Comments on: Monday roundup: no more pencils, no more books edition http://www.historiann.com/2011/08/29/monday-roundup-no-more-pencils-no-more-books-edition/ History and sexual politics, 1492 to the present Sat, 20 Sep 2014 07:56:15 +0000 hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.2 By: quixote http://www.historiann.com/2011/08/29/monday-roundup-no-more-pencils-no-more-books-edition/comment-page-1/#comment-867091 Tue, 30 Aug 2011 20:27:05 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=16358#comment-867091 Interesting, Historiann, that children used to be slimed with the same defensive dreck now reserved for women. The mind reels.

As to your other point about sex and crime having always been confused, I’m sure that’s true in reality. But something feels like it’s changed in the acceptability of crimes against adult women. Unlike crimes against other big stereotyped groups — blacks, Jews, gays — crimes against women are funny. As Linden says, the sheer unconsciousness, it burns. I’m pretty sure that back in the day those crimes were unmentionable, not funny. Then again, maybe I just didn’t have my finger on the pulse of adult thought.

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By: Historiann http://www.historiann.com/2011/08/29/monday-roundup-no-more-pencils-no-more-books-edition/comment-page-1/#comment-867085 Tue, 30 Aug 2011 19:58:45 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=16358#comment-867085 Heh. Doesn’t it look like liberation to you? Smell the freedom!!!

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By: Linden http://www.historiann.com/2011/08/29/monday-roundup-no-more-pencils-no-more-books-edition/comment-page-1/#comment-867074 Tue, 30 Aug 2011 19:27:55 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=16358#comment-867074 I’m having a really hard time imagining the process that goes into presenting a simulated performance of gang rape as fit entertainment for some of our society’s most prominent female leaders. The sheer unconsciousness of these men in their privilege is breathtaking.

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By: “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!” « More or Less Bunk http://www.historiann.com/2011/08/29/monday-roundup-no-more-pencils-no-more-books-edition/comment-page-1/#comment-867071 Tue, 30 Aug 2011 19:17:51 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=16358#comment-867071 [...] without money, to use a phrase I picked up from Historiann, is a losing proposition for everyone involved, at least in so far as it involves our imminent [...]

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By: Historiann http://www.historiann.com/2011/08/29/monday-roundup-no-more-pencils-no-more-books-edition/comment-page-1/#comment-866960 Tue, 30 Aug 2011 13:21:24 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=16358#comment-866960 Great points, everyone. Love esp. Flavia’s and Quixote’s observations.

As to Quixote’s question about sex/crime and crime/sex, it seems to me from a casual survey of the past 400 years in North America that those lines have always been intersectional. What changes is that some “sex crimes” have been decriminalized (same-sex activity, for example), whereas other kinds of sex crimes continue to be defined as normative heterosexuality (rape, coercion, etc.) Still other “perversions” have been redefined as crimes, like the rape of a child. (In colonial Anglo-America, child victims of sexual assault were ususally presumed to be equally guilty of the “fornication,” and are accused of “tempting” their rapists. Ick.)

That’s my 7:30 a.m. off-the-cuff, packing-my-schoolbag, running-to-catch-the-bus analysis, anyway. Other scholars, feel free to comment on/criticize/add to the mix!

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By: Katherine http://www.historiann.com/2011/08/29/monday-roundup-no-more-pencils-no-more-books-edition/comment-page-1/#comment-866924 Tue, 30 Aug 2011 11:06:14 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=16358#comment-866924 Gay Prof had a post a while ago about the lyrics of the songs played at the gym, and the overwhelming number that were by and about women/girls getting so drunk they didn’t remember what happened next. Gay Prof speculated, accurately to my mind at least, that this has something to do with trying to frame a socially acceptable context for women wanting sex, and that our society still really only wants passive (unconscious) women.

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By: cgeye http://www.historiann.com/2011/08/29/monday-roundup-no-more-pencils-no-more-books-edition/comment-page-1/#comment-866869 Tue, 30 Aug 2011 07:57:23 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=16358#comment-866869 but, on more important matters… what really bites about school supply shopping is that the real sales start after school starts — the requirements get spread early in the month, but the deep loss leaders don’t show up until late….

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By: cgeye http://www.historiann.com/2011/08/29/monday-roundup-no-more-pencils-no-more-books-edition/comment-page-1/#comment-866868 Tue, 30 Aug 2011 07:53:53 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=16358#comment-866868 “But that’s not what’s happening. Instead, somehow, it’s suddenly “prissy” to object to crimes.”

Megadittoes, Quixote. Since when is youthful exuberance = harassment, mimed and obscene sexual assault in front of women who, being as “powerful” as they are, would have sat through at least one HR briefing about protecting underlings from the behavior they witnessed in an event in their honor?

As powerful as they are, if they didn’t object, they truly suck as bosses, and should be fired. And, if they are supposedly as important a group of alumnae that could be solicited for gifts, they should have told their Princeton minders that not one red cent gets contributed by them, or their friends, until they and the larger female campus community get a meaningful (i.e., with sanctions attached) apology. QED.

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By: quixote http://www.historiann.com/2011/08/29/monday-roundup-no-more-pencils-no-more-books-edition/comment-page-1/#comment-866806 Tue, 30 Aug 2011 04:29:23 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=16358#comment-866806 There’s one huge difference in the prissiness scale described from the suffragettes through birth control. Those all involved increasing amounts of sex, as in “people who want each other.” A modern equivalent ratchet up in the scale would be if teenagers had sex in public and us old fogeys were squeamish.

But that’s not what’s happening. Instead, somehow, it’s suddenly “prissy” to object to crimes.

It’s no part of the prissiness scale when someone starts talking about harm. There’s no both-wanting-each-other about it. It’s nothing to do with sex, and involving sexual organs doesn’t change that. (You might as well say torture is art because hands are used to do both.) Pointing out the horribleness of conflating harm and sex is not prissy. It’s obvious.

My question for the historians here is: when and why did so many people somehow forget that sex isn’t a crime and crimes aren’t sex? Seriously. How did that happen? I’ve lived those decades, and that transition into perversion happened while I wasn’t looking. And I really, really, really hate it.

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By: Flavia http://www.historiann.com/2011/08/29/monday-roundup-no-more-pencils-no-more-books-edition/comment-page-1/#comment-866804 Tue, 30 Aug 2011 04:26:07 +0000 http://www.historiann.com/?p=16358#comment-866804 I share your feelings about the NYT essay, and indeed I share Belkin’s own sense of uncertainty about what, if anything this “means” for feminism today. I give her credit for not jumping to the conclusion that young college women’s sexxxxay behavior is necessarily a sign that feminist awareness is losing ground. . . but I’m uneasy, too.

One idea that’s worth throwing out there: especially when it’s schools like Princeton we’re talking about, some of the overt flaunting of one’s sexuality might be chalked up to young women who were nerds in high school realizing that they have bodies, and can attract male attention with them — and generally experimenting with what that means and with what kind of relationship they want to have to their bodies and their sexuality.

That’s not to say that there aren’t real dangers inherent in that, or that it isn’t awfully convenient that they’re expressing their sexual desire in ways that are sanctioned by the patriarchy. But female bodies can be tough things to grow into, and it takes many people (both men and women) a while to figure out how to negotiate their own and other people’s desire. So my optimistic read is that for most the young women profiled in this article this is just an early stage in a longer process.

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