Author Topic: Me Too  (Read 105 times)

jbeegoode

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Me Too
« on: December 06, 2017, 07:19:37 PM »
Last month, our board meeting for the sweat was overrun by a group of belligerent “me too” zealots. They were trying to take over the board to make sure a new sweat would be “safe for women.” They were rudely snickering at male comments, and demanding that all males be voted off of the board because a male could just not understand women’s feelings, nor situation and that was the only way that the sweat would be effective. Women would set the rules and system of persecution of violators of such rules. Men could not be trusted to do so and would interfere, because they are so dominate minded and controlling.

The aggressive sexist ploy was insulting to my entire gender and especially to me personally. I don’t deserve this rant. The level of denigration expressed and discrimination was way above even the Deep South in the 50’s and 60’s. It was blatant, like a KKK. I got pissed. DF at one point put her arm in front of me to hold me back.

The igniting issue was that it was revealed that the owner/benefactor of the old sweat had been cozying up to many of the new attractive women, inviting them to his house next door and for some reason we never saw them again. We couldn’t find out to be sure why they didn’t come back. Many people come once or twice and then move on for various reasons. Finally, I personally saw him attempting to finagle two 20 year olds away from the guy that they had come with, to get them alone in his house and it became obvious to me. This was about a month before the place closed, and I knew at the new sweat, that this could not happen again. It was too late to confront the issue. It was over.

At the meeting there were allegations of “male privilege” sexually amuck, but no specifics during the last couple of weeks and denial of this, because it is “so hard for a woman to come forward.” There may have been five or six people in the 30 or 40 years that the sweat was there and that is hundreds of people. The dogma that applies to the outside world and workplace was being applied to a nude mostly liberal leftist group. Essentially a “hippie” sweat with those Woodstock, Rainbow People values. We had a written agreement, contract and expectation among members like most any nude resort community has. You get kicked out, probably permanently, if you F**k with the sisters. We all were to watch out for and stand up for each other.

All in all, the track record seems good compared to populations outside. It is a highly liberated group and liberal freedom minded and tolerant group. Women and men were together sweating in a sometimes tight little box, swimming and lounging, playing music, dancing, doing yogas, etc. nude for decades. They felt “safe.” They felt as amongst a family. Children were there, too.

Five or six guys were asked to leave and at least one woman, but who was keeping score? The reasons for that were not all sexual. Not a bad track record. Now, we are all accused of being complicit, the benefactors singular transgressions are blown into “dark underbelly” of “male privilege” and the sweat has been proclaimed to be for years unsafe. We don’t know exactly what people are accused of, let alone who, but three. Men are unfit to take part in the process of insuring what behavior is appropriate.

I didn’t feel safe in what I was seeing in a witch-hunt mentality. I realize that both men and women will make less than appropriate remarks on occasion, by bad judgement, or a slip. Comments, or eyes may be interpreted incorrectly. Grab ass, forceful touching, blatant voyeuristic staring, or sexual come-on’s are not what you do, but especially in a spiritual, worshiping gathering. Where would these zealots take their decisions over lording upon the sweat? What embarrassment, inquisition procedures, or threat of social castigation would they want to thrust upon the membership? The membership is generally anti-establishment, laisie faire, rebellious as any group that you would find. They don’t like imposition. They generally take responsibility for their behavior on their own.

So, the board is in disarray, things are healing, nothing is settled yet. A couple quit in disgust, or hard feelings.

So, with this as an example, there is a current climate of change. It is about time that most of it is happening in my opinion. On this online forum, the issue is nudity and body freedom. I’d like narrow the focus to the effects of this social change’s process as it may, or may not affect casual body freedom. Looking at the allegations all over the press, casual nudity, or lax dress, can be interpreted as sexual transgression. An open robe may be taken as a definitive expression of sexuality, domineering, not just a comfortable friendly attitude. This would in course lead to inhibition and fear, which is perfectly, aligned with the fundamentalist dogma and anti- body mores that permeate society and oppress naturism.

Are we in danger of being swept up and get oppressed as the byproduct of the fervor of this otherwise needed social change?

People will have sexual thoughts. Sexual action is different and affects others. There is a curiosity in social situations. In socially nude situations cards are on the table, mystique is not as great, the voyeur is diminished naturally. After I come out of a textile world, the affect wears off pretty quickly, and nudity around me becomes a norm, a matter of fact.

There is a social learning, based on perceptions of individual responses around us. With some people I’m more comfortable nude than others. Some I can hug nude, some I don’t hug at all, even clothed. We have a common sense at play. Do we really need rules imposed, or do we need guidelines and common sense, assertive expression of perceived transgressions or boundary issues by the individuals? Over the years at the sweat, women have made remarks, one came on to me. Women are often curious, probably as men. I don’t run scared and head to the Wednesday night men only sweat because I’m feeling unsafe. I either let it slide, or say something tactful, if the behavior may continue.
Jbee


« Last Edit: December 06, 2017, 07:48:42 PM by jbeegoode »
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Bob Knows

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Re: Me Too
« Reply #1 on: December 07, 2017, 07:14:18 PM »
Why am I not surprised.   The anti-men hate among American liberals is way beyond acceptable.  Not just at your sweat group.
 

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John P

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Re: Me Too
« Reply #2 on: December 08, 2017, 02:52:35 AM »
Yes Bob, too much hate, absolutely.

JBG, one thing I'm surprised at in your story is the level of organization you've got behind that sweat lodge. An actual board? Elected by actual members? I assumed it was just a group of friends. Well, if there's any possibility of calm discussion, I'd try to encourage the women, the angry ones and some others who aren't so angry, to caucus together (might DF suggest this?) and work out what their real grievances are, and what the board can do to address them. Was it entirely this man in the past who caused problems (and is he still a member?) or are there ongoing issues, that can really be dealt with? Then have the board and some of the women talk it over. But all that assumes there's enough trust for the discussion to happen. A question I'd hope to see come up, would be what any board, regardless of who's on it, should be doing that isn't already happening. If there's some kind of setup that encourages sexual harassment, it certainly needs to be changed, but maybe it's nothing entirely specific, more of a feeling on these women's part that they're outside the decision-making group. Perhaps they'd be satisfied if some of their members were added to the board, but it would have to make them feel they were having an effect, while not ending up with blood on the floor.

You mentioned the sweat as a “hippie” enterprise, and that makes me think of how sexual freedom worked out in that era, as seen from decades later. There was sexual freedom, but it was much more on men's terms than women's--there was a feminist movement starting around then, but it wasn't among the hippies (in spite of Gloria Steinem's glasses). Just think of the connotations in the term "hippie chick"! Have the people in your group really left that in the past, or could some members be making women uncomfortable, and might the women feel that nobody wanted to hear about it? In your place, I'd want these ladies to talk, not keep silent. I'd take a few insults as part of the process, as long as it resulted in working together.

Edited to say (insert somewhere): But I'd never go along with the idea that the board could be limited to any definable group, if I've understood correctly what you're doing there. It's a community, open to everyone.
« Last Edit: December 08, 2017, 03:27:10 AM by John P »

jbeegoode

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Re: Me Too
« Reply #3 on: December 08, 2017, 04:04:28 AM »
Yep, the hippie chicks somehow were into their role in the kitchen and the hippie dudes were outside in their roles, even during the birthing of the women's movement. There has been a great deal of learning through the years. I raised a son as mom and dad. My tendency is toward equality and discarded roles. DF is my best friend. Like sometimes I cook, sometimes she cooks. Out on the trail, we divvy up chores and she is the best of partners. We respect each other. We are naked.

I never experienced the sexual revolution as a men's terms thing so much. I remember more of a free for all, a grand experiment and something new to try as it evolved or Playboy suggested some new aspect or "trip" to try. I changed sexual partners sometimes more often than my shirt during the seventies and don't remember it being actually my terms. It seems that most everyone has settled down to a monogamous outlook over the years.

Yes, that influence has probably been a source of problem, but these days, everyone knows etiquette similar to most naturist resorts. It is pretty simple common sense really.

These women popped out with all of the belligerence that would get them collared and tossed into the street in any bar. No kooth at all. The board members collaborating with this women only, sexist discrimination, men can't possibly understand board thing disgust me. It would be like working with a racist on racist issues and being black. They think that you are stupid, inferior, don't trust you and would really just like to hang you from a tree. I don't suffer racism and sexism so well.

We made great change with that sexual revolution. This new "anti" attitude is a threat to that and aligned with conservative impositions. These women, I suspect and a couple that I'm sure, have suffered sexual abuses, male privilege to the point of socially approved rape and harbor issues from other sectors of society. They are angry, and project their stuff on everyone, society as a whole. They used to spend time in the women's only Wednesday night sweat. We wouldn't see much of them.

Our benefactor, a very socially politically giving person and activist, is the main culprit. I suspect that he was rationalizing that it was okay to lure them away from the sweat property to his place next door and then pull whatever it was that he was doing, attempting seducing, pulling weight like male privilege as benefactor, I don't know. Nobody does but him.

When he decided to sell the place, we incorporated a non-profit to gather tax deductible donations to buy it and take over. He generously gave us over a year to get our act together. We raised a tentative 30 thousand something bucks and gave most back, when it couldn't be realized. There is 7 or 8 thousand left from fundraisers that are to be spent to promote a new in town sweat. We need a piece of secure land at this point in town. There has been discussion to put it in my new future back yard, a big maybe. I'd like to see the formality of the non-profit dissolved to the 'Hippie Sweat" format, but it is probably a necessary evil.

Yes, a community, it needs transparency. There are many misfits among us...you know woo woo, leftist, street, Rainbow, all kinds of spiritual stuff. Some more dysfunctional than others. Some function much better. They are many old friends, seen many personal changes with each other, over around 40 years. The benefactor was scaring (or something) away the new blood. Lovable old hippies of many kinds.
Jbee

 
« Last Edit: December 08, 2017, 04:11:04 AM by jbeegoode »
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John P

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Re: Me Too
« Reply #4 on: December 08, 2017, 05:23:39 AM »
Ah. Well, if this situation can be saved, maybe the heroine(s) of the hour could be someone like DF who could talk to both sides. But if it comes to a fight, someone will end up winning and someone else walking. Maybe that's unavoidable. If the angry women have tried to pack the board and it hasn't worked, maybe they'll go away.

Recent views of history have turned up a fair number of heroes who haven't been exactly heroic where women are concerned, and your benefactor sounds as if he fits that pattern. That's too bad, but I'm certain the right thing to do is acknowledge what happened, and make sure it doesn't occur again. Don't tell them you've mentioned Playboy magazine in any positive way.

You make your sweat group sound like a fine collection of misfits and visionaries, but possibly not the best candidates for getting something planned and accomplished! Very few of the hippie communes lasted long.

jbeegoode

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Re: Me Too
« Reply #5 on: December 08, 2017, 06:47:16 AM »
Many hippie communes survived as non-profits. This one flourished for nearly 40 years, until it was sold. It had a benefactor, but it was run by volunteers and fundraisers.
Jbee
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nuduke

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Re: Me Too
« Reply #6 on: December 15, 2017, 01:57:33 PM »

Quote from: John P
[font=]But if it comes to a fight, someone will end up winning and someone else walking.[/font]
Or successful compromise and mutual accommodation perhaps?


John

Bob Knows

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Re: Me Too
« Reply #7 on: December 15, 2017, 03:45:16 PM »

I never experienced the sexual revolution as a men's terms thing so much. I remember more of a free for all, a grand experiment and something new to try as it evolved or Playboy suggested some new aspect or "trip" to try. I changed sexual partners sometimes more often than my shirt during the seventies and don't remember it being actually my terms. It seems that most everyone has settled down to a monogamous outlook over the years.

My view of the "sexual revolution" was mostly a female thing.  They "got the pill" and feminist freedom.  Sexual freedom has been a big part of feminism since the 1800s.  It got a lot bigger when young women quit worrying about getting pregnant.

Quote
Our benefactor, a very socially politically giving person and activist, is the main culprit. I suspect that he was rationalizing that it was okay to lure them away from the sweat property to his place next door and then pull whatever it was that he was doing,

The concept of "lure" implies a CHOICE and even desire on the part of those who were lured.  It has become PC to blame men for the choices of women who often are very willing participants. I don't believe that blaming either men or women for normal human interaction is beneficial for anyone. 


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jbeegoode

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Re: Me Too
« Reply #8 on: December 15, 2017, 08:48:31 PM »
To clarify Bob. In this case, they were in a safe comfortable environment that they could trust. They could be nude freely without someone attempting to make them. They could be treated as nude human beings without the objectification, the overt sexuality, looked upon as exhibitionist, or sluts, or seen as brazen. They were in a worshipful environment. With that trust they were asked further for say coffee/get to know you by the benefactor and they politely remained in trust. Then, he blows the trust and blows the sweat/spiritual church-like situation into sexual advances. His behavior and as the benefactor, cast a sexual underbelly idea, a misrepresentation of the rest of us. He may have also used his position of power, for example, "You can be accepted or not if you don't comply with my wants," to manipulate the young women (he's in his seventies), but we can't be sure.

A lure has a meal, or faked meal on the hook to fool the fish, then they are hooked, not as having dinner, but being dinner. Wolves in sheep's clothing, or in this case no clothing, are to be thrown out of the flock as imposters.

Women are rightly left feeling uncomfortable, not able to trust others, because they often get hit with the game. It is a pain in the butt and shuts them off. I remember living in San Fransisco in my twenties becoming uncomfortable meeting guys in bars, because so often it turned out that they were wanting sexual relations instead of just a pal. So I can understand how it could wear on a woman. On the other hand, the thing is I can also see that these slowly stripping away of pretense, unveiling ones self layer by layer as trust deepens, are things that are a part of the complex social interactions of human beings. It is our nature with strangers and we get acquainted to hold back certain cards until we know that it is safe. Some people now are not accepting that. I think that some are trying to draw a line in a grey area of our nature and to control behavior.

Some are also not delineating between this social humanity and actions of sexual harassment, rape, abuse of power and abuse.

There is social etiquette, rules, expectation at any organized social nude situation. Often just getting naked with each other strips away the outside social cultural crap. People stop staring, they forget that they are naked, they leave the other world and their persona outside and focus on the immediate concerns and the humanity. So human nature when coming out of the world into the adjustment of a place where people are naked and further rules to reinforce expectations can workout into a comfortable environment. People are tribal in nature and can figure this out relatively easily. That is all that we are asking.  For example, how long a person stares is a very grey area. Who and when to say what or be how candid is individual and anyone male or female has complex abilities to "get it."   

Yea, blaming men or women for much of this stuff is just pure prejudiced sexism. Boys and girls, we are much the same and then placed in a social/cultural context since the beginning of life, and always changing. Some of us understand others better than others. Some of us just go about in ignorance and it never occurs to us that what we have been taught is wrong. Some of us are predators and psychopathic self centered and enjoy that. Some think that they are just being realistic and functioning well, when they are without conscious. Broad strokes over groups of people specifically a group that represents half of humanity, is pretty dang simple thinking. That simple thinking is what these belligerent women were rudely pushing on us.   
Jbee
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pjcomp

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Re: Me Too
« Reply #9 on: December 15, 2017, 09:30:23 PM »
Many hippie communes survived as non-profits. This one flourished for nearly 40 years, until it was sold. It had a benefactor, but it was run by volunteers and fundraisers.
Jbee

Sounds like our home life, non-profit, volunteers and fund-raising ... 🤔
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jbeegoode

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Re: Me Too
« Reply #10 on: December 15, 2017, 10:34:20 PM »
 ;D ;)
We actually refer to the community as a family.
Jbee
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