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Has the #metoo movement affected your dating life or the way you interact with people of the opposite sex?

Are you more uneasy about how you approach a person to ask them on a date? Are you afraid that what you say might be misconstrued as inappropriate, or that someone will claim sexual harassment?

Conversely, has the recent slew of sexual harassment/ sexual deviancy revealed in the media sort of put you off dating altogether? Has it destroyed your faith in humanity and/or true love in some way?

I must admit, realizing that my own personal #metoo story from my younger days wasn’t a one-off, that this sort of horrific treatment of people is so commonplace, has made me appreciate the safety of being alone. I am admittedly too frightened to put myself out there with men. The types of sick, degrading shit some men do to people... I just don’t ever want to be someone’s victim ever again. But am I being too sensitive?

IndySent 7 Jan 1

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3

Evidence shows that most of the really bad people in the world are men..

On the other hand we are also all individuals, with individual problems, histories, strengths and weaknesses.

I'm glad that some of these power hungry sadists are getting called out.

It can make it very tricky for men too. Knowing when to ask, or not ask, when is pursuit welcome? Everyone wants to be wanted, but how can you tell if they want to be wanted by you?

In the end, you can't have good relationships if you don't have any relationships.

2

I'm sorry about what you've experienced in this area. I keep hesitating to hit the "submit comment" button because this is a simplistic response to a complex and painful problem that I don't have experience with and I can't relate to, but I hope it provides at least a thinking point or encouragement that there are men out there that you can be safe(er) with. The men I've known who seem to respect women the most, putting their welfare and emotions first, had low doses of ego and a decent dose of humility. And both of these traits can be fairly easily discerned early on.

I'm curious to see what other people think about this, and I apologize if my comment is insensitive or unhelpful.

1

I'm very sorry for what happened to you. It took courage to bring it up openly. I, among very many, applaud you. Do what is most comfortable for you and, if it matters to you, perhaps ease yourself back into dating and relationships.

Anyway, to answer your first question, not really. I can't speak for elsewhere but here in the US its been a sudden spike in the gradual identification (and its deserved social stigma) of date rape, consent issues and other problems.

"Respectfully" asking "do you wanna..." has long been gone from my vocabulary for a woman I've just met. Its worked well for me. I'm not the immature kid I was in the 70s!

2

OK, here is a completely different perspective also maybe from a somewhat different cultural background: I always found it very difficult to find a girlfriend when I was younger. I had lots of female "good friends" but none of these friendships ever were sexual. This was interrupted every now and then by women essentially taking the initiative: kissing me, touching me, proposing to go and fuck. Sometimes this would lead to a longer relationship and eventually all those women were telling me the same thing: they almost gave up because I was not macho/aggressive enough. Not enough of a "man" .
I needed quite some time to learn the rituals, the right amount of "initiative" that most women in our society expect. It is not something I like, but I think I learned how to do it. I'd rather be more cautious and verbal first, but I also know that this would actually not work in most cases.
This conflict was rather frustrating for me when I was younger. Now I just accept that this is how it is and I have given up being "a man" in order to attract women.
So personally, I am not affected by the recent movement at all. I will forever be the one who gets picked up, groped or kissed or otherwise goes home alone.
My own take on all this is that in many of our societies, we are hypocritical and schizophrenic about what we want. We keep liking movies where the male hero is aggressive, loud, action-driven and gets all the girls but then propose laws where any sex must be preceded by written consent. This hypocrisy is not just affecting men. Also women who need role models for how to get attracted to men and for which men to be attracted to.
In the end i am not worried at all about the legal aspects. I am worried about finding the right way of communicating among all those contradictions and in this mess of physical needs and civilised behaviour the right way of not being hurtful or inconsiderate in any of the many possible ways.

3

Recent events have made me check my behavior to make sure I am not part of the problem. More uneasy, no. More circumspect, yes.

1

I have no dating life because I am awkward with dating as it is. I also believe that every relationship begins with some degree of harassment. I've been shot down so many times without being harassing , okay only once, but I need to be more assertive trying to initiate conversation with a woman.

4

I think open and honest communication, and consideration that we are equals is the key. For me, a guy telling me he has a hard on is not sexy or welcome, and while not necessarily harassment it isn't going to further the relationship. If I'm connecting with someone and they feel it too, and ask, do you want to go further... that inspires my confidence. Men can't just assume that they are going to get laid, or worse demand to get laid. As soon as a man plays the power card its outright harassment, whatever kind of power he thinks he has over me.

0

It should not have if you have common sense.

"Common sense is not common"

  • Voltaire

But seriously, any time that I hear or see mention of "common sense" I am convinced that someone either lacks sufficient experience or has no argument. Especially when it comes to interpersonal relationships. There is hardly anything empirical about dating and it's ridiculous to imply that one can get better at the trappings of it by mere observation of some status quo.

0

Nope, not al all. I have always had respect for another person ????

1

Had the movement been genuine, and not a joke? I would have applauded it. I was brought up to treat women as women first, and always put their health, well being, and safety above my own. The movement is not for change. It is for revenge. Even against me...because I have a penis. A man who has never done a woman harm. Et tu?

Yes. I have.

I took my revenge in a very direct and personal way. Any other banner waving, gnashing of teeth, and shaking of fists? J. O. K. E.

@IndySent epidemic is an understatement. ...how many posterboy rapists like Bill Cosby or thousands of priests with millions of victims does it take to wrestle your corner of the patriarchal rape culture and defeat the fear take back the night bedroom bathroom medical exam rooms dental exam rooms? ????? I speak out every appropo venue and I politely ask to be chosen out of my singlehood. ...I define love as the gift of self and trust all answers be each rejection or interest mutual. ...I have been resisting bigotry since age 5 with the religious sexist lies of boy Easter bunnies laying candy eggs on dogshit lawns Santa and virgins birthing alleged baby gods in dirty donkey stables ADULTS spewing lies to us threatened circumsized kids who could die in our sleep burned in hell forever from kindergarten. ... Atheism is our Feminist ticket out of a violent dishonest culture

0

On reading the op-eds by Salma Hayek and Lupita Nyongo in the New York times, I found what they were sharing to be useful information for people wanting to understand how a case of harassment can actually happen i.e the details as opposed to the sensational headlines. I was more informed and educated by those articles than I expected to be.

I am not put off from dating or approaching women any more than I ever was, in fact in light of this cultural shift I’m encouraged to learn that my natural trepidation when approaching women with romantic intent is there for a very good reason, my hesitancy probably acts for the benefit of both parties.

I think the main thing is that we should allow these stories to come out so we can develop as a society, so my role in this discussion is mainly as a listener.

Young men are now brought up surrounded by a lot of very contradictory cultural messages about what they are/are not allowed to do. One of our very strong cultural narratives is now ‘men and women are equal’ which it true, but the problem arises from how that is often interpreted, which is ‘men and women should therefore be treated the same and be subject to the same behavioral codes’. This is not true.

My workplace as a young guy in my twenties was an office with more women than men. Some of the older women found it a little unusual that I was even there, though I got on well with them. One of the younger ones, with whom I am still friends today, one day said to me 'Its scary if you get angry after a phonecall although I know you don’t intend to be threatening'. I was glad she pointed it out, because I was actually only acting like the staff around me – my behaviour had been influenced by the culture in that office, and I had no idea that when I made it obvious I was having an off day, it created a different effect than when they did the same thing. Luckily I was able to take on board what she said. I even passed that wisdom on to other male colleagues I was working with, and a strange thing became apparent. All of the older guys said to me something like ‘well of course that’s just the way we’re all made isn’t it?’, whereas the younger guys mostly said to me ‘thanks, I hadn’t ever considered that, but you’re right’. I see a lot of people nowadays talking about how men should express their emotions more, men are emotionally retarded etc etc, and all I can think is “Don’t do it at work, your career will be over very quickly”.

Women are also much more free to express their attraction and desire - women can approach men and initiate physical contact in a way that men are largely prevented from doing by social convention. I am not saying that any of this needs to change, because it doesn’t, but I am saying that it is possible to create a generation in which a lot of men are unaware of how it all works because they haven’t been taught properly.

1

I am just glad that no one can read minds!

1

I would like to think that people aren't so easily swayed but that's proven wrong to me almost daily. I don't think it has an affect on me one way or the other.

0

It was New Years eve ’99 and my friend asked me to come to a party with him to meet his boyfriend. The entire way there he whined about this girl that his boyfriend had a thing for. Went to the party and the first face I saw just drew me in. Later that night, I stumbled off a step and landed in a conversation with her. An hour later we were kissing. An hour later we had to leave and my friend was supposed to be her ride home but she was missing and I found her making out with someone else, literally picked her up and carried her out because she insisted she was too drunk to walk to the car. We spent the next 12 hours together at a college club lounge sleeping on adjoining couches holding hands and talking and having breakfast. Then exchanged AIM screen names and went on our way. I told my mother that night that I had met the one. Hell, I had already told the girl that I was going to marry her. August 2001 she joined the army, then 09/11 happened. Then things went bad. She was raped while at military training. I joined in March because I couldn’t stand the idea of her being deployed with people like that and my not being there. We got married in 2006. In 2012, I hit my breaking point.

From the morning she called me after the incident, she was never the same. She came back convinced that she was genuinely in love with the girl who left her alone at the hotel party but was there for her the morning after. For a decade, she told me she was in love with this girl and I understood PTSD and attachment issues and all of it. In that decade I asked her to leave and go see Ana and decide what she wants. In that decade I asked her to marry me and we did that for a while. In that decade we had some of the best and worst times imaginable. But after a decade, she couldn’t tell me she would ever be happy with just me. So I moved out of the bedroom and a month later, I saw the change in her and she understood and wanted only me and I felt nothing. My love had died. She is a happily married lesbian now, but it took 3 days after our relationship ended to realize that Ana was a manipulative little girl who loved having her on the hook but never cared for her at all. 10 years she couldn't give Ana up, because it was never about Ana.

So, I’ve considered myself to have a personal story about how rape ruins lives for a while now. No, I was not the victim, but my life was collateral damage. It sucks. But I am happy that light is being shed on these things now. Sunlight is the best disinfectant.

As far as you being “too sensitive,” I’m going to be an asshole and say yes… but hear me out… It doesn’t affect me at all if you are “too sensitive” and hiding from the world, but it does affect you. At one point we went to a marriage counselor and laid out the situation. The counselor looked at me and said, “The way both of you are talking, I don’t know if this relationship should be saved.” She then looked at my wife and said, “Even if we can’t fix this relationship, you need to talk to someone for yourself. Not for him, not for some relationship, but so that you can have the whole world back.” I don’t know if she ever found counselling, but that is the lesson I gave a decade of my life to learn and I will happily share it because it was expensive. Be single, live alone, be a lesbian, do all that if you want, but don’t do it because you’re frightened. Living with fear is my definition of hell. You can be disappointed in us and think we’re not worth a chance, that’s fine. I think that’s where my ex-wife is now, but that fear I’d see peak from behind her eyeballs every now and then… you need to lose that... it ruins lives...

0
0

I get them to sign a consent for sexual activity form before we flirt.

0

I have my own story, but I don't let it affect me or really talk about it. It's not something I think is good first date conversation. Usually, when I ask someone on a date it is after I have gotten to know them a little bit first and built a tiny bit of trust first. I don't really think love is an actual thing aside from a chemical reaction to procreate or a sensationalized idea to feel connected. That being said, love is more of a connected partnership in my eyes. Two people who choose to grow and dream together.

0

I've raised a daughter on my own, so I think I've always been a little more aware of not only my behavior, but of the people around my little family.
I will say that I did reach out to a few friends who, back in the day, expressed that I had occasionally made them a little uncomfortable at times. Turns out that was because I was a little too embracing, etc... but they told me that (1) they appreciated me asking, (2) it's always good to reflect on ones own actions, and (3) they never felt unsafe around me (they just knew I was a lonely weirdo).
As for dating now - I don't get out much. I live in the Deep South, and the dating pool here is pretty shallow (literally and figuratively). The one date I have been on in the last five years was ... interesting. Took her to a nice dinner and a concert, but she became ill ( with fever or drink I am still not sure), and I took her home before the concert ended. It never crossed my mind to 'take advantage'; that's just not who I am. Just haven't found anyone to appreciate that yet, and I'm sure as *&!@% not going to force it.

0

I'm still dating. My approach to dating has never been a problem. However I am glad the #metoo movement is happening. I consider it a necessary part of social evolution towards gender equality. But we can't stop here. There needs to be a conversation with some humble listening from all sides because there are many double standards which require unraveling. As a result there is a lot of mistrust and cynicism in the dating pool. My hope is sometime in the near future we can all set new boundaries based on better understanding and admiration.

I don't know enough about your story to confidently answer your last question. But I will say you're an attractive intelligent woman based on the content in this site. If you need a little encouragement then I would say go see for yourself if the social dynamic is really changing. Good luck on your journey!

0

No, you're spot on to defend yourself as you see fit AND BY ALL MEANS ridicule the dicks out of male entitlement phallic controls. ...they include rape of men in military ASSUMED but not gay as they keep sexual assault active in ranks or service women and men....read Salma Hyak finally MEtoo never touched by Harvey Weinstein but her door locks rattled room phone harassed and her decade of artistic production of FRIDA KAHLO monster manipulated by the personified artistic DRACULA WEINSTEIN. ...if we can jail both felony rapist enabling living popes half the genocidal misogynistic world could be abating and healing

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