Out of Office

Hey, it’s another post where all I do is explain why I’m not really posting!

I’m out of town until mid-next week, and at this writing, my internet access is not quite as robust as I hoped it would be. So posting from me might be even lighter than expected. In the meantime, have an open thread and be good.

161 thoughts on “Out of Office

  1. Kate, I’m thrilled that you’re out there getting famous and paid and stuff, but I miss you! Please achieve world domination soon so you can come back to us more often.

  2. Maybe this is a thing y’all are doing now — but there are ads at the end of this post? For weight loss? And I just scrolled back and none of the other recent posts have that.

  3. @Allison, yeah that happened to me too. There were ads for different things, including weightloss.

  4. theshortearedowl, now I have. I am picking up a little gender shaming at the end of the essay, when she talks about the “pouting vulnerable boyman”. I mean, yeah, advertising is a crock of shit, but that doesn’t mean a man can’t moisturize, or live out his own personal gender in any way he finds appropriate.

  5. Something, not fluffy, that I’ve been chewing on in the back of my mind is whether the new push towards genital surgery for women (vaginoplasties, labial reforming etc.) is our culture’s form of genital mutilation. How can we make genital mutilation illegal in other countries while supporting it here under different names?

    I’m very confused. There are several issues to contemplate, and I’m a slow thinker.

    1. Age. Infant and child mutilation make a fairly bright line; but then I’ve heard of young women being persuaded that genital mutilation is appropriate. I remember being eighteen and vulnerable to all sorts of persuasion, if and when and how do we stop protecting people from what we think are bad choices?

    2. Severity. Genital mutilation comes in many degrees, where would the line between cosmetic procedure and mutilation fall? And then I wouldn’t want to make it illegal for trans people to get the surgeries they need, that needs care.

    3. Choices. I want people to have the maximum amount of choice, yet I fear the pressures upon young women and girls to have these procedures. I also fear the more general pressures pushing older women to change their bodies in harmful ways. Yet are these significantly different than the pressures to change faces and bodies in other ways? They feel worse to me; but I can’t tease out if it’s simply my ick factor or something important.

    My gut tells me that there’s something very wrong with the uptick in genital cosmetic surgery; but I can’t articulate why. It’s definitely got something to do with body image issues, as all cosmetic issues do. It’s got something to do with personal freedoms and choices. I’m having trouble reconciling all my principles.

  6. @piffle; at least one important distinction btwn FGM/C and elective genital surgery is the consent. I think from a public health POV, the second important distinction would be hygenic & sterile procedure that does not impede necessary biological functions, whereas FGM/C have high rates of complications impeding normal urination & menstruation (if not worse). So, while there are parallels to be drawn regarding the devaluing of women’s down-theres, I don’t think you can muddle the actual physical processes. And I would argue further that a woman who has had a cosmetic genital procedure is still able to take a not remotely hypocritical stance against FGM/C.

    Without knowing which principles you are having trouble with, one of the things I’m having trouble with is how your post reads like it is drifting very close to a very problematic distinction between “needed surgery” – whatever that is, and “cosmetic surgery” – whatever THAT is. This is definitely dicey territory. And in a related vein, I’m not sure that “protecting people from what we think are bad choices” is a well-framed goal or outcome. Simply put, an awful lot of the clown-horns a-tootin in this world right now are doing so with that explicit intention.

    The reframe I would propose is “How do we create a culture/space/framework in which people can safely explore surgical choices for their bodies?” Safe exploration would include accurate and complete medical/mental health information as well as examination of personal preferences, cultural mores, religous beleifs. YMMV, of course.

  7. @ piffle and Irish Up – Yeah, about cosmetic genital surgery… Jezebel had a clip from an Australian program that proposed a connection between desire for labiaplasty and the censorship standards for softcore pornography. It was graphic – I watched a young woman (who appeared to be only under local anesthetic) have her labia minora basically removed and then SCREAMED in horror.

    But my ability to scream doesn’t diminish the fact that I feel that body ownership as well as safety and hygiene that separates FGM/C and cosmetic surgery, as Irish Up says quite excellently above. People should be able to do what they need with their own bodies to improve their physical and psychological well-being.

    However… I still understand why the fact that labiaplasty might give you pause, piffle. I know the reason why it gives ME pause. Vaginal rejuvination makes some damn good sense in a way: its recipient may enjoy her chosen sexual adventures more. However, labiaplasty does not really do that. In fact, cutting the labia would remove sensation, isn’t it, and that would not be an enhancement to sexual pleasure the way I see it. I know that I wouldn’t want to do anything to myself that would reduce how much fun I have when I mess around. So, that’s why I start feeling uncomfortable with the circumstances of our world that might encourage somebody to obtain a labiaplasty.

    It’s more to do with the reasons why than the actual procedure for me. If I get a piercing or a tattoo or modify my body in a way that makes my life happier, because I’m taking ownership of my physical body and enjoying it, that’s nothing but awesome. If I have vaginal prolapse and I want to have it repaired so I can have better sexual experiences, that is also nothing but awesome. If I need gender re-assignment surgery so that I can be the person I’ve always wanted to be, that is probably the most awesome thing of all. But labiaplasty? Why would I want that again? Because I want reduced sensations in my genital region and to look “neater”? Ah, to me that’s a bit depressing. That says a lot more about the circumstances of culture than it does about individual choice to me.

  8. @Krishji; I hear you, but here is the problem with the “reasons why” reasoning: from your POV, my desire to have my labia minora surgically altered is depressing, pleasure deadening, and not awesome in the way that other choices are awesome. And that is fucked up for me. Yes, the cultural narrative that makes me so damn distracted by my big floppy labia minora that I can’t stop my internal monologue long enough to have an orgasm during any activity involving the touching of my floppy bits is fucked up. But it’s the same damned narrative that has feminists watching a procedure similar to the one I want on the internets then writing about how ew-ick it is in a feminist space.

    OK – so I actually don’t feel the need for this particular surgery at this point in my life. But SOMEBODY out there probably does, and I am going out on a limb to say that hir reasons are no more tainted by fucked up cultural narratives than are any of our choices over any part of how we present ourselves publicly or pubicly.

    Which is to say that discussions about cultural narratives which leave people feeling sufficiently devalued that they consider surgery as a way to handle that, need to be conducted in ways that focus the critique solely on the narrative. Otherwise, you are going to wind up oppressing someone, when your explicit intention was to deconstruct an oppressive narrative.

    FGM/C is a bad thing because of how and to whom it happens – without consent, to children, in physically and emotionally scarring & unsafe & unhealthy processes. Surgical choices that adults consent to undergo is far more nuanced and complicated, and happens to people who deserve credit for their agency in their life as lived.

  9. Simple response Piffle is this, we should be doing everything in our power to stop forced FGM/C. We should also strive as individuals to not do things or say things that would make people feel bad about their bodies to the point they desire surgery (or to any point, natch) when they wouldn’t if we hadn’t done or said those things.

    However if someone wants to have any form of cosmetic surgery and you are not a mental health professional diagnosing an addiction to surgery or a form of body dysmorphic disorder it is none of your fucking business. Like 100% nothing to do with you.

    Discussing reasons why a woman would feel the need for this is one thing, trying to stop someone who is not yourself from doing it is another entirely uncool thing.

  10. @IrishUp: Yeah, I have no issues with adults altering their bodies as they see fit, as long as they respect my own autonomy to alter or not alter my body. However, I do have problems with the cultural pressure that continually invents new things for us to be insecure about. It’s bad enough when it’s an internalized desire to change something, but when it starts to become “expected” as part of what people (mainly women) do as part of their beauty routine, then I get very cranky.
    An example of this is the porno-induced trend of no or very little pubic hair. I don’t care what people do to their pubes, but I would get annoyed if I suddenly start encountering a lot of men for whom pubic hair is a major turnoff.

  11. Just saw the “Fat’s Not Cool” website after reading Meems’ blog. I’m going to go vomit up my dinner now. Jesus.

    DRST

  12. Omgosh that Fat’s Not Cool website is absurd and so filled with hate! I can’t believe they actually state that it is their mission to SHAME people into thinness… not only does that not work, but it makes people feel worse about themselves. I cannot believe that somebody or a group of people can be so filled with hatred for fat people that they want to banish them from existence or wearing stylish clothes, or clothes with buttons! They are absolutely ridiculous!!

  13. @ Irish Up – No, you are right, you are right completely. The cultural narratives must be seperated from my own perspectives. Also, I should not be allowed to watch surgery, because I am a wimp. It IS actually the cultural narrative that interests me anyway. The question really ought to be: “From where did this narrative emerge?”

    @ annimal – “Annoyed” is a good word.

    @ DRST – !!! Is that website for reals?

  14. My personal “WTF” moment today was when I saw a large SUV with a customized license plate holder that read “Saw it, wanted it, threw a fit, got it” Uh yeah, who would want to publicize that they act like a spoiled brat?!?! For that matter, why does anyone think the “spoiled princess” behavior is cute ?
    Thanks, patriarchy;-(
    I don’t have enough sanity watchers points for the “Fat’s not cool” website.

  15. Irish up, I like your reframe; I agree my thinking is muddled, which is why it takes me a while to work through things.

    The difficulty is figuring out how to make it a safe choice for people. I’m not even sure it’s possible. Can a girl who’s been taught all her life that to make a good marriage and be pure/clean she had to have her labia removed; make that choice freely on her eighteenth birthday? Yet we must at some point stop treating people as children, though they may still be emotionally and socially dependant upon people who would pressure them.

    Is the distinction between FGM and surgery simply hygenic medical procedures? My understanding is that in countries that have the medical ability and the people who can afford it, many parents do use actual doctors and hygenic practices. Is it simply age and consent? That would be the easy answer; but I’m not sure it’s so simple.

    Encouraging people to appreciate the diversity of their bodies seems a good thing to me. I also think that people should feel good about their bodies and their choices for their bodies. For instance, I had a tubal ligation, which interferes significantly with the normal functioning of my fertility, that’s what I wanted from it in fact.

    I still find all this very complicated; and everyone’s comments are helping me sort things out. My thinking spirals around and I think it goes in circles; but I hope to help create a discussion, not hurt anyone who has had or wants to have genital surgery.

  16. I think I saw the same documentary that Krishji saw, and for me the saddest part was the interview with the girl. She said that part of the reason she was so self-conscious about her labia was because a boy had once dumped her over it.
    Seriously.
    She was dumped over her LABIA.
    That is so freaking sad to me.

    (Although, I’ll join in the chorus of people saying that that, of course, pales in comparison to FGM, which is performed without consent on children and, in all likelihood, makes them unlikely to ever feel sexual pleasure again.)

  17. Open threadiness, so hopefully this isn’t out of line…

    I have PCOS, and am trying to get pregnant. I’ve just been given a referral to a fertility clinic, and I am terrified! The fertility clinics here can refuse treatment if your BMI is over 35 (mine isn’t, but its only a couple of points off) which makes them jerks (in my head) and I am so scared of what their attitude to weight loss is going to be (particularly for PCOS as its a “standard” treatment) – I seriously don’t want to undo all my hard FA work!!

    I have considered telling the doctors that they are not to discuss weight loss as I am recovering from disordered eating and do not want to derail my progress. I do believe that my relationship with food used to be disordered, but I’ve never been diagnosed officially (and probably never would be) with an eating disorder. Also I feel like its not my place to just co-opt something as serious as an eating disorder for my own convenience. But I’m not sure how to get a doctor to take me seriously otherwise.

    I would love some advice on how to deal.

  18. Hey everyone,

    I lurk here a lot, and I just wanted to say thank you for creating this acceptance movement, specifically HAES. Honestly, I used to be kind of a troll about it until today, and I realized how many people try to judge someone’s health without knowing anything about them, and how other people’s health is not our business anyway.
    I also loved the post where everyone talked about what they were great at, because I was reading Nice Girls Don’t Get the Corner Office, and women don’t speak up for themselves.

    You guys are amazing!

  19. Hey guys, have you all done a post about the feederism thing? I’ve been seeing more and more feederism blogs and groups popping up and they seem to try to link themselves with the “Fat/Size Acceptance” movement (which I personally think maybe quite detrimental to what the movement is trying to accomplish). I’d love to hear this issue brought up.

  20. RQ, you might get a jerk doctor, but there are tons of doctors out there who aren’t rabid fat-haters and who don’t automatically jump to the “lose weight and you’ll get pregnant” line. I was overweight and went to the doc for help and she never mentioned my weight. She put me on Metformin for my PCOS and I was pregnant within a month.

    I hope the same for you!

    Oh and there is research linking overweight at time of pregnancy with later gestational diabetes, so don’t be surprised if you DO get pressure to lose weight, but remember it’s your body!! and they are not going to be all ‘tsk tsk lady you’re too fat, sorry, no pregnancy care for YOU!’ if you are overweight when you conceive. Again, I was overweight during my pregnancy (and got GD, sadly) but never heard anything negative whatsoever about it from any of the doctors and midwives I saw through Kaiser.

    So anyway, that’s just to say that I wouldn’t go in EXPECTING to be fat-shamed or whatever. And maybe just ask to see the relevant research if the dr. mentions weight. A good doc will not object at all to sharing their thought process and “footnoting” it for you. When I got GD I went to see a perinatologist who said some things that were at odds at my own reading on GD and when I brought that up to her she went into the research in great detail and we had a really interesting discussion. In my experience, going into something like a doctor’s appointment expecting to “fight” will lead to a dr. becoming defensive and, well, a fight. Going in realizing that the dr. may have a different perspective but that they shouldn’t be *presumed* to be ready to shame and insult you…and being armed yourself with a knowledge of relevant research on the issue that you are afraid will come up…that (IME) has a good chance of working out well.

    Of course if you get a jerk, you get a jerk, and you don’t go back. I’ve seen plenty of jerk docs in the past including fat-shamers and even a weirdo who told me when I was 23 that I just needed to get married and all my problems would go away.

    Sorry to ramble. But, hang in there, and if you haven’t found soulcysters.net…well, now ya have ;)

  21. This is rather fluffy, but I’ve been hoping for an open thread for a while so I could ask this.

    I’m in mourning about it being too warm for tights these days. I fell in love with tights over the winter, pleasantly surprised by how so. flipping. comfortable they are. Particularly in the chafing-under-skirts-prevention department.

    I would really like to wear some shorts-length tights under my skirts in summer, so as to neither chafe nor roast in my own juices in full-length tights. However, when searching for such a garment, the only thing I can come up with so far is Spanx. I’m fine with my shape, and I rather like maintaining feeling in my legs, so I would much prefer something less corset-y and restrictive.

    Does any such product exist? If not, have any of you figured out a way to avoid chafing in a bare-legs-and-skirt look?

    Oh tights-weather, how I miss thee.

  22. kootiepatra

    Hairspray is great to stop tights laddering. In the past I’ve made tights into stockings by cutting them off at the tops of the legs and spraying the top with hairspary (I can no longer wear tights for gynaecological reasons and had loads of funky patterned ones I still wanted to wear) – it seems to work even after they’ve been washed a few times. It might work the other way around as well, assuming they don’t bunch/ride up.

  23. kootiepatra – I wear bike shorts under skirts (cotton ones), and I’ve seen some that are trimmed in lace at Junonia in sizes up to a 6X and they probably exist elsewhere for a lower cost. I have an old pair of spanx-like (but not spanx brand) things that I’ve been wearing lately and they aren’t very comfortable but I like the lace peaking out from underneath. A place like “I love colors” would do well to sell a cotton-lycra blend short in fun colors and plus sizes. Let’s start a trend!

  24. Hi Random Quorum,
    Here’s my experience with fertility stuff to hopefully reassure you…
    My BMI was in the 40s when I first sought out help getting pregnant. I lived in Southern California at the time. I have type 2 diabetes and was in “high risk” territory to begin with, but I saw a perinatologist who was very positive about me being pregnant. I had help from a compassionate and experienced nurse diabetes educator who started me on insulin while I began treatment as I would need to have exceptional blood sugar control while trying to conceive. No fat shaming from either one. After starting, separation and reconciliation with my husband, starting again and taking a break, and then giving up, I got pregnant the very month after I stopped all fertility treatment (there were probably residual effects of the injectables and being out of town and away from my husband long enough for his sperm to be sufficiently concentrated). The only slight fatphobia I encountered was from a nurse at the fertility clinic (the doctor was so completely kind I actually still miss him) who I think just couldn’t conceive of what it would be like to be as fat as I was and have someone attracted to me enough to have sex. We eventually formed a connection (she was very kind in helping me figure out how to afford sufficient doses of the meds) but I could tell she really couldn’t grok how my husband was attracted to me — like a mental block on her part.
    There is this whole control thing that happens when women who are trying to conceive are “under care” — the barrage of STD tests, the BMI stuff, and other class stuff, like if you think you can afford to have a child then you must be willing to pay outrageous sums of money — that is hard to deal with. In this arena in particular, the intersection of fatphobia and class discrimination are flashing in neon. There’s this idea of who is and isn’t worthy of all the investment of time and energy to become pregnant and maintain pregnancy. It was a really painful period in my life in part because of that scrutiny, and me looking around and thinking “those people* there are terrible parents and they got to have children — not fair!” — I was definitely not at my best.
    Once I got pregnant the whole “fat with diabetes and pregnant” treatment was another story — but all in all, I have a kick-ass 5-year-old daughter these days, so we all survived it. Doctors were “nice” but I was under a lot of pressure to not gain weight. I say, try not gaining weight while pregnant and on insulin, male doctors, before you tell me it’s do-able.
    Feel free to email me at fatathletes at gmail dot com if you want to talk more.
    * By “those people” I usually meant people who appeared to be wealthy and mean, like Cinderella’s stepsisters, but it’s still lumping people together based on appearance of wealth, and I just saw a high school production of Les Mis and am reminded of Jean Valjean and that just because a person appears to be wealthy doesn’t make them bad nor mean they haven’t suffered.

  25. Oh, and Random Quorum, at the time I wasn’t opposed to weight loss, but what I had going for me was that I was 35 years old and could say flat out “look, I could invest another year in trying to lose weight, but that’s just going to make me and the mr. one year older and higher risk, right, so, let’s just do this, okay?”
    I think it all depends on the doctor. If it’s a center, and they have more than one doctor and you don’t connect well with the first one, ask about another one. Have your partner or someone else with you who can advocate for you.
    Bottom line, you are someone seeking a service that they are providing. If you don’t like how you are treated, you can go elsewhere. It didn’t feel like that to me at the time, I felt quite powerless and worried, but being 41 now, I look back at my 35-year-old self and say, “honey, you did a great job managing all of that stuff and keeping your eye on the goal.”

  26. kootiepatra & acceptance woman, last summer I bought several “split skirt slips” on Amazon, and then dyed them to match a few favorite outfits using Rit dye…I did a blue pair, and orange pair, a pink pair…they’re super cute, and kind of sexy when the lace peeks out from beneath otherwise innocuous outfits!

  27. @kootiepatra

    I use deodorant/antiperspirant on my thighs when I go tightless in a skirt. Worked wonders, no chaffing.

  28. @aliciamaud: I love your split skirt idea! If it was warmer here in the summer, I’d go for that.

  29. RandomQuorum, I think there’s a significant difference between “disordered eating” and “eating disorder.” I don’t think it’s co-opting to say that when you’ve dieted, it’s been problematic and unhealthy, and you’re not interested in doing that to yourself again.

    I honestly think it doesn’t matter what reasons you give for not wanting to discuss weight. Doctors who think it’s the source of all your problems, or who won’t respect or listen to you, aren’t going to have any reason they consider “good enough.” At that point, you can either see if broken record (“I said I wasn’t willing to discuss this.” “I’m sorry, I’m not willing to discuss this.” “I’m not here about my weight.” ad infinitum) works, or give up on them and find someone else.

  30. RandomQuorum: I think KellyK is right on. Saying that you have a history of disordered eating is not inappropriate when it’s true. Since it sounds like they may be fatphobic (or have fatphobic policies), I definitely think bringing it up right at the beginning, possibly in the context of discussing your PCOS, and then politely but rigidly enforcing your boundaries is the way to go.

  31. Does any such product exist? If not, have any of you figured out a way to avoid chafing in a bare-legs-and-skirt look?

    @kootiepatra: I have two words for you: bicycle shorts.

    The chub rub on my upper thighs makes wearing a dress or skirt without them impossible. Seriously, I think the first and last time I attempted that was in 8th grade when I ended up with serious welts on my legs! But if I have bike shorts on, I can wear my lovely dress all day without complaint.

    I have never word this particular brand, but I know plus size ones can be found at Junonia.com. I’ve also had luck at JCPenney, if you are a place where this store exists.

  32. Oooh ChloeMireille, I didn’t see your comment before I posted, but thanks for cluing us into the Avenue bike shorts. I didn’t know they existed!

  33. I also love Body Glide anti-chafe…it looks like deodorant, but it’s very slippery and long lasting, and pretty cheap—you can get it at online drugstores for $5-ish dollars. Last summer I started walking a mile or so to work, and I’m a skirt girl–this product completely prevented any chafing/rubbing. Love it.

  34. there were ads for different things, including weightloss.

    I have NO idea what this is/was about. WordPress (as a host) doesn’t allow ads, and I wouldn’t have put them there. If they’re starting to put ads on people’s blogs without permission, then I can add “find new host” to my long fucking list of things to deal with.

  35. @RandomQuorum, I don’t know how much choice you have in reproductive endocrinologists, but if possible, find a doctor who doesn’t make you feel fat-shamed. Infertility treatment is a horribly stressful and emotional process, and most women find themselves struggling with new dimensions of body hatred. Bad enough when your body doesn’t look “right”, but when it can’t WORK “right”, well, that’s tough (and can be a major ED trigger if you have tendencies in that direction). Be prepared for that, and also consider finding a good counselor with infertility experience — your RE’s office may have suggestions.

    You might want to sort out how you feel about Metformin, if you haven’t already tried it, before your appointment. However, the goal of putting you on Metformin is to regulate insulin levels and see if you ovulate, not to make you lose X pounds. Any weight loss is a side effect of insulin/blood sugar control, and regular ovulation is just another side effect. If you don’t ovulate after a couple months, they should move on to trying Clomid or another procedure (and if not, you should move on). And if they don’t work your husband up as well at the very beginning, run far away — there’s no point to wasting time with Met/Clomid if you need to jump straight to IVF for male factor, and fat women are as likely to have husbands with male factor as are thin women.

    You may find, though, that REs are actually better than you expect, because they often have enough experience to know that weight loss isn’t a magic fertility bullet. The RE mentality is much more business-focused than most areas of medicine, and they tend to move you down the path of treatments pretty quickly. After all, if the low-tech approaches like weight loss were going to work for you, you’d have tried that before you got there. Plus, they actually see and treat thin PCOS infertility patients, so they’ve got personal and scientific experience to prove that PCOS isn’t just something that happens to fat people.

    Best of luck, and I hope you can find a competent and compassionate RE.

  36. It sounds to me as though they’re testing code to add ads to WordPress-hosted blogs… it probably wasn’t supposed to “go live”, but I’d be on the lookout for an announcement once they’ve got the kinks worked out. Luckily it’s not that hard to export a WordPress database and set up a private installation. Finding new hosting might entail a bit more suck. I might suggest Dreamhost for having no content guidelines stricter than the rule of law and a one-click WordPress installation function for the technically uninclined, though they might not be robust enough for a blog with this much traffic and commentary.

    Sidebar: I am perhaps too amused to see the word “Piffle” keep popping up in a serious conversation about a very serious topic.

  37. OK, open thread…

    I’m fuming over something that just happened at the store, wondering if I’m overreacting and how I could have handled this differently:

    Just now I was shopping at Costco with my two youngest daughters (5 yo and 2 yo). Some middle aged and obviously well-meaning Dude stops us to compliment me on how absolutely beautiful he thought the two-year-old is. My Nice Girl training insured that I responded with a thank you. And another. And another. As he went on about it. At first the main thing that bothered me is that he was very specific about complimenting one daughter and not the other… and then that it even happened at all and that I sat there acting like some Dude’s comments on the my daughter’s appearance was some kind of gift.

    So I’m wondering what The Fabulous Shapelings think about this particular situation. Am I overreacting to feel angry (and a little dirty) about it? Is it some sort of bullshit privilege thing that I let a “compliment” bother me at all? How would y’all handle something like this (or wish that your mother had responded to things like this)?

  38. @anomic entropy: i’d be pissed too, both from the creepiness factor and from the fact that he singled out one daughter.
    i don’t have kids, so I’ve been in this situation, but maybe a “thank you, I am very proud of BOTH my daughters” would diffuse this sort of situation.

  39. @ anomic entropy: As the mom of elementary school aged biracial children, for me it is about what I perceive to be the spirit of the compliment. What you are describing would bother me immensely and I would (and have) put an end to the conversation by physically moving or being short, curt or rude if necessary.

    I always emphasis my children’s wonderful personalities when they are complimented on their physical looks by strangers or acquaintances. Not for the person giving the “praise” but so that my children are reminded that what I value about them has nothing to do with their appearance.

  40. @anomic entrophy,

    Yes about the creepy part. I’ve found it helpful to just go vague and respond with a general, “Yeah, ALL kids are precious, aren’t they?” With the last part of the sentence said over my shoulder as I make my escape. When in doubt, just keep rolling – a moving target is much harder to smarm over.

  41. @anomic entropy: Yeah, that was weird and creepy. I have been known to spontaneously exclaim “Oh, how cute/adorable!” at the sight of a genuinely enchanting small child, but I don’t go on and on about it. Especially not in front of that child’s sibling. If your two-year-old really is that stunning, and you run into this again, I think a “Thank you; I’m very proud of my girls” followed by returning to your shopping would be totally appropriate.

  42. I finished playing Mass Effect 2, and I’m puzzled by the arc of sexual orientation inclusion in the last three games I’ve played by my friends and heroes at BioWare.

    Mass Effect 1 (2007): You can play as a male or female Commander Shepard. Each has one romantic option of the opposite gender (Ashly if you’re a dude Shepard and Kaiden if you’re a lady Shepard), plus there’s a swing hitter, Liara who is from an only female species and bisexual. Obviously it fits certain tropes that only f/f homosexual romances are available, but it’s more gender bending than in the past. (My character, Red Jenny Shepard, dated Liara).

    Dragon Age Origins (2009): There are, AFAIK, still no actually gay stock characters, but many are bisexual, including a male elf. You can play a male or female character, human, dwarf or elf, whom you build from the ground up. Some characters are only romance-able by an opposite gender hero but many are available to both. This caught a little holy flak from the usual mob but the game did quite well. (My character, whose name I forget, was male and hooked up with Morrigan because she’s by far the most interesting character – unlike in Dragon Age, your own character doesn’t speak and thus seems to recede into the background). But the point is that you can be a manly warrior and gay, for what may be the first time in major unmodded video game history.

    Mass Effect 2 (2010): You can import your character, so I played as Red Jenny Shepard again. The thing is – no more non-hetero options. Liara’s out, and you have an almost entirely new crew of allies, but you can only schtup boys if you’re a girl and vice versa. Having already established that she’s not into fellows, I’m therefore cut off from that angle of RJ’s character development. Of course RJ could hook up with a guy, but then I’m saying that lesbian is no different from bisexual female. This seems like a very strange step backwards. I hope non-hetero romances are reestablished in ME3.

  43. @kootiepatra JC Penney sells “pettipants” that are essentially a slip in the form of shorts. They are made in several different lengths and even those you can cut down shorter if you want because of how they are hemmed. They have black, white, and beige, and carry extended sizes online.

    So, does anyone know of a curriculum for high school PE that involves HAES? Or even a book that’s targeted for teenagers trying to figure out how to live in their bodies in the framework of HAES?

    I’m a high school language teacher, and I keep hearing girls complaining that all their PE teacher cares about is their BMI. By the way, they do announce the BMI in front of the rest of the coed class, which I think is rotten on its own. Several girls have told me that they have been horribly embarrassed by being told they are fat in front of their classmates. I wonder how many of these girls are shamed into disordered eating and poor self-image from the way traditional PE classes are taught. I know I felt that to an extent myself, but my teachers never weighed or measured us.

    I’m glad they feel comfortable coming to me with these issues. I always try to tell them that what matters is how they feel about themselves and making sure that they are healthy enough to do the things they want to do. I hope that as a large woman, I carry myself in a way that conveys to them that it’s ok to not be tiny. I really wish someone had told me about HAES when I was in middle school or high school. It would have made it much easier to cope.

    I just wish I could do more to make these girls feel better now so they can be happier adults.

  44. @Kate — next time I see it (if), I will screencap and email you. I realized that would have been the handy thing to do THIS time, only I realized that after they went away. Doh.

  45. Passive Aggressive Notes has one from a concern troll today–I expected the comments to chime in with fat hate, but was heartened by how reasonable people were (with a few exceptions). She sort of gets a “pass” because she’s pregnant–but plenty of people join in to say that no matter her condition, her body is no one’s business! Nice!

    http://www.passiveaggressivenotes.com/2010/05/11/please-dont-take-this-the-wrong-way-but-mind-your-own-damn-business/#comments

  46. Ok. I should first explain that I am not hallucinating, dreaming, or sniffing anything strange, but yesterday, (and I swear this is true), I acually witnessed a woman fat-shame a lemur.
    You read that right. Fat shame a Lemur. A LEMUR.
    Me and Mr Paintmonkey decided to take the day off and have a silly fun day at a Wildlife park. To my shrieking joy, there was a huge lemur enclosure where you could walk in an open area with them. An adult lemur approached a little kid and casually started to lick the carton of milk she was carrying, and the kid’s Grandmother stepped in and said (to the lemur) “It’s a good job that’s skimmed milk, because you really don’t need Full Fat!”
    As it turned out, the Lemur immediately got bored and pissed off up a tree just as the Grandma managed to get her camera out to photograph it, so that was some kind of justice.

  47. Okay,

    (a) that’s both hilarious and atrocious, Paintmonkey.

    (b) more importantly, WHERE IS THIS WILDLIFE PARK WHERE I CAN CONSORT WITH LEMURS???

  48. @LilahMorgan…I wondered if there should be a sign up saying “Please Do Not Make Rude Remarks About The Lemur’s Physiques”.

    It was a hilarious moment, but equally surreal. I did ponder how the Grandma came to the conclusion that the Lemur was on the heavy side… was she wondering if it could fit snugly into her Grandma slacks or something?

    Either way, good to know that lemurs like drinking milk straight from the carton on a long boring day.

  49. I, too, saw an ad (for sushi to be had for cheap in my area, wtf?) on the main page of SP just now.

    Also… fat shaming lemurs… that’s so not right.

  50. @AnthroK8 – Lemurs who fatshame would lose much of their cute ;).
    After having heard my vet fatshame my dog’s butt, I am not surprised.

    But Paintmonkey, you are being coy! Or keeping the fat lemurs to yourself and not sharing! Where oh where on earth are these free range lemurs? I must know!

  51. There are (or used to be when I was a kid) free-range ring-tailed lemurs in Fota Wildlife Park, Fota Island, Co. Cork, Ireland.

    I suspect Paintmonkey & Mr were somewhere else, though.

    TRiG.

  52. Well, I did a quick Google brand internet search query powered by Google™ and found this:

    http://en.support.wordpress.com/no-ads/

    So apparently unless you’re paying for the “no ad” service or are a “VIP blogger” (which I’d wager is another level of pay service) there will always be the possibility that WordPress will flick ads at your readers. If it weren’t for the fact that AdSense is the patent medicine handbill of the 21st century and frequently responds to any mention of fat, diet, food, or health with shame and quackery, I’d be inclined to shrug and say “Well, for a free service, I suppose that’s fair.”

    I don’t know how much it costs to disable the ads, but it’s probably cheaper and easier than moving to outside hosting.

  53. I would like to say that Belfast Zoo has a lemur feeding time, and you gather for this occasion thinking “Ooh! Lemurs!”, but you are UNPREPARED for the ARMY OF CUTE.

    The guy blows this whistle thing and then LEMURS. LEMURS RUNNING THROUGH YOUR FEET, LEMURS LEAPING FROM THE TREES. MUMMY LEMURS. BABY LEMURS. LEMURS EATING BANANAS. LEMURS ASSEMBLE.

    THERE IS SIMPLY TOO MUCH CUTE FOR WORDS.

  54. LilahMorgan, if/when you come home from Belfast would you bring me some Caffrey’s Irish Ale?

  55. In the same vein of hilarious/atrocious fat shaming stories, my niece’s mother once asked, in all sincerity, if I thought the nappy my niece had on made her bum look big.

  56. In the same vein of hilarious/atrocious fat shaming stories, my niece’s mother once asked, in all sincerity, if I thought the nappy my niece had on made her bum look big.

    Some people make it so hard to oppose capital punishment.

  57. Hmm… maybe I should’ve read that article a little more closely before posting! Some good and bad there.

  58. @Jenya, I haven’t read the article (too many SW points for me) but I can make a guess that this will just be a tip off for O to start a new diet frenzy under the guise of “lifestyle change”. I just sincerely doubt she will ever stop pushing diet, diet “gurus”, quack docs and the like, she makes too much money off of it and probably hates herself too much as well.

  59. Well, I’ll share an FA/HAES milestone I had the other day. I was fantasizing about doing a dance routine that would require very sharp, exact, split-second movements. I thought, “Oh, for the look I’m going for, I’d probably need to wear some sort of getup that keeps my belly from shaking,” with EXACTLY the same divestment of moral import as I might have if I said to myself, “Oh, I’ll need to wear some sort of hair getup to keep all my hair slicked back.”

    Then I realized how awesome you have to be in order to think that and I threw myself a little party.

  60. but I can make a guess that this will just be a tip off for O to start a new diet frenzy under the guise of “lifestyle change”.

    Yeah, I feel like this is all part of the celebrity diet cycle – low calorie! –> low fat! –> low carb! –> lifestyle change! –> juice fast/cleanse! –> low calorie!

    You have to shake it up or people will be able to use their old diet books instead of buying new ones, which heaven forfend, obviously.

  61. Re: pudgy lemurs -

    A couple of years ago, I somehow found myself at a ‘petting zoo’ type of park. I spent a lot of time just watching the animals, and how the people interacted with them.

    There was an area with a mother pig and a bunch of cute pink baby piglets. I love pigs. Kids also love pigs, right? No, apparently since the rise of the ‘obesity epi-panic’, they don’t. I watched quite a number of kids come and go, and most had the same reaction: “EWWWW! They’re FAAAAT! Grosssssss!!!”

  62. Just now I was shopping at Costco with my two youngest daughters (5 yo and 2 yo). Some middle aged and obviously well-meaning Dude stops us to compliment me on how absolutely beautiful he thought the two-year-old is. My Nice Girl training insured that I responded with a thank you. And another. And another. As he went on about it. At first the main thing that bothered me is that he was very specific about complimenting one daughter and not the other… and then that it even happened at all and that I sat there acting like some Dude’s comments on the my daughter’s appearance was some kind of gift.

    Nothing suggests he was well meaning and it seems completely logical to be squeaked out by his inappropriate behavior. I don’t know. I’m just weird that way. I mean I am ready to administer the beatdown whenever I’m walking the girls (bischon and chocolate lab) and find that one is favored over the other. And they’re pets. I’m pretty sure I’d lose it if children were involved.

    People should pretty much keep their unsolicited opinions on other people’s appearances to themselves.

  63. Snarky’s, the great podcast Islamophonic had an episode once on hijab-commentaries. The guest that day pretty much framed it up as “stay out of women’s cloests.” But “women” is just as easily be “people,” and the point generalizes really well.

  64. My 4th grade kids threw me a surprise party today during after-school. They had prepared a skit about bullying and mediation, two well-choreographed dances, and they all sang Justin Bieber’s “Baby” to me. Then, we had strawberries and Entenmann’s cake. Why? Because our maths tests for NCLB are done! I love those kids so much, just thinking about how sweet that was makes me misty. I was overwhelmed with joy and gratitude, and they all ran up for hugs and kisses when it was time to go home.

    So, just when I thought life couldn’t get better, I got a phone call from a friend of mine who is also an elementary-level teacher. Of course, I start bragging about my great afternoon with my kids. His response was, “You hug and kiss your kids?” said in a critical voice. “Whenever they want me to,” I replied. “Well, I guess YOU could get away with that sort of thing.”

    I didn’t want to start a fight with my friend just then, so I told him I would talk with him about this issue more in-depth this weekend. The culture of my school is very nurturing, and the kids and teachers tend to be pretty demonstrative with one another. I think this is a good thing, because so many of our kids need a lot of attention and comforting in order to be able to focus in school. I always feel that when emotional needs are addressed first, everything else becomes so much less of a struggle. I really didn’t like what my friend was implying, and the more I think about it, the more I dislike it.

    So, Shapelings, what are your feelings about child-teacher affection?

  65. Hmm, open threadness!

    @ Krishiji–I think it depends on the culture of the school. And yes, male teachers DO have a harder time “getting away with it,” but I’m not *entirely* sure that that is wrong. Complicated and difficult question, though. I can tell you I always appreciated the teacherly hugs at difficult points in my life.

    I know a lot of Shapeling have migraines, so here is a question for you:

    My primary wants to put my on a second preventative in addition to Topamax. Anyone tried the beta blockers for migraines? How did it effect your exercise? I’m worried about it interfering with my max heart rate for running…plus, I’m just not sure I want to be on that many meds when I can grit my teeth and get through the breakthrough headaches with triptans and, you know, teeth gritting (fill in over medicating with OTC, coffee, and missing days here)

    OTOH, I tend to rationalize my pain for months (years?) as “not that bad” and then I end up taking way too many OTC meds and getting myself into trouble that way, so trying to be better about that these days.

  66. Ariel: so i have a random personal question for you. its been of some debate. Aleks: i’m controversial? my favorite harry potter book is prisoner of azkhaban, if that’s the question Ariel: nope. are you gay? Aleks: i knew that was it. how did this come up? Ariel: hahaha! because you give off gay vibes, but my gaydar is skewy

  67. @Krishji
    As the mother of a fourth grade girl, I can tell you that being able to demonstrate affection in a healthy way in the classroom enhances my child’s ablility to digest and learn and feel socially accepted. She would be more anxious and feel more stress if hugs were not given by the teacher on occasion. As a naturally shy, sensitive, and quiet girl, she often NEEDS some form of physical affection to bring her out of her shell and take the edge off the chaos of the classroom that sometimes overwhelms her. Nothing would make her feel more rejected in the classroom than being refused something as basic as human touch.

    I say this knowing full well that others may be creeped out by a teacher giving a student a hug. Even with my own personal history of sexual abuse, I believe that hugs from teachers (with the right kid and in trusting relationships) build bonds that can help foster learning. I am a hands on volunteer who spends at least two days a week in my child’s classroom working with kids who need extra help. I’ve done this since kindergarten. It helps me understand the classroom dynamic, as well as boosts continuity for the methods used in the classroom that I can replicate at home. The kids are used to seeing me, so when I arrive, several of them will say my name, get up out of their seats and give me a hug or a high five. I happily return the hug or high five with a smile on my face and a kind greeting because everyone needs to connect…and dammit…it makes me feel good!

    Carry on with your hugs…and know that as a parent, I welcome that for my kid.

  68. @ Krishiji–I think it depends on the culture of the school. And yes, male teachers DO have a harder time “getting away with it,” but I’m not *entirely* sure that that is wrong.

    I’m pretty sure of it (although I’m also sure it was wrong of Krishiji’s friend to act like it was her fault). Unless one’s potential danger to children is strictly linked to one’s masculine gender, I don’t see the difference between this and any other sort of profiling. I started out teaching kindergarten (in Korea) and loved it. Guess why I teach high school in the US? I wouldn’t dare teach kindergarten here, because males who work with young kids are suspected of being child molesters. How could that not be entirely wrong?

  69. Snarky’s Machine:
    People should pretty much keep their unsolicited opinions on other people’s appearances to themselves.

    I remember when I realized that . . . I was twenty-six. My apologies to pretty much every woman I spoke to between 1996 and 2008.

  70. @Krishji, I not sure why you’re mad at your friend here. It’s 100% true that men can’t hug or touch their students in class, regardless of age. They can’t “get away with it” and like any form of gender inequity it’s unfair. He has plenty of reason to resent being painted with the same brush as men who have taken advantage of their students. Especially when you consider that female teachers take advantage of their students at probably close to the same rate. He probably shouldn’t have phrased it that way, but he might just be very bitter.

    Also, regarding hugs in classrooms, that’s a very difficult line to walk. I think you should never ever ever touch your students unless they directly ask for a hug or whatever. When I’ve worked with kids in classrooms and out, there are a lot of them that want hugs, I hugged them despite the fact that I’m uncomfortable with casual touching because rejecting their hugs would hurt them. However, when I was in grade school, anytime a teacher was hugging students it would send me into mini panic attacks because I feared that I would have to hug them too. That made it a lot harder for me to learn. Working in an enviroment where they hugged children also made my teachers a lot more lazy when it came to making sure they didn’t cross boundaries. They were constantly touching me, grabbing me, putting a hand on my shoulder. That’s not okay, at all, ever, like seriously I can’t stress it enough. It created a constant state of fear and panic whenever a teacher was near me. YMMV, but I will only hug my students when they ask me to.

    @Aleks, how did you handle your student asking if you were gay? I had a very popular and awesome female lang. arts teacher and everyone was convinced she was gay. It actually got to be a problem in classes, and one day supposedly she shouted out “I AM A DYKE OKAY?! NOW LEAVE IT ALONE!” I worry about having to deal with that myself, even if I wasn’t bisexual being unmarried is apparently enough to convince everyone that you aren’t straight in a high school.

  71. alibelle , Ariel’s not a student of mine, she’s an undergrad at the university where I’m doing my grad studies. I dodged the question (I’m straight but it’s not really their business and more importantly it’s funnier that they’re wondering.)

    When I’m actually teaching a class, my “gay vibe” may definitely be a problem. God I hate high school.

  72. “However, when I was in grade school, anytime a teacher was hugging students it would send me into mini panic attacks because I feared that I would have to hug them too. ”

    Same here! As a super-shy kid, I was always afraid to speak up for myself, and being hugged by a teacher would have freaked me out. (I don’t see a problem if a young student initiates the hug, of course.)

  73. I’m not hugging nobody. I’m not telling students if I notice they changed their hair, or if I like their shirts, nothing. Just too dangerous.

  74. Especially when you consider that female teachers take advantage of their students at probably close to the same rate.

    Is this actually true, though, for the situation in question? I have the impression that men are responsible for the vast majority of “classic” child molestation, involving preteen children of either gender who aren’t family members. Most of the sex-abuse cases involving female teachers seem to involve a “consensual” sexual relationship with adolescent students, a la Mary Kay Letourneau. To be clear, this is just as wrong, because the power dynamic means that it’s suspect, and the teens aren’t old enough to give true consent — statutory rape is still rape. However, it’s a different demographic from Krishji’s situation, so in the specific context of fourth graders, I don’t know that it’s necessarily unfair that men who work with young children are subjected to a higher index of suspicion.

    IMO, it’s like how Schrodinger’s Rapist is male, even though women commit rapes too.

  75. Arizona responds to the boycott by insourcing tourism. I’m not a Free Trader but I don’t see Tourism Autarky working out very well.

    As part of their effort, officials plan to revive a past campaign that encourages Arizonans to take advantages of specials and deals and vacation within the state. How to rebrand the state to potential visitors has not yet been decided.

    Read more: http://www.azcentral.com/arizonarepublic/news/articles/2010/05/14/20100514arizona-immigration-law-tourism-criticism.html#ixzz0nvC4ODxw

  76. Emma B PERMALINK
    I have the impression that men are responsible for the vast majority of “classic” child molestation, involving preteen children of either gender who aren’t family members. Most of the sex-abuse cases involving female teachers seem to involve a “consensual” sexual relationship with adolescent students, a la Mary Kay Letourneau. To be clear, this is just as wrong, because the power dynamic means that it’s suspect, and the teens aren’t old enough to give true consent — statutory rape is still rape. However, it’s a different demographic from Krishji’s situation, so in the specific context of fourth graders, I don’t know that it’s necessarily unfair that men who work with young children are subjected to a higher index of suspicion.

    You have the impression that a majority of crimes are committed by men, therefore it’s not unfair for men to be profiled as likely threats to children, because we’re male like you think the bad guys tend to be. What other demographic features are we considering justified (and useful) markers for a “higher index of suspicion”? The vast majority of illegal immigrants along the Mexican border have brown skin and speak Spanish, so it is necessarily fair to profile Spanish speaking brown skinned people as potential illegal immigrants (your “higher index of suspicion”)?

  77. “Is this actually true, though, for the situation in question? I have the impression that men are responsible for the vast majority of “classic” child molestation, involving preteen children of either gender who aren’t family members. Most of the sex-abuse cases involving female teachers seem to involve a “consensual” sexual relationship with adolescent students, a la Mary Kay Letourneau. To be clear, this is just as wrong, because the power dynamic means that it’s suspect, and the teens aren’t old enough to give true consent — statutory rape is still rape. However, it’s a different demographic from Krishji’s situation, so in the specific context of fourth graders, I don’t know that it’s necessarily unfair that men who work with young children are subjected to a higher index of suspicion.”

    It is actually true, I think you’re forgetting the age of the boy in Mary Kay Letourneau’s case, he was in 6th grade! Also most of the women who have been caught having sex with students have been caught having sex with mentally handicapped children in their special education classes. Also the whole idea of teenage boys wanting to have sex with their teachers (which apparently makes it ok to fuck your students?) and teenage girls not wanting (which suddenly makes it wrong in comparison) to is super unbelieveably majorly stupid and fucked up, so maybe knock that off?

  78. Aleks, that argument doesn’t fly in the context of adult rape — that’s where I was going with the Schrodinger’s Pedophile reference.

    We DO assign unknown men a “higher index of suspicion” as potential rapists, even though women can and do commit rapes. Women do it in an acquaintance-rape context, generally, but women are just as capable of committing violent rape (and other crime) too. I can’t knock a man down, but I’m perfectly able to point a gun at him and rape him. I could use a weapon to assault another woman, too, and I might be able to physically overpower her as well. However, it happens so very rarely that there’s no actual need for it to inform our behavior. If a woman chats me up on the subway, I AM going to assume that she’s just annoying, as opposed to a potential stalker and/or rapist. Is that unfair, do you think?

    So yes, I think it’s fair that a Generic Male Teacher (NOT a specific individual!) be viewed as far more likely to commit pedophilia than a Generic Female Teacher, just like I think you are more likely to rape me than Ailbhe is (since I know nothing about either one of you aside from your gender).

  79. So yes, I think it’s fair that a Generic Male Teacher (NOT a specific individual!) be viewed as far more likely to commit pedophilia than a Generic Female Teacher, just like I think you are more likely to rape me than Ailbhe is (since I know nothing about either one of you aside from your gender).

    Oh good, if individuals are safe then I’ve got nothing to worry about. It’s only all of us who merit profiling on preemptive suspicion of child abuse, not each of us.

  80. Also the whole idea of teenage boys wanting to have sex with their teachers (which apparently makes it ok to fuck your students?) and teenage girls not wanting (which suddenly makes it wrong in comparison) to is super unbelieveably majorly stupid and fucked up, so maybe knock that off

    Sorry, I thought it was clear — that’s why I put “consensual” in scare quotes, because I don’t believe there’s anything truly consensual about those relationships, regardless of whether the teenager says yes or even expresses enthusiasm. Nor do I think gender has anything to do with the victim’s attitude or blamelessness, which is why I said “students” and “teenagers” rather than “boys”. Statutory rape is rape too, and it doesn’t matter whether the underage party is male or female.

  81. Emma B PERMALINK
    Aleks, that argument doesn’t fly in the context of adult rape — that’s where I was going with the Schrodinger’s Pedophile reference.

    One of us is also completely missing the point of Schrodinger’s Rapist. I thought that it was that I should respect your boundaries, wherever you choose to set them, because whatever reason you don’t want to talk to me on the subway is your own goddamn business and honoring your desire for me to leave you alone doesn’t cost me a thing. The same “context of adult rape” hardly applies to me trying to make a living and maybe just maybe do some good as a teacher without working under the presumption that my Y chromosome inclines me to abuse children. I don’t have a right to talk to you, and therefore whatever reasons you choose not to talk to me are valid. I do rather think that I have the right to do my job, even if I am an unmarried man with a “gay vibe”.

  82. Why do you merit profiling as a potential rapist, but not as a potential child abuser? (And you DO agree that it’s OK for me-as-a-woman to regard you-as-a-man as a potential rapist, don’t you?) What’s the difference here?

  83. Emma B PERMALINK
    Why do you merit profiling as a potential rapist, but not as a potential child abuser? (And you DO agree that it’s OK for me-as-a-woman to regard you-as-a-man as a potential rapist, don’t you?) What’s the difference here?

    Because you have the absolute right to avoid me in public (and if the opportunity ever arises, please avail yourself of that right) for any reason you want to. If you don’t like men, if you don’t like Jews, if you don’t like shabbily dressed people, if you don’t like my haircut, if you think I smell bad, it’s entirely up to you. I have no right to or legitimate interest whatsoever in conversing with you against your wishes. You get to decide who you speak to. You do not, or at least should not, have the same arbitrary power over who gets to earn a living.

  84. @Emma B, there is a difference, because a student has a right to be uncomfortable with a teacher, and you have a right to be uncomfortable with some man on the subway. However you don’t have the right to try and keep men from teaching in a grade school classroom.

    Especially not since there really is not a much higher incidence of male teachers molesting or raping students than there is with women doing the same.

    Another thing, teaching is probably the absolute worst career to go into if you want to fuck kids or teens and you’re male. People watch male teachers like hawks and it can take them decades to finally get enough respect and trust that they could have sex with a student and get away with it.

    It’s probably the best career to go into if you’re a woman and want to fuck kids and teenagers as this thread has shown. No one is concerned about you abusing your power for sexual gain and therefore you are allowed to kiss and hug students, touch them and spend a lot of time alone with them.

    It’s a good idea to step outside of lifetime movies and consider the actual realities of schools. There’s a huge inequity in the male to female teacher ratio and it’s because of the stigma surrounding men that go into teaching careers. That’s not the same as viewing a man on the street as a potential rapist, it crosses well over into discrimination and sexism.

  85. Both of the best primary school teachers my family ever encountered were male, and one was physically demonstrative of affection, which probably did my baby sister the world of good. I think some of this boils down to the whole “spoiling the gift of fear” thing, where children are supposed to automatically fear some people and automatically trust others, which makes instincts bloody useless.

  86. Krishji: I don’t have much to say about child/teacher affection beyond “no child should be expected to give affection to anyone if they don’t want to.” All teachers should find the way to make that the governing theme in their classrooms before they consider hugging a child.

    And in the matter of your friend, I would probably say “I’m sorry the circumstances of the world prevent you from being able to hug your students.” And then go with the flow. You don’t have to back down on whether you think it’s okay for teachers to hug kids, but if your friend is upset, I so totally see why.

  87. AnthroK8
    I don’t have much to say about child/teacher affection beyond “no child should be expected to give affection to anyone if they don’t want to.” All teachers should find the way to make that the governing theme in their classrooms before they consider hugging a child.

    Absolutely. Or anyone, really.

  88. There’s a huge inequity in the male to female teacher ratio and it’s because of the stigma surrounding men that go into teaching careers. That’s not the same as viewing a man on the street as a potential rapist, it crosses well over into discrimination and sexism.

    Somehow I think this has more to do about the fact that teaching is (a) underpaid, (b) undervalued, and (c) seen as a “woman” profession because of (a) and (b).

    My mom has taught in elementary and middle schools for years and her experience has been the opposite and has been that men are accorded a lot of respect in the elementary school context particularly because it’s assumed they’re such special, wonderful, sensitive people to be willing to take on “women’s work” (akin to father’s getting praise for “babysitting” their children). This accords with my own memories of grade school where some of the male teachers got away with fits of temper and the like which are truly appalling to contemplate in retrospect but which weren’t really talked about/disciplined at the time.

  89. “This accords with my own memories of grade school where some of the male teachers got away with fits of temper and the like which are truly appalling to contemplate in retrospect but which weren’t really talked about/disciplined at the time.”

    This is interesting, since it’s not remotely my experience. I wonder if it’s a generational thing? I was in grade school from around 1995-2002, we had one man teacher and he was not afforded any extra consideration and never once touched us, not even if we requested hugs (I didn’t, obviously, but he would have been one of the few teachers I would have been comfortable hugging).

    Your first point is true as well, it is seen as women’s work but there are a lot of careers seen that way that men have begun to enter now that gender differences in careers are beginning to shift, and teaching isn’t one of those. Which implies another issue.

  90. One of us is also completely missing the point of Schrodinger’s Rapist. I thought that it was that I should respect your boundaries, wherever you choose to set them, because whatever reason you don’t want to talk to me on the subway is your own goddamn business and honoring your desire for me to leave you alone doesn’t cost me a thing.

    Well, I absolutely agree with that, but thankfully, I’ve got you to mansplain it to me.

    The point of Schrodinger’s Rapist as I understand it, and please bear in mind that it’s not an academic question to me like it is to you, is that I am fully justified in setting said boundaries in ways which override other social conventions such as politeness, specifically because you are a man and as such represent a potential threat to my safety. I mean, I’m sure we agree that everyone ought to respect everyone else’s boundaries in general, and that I also have the right to tell Grandma to piss off and quit asking me about my knitting. If it were just about honoring someone’s desire to be left alone, though, we would be talking about Schrodinger’s Nosy Person, not Schrodinger’s Rapist. That whole fear-of-being-raped thing is pretty integral to the concept, though, and that in turn is tightly tied into your gender.

    The second important point: you must be aware of what signals you are sending by your appearance and the environment. We are going to be paying close attention to your appearance and behavior and matching those signs to our idea of a threat.

    Ask yourself, “If I were dangerous, would this woman be safe in this space with me?” If the answer is no, then it isn’t appropriate to approach her.

    That goes a lot farther than just deciding whether or not I’m going to avoid you in public for whatever reason of my own. The point is that to me, YOU are a potential rapist, and if you want me to feel comfortable around you, YOU are going to have to work harder to show me that you are not, in a way that a woman would not. That means respecting my space when I tell you to back off, but it also means preemptively adjusting your behavior in order to present as non-threatening an appearance as possible.

    In the child-rape context, I would argue that means paying very careful attention to physical contact with children. If I’m a parent who maybe met you for five minutes on back-to-school night, I don’t know you. I’m sure you’re a really, really nice guy. However, I’m told sex abusers often also seem like nice guys on casual contact. I don’t have any other data points to weigh when answering the pedophile-or-not question, whereas Krishji’s gender is one such data point. From what I’ve read, only about 2-4% of non-family abusers are female, (possibly lower — I’m not clear if that source includes stepfamilies). It’s hardly conclusive either way, but yes,I’m going to feel somewhat less comfortable with you hugging my little kids than I would with Krishji.

    I certainly don’t have the right to determine whether you earn a living (although I do question whether hugging kids is an absolute requirement for teaching). However, as the parent, I DO have the absolute right to determine whether you get to touch my kids or not, and in what ways. So yes, I would argue it’s important for you to respect my comfort levels here too, and to do so preemptively as well as upon request.

  91. ::shrug:: I’m about five years older than you. You could just have gotten a better school; mine was fine academically but clearly had some ~issues~ surrounding what they let teachers get away with.

  92. Hhhmmm, I dunno, maybe it’s small town thing, I lived in a small growing town with a very suburban feel to it. Or you know, it could be the usual I guess. Everyone has different experiences.

    I remember my male teacher fondly, and the person who got away with the most was definitely the female principal. She wore revealing clothes, but yet once pulled aside yanking my arm to tell me my shirt was too revealing, it was a t shirt with ruffles instead of sleeves and a very small cut at the collar. She also laughed at me while I cried once when she was calling my mom. The male VP handed me tissues.

    The thing about that is, no one really expected her as the kind of person who enjoyed watching 11 year olds cry, she got more of the benefit of the doubt as a NWL teacher/principal. Had the VP instead been the one laughing as I sobbed, he probably would have been beaten up by my father and then people would have made snide comments about how he was probably a child molester.

  93. Emma B
    Why do you merit profiling as a potential rapist, but not as a potential child abuser? (And you DO agree that it’s OK for me-as-a-woman to regard you-as-a-man as a potential rapist, don’t you?) What’s the difference here?

    It’s like this: I don’t give a damn if you, Emma B, think I’m a rapist. What’s the fallout, you’re going to avoid me? Thank goodness. You’re going to tell people about your suspicion? No one who matters to me is going credit your assumption, and if your slander harms me I’ll sue you for defamation. Are you going to attack me? If I can’t defend myself, I’ll have you jailed for battery. Personally, I haven’t the slightest bit of concern about what you think of me. Professionally, however, civil servants and particularly teachers are vulnerable to your sort of gossip and slander. Having you spreading rumors would imperil my livelihood and possibly my personal safety. Looking over my shoulder ever three minutes to make sure you’re not taking notes on which students I call on or if I make too much eye contact or whatever criteria you choose to apply as confirmation of your suspicion would impair my teaching and therefore the students’ learning.

  94. Mods: I have a long comment that’s been stuck in the mod queue for a few hours — can you please push it through? Thanks!

  95. Gossip? Slander? What the fucking fuck? Where have I made a single concrete accusation about you, or suggested doing anything of the sort? As I said in the comment that’s currently stuck in moderation, one of us certainly HAS missed the point of Schrodinger’s Rapist. It has absolutely nothing to do with spreading unfounded rumors about someone being a rapist/pedophile — it’s about recognizing that there is no way to distinguish the intentions of a stranger. It doesn’t say that you-Aleks ARE a rapist, just that you-some-man-I-don’t-know COULD be, and that there is no way for me to tell the difference based on a very limited action with you. Likewise, just because you’re my kids’ teacher doesn’t mean that I know you, and I can’t tell if you’re hugging my kids because you’re a nice guy and they’re cute, or because you are a creep. Since my children’s safety is a higher priority than your hugs, I think I’m well within the bounds of reason and civilized behavior to err on the side of caution.

    How you get from that to me spreading rumors about you that put your job at risk, I certainly don’t know, but that’s got nothing to do with anything I actually said.

  96. Looking over my shoulder ever three minutes to make sure you’re not taking notes on which students I call on or if I make too much eye contact or whatever criteria you choose to apply as confirmation of your suspicion would impair my teaching and therefore the students’ learning.
    Don’t you think that maybe, just maybe, being molested or propositioned by a teacher might impair students’ learning?

    Students need teachers who aren’t going to abuse them. So it’s necessary to have criteria for distinguishing abusive teachers from non-abusive teachers, and it’s ideal to apply that criteria before the abuse takes place. And yeah, it’s sad that harmless interaction can be interpreted in that sort of way, and it’s sad that sexism means that men are under too much suspicion and women are under too little. But students need teachers who aren’t going to abuse them, and it kind of makes sense that that’s the priority.

    Honestly, you seem more skeezed out about being suspected of child abuse than about children being abused. And that’s creepy.

  97. I don’t know what you think you’re proving by repeatedly bringing up Schrodinger’s Rapist as if that proves that all profiling everywhere is okay. If you want my opinion of that discussion, drop the weird chest thumping (“Why do you merit profiling as a potential rapist, but not as a potential child abuser? (And you DO agree that it’s OK for me-as-a-woman to regard you-as-a-man as a potential rapist, don’t you?”) and go read the posts I wrote on that thread. I stand by them completely, but that doesn’t obligate me to agree with the presumption of guilt for male teachers. A does not prove J, it only proves A.

    You’re standing up for your right to treat male teachers as likely child molesters, and that’s quite a bit different from choosing not to talk to someone (for any reason you like) on the subway. What you think of men as a personal matters doesn’t affect me, what you think and say about male teachers affects me professionally. You demanded to know why I think it’s okay for you personally to think I’m a likely rapist and yet object to being scrutinized as unsuited and unsafe to teach because I’m a male. There’s no call throwing a tantrum because I answered you.

  98. Emma B, I don’t understand why you’re all of a sudden deciding that Aleks was talking about you actually fucking up his life and slandering him. To me and I’m sure everyone else it was quite clear that it was hypothetical. However, the fact that you are encouraging the myth that all male teachers must be predators does endanger the jobs of male teachers, which was his point.

    If you don’t want people hugging your kids, don’t let people do so, however it is complete and utter bullshit to discrimate against people based solely on gender, age, race etc. Which is what you are doing when you only disallow men from a certain activity when there really isn’t any evidence that in the same situation they are more dangerous than women.

    Also, the fact that you are only addressing Aleks points on the subject and not mine which are the same, makes me believe that you have some particular problem with him because he is male and you think he’s not a feminist or something. It’s odd and a little bit off putting.

  99. @Puffalo, really? Have you heard about how racial profiling often lets the actual criminals get away because no one suspects them? So what you’re encouraging is that people should focus all the attention on the men when it comes to watching out for predators.

    What you suggested in that comment was pure sexism, you didn’t say any behavoirs we should be watching out for besides being male. WTF?

  100. Puffalo

    Don’t you think that maybe, just maybe, being molested or propositioned by a teacher might impair students’ learning?

    Are you kidding me? “maybe, just maybe”? This really isn’t a joke.

    Students need teachers who aren’t going to abuse them. So it’s necessary to have criteria for distinguishing abusive teachers from non-abusive teachers, and it’s ideal to apply that criteria before the abuse takes place. And yeah, it’s sad that harmless interaction can be interpreted in that sort of way, and it’s sad that sexism means that men are under too much suspicion and women are under too little. But students need teachers who aren’t going to abuse them, and it kind of makes sense that that’s the priority.

    I agree, we need standards on boundaries and supervision and anything else that might prevent child abuse. Why would being male or female be a useful criteria for this?

    Honestly, you seem more skeezed out about being suspected of child abuse than about children being abused. And that’s creepy.

    This is the last blog where I’d expect to see commentators behaving like that. Shame on you.

  101. “Honestly, you seem more skeezed out about being suspected of child abuse than about children being abused. And that’s creepy.”

    And he’s not coming off that way to me at all, it seems more like he’s discussing an aspect of life for him on an open thread.

  102. Which is what you are doing when you only disallow men from a certain activity when there really isn’t any evidence that in the same situation they are more dangerous than women.

    A quick statistical trawl suggests that more than 95% of non-family-member abuse cases of children under 12 involve male perpetrators. To me, that does constitute some evidence that there’s valid reason to be more suspicious of men than women. It’s true that 95% of abusers being male does not equate to 95% of males being abusers, but what I’m saying is that if you are evaluating the likelihood of some random person being a child molester, gender does carry some degree of weight.

    Also, the fact that you are only addressing Aleks points on the subject and not mine which are the same, makes me believe that you have some particular problem with him because he is male and you think he’s not a feminist or something. It’s odd and a little bit off putting.

    Well, I’m irritated at him over some of his specific comments toward me, whereas I disagree with you — he got personal early on where you didn’t. So I probably should be responding to you rather than to him, but of course it’s always more fun to wear the ranty pants, isn’t it?

    Headed out of town now, but more later, perhaps.

  103. “A quick statistical trawl suggests that more than 95% of non-family-member abuse cases of children under 12 involve male perpetrators. To me, that does constitute some evidence that there’s valid reason to be more suspicious of men than women. It’s true that 95% of abusers being male does not equate to 95% of males being abusers, but what I’m saying is that if you are evaluating the likelihood of some random person being a child molester, gender does carry some degree of weight.”

    But not with teachers, the stats are different for male and female teachers, dear fucking god!! Which is what I’ve been trying to say this whole time, and I have stated flat out several times. Not to mention that any sexual assault where women are the criminals is under reported and less believed.

    Then that also suggests that coaches, nurses, doctors, librarians, store clerks, cops, firefighters, etc, etc shouldn’t be allowed around kids either if they’re male. That’s why this is inherently different from schrodinger’s rapist. You are not suggesting that women should be able to avoid men in the case they are rapists, but that men shouldn’t be able to work any job that involves kids or women which is sexism.

  104. But not with teachers, the stats are different for male and female teachers, dear fucking god!! Which is what I’ve been trying to say this whole time, and I have stated flat out several times.

    Do you have access to these stats, Alibelle? I’d be interested to see them if they’re that at odds with stats for the rest of the population. Honestly, I’m not convinced that we just don’t see cases with women getting horribly sensationalized and making national media precisely because they are fairly rare.

  105. Here’s what I found, I’ll link to the page I got it from in another comment because mine always get stuck and I want the information there.

    “According to a major 2004 study commissioned by the U.S. Department of Education – the most authoritative investigation to date – nearly 10 percent of U.S. public school students have been targeted with unwanted sexual attention by school employees, and in those cases, 40 percent of the perpetrators were women.”

    Not to mention sexual abuse from female teachers would be wildly under reported for reasons like this, where no one believes that female teachers are capable of this, and because boys should want it right?

    I’m gonna go and see if I can’t find the original study.

  106. The original report is titled “Educator Sexual Misconduct: A Synthesis of Existing Literature” if you yahoo it, the first result is a copy of the result.

    Now I feel bashful because my damn picture will be on the sidebar like 4 times until other people finally post.

  107. Alibelle, thank you for inserting some facts and rational statements into a storm of hysteria. I just feel bad that you’ll now be accused of defending someone accused of defending hypothetical people vaguely suspected of being child molesters.

  108. Well, first of all, nobody in this discussion – nor would say, I don’t think – that boys “should want it.” It’s a pervasive cultural meme, I know, but I don’t think it’s one we should be using against people here when they haven’t done anything to justify it.

    Second, on underreporting, I’m sure that sexual assaults by women do go underreported. But let’s remember that sexual assaults by men also go vastly underreported because the victims are often dragged through the mud and disbelieved afterwards – reporting that you have been sexually assaulted by a man, whether you are a girl or a boy, is not something people are automatically going to take seriously and not impeach your character over, quite the opposite. So that cuts both ways.

    Third, I went to the link you provided and I think it mispresents the actual data – the numbers the synthesis cites in the “Sex of Offenders” section mentions studies that break down, in males vs. females, 87 vs. 13; 80 vs. 24; 96 vs. 4, in addition to the two that break down 57 vs. 43. And it speculates a big reason for the difference in the latter category is that male students might not be willing to report abuse by male teachers for fear of same sex stigma. And the issue gets further muddied by the fact that – as far as I can tell – that document doesn’t break down cases by age.

    So I don’t know – I don’t want to weigh in on the hugging or the profiling or anything else because I can see both sides. But I also am not sure we can yet conclude that the risks are approximately equal either.

  109. @LilahMorgan, I’m not saying they’re equal, but they clearly aren’t the same stats as the normal everyday man or woman. Also, you didn’t mention that there would be a social stigma placed on girls that had been molested by female teachers.

  110. Sure, though I’m not sure the dynamics are precisely the same – I was just reiterating what the paper authors had speculated.

    I don’t know; I guess I’m still stuck on the fact that we don’t know how the ages broke down in that study – doesn’t it seem likely that the “child molestation” numbers run much as they do in the outside world and once kids move into adolescence one starts to see the variance which probably ALSO tracks the outside world since young men and women are assaulted by non-teacher women in their lives too? I don’t know that this is the case, of course, and it could be dead wrong, but it seems like a reasonable interpretation of the data at hand . . .

    I mean, maybe it doesn’t/shouldn’t matter at all how those numbers break down; I really, honestly don’t know.

  111. Puffalo:

    it’s your friendly mod here. I think you need to give your argument a rest. You’ve made your point and frankly, I find your comments incredibly inflammatory.

    Do not make me repeat myself.

  112. I’m looking forward to Kagan’s confirmation hearings with great annoyance. The least intelligent and most proudly ignorant senators lecturing the top legal minds is always embarrassing for everyone, only the senators don’t know they should feel shame. Add in the Tea Party circus masters and this is going to be a terrible vaudeville act.

  113. It’s amazing how quickly the dog whistle range expanded from “birth certificate” and “teleprompter” to include “softball.”

  114. @ Everybody, especially Snarky’s Machine

    Wow, I have an awkward talk with a friend I’ve had for ten years after having ostensibly one of the nicest days of school ever, and look what happens.

    Well, in my absence, I spoke at length with my friend this evening and we unpacked our feelings about teaching and gender together in a very civil, positive way. I agree with AnthroK8, as does my friend, but I felt like he was implying that I was making uncomfortable situations for my kids, like those experienced by Alibelle and Vidya, and I thought that he would know me better than that (especially since all of my school stories for these past months have been how I can’t get these kids to stop touching my hair!). I have a bunch right now that really needs a lot of affection from me; it’s all about giving them what they need when they need it and paying close attention to everybody (Kounin model FTW!).

    My friend said that he sometimes feels a lot of the pressure that aleks has experienced in regards to being a man in an elementary-level classroom, especially since his normal supervisor has gone on maternity leave and has been replaced by someone who acts very suspicious of him all of the time. This distresses him severely, and he even confesses that working closely with someone who is suspicious of him is impairing his ability to keep his temper in check when the kids have discipline issues, that it’s making him really angry. I totally understand that, because all he needed to do was make one small implication and I was pretty angry as well!

    Wouldn’t it be a beautiful world if both of us (teachers who want nothing but the best for our students) could get the support we need to give our students what THEY need? Unfortunately, it’s not quite as beautiful, isn’t it.

  115. Two points, Alibelle:

    First, I’ve made no suggestion at any point that men ought not to be allowed to *work* in contexts involving kids. I’m saying that I think it is appropriate for there to be different expectations about physical interaction and situations such as unsupervised one-on-one time.

    I will certainly grant that physical affection can be a positive thing, but I don’t believe that it is an essential component of the job, or that the lack of same causes any actual harm to students. I don’t think the absence of physical contact is too onerous a requirement, if it helps give kids boundaries — remember, we’re talking about little kids, who may have trouble identifying a situation as Not Okay until after the fact.

    My own children are preschool-aged, so I’m maybe coming at it from a little different place, but I don’t know that they could reliably identify that a given touch is okay or problematic. I mean, they still can’t always tell me if their ear hurts or their throat hurts — they know what the parts are, but if I ask them to tell me what’s wrong, they can get tripped up on the context. I’m trying to teach them about private parts, but it’s confusing for them, especially since they are still young enough to need bathroom help. On the other hand, “Mama says no touching” is a nice binary thing that they can easily remember and apply.

    Of course, that doesn’t apply as much to elementary-age children, who have more discernment.

    Second point re statistics is that as LilahMorgan says, the age breakdown is important in determining risk. If pedophilia is some nature/nurture aberration, either the statistics in the teaching population will be the same as the general, or there is something going on to skew them. If young-child pedophiles in the wild are 98% male, how is it that the 2% of females are committing 50% of the crimes? It’s somewhat implausible, even given the uneven gender distribution of education. So again, I think it’s meaningful to talk about young-child abusers as primarily male, while recognizing that this doesn’t hold true for adolescent abusers. (I do think of these as being mostly separate populations without a lot of crossover, which is not to say that one is less evil than the other. )

    You’ve got a valid point about reporting/conviction vs incidence, though again, I’m not sure it’s clear which way the underreporting might happen.

  116. “So again, I think it’s meaningful to talk about young-child abusers as primarily male, while recognizing that this doesn’t hold true for adolescent abusers.”

    So teach children that their parents don’t think women are predators and raise them to only worry about men, so that if a woman abuses them they don’t think it’s wrong or that you won’t believe them? That’s totally better than teaching them about abuse equally relating to both genders.

    Sounds a lot like the huge stranger danger fuck up where all the schools were teaching kids to fear strangers, when they were far more likely to be abused by a family member than by a stranger.

    Oh and teaching your kids to be afraid of men does make it nearly impossible for them to work as teachers, how you can’t see that I don’t know. How good can a teacher be when all his students are scared of him and his boss thinks he might up and try and molest anyone of them if he gets the chance. And how likely are you to hire a male if you think he likes to fuck kids because he’s male. THIS IS NOTHING LIKE SCHRODINGER’S RAPIST, THIS IS STRAIGHT UP DISCRIMINATION.

  117. And they’re back!

    This should be pre- Educated Member of Society 101, but apparently at least a refresher course is needed. Profiling to determine threat by virtue of demographics doesn’t work, not because none of these statements are true, but because all of these statements are true:

    Many drug dealers are black. Many drug dealers are not black. Most black people are not drug dealers.

    Many terrorists are Muslim. Many terrorists are not Muslim. Most Muslims are not terrorists.

    Many shop lifters are teenagers. Many shop lifters are not teenagers. Most teenagers are not shop lifters.

    Many white collar criminals are Jewish. Many white collar criminals are not Jewish. Most Jews are not white collar criminals.

    Many illegal immigrants are latino. Many illegal immigrants are not latino. Most latinos are not illegal immigrants.

    Many child molesters are men. Many child molesters are not men. Most men are not child molesters.

    So “maybe, just maybe” we ought to establish protocols to prevent and look for signs to identify drug dealers, not black people, terrorists, not Muslims, shop lifters, not teenagers, frauds, not Jews, illegal immigrants, not latinos, and child molesters, not men. We’ve tried various systems using a presumption of guilt or innocence based on demographic assumptions rather than individual behavior; Arizona’s embracing the concept right now. It’s not fair and more importantly it doesn’t work if your purpose is genuinely to prosecute the crime and not persecute the suspected group. Of course we all know that Arizona’s action isn’t about immigration violations, it’s about prejudice. What’s supposed to be much different about Puffalo and Emma B’s position and (especially) tactics?

  118. alibelle

    Oh and teaching your kids to be afraid of men does make it nearly impossible for them to work as teachers, how you can’t see that I don’t know.

    She can not, and about as easily as “color blind” white Conservatives manage to fail to imagine why anyone would think the Arizona Border Security State is going to be a rough place for latinos who aren’t illegal immigrants.

  119. @aleks, the reason why I’m repeatedly bringing up Schrodinger’s Rapist is very simple: we are having a conversation about rape.

    SR is topical here in a way that talking about racial profiling in AZ is not. A does not imply J, but when you’re discussing A-prime, yes, I do think it’s important to apply the basic framework of A. We are talking about child rape, which is a subset of rape. So if you agree that a specific thought framework is OK when we’re talking about potential rape victims over age 18, it’s hardly “weird chest thumping” to ask why the same isn’t also true of victims under 18.

    Again, I think part of the problem is that you have badly missed the point of Schrodinger’s Rapist if you think it is just about unwanted subway conversations. If that were all, we could just call it Schrodinger’s Pest, and agree that we all have the right to set our own boundaries and have them be honored. However, the fear of rape is a very integral part of the concept. I am justified in setting my boundaries differently for strange men specifically because I am afraid that they might rape me. If you don’t want me to feel threatened by you, you must go out of your way to demonstrate to me via appearance/behavior that you’re not a rapist, for no other reason than that you present as male. You are a male whom I don’t know, and therefore I have to treat you as a potential rapist until proven otherwise, and mediate our interaction accordingly.

    I do not have to do this with annoying women on the subway, because it is very unlikely that they will rape me (although women can and do commit rapes In some contexts, and are capable of committing violent rape using a weapon). The RAPIST part of Schrodinger’sRapist is important, and that’s all tangled up with gender. You’re not incorrect if you say that’s discriminatory, but that’s the very definition of what-about-the-menz.

    Based on vague memories of your comments in the SR thread, I had thought you understood this vis-a-vis adult rape, and were dispensed cookies accordingly. (I certainly recall that you seemed to be asking for them.) However, apparently I’m going to have to wade through those comments and reread what you said, because you’re certainly expressing a different viewpoint here.

    I also don’t appreciate the accusation of dog whistling, because I think it’s pure derailing. You’ve been awfully aggressive in your responses to me — “weird chest thumping”, expressing the hope that I would avoid meeting up with you, now calling me a sexist — and I think you should maybe cut it out with the personal insults. You can think I’m in the wrong, like I’m sure Alibelle does, without being nasty about it, but right now that’s not what you’re doing.

  120. Where in the SR thread did Starling or anyone say that your right to distrust men extended to interfering with them doing their jobs? Especially when I’m not doing anything that suggests I’m disrespecting anyone’s boundaries (including the automatic boundary of too-young-to-consent, (or technically of legal age but still a student)). I believe it’s you who entirely missed the point of that thread; the subtitle was “a guy’s guide to approaching strange women without being maced” not “ladies, men are out to rape you and also kids” or “a guy’s guide to not committing rape.” I do not have a right or reason to force conversation on you; therefore, I have nothing to complain about if you refuse to talk to me for whatsoever reason you may have. I do, however, have a right to pursue my career despite my gender; if you want to put restrictions and stipulations on me being a teacher, you should have a damn sight better reason than my Y-chromosome. As per SR, I have an obligation to respect your boundaries wherever you choose to set them. You do not, however, have a right to demand “different expectations” (in your words) of me professionally – that is the definition of discrimination.

    You started this conversation with “the impression that men are responsible for the vast majority of “classic” child molestation” and now you’re judging me based on “vague memories of your comments in the SR thread”. I’m glad you take the quality of your understanding and the veracity of your claims so seriously. If you think I was seeking cookies and the moderators were gullible enough to indulge me, that’s something you need to take up with them.

    You’re not incorrect if you say that’s discriminatory, but that’s the very definition of what-about-the-menz.

    Incorrect. WATMz is trying to divert the discussion from women’s issues to men’s issues, or trying to carve a place for whatever a dude wants to talk about out of a discussion of women’s issues. Or it’s minimizing the reality of sexism or claiming some fictitious parity between the effects of sexism on men versus on women. Alibelle and I disagreeing with you and Puffalo doesn’t somehow qualify as WATMz just because it happens to be men you’re targeting. We didn’t bring menz up, you did.

    It was Alibelle who called your view sexist; weird, as she observed, how you want to ignore her and go mano a mano with me.

    Why is gender profiling any better than racial profiling? I’d really rather we target behaviors indicative of crime, rather than demographics. That doesn’t mean I’m any less concerned about child molesters, it just means I’d rather fight child molestation than use it as a springboard to pursue some unrelated grudge. I’m against bewitching people and against foreign agents infiltrating the US government, that doesn’t obligate me to support Rev. Parris and Sen. McCarthy’s tactics.

  121. Emma B,
    How would your “different expectations”, suspicions and limitations apply to transsexual teachers? If a teacher was assigned female designation at birth but identifies as male, should he merit the presumption of sinister potential because he’s a man or the benefit of the doubt because he was once considered a girl?

  122. My friend said that he sometimes feels a lot of the pressure that aleks has experienced in regards to being a man in an elementary-level classroom, especially since his normal supervisor has gone on maternity leave and has been replaced by someone who acts very suspicious of him all of the time. This distresses him severely, and he even confesses that working closely with someone who is suspicious of him is impairing his ability to keep his temper in check when the kids have discipline issues, that it’s making him really angry. I totally understand that, because all he needed to do was make one small implication and I was pretty angry as well!

    I’m trying to keep up the conversation. I guess for the most part, I am feeling pissed for Aleks (NOT AT HIM) because schools want it both ways. They want male teachers – particularly in school districts which experience a lot of class disadvantages as there is a relationship between that and not as many dads around – yet they don’t want to protect them from bells which are impossible to unring.

    Yes, sexual assault is awful.

    But let’s talk turkey, sports fans, most kids have more risk of being sexually assaulted AT HOME by someone who is known to them, in the immediate family, neighbor, babysitter, troop leader or in their extended circle of interaction, and not necessarily the lone male teacher who’s cute and nerdy and likes A wrinkle in time.

    Someone who has seen the child in a variety of situations and has thus determined they will have uninterrupted access to them. Does that sound like what’s going on with Aleks? Cause he sounds pretty upset and I would be to, if people wanted to paint me with a brush that does not match the numbers and ignores the more likely culprits who are not receiving the appropriate level of scrutiny.

  123. I’m gonna break this down for you Emma B, because you seem to be blinded by privilege that means people don’t distrust you to do your job. You might have faced someone doubting your ability to do something stereotypically masculine, but you’re acting like you are otherwise privileged.

    I mentioned upthread that I am bisexual and I also had a teacher that had to deal with a lot students thinking she’s gay. A lot of school districts still don’t like hiring queer teachers, they have vague claims about family and how gay people are more likely to molest kids (least true thing ever, especially since molesting very young boys has nothing to do with sexuality, but instead with age and underdevelopment) or they’ll mention safety issues like AIDS. AIDS is obviously more common in the gay community. So does that make it ok for schools to constantly fear that gay teachers are going to give students AIDS when they cut their hands (or just breathe near them since there’s a vast and deep misunderstanding among people of how AIDS is transmitted) which would lead to fewer gay teachers being hired. Which would also mean that any gay teacher hired would be watched like a hawk at all times and their learning enviroment would be severely hindered. Is that cool? Because it’s what you’re suggesting with men.

    Also, I am still completely baffled as to why you keep addressing solely Aleks’ comments and not mine.

  124. chava: Mr. Other Becky takes Toprol, Nortriptyline, Lyrica (low-dose), and a magnesium supplement as his migraine preventatives, and he hasn’t had any side effect issues. Don’t know if any of those are beta blockers, though.

  125. Also, do you propose some sort of division of classrooms? No female students with a straight male teacher, and no male students with a gay male teacher, but just let any woman take any students and behave however they want because the STATS! say that she’s not a predator. You seem to be suggesting nothing more than being constantly suspicious of male teachers. I think all teachers should be watched for inappropriate behavoir but constant supervision while in an already crowded classroom specifically focusing on males is bullshit.

    I frankly am incredibly pissed off at this point. I really am angry that you are right now with your attitude discouraging men (epsepcially MOC who have to deal with twice the scrutiny of white men) from becoming teachers. Like Snarky said, schools want (and seriously need) more male teachers and definitely more teachers of color and gay teachers and disabled teachers. The OVERWHELMING majority of teachers in America are white straight female teachers from middle class backgrounds who can’t relate much to people less privilege (not that there aren’t wonderful teachers that try and sometimes succeed to understand privilege and it’s interworkings) and who people with less privilege wouldn’t feel comfortable going to with their problems. Also, who can’t act as worthwhile rolemodels because everyone knows the NWL can succeed.

    I truly don’t think you realize how hard it is for male teachers to interact with their students, or how they have to deal with the politics of schools. They’re also much more at risk for false accusations than the general population and continuing that is the one of the least worthy things you could do.

    This is an open thread where we have been allowed to discuss a legitimate social issues facing males and you seem to be fighting that desperately because apparently we can only discuss women here. You know because gender inequity doesn’t ever ever hurt anyone but women. Any slight attempt to discuss when it does is “what about the menz,” right? (Putting up strawmen against Aleks isn’t particularly dignified. Claiming WATMz and that he was asking for cookies was pretty low and didn’t really defend your point)

  126. Either I’m losing the ability to comprehend words (possible, its been a long week), or EmmaB is kind of being attacked a little harshly. I didn’t see her suggesting that men should be watched like hawks in the classroom or not allowed to teach female students. She just said that she wanted to teach her young children a blanket rule of “no touching” when it came to male teachers and that she didn’t think hugs were appropriate in the classroom. I mean, that’s a position that can be agreed or disagreed with, but it’s a far cry from the characterizations of her position.

  127. @Lilah Morgan

    I can see what you mean, but she’s talking about a system that already has harsh views of male teachers which her statements add to and encourage.

    “She just said that she wanted to teach her young children a blanket rule of “no touching” when it came to male teachers and that she didn’t think hugs were appropriate in the classroom.”

    This sets up a double standard in classrooms and makes children automatically scared of male teachers that apparently are so bad they aren’t allowed to hug kids. However female teachers are allowed to hug kids (so in a child’s mind it’s probably ok if they touch them in other ways?) so they’re good. Parents that want their kids to be hugged in classrooms won’t want male teachers because they don’t want to their kids hugged by men who are most likely child molesters if they gone out of their way to teach kids which is as you said “Women’s work” (In society’s view, not yours, obviously). If the school sets up a policy of no male teachers giving hugs that sets up an enviroment of fear in a world that already pretty filled with panic.

    Female teachers continue to be allowed any and all freedoms with regards to hugs, which is a good reason for male teachers to feel bitter. A lot of people of all genders like to hug kids.

    So by teaching her kids to only fear male teachers she’s directly affecting male teachers’ abilities to do their job and allowing female predators free run of her kids.

    Look, it’s all or nothing. It’s not okay for female teachers to hug or touch kids if it’s not okay for male teachers to do it. Or it’s okay for both male and female teachers to hug and touch kids. Double standards aren’t okay either way they go.

    Kids are very open to suggestion, as you can see with the satanic abuse scare of the 80′s. Teaching them that male teachers molest kids isn’t really the best idea is it? Especially when everyone grows up with that idea and it constantly perpetuates itself, and then any accusation or statement could destroy someone’s life true or not. Profiling makes us lazy and it fucks up the legal system and the educational system (there’s an overly large population of black males in special education, meanwhile the population of female asian students is incredibly small) and it has no use.

    Her various statements do suggest that we should use “male” as a criteria for someone who will abuse children. She also brought up Schrodinger’s Rapist, which was all about having the right to get up and walk away from an uncomfortable situation or avoid it altogether. How would that translate to a classroom exactly? Parents are allowed to keep their kids out of classrooms with male teachers because they might be molester and there is no way to tell until they rape or don’t rape your kids? And that doesn’t severely hurt male teachers how?

  128. Yeah, just to make it clear, I’m not arguing this one way or the other. I don’t have clear thoughts and I’m interested to read what people are saying. I just thought it made sense to be discussing what EmmaB actually advocated, like your most recent post did.

  129. Alibelle, I am not replying just to aleks ang ignoring you. Last night, I tapped out a reply to you, tapped one out to him, and went to bed. You re-replied during that, I guess, because I’m on my phone and replying is slow, but I didn’t see it. I thought I was doing a good job of ignoring you both evenhandedly while I’m AFK.

    Re privilege and gender, I will give it some thought while being AFK some more.

  130. @ Other Becky

    Hm. I think this one is called Inderal (can’t remember the chemical name). I don’t recognize and of the others aside from the Mg (and have never managed to have enough spoons to get my shit together enough to try the magnesium). I hear it can be great, though. Thanks!

  131. So guys, my Sanity Watchers for the week got totally blown out of the water by the reaction to Tasha Fierce’s awesome guest post over at Jezebel. The comments on that site often kind of annoy me but wow, on that post it was an entirely new level of viciously judgy. I’m making a mental note not to click on the comments link over there anymore.

    (Actually, not-so-coincidentally, I followed a link to pandagon.net today which I vaguely remember not liking in the past because it seemed so fat hating but which I didn’t remember anything solid about. And the first post was another Sanity Watchers blowing post about Tasha’s Jezebel post. So yeah, not so feeling Internet feminist land today.)

  132. @LilahMorgan, can you like to Tasha’s post? I can’t find it, I have very poor computer skills. :(

  133. Thanks! I liked the article, and didn’t end up losing any SW points because for some reason the comments wouldn’t load. It was a win/win!!

  134. I usually just lurk for FA/HAES discussions, but I did read “As Fat As I Wanna Be” and I appreciate the I Eat Like This Because Mind Your Own Business, That’s Why argument. It’s absurd that people are expected to justify this aspect (and many others) of themselves to others with no stake in it at all. The entire culture is seeped in tabloid ethos; people feel inclined and entitled to probe and judge everyone’s personal lives. Why should thinking someone is fat serve as probable cause to justify opening an investigation into something that has nothing to do with you?

  135. I prefer oatmeal raisin cookies with cinnamon. Hamantashens are great too, but I’ll take almost anything with one stipulation: I’ll only eat Girl Scout Cookies if they’re made from real Girl Scouts.

  136. I loved Tasha Fierce’s piece at Jezebel — thanks for telling us about it, LilahMorgan, ’cause I don’t usually read Jezebel. (And, at the time I read it, the first five or six comments were very Tasha-positive, so I didn’t read past those.)

  137. Where are the posts from Fillyjonk and Sweet Machine? Are they no longer moderating? I really miss their contributions. I just scrolled back 3 pages and found no posts from them, just a few from Kate and mostly from Snarky’s Machine.

  138. K – Is that a problem for you – that it’s just Kate and me? It’s well referenced that Sweet Machine and Fillyjonk are taking a break from the site for awhile. You can do a search for their names to find out more.

  139. Late to the party as always (I was out of town!), but the debate about male teachers has really struck a chord with me – as someone married to a male high-school teacher, and as a mother of two young daughters, I can see both sides of the issue. My husband says he has to be very careful around his female students – keeping his physical distance from them is essential, as certain gestures can be misinterpreted (touching someone’s arm, for example). I don’t, however, see this as a by-product of hysterical, suspicious students or parents – it’s more a by-product of the tainted legacy that some truly awful male teachers have left for him to deal with.

    A few years ago, there was a well-publicized case of two male teachers in Vancouver who had made a habit of seducing their female students back in the late ’70′s and early ’80′s. Five women came forward years later and pressed charges against them. Some of the details were really squalid – one teen had her pants ripped off by her teacher in front of other students during a ‘tickling fight’. One girl had been sexually assaulted by one of the teachers while they were on a sailing trip. The teacher’s defense? THEY WERE SEXY. THEY WERE FLIRTING. IT WAS YEARS AGO. My point, (and I do have one) is that these two teachers spoiled even the thought of male teachers befriending their female students in this province – it wasn’t suspicious parents, it wasn’t oversensitive students, (although those two teachers might like to disagree, since ‘the girls wanted it’ seemed to be the basis of their defense). And that’s where Schrodinger’s Teacher comes in – not the idea of Alexs, not the idea of my husband, but the idea of those men, who used teenage girls like their playthings and then were SHOCKED AND OFFENDED at the public outcry.

    So, it’s not (to me) about male teachers being up against small-minded parents and their paranoid offspring. It’s about the good male teachers being up against the bad male teachers, ones who will use children in appalling ways. In a school with a staff of fifty teachers, all it takes is one bad teacher to taint the memories of every kid who passes through that school. In our local high school, there are actually two bad teachers – Mr. Stainsby, who hates girls. HATES them, discriminates against them, called one girl a slut in front of the whole class because she was wearing short-shorts. And Mr. Stainsby has had many complaints about him, but he is still teaching because he knows how to use the system and the union has to stand behind him, no matter how much he cuts the girls’ grades, no matter how offensive he is. How much trust in male teachers has that one teacher eroded? My daughter isn’t even in high school, and I know enough about this man to NEVER let my daughter be taught by him.
    And then there’s the cloudy area of Mr. Taylor – the drama teacher who stood and watched and laughed as his male assistant coerced a fifteen-year-old student to show him how well she did the splits, again and again and again while he commented on how ‘limber’ and ‘bendy’ she was. This was at a play rehearsal, and the girl in question was not a performer in the play. The assistant went on to stalk the fifteen-year-old through text messages and hanging out in front of her house late at night, and Mr Taylor shrugged it off – ‘what he does in his own time is his own business’. Now, I’ve met Mr. Taylor. I know his kids. He’s a great teacher – most of the parents I know say their kids are INSPIRED by his teaching. But… there’s only one drama teacher in this town, and he’s it. My older daughter starts high school in September, and she’s already signed up for ‘fine arts’, including drama classes. Am I being parochial and over-suspicious by worrying about my daughter being taught by a man who would laugh at a student being ogled by his assistant, or can we agree that there’s something a little Schrodinger – ish about the scenario?

    So, we can spend our fury on Emma B., who has two small children and the worries that come with shepherding two vulnerable children in a world that seems so frightening – especially when bad teachers are big news. Most male teachers are not going to make girls feel like crap, but Mr. Stainsby IS. Do you see? How is she to know whether any male teacher is a good teacher or Mr. Stainsby? Whether that teacher will be a mentor or end up in court years later telling everyone BUT HER PANTS WERE SO TIGHT. The small number of bad male teachers have REALLY screwed things up for the great many good male teachers – my husband has to stand farther back from the girls’ desks because there were, and are, a few male teachers who chose to stand MUCH too close.
    Those men are the ones who spoiled things – those men are the ones who make Schrodinger’s Rapist relevant – even in high school.

  140. @Kimberley O.,

    I see what you’re saying, but does being suspicious of only male teachers sound like the solution? Really? Really? I want to know why that sounds good to anyone. I had a female teacher call me slutty once. I also had another punish me after I insulted a boy when he had just called me a “stupid slut.” So let’s watch out for the male teachers right? I had one refuse to call me by my actual name. I had another female teacher hold me after class to tell me she felt I was “judging her” and then she told me my parents had raised me without manners. I had one female sub send me to the office when I asked to sharpen my pencil. I think what everyone is missing for some unknown reason is, it’s okay to worry about the people teaching your kids. It is not okay to worry about it because they’re male.

    It’s stupid to focus all this on men, and your arguement seems to suggest that there are only bad male teachers. You are seemingly suggesting that there aren’t any female teachers that would lead people to be worried about all female teachers because of how badly they behaved. That’s ridiculous. And sexist, and not what Schrodinger’s rapist was about. At all.

    Oh, shit, I forgot the female teacher who watched as one of my “friends” held me down and tickled me (I am unfortunately extremely ticklish) while I cried and shouted for someone to get him off me. So I should really be watching out for those male teachers right?

  141. @Alibelle,
    I am not saying that female teachers cannot be horrible – I had one drama teacher who was horrible, and my husband had a truly terrifying typing teacher. But that’s just being horrible – like the male teacher in my husband’s former school who always had vodka in the coffee mug he’d carry to class. That’s bad, right? But to me that’s just non-gendered bad teacher stuff, just as most of the time I think of all teachers, male and female, in non-gendered terms of how effective they are as teachers. There are a few male teachers in my daughters’ elementary school – I have never spared a thought about their behaviour towards my, or anybody’s children, except for Mr. Fortin, who plays dodgeball like he’s trying to kill every second-grader in the school. So that would be, what? Schrodinger’s Dodgeball?

    BUT…A male teacher deliberately deflating girls’ grades and treating them as second-class citizens in his classroom, and feeling free to call one girl a slut because of her clothing preferences? I call that sexism. That slightly-pervy gym teacher who let his hand linger on girls’ butts when they vaulted over the ‘horse’ in gymnastics? Creepy in a sexual way, even for my junior-high self, long ago.

    You seem to be arguing that all lousy teaching is the same, no matter what kind of lousy, no matter the sex of the teacher. And I would agree with the part of that argument that embraces the lousy teaching that springs from nongendered bad-teacher causes, like bad temper, like drinking, like someone who simply dislikes kids. But the other part, the part that makes me wonder how much I can trust that drama teacher who stood and watched as his assistant pushed a fifteen-year-year old girl to do deeper and deeper splits, that’s all about sex and the male gaze and creepy as hell.

    Also, you’re coming from a very different place than I am – you’ve had some markedly unpleasant encounters with female teachers, and no (it seems) creepily sexual encounters with male teachers. I have. My two sisters have. A former workmate was sexually abused for years by her male teacher. And shouting that I am painting all male teachers with the same brush is to entirely miss the point, much as those men who protest against the idea of Shrodinger’s Rapist argue that very few men are actual rapists are also missing the point.

    I know many male teachers – my husband is one. Most male teachers are trustworthy, upstanding members of society. Most bad male teachers are ungendered-bad – they could be a woman and still be screwing up in exactly the same way. But some – a few male teachers are bad in a particularly male way – either very screwed-up-biased-against-girls, or treating their female students in a particular, sexualized way. And that IS scary, maybe because we see our daughters as being more vulnerable than our sons, or because the headlines scream out at us and we do not forget, even years later, or because we remember the creepy touch of a P.E. teacher on our backside many years ago and hope like hell that doesn’t happen to our girls.

    I am sorry that you had so many bad experiences at the hands (or under the gaze) of female teachers, but the fact that it was only ever bad-woman teachers for you does not mean that I, or any woman who had, witnessed, or been informed of a a bad sexual experience with a male teacher are wrong. And I reiterate that if you want to blame someone for the bad rap that male teachers get, you should consider blaming the male teachers who really did the wrong things that got splashed all over the papers – because they REALLY DID THESE THINGS. It’s not just hype, it’s not just hot air, it’s not just panicky parents. That fear came from somewhere – there was an underlying cause, just like there is an underlying cause for Schrodinger’s Rapist, and it cannot be argued away – not even with statistics, not even with belittling, not even with saying someone’s argument is stupid.

    As I said, I’m sorry that so many bad female teachers gave you such a hard time. But sexually inappropriate male teachers (again, to the point of stultifying repetition, FEW male teachers are bad, MOST bad male teachers are non-gender-based bad teachers for a variety of reasons) have made things bad for ALL male teachers, far more than anxious parents and over-sensitive students ever could.

  142. “Also, you’re coming from a very different place than I am – you’ve had some markedly unpleasant encounters with female teachers, and no (it seems) creepily sexual encounters with male teachers.”

    Wow, you really need to knock that off right now. Seriously. I had a drafting teacher who regardless of what I did leaned over and grazed my breast every time I asked for help. I had a photography teacher who came up behind me, slid his hand under my hair and stroked the back of my neck. The same teacher also decided since I had dumped his favorite student he would refuse to call me by anything but that boy’s name. I also witnessed another male teacher force a young girl to sit on his lap.

    However, since we’re talking “gendered” behavior (Nice) I’ve seen female teachers force me and other students to hug them (they could do that because it’s gendered behavior to sexually harrass students, male gender, natch) and one got fired during my senior year for fucking a student for the entire year, and sending him dirty texts. I’ve heard female teachers also talk about one student’s dick, and discuss sex with their students.

    But…inappropriate sexual behavior with students is all male behavior I guess. And women never treat male students differently than female ones. Yeah, my ceramics teacher regarded all male students at stupid as fuck and untalented to boot, but apparently I went to high school in bizarro world because only men act that way, so it’s a good idea to profile based on gender.

    I repeat, it’s ok (good, responsible even) to worry about who is teaching your kids. It is not ok to single out male teachers to be particularly worried about.

    Just like, you know, it wouldn’t be ok to single out gay or black teachers to worry about. Like it wouldn’t be ok to single out a woman at a construction site to worry about.

  143. You know what, Alibelle?

    You win. My life experience counts for nothing, my opinion is bogus, I am not an actual person sitting at a computer; I am simply a computer program designed to piss you off. I am designed for you to call me stupid, I am designed for you to denigrate.

    So, that worked out well, didn’t it?

    At least you didn’t compare me to Hitler – that’s something, I guess.

  144. Come on, Kimberly O. I never called you stupid and you know it. You’re also discounting my lived experience and claiming it’s ok to profile based on gender. At least you didn’t claim it was ok to profile based on race. How’s that?

    I’m not saying that male teachers can’t be creeps, I am saying it’s not ok to assume anything about male teachers or female teachers based on that.

    Frankly, the subject was completely dying out, with all three of us leaving our comments as they stood, you brought it back up, not me.

  145. Kimberly O,

    Hi, it’s a mod here. Your point has been made and you’re just going to have to accept there others who don’t happen to share your framing of things. That said, conflating respectful disagreement with being called “stupid” is a fairly tiresome derailing tactic, which does not yield anything productive and seeks to frame the person – in this case Alibelle – as some kind of meanie for not opting to drink your koolaid.

    At the end of the day, not swaying folks to your side of the fence is ultimately your problem, so I’m gonna ask that you give your keyboard a rest, until such time as you are able to productively engage in the discussion.

    Evoking Hilter when someone doesn’t agree with you is NOT productive, though that should be fairly obvious.

    your friendly mod,

    snarky’s machine.

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