Thursday, July 4, 2013

What exactly is Sexual Harassment?

In the comments to PUA Travesty on Kickstarter a reader pointed me to a two part series of blog posts by some porn starlet named Stoya, in which she describes some of the examples of sexual harassment she has had to endure. Partly, she claimed this is due to her "taking off her clothes for a living", but of course mainly you've got to blame all those male sexist pigs who make advances. Alek Novy did a good job pointing out Stoya's hypocrisy, but let's go through it methodologically, before arriving at a possibly surprising conclusion. It should be surprising for feminists, at least.

First, Stoya lumps all unwelcome encounters of a sexual nature together. Some guy trying to shove his fingers up her cooch and some other dude squeezing her ass in the context of porn conventions is seen as  "absolutely nothing, NOTHING" compared to the pain it causes a delicate flower like her to just walk down the street. Now, please note that I don't intent to trivialize sexual harassment, I mean, real sexual harassment, like guys forcing themselves upon girls, grabbing their ass and the like (and of course this also includes the many women who dared to pinch my ass in night clubs). Then again, since girls do that too, a reasonable argument could be made that this is part of human dating behavior, and only once force comes in, people clearly overstep a line.

However, look at what kind of actions overstep a line according to "International Porn Superstar Stoya(tm)", with commentary:

  • "followed me down the street" (just walking after her and presumably not for more than a few steps)
  • "poking me" (presumably playfully)
  • "grabbed the cord to my headphones and ripped them out of my ears" (more like taking them with thumb and index finger and playfully pulling on the cord; still, normally too invasive)
  • "grabbed parts of my body" (no, not okay)
  • "grabbed my coat or purse strap" (seriously, Stoya, they didn't try to rob you but only wanted you to acknowledge their presence)
  • "blocked me into corners on mostly empty subway cars" (sounds bullshitty to me. You can always walk away.)
  • "followed me for blocks and then stood outside whatever shop I duck into for absurd amounts of time" (stalker, not okay)
  • "say I have a sweet ass, nice tits" (hmm, probably wasn't an "opener", and probably many of the guys who've fucked her outside her job said the same things to her)
  • "say I have a real pretty dress" (oh, the horror!)
  • "ask if they can get my number" (note: only counts as "street harassment if she's not into you)
  • "ask where I live" (hmm, not so odd either)
  • "ask why I’m not smiling" (could even be an okay conversation starter when the girl acts bitchy)
  • "ask why my boyfriend lets me walk around by myself" (ever heard of flirting?)
  • "Then they ask why I’m such a bitch, if my pussy is made of ice."

Please note that --- apart from the bolded items --- all of this would have been perfectly welcome if (!) the guy would have happened to be her type. Heck, if some rockstar greeted the groupie who is eager to spread her legs for him, "You've got nice tits!", then she's be very excited about it.

Also, note that Stoya makes it sound as if she has to go through this entire ordeal with every single guy who approached her and whom she didn't fancy. They stalk her, grab her ass, ask her all kinds of questions, and at the very end, they tell her that she's a bitch. Imagine the absurdity: here's Stoya, standing there, not reacting at all, and there is the guy who does all those things, and eventually he asks, and even that is quite humorously, whether her pussy was made of ice. Is it just me or is there a big part of the story missing? Seriously, how do you get from a guy saying, "hey, nice dress" and moving on because you're not interested, to standing there for minutes, having your ass and tits grabbed, and being told that you're a bitch!? Something clearly doesn't compute here.

Then, there is the problem of lumping all kinds of incidences together. Yes, some clearly are examples of sexual harassment. Others, though, not so much. However, Stoya wants you to feel enraged at all those monsters who attack and suppress women all day, every day. She does this by widening the concept of "sexual harassment", and includes basically any kind of attention of any man who just had the misfortune of not being her type. Really, being told that your dress is pretty constitutes sexual harassment Smile and move on, girl, or just move on.

The problem, though, is that labeling everything, even normal flirtatious behavior, as sexual harassment, people just take feminists less seriously. Do you know this one saying about fame, and why not everybody can be famous: "If we're all famous, then no one is."? It's the same with sexual harassment. If any interaction between man and woman is supposed to be sexual harassment, then the concept loses all meaning. Of course, this has been happening already. I'm not sure this is the consequence feminists had imagined, though.

As an amusing coda to this article, let me quote from Stoya's second post on "street harassment":
Teach every moldable male mind (brothers, friends, sons) that treating women (humans) with respect is the right thing to do. Don’t have sex with jerks. Don’t blow them, don’t give them a handjob, don’t give them your phone number.
To me, this doesn't really make sense, to be honest. But, dear women, you have sex with "jerks", blow them, and give them hand jobs. All presumably because you want to. Yet, you want your brothers, friends, and sons to pussyfoot around women and be completely asexual? Aren't the real "jerks" those who harass you in the streets, and not those who did the same, you happened to fancy them and then blew and fucked them? Please excuse me, I've got to read some Saul Kripke now. Stoya's "logic" just makes my head spin.

What's your opinion? Let me know in the comments below!


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    1. Sorry, I accidentally deleted this comment. Slip of the mouse. The text was:

      This reminds me of when Herman Cain was accused of sexual harassment for behavior that was not sexual. I'm still trying to figure that out.

      "all of this would have been perfectly welcome if (!) the guy would have happened to be her type" No doubt about it.

    2. I just read up on Herman Cain. Was there even any evidence? To me it reads as if those two women simply coerced him into paying a "five-figure sum". All those alleged allegations are what the Russians call "kompromat". Apparently rape and child molestation accusations are reserved for people that really piss off the powers to be like Julian Assange. Others, like Cain, merely get a slap on the wrist.

    3. There was one woman who accused him of sexual harassment after he made a comment about how she was as tall as his wife. Maybe I'm a freak of nature but I don't understand how something non-sexual is sexual harassment.

    4. Her chain of "reasoning" probably went something like this:
      - I'm x feet tall
      - his wife is x feet tall
      - he has sex with his wife
      therefore: he wants to have sex with me

      Apparently, this makes perfect sense to some women.

  2. Nice point. It's like the jeans thing. Jeans used to be a symbol of lower class revolutionaries and the way the USA government used to strip them of their symbol was to make jeans hip and stylish.
    I heard pro-euthanasia people anre trying to do the same thing by trying to classify every death in a hospital as a type of euthanasia.

    So the lesson is, if Stoya isn't trying to bring down the feminist movement, she's a really dumb broad who's saying shit for attention.
    It's like Bill Burr or Patrice O'Neal always said: men let women spit out bullshit because they want to get in their pants, so most women don't have any critical analysis to their logic and just say what they like because they can get away with it.

    1. So the lesson is, if Stoya isn't trying to bring down the feminist movement, she's a really dumb broad who's saying shit for attention.

      Actually, this isn't stoya saying this stuff. This is the exact word-for-word rhetoric mainstream feminists have used for a decade. I once spent 10 minutes browsing a feminist sex-harassment-cataloguing index, to prove that most feminist "sex harassment stories" are simply entitled princess complaining about a guy not their type daring to flirt with them.

      I got a whole bunch in just 10 minutes. I'll repost that article on mating selfishness later tonight when I get back from town...

      Check out hollaback blogs and campaigns in the meantime. Stoya is typical, not atypical in this movement.

    2. This is even more bizarre than I thought. I assumed Stoya just made up some shit, like the term "street harassment" to get some attention on a "social media" site like Tumblr. I'm sure the many thousand "notes" made her feel mightily proud of herself. Instead, it turns out that she is a feminists who "takes off clothes for a living", i.e. some dumb broad who takes it in the ass for an insignificant amount of money and who complains about men who hit on her on the street. Wait, is it the "patriarchy" who forced her into porn and who sends all those men after her who commit those acts of "street harassment'? Hilarious.

    3. Watch out, the sex-positive feminists might take you to town on the "some dumb broad" bit.

      As for "insignificant amount," some prostitutes get to charge quite a lot hourly, but that's another issue entirely.

    4. Good point! So, let me point out for the "sex-positive feminists" that I don't consider it very smart for a girl to do porn since the financial compensation isn't enough to offset the negative future consequences of their actions. It's not as if there is a fabulous career path waiting for her in some years. Thus, she has been trading short-term financial gain for doubtful long-term prospects.

      Also, compared to escorts, I think women who do porn make a poor choice since escorts can keep their public and private identity apart. On the other hand, the Internet won't forget Stoya. Further, if I'm correctly informed, high-class escorts keep some "regulars", and can thus enjoy a pretty stable income. Porn clips, though, are normally work for hire, i.e. the girl gets paid a relatively small sum for her participation, and that's it.

    5. "Watch out, the sex-positive feminists might take you to town on the "some dumb broad" bit."

      Point taken, even though I'm not entirely clear on the extent of your criticism since I'm not that familiar with sex-positive feminism. Could you explain better what you meant?

    6. One could make the argument that "sex-positive feminists" might object to a porn star being called dumb. Thus, I've elaborated on why I consider Stoya's behavior dumb or "not very smart", primarily from an economic perspective. Isn't the angle of "sex-positive feminists' that slut shaming is bad and therefore, by extension, making disparaging remarks of women who act in porn?

    7. From my (5 minute) research, I thought he meant something like since they try to argue against the patriarchal dominance of society, that my claims that their thinking should be regulated by men would upset them. Which WAS kind of a dumb thing to say by me, but not entirely what I meant.
      It just annoys me the enabling guys do with women just because they want to have sex. And how women abuse it when they notice it. I bet that for every man that argues that what Stoya said wasn't really intelligent, there are thousands of guys who would go "yeah, men are pigs!!" just to get in her pants.

    8. I was just saying that there are sex-positive feminists who think that "sex workers" (which can include pornographic actresses) shouldn't be discriminated against for their profession.

  3. Thank you, thank you, thank you for writing this article.


    I was thinking AVfM should have a big article debunking feminist Sex-Harrasment thought (AVfM gets a million visitors and huge SearchEngine footprint). I think you should submit this (or expanded addition) of this article to AVfM.

  4. I've got a follow-up piece planned, so it should be possible to either submit them together or combine them into one longer article. Is there somebody at AVfM you could introduce me to? We don't have to discuss this on the blog, so just send me an email or PM.

    1. Sure, just email me. Blogspot shows you my email right?

    2. Blogspot actually doesn't show the email address. But I've got your address since we exchanges some emails before. I'll get in touch with you later today.

  5. Why should I worry about such nonsense when I can watch Emily Ratajkowski jumping up and down?

  6. It happens that the friendly feminists at the Jezebel website have also released a guide on how heterosexual men can talk to women without being creepy:

    Another column there also outlines how "Ladies' Nights" at bars and other alcohol-serving establishments are really just bait so women can be sexually harassed by the heterosexual men attracted to the "meat":

    The last paragraph of that article reads:

    But in that environment, the drinks and the cover aren't free. The real price is getting hit on, groped, and ogled all night, and then being called a frigid bitch if you don't put out. Dudes waste their money, women feel like shit, and some creep in a shiny suit makes a profit. Lose-lose-win. And that, slimy restaurant execs, is your business model. You guys are gross. Just sell me a steak and leave my vagina out of it.


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