Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Cultures and violence

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  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Megan Wegan,

    But let’s use that to do a better job of raising them, and explaining hyper-masculine culture

    That's what I'm saying!

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4460 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    But let’s use that to do a better job of raising them, and explaining hyper-masculine culture

    That’s what I’m saying!

    Point of furious agreement long since reached :-)

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22850 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3122 posts Report Reply

  • Megan Wegan, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Point of furious agreement long since reached :-)

    Fair and balanced, that's me.

    However. I, like Danielle, am wary of anyone who says "oh, but testosterone". The dude who broke my ribs when I was a teenager doesn't get to use that excuse any more than I get to say I provoked him cos I was on the rag.

    Welly • Since Jul 2008 • 1275 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Megan Wegan,

    However. I, like Danielle, am wary of anyone who says “oh, but testosterone”. The dude who broke my ribs when I was a teenager doesn’t get to use that excuse any more than I get to say I provoked him cos I was on the rag.

    Who is actually calling it an excuse though? Who are you arguing against on that one?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22850 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Tamara,

    I feel like I have to push back at it on a daily basis.

    Even quite progressive people give me funny looks and say "You want to sort that out" when I tell them that my boys favourite movies are the Tinker Bell series.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10657 posts Report Reply

  • Megan Wegan, in reply to Russell Brown,

    The paragraph

    Fair call. But the fundamental biological differences between those with and without high levels of testosterone are clear. If you want to modulate testosterone driven behaviour you must acknowledge it is real.

    Which I get isn't what Bart was saying.

    But we see all the time: Well, we can't do anything about this, because well, men are wired to be aggressive, or whatever. (Or, for that matter, peeps be crazy, or guns are everywhere, or whatever).

    When I complained to a friend on Monday about ridiculous high levels of street harassment in Wellington on the weekend, he said..."yeah, men and alcohol". Which a) it's way more complicated than that, and b) stop making it sound like it's a natural way of life, and we can't do anything about it. We can and should.

    Anyway, I am aware this is something of a threadjack, so I'll stop.

    Welly • Since Jul 2008 • 1275 posts Report Reply

  • B Jones,

    I'm amazed by the number of people I know who assert "boys do x, girls do y" at very little provocation. I'm not shocked that people believe it, but by the frequency it comes up. It's like they're having an argument with the hypothesis that boys and girls are exactly the same, even though nobody's said it. People are really invested in the idea. It's hardly shocking that boys who get told off for behaving too femininely take up more aggressive styles of play.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 976 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Stewart, in reply to B Jones,

    It's like they're having an argument with the hypothesis that boys and girls are exactly the same, even though nobody's said it. People are really invested in the idea.

    Vague Hypothesis Alert: I think this is because gender is one of the basic social cues we use about people. Think of how upset people get when they can't gender someone or misgender someone. The idea that maybe it's not a very important social cue about personality/preferences/whatever takes away that comfortable ability to assume stuff about people based on their gender presentation. Cue chaos, dogs and cats living together, etc.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2105 posts Report Reply

  • Angus Robertson, in reply to Danielle,

    Hear ye, for Sanctuary has spoken: the gendered nature of gun violence and mass shootings is not at all relevant. Good to know.

    Incidence of being male = 50%; incidence of firearm related death = <0.1%.

    The relevence of gender to gun violence seems statistically very poor.

    Auckland • Since May 2007 • 984 posts Report Reply

  • B Jones,

    I guess there's a social cost in not knowing whether to start a conversation with a stranger with smalltalk about the rugby or whether Kate is showing yet :-/

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 976 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Lucy Stewart,

    Think of how upset people get when they can't gender someone or misgender someone.

    I remember sitting behind a 3-year old and parents at an outdoor performance of Douglas Wright's 'Hey Paris' and the utter confusion and delight for the youngster as the dancers changed gender throughout.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Angus Robertson,

    The relevence of gender to gun violence seems statistically very poor.

    doesn't deserve a response
    #dontfeedthetroll

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch,

    Animalisticpenisbrain.

    WLG • Since Nov 2006 • 2264 posts Report Reply

  • DexterX,

    The POV that males are violent because they're driven by testosterone falls over when females behave as violently as males - this is a very real emerging phenomenon.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1224 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Back on topic, Hannah Rosin at Slate has a blistering indictment of “Anarchist Soccer Mom”, author of “I Am Adam Lanza’s Mother”.

    Partly, it’s the privacy issues – “Michael” is now forever tagged as a psycho. But, also, it’s some of the other, somewhat disturbing stuff, she’s written about her children. She seems a bit of a nut herself, frankly.

    I feel a bit remiss. I did check some of her other posts, but didn’t notice the odder stuff. It’s like Joanne Black’s family columns on steroids.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22850 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to DexterX,

    The POV that males are violent because they’re driven by testosterone falls over when females behave as violently as males – this is a very real emerging phenomenon.

    So you keep saying. I honestly think we should just leave this alone and get back on topic.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22850 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch,

    So you keep saying. I honestly think we should just leave this alone and get back on topic.

    But if males, why is copyright?

    WLG • Since Nov 2006 • 2264 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Autism doesn't explain this violent spree. Article includes this insight:

    Empathic ability comes in two forms. One is the social ability to recognize the emotion someone is feeling by following social cues, subtle vocal fluctuations, and other nonverbal communications.

    ...

    Autism does not, however, preclude a person from understanding a clear communication about emotion.

    The other form of empathy follows on the recognition of the emotion, whether the message comes through verbally or nonverbally, intuitively or not. That's the form in which you not only can intellectualize the person's emotion but also can internalize and feel what they are feeling, known as emotional empathy. The gap for psychopaths comes in here: They seem to lack this emotional empathy.

    But whatever deficits autism might carry in terms of recognition, it makes up for in terms of the shared feeling. My experience has been that once an autistic becomes aware of the other person's emotion, the feeling comes without a social construct, naked and in full, unmodulated. Certainly, the expression of their feeling can be more intense.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to George Darroch,

    spoon

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report Reply

  • Anne Russell,

    Apologies if all of this has been said already, but I ain't reading through 216 comments:

    That's quite a jump, assuming Liza Long is a loving mother. Her ethics in using both Michael's name and a photo of him are dubious (I appreciate your respect for your son's privacy), and her other blog entries show she is mentally disturbed herself (http://bit.ly/ZbccQJ). It sounds like her son could do with living in a different environment.

    But Liza Long's story is sort of beside the point when it comes to gun violence. The whole "I am [oppressed person]" trope serves to conflate narratives by co-opting a story which is, in fact, _not_ hers, and obscures understanding of the other case at hand. While mental health policy and the culture around mental health in both the US and NZ need improving, there's no suggestion that that Adam Lanza had similar mental health issues to Michael. Moreover, treating gun violence as something only committed by people like Michael serves to further stigmatise those who have mental health issues, casting them as people prone to violence rather than (far more commonly) being victims of it. Who knows, for example, how Michael's job prospects in future may be affected by a widespread perception of him as a mass-murderer-to-be? It also gives false comfort to people who assume their son could never shoot up a school because he's not like Michael, as though gun violence is a problem of individuals that can be isolated and quarantined.

    Since Dec 2012 • 1 posts Report Reply

  • Megan Wegan, in reply to Russell Brown,

    She seems a bit of a nut herself, frankly.

    I haven't read it properly, not the commentary, but doesn't she acknowledge that she has mental health issues herself, plus a history of abuse?

    Welly • Since Jul 2008 • 1275 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle, in reply to B Jones,

    People are really invested in the idea.

    This. It is so annoying it makes me want to, uh, shoot stuff. My usual response is a sort of waffly not-very-assertive "I dunno, I think they're quite similar until we teach them how to be different" statement, at which most people fall silent or change the subject. I am The Weird Parent at Playgroup. (But since I have now discovered via this thread that both of my sons are likely to kill themselves at the age of 16 by jumping a railway bridge in their replica of the General Lee, I might just give up on the whole campaign. ;) )

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3828 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Angus Robertson,

    Incidence of being male = 50%; incidence of firearm related death = <0.1%.

    The relevence of gender to gun violence seems statistically very poor.

    Incidence of being male 50%; incidence of running 100m in less than 10 seconds <.1%, correlation between male and ability to run 100m in under 10 seconds 100%

    Stats.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4460 posts Report Reply

  • DexterX, in reply to Tamara,

    I feel like I have to push back at it on a daily basis.

    I feel I don't have to push back at "it"or "anything" in raising my five-year-old daughter.

    What I have tried to do is impress upon her, from about age 2 years was that she has to make decisions and exercise choice and choose to "be".

    An example of this is her school sports day - Gee came last in the running race - I asked her, "How was it?", she said, "Daddy it was great", I asked, "How did you get on?", her reply, "I came last in running", Me, "Was it fun?" - Gee, "One million percent out of ten - it was really big fun!!"

    She then told me her best friend "Ducky" came second and cried because she didn't win - Gee thinks, "I did better than her because I came last and didn't cry and I was happy and she was sad and crying like a baby"

    Gee has a pretty good handle on things and is the happiest person I know - It is a truck load of fun being five years old - much better than being say over 50 - I recommend everyone just be five years old.

    The sad tragedy about Newton is that, through an over abundance of gun culture, the joy of life has been extinguished for many.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1224 posts Report Reply

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