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patrice

(47,992 posts)
1. I'm sorry to say that most people probably think this is insignificant.
Mon Sep 17, 2012, 12:39 PM
Sep 2012

I can imagine their thoughts, TTE: Yes, well, that does happen and it might be kind of really unpleasant, but no real harm done - or - Total number of women out there, relative to total number of women who have this experience = this is a crazy minority of women trying to jerk the rest of us around - or - If she hates this experience enough, she'd tone it down a bit in order to avoid what's happening to her - or - (worst!!) She enjoys this assault and she enjoys bitching about it - or - __________________________ . . . .

The fundamental error in all of that is that no one thinks anything has anything to do with anything else. It's as though we are living in this fragmented universe in which there are no connections except those which we acknowledge and you (rhetorical you, that is) can acknowledge those "connections" if, when, and HOWever YOU WANT TO and saying that makes it so. The result of this is that most people think you can do whatever you WANT as long as you can "avoid" the consequences one way or another. Therefore, it's okay to profoundly disrespect women on the street and then go home to your teenage daughter and demand respect as the "male" figure of the household. "No 'harm'. No foul."

Wrong.

This is zero-sum thinking at its absolute worst. At this point in our social, economic, and environmental history, we can NO LONGER AFFORD to PRETEND that experiences have no relationship to meta-events and vice versa. We NEED, as in our survival may depend upon it, that is, WE NEED to consider what and how anything MAY have something to do with anything else. This means that we need rational processes at the grassroots' level to evaluate our experiences and make decisions about them, about ourselves, and about our future together.

We need to consider how a culture that admires, encourages, or tolerates casual disrespect of those who are at a power disadvantage AND BLAMES THEM FOR THE ACTIONS OF OTHERS WHO HAVE MORE POWER is a regressive culture that conserves dysfunction.

In the case of STREET HARASSMENT this means that disrespect and exploitation of women for male ego-aggrandizement can very definitely result in a culture that produces a great deal of teen pregnancies, STDs, adultery, divorces, drug abuse, hungry children, pathologies in our public schools and other public places, over-burdened social services at ALL levels . . . , you name it.

These connections ARE real, because the destruction to American families, caused by a lack of respect and an over-all culture of overt or covert violence toward the economically dis-empowered, the "weak", who across all class and ethnic "boundaries" tend to be females and/or children, is REAL.

Individuals need to understand these connections in more situationally specific ways, instead of letting others take advantage of them to enrich those who don't need it.



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