Savage Love Letter of the Day: Men Are Pigs and Other Things We Already Knew

Comments

1
I shed a tear and sigh whenever anyone starts a sentence with "all men..." or for that matter, "all" anything. It's not true, not even close to true. I'm sorry if you have had more than your share of negative experiences, but of all the people I know well enough to judge their character (and this includes women) I stand by my generalization that 20% of all people are very kind and well-intentioned, trying their best to live a good life. 50% are mostly good, with a little shit mixed in and twenty percent are mostly shit with a little good mixed in. And then, there's the last 10% who are total assholes. I may have to recalculate now in the era of "Big Orange" and his cohorts who seem to live by the credo, "What would a real asshole do" whenever a decision comes up.

If you are constantly surrounded by the 10 percent, you might want to take a look at the people you're hanging around with.
2
Oh the LW is not alone. I am a white woman and at this point I am 100% over all white people and 100% over all men. Not all men? Then where are the men who stand up and fight against this bullshit? Oh that's right, they don't exist. They stand by and do nothing or laugh or pretend they're not like all the rest. Once in awhile they might beat the shit out of another man, usually when they're harming "their woman/women." The fact that this country elected a rapist who grabs about sexually assaulting women and wanting to fuck his daughter(s) proves YES ALL MEN AND OH YEAH PLENTY OF WOMEN THINK IT'S OKAY TOO because let's not forget the largest demographic that voted for the pig in chief (besides the Russians) are white women.

Every day there are stories of infants being raped by grown men (and they usually die because of it); stories of women murdered by men because the woman wasn't interested or whatever other reason; stories of females of ALL AGES FROM INFANCY TO NEARLY 100 YEARS OLD being molested, groped, raped, masturbated in front of, assaulted, beaten, used for sexual reasons, murdered, shamed, slandered, WHATEVER, etc. etc. etc. Add to that the daily murder of black people by so called law enforcement (paid, government sanctioned lynch mobs, murdering children, women, disabled people, people in distress, black males of all ages) and I am coming to believe that anyone who isn't being driven completely mentally and physically ill by all of this is part of the problem(s). Period.

I've said it before and I'll say it again. I am just waiting for humanity's extinction event. It will be the single greatest thing to ever happen on this planet.
3
*brags not grabs
4
i guess SADS somehow missed all of the #metoo stories shared by men, where they were abused/assaulted/harassed by women. Oh wait, I forgot it's only men that can be awful people, and golly of course women don't think dirty things. We're just so different!
5
I’ve been groped by a male friend, which was a shocking experience, but I’ve also had my ass grabbed by women who I didn’t know, and who quickly slithered away when I turned around shocked. I don’t doubt that men are far more likely to do this, but I simply can’t be the only person groped by a female stranger.

Worse was being asked out for drinks by my boss, who told me over drinks that he was going to give me a promotion, before asking me to drive him to his home. After an awkward parting in which I did not go into his house, that promotion did not materialize, and soon thereafter, I was told that I was a poorly performing employee. When I reported all this to HR in a formal complaint of sexual harassment I was told that we simply had a “cultural difference.” Then the company, where I had worked for nearly seven years, put together a paper trail alleging my poor performance to get me out the door. My lawyer sympathized, but told me you can’t win.

But whatever my feelings about those incidents, I am still most upset about the boss who called me up the morning I was with my father in the hospital after he suffered a stroke, and demanded I speak to her. It was so important, she just had to talk to me, it was about a merger of my firm into another firm, and while she was sorry to hear about my dad, she just had to talk to me, she couldn’t possibly write me. Why couldn’t she write me by email? Because she didn’t want to leave a paper trail showing that she was breaching my employment contract. Why was the merger so important? It wasn’t to me, they were tearing up my contact, but she was getting a guaranteed contract that would pay her $3-4 million per year for three years, and she had to inform me they wouldn’t honor my contact before their merger closed. So instead of letting me care for my dad when he needed me, and make medical decisions that he could not make, I had to get on the phone and deal with someone only concerned with her monetary interests. Oh, and my lawyers said sorry, but nothing you can do.

Sexual harassment is about power, but what this woman did was as vulgar and raw a display of power I’ve had to experience, and if SADS thinks women don’t abuse their power in ways every bit as vile as men she is wrong.
6
It's been really triggering for me also, yet oddly reassuring to feel less alone. I feel some of the anger I couldn't express before and also release from a lot of the shame. Knowing how many women and girls suffered silently like I did made me understand how much it was never my fault. I feel disgusted by these men, but also angry at men in general. Even the lesser evils of supposedly nice guys are pissing me off right now.

Do I hate all men? No, definitely not. I can't pretend I never benefited from the power I have over men as an attractive woman. I've dated plenty of alpha males such as a real estate millionaire, a sports executive, doctors, lawyers, a billboard jazz artist, former athletes and trainers. I've been wined and dined, showered with expensive gifts, offered a modeling gig or two, and have been courtside with vip treatment. The sports exec even offered for me to fly with the team, and be on the field pregame.

Wow. Sounds like a great life right? Except there's just one thing. Constant objectification. A roster of competing side chicks. Being groped. Street harassment. Sexual harrasment at more than one job no matter how covered up I am. Getting propositioned. Being pressured to go to swingers parties or group sex- one guy went so far as to bring a lesbian couple to his place as a "fun surprise"- I turned him down then slept on the couch as they had a threesome. I even had to turn down an offer to become a high end escort when I was 19. Completely surreal to understand that there were men who wanted to be my sugar daddy, with the means to figuratively, if not literally, own me.

I've done my best to navigate the vast amount of sexual attention I have received starting at age 11. Sometimes the attention was exciting when it came from a good looking guy, but mostly it was scary disgusting pervs whose unwanted advances came my way. These experiences have left me mistrustful and somewhat vain. A lot of people think pretty girls like me have it easy, but actually its like watching your back constantly on gaurd, because there's always someone trying to fuck you or use you up until there is nothing left but an empty shell. I've worked hard to protect myself from that dark world that have me believe that I exist only to please men.
7
@2 you sound like a barrel of laughs.
8
#NotAllMen is a lie. The TRUTH is #allmen.

Now, #NotAllMen mean it, many of us try to behave ourselves and try to act with our best intentions, #allmen have done something to a woman at some point that made them at east incredibly uncomfortable.

We need to acknowledge that yes, indeed, #allmen, even the good ones.

And #somewomen too.
9
If men are these dick monsters why the hell have they got all the power and do most of the decision making? If their dick rules their brain then it makes more sense to retire the little darlings, keeping them in shape for when dick monsters are required, (the gay men can play 24/7 amongst themselves) and let the level headed women rule.
10
I agree about the triggering part. I never stopped to count how many times, how young, what was grabbed, rubbed, patted. How previously trusted the aggressor was, how scared I was or just pissed off, how often I had to calculate an escape route. I started to think of opportunities I missed, jobs I had hoped would lead to a better career path where I ultimately just walked away because some heaving sack of drool and grabby hands was in control.
The whole "Me too" thing has stirred up enough negative emotion in me that I can't read the details anymore.
11
@6 girliegams, I'm sorry you have been so badly treated. Hugs to you. I'm past being harassed by men, still I wear a good kicking short boot when I'm out and about.
12
From reading the comments so far, it reminds me of all the semi sane Christians writing Dan, stating that “Not all Christians are bad” or something “Not all Christians think the same as Far RIght Southern Baptists, Catholic BIshops, etc etc etc..

I am guess I am writing this @2, Do not give up hope. I tried all my life trying to be a sensitive male to women, but in the end, I am still a horny male who objectifies women, and basically in about a minute after meeting someone new, I am debating should I try to sleep with her.. However, life is cruel, but life is beautiful as well. I also like being friends, I hope that I respect boundaries, and males like females are not one dimensional beings. We humans with the regressive Y chromosome are complex and come in many flavors are XX humans..

Not all males are complete creeps. However, it is very disturbing to me that this culture that allowed rape and sexual assault plus the power of money, can keep many victims silent through intimidation and fear.

Much like if you read about some of the sexism and sexual assault that went on in the Yippies with Abbie Hoffman and Jerry Rubin, this isn’t a conservative versus liberal issues, it is a serious American problem, that if means destroying businesses and weakening political parties, so be it. The amount of terror that has been revealed has shown we need to fight this, even though it will never go away, given most males are very aggressive in trying to date or stalk women..
13
Honestly, its a shitty situation. Women should be given the benefit of the doubt when they say theyve been sexually harassed or abused. Yes, sometimes some women lie, but for the better of society (and just judging by the numbers) practically all the time they are not.

Where it gets fuzzy is two areas: When women mistake something that isnt harassment for being harassment, and intersectionality.

I was once at a packed bar where a server (female) was blocking the isle taking orders. I had to use the facilities in a pretty bad way, so rather than wait for her to finish I moved around her. I faced my body away from hers but miscalculated the distance, so my but accidentally touched her. As I was saying "omg sorry" she made a quiet sort of yelp and turned to me and called me a "fucking asshole". It all happened so fast that my brain barely had time to process it. I'm lucky I wasnt kicked out of the bar, but we didnt get any further service at our table after that. After telling my significant other and friends, most of my male friends have had similar stories of accidental touching that could easily be seen as groping. In a related but different common situation, a group of women gather in front of the bar or bathroom or walkway and are talking, oblivious to anyone who wants to get through. If a guy approaches them, they respond as if the guy is attempting to hit on them and not just get through. That happens all the time. They are "curb your enthusiasm" bad situations, but it does happen a lot. I'm not saying that to deflect for gropers or pulling a 'notallmen', I'm just saying that it does happen.

As for intersectionality, look at this American history of women, specifically white women, claiming men, particularly black men but also native and hispanic men, made improper sexual contact in any form with them. The Scottsboro boys, the Central Park 5, the destroyed towns of Rosewood, hell the Chicago race riots of the 60s. Many men of color have been tortured or killed when a white woman wanted to cover for some other action or fell pressure to racist white men around them.
14
I can understand women being triggered by all this public knowledge about the sexual depravity of so many men.
A friend has just lost her son suddenly and it has triggered my grief for my son, who died in 04.
If this time shines a brighter light on male assumptions about females, and women grow stronger, then the pain women feel for those moments of assault being retriggered, will not be going to waste.
15
I am a boringly straight male who, since childhood, has always preferred female friends to male ones.

Do I think of my female friends as sexual partners? No. Do I see women in public places and have a rush of sexual fantasies? No.

Am I hot for the woman I love and ready to make her hot and wet 24/7? YES! Do I forget that she is more intelligent and more accomplished than I am? No.

I am a lesbian trapped in a man's body, I suppose.
16
I like the idea of the #notjustmen hashtag. The #notallmen is awful. It denies there is a structural problem.

I'd doubt all men have the same amount of testosterone sloshing round their body.

There's not much to say to women like the LW, in my view. They just have to go on living their lives, feeling rightfully angry but trying to avoid prejudice. Over time, perhaps some of the people they form friendships and relationships with may be men.
17

Chemical castration. I've thought about it a lot with regards to the tsunami of sexual assault and harrassments coming to light, which are of course only the tip of the iceberg. If, because of testosterone, these men cannot control themselves, if women (and 14 yr olds) are routinely being abused, groped, raped, etc., the world over, as we know that they are, and if it is not only harming/violating/injuring/humiliating us females, sometimes ruining our careers we have strived and educated ourselves for, but also (gasp!) thru exposure, is beginning to ruin the lives, families, and careers of the men ... one has to ask, if it was worth it. If the ejactulation, literal or not, that resulted, was worth the ruination of multiple parties. Of course, it wasn't. Even the abusers would agree, I'm sure. Yet they so often move on to become serial offenders who harm/rape/grope/humuliate/rape/whatever countless girls and women, never stopping to think, this girl is my daughter's age. She didn't do anything to me. Why am I doing this to her?

It's hard to escape the comparison with an addiction. If heroin or coke or opioids were the driving force behind this behavior, we would treat that. If testosterone is the root cause of these men being THIS out of control, especially, but not only, Cosby and Weinstein out of control, I honestly think we need to consider at least a mild form of chemical castration, as treatment. I would think it would prove a relief for the men, that they are no longer driven to abuse and attack because of their dicks. I don't honestly think this is that crazy a position.
18
I don't believe testosterone can be blamed for those who assault others. Their rage is not in this hormone, otherwise all men would be abusers, rapists, murderers. It's in how they are brought up.
Yes, obviously males have a different force because of hormones, doesn't mean it has to be used to prey on others. Men have transformed that power for centuries.
19
"I don't know if women are just as dirty; perhaps some are."

Yes, we are! Perhaps not as indiscriminately as a typical dude, but I have lost hours this week fantasising about my latest crush, who happens to be a dude -- in my mind it's OK to objectify dudes due to a "turnabout is fair play" justification, but these thoughts have been no different from the ones we deem men pigs for having about women. The difference, as Dan says, is that these thoughts have remained in my head. When I see him next, I will NOT behave aggressively towards him.

The problem is that with lust clouding my thinking, I may well mistake friendliness for reciprocated flirting. I wonder if that is what happens with the testosterone-soaked dick monsters we've been reading about: they impute consent signals where there are none, because they're not in their right minds; they're literally under the influence.

How to reconcile this? Well, the bitter MRAs amongst us would turn it on its head and say that it's you who have the power, because you caused men to have all this testosterone *ahem*. That logic is obviously flawed; having to constantly be on guard against male potential predators is not "power" at all. Male weakness is not female power. I'm actually thinking VelvetBabe @17 may be onto something. Hell, if there were a pill I could take to make me less horny, I'd be all over it. (Getting a less sex-related hobby than Savage Love might be a start... *whistles*)
20
Lava @18: Of course you are correct. It is not just hormones; it is a socially bestowed sense of male entitlement. And a lot of it is men reinforcing this with each other ("locker room talk"), PUA forums, toxic masculinity (men must be the aggressors), etc. There must be more productive outlets for this excessive testosterone... but porn and sex workers, and those who use them, are shamed. Perhaps they should be celebrated, viewed as the equivalent of healthy meals for the hungry. And male/male casual sex should be more normalised. Surely it's better for straight-identified men to give each other "bro jobs" than to assault unwilling women?
21
Good to see Fan, a new crush is always fun. Yes. Female desire can be very strong and dirty, it's not minds we are talking about here.
The difference i see is females don't get cultural clues from birth that because hormones, we can surrender to the forces. It's self fulfilling.
I was taught to watch out for the boys, because, well, they can't really help themselves. Be one step ahead.
22
Just wanted to add, before I hit the deck down under. Sorry to hear those stories SA@5. Sorry about your dad. Yeah. Women can be bitches, a lot of them scare me. Cruel creatures some of them. Maybe we should do a thread in it one day. How women assault without laying a finger..
That sort of behaviour would be all thru the business world, people treated just like things.
Just another brick in the wall.
23
I read Hansbury's paragraph to my boyfriend and asked him if that's what testosterone felt like. He said maybe you get used to it if you grow up with it. I asked him if that's what it felt like to him as a teenager. He said no.
24
How about this for a distinction? Testosterone makes straight men want to have sex with women. It does not make them want to coerce women into having sex with them. Testosterone makes men want to have sex with women who want to have sex with them. It does not make men want to put women in uncomfortable sexual situations.
25
Being a gay man always feels icky in situations like these for me, like I'm getting away with murder by having a plethora of sex options. Even if I don't take advantage of them, knowing they are available in some way eases sexual frustration. It does make me wonder about straight men, of the average to above-average sexual drive. How sexually frustrated would I be in their shoes?

Sometimes I see facebook comments on news reports about sex worker busts in King County and my stomach churns. Often times, women disparaging the men utilising the sex workers. Obviously, unwanted sexual assaults and advancements are not okay. But what's to be done in regards to repairing our handling of male sexuality on a greater scale?

On the topic of #notallmen or whatever: I do feel like the more we disparage men in general (in the hyperbolic internet way), it feeds a false dichotomy that men are Scoundrels and women are Saints (for all the good and bad connotations of both of those terms). As someone who has only worked for, and mostly alongside different women for 15 years, I know that these conveniently gendered assignments of character aren't valid. I keep thinking about the New Yorker article about sex panic, and the dangers of hyperbole. Though it is all rage-inducing, I think women speaking honestly about the awful experiences by men, calling men out and trying to stop the daily harm is the first step in a long conversation about gender and sex. So today I'm grateful for reasonable conversations between well-meaning people.

Happy Thanksgiving

p.s. Dan, thank you for your note about the joys and love sex can bring. It was a breath of fresh air to remember.
26
Fichu @23
I read Hansbury's paragraph to my boyfriend and asked him if that's what testosterone felt like.

That paragraph is not completely wrong, but it reads (to me) like a hugely exaggerated caricature. It sometimes happens that I see someone with an attractive quality and that makes me slightly horny. Indeed, "without a narrative", like Hansbury says. But it's not like that [is] enough to basically just flood my mind with aggressive pornographic images, which I can't turn off. First, there are no "agressive pornographic images" (the person I noticed is the "pornographic image", if you will) and I can quite easily snap out of it ("turn if off") by just focusing my attention elsewhere. It's all quite superficial and fleeting.
27
Lava @21: No, instead, from birth, we get cultural clues that we are not supposed to have sexual desires of our own, that it is our job to say no to the ever-horny men, that we're "sluts" if we don't. Toxicity all round.

Fichu @23 / @24: Interesting. I guess it's similar to when MTFs transition and all of a sudden notice that they are being objectified, and chalk it up to "being fetishised," when cis women are just so used to this being the way men act towards women, we've experienced it since puberty (and been warned about it since preschool; see my point to Lava), we develop adaptations that trans women never had to think about before.

Thinking about what testosterone does to me, it just makes me want sex. Period. It doesn't spur thoughts about what the other person might or might not want. It takes my brain to override those impulses. But men have brains and they shouldn't be let off the hook. As Dan says, an explanation, not an excuse.

RE @26: Same with me. I pass an attractive person on the street, and it's "ooh they're hot." Then they pass and I forget about them. I don't retain their image to wank to later, it's too ephemeral. I guess this varies by testosterone level and other factors. (Sounds like perhaps the trans man interviewed should have asked his doctor to reduce his dosage!)
28
"And I'm lucky: I'm bi, so I could in fact choose never to have sex with a man and sleep only with women from now on. Oh, the many times I've said this to myself in the past four weeks!

A month from now: "Why aren't any of those meaniepants lesbians asking me out?"

@2: "I've said it before and I'll say it again. I am just waiting for humanity's extinction event. It will be the single greatest thing to ever happen on this planet."

You first, sweetie.

@9: "If men are these dick monsters why the hell have they got all the power and do most of the decision making?"

Real talk? Because if a man wants to have a lot of sex with a lot of women, he's in a much better position if he has a lot of money/fame/power. Even if we assume that everything is always on the up and up.

There's also the fact that men have it constantly reinforced that the only resources they can call on are what they have personally available (or at best, through appealing to someone else's self-interest), and the idea that one doesn't really count as a man unless one has clawed one's way to the top; the facts that men are more likely to die on the job, more likely to be in prison, more likely to be homeless, and more likely to commit suicide always seem to be overlooked in discussions like this. So if one side is told that they only matter if they've scrabbled their way to the top, of course they're going to fight harder and dirtier to get there. You're not going to see noticeably different outcomes until you change the whole incentive structure.

@23: "I read Hansbury's paragraph to my boyfriend and asked him if that's what testosterone felt like. He said maybe you get used to it if you grow up with it. I asked him if that's what it felt like to him as a teenager. He said no."

Some men have lower than average T, some women have higher than average T, so one random person doesn't necessarily prove anything. And let's not forget that men are regularly told that having a high sex drive is somehow not right. (Even someone like Louis C.K. sounds like there was a lot of confused conflict instead of pure predation.)

The fact that so many people who do take additional testosterone do find their libido seriously ramping up does strongly hint at a correlation, though.
29
Funny, Chi @28. My reaction to that passage from SADS's letter was "yippee, the tables have finally turned in my favour!" ;)
30
It must be difficult to live under the conflicting messages of toxic masculinity: On one hand, you need to be "a stud," have a high sex drive, bed lots of women, or you're not "a man." On the other hand, if you make the mistake of expressing your sex drive in the wrong way, you're a pig or worse. (Or "gay," if you even occasionally fool around with another dude.) In previous generations people were expected to marry young, so that men could focus their sex drives on one financially dependent woman, which didn't work out happily for all involved. Are sex robots the only solution?
31
I'm thankful for this letter, I must admit I've been feeling the same rage and desire to cancel men over this, even though there are amazing men in my life who are nothing like this. Finding some solidarity and being able to vent really helps work through these feelings.
33
@32 Yes, telling me, a total stranger about whom you know nothing, to kill myself, proves my point exactly. I am an asshole? Did you read the letter? Do you read the news on a daily basis? Do you see the shit show not only our society is currently in but also the horrific state of the world? My opinion offends you, fine, so what. Telling me to kill myself makes you a sub human piece of shit.
34
@32 Uhhh... I've seen a lot of well-thought out and insightful comments from you in the past. This is decidedly not one of them. Could we dial back on the vitriol just a wee bit? That sort of thing is never okay to say to anyone.
35
As a Black man living in America, I get the sentiment about resentment and disgust due to the bad behavior (or worse) coming from a demographic that exploits its power.

There have been decades of hearing "not all white people" rhetoric, in response, after every incident. So, yeah, buckle up. It's a long ride.
36
ChiTod@38, yes. Men's inner pain has to be factored into this discussion. Taught to strive and compete and knock everyone down. It's all linked up.
I have brought up sons and it's been hard to read them, know when and what. I see them hold their pain, because male to male intimacy blocks sharing that much.
Women diffuse their pain from the get go with other females. Chat chat chat share share share.
Male suicide numbers, especially with young men, frightening. Boys with no how to share their hurt.
Men have got to change this, as women changed our confines in the seventies. Men did join in for a bit, having groups, writing books. Then it sorta died, the cultural signals too strong. Capitalism too strong. It's geared for tough, competitive, non empathetic men.
Which is where the women come in, being hurt and abused by people who were told empathy was for women to develop. Which is true, because it's what we develop in our girly huddles, as we share our heart stories.
37
That would be ChiTodd @28.
38
I count me blessings almost everyday that i know, after dozens of partners, my girlfriend and I are so synced in how we like, what we like, in the sack that I literally do not even think about other women, because I know how highly unlikely they could please me like the GF pleases me. It has been a burden of sorts, lifted off my shoulders.
39
What has changed and is seeping thru the culture, is men have become hands on in rearing their children.
41
As a Black man living in America, I get the sentiment about resentment and disgust due to the bad behavior (or worse) coming from a demographic that exploits its power.

There have been decades of hearing "not all white people" rhetoric, in response, after every incident. So, yeah, buckle up. It's a long ride.
42
@34
Look when somebody desires that me and everyone I care about be killed I guess that rubs me the wrong way.

And if this shit bag wants the world to be killed then he/she whoever should kill themselves. I consider that mere suggestion literally the most passive kind of self defense ever.

And if they actually DO? Good. It would be worth it to know I have the power to will piles of shit to off themselves. I will then command Trump to kill himself. This shit bags sacrifice would be worth it.

I see them as no different than any other genocidal pile of shit and the world would be better for with out them.

And if you think we should just lay down and tolerate that kind of garbage you can go fuck yourself, too.

And if this shit bag is allowed genocidal hyperbole then I am allowed “Suicide by Proxy” hyperbole.
43
When I found out that the partner I'd spent half of my life with had been lying about some deal-breaking things, I felt this way, too- whenever I'd see young couples, young families, I'd wonder what secrets he was hiding from her that could eventually destroy their relationship. I'd wonder if he'd be brave enough to be honest with her while she could still walk away, or if he was going to wait until she had given up years of her life to him and bore his children and was too invested to easily leave... or, perhaps he'd never come clean, and she'd accidentally find out about his lies on her own...

So yes, I know that feel... not necessarily worrying about their thoughts towards me, but of having your trust in men so irrevocably broken that you cannot look at them and see anything more than a threat to your own well-being. I've been in therapy for it, and things were starting to improve- but the #metoo thing definitely brought up a lot of those feeling for me again. I had to take a break from my social media accounts for my own mental health.

I don't want to be like this. I love men- I love talking to them, I love having sex with them, I love having them in my life- and I am pissed that the emotional burden for men's behavior is once again falling on women. All I want to do is live my life. I'm tired of bearing the burden of vigilance, having to decide on a case-by-case basis if each man in my life is "one of those" or if he's worthy of trust- and if I'm wrong, I'm the only one who suffers for it.

Big hugs to the OP, from another bi girl who is taking a break from dudes for a bit.
44
Maybe I'm the wacko here, but to me, the fact that men are testosterone-soaked dick monsters is a huge reason why I'm into them so much. Biggest problem I have with many guys sexually is that they hold back too much...they're too nice. But then, "toxic masculinity" is a turn-on for me. And yeah, I'm aware how unhealthy that can be.

Here's the reality: discussions like this are setting men up for failure. We collectively decided to release most of the social restraints around sex. And then we're shocked when men act like the restraints have been taken off. It's almost like we didn't think our cunning plan all the way through.

The reality is that all of this patriarchy stuff and religious controls that we've been rebelling against served multiple purposes, not just to reinforce the existing power hierarchies. And one major function of all that was to protect women and children from men outside of the family. (And yes, obviously this is all imperfect and caused all kinds of collateral damage of its own)

The sheer numbers of men from all kinds of backgrounds being exposed here should tell us that if women want to be free of all kinds of sexual harassment, then it's going to take some serious limits placed on sexual expression, for all of us. And then we need to have the culture model those limits, which likely means going back to some serious limits on things like porn.

As I've said before, consent is insufficient as a standard for what constitutes acceptable sexual activity. It's way too easy to manipulate people into doing things you want.

But as things stand right now, we all seem to want to have our cake and eat it too. We want to be free to have whomever we want for a partner without limits, but we also want to be free to say no to everyone else. Something there has got to give, and, the world being what it is, it breaks in favor of the powerful.
45
I agree with the person who said that about 20% of people are "good", 50% are mostly good, and so forth. The person who said she wants to quit all men as a result of these recent revelations in the media is likely dealing with the distresses of our day along with her evolving sexual preferences or past personal experiences. I sincerely hope she seeks some counseling before she brings all of that baggage into a relationship, whether it's with a man or a woman.

About me: I'm a straight, white, happily married, professional male in my late 40s, but before you pre-judge or label me, I want to say that #MeToo applies to me, too. If you don’t think it does, then you should keep reading and ask yourself why it shouldn’t apply to me, too. There have been times in my life when others have used their power over me unfairly and have wanted to use it for sexual purposes. I'm not exceedingly handsome, I’m not flirtatious, and I've been monogamous for my entire, long marriage. I’m essentially the guy next door. However, during my roughly 25 year working career I've been propositioned and/or aggressively hit on in the workplace by women and men with more power than me, who felt they could do so because of who we were.

Here are a few of my experiences, which I have shared with very few people:
1) Age 19. I was fired from a minimum wage job in because I wasn't interested in having a group romp with my older, married male boss and a younger, female employee with whom he was having an affair. Coworkers had told me that these two people were doing drugs and having sex at work and he was rewarding her by paying her for extra shifts that she wasn’t working. I dismissed it as gossip and minded my own business until the boss called the female employee and me into his office to make a very graphic sexual proposition. Shocked and naïve, I said I had a girlfriend and I wasn't interested. They both suggested that I think it over. It seemed that the female employee had initiated the idea and had gotten the boss on board. The boss fired me a week later, because I wasn't "performing up to expectations" (I had been on the job for 3 weeks and had performed my work with no issues). I had no options or recourse that I was aware of - this was in the late 80s. I just remember wanting to forget the humiliation and the anger I felt at being treated like that. I’ve never shared this experience with anyone until now.

2) Age 21, senior in college. I was a summer intern in an office setting. I was asked by my supervisor to deliver an update on a project for a senior (in his 50s) male executive. We had interacted a few times during the summer; I had no reason to be concerned about him, other than I wanted to make sure that he thought well of me and my work. We talked about the updates on the project and everything seemed to be fine. When I went to leave his office, with the requisite photos of his wife and kids on display on his desk, he suddenly lunged at me and grabbed my crotch very hard. He said he wanted to perform oral sex on me, how attractive he thought I was, and other sexual comments that I can’t fully remember because I just FROZE. I was about 30 years younger than him, physically larger and stronger than him, but a series of thoughts raced through my brain that I can remember like it was yesterday – “What the hell is he doing? Why is he doing this? He’s crushing my balls! How can I get away from him without beating him up and getting fired? This really fucking hurts!” I had been working my way through college. I needed this job; the little money I was paid for this internship was more money than I had ever made before. All of this flashed through my mind while his hand was crushing my balls through my pants and his cigarette/coffee breath was in my face as he said what he wanted to do to me.

I grabbed his wrist and twisted it hard, making him let go of my crotch. I pushed him away and said he’d better never put his hands on me again. The door opened and his assistant was standing there. He acted like nothing had happened and went and sat down behind his desk. This gave me the opportunity to get out. His assistant saw that I was upset and she came after me. She was a middle-aged, “Office Mom” type and we had been kind of friendly with each other that summer, so I ended up telling her everything that had just happened. I was shaken, angry, humiliated and I felt like I’d been kicked in the balls due to the death grip he’d held on me. She said this guy often got “cute” with young males, particularly male interns. She suggested that I avoid him since he could be very persistent. She said he was a pig, then she laughed and said that at least she didn't need to worry about him, since he was (in her words) a "closet queer", and I could always “kick his ass”, if I had to. I only had a few weeks left in my internship, so I did my best to avoid him at all costs. It was not an option to quit; losing the money and the references I needed from my boss and HR was a price I wasn’t willing to pay. I made sure that I was never in the office alone and I watched my surroundings with a diligence approaching paranoia, everything from the parking lot, to the elevators and stairwells, and particularly when I went to the rest room. I was prepared to fight like Rambo (it was the 80s) if necessary, but somehow I retained the humor to laugh at my sick situation from time to time, as each day took me closer to my last day. Thankfully, we never spoke to each other again. When I told my supervisor that I'd prefer for someone else to deliver our final project update to him, she gave me an understanding nod and sort of chuckled, but she never asked me to interact with him again. So, those two women employees helped (sort of) a younger, male employee dodge a sexual predator, but both also did nothing significant to stop him. I understand now that they must have felt powerless to do so. Going to HR to complain was not something I seriously considered out of embarrassment, futility and (yes) masculine pride. All these years later, I still feel violated and angry whenever I think about that experience.

3) Age 35, married with two small children. My female boss was pregnant and breaking up with her husband. She suggested that we should have sex, because she was "already pregnant, horny and suddenly single". I was shocked, since she’d never said anything like that to me before. I knew her well enough to know she wasn’t joking, but maybe the stress of her situation was taking over. Once again, my mind immediately focused on how to diffuse the situation without impacting my job, alienating my boss or the ability to regularly feed my kids. I treated it like a joke and lightly reminded her that I was happily married, but I'd always do my best to support her professionally, including now. She seemed to take it in stride, but I was very cautious and careful around her after that, until she resigned a few months later and actually recommended me as her replacement. I had started interviewing with other companies, so I had a competing offer in hand at the same time. Had she decided to take a different, more aggressive path, I'm positive that my career in that company would have suffered long before hers did. I don't believe that HR would have taken me seriously if I had said anything about her proposition - who would have believed me over her?

4) Age 47, a male client who is the same age came to town and invited me to dinner to discuss growing the relationship between our companies. This sort of dinner meeting is not uncommon in my business, and I thought there were additional business opportunities worth discussing. Over drinks, the conversation ended up being about 10% work related and the rest of the time he wanted to talk about personal things – our kids, vacations, hobbies, and so forth. He was a pleasant enough guy and his growing company could become a valuable client for my company, so I went along with the conversation into dinner. When I tried to steer things back to business a few times, he didn't pick up the hint. At one point, he said that he'd been unhappy in his marriage for a while and he was considering aspects of his sexuality that he hadn’t when he was younger. He asked me if I’d be interested in going back to his hotel room with him? The same, old thought from the past immediately went through my mind, "Oh God, how do I deal with this guy without alienating him and possibly losing his business?" I took a deep breath and said that while I could relate to going through a mid-life crisis on some levels, and I was flattered and supportive, I wasn't interested in going to his hotel room. Awkward silence. I thanked him for dinner and left. This guy hasn’t done any business at all with my company since then. He didn’t share any feedback with the company, he just stopped being a client and ended all contact. While I never felt physically threatened or coerced in this situation, clearly my lack of interest in him sexually resulted in losing business for my employer and potential income for myself. Thankfully, the lost relationship was not a significant financial loss, so I wasn’t asked about it by my own boss.

I'm sharing these experiences I’ve had over a span of over 25 years for several reasons: Not all men are monsters and/or assholes. Some women can be monsters and/or assholes. So, this must mean that some human beings are monster and/or assholes, and some are not. As I’ve said earlier, I’m a pretty average guy, possibly the guy next door to you. These experiences I’ve had in the workplace can’t be all that unique to me, as a straight, white, American, middle-aged professional male. I hope more people of all genders, sexual orientations and walks of life will come forward and say, ME TOO.

Having had these (and other) experiences and now being in a more powerful position in life myself, I could not imagine using power over someone in order to get them to have sex. It troubles me that someone could meet me today and label me as only a potential offender, and not a potential or past victim. While none of these situations resulted in me being forced into sex against my will, thankfully, I do know what it's like to fear your life will be disrupted or your family’s income endangered if you don't comply, or to live with the constant threat of another harassing encounter with an abuser in the work
place. In fact, I tend to react strongly whenever I see someone being taken advantage of, in any way. I know my life experiences have given me this and I try to channel it into positive things. In a way, I feel it’s made me a better husband, father, friend, boss, colleague and man.

We all have to deal with some crap in life, but it’s encouraging that people are more willing to expose these things now and call out the offenders. My wife and I have always been open with our son and daughter about how to deal with someone who might want sex from you when you don’t (or if you might want sex and they don’t). I’m grateful that they have a support system and safety net that I didn’t always have, and to pass along the values I learned from my own blue collar parents that helped me through many of life’s challenges on my own.

Here’s something that troubles me now - How do we transition our society from a place where these things have been largely swept under the rug to now empowering victims to hold their abusers accountable--but at the same time avoiding creating a generation of traumatized people who are mass-media victimized or second-hand triggered if someone finds them attractive, shows some interest in them or asks them out on a date?
46
Xina @2: I couldn't agree with you more, and the people calling you an asshole prove how right you are.
47
Wow, Dr Asshole @several. Where is this anger at someone suggesting the world would be a better place without humans coming from? News flash: WE ARE ALL GOING TO DIE. Wouldn't it be nice if, when we did, there were no new humans to replace us? Wars would end, the environment would recover, and people would stop saying things like you've said to Xina to each other. What a paradise. Unfortunately, none of us would be around to enjoy it if it did happen, which, given the continued and perplexing propensity of humans to breed, is highly unlikely. But we can dream.
48
my2sense@45, thank you for sharing your stories.
49
A victim needs to be heard and the perpetrator punished, that's a complete sequence. After, if the victim finds it hard to trust or feel safe again, that's the result of trauma, not the media or feeling retriggered. The trauma still haunts the body and the mind.

50
LavaGirl @49, you're absolutely right, of course. Poor choice of wording on my part.
51
@47 anyone endorsing the extinction of the human race is a pile of shit. You are a pile of shit.

And the very definition of an asshole the race could do with out.

You want a utopia? Then all the people who dispise humanity so much that they can justify species genocide by whatever fantasy means should kill themselves and you’ll get close. There is nothing material difference between that line of thinking and Nazism. Only your line of thinking is even more Nihilistic. Say what you want about Nazism, but at least it’s an ethos.

So. Therefore: You too.

I mean, fuck you Nazi assholes. You’re the problem. Making things better takes work. It’s what a whole lot of try to do everyday because we actually like people and know we have share this world with them. Cynicism is bullshit.

If you shit buckets get muse about genocide so casually then we get to muse about you hopefully killing yourselves.

You don’t get it both ways.
52
BDF @ 30
“It must be difficult to live under the conflicting messages of toxic masculinity: On one hand, you need to be "a stud," … On the other hand, if you make the mistake of expressing your sex drive in the wrong way…”

As a young man I struggled with overcoming my shyness and initiate, something only or mostly men were supposed to do back, often feeling awkward and fearing rejection.
The cues coming from peers always indicated, “The more partners the more man you are, and if you don’t know how to achieve that there could be some rumors about you.

As I shared here before, when I was 20 yo a female doctor about twice my age was about to grope me during a knee examination. I instinctively shut myself, she backed up, and made a snarky remark that didn’t particularly help my self-esteem.
There was no one I could talk to about it as I feared what they will think of me for rejecting her advances.
Update: earlier this year I learned that around that time she was involved with a 16 yo. It came to light after the now 50 yo or so man bragged about it.
53
I started going out as a woman some 10 years ago. While en femme I’m much more aware of my surroundings, time of day, who may approach me, and so on.
It is also my impression that much of women’s accepted attire- high heels, skirts, flimsy blouses, holding on to purses or have them hanging on your shoulder- makes women more vulnerable.
54
SADS: I wake up and read the news, and I find myself saying, my god, men are disgusting.

In the words of Sly Stone, before launching into "Everyday People/Dance To The Music" on The Ed Sullivan show...

"Don't hate the black. Don't hate the white. If you get bitten, just hate the bite."
55
44/Corydon: We collectively decided to release most of the social restraints around sex. And then we're shocked when men act like the restraints have been taken off. It's almost like we didn't think our cunning plan all the way through.

You make an interesting point but is there substance to back it up? You're concluding that there is more -- or a greater rate of -- sexual abuse/molestation/harassment subsequent to the release of most of the social restraints around sex.

But is that really true? Perhaps women were actually abused/molested/harassed by men at a greater rate prior to the "sexual revolution" in the '60, but these incidents weren't reported to the degree they are now.
56
6/girliegams: Sometimes the attention was exciting when it came from a good looking guy, but mostly it was scary disgusting pervs whose unwanted advances came my way.

I hear you. Guys who aren't good-looking are really disgusting, aren't they?
57
19/BiDanFan: Yes, we are [just as dirty as men]!

27/BiDanFan: No, instead, from birth, we get cultural clues that we are not supposed to have sexual desires of our own.

There's definitely individual variation among men and women: some women are very dirty/kinky and some men are not. But exceptions to a general rule don't disprove a general rule. Just because some women are taller than some men doesn't mean the statement in general, men are taller than women is false.

I believe two things: (1) men are, in general, more dirty/kinky than women and (2) this is not due solely to nurture; it's in men's nature.

I'm tempted to also say that men are more "sexual" but I'm not as sure about that. I think women may be, in general, as sexual as men are but their sexuality takes a different form: whereas men's sexuality tends to be wider and more shallow (e,g, the desire to fuck a lot of women, or men), women's sexuality tends to be narrower but deeper (more intense passion for the man, or woman, they are fucking.) In other words, we have the same "volume" of sexuality, but our dimensions tend to be different.
58
@55 You're right, we simply don't have the data to know which way is better. It sounds like there's a lot of abuse going on, but maybe that's because people are talking about it more (which is obviously a good thing).

Maybe the issue is more to do with power than gender. People accumulate power in order to do the things that they want. One of the things that people want to do very much is have sex. Therefore, you can approach that problem in one of two ways.

Either you train people to discipline their own desires and teach them how to say "no" to themselves. This approach has a very long history stretching way back to the earliest days of Western philosophy.

Or you place constraints on the exercise of power somehow. Essentially place everyone under supervision. This seems to be the direction that we are moving towards, where technology permits the extinction of private spaces.
59

I think Corydon @44 makes some excellent points. Not that I have any idea how to alter things, especially in a way which preserves those things we now value (e.g. our right not to have sex with people we don't want to have sex with). The constraints we placed on men before did limit them with respect to their interactions with (some, not all) women; unfortunately, the constraints were mostly enforced by other men, with little regard for the will or wishes of the women in question.

I also want to agree with Roma @57 that it is in fact fair and accurate to make sex-based generalizations here. Of course with a billion examples you will have millions of exceptions. But that doesn't make the general statements less true. Men are more motivated by sex.

I assume (and we all know that's a mistake) that most of you lead urban lives--this is projection, because I (used to) lead an urban life myself, and think of the sort of people who hang out in this forum as "like me" in that way. But having recently moved to a rural setting, I can say that watching animals interact makes it eminently clear that there are real, major sex differences (and those differences are mostly *about* sex, as well). I'd be happy to give examples; I have a lot. (Most work on the constraints-enforced-by-other-males principle I mentioned above, e.g. the main rooster runs off (violently) all other males, but screws all the hens himself. He also protects them, to some extent, and brings them food.) But the point is, to pretend that something which is so obviously true in cows, rabbits, sheep, horses, even non-mammals like chickens, would somehow not be true for us, is human hubris, the pretense that we aren't just animals. We are intensely complicated animals with frontal lobes, and we that means we have the ability to behave other than our impulses incline us. But the impulses are there. And it would be best for everyone, I think, if that were acknowledged.

@ Dr. Ziaus @51:
> @47 anyone endorsing the extinction of the human race is a pile of shit.
I'll jump on the shit-pile, then. The world would be better without humans--for every type of life but human, of course. It would also improve with far fewer humans--say, a reduction to 1% or so of the current population levels. The fact that we're in the largest recorded mass extinction event should make that clear. And I assert this is fundamentally distinct from Nazism, for the obvious reason that it's not about one type of human over another. But worry not, we're not going to all die out--we're far too efficient a species for that--so those of us musing on how better things would be are just musing theoretically. You and your family are safe.

60
Raising hand here as a self-confessed testosterone soaked dick monster. The description of sexuality by the transman largely rings true for me and I suspect most men. It actually surprises me that women are surprised by the extent to which most men are motivated and, at times, consumed by sex. Perhaps the youngins' bought into some theory that the differences between men and women were artificial.

Yet at the same time, it's not difficult to refrain from assaulting women. Seriously, it's never crossed my mind. It's a subset on entitled asshole men combined with a few predators that wreak havoc on women. Men need to do a better job at calling each other out on it, for sure, because we usually have a pretty good idea of who the assaulters are, see e.g. Donald Trump's "locker room talk" to Billy Bush (men don't really talk like that in locker rooms).

I don't think society needs to go back to gender segregation, or old norms, although I have an odd admiration for conservatives that adopt the Mike Pence rules; not because they think they are incapable of not assaulting women but because they know they, like most men, will make a "bad" decision on a consensual encounter if given the opportunity.

61
Yes well, there is the whole there is no difference between the genders idea. I never bought into it because I could and can see differences in my children. Some of it is conditioning yes, some of it isn't.
Yin and Yang. The masculine and the feminine principle.
62
Uh I just wanted to say I was pleasantly astonished to see the caveat that not all of us have sexual urges. I was double triple quadruple astonished to see a link to an asexual visibility type of website. Thank you. I've never encountered that before. We do exist, thank you for seeing us, and thank you for providing a way for others to see us, too. Thank you!
63
Roma@57, Corydon@58 and ciods @59.
I do agree that men have that edge on us women. We don't have a cock which rises when someone arouses us. And yes, I agree we are animals and instincts across all animals are similar. The male pursues the female.
The animal kingdom doesn't seem to have problems with STD's though, so there's that.
Having come of age in the post pill, pre AIDS women's and gay liberation seventies, my sexual behaviour was tame compared to what I read is going on today.
Before AIDS, gay guys were going apeshit with each other. Freedom to express their raw sexual desire, until disaster struck.
Now, there seems to be sexual diseases amongst straights which cannot be treated with anti biotics.
Sexual excess and disease go together for humans, not for roosters.
64
LG @63
The animal kingdom doesn't seem to have problems with STD's though, so there's that.

Well ... How Often Do Animals Get STDs? (Discover Magazine).
65
Whoops goes that theory! RE.@64. Not roosters surely? Yes. I remember when AIDS happened and there was talk of it coming from monkeys, thru a polio vaccine was one theory.
Sexual excess and disease still appear to have a correlation, for humans, and therefore nature limits sexual behaviours.
66
Roma @56: And men never judge women based on their looks. Bwahahaha.

Roma @57: Men do, as you say, on average have higher sex drives than women. But there are huge variances within the bell curves of drive for each sex. Drawing a line down the middle of the population and oversimplifying the situation as "men are sex driven, women are not" does a disservice to, well, everyone, but in particular the men on the lower end of the bell curve for their sex (they're not "real men" unless they want to fuck every woman they see) and the women on the higher end of theirs (slut shaming). Not everyone is represented by the average; that's what "average" means. Aside from asexuals, we all want sex, to some degree; that degree is in no way exclusively determined by what's between one's legs.
67
my2sense @45, Thanks for sharing your experiences. They sound entirely unpleasant. Here's a theory: Sexual harassment is an unhealthy reaction to or taking advantage of a power imbalance; because it is currently and has been for a long time more common for men to be on the upper side of that power imbalance, it is more common for sexual harassment to be straight(-ish/whatever) male-on-female. But in any situation where there is any other gender/sexual orientation pairing with a power imbalance, a certain percentage of those pairings are going to have the person with the upper hand turn abusive. I am -not- saying "it's not about gender" - clearly gender informs our experiences of being harassed, our willingness to speak up, how we interpret the experience, and perhaps the likelihood of the harassment occurring in the first place. But it's unacceptable either way.

I don't know what it's like to be a man. But I've known too many men who were deeply good people, who showed respect to me and to other women, and who somehow managed to never ever act even slightly creepy/harassing around me, to accept anything less than that standard of behavior. "That's just how men are" etc. lets the jerks off the hook and insults those who are better than that. I sure can't say it's been enjoyable to have it driven home how widespread a problem sexual harassment is, but it's at least made me much more determined to speak up immediately and forcefully if I see someone around me getting treated like that.

Side note, I wonder how many economic models about occupational choice, the wage gap, etc. need to be redone to include the effects of sexual harassment? How many people, but I suspect predominantly women, have been driven out of careers they really wanted by intolerable asshats? I nearly was. And there'd be a stronger effect in more educated/well-paid/high-status professions, because at least you can think "well, I sure as heck don't _want_ to do insert-worse-job-here, but at least I have the option." If you're already in insert-worse-job-here, you can't tell yourself you'll just go be a doctor instead.

Related side note, I just started reading Hidden Figures (Margot Lee Shetterly - the book the movie was based off of). Mostly pretty good so far, but one bit made me roll my eyes: "West Virginia...decided to integrate...three 'unusually capable' Negro students began graduate studies at West Virginia University...in the summer of 1940...After the summer session, Katharine decided to leave WVU's graduate program [in mathematics] for a life as a full-time wife and mother, the call of domestic life winning out over career ambition." Uh, what do you want to bet it should have read, "because can you even IMAGINE the level of harassment she received as not only one of the first black students but also a woman in a graduate math program in 1940? Intersectionality for the crappy win!"

tl;dr Sexual harassment sucks, 0/10 do not recommend.
68
@59: "I'll jump on the shit-pile, then. The world would be better without humans--for every type of life but human, of course."

The concept of "better" is meaningless without humans: better according to whom? Animals certainly don't conceive of any kind of holistic good: no tiger will check itself before eating a screaming young gazelle alive, nor will a rat ponder whether it should eat the last viable egg of a near-extinct species, nor will a virus or bacterium decline to reproduce even if it means that millions or billions of animals die in agony as a result. Nature is ruthless and amoral, not some hippy-dippy Gaia fantasy.

@2's post is bodhisattva bullshit of a kind I've heard a thousand times before, always from people who think it's Everyone Else that should die, never themselves. It's hate and infantile rage masquerading as fake-eco-consciousness; it's words uttered by a person whose only real problem with the famous Orwell line about "a boot stamping on a human face -- forever" is that it's not her foot in the boot doing the stamping.

She has infinitely more in common with Donald Trump than she realizes, and our current woes have far more to do with the utter lovelessness and hatefulness of such people than with literally anything else, because if someone views other human beings without compassion in their heart, no atrocity is beyond them. @2 and people like her ARE the problem, regardless of ideology.
69
@68, one person esq. nature is ruthless, the animal world has its own morals. Mother's tend their young just after eating another animal to provide food. The thing with animals, which we humans cannot claim, is they run on instinct.
No free will there.
70
One person esq, a bodhisattva would resort to killing only in the most extreme situation. Transformation thru keeping one's mind, actions and words clear and kind, is being a bodhisattva.
The cultural situation of some people going genderless, a situation sprung out of the sixties/ seventies, are cultural manifestations.
I listened of course, and under the story I lived, I reared my kids giving them genderless room to do what they wanted re their play. I still had five sons and one daughter. My sons were not circumcised. Look there for some male rage.
Yin and Yang energy is beyond culture in its essence and I for one celebrate that.
71
If a man appreciates a woman respectfully, what he does with that image later is no longer her concern. Most women know that men rush around mind fucking, as long as it's not right in one's face. Being appreciated is not the issue I feel here for women, it's how it's done. A man needs to control the impulse long enough to pick up the signal she might, a big might, be interested. Exchange between two becomes overwhelmed if the male goes throwing his cock around before any consent is given.
I enjoy male appreciation, it changes for a woman as she ages, becomes gentler.
Male power to me has always been fascinating. It is different to how I experience my female power. And I've met men who have used their minds so wisely, their power is beautiful to watch.
72
Iwasmad @67: "That's just how men are" etc. lets the jerks off the hook and insults those who are better than that.

You've hit the nail on the head there.

Ditto with your take on sexual harassment. As my2sense's post shows, it's not "men" who harass, it's "people with power" who harass, and in this patriarchal world it's usually -- but not always -- men who have power. Power isn't just economic; it's also physical. Notice my2sense doesn't have any stories about being verbally harassed on the street, like women constantly are by men whose power derives from their being bigger and stronger and therefore able to intimidate. (My2sense, I'll add my sympathy for those awful experiences you endured.) Where woman exert power, it's generally to manipulate rather than intimidate. Which may be less obvious, more insidious.

One Person @68: You're wrong, I'm happy to take my place among the pile of human corpses. Everyone means everyone, after all.

Lava @69: Congrats on the magic number.
73
I don't think that men are more motivated by sex. Women far more often seem so motivated to find or keep a partner that they really kind of hurt themselves. Excessive surgeries, excessive subordination, sacrificing career goals, we'll settle for ugly men, mean men, strong but dumb men, men who can't make sex feel great, all for a steady source of sex and/or someone who will help to raise their own kids. The cliche is that it's much easier for men to leave someone they had sex with, that implies they value a sex partner less than women do. So I think maybe men have more moments of extreme horniness.. Maybe.. I probably don't assume I can have great sex with a random guy as often as a guy might think about having great sex with a random woman. I get the most horny both when a guy is cute and it's pretty likely that he'll be awesome in bed. And usually some touching has been going on before this point. But I'm not sure if there's a really big emotional difference between a boner popping out of some jeans and my soaked panties. And women seem to sacrifice much more for sex.. I'm not sure that men routinely sacrifice much of anything anymore.. even healthy self improvements to increase attractiveness like hitting the gym don't seem popular these days.. They used to pay for more, but it doesn't seem like that's true anymore unless they make a lot more. At least we just take a bunch of antidepressants in our misery, instead of killing ourselves, or spending our lives wanking in front of the computer. Men's suicide rate is even more distressing than women's antidepressant use.
74
I agree with the unpopular opinion that people who share no compassion for or appreciation of humanity are very dangerous for our species. I also disagree that the difference between humans and animals is that animals run on instinct. Humans mostly learn emotionally, through punishment and reward. We rely on habits and routine to get through most of the day. The cool thing about humans is that we can also understand rational arguments. We don't have to make a mistake to learn from it, or see another person make a mistake, we can talk or read about how to prevent making that mistake. And like understand math and electronics and build cool s***. We have awesome waste, like old cars and computers, but we don't know how to dispose of it well yet.
75
There is this weird trend of thought I've been noticing more often, that consideration for others is a weakness. And sometimes, people complain even about taking care of themselves. It is so confusing to me. A human or an animal's primary responsibility is to take care of themselves, to survive. I think maybe about 30% of people are completely taking care of themselves any particular time, and not leaning on others, or becoming downright predatory. It takes effort to consider other people's health and happiness in addition to your own. The strongest humans can manage to be very considerate in their own life and very considerate toward others. I really don't understand why this extra effort to be ethical is so sneered at currently.
76
My guess is laziness and incompetence.
77
@72: So then, why are you still alive? Do you fancy yourself a bodhisattva who's making a noble sacrifice by staying behind to help bring about your vision of a world without humanity? Or do you enjoy life and want to hang on to it as long as you can -- just like everyone else you'd glibly reduce to a "pile of corpses"?

Here's a general life rule: whenever you find yourself expressing some variation of the thought "Gee, this place/world would be so great if only it were cleansed of [insert group here]", you're now on the side of what Mitchell & Webb so aptly described as the "baddies". On your team you can count such luminaries as Ante Pavelić, Voldemort, and Dylann Roof, all of whom would readily admit to what is, structurally speaking, the exact same thought.

Hoping that all of humanity is included in an "extinction-level event" doesn't make you less barbarous -- as if children dying in agony (which is the inherent goal of such bloodthirsty, revenge-disguised-as-nobility talk) care about exactly which ideology it is that's taking their lives away.

Again, if you gaze at your fellow human beings (or any subset thereof) without compassion, and see their existence as an obstacle to be removed in favor of some greater good, YOU ARE THE PROBLEM. Your ideology is irrelevant, because however noble it might seem on paper, your lack of humanity makes you a force for destructiveness and an agent of suffering.
78
@75: The modern world surrounds people with stimuli designed to elicit maximum anxiety and rage, while simultaneously destroying the communities that -- flawed as they may have been -- once served as a buffer of sanity between human beings and the pathologies of their environment. People are told they're safer and more prosperous than ever, yet are faced with annihilation from above at any moment, and kept in a state of constant stress thanks to economic and social forces I need not describe here.

Survival mode makes us amoral; lack of appropriate socialization makes us depressed and hostile. (Doubt me on this? Ask a dog.) We're simply not strong enough as a species to sustain a humane vision in the face of the demons we've unleashed on ourselves, especially with the collapse of the educational system into a pile of balkanized, underfunded rubble.

Some days it seems like almost everyone I know or see is preoccupied with thoughts of revenge (even if they call it by a different name), and yearns for permission to unleash their rage on some deserving target -- all in the name of "justice", of course (whatever your favorite ideology says that is). How ironic that at a time when we're ostensibly more polarized than ever, we're nearly united in our desire to have an outlet for the basest and least admirable human impulse.
79
one person @68:
> The concept of "better" is meaningless without humans:
Do you think if a tree falls in a forest and no human is there to hear it, it doesn't make a sound?

I'm not advocating a "hippy-dippy Gaia fantasy" about nature, which I agree is amoral and full of horrors--nasty, brutal, short, all that stuff. I'm merely pointing out that the particular effects humans have had on it--and here I'm referring to, for example, the way we bounce quickly around the entire earth and take things from one environment were the thing developed to another where it didn't, the way we reduce or ruin complete environments like forests and river systems at an unbelievable rate, and of course our carbon footprint and the resulting climate change--is bad for the balances that were achieved over millions of years by life (including humans) before industrialization. I can't imagine you think this is debatable. Yes, humans are also 'natural' and so the whole thing is a natural process--but that doesn't mean it's not hugely destructive of vast swaths of life on earth. And if you deny that, then I think *you* are the problem.

I also find it odd that this is being phrased as being "without compassion." It's not a hatred, it's not a lack of understanding--I'm human, too, after all. I get it. I quite like large sections of humans. I feel compassion for humans, as a set and also as individuals. I just also can step back and see that there are large, irreversible traumas that we are causing the rest of the lifeforms on earth (including many extinctions of entire species) and that feels like a great shame, to me. Or is compassion only reserved for humans? I think the variety and wonder of all the rest of the species is worth at least as much as our one species--or at the very least, it shouldn't be so diminished just so we can have 8 billion members instead of 10 million. 10 million is plenty.

So yeah, I root for a plague that takes most of us out. Even if some (many, most) children die in agony. As you point out, that's only natural.

And as for this:
> @72: So then, why are you still alive?
This is obvious. It's about the vast vast numbers of humans. Bi killing herself has no effect on the problem, therefore there's no reason she should. This is pretty simple logic.
80
(@BiDanFan, sorry if I seem to be trying to speak for you!)
81
@Philo @73: I think the standard response here would be something like: all that stuff that women are doing isn't for sex, it's for relationships, security, stability, etc. The aspects of it which have to do with sex (attempts to be physically desirable, etc.) are a side-effect of the men wanting sex and the women knowing that. Of course this is overly simplistic, I just meant to say it's hard to disentangle the sex itself from all the other stuff. And I totally agree that women go through all sorts of stuff to find/keep a partner. (Probably men do, too, but not being one, I feel like able to speak on that.)

Also, I agree with your post @75. It's oddly revealing that ads for spas and even shampoos have lines like "Take some time to take care of you"--the assumption being you probably aren't doing that already (although it's a bit silly to think a spa is the same as self-care, but that's a separate issue). I think it has a lot to do with time, how we spend our time. We fill an awful lot of it up with work and technology (reading Facebook, or Savage Love ;) and don't have a lot of space left over for self-care.
82
@79: Of course humans have been unbelievably destructive to the biosphere, but (this is my point) the question of whether or not that's "good" in an ethical or moral sense is a question unique to humans. With the exception of a handful of animals (e.g. elephants, crows, dolphins) who show signs of meaningful prosocial behavior, no other animal perceives the world in any terms other than that of pure self-interest of the most short-sighted variety. Every virus would, if given the opportunity, turn the planet into grey goo; every animal would, if given the opportunity, overbreed itself into starvation and extinction. None of them have the slightest notion of the planet or biosphere as something that needs to be preserved; they would unhesitatingly inflict the traumas you describe on the earth, and on every living creature, if they felt the slightest impulse to do so.

So yeah, I root for a plague that takes most of us out. Even if some (many, most) children die in agony.

How noble of you. Would you sign up for the first dose, then? Or is your plan to be one of the enlightened few who survive and "make a better day, just you and me (and certainly not them)"?

I'm all for population reduction through nonviolent means. I even believe that plagues, natural disasters, and/or wars will, sadly, probably accomplish that end sometime in the next 100-200 years. But you do realize that you're literally advocating for -- cheering on -- mass murder in the service of a greater good, right? Given that you're rooting for a future plague, would you push a button that disperses a biological agent that depopulates the planet, or are you hoping it "just happens" so that you can preserve the illusion of clean hands?

Bi killing herself has no effect on the problem, therefore there's no reason she should. This is pretty simple logic.

It's the quintessence of hypocrisy, prescribing for others what one is unwilling to do oneself. It's the behavior of someone who believes that other people don't really exist, or just exist for one's own entertainment, and is unable to imagine that their love for their own lives is no less real than hers for her own. If you really believe that human beings are the problem and their eradication is the solution, then any reduction in that problem is a net positive for the planet, and the only reason to stick around is cowardice...

...or, because you believe you're an enlightened being whose purpose is to hasten the collective demise...

...or, because you believe, like pro-lifers who take their daughters in for secret abortions, that the principle you're articulating applies to everyone but you.
83
@one person @82:
> With the exception of a handful of animals (e.g. elephants, crows, dolphins) who show signs
> of meaningful prosocial behavior, no other animal perceives the world in any terms other
> than that of pure self-interest of the most short-sighted variety.

I think the fact that humans continue to believe that we and a handful of others are the only social animals means we're pretty self-interested and short-sighted ourselves. Current trends in research on animal intelligence all point to our long-standing severe underestimation of it. But even if it's totally true that no other animals care about the world, shouldn't the fact that we can see these things that they can't we have a much larger obligation to take care that our actions don't reduce the world to goo, as you put it?

And yet--and I say this with compassion--we *are* short-sighted and selfish, and so we see what's happening and we still don't stop it. We refuse to believe it, or we think it doesn't apply to us, or some variation like that. Like other animals, our main drive is to make more of us, and most everything else is secondary or tertiary or worse. It's just we're so much more successful than most other animals, that our blindness and short-sightedness is affecting everyone, not just us.

> Would you sign up for the first dose, then? Or is your plan to be one of
> the enlightened few who survive and "make a better day, just you and
> me (and certainly not them)"?

I think I see by your tone how you are imagining that I am thinking about this, but I assure you it's not like that. Yes, I think things would improve if a massive plague took out all humans, or all but a small number of humans. But it's nothing to do with some fantasy where I survive and get to start things over with my friends.

In other words, it's not a plan, it's a rumination.

> I'm all for population reduction through nonviolent means.

So we agree!

> But you do realize that you're literally advocating for -- cheering on -- mass
> murder in the service of a greater good, right?

Ah, see, okay, so maybe we're not disagreeing so much as misunderstanding each other. At what point do you think I am advocating mass murder? Murder--the killing of humans by other humans--is no good here, as it leaves, ya know, those other humans. And besides, despite the devastating repeated mass murders here in the US, or even the horrible genocides throughout human history, no one of them has gotten anywhere near changing the order of magnitude of the human population on earth. (Even Genghis Khan, who killed tens of millions of people and emptied out much of modern Russia, didn't make a long-term difference since his genocide was nonetheless a local phenomenon, and a few hundred years later the rest of the world's population squeezed back into those empty spaces.) So no, I am absolutely not advocating for that, anymore than I think Bi (or me, or you) should kill ourselves to 'save the earth.'

> If you really believe that human beings are the problem and their
> eradication is the solution, then any reduction in that problem is a
> net positive for the planet, and the only reason to stick around is cowardice...

No, sorry, this is untrue. It's like saying if you think you need a haircut, and I offered to cut a single hair of yours but not the others, you'd say yes because that's progress. Nah; that doesn't help with your haircut. It's really an all-(or-damn-near-all)-or-nothing proposition.

If it helps, I'll say I would be happy if humans got their shit together some other way: free and world-wide accessible birth control, say, along with massive taxes on all transportation such that the profit went out of economies of scale and societies returned to being essentially local. I just think a plague is more likely.
84
@83: In some degree we're talking past each other, but I think we have two crucial points of disagreement. You seem to believe that a plague that wiped out 99% of humanity would be unfortunate, but a net improvement. I, on the other hand, believe the suffering, misery, and chaos that would result would outweigh any positives by many, many, many orders of magnitude, so much so that even to discuss it seems absurd and offensive. (Plus there's the practical issue that human beings have made a bunch of things that require maintenance to avoid environmental catastrophe; our disappearance could have a nasty aftershock.)

More generally, I wish you'd answer this question directly: if you had the power to unleash such a plague, would you do it? There are, to my mind, three answers: "yes", which would make you monstrous; "no", which would make you something of a hypocrite (how can you deem something a moral good but not act to bring it about?); and "no (but I hope it somehow happens of its own accord, or maybe someone else can do it)" -- which would put you in much the same category as those nice Germans who wanted "something to be done" about the Jews without having to get their hands dirty doing it or knowing about the details.

But 70 years of denazification demonstrate that hoping something will happen, in the passive voice, doesn't absolve you from responsibility when it does. You simply can't wish death or nonexistence upon people -- even faceless, abstract people; even people who are actively fighting against your personal interest or ideology -- and be a morally defensible human being. Wishing for a plague is wishing for mass murder, period; the only difference is that the exterminating agent would be nature herself. People dying of plague suffer just as much whether the microbe is the product of biowarfare or a mutation in the wild, and to view that suffering as an acceptable means to an end is monstrous under any circumstances.
85
Ciods, noticing how the efforts we give toward romances differ from the efforts we give toward friendships is the easy way of separating what we do for sex from what we do for social support/relationships in general. & Wishing for human suffering is pretty unethical regardless of the reason. Ethical rules basically boil down to don't hurt yourself, don't hurt others. You can choose to endure pain for some perceived greater good, but you're on shaky ethical ground. Self-control is necessary, but it can be used inappropriately. When you cause pain for others in the service of your own greater good you're on shaky ethical ground... And you may be risking arrest. That's only really okay if you are even more greatly benefiting another, putting painful peroxide on a wound, giving orgasms with painful nipple clamps, and requires ironclad consent (or authority over one incapable of giving sane adult consent like a parent or doctor). I wonder if you would regret your comments, if you appeared in a plague unleasher's Manifesto as his inspiration. Would that particular plague still bring you comfort if you survived? I really don't understand why you value animals who would happily eat you, over your fellow humans-some of whom wouldn't even eat you when they were starving. That really doesn't seem to be in your own self-interest. Animals might be easier to control. I don't think that makes them cooler.

I admire your patience, OPE. But I disagree with you about the monstrous unreachable humans, I don't believe they exist. I think, that at the very least a Brave New World, Soma Society is possible. But I think that even extremely hurt humans, who have hurt others extremely, can learn to value others health and happiness, and even forgive themselves enough to live a happy ethical life. Granted that the time and effort involved can be immense. Although some people's neurochemistry precludes the ability to live a happy ethical life right now. But my friend has been on methadone for a couple years and now sometimes he seems like he may again live a happy peaceful life. He has progressively seemed more comfortable in his own skin, and he's even started thinking beyond himself more, considering others more. Maybe next year he'll be able to value humans in general and just dislike some parts of himself instead of hate himself. I hope this gives you some hope too.
86
What's the point of thinking of doomsday scenarios? All any of us have got is the moment in our tiny tiny tiny... part of the planet, and give to that moment all we got. The mind is not reality, it can create reality if certain thoughts are repeated.
A person who suicides has the thoughts a long time before they perform the act. I worry we'll slip off our axis and spin out into space, but I don't dwell on it.
All that energy being lost to negative thoughts, which weaken one and makes the body more susceptible to illness.. waste of fucking time. Human issues are ongoing and have been since we stumbled on here in all our forms.
A beautiful American black woman I saw on fb said it clearly; if you don't feel hope, then find it.
Imagine living thru the Second World War, and coming thru it and getting back to creating life and culture. Humans are amazing animals. We do incredible things and create art and music and darkness and pain and horror. We evolve too.
87
Love you Lava
88
Thanks Philo. Glad we're mates again💕
89
Philophile @73: Very well said, I agree completely with your analysis. I had a similar experience recently, a 3.5 year relationship with someone whose faults (out of bed) were too numerous too list. Why? For the sex, plain and simple. You're correct: maybe those "weak" women who stay with unsuitable men aren't motivated by financial security or emotional neediness, but regular, good sex. It's not as interchangeable for (most of) us as it is for men, perhaps because men find it easier to orgasm -- hell, they can come in their sleep. We stay in relationships because, as high as the price may be, it's still preferable in most cases to kissing a succession of frogs.

One Person @77: Why am I still alive? Because you are. My suicide will not improve the world by more than one eight-billionth. I at least have taken steps to reduce the human population by not breeding; can you claim to have contributed in this way?
You're incorrect, again, by assuming that I want people to die painful deaths. In the completely hypothetical future that Ciods @59 describes, there would be no pain or suffering. Just some sort of flash and voila, no people. No survivors to mourn, everyone (including my own self) to be gone at once. No "group" singled out for exception. It's not "other people" who are the problem, it's ALL PEOPLE. "Us," not "them." Your listed luminaries didn't start by killing themselves, or their own "group," did they? I don't even own any weapons. This isn't coming from a place of hate, it is coming from a place of compassion. For all the species we've screwed over; for the planet itself.

Ciods @79/@80: Don't worry, we are completely on the same page!
90
Lava- I've always loved that you post here. Disagreeing doesn't change that.

Bdf- If you really hate people, including yourself, due to our impact on the environment, then I don't understand why you don't do anything about your anger. You said you have not bred replacement children. But you are still using electricity and transportation producing tons of greenhouse gases. You are still throwing your trash out every week. You are still flushing things down the toilet. If you hate atmospheric gases, why aren't you living off the grid. If you hate waste disposal, why aren't you creating better ways to dispose of the waste you and I and everyone use. It does seem lazy cowardice to simply wish for everybody to die instead of doing anything about the problem. It is far more sad when you hate yourself as well as other humans. But it is still a threat to the rest of us. If you are not part of the solution, you can foster or adopt and pass on your ideals without breeding by the way, if you just want to fantasize about some magical extinction event that only hurts the wicked humans but saves your poor animals, then you are part of the problem.

You're also very well spoken, entertaining, and I agree with most of your causes. My you look lovely today.

PS I've came in my sleep to. When I was staying with family and friends for a vacation. In my early twenties. I don't think I've tried to forgo routine maintenance since then.
91
I guess it's harder for women to tell. That was the only time I woke up orgasming. Very embarrassing.
92
Maybe some people admire the Los Vegas shooter because he killed himself as well as everyone else. I don't.
93
@One @84:
> You seem to believe that a plague that wiped out 99% of humanity
> would be unfortunate, but a net improvement. I, on the other hand,
> believe the suffering, misery, and chaos that would result would
> outweigh any positives by many, many, many orders of magnitude,

Yes, that's the disagreement. I can see where you're coming from, I just don't agree.

> People dying of plague suffer just as much whether the microbe
> is the product of biowarfare or a mutation in the wild, and to view
> that suffering as an acceptable means to an end is monstrous
> under any circumstances.

What if they didn't suffer? What if they died instantly, as in a nuclear bomb (only without hurting other lifeforms)? Would that make it an okay thing to wish for? I'm curious, here, because I can't tell if you are actually objecting to all the suffering, or if you just think there should keep being people.

Or, another point: everyone's going to die, anyway. Many will suffer from long, drawn-out illnesses. So I'm not actually advocating for a net increase in human suffering. I'm just saying it'd be convenient for the rest of life if we all died at once.

> if you had the power to unleash such a plague, would you do it?

I've been thinking about this since you asked, and this will disappoint you, but I really don't know. It's just too theoretical. I don't believe such a plague exists; if someone handed me a vial and said "here it is" I wouldn't believe them, or I wouldn't believe it would satisfy the qualities I've been trying to describe (e.g. not just acting locally, and with a sufficiently high mortality rate). So I can't really answer this even theoretically, because I can't imagine even a theoretical situation where it would work. Maybe that makes me monstrous and hypocritical?

Although as for hypocritical:
> (how can you deem something a moral good but not act to bring it about?)

We all do this, all the time. I think it would be a moral good to cash out most of my savings and donate them to Planned Parenthood, but I don't. I'm sure you have similar things that you believe would be good, but don't do for whatever reason.

@ Philo:
> Ethical rules basically boil down to don't hurt yourself, don't hurt others.

They do, yes, but they're pretty vague on the "others" bit. Other Americans? Other humans? Other mammals? Other animals? There's lots of ways to read it, lots of sets you can decide matter, and others you decide don't. Throughout history and even in present time, throughout the world, people disagree over this. It's not black-and-white.

@ 90: Maybe you misread the bit where Bi said explicitly it's *not* about hate? And not having a child far outweighs any other reduce/recycle/etc. contribution you can make, since it propagates--that child doesn't exist to commute or make trash or have more children either, and so on--so I think she absolutely is doing her part to fix the problem.

For the record, I don't have children and I do live off the grid. So my money is at least partially where my mouth is. But the real truth is, despite what we've been told about "everyone's vote matters," etc., what one person does has no affect. Trump pulling us out of the Paris accord undoes more good than Bi, me, you, and everyone else around can do even if we were all 100% saints about it. It has to happen at a global level--which it's not. Which circles me back around to my point.

But anyway I hope we can all be friendly and light-hearted about the discussion, on account of how totally academic it is--I meant it that way, anyway, and I'm sorry if I upset people.
94
If some of us didn't have children, who would look after you non children havers when you are old.
95
@Lava: I'm hoping to walk out onto the ice and drift into death like an old Inuit woman :)
96
Ciods, I'm trying to be compassionate here. But this refusal to acknowledge yourself as an emotional human being and not some creature of pure logic... It's so annoying. Maybe because it's familiar. If it helps, you do a nice impersonation. That's nice that you don't want to upset anyone. When you are telling me that you wish I was dead I get a little confused about that. Also, if you want something, you do it if it's easy. If I promised in a legal contract to refill your savings account if you donated it all to Planned Parenthood, I'm sure you would, because it would cost you nothing. If some aliens promise to unleash a euthanasia virus on all humans including you me your mother and your best friend, and they did it by official Intergalactic contract, would you say yes? You can't both want something and not be able to imagine it. I know you are smart. And yes simple machines with simple rules are comforting. But I think that you can develop expertise with humans. Learn how to take care of your happiness as well as your health. Learn to get along with others. Learn to self soothe. So you can be happy without wishing others were dead. you are not some sheep who needs to be threatened with God Wrath in order to do unto others as you would have them do unto you and the silver rule corollary. Which nobody is confused might apply to dogs. Did you seriously think that religion lasted as long as it did with without serving a valuable function? It's why large societies exist, ethics. It's why you can read books and get online. I'm really sorry that I can't manage more patience. Bottom line, watch your influence. Living off the grid is awesome, my friend's ex-wife did that and it was really inspiring, although she can't blog about it without having power for a computer and router.. Trump is one person. I really hope you can learn to make yourself happy without wishing I was dead. Until then I think you kind of suck. At least most of your posts don't suck.
97
@85, ciods. Before that you'll need food and services and all will be provided by younger people who were selflessly reared by others.
You're welcome.
98
I found some more patience. Humans have pretty simple rules. Pavlov documented emotional learning quite well. Desire is gas, fear is the brakes. Pain and anger signal threats to your health and happiness requiring immediate change. They are unhealthy in a chronic condition. Extremely common human desires include food, nice air, nice temperature, sleep, sex, hugs/grooming, and puzzles. We fear the things that endanger our health and happiness. Sadness is very interesting. Attachment and loss. I believe these are basically social emotions. Even though they are often applied to other useful things like dogs and computers. We need other people. I think there was some Nazi experiment where babies were given everything except human touch and they died. But we need ethics where attachment fails. In large societies.
99
Philo, I am not trying to not be emotional. It's quite emotional, to me, the idea of what would be healthiest or best for the world. I am sorry that's not coming through. I don't claim to understand all of what you mean in @96. I don't know what this has to do with simple machines or not getting along with people or not being happy or religion--sorry to not follow you.

I guess to me it's a surprise that this is being read as being about hate, or pain, or anger, or anything like that. To me it's an abstract question: zoom out and look at the earth from far away: what would be best for the majority of life? It's not about "wishing you were dead."

And Lava, we all contribute to our society in different ways. I don't say "You're welcome" to you about the things I have done that you have chosen not to do. Why the anger? Unless I misinterpreted that comment, in which case, I'm sorry.

I enjoy your posts (both of you) and don't mean to be pissing people off. Since I don't seem to be able to express myself about this without having people take it personally in a way that I don't intend, I think I shall set down this topic and back away slowly...see you on some other thread.
100
No I'm not angry ciods.. just taking the piss.
101
Philophile @90: I do what I can. I recycle or compost anything that can be recycled or composted. I ride a bicycle. I bundle up before turning the heating on. (I have Raynaud's Syndrome, so there's only so much suffering I will do before turning on the heat, but I do make efforts.) I typically shower every other day, and I don't eat meat. So yes, I am doing stuff to help the planet beyond just bringing additional people into it. But your point is valid: Even with these efforts, I'm still harming the environment. This is why I believe the Earth would be better off without ANY people. One Person is wrong that I want "certain groups" to vanish -- which groups would those be? Sport hunters? People who work in manufacturing? Anyone who isn't vegan? (Even if vegans were spared, their offspring could decide to eat meat, and we're back to square one.)

Funny, it seems to be the people who believe the planet would be better without humans who are calm and philosophical about this position, while it's those who disagree that are lashing out angrily, thus demonstrating exactly why we feel humanity as a whole is a destructive force. (You, Philo, are the sole exception on this thread.)

Lava @94: "If some of us didn't have children, who would look after you non children havers when you are old."

No one. We'd die. That's the point.

Ciods is correct that this is all academic (that's the word I was looking for, thanks!); that this philosophy is, indeed, predicated on the impossible situation of everyone simultaneously and painlessly ceasing to exist. Which won't ever happen, which is why I'm so perplexed at reactions of anger towards those who even bring it up.
102
I mean, saying "the world would be a better place without humans" is no more realistic than saying "wouldn't it be great if we could flap our arms and fly?" No one jumps on us and compares us to Dr Frankenstein for making the latter statement. Yet somehow we're Hitler if we make the former. Bizarre.