I Said, I’ve Got A Big Stick

From my Bloglines feeds, I give you a bunch of links I’ve been meaning to write about.

Where America is going, and the next generation of leaders who will take it there. Scared yet?

I also came across Private Warriors, a documentary on the use of mercenaries (excuse me, private military contractors) in Iraq. On PBS’s site, you can watch the documentary and also read background material.

theferret gets into an interesting discussion of the intentions behind the way women dress. Interesting for what I think is a common male perspective. I can see his point, but with the caveat that all this straightforwardness would be fine in an ideal world where all men are bright enough to realise when their attentions are not welcome (dealing with the non-ideal world in which we live is the subject of his followup article). This comment seemed a pretty sensible response from a woman.

And so to bed.

5 Comments on "I Said, I’ve Got A Big Stick"

  1. You write interesting things – do you mind if I read you? This is how I conceive of LJ interactions, incidentally, and the most salient point is probably that I have no expectations of reciprocity.


  2. “We’re scared,” says red_girl, but I don’t think that covers the issue, either. If I feel like dressing up, it might be for any number of reasons. It might be because it’s the weekend, and I’ve spent the week encased in office wear, and I feel like wearing something sparkly for a change. Or because it’s spring, and I’ve spent the winter in grey flannel, and I want to let my legs breathe. I might be seeing my girly friends, and want to celebrate by dressing up for them. Or I might be seeing my blokey friends, and feel like dressing up for them – I do like to put a pretty frock on when I go out drinking, so’s that DavidB can admire me! Or, of course, I might dress up for The Man, so that he can remember why he fancies me. And any of these people are more than welcome to lob any compliments they might feel like making my way, and that feels good.

    What doesn’t feel good is when I’ve got my party gear on, and I’m out on the dancefloor with my friends (and/or lovers) and some slimy, drunken Essex man in a check shirt comes and slobbers over me. And it doesn’t fail to feel good because I’m scared, it fails to feel good because there’s no personal compliment involved whatsoever. Mr Drunken Essex doesn’t want to have sex with me because he thinks I look good, he just wants to put his knob in a hole, any hole, preferably human. And it’s offensive that he chooses to express these urges (too ill-defined to be correctly called “desires”) anywhere near my body space.

    It’s not fear that prevents me from feeling pleasure when someone I don’t know or want to know makes unsolicited advances toward me. It’s straightforward disgust.

    People don’t have to pretend they don’t want sex, as Mr Ferret suggests. They just have to not be obnoxious pricks. If Mr Ferret was a friend of mine, he could tell me he’d like to do me and I would take no offence. But if he was some sweaty git I’d never seen before, I think I’d be well within my rights to give him an alternative suggestion for sexual pleasure.


    1. I’m not practiced at making advances to total strangers (I think the one time I did so, I was egged on by you, in fact: girl at Churchill guest night a couple of years back :-), so I don’t know quite what the etiquette of it is. Would you say it was never OK for a man to approach a woman he doesn’t know on that dancefloor, or is it a question of how it’s done? It seems to me that many women prefer to be approached by men than to do the approaching, and that in this case some unwanted attention is the inevitable side-effect of this, but when it comes to doing that approaching, there are better ways and worse ways.


      1. There certainly are. The thing is, the line between “flattering” and “offensive” in approaches really isn’t that fine. If a stranger wants to say hello to me, engage me in conversation, perhaps even say nice things about my outfit or my dancefloor moves or my hair or whatever, I’m really not going to be offended. Young gentlemen (and even not-so-young gentlemen) are welcome to come over and be nice to me, unsolicited. What I don’t respond well to – and I can’t imagine any woman in her right mind who would – are abrupt, aggressive, unseemly advances, with unasked-for touching, slobbering or genital proximity. I also dislike it if some young chap-about-town assumes that, because he’s come over to chat me up, I am obliged to respond in kind. Sometimes I won’t be in the mood. Somtimes I’ll be more interested in hanging out with my friends and dancing. Sometimes, I just won’t fancy your ugly-ass face. Such responses are entirely my prerogative, and I get pissed off by men who won’t take a hint and bug off when requested to.

        I don’t at all mind making the first move myself from time to time, either, and that being the case I’d follow the same broad guidelines myself – I’d engage in conversation first, have a drink and a natter, see how things went. I would not, within five minutes of meeting a young gent, ask him to get his cock out. That just wouldn’t be done.

        Taking some time to chat to your intended target first is quite a useful tack, in general. You might find out that they are, in fact, the most deathly boring person in the world after all. You mght find out that they’re married. You might find out that they’re gay. Or – heavens! – you might find out that they are in fact most desirable, and then you might well want to follow through on your desires. It’s good to know.


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