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When one woman’s “bad sex” is another woman’s sexual assault

You may have read the story published recently by Babe, in which an anonymous woman, Grace, tells of an evening she spent with actor and comedian Aziz Ansari.

The evening did not go well, with Grace leaving in tears after what she alleges was sexual assault. I recommend you read the article before proceeding with this post, but briefly, Ansari apparently repeatedly ignored Grace’s requests to “slow down”, “chill” or maybe have sex on the next date, and behaved in ways that sound obnoxious, uncaring, and contemptuous of the concept of consent.

This post is not all about whether or not Grace experienced sexual assault. I am struggling to understand the need some women seem to have to police and control the #MeToo movement, a movement that sprang up as a consequence of the Harvey Weinstein revelations, a movement whose goal is to bring to global attention the extraordinary number of women who have experienced sexual harassment and assault at some point in our lives. I’ve recently written about this, and the disapproval of #MeToo expressed by celebrity women such as Catherine Deneuve and Germaine Greer, at Independent Australia. 

This post is about the willingness of women to judge Grace. The overwhelming opinion is that Grace had a bad date with a man who was not very good at sex, that it was in no way comparable to sexual assault, and that her piece for Babe is nothing better than revenge porn. We need to interrogate these opinions, because they are lethal.

Briefly, Ansari is, according to The Atlantic: not just a navigator of the culture of the moment, but also an author of it. He has literally written the book about Modern Romance. He has co-created a Netflix series that is in many ways a sitcomic version of the ideas at play in its pages. He has defined himself, show after show, stand-up special after stand-up special, interview after interview, as a male feminist, as a proud ally—as the kind of person who could both wear the Time’s Up pin and actually explain what it means to wear it. He has adopted the guise of a celebrity who is thoroughly fit for this heady moment, at home in a culture that is ever more feminist, ever more diverse, ever more empathetic.

Grace was excited at being invited out by Ansari, and given his reputation, had no reason to expect the evening would play out as she claims it did.

The Babe piece has provoked angry and/or disappointed commentary claiming that Grace’s story has seriously damaged the validity and authenticity of the #MeToo movement. Some commentators have gone so far as to state unequivocally that Grace’s experience was not sexual assault.  

In this excoriating piece in The Atlantic, Grace is judged by an older woman who compares her experiences of “dating” with Grace’s account, and finds Grace seriously wanting.

There have been appeals for a more “nuanced and precise” use of language in the #MeToo movement, so that the difference between “bad sex” and sexual assault, the so-called “grey area,” is clarified. I would have thought that saying I don’t want this, I’m feeling uncomfortable, can we do it next time, and “I don’t want to feel forced because then I’ll hate you, and I’d rather not hate you,” as did Grace, is a pretty clear indicator that a woman is not consenting to sexual acts, is in a state of considerable confusion, and that to persist in your demands in spite of her expressed discomfort is a serious matter, rather than just “bad sex.”

The point of the #MeToo movement is that women can reveal on social media, many for the first time, our experiences of sexual harassment and/or assault. This isn’t a legal discourse and it isn’t a literary event: it’s women speaking, frequently from a position of trauma, of our experiences. That anyone should seek to police our language and our tone as we engage with #MeToo seems to me to be an all-too familiar act of patriarchal repression. If you can’t say it “well” you shouldn’t say it at all, is the message.

The call for nuance and precision also alienates women who do not have this skill set, or, in speaking of something so powerfully distressing, are unable to edit their speech to meet these bourgeois requirements. As I said in my earlier piece, #MeToo is basic, in its infancy, and is being used as an alternative to legal systems that consistently and catastrophically fail women when it comes to sexual assault. Yet the minute something gets up that offers all women with access to the internet a platform, somebody is there telling us how we should use it and the manner in which we should speak of our experiences.

Why? Who does this policing benefit?

Many women have disbelieved Grace’s description of her experience as sexual assault. No doubt there are many other #MeToo stories that are disbelieved, however, nobody needs to care whether another woman believes these accounts or not. Another’s disbelief is irrelevant. Women writing opinion pieces based on their disbelief are not police officers recording a report. They are not sitting on a jury. They are not judges and magistrates hearing your case. Their disbelief is their business, it isn’t the business of women who’ve spoken out on #MeToo. The opinionistas were not present. They cannot know the truth of the situation. They cannot contest your subjective truth.

So why, in the name of all the goddesses, do they have such a need to make their belief or disbelief the story?

I see no problem with women writing nuanced and precise deconstructions and interrogations of the #MeToo movement. Language does matter. In fact, it’s important that the movement is theorised and analysed. However, this is a very different matter from demanding that women speaking of traumatic experiences do so in a particular way. This is nothing better than a linguistic colonisation of trauma.

So you may not believe some #MeToo stories. So what? You don’t have the right to decide if Grace or anybody else was sexually assaulted or not. You have the right to your opinion, and that’s all.

Maybe you call it bad sex. Grace doesn’t, and she was there.

By far the best piece I’ve read on the Grace/Ansari evening is this one. The author writes:

If we begin to call all sexual assault what it is, we will have to voluntarily admit more pain into our lives, pain that we have up to this point refused to let in the door. If we call this kind of sexual encounter an assault, then women who have been weathering what they call bad sex will suddenly have justification for the icky feelings and shame that follows them home in the cab.

Could this be why so many women have mocked Grace? Because they’ve called sexual assault “bad sex” and Grace isn’t playing that game?

I don’t know how else to explain it.

This article was originally published on No Place For Sheep.


41 comments

  1. wam

    The terms of references, for sexual assault, are murky and the confusion from misunderstanding can only get worse.

    Almost all men are wired to f*ck in order to pass on genes and women are built mentally and physically for receiving the deposits.

    We cannot help but look down the neckline and up the skirt.

    Touching has a history in countries which a church ruled and a smelly finger is a dream of all 15 year old boys and that usually comes with compliance of 15 year old girls. (nowadays it seems pretty common with 10 year olds)

    Over the next few years these kids will be well past the digit days? Perhaps it is time to put rape and sexual assault under the common assault banner with guilty verdicts easier with sentences in the fines/1 year gaol????

  2. Cool Pete

    The most important difference between sexual assault and bad sex is that one is about non-consensual sex the other is a murky area. I mean, technically, I was subjected to the former by a professional male who did not obtain permission before doing something, but the difficulty is whether it would stand up in court. Contrary to what the commenter above says, men are not “wired to f*ck” unless they are predatory. Sexual assault is not a defence against sex that is later regretted, it is a crime involving the violation of another person’s body.

  3. Jack Russell

    Wonder what the situation would be if women had evolved with an additional biological function … something like a lethal toxin produced on the skin if threatened or alarmed, for instance?

  4. Deanna Jones

    I think it’s long been understood within feminist thought that sexual violence is a continuum. The various forms of male predatory behaviours range from low scale to lethal, but they are all on the same continuum. Most girls and women have experienced most of them across a life time.

    I’m not sure where on the continuum would sit the comment above by wam, but reading it sure felt like some kind of violation.

  5. Deanna Jones

    Jack Russell, I’ve often wondered how things would be different if men weren’t dicks.

    Seriously, that’s the only solution you can think of? Maybe men could just cut it the f*ck out.

  6. jimhaz

    What I do not like about this Metoo business is the tasking of modern sensibilities and applying them to the non-recent past as if men should have known better and in some cases have been led to certain expectations. I also suspect there will always be gold diggers, who later decide to blame the men not themselves. The world wide phenomena of 50 Shades of Grey also tells a story in this issue. Lots of things add to the confusion about how assertive a male can or cannot be. I am a little worried about what might happen when we do not need each other as much – a majority of relationships I’ve seen have involved dominant and submissive actions to at least some degree. It is something one often sees in homosexual pairings as well. A noticeable percentage of young females seem to have a very strong drive “to be loved” or have “daddy issues” stemming from their own imagination, and will often allow things they later regret when those drives dissipate as they get older and wiser.

    For instance, a Countdown retro song last night led me to look up the Masters Apprentice wiki entry and I noticed the following.
    Keays was interviewed by Go-Set staff reporter, Lily Brett and the ‘expose’ was printed on 17 July 1968, headlined “Sex is thrust upon us”, the article and its follow-up, “Whose breasts are best?”, revealed aspects of the bacchanalian groupie scene:

    “many girls are potential band molls. About 20 girls a day come to our house. On Sunday, it averages 50. I’ll give you a typical example of what happens. Last week a girl walked in and said, ‘Right, boys who’s going to make love to me first?’ She used a rather more obscene expression than ‘make love’. And only recently we were in a Victorian country town when five girls aged between 15 and 18 somehow got into our hotel room. They didn’t say a word. They took their clothes off and said: ‘Will you judge and see which one of us has got the best breasts?”

    I just think the witch hunt in terms of job or opportunities losses should be limited to the worst cases where the person is a clear cut predator – like Weinstein and Trump seem to be. As I have had a sister and nieces affected by sexual assault, I am not against the Metoo as a sort of educational tool to limit how aggressive males should be, but not as some kind of ongoing movement that could make men too wary and resentful of the modern women. More division could easily lead to more abuse due to lack of respect and perhaps we are already seeing this in the increase in rather misogynist porn nowadays and even Trumps election.

  7. Jack Russell

    Hi Deanna … thinking globally and culturally, the majority of men are never going to cut it the f*ck out until they are made to. Crimes against women (from the mild put-down to their death, and every vile thing in between), because they are women, down through the ages and forward into the future, won’t be resolved by polite conversation, imho.

  8. diannaart

    Thank you Jennifer.

    Women blame women and men blame women.

    Not going to venture past a few simple thoughts… it’s 39 degrees in the shade here…

    Women blame other women because they either believe they are superior in managing their lives, so why can’t other women deal with men? Or because they believe men are more entitled… “wired to f#ck”.

    I have observed many men claiming to want a dialogue, but the instant they are challenged here come the games, the mockery and the false claim they actually like women – “respect” is extinct in these discussions.

    To women who blame other women; major empathy by-pass there, sista. Perhaps hooking up with a Julie Bishop is a smart move.

    To men who blame women for not understanding the “that’s just how men are” type argument and aren’t women just all spiteful anyway? – thank you for the warning, I shall not waste my time with the likes of you.

    There are men who can walk AND chew gum, that is they can like, respect and desire women – we need to hear more from you, you are MIA. It is about time you came out and expressed your belief in equality, that men have more to gain (in the, albeit, long run) however there is a future where men won’t be expected to be warriors or the “suppositories” of all wisdom, but just humans. And women can be more diverse than just “Damned Whores and Gods Police”.

  9. margcal

    jimhaz: “What I do not like about this Metoo business is the tasking of modern sensibilities and applying them to the non-recent past as if men should have known better”

    Newsflash, jimhaz! Male and female exceptions aside, women have ‘never’ appreciated men taking over their bodies without consent.
    In whatever “non-recent past” era you want to pick, women have been subjugated by men – no education, no paid work, no right to property or tenancy. No roof over your head, no food or clothing unless you ‘accepted’ what was dealt out to you. A small number did indeed choose homelessness and starvation, even death.

    Now some women are no longer unwilling dependants and they’re speaking out. Speaking out against the appalling behaviour of a lot of (not all) men, encouraging those women with the mindset of “the non-recent past” that they are able to change, and working for education for our still oppressed sisters e.g. in third world countries.

    And as Diannaart says:
    “There are men who can walk AND chew gum, that is they can like, respect and desire women – we need to hear more from you, you are MIA.”

  10. paul walter

    Not commenting.. always, threads on the topic deteriorate to acrimony, so maybe I finally learned my lesson over recent times and will stay clear, have a marvellous Attwood novel i have to catch up on instead.

  11. jimhaz

    @margcal

    You are still applying present value systems to the degree of emotional distress felt by women on average in the modern past. Because you have far greater expectations, the thought of male dominance induces more lasting distress than it would have then (though not across the board of course). You are more or less indicating that few women had lives anywhere near as happy or contented as men and my gut feleing checker finds that to be mostly false. I acknowledge the lack of opportunity for the once less-common go-getter type woman would have caused distress in some. To me expectations and comparison to others does drive a decent portion of what makes us happy or not, although conditions do also play a role.

  12. margcal

    You’re probably right jimhaz.
    Way back, women had low expectations so accepted, even welcomed, being treated badly, enslaved, sexually assaulted – no cause for complaint there then.
    I wonder why some rebelled, rebuffed male advances and fled to convents. What on earth was their problem?
    What’s that prayer – then and now? “Thank God for not making me a woman”. Wonder why that gained traction.
    The #metoo campaign is directed at attitudes such as yours.

    ” …. the non-recent past as if men should have known better” – that’s exactly the argument used by the Catholic Church hierarchy re sex abuse: “We didn’t know/understand the long term consequences”. But no one is cutting the Church any slack. And rightly so.
    Sexual assault has “always” been wrong. That objections were silenced so men assumed it was OK (or that they’d get away with it) is not OK at all – then or now.

  13. Annie B

    Thanks Jennifer for a well written article. Blows the lid off some conceived ideas of what is in fact ‘sexual assault’ and what is not. I would like to have just a small bet, that at least 85% of women my age ( in my 70’s ), back in the 1950’s > 80’s were ‘hit upon’ by men in many walks of life – in their jobs, in the grocery store, the butchers ( they seemed to be the worst for some reason !! ) … neighbourhood, on public transport, by so called ‘friends’ – etc. And some of that ‘hitting upon’ developed into first charm, then persuasion ( as the thought manifested itself physically in the male ) – into downright aggression by what the male perceived as some sort of ‘turn on’ … touching inappropriately or worse. Then there was the dating … many men behaved like gentlemen, and others saw a possibility of ‘scoring’ or ( in their minds ) being ‘on a promise’. Most women would have liked a ‘get to know you’ date [ or several ] to begin with, yet other women, rampant in their own sexuality, couldn’t wait to have it off. Confusion reigned – and still does. Mixed signals I think it is called.

    But my comment does NOT by any means excuse the behaviour of the predatory male, who will do anything to get his jollies at the expense of a woman, her body, her conscience, her self respect, and her comfort. THESE are the predators that “MeToo” are addressing … and the movement shows just how many women have been subject to bad behaviour by men. …

    Decades ago, the men I worked with, while seemingly gentlemanly in manner, often could not resist a try on.

    I remember having a very bad day with my work ethic, already bad tempered and telling my lady work-mates in the toilet ” #### just tried to touch me up ” —- “Cheeky buggar – if he tries that again, I will smack his stupid dirty face”. Upon which I turned on my heel and huffed out of there. Some weeks later, another bloke tried a similar thing nastily from behind … I rounded on him, laughed derisively and told him to ‘get a life you idiot’ … and slowly walked away. I totally ignored him from then on – which was probably more damaging to his ego, than the initial rebuff and tick-off. I was in control on the 2nd occasion, but not on the first.

    Diannart said “Women blame other women because they either believe they are superior in managing their lives, so why can’t other women deal with men?” …. I am not trying to be one of the women you describe here, with my above statement. Just trying to say that there are many and varied situations that can lead to sexual assault in fact, or perceived sexual assault ( depending on the womans own demeanour or previous experiences ) … even disappointment can come into it. And there are many different ways of dealing with it. Then there is e.g. a woman who is head over heels, shows a predatory man ( not her fault that she’s chosen a predator to be enamoured of ) that she is more than interested … is asked out on a date – ( bliss ), only to find that the date was a pre-cursor to being used sexually, with a kind of “thanks for the f*ck, babe” attitude as he exits the door. From willingly over the moon, reduced to being sexually used, and possibly abused. Revenge smells very sweet at that stage.

    Men can also say “NO” – and mean it. Does the repeated attempts at seduction by the lady in question, mean she is sexually assaulting the male ? At a certain point, yes. If she doesn’t respect his “No” and continues to try and manually arouse him, then she is pushing an envelope too far. This is far less likely a situation, but it certainly does happen – I would think the “No” for many and varied reasons.

    There needs to be some form of guide ( although this is probably an impossible suggestion !!! ) as to what constitutes mild inappropriate behaviour by a male towards a female – right through to a concluded rape situation ( which is vile ). …. Another example – a very religious woman might take umbrage at a mans hefty use of sexual language in front of her – and be so shocked by it, that she labels it at least ” gross disrespect” – and perhaps later on, “sexual affront” – or even “sexual assault”. That TOO can happen.

    Men AND women need to take responsibilities for themselves, for their actions, for their re-actions ( either way ), and both genders need to learn how to deal with and recognise unwanted attention.

    I would further like to answer a few comments from various people here, but will leave it at this, for the moment.

    Please don’t attack me all at once !!! 😉

  14. Matters Not

    Yes Annie B, it’s very, very complicated. Shouldn’t generalise about men or women and their sexual desires and how to best operationalise same.

    (Ducks head and runs away. Quickly!)

  15. Jennifer Wilson

    “Men are wired to f#ck”
    Well, there’s the attitudinal problem in a nutshell.
    So to speak.

  16. Jennifer Wilson

    I think there is a guide for both men & women about sexual behaviour. It’s very simple and straightforward. If your prospective partner seems hesitant, ask if it’s OK. Hell, ask if it’s ok anyway. If the answer is no, or reluctant,stop. And never forget the other is a human being, not a tool for gratification.
    It ain’t rocket science.

  17. diannaart

    Annie B

    Loved your comments – too much with the extreme weather yesterday to truly expand upon my thoughts.

    Of course, I believe, you’re not one of the judgemental – the types who blame victims; those who blame victims for being unemployed, refugees, disabled, ill or sexually abused. Hence my reference to the Julie Bishop types – being cryptic for the sake of brevity does not always work.

    Yes, it is complicated… but that does not mean running away from vexing issues, Matters Not.

    Unless what you really want to say is that men just can’t help themselves, that they are “wired for sex”.

    Humans are “wired” for a variety of behaviours, none of which means we cannot use some self control, particularly if our behaviour is at the expense and well being of another person.

    Yes women need to take responsibility for themselves as well as men.

    However, many women are brought up to be nice to the point of stoopid! Boys are taught to stand up for themselves, girls (mostly) taught the complete opposite. Some of us are very slow to learn and vulnerability is like a beacon to predators.

  18. diannaart

    Jennifer

    In an ideal world “no” should mean “no”. In an ideal world most men would support women in their outrage against sexual predators (instead of shrieking and running away). In an ideal world there would be no false moral compasses such as those espoused by religion or any false sense of entitlement.

    Also,some people need a “no” followed by a brick to the genitals.

  19. randalstella

    Intriguing implication of bluff hereabouts.
    When the gangster-molester Trump was elected, women’s groups were justifiably concerned. They organised protests. In celebration of Trump’s win, a Putin shill on this site referred to one protest as a ‘million vaginas march’. Hardly a murmur of disapproval. In fact, encouragement and support for the fellow; including from women.
    Bluff, I guess.
    A man’s public career and life has been badly damaged on the say-so accusations of that august chronicle of opinion. Babe.com. Don’t care about that? Bigger issues?
    Well then, how about Ashleigh Banfield? She’s a highly regarded American journalist; with a wide background in domestic and international politics. To her enormous credit she opposed the Iraq War. For her principles and courage against a mighty bluff campaign, she was sacked by NBC, and barred from working elsewhere. The ratings-chasing tactics of supporters of the transparent lies of ‘ Weapons of Mass Destruction’. With half a million Iraqi deaths as consequence. Women, men and children. Accountability there?
    Banfield criticised the Babe piece, on its content; for its equivocation on what it alleged, for its self-justificatory pose, for using an anonymous source to damage the public career of the target.
    In response the writer of the Babe piece attacked Banfield in personal terms, for her age (AB is 50) and her looks, preening about herself as a 22-year-old hottie. It raises very obvious issues of credibility and probity; of the intelligence for a basic moral competence. It reflects on the accusations.
    On the foundation of the accusations written up by Babe, some moralising here about what men need to learn. Without any need to claim equality, men and women are liars. And opportunists.

    Yet another instance of that perpetual machine, Politics, that runs on an asymmetric cog: The Left can’t think straight and The Right don’t have to; The Left can’t organise, and The Right have organisation gifted them.
    All for a dystopic lack of critical cultural analysis, a sense for context which could see that so often the reactions of Left and Right make them functionally indistinguishable agents of the one ‘controversial’, adversarial culture, insatiable for victims.
    Accusation can do a lot better than this. It can do it only with the backing of a fair regard for evidence. This is bound to shed a lot of willing accusers, who lose interest over such ‘technicalities’. A loss of support no bad thing for fairness. It needs to get by on substance, not mob acclaim.
    I would throw any assaulter in the slammer. Assault shreds the civil fabric. Why is there such a delay on accountability for perpetrators who have multiple accusers? Why is Trump still uncharged, after half a lifetime of accusations from independent complainants who are willing to identify themselves? Why has he been able to bluff so many for so long?
    Why did 53% of White women vote for the filthy, lying louse? Bluff? The sort of man they admire? What is it? I wonder how the editorial staff at Babe voted.
    It’s hard to know. Should it be?

  20. paul walter

    Came back for a second read and now stand among the converted. In the end, Wilson has objectively and without malice happily exposed a jerk and a fraud.

    It turns out we are merely observing a mechanism within the great phenomenistic comeuppance machine of Karma at work.

    Will the guy ever be anything BUT a jerk? I am not being unfair if I offer the dispassionate assessment that it is pathological. Can’t help it. There are people like it and they are a bane for the rest of humanity.

    Annie, don’t worry. Your generosity is a credit to you. In many cases you would be right, but there is always the wrong’ un and you cant see yet how it comes to pass where one person, a bit abnormal, breaks the pattern.

  21. paul walter

    The problem is, the fella is not getting his jollies just through sexual release. Because of his nature, he gets them through the second rate consolation, the frustrated will to power, sterile, pitiful, but real for the young woman as to her experience.

  22. Joseph Carli

    Talk about impressing the ladies…I wrote this anecdote down some years ago and I swear it was almost verbatum…ok..so ..it’s a blokey thing!

    Proverb : “The cunning know how to act like idiots, but idiots cannot act like the cunning.”

    Parable….”Picking up girls!” Ron said angrily..’You young bucks got it easy these days..Television, the movies..now the girls go out of their way to grab the blokes as much the other way around!..All the hard work is done for you before you even get to the dance.” He spun side on to the smoko table and crossed his arms in disgust.

    Cries of “bullshit”, “old bastard”, ‘Mallaka!” etc…came from the younger tradies around the table.

    ” I’ll tell you something” Ron continued….” I’ll tell you what it was like when I was young and hungry for a woman..now listen a sec..I’ll tell you..” he shouted them into silence and they listened.

    “You had to be cunning, I tell you…Once, I decided to go to this dance at the Burnside Town Hall, they had it there.. full to the doors with ‘lazzeroni’ lawyers and doctors sons…and here was me ; a bricklayer…So I thought ; ” bugger it, I’m as good as them” and I’d ask a girl to dance…I was young, healthy and strong with good muscles from the hard work…and yes…; handsome…you can laugh, you can laugh!…but…well, they’d look at me and ; “yes” they’d love to dance…ta!…and we’d go to the floor and start like this..and he made the hand motions of waltzing around the floor..; la, ti, ta..lovely..

    “I like your haaiiir” …

    “Oh do you ?.. Why thank you!” she’d reply..

    ….you know..like that…but then they’d feel the callouses on my hands and they’d frown and say ; “Oh your hands…they’re so rough..what sort of work do you do?”…an’ I’d tell ’em I was a bricklayer and they’d say ; ” Oh..can’t you get a better job?”..and they wouldn’t want to dance with me any more…they wanted a lawyer or a doctor, you see, not a bloody bricklayer!”

    Ron tapped his forehead with his finger..” But I got cunning, you see, I thought to myself ; “They like my body but not my wallet and they feel they can measure my worth through my callouses”…so before the dance , when I came home from work, I soaked my hands for an hour in a basin of hot water and olive oil and then I rubbed them with “vaseline” to soften them up a bit more so they couldn’t feel the roughness…eh?…eh?, up here for thinking..eh?…anyway, that night I danced with a lovely girl and I told her I was a law student…and though it was wrong to lie to her, on the strength of that lie I stole some loving….Ron chuckled at the memory…” But then, the fox has to be cunning or the chicken gets away!”

  23. diannaart

    @ Paul Walter

    Came back for a second read and now stand among the converted. In the end, Wilson has objectively and without malice happily exposed a jerk and a fraud.

    Paul, did a woman (or women) run a really bad number on you in your past? You are not alone.

  24. paul walter

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bcrEqIpi6sg

    In the end, the worst that happened was down to inexperience, conceit and was a learning thing …my fault as much as anyone’s, more processive. I will go ok when I stop blaming others and myself.

  25. diannaart

    We never stop learning…. we must never stop learning… especially the teachers…

    Even when we feel we have nothing left:

    “Have I carved enough, my lord?
    Child you are a bone.”

    from “Teachers” by Leonard Cohen

  26. Joseph Carli

    Didn’t like that one?..here try this one : It’s a true anecdote as well..Come see me when you’re ready to face the truth.

    Proverb: Those who need a good ambassador should send themselves.

    Parable: Daniel was adopted out at six weeks old to a childless couple who loved him dearly and raised him as best they could. His natural mother and father were separated several months before he was born so that he knew neither true parent.

    Years later, when he was in his late twenties, he felt the need to contact his natural parents. He could not find his mother, but through one of the special agencies that help adopted people, he obtained the address of his father.

    “Well”, the father said as he sat down at the table, “this is a surprise!” and he dropped a spoonful of sugar into his cup of tea,
    “sugar?…Daniel, … Daniel isn’t it?”the father asked.

    “Yes to both questions” Daniel replied.

    “Well.. then .. it’s good to see you all growed up and healthy … even without my guidance”. The man nervously laughed.

    “I’ve had good …care”. Daniel said as he put the cup to his lips.

    “Well then … “the father rubbed his left hand on his thigh uneasily. “Well then … er … tell me; how’s your mother?”

    “My mother? Daniel looked puzzled, “I don’t know, I haven’t seen her”.

    “What … what do you mean – haven’t seen her”, the father, puzzled too now, queried.

    “No” Daniel went on “Not for as long as I can remember … I was adopted out at six weeks old!” Daniel blinked at his father.

    “The Hell you say!!” The man leapt to his feet upsetting things on the table, “the hell you say!” he cried again as he turned away and raked his fingers through his hair. He turned then and brought his great fist down.. crash!! onto the kitchen table. “Your mother had me paying maintenance for you for sixteen years!” and he stood back from the table and welsh-combed his hair again.

    “Well … you could’ve gone around there and you would’ve seen for yourself” said Daniel. The man flicked his hand away angrily.

    Ahh! … me and your old lady didn’t get on, so we “talked”, as you might say, through a mate of mine who … who went … over … oh bloody hell …” The father stopped suddenly and stared as though in a trance. He sat down on the chair slowly.
    “Oh bloody hell … a mate of mine …”

  27. Joseph Carli

    The biggest problem with middle-class intellectuals is that they do a hell of a lot of talking…but stuff all listening.

  28. Matters Not

    Care to define middle class-class intellectuals?

  29. Joseph Carli

    Matters not..do you require translation of a perfectly clear title or do you desire personal identities?

  30. Matters Not

    Jc. Just some clarification of the concept you used might be of assistance. I repeat – middle class intellectuals.

  31. Joseph Carli

    Maters not..”clarification”?..of what part of that three word “concept”..: Middle?…..Class?….Intellectual?…please explain?

  32. Joseph Carli

    Here..you want to know what “brutal” without force can look like..here’s another little example from life..another I witnessed ..are you “listening”? ..and remember ..; you can’t hide behind a wall of silence..it doesn’t acquit you…it convicts you.

    Proverb: A bitter heart will sour the sweetest soul.

    Parable: Milan’s first wife left him and her baby very early in their marriage. She became ill with a rather common debilitating mental illness, and as the medical treatment in those days in Australia was hopelessly inadequate, she was left to carry on by her own . She couldn’t cope and simply left home, left the baby girl, left her husband and finally left the country and went back to Europe where she disappeared from Milan’s life.

    In due course after several years, Milan met another woman, a single woman who helped him raise the child. She lived with him for ten years and then they married and she had a baby also, a son. The girl had grown up and was cared for (if maybe a bit too sternly) as the new wife’s own daughter.

    Now, every birthday from seven years on, the girl would receive a letter and a parcel from France, from her estranged mother. Sometimes there would be a few notes of currency enclosed. Janice, Milan’s second wife was at first not perturbed at these little gifts. But over the years, and particularly when the girl reached teenage years, she seemed to become a little offended at the daughter’s glee upon receiving these gifts.

    “Oh”, the girl would exclaim in happiness, “My mother has sent me something!” and she would take the parcel off to her room to open it.

    Janice would look scornful and sorrowful at the same time and would complain to Milan.

    “See, see, off to her room with the precious gift, ha! and it wasn’t that woman who raised her, no … it was me who worried when she was sick! So what does she care for me? … no … (and here she would sometimes have tears come to her eyes) not for me the respect she saves for her mother that deserted her” Milan would drop the corners of his mouth and sigh.

    One day a letter arrived saying that Milan’s first wife was coming out to Australia for a visit, to see her daughter. Janice was caught between her love of the daughter and the bitter-ness of a feeling of betrayal of the girl’s love for her mother.
    Not long after the visit by the mother, one evening, they were visiting a friend, and as they sat in the darkened lounge lit only by the open fire, Janice talked off-handedly of the mother’s recent visit.

    “Oh yes, she came over one night last week … humph! the way she talked, humph! as if I was an interloper, as if I was the one who broke up her family … I soon put her in her place!”

    “Well, she didn’t really infer that you …” Milan spoke up.

    “Oh no! not to you, no you wouldn’t see, you’re not a woman … but I know that tone of voice … you men are blind … and … and she brought over a dress for Corina (the daughter) .. ha! what a dress … it was terrible eh Corina? eh? … the colour ugh! the cut, the style … what a laugh … har har” and she laughed a forced bitter laugh without looking at the daughter sitting there alone, slump shouldered in the corner, her tear-filled eyes shining sadly and looking to the floor. “Obviously she doesn’t know her own daughter” Janice finished huffily.

  33. Matters Not

    jc if you are going to employ a concept with clear pejorative intent, it seems to me that you should be prepared to elaborate on same. If you feel the need to define middle, class and intellectual then so be it. In what way are middle class intellectuals somehow unique? Apart from the claim that they don’t listen?

  34. Joseph Carli

    ” it seems to me . . .”….oh…does it?…well, whether it “seems” to you or not, I have not the slightest obligation nor compulsion to satisfy what your ; “seems to me” desires…if you cannot “elaborate on same” without my help…live with it!

  35. Matters Not

    It’s an answer I would expect a Joh to give.

  36. Annie B

    @Joseph Carli … ( and ref. Paul Walter and Matters Not comments ).

    I too would very much like to know exactly what you mean – or are referring to – when you speak of middle class intellectuals who ” do a hell of a lot of talking…but f#ck all listening.” … There’s one helluva lot of people of ALL classes who do that kind of thing from time to time – – – you and me included I would think !!!

    So what – to you – is a middle class intellectual. It is a genuine question. I would really like to know what YOU think they are – and that is without you skirting around the issue with (?? ) “clever” remarks, stories and comebacks ( pls refer to several of your comments ).

    It is all very well, telling stories going way back, ( which incidentally does give a hint or three of your own inclinations towards men / women / dating / and ‘getting some’.) But they are superfluous to the thrust of this article.

    You are right – you ‘have no obligation nor compulsion” to satisfy …. anybodys’ questions, however if you refrain from answering, then that in effect would be an answer from you.

    Think about it !!

  37. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Well said, Jennifer Wilson.

    It does not take a genius to work out when a woman says no, it means no.

    Anybody, who is having difficulty in understanding that simple concept, is likely someone who is accustomed to a life of assumed gender privilege, or as in the case of women who denigrate other women, simple stupid false superiority.

  38. Wayne Turner

    I strongly disagree with this article. “Grace” is a poor communicator that makes “assumptions” to excuse her poor communicating egs: The idiotic statement about wine,to her judgmentalness on him wanting to leave quick.All things she failed to communicate at the time.

    With comments such as “non-verbal q’s” aka she expected him to be a “mind reader”. Notice that when she verbally said “no” he stopped. AKA It’s NOT sexual assault.

    Personally,I think both men and women need to communicate better.Plus treat other better.

    I’m a supporter of the MeToo movement.Bullying creeps like Weinstein and Spacey are disgusting.This story does NOT fall into this.

    This link sums up this story better:-

    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/15/opinion/aziz-ansari-babe-sexual-harassment.html

  39. Joseph Carli

    Annie B ….I’d respond to your presumptuous self-opinionated accusations except your punctuation gives me the screaming shxxts!

  40. corvus boreus

    The biggest problem with stereotypes is that they tend to act like utter clichés

  41. Annie B

    @Joseph Carli …

    Precisely the kind of comment I fully expected from you, as a reply ? .. It was more a retort actually … sharp, shows anger, and is an attempt at a put down. I could say more, but it would be indecent to do so.

    (( wink ))

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