Forgive me for chiming in before I've seen the movie, but I wonder if this (also) has something to do with the nature of movies themselves. You can't really show a whole relationship in a movie; by its nature you are seeing vignettes. Which means that the viewer must fill in the missing parts--and if you aren't familiar with that flip between attention and harassment, you're not likely to fill it in.
True, and it was interesting to me how differently the guys and I viewed those scenes, probably for much the same reason. I think the script tried to make it work by putting in the conversation in the bar, but it still was incomprehensible to the guys.
When that movie came out almost every woman that I know had a variation of that same conversation with one of the men in her life. And you are right, men just *don't* get it. I just assume it's a power thing. Generally men, even minority men, are in a position of power which offers them the choice of pursuit. Very few of them really understand what it means to feel powerless (or at least less powerful) and vulnerable to whatever someone imposes on you against your will.
One of my favorite comment I heard of several men making was that if it were [fill in name of a famous woman who is not considered attractive: Rosanne Barr, Susan Boyle, etc] then men could understand why he would be upset but not if it was someone who was considered "hot".
While the percentage of men who are sexually harassed is obviously mush lower than the female percentage, this is one of the reasons so many of them don't say anything. The same attitude that fuels how men view the situation in the movie helps to perpetuate the silence of men who are sexually harassed and assaulted.
And men who are victims of domestic violence. Which is really sad, because it does happen.
thanks for being so clear here. Yes.
And another movie I SO don't need to watch.
It was actually kind of funny, if you like movies like The Hangover.
I somehow keep being unable to find anything funny that is based on The Stupid.
Yeah. And also, objective attractiveness is no guarantee of subjective attraction.
I have a number of male friends who fit the societal beauty standard for guys pretty well. Nonetheless, I'm not feeling it with many of them--and when one of them was puppy-dogging around after me, it was awkward and annoying. He didn't get to the harassment stage, thank God, but if he had, it wouldn't have been any better just because another girl could look at him and go "whoa, hot."
In fact, one of the more irritating things about the whole time was my well-meaning friends talking about how X is so cute, and so nice, and of course you're not gonna go out with him if he's not your thing, but isn't it sad that he's not? And it's like well, why don't YOU fuck him then? Jesus.
Yeah, that's just irritating as shit. What is wrong with people, seriously?
This reminds me of the recent kerfuffle in the skeptic/atheist community over what has been described as "Elevatorgate." (Google for details). The amount of male privilege out there is kind of astonishing sometimes.
Astonishing is one word for it. Depressing is another. :(
what about female privilege? When a couple divorces, it's the woman who gets the kids, and the money. Women don't have to wait in line to get into bars, they don't have to pay cover charge, and they get free drinks. Women can do anything they want, say anything they want to men, and if he does anything about it, she cries abuse.
And somehow oddly reassuring to me. For all of the atheists' crowing of, "We don't need a God to be moral!" seeing that in fact, there are just as many sexist assholes among the atheists as the religious is proof that really, belief in God isn't the core problem. It's being an asshole and finding an excuse for it.
I'm not sure the disconnect is in not getting how unwanted physical attention could be unpleasant. I think it might lie in being unable to understand how physical attention from Jennifer Aniston could be unwanted.
The idea that men seldom get bullied, however, is more than a little inaccurate. It may become rarer as people get older, but it's still all too common for any number of reasons.
There definitely is a "hot chick" aspect to it that makes them have difficulty understanding. But the bullying of it is definitely a continuing problem.
One other thing, I think, is that most men don't get told they're attractive very often (positively or negatively). At least, I don't. The idea of beautiful women propositioning them is pretty close to a fantasy for most. Trying to spin that fantasy as a bad thing is, in some ways, a little like a billionaire trying to explain that worrying about all the money is SO STRESSFUL and the long hours are SO HARD and retiring at 40 is SO BORING. Especially when you add in the native societal assumption that men always want sex and women don't.
It's somewhat like when pretty young women complain about getting drinks bought for them. ;)
Personally (and I admit to not having seen the movie yet), I'd sympathize with Paul Rudd's character because she's his boss and she's clearly crazy, which means there's no way for him to come out ahead in this situation. I would also sympathize with him if he were married/engaged. I can sympathize with him for all the ways she makes his life unpleasant. But the core "Jennifer Aniston wants you to screw her but you don't want to" is really hard to feel sympathy for.
Hi Zoethe! Long time reader & I don't comment (or post) often, but I recently read a good blog post on privilege. Maybe you've already read it, but it explained privilege really well. I forget where I saw it linked, and I've never read the blog before, but I'm glad it did. Anyways, I think it ties in well with this entry. Enjoy!https://sindeloke.wordpress.com/2010/01/13/37/
That is a really good article. Thank you for the link!
To be fair, most guys have a hard time getting their minds around unwanted physical contact and sexual advances. This is because of a lot of things. Some of them include the fact that we live in a culture where men are the sexually dominant ones for the most part, and are expected to do the pursuing. So they don't pursue women they don't want. Another is that women, having felt this pressure many times, do not pursue men in the same aggressive way that men sometimes pursue women, so we don't have to deal with it even when being pursued. And then there's the cold hard fact that Jennifer Aniston is hot and her character came off as sexually aggressive and most men would find that pretty appealing (or at least your average man would).
I have to admit, while I can understand and imagine the situation I don't have a point of reference myself.
OTOH, if they had cast someone way less attractive than Aniston, I think it would have helped a lot. Though I should disclaim that i haven't seen the movie, so I might have no idea what sort of situation they were trying to present based on the commercial and reviews. But if you want to get a visceral reaction out of a man, then present him with a conventionally ugly woman in the absence of other good traits and you'll get it. It's the way we're socially trained and I know of very few men who are immune (though some are less affected).
Yes, but I think they were trying to make the point that attractiveness in and of itself does not immediately make attention desirable. I understand where you are coming from, but the female experience still says, "You're fucking kidding, right?"
if they had cast someone way less attractive than Aniston, I think it would have helped a lot.
Like the land-lady on Kingpin?
I find it baffling as well. The other person being attractive may make you more likely to want the attention - but if you don't, then you don't.
And when the attention is as rude as hers was, even if you started out receptive you'd quickly be repulsed.
Men seldom get that kind of treatment, particularly in a sexual context, so it can be hard to comprehend the continual and exhausting stress of battling for boundaries when it's combined with the nagging fear of actual sexual assault. And the pervasive nature of harassment that leaves continually tense, watching out for the next touch/gesture/remark? Completely draining. It's like playing defense all the time: it wears you out.
Although this has never happened to me I could totally understand how horrible being harassed can be.