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Feminist Utopia Fantasy Story
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Leohan



Joined: 27 Mar 2007
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 07, 2013 11:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mouse wrote:
Leohan wrote:
As long as we don't get the urge to force sex upon others chemically removed from our brains, there will always be people that would succumb to such urge.


this is the idea i was trying to attack by bringing in animal examples. if an animal, with no law enforcement or culturally-instilled behavior, can say 'no', and another animal accepts it - then there is no insurmountable urge to force sex on others. except in a few very damaged individuals. so yeah, one will always have those few very aberrant individuals (until we find ways to fix them) - but that doesn't mean it's not possible to have a culture where rape is not an issue.

in other words, it's sort of like whether or not you can build a culture that doesn't fixate on being destroyed by asteroids. until we can build an impenetrable force shield around the earth, there will always be some risk of being hit by killer asteroids. but compared to living on, say, the moon, the risk here on earth is so low that we, as a culture, don't spend a lot of time worrying about them. and i am wondering if there is a possible culture where similar destructive, but human-caused events (like rape, murder, assault) are similarly the actions of only an aberrant nature, and so rare they aren't really something anyone spends a lot of time thinking about.

and i am thinking along Tahpenes's lines - i'm not speculating on whether we can fix _our_ culture, only whether it is possible for such a culture to exist. i think it must be, because i reject the notion that humans have this overriding sex urge, just because sex is a natural function. we start learning to override natural urges when we are potty-trained; positing that sexual desire cannot be controlled strikes me as a cop-out (especially when it is clear that a lot of rape is _not_ about sex, so you can't blame it on being overwhelmed by the desire to mate.)

Mh... Well, my initial postulate was more or less that, in an hypothetical gender-neutral society, most if not all of the societal reasons for rape would effectively be eliminated and that's as far as we could possibly go. However, I'm afraid that the biological reasons would remain there. However you did give an outstanding example with the asteroid thing: If it doesn't happen often at all it kinda stops being an issue. In an hypothetical gender-neutral society this would apply twofold since, while it would still be an awful crime, the victims wouldn't feel nearly the same kind of trauma that comes with the current social perception of rape.
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mouse



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PostPosted: Fri Mar 08, 2013 1:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

bitflipper wrote:
After all, do we not compete aggressively for jobs so we can earn the means of survival?


you know, i've worked for a couple of small companies that competed for contracts....oddly, i don't remember the bit where we did hand-to-hand combat.
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stripeypants



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PostPosted: Fri Mar 08, 2013 2:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Felgraf wrote:

So we could have this discussion, if you want. But most of them are, unless you take the biological inferiority argument (and I don't think you *will*, mind!), going to swing back to how the patriarchy also hurts *men*.

And that will probably cause the people who point this out to be labeled 'Men's Rights activists'.


Have you heard the good news? Feminists already think the patriarchy hurts men. In fact, this view has been expressed within the Sinfest forums.

The MRA label goes around when folks such as yourself insist sexism isn't a thing, or that it may be but look at the men suffering over here! How can anyone consider their own imaginary problems when the MEN feel so bad?[/i]
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bitflipper



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PostPosted: Fri Mar 08, 2013 4:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mouse wrote:
bitflipper wrote:
After all, do we not compete aggressively for jobs so we can earn the means of survival?


you know, i've worked for a couple of small companies that competed for contracts....oddly, i don't remember the bit where we did hand-to-hand combat.

Then ur dooin' it rong. ;-P

Actually, in seriousness, competition in business is how we sublimate the innate drive towards violence; we choose the civilized behavior over the wild impulse, because--uniquely among wild beasts--humans can rationally evaluate their actions and opt to express the urge less animalistically.

However, the fact that the term "hand-to-hand combat" exists and has meaning when applied to human interactions is a solid indicator that not all interactions sublimate our wild violence as successfully as business does, and that, even with business as the overwhelmingly preferred mode of interaction, not all of our violence can be thus sublimated.

And therein is my point: we are innately violent, as all wild creatures are. We do have the ability to overrule our violent natures in many--indeed, most--situations, but not in all situations. And so we will always have violence. Our best hope is to push the violence out to the fringes of society, to those times and places where social order is breaking down under stress. We cannot eradicate violence, but we can harness and control it so as to apply it only when no other means of interaction can succeed.
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MerchManDan



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PostPosted: Fri Mar 08, 2013 4:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I believe it was Carl Sagan (and he was likely not the first) who observed that sport is a microcosm of war. Our aggressive tendencies get channeled into beating other teams, or at least into cheering for our own team.
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ktern



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PostPosted: Fri Mar 08, 2013 4:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

it's just a shame that we still have the real thing
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bitflipper



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PostPosted: Fri Mar 08, 2013 5:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ktern wrote:
it's just a shame that we still have the real thing

Yeah, but, just like our appendix, it comes to us from our evolutionary history. Unfortunately, unlike our appendix, one can't just snip inflamed violence out of a human being. Well, not and be left with anything that can do much more than breathe and drool, anyway.
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Leohan



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PostPosted: Fri Mar 08, 2013 10:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mouse wrote:
bitflipper wrote:
After all, do we not compete aggressively for jobs so we can earn the means of survival?


you know, i've worked for a couple of small companies that competed for contracts....oddly, i don't remember the bit where we did hand-to-hand combat.

Physical violence is not the only type of violence out there.

I dare say that it's not the worst one, really.
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mouse



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PostPosted: Fri Mar 08, 2013 11:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

bitflipper wrote:
mouse wrote:
bitflipper wrote:
After all, do we not compete aggressively for jobs so we can earn the means of survival?


you know, i've worked for a couple of small companies that competed for contracts....oddly, i don't remember the bit where we did hand-to-hand combat.

Then ur dooin' it rong. ;-P

Actually, in seriousness, competition in business is how we sublimate the innate drive towards violence; we choose the civilized behavior over the wild impulse, because--uniquely among wild beasts--humans can rationally evaluate their actions and opt to express the urge less animalistically.


but this is my whole point! our behavior is _not_ intrinsically determined by genes or instincts or whatever - we can alter it, both as individuals and as societies. so: it should be possible to have a society where rape doesn't really exist.

again, i am not talking about what it would take to change existing western society, or if that is even possible. i am asking about any human society. i am sure there are differences in the level of violence (either interpersonal or as warfare) found in different cultures, but i don't have time to do the research - anyone want to help me out? but if use of violence varies culturally, use of rape (which is a subset of violence) should also vary culturally.
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bitflipper



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PostPosted: Sat Mar 09, 2013 12:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I see what you're saying, but, I'm afraid, counter to it is that there is no human culture that is entirely without violence. I love your idealism, mouse; I even share it, to some extent. But: I'm sorry, however, we are wild animals, despite our ability to occasionally rise above that. Culture can only override brutal nature when conditions favor culture. When the chips are down, we reveal our baser natures, because that is what works and what has worked for millions of years of survival. Civilization is indeed wonderful, but it's only a ten-thousand year old invention; violence and survival by brutal means are as old as life itself.

Now, do please hear what I'm saying when I state that, although we are violent by ingrained nature, that doesn't mean we need to tolerate violence. Culture does indeed work when conditions are good enough to allow it. And the real beauty of that ten-thousand year old invention is that it demonstrably promotes conditions favorable to culture. Although there will always be individuals who will turn their backs on society (even while reaping its benefits), that doesn't mean they will ever be in the majority. Nor even that they will be a significant enough portion of society to pose any real threat to it. True, they are threats to other individuals, but society will continue to corral them and to offer what protections it can to those who ascribe to it.

Also, while there will always be friction between diverse societies--war, and suchlike--it isn't the norm, nor is it even widely desired. We will always tend to work for peace and civilization because of their proven benefits.

Sadly, though, there is a significant difference between an overall trend, and unanimous participation. Our violent natures mean we will always have criminals, outlaws, and wars, even though the overwhelming majority of people will tend to want peace and the protection of law.

Because of what we are--wild animals--I don't see it as even theoretically possible to ever have a human society without violence, crime, and, as a regrettable consequence, rape as one of those crimes.

Perhaps someday we will be supplanted by something that is not a wild animal at heart, by something that does not hold within itself the brutal nature that gave rise to our species. What that could be, I can't even envision; it would be as far beyond human as our greatest teachers and saints are beyond snarling beasts. And perhaps it will know a society without violence, without dominance, and without rape. But I doubt any human will ever see such a life.
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Tahpenes



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PostPosted: Sat Mar 09, 2013 1:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Most of our competitive drives, though, take place in cooperative environments. Competition rarely is violent, and to be honest I'm not persuaded that most violence is even a result of competitiveness.

And even if you were able to show that humans are intrinsically wired to be violent towards other humans and that violence was an unavoidable part of human psychology, that still wouldn't show that rape is unavoidable.

Nobody's really responded to the observations mouse and I have made about other potential methods for violence that could happen but don't.

We could have a culture which dealt with food and the serving/consumption of food in such a way that a primary way to attack other people is to force-feed them food. We don't, though. I mean, I'm sure it happens, probably accompanied by other forms of humiliation and torture, but it's not a thing. We don't have a word for it.

And, more relevantly to the discussion of rape in particular, there is no class of people such that when one of them is attacked or murdered the automatic assumption is, "Oh, and I bet the perpetrator also force-fed them food."

Rape isn't like most other violent crimes, because it has a particular social message imbued within the act itself. The act is sometimes less violent than the dehumanization which the act is meant to convey and may even be indistinguishable to an outside observer from "normal" sex, because rape is not about violence any more than it's about sex (which is to say, it is about both on some level, but that's not the end-all-be-all of what's going on). Rape is an attack based on who the person is, and based on social position.

Rape is much more comparable to lynching than it is to murder or simple assaults.
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mouse



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PostPosted: Sat Mar 09, 2013 1:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

bitflipper, i just googled 'non-violent cultures', and the first result was this, which starts
Quote:
A fact that is little known to most people is that there are many societies that live virtually free of violence and quite a few that live without war.
even links to a map, demonstrating that non-violent cultures are not all stuck out on islands.

so: there's the anthropological evidence that we aren't necessarily "violent by ingrained nature". but perhaps you have evidence that supports your claim?
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Monkey Mcdermott



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PostPosted: Sat Mar 09, 2013 1:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Leohan wrote:
mouse wrote:
bitflipper wrote:
After all, do we not compete aggressively for jobs so we can earn the means of survival?


you know, i've worked for a couple of small companies that competed for contracts....oddly, i don't remember the bit where we did hand-to-hand combat.

Physical violence is not the only type of violence out there.

I dare say that it's not the worst one, really.


Forced to agree here.
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bitflipper



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PostPosted: Sat Mar 09, 2013 1:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tahpenes wrote:
Most of our competitive drives, though, take place in cooperative environments. Competition rarely is violent, and to be honest I'm not persuaded that most violence is even a result of competitiveness.
What explains war, then? Or genocide? Being "rarely violent" is not the same as being "never violent." And plenty of wars have been fought and entire peoples eradicated for no other reason than to secure resources. And many others have been fought specifically to respond to aggressors seeking to secure resources.

I, myself, pointed out that we generally sublimate our aggressive territorial and domination urges into commerce and status symbols (and even into argument, for that matter), but there's a whole world's worth of difference between "generally" and "always;" that world being the difference between empirical reality and Platonic fantasy.

Tahpenes wrote:
We could have a culture which dealt with food and the serving/consumption of food in such a way that a primary way to attack other people is to force-feed them food. We don't, though. I mean, I'm sure it happens, probably accompanied by other forms of humiliation and torture, but it's not a thing. We don't have a word for it.
Then whence comes the word "force-feed?" Or are you specifically talking about inducing some sort of hypothetical humiliation via force-feeding?

Either way, if you say we "could" have a culture where food plays such a role in dominance that these hypothetical food-based crimes are possible, then you are saying these cultures are within the realm of possibility, yes? And yet, can you name any concrete example of such a culture? I'm aware of none. I strongly suspect that I am aware of none because there are none, that they are in fact not within the realm of possibility, because that is not how humans have evolved. Whereas we have very definitely evolved to use violence and dominance, as plainly evidenced by the fact that we notoriously do so, as does any other wild animal.

Tahpenes wrote:
because rape is not about violence any more than it's about sex (which is to say, it is about both on some level, but that's not the end-all-be-all of what's going on). Rape is an attack based on who the person is, and based on social position.
I'm not saying rape is about violence; I'm saying it's about dominance in a species that evolved to use violence and dominance. This is why it's based on the relationship between the aggressor and the victim, not on who the victim is. A child doesn't get raped because he's black, or white, or hispanic; he gets raped because his rapist is asserting a position of dominance over the child. Same for women, same for male prison inmates, same for just about all rape victims. The victim is chosen by the rapist because the rapist feels the victim is weaker. Otherwise, rape victims would be limited to a particular gender, race, creed, or some other specific demographic, and they aren't.

Tahpenes wrote:
Rape is much more comparable to lynching than it is to murder or simple assaults.
Actually, rape is much more comparable to bullying than to mob "justice." The vigilante committees and the Klan did indeed generally choose their victims on a basis of ethnic background. Bullies don't, though; they'll just pick on whoever looks weaker, and do so specifically because the victim looks weaker.
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bitflipper



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PostPosted: Sat Mar 09, 2013 2:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mouse wrote:
bitflipper, i just googled 'non-violent cultures', and the first result was this, which starts
Quote:
A fact that is little known to most people is that there are many societies that live virtually free of violence and quite a few that live without war.
even links to a map, demonstrating that non-violent cultures are not all stuck out on islands.

so: there's the anthropological evidence that we aren't necessarily "violent by ingrained nature". but perhaps you have evidence that supports your claim?
Other than written human history and vast amounts of archeological and paleological finds of past battles and personal violence? No, not really. (BTW, ask that baboon the author partook of how non-violent we are. ;-p )

But don't let my cynicism sour you; if you truly believe society is possible without violence, and specifically without rape, then work towards that. Just because I may think you're fighting a lost battle, doesn't mean you're wasting your time. Hell, even if you don't succeed, you still haven't wasted your time by pursuing something you believe in.
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