Gees

Powerful Men, Beautiful Women, and Sex

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When I was about 12 years old, I was visiting my Grandmother and watching some awards show on TV. She was making dinner. As I watched the TV, a man walked toward the camera with a big smile on his face and two incredibly beautiful, and tall, women on his arms. Innocently, I asked my Grandmother, "Do you think they are his daughters, or his granddaughters?" She looked up and said, "No. They are his escorts." At my blank look, she explained, "His dates." "Eeww", I said, "Why would those women want to date a wrinkled up, bald-headed, old man?" Grandma smiled and said, "Beautiful women will buzz around powerful men like flies on shit. It has always been that way. It will always be that way." Grandma was right.

Over my lifetime, the next 55 years, I saw many examples of powerful men and beautiful women together, and throughout history there are examples going back to Helen of Troy, so I was surprised when everyone got upset over the Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinski debacle. People were more upset about the sex, than they were upset about the idea that our President lied to a Grand Jury. My thought was that the sex was relevant to Bill, Hillary, Monica, and their families -- not me. I did not care who Bill Clinton does, I only cared what he does. Of course, sex does sell news.

And now I am watching it again;  Senators are toppling one after the other. You could argue that we are cleaning up Washington, but that is a little hard to believe when one of the worst offenders is in charge of Washington. We are getting scanty evidence that has not been scrutinized, innuendo, and gossip about behavior that is only sometimes actually criminal and more often just very bad manners; yet we are destroying careers, families, and lives by judging them in the Court of Public Opinion. Isn't this the same thing that many women complained about? Being judged in the Court of Public Opinion, so they kept quiet? This does not look like a reasonable solution to me.

Because I was not born and raised on a farm like Grandma, I have changed my Grandmother's words to something that reflects the same truth, but is a little more palatable: "Power attracts power. It has always been that way. It will always be that way." So what we are talking about is power and it's abuse. But power can come in many forms. I remember a story in the news about a child, who fell into a well. It took about 24 hours to get the baby out, and the news covered it for the whole time. The world stopped and held it's breath while people worked to get the child out and letters to the family came from all over the world. I remember stating, "That is power." When asked why I said so, I responded that if a man had fallen into a well, the first question would have been, "Was he drunk?", and it may not have even made the news. So innocence can be very powerful, but so can beauty as was recently evidenced by the purchase of a painting for almost half a billion dollars.

If you have ever been in a room with a bunch of power brokers, the movers and shakers of the world, you will know that you can almost smell the testosterone. It is almost like a locker room after a game or a soldier after a war -- without the sweat. The battle is different, but the power is the same. Do the women in the room respond to all of that testosterone? Of course, it is unavoidable as pheromones don't choose their receivers. So wouldn't that make the women's faces glow a little more, their eyes sparkle a little brighter, they hips sway a little more? Do they know they are doing this, or do they just think that they are enjoying themselves? Some of them probably know, many do not. This could cause a lot of mixed signals between body language and intent. Do we teach our daughters about this? I don't think so, but it occurs to me that women, who come from families of movers and shakers probably know.

Let's be honest. Power brokers like the ones in government, Hollywood, and big business acquire their power and maintain their power using manipulation, charm, seduction, domination, intimidation, etc. This is how one gets power and how one holds power. To expect anything different is naïve. I agree that the Weinstein's need to be taken down and that anyone who uses drugs to seduce should wind up in Court, but if there is no actual crime, there should be no allusion to criminal behavior. I think that education and training would benefit both the males and females in this situation, but we really need to talk to our daughters.

So do these women use their beauty as a power? Between the hair dying, plucking and waxing, make-up, dieting and exercising, dental repairing and occasional plastic surgery, and the stylish and seductive clothing, I would say, yes they do. So if they are also brokering their power, why are they painted as victims? Why do they think of themselves as victims? These are the questions that I think will help us to find reasonable answers. It occurs to me that after the 1960's women stopped wearing hats, so they no longer needed hat pins. Do you think that a three inch hat pin helped men to keep their hands to themselves? Maybe.

Thoughts?

Gee

Edited by Gees

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So if they are also brokering their power, why are they painted as victims?

Playing the victim is power in itself. Many men have experienced times when a woman playing the victim is always right regardless of the truth. 

 

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I think power comes in many forms, and the issues under discussion today are rarely about pretty faces using their beauty to gain it.

Does it happen? Of course. Is that what’s driving this momentum? Hardly.

Instead, what we’re seeing today IMO is women who should, would, and otherwise could’ve been powerful were it not the fact that their genetics went XX instead of XY. 

In so many ways, this is like pushing back agaianst the asinine idea that whites are better than blacks or that homosexuals can’t marry the person they love.

It’s stupid and misguided, we’re finally waking up to that fact as a society, and soon hopefully equality will include my daughters not having to fear horny older men or a system that disbelieves them by default when bad things happen. 

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not having to fear horny older men

Then why not campaign to make it illegal to be in an intimate relationship with anybody x number of years older unless over the age of 60.

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a system that disbelieves them by default when bad things happen

That isn't fair on men you should be innocent until proven guilty regardless of gender.

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It’s not just men over 60 putting women I care about at risk. Believing women when they speak up is not equivalent to punishing those who are innocent. 

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38 minutes ago, iNow said:

 

It’s not just men over 60 putting women I care about at risk.

 

Can you give an example?

42 minutes ago, iNow said:

Believing women when they speak up is not equivalent to punishing those who are innocent. 

You should definitely follow up if anybody makes a serious complaint but you should be skeptical until you know for certain that the person is guilty.

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6 hours ago, fiveworlds said:

Can you give an example?

Roy Moore was in his early 30s when he lured, stripped, and touched those 14 year olds. 

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10 hours ago, Gees said:

Let's be honest. Power brokers like the ones in government, Hollywood, and big business acquire their power and maintain their power using manipulation, charm, seduction, domination, intimidation, etc. This is how one gets power and how one holds power. To expect anything different is naïve. I agree that the Weinstein's need to be taken down and that anyone who uses drugs to seduce should wind up in Court, but if there is no actual crime, there should be no allusion to criminal behavior. I think that education and training would benefit both the males and females in this situation, but we really need to talk to our daughters.

Sexual harassment is against the law. Sexual assault is a crime. So let's dispense with the fiction that unlawful behavior is not in play here.

We've talked to our daughters for generations. Maybe we should be talking to our sons, since they are the ones exhibiting the objectionable behavior. Women get talked to about how to avoid putting themselves in vulnerable situations, but men do not get the same institutional dialogue on not assaulting or harassing women.

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So do these women use their beauty as a power? Between the hair dying, plucking and waxing, make-up, dieting and exercising, dental repairing and occasional plastic surgery, and the stylish and seductive clothing, I would say, yes they do. So if they are also brokering their power, why are they painted as victims? Why do they think of themselves as victims? These are the questions that I think will help us to find reasonable answers. It occurs to me that after the 1960's women stopped wearing hats, so they no longer needed hat pins. Do you think that a three inch hat pin helped men to keep their hands to themselves? Maybe.

Thoughts?

Gee

You are painting this with a very broad brush. Have you considered that women who seek out power (in your terms) are not the ones coming forth with harassment claims?

Have you considered that the reason some women might go to some lengths to improve their appearance is because that's the only way they can advance with men in power? Because they have no power to do so on merit alone?

Do you really think men kept their hands to themselves back when "women wore hats"?

10 hours ago, fiveworlds said:

Playing the victim is power in itself. Many men have experienced times when a woman playing the victim is always right regardless of the truth. 

Far more many women have been assaulted and/or harassed. The straw man here is couching this as "playing the victim" which implies that there was no inappropriate behavior in the first place. Anyone who has been harassed or assaulted is not "playing the victim". 

8 hours ago, fiveworlds said:

 That isn't fair on men you should be innocent until proven guilty regardless of gender.

 

7 hours ago, fiveworlds said:

You should definitely follow up if anybody makes a serious complaint but you should be skeptical until you know for certain that the person is guilty.

The situations under discussion are not treated the same way as most other crimes. If someone is burgled, the reaction of bystanders is not "Why do you own such fancy stuff? You were asking for it to be taken!" The police generally do not dissuade you from trying to press charges. People don't rush to the defense of the burglar, saying how he's such a nice guy, and why are you trying to ruin his reputation?

So this is not so simple as "innocent until proven guilty" and should not be cast as such.

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So this is not so simple as "innocent until proven guilty" and should not be cast as such.

Obviously not. I'm reminded of a case I read online not so long ago about Amherst college. 

Amherst had no evidence the girl hadn't provided consent other than her word yet the boy was expelled because they believed her. It turned out that the guy in question was raped from what I read the girl took advantage of him after drugging him and taking him back to his girlfriend's bedroom then told everyone he raped her. http://reason.com/blog/2015/06/11/amherst-student-was-expelled-for-rape-bu

The guy in question still hasn't a degree his entire career has suffered as a result of how Amherst handled the case.

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17 hours ago, fiveworlds said:

That isn't fair on men you should be innocent until proven guilty regardless of gender.

That doesn't mean you should discount, or blame, the victim.

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That doesn't mean you should discount, or blame, the victim.

Obviously not. I'm just saying that you should have some form of evidence to corroborate the victims story.

 

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20 minutes ago, fiveworlds said:

Obviously not. I'm just saying that you should have some form of evidence to corroborate the victims story.

But you said it as a (pretty unreasonable) response to "a system that disbelieves them by default when bad things happen". 

It isn't "unfair on men" not to dismiss the stories of victims.

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10 hours ago, Strange said:

But you said it as a (pretty unreasonable) response to "a system that disbelieves them by default when bad things happen". 

It isn't "unfair on men" not to dismiss the stories of victims.

They should be each treated with the same objectivity and dispassion until the evidence is concluded and guilt established, or not.

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1 hour ago, StringJunky said:

They should be each treated with the same objectivity and dispassion until the evidence is concluded and guilt established, or not.

Indeed.

And the problem is that the victims in these cases are treated very differently as compared to victims of other crimes, as are the perpetrators.

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5 minutes ago, swansont said:

Indeed.

And the problem is that the victims in these cases are treated very differently as compared to victims of other crimes, as are the perpetrators.

Are they ,considering  the circumstances of the alleged crime (if it is a crime as sometimes,maybe in most cases actually  it can be far  less than that) ?

 

I am not saying that they cannot or are not sometimes  treated wrongly by the authorities(I  don't have that information) but they do presumably have the  right to take a case ( a class case?) against particular authorities if they   feel they have been treated unfairly by the justice system .

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1 minute ago, geordief said:

Are they

Yes. And I think the fact that many people don't even realise this is part of the problem.

So many times, the victims of such assaults are told not to make a fuss (perhaps because it will cause problems for the accused, or the accused will make problems for them). Or they are just not believed ("I can't believe he would do such a thing"). Or people talk about the victim's behaviour or the way they were dressed or how much they had to drink.

These things may be changing now, with the publicity generated by Weinstein and others. And there is, of course, a danger of it swinging too far the other way, where there accused is assumed to be guilty. I'm not sure that is too big a problem (once the hysteria of the scummier end of journalism has died down).

But, anyway, wouldn't that bring it in to line with most other crimes? I think most people assume that if someone is accused, arrested, brought to court, etc, that they are guilty. It is often thought to be some sort of miscarriage of justice if they are acquitted.

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29 minutes ago, Strange said:

Yes. And I think the fact that many people don't even realise this is part of the problem.

 

I was talking about the way the police and the courts treat cases.  am not sure  there is a huge problem  overall -account taken of the fact that  members obviously come from the community  and are susceptible to the same   unconscious assumptions as the public in general..

 

On the other hand ,when a woman (or anyone obviously) is treated inappropriately by the system  it  is   another injury ,and on a different level.

Edited by geordief
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3 minutes ago, geordief said:

I was talking about the way the police and the courts treat cases. 

I think there have been great improvements in that area (in the UK, at least). Although the subtle/unconscious biases do still persist. 

But the real problems exist before cases even get to that stage. And in the discussions in the press / social media once it becomes public.

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3 hours ago, geordief said:

Are they ,considering  the circumstances of the alleged crime (if it is a crime as sometimes,maybe in most cases actually  it can be far  less than that) ?

 

I am not saying that they cannot or are not sometimes  treated wrongly by the authorities(I  don't have that information) but they do presumably have the  right to take a case ( a class case?) against particular authorities if they   feel they have been treated unfairly by the justice system .

Quite often the people being accused are cogs in the machinery that would investigate the infractions (in the case of harassment), or otherwise have influence. They risk being fired or having their careers stalled simply for making the accusation. 

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3 minutes ago, swansont said:

Quite often the people being accused are cogs in the machinery that would investigate the infractions (in the case of harassment), or otherwise have influence. They risk being fired or having their careers stalled simply for making the accusation. 

So is the problem more in the organisations where the offenses take place than in the actual state bodies tasked to investigate them?

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5 minutes ago, geordief said:

So is the problem more in the organisations where the offenses take place than in the actual state bodies tasked to investigate them?

For harassment, probably yes. AFAIK these issues are handled locally and do not involve the authorities. (e.g. in lots of cases it would be reported to human resources. They still report to the higher-ups)

For assault, you still have the institutional and social pressures even when a criminal act has taken place and could be investigated by police, so until those are removed, such crimes will probably be vastly under-reported.

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5 minutes ago, geordief said:

So is the problem more in the organisations where the offenses take place than in the actual state bodies tasked to investigate them?

There is a systematic problem on many levels here. One is that conviction, even if pursued by authorities, is very low. There was an inquiry in the UK fairly recently and it showed that only about 8% of all reported cases lead to trial and convictions. As proving assault or rape is quite difficult, there is a sense among victims that moving on is better for them then getting involved in a process during which they may face significant repercussions (as in many cases they know the perpetrator) with little chance for a positive outcome. 

But there are also many examples where the cases are not properly investigated or simply ignored. Take a look for example at Maricopa Country, Arizona under ex-Sheriff Arpaio, where rape and sexual assault cases were in many cases simply ignored or mismanaged. Or check out the backlog on rape kit tests. 

Again, it takes a lot of effort, time and resources to fight against this momentum. And not everyone is able to afford that (mentally and fiscally)

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Our perceptions of wealth have been shaped to allow for this behavior, I think. The smallfolk have always had to bow to the will of the upper class, allowing them their depredations in order to not upset the status quo. It's more acute now because the disparity is more acute.

I wish we could see an overall shift in attitude that would value more than financial strength or your ability to make money as the worth of a person. I think extreme capitalism spawns the attitude that everything the underclasses have is cheap, and everything the upper class has is valuable. That includes your body, your self-worth, and your integrity. 

And there is also the persistent and contrary myth that men just can't help themselves. I blame the biblical story of Sampson and Delilah for a lot of it. The man/hero is so strong and virile and powerful, except when it comes to women, then he can't help himself and is undone. If the story had ended with him being killed for his weakness and stupidity, we probably wouldn't have so many Christians going along with the idea of a strong, famous man who can't keep his pants on. But the writers have Sampson regain his strength and defeat his enemies in the end, so we're left with an image of heroic virility tinged by a weakness even God will forgive eventually. Women are portrayed as openly conniving and treacherous in this story, while Sampson is a justifiable idiot who got the girl and became an icon of strength instead of gullibility.

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Worldwide, 76 % of women are targeted for physical and sexual violence in their life time,at least once. Up to 50% of sexual assaults are committed against girls under 16. In USA 83% of girls aged 12-16 experienced sexual harrasment in schools, in Europe 50% of women experienced unwanted advances or sexual harrasment at work.

No need to be a genius to realise that all the men seem as powerful for a 16 years old girl who just started this life long fight for her rights, body and safety. Even he is not rich and she is not a glamorous beauty. Just normal people living next door to yours. Cause in 2 out of 3 cases these men are familiar to that girls.

It is a men's world. 76% of women suffered = 76% of men caused it, at least once.

And yes, i experienced all of the things am talking about. And yes, statistically proved some of the men registered at this site harmed women and/or made a harassment

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15 minutes ago, Evgenia said:

 

Worldwide, 76 % of women are targeted for physical and sexual violence in their life time,at least once. Up to 50% of sexual assaults are committed against girls under 16. In USA 83% of girls aged 12-16 experienced sexual harrasment in schools, in Europe 50% of women experienced unwanted advances or sexual harrasment at work.

No need to be a genius to realise that all the men seem as powerful for a 16 years old girl who just started this life long fight for her rights, body and safety. Even he is not rich and she is not a glamorous beauty. Just normal people living next door to yours. Cause in 2 out of 3 cases these men are familiar to that girls.

It is a men's world. 76% of women suffered = 76% of men caused it, at least once.

And yes, i experienced all of the things am talking about. And yes, statistically proved some of the men registered at this site harmed women and/or made a harassment

i wonder what the numbers are for men being harassed in their lifetime. From personal experience, women can be just as base and sexually aggressive as men. Maybe not as often but it's not insignificant.

Edited by StringJunky
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