Rachel Swirsky (rachel_swirsky) wrote,
Rachel Swirsky
rachel_swirsky

The elevator thing

OK. Let's try this one last time.

If you want to achieve a goal then it helps to engage in steps to fulfill that goal.

If goal = increase female attendance at conferences then it helps to engage in steps to fulfill that goal.

A good strategy has been hit upon--one of the steps you're taking to fulfill that goal is to ask women who attend and don't attend the conferences what might make the atmosphere more welcoming to women attendees.

If a woman attendee says in good faith, one of the problems is that, when they do attend, many ladies feel they are being constantly hit on in slightly creepy ways (and here, she specifies, is an example) then correct responses to the solicited information include:

Listening in good faith, evaluating whether there are ways to address the problem without infringing on other things you value about the convention, responding in good faith.

Correct responses do not include:

Calling her a bitch, a hysteric, a man-hater.

If goal = I, a man, would like to tempt this lady into sexytimes then it also helps to engage in steps to fulfill that goal.

Among other good strategies, listen to ladies when they explain why an approach may or may not work.

If a woman says in good faith, an approach that probably won't work is to make a cold advance at a stranger who has previously expressed disinterest in such advances when you are both in a confined space at 4am in the morning, because (despite your assured best intentions) this is a situation in which violence could (and does) occur, then correct responses to the information include:

Listening in good faith, evaluating whether or not the objection is reasonable and can be incorporated into one's behavior without infringing on other things one values, responding in good faith.

Correct responses do not include:

Calling her a bitch, a hysteric, a man-hater.

If goal = I, as a socially awkward person, want other people to understand that when I enter situations where my actions could be misinterpreted, I'm not malevolent, just clueless then... and you'll be shocked by this... it helps to engage in steps to fulfill *that* goal, too.

Strategies can include: gathering information about social interactions when people attempt to make those rules explicit so that you can more easily intellectualize and follow them.

If a woman says in good faith that while any given stranger--including you!--probably has the best, if somewhat clueless, intentions, sometimes strangers don't... and if she adds that therefore you should avoid making sexual advances when the object of your desires is confined and isolated... then correct responses to this information include:

Listening in good faith, evaluating whether or not this guideline makes sense and can be incorporated into an intellectualized set of social rules, responding in good faith.

Correct responses do not include:

Ignoring everything the fuck out of everything that just happened so that you can insinuate that she called you, personally, a rapist.
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