How Much Sexual Repression Is Ideal?

Jun 2014
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Cleveland, Ohio
I have some funny stories on sexual repression that are more about culture than law. There are many areas in the U.S. that still believe women are owned. My adventures led me to believe that men gossip much more than women. It drives them crazy when a man shows up in their town with discretion and chivalry.
Many women -- rich, poor, Northern, Southern, etc. -- go to their graves not knowing the sensation of EVER having been respected OR safe in their own homes.

 
Jun 2014
64,789
39,678
Cleveland, Ohio
I did a piece on etiquette for a newspaper years ago....etiquette, the silent power struggle.
OMG! I would so love to read that, Isalexi. I cuss IRL when angry and I was FOREVER being tattled on to my boss. By people who evil doings I was uncovering......made me so damned mad.

That asshole stole the life savings from 4,000 seniors but I AM in trouble for saying "fuck"?

I had a helluva time with that, because it violates such a deeply-treasured "southern" social contract, but IMO, this is used/abused to stifle the righteous anger of women in that "old South" milieu.

Anyway, is your book for sale online? Could you please PM me the link?

Thanks.
 
Apr 2014
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Maryland
OMG! I would so love to read that, Isalexi. I cuss IRL when angry and I was FOREVER being tattled on to my boss. By people who evil doings I was uncovering......made me so damned mad.

That asshole stole the life savings from 4,000 seniors but I AM in trouble for saying "fuck"?

I had a helluva time with that, because it violates such a deeply-treasured "southern" social contract, but IMO, this is used/abused to stifle the righteous anger of women in that "old South" milieu.

Anyway, is your book for sale online? Could you please PM me the link?
My book isn't about etiquette...that was just an article in a newspaper and I can't find it which frustrates me.my book is for teachers and I do mention etiquette in that. Etiquette should not be gender specific but rather about human respect.i ask teachers not to do "ladies first" or separate kids by gender. Many of you will disagree with me but we don't separate kids by race or religion, why by gender?
Your experience sounds terrible
 
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Jun 2014
64,789
39,678
Cleveland, Ohio
OMG! I would so love to read that, Isalexi. I cuss IRL when angry and I was FOREVER being tattled on to my boss. By people who evil doings I was uncovering......made me so damned mad.

That asshole stole the life savings from 4,000 seniors but I AM in trouble for saying "fuck"?

I had a helluva time with that, because it violates such a deeply-treasured "southern" social contract, but IMO, this is used/abused to stifle the righteous anger of women in that "old South" milieu.

Anyway, is your book for sale online? Could you please PM me the link?
My book isn't about etiquette...that was just an article in a newspaper and I can't find it which frustrates me.my book is for teachers and I do mention etiquette in that. Etiquette should not be gender specific but rather about human respect.i ask teachers not to do "ladies first" or separate kids by gender. Many of you will disagree with me but we don't separate kids by race or religion, why by gender?
Your experience sounds terrible
Two can play that game. Language so shocking will rattle an opposing lawyer & his hideous greedy client. (I just never cursed on the record.)

I was never defeated by it. Just got my ass chewed on a lot. Finally I had a reputation as a massive bitch and frankly, that was best for the victims.

My General Counsel used to threaten to assign me to a case to force agreement! Lol. You better compromise, or you will be seeing Madeline next. And it worked!

The law did not actually provide for restitution -- I could yank their licenses or fine them. But I strongarmed almost all into giving back the money too. This was a huge huge huge deal after Hurricane Andrew, and I was lucky. I WS part if a gang that would fight for the little guy. Without that, I could not have done anything. My settlements all had to be approved by the State Insurance C'mr.

I hate anyone who plans to steal from vulnerable people.

I think that "sports talk " at the office was also a device my male colleagues tried to use to marginalize me. Also did not work. I talked about childbirth, etc. until they learned to shove over.

The 1970's and 1980's were horrible for women lawyers. The profession was only 5% female in 1975.

I respect all my colleagues of that time. I am the only one in my all-women law school study group who ever even practiced law. And I was the dumb one! All that brain power wasted, because the old men in the profession could not accept females as "real lawyers". What a tragedy for everyone.

I may not like HRC's politics, but I deeply admire her success.
 
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Jul 2013
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How much sexual repression is ideal?

None!

Now, before anyone trots out the old “You’re telling people that if it feels good, they should do it!” canard, I’m certainly not suggesting that everyone should feel free to act upon whatever sexual impulse flows through their brain into their loins. As a matter of fact, pretty much no one has ever suggested as much. Ever. And that ain’t happening here and now either.

Fact is, pretty much every society that has ever existed has had fairly detailed rules governing when and where and how and with whom it’s “good” to have sex. We used to have detailed rules predicated on the notion that all non-procreative sex and all sex outside of marriage was “bad.” Such sex was viewed as harmful because we assumed that it offended the Creator and because we assumed that it undermined the proper natural order. These offenses, we assumed, not only put individual souls at risk but put whole communities at risk for divine punishment as well.

For about the last 800 years, give or take a century or two, our rules here in the West were a bit unusual by universal standards in that a much broader range of acts were written off as irredeemably “bad” regardless of circumstance or consequence. Most societies throughout human history have granted individuals somewhat broader leeway to indulge individual preferences and still be “good” just as long as various elements of propriety were observed. Our society was much more restrictive, at least officially, and clearly in recent decades that has helped push us toward recognizing that a great deal of what we judged as “harmful” wasn’t necessarily so and that many of our blanket judgments were unfair, hurtful, and ultimately maladaptive. As a result, driven in part by our revised understandings of human psychology and behavior and our place and role in the natural world, we’ve been engaged in overthrowing those old rules.

But frankly we haven’t yet finished that task. Every generation thinks they have things more or less right, I suppose. And most are judged by their children and grandchildren to have gotten a lot of things wrong. We’ll be no different, almost certainly. Still, partly because of experience and partly because of the march of technology, we’re moving further toward an understanding that repression, as such, does more harm than good. We’re moving farther toward an understanding that sexual ethics are better determined by the effects of what one does rather than the nature of what one feels. Lusting in one’s heart is not the same as doing the deed, in other words… And, among other things, we’re learning that the best way to encourage good behavior and mitigate potential harm is to bring people into society in an honest and clear-eyed way rather than to exile them to the shadows, pretend they don’t exist, and ignore them and their behavior until we simply can’t.

Simply put, it’s not a matter of no rules; it’s a matter of new, different rules. That’s where we’re going and that’s exactly where we need to go. It’s a process we’ve only barely begun, really. It’s early days; we’ve a ways to go yet and the exact path we’ll travel has yet to be blazed. And yet the signs are generally positive, no? After all, notwithstanding the dark visions conjured by hand-wringing blue noses, we are still bound by the hardwired ethical/moral impulses of our nature. We’re not about to permanently endorse wanton excess and abuse. We may be in search of newer definitions of virtue, but those definitions won’t be unfathomably alien. Can’t be...

All that said, I don’t want to come across as a total Pollyanna. Nothing is certain and I get a kick, ruefully, out of those who insist that we’ve become a nation of “anything goes” licentiousness. In truth it’s been two steps forward and one step back all along and in many ways as we’ve moved to accept LGBT folks into the mainstream, we’ve instituted a backlash against other sexual minorities and embraced fairly draconian measures to deal with potentially problematic behaviors, perhaps in an effort to signal our virtue and protect ourselves from charges that we’re unwilling to draw lines. In some ways, for some people, things are tangibly worse than they were a few decades back. And yes, there’s certainly no guarantee that the forces of reaction won’t carry the day.

But I don’t think they will. In any case, we’ll see, eh? If we live long enough...

Cheers.
 
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