Friday, February 5, 2010

The Scariest Monsters in the World.

The False Rape Accuser

She stalks the streets at 2 AM, blackout drunk and clad only in pasties and a G-string, waiting for a respectable gentleman to come by and strike up innocent conversation. When she finds one, she seduces him, uses him for his body, and leaves. The next thing he knows, he's in handcuffs as she laughs evilly in his face. He has no chance at a fair trial, no one hears him when he speaks the truth, and no one cares for him when he is thrown in jail forever.

The Sexual Harassment Complainer

A close cousin to the False Rape Accuser, this slimy beast lurks in the offices and workshops of the world. She crouches behind cubicle walls and listens at doors for the slightest hint of men being men, and flies into a rage when they dare to express heterosexuality or a sense of humor. A word from her can end your career and cast you homeless and disgraced into the street, and like her cousin, she will laugh and laugh.

The Man Hunter

This creature doesn't merely want to destroy a man; she wants to own him. For this reason, she will fail to permanently disappear after a man's orgasm, even when he has no further use for her. Beware, for merely speaking to her will draw you further into her trap. Every time you let her think she means anything to you emotionally, another tentacle wraps around you. Something as simple as being seen with her in public makes the spell permanent. The next thing you know, you're fifty years old in the suburbs with a mortgage, a beer belly, and two delinquent teenagers.

The Divorcer

The Man Hunter evolves into this in time. When the time comes for her to release her captive, she greedily hoards the money that she earned or enabled him to earn and the children that she bore and raised. Her avaricious desire to own possessions and support and care for her children knows no bounds, and she may steal away as much as half of a bank account that was half hers.

The Menstrual Monster

Twenty-four days of the month, she is a human being. But then her vagina begins to bleed. She goes on a rampage, tearing to shreds any man she sees. She hungers for sex, but her vagina is repulsive to human eyes; she hungers for human flesh, and that she devours. She also hungers for chocolate. In her state of animal irrationality, she is physically and mentally unable to take on the work of a human being, and any responsibilities given to her will be ignored or abused. She can't help herself, her vagina is bleeding.

The Cocktease

This unspeakably horrible monster appears in the form of an attractive woman, deliberately forces men to be attracted to her by walking around all attractive-like or even speaking to them, and then she... ugh, it's too awful... doesn't have sex with everyone who wants to have sex with her. She's like Hitler.

58 comments:

  1. Thank you! That's all we've been trying to say all this time. I think we're really starting to communicate now.

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  2. Wonderfully written, delightfully funny, and unfortunately dead-on, as always.

    I think you meant this as a commentatary on the sad folks who believe ALL women are one of these "monsters" and they just have to figure out which one before they're devoured.

    To me though, it also highlights the irritating "to all women, all men are rapists" argument that's been raging around for a while. While it's true that some women are exactly like what you've described here, the vast majority are not.

    More importantly, the reality is that while there are harrassing assholes who use their ignorance or power to negatively affect people in the workplace, there are also oversensitive bitches who use their ignorance or power to negatively affect people as well. The same sad balance can be found for all the monsters described here. I've also worked and been in social situations with a few ladies who honestly belived they had a once a month week long hall pass to treat the rest of us like dirt and we all had to stand around and be "supportive and understanding" becuase they were on their period.

    Seriously, jerks in general -- male and female -- should all be encouraged to grow up.

    To be clear, I love the post. I just hope it's seen as "some men veiw some women" or "to some men, some women could be viewed as" monsters and not "all men see all women as monsters."

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  3. Dogged Pursuit - Oh no, this is absolutely NOT a commentary on all men. This is a response to the guys who post on threads about rape with "you know, the real threat is false rape accusations."

    ...Which you're kinda doing there, buddy.

    I realize that false accusations happen and I realize that women do leverage stereotypes and "vulnerability" to screw with men. But I think that this happens way way less than genuine sexual abuse--it's not a "balance." And focusing on false accusations way out of proportion to their occurrence is extremely disrespectful to real victims. There are more unreported rapes than falsely reported ones.

    Women being human, women are sometimes evil. Every monster in this post really does exist to some extent. But guys who see them around every corner, or who perceive them as an equal threat to actual rape, are douchebags.

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  4. God, thank you for this. I can't even read some threads in certain journals that I really enjoy because of all the guys who show up to go on about the legions of innocent men who are victimized by...laws preventing them from sexually assaulting or abusing women.

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  5. If Twisty and her friends had their way, a man would be guilty of rape whenever a woman said that he raped her and there was physical evidence they had sex. So there are those who would like to make the false rape accuser into a scarier monster.

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  6. I think you forgot one: the evil sperm thief, who steals a man's semen for her own nefarious purposes and then selfishly refuses to have an abortion and forces him to pay for the care and upkeep of his own child.

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  7. Anon - Twisty's wrong, and you're wrong if you don't get the sarcasm. People accused of rape deserve a fair trial. No more, and sure as fuck no less.

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  8. Thank you for this. A spot on takedown of the sort of boggling shit that makes it not even worth it to poke into most comment threads. Because the guys who say these things without irony seem COMPLETELY incapable of seeing the problem.

    (Wow, Dogged Pursuit, thank you for the illustration)

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  9. Amazing: you post about fake monsters and then the real monsters start coming out of the woodwork.

    That said, your illustration for the Cocktease really is all attractive-like. Phwoar...

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  10. I think I have an internet crush on you now.

    That said, I expect to see the Sexual Harassment Complainer Fish in my nightmares before too long.

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  11. Try volunteering with your local sexual assault resource center or similar: you would not BELIEVE some of the things we get to hear. Both from perps AND victims.

    Humanity's default setting, I'm afraid, is insanity...

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  12. Aebhel and dragojustine - The specific inspiration for this post was Amanda Hess's blog The Sexist, which has interesting posts but vile commenters. And I noticed that every time she posts about rape, she gets dogpiled with weirdos posting things like "Just like men have to walk that line too. We cannot just go around forcing ourselves on women even if we wanted to, and surely there are plenty of women out there who make men want to do that. We have to actually “negotiate” with them, for sex and affection. That’s how life is. And every day of our lives we run the risk of being accused, arrested and incarcerated (and possibly raped in prison) as a result."

    What a poor baby, being forced to deal with women instead of just getting the things he deserves from them, and going to prison if he breaks just one eensy little rule about human bodily autonomy. Poor widdle darling.



    Evan - The original file for the False Rape Accuser Fish was fullscreen size. When I clicked a link and that thing appeared, I just about shat myself.


    Strings - I work in EMS. I'd believe it. It breaks my heart when I hear it from the victims (sorry, I mean the supposed victims, often still covered in alleged blood). But what really gets me is when cops or healthcare providers are all "well, she says she was raped..." like she'd reported a fucking UFO sighting or something.

    When someone calls 911 and says they've been mugged or they're having chest pain, it's our job to take that seriously. People fake chest pain sometimes, but everyone who claims it gets an EKG, not the third degree. Rape shouldn't be some invitation for every yahoo on the scene to play You Be The Judge.

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  13. Well, it seems to me more or less like this: There is a difficult gray area between rape and non-rape, usually in cases where one person genuinely believes that they're being forced into sex that they don't want and the other person belives that both are freely consenting. When they're heterosexuals, regardless of which side is the possible rapist and which is the possible victim, those who emphasize with or take the side of the woman see the man as an uncaring jerk who would do it ("it" being rape, undue coercion, false accusation, etc.) to any woman. Whereas those who would emphasize with or take the side of the man see the woman as a psycho bitch who is deliberately and specifically out to ruin the man in question, and usually no one else.

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  14. Not Me - There is a difficult gray area between rape and non-rape, usually in cases where one person genuinely believes that they're being forced into sex that they don't want and the other person belives that both are freely consenting.

    This is probably worthy of an entire post, but... no. Not really. Sex isn't the difference between "yes" and "no," sex is the difference between "GOD YES I WANT YOU" and "no." Every time I hear that "well, you can't tell if she's consenting if she's just lying there," I really wonder--do people have this kind of sex a lot? She just literally lies there and doesn't say anything and he goes right ahead? Never mind the ethics of "well, she didn't say no," that just doesn't seem sexy at all.

    A lot of discussions about consent seem to assume that a woman's role in sex consists of giving permission and lying back. I think that as long as men would confine their sex to when the woman is actually, you know, participating, they'd be a lot safer from those nasty rape accusations that fall out of the sky.

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  15. Holly

    As someone who was dating a woman, consensually, in college, and went out with her for a while. We then broke up, and then she started the rape allegations. I see things a little differently. Happily, she was stupid, because the legal things went away when I was in another state when she claimed to have been raped, with witnessess, so that only cost a few thousand dollars to deal with. The rumors afterwards, though, and the "No woman would EVER lie about something that important" really fucked things up for me.

    It does make it hard to relax and trust someone in an intimate setting, you know? That was over a quarter century ago, and I'm still not going to give my name.

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  16. Anon - That sucks, it's unfair and horrible, and I don't doubt that it's true.

    It is also: A) Not as common as real sexual abuse, and more importantly B) Not something that negates the importance of real sexual abuse.

    When guys bust in on rape discussions with "what about false rape allegations," I always get the feeling that they want everyone to say "oh, those are so terrible we should forget all about actual rape," when what I really want to say is "yeah, those suck too."

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  17. I disagree with the Cocktease... a cocktease is one that will pretend that she WILL have sex with you in exchange for drinks..etc... and then doesn't... it's cruel and mean.. unless I guy has a fetish for that.. then it's cool...

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  18. Anon - It's not half as cruel and mean as assuming that buying a girl a drink gives you automatic Vagina Rights. A drink's a drink, dude. Sometimes girls don't even want you to buy them a drink but said yes because you offered and it's just a drink; sometimes they change their mind while drinking with you; sometimes they thought they were exchanging a drink for "being nice" but didn't understand that went all the way to sex.

    Either way, you don't get a Guaranteed Pussy Agreement for a freaking glass of booze. You poor baby.

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  19. It's not that false rape accusations and the life-ruining power they have isn't a problem, it's that it's basically men taking threads about fucking rape and going "can't you see this is really about OUR victimization"?

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  20. Holly,

    I should have worded that differently. What I meant was a woman that plays the cocktease game.

    You're right, there are no guarantees; but, what I'm talking about is the leading on. You made it seem that simply since a woman is running around all dressed up makes her a cocktease; that's not the case, at least in the way that I define a cocktease.

    And a woman that changes her mind isn't being a cocktease; the woman that intentionally leads a man on, pretending that he's going to see some action at the end of the night, and then gives him the cold shoulder at the very end because it was a game for her, is being a cocktease.

    It's the fraudulent behavior that I'm complaining about. I could care less if a girl fucks me or doesn't; there's always Craig's List, as you know. ;)

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  21. Not Me: There is a difficult gray area between rape and non-rape, usually in cases where one person genuinely believes that they're being forced into sex that they don't want and the other person belives that both are freely consenting.

    I'm not sure what you mean by this (well, I have a hypothesis, but I'm trying to give you the benefit of the doubt). If they says "yes,"* it's fine, if they don't say "yes," you err on the side of not having sex with them. If they want sex, eventually they'll say "yes." I think "enthusiastic consent" is a needlessly high standard, certainly legally and in an ideal world socially -- someone who's on the fence and unethusiastic should feel free to say "no" (or, raather, not say "yes") until such time as they are enthusiastic or whatever other reason they may have -- but there's nothing complicated about only having sex with overtly consenting partners.

    *There is arguably a grey area over what constitutes coersion vis-a-vis consent, but by and large if a person overtly consents to sex, it's ok.

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  22. Hershele - I wouldn't use enthusiastic consent as a legal standard because it's fuzzily defined and it would make a lot of incidences "rape" that really were just crappy sex.

    However, I think it's an excellent personal standard, and even if having sex with a motionless and stone-faced woman who doesn't technically say "no" is legal, let's agree it's still a craptastic thing to do.

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  23. Anonymous -

    I live in a world where I've been told, straight up, that leaving the house while having breasts is being a cocktease, I suspect by someone who thought that this was cute and funny.

    This disinclines me to really care about the horrors of "the cocktease game" with consenting participants.

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  24. In the cockteasing game, there's only one consenting participant; it's like saying the people that got ripped off by Madoff were willing participants and therefore should get bent.

    What you and Holly are suggesting (in my opinion) are piggish men that feel that they are to be fucked by every woman; and those that don't are nothing more than cockteases.

    Different definitions apparently.

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  25. Anon - Complaints about "wah, I didn't consent to not get laid" just break my fucking heart. I didn't consent for you to not mail me $100, WHAT ABOUT MY RIGHTS.

    Flirting with a girl, buying her drinks, even hearing her say "I'll fuck you tonight" (which I would bet large amounts of money she DIDN'T say), does not entitle you to sex.

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  26. Holly,

    So you approve of the cock teasing game.

    Fine.

    I've said once before a few replies up that you are correct, I (or any other man) isn't entitled to sex.

    Next time someone yanks your chain and you start bitching about it on the blog I'll make sure to call you on it.

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  27. Anon - Rejection hurts, there's no question of that. But I do understand, even when I'm upset about it, that it's not wrong, it's a guy's right to say no at any time no matter what I may be expecting or hoping. And I sure as fuck never use the language of "consent" to describe not getting laid.

    There's a difference between being disappointed you got ditched, and being an entitled asshole about it.

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  28. To put more bluntly what I'm really thinking, anon: I think you fucking hallucinate that a woman is leading you on, that she's promising you sex with a signed contract, when you're attracted to her and she's just mildly friendly. Then when your hallucination is shattered you get all "I guess this was just a big game to you, cocktease!"

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  29. Holly,

    You're still misunderstanding what I'm saying, and I blame myself for that; I probably haven't made a sound enough argument, and I suspect I can't; I hate to bring gender into it, but you kinda have to experience it first hand to understand it. For some reason, I've done a little thinking about it (probably far too much for my own good), and I've identified the problem that I have with it.

    It's not about the sex. Cockteasing has as much to do with sex as rape does; it's about power.

    It's not the fact that they guy was rejected, it's the fact that they cocktease went out with the express intention of leading a guy on, because she knows what power that the vagina has over most men, and at the last minute, she rejects him. That wouldn't be the problem, except the true cocktease rubs it in by essentially saying "HAHA! So long sucker! Don't you feel like an idiot now." In other words, the cocktease is a person that gets off on manipulating another human being and then shitting all over them. That's how I define a cocktease.

    It's disrespectful to another human being. That's why it's cruel, it's taking another persons emotions and then grinding them into the dirt. Sure, we eventually get over it. But like many other emotional "traumas," they affect the way that we feel and think about other people that "look" like the person that did them harm; that's a human thing, and quite unavoidable, as much as we'd like to say it is avoidable.

    In any event, I think this is a topic we're going to have to agree to disagree on. And this is the last I'll write about it.

    P.S. I wish I'd seen the name/URL thing before. I hate posting anon. :/

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  30. Holly,

    A guy in your comments just compared being turned down for sex to being raped.

    Honestly, given the comment threads on other blogs, I suspect this is an indication you're doing something right.

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  31. dragojustine,

    Try reading sometime. It helps. Either that or your just stupid.

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  32. John - No, your stupid. Because you compared cockteasing to rape. Because you fail to understand the difference between a disappointment and a trauma. And because I still think you believe your hard-on was deliberately and maliciously inflicted on you when some poor girl was just saying hi. The thing about "the power of the vagina" is that we can't turn it off, you know? I can't leave my vagina behind when I go out. (I could dress in heavy draping shawls and avoid speaking to men unless I was 100% sure I was going to put out, but fuck that.)

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  33. A guy in your comments just compared being turned down for sex to being raped.

    I could be misreading the comments, but I didn't take it that way. John doesn't seem to be saying that the offensive behavior is "declining sex", it's "premeditatedly using sexual behavior to assert your power over another person". It isn't anywhere near in the same severity-ballpark as rape (similar to what Holly says, it's the difference between a particularly nasty kind of assault-and-battery and merely jerking somebody around), but it doesn't strike me as unreasonable to put it in a similar category. We can _compare_ things without saying they're the same.

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  34. * - Presupposing, of course, that we're talking of the subset of people who deliberately mislead those they have no intention of having any kind of relationship with for the sake of getting enjoyment at the subject's expense, not the larger category of all people who seemed interested at first but later opted out.

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  35. What elmo said.

    Rape and cockteasing aren't in the same ball park, not even close. However, they are similar in that they both use sex as an excuse to behave in a way that belittles and humiliates the other person that doesn't want to be humiliated and belittled (one being considerably worse than the other, of course). That's abuse, and that, in my opinion, is what's wrong with it. No one should have to endure either; we all suffer as a result, since past experiences affect our present perceptions.

    Secondly, (please stop me before I post again), you mistake (again) that it's just a girl saying hi to a guy and the guy thinks that she wants to fuck him, and that entitles him to sex. Again, that's not the case, it's woman that intentionally wants to inflict some sort of emotional harm (for whatever reason) on a man, just because she can.

    My comparison with cockteasing (not rejection of sex) with rape isn't an equality relation; it's like saying cats and dogs are similar in that they have similar physiology, but are different animals.

    No, women can't leave their vagina's at home when they leave they house, but they can leave the bullshit at home; and it's the bullshit that I have a problem with.

    Perhaps it's my naive Midwestern sensibilities, but when someone says something, they should follow through, or not say it at all.

    By the way, I'm not trying to troll you or anything. I've been reading this blog for about a year and this was the first thing that really stuck in my craw like that (other than that I agree with about 95% of what you say here). I think it was your personal definition of what a cocktease is that got to me. I meet many women (I'm in college (almost 40 though)), and I see many women that I really lust after, but I don't see them as cockteases (I haven't run into any here). It's the behavior that I have a problem with in general, not the look, and that's I took exception to.

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  36. John - Rape and cockteasing aren't in the same ball park, not even close. However, they are similar

    Okay, stop RIGHT THERE. Seriously. Cockteasing is not a VIOLENT FUCKING CRIME. No one has ever been cockteased to death. Very few cockteasing survivors suffer from PTSD.

    I know you acknowledge they're not the same ballpark, but you should be able to understand why saying "cockteasing is like the Holocaust, not nearly as bad of course, but..." would be offensive?

    That said... cockteasing exists, yeah, and it is kind of a shitty game to play, but you're blowing the damage caused and the maliciousness of it way out of proportion. And I still think you're perceiving women as cockteases when the woman was completely unaware of this whole "she touched me, that's basically a promise we're going to have sex, she better not break her promise" dynamic going on in your head.

    Every "monster" in this post exists. That's not the joke. The joke is guys acting as if they were Major Social Problems and evidence of institutional sexism against men.

    Saying "cockteasing sucks" is true; saying "cockteasing is kinda like rape, cockteasing is emotional violence, no one should ever have to endure cockteasing, cockteasing is a REALLY BIG DEAL WHAT ARE WE GOING TO DO ABOUT ALL THESE COCKTEASERS" is where I start rolling my eyes.

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  37. With all respect, Holly, I think you may be engaging a little in exactly the kind of rhetoric that fuels these kinds of conflicts.

    Look at it from the non-stupid male perspective for just a moment, and let's take a more serious one--the False Rape Accuser: it's a fact that rape is a huge, _huge_ thing, that can fundamentally change the life of any victim. It's a fact that addressing rape is a necessary thing. It's also a fact that efforts to address rape _sometimes_ go too far, undermining due process and effectively eliminating the presumption of innocence. Rape shield laws look at the evil of harming a victim further by humiliatingly airing her sexual history in court, but often overcompensate by preventing the accused from presenting evidence in his defense. People and institutions are rightfully aware of the bad-old-days when rape victims were dismissed out of hand as liars, sluts, and attention-seekers, but very often overcompensate by assuming out of hand that all accusations are _true_.

    The same is true by a much wider margin with sexual harassment: it's a serious, undeniable problem that needs to be addressed, but efforts to address very often go too far and end up discriminating against a _different_ group.

    If a specific plan to address Problem A leads to Problem B, and the victims of Problem B complain that they don't think that's fair, it isn't cool to dismiss their concerns out of hand because A is bigger than B.

    To put it a different way, my pointing out that rape shield laws are fucked up and unacceptable _does_not_ mean I'm trying to undermine the severity of rape or dismiss the entire phenomenon by invoking the MUCH BIGGER DEAL of false rape accusers.

    I do think that the undermining of due process in the interest of preventing rape is a major social problem. I do think that the almost-universal legal concept of liability for creating a "hostile work environment" defined primarily by the feelings of an offended woman shows an institutional bias agains men in _this_ place.

    Look, Twisty Faster can take one example of women getting a raw deal and turn it into UNIVERSAL OPPRESSION OF WIMMIN! That doesn't mean you're being just as hysterical if you so much as bring us the same example. In the same way, just because some men invoke the Cocktease to dismiss the severity of rape or sexual coercion doesn't mean somebody else is just as hysterical for trying to discuss what categort the CT's behavior falls into.

    You're offended that anybody would compare "cock teasing" to something you (rightfully) consider much more severe. I'm offended that your OP comes across as completely dismissing some legitimate male concerns by shouting "hysteria!", just as women have been dismissed for generations. We're both offended, but that don't mean we can't address each other's statements respectfully.

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  38. I'm just curious to know what "cockteasing" actually IS.

    The many, MANY guys who complain about "cockteases" always say that these women make it seem like they're totally going to put out, but then don't. What constitutes a promise of putting out?

    What I'm picturing, based on the vague allegations guys make, is some woman who comes over to you at the bar, rubs her tits against your arm while telling you how hot she thinks you are, suggests you buy her a drink, suggests you buy her several more drinks, surreptitiously puts her hand down your pants and massages your dick while whispering "take me home so I can fuck you" and then you drive her home and she's like "Cool thanks bye!" and giggles and runs inside, alone. And call me naive, but I really can't picture ANY woman doing that, let alone the scores of them that men claim are out there. I agree with Holly that most of the time, a woman "makes a man believe she's going to sleep with him" by, I dunno, smiling at him and having nice legs.

    I know there ARE women out there who flirt with guys just for the free drinks, but YOU are the one choosing to buy those drinks. Next time maybe just refuse to spend money on the girl and if she hangs out with you anyway you'll know she actually likes YOU and not your wallet.

    Also: let's all remember that it IS my right to change my mind about sex. I never set out to mislead anyone--and in fact if I invite a guy back to my place I specifically tell him "I'm not guaranteeing anything. Probably making out, but beyond that I don't know." Nonetheless, sometimes a guy who'd seemed interesting suddenly starts acting kinda creepy, or he's a lot more endowed than I thought and I'm not up to the task that night, or whatever. I AM ALLOWED TO SAY NO. Even if we've been making out for an hour. Even if I did in fact say yes initially. And this is NOT the same as "cockteasing".

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  39. Also, as long as we're having a "poor me" contest, do you even KNOW how many guys will have sex with a woman and not even TRY to get her off? Penetration gets me goddamn worked up but doesn't get me off...extra effort is required, and it's surprising how many times I actually have to ASK for this.

    You think it sucks to be "promised" sex and then denied it? Imagine if the woman took you home, made out with you furiously until you couldn't think straight, started fucking you, came after five minutes or so, hopped off you and went to sleep--when you WEREN'T DONE YET. And if you ask her to finish the job she just grunts in annoyance and pulls the covers over her head.

    I mean, you know. It's not an epic personal tragedy like voluntarily buying a couple of drinks for someone and then going home alone. But it still sucks.

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  40. Elmo - I understand that these male concerns do happen, but I still believe they're much less common and sometimes much less harmful than the "equivalent" female concerns. Based on my limited experiences, I really believe that the number of men rotting in jail on a false rape charge is nothing compared to the number of women rotting in unreported abusive relationships. Hell, it's nothing compared to the number of men who have been sexually abused!

    And also, false rape accusations are a wayyyy bigger deal than cockteasing. (I've been "cockteased," in the sense of expecting sex and then having the guy say no, many a time. I lived.) I put that "monster" in the OP because I was reading a thread where men were commenting "it's sooo hard to avoid false rape accusations, how are we supposed to know if a woman's going to false-rape-accuse us, it's terrifying." I found it offensively overblown and utterly riddled with creepy "how are we gonna get away with rape in this rape-hostile climate" undertones.

    "jf1" in this thread is clearly just a crazy person but he gets to me.

    As for rape shield laws... I've read a lot of cases in the news where the argument "but ladies and gentlemen of the jury, she was a slut!" got perpetrators off after committing horrible crimes. A woman's history of accusing men of rape is relevant to the defense; a woman's history of having sex really really isn't.

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  41. Anon - Yeah. I think sometimes guys don't get how having to break your "promise" to have sex with them isn't a fun ego-trip--it's an awkward necessity when you're just not feeling it. Sometimes I've put it off until later than I should because it's so awkward. But going through with sex because "well, I sorta promised" rather than truly wanting to (which I've also done) is shitsville.

    I've been "cockteased" and I've had not-horny-just-obligated sex, and I can tell you that the latter is way more unpleasant.

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  42. I think words like "cocktease" and "psycho" are mostly just catchphrases guys use to keep women in line. Oh no, a guy I'm seeing made plans to attend an event with me but suddenly he's not answering my phone calls! I'd better just assume he's done with me, sell those concert tickets, and disappear, gracefully from his life. I wouldn't want to look psycho by demanding a formal breakup or some adult level of accountability or anything. Oh no, I sorta implied to my bf that I'd probably want to fuck him when we got home from the club, but now I'm tired and my stomach's a bit upset from that last rye and Coke. But I'd better go ahead and fuck him anyway so I'm not a dreaded cocktease.

    Despite being a lifelong feminist and despite knowing better, I still have a really, really hard time rejecting a partner sexually. Luckily, my current boyfriend is amazing and if he sees I'm not really into it he'll double-check and assure me that it's okay to postpone. Previous partners just went ahead with it, leaving me secretly resentful (my fault for not speaking my mind, but still).

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  43. Anon - I also think sometimes they're just the sentiments of men who assume that everyone else is aware of their emotions. I knew the relationship was over, she must be psycho for not understanding that. I was expecting sex, cocktease must've known that and deliberately left me hanging. When in both cases the woman had no idea because she wasn't receiving his psychic broadcasts.

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  44. Holly, we agree that they're less harmful and less common (especially this "cocktease" thing, which--while I agree is a shitty way to jerk somebody around--seems like pretty trivial jerking). But... Let me see if I can make an analogy:

    "It isn't cool that my state government denies me a concealed carry permit and does everything it can to stop me from buying a gun."

    "Don't you understand how many people are _killed_ with guns? That's _death_. It's much more important than you just having to wait a few months to buy a gun, then not being allowed to carry it!"

    I don't see how the severity or relative frequency of one concern invalidates another concern. And, in the case of rape shield laws... I know it sucks that defense attorneys sometimes try to humiliate and discredit accusers (no judgment there; most accusers, statistically, are telling the truth), but I just don't accept that violating another person's fundamental rights (to due process*, or to arms for self defense in these cases) is ever an acceptable remedy.

    Now, you may well disagree. But the point is that we can have this discussion about balancing rights and the relative severity of offenses. The way you've framed the discussion, even _mentioning_ the very real excesses of well-intentioned remedies that go too far is taken as denial that rape and harassment are problems, or as denying how serious they are.

    [* - I've heard about several ways rape shield laws go too far, but the biggest is in cases involving BDSM. When that comparatively-rare-but-very-real False Rape Accuser overlaps with the fairly common In Over His or Her Head DS Neophyte, prohibitions on using the accuser's sexual history as evidence can make it impossible to establish that she engaged in consensual nonconsent. This happens in real life, and noting that it's rare doesn't make it okay that the the accused's fundamental rights to due process were trampled.

    I also want to point out that the False Rape Accuser isn't necessarily malicious. Sometimes she's just out of her depth, and doesn't quite know to deal with feelings that are getting out of her control. I knew a young woman in just this situation, who'd repeatedly have consensual sex (sometimes kinky), and then later feel violated and talk in low tones about how she'd been raped. People are complicated, and even the real life examples of the "monsters" are rarely as simple as the caricatures.]

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  45. I guess what I'm trying to say, in far more words, is that a lot of us think some of the current strategies for dealing with problems like rape and harassment are causing unacceptable side effects, and new strategies need to be tried. Taking that as a man handwaving off the severity of rape and harassment ain't cool.

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  46. That comment thing you linked to is the single most horrifying thing I've seen in the last several months of nasty comment threads on the internet. Seriously- I'm not one of those women who spends very much mental energy on being afraid of sexual assault, but I find the knowledge that that guy exists out there in the world- and I might be talking to him, or someone who thinks like him, and unless I bring up a contentious subject I might never know it- absolutely terrifying.

    It was the use of smiley faces starting in comment #75 that especially made my blood run cold. Wow.

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  47. Taking that as a man handwaving off the severity of rape and harassment ain't cool.

    No, it's not cool to do automatically, but that's not really what the post was about. The original post isn't really about "all men", it's about men who pounce on any thread about sexual assault with "actually it's all about our terrible victimization". Yes, sometimes men are victimized and these are real social problems, but unfortunately the men speaking out about it are often next to Crazy Why Can't I Get Away With Rape Anymore guy. Case in point, the thread you're arguing in contains a guy who thinks it's a good idea, that he should repeatedly defend, to compare rape and "cockteasing".

    The "monster" post is about that guy, not any guy anywhere who thinks there are real problems with the way sexual assault and harassment accusations are sometimes handled.

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  48. No, it's not cool to do automatically, but that's not really what the post was about. The original post isn't really about "all men", it's about men who pounce on any thread about sexual assault with "actually it's all about our terrible victimization".

    I get that that was the intent. Holly isn't a man-hating extremist caricature, and if I thought she was deliberately tarring all men, there would've been no reason to bother replying here. And I _also_ get that she and I are coming at this from two different sets of experiences; her post was inspired by what she sees regularly in threads about rape and harassment, and that's a part of the internet I have very little experience with. I'm just pointing out a problem I think I see in this specific thread:

    Holly said:
    When guys bust in on rape discussions with "what about false rape allegations," I always get the feeling that they want everyone to say "oh, those are so terrible we should forget all about actual rape," when what I really want to say is "yeah, those suck too."

    That assumption right there may often be true, but here, at least, it _is_ an assumption, and I think it's poisoning the well against the people who're actually taking the "those suck too" position.

    For example in this thread, the cockteasing-equals-rape commenter never said cockteasing equals rape, and never used his "this sucks too" observation to try to undermine the complaint about men who think buying a drink entitles them to sex. He agreed completely that the sense of sexual entitlement Holly was (rightfully) complaining about was unacceptable, and _added_ that in those specific cases where a woman's deliberately emotionally manipulating a man, that sucks too.

    From how I read the thread, he was treated like the kind of guy being mocked in the original post, who invokes the "cocktease" (good God, that looks dumber each time I type it) to dismiss legitimate concerns about sexual entitlement and harassment. His whole nuanced (if baaadly overstated) argument was written off, because when he said "Yes, A most definitely sucks. And B sucks too.", he was treated like the guys Holly was mocking, who say "B sucks, so shut up about A." Ironically, the hypothetical-asshole being mocked in the original post is being used as a "monster" (The Dismisser?) to dismiss a legitimate (though again, badly overstated) point.

    Again, we're coming at this from different contexts, and I may be misreading this whole discussion. It's just that from where I sit, it looks like to a certain extent in the social struggle to understand and deal with rape and harassment, the completely reasonable frustration with The Dismisser has been inadvertently extended beyond just him to some men who _aren't_ trying to dismiss the severity of rape and harassment. Here, it's not really a big deal; it's not like lives are being ruined by "cockteases". But I do see the same Dismisser invoked almost every time a man objects to a well-intentioned law that _does_ go too far and undermine men's civil rights in a meaningful and destructive way.

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  49. As for the rape comparison... The whole thing was exactly this:

    It's not about the sex. Cockteasing has as much to do with sex as rape does; it's about power.

    There was no attempt to equate the two in terms of severity, commonness, or consequences. Just backing his assertion that "cockteasing" is more about power than sex by invoking the precedent of another apparently-sexual offense that people generally agree is more about power than sex. The only defense I noticed in rereading was to say "yes, they're wildly different in terms of severity. I just think they come from a similar motivation."

    It seems similar to the current brouhaha with the Brady Campaign over gunbloggers' use of "bigotry" to describe the anti-gun culture war mindset. Nobody's saying that gun controllers are lynching gun owners and burning crosses on their yards, but can't we carefully point out that both are motivated by rigidly stereotyped cultural assumptions about another group? Can't we say "yes, they're wildly different in terms of severity. I just think they come from a similar motivation"?

    (I think much of the outrage comes from what seems to you and me like the utter triviality of "cockteasing". But to the Bradies, the right to keep and carry a gun is just as mind-bogglingly trivial. Different people with different histories consider different things important.)

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  50. Treatment of alleged rapists in court is an important legal matter. So is, for instance, our current idiocy about sex offender registries, or the biased way that child custody is sometimes handled, or many other things. So you know what? Bring those up, but bring them up in the appropriate venue during the appropriate conversation. A blog post that consists of "OMG I am SO SICK of sexist assholes hijacking every discussion of serious issues on the internet to defend rape and sexual harassment!" is not the place. You admit you don't have the experience or the context to understand what this was about, so how about figuring that out instead of immediately twisting the discussion to your personal concerns? This wasn't the time for thoughts on the details of the handling of rape cases in our legal system- let the JPG of the scary lanternfish be your clue.

    (Incidentally, I thought that rape shield laws only prevent an accuser's past sexual history from being brought up in court. If these laws did actually prevent a man from facing his accuser, you'd be right. As it is, they're only part of many rules determining what is admissible in court, and you'll need a stronger argument.)

    It isn't the case of a problem elsewhere leading to a false assumption that poisons the well of debate here. This debate? Was all about that actual problem elsewhere. And waving your hand in the air going "But I'M not doing that! You're making false assumptions about ME!" just makes you look self-centered. You don't do that? GREAT. Have a cookie.

    You ARE derailing. It's that whoever discusses the less important concern is derailing and we should always talk about the more important concern- if that were the case, nobody would ever be able to discuss anything but massacre in the Congo. You may have a perfectly legit point about rape shield laws (I disagree, but I acknowledge that the concern is valid) but you walked into a conversation that was about something completely different- of less legal weight, yes, but also bad and deeply frustrating- and tried to make it All About The Menz, so now it's pretty silly to complain that you're being dismissed.

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  51. Oh, and cocktease guy? Completely was doing just what this post is talking about. "Cocktease" is one of a whole class of gendered insults designed to police womens' behavior- he's entitled, he feels like she OWES him sex, and he'll call her a "cocktease" to try to punish her for not following the script.

    Insisting that he only means the REAL cockteases, you know, the ones who do this specific bad thing, is no different from a man insisting he only uses "bitch" to discuss the women who really are mean in a certain way, or only uses "slut" to refer to women who really do sleep with someone on a first date. That's inherently bullshit, and he should get called on it. Saying it's about her exercising her power over him? No, it's about him being pissed that she exercised her right to say "no," a right he feels she shouldn't have if she's done whatever thing qualifies in his head as promising him sex. That is absolutely not okay, and I don't see any need to be conciliatory by admitting "well, sometimes people jerk each other around and that's bad, but..." any more than I would be conciliatory to a guy throwing around the word "slut" by saying, "well, sometimes people are unhealthily promiscuous and that's bad, but..."

    And as for the triviality thing, people arguing over gun rights are arguing about a constitutional right on the one hand, and hundreds of preventable deaths on the other. People arguing about rape shield laws are arguing about a humiliating shaming event after a traumatic crime on the one hand, and a constitutional right on the other. I'll disagree, but I won't call it trivial. This guy? Is whining that he really wanted to get laid. In other words, no, triviality is NOT all in the eye of the beholder.

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  52. I have limited time, so I'll just take a stab at what I think is the core issue, and leave it at that. Apologies for not addressing the rest.

    If I made a post about how false accusations can harm innocent men, and the social issues that I think unfairly exacerbate that situation, I don't think I'd consider it a selfish, blind, wildly inappropriate derailing of the conversation if you came in and did your best to articulate a respectful, reasoned case that you thought I was taking the point too far in a way that harmed actual rape victims. I simply don't share your opinion that a conversation must narrowly follow only the original point or else it's "hijacking" or "derailing".

    In any case, this was a post and discussion about the way men's concerns about sexual rights issues interact with women's concerns about sexual rights issues. Even if we accept your single-topic premise, this is _exactly_ the place to have this discussion.

    I'm doing my best to articulate a respectful, reasoned case that I think Holly's taking the point too far in a way that harms men in the same way that she's (entirely reasonably) taking asshole men to task for. If I'm failing at the respectful or reasoned parts, I can only apologize and assure y'all it's unintentional. If on the other hand you're saying that _any_ attempt to discuss men's concerns during a discussion about the sociology of rape is equivalent to The Dismisser coming in and trying to handwave away women's suffering... Then you're kind of illustrating my point. The fact that point A is often used by assholes who want to derail discussions about topic B doesn't mean that it's inherently assholey and derailing to try to discuss A in discussions of B. It may just mean that they're related points that have a lot of bearing on each other.

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  53. 1) I think, boys, that what Holly meant by "cocktease" was not the vanishingly infinitesimal number of women who do things they know will turn a guy on, with the intention of turning him on, and then declining (or "refusing") to have sex with him, having never intended to have sex with him in the first place. The point obviously was that women are autonomous and things happen, and no one is ever entitled to sex.
    1.1) When my girlfriend says "Tonight/tomorrow/this weekend we're going to have sex!" and then when the time comes isn't feeling it or is too tired, what I want is not for her to go through with it anyway; what I want is for her not to have made the promise in the first place.

    2) I don't think rape shield laws can exclude evidence of consent. Even in BDSM cases. I welcome correction, with details.

    3) Back to my comment a few days ago: if a potential sex partner consents unenthusiastically, if the lack of enthusiasm doesn't put me off in the first place, I would think I can assume she's a grown-ass woman who is perfectly capable of declining if she would like to. I gather I'm wrong, but I don't understand why.

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  54. Re: #3: a grown-ass man is almost always bigger and stronger than a grown-ass woman. Or, sometimes he's in a position of professional power over her. So the grown-ass woman goes through with the sex because she fears consequences. Having sex with someone because you're afraid NOT to means you're being raped.

    That's where the gray area lies.

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  55. ...and I'm goddamn certain that most of these "intimidation rapists" know full well what they're doing. They'll play innocent afterward ("But she SAID yes...") but they know.

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  56. This is actually the first time I personally have been accused of lying and being a rapist in this sort of discussion. I'm being deliberately intimidating without knowing it?

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