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November 20, 2009 7:10 PM   Subscribe

Couch in the Ladies' Room. Am I the only one who thinks a chatfilter thread devoted to stereotyping and generalizing men and women is a bad use of AskMe? I'm more troubled that it's such a popular thread. What am I missing?
posted by jabberjaw to Etiquette/Policy at 7:10 PM (273 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

What am I missing?

A couch, apparently.
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 7:12 PM on November 20, 2009 [8 favorites]


If you look close, there's a little [!] at the end of every post and comment. It very well could be what you're missing.
posted by carsonb at 7:14 PM on November 20, 2009 [3 favorites]


Nope, I found that just fine.
posted by jabberjaw at 7:15 PM on November 20, 2009 [3 favorites]


Well, 'moving on' is more of an action than a thing and as such may be a bit harder to locate if that then is the part you're missing. Good luck.
posted by carsonb at 7:17 PM on November 20, 2009 [2 favorites]


I like the question. Some of the answers are deletable, but I think it's a fun thread, if people stick to the "there's a couch!?!" type answers, which did indeed surprise me when I was 14 and went in the ladies restroom at my church when the place was empty.
posted by cashman at 7:19 PM on November 20, 2009


^5 Inspector!

^5!!!!!

Yes, that was a chatfilter thread devoted to stereotyping and generalizing men and women, but it was entertaining indeed. Entertainment on this site should be placed as a top priority, right?

Someone please favorite this, before I favorite it myself.
posted by Eleutherios at 7:21 PM on November 20, 2009 [2 favorites]


Well, as the OP, I'm not thrilled at where it headed, either. If we've learned anything, it's that men seem really, really obsessed with their penises and people are okay with stereotyping themselves. A lot of it's funny, though, and I'm glad people are enjoying it. Plus, hidden in all those generalizations are little nuggets of goodness -- maybe a few secrets there that make us interesting to one another.
posted by lunalaguna at 7:22 PM on November 20, 2009 [2 favorites]


what strikes me as funny is that the thread seems to point out that things we hold as true across the board are just stereotypes and for every "all men/women do this" there are 10 comments saying "i am a man/woman and i've NEVER done that". i'd say that's a pretty positive discussion.

I'm more troubled that it's such a popular thread. What am I missing?

people delight in differences. sometimes it's fun to hold a microscope up to them. add to that the general bathroom nature of the question (even if it's not ~supposed~ to be all about that) and everyone participating gets to peek behind the curtain, as it were. are you ready for a generalization? i don't think i know a man or a woman who hasn't wondered what it's like being a member of the opposite sex and how what we see will never be the whole story. this thread allows us all to be a fly on the wall.
posted by nadawi at 7:23 PM on November 20, 2009 [2 favorites]


what no who would sleep on a bathroom couch
posted by boo_radley at 7:24 PM on November 20, 2009


So who is going to volunteer to post this news about couches to the blue?
posted by bh at 7:25 PM on November 20, 2009


I'M A MAN AND SOMETIMES I POOP AND HAVE A BONER.

And I flagged that thread as the poster child for "chatfilter."
posted by drjimmy11 at 7:26 PM on November 20, 2009 [6 favorites]


Yeah, it's total chat filter. Oh well, at least most of the generalizations aren't really offensive to either party - it just reads like a rather bad sitcom brainstorming session at this point.
posted by Think_Long at 7:32 PM on November 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


I saw it before I went to bed, and I kind of assumed it would be deleted as either chatfilter and/or stereotype filter. How well would it have gone over if you replaced men with, say, anything else? Little known facts about women? Little known facts about black people? Jews? While it might be harmless fun, it does go to show that there can be a massive double standard here. Many folks who would be up in arms if the subject was different have no problem because the subject is men. The thread itself doesn't bother me, just the idea that it's okay, but the other threads wouldn't be.
posted by Ghidorah at 7:34 PM on November 20, 2009 [4 favorites]


So, initially I thought it was a good question and favorited it (as a bookmark) when it was new. Because, are there things that correlate to the sofa in the ladies' room? You know, a physical object that innocently pops up somewhere that males have exclusive access to? Maybe, I dunno, condom vending machines, or urinals in place of a third stall?

Sunglasses and what-we-do-with-our-genitals were not the answer I was expecting. I felt like I was reading one of those email forwards, the kind I get in between alleged speeches from Andy Rooney and proof that Obama is the antichrist, almost complete with bad illustrations. The thread may as well be written in Comic Sans.

On preview, Think_Long, it does remind me of an episode of Two and a Half Men.
posted by jabberjaw at 7:35 PM on November 20, 2009 [6 favorites]


Yeah, that quickly got stupid. Especially the comment that said every time a guy looks at a woman he decides whether or not he'd "hit that" and how. I spent the next ten minutes pissed off and wondering if my boyfriend rates each female passer-by as a potential "hit".
posted by pintapicasso at 7:51 PM on November 20, 2009 [2 favorites]


The initial questions seems totally legitimate to me. There are enough weird areas of gender segregation in our society that there really are widespread male experiences women just never hear about, and vice versa. Finding out about that kind of stuff is interesting.

But after reading the thread, well, most of the answers are lies and jokes, and nobody seems to mind, which seems like a pretty solid sign of chatfilter. What a shitty bunch of comments.
posted by moss at 7:53 PM on November 20, 2009 [4 favorites]


I guess I thought of it as a thread where people felt free to disclose their own weird, little personal tics and make themselves feel more comfortable by attributing them to their entire gender.

Chatty, yeah.
posted by Ouisch at 7:53 PM on November 20, 2009 [5 favorites]


I thought the question itself was sufficiently specific to not be chatfilter. It's just that no one answered it because they wanted to jaw about themselves instead.
posted by palliser at 7:53 PM on November 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


What am I missing?

Joie de vivre?
posted by modernnomad at 7:54 PM on November 20, 2009 [22 favorites]


Oh, but then I moved on. Partly because I liked some of the answers (for the same reasons as jabberjaw), and partly because I realized that I am a pillar of beauty and wit, just like them other girls.
posted by pintapicasso at 7:54 PM on November 20, 2009


What am I missing?

A sense of humor and perspective, as there's very little in that thread to take seriously.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:54 PM on November 20, 2009 [4 favorites]


That thread is....well, educational.

Yes, some of it is chatfilter, but the question is an answerable one.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 7:56 PM on November 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


I didn't much like it either. But more in a roll my eyes kind of way than a flag it for deletion way. Stereotypes do piss me off and spreading them is just sharing the stupid, but with that many answers it's clearly been allowed to live.
posted by shelleycat at 8:01 PM on November 20, 2009


I think moving on after flagging would have been a much better choice than this callout. A lot of people are enjoying that thread and it's obviously not getting deleted. There are even people calling bullshit on steteotypes in the actusl thread so this one doesn't seem that nessesary.
posted by Kimberly at 8:02 PM on November 20, 2009


pinta,

Well, the way it was worded was kind of crass, but I would not be surprised if many men think that when they look at a woman.

I'm a woman who likes women. To me women fall into four categories-friend, fuck, fiance, or foe. Sometimes I make that decision after several months of knowing a certain woman. With other women, I can tell just by looking at them. Many many of my guy friends have a similar "system".

I have never looked at that as abnormal, and up until now, I thought all straight women have a similar rating system for men.
posted by Eleutherios at 8:04 PM on November 20, 2009 [3 favorites]


Especially the comment that said every time a guy looks at a woman he decides whether or not he'd "hit that" and how.

Yeah, I know it was intended to be a way-satirical ha-ha "let's mock the question" joke, but I'd dance a happy jig if humans could stop cracking that particular moronic joke again and again and again. In the past month, we had a massive outpouring of many women's experiences with constant inappropriate obvious objectifying sexualized appraisal. Yet another iteration of the moth-eaten old "it's totally natural and unavoidable for all men to constantly appraise the sexual desirability of all women" line even in jest is extra-annoying at the moment.
posted by FelliniBlank at 8:07 PM on November 20, 2009 [8 favorites]


Am I the only one who thinks a chatfilter thread devoted to stereotyping and generalizing men and women is a bad use of AskMe?

Perhaps you are. I think this is a very cool thread and a perfect use for AskMe. There's plenty of chat, but plenty of info. Who else is going to tell you this stuff? Some of the very best AskMe threads are quite chatty, but luckily users and t he mods are not robots and can separate the wheat from the chaff here. I am thinking that you have not quite grasped the wide world that AskMe embraces. Questions like this can abuse the purpose and intent of AskMe, but this one falls squarely within those guidelines. Finding out about something that is not widely discussed because of social convention is a great use of something like AskMe. Go do a Google search and compare what you find to the thread. The thinking response wins on this one (or perhaps I made bad searches).
posted by caddis at 8:09 PM on November 20, 2009 [11 favorites]


What am I missing?

Ah, I'm glad you've arrived at this important question. Focus on the question intently, then try to pop your amygdala open until you see the pretty colors and patterns. Then you'll have a satisfying answer.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:14 PM on November 20, 2009


Is this callout something I would have to have a insecure gender identity to understand?
posted by Cold Lurkey at 8:16 PM on November 20, 2009 [2 favorites]


Some of the answers are deletable

After reading more of the thread, bottom-up, my bad. 'Some' should be changed to most. Jeez. Talk about devolving. Some mod needs to go through there with a lightning axe. It really is filled with nonsense stereotypes.
posted by cashman at 8:17 PM on November 20, 2009


There's plenty of chat, but plenty of info. Who else is going to tell you this stuff?

More than half the answers are either untrue or not even related to answering the question. If you want to know this stuff, just make shit up--you won't do any worse than you would by reading that thread.
posted by moss at 8:24 PM on November 20, 2009 [5 favorites]


The question seemed totally okay and answerable, and then I was away for a few hours, and it sort of got dumb AND people started reacting in-thread to the dumbness. Probably a lost cause at this point, but I'll go through and clean it up a bit.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:38 PM on November 20, 2009


Oh hell yeah, lightning axe time!
posted by cashman at 8:40 PM on November 20, 2009


I have to admit -- and this is not a suggestion on how I think the site should run, or whatever, just my personal reaction -- I thought it was pretty funny.
posted by Ouisch at 8:44 PM on November 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


Probably a lost cause at this point, but I'll go through and clean it up a bit.

Please don't forget the sink.
posted by gman at 8:45 PM on November 20, 2009 [20 favorites]


I did try to answer the question without referring to poo-poo and pee-pee, but there's only so much one woman can do!

In seriousness, though, while the OP may not have gotten the kinds of answers the question was meant to elicit, I do think that, more than "women are like this, and men are like that, amirite?", it also led to "except that's totally not true and here is empirical evidence," which I think is useful for all.

I just wish more people had answered the original question. It interests me too!
posted by tzikeh at 8:49 PM on November 20, 2009


Well, there's a perfectly legit reason why it's focused on bathroom and private-bits stuff, which is that these are the very obviously gender-segregated areas that really aren't commonly broached.

But the chattier "men are from mars, women are from venus" stuff made my eyes roll too, and I'm happily participating in the thread.
posted by desuetude at 9:07 PM on November 20, 2009 [2 favorites]


How well would it have gone over if you replaced men with, say, anything else? Little known facts about women? Little known facts about black people? Jews?

If such a question were answered largely by the group we're discussing, how would that be a problem? If I asked "What are some little known facts about black people?", and I received a hundred answers from black people who took it as an opportunity to make good-faith responses, I can't imagine that I'd object. In fact, I think that such a thread might easily qualify as the best of the web. And "Little known facts about Jews" could easily be the source of a great FPP, because Jewish culture is fucking rad and there are a lot of misconceptions about it.
posted by Parasite Unseen at 9:08 PM on November 20, 2009 [6 favorites]


It is chatfilter, but it's fun chatfilter. I didn't take it as anything other than a thread to sit down with the SO and laugh about while asking, "So.... do YOU pee in the sink? Do YOU adjust yourself alone at home while reading The Times?"
posted by biochemist at 9:08 PM on November 20, 2009 [3 favorites]


We have couches.

No, wait.

They have couches.
posted by nanojath at 9:09 PM on November 20, 2009 [3 favorites]


Peeing in the sink is a crime that is multiples of magnitudes worse than peeing in the shower. If I ever catch anyone doing that in my kitchen their junk is getting shoved down the garbage disposal.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:11 PM on November 20, 2009 [2 favorites]


I broke too soon, moved on, and by the time I reached back to flag, it was too late. Typical man.
posted by Abiezer at 9:12 PM on November 20, 2009


The stupid is strong in that thread.
posted by mediareport at 9:13 PM on November 20, 2009


The stupid is strong in that thread.

The latest:

Men don't shake women's hands the same way they shake men's hands. Men tighten their grip quite a lot with each other. If we used the same amount of strength with women, they'd scream from the pain.
posted by cashman at 9:22 PM on November 20, 2009


Not a great question, some lousy answers, but it seems to be an answerable question and, you know, among the differences between men and women it seems uderstandeable that penises will get mentioned.
posted by dirtdirt at 9:24 PM on November 20, 2009


especially the comment that said every time a guy looks at a woman he decides whether or not he'd "hit that" and how. I spent the next ten minutes pissed off and wondering if my boyfriend rates each female passer-by as a potential "hit".

That was my post.

I have to admit a big part of me wants to tell you to grow a thicker skin. An even bigger part of me thinks I should keep my yapper shut and say nothing at all, that offending five or fifty out of thousands of users isn't anything I should care about, that given enough people I'm bound to offend someone no matter what I say. That it was an obviously tongue-in-cheek comment made without much thought while I was stuffing chicken curry into my gaping maw, posted into a thread that had already devolved into a discussion of urinal cakes, foreskin and penis size, a thread I half expected would get deleted as chat filter, and I shouldn't worry about it.

*sigh*

But being a straight, white, middle-class male I'm hardly ever on the receiving end of a tasteless joke and it's often difficult to imagine that something that sounds so harmless to me can really bother someone a thousand miles away on the other side of a screen. So yeah, it seems to have stood out as extra crass in an already pretty tasteless thread and, especially given some recent discussions on MeFi, in hindsight I probably should have known better than to post it. Outright offending undeserving targets isn't really my style, nor is giving the mods extra work to do. Sorry for that.

Of course we don't split women into "hit it" or "nope" categories any more than we do a happy dance every time we fart. I wouldn't trade my wife and son for a chance to ride the Space Shuttle either. Those were silly stereotypes and I'd roll my eyes and change the channel if I saw some comedian on TV doing the same bit. Science be damned.

And for fucks sake I have never, ever, ever pissed in a sink. Not even one that had a sign over it that said "Seriously, this is actually the urinal and you can pee in it." WTF? Who does that? Men are pigs.
posted by bondcliff at 9:26 PM on November 20, 2009 [6 favorites]


It is chatfilter, but it's fun chatfilter.

I realize I'm a bit het up about Paypal's shenanigans in the #100k MeTa, but Jeebus fuckin' wept.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 9:28 PM on November 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


Those were silly stereotypes and I'd roll my eyes and change the channel if I saw some comedian on TV doing the same bit. Science be damned.

Metafilter: No better than TV.
posted by Ironmouth at 9:29 PM on November 20, 2009


the take away here is the same take away from any "how do i sex up my partner, do they like me" threads - there are some generalizations you can make about people based on XYZ criteria, but that over all the exceptions are more often than the rule and if you want to know anything about someone, you'll have to talk to them.

i imagine more mefites who are thinking about this thread are having the conversation biochemist's household is having - "so, do blue balls, like, hurt-hurt or are they just sorta heavy?" and "are your cramps like a migraine??" - which, again, maybe technically in the chatfilter side, but not bad for site and not as "OMG people are SO offensive" as some are making it out to be. at least not to me - of course, i also love people watching and eavesdropping at restaurants so, maybe i just like the window into people's brains more than some.

i guess we could be afraid of seeing a "WTF?! my boyfriend pees in the sink!! should i DTMFA??", but at least we'll have a thread to point them to when we accuse them of reposting...
posted by nadawi at 9:45 PM on November 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


If such a question were answered largely by the group we're discussing, how would that be a problem?

The annoying tendancy of people in a group to assert boldly that "all x think/feel/behave the way I do"? All men piss in the sink? No men derive sexual pleasure form their nipples? Men hate handjobs? Boy, those are some quality assumptions I'd love women to go away with, and they're not the worst.
posted by rodgerd at 10:35 PM on November 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


I learned the phrase "drinking giraffe" in that thread, so it wasn't a total loss.
posted by davejay at 10:37 PM on November 20, 2009 [4 favorites]


I thought that was an amusing AskMe
posted by KokuRyu at 10:58 PM on November 20, 2009


I thought the thread was mostly stupid but had a good time reading it in a Jeff Foxworthy voice in my head.
posted by ignignokt at 10:58 PM on November 20, 2009 [3 favorites]


Yawn.
posted by turgid dahlia at 10:59 PM on November 20, 2009


That many men pull down the fronts of their underwear when urinating rather than using the little access flap was discussed here a couple years ago. At the time I read that thread I'd spent thirty years clear of the onset of adolescence convinced that my failure to use the flap was evidence that I was a poorly socialized dirt orphan who would never grow up. Learning that I wasn't the only man who took that shortcut was a great relief to me. Chatfilter can have utility.
posted by TimTypeZed at 11:30 PM on November 20, 2009 [3 favorites]


We had a thread recently deleted for content vs. timing. I think this is a good example of the opposite. It is absolutely chatfilter, but it seems to me like timing-wise it is a good one to stay. We've had a bit of a fraught time with some heavy discussions going down, and a bit of frivolity and sharing across the gender seems to be what a lot of people need right now to blow off a little steam and find the fun in eachother.
posted by Iteki at 2:06 AM on November 21, 2009 [4 favorites]


Learning that I wasn't the only man who took that shortcut was a great relief to me.

See, these sort of discussions always have the opposite effect on me: make me feel like I'm an unmasculine weirdo. For instance, not only do I use the flap in my underwear, I wear briefs. I can cope with that, though.

The discussion did get ChatFiltery, but I think the question was an answerable one.
posted by serathen at 2:31 AM on November 21, 2009


Wow, faint of butt's answer about not telling your boyfriend when you have a problem or are feeling down is one of the worst pieces of advice I've read on this site. I mean, seriously? Isn't that part of the reason why one is in a relationship? Is it just me that wants to be able to connect and share with my partner on an emotional level deeper than "Oh, the light bulb is broken!"?

Anyway, just had to vent that here and now I'm going to vent about it to my boyfriend as his ego doesn't suddenly deflate just because he can't "fix" every issue in my life.
posted by liquorice at 3:13 AM on November 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


Of course we don't split women into "hit it" or "nope" categories.

Yeah, we never piss in the sink, either. We were just kidding about all that stuff. Honest.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 4:38 AM on November 21, 2009 [5 favorites]


the signal/noise ratio isn't great, and it's got a lot of jefffoxworthyfilter going on, but i'm enjoying parts of the thread greatly as education. it never occurred to me that someone would think the various sizes of tampons were for various sizes of vaginas, for instance. and the story about guys hitching up their pants at the arrival of the crane cracked me up. and, yes, i learned the phrase 'drinking giraffe' and that guys *can* pee while erect. (i had no idea!)

so, the signal part of the content is pretty good, in spite of being kind of chatty.
posted by rmd1023 at 5:17 AM on November 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


From that thread I was repulsed to find out that some of my fellow guys celebrate and enjoy peeing in sinks. Do they never clean the bathroom?

Nasty!
posted by kalessin at 5:48 AM on November 21, 2009


Sunglasses?
posted by fixedgear at 6:17 AM on November 21, 2009 [2 favorites]


I think it's terrible that people do things and I am personally offended by their actions. I do everything differently to everybody else and would never dream of that.
posted by turgid dahlia at 6:36 AM on November 21, 2009 [7 favorites]


So how many posts in that thread were posted in the same spirit that bondcliff posted his? At best that thread allows some people realize that they do some of the things that some other people do, and that some people do some things, which aren't necessarily representative of a whole. It strayed quickly and far from the original intent of the OP and just because it's fun to cast speculations and stereotypes out and about doesn't mean it shouldn't be saved from going to the chatfilter trash heap.
posted by Atreides at 6:40 AM on November 21, 2009


Really, those answers were terrible, in terms of adherence to site guidelines. Amazing that menstruation became a prominent subtheme as a response to the questions: "Guys, are there things you encounter pretty regularly that a women would know nothing about? Girls, have you ever learned something about men that's both common and surprising?"
posted by palliser at 7:22 AM on November 21, 2009


I learned the phrase "drinking giraffe" in that thread, so it wasn't a total loss.

I found it painful to watch Loto straining so hard to get that one across.

"Every man knows what 'drinking giraffe' means."
"uh... what?"
"Srsly, think about it"
"does it mean this?"
"No it doesn't mean that. Here's a photo of a giraffe drinking! LOL drinking giraffe!"
"huh?"
"drinking giraffe! Get it?"
"uh... no?"
"It means this! Get it? Drinking giraffe! LOL!"
"..."
"...drinking giraffe!"
posted by ook at 7:24 AM on November 21, 2009 [23 favorites]


hey if you type the word giraffe enough times it loses all meaning
posted by ook at 7:24 AM on November 21, 2009 [2 favorites]


I thought it was kind of sweet. What the hell, do we have to be all 100% serious and Heavy all the time? No, no, we don't. What iteki said, in other words.

Besides, for years now I've been trying to convince myself and everyone else that the reason I can't make good machine gun noises with my lips is an absolute physical issue, like that infamous chair thing, where men and women have a different center of gravity and three minutes of googling has just shown me that that is a hoax damnit, it's just because I'm lame that I can't make machine gun noises isn't it?
posted by mygothlaundry at 7:35 AM on November 21, 2009


Yea, why does that sunglasses comment have so many favorites?
posted by splatta at 7:40 AM on November 21, 2009


Reading that thread (and I'm not done with it yet, I haven't read this one at all yet; I just know about it because it was mentioned in the thread being discussed; how's that for parenthetical phrases and segue?) was worth the $5!
OK, so it's probably the most fun I've had on AskMe in a long time.
AND, it seemed like I was in the wrong place because it was the type of discussion that is usually in the blue instead of the green, amirite?

posted by Drasher at 8:22 AM on November 21, 2009


If we've learned anything, it's that men seem really, really obsessed with their penises...

Maaan if you only had one.
posted by xmutex at 8:49 AM on November 21, 2009 [2 favorites]


Of course we don't split women into "hit it" or "nope" categories.

Is that the royal "we" you are using there? Because you sure aren't speaking for me, there. (Well, except that I don't use "hit it" even as a joke, for all that I'm happy to categorize in that way.)

From that thread I was repulsed to find out that some of my fellow guys celebrate and enjoy peeing in sinks. Do they never clean the bathroom?

My impression is that "pees in the sink" and "cleans the bathroom" are non-intersecting Venn diagrams.
posted by Forktine at 9:02 AM on November 21, 2009 [2 favorites]


Of course we don't split women into "hit it" or "nope" categories.

I put my money on it being an absolute fact that the majority of men do this, though most probably don't use such ridiculous terminology. For some it's probably even subconscious. How you choose to deal with this fact is up to you.
posted by xmutex at 9:13 AM on November 21, 2009 [5 favorites]


I spent the next ten minutes pissed off and wondering if my boyfriend rates each female passer-by as a potential "hit".

No, he only does it with the male passers-by.

I keed. I keed.
posted by ericb at 9:23 AM on November 21, 2009


(wow)
OK, so I finished reading... that thread AND this one.
The thread in the green is still one of the most entertaining and enjoyable things I have seen in awhile.
This one? Well, some people need to get a grip. Loosen up. RELAX!
The troubling thing is... I am pretty sure that the ones that need to relax, just aren't aware of it.
sad
posted by Drasher at 9:26 AM on November 21, 2009


Apologies for this rant about blueballs but if it belongs anywhere, better here than on the AskMe thread.

Blueballs are the same phenomenon as a headache. The same remedies work (aspirin, relaxation). This topic garners almost as much whining from my fellow men as the assertion that we MUST be free to adjust the package if it gets pinched in our trousers.

Man up! Manning up and being a gentleman is more important than this fleeting ddiscomfort.

Neither situation necessitates being rude or insistent. And let us not forget that in the case of blueballs (for those of us with hands and a permissive philosophy) the manual override is a good alternative to making a nuisance of ourselves.
posted by kalessin at 9:54 AM on November 21, 2009


Also, good point Forktine even though it's sort of anecdotal.
posted by kalessin at 9:56 AM on November 21, 2009


Those answers are mostly people who have been socialized a certain way, thinking that it applies to all people of their gender. It would be just as senseless to assume that all people your height hate when their significant others complain to them, all people with blue eyes cry when receiving a handshake, or people with size 11 feet generalize colors. That thread is is AskMe dressed up as Yahoo Answers for Halloween. The Mehst of the web.
posted by cashman at 10:30 AM on November 21, 2009


Every time I see some guy mentioning a mental "I'd hit it" as a uniquely male trait I wonder if they know anything about women at all. Do they think women have a complicated checklist that we use over the period of several dates to determine sexual compatibility? Or just that we don't really find ANYONE sexually attractive? I don't get it.
posted by kathrineg at 10:36 AM on November 21, 2009 [10 favorites]


I do the "hit it/nope" thing (inside my head, not aloud, as that would be creepy) with both male and female passers-by. However, I also spend an equal amount of time judging male and female passers-by based on various random imagined qualities (wondering which ones sing in the shower and how well or poorly they do so, which ones are not embarrassed to be caught talking aloud and conversationally to their pets, &c.), and constructing entire personalities for them based solely on their choice of footwear.

You are all just extras in the awesome movie of my life, basically.
posted by elizardbits at 10:37 AM on November 21, 2009 [10 favorites]


Total chatfilter. What's the problem to be solved?
posted by box at 10:40 AM on November 21, 2009


Also, I don't know a goddamn thing about sunglasses except that I wish people would take them off before they start talking to me.
posted by box at 10:42 AM on November 21, 2009


I stand by my answer. The code of silence in mens restrooms is even surprising to me as a man. Men's restrooms in airports are especially weird because they are extremely loud places (flushing, doors slamming, sinks going, towels ripping, etc.), but there is essentially no talking or even meeting of the eyes.

I was going to say something about how many, many men enshrine their own juvenile core, and are deeply committed to never growing or maturing as human beings for the rest of their lives, but hey, the question said it should be something women didn't know already.

Lulz aside, I was going to mention that most women never have to go through the head trip that teenage boys go through when they register for the draft. A 19 year-old draftee with his legs blown off has a certain perspective on "our bodies ourselves" chants and fear of strangers. There's a social contract going on, a larger picture, a complimentary socialization of boys that women don't experience or dismiss or something, and that men are themselves socialized not to think about. Women may not know what it's like to watch the first ten minutes of Saving Private Ryan and wonder which death would have been theirs. I have not seen this stuff discussed much (even at all) in these weeks of RapeFilter, but c'est la vie—we get sunglasses and sinks.
posted by fleacircus at 10:52 AM on November 21, 2009 [4 favorites]


I'm female and I have caught myself doing the "hit it /nope" thing with men I see. Really, what is the harm? It is biology, which from what I remember is SCIENCE!

And there are typical male behaviors and physiology based habits as well as female and it interesting. I like the period little boys go through around the age of four when they realize the power of peeing outside and the jealousy engendered by the little girls who try and find squatting so much less appealing. It was a fun thread to read.
posted by readery at 10:54 AM on November 21, 2009


Every time I see some guy mentioning a mental "I'd hit it" as a uniquely male trait I wonder if they know anything about women at all. Do they think women have a complicated checklist that we use over the period of several dates to determine sexual compatibility? Or just that we don't really find ANYONE sexually attractive? I don't get it.

I've always thought of it as a human thing. Not something that everyone does, but definitely something that both men and women do, in whatever proportions.
posted by Forktine at 10:57 AM on November 21, 2009


I gave answer, even though I thought it might be chatfiltery. I'm okay with that, as there was a question deep down, just most of us missed it.

...and that guys *can* pee while erect. (i had no idea!)

I'm the one who said that, and I'm totally surprised too.
posted by Sova at 10:58 AM on November 21, 2009


I live in a major city. If I tried to categorize every woman I saw in terms "hit it"/"nope", I'd never get anything done. I call bullshit on the entire concept. No-one is that imbecilic.

And in my own case, the decision tree would look like this: Is it my wife? Then no, I wouldn't hit it. So there wouldn't be much point in asking myself that question every time.

There is a great difference between these two statements:

All men classify every woman they see in terms of "hit it" or "no".
I often notice sexually attractive women.

The second statement in uncontroversially true; the first is boorish and implicitly seeks to enforce patriarchal norms upon all men.
posted by creasy boy at 11:02 AM on November 21, 2009 [4 favorites]


And for fucks sake I have never, ever, ever pissed in a sink.

Well of course you're going to say that here, you know there are women listening.
posted by Meatbomb at 11:08 AM on November 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


A bit mystified that thread didn't get dumped in the chatfilter bin, and count me in the gang of folks with no sense of humor who found most of that thread absolutely painful to read.

Also, even after i've smoked some weed and had a nice cuppa decaf tea, someone telling me I just need to relax makes me want to punch them in the motherfucking face.
posted by the bricabrac man at 11:17 AM on November 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


I was going to mention that most women never have to go through the head trip that teenage boys go through when they register for the draft.

Aside from the going-off-to-die-in-a-war bit, there was a question here a little while ago that talks about the ways in which you can screw up your life if you forget to register.
posted by enn at 11:22 AM on November 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


Wow--I had no idea American men still have to register for the draft. WTF's up with that?

Also: Um, so, like, we don't have that in Canada, right?

P.S. Yes, the thread was chatty. But, hey, I learned my nipples are defective, so, yay! Waitaminute...
posted by Sys Rq at 11:48 AM on November 21, 2009


I am a woman. If I were a man, I would totally pee in the sink. I may go pee in the sink anyway.
posted by little e at 11:49 AM on November 21, 2009 [2 favorites]


Okay, I'm back. That was fun, but I almost fell off the counter.
posted by little e at 11:54 AM on November 21, 2009 [20 favorites]


Amy Poehler's character pees in the sink in Baby Mama. Good movie.
posted by kathrineg at 11:57 AM on November 21, 2009


I am a woman. If I were a man, I would totally pee in the sink. I may go pee in the sink anyway.

Two young lovebirds get married, and the groom is very innocent of things carnal, so he can't quite get the hang of what to do on the wedding night. The exasperated bride finally whispers, "Listen, you just take that thing you play with and put it where I pee."

So he throws his bowling ball in the sink.
posted by FelliniBlank at 12:18 PM on November 21, 2009 [4 favorites]


Hey, that's a great thread. Quit trying to ruin our fun with your PC tightassery.
posted by Sloop John B at 12:19 PM on November 21, 2009


Sweet, we've descended into the racial stereotypes now. Thanks.

Homophobia is highly cultural. White guys will do a lot of "gay joking" where they'll joke around "as if they were gay." Black guys are more homophobic, and if you try to gay joke around them, you will be met with some VERY uncomfortable stares.


That's swell.
posted by cashman at 12:29 PM on November 21, 2009


Quit trying to ruin our fun with your PC tightassery.

You know where Yahoo! Answers is, right? If you're just itching to drop some unexamined blather go piss off over there.
posted by Burhanistan at 12:34 PM on November 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


Hey, that's a great thread. Quit trying to ruin our fun with your PC tightassery.
posted by Sloop John B


You know, I think you just ruined it. Throughout the thread, I was all "yeah, that's more or less accurate, in that a lot of men do/know those things and women might never know about them" until that sudden blast of WTFness.
posted by Sys Rq at 12:41 PM on November 21, 2009 [3 favorites]


Geez, Sys Rq, you don't like this kind of thing?

Women -- when you talk trash about a girl for being too skinny, it makes you look fat. Doesn't matter if you're a skin-and-bones anorexic, in our minds you just became an instant fatgirl. Same thing with going out of your way to mention "going to the gym." Doesn't matter how skinny or fat you actually are. Lesson? Nothing is less sexy than insecurity.

Women -- you aren't as fat as you think you are. Or, let me rephrase that. You've seen too many magazines, watched too many TV shows, and taken the gossip blogs way too seriously. We don't expect you to be stick-figures, and most men have the capacity to like a girl who's a little zaftig. Confidence is sexy. Style is sexy. The right attitude is sexy. Don't buy the media's lies about what you should look like.


You PC tightasses are always trying to ruin men's fun.
posted by box at 12:46 PM on November 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


Okay, so PC Tightassery was bad word choice, and "PC" is a loaded term and probably shouldn't be used by anyone anyway.

But I think the thread (and my comment there) are pretty harmless. A lot of you disagree, but hey, free country.
posted by Sloop John B at 1:04 PM on November 21, 2009


Total chatfilter. What's the problem to be solved?

Jesus, what a guy thing to say. Can't people just vent every once in a while?



...HAMBURGER?
posted by tigrrrlily at 1:18 PM on November 21, 2009 [4 favorites]


Let's not hate on Sloop John B's comment too much. If there's anything that women need to know more about, it's random mens' sexual and behavioral requirements for us. To think, if he hadn't posted that comment, I might not know how to avoid being seen as a fatgirl by him and his friends, whom I don't even know.

Thank you, Sloop John B, you are truly a hero of our times.
posted by kathrineg at 1:30 PM on November 21, 2009 [10 favorites]


Of course we don't split women into "hit it" or "nope" categories any more than we do a happy dance every time we fart.

So why the hell did you post it when you know it's not true? Lets ignore for a minute the part where it's a degrading and untrue stereotype, why post an answer in ask.me that you know to be false? Are you trying to fuck with the asker or do you just not care if the question gets answered properly? That attitude is so far against how ask.me is supposed to work, is totally disrespectful of the asker, and I really hope that no one else treats the site this way. It's not like answering is compulsory after all.

I don't care what you think of the question. Post answers in good faith. It's that easy. Don't treat it as a game and don't post known bullshit.
posted by shelleycat at 1:43 PM on November 21, 2009 [4 favorites]


Hey mods, thanks for the delete. I can see now how:

"'Cause it's warm down there."

would be off topic and offensive in response to:

"(One other thing, and I'm not sure whether this is just a man thing or more universal - I'll sometimes go to sleep on my side, with one hand sandwiched between my legs. Not touching anything other than the legs themselves, you understand. It's just...comforting for some reason.)"

in a thread about stuff men do. Job well done.
posted by gjc at 1:57 PM on November 21, 2009


I thought it was funny how many people posted these pretty universally human behaviors as if they were letting us in on some big secret. What?! People playing with themselves in a non-sexual way?! Rating the attractiveness of passersby?! I might just swoon at the antics of those nasty, nasty men!

But the sink-peeing thing is so disgusting. I mean, someone even pointed out how much of a kickback urine spray there is in urinals. Peeing where you get water, wash plates, and next to where you prepare food? Riiiight.
posted by Solon and Thanks at 2:02 PM on November 21, 2009


in a thread about stuff men do. Job well done.

Thanks! I'm busy celebrating my dad's 70th birthday today. Your comment was, at the time, five down from the comment it referred to and devoid of context and a lot of people apparently couldn't quite get the reference or figure out why you said it. Sorry about that. I'm not having the world's best weekend, but that's no excuse for sloppy work!
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 2:15 PM on November 21, 2009


Peeing where you get water, wash plates, and next to where you prepare food? Riiiight.

You do all that in the bathroom sink?
posted by Forktine at 2:23 PM on November 21, 2009 [3 favorites]


Amy Poehler's character pees in the sink in Baby Mama.

Ryan Reynold's character in 'Definitely, Maybe" pees in the kitchen sink.
posted by ericb at 2:26 PM on November 21, 2009


"PC" is a loaded term and probably shouldn't be used by anyone anyway.

Can we please not turn this into a PC vs. Mac thread?

That's already happening in the Smoking Apples FPP. ; )
posted by ericb at 2:32 PM on November 21, 2009 [2 favorites]


I love the kind of thing that keeps popping up in that thread, where men do X but will never, ever admit it to any female in their life. And the comment-writer is the ONE honest man who will share this shocking secret.

All straight men have hardcore gay porn on their computers. It is hidden very well and you won't find it. They will never admit this to you, but it's true.
posted by naju at 2:50 PM on November 21, 2009 [6 favorites]


My first encounter with the concept of peeing in a sink was in a Milan Kundera novel.

So it's always had for me a confusing connotation of -- well, classiness is the wrong word to be sure, but at least some dim european mystique.

But every time I contemplate trying it I'm like, dude, the toilet is right behind you.
posted by ook at 2:50 PM on November 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


You do all that in the bathroom sink?

Not me. It's way easier to take a middle of the night piss in my humidifier - especially since my bathroom is down a flight of stairs.
posted by gman at 2:52 PM on November 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


Isn't that what pot pourri is for?

Because otherwise I can't see why it seems to be designed to specifically smell like stale piss.
posted by UbuRoivas at 3:06 PM on November 21, 2009


So why the hell did you post it when you know it's not true? Lets ignore for a minute the part where it's a degrading and untrue stereotype, why post an answer in ask.me that you know to be false?

I typed up a long rebuttal to this but it's not worth it.

Pick whichever answer gives you the most satisfaction:

1) Because, as I already mentioned, the thread had already turned into a "party" thread, much like the PDX thread the day before (replace "fleece" with "foreskin" and they're pretty much the same thread), so I posted my own grossly exaggerated though not completely untrue answers, and afterwords realized perhaps I should have just eaten my lunch and stayed out of it. None of that makes it right, but there you go.

2) Because I'm a sexist pig intent on ruining Ask Metafilter and every single one of my 1226 answers on AskMe are equally crass and unhelpful.

Now if you'll excuse me, my men's group is going to go down to the convent and imagine what all the nuns look like naked. Then we're gonna pee in the sink.
posted by bondcliff at 3:09 PM on November 21, 2009 [3 favorites]


And since my joke was deleted from that other chatty thread...

The first example that comes to mind was my father insisting I had to put my socks and shoes on in a particular order, otherwise I would be signalling I was gay.


"Son, if ever you're at a bar or party, and you're not sure whether some dude is just being friendly, or whether he's hitting on you, always remember your old man's advice: check his footwear"

*nods sagely, puffs on pipe*

"His footwear? Why is that, dad?"

"Don't you know?!?? All gay guys wear their socks on the outside of their shoes!"
posted by UbuRoivas at 3:14 PM on November 21, 2009 [3 favorites]


Actually I believe 1) much more than 2). And it's the thoughtlessness and lack of respect that bugs me way more than any sexist overtones (from many answers in there, not just that one). Ask.me isn't for fucking around 9haviong fun, sure, but purposfully being stupid, no). If you think the question is no longer worth answering properly than flag it for deletion or go away rather than contribute to the problem. That goes for everyone.
posted by shelleycat at 3:16 PM on November 21, 2009


After reading this, I was expected to be eight different kinds of offended by the AskMe thread... but I actually thought it was really fascinating and I've learned more about guys' junk today than I have in the past 28 years.

As for the stereotypes of "all guys think like this" - meh, I can take it with a bucket of salt. Stereotypes start with a grain of truth and then get all snowballed. You get one guy who is like "I like trucks!" and then confirmation bias makes him notice other guys who like trucks and pretty soon, he is assuming "Hey! We must ALL like trucks!" because the guy in the corner who would rather make a quilt just hasn't bothered say anything because trucks bore him.

Also: I'm a bisexual lady who only notices Johnny Depp caliber attractive men, but definitely, DEFINITELY has the "I'd hit it" evaluation of every lady on the street. Very, very rarely is the mental response "No" on that one. Ladies are pretty.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 3:24 PM on November 21, 2009 [2 favorites]


I wasn't that offended by that thread, but I am just disappointed to learn that being a man is impossibly banal and that I will spend the rest of my days proudly farting, loudly sulking, and turning down hand-jobs.
posted by voronoi at 3:25 PM on November 21, 2009 [3 favorites]


I found the thread amusing, and found that maybe 75% of the stuff applied to me, another 15% applied to lots of males I know but not myself, and only 10% was "what the fuck are you talking about?" Which is pretty good for a polling question.

But what brings me to comment here is just that I found it amusing that the following three positions are all discussed in the same thread regarding men looking at women and determining whether they consider them sexually attractive:

"That's misogynist and insulting"
"I'm a woman and I do it too. All humans do it."
"I call bullshit on the entire concept. No-one does it."

It's fairly common for there to be two arguments which are in direct opposition, but a triangle of mutual exclusiveness is more rare.
posted by Bugbread at 4:54 PM on November 21, 2009 [12 favorites]


You can avoid confrontations with your life partner over sink-peeing via the simple process of taking the dishes out first.

I'd imagine.

So lonely.

"When the first cup of coffee tastes like washing up asparagus urine he knows he's losing it, yeah he's losing it..."
posted by turgid dahlia at 5:36 PM on November 21, 2009 [3 favorites]


That thread is a bit of a dog's breakfast, really, but this observation about men and cranes completely made my day. I've got a hell of a lot of construction going on in my neighbourhood now, so I have to go out over the next few days and verify this for myself.
posted by maudlin at 5:40 PM on November 21, 2009


flagged it; hated it; awful thread

also it was almost 100% bullshit
posted by Optimus Chyme at 5:47 PM on November 21, 2009


also it was almost 100% bullshit

I have to disagree with you there. Which is one of the difficulties with anecdote: a collection of anecdotes does not indicate that what is being said is true, but attaching "100%" to one's opinion that those anecdotes is false doesn't indicate that what is being said is untrue, either.
posted by Bugbread at 5:53 PM on November 21, 2009


okay then we all pee in the sink hate handjobs and love oakleys booyah

glad to know all men are idiots now; great post, lots of cool facts
posted by Optimus Chyme at 6:26 PM on November 21, 2009 [6 favorites]


And now that we've covered the difficulty with anecdotes, we reach the difficulty with sarcasm: being sarcastic doesn't strengthen or weaken an argument either.
posted by Bugbread at 6:31 PM on November 21, 2009 [3 favorites]


That thread is a bit of a dog's breakfast, really, but this observation about men and cranes completely made my day. I've got a hell of a lot of construction going on in my neighbourhood now, so I have to go out over the next few days and verify this for myself.

It makes for a cute story, but it is confirmation bias, in my opinion. Kind of ridiculous on its face. Also, the corresponding cute story on the other side that holds this up is something stereotypical about women and kitchens or fashion. It is nonsense when parents start trying to genderize behavior early on, and likely just as nonsense later in life.
posted by cashman at 6:37 PM on November 21, 2009


Also: I'm a bisexual lady who only notices Johnny Depp caliber attractive men, but definitely, DEFINITELY has the "I'd hit it" evaluation of every lady on the street. Very, very rarely is the mental response "No" on that one. Ladies are pretty.

Then I need to move where you live. Where I'm from, it's more like 33/33/33.

33.3% of women I see, I'd hit it.

33.3% of women I see, I'm like hmmm...maybe if she has a fun personality I'd hit it.

33.3% of women I see, well....
posted by Eleutherios at 6:53 PM on November 21, 2009


I'm so glad a MetaTalk opened up about this AskMe thread! I commented on the thread initially because I was pissed off about Faint of Butt's post, and then definitely got sucked into the ChatFilter of it all for a couple of minutes. Most of the posts were dumb and, yes, chatty and only a few really tried to answer the question.

But I do appreciate now knowing that the "pee shivers" are not some weird defect present in me only. I had never seen them referenced before and didn't know other people had them, or that they had names!
posted by audacity at 6:54 PM on November 21, 2009


33.3% of women I see, I'm like hmmm...maybe if she has a fun personality I'd hit it.

Ugh, if I never hear or see the phrase "hit it" again I could die a happy woman. What a disgusting and violent metaphor. It makes me feel gross and tense every time I come across it.
posted by audacity at 6:57 PM on November 21, 2009 [9 favorites]


33.3% of women I see, well....

They are busy determining that 99.99% of the women that see you are disgusted.
posted by Burhanistan at 6:59 PM on November 21, 2009


-ing
posted by Burhanistan at 6:59 PM on November 21, 2009


*every time I come across it and allow myself to read and think about the words.
posted by audacity at 7:00 PM on November 21, 2009


I should definitely learn to use the handy preview button.
posted by audacity at 7:01 PM on November 21, 2009


Ugh, if I never hear or see the phrase "hit it" again I could die a happy woman. What a disgusting and violent metaphor. It makes me feel gross and tense every time I come across it.

Oh you're post-cooter aren't you. Some history.
posted by cashman at 7:15 PM on November 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


jabberjaw: "So, initially I thought it was a good question and favorited it (as a bookmark) when it was new. Because, are there things that correlate to the sofa in the ladies' room? You know, a physical object that innocently pops up somewhere that males have exclusive access to? Maybe, I dunno, condom vending machines, or urinals in place of a third stall?"

I've seen lots of womens' restrooms, mostly in gas stations, with condom vending machines.
posted by IndigoRain at 7:19 PM on November 21, 2009


Cashman, that's it; it's official (It was already pretty much a done deal when I found out she's a librarian): Jessamyn is my hero.
posted by audacity at 7:36 PM on November 21, 2009


Yay!
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:50 PM on November 21, 2009


Jessamyn is a hero to all of us.
posted by rmd1023 at 7:52 PM on November 21, 2009 [2 favorites]


The mods could always just change the text of the question to "Share your favorite generalizations about the male of the species!" Then problem solved.
posted by greekphilosophy at 7:56 PM on November 21, 2009


I find it fascinating how "I'd hit it" has circled MeFi discursively. It's gone from something said with apparent seriousness to something said in order to piss off the people who were upset about it being said seriously to something said jokingly to prolong the cooter clock to something said simultaneously seriously and tongue-in-cheek.

I await the revival of the cooter clock with bated breath.
posted by Forktine at 8:11 PM on November 21, 2009


Sometimes I feel bad when my comments get deleted, but then I watch this and feel better
posted by P.o.B. at 9:18 PM on November 21, 2009


I knew a kid who regularly peed in the heat register, which I believe he regarded as a sort of modern oubliette, conveniently hidden behind the couch.
posted by Sallyfur at 9:20 PM on November 21, 2009


I thought that thread was stupid because I, a woman, pee in the sink and it seemed right out of the gate to enforce some sort of gender norms about who pees in the sink and who is too delicate to even be told about peeing in the sink.

Fuck that. I pee in the sink.
posted by birdie birdington at 9:41 PM on November 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


Ugh, if I never hear or see the phrase "hit it" again I could die a happy woman. What a disgusting and violent metaphor. It makes me feel gross and tense every time I come across it.

But, that's the way I like it. :(

Sorry, I'm not the romantic type. Whenever I see a hot woman, I just want to hit it in the worst way. Well, maybe it is a good thing that I was not born with a *ahem* real penis, I probably would get slapped, and not in the good way.

Okay, to be serious...it rubs the wrong way how such an seemingly innocuous slang term can ruffle so many feathers. As a woman who has been antagonized creepy men since early adolescence, I can relate to many women on this site who are frustrated by men who are insenstive, both on the internet and in real life. But, I am lost at the point where those who are extremely put off by the phrase "I'd hit it".

Yes, "I'd hit it" does kind of have a violent connotation. However, there's three types of rough sex - wild hot monkey sex, BDSM, and rape, which is truly violent. In the context I often hear the phrase "I'd hit it" people are referring to the former type of sex, and occasionally BDSM. Never rape. So, I'm not seeing where the disgust is coming from, unless some one is into very vanilla forms of sex.
posted by Eleutherios at 10:41 PM on November 21, 2009


"Violent" in the italic writing was supposed to be bolded with emphasis.
posted by Eleutherios at 10:43 PM on November 21, 2009


I thought it was a fun thread. I just want to add that when I was much, much younger, hanging out in bars, and the line to the use the women's room was very long, and I had to pee really bad, I peed in the sink. Me, a woman. Imagine that. I wasn't the only one.
posted by wv kay in ga at 11:12 PM on November 21, 2009


It's a specific question with specific answers. I don't see how that's "chatfilter," unless your definition of chatfilter is any question you don't like, or any question with answers that you find offensive or off-base.

Now, I'm a man, and looking through the answers to that question announcing that "We" (men) do this or that, I find about 80% of the descriptions of male behavior completely unrecognizable. Many of the answers are claiming that all "men" do things that I've never even heard of men doing and certainly haven't done myself in the 28 years I've been alive.

But that doesn't mean it's "chatfilter." That just means it's a question that, for whatever reason, happened to attract a lot of bad answers.
posted by Jaltcoh at 12:00 AM on November 22, 2009


All men dislike doorknobs.
posted by turgid dahlia at 4:12 AM on November 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


but this observation about men and cranes completely made my day. I've got a hell of a lot of construction going on in my neighbourhood now, so I have to go out over the next few days and verify this for myself.

It starts young. The family I work for has two boys and they've had some yard work going on - I couldn't get them to stay away from the windows when there were various construction machines around. They would do anything to just STARE at the machines.

It's partly just these particular boys like big machines, but I have yet to see the same fascination occur organically in little girls.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 4:29 AM on November 22, 2009


My daughter (5) remains obsessed by construction equipment. I don't think she's ever been so rocked as when the hire-yard full of cherry pickers, graders, back-hoes (she could go on, but I'll stop) moved from our regular route home. And her outrage at my reading The Little Yellow Digger in a slightly exaggerated Kiwi accent that undermined the real drama of the story was truly withering. She also likes sparkly pink fairy princess wings.
posted by hawthorne at 5:32 AM on November 22, 2009 [4 favorites]


Turgid dahlia- you speak the truth. I don't understand it, but it does seem that the self styled alpha males have a real problem with them. Whenever there is a doorknob problem at work, it almost always coincides with the hiring of a new salesman.

The think the purest distillation of truth in that whole thread is that left to our own devices, men will become feral.
posted by gjc at 6:44 AM on November 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


Whenever there is a doorknob problem at work

I'd like to hear more about this, if you don't mind. What's a "doorknob problem"?
posted by creasy boy at 6:56 AM on November 22, 2009


I find it fascinating how "I'd hit it" has circled MeFi discursively.

Isn't that strange? And we have a whole bunch of people here who weren't really around for the original deal who sort of stumble in to it and then it starts anew. I will not be doing the Cooter Project again, maybe someone else will take up the cause.

And the big problem with the thread wasn't that on quick read it seemed chatty [I maintain that there were actual possible answers] but that what it was asking for [things people might not know about the other sex/gender] was a little too close to a less useful question [tell me some stereotypes about the other sex/gender that you think I might not know] and those answers were 1) plentiful and 2) contested. Sometimes questions go this way when they end "and anything else you'd like to say also!" or whatever.

So, there was a lot of back and forth about blue balls, for example. One of the things that I didn't know was that there are some guys who don't really have this problem/issue [which was revealed in the thread] and so people starts discussing it and then things get sort of off the rails. And lots of guys like to talk about their penises [if there is a females corrolary, I don't know if I saw it in that thread] which should come as news to no one.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:23 AM on November 22, 2009


In the context I often hear the phrase "I'd hit it" people are referring to the former type of sex

My feeling is that it's just a statement: I'd like to have sex with that person and whether she wants to have sex with me is not germane to this conversation. I don't see it as a violent thing per se but it doesn't have to be violent to be somewhat noxious and more to the point, tiring.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:25 AM on November 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


And now that we've covered the difficulty with anecdotes, we reach the difficulty with sarcasm: being sarcastic doesn't strengthen or weaken an argument either.
posted by Bugbread at 6:31 PM on November 21


the burden of proof is on the people claiming that all or most men pee in sinks would trade in our loved ones to be fighter pilots and have a constant interior monologue of whether or not we'd fuck every catalogued object in the universe - you're the one making the claim

so prove it already or i maintain that it's bullshit
posted by Optimus Chyme at 7:32 AM on November 22, 2009


tehloki closed his account and all you fuckers can talk about is how boys piss in the sink? Nice.
posted by gman at 7:58 AM on November 22, 2009


it takes anywhere from 5 minutes to 12 hours for a domesticated man to turn completely feral when left alone. Sooner if there are other men present.
Plinth -QFT

And most men will pee anywhere they think they can get away with it, especially when bathrooms are taken or unavailable, I have heard that some women do it too.

At this point Optimus Chyme is off my "hit it" list. (poor taste, but I couldn't resist)
posted by Max Power at 8:02 AM on November 22, 2009


I will not be doing the Cooter Project again, maybe someone else will take up the cause.

I'd offer to be renamed "Cooter," but all that would happen is some guy would see my new name and say "Dude, I'd totally hit that." Lost cause, thy name is Cooter.
posted by Forktine at 8:06 AM on November 22, 2009


tehloki closed his account and all you fuckers can talk about is how boys piss in the sink? Nice.

Stop doing this.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:22 AM on November 22, 2009


MetaFilter: guys like to talk about their penises
posted by Meatbomb at 8:55 AM on November 22, 2009


About the "I'd hit it" thing, maybe it's just that I don't know anyone who says this. The people I'm around on a regular basis say things like "they're hot" and "I'd have sex with/fuck them" (which are already in eye-rolling territory for me, so I assume my friends say more along these lines when I'm not around). But no one says "I'd hit that." It seems like the phrase went out of style in high school. So, to me, this is a phrase I only encounter every once in a while, on the internet, and every time I do it strikes me as being violent* and dehumanizing**. You don't have to think it's creepy, but I do.

*Come on, Eleutherios, it uses a term that evokes physical violence as a metaphor for fucking. This is not me making something up out of thin air. I don't have to be into "vanilla sex only" to have a problem with the use of a word that describes an act of violence as a metaphor for fucking. So you think people who use this term are trying to evoke a sense of wanting to have "hot wild monkey sex." Fine, but I don't care what's being implied, I think the actual words are gross and creepy.

**The phrase is always "I'd hit it" or "I'd hit that." There is no recognition of the desired sex object as a human being. I'd like to have sex with that person and whether she wants to have sex with me is not germane to this conversation. Yes, exactly.

posted by audacity at 9:08 AM on November 22, 2009 [2 favorites]


Yeah, I'm not a huge fan of "I'd hit it" and I think there is room for disagreement even among those of us who do not like really really vanilla plain boring super boring super non-exciting vanilla did I mention vanilla sex
posted by kathrineg at 9:27 AM on November 22, 2009


Data point: I had sex with a hot monkey, and it hit me.
posted by found missing at 9:50 AM on November 22, 2009


I'm offended by the use of vanilla as a synonym for boring. Vanilla is the seed pod of a tropical orchid for fuck's sake. Go buy some vanilla pods, split them open and inhale. Boring it is not.

Vanillin, on the other hand, is a byproduct of the papermaking process and can go get fucked right in its ear.

Alright, rant over, Ima go huff some vanilla.
posted by electroboy at 9:58 AM on November 22, 2009 [11 favorites]


"Couch in the Ladies' Room" sounds like a song by R. Kelly.
posted by The Deej at 10:01 AM on November 22, 2009 [2 favorites]


If you don't think this is an appropriate question just add "I'm writing an observational sitcom" to the end
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 10:04 AM on November 22, 2009 [3 favorites]


So, I'm not seeing where the disgust is coming from, unless some one is into very vanilla forms of sex.

This is a charming form of argumentation. Please, tell me what else must be true of me based on what I think of "I'd hit it"!
posted by palliser at 10:26 AM on November 22, 2009


I'd objectify it.
posted by Sys Rq at 10:31 AM on November 22, 2009 [2 favorites]


The really funny (well, not funny, ironic maybe? I dunno) thing, which people will probably think is bullshit, is I think that comment I made was probably the first time in my life I've ever used the "I'd hit it" term. And I probably only used it because it's sort of a running eye-roller on Metafilter and a term that everyone seems to know the meaning of here. So if it wasn't for the Cooter Clock thing it may not have even been on my radar and I would have used some other, probably equally offensive, term.

I prefer to use the term "I would make sweet love to her, which would only disappoint her, then she would break my heart and I'd crawl into the fetal position and cry for four days" because, well, because it's far more accurate.
posted by bondcliff at 10:35 AM on November 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


"I would make sweet love to her..."

I'd go with "I'd become a punchline amongst her group of friends."
Far quicker, which is sort of appropriate.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 10:48 AM on November 22, 2009 [3 favorites]


And I probably only used it because it's sort of a running eye-roller on Metafilter and a term that everyone seems to know the meaning of here.

Sorry, I'm new and it wasn't on the wiki page of "in-phrases you had better know the meaning of because if you don't you are bound to inadvertently start some shit." I'm still being educated.
posted by audacity at 10:58 AM on November 22, 2009


That's what you get for skipping orientation.
posted by found missing at 11:04 AM on November 22, 2009


Namaste. This is the orientation film for station 3 of the *METAFILTER* INITIATIVE, "The Green". This is where you will be spending the next 540 days. At all times, at least once every 108 seconds, the F5 button must be pushed. DO NOT use the computer for any other purpose.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 11:21 AM on November 22, 2009 [6 favorites]


Every time I see "I'd hit it" I figure it's tongue in cheek. I don't find much offensive anymore as mostly people mean well but can get misinterptreted. Things used to bother me more but with age comes "In the end, what does it really matter?".

Note:Everyone needs a hug.
posted by readery at 11:42 AM on November 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


This is the orientation film for station 3 of the *METAFILTER* INITIATIVE

The Metafilter Strain. Mathowie as Dr. Stone. Jessaymn as Dr. Leavitt. Cortex as Dr. Olsen. Pb as Dr. Dutton. I guess poor Vacapinta is the officer.
posted by cashman at 11:57 AM on November 22, 2009


Every time I see "I'd hit it" I figure it's tongue in cheek. I don't find much offensive anymore as mostly people mean well but can get misinterptreted.

I think someone upthread already mentioned this, but apart from the reduction of women to something that you'd "hit" (why not just say "I'd tap that ass" and make the inherent misogyny explicit), the other problem is that I really am not that interested in hearing which women a bunch of random dudes would like to fuck. It's really odd to me that a lot of people are really proud about broadcasting exactly which women they'd like to fuck, and when, and how, and why they might not want to fuck other women and why and OH GOD THAT'S ACTUALLY REALLY CREEPY.
posted by Frobenius Twist at 12:08 PM on November 22, 2009 [5 favorites]


Yes, "I'd hit it" does kind of have a violent connotation. However, there's three types of rough sex - wild hot monkey sex, BDSM, and rape, which is truly violent. In the context I often hear the phrase "I'd hit it" people are referring to the former type of sex, and occasionally BDSM. Never rape.

How do you know that?
posted by Jaltcoh at 12:25 PM on November 22, 2009


The idea that most men would trade in their wives and children to be fighter pilots is patently absurd. If they really wanted to be fighter pilots that badly, they would be fighter pilots. I have a few friends who are fighter pilots, and while they are in better shape than I am, I can tell you they are regular human people like you and I who worked to achieve their goals. If not for my crappy eyesight, I'm confident that I could become a fighter pilot if I really wanted to.

I was disappointed to read some of the stereotypes in that thread. I am not an idiot, and know that people don't really believe this, and I am capable of taking the whole thread with a grain of salt, but I think that saying "HAY GUYZ I know this stereotype about {group} isn't true, but isn't funny how {group} walks like this!" is still damaging to {group}, because it's still spreading the stereotype.

I don't think "I'd hit it" has any violent connotations whatsoever. Jessamyn's explanation of its meaning is entirely accurate, as far as I'm concerned. That being said, I don't especially like the phrase, because it simply seems crass and unclassy. Of course, what I like doesn't really matter that much, so I'm not going to complain about other people using it. I don't see the idea of assessing someone's physical attractiveness as inherently problematic. I'm pretty sure nearly everyone does this. I don't especially like when people comment on it, however. I think it negatively affects the discourse by implying that it's acceptable to discuss people as objects.
posted by !Jim at 1:01 PM on November 22, 2009


> I probably only used it because it's sort of a running eye-roller on Metafilter and a term that everyone seems to know the meaning of here.

Uh, the meaning of it is "I'd like to have sex with that person and whether she wants to have sex with me is not germane to this conversation." I don't know why anyone would want to say it except to piss people off.
posted by languagehat at 1:02 PM on November 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


I don't know why anyone would want to say it except to piss people off.

But, what if she had a nice rack?
posted by found missing at 1:03 PM on November 22, 2009


sorry
posted by found missing at 1:04 PM on November 22, 2009


Maybe I should have just said that "nice rack" and "I'd hit it" are two phrases that make me cringe, but are fun for me to say ironically.
posted by found missing at 1:06 PM on November 22, 2009


why not just say "I'd tap that ass" and make the inherent misogyny explicit

Why, what does "I'd tap that ass" mean literally? I can't construct a google search that won't get me a lot of ... irrelevant results.

I thought it was a play on "tap" as meaning dipping into something.
posted by palliser at 1:07 PM on November 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


Things that are fun to say ironically don't always work out real well on the Internet--we don't all know how you're actually, you know, a loving husband and father or whatever--or, to put it another way, there's no sarcasm tag. And the bigger that Metafilter gets, the more this will be the case.

(Not that I'm perfect in this area myself, or in any other area for that matter.)
posted by box at 1:13 PM on November 22, 2009


point taken
posted by found missing at 1:15 PM on November 22, 2009


We need to wipe out sexism (as much as it's humanly possible to do so). One way to NOT do that is to discourage conversations like that AskMe post. (I am not weighing in on whether or not it belongs on AskMe -- I am speaking in general terms about the social utility of such discussions.)

In general, we should err on the side of letting people discuss anything they want, because silencing and chastising do much more harm than good, even when we silence and chastise "bad" speech. I am in favor of making exceptions when the speech is clearly and unambiguously insulting or dangerous.

I would stand up against "women are stupid", "women are bitches", "women are inferior to men", "men are assholes", "men are pigs", etc. But claiming that men or women engage in some sort of pretty neutral (neither good nor bad) ritual is the sort of statement we should encourage. We should encourage it, because we'll almost definitely learn something, either because the statement is true and people will chime in with, "Yes, I agree" or because it's false, and people will chime in with, "I disagree! I know a woman/man who doesn't..."

Yes, generalizations CAN lead to trouble if readers assume they are universal statements. But many readers don't assume that. I was perfectly capable of reading the "men do X" and "women do Y" statements and assuming that the reader didn't mean ALL men and ALL women.

I understood he was talking about a trend. If I thought he was wrong about the trend, I might have spoken up and said so. But I wouldn't have said, "How DARE you imply that ALL men/women do X?!" because I don't believe he was implying that in the first place. (And what if he did? The thread will self-correct by people chiming in with counter examples.) And I'm not going to condescendingly assume that other people are stupider than I am. I believe that most Metafilter readers are at least as smart as I am in this regard.

Discussions about prejudice become absurd when they start implying that cultures to not exist. Sure, not all women are the same. Not all men are the same. But there ARE cultures and TRENDS. Saying that women tend to be more interested in lipstick than men is not a sexist statement. I wouldn't call it sexist even if "tend" was omitted. I would call it conversational shorthand.

Let me tell a personal story that explains why I think this sort of "political correctness" hurts more than it helps: I have some questions about African American culture. My questions are not about "what ALL black people do." They are not even about what all black people in America do. I am smart enough to know that black people are as varied as white people. Sure, there are racist people who don't get this, but I am not going to take as my default assumption that everyone I'm talking to is a screaming racist.

My assumption is this: there's such a thing as "African American culture." It's a fuzzy but not useless (or racist) term. It describes TRENDS in the lifestyles of MANY black people in America.

If I (white) ask a question -- or even make a statement -- about that culture, I am not being racist unless I am asserting something unambiguously negative (and even in that case, I am not necessarily being racist, as there can be some really terrible culture trends, e.g. foot binding, nazi practices, etc.). If a culture exists in any sense, it must by definition have certain unique traits.

And we MUST allow people to discuss those traits. If I discuss them, I am not being racist, though I may be wrong in my particular assertions. In which case the correct thing is to point that out to me. It's not prejudicial to say "The favorite sport in England is basketball." It's just wrong.

A few years ago, I posted a question to AskMe about black culture. It was a matter of genuine curiosity for me, and it wasn't a negative assertion. (I said that in my experience, black people talk to themselves more than white people, and I asked what aspects of black culture contributed to that.) I guess some people -- not me -- might think of that as negative, if they think talking to oneself is negative, but surely even these people realize that it's not universally seen as a negative trait.

I was accused of being racist and my question was generally frowned upon. As a result of that experience and others like it, I learned this lesson: if I have an innocent question about another culture, I should keep it to myself. I realize that this isn't always the case, but it tends to be the case when the culture is one that is sometimes in opposition with my own.

Since I'm cowardly about getting yelled at, I now clam up. I no longer asks such questions -- question that might help me understand that culture better and so allow me to empathize with its members better. I am so much more likely to get along with other people if I'm allowed to ask questions about them -- even at the risk of asking dumb questions. But I generally don't ask these questions, because I'm too scared of what will happen if I do.

WE DO NOT NEED THAT! We need that like a hole in the head. We need to encourage people to ask questions about women and men and blacks and whites and gays and straights and whatevers. We need dialogue! There is risk in having dialogue, but we need to take that risk. Otherwise we just put up walls and make them higher and higher and thicker and thicker.
posted by grumblebee at 1:20 PM on November 22, 2009 [4 favorites]


"I learned this lesson: if I have an innocent question about another culture, I should keep it to myself."

From my observations, it breaks down more like this:
1) Non-western countries can have national cultures. You can ask why, for example, Japanese people do X.
2) Non-western countries can have subcultures related to ethnicity. You can ask, for example, why the X tribe of western Zimbabwe do Y.
3) Non-western cultures can have different gender-based behaviour. You can ask, for example, why women in Sri Lanka do X.
4) Western countries cannot have national cultures. For English speaking countries, this is absolute. You cannot ask why Americans do X. All Americans are unique flowers and act totally different from all other Americans.
5) Western countries cannot have subcultures related to ethnicity. Again, especially true for English speaking countries. You cannot ask why white people in America do X, because all white Americans are unique flowers.
6) Western countries cannot have different gender-based behaviour. Extra true for English speaking countries. You cannot ask why women in America do X. All American women are unique flowers.

That's not really a complaint. Sure, I wish it weren't so, but it's always been that way, and I imagine it's that way everywhere. There's enough other interesting stuff on MeFi that I can deal with a few issues being off-limits.
posted by Bugbread at 1:51 PM on November 22, 2009 [2 favorites]


The phrase is always "I'd hit it" or "I'd hit that." There is no recognition of the desired sex object as a human being. I'd like to have sex with that person and whether she wants to have sex with me is not germane to this conversation. Yes, exactly.

"I'd hit it" is pretty crass. It sucks when guys phrase their feelings that way.

However, I am SURE I am not alone in the fact that I sometimes pass women on the street and think, "I'd love to have sex with her!" I can keep that fact to myself, and I'm happy to do so, but it's a pretty basic part of my biological makeup, and it seems absurd (and harmful) to make it taboo for people to talk about it.

It's actually a bit hard to come up with a good -- non-crass -- way to describe it. "I'm attracted to her" is not quite right. It doesn't really get to the heart of the matter. It's too vague.

When I have that "I'd hit it" thought about a total stranger (and I can't help having thoughts like that -- they aren't voluntary), of COURSE I am objectifying her. I don't know anything about except how she looks. I don't have the chance to know anything about her. By the time I find myself attracted, she's gone.

People objectify me all day long. I'm not hot, so I doubt they objectify me sexually. (Unless it's "I WOULDN'T hit that." My guess is that they often objectify me by thinking of me as an obstacle -- as a big rock that's in their way. Or as a source of information about how to get to Second Avenue. Well, it sucks to be me, but how else are they supposed to think about me? They don't KNOW me.

I guess it would be great if I felt no attraction to women at all until I got to know them as people, but I'm just not built that way. So I have two choices. I can be the way I am and admit it. Or I can think of it as shameful and never talk about it. (I guess a third choice is to "go out drinking with the guys" and only discuss it when there are no women around, but I don't have drinking buddies, and more of my friends are female than male. The idea of saying things to men that I wouldn't say to women is pretty alien to me.)

It's so much more of a turn on when someone I'm attracted to is attracted to me, too, but it's also a turn-on when the attraction is one-sided. Sorry, but it is (for me). And when I pass a woman of the street, I have no way of knowing whether she wants to have sex with me or not. (Probably not.) I'm still attracted to her. In no way -- not in a million years for a billion dollars -- would I force sex on her. I wouldn't do that because (a) it's wrong and (b) it would be a turn OFF (for me). But that has noting do with the fact that "I'd hit that."

When I have that "I'd hit that," feeling, I'm not really objectifying a woman (despite what I wrote above) or thinking about whether or not she'd have sex with me. Objectifying requires thought, and I'm not thinking anything. I'm just feeling. I'm feeling attracted. I may or may not have thoughts about that feeling after I've felt it. But the "I'd hit that" feeling is just a gut response.

I've reached an age when I can basically have the feeling and ignore it. It's like an itch or the need to pee. It happens, but it's not very remarkable. I'd rather talk about "Mad Men" or what's for dinner. But the fact that it's such a common feeling surely should make it an allowable topic in discussions.

I agree that there are all sorts of problems RELATED to such feelings. I agree that it CAN make it harder to later -- if I meet the woman in a social setting -- see her as a full person. I agree that it can be related to women being put in dangerous situations.

Those are problems we need to solve. But we won't solve them by making people feel bad for having a perfectly natural and uncontrollable feeling.
posted by grumblebee at 1:56 PM on November 22, 2009 [3 favorites]


Also, even after i've smoked some weed and had a nice cuppa decaf tea, someone telling me I just need to relax makes me want to punch them in the motherfucking face.

Yikes, if you are feeling that violent, I'd venture to say you have a quality control issue with your pot purveyor, dude - get a new dealer. (...runs away)
posted by madamjujujive at 1:57 PM on November 22, 2009


That's not really a complaint. Sure, I wish it weren't so, but it's always been that way, and I imagine it's that way everywhere. There's enough other interesting stuff on MeFi that I can deal with a few issues being off-limits.

Unless, like me, you think we'll never win the war against sexism/racism until we make them on-limits.
posted by grumblebee at 1:58 PM on November 22, 2009


Uh, the meaning of it is "I'd like to have sex with that person and whether she wants to have sex with me is not germane to this conversation." I don't know why anyone would want to say it except to piss people off.

Sorry, I'm not a language expert. Sometimes I say words not right.
posted by bondcliff at 2:09 PM on November 22, 2009


And when I pass a woman of the street, I have no way of knowing whether she wants to have sex with me or not.

Of course she does, but it'll set you back $20.
posted by UbuRoivas at 2:26 PM on November 22, 2009


Doorknob problems= freaks walking out of the bathroom like they are getting ready for surgery. Using paper towels to work the door knob or handle and leaving them on the ground, or making a half-assed attempt at tossing them into the bathroom. And I can't explain it, but when there is one of these people around, he is always male, and doors start having doorknob problems. Like the the lock not clicking the door shut (presumably so the freak doesn't have to touch the handle, and can just work it with his feet). It also seems to coincide with foot prints on the flusher handles and boogers on the wall.

I can't explain it, I just notice it.
posted by gjc at 2:29 PM on November 22, 2009


I one of those freaks except ... boogers on the wall????
posted by grumblebee at 2:34 PM on November 22, 2009


Of course she does, but it'll set you back $20.

$20? Do you live in 1910 or something? How much does coffee cost where you are? A nickel?
posted by grumblebee at 2:35 PM on November 22, 2009


grumblebee, it's not having the feeling; it's not admitting to the feeling; it's the specifically crass and callous nature of the phrase "I'd hit it" that's squicky. To me. It's just so ... I dunno. "It"? Really?

Anyway, this was just to say that no one's trying to shame anyone for their thoughts. (I think.)
posted by palliser at 2:39 PM on November 22, 2009


Palliser, I share your feeling. I get an instantly negative feeling when I hear a guy say, "I'd hit it." But I do think there's something honest about the phrase that isn't well captured by most other ways of putting it.

I would never say it, because I don't want to offend people, and I don't want to be crass. But if I'm 100% honest, I also don't want to say it, because part of me has been taught that it's wrong to even feel it. Maybe that's just me.
posted by grumblebee at 2:42 PM on November 22, 2009


Why, what does "I'd tap that ass" mean literally? I can't construct a google search that won't get me a lot of ... irrelevant results.

Every real man knows what a tap & die set is.

Taps and dies are cutting tools used to create screw threads in solid substances including metal, wood, and plastic. A tap is used to cut the female portion of the mating pair (e.g. a nut). A die is used to cut the male portion of the mating pair (e.g. a bolt). The process of cutting the threads in a hole is called "tapping" the hole ^
posted by UbuRoivas at 2:44 PM on November 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


(althought it's not really literal)
posted by UbuRoivas at 2:46 PM on November 22, 2009


Gah! Does no one see why that thread is bad for Metafilter?

I like to think that Metafilter is the type of place to end stereotypes, not start them. The type of place where thoughtful discussion on gender differences comes from intelligent discourse, not from crass and "entertaining" generalizations. It's not about "not offending" people - it's about being part of the solution, not part of the problem.

So-called "bathroom etiquette" is homophobic. Not sure why it's being discussed as a secret-fact-about-men instead of as a sign-some-men-are-homophobic.

So - you'd "hit it?" Women should not be categorizable as hittable or not. It is a mistake for your first, and perhaps only, impression of women to be whether or not you'd like to fuck them. You wonder why threads like this need to happen? Because some - a lot of - people think it's okay for men to look at all women first as a sexual object. If this is your mentality, then perhaps Schoedinger's Rapist is an apt title. Seriously? No wonder that woman on the subway appears wholly unapproachable.

And don't get me started on peeing in the sink; not all men are unsanitary boors, and some women are as well.

Crap. I'm ranting.

Never mind. Never mind all of this.

I forget that I do not read the same Metafilter as other people here. I have different expectations for the level of discourse, and I have higher expectations for posters that I otherwise respect. AskMe is not always about solutions - sometimes it's about discussions like that. These are mistakes and misunderstandings on my part.
posted by jabberjaw at 2:47 PM on November 22, 2009 [2 favorites]


So-called "bathroom etiquette" is homophobic. Not sure why it's being discussed as a secret-fact-about-men instead of as a sign-some-men-are-homophobic.

Pot calling the kettle black?

You are stereotyping me. I am not homophobic. (Also, I'm not arrogant enough to think a gay guy would necessarily be interested in my junk.) Yet I don't want to pee next to another man. (Or woman for that matter. Or even a chimp.)

If you could prove to me that all the guys I'm in the bathroom with are straight, I will STILL not want to pee next to them. Why? It's very simple. When I was a kid, I was brought up to pee alone. I did that for the first six or so years of my life. So it makes me self-conscious to pee in front of other people: male, female, gay or straight. I want privacy when I pee! I was also brought up to find pee gross. So I don't want to see, hear or smell your pee. I think these concerns are irrational, but that doesn't change the fact that I have them.

It is a mistake for your first, and perhaps only, impression of women to be whether or not you'd like to fuck them.

It's a feeling. Am I a bad person for having that feeling?


palliser: no one's trying to shame anyone for their thoughts. (I think.)


You think wrong. See above.

If this is your mentality, then perhaps Schoedinger's Rapist is an apt title. Seriously? No wonder that woman on the subway appears wholly unapproachable.

I see a woman and I'm sexually attracted to her? Therefor I'm a rapist? Are you serious? And why would my feelings make her unapproachable on the subway? (Why are you trying to approach her on the subway, anyway?) Can she read my mind? It's not like I leer at her or anything. Leering is wrong. But leering is not the same as being attracted.

Out of curiosity, what is not a "mistake" to think when you pass a woman on the street. Is it okay to think, "Nice shoes!" or "She would look better with more up-to-date glasses." Or is it only permissible to think, "I don't know that women, but I get the feeling that she won the Nobel Peace Prize."

Also, what do you recommend that I do to stop making these "mistakes." Should I cut off my penis and get a lobotomy?
posted by grumblebee at 3:01 PM on November 22, 2009 [9 favorites]


Should I cut off my penis and get a lobotomy?

More suited to AskMe.
posted by found missing at 3:06 PM on November 22, 2009 [3 favorites]


More suited to AskMe.

I'm scared of the answers I'd get.
posted by grumblebee at 3:08 PM on November 22, 2009


You'd probably want to retain at least one of your brains.
posted by UbuRoivas at 3:21 PM on November 22, 2009


How?
posted by grumblebee at 3:22 PM on November 22, 2009


If you're going to hack off your penis you better go the whole hog and get castrated. Otherwise, you'll still be swimming in testosterone and be very frustrated.

Ahem. Anyway.
posted by Burhanistan at 3:32 PM on November 22, 2009


I know plenty of people with intact penises who are swimming in testosterone and very frustrated.
posted by grumblebee at 3:34 PM on November 22, 2009


Well, doubly so if you have all those hormones and no member to express them with.
posted by Burhanistan at 3:36 PM on November 22, 2009


> But we won't solve them by making people feel bad for having a perfectly natural and uncontrollable feeling.

Surely you understand that the problem is not having the feeling, it's talking about it in public among people who may be offended by it. I'm sure you occasionally look at someone and think "My, that person is fat," but I presume you wouldn't say that out loud. That's not an example of dreadful repression (whether societal or psychological), it's being grown up enough to not want to make other people feel bad.
posted by languagehat at 3:38 PM on November 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


Also, sweet Jeebus I hope this guy takes the medicine he's getting there.
posted by Burhanistan at 3:38 PM on November 22, 2009


Transplant?

Like how some dinosaurs had a second brain in their butt. Only, that's been done, so I'd probably go for a brain in my foot.

Then people could say, "That Ubu, he's really down to earth, don't you think?"
posted by UbuRoivas at 3:40 PM on November 22, 2009


Surely you understand that the problem is not having the feeling, it's talking about it in public among people who may be offended by it. I'm sure you occasionally look at someone and think "My, that person is fat," but I presume you wouldn't say that out loud. That's not an example of dreadful repression (whether societal or psychological), it's being grown up enough to not want to make other people feel bad.

No, I get that. And of course I would never go up to some woman and comment on her ass or whatever.

Above, I was (I think) told above that I'm a bad person for just having those feelings. I was even compared to a rapist! I have been told that before on several occasions. Our society is in trouble when we send a message that having perfectly natural feelings is a problem.

I would counter your "surely" with a surely you know that we are, in many ways, living in a "Victorian" culture when it comes to attitudes towards sex. Maybe we differ on how serious a problem that is. Or maybe you totally disagree and think it's totally accepted for people to be honest about their sexual feelings.

There's a HUGE difference between going up to a specific woman and making a lewd comment and simply admitting that you DO objectify stranger women when you see them on the street. I claim that I'm penalized for the latter. Do you disagree? Do you think this never happens or that it's rare? Do you think it happens but it's not a problem? Do you think I'm extremely unique (or pathological) because I objectify women that I don't know anything about?

Full disclosure: I even objectify women that I DO know. Sometimes I'll be standing around talking to a good female friend, someone that I respect and admire, and I'll find myself thinking about her legs or face or breasts AS OBJECTS. I don't tell her that, of course, and I try not to stare. Is that okay? Am I terrible for doing that? If so, what should I do to stop it? Am I allowed to talk about it, ever, under any circumstances? Or do you think I'm just making all this up and OF COURSE (as long as I don't do it in front of the woman in question) I can talk about it an no one will think the worse of me?
posted by grumblebee at 3:55 PM on November 22, 2009


languagehat, I'm simply saying that when we (rightly) chastise men for catcalling, we need to make sure we're VERY clear that we're chastising them for their actions, not for their thoughts. You seem to think that's crystal clear. I don't. And I think it's a big problem -- not just for the men (in fact, not even chiefly for the men) -- that it's not clear.

Most people need some kind of outlet for their thoughts (besides just thinking about them). What, in our culture, is the accepted outlet for men -- especially single men -- to express these thoughts? Staying at home, masturbating? That's not particularly accepted and it's not open. Discussing it with other men at the bar? I guess that's the closest thing we have. It probably works well for men that hang out in bars.
posted by grumblebee at 3:59 PM on November 22, 2009


I guess my problem comes with it being framed like it's a natural, biological, innate thing men just do.
posted by cashman at 4:00 PM on November 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


I guess my problem comes with it being framed like it's a natural, biological, innate thing men just do.

Huh? You don't think it's a natural, biological, innate thing for (straight) men to be attracted to women -- to their bodies as objects? Because that's what I'm talking about. I never said it's natural for men to say "I'd hit it." I don't think that.

I guess if you really don't think it's natural for men to objectify women that way, you and I are reading different biology books.
posted by grumblebee at 4:06 PM on November 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


Maybe you walk around daily thinking about having sex with every woman you see. But I assure you there are a legion of dudes out here who work with women, play sports with women, have conversations with women, go to lunch with women, see women at the post office, library, grocery stores and gas stations and think of them and interact with them as people. Why I went to mail a letter just the other day and the lady asked me what I wanted on my stamps. I chose some holiday themed ones. I didn't think about fucking.

OOh, another story - a lady was bagging my groceries and asked if plastic was okay. I thought for a minute, said "yes". No thoughts about fucking her.

I can continue to wow you if you want.
posted by cashman at 4:12 PM on November 22, 2009 [4 favorites]


Listen, I've got no real problem with people thinking whatever it is they think. I just know that when I have thoughts that I don't like, that don't seem productive or healthy for me, I work on changing the way I think -- and I also contemplate where those thoughts come from and what's causing me to think that way.

I don't just sit there and blithely say, Oh, it's just my natural unavoidable normal biology at work. Nothing I can do about it, so I might as well just relax and keep doing this thing I dislike.

We can't control or change our thoughts? Well, sure, occasionally ideas come to us unbidden, but of course we can at least somewhat modify our thinking patterns and our ways of responding to various stimuli. Anyhow, there's no reason to change thinking that you find pleasant or enjoyable. But pretending to be totally at the mercy of hormones or evolution or whatever is silly.
posted by FelliniBlank at 4:18 PM on November 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


No, I don't think about fucking every woman I see. I don't even think about every woman I see. Mostly, I walk around having really boring thoughts about computer programming, Shakespeare and what to eat for dinner. In NYC, I objectify most women (and men) by thinking of them as annoying lumps who won't get out of my way. (Children are the worst!)

But I do have those thoughts on occasion. And on occasion I'm told that I'm a bad, sexist, rapist-like person for having them.

And, like I said, above, I once tried to obtain a better understanding of the African American people that I live around. And I was rebuffed for doing so, because just asking questions about cultural differences -- the sorts asked about in the thread we're discussing -- is taboo.

That's healthy?
posted by grumblebee at 4:19 PM on November 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


occasionally ideas come to us unbidden

You and I must have very different brains. Occasionally ideas come to me that are bidden.

I have thought long and hard about where these feelings come from. They come from the fact that my "lizard brain" was built to find certain physical features attractive. In the same way, it was built to find certain tastes and sounds attractive. It's why I like the taste of sugar. It's why I like the sound of bird song. Added to that, some "blanks" were filled in by the culture I grew up in.

You really think I can think my way out of finding, say, a nice pair of legs attractive? I can certainly train myself to never bring it up. And I can sort of train myself to change the subject in my mind. But the fact that I'm changing the subject means that there WAS a subject I was changing it from.

I can train myself -- and I have -- to get to know women as people. But I can't do that when I walk down the street (and I really doubt those women I pass by want me to stop them and ask them what they think about Karl Marx or Picasso -- if a woman did that to me, I'd be pissed off. I'd rather she just looked at my ass so that I can get to the bank before it closes).

To me, what's going on here is really sinister, because, though I'm loath to blow my own horn, I am not the kind of guy who should be receiving this message. I am a Feminist. I would fight for womens' rights. Most of my platonic friends are women. I am respectful, etc.

All I'm saying is that many men find breasts (or whatever) attractive. And that, by definition, is objectifying. Are people here REALLY suggesting a straight man can train himself to not find breasts attractive? And do you also think that a gay man can train himself to stop being gay?

From my point of view, I'm saying something very simple and true. (Of course, everyone thinks they are saying something simple and true.) And I'm getting told that I'm using my biology as an excuse? At what point does biology quit being an excuse and simply become ... biology. If I telling you I can't control the fact that I'm breathing, would you tell me I'm using biology as an excuse?
posted by grumblebee at 4:32 PM on November 22, 2009 [2 favorites]



So-called "bathroom etiquette" is homophobic. Not sure why it's being discussed as a secret-fact-about-men instead of as a sign-some-men-are-homophobic.


Sorry, but this is absolute bullshit and I'm having a little trouble believing that you actually thought about this statement before making it. The "bathroom etiquette" at issue has to do with no wanting to pee in front of other people. Urinating is a private thing; I'm not comfortable doing it in front of other people, except my wife and even that took years. The fact that I don't want to stand right next to someone and pee has nothing to do with any kind of fear that they'll check out my junk. I don't want women watching me pee either, I just want to pee alone. It's a private thing between me and the sink.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 4:34 PM on November 22, 2009 [3 favorites]


I'm not comfortable doing it in front of other people, except my wife and even that took years.

How many? I've been with my wife for 15 years, and I'm still uncomfortable with it. So you can imagine how uncomfortable I am peeing in front of strangers -- especially all those gay guys who came into the bathroom just to gaze longingly at my wee wee. (I kid. I kid.)
posted by grumblebee at 4:37 PM on November 22, 2009


OOh, another story - a lady was bagging my groceries and asked if plastic was okay. I thought for a minute, said "yes". No thoughts about fucking her.

Maybe you didn't find her all thay physically attractive, or she didn't exude an overt sexuality.

Maybe you walk around daily thinking about having sex with every woman you see. But I assure you there are a legion of dudes out here who work with women, play sports with women, have conversations with women, go to lunch with women, see women at the post office, library, grocery stores and gas stations and think of them and interact with them as people. Why I went to mail a letter just the other day and the lady asked me what I wanted on my stamps. I chose some holiday themed ones. I didn't think about fucking.

Well, can't you do both? Thinking about having sex with women and interacting with them (us?) as people aren't exactly mutually exclusive. It's kind of like a Venn Diagram sort of thing. There's women you want to have sex with, women you want to pursue a relationship with (rather it be a platonic, romantic, or business one), an overlap where you want to do both, and then out in space are the women you want to do neither with.

Plus, when you see some random female stranger, how do you exactly know you want to pursue any type of relationship with her? You don't know her. But, sometimes those every women are very attractive and/or exudes a lot of sexuality. This is where biology takes over. No, no one has the right to stalk and harrass those women, but there is nothing wrong to think to yourself or tell your buddies that you are sexually attracted to that woman. And, hell, she may be thinking the same thing about you to herself.
posted by Eleutherios at 4:55 PM on November 22, 2009 [3 favorites]


Are people here REALLY suggesting a straight man can train himself to not find breasts attractive?

Oh for heaven's sake, of course not. Of course there are physiological components and other pre-verbal elements and cultural programming, etc., etc., none of which we can control or train out of ourselves. But you weren't talking about sensation; you were talking about verbalized thought, about what we say to ourselves in our heads, which also contains some rational elements. There are a lot of steps between lizard brain and active objectification.

If I walk down the street and hypothetically notice someone/something sexually attractive -- or maybe if a truck just vibrates the sidewalk at the right frequency -- then at the pure sensation level, all I'm really experiencing is a blip of mild sexual arousal or maybe something stronger than a blip. All I'm saying is that in order for that to get consciously conceptualized in my head as "I'd like to have sex with that person right there" or "I want to touch those" or "I'd hit that," a lot of other things have to happen, some of which are kneejerk programmed responses that can't be entirely unlearned but lessened. No, I can't control what things appeal to my senses, just as I can't stop myself from shivering when a cold wind hits me in the face.

But I can to some extent modify how I choose to think about the wind and whether I pursue that line of thinking, tune it out, focus on it or other things, etc. Not that you or anybody else in particular should modify their thinking about whatever. But of course they can to some extent, about even some very fundamental things, or there'd be no such thing as cognitive therapy.
posted by FelliniBlank at 4:58 PM on November 22, 2009


And again, I'm bugged that the fear is that this is another example of men objectifying women. As a woman I objectify a heck of a lot of men, and politely don't mention it or act in any overt way. I think than is what most people do. I think everyone here would also not "catcall"or rudely leer, but really, I think we are as a group just drunk with the power of pointing out correctness.

I don't want to stop noticing personally.
posted by readery at 5:09 PM on November 22, 2009


You: But you weren't talking about sensation; you were talking about verbalized thought

Me: When I have that "I'd hit that," feeling, I'm not really objectifying a woman ... or thinking about whether or not she'd have sex with me. Objectifying requires thought, and I'm not thinking anything. I'm just feeling. I'm feeling attracted. I may or may not have thoughts about that feeling after I've felt it. But the "I'd hit that" feeling is just a gut response.

Note: I've never actually thought (or felt) "I'd hit that," because that phrase is not really part of my vocabulary. I was just using the vernacular of the thread. The thought doesn't have any words at all. I guess it could be expressed as a sort of Mmmmmmm or DAMN! or whatever.

But I can to some extent modify how I choose to think about the wind and whether I pursue that line of thinking, tune it out, focus on it or other things, etc.

Agreed. I generally don't pursue that line of thinking, because I've been told too often that I'm bad if I do. I start feeling guilty and so think about other things. But damn if the feelings don't just come back again and again!

Part if me thinks it's a shame that I was raised to think there's something shameful about my sexuality. Oh well. Maybe if I'd had more male friends... Actually, if I hear another guy start talking about a "hot chick," I usually get embarrassed and leave the room or change the subject. I can't imagine talking to other guys about women that I'm attracted to.

Some people are more ruled by sensation than others. You sound like a pretty thought-based person. That's good. I'm one of those people who lays awake at night with "racing thoughts," which are really more like "racing feelings."

Is your thought process more like a logical syllogism or a series of disconnected images and sensations that you react to? Mine is almost totally the latter. To think logically, I have to write or talk it out. I can't really do it in my head, because my head is bombarded with sensations. To some extent I can "change the subject." But that often fails.

From many discussions, I know I'm not the only person like this. I also know that it's not the way ALL people are. I'm not sure if my brain is in the minority or the majority.
posted by grumblebee at 5:09 PM on November 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


> I'm simply saying that when we (rightly) chastise men for catcalling, we need to make sure we're VERY clear that we're chastising them for their actions, not for their thoughts.

Sure, but I do pretty much take that for granted. You seem to have been severely traumatized by some idiot telling you your thoughts were evil; while I sympathize and wish you the best in overcoming it, you should recognize that that is a personal problem and not a major factor in the outside world. (I'm not saying there aren't other victims of over-the-top PC thought police, just that they're a small minority.)
posted by languagehat at 5:13 PM on November 22, 2009


(Hadn't seen your 8:09 comment when I wrote that, but my last sentence can be taken as a response to yours.)
posted by languagehat at 5:14 PM on November 22, 2009


maybe if a truck just vibrates the sidewalk at the right frequency

Man, whenever I encounter one of those, I can't help thinking to myself "I bet you she's a really great truck!"
posted by UbuRoivas at 5:20 PM on November 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


...just that they're a small minority.

We differ on that. But I doubt either of us can back up our assertions. (Though please try if you can.) So I can's see where this can go except is-so/is-not.
posted by grumblebee at 5:20 PM on November 22, 2009


I think that it says something about the state of the internet that my immediate response to this comment: Namaste. This is the orientation film for station 3 of the *METAFILTER* INITIATIVE, "The Green". This is where you will be spending the next 540 days. At all times, at least once every 108 seconds, the F5 button must be pushed. DO NOT use the computer for any other purpose. was - ZOMG WHERE'S THE RETWEET BUTTON?!

I guess I just found it.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 5:34 PM on November 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


Some people are more ruled by sensation than others. You sound like a pretty thought-based person. That's good. I'm one of those people who lays awake at night with "racing thoughts," which are really more like "racing feelings." . . .

From many discussions, I know I'm not the only person like this. I also know that it's not the way ALL people are. I'm not sure if my brain is in the minority or the majority.


There's probably a huge variety when it comes to that. I have loads of unformed, half-formed, free associating thoughts and impressions and other weird things that run through my head at any given waking moment, but I do a lot of purposeful thinking too. And I have a very tunnel vision sort of brain. I can multi-task, but I tend to tune out a lot of what's around me if it doesn't relate to what I'm thinking about or doing. When I was in my third year of college, I stopped dead crossing the quad one day when I noticed there was a two-story house in the middle of it -- that had always been there. I just had never really registered it before.

It's funny . . . as I was reading this thread earlier, I was trying to remember what impressions if any I had had about any of the people I had seen in passing today, and, as usual, I have to concentrate really hard to remember much about them except for random things, like the fairly high voice of the woman who served my lunch. Ashton Kutcher is in some TV movie right now, and I vaguely noticed he has beautiful dark eyes, but I feel neutral about that, which I do about almost all bits of people's appearance.

Anyhow, I don't think you're bad for having this thought or that feeling. I just think, in general, that a whole lot of our essentialist "it's just biology" explanations for the way we respond to other people are gross simplifications and are often used to discount other influences as well as some individual volition. It may very well be that a lot of people in 2009 do appraise everyone around them sexually really often, but I wonder if that's nearly as true in a culture that doesn't constantly, loudly bombard its members with the hyper-sexualization (and not in a sex-positive way) of every dang thing.
posted by FelliniBlank at 6:55 PM on November 22, 2009


That whole thread creeped me out. You manly-guy-men with your security-blanket standup comedy stereotypes about yourselves creep me out. All men are childish pigs who secretly want to be flamethrowing astronauts, what shit. Usually the MeFi population lifts itself above teevee style crap, but this time it really sucked mud.

What bothers me, though, is not the stereotypes — it's the enforcement. It's always all guys who are like this, or real guys who are this way or — my favorite — all guys, only some won't admit it. It really reminds me of the lowest points of junior high school, when the boys policed each other, calling each other faggot and keeping the weaklings in line. We knew the cost of not being seen as one of the real guys, and it wasn't (only) being a punchline.

I know the guys-amirite crap feels like letting off steam, but it really is the same garbage all non-standard-issue boys and men have to go through. Burn that garbage off instead of spreading it around, please.
posted by argybarg at 9:47 PM on November 22, 2009 [10 favorites]


Grumblebee, you are missing the point. When you say this:

No, I don't think about fucking every woman I see. I don't even think about every woman I see. Mostly, I walk around having really boring thoughts about computer programming, Shakespeare and what to eat for dinner. In NYC, I objectify most women (and men) by thinking of them as annoying lumps who won't get out of my way.

then you have acknowledge the reality that you do not see women exclusively in terms of whether or not you would put your dick into her vagina. This is fine and good and no-one is trying to shame you for your thoughts. The original comment, which I can't find now, was something like: every time men see a woman they decide whether or not they would fuck her. It is this that people object to. It is first of all patently untrue. When I get on the bus and see about 20-30 women, some of them elderly, many of them bundled up in winter jackets, all of them just assorted random people, I do not scan the crowd and divide all women into fuckable/unfuckable, and in fact no-one does.

Sure, I often view women sexually. It happens often enough that I think "wow she's really cute" or "wow she has a really nice ass", and even then it doesn't reduce to "I would fuck her". Other times I just notice women who look interesting, who have very expressive or captivating faces. And in the vast majority of cases they make no impression on me or I just deal with them as people because I'm buying grapes from them or whatever the fuck. So why are there so many straight men who insist upon levelling our experience down to classifying every woman as fuckable or unfuckable? It's patently untrue, so why do we hear so many people insisting that it must be that way for all men, that it's a biological imperative, etc.?

As argybarg said, it's enforcement. It's enforcement of a certain possessive and controlling view of women. It reeks of the assumption that all women our at our disposal and that what they think doesn't enter into the equation at all. Partly it's just a response to fear, but its a reactionary response to fear. My experience of being a straight man is often just "Holy shit am I terrified of attractive women", so I can sort of understand why a bunch of straight guys would get together and reassure each other "hey guys, we could be totally fucking all these women here" but it's still crude and above all stupid. And the judgmentalism towards women who don't meet some asshole's standard is appalling -- is anyone supposed to believe that when this fabled straight man walks into a retirement community to visit his grandma he looks around at all the other grandmas and thinks -- about each one -- "I wouldn't fuck her", "I wouldn't fuck her", etc? This mythical straight man sees about 80% of all women he encounters through the lens of his disappointed rejection of them? First they fail to pass his test, and only then can he buy a newspaper from them or give them directions to the subway?
posted by creasy boy at 11:15 PM on November 22, 2009 [7 favorites]


grumblebee's comments in this thread struck me as entirely reasonable and noncontroversial. I think it's splitting nonexistent hairs to somehow twist anything he said around into his having some serious issue or something; having feelings of attraction to random people is normal and it sounds like he handles it like a normal person.
posted by Nattie at 12:04 AM on November 23, 2009 [5 favorites]


Plus, it's grumblebee, ferchrissakes. Some people may be that guy who triages all women into yeses & nos & maybes (I lived with somebody like that once) but I seriously doubt that grumblebee is that guy.
posted by UbuRoivas at 1:03 AM on November 23, 2009


I'm reminded of this classic by Pastabagel.
posted by Mitheral at 2:22 AM on November 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


It's enforcement of a certain possessive and controlling view of women. It reeks of the assumption that all women our at our disposal and that what they think doesn't enter into the equation at all...I can sort of understand why a bunch of straight guys would get together and reassure each other "hey guys, we could be totally fucking all these women here" but it's still crude and above all stupid.

I agree about the crudeness and stupidity of it all, but I totally disagree with the whole "possessive and controlling" and "we could be totally fucking all these women here" aspects. If someone really thought they could fuck any woman they wanted, and there was a woman they wanted to have sex with, they would go up and chat said woman up. Instead, the phrase is used from a position of powerlessness and inability to possess. It says "You know what, that woman would probably never even give me the time of day, let alone let me into her bed. But if, for some reason, she actually wanted to have sex with me, she's attractive enough that I'd do it". Slightly shortened, "I'll never have a chance to have sex with her. But if I had the chance, I'd take it".

Does that excuse it? No, not at all. It's still 1) not a very elegant way to say you find someone sexually attractive, and 2) incredibly obnoxious when proffered without anyone actually asking. But it can be odious and crude and misogynist without reeking of the assumption that all women are at our disposal.
posted by Bugbread at 2:28 AM on November 23, 2009


I'm not criticizing grumblebee, for christ's sake. Grumblebee is fine, except that I think he misunderstood what people were criticizing about the original thread. I'm aware that grumblebee is a fine and upstanding human being.
posted by creasy boy at 5:02 AM on November 23, 2009


I am not taking anything personally, despite the way it probably seemed from my writing. I'm an old married guy who, other than in threads like this, never discusses his sexuality. I am vehement about this, because I think it's a social problem.

Maybe my hangup is the term "objectifying." For decades, I've heard that men are being bad when they objectify women. Maybe I have a different definition of the word than most people, or maybe I'm taking most people too literally. Maybe they don't mean men are bad when the objectify women. Maybe they mean men are bad when they do it too often. Or maybe they mean they're bad when they do it in an overt way (rather than just in their heads). Or maybe they mean it's bad if you do it even after you get to know someone (and you do it to that person to the exclusion of noticing other things about her.)

But I don't hear it phrased that way. I hear that objectifying women is bad full stop.

Via my definition, objectifying is something we -- or at list I -- do often without volition. If it's bad, that means we are doomed to be bad.

There is not one single thing somebody did to be that traumatized me, and I don't feel very traumatized. But I am a guy who grew up in a Feminist family with mostly female friends. And I got the same message for many decades from many people (maybe I misinterpreted it). It was simply that something I couldn't help doing -- seeing women I didn't know as sexual objects -- was bad and that I was bad for doing it.

I also noticed, when I got older, that a lot of my male friends had a hypocritical way of dealing with this. (These were pretty upstanding men who treated women well.) When they were in mixed company, they agreed that objectifying women was evil. When they were just with other men, they admitted to objectifying. This seems really unhealthy to me. But maybe I'm wrong. Maybe it's what's necessary to keep a delicate social machine working. Maybe I fucked myself by refusing to participate.
posted by grumblebee at 5:54 AM on November 23, 2009


I thought we covered all the aspects of "I'd hit it" a while back.

1) "To all those people who think it's somehow a killer argument to say "but those thoughts are natural": sure they are. Most of us have similar thoughts as we walk down the street and look at the passing throng, and yet somehow we manage to avoid vocalizing them. Shitting and pissing are also natural, and yet we don't do them in public. Have all the natural sexist thoughts you want while reading MeFi; just don't share them with the rest of us. Do I really have to make this distinction for you?"

2) In text, among a hundred thousand readers who don't know you that well, ironic sexism and jokey sexism looks exactly the same as actual sexism. Which then encourages actual sexists to carry on as if it's fine, while making female MeFites feel like shit.

The couches in bathrooms question had a lot of bad or non-answers - jokes, factually inaccurate claims, people saying "whaaa?" over some of the stupider answers. I'd say the mods should have reined it in sooner, except that they've had such a busy time lately I can't blame them for not spotting it or just deciding that it wasn't as problematic as the other shit going on right now.
posted by harriet vane at 6:15 AM on November 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


> We differ on that. But I doubt either of us can back up our assertions. (Though please try if you can.)

It seems to me so obvious as to need no backing up that the vast majority of men in this world never give a second thought to whether they might be objectifying women in an objectionable way via thoughtcrime. Perhaps by "majority" you mean "majority of socially conscious highly educated Americans who went to a certain group of colleges with high PC levels." In that case, you may well be right, but I call that a pretty restrictive restriction.
posted by languagehat at 6:15 AM on November 23, 2009


Via my definition, objectifying is something we -- or at least I -- do often without volition. If it's bad, that means we are doomed to be bad.

See there it is. Saying "I" is fine to me. Extending to the "we" which says "most men" is where the problem is. When I commented 'don't act like it's natural & biological' above, I didn't mean the existence, I meant the frequency. At appropriate times, of course most men look at women's body parts, just like women look at men's parts at appropriate times. The part that many act like is natural and biological is the "at most or all times, men look at women and objectify them". You personally may. You and your buddies may have some problem with doing that. But I think you may not realize there are a lot of dudes out here who can easily bypass the sink on our way to pissing in the toilet. And we walk by the sink without thinking about pissing in it.
posted by cashman at 6:44 AM on November 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


"majority of socially conscious highly educated Americans who went to a certain group of colleges with high PC levels."

Yes, I suppose I did mean that. Unfortunately, that's my world. I do think it's a bit sad that the guys I grew up with are so liberal and Feminist and yet so ashamed of their sexuality.


At appropriate times, of course most men look at women's body parts


When are these "appropriate times," besides in the bedroom? Are you talking about mating rituals that take place at these bars people tell me about?

When I said "we," I didn't mean all men. I think there's very little that applies to all men or all women. I meant "men like me" -- the ones that sometimes walk down the street and see women as sexual objects and then feel like we've sinned for doing so.

While I agree with you that not all men are like this, I know I'm not the only man who is like this. And I know that there are some non-boorish men who do it (pee in a sink? GROSS! I didn't know people did this. WHY?!? Now how am I supposed to use sinks in other-people's houses?).

I should have been clear that I didn't mean "all men." Sorry.
posted by grumblebee at 7:10 AM on November 23, 2009


the ones that sometimes walk down the street and see women as sexual objects and then feel like we've sinned for doing so.

Define sometimes, I guess. If it's once a week or something, and amounts to a tenth of a percent of the women you see, who cares. If sometimes is every single day, several times a day, I think that's more "cut it out" worthy.

Men and women think about each other. If someone told you that is a bad thing, screw them. But like just about everything else, if it is going on all the time, it is likely going to be problematic.

You've mentioned several times that this also relates to some previous thing you had where you wanted to ask a question and you felt persecuted for asking.

These situations bring to mind the feeling some have that nothing should be off limits to them. I know someone spoke a bit about limits previously. Some people feel like they should be able to do or say whatever they want, within reason, and suffer no ill consequences, and not get challenged at all.

It's really not that black and white. Your question may have been innocent in your mind, yet you may have completely deserved to get the response you say you got. Your "i'd hit it" may be innocent in your mind, but given societal context and the frequency with which you think the "i'd hit it i'd hit it i'd hit it i'd hit it" thoughts, you may completely deserve the "dirty old man" response you may receive.
posted by cashman at 7:23 AM on November 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


Some people feel like they should be able to do or say whatever they want, within reason, and suffer no ill consequences, and not get challenged at all.

Not me. I believe that there are all sorts of things that people shouldn't be allowed to do. When people do those things, I believe they should be challenged. I believe there should be consequences. (Example: in my world, if a man passes a woman on the street and he lets her know, in any way, that he is thinking about her in a sexual way, he is deserving of chastisement.)

But I DO think people should be able to THINK and FEEL whatever they want (or don't want but think of feel anyway) and suffer no ill consequences.

I also accept the social utility of people not always saying what's on their mind. I do think that a site devoted to general questions and answers should accept ANY serious questions. (By "should," I mean "if I were running such a site, I would personally feel obligated to run it that way." I am NOT implying that Matt should be required to run his site in any particular way. I would defend his right to run AskMe however he wants.)

To be really clear, at the risk of digging a grave for myself and jumping in, if this were my site, I would even allow questions like: "Why are black people less intelligent than white people?" I find that question deeply offensive, but I would allow it, because I believe that if there's ANY hope of turning such a person's mindset around, it's through education. And I would moderate such a thread very heavily, removing all comments that berated the questioner for being racist (though, of course, I would be very tempted to write such comments myself).

My belief is that calling such a person a racist just makes things worse. Calmly answering his question, explaining why he's wrong may not help. But it has a greater chance of helping than deleting the question or berating the questioner.

I learned a lot from the thread we're discussing here. I learned that (some) men pee in sinks. I learned that my assumption that men's feet get hotter than women's feet is wrong, at least in some cases. I learned that some people truly believe that the only reason men don't want to stand next to other men in a bathroom is because they are homophobic. I learned something about the way breast milk is expressed that I'm ashamed to say I didn't know before reading the thread. I could go on and on. In most cases, I learned things when one person posted a prejudice or a piece of misinformation and another person calmly explained why it was wrong.

Every time there's a discussion like this -- one in which different kinds of people explain themselves without anger or silencing -- I get happy chills down my spine. I feel walls falling down. It's orgasmic.
posted by grumblebee at 7:55 AM on November 23, 2009


Maybe we're getting entangled in terminology here. I don't think of walking around in the world, preoccupied with going where we're going and doing what we're doing and seeing the things around us (the trees and streets and cars and people passing by all in a blur) and having various sensory or fleeting mental impressions as "objectification."

The desire to interact sexually with attractive humans, even completely anonymously, isn't objectification in and of itself; you can feel that way and still respect someone's personhood. Thinking about having sex with a coworker you're discussing work with at a business meeting isn't necessarily objectifying her/him -- but it is irrelevant and inappropriate, a distraction from the task at hand. I guess some people would brush such a thought aside, and others might entertain it while still talking about work, but I'd say that choosing to focus on those thoughts or not being able to refocus your attention on the real topic of conversation in that situation is a pretty big signal that something other than "natural, biological, inadvertent" stream of semi-consciousness rambling is going on.

It's possible to have all those sensations and thoughts without envisioning a person or other living being specifically as a that lacking any selfness or identity or desires or needs that are as real as our own. Consciously seeing or portraying a person or her/his parts as just something to have or do things to, seeing a dog as just a fashion accessory or protective device, thinking of a baby as just an extension of one's own personality or a badge of adulthood . . . that's objectification.
posted by FelliniBlank at 8:12 AM on November 23, 2009


Grumblebee—Can we take a moment and acknowledge that you regularly have trouble in this community due to your tendency to want to view interactions through a system of rules and literal meanings? I mean, this comes up pretty frequently in MetaTalk, where you posit the rightness of a lot of, shall we say, clueless or socially awkward interaction, because, as far as I can tell, you're prone to interacting with the world this way and need those modes defended lest you feel censured.
posted by klangklangston at 8:19 AM on November 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


Sorry gumblebee, but the question you posed that was apparently deleted sounds like it was pretty naive and blamed the victim. Perhaps rather than asking offensive questions about why all the black people keep to themselves, you could read up about on racism in North America and answer your own question. That might help you to better understand why people who are constantly prodded with "can I touch your hair" and other ridiculous questions might want to keep to themselves; more importantly, in the "not waving but drowning" theme, perhaps it's the white folks who rejected the black folks. Historically, this phenomenon has already been amply demonstrated. So why the wide-eyed surprise that black folks are sitting together?

You like the idea of allowing these questions for the sake of education, but if the person asking was honestly confused, surely they would have read up on the matter. Because even a tiny bit of reading would demonstrate why it's a question constructed on racist principles.

There, now that's out of the way.

re: "Wail! Biology makes me think "I'd hit it'", don't tell me I'm bad

Biology may make you notice whether a woman is particularly attractive to you, that is neither here nor there. What's making you take that attraction or appreciation and turning it into your personal sexual fantasy starring her? I can notice that a woman has particularly nice breasts without going ahead and picturing exactly what I would like to do to them if I had the opportunity. It seems there's a permissive trigger in some people's brains that makes this next step so seamless.

Finding someone attractive is not the objectifying part. Switching on the little porn reel in your head is. That's where the "I'd hit it" part flips on. Don't hit that switch, that's what we're saying. It's gross and women pretty much always know when you're doing it, no matter how good you think you are at hiding it.
posted by Hildegarde at 8:45 AM on November 23, 2009


Hildegarde writes "women pretty much always know when you're doing it, no matter how good you think you are at hiding it."

How can you possibly know what other people are thinking with any where near certainty? It seems obvious that both false negatives and positives would abound and there is no feedback loop to hone your perceptions.
posted by Mitheral at 8:59 AM on November 23, 2009 [3 favorites]


Sorry gumblebee, but the question you posed that was apparently deleted sounds like it was pretty naive and blamed the victim. Perhaps rather than asking offensive questions about why all the black people keep to themselves...

Hmmm. I guess I miss-typed something. First of all, I never asked why ALL black people did anything.

Second, I didn't ask why they keep to themselves (do they?). I asked why, in my neighborhood, I noticed black people TALKING to themselves more than white people. I wanted to know how talking-to-oneself plays out in black culture -- at least the black culture in Brooklyn, where I live. Where I live, I frequently see, say, a black person and a white person sitting next to each other, waiting for a train. The white person is completely silent. The black person is saying stuff (not to the white person). To me, this is interesting. It's something I don't understand but would like to. I feel like I would be a better person -- in terms of my interactions and thoughts about people who are different than me -- if I did understand.

I don't see how that's blaming a victim, since talking to yourself doesn't hurt anyone. Maybe other people see it differently, but in my mind, talking to oneself is neither good nor bad. It's a neutral activity that, in MY experience, black people in MY neighborhood do more than white people. I don't know why this is so. So I asked a question about it. You suggested that I read up on the topic. What books would you recommend?

I am upset by the fact that my question offended people, because I never want to offend anyone, and so I have never since asked such a question again. Nor will I.

The desire to interact sexually with attractive humans, even completely anonymously, isn't objectification in and of itself;

Yes. We're defining things differently. To me, if I see a person as a pair of breasts that I'd like to touch, I am objectifying her.

you can feel that way and still respect someone's personhood.


Sure, if it's a friend or coworker. I can't do that when it's someone who I see for ten seconds as she's walking down the street. I know zilch about her except what I see on the surface.

choosing to focus on those thoughts or not being able to refocus your attention on the real topic of conversation in that situation is a pretty big signal that something other than "natural, biological, inadvertent" stream of semi-consciousness rambling is going on.

Agreed.

Grumblebee—Can we take a moment and acknowledge that you regularly have trouble in this community due to your tendency to want to view interactions through a system of rules and literal meanings? I mean, this comes up pretty frequently in MetaTalk, where you posit the rightness of a lot of, shall we say, clueless or socially awkward interaction, because, as far as I can tell, you're prone to interacting with the world this way and need those modes defended lest you feel censured.

Hmmm. Well, I believe that in a discussion about ethics or aesthetics, which is what we're having here, it's very important to pin things down and to "call a spade a spade." I don't care so much about literal meanings as I do about making sure that, if we're talking in non-literal terms, we're all in agreement about what we mean.

If we are arguing about whether love at first sight exists and, without knowing it, we have totally different definitions of love, we're probably arguing at cross purposes.

So, yes, I'm that annoying guy who chimes in and asks everyone define love before going on. If the point of the discussion is venting, I am going to be unwelcome. Heck, maybe I'll be unwelcome anyway.

you posit the rightness of a lot of, shall we say, clueless or socially awkward interaction

Maybe I do this. I don't know. But I'm not doing it in this case, because I'm not positing the rightness of any kind of social interaction. I am positing something about THOUGHTS and FEELINGS. I will posit that if I make a woman uncomfortable via actions, then my actions are WRONG.

The only action I'm positing the rightness of is asking questions.

This thread is WAY too much about me. I will make myself scarce. I am happy to continue discussion via memail with anyone who is interested. Thank you all very much for putting up with me.
posted by grumblebee at 9:16 AM on November 23, 2009


Hahaha wow no, that was my misreading, clearly. :/
posted by Hildegarde at 9:36 AM on November 23, 2009


"Hey, let's hit the bar after work."
"I'm going out to pick up the drycleaning, then I might hit the grocery store on the way back."
"You guys want to hit a movie after the rehearsal?"

In this context, "hit" has nothing to do with violence, it's just a way of expressing a future action in a decisive manner.

Likewise, the phrase "I'd hit that" (referring to an attractive girl) similarly also contains no inherent violent intent, nor have I EVER heard it (in a casual context) intending to convey any violence in the least. When a guy say that about a girl to his friend, he just means, "I would not have any questions in the slightest about getting freaky with her."

Now, you can bitch about the aggression inherent in current western modes of expression ("war on drugs", "battle of the sexes", "winning an argument"), but to latch onto "I'd hit it" as an indicator of repressed violence and implied degradation on the part of men towards women is just plain redonkulous.
posted by Aquaman at 9:37 AM on November 23, 2009


Hildegarde: which were you misreading - the AskMe question or the Thought/SexCrime bit?
posted by Grangousier at 10:14 AM on November 23, 2009


Well, plenty of people ask questions in AskMe and are insulted, browbeaten, condescended to, etc. It's not just about race, gender, religion, whatever. It's about basic things like petcare, roommates, relationships, the toilet seat, anything. So using that as an example of some sort of societal intolerance towards certain kinds of questions is, well, questionable.

Sex is cool, having sexual desires is cool, if you often feel guilty about those desires there's nothing that I can do about that. Nor can women, feminism, your friends, whoever really do anything about that. They have their opinions about how they would like to be perceived and treated and they (we, really) have the right to have those opinions without taking responsibility for your internal dialogue or self-esteem.

You have your own moral and ethical system, if it's not working for you, take a deep breath and work on accepting yourself as you are. No one can do that for you.
posted by kathrineg at 10:26 AM on November 23, 2009


I would never say it, because I don't want to offend people, and I don't want to be crass. But if I'm 100% honest, I also don't want to say it, because part of me has been taught that it's wrong to even feel it. Maybe that's just me.

I don't even know why I'm getting into this but...

I frequent one other forum, Steve Albini's studio forum, and you can smell the macho working class Chicago pride a mile away a lot of the time...but they don't use "I'd hit it." They express the sentiment constantly (which, as LH and others point out, gets old really damn fast if you're not the one saying it), but they simply say "Would."

Honestly though, a couple people mentioned upthread it's not just the phrasing. Why do you (I mean a hypothetical you here) think I or anyone else give a crap who you'd sleep with independent of context or whatever? That's the basic flaw, at least to me. And I've kind of always felt like it was same old same old male insecurity and posturing to cope with said insecurity--"hey, girls won't talk to me and it's scary trying to get a date, but I can at least tell everyone who I'd do like I have my pick or something!" etc.
posted by ifjuly at 10:37 AM on November 23, 2009


How can you possibly know what other people are thinking with any where near certainty?

Well, the vacant staring at boobs and ass in inappropriate locations make it kind of obvious that the brain in question is otherwise occupied. Sure, the brain in question might be thinking about algebra while the eyes are fixated on someone's cleavage, so I might be wrong sometimes.
posted by Hildegarde at 11:24 AM on November 23, 2009


"women pretty much always know when you're doing it, no matter how good you think you are at hiding it."

My wife insists that she can recognize any and all cross-dressers and transexuals, because they look like men. I point out that she recognizes the ones that look like men, but not the ones that look like women, because they look like women. She disagrees.

The examples usually used for this fallacy are "I can always recognize people with breast implants" and "I can always recognize people with wigs".

From my experience, not all women can recognize when all men are doing it, because my wife gets angry at me when I'm looking at a woman and thinking "she's hot"...except my wife is always getting mad at the wrong times. When I'm actually thinking some woman is hot, she doesn't notice...and then, out of the blue, sometime when I'm thinking "I wonder whether I should switch to Windows 7" or "I feel like having curry today", she'll get mad and say "You're ogling that woman!"

Maybe it's just that most women pretty much always know, but my wife is the exception to the rule.
posted by Bugbread at 1:08 PM on November 23, 2009 [2 favorites]


Oh, and I should point out that these aren't usually "lost in thought, staring at some point in space" times, when I might, by statistical chance alone, be looking in the direction of a woman. These are times when I'm actually looking consciously at something like an ad for cheap OEM versions of Windows 7, or the sign on a curry restaurant.
posted by Bugbread at 1:12 PM on November 23, 2009


Maybe it's just that most women pretty much always know, but my wife is the exception to the rule.

I have met plenty of women who think men are looking at them, pretty much all the time. In the coffee shop: "Did you see how that guy was staring at me?" Um, no - no he wasn't. He was looking at the menu or looking for the men's room or whatever. I don't know what makes some people do this.
posted by Evangeline at 4:58 PM on November 23, 2009 [2 favorites]


This thread (and the one it calls out) has been an interesting counterpoint to the "here's a woman's perspective" threads. Intriguing to me as a woman, and let me just say it's not offensive at all, to me, for men to talk openly in this context. That is to say, this is not about an individual woman referenced in a fpp about whom men are tossing off "I'd hit it." No, this is all about how men may feel or are are likely to feel in a hypothetical but common situation (sexy woman crosses their path). A very different thing from a person choosing to act on that feeling (e.g., post about the feeling on Metafilter)--which is what has led to the boyzone complaints in Meta.

Some women have replied to say well, yeah, of course, I think the same kind of thing when I encounter a man who looks hot. No problem.

Klangklangston, I agree with Nattie here. Grumblebee hasn't said anything the least bit offensive or controversial. If thoughtcrimes were really what we were concerned about, then obviously none of this stuff would ever have become an issue here. You have to act (at the very least in this forum, speak) for any of this to be an issue.
posted by torticat at 5:58 PM on November 23, 2009


Bugbread- that may be true about all the other things, but I assure you, I can spot any toupee.
posted by gjc at 3:54 AM on November 24, 2009


I apologize for continuing on, but for the love of all that is holy, that thread is just a cesspool. Now loving tools is a uniquely men thing? I know its good to have the stuff out there to be challenged, but on the internet it just makes it sound "disputed". Maybe we should rethink some of the flags. If a woman asked the question "how can I get more into tools" as an askme and the reply was "Oh, the joys of owning tools is very much a man thing." Wouldn't it get flagged to high heaven as sexism?
posted by cashman at 2:41 PM on November 24, 2009


And men can't tell colors apart or match clothing, Monet and like 23 major male fashion designers don't count because, uh, stuff
posted by kathrineg at 3:57 PM on November 24, 2009


The whole thread pretty much sucks and as much as we're deleting the really egregious stuff, it's sort of abandoned. The "men like tools" stuff, I don't even know what to do with that? People think they're answering the question, somehow.... I'm pretty sure I have more tools than all the other guymods combined (mathowie, do you have a drill press? pb do you have a table saw? cortex, do you have a radial arm saw? vacapinta, I bet you have a dremel, yes?) , so I may not have the right sort of perspective.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 4:01 PM on November 24, 2009


I'm guessing Matt has a ton of bicycle tools, though.
posted by box at 4:05 PM on November 24, 2009


"Klangklangston, I agree with Nattie here. Grumblebee hasn't said anything the least bit offensive or controversial. If thoughtcrimes were really what we were concerned about, then obviously none of this stuff would ever have become an issue here. You have to act (at the very least in this forum, speak) for any of this to be an issue."

Oh, hey, Grumblebee and I mostly worked this out in memail, the super-short version being that we mostly agree, but communicated concepts in different ways, and that I tend to be less concerned about alienating guys like him than giving tacit support to assholes. But yeah, I totally didn't mean to give the impression that I was upset or annoyed at him personally, just that there's a regular disjunction in communication that occurs—I'd say that, just off the cuff here, it's the mindset that makes him a good programmer, that logical, empirical mindset, that leads to, say, him thinking that his sexuality was wrong or wrongly expressed when really the criticism is posited as over-broad because allowing for nuance can excuse bad behavior.

I would, and did in memail, say one thing though regarding actualization (or reification, if you prefer) of sexual impulses, and that's that I think there's an analogy to violent feelings. There's nothing per se wrong with violent feelings, however both violent and sexual feelings function as feedback loops, and thus there can be negative actions that are precipitated by an over-violent or over-sexual framing. That's the danger—which I agree is abstract—in arguing from nature regarding sexual framing of experience. If you're thinking that every sexual feeling you have is entirely neutral, being natural, it will lead to interpreting situations as sexual when they aren't.

I will also say that the idea that sexual feelings are uncontrollable or ungovernable, or even immutable, is false in my experience, and I worked in porn. The loss of responsiveness to pornography, and less overt sexual displays, was a routine topic of discussion in our office—yet everyone was able to have fulfilling sex lives outside of the office. The folks who were able to work in porn and stay interested and responsive to it were the weird ones (and generally had all sorts of weird fucked-up views).
posted by klangklangston at 5:46 PM on November 24, 2009 [3 favorites]


"People think they're answering the question, somehow.... I'm pretty sure I have more tools than all the other guymods combined (mathowie, do you have a drill press? pb do you have a table saw? cortex, do you have a radial arm saw? vacapinta, I bet you have a dremel, yes?) , so I may not have the right sort of perspective."

The most badass crew chief I had when working theater tech was a woman, and the only area where I've seen a clear gender bias (though small sample size, given that I've only worked with a handful of theaters as a techie) was the sound crews, which were almost always dudes (and way more macho than they needed to be). Lighting, set con, rigging, all balanced.

So no, I think you have exactly the right kind of perspective. It always annoys me when my carpenter uncle assumes that I'm totally into his tools and my girlfriend isn't. I mean, sure, I'd love to learn to use that router, and I was trying to talk him into letting me play with his new metal lathe the last time I saw him, but that he didn't want to let my girlfriend into the conversation at all was totally dickish and obnoxious. She owns more tools than I do!

Also, uh, hey, Jessamyn, if I ever get out to Vermont, can I play around in your woodshop? 'Cuz it sounds pretty fucking sweet.
posted by klangklangston at 5:56 PM on November 24, 2009


vacapinta, I bet you have a dremel, yes?

As it happens I'm so useless with tools it's a family joke. The few that we have belong to my wife and I can't touch them as I will likely break them. She builds the Ikea furniture even - whenever I try I end up with an abstract sculpture.

The funny part about it is that, on my father's side, I come from a line of carpenters. My paternal grandfather had his own carpentry shop and my father and uncles were apprenticed to him. But I didn't inherit this constructive gene.

It is funny but it was also a bit painful when growing up. I always sensed that my father was a bit disappointed with me - a terrible thing to feel as a young kid - that my awkwardness with tools made me a bit less of a man, or something like that.
posted by vacapinta at 1:20 AM on November 25, 2009


I always sensed that my father was a bit disappointed with me - a terrible thing to feel as a young kid - that my awkwardness with tools made me a bit less of a man, or something like that.

That's really interesting. I'm decently competent with tools and have a lot of them but I was also the disappointment for my dad, I suspect because I was good with tools and yet not a guy. I mean, he got over it but how many other young women went off to college with a subscription to Esquire magazine?
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:44 AM on November 25, 2009


Thanks for the reply, Jessamyn. I love the tool stories. I'll just use my faux favorite expression about that thread - it is what it is.
posted by cashman at 7:45 AM on November 25, 2009


Metafilter: There is a metatalk thread, you can talk about your penis there.
posted by klausness at 5:52 AM on November 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


Maybe this was mentioned up top ( too late in the game to read the whole thing ), but a while back someone outlined 4 categories of men. Asshole, Man's Man, Gentleman, Wimp. A great, simplifying observation. To which this thread and the original thread has supported.

Stereotypes apply to certain types of people. They are awesome ways to navigate experience. With stereotypes, our minds master the subtleties of life.

Stereotypes are mental shortcuts that help us put order into the world.

Peeing in sinks are physical shortcuts for lazy bastards who tend to be white, between the ages of 16-30, with a propensity to drink too much.


An Asshole - The married guy who says I would hit all three of that, and after much aggressive persuasion hits one of that after getting slapped down by the other two of that. Has peed in your flowers.

Man's man - The single guy who thinks I would hit that, eventually hits that, whilst riding his motorcycle along the plains with his german shephard in the side car of that. Has peed in a hurricane.

Gentleman - The guy who says I would be honored to hit that, divines the courage to chat up that, falls in love with that, and hits that after performing cunnilingus on that. Has peed in the sink of his dorm after drinking too much of that..........Patron!!

Wimp - The guy who says I will never hit that! May find the courage to date that, but never gives a good rodgering to that. Will eventually lose that, after finding out of that, she wants to let the gentleman hit that. As for peeing in the sink........wouldn't have the balls to do that.
posted by jasondigitized at 7:32 PM on November 26, 2009


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