[history of gaming] Confessions of a Dungeon Master

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  • edited February 2012
    Also, huh, didn't realize that the editor of Dungeons and Dragons was at the time "A staff physician at Los Angeles County Hospital and associate professor of neurology at the University of Southern California School of Medicine"; taught neurological science, clinical neurology; sexual education, etc. I had assumed until I read the Author Bit that he was just some DM who submitted a "human interest-style story" to a psychological trade mag. Didn't realize he was balls deep in brain science. That actually gave me a jarring newfound respect for him, a total gestalt shift from my earlier thought.*

    -Andy

    * Then again, a lot of psychologists/psychology students are totally fucked in the head.**
    ** Yeah, you, Psych major; I'm talking about you, too.
  • Posted By: johnzoHolmes affirms the idea that players are not culpable for their characters' acts, even if those imaginary acts cause distress or harm in the real world. We see this when the ordinarily placid centaur player loses his temper when his PC was "robbed and abused" by the magic-user. "It's the magic-user who did that to you," says the magic-user's player. "I didn't do it, he did!" Holmes lets this assertion stand.
    It seems like here you're saying it is doing "real world harm" to a player if they get mad when another player does something to their character in a game.

    I very strongly disagree with this. If my character attacks another PC, that is not necessarily doing "real world harm" to the player, even if they get mad. It is pretty common in games of any sort for a player to get mad at some point - but that doesn't mean that real-world harm has been done to them. Sometimes anger is justifiably based on a breaking of social norms, but other times the anger is not.
  • edited February 2012
    @Andy

    I don't even think an attack on Holmes (vaguely conveyed to us by his essay) behavior is appropriate.

    (Whether he's an "elder" is irrelevant as well, we could be looking at a Luke Crane AP and I'd feel the same way.)

    I don't think extrapolating Holmes (or anyone's) behavior (even a second of it) from what this particular vague article said is indicative of fair or rigorous thinking.

    Again: I am totally willing to have a conversation about this because this issue interests me. But I only want to have a conversation with people who, when asked questions or are presented with hypotheticals, actually answer back.
  • @Zak:

    I'm interested in having this conversation with you. I'll answer any questions/hypotheticals you want.

    I'm actually really curious to see your non-sexist reconstruction of the situation. I may be overlooking something, but I really don't see how you can interpret this as non-sexist:
    "Twenty-five percent it is," I said, exercising my prejudice in favor of females.
  • edited February 2012
    Ok, Possibility A is Holmes is acting like an ass.

    Here's Possibility B.

    There are probably 700 other plausible scenarios, C-Z.

    Let's do one and see how it goes before I do another.

    So:

    Holmes: "Do we have any virgin female characters in the group?"

    Cicely: "My Naga is a virgin, of course"

    The Male (Let's call him 'Jackass-Cicely-Brings-Along-But-The-Other-Players-Let-Her-Because-She-Gets-On-With-Him_For-Some-Reason, or just 'Jackass"') Jackass:

    "Now wait a minute, my magic-user has been trying to seduce her for the past three games. I think there's a good chance he may have done it."

    (Now we come to an Old School technical question, bear with me:
    We can assume that Last Session was, say, in game-world-time on a Wednesday during the day, today's session refers to a Thursday during the day. An un-narrated-because-irrelevant-to-the-main-adventure night--or maybe more--has intervened. So, basically, realize that it is possible and common to assume in a trad RPG that time passes off-screen between adventures.)

    Holmes describes here in his essay "a minute pause".

    Holmes thinks Oh god, this could become a thing with Jackass tryna sleep with Cicely's character because he's frustrated in real life. If I go 'No, Cicely said no' it might look like I, the DM, am overruling him and he might keep needling her but if I give Cicely herself a chance with all of us watching to say 'Nope, not gonna' in no uncertain terms directly in the face of his announcing he's trying to seduce her, it may chastise/embarass him enough to make him realize he's kinda being an ass and we can move on with the more important parts of the game than Cicely and Jackass trying to negotiate whether they are going to have sex in real life by proxy.

    Holmes: "Do you think that's possible, Cicely?"
    (Here in Scenario B, Holmes is assuming she'll say 'No' in no uncertain terms.)

    Cicely: "I think she'd refuse"
    (Cicely tone of voice says this in a way like:
    I am thinking as an actress--i.e. not as in what Edwards would call 'Pawn' stance--and I am thinking this character the way I understand her would refuse. But the emphasis in her sentence is on the word "think".)

    (Holmes looks over at Jackass. And notices--depressingly--Jackass is not calmed and seems like he is on the point of making an issue over this. Holmes, being a grown-up and a good DM, realizes this not only could get real old real fast in the game but could erupt into a whole embarrassing dysfunctional spat between these two kids if he does not vent the steam and give Jackass--and Cicely--a graceful out.)

    (Now we come to another technical point:
    there are times in Trad RPGs when--while negotiating 'offscreen' events--PCs make decisions that the Player did not specifically endorse
    To cite an example roughly contemporaneous with this event, see the Midkemia cities between-session tables:
    http://dndwithpornstars.blogspot.com/2011/07/where-hell-have-you-been-flake-table.html
    which are used to determine stuff PCs do off-screen.

    Whether or not this is the kind of game you want to play, this is a game some people like playing--one where their PC is moved to make choices they--the players--did not make and the player deals with the consequences.

    To cite a current example--frequently used--of this kind of play, see Jeff's Carousing Table:
    http://jrients.blogspot.com/2008/12/party-like-its-999.html

    However, even if Cicely is NOT down with her PCs sex life being given special "off-screen" rules, she has an out--see below)

    (Which is all to say, at this point Holmes decides to put Cicely's refusal in strict game terms so as to--again--save both Cicely and Jackass from having to hash all this repressed hormonal activity out in public.)

    (So, to vent Jackass' steam, he says…)

    Holmes: "What do you think the chances that she got talked into it are?"

    Jackass: "Fifty percent." (Which is still a Jackass thing to say, but it at least means Jackass' energy has been channeled into something Holmes can now whittle away at in game terms.)

    Cicely: (Holmes is expecting her to say 0 and end it.)
    "Twenty Five."
    (Now in the scenario as presented by some-but-not-all others, she only says this because she fears some sort of social pressure and has been beaten down. Sure--absolutely possible
    absolutely possible
    absolutely possible
    absolutely possible
    absolutely possible
    absolutely possible
    absolutely possible
    absolutely possible
    …however, it is also possible this answer was down to any number of other motives. Here's one: Naga is not Cicely--just as my schizophrenic Call of Cthulhu PC is not me--and it might, on second thought, be interesting for Naga to be not exactly Cicely, personalitywise--from Cicely's POV. So, ok, while Naga is probably a virgin, this is by no means sure, now that Cicely thinks about it. Maybe Cicely is thinking maybe it might be fun to get a little Simulationist with it. )

    Now Holmes is surprised. 25% is not 0%. Who knew? Either way, the question has been described in game terms, he has set things up rhetorically so that this thing was about to be resolved in game terms (Jackass will probably make even more of an issue out all this BS if it does not now get resolved in game terms that Holmes has set up), so it's time to roll the dice.

    And then the dice roll (using the numbers Cicely gave).
  • Now Luke said:

    "I read two men bullying a young woman to accept sexual advances. "

    I read:

    -Maybe that.

    -Maybe 900 other equally plausible things you have to deal with if you are a GM.
  • Sure that's possible, the way that Holmes wrote the article gives me the impression that's not what happened. The way he stated it seemed more like he was leading her towards an actual percentage, making it a possibility even if she felt for her character it wasnt. She could have said zero but it seems more like he was pushing for a number greater than zero and she went along with it. That may not be the reality, it may be as you stated but either he was acting like a jerk or the way he wrote the article makes him sound like a thoughless jerk to modern sensibilites.
  • If the argument has been reduced from:

    ""I read two men bullying a young woman to accept sexual advances. "

    down to

    "the way he wrote the article makes him sound like a thoughless jerk to (some people on this forum's) sensibilities."

    Then there isn't any uncommon ground here and we're done.

    However my guess is several people here would disagree with that.
  • For what it's worth, I'm not arguing that Holmes was in no way sexist. I think there's reasonable reading that he was.

    However, I don't see clear evidence that he blatantly acted like a thoughtless jerk, ass, and bully. The teenage boy as portrayed comes across more boorish - but even his behavior is also consistent with good-natured fun, depending on the social circumstances.
  • @Zak S.

    That does seem totally plausible. I can easily see that happening in a game. I have a couple responses, but I want to say right off the bat that there is a non-zero chance that something like that happened.

    Two responses: First, even your version pretty actively problematic, in my opinion. Most of the misogyny is localized in Jackass, but there's still lots of it going on (most noticeably in the fact that seduction is framed as something that happens to women without much input on their part). I think the DM has a positive duty to do more than just "smooth things over" when someone is being that much of a dick. Either by saying, "Dude, you're being a dick", or by giving Cicely some agency by saying, "What's the Naga's deal toward him, anyway? What's she thinking about doing with regard to him?" Or maybe, if you want to be all "the rolls can lead to uncomfortable results", saying, "So his character keeps badgering you, what's the chance that he wears you down and creepy rapey sex happens?"

    It's not as bad as the straightforward reading, but it's still pretty uncomfortable.

    Second: I think your version has to stretch the text pretty far. First, why are you interpreting, "I think she'd refuse" as meaning "I don't know what would happen"? I can imagine intonations that would convey that, but they aren't the straightforward reading. If that was what was going on, why wouldn't Holmes say something like, "Her tone of voice made it clear that she wasn't sure, so I asked her..."? I don't see any reason, in the absence of any clues to the contrary, not to take her statement at face value.

    Another problem is Holmes' claim that allowing Cicely to set the percentage chance was "exercising his prejudice in favor of females." The phrasing is pretty deeply creepy in the first place, and it suggests that he would have been well within his rights to remove even the small amount of agency he gave Cicely. Which is pretty problematic, in my opinion.

    I totally see that my interpretation isn't the only possible one, but I see the preponderance of the evidence going in favor of "this was weird and creepy". (And if it wasn't weird and creepy, then at the very least he did a lousy job conveying its non-creepiness.)
  • To me, it's so vague as written that it is a Lady and The Tiger story

    ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Lady,_or_the_Tiger? )

    and so anyone who goes "Well I think it was the tiger" or "Well the signs point to tiger" is just being naive.
  • Sounds like an internet arguement then because to me saying "I read" as opposed to "the way the article makes him sound" are virtually the same thing.

    Andy had it right a few posts back ...
    "Not that he was a jerk In Real Life. Or a "crypto date-rapist" (WTF?) (shit, how many folks do we know who are awesome in real life but a little too aggressive at board games, video games, sports, etc)
    Nor was he a jerk in all of his games, even with women! (what's that joke about the statistician seeing a black sheep and saying "all sheep are black?")
    Plus, haven't we all been jerks at the table at least once? Let the person who was not a jerk at the table cast the first bronze d20"

    It sounds like he screwed up on this occasion, and we're not trying to convict anyone here of anything so we dont need clear evidence. The article brings up evidence of sexist behavior, and something that several women who've posted in this thread faced in their own experience, I dont see the problem with calling Holmes on how he handled the situation.

    Does anyone suggest this is how they would handle a game with two teens today?
    Would you allow a player to have their character seduced by another if you werent sure they were totally ok with the possibility.
  • @Vernon

    Again, for the hundredth time:

    "I dont see the problem with calling Holmes on how he handled the situation."

    I don't see why you think this text provides conclusive evidence about "How Holmes handled the situation"

    It is missing so much context and nuance of nonverbal information that it seems childish to treat it as if it were a transparent window.
  • Well, while I do think that the posterior probability points to creepy (seriously, there is no way someone says, "exercising my prejudice in favor of females" without being patriarchal, unless they're being heavily ironic), but it's probably true that I'm basing a lot of my assumption on prior probabilities (culture, especially in the 70s, especially among gamers, is sexist, so most situations are going to be sexist).
  • I'm just going by what the dude wrote? I donno about any window or transparency or anything?

    He just said she said no, twice, the other guy said yes, and he insisted she pick a percentage. That's the story he told. I don't get what the big hullabaloo about what else might have happened or not happened at the game is about.
  • edited February 2012
    @JDCorley

    Do you not know the word "context" or is it just that you have some definition of it that does not overlap with "what else might have happened" that might affect your evaluation of this story?
  • At this point, is further discussion going to change anyone's mind? My impression is no.

    People can of course make their own decisions, but I'd call this thread done.
  • Posted By: Zak SDo you not know the word "context" or is it just that you have some definition of it that does not overlap with "what else might have happened" that might affect your evaluation of this story?
    He already decided what context to give me when he wrote the piece?

    I mean, I can make up some really great contexts if I want.

    (There's one where a guy comes in with a gun. It's awesome. Everyone ends up learning a little something.......about love?)

    But he gave the context he wanted to give.
  • edited February 2012
    @JDCorley

    Obviously

    Obviously

    Obviously Holmes didn't think the story transparently made him out to be a jerk.

    And obviously several people on the first page of this thread didn't think the story transparently made him out to be a jerk.

    So your "I just call 'em as I see 'em" act is pretending this is a straightforward only-one-way-to-interpret-it thing when it isn't. Otherwise everyone would agree with you.

    So please address that.
  • edited February 2012
    Address....that there are people in the world with different opinions than me about things? Okay?

    Like, how do you want me to address them?

    Do you think "To Whom It May Concern" is too formal?

    "Dear Whom"? Too familiar?

    Edit: Are you saying that my argument is so overwhelmingly well-founded that nobody could reasonably disagree with it - therefore, finding someone who disagrees with it proves it's not true? That is fucking awesome, I need to think about that one for a minute. Logically then the correct thing for me to do next time is to present a complete garbage argument for a position I don't believe, one that would persuade no one, log in as a sock puppet, and agree with myself.
  • @JDCorley

    So, in light of that, your statement:

    " He wrote a story in which he was an ass. "

    Looks a lot like

    " O Henry wrote a story in which a guy opens a door and there's a tiger "
  • edited February 2012
    Posted By: JDCorleyI mean, I can make up some really great contexts if I want.
    I know! I mean, without actually seeing the session all this speculation is meaningless!

    Clearly, women looking into this and going "Yeah, that's actually happened to me. It's pretty sexist" or guys going, "Yeah, looks like he was a jerk in that session, I've been the same way once, whatever" is just as a meaningless shifty-sands affirmation as, "Actually, Holmes and his group were parlor-narrating the session while they were building a GIANT SPACE MISSILE to shoot cows at the moon!" (this is one of the 900 other scenarios that may have occurred, mind, one no different in any way than the next)

    It's all so relative without full context! We Just!! Can't!! Know!!


    ...


    Actually, now I kind of want to start creating contexts in which this behavior is totally appropriate from all angles.

    Maybe Cicely - International Double-Agent Russian Spy - was giving footsies to the CIA sleeper agent teenager next to him in order to cough up state secrets, and it was all a web of intrigue calculated by the good professor to get her to reveal her weaknesses, preventing an international incident! I mean, it might look a little sexist without the full picture, but if you step back and look again at this new context - why, through a little feint and social pressure Holmes was able to defuse an out-of-control nuclear engagement! Also, Cicely killed three other agents right before the game (and strangled a puppy!), Holmes' CIA handler told him by hidden mic halfway through the session, and he lashed out with a barb in-game: a barb, a point of pressure, we would later discover kept Cicely stymied enough to neutralize her planned communique to the Kremlin, and because of that we aren't wearing furry hats today!
  • @Andy

    Responsible Forum Guy Andy:

    If I ask you questions about this situation, will you answer them?
  • No, because I didn't add anything in to the story, like adding the tiger to the end of the O. Henry story.

    Yes, I can imagine some "context" for The Lady And The Tiger in which there was a tiger behind the door. Just like you can imagine some "context" for Holmes' story in which he's not acting like a jerk. And so can I, and so can everyone! I'm not in the Early D&D Fanfic business (did I just accidentally settle the "what exactly is the Old School Renaissance" argument?!), so I'm not really that interested.

    But in the story itself, he's a jerk. I'm sure he didn't mean to be (jerks never do, they always feel they're just having fun or making a point), but it doesn't change the story. She said "I didn't fuck" twice and he said "give me a percentage". And didn't say "give me a percentage that you gave up on seducing her when she said no".

    Choosing to try to have sex with a lady is a choice that 100 percent happened exactly as the player says it did.
    Choosing to have sex with a dude, meh, no, it might not have happened exactly as you say it did, even though you said it twice. Let's roll for it. FUCKING GIVE ME A NUMBER, LET'S ROLL FOR IT.

    That's a jerkish double standard to apply, and his own story says he applied it.

    Fake edit: Now that's some good fanfic, Andy. I wanna do the one where Cicely is infiltrating the group for the Vatican - she's really a nun. A kung fu demon punching nun. But she's tempted...tempted by this satanic Dungeons & Dragons game. Sorry, gonna go find some pics now.
  • @JDCorley

    You are adding a motive.

    The whole story depends on Holmes motive.

    And the motive is not in the story.

    So you added it.
  • edited February 2012
    I didn't add a motive? I assume he was just trying to help everyone have fun? Like he said in the article?

    Why does his motive even matter? Most of the jerkish things I've done in my life, I've done with the purest and most noble of intentions. I assure you!
  • @Zak: I don't think the story depends on the motive at all! Where did you get that? It depends on whether the structure of the gaming session was sexist, which it seems like it probably was unless the subtext is the exact opposite of the text.
  • edited February 2012
    Posted By: jhkim
    It seems like here you're saying it is doing "real world harm" to a player if they get mad when another player does something to their character in a game.

    I very strongly disagree with this. If my character attacks another PC, that is not necessarily doing "real world harm" to the player, even if they get mad. It is pretty common in games of any sort for a player to get mad at some point - but that doesn't mean that real-world harm has been done to them. Sometimes anger is justifiably based on a breaking of social norms, but other times the anger is not.
    Maybe we are in agreement about this. I don't think that player anger automatically implies real harm.

    My point is that a visible emotional reaction is a bully's XP, and if that emotional reaction is dismissed as unsportsmanlike by the most powerful guy at the table, then the bully's victory is compounded. So there's extra potential for harm in the play style Dr. Holmes describes.

    (This is a critical observation of Holmes' style of play, not of the specific campaign described in the article, or of Holmes' worth as a person. We have no idea how often the players in the Holmes campaign freak out at the table. Holmes does claim that the "players never erupt into bloodshed" so there's that, I guess.)
  • edited February 2012
    @JDCorley
    @PeterBB

    In the He-Is-Being-An-Ass version of events he asks the girl what she wants 3 times for....some reason you have not explained or that has been explained different ways by different posters, feel free to fill in the blanks. Luke said it was in order to "bully her into accepting sexual advances". That's a motive.

    In the He-Is-Not-Being-An-Ass version of events I posted at #106 above, he specifically asks her--not to deprotagonize Cicely or because he assumes she should have less sexual agency than her male counterpart--but in order to make it easier for her to avoid locking horns with Jackass and to not put her on the spot.

    Either interpetation requires him to have asked 3 times for a reason.

    Pretending it doesn't or pretending the reason is self-evident in the text is not talking in good faith.

    I don't see why you are clinging to the idea that one motive filled into the blank Holmes left is so much more compelling than the other.
  • edited February 2012
    Posted By: Zak SIn the He-Is-Not-Being-An-Ass version of events I posted at #106 above, he specifically asks her--not to deprotagonize Cicely or because he assumes she should have less sexual agency than her male counterpart--but in order to make it easier for her to avoid locking horns with Jackass and to not put her on the spot.
    What the fuck, that doesn't even make sense?

    She gave her answer. Demanding that she give it up, forget her answer, and give a percentage instead is putting her on the spot.

    If his goal was "not putting her on the spot", and protecting her from locking horns with Casanova, then why wouldn't he do what I suggested and say "Casanova, what's the percentage chance that you gave up when she said 'no' last time?" Or ask him about stuff rather than keep hounding her? Ask him anything instead of her?

    Doesn't make any sense given what he chose to do.

    But he might have had that goal and made a mistake? Done something that had the opposite effect of what he intended? I've done that too. Didn't make me less a jerk.
  • edited February 2012
    Zak, you are clearly the Boss of How People Can React to This Article.

    I have a question for you, Boss.

    Boss: I'd like to know how we're allowed to react. I think there are two possible ways:
    1. LOVED IT. Holmes is the man!
    2. No comment. It could mean anything, so there's really no way to have any meaningful reaction at all.

    I think that covers it? No other reactions are allowed, right? I'm checking because I don't want to do it wrong, Boss. Please don't be mad at me for asking.
  • @JDCorley

    You just added something else:

    You assumed she'd interpret the questions as "hounding" her.
  • @Zac: Ah, fair.

    I mean, I feel like DMs ask that sort of question all the time. Maybe he thought it was interesting, or funny, or that she was being overly protective of her character, or that everything important needed a roll, or whatever else. If his motive was explicitly, "make a rapey situation less rapey", then yeah, I guess it matters, but it seems more likely that it was a whole bunch of other, more simple possibilities.
  • edited February 2012
    Shit! Boss, I just thought of a third way to react.

    3. As a human capable of reading words and analyzing their meaning, I can draw conclusions and achieve understanding without 100% perfect information, using contextual cues provided in the text. Most of my adult life and all of my education depends on this skill, as does any functional communication online. Therefore, I can treat the Holmes D&D article as a text that can be analyzed and interpreted based on its contents as presented.

    I knew it was wrong right away, so I punched myself!

    One thing's for sure: you can never know anything about someone based on what they write. Can you imagine someone trying to understand someone that way? Ridiculous.
  • edited February 2012
    @john harper

    If you go

    "I, John Harper ate a meatball sub on a bench in Connecticut"

    And four people go:

    "Clearly, you ate it in order to taunt the workers who used to work at the submarine factory that recently closed there"

    Then I am gonna go "WTF guys? Can you explain this? All John said was he was eating a meatball sandwich"

    And I am not only going to register surprise, I am going to be curious about how anybody could get there.
  • edited February 2012
    I know, Boss, right?

    And your example is exactly the same thing that everyone in this thread is doing! There's, like, nothing about submarines or workers in my thing about the sandwich, just like there's nothing about authority, permissions, in-game/out-of-game boundaries, or the sex lives of the players in the Holmes article. Why would anyone even mention that stuff? It's all made up!!!

    These people are CRAZY, Boss! LOL
  • @Zak: If, then, a bunch of people came in the thread and said, "Yeah, I'm one of those laid-off workers, I hate it when people do that." And then a few more people said, "I used to do that, until I realized how much it sucked for those workers." Then maybe it would be worth considering that there's an aspect of the situation that wasn't immediately apparent to you?
  • edited February 2012
    @John Harper

    Hey, Employee, if you believe in good faith I do not believe what I am saying ask a question and I will answer it.

    If you believe in good faith what you are saying: If I ask you a question about how you view this situation will you answer it?
  • @PeterBB

    I have maintained repeatedly that "We don't know what happened and can't make a judgment here"
    not "Clearly Holmes is blameless"
  • edited February 2012
    Boss, I believe 100% that you believe what you are saying.

    This is one of the reasons that you are the Boss of How People Can React to This Article.

    (Someone needs to be. I mean, just imagine what would happen if you weren't here, being the Boss? Scary.)

    And Boss: You can ask me anything.
  • @John Harper

    Yeah, I might not figure out what nexus of assumptions leads to this kind of behavior which, while I'm sure doesn't bother you, would sure make my day less interesting.
  • edited February 2012
    REDACTED
  • @Zak: I think you're maintaining an unreasonable standard of proof, here. If we were talking about arresting the guy, then I would agree. But we're just saying, "Hey, this situation closely resembles incredibly common and incredibly fucked-up situations. Maybe that's worth noticing and critiquing, so as to, as a community, help those situations to happen less."

    I (as a straight man) have roleplayed a weird arson-fetish sexual lesbian relationship with a friend who happens to actually be a lesbian. Everyone was very ok with the situation, and we look back on that as a memorably good experience. So I know that such a thing is possible. But if I said in a public forum, "I was playing with a lesbian, and made a character who had hot lesbian sex with her character, because lesbians are great amirite?", then I would expect (and hope!) that people would comment that that sounds probably creepy. That's not people being unfair to me, that's people reacting in a reasonable way to the text as presented.
  • @John Harper

    Ok, I can ask you anything:

    QUESTION 1. Do you agree with this here assessment:
    "I read two men bullying a young woman to accept sexual advances. "
  • Posted By: Zak SYou assumed she'd interpret the questions as "hounding" her.
    Hm? No, I can be jerky without people noticing, or caring. That's a real relief!
  • @PeterBB

    To me:

    "two men bullying a young woman to accept sexual advances" is a serious serious egregious disturbing terrible horrible, totally fucked up thing to happen and if we are saying "This happened" then, yeah, I want a really really high standard of proof on that.


    Just saying:
    "Hey, this situation closely resembles incredibly common and incredibly fucked-up situations. Maybe that's worth noticing and critiquing, so as to, as a community, help those situations to happen less." is fine but does not match what has been said here often in these 2 pages.
  • edited February 2012
    @Zak: I think those are basically the same claim. "Women being bullied to accept sexual advances" is incredibly common and incredibly fucked-up.

    EDIT: For the record, I don't think the text requires that they were both actively bullying her. I think an equally likely reading is that one of them was bullying her and the other was passively allowing/endorsing the situation. Which I guess is maybe slightly less horrible? But still really bad.
  • edited February 2012
    @JDCorley

    That's a tautology:

    "Holmes repeated asking her about his sexual advances is jerky because repeatedly asking her this question is jerky because..." ...there is, in your mind, no other likely explanation of why he'd ask those questions despite the fact that there's one sitting right in front of you?

    Either way, you are avoiding the issue: judging Holmes' behavior (or even being sure what, in detail, he did) requires adding in your own input. You are adding in the worst motive for his behavior (and the worst, most damning possible reaction from her) and pretending you haven't added anything.
  • @PeterBB

    So my Scenario B seems way less likely than the two egregious horrible atrocities you just outlined because why exactly?
This discussion has been closed.