September 4th, 2006


Entries not written

There are some topics on which it seems impossible to get the message across to those who need it most, and equally impossible to avoid people who don't need to hear it from thinking it's about them.

With all the discussion of romantic/sexual behavior standards in fandom, I've been thinking about writing a livejournal entry called, "How to pick up women at cons."* But the people who are jerks to women at cons wouldn't read it, and if they did, they would convince themselves that 1) it was all wrong and 2) it didn't apply to them anyway, because "context" is the same thing as "loophole."** And in the meantime, people who are shy and uncertain of themselves but not jerks would read it and become convinced that they had been horrible, horrible asses at one point or another, and would go into a funk about their own horribleness.

Still. On my top ten list of mantras for the human race, I would really like to put, "Context matters." Or maybe a double-sided coin that says, "Other people are a lot like you," on one side and "Other people are pretty different from you," on the other, except that, again, the people who are most problematic would keep turning up the wrong side of the coin for the problem at hand. And framing the context wrong. And so on.

Primates. Really a lot of trouble, when it comes right down to it.

On the other hand, a lot of canines have leg-humping problems, so that's not really a solution, either.

*It would have been a more serious and longer list than, "More or less the same as picking up men: 1) Make sure they're okay with it first; 2) Lift with your knees, not with your back; 3) Always have some idea how you're going to put them back down again." But those are still good principles to remember.

**This seems to be a belief that a fair number of jerks hold no matter what topic they're jerks about. Romance/sexuality, politics, art, economics, literature, religion, whatever. Any consideration of multiple factors, background, etc. is exactly the same as weaseling, a double standard, or a declaration that anything goes. So if that guy I know can flirt outrageously and make me laugh, it is totally okay for someone else I've never met to grope me in the elevator. And not wanting to be in one war is the same as never being willing to fight for anything. Everything is the same just by saying that it is! All arguments can be won if only you can repeat, "Yes or no? Yes! Or! No???" enough times. Yarg.