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JulianMorrison comments on LW Women- Minimizing the Inferential Distance - Less Wrong

58 Post author: daenerys 25 November 2012 11:33PM

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Comment author: MugaSofer 27 November 2012 02:02:42AM 3 points [-]

There's an element of "claiming ownership" in cat calling

Source please.

and in "how are you doing" and "smile baby" too.

So ... male passersby are "claiming ownership" of me? Great, now I'll be even more uncomfortable. (I'm male & het, if that wasn't clear.)

Comment author: JulianMorrison 27 November 2012 02:15:28AM *  -3 points [-]

Don't ask for a source of something that clearly is an interpretation of observation not a study. That's pretty clearly acting dismissively.

And you know what I mean about claiming ownership too. Those comments are said by men to women in a particular way that is more intrusive and different from the way they are said to you. You are being dismissive here too.

Comment author: evand 27 November 2012 02:09:01PM 2 points [-]

I find "source please" only somewhat dismissive, but I would find it similarly so if the claim was a more direct, less empirical one.

I read "source please" as a statement that your interpretive claim is too strong to be supported by the quantity of interpretation you have provided. There is no reason your source could not be an essay instead of a pile of data and statistics. Hopefully such an essay would make use of at least some quantity of data.

Non-obvious interpretations need justification for all the same reasons that non-obvious direct empirical claims do, and I don't think it's more or less dismissive in one case than the other to call for a source. Specifically, what I find dismissive is not the request for a source, but the failure to engage the claim otherwise. That said, I'm not sure I find it inappropriate here.

Comment author: MugaSofer 27 November 2012 02:25:23AM 1 point [-]

Don't ask for a source of something that clearly is an interpretation of observation not a study. That's pretty clearly acting dismissively.

I would like to know what evidence you have for your claims. Without evidence, yes, I'm going to dismiss them, because they fit a profile of stereotyping that, in my experience, is tied to factually wrong statements about my gender.

And you know what I mean about claiming ownership too.

I have my suspicions, but that doesn't address my point.

Those comments are said by men to women in a particular way that is more intrusive and different from the way they are said to you. You are being dismissive here too.

I was suggesting that sexual comments and greetings may have different causes. Since I receive greetings that sound similar to the ones described from people who are almost certainly not viewing me as a potential partner, it seems likely that they are received regardless of gender, unlike catcalls.

Comment author: NancyLebovitz 27 November 2012 12:44:25PM 2 points [-]

'Ownership' might be putting it too strongly, but it's definitely a claim on the other person's attention for something which is of no conceivable value to the person who's attention is being claimed.

Comment author: JulianMorrison 27 November 2012 02:32:07AM -1 points [-]

You don't have experience, and you turn away vicarious experience - the inferential distance is too large.

Comment author: MugaSofer 27 November 2012 02:43:05AM 5 points [-]

I have the experience of being a male and having other males make unsolicited greetings, which makes me uncomfortable and generally resembles what Nancy reported. Since I doubt the same phenomenon is responsible for the greetings I receive and the "catcalling"many women report, I suggested that Nancy's experiences had a different cause to regular, sexual catcalling. I may have made some sort of error, but if so I would prefer you point it out rather than baldly accuse me of a failure of empathy.

Comment author: NancyLebovitz 27 November 2012 12:48:54PM 5 points [-]

For what it's worth, every stranger who's given me an unwanted "How are you doing?" has been male, and the incidence has dropped off strikingly as I've hit menopause.

I do think there's a sexual element, and for all I know, there was one in the unwanted greetings from men that you've gotten.

However, please note that I raised the question about whether the relatively mild "How are you doing?" should be counted among catcalls. The thing that people usually complain about is more overtly sexual and/or gendered, and frequently hostile to start with or becomes hostile if rejected.

Comment author: MugaSofer 27 November 2012 05:23:07PM 3 points [-]

I wasn't trying to make any claims about catcalling, merely supplying evidence that "how are you doing" is a different phenomenon.

... I have to say, the possibility that it's sexual is there - I have long hair, long enough that I've been mistaken for female (more so before I hit puberty, of course.) But my name is used fairly often, so I suspect I'm just more recognizable than skilled at recognizing others.

Comment author: TorqueDrifter 27 November 2012 05:29:19PM 3 points [-]

my name is used fairly often

This seems like an important detail.