What Jadehawk said

A pinback badge: red background with text saying SOCIALLY INEPT; speak BLUNTLY to me

Jadehawk's mock-solution for awkward men who say they want women to be blunt when responding to flirting - Advertise it

“let’s pretend social interactions happen without social context”

JT Eberhard responded to the various posts in the skeptisphere about speakers behaving badly and the subsequent discussions about anti-harassment policies, with what was basically a But How Will The Shy Awkward Men Get Sex? post:

But ladies, we need your help (which is why I’m writing this post). I’m not an idiot, but I’m terrible at catching subtle hints. Seriously, I’m awful. Men like me need you to communicate with them. If we’ve crossed the line and you don’t tell us, it’s very possible that we won’t even be remotely aware that the line has been crossed at all. If you then go tell other people how terrible we are for having crossed your line, you’re creating drama instead of working toward a resolution.

And he wanted the discussion to only focus on guys who are (obviously?) not creeps:

Now there are guys who do view women as a means to sex and have no interest in respecting a woman’s boundaries if it means they can’t push for sex. Those guys are a liability. They don’t want help and I’m not writing this post to help them. I’m talking about the men who want to create a friendly environment for women but who also want to interact with the possibility of flirting/getting laid if things go well.

As Jadehawk and countless others would love to know: how exactly do we tell, on first meeting, just who are the boundary-ignorers and who are the friendly-flirters? She made many other cogent points, as well – especially with regard to some twerp bringing up the woefully obtuse “women who welcome approaches should wear buttons” idea again in comments to JT’s post (thus the illustration turning the expectation around).

Read it all, including these posts she links to if you haven’t come across them before:

Categories: ethics & philosophy, gender & feminism, relationships, skepticism

Tags: , ,

10 replies

  1. So what he is suggesting is different to what Rebecca Watson actually did, and got hate mail and death threats for, how? Seems to me that women speaking bluntly is not listened to at best and downright enraging for these same men who want to be spoken to bluntly and brings out all sorts of undesirable behaviours and outcomes for the poor woman speaking out.

  2. Good question.

  3. A quick google has brought up:

    In recent years, “do it yourself” social skills teaching tools for parents and adults on the autism spectrum have hit the market. These generally take the form of books and videos modeling different types of interactions, along with hints and tips for “doing it right.” Drama therapists also work on social skills through literally scripting scenarios and/or improving and critiquing practice interactions.

    so, if you are thinking that your lack of social skills – whether or not you are on the autism spectrum or just socially inept – is getting in the way of meeting people it isn’t hard to find some solutions to that. But you have to want to change, not expect an entire gender to understand that you are a particularly special snowflake.

  4. I am a woman with the reverse problem – I don’t pick up on non-outright sleazy “flirting behaviour”. At least not until reviewing things later*. But I recognise that my social ineptitude and non-butterfly-esque social proclivities are my issue, and I work on them myself.
    I have difficulty imagining myself, as a non-Autism spectrum,** socially inept woman, going around expecting everyone to psychically cater to me, Ever Safe Trust Buddy (TM tigtog).
    *Am somewhat peturbed that I didn’t pick up on the cute bloke I sort of know acting friendly and sitting next to me in the exam room – well before the room was even close to full. Damn my exam nerves and staircase social skills!
    **Is that the correct wording? Apologies if it’s off or offensive.

    • staircase social skills

      What a perfect phrase – my own social skills aren’t too bad mostly, but every now and then I get the wrong end of the stick quite badly, or else I just miss a boatload of cues somehow and have to claw my way back to the same page that the rest of the group is on – and sometimes I don’t realise until hours later on the journey home just exactly what it was that I missed in the moment. Argh.

  5. Thanks, tigtog, but I just tried to rejig Joy Nash’s “Staircase wit” as I was typing.
    I’m glad to hear from another person who sometimes misses cues ‘in the moment’. As for me, I suppose it’s strange to be able to remember the exact moment you were first able to pick up on non-sleazy flirting cues!
    [For the record: Early September 2010. I was heading to my temp job in a corporate mail room. A 20-30 sommet male, uniformed army officer was selling charity pins. During the transaction, he chatted with me and complimented me on my colourful trench coat, noting that you usually only see people wearing black or brown coats. /Cue jumper TMI]

  6. I didn’t even pick up that Harry was hitting on Sally.
    I can’t believe we’re forced to have this whole conversation over again after it was all said during elevatorgate. Ad tedium.

  7. And Jadehawk only manages a fraction of what was wrong with JT’s post, including the (male) view-from-nowhere that means that problems raised by women must be mainly fixed by women (there’s another “nice” example here which he fauxpologises for in his next post); and also in the comments when he withdraws his Awesome Feminist Ally Powers from women who point out the problems with his post for “derailing” the discussion.

  8. Thanks, tigtog, but I just tried to rejig Joy Nash’s “Staircase wit” as I was typing.

    No worries Perla, I recognised the nod to the old French phrase “l’esprit d’escalier”, I was just admiring the deployment.
    @Aqua, I think she wrote her post before she saw that particular contribution of JT’s in the comments (the nested comments at WWJTD make it difficult to see which comments are the most recent).

  9. Oh, I’m not remotely criticising Jadehawk, just pointing out that there is so much fail in JT’s post that it needs multiple posts to dissect it all.
    And then there’s the surrounding posts, where first he hosted a discussion on trans/cis 101, and then the followup to both where he bans people he should be an ally to, and supports skeezy (trans)misogynistic trolls’ right to make rape jokes aimed at people asking him to think really hard about what he’s doing.
    I gather it’s a holiday weekend in the US and he’s not able to post and manage comments. Or maybe he’s gone into hiding to have a big think about what’s going on. It’s really got that slow-motion trainwreck quality.

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