Link Farm and Open Thread, Clayface Edition

  1. Democrats Are Facing Doom—And No One Seems To Even Have Any Suggestions
    A bad read for lefties who’d like to avoid feeling hopeless.
  2. Opinion | What Black cops know about racism in policing – The Washington Post
    “But the more profound problem with the argument that the mere existence of Black police officers disproves systemic racism in law enforcement is that it fails to account for the real-life experiences of those same Black officers.”
  3. The Abortion Underground is Preparing for the End of Roe v Wade
    “The van was being bulletproofed, Angela told me. It would then be retrofitted with an ultrasound machine and a gynecological-exam table, so a doctor with a manual vacuum-aspiration device could perform first-trimester abortions inside. Abortion Delivered, which originated in Minnesota, planned to dispatch the van—and a second one, stocked with abortion pills—to just outside the Texas border.”
  4. California can’t be a haven for others until it builds more housing for everyone (and alternative link).
    “California wants to be a haven for abortion-seekers, trans people seeking gender-affirming care, refugees seeking safety. But its heart is writing checks its housing element can’t cash.”
  5. Detransition as Conversion Therapy: A Survivor Speaks Out | by Ky Schevers | An Injustice!
    There is nothing wrong with recognizing that transitioning can be traumatic for some individuals or that it’s possible for a lesbian to identify as a man and transition as result of internalized homophobia. The problem is claiming that transitioning is inherently harmful or that all transmasculine people are really self-hating lesbians.”
  6. Phenakistoscopes (1833) – The Public Domain Review An article about one of the earliest forms of animation. And here’s a YouTube video of some phenakistoscopes in action.
  7. Chicago Synagogue Excoriated For Shift From ‘Non’ to ‘Anti’ Zionism — Maybe the Problem isn’t the ‘Anti’ But the ‘Zionism’ | Religion Dispatches
    ” Now, of course, by debating the very meaning of Zionism itself we can also debate what the non or anti prefix actually means. My interest, however, is a bit different; to explore the function of non or anti in relation to what Zionism means, and why those prefixes cause so much anxiety for those who don’t require a prefix at all—that is, for those who simply identify as ‘Zionists.'”
  8. LISTEN.
    A five-minute documentary created mostly by non-speaking autistic people, who are frustrated by the assumption that because they don’t speak they have nothing to say.
  9. Rats to the rescue: Rodents are being trained to go into earthquake debris to find survivors | Daily Mail Online
    Some nice photos at that link. This is neat and I hope it works, but I just can’t get over how surreal it would be, to be buried in earthquake debris and maybe only half-conscious and a rat with a backpack shows up and a voice is like “hello?”
  10. The Price Kids Pay: Schools and police punish students with costly tickets for minor misbehavior – Chicago Tribune
  11. Jury foreman pleads for leniency in murder case where the DA manipulated the law to take self-defense off the table
  12. The Tragedy of “The Tragedy of the Commons” – Scientific American Blog Network
    “The man who wrote one of environmentalism’s most-cited essays was a racist, eugenicist, nativist and Islamaphobe — plus his argument was wrong.”
  13. Burrito tape: Students invent edible adhesive to seal tortilla | WGN-TV
    Seems like a great idea to me.
  14. Morocco is caught in the Patrilineal Trap
    Very interesting twitter thread with lots of photos. Travelling through Morocco with a feminist eye, talking to women there about job opportunities and harassment.
  15. Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal – Liberal Education
    I enjoyed this (long for a cartoon, but still quite short) very cynical (but also rather idealistic) cartoon about the value of liberal education.
  16. Yascha Mounk and Sam Koppelman discuss what kinds of reforms are (and aren’t) necessary to fix American democracy.

Photos by Scott Umstattd and h heyerlein on Unsplash.

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63 Responses to Link Farm and Open Thread, Clayface Edition

  1. 1
    Michael says:

    Responding to Barry on twitter:
    “In my anecdotal experience, it’s extremely common for guys to learn, by the time they’re teens/young men, that if they can’t get laid then they’re contemptibly bad at being men, and that getting laid is vital.”
    And yet it’s absolutely hypocritical for feminists to complain about it, since they’re the ones promoting the stereotype that men who can’t get laid are dangerous, misogynistic, incels. For example, I can cite two episodes of recent TV shows (NCIS:LA, FBI: Most Wanted) with incel villains but I can’t think of any recent TV shows with sympathetic male virgins.
    Of course, it’s ironic that this thread got started by something that Laurie Penny wrote. Since Laurie Penny was the one that wrote the response to Scott Aaronson years ago, the response that didn’t mention something vitally important. And Laurie’s response was part of what Scott Alexander was responding to in “Untitled”. And after all these years, you still can’t seem to admit that yes, Scott Alexander is a jerk in some ways. but he was angry for the same reason that you get angry when people claim there’s no reason fat people can’t lose weight by dieting.

  2. 2
    Jacqueline Onassis Squid says:

    …feminists … [a]re the ones promoting the stereotype that men who can’t get laid are dangerous, misogynistic, incels.

    Citation needed.

  3. 3
    Ampersand says:

    Michael:

    I feel like you may have spent more time thinking about what I think about Scott Alexander, then I do thinking about Scott Alexander.

    The last time I remember thinking about Scott, before right now, was two years ago when the NYTimes more-or-less doxed him. What I said then is that Scott and I had clashed politically, but nonetheless the NY Times should go fuck itself.

    What I’m trying to say is, I’m not fixated on Scott and don’t wish him ill. On the other hand, I’m also not particularly interested in diving into the past and thinking about Scott in detail, or – frankly – rereading “Untitled” to try and figure out what Scott was mad about and how it analogizes to fat acceptance.

    “Untitled” was what, seven years ago? Whatever anger I had at Scott back when we clashed, I’m long over it. And if Scott even remembers who I am, maybe he’d feel the same about me.

    I have no idea what Scott thinks about fat acceptance, but if he’s for it, that’s great.

    Regarding virgins on TV, I think it’s important to not conflate “male virgin” and “incel.” They’re not the same thing.

    Maybe crime shows are the wrong place to look for positive male virgin characters? (Is “FBI: Most Wanted” a show run by feminists?)

    I can think of positive depictions of male virgins, but they’re mostly in coming-of-age stories, and in that genre characters typically lose their virginity at some point before the end. For example, Otis, the main character of “Sex Education,” was a virgin in season 1 but lost his virginity in season 2.

    Another example is Colton Underwood, the (then) virgin star of a season of “The Bachelor.” There were a lot of problematic and sexist things in how The Bachelor framed that story (or so I’ve been told, I haven’t watched it myself) – but as I understand it he was portrayed as a genuinely nice person the audience was expected to root for.

  4. 4
    Ampersand says:

    Also, although it’s never explicitly addressed, I’m pretty sure Spider-Man in the MCU and Spider-Man in “Into the Spider-Verse” are both intended as sympathetic male virgin characters. It doesn’t seem like Miles has ever had a girlfriend (or a boyfriend). And MJ and Peter in the MCU are clearly the most serious relationship Peter’s had, and they don’t seem to have gone beyond kissing.

  5. 5
    Joe in Australia says:

    Shaul Magid’s article could do with some citations. I follow this sort of thing, and don’t recall Tzedek Chicago’s announcement getting much reaction beyond eye-rolling. As for his question “Why is this anti so different?”, I should think the answer is obvious. Revanchist movements to eliminate nations (e.g., Israel, Ukraine, the Republic of Ireland) are inherently bigoted, colonialist, and ultimately genocidal.

  6. 6
    Michael says:

    @Ampersand- it’s not about Scott Alexander, it’s about the deeper truth. I never felt comfortable telling the whole story because I thought that it might have a negative impact on children that needed help. But now I realize that keeping the secret isn’t doing me any favors, it isn’t doing children any favors and it’s allowing people like Penny to get away with lying by omission. So later, I’ll be telling the whole story.

  7. 7
    Ampersand says:

    Joe, “there was not much reaction to Tzedek Chicago beyond eye-rolling, also they’re ultimately genocidal” is quite a take.

    It took me only a couple of minutes find examples of people being pissed at Tzedek Chicago’s announcement. But also, it’s completely besides the point of the article.

    Magid’s article makes a distinction you do not:

    Tzedek Chicago “opposes the very concept of an exclusively Jewish nation-state in historic Palestine.” Not against a “Jewish nation-state” but “an exclusively Jewish nation-state.” This isn’t a claim against the land of Israel as the homeland of the Jewish people. In that regard “Jewish” could be attached to the nation-state that exists there. Just not exclusively, because it’s also the homeland of another people who now make up close to a quarter of the population of the state’s borders and about half the population of the land of Israel. Tzedek Chicago is thus allowing Zionism to define its own terms, “an exclusively Jewish-state,” and defines itself as anti that definition.

    Why give Zionism the power to define itself in such a manner? Perhaps because the 2018 Nation State Law states that Israel is only (read: exclusively) the state of the Jewish people and those non-Jews who hold Israeli citizenship, have no collective rights, only individual rights. Non-Jews can be citizens of the state of Israel but it is not really their country, it is the country exclusively of the Jewish people.

    Think, for example of what it is for a Palestinian Israeli to sing the Israeli National Anthem. The anthem not only excludes them, it erases them. It erases close to one quarter of the state’s population. This all sounds eerily like the French emancipation of the Jews, “to the Jew everything, to the Jewish people nothing.” Not something Jews today would find very appealing in the democracies where they live.

    Zionism is a multi-faceted thing. I can’t imagine anyone being opposed to the renaissance of Hebrew culture or the flourishing of the Hebrew language, the arts, and the development of Jewish humanistic values, the religious value of living in the land of Israel. Even ultra-Orthodox anti-Zionists agree with the latter. The anti of anti-Zionism is thus very specific: it is opposed to the chauvinistic Zionist foundations of the socio-political reality called Israel.

    And here anti-Zionists are not necessarily anti-Israel. Israel is a nation-state. Zionism is an ideology. Many anti-Zionists would support the state of Israel if it were not based on what Chaim Ganz calls “proprietary Zionism”; that is, that the land of Israel, all of it, belongs to the Jews as a foundation of its political program and the starting point of any kind of negotiation.

  8. 8
    Michael says:

    OK, where to start.
    In her recent book, which quote Barry was responding to earlier, Laurie Penny wrote “This means that straight boys learn to be frightened and repelled by their own sexuality, and suspicious of any woman who seems too eager to accommodate it. They learn that sex is just another violent urge to be managed. Part of this fear is about the inevitability of someday hurting someone, of “getting it wrong”.
    I have spoken to many men who find the idea of real, active, enthusiastic consent hard to get their heads around. Why? Because they cannot believe that any woman could really want to fuck them that much.
    One of the big fears that a lot of men seem to have… is …THAT without the rituals and petty violence of toxic masculinity, men will not get laid at all.”
    For many men, this is completely backwards.
    This isn’t the first time Penny has written something like this. Several years ago, in response to a blog comment by a man named Scott Aaronson, about how feminism actually made him fear hurting women sexually and he got better when he decided to make moves without being completely sure it was women wanted, she wrote something similar:
    https://www.newstatesman.com/uncategorized/2014/12/on-nerd-entitlement-rebel-alliance-empire
    And a lot of feminists discussed this- many dismissing his fears- but NONE of them, including Barry. told the whole story.
    Scott Alexander, who really does have issues with feminism, wrote an angry article called Untitled. But again, no feminists seemed to admit why he was angry.
    (continued)

  9. 9
    Nancy Lebovitz says:

    I believe that there’s a lot about despising male virgins in feminism (or possibly better phrased as among feminists), and there shouldn’t be, but despising male virgins has a much older cultural history– I’m sure it’s older than that, but consider Shatner’s “have you ever kissed a girl?”. The idea that incels (who are too often conflated with male virgins) are dangerously violent (some of them are) is something new.

    #5. I’ve listened to some detransition videos, and I think it’s possible for people to get things wrong, including whether their misery is caused by gender dysphoria and whether transitioning will make their lives better or worse.

    Successful transition may be harder than it used to be because of endocrine disruption, but this is only a tentative guess.

    My totally useless advice is to spend some time away from people who aren’t emotionally involved with what your gender is. I have no idea where you’d find those people.

    High quality transition in Thailand

  10. 10
    Nancy Lebovitz says:

    Dammit, I got it backward. I meant to say

    “Spend time with people who aren’t emotionally involved in what your gender is. I have no idea where you’d find those people.”

  11. 11
    Michael says:

    The truth is this. OCD isn’t just a mental illness that causes people to put pencils in order. It causes many people to become afraid of hurting other people or doing something wrong or worried that they have hurt other people or done something wrong.There’s a description here:
    https://adaa.org/learn-from-us/from-the-experts/blog-posts/consumer/overcoming-harm-ocd
    But if you’ll read the article you’ll see that the truth is this- OCD is triggered by trying to make SURE you won’t or haven’t hurt anyone or done something wrong. People with OCD get worse every time they try to make sure they won’t hurt anyone, anytime they check too often, anytime they err on the side of caution a bit too much. And sometimes this includes hurting people sexually. (And sometimes it doesn’t.) And they get better when they take risks. Sometimes a mom with OCD needs to say, “Maybe my kid will get hurt if I do this, maybe my kid won’t but I’m going to go ahead anyway.” Sometimes a guy with OCD needs to say,”Maybe she’s consenting, maybe she isn’t but I’m going to go ahead anyway.”
    And before anyone tries to twist this like feminists do, that doesn’t mean that a guy with OCD who’s afraid of hurting people sexually needs to act like Harvey Weinstein, any more than it means that a mom with OCD who’s afraid of hurting her kids needs to let her kids play in traffic. But it means they need to take SMALL to MODERATE risks. REASONABLE risks. In fact, most people with OCD never really hurt anyone.
    And that’s the truth feminists can’t admit. A lot of feminists say things like
    “If you’re not sure, you don’t have consent.” For example, this website:
    https://www.dartmouth.edu/consent/communication/whendo.html
    “If you aren’t sure you have consent, you don’t have it. ”
    If having sex without being sure you have consent is rape, then every man with OCD who had sex is a rapist.
    And to add insult to injury, the rate of celibacy is higher in people with OCD than the general population:
    http://www.ocdhope.com/ocd-faqs/
    “Celibacy rates are also higher in OCD populations even relative to other anxiety disorders”
    And feminists act like the only reason why a guy would unable to get laid is misogyny.
    All of this has been known since about 1990. But feminists have spent the past three decades trying to deny it.
    Look at what Penny wrote- she argued that the reason why men fear hurting women is because of misogyny and there’s no reason why enthusiastic consent will keeps guys form having sex. In reality, of course, enthusiastic consent stresses making sure you don’t hurt anyone, that’s what triggers mental illnesses that make men afraid of hurting women sexually and people with those illnesses have higher celibacy rates.
    And that’s typical of the lies feminists tell. That’s why Scott Alexander got so angry when he saw the attacks on what Scott Aaronson wrote. Scott Aaronson’s description of his condition was consistent with OCD. Many of his attackers. suggested that the problem was his own misogyny, not feminism. If anyone with OCD read that, and took that advice to heart, they’d make their problems WORSE. Anyone with OCD would have had the same reaction Scott Alexander did.
    People say that people with OCD often come across as angry. The reason they’re angry is that they usually spent years thinking that if they were just more careful, they’d get better. It takes years for them to find a psychiatrist who’s honest with them.
    I’m not an idiot, Barry. I know that it’s not just feminism that prevents an open and honest discussion of OCD. Plenty of people with OCD have stories about how their clergyman reacted badly when they tried to explain their condition. I don’t expect the crowd that talks about groomers to be helpful to people with OCD.
    But you’re not an idiot, either. You had to at least suspect some of what I’m telling you. If you honestly believed there were no mental illnesses that got worse when a guy tries to make sure they have consent, then you believed it in the same sense that a right-winger believes that vaccines are harmful.

  12. 12
    Schroeder4213 says:

    I want to recommend the book I just read: Epitaph of a Small Winner. It is one of the best books I’ve ever read, and the author, Machado de Assis, is a fascinating person. His relative anonymity in the English-speaking world is a tragedy.

  13. 13
    Nancy Lebovitz says:

    Michael, this is something it took me a while to sort out. People get things wrong, it’s not the same thing as lying.

    Women can find misogyny shocking and take it personally. It’s not surprising that they can think that if a man has problems with women, it’s because of misogyny, even though there can be other reasons, such as OCD. (I suspect that’s not the only cause of social anxiety, though.)

    It took me a while to figure out that there are misogynists who are unfortunately good at attracting women, and that feminists were making a sort of implied promise that men who gave up misogyny would be good (better?) at attracting women, and it wasn’t necessarily true.

  14. 14
    hf says:

    Several years ago, in response to a blog comment by a man named Scott Aaronson, about how feminism actually made him fear hurting women sexually and he got better when he decided to make moves without being completely sure it was women wanted, she wrote something similar

    Yes, and the only reason I’m willing to tentatively believe Aaronson was honest about his ludicrous claim, is because I see no sign that he’s read a Xanth book. That popular series – marketed as light-hearted fantasy to pubescent children – appears much more harmful to boys than any feminism I know of. Admittedly, I haven’t gone searching in the works of old writers who mostly matter to a lot of modern feminists because dishonest anti-feminists online keep bringing them up. There’s a reason those groups disagree about, eg, trans rights.

    Scott “Alexander” did indeed get angry about this, to the point of blatant irrationality. To this day, he doesn’t admit the obvious fact that no rational observer should believe Aaronson’s nutty-sounding claim without strong Bayesian evidence. Since he’s not an idiot, he must be a dishonest piece of shit, right?

    Speaking of, how the FUCK did we get on the topic of OCD? Google:

    An estimated 1.2% of U.S. adults had OCD in the past year. Past year prevalence of OCD was higher for females (1.8%) than for males (0.5%).

    Where is your deep concern, Michael, about the larger number of women with OCD who will be hurt by society constantly telling them it’s their job to avoid hurting men in any way? Where’s your concern about the harm done by constantly telling them they need to consider men’s feelings, even if that means hiding the truth? Where is your deep concern, for that matter, about the harm done to OCD women by telling women they endanger men’s souls whenever they look pretty or reveal sexual desire? Coincidentally – actually, no, it may be central to the point you seem deliberately blind to – this also hurts men with OCD, by giving them less information and more-distorted information about what women want.

    Do you think it helps men with OCD (who, apparently, are all paragons of virtue) that our society is currently working hard to make sexual violence easier to get away with and harder to speak about? Hint: https://twitter.com/MrFisti/status/1527983996910682112

  15. 15
    Michael says:

    @hf- Aaronson’s story matched the symptoms of OCD almost exactly.If you read Untitled, you’d noticed that Alexander specifically mentions scrupulosity, which is a kind of OCD. Now that doesn’t mean Aaronson actually had OCD or something like it but it does suggest he wasn’t lying.
    People with OCD have worries about hurting people that seem ridiculous to outsiders ALL THE TIME- that’s what OCD means. And the reason why they don’t tell anyone is because they’re afraid that people will think they’re lying.
    And don’t you dare try to tell me I don’t care about women with OCD. If you actually looked at what I wrote before, I’m complained about how nobody seems to care about the plight of women with postpartum OCD, who worry about hurting their babies. This article describes the condition, for example:
    https://www.inlandpsych.com/turning-attention-towards-postpartum-obsessive-compulsive-disorder/
    The reason I think feminists are hypocrites is that they focus on mental illness that might help their cause (like anorexia, which draw attention to unrealistic beauty standards) and ignore ones that might hurt their agenda (like postpartum OCD).
    And I fully agree that not all men with OCD are angels and that those who behave truly recklessly should be punished. And I agree completely it is healthy for women to take small risks of hurting men’s feelings or doing something sexually wrong or whatever- that’s the entire point of OCD. And I fully agree it’s not just feminism hurting people with OCD. Don’t get me started on how unhealthy the Sermon on the Mount is for people with OCD.
    (And you have really no idea of how dark the fears of women with OCD can get- fears of hurting their children, running people over with cars, etc.)

  16. 16
    Joe in Australia says:

    @Ampersand

    Magid’s article makes a distinction you do not:

    I did read the article, you know. Yes, Israel is the Jewish National Home. Ukraine is the Ukrainian National Home, the Republic of Ireland is … etc. Putin’s justification for starting the most recent incursion into Ukraine was to prevent discrimination against Ukrainians who speak Russian. Britain’s justification for maintaining a presence in Ireland is to preserve the rights of those residents who identify with Britain. The desire to tell people that they cannot have a distinct national identity – particularly after centuries of telling them that they are distinct, and lesser – is oppressive, genocidal colonialism.

    For what it’s worth, though, I urge Magid to use his persuasive gifts on Israel’s neighbours, including the Palestine Authority, each of whom explicitly excludes Jews from their polity. This isn’t just a matter of having national anthems that fail to mention Jews: I’m sure you’re aware of the great genocidal purge of Jews that took place throughout the Middle East. I think it might not be quite so important for Israel to be a distinctively Jewish home if Jews were able to return to their homes elsewhere.

  17. 18
    Lauren says:

    Sometimes a guy with OCD needs to say,”Maybe she’s consenting, maybe she isn’t but I’m going to go ahead anyway.”
    And before anyone tries to twist this like feminists do, that doesn’t mean that a guy with OCD who’s afraid of hurting people sexually needs to act like Harvey Weinstein, any more than it means that a mom with OCD who’s afraid of hurting her kids needs to let her kids play in traffic. But it means they need to take SMALL to MODERATE risks. REASONABLE risks. In fact, most people with OCD never really hurt anyone.

    A reasonable risk: allways ask ( not necessarily verbally) for enthusiastic consent. When a woman consents and gives all signs of her consent being enthusiastic, believe her, despite the potential risk that she might have been pressured by living in a sexist society to give this consent.

    Not a reasonable risk: stop asking for consent, assume consent unless explicitly refused.

    And no, feminists are not at fault for the remaining risk in the first example. Pointing out that some women may express consent because they feel pressured by society does not mean that it is feminist’s fault if some people suffering with a mental illness become fixated on the fear that this might be true in their case, any more than people pointing out the risks of second hand smoking are at fault if some parents with OCD get obsessed with a fear of harming their child by passing by a smoker they didn’t notice.

    Pointing out things that harm people does not make the ones pointing them out responsible for the reactions of those who had not previously been aware of that harm.

  18. 19
    Ampersand says:

    Re the follow-up to number 11, that’s basically good news. Not perfect, but much better than it might have been. Thanks for the update.

  19. 20
    Jacqueline Onassis Squid says:

    (I suspect that’s not the only cause of social anxiety, though.)

    Of course OCD isn’t the only cause. There’s also autism, PTSD and CPTSD, bipolar and depressive disorders, BPS and a ton of others.

    I’ll just say that it’s my CPTSD that makes me terrified of hurting someone by being too physically assertive. Even with that crippling fear, I managed (in the days when I passed as a man) to have long term romantic relationships with women. I also managed to never – not even once! – sexually assault a woman even with that fear of being assertive and with a sub-par ability to read social cues. I am in no way special.

    (That CPTSD is probably also why I am, as Amp has said, the most amiable person he’s ever met. An overwhelming fear of anger from those you care about does have its benefits, too.)

  20. 21
    Michael says:

    @Lauren- it’s not that simple. Feminists always say, if you aren’t sure you have consent, then ask. But the problem is that OCD gets worse when you ask excessively. It’s called reassurance seeking. This article describes it:
    https://www.verywellmind.com/excessive-reassurance-seeking-2510549
    If you think you hit someone with your car and you ask your partner repeatedly, no matter how many times they tell you no, your belief that you hit someone will get stronger. So if you always ask your partner when you’re not sure about consent, your OCD WILL get worse.
    For an idea about how this works in real life, let me cite an incident from Scott Aaronson’s blog- he was on a date, he moved to kiss his date, he thought she might not be consenting and he decided to kiss her anyway without asking. If he did have OCD, and he asked her, asking might have resulted in temporary relief, but later on he would just feel more anxious and guilty about having maybe coerced her later. But since he didn’t ask her, his fears abated and after repeating this process several times, he was able to function almost normally. That’s how OCD works. Now note that Scott did not kiss a passing nurse without asking, like a World War II sailor- that’s not helpful for anyone.
    Again, most people with OCD don’t hurt anyone. There are plenty of women who have dated guys with OCD. and have been the victims of predators- and there’s a big difference between having to worry that your partner will go off the deep end every time he’s too cautious and having to worry about being the victim of a predator. (And let’s be honest- there’s plenty of guys in consensual relationships who don’t follow affirmative consent strictly. That’s the point- people with OCD take the same risks plenty of “normal” people take.)
    Feminist’s responsibility is that they’re not honest about the dangers of being too careful. They lucked out- research in the early 90s showed how OCD worked and they expected the MRAs to exploit it. After all, they couldn’t possibly be that stupid.
    It turns out the MRAs really WERE that stupid.
    Take Barry, for instance, he wrote a whole cartoon about how the only reason guys would have problems with asking for consent when they’re not sure was if they that meant they might have raped someone or, in another version, it meant they wouldn’t get to have sex with the girl. He was erasing everyone who suffered from OCD- be it a boy whose OCD got worse when he asked about consent too much or a 16 year-old girl who felt more and more guilty every time she asked her friends if she hit someone while driving.

  21. 22
    Ampersand says:

    For an idea about how this works in real life, let me cite an incident from Scott Aaronson’s blog- he was on a date, he moved to kiss his date, he thought she might not be consenting and he decided to kiss her anyway without asking.

    It would be helpful if you linked, rather than just describing. Do you have a link to the post or comment of Aaronson’s you’re describing?

    Take Barry, for instance, he wrote a whole cartoon about how the only reason guys would have problems with asking for consent when they’re not sure was if they that meant they might have raped someone or, in another version, it meant they wouldn’t get to have sex with the girl.

    Here’s a link to the cartoon Michael is referring to.

  22. 23
    Michael says:

    Here’s the link to Aaronson’s blog- post#218:
    https://scottaaronson.blog/?p=2091#comments
    “Imagine, for example, that you leaned in to kiss your date, suppressing a terrified inner monologue screaming this is sexual assault; you neither asked for nor received verbal permission to use a fellow human being for your gratification this way; she’s probably going to slap you, back away, and call the police. Imagine that instead she smiled bemusedly, as if to say “what took so long?,” and then seconds later you felt a tongue in your mouth.”

  23. 24
    Jacqueline Onassis Squid says:

    Or suppose, you know, that you don’t lean in and kiss your date. Because you’re terrified you might be being too aggressive and because you’re too afraid to ask if it’s okay. What are the possibilities that follow that?

    What are the possibilities if, even before your date, you had let her know that because of various internal things, you were never going to make the first move and that, if she were interested at all, she would need to make the first move?

    There are a lot of possibilities being left unmentioned by both Michael and by Aaronson as being reported by Michael.

  24. 25
    Michael says:

    @20,24-
    You seem willfully unable to grasp that OCD works very differently than CPTSD.
    Did you even read the links I posted?
    For starters. people with OCD sometimes think they might have raped or fondled someone. Even checking a video sometimes doesn’t help them:
    https://cbtsocal.com/ocd-tips-6-am-i-too-a-perpetrator-of-sexual-harassment/
    The entire point of OCD is that your mind is constantly alerting you to bad things that you might do or might have done that have never happened or are highly unlikely to happen. (The fact that Aaronson’s date smiled and kissed him back indicates that his fears were all in his head.)
    But worse. avoiding a situation makes your anxieties worse.
    “Or suppose, you know, that you don’t lean in and kiss your date. Because you’re terrified you might be being too aggressive and because you’re too afraid to ask if it’s okay. What are the possibilities that follow that?”
    If you have OCD? You feel better for a little while but then wonder if you might have groped someone on the way home when in reality you didn’t.
    “What are the possibilities if, even before your date, you had let her know that because of various internal things, you were never going to make the first move and that, if she were interested at all, she would need to make the first move?”
    If you have OCD? You feel better for a little while but then wonder if you coerced her into having sex with you.
    Again. most people with OCD who are worried about sexually hurting someone aren’t Harvey Weinstein, and most moms with OCD who are worried about hurting their kids aren’t Andrea Yates.
    “I also managed to never – not even once! – sexually assault a woman even with that fear of being assertive and with a sub-par ability to read social cues. I am in no way special.”
    No, you just spread misinformation about a mental illness that causes children as young as age 12 to think that they’re turning into sexual predators or psychopaths. Want a medal?

  25. 26
    Jacqueline Onassis Squid says:

    Want a medal?

    I do want a medal, now that you bring up the possibility. What does it look like?

    The entire point of OCD is that your mind is constantly alerting you to bad things that you might do or might have done that have never happened or are highly unlikely to happen.

    Yes, and? What does that have to do with feminism or strategies to ensure that a guy with OCD doesn’t actually sexually assault somebody rather than worry that he has when he hasn’t? You’re not actually making any sort of coherent argument here.

    None of what you’re saying about OCD makes a difference to what I’m saying. If you claim that people with OCD will worry about having raped or coerced regardless of what they do and that they are also terrified of making an unwanted advance or asking for consent then my advice is actually ideal. It ensures that they don’t inadvertently rape anybody while leaving their internal worries exactly where they are no matter what they do with the added advantage that they didn’t have before that – in your own words – they feel better for a little while.

    You are aware that there are women with OCD, right? More women with OCD than men with OCD, if the statistics are to be believed. Why do you have no concern for their difficulties around consent?

    OCD is a weird excuse to use for hating women and/or feminism. Like, fantastically odd, really. But if it’s the excuse you wanna use, I know I’m not going to be the one to change your mind. I’ll just say that you’d be a helluva lot happier and a shitload less angry at things that have nothing to do with what you’re upset about if you’d actually find strategies that help you deal with OCD. If that’s a thing you have, of course. If you’d prefer to rail against the imagined crimes of women and feminism, that’s totally up to you.

    I hope you can feel better about the other roughly 50% of humanity some day.

  26. 27
    Michael says:

    @26- Again, you don’t want to get what I’m saying. I’m saying that people with OCD get better when they take RISKS but don’t go overboard. When they do that they almost always get better without anyone being really hurt.
    “strategies to ENSURE that a guy with OCD doesn’t actually sexually assault somebody”
    And that’s the cause of OCD and the cause of your own corruption. OCD is caused by the desire to be certain.
    You think think is limited to sex? OCD has a thousand different manifestations. One person might worry about having hit someone with his car even though everyone else in the car thinks that’s crazy.Another person might want to call the 9-1-1 even though no one is really in danger. In all these cases, as long as they say to themselves “Maybe someone will get hurt, maybe they won’t” and then act like the “average” person would in that situation, nobody does get hurt. Partly because the danger is often just in their minds.]
    Psychiatrist have been doing exposure-and-response-prevention therapies for years.And people with OCD have been shown to be no more likely than the average person to hurt anyone.
    But you’re right, you’re nothing special. You’re the kind of person that people with OCD avoid because they can’t accept the truth. And they always have an excuse. “You can’t tell a kid with OCD to take small risks driving- I could have been killed by a reckless driver.” It’s NEVER just about fear- it’s always about vanity, about self-importance.
    “You are aware that there are women with OCD, right? More women with OCD than men with OCD, if the statistics are to be believed. Why do you have no concern for their difficulties around consent?”
    I do have concern for their difficulties about consent. They worry about incest:
    https://www.reddit.com/r/OCD/comments/2bf1ao/intrustive_incest_obsession_am_i_the_only_one/
    Or they worry they might be child molesters. Or they worry they might touch other girls without their consent. But you don’t care one bit about them. You’d gladly throw them under the bus to make yourself feel safer.

  27. 28
    Ampersand says:

    Everyone, please try to keep the discussion dialed down a few notches. Thank you.

  28. 29
    Joe in Australia says:

    Re the follow-up to number 11, that’s basically good news. Not perfect, but much better than it might have been.

    Yes. But if I may take this opportunity to vent: sheesh! This toxic combination of the felony murder rule with the great number of crimes arbitrarily classified as felonies will inevitably have horrible results like this one. The legal distinction between felonies and other crimes has been abolished in other Common Law jurisdictions and IMO the US should follow.

  29. 30
    Lauren says:

    Again, most people with OCD don’t hurt anyone. There are plenty of women who have dated guys with OCD. and have been the victims of predators- and there’s a big difference between having to worry that your partner will go off the deep end every time he’s too cautious and having to worry about being the victim of a predator.

    Good thing I never claimed anything different. I would actually assume that people with OCD, like most mental illnesses, are probably more likely to become victims of abuse. But since we are not talking about a straw man of “all men with OCD are rapist”, but are instead discussing the assertion that the only way for a man with obsessive fears of hurting women is to initiate intimate contact without making sure the partner is consenting first, how about we focus on that?

    If he did have OCD, and he asked her, asking might have resulted in temporary relief, but later on he would just feel more anxious and guilty about having maybe coerced her later.

    But why couldn’t his actual actions have had the same result? Why are you so sure that for any man with OCD and this particular obsession, after kissing a partner without first assuring consent, there would be, as you call it, a short period of relief followed by later worries that they assaulted their partner? Why is kissing without asking first soooo different from kissing after asking? (and btw., I am using “asking” not as necessary verbal here, since nonverbal communication exists.)

    But since he didn’t ask her, his fears abated and after repeating this process several times, he was able to function almost normally.

    So it worked out for him. What if his date hadn’t wanted the kiss and left right away? Would you blame her for making his OCD worse, since his risk taking didnt work out? What if he triggered her, because she has PTSD after being assaulted? Is his desire to get over his obsessive thoughts more important than her wellbeing? What if she also has OCD, and the physical contact without prior warning worsens obsessive worries she has about somehow infecting people with an illness? Who’s OCD matters?

    No, you just spread misinformation about a mental illness that causes children as young as age 12 to think that they’re turning into sexual predators or psychopaths.

    How is insisting that everybody should ensure their partners consent when being intimate “spreading misinformation about OCD”? Because OCD isn’t even specifically mentioned in that message. I have yet to read a feminist text stating that people with OCD are more likely to assault somebody. What they are saying is that having OCD doesn’t exempt people with OCD from the moral duty to ensure consent, just like everybody else.

    Take Barry, for instance, he wrote a whole cartoon about how the only reason guys would have problems with asking for consent when they’re not sure was if they that meant they might have raped someone or, in another version, it meant they wouldn’t get to have sex with the girl. He was erasing everyone who suffered from OCD

    Funny, I don’t see any line in that cartoon stating that this is the only possible reason why people struggle with asking for consent. The cartoon doesn’t make that claim anywhere, it merely shows one reason. Not making this cartoon about people with OCD is not erasure, because nowhere does it say “this is the only reason ever, absolutely no other reason can ever exist.” Not every cartoon can – or should – be about everybody. You are the one reading it in a way that intentionally excludes a specific group, but I see no evidence of this.

    Feminist’s responsibility is that they’re not honest about the dangers of being too careful.

    I find it interesting that you focused on one suggested alternative behavior (believing women when they express their consent, taking the risk that they might be influenced in their decision by our sexist society, which you say won’t work, because that is not a useful risk to take, whereas ignoring the question of consent is)) but didn’t engage with the main point I was making, which is that we don’t normally blame the people talking about reasonable concerns if someone with OCD becomes obsessed with them. Why are feminists the only ones getting blamed?

    You talk about women with obsessive worries about incest. Do you write to victims’ advocates who are raising awareness for sexual abuse in families and tell them they need to stop, because they are worsening the symptoms of those women. What about obsessions surrounding cleanliness? Do you get mad a biology teachers for teaching kids about germs? Should there be no reminders to call the gas company immediately if you smell gas, because those reminders might worsen obsessive worries about forgetting to turn off the stove?

    If you answered all of these questions with “no”, why are feminist spreading awareness of the limitations of “no means no” and the need to switch to “yes means yes” the only ones being called vain, self-important and callous to the problems of others?

    If you answered yes to all these questions, then I don’t think there is anything left to discuss here. Everything in the world can not be done by making “Is there any way this might make someone with OCD more stressed” the guiding line.

    I have suffered from depression since I was about twelve. Sometimes, seeing people, especially people I know, being happy can actually be an emotional trigger for me, setting of spiraling thoughts about how worthless I am for not being happy, not having reached the level of “successfull living” that they enjoy. These thoughts can actually lead to a severe worsening of my mental state. But you know what I would never do? Yell at people to stop being visibly happy because it is worsening my condition.

  30. 31
    Lauren says:

    This toxic combination of the felony murder rule with the great number of crimes arbitrarily classified as felonies will inevitably have horrible results like this one. The legal distinction between felonies and other crimes has been abolished in other Common Law jurisdictions and IMO the US should follow.

    As a European from a country that uses the civil law system, I am already confused by many aspects of American law (while I am sure they would be horrified by our lack of juries). But this falls right in line with things like mandatory minimum sentences which do not allow for consideration of mitigating circumstances, three-strike-policies, mandatory bail or trying minors as adults.

    (Where I live, there there are no mandatory minimum sentences, the nly crime that doesn’t have a range of punishment by law is murder (imprisonment for live), but there are still options to get to a verdict of a less severe case, lowering the sentence; prior convictions are considered but there is no general rule or law that forces a particular decision based solely on the amount of former convictions; people are released after arrest unless there are special circumstances (flight risk, risk of vitness intimidation etc). or they are accused of a specific crime, which is listed in the law (murder, armed robbery, child abduction, those kinds of things), all of which the state has to argue convincingly before a judge when asking to keep the accused in prison befor trial; children under 14 can not be charged with any crimes and instead of teens being charged as adults, people up to the age of 21 can sometimes still be charges as youths, if the crime they are accused of is a “typical youth crime” and they showed behaviour that is similar to other underage teens.)

    I would by no means argue that our laws are always just and/or our justice system is inherently better, but this… I get why people talk about the school – to – prison pipeline, inmates a slaves etc.

  31. 32
    Dianne says:

    OCD is a serious condition that should be treated by a psychiatrist with expertise in the area using a combination of medication and exposure-response prevention therapy. It should NOT be attempted by a random friend, acquaintance, or hook up of a patient. The best result that might come out of that is no change, the worst is trauma to both parties.

    As Michael noted, OCD does not manifest in a single area. It may possibly be technically possible for a person to have OCD that manifests only as excessive checking of consent, but that seems extremely unlikely. Someone with a habit of excessive checking in sex and no other manifestations would more likely have something else. A phobia, maybe, or a personality disorder*, or even a paraphilia, but not OCD. So there is no reason to start exposure-response prevention therapy with sex. Start with something lower risk to all parties involved: compulsive hand washing or checking the door or whatever other manifestation.

    Also to note that OCD therapy generally starts working in an area that the patient has relatively little distress. For example, someone who checks things compulsively who is terrified of leaving the front door open, but only a little worried about leaving the stove on would start working on their checking of the stove. I would hope that worry about accidentally raping someone would be a higher distress idea, so would be one of the later projects.

    TLDR: Don’t try to treat OCD on your own, get a specialist to treat it and don’t start with compulsions in the area of sex.

    *Yes, I hate that victim-blaming term too, but that’s what it’s called.

  32. 33
    Dianne says:

    Feminist’s responsibility is that they’re not honest about the dangers of being too careful.

    Nope. OCD doesn’t work like that. You can’t give someone OCD by telling them they need to be careful about something. The worst you can do is change the manifestations.

  33. 34
    Celeste says:

    Would you blame her for making his OCD worse, since his risk taking didnt work out? What if he triggered her, because she has PTSD after being assaulted?

    Especially since, according to the National Institute of Mental Health, 5.2% of women in the US have PTSD while 0.5% of men have OCD.

    So if we’re going to structure our customary social behavior in order to avoid triggering negative reactions due to a mental health condition, surely making “ask first” customary would be of greater utility.

  34. 35
    hf says:

    Yes, and also the probability you should initially assign to Scott Aaronson being a man with OCD – if you know he’s male – is half of one percent. Michael acts like this conclusion is certain, so let’s assume he actually means it’s 90% certain. The amount of evidence, which a rational observer would need to get from the first probability to the second, has to be 1791 times as likely to happen according to the OCD hypothesis than according to its negation.

    (I’d attempt to compare the OCD theory to the theory that someone online is lying, except the chance of feminists encountering dishonest critics of feminism online is 100%. The incidence of dishonesty in critics who spontaneously bring up Dworkin is technically lower.)

    After seeing that hypothetical evidence with a 1791-to-1 likelihood ration, we still haven’t gotten to the main issue of whether or not to believe Dworkin hurt our hypothetical OCD!Aaronson even an appreciable fraction as much as the harm caused by a Xanth book, or the entire rest of our society.

  35. 36
    Michael says:

    @30-
    “re instead discussing the assertion that the only way for a man with obsessive fears of hurting women is to initiate intimate contact without making sure the partner is consenting first, how about we focus on that?”
    Again, you still don’t get it- the problem is promoting the idea is that “making sure” is a desirable thing.
    “But why couldn’t his actual actions have had the same result? Why are you so sure that for any man with OCD and this particular obsession, after kissing a partner without first assuring consent, there would be, as you call it, a short period of relief followed by later worries that they assaulted their partner? Why is kissing without asking first soooo different from kissing after asking? (and btw., I am using “asking” not as necessary verbal here, since nonverbal communication exists.)”
    I’m not very good at explaining this. so let me try and explain one more time. People with OCD experience groundless worries all the time. They might think they hit someone with their car. The problem is that if they check to make sure it’s true or try to avoid a dangerous situation unnecessarily they experience temporary relief but it gets worse later on. So they should avoid checking in a situation where an “average” person, a “normal” person wouldn’t check. If they notice their car is damaged or hear someone screaming for help, then obviously they should check.
    In the example I cited, there WERE probably indications that she wanted her to kiss him. The problem is that if you have OCD, your mind will find a way to interpret anything short of a “Kiss me, now” statement as “I’m going to hurt her if I kiss her”. The issue is that people with OCD are NEVER 100% sure that the signals their brain are sending them are false. NOTHING in life is certain. The way out is to say “Maybe someone will get hurt, maybe they won’t but I’m going to take the risk anyway, like a normal person would.” The point is to act when an “average” or “normal” person would act, not act when you’re completely sure.
    But feminists insist on promoting the idea that “making sure you have consent” is a desirable thing. This is largely unique to feminism- driving teachers don’t insist that drivers “make sure” they never hit anyone. Parenting classes don’t insist that parents “make sure” their children never gets help.
    In fact, they do everything they can to erase the story. When Scott Aaronson’s blog was posted 7 years ago, it sounded like an OCD story. But NONE of the feminists that attacked him acknowledged it. They acted like the only reason someone could be excessively afraid of hurting women is misogyny.
    (By the way, Barry, you were sort of right about one thing- it’s not that reading Dworkin made Scott Aaronson’s condition worse. It’s that trying to read something to get rid of your OCD in general makes things worse. What hurt Aaronson was not anything he read but the refusal of society to accept that the best therapies might be the ones that told him to RISK hurting women.)
    Even today, feminists don’t want a guy who says he got over his fears of hurting women to be honest about his story. They want them to say “Once I started seeing women as people, my fears went away” not “Once I realized I needed to risk hurting women, my fears went away.”
    And that’s the point. Expecting people to keep a secret like this screws people up. I’m fully aware that not being able to speak about this in meatspace while children are suffering horribly- and preventably- has negatively affected me.
    I’m fully aware that feminists aren’t the only ones pressuring people with OCD to stay silent. (Although they would probably have never have gotten affirmative consent implemented in colleges had the public known the truth.) Plenty of moms with OCD will tell you how no one wanted to hear that they got better once they decided to risk hurting their baby.
    But feminists have been harming people with OCD in other ways:
    1) They promote the idea of celibate men as dangerous when a substantial portion of men with OCD are celibate.
    2) They promote trigger warnings- a lot of people with OCD don’t realize that avoiding triggers is harmful to them.
    3) They ignore the suffering of women and girls with OCD. They talk about postpartum depression but not postpartum OCD. They ignore the countless teenage girls who are afraid they are going to commit incest or child molestation or lesbian assault.

  36. 37
    Michael says:

    My comment seems to have been deleted.

  37. 38
    Ampersand says:

    My comment seems to have been deleted.

    It got caught by the spam filter. Thanks for letting me know; I’ve fished it out.

  38. 39
    Ampersand says:

    (By the way, Barry, you were sort of right about one thing

    This is puzzling, b/c I don’t recall saying anything about Dworkin on this thread. Are you conflating me and HF?

  39. 40
    Ampersand says:

    Michael:

    driving teachers don’t insist that drivers “make sure” they never hit anyone.

    Driving instructors tell students to make sure all the time – “make sure you check your mirrors before pulling out,” “make sure there are no pedestrians using the sidewalk before backing out of a driveway,” “drive slower and check for children when driving in school zones,” “make sure to give bikes at least three feet of space when passing,” etc.. All of which is, both implicitly and often explicitly, done with the purpose of teaching drivers not to hit people.

    Should driving instructors stop doing that?

    Lauren wrote:

    Funny, I don’t see any line in that cartoon stating that this is the only possible reason why people struggle with asking for consent. The cartoon doesn’t make that claim anywhere, it merely shows one reason. Not making this cartoon about people with OCD is not erasure, because nowhere does it say “this is the only reason ever, absolutely no other reason can ever exist.” Not every cartoon can – or should – be about everybody. You are the one reading it in a way that intentionally excludes a specific group, but I see no evidence of this.

    I endorse this 100%. Thanks.

    Lauren also wrote:

    You talk about women with obsessive worries about incest. Do you write to victims’ advocates who are raising awareness for sexual abuse in families and tell them they need to stop, because they are worsening the symptoms of those women. What about obsessions surrounding cleanliness? Do you get mad a biology teachers for teaching kids about germs? Should there be no reminders to call the gas company immediately if you smell gas, because those reminders might worsen obsessive worries about forgetting to turn off the stove?

    If you answered all of these questions with “no”, why are feminist spreading awareness of the limitations of “no means no” and the need to switch to “yes means yes” the only ones being called vain, self-important and callous to the problems of others?

    Michael, I don’t think you answered this sufficiently.

    But feminists have been harming people with OCD in other ways:

    It’s weird that you keep on saying “feminists” instead of “some feminists.” Since you expect me to turn my cartoons into encyclopedia articles specifically listing all groups of people who a particular cartoon might not apply to, it’s hypocritical of you to continually speak as if all feminists are a Borg groupmind who all think and say the exact same things, rather than acknowledging that your criticisms do not actually apply to every single feminist.

    1) They promote the idea of celibate men as dangerous when a substantial portion of men with OCD are celibate.

    This isn’t true, insofar as “feminists” here means “all feminists.” A lot of feminists never discuss this at all, and aren’t even sure what the word “incel” means, for instance.

    I do agree that too many feminists (especially online) conflate “incel” and “can’t get laid,” and they shouldn’t. However, I don’t think it’s a majority, let alone 100%.

    3) They ignore the suffering of women and girls with OCD. They talk about postpartum depression but not postpartum OCD. They ignore the countless teenage girls who are afraid they are going to commit incest or child molestation or lesbian assault.

    This, again, is hypocritical of you. There are many, many suffering groups whose suffering you’ve ignored in your comments on this blog. Since you expect feminists to always list all people who are suffering, you should be doing likewise in your own rhetoric.

    (Also, I don’t know how you’ve determined that 0% of people who are working to help postpartum OCD, writing about it, researching it, etc., are feminists.)

  40. 41
    Michael says:

    @33-
    “Feminist’s responsibility is that they’re not honest about the dangers of being too careful.

    Nope. OCD doesn’t work like that. You can’t give someone OCD by telling them they need to be careful about something. The worst you can do is change the manifestations.”
    OK, let me reword what I said. Nobody got OCD from reading the Sermon on the Mount. However, several verses of the Sermon of the Mount, such as the idea that you’re guilty of adultery if you lust after a woman, promote unhealthy behavior in people predisposed to OCD. Thus, Christians have come to realize that they need to discuss OCD with their flocks, even if it makes Jesus’s wording look less-than-inspired. I believe that feminists should do something similar.
    Is that better?

  41. 42
    Dianne says:

    Christians have come to realize that they need to discuss OCD with their flocks, even if it makes Jesus’s wording look less-than-inspired.

    ??

    I do not have the largest experience in the world with Christianity, but I don’t think I have ever heard of any discussion of OCD in any Christian sermon or dogma. I feel that I probably didn’t understand what you meant. Could you clarify?

  42. 43
    Dianne says:

    a substantial portion of men with OCD are celibate.

    Citation needed.

    Inability to have sex because of obsessive fear of not getting adequate consent is an extremely rare manifestation of OCD. Fear of hitting someone while driving is far more common so if we’re saying that encouraging consent is going to trigger or worsen OCD and therefore “feminists” (i.e. people who don’t want to rape or be raped) shouldn’t encourage obtaining consent then we should certainly not allow driving instructors to tell their students to check their mirrors lest they become obsessed with checking the mirror.

  43. 44
    Lauren says:

    The way out is to say “Maybe someone will get hurt, maybe they won’t but I’m going to take the risk anyway, like a normal person would.” The point is to act when an “average” or “normal” person would act, not act when you’re completely sure.

    Funny, you keep saying I don’t understand, but ignoring what I am actually saying. I get that taking risks is necessary to combat obsessive fears. What I am saying is that it is not logical to pretend only one way of risk taking (kissing without worrying about consent) is worthwhile, while another form of risk-taking (taking a woman at her word when she expresses consent after being asked, despite knowing that there are societal factors that might pressure her to say yes) is bad. (Though it is interesting that the one that isn’t acceptable is the one that asks people to listen to women and believe what they say). You keep saying it is different, and tell everybody who disagrees with you that they are not understanding OCD, instead of considering the possibility that we understand what you are saying just fine, we just don’t agree with the conclusion you want to present as the only possible one.

    Oh, and “They should get to a point where they take the same risks people without OCD take” – yes. And all people, with or without OCD, should ensure consent before intimate contact. People are not expecting those suffering from OCD to meet a higher standard than everybody else, they are saying that everybody should be expected to meet this standard.

    They promote trigger warnings- a lot of people with OCD don’t realize that avoiding triggers is harmful to them.

    So indirectly, you are actually answering one of the questions you refused to openly engage with. You do actually think that doing everything to avoid accidentally increasing the worries of people with OCD is much more important than protecting people with PTSD or other issues stemming from traumatic incidents in their past by giving them a heads up about triggering content. (Which is what content warnings are, by the way. Not a demand to avoid the material, but a heads up, so the people who might be triggered can take this into consideration when deciding, if, when and ere to engage the material.)

    Avoiding triggers is bad for people with OCD? Ok, good thing trigger warnings can help them engage with potentially triggering material in a safe environment – with a psychiatrist, for example – instead of being ambushed by triggering material or worrying so much about accidentally being triggered by a book that they stop reading alltogether. A trained proffesional who can explain to them, if they don’t know it yet, that avoiding triggers might be harmful to them. (By the way, you do realize that in telling feminist not to write about the need to ensure consent, you yourself are trying to make sure people with the specific expression of OCD you describe don’t have to engange with what for them could be triggering materil, don’t you?)

    Of course, PTSD is not limited to people without OCD. What about a rape survivor who has OCD? Are you saying she doesn’t deserve her trauma about the rape to be considered, only the trauma related to her OCD?

    But again, all your examples of feminists “intentionally hurting people with OCD” are actually just examples of feminist not centering their fight primarily on protecting people with OCD from hearing about the reality that people get hurt by others ignoring consent all the time.

    This is largely unique to feminism- driving teachers don’t insist that drivers “make sure” they never hit anyone.

    I am pretty sure that most feminists agree that it is actually not possible to 100% ensure true consent. There is always the possibilty of the person saying yes being influenced by outside factors to say yes to something they don’t actually want. What femminists are asking people to do is to shift from “unless somebody verbally says no, it is ok to assume consent” to ” if you want sexual contact, wait for an actual yes, without applying any kind of force or pressure yourself. And when you notice signs of discomfort and hesitation in your partner, take a time out and listen to them, instead of going ahead unless/ until they say ” No. Stop”.

    The driving instructor you brought up as an example might not tell anybody to make 100 % certain that they will never hit somebody with their car ever – which one can only do by never driving a car at all – , but they will definitely tell their students to always obey the rules and laws regulating traffic. “Don’t initiate intimate contact without consent” is one of the rules we need to eliminate a lot of pain and suffering, just like “don’t run a red light” is a rule we need to avoid injuries.

    People with OCD experience groundless worries all the time.

    Yes. And the person with OCD who is constantly worried about hurting women will not suddenly be cured from their OCD if feminists stop talking about the need for consent. Maybe if society decided that it would be better to pretend that consent is never an issue and it is impossible to hurt anybody by not ensuring consent, that person might stop worrying about this specific issue. But unless the OCD itself is treated, that will not actually help them. They will simply shift to a different worry. Maybe become obsessed with the fear of destroying the planet by not having a negative carbon footprint? Will the next step then be to stop people from discussing global warming? What are problems that it is ok to talk about, when discussion of any problem might lead to a person with OCD becoming obsessively worried about it?

    At the risk of repeating myself, people discussing a legitimate problem and trying to reduce the harm this problem causes are not responsible for the fact that some people who have a mental illness that makes them obsess over problems take that particular one as the focus of their obsession. And the way to help those people is not to stop talking about the problem, but to make sure their have access to the resources necessary (psychiatrists and/ or psychologists, medication if applicable, teachers and school counselors with the training needed for assisting children with OCD etc.) to get better.

    Note that I am talking about general, public discussion. If talking to an individual with OCD, knowing what their particular obsessive worries are about and avoiding ambushing them with talks that will increase those worries is good – just like one should not start talking about a new diet with somebody fighting anorexia (though diets are a sham anyway) or discussing a particularly gruesom true crime podcast about rape with a known survivor. But even with those people, the answer is not to never talk about specific topics, but to ask beforehand if they are ok with a talk about it at the moment, if they want to talk but need some safety measures first or if they don’t want to speak of the topic at all. You know, warning about potential triggers to ensure consent before engaging in an activity that might – without consent – be incredibly harmfull.

    Honestly though, unless you start engaging with the things people are actually saying and asking, instead of cherry picking one or two sentences as a starting point to reiterate that everybody who disagrees with you just doesn’t understand OCD and feminists are uniquely evil for not making the needs of people with OCD the center of all their efforts, I am not sure what the point in replying is anymore.

  44. 45
    Michael says:

    @43- Again, I’ll reword.
    A substantial portion of men with OCD are celibate. not because of sexual fears but because of various other effects of OCD. Citation:
    http://www.ocdhope.com/ocd-faqs/
    “This is consistent with other findings that about 60% of OCD patients report difficulty maintaining relationships. Celibacy rates are also higher in OCD populations even relative to other anxiety disorders, and approximately half of married patients with OCD report marital distress.”
    I believe that feminists demonize celibate men generally.
    Is that better?

  45. 46
    Michael says:

    @Lauren- Trigger warnings are harmful or ineffective with people with PTSD:
    https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/2167702620921341
    Feminists knew or should have known this.

  46. 47
    Jacqueline Onassis Squid says:

    I believe that feminists demonize celibate men generally.

    Why do you believe that? Can you give us 5 or 10 links to examples of what you’re referring to?

  47. 48
    Doug says:

    To add to Jacqueline’s question @47, can you give 5 or 10 links to examples where they are “demonizing” celibate men for being celibate men?

    I worry there will be many links to people taking someone to task for something they’ve said or done that is actually a problem, and teh person who said or did the thing happens to identify as an “incel.”

  48. 49
    Kate says:

    And yet it’s absolutely hypocritical for feminists to complain about it, since they’re the ones promoting the stereotype that men who can’t get laid are dangerous, misogynistic, incels. For example, I can cite two episodes of recent TV shows (NCIS:LA, FBI: Most Wanted) with incel villains but I can’t think of any recent TV shows with sympathetic male virgins.

    Michael, you are clearly in a lot of pain. I acknowlege that and I respect that. Can you expand on the tropes in NCIS:LA and FBI: Most Wanted that you found particularly disturbing? If you don’t want to, if you think it would be too upsetting for you, I respect that. But, there is a good chance that I will agree that the tropes you point out are problematic. Where I disagree, is in identifying these as Feminist shows. Feminsts are not responsible for the media that you claim is triggering you. Why aren’t you railing against Hollywood? That would make some sense. Hell, I might join you!
    I know people have pointed this out already, but I hope by doing so in a less adversarial fashion, I might get you to listen. Because, railing against Feminists is not going to make you better. It could very well be making you worse. At the very least, it is, rightfully, going to push a lot of women, who simply see feminism as the belief that men and women should be legally, socially and morally equal, away from you.
    You have an out of control psychiatric condition that needs professional treatment. I know that may be impossible for you to get. In the absecne of that, why not focus your totally justifiable anger on the politicians making it impossible for you to access mental health services? I would fully support you in that fight.

  49. 50
    Michael says:

    I’ve stopped commenting because I learned that some researchers are doing a write-up on OCD and “cancel culture”:
    https://slate.com/technology/2022/06/obsessive-compulsive-disorder-being-canceled.html
    Hopefully, the final product will discuss these issue better than I could. If I had known that,I might not have posted.
    But, Kate. with all due respect, you need to stop trying to shove other people’s traumas into your own narrative, your own ideology. Once before, you suggested trigger warnings might be helpful, without considering the fact that avoiding triggers might be harmful for some people.
    “why not focus your totally justifiable anger on the politicians making it impossible for you to access mental health services? ”
    If you ask a lot of people with OCD why it took so long for them to get proper treatment, they’ll tell you 2 things: 1) They didn’t know their condition was OCD, because that’s not how it’s depicted in the media.
    (And yes, I do blame Hollywood for this.)
    2) They were afraid that if they told people the truth about their condition, people would think they were serial killers or rapists or “sinners” or whatever.
    It’s not that politicians prevented them from getting help or that patriarchy made them ashamed to appear weak, it’s that people were SCARED of them. And that kind of fear doesn’t fit easily into feminist narratives (or, to be fair, a lot of people’s narratives.)

  50. 51
    Jacqueline Onassis Squid says:

    2) They were afraid that if they told people the truth about their condition, people would think they were serial killers or rapists or “sinners” or whatever.

    I’ve certainly never heard anybody say that people with OCD are serial killers or rapists. Neither have I ever heard anybody say that serial killers or rapists have OCD. A quick google search finds at the top of the list a reddit whatever you call it and a couple of links about people with OCD being worried that they may be serial killers. There’s no prominent feminist or feminist site saying these things.

    These fears (and their companions, anger and lashing out at women) are coming from inside the house.

    While I’m sorry that this is a worry for you, it’s no excuse to lash out at people who have nothing to do with why you have this fear. Like I say about my neighbors, “You’re crazy and that’s okay, that’s not your choice. But you’re mean and that’s a choice that you’re making and that is definitely NOT okay. Please stop. I’m not going to interact with you again until you apologize and stop being mean.”

  51. 52
    Michael says:

    @Jacqueline Squid- This is why I didn’t want to talk about it. Both because I’m not good explaining things and because people like you don’t want to understand.
    For starters, women with OCD with fears of harming their babies often have their babies taken away from them:
    https://www.todaysparent.com/baby/postpartum-care/postpartum-intrusive-thoughts/
    ““In our experience, perinatal maternity care providers don’t know very much about postpartum harm thoughts, and as a consequence, have a tendency to interpret [them] as indicative of an increased risk of child abuse. And to then respond with potentially serious consequences,” says Fairbrother. These consequences include the possibility that babies could be apprehended. Even when the worst doesn’t happen, a lack of understanding on the part of care providers can make women feel even more alone and afraid. ”
    Then there’s this article, about a woman who was suspended from high school for thoughts of molesting other women:
    https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2013/11/obsessive-thoughts-a-darker-side-of-ocd/281260/
    And here’s more anecdotes from the same article:
    “One woman fell into Penzel’s care after her first therapist called the state’s Child Protective Services after hearing the woman’s fear of harming her child.”
    “Another patient called Penzel from the maternity ward after she had given birth, explaining that hospital personnel had listened to her fears of harming her child and taken the infant away.”
    And here’s an anecdote about a boy from the same article:
    “A boy in Penzel’s care was also suspended from school for “voicing morbid thoughts,” and also allowed to return only when two psychologists and a psychiatrist vouched for him.”
    Do you honestly thinks it’s irrational for people with OCD to hide their condition after reading anecdotes like this?
    Now if you want to argue that most of these anecdotes involve women, so maybe being suspended form school or having your kid taken away happens more to women than men, well, it would be nice if feminists did a study about that. But most of them ignored it!
    If you want to argue that I was too angry or that I shouldn’t have singled out feminists (to make it clear, again, I blame a lot of people but I don’t think feminists have clean hands in this matter), maybe you have a point. But the fact that you’re more angry about what I said than that mothers are being taken from their children and teenagers are being suspended for something that’s ultimately harmless speaks for itself.

  52. 53
    Ampersand says:

    But the fact that you’re more angry about what I said than that mothers are being taken from their children and teenagers are being suspended for something that’s ultimately harmless speaks for itself.

    When you attack someone’s position on subject A while also mentioning B – where B is a position you both agree with – the response is going to be more about A than B, 95% of the time. People tend to respond to being attacked; and on forums like these, where debate is the norm, people often focus more on area of disagreement than agreement.

    If someone falsely claims I’m a groomer (and, by implication, child molester), and I respond by saying “I’m not a fucking groomer and it’s ridiculous for you to attack me this way,” and the person replies “the fact that you’re more angry about being called a groomer than you are about child molestation speaks for itself,” then that person is being ridiculous.

    (To be clear: I’m not saying you called me that, or would call me that. I’m just using an extreme example to illustrate my point.)

  53. 54
    Dianne says:

    Note what is missing from the links Micheal provided: Any hint that the problems described are related to gender. Women and men (and I presume non-binaries, though I haven’t found any scholarship on OCD in this population) are affected by OCD equally. The specific manifestations of OCD can be extremely varied and are of interest only in terms of deciding how to address the underlying issue. They have no particular significance as to the underlying illness and certainly aren’t causative. A sexually related obsession is no more meaningful in terms of the illness than a cleanliness obsession.

    OCD is hungry. If you placate one fear, another will pop up so avoiding a single OCD trigger is not going to help anything. It’ll just grab another fear. I honestly can’t imagine a better way to provoke a new manifestation of OCD than convincing someone with OCD that they’re fragile and any hint that they might, in a given circumstance, be told something that would cause them to have a new fear. That would only lead to obsessive avoidance of any situation where they might be told “be careful” or “make sure to check X”. Ironically given Michael’s particular (probably non-OCD but possibly pathologic) obsession with making sure men (but not women) with OCD get laid, it would almost certainly lead to someone with OCD avoiding all romantic contact because they obsessively fear that their date or hookup might possibly mention consent, leading them to develop an obsessive fear of not obtaining enough consent.

  54. 55
    Dianne says:

    Do you honestly thinks it’s irrational for people with OCD to hide their condition after reading anecdotes like this?

    Yes. If the condition is hidden, it will go untreated. If it goes untreated, it will continue to cause harm. As soon as the diagnosis of OCD is made, the institutions fears should be immediately alleviated, since people with OCD essentially never act on their obsessive fears.

    A person who expresses thoughts of hurting their child or hurting their classmates should be investigated. OCD is not the only condition or situation that might lead to these thoughts and some of the conditions and situations that lead to consideration of harming others are less benign (in terms of risk to others.)

    But once the diagnosis of OCD is made, the institutional actions can be dropped (in the anecdote in question, the child returned to school after a psychiatric evaluation–whether two were needed is less clear to me; that could be institutional excessiveness or maybe the diagnosis was not clear) and the person with OCD given proper treatment. Note that proper treatment for OCD involves treatment with both medication and behavioral therapy with a qualified specialist in OCD treatment (not a general psychologist or psychiatrist, though the latter may be needed to manage medication).

    So, yes, if you have obsessive fears of harming another, make an appointment with a psychologist or psychiatrist or your general practitioner and disclose them. Get help before it becomes a crisis and your condition is disclosed in an uncontrolled manner to people who have neither the training nor the understanding to help you.

  55. 56
    Michael says:

    #54,55- Again, I agree 100% that avoiding your fears makes it worse in the long term. I agree 100% that OCD affects women as well as men. And I realize I lack the delicacy and the temperament to discuss these issues. And I fully agree that yes, you need to seek treatment. But what you don’t seem to fully grasp is how difficult it is for someone with OCD to admit their condition to someone, especially for a teenager who doesn’t know there are other kids going through the same thing they are. And how much it hurts that everyone tries to erase the reality of your condition and pretend it’s limited to keeping pencils in order.
    (Incidentally, one of the main reasons I keep bringing up sexless men with OCD is because the current stereotype seems to be “all celibate men are incels”, instead of a more realistic “some celibate men are incels and some merely have harmless untreated mental health conditions.” There’s arguably no equivalent stereotype for women at the moment. )
    But again, I realize I lack the delicacy and temperament to discuss these issues.

  56. 57
    Dianne says:

    the current stereotype seems to be “all celibate men are incels”, instead of a more realistic “some celibate men are incels and some merely have harmless untreated mental health conditions.”

    Did the possibility that some men are celibate because they choose to be simply not occur to you? Were you unaware that there are men who are ace or demisexual and just not interested in having sex? Or that there are men with perfectly typical sexualities who choose not to have sex right now for one reason or another, ranging from priests who take their vows seriously to men waiting for Ms/Mr/Mx Right? Not all men who are celibate are either incels or have a mental condition.

  57. 58
    Michael says:

    @56- I considered writing “involuntarily celibate” but that sounded too much like incel. Unhappily celibate? And yes, I do realize there are probably “unhappily celibate” men who are neither incels nor have a mental condition. Again, like I said, I am not the most delicate writer, so someone else should probably discuss these issues.

  58. 59
    Jacqueline Onassis Squid says:

    But the fact that you’re more angry about what I said than that mothers are being taken from their children and teenagers are being suspended for something that’s ultimately harmless speaks for itself.

    Yes. That sounds very much like me and the positions I’ve espoused here and elsewhere online for the last 20 years. /sarcasm

    Saying that to be hurtful is being mean, yet again. Yes, mean. That quote isn’t anger, it’s pure meanness. The intention isn’t to express your point but to hurt me, to make me angry. Alas, I’m just starting to pity you as you’re unable to recognize that you can’t make me angry. Your opinion of me just doesn’t matter enough for you to be able to anger me.

    You’re mean and that’s a choice. I’ll interact with you on a level other than telling you that you’ve made the choice to be mean when you apologize to me and follow that up by being, if not polite, civil.

  59. 60
    Michael says:

    @Jacqueline#59- I admit that I got too angry. But you gave as good as you got. And I fully realize that doesn’t excuse my temper. So I’ll apologize. I realize that us fighting isn’t helping mentally ill children or anyone else.

  60. 61
    Jacqueline Onassis Squid says:

    While I don’t think I was mean to you, I do appreciate your apology. It’s possible to disagree without being mean.

  61. 62
    Ampersand says:

    Incidentally, one of the main reasons I keep bringing up sexless men with OCD is because the current stereotype seems to be “all celibate men are incels”, instead of a more realistic “some celibate men are incels and some merely have harmless untreated mental health conditions.”

    Someone already brought up that there are other reasons men might be celibate besides the two you mentioned, and you agreed they were right, so thanks.

    Let me add that, as far as I can tell, no one on this forum – not a single person here – believes that “all celibate men are incels.” Certainly, no one’s said anything like that (and if they did, I would strongly disagree).

    I’m fine with you arguing against anyone saying “all celibate men are incels.” But that’s not what you’re doing here. You’re arguing with people who entirely agree with you that not all celibate men are incels.

    And there are definitely stereotypes about involuntarily celibate women, like the stereotype this song is about.

  62. 63
    Lauren says:

    Some nice news, just because everything seems to be going wrong at the moment:

    The german legislative body just passed a new “Law of self-determination”. When it goes into effect, it will replase the old “Transsexuals – law” (sorry for clumsy translations..)

    Why is this good news? The old law required long, invasive and expensive examinations by two different docters, who then had to write their expert assesments on whether the person reaaaallly wanted to change their official gender and was sufficiently “disturbed/ ill” that changing it was necessary for their health. Only if both doctors agreed could one start the court proceeding to get name and gender officially changed in all governmant documents (IDs and drivers licenses being some of the most important).

    The new law of self-determination merely requires an appointment at your local municipal building, an application and a conversation with a municipal employe to ensure that you are not under duress (or under the influence of alcohol or drugs). Thats it. One form, and your real identity will officially be recognised, both true gender and real name. (I still need to research if this will also make name changes easier for other people, but the main intent was to make things easier for trans* and intersex people.)

    The intend to change the law is something that all three parties currently forming the government agreed on in ther coalition-treaty. And just like that, it passed.

    (Ad in that we also got rid of the law criminalyzing “advertising” abortion, which factually forbid doctors from informing people that they performed them or give information on the different procedures availabe on their websites and…I am feeling a tiny bit better, despite the utter shit-show that is…everything else)

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