Salon has an interesting article by Andrew Leonard on how vulnerable Wikipedia is to editors abusing the anonymity of the contribution process to further their own agenda. Although this is somewhat alarming, the fact that it has been discovered, exposed and corrected shows that the crowd-sourcing model can be highly self-corrective. I love Wikipedia. I think it is one of the greatest human achievements over our entire history, and we should all do everything we can to protect it and make it even better.
I love this post by the Ferrett. He uses a clever analogy to try to explain to men what it’s like for women to be harrassed by men. He imagines sitting in a coffee shop, trying to work, and having women repeatedly buying him cups of coffee in an effort to convert him to Christianity. The story makes the important point that although the gesture of buying him coffee may seem friendly on the surface, it is unsolicited and done with the believe that the coffee is fair payment for his time and attention.
What’s really amazing is some of the responses from men in the comments. Here’s a sample:
So…how do you propose people get to know each other? What’s a man supposed to do
if he doesn’t know you but digs you?
disagree. now you’re saying that too many acts of kindness are annoying which i
do not think is true. ulterior motives yes, i can say are annoying but to
generalize and group ‘acts of kindness’ as annoying when you have too many of
them is snobbish in my opinion. flip it around and have bullies teasing you all
of the time, THAT is annoying. be grateful that god has given you a gift which
many people appreciate and are willing to put themselves out there for.
What I learned from this article
– Apparently women don’t like being hit on, ever apparently – Men secretly like being harassed (as a man I never knew that) – If you’re completely nice to a girl and buy her a drink that’s “harassment” because other guys have bought her a drink before – Men are idiots and need obvious things womansplained to them – Having to deal with phony problem is only a problem women ever have to deal with, so men can only understand it by means of a strange analogy
Firstly, I agree buying something for someone or being fake “nice” to them is a terrible way to hit on someone. It never works, and it is very annoying. Those who don’t have any moral scruples with such a thing easily take advantage of it, as you described, by getting as much “free” coffee as possible. If that’s all you wrote about, I would stop right here and agree with you. But you made a wider point about how hitting on women is wrong. It makes them annoyed, angry, and uncomfortable. This flies in the face of human nature, biology, and evolution. If men don’t hit on women, where would relationships be formed? It is perfectly acceptable and expected that if you are in a public place, people may petition you with interest. This is not harassment. This is normal human activity.
Isn’t it amazing how often it happens that someone tries to make a point by writing a thoughtful post, and this is immediately followed by a hoard of commenters vehemently disagreeing in a manner that completely proves the original point?