Saturday, October 06, 2018

So Far Apart?

     Maybe.  And maybe not.  The politicians have certainly drawn up lines.  Regular people?  Perhaps not so much as it seems.

     An interesting take on our division from a writer at the Atlantic sheds, for once, more light than heat.


Unknown said...

I've become addicted to reading twitter over the past many days, and Conor Friedersdorf was one of the very few "blue check mark" journalists where everything he said about it turned out to be true.

pigpen51 said...

A very decent article by Conor F. It actually ties in with something that I myself came to learn, just today. Well, not learn, but to realize. While I will say that I supported Judge Kavanaugh being confirmed, I of course was not blind to the horror show that was the hearings of the last few weeks. It did seem like there were only two sides, and a very solid line down the middle that you could not cross.
But as I was thinking today about everything that I had read, and heard, the last weeks, I was struck by this one fact, that knocked me a step back, mentally. I realized that I never realized just how many women that I knew, either by friendship, or by the internet, who have experienced just the kind of sexual assault that Dr.Ford described, or worse. As I pondered it, I thought it might rise to as much as 50% of women have at one time in their life, been either assaulted, or harassed, sexually, and unwanted, by a man.
It is just like when I speak to someone who rides a motorcycle. It is not, have you ever laid your bike down, it is, tell me about when you laid your bike down, because almost every motorcycle rider has a harrowing tale of the time they had a deer or a car or something that forced them to lay their bike down on the roadway. And it seems to be that way for women as well. It is not, have you ever been made to feel sexually threatened, but tell me about the time that you felt sexually threatened. Because I think that at one time or another, just about all women have a story, one that until now, I never knew about, or sadly, thought about.
So if for no other reason than that, this whole issue has been eye opening for me, as to just how prevalent sexual assault is against women. And hopefully, there are many others out there, who feel the same, and have had their eyes opened, and can begin to change what I see now as a culture that has looked the other way for much too long.
The me too and Harvey Weinstein thing really didn't resonate with me, as I don't pay much attention to the rich and famous. But when I hear from people I know, who say that yes, that happened to me, too, it makes an impression.
Is that enough to start a change? I don't know. I know that it changed me, and the way I will see things and women and the problems that they face. I suspect that there will always be the testosterone fueled male macho attitude that says that women are only there to serve the male ego, if not in words, than in actions. But hopefully, with greater awareness, will come greater willingness for women to stand up and speak out, and for people to believe them. That has nothing to do with this latest fiasco. The pundits will be pounding on this one for months, until the next best story comes along. At the very least, the light has been shined upon the issue. What happens now? Time will tell.

Anonymous said...

This is not "women don't matter" or "truth doesn't matter".

Of course women matter. Of course truth matters.

This is about evidence.

How do we determine what is true, or likely to be true? We look at objective evidence and whether it aligns with accusations. In Ford's case, there doesn't seem to be any objective, contemporaneous evidence. No police reports. No diary entries. No witness recollections. No DNA. Nothing.

Given a lack of evidence, Ford's claims must be rejected, and Kavanaugh's denials must be accepted.

If we are to consider this a job interview, we need to look at objective evidence. He has the necessary skills and experience in his field. His career is well documented. He has no criminal record. Extensive background checks have found nothing out of the ordinary.

fillyjonk said...

Pigpen, I agree with you mostly, but I'd put the number at closer to 75% based on my circle of female friends and acquaintances (in a variety of settings, from church groups to colleagues at work).

I'm a woman myself, and I had an experience in junior high that bordered on sexual assault (And no, I was not at a party, I had not been drinking. It happened at SCHOOL.) And I've been catcalled by strangers, which ranges from annoying to mildly frightening depending on the situation.

I dunno. A lot of days lately I'm like "Humans, who needs 'em" and really want to, I don't know, move to the side of a mountain and raise goats or something.

The tiny part of me that still has any idealism suggests that maybe we're beginning to learn, and maybe the "ethical circle" (in terms of who you treat ethically and how) is expanding a little bit and some people are beginning to learn that some of these kinds of behaviors are always unacceptable. But I don't know. Only a tiny part of me still has any idealism.

Ken said...

I believe that durn near all the ills we (rightly) decry are, at bottom, products of treating other people as things (means) instead of as people (ends).