Thursday, August 21, 2014

Won't Someone Please Think of the Dudebros?


That title's a keeper.

Today's dudebro worries come courtesy of a Bloomberg piece, which Salon has already mocked in their article, "College dudes worried that movement to take rape seriously is ruining their sex lives." (Ableist language in the article.)

Actually, much of what's in the Bloomberg article is encouraging. Take a look at these quotes.

Pollack said a patient recently told him about making out with a girl at a party. Things were going fine, the student said, when suddenly a vision of his school’s disciplinary board flew into his head. 
“‘I want to go to law school or medical school after this,’” Pollack said, recounting the student’s comments. “‘I said to her, it’s been nice seeing you.’”

Bloomberg portrays this in a negative light, but I say that this student is being a mature, and prudent young gentleman. It would be better if he was putting on the brakes because he was concerned about the young woman's ability to consent and wanted to be respectful, but hey, we're getting somewhere.



Earlier in the piece, Gill said he no longer offered female classmates beer at parties because he doesn’t want to “look like a predator … it’s a little bit of a blurred line.”

That's a good policy, Gill. It would be better if you didn't want to be a predator rather than just not wanting to look like one, but at least you're not raping anyone.

That Face.
Salon makes a very good point about the next step. Bloomberg is all "MEN ARE HESITATING AND THINKING INSTEAD OF JUST DOING WHATEVER THEY WANT WITH WOMEN REGARDLESS OF WHAT SHE WANTS? THE HORROR." But Katie McDonough of Salon thinks that straight men may be able to handle learning how to interact with women while respecting their boundaries!

And here again is the trouble with how we talk about sex, consent and sexual violence in the United States. There are so many ways to flirt and have really enjoyable casual sex without being predatory, but we never talk about them. The importance of listening to the person you’re interested in having sex with and being alert to non-verbal cues certainly isn’t being taught in schools, and this kind of thing generally isn’t modeled in pop culture. So we have a vacuum about relationships and healthy sexuality.

This is a much better position to take on the issue than "some men feel that too much responsibility for preventing sexual assault has been put on their shoulders" (actual quote from the Bloomberg piece, wow).

I don't think that young men are such weaksauce that they can't handle treating women with respect and thinking about consent rather than just raping women because they know they can get away with it. I think men can handle having nice, adult sexual encounters with women that end up pleasing both parties. We just have to ACTUALLY TEACH PEOPLE HOW TO DO THIS god damn.

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