Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Pause for thought

I read blogs for fun and diversion, and it is mostly flippant comments and clever ways with words that provide lots of laughs and keep me coming back for more. Dr Maroon, Fatmammycat and Gorilla Bananas regularly make me laugh out loud with their unique slants on life. The Blunt Cogs crew feel almost like family, and the clever posts of Randall, Dr. Jo McC, Stephenesque and SamPCB are always a joy to read.

I have recently come to realise what a terrific support system having a “virtual” circle of friends can be. On Kim Ayres blog, he was lately talking of his problems with depression, and the sheer kindness and support from other bloggers was humbling. Many had themselves experienced the “black cloud” and were able to offer support and encouragement, and to share their own bad moments. And Binty’s recent post about male rape has given me pause for thought. I didn’t really take it seriously until I asked a group of male friends about it, and after the usual jokey asides, a few of them had some experience of women as predators when they were teenagers. They admitted they were too embarrassed to discuss it with anyone at the time, as they did not want to be considered a wuss. One said he kept quiet because it was a family friend. I was shocked. For teenage girls, the randy uncle/older brother or dad of neighbour, the parents’ friend driving you home after babysitting his kid, are all hazards a teenage girls contends with – and keeps silent about in order to keep family friendships intact; and because girls share these experiences, they are perhaps better prepared to defend themselves against the creeps. Boys don’t have the same support – if they want to be considered macho, the attitude seems to be sex anyway you get it is the goods. However, I can think of nothing more disgusting than being intimate with somebody I don’t want to be intimate with, and I can see how it could colour a person’s experience of something that should be beautiful and memorable. We all remember our first sexual experiences, and for the majority of us it is with a stomach tumbling, bittersweet joy for a younger, innocent self and a past that can never be retrieved.


Blogger Binty McShae said...

I remember a few years back there was a case of a pretty young woman (may or may not have been a teacher) seducing a 14 year old boy. The photo's of her in the newspapers had many a guy turning around in the local boozer loudly proclaiming "wish that had happened to me, ha-ha, nudge-nudge". All that kind of macho bullshit is probably indirectly responsible for more of the cases of depression, substance-addiction, suicide and the like than anything else.

9:53 PM  
Blogger R. Sherman said...

Alas, there is a double standard when it comes to these things. Depending on the gender of the perpetrator, the criminal justice system will either send one to prison for fourteen years or give one probation for the same offense. Disgusting, really.


6:06 AM  
Blogger SafeTinspector said...

"We all remember our first sexual experiences, and for the majority of us it is with a stomach tumbling, bittersweet joy for a younger, innocent self and a past that can never be retrieved."

So you think the majority of people regret their first time?
The circumstances, the partner, or the fact of the first time?

4:36 PM  
Blogger Dr Maroon said...

Are you going to the party?
Are you going to the Boston Tea Party?

Redcoats in the village
There's fighting in the streets
The Indians and the
mountain men, well
They are talking when they meet
The king has said he's gonna put a tax on tea
And that's the reason you all Americans drink coffee

Are you going to the party?
Are you going to the Boston Tea Party?

10:57 AM  
Blogger Dr Maroon said...

I went back and read the post and comments and now feel I was rather flip.

Twenty Major the other day accused me of having no one to talk to. He was right when I thought about it.
i log on here because there's more happening in ten minutes here than in the long dark teatime with colleagues, one of whom is here right noe and told me there should have been 2 Ls in colleague, anyway, ican go to thje canteen and listen to people talking about schools, holidays, magnolia for the spare room, Tony Blair, economics sometimes, but I could slash my wrists, I come on here with all this lot and I feel better.

11:13 AM  
Blogger Dr Maroon said...

I had a really good first experience. Maybe I was lucky.

11:15 AM  
Blogger SheBah said...

Safe T - I think the first time is the only time we every give ourselves completely - hence we remember it with extra fondness, cos its rare that we ever plumb that depth of feeling again with a lover. Our self preservation kicks in! Only a few lucky people end up with their first love. I think for every subsequent relationship we are more guarded, more careful as we don't want to risk being hurt or rejected, and also to make sure that the other person is as they seem before we surrender whats left of our heart again. The first love we fall for is usually a very idealised situation,where the other person could not possibly live up to that expectation. Then we realise they are just another ordinary person when all passion is spent.

4:28 AM  
Blogger Kim Ayres said...

I think the longer we're getting to know each other (over a year now with many of the Blunt Coggers) the more we get to see of each other's moods and views of the world. Like any good friends we can have a laugh, but we recognise that everyone has a serious side to them too.

I love the diversity of the bloggers I visit - everything from hysterically funny and creative through to emotionaly raw or educational.

5:34 AM  
Blogger Dandelion said...

I don't think that the prevalence of sexual abuse of females by males actually does equip females to deal with it better. I think it makes it look like the norm, and therefore harder to fight against. That, together with early gender-role socialisation conspires to produce females who are actually pretty vulnerable to this stuff, and rather more so than males.

Sherman - it's not the same offence actually, any more than the act of sex is the same experience for the male as it is for the woman, either physically, emotionally or culturally. It's a tired old argument, so I shan't rehearse it here, but that kind of shallow thinking really pees me off.

7:48 AM  
Blogger Gorilla Bananas said...

What a sensitive, thoughtful woman you are, Ms Shebah. You'd make a good daughter-in-law for some crusty old patriarch.

1:35 PM  

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