disagreed with him.

In either case, its presumptively offensive (even amongst kinky folks) when no agreed-to relationship exists.

478

js. 01.18.14 at 6:24 pm

Yikes! I had so far been skipping over the Martin James comments, which… turns out to have been a rather sound instinct that I now very sorry to have overridden.

479

elm 01.18.14 at 6:50 pm

Layman @474: I understand what you’re saying now and I agree.

The productive response for someone who receives such unsolicited pictures is probably to block and report the offender. I don’t know whether its wiser to send no response or to send a response like “I do not want your pictures.” — sadly, I suspect that not responding is safer.

The website operator also ought to have a policy for handling such harassment and ban people who do so. Unfortunately, I suspect that they don’t do that very well (if they enforced it well, then it would be rare, rather than pervasive).

480

Collin Street 01.18.14 at 9:22 pm

(if they enforced it well, then it would be rare, rather than pervasive).

A quick thought on the population dynamics suggests that over-entitled fuckups are going to have much lower success rates at forming stable relationships than better-adjusted people, and so will be significantly overrepresented in the userbase of dating sites.

The thought strikes me that, on the economic side, if you’re running a pay-by-the-month relationship site you’d want someone who’s going to stay long-term, don’t you.

[who's the customer here, and who's the product?]

481

Martin James 01.19.14 at 4:39 am

Thanks for the scathing critiques and explanations. Belle, elm and others including Hector and Mao. Really.

482

Belle Waring 01.19.14 at 4:57 am

bianca steele: NO FUCKING WAY IN A MILLION MOTHERFUCKING YEARS, THANKS FOR TRUSTING MY INSTINCTS AND OPINIONS AT ALL; THAT WAS VERY CONSIDERATE AND RESPECTFUL.

483

bianca steele 01.19.14 at 2:24 pm

Belle, I’m not sure what you’re responding to or what resulted in that reply with the all caps. I see now that you didn’t actually say the incident was online, which to me suggested there was no way there was an actual proposition involved, and it was only an attempt to use sexual language to offend you or throw you off balance. I apologize if I gave the impression I didn’t believe what you said about what happened.

484

Belle Waring 01.19.14 at 3:38 pm

bianca steele, please don’t insult my intelligence. I did say it was online. I further said it was extraordinarily crude, and offensive, and was intended to wound me, and to shut me up, and that I strongly suspected that male commenters in the same thread never got comments from this poster anything like it. In my repeated suggestions that I was surprised no one was surprised, I had occasion to ask whether any male CT posters or commenters who got into arguments about Obama’s drone policy had that kind of language thrown at them suddenly. And they don’t. Because it’s part of a gendered form of harassment aimed at women and at driving them out of online fora. And I think it’s according me only the barest shred of interpretative charity, especially under the circumstances–in which I am specifically discussing what happens when men read women’s accounts of being sexually harassed this way online!–that you believe my reporting of the facts. Because what do men say when they read accounts like this from women? Either 1) it didn’t happen or 2) they should toughen up, the internet’s a rough-and-tumble place or 3) they probably misinterpreted what was going on and the man was well-intentioned. Why on earth would you choose so loathsome a person to play devil’s advocate for? Why advance claim 3 in a thread intended to dismantle problematic bullshit like claim 3? Seriously, just, no. That all that happened was I used the caps lock is an indication that I must have accidentally taken 20mg of valium before yelling. Because straight what the FUCK EVEN? Please, try to be less intentionally unpleasant. I don’t hold out hopes for Mr. James but I’m inclined in general to think you’ll say something intelligent. Don’t depress me, please.

485

bianca steele 01.19.14 at 4:23 pm

Belle Waring,
If by “less intentionally offensive” you mean “more unintentionally offensive” apparently I can do that, and I’m sorry. I apologize for not catching where you gave those details about the situation. I did not intend to deny anything you said about the situation or to guess. I do not believe there is any interpretation of what was said, even on the most abstract description of it, that makes it less horrendous, and if my understanding of what happened was a misunderstanding, I nevertheless did not intend to deny that it was horrendous. I do NOT think it was likely the guy was well-intentioned–I thought it was most likely at best that he was implicitly accusing you (UNFAIRLY) of overstepping a line (in a way he wouldn’t have done with a man regardless of the sexual metaphors he *might* have used with a man, maybe), and switching to inappropriate language to prevent you from contributing further to the discussion, or at least to force you to play by his suddenly gendered rules. I feel terrible that you understood what I wrote as trying to substitute a different understanding of the context for your own understanding of your own experience, and I do apologize. Please mentally ignore what I wrote and replace @477 instead if you have to.

486

Mao Cheng Ji 01.19.14 at 4:58 pm

Would it be wrong to object to all gratuitous online insults, rather than one subcategory? I mean, I suppose you might’ve been less offended by insults suggesting that you are a chatterbot, or that you’re so dumb that you’d be better off killing yourself and so on, but surely this is just a matter of perception. An insult is an insult, and they are all aimed at driving someone out. Nothing’s wrong with concentrating on one category, of course, but let’s not forget the big picture.

487

Hector_St_Clare 01.19.14 at 5:03 pm

Mao Cheng,

Now, I think you usually have interesting things to say, but that’s just stupid.

488

Mao Cheng Ji 01.19.14 at 5:11 pm

Well, Hector, I can only guess what you find stupid in my comment, so I apologize if I misinterpreted. Here it is: to a prude, the insults of sexual nature are of course a very special and horrific category, but not everyone is a prude. Like I said, a matter of perception.

489

Mtnmarty 01.19.14 at 5:13 pm

Belle,

You may not have hope for me, but for the record, I never in any way defended the velvety commenter even in a devils advocate kind of way. I did misunderstand the particular way you were offended and I thanked you for pointing it out and I apologize for not being more socially aware.

490

bianca steele 01.19.14 at 5:17 pm

I fully expect the Vatican to apologize to the good people of the world for employing a devil’s advocate. Now that I’ve implicated myself in the evil of the devil’s advocate, I’ll gladly associate myself with the campaign against devil’s advocacy everywhere, even though I’m not a Catholic. Heck, I’ll convert just so I can join the good fight.

491

Hector_St_Clare 01.19.14 at 5:22 pm

Mao,

What the F*ck?

No, when directed at women, s*xualized insults are particularly threatening, because rape exists. Being a prude has nothing to do with it.

There are plenty of other insults you can use against women commenters that don’t involve sex.

492

bianca steele 01.19.14 at 5:25 pm

Hector,
Do you really believe that the reason good manners exclude sex discussions from polite conversation is rape? That there could be no other reason for that? Why? Do you think if a man is reminded of sex, he will rape?

493

bianca steele 01.19.14 at 5:29 pm

And do you really think massively harassing treatment disproportionately aimed at women is far, far less bad than one or two mentions of sex acts, as long as the sexual nature of each individual act of harassment is deniable?

494

Mao Cheng Ji 01.19.14 at 5:31 pm

Suicide also exists, so, isn’t telling someone to go kill themselves also particularly threatening? I suppose you’re coming from the assumption that the women are weak, impressionable, and vulnerable, but that assumption is itself insulting to many women these days.

495

MPAVictoria 01.19.14 at 5:37 pm

Hector vs Mao: The battle of the emotionaly stunted Internet trolls!

496

elm 01.19.14 at 5:39 pm

Mao @486, 488

Would it be wrong to object to all gratuitous online insults, rather than one subcategory?

It would be changing the subject to bring that up and attempting to derail the conversation in a transparent fashion. If you don’t want to participate in a conversation regarding women’s lived experiences (and its clear that you’re not participating, but rather trying to interfere with people who are participating), then you are free to do anything else.

Additionally, the topic is not one of prudery. Even most sexually adventurous people prefer to have some element of relationship and consent is paramount.

Bianca @ 490, 492: I just… wow.

497

Hector_St_Clare 01.19.14 at 5:41 pm

Mao Cheng,

I’m perfectly comfortable with the assumption that women are vulnerable, and need especial protection. Suicide threats are also tasteless.

498

Hector_St_Clare 01.19.14 at 5:43 pm

Elm,

I am going to re-start my own blog soon, so if Mao (or anyone else) wants to mock feminists and their lived experiences (as well as capitalism, democracy, multiculturalism, and non-Christian religions), he can come over there. Good times will be had.

499

elm 01.19.14 at 5:44 pm

Its got to be 5 o’clock somewhere. Going to try to erase this whole mess from my memory.

500

Mao Cheng Ji 01.19.14 at 5:55 pm

Hi elm,
no, it wouldn’t be changing the subject. It would be adding the context to the subject.

And since you addressed me, may I point out that your 472

“too many social dysfunctions (many exhibited mostly by men)…
1. Men initiating overtly sexual communication with unwilling people.”

is obviously not true. There is so much (mostly) female sexuality communicated via all the commercial channels to the potential consumers, willing and unwilling, that the sexual communications you’re talking about are a drop in the bucket. Not to mention direct communications initiated by prostitutes on the streets of most cities. All these communications (different manifestations of the same phenomenon) are indeed a social problem, but making it into the war of sexes is not the way to solve it.

501

elm 01.19.14 at 5:55 pm

Sexually explicit commentors — such as Mr. “velvety”, senders of unsolicited penis photographs, and okcupid members who rapidly introduce sexual propositions into conversations — are the online analogue of flashers, subway frottagers, and heavy breathers.

502

Hector_St_Clare 01.19.14 at 5:56 pm

Mao,

Rape is almost entirely a man-on-woman problem (except in prisons). Hence, your whole argument is ridiculous.

503

bspencer 01.19.14 at 6:03 pm

Mao, don’t you know you should only JAQ off in private?

504

bspencer 01.19.14 at 6:05 pm

There is so much (mostly) female sexuality communicated via all the commercial channels to the potential consumers, willing and unwilling, that the sexual communications you’re talking about are a drop in the bucket. Not to mention direct communications initiated by prostitutes on the streets of most cities. All these communications (different manifestations of the same phenomenon) are indeed a social problem

They are? Only to prudes, I would imagine!

505

Ronan(rf) 01.19.14 at 6:33 pm

“I am going to re-start my own blog soon..”

And this was the marketing campaign ?; )

506

Belle Waring 01.20.14 at 3:24 am

OMG! Go Hector!

507

roy belmont 01.20.14 at 4:12 am

Well Hector…
I don’t expect a reply to this seeing as you got the ban on now, but like a lot of things that inform your “positions” your idea about rape isn’t valid, and isn’t helping.
https://tinyurl.com/q9g792v
Very sad very uncomfortable story in the Guardian about the shame silence of men who’ve been raped. And how it’s under-reported as a consequence. Massively.
People like yourself don’t think through the process, don’t empathise, don’t see.
It doesn’t get reported because the telling increases the shame.
Your attitude maintains the climate of shame.
Shame on you.

508

Mao Cheng Ji 01.20.14 at 7:16 am

“They are? Only to prudes, I would imagine!”

No, not only, but among other social issues (which are many) these would scandalize a prude much more, obviously. Is this controversial, somehow? There is a spectrum of opinions about porn, prostitution, public nudity, and so on; from these things being the sign of moral decay leading to the end of civilization, to them being a minor problem, easy to keep under control. Is this not true?

509

J. Rice 01.20.14 at 12:34 pm

LOVE the They Might Be Giants reference – cracked me up!! :)

510

Tom West 01.21.14 at 3:54 am

Honestly, I’m glad the guy learned something, but this whole thing smacks of the constant issue where men have to experience something themselves and say “wow, it really is that bad” rather than just believing women.

Because if it was really that bad, women would be taking assault rifles and massacring large quantities of random men on a regular basis. Since no group of human beings could possibly be continuously undergoing that sort of low (and often high) level assault on a regular basis without a significant number of them becoming literally homicidal, and that’s not happening, then they *must* be exaggerating.

More seriously, I suspect that no culturally disparate group easily understands or believes another group’s claims. It’s simply that white men have all the power, so their beliefs and problems get acted upon.

Perhaps in 20-30 years, the economic and political power shoes will be on the other foot, and women may decide it’s high time to cull the pool of those male sexual-no-hopers who are unable to curb their resentment at their plight and spend their time forcing their odious attentions upon women.

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