Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 018

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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 018

Postby atalex » Fri Dec 30, 2011 8:53 pm

Raza wrote:And Wanda wasn't molested, just hit on


Man, I hope you're not a supervisor anywhere. The text made it clear that she was repeatedly and involuntarily groped by enemy soldiers, that she was unable to resist due to Olive's spell (which might as well have been a date rape spell in retrospect -- "Just lie there and think of Goodminton"), and could only fight back by summoning a horde of zombie rapists to threaten retaliation.

Right now, I think Flower Power is the most diabolical and disturbing power in Erfworld. I wonder how Parson (who famously thought it terribly inappropriate to take sexual advantage of decrypted Archons accustomed to being treated as sex toys) will react to learning exactly what Janis is capable of.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 018

Postby Raza » Fri Dec 30, 2011 9:35 pm

*shrug*

I'm no fan of that aggressive style of come-ons encouraged by our gender culture, but the distinction between that and molestation is not one you can reasonably decline to make. Erring on the side of condemnation isn't as moral a tendency as it's made out to be.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 018

Postby shamelessmerc » Sat Dec 31, 2011 2:39 am

Raza wrote:*shrug*

I'm no fan of that aggressive style of come-ons encouraged by our gender culture, but the distinction between that and molestation is not one you can reasonably decline to make. Erring on the side of condemnation isn't as moral a tendency as it's made out to be.


I'm sorry. Am I correct in thinking that you just said repeated attempts to touch breasts or genitals, after it being made absolutely clear that such behaviour is unwelcome, somehow falls into a grey area?
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 018

Postby Raza » Sat Dec 31, 2011 7:35 am

Apparently we're dealing with some sort of perceptual difference here... 'cause the way I read it, those things didn't actually happen.

There was no mention of breasts or genitalia, and the repeats where by different individuals, who couldn't all be expected to be reached by previous rejections - and considering no violence was possibly at the time, we can reasonably assume their aim was to propose consensual sex, and individual hopefuls would've given up after being rejected anyway.

I don't know what your frame of reference is on forward drunk flirtation, but when hands first go up shirts with no previous sign of reciprocation, they generally linger around the stomach or lower back... the only ones noted to be grabbing crotches were Wanda's uncroaked. I'm getting the impression that you're either so far removed from this kind of situation or so eager to alienate yourself from it that your imagination is filling in the blanks left by the text update in the worst way possible.

Grabbing people as a means of flirting is certainly unpleasant; the mark of drunk-stupid guys under the inebriated impression that they're as attractive as they are attractable... but it is not generally malign, and it is not molestation. It's a crude but essentially positive message of attraction, being further distorted on the receiving end by the omnipresent influence of sexually repressive culture. Doing it won't get you laid, but demonizing it will only further escalate cultural polarization and individual oversensitivity.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 018

Postby Housellama » Sun Jan 01, 2012 3:32 pm

Raza wrote:Apparently we're dealing with some sort of perceptual difference here... 'cause the way I read it, those things didn't actually happen.

There was no mention of breasts or genitalia, and the repeats where by different individuals, who couldn't all be expected to be reached by previous rejections - and considering no violence was possibly at the time, we can reasonably assume their aim was to propose consensual sex, and individual hopefuls would've given up after being rejected anyway.

I don't know what your frame of reference is on forward drunk flirtation, but when hands first go up shirts with no previous sign of reciprocation, they generally linger around the stomach or lower back... the only ones noted to be grabbing crotches were Wanda's uncroaked. I'm getting the impression that you're either so far removed from this kind of situation or so eager to alienate yourself from it that your imagination is filling in the blanks left by the text update in the worst way possible.

Grabbing people as a means of flirting is certainly unpleasant; the mark of drunk-stupid guys under the inebriated impression that they're as attractive as they are attractable... but it is not generally malign, and it is not molestation. It's a crude but essentially positive message of attraction, being further distorted on the receiving end by the omnipresent influence of sexually repressive culture. Doing it won't get you laid, but demonizing it will only further escalate cultural polarization and individual oversensitivity.


Well said. Uninvited touching isn't always regarded as a bad thing. If the guy or girl is attracted to the one doing the touching, it's fine. It's when the touching is unwelcome that it becomes a problem. The issue is that the person doing the touching doesn't necessarily know (or is too drunk and/or stupid to perceive) when it will and won't be unwelcome. Sometimes you just have to take your chances. Because of that, in our society it's considered a risky or aggressive move. Even so, it's one that can work out in everyone's favor. There's a difference between a touch and an attack, even in a puritanical society. The difference is often found in the context. This, practically by definition, makes it a gray area.

When a man (or woman) has intentions that aren't of a... Hrm. Honorable? nature in mind, there is a distinct difference in behavior. An attacker moves and acts very differently than someone who's just drunk and stupid. The drunken frat guy who thinks he's God's Gift and can't keep his hands to himself isn't intending to attack people; he's just an idiot. An intentional rapist is very different. Now there is a point where simple stupidity becomes an intent to do harm, and that's where the difference lies. Most stupid people will (eventually) get the message if someone isn't interested. The status of what they do after they get that message (or the point where stupidity becomes criminal) is often determined by a jury of one's peers, either in a court of law or in the court of public opinion. If our drunken frat boy wanders off to another woman, he's an idiot who will get a very bad reputation. If he gets angry and decides that he's going to have what he wants anyway, he's just crossed the line from stupidity to intent to harm and that's a completely different ballgame.

I'm not sure I 100% agree with Raza that the prevention of engagement would stop a 'rape' from happening, it would certainly make one difficult. I very seriously doubt that a like that would allow someone to be held down and sexually assaulted against their will. Sure, flirting (as defined by Raza's 'opening' touches) might be allowed, but at some point an attack is an attack.

Now I'm not saying that putting hands on someone is a good or bad thing. I'm not legitimizing it. That stupid frat boy should keep his hands to himself, and if society is working correctly he will get a reputation for being more than friendly and will be treated as such. But as Raza said, demonizing the behavior doesn't help. It just widens the gap between perception and reality and that is very rarely a good thing. Act on something the way you feel is correct, but for boop's sake, see it for what it is, and not for what you want it to be.
"All warfare is based on deception" - Sun Tzu, Chapter 1, Line 18, The Art of War

"The principle of strategy is to know ten thousand things by having one thing." - Miyamoto Musashi, The Book of Earth, Go Rin No Sho
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 018

Postby shamelessmerc » Tue Jan 03, 2012 2:28 am

Raza wrote:Apparently we're dealing with some sort of perceptual difference here... 'cause the way I read it, those things didn't actually happen.


That's fair enough, and that's 90% of our disagreement. But I made sure I reread the section in question a couple of times before I posted, and I'm still confident in my initial assumptions, and that most people would read them the same way.

Raza wrote:There was no mention of breasts or genitalia,


True. The exact quote is: "putting a hand inside the enemy's shirt" and "put his hands on an unwelcome part of her body"

Now, I'm quite prepared to accept the argument that for the particular character of Wanda "Unwelcome Part" is anything beyond the fingertips, but even if it is the case, what is wrong with respecting that? And if it isn't the case, "Unwelcome Part" means exactly what it would to most members of the population, a supposition that is further bolstered by the nature of Wanda's retaliation.

Raza wrote:and the repeats where by different individuals, who couldn't all be expected to be reached by previous rejections


Supposition, and not supported by the fact there was a CROWD following her at the end of the night, including Larry who had been with her at the start of the evening.


Raza wrote: - and considering no violence was possibly at the time, we can reasonably assume their aim was to propose consensual sex, and individual hopefuls would've given up after being rejected anyway.


A *very* interesting question, since it is perfectly possible to commit non-consensual acts without going as far as violence, and Wanda's "retaliatory strike" showed that the unfortunate victims WEREN'T able to extricate themselves except by flight.
I hadn't even considered that particular scenario until you made your point, but I'm now leaning toward the opinion that the situation was even more unpleasant than my initial cursory reading suggested.

Raza wrote:I don't know what your frame of reference is on forward drunk flirtation, but when hands first go up shirts with no previous sign of reciprocation, they generally linger around the stomach or lower back...


Lol... VERY experienced thank you :-) Which is why I have very little patience with the "She was giving out mixed signals" school of defence. It is possible to tell is someone wants to have sex with you within 10 seconds of meeting them, and I can still make that distinction while hammered enough that staggering to a urinal is a challenge. Certainly I have never "flirtatiously" put my hands inside another persons clothes without having been kissing them passionately for at least 5 minutes beforehand, and in that situation there are arms, legs, necks and faces to stroke to better effect. So yeah, in my frame of reference a guy sticking his hand inside a shirt without "prior" should expect to get that hand back with a broken finger or two, a slap, or if he is very lucky, a glare.

Raza wrote:Grabbing people as a means of flirting is certainly unpleasant; the mark of drunk-stupid guys under the inebriated impression that they're as attractive as they are attractable...

Agree

Raza wrote:but it is not generally malign,

I agree that it is not "intentionally" malign,

Raza wrote:and it is not molestation. It's a crude but essentially positive message of attraction,

Disagree - you are trying to classify something that is subjectively experienced in terms of it's subjective intention. If I accidentally run someone over, it's different from me intentionally driving them down. But the victim is still run over. The person on the receiving end has the same unpleasant experience regardless of my intent.

Raza wrote:being further distorted on the receiving end by the omnipresent influence of sexually repressive culture. Doing it won't get you laid, but demonizing it will only further escalate cultural polarization and individual oversensitivity.


A friend of mine wrote a very funny article once about how he never got laid right through the 90's because he was petrified of objectifying his women friends.

I think a lot of the relationship side of gender politics is total rubbish. But there are some legitimate concerns. I'm not "demonising" anything. Just pointing out that a certain action meets a certain criteria to be considered "X". This wasn't a pat on the shoulder misinterpreted by a nutty co-worker. This wasn't an invasion of personal space that she was too polite to point out. It's her body and she gets to decide what happens to it.

Oh, and you keep mentioning our "repressed sexual culture"... I assure you that sex clubs have a far dimmer view of that kind of behaviour, because if you can't feel safe chained naked to an inverted cross, where can you feel safe?
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 018

Postby Raza » Tue Jan 10, 2012 7:36 pm

Housellama wrote:Well said.
<snip>

Thanks! We seem to largely agree. =)

shamelessmerc wrote:That's fair enough, and that's 90% of our disagreement. But I made sure I reread the section in question a couple of times before I posted, and I'm still confident in my initial assumptions, and that most people would read them the same way.

Now, I'm quite prepared to accept the argument that for the particular character of Wanda "Unwelcome Part" is anything beyond the fingertips, but even if it is the case, what is wrong with respecting that? And if it isn't the case, "Unwelcome Part" means exactly what it would to most members of the population, a supposition that is further bolstered by the nature of Wanda's retaliation.

Most people I know don't like to be flirtatiously touched anywhere by people they don't find attractive. On the other hand, quite a few enjoy it from people they do like, even strangers. When 'unwelcome' is a matter of who's doing the touching... well, certainly people should respect it once they find out, but that does have to happen first.

I see your point on the uncroaked, but find it equally likely that Wanda had them lay it on a bit thicker to drive the point home. The whole move is a parody; some exaggeration seems to be expected.

Iunno. It's open to interpretation; there's arguments for either view. Let's call it a known range of uncertainty and agree to disagree. =)

shamelessmerc wrote:Lol... VERY experienced thank you :-) Which is why I have very little patience with the "She was giving out mixed signals" school of defence. It is possible to tell is someone wants to have sex with you within 10 seconds of meeting them, and I can still make that distinction while hammered enough that staggering to a urinal is a challenge.

Cool; you must explain that to me some time. In my experience, there's people who clearly are or clearly aren't interested... and then a lot who give neutral signals. Personally, I'm inclined to leave those alone, but I know from experience that that group includes shy/inattentive/flirtatiously inexperienced people whose answer would be 'yes' if only they were more effective communicators. In fact, I spent a year or so in that group when I first started going out, and I'm rather grateful to have met a few people forward enough to push through that unintentional resistance when I needed them to.

shamelessmerc wrote:Disagree - you are trying to classify something that is subjectively experienced in terms of it's subjective intention. If I accidentally run someone over, it's different from me intentionally driving them down. But the victim is still run over. The person on the receiving end has the same unpleasant experience regardless of my intent.

Well, sure. But while mostly everybody would agree that being run over is a bad thing, the unpleasantness of being touched is highly subjective. I'll agree that the receiving party's interpretation is the final word in every situation once it's known, but the fact is that we interact with each other in a lot of ways without prior negotiation, and every single one of those could be interpreted as unpleasant. For example, kids are told that addressing people are 'mr/ms' or 'sir/madam' is polite... but I personally hate it when people do it to me. Are they responsible for guessing that? Or for asking me before they speak? Or is it fair - on the general assumption that while being spoken to is potentially upsetting, it is physically harmless - that good intentions are enough until told otherwise?

Where you draw the line with that sort of thing comes down to culture and preference: necessarily subjective, and necessarily arbitrary. Under those conditions, I object to condemning any set of expectations (or the actions that logically follow from them), however common or esoteric, as immoral; only once someone's preferences are known can anybody be reasonable held accountable for respecting them.

Groping people is controversial in our culture, but it is physically harmless: negative interpretations may be common and intense, but they remain entirely subjective. So while knowing what I do about our culture I certainly wouldn't advice opening up with it, my argument from above does apply, and I maintain that it cannot be called unethical (which seems implied in 'molestation') without resorting to ethnocentrism.

shamelessmerc wrote:Oh, and you keep mentioning our "repressed sexual culture"... I assure you that sex clubs have a far dimmer view of that kind of behaviour, because if you can't feel safe chained naked to an inverted cross, where can you feel safe?

Oh, I know. =)

But sex clubs are hardly uninfluenced by sexual repression. In fact, as centers of sexpositive counterculture, they're in many ways defined by it. If this battle were fought, won and forgotten entirely for a generation or two, sensibilities and sensitivities would relax a lot compared to what people on either end of the current divide are used to.
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