Maymay: I am always a little amused when I read about people flailing melodramatically about what a monster I am and then concluding for themselves that I am not a safe person for them to communicate with, that they are afraid of talking to me and so they won’t do so, as though that conclusion was not the one I wanted them to come to.

Why would I make myself appear fearsome to people whom I wanted to communicate with? I mean, is that a thing other people do?

That makes about as much sense to me as having sex with someone because you had no respect for them.

Oh. Oh, I get it now. :( Wow, how narcissistic do you have to be to think that people who are telling you to effectively fuck off and die really, deep down for real, no really REALLY want to talk to you. They just don’t know how to express their appreciation that the whole world revolves around you. #NotAllMen

See also: If you want to understand me, but feel like you can’t or don’t, listen to other people who I think do understand me talk about me.

Idlnmclean: Yes. That is totally a thing. Displays of intimidation are part of dominance games. In common social language, people who want to interact with someone will attempt to appear powerful and terrifying to the person they want to interact with. There’s a myriad of reasons this goes on. It is an invitation to engage in dominance games; locking horns to use a metaphor based on rutting displays of some horned mammals. It can be taken as a display to impress similar to Peacock’s fanning their tail feathers—which is similar to how peacocks find mates and how they intimidate predators.

it is unusual actually in common human interaction in contemporary US culture for the expression of the wish for someone’s death to actually be hostile and a genuine desire for their death whether literal or figurative. Its signaling connotations then follows a similar pattern of “When you hear hooves…” At which point what you intend to drive people away will be interpreted as a challenge and implicit invitation for further interaction with a lot of confusion when you do not act normatively.

On the play ground in grade school, I learned this lesson by lesson in interacting with bullies, both children and adults. Attempting to be fearsome was futile and part of playing the game. An aspect of posturing and signaling rank and file. My brother and I eventually did hit upon a tactic that drove people away; it drove the bullies away and stopped them dead in their tracks, but it also drove away almost everyone else. We acted crazy and to spoil predictability; jumping on a bully at slightest provocation and slobbering maniacally upon them while shouting angry and deafening gibberish; reacting to their inflictions of pain and attempts at provocation as a abusively obsessive romantic stalker might to the object of their affections rejecting them. Laugh and moaning when struck. And switching between moods and behaviors about as quickly and randomly as possible.

Virtually everything else we tried was only seen as a kind of posturing.

Maymay: Huh.

That…actually explains a lot. These people are responding like Dominants. And that’s actually the “normative” way to behave.

That is a metric fuckton of social brainwashing to work through. Wow.

Welp. Figures that me, of all people, would find this version of “normal” to be utterly bizarre.

Anyway, reblogging to save and think about for later.

CC: cool-yubari, because I think you might have some interesting thoughts on this.

I’d say it really depends on your environment. Most normal people, in my experience, will actively avoid being humiliated and attacked by a stranger if they can. Especially when it’s as easy as not arguing with them, or not continuing to argue with them after the conversation gets hostile and unpleasant. So, with those people, “kill yourself” does exactly what you want it to. However, your actions are putting you at odds with people who are uncommonly invested in shutting you up; people who don’t just make shocked sounds and run away because you insult them. And in relation to them, you … might inadvertently be playing dominance games. Because you’re dealing with people who do resort to being nasty, and don’t mind being identified by onlookers as such, and in that context, overt attacks are a language. So what would mean “go away” to someone who doesn’t feel like they can fight, or has any desire to, means “c’mon, show me what you’ve got” to anyone who came in with the intent of challenging you.

I also have a few things to add to idlnmclean’s next post.

People are responding to dominants. When you threaten people, tell people to kill themselves, and disrespect their feelings, they are perceiving you on average as a dominant. --Idlnmclean

This. And while some people will respond to that with the idea that they need to GTF away from you and run crying to their friends group with a tale of woe and unprovoked attack, or make an angry social display and posture back because they’re feeling *threatened*, others will have sort of an … “oh, hey, must befriend” reaction.

I don’t understand it very well. In school, some people gravitated towards me because I could protect them as easily as I protected myself. I think. But, apart from that, the years when I gave the least fucks and was the most harsh, I was surprisingly popular. Behavior that’s socially interpreted as dominance, (whether it is or not) can be sort of idolized.
doublespeak becomes a necessary part of this system. A system of subtle, non-verbal or encrypted verbal signals that allow the effective exchange of information among privileged classes of people with the appropriate decryption knowledge. Sound like anything you’ve dealt with before? Hipsters, frat bros, and BDSMers all come to mind. In the BDSM community there are people with kinks which they can not straightforwardly talk about for very real fear and threat of ostracism and alienation. People who fetishize rape, murder, mutilation, pedophilia, assisted suicide, cannabalism, gore, vore, and more. How do these people find each other? How do they interact? How do they communicate? Via covert networks and coded languages.--Idlnmclean

Not sure I agree with all of this. In my experience, the people who are actually worried about being jailed gravitate towards deeper cover. I think you’re [Maymay’s] 100% right about BDSM being a less risky, edgy thing masquerading as Mortal Danger. Maybe I’m naive, but pedophilia, murder, and mutilation aren’t things I ever tripped over by reading BDSM sites and the sites referenced on them.

I’m also skeptical because a lot of fringe subcultures overstate their own importance and pretend internally that they’re teeming with extreme people. I know a few rapists. IMO, most women do (and know that they do, unlike most men). I have yet to meet any rapists who read non-con fanfiction on the internet. And yet, womens’ fandom spaces attract vocal, sanctimonious SJWs complaining about “problematic kinks” and the erotica they disapprove of. I think they’re tolerated because women are predisposed to feel guilty and insecure about their fantasies. But dealing with would-be activists who think they can fight rape culture by exhorting everyone to purify themselves and sacrifice moar (when “everyone” doesn’t even include the group that’s attacking people) is a pain in the ass.

And this is a pattern I see in a lot of communities: people like to believe that they have more power than they actually have, so they make up dire consequences for actions that are ultimately not morally significant. And then they create hierarchies based on that - “I like caning, but those incest play enthusiasts are disgusting.” And so forth. It creates a context where they can act out the (intrepid, significant) person they think they are in perfect safety, making arbitrary rules for themselves and then judging everyone who falls short of them.

I’m not close enough to the BDSM community to tell if it’s hiding people who practice pedophilia/zoophilia/necrophilia/etc. The really stigmatized stuff. But I’d be surprised if it did, because I had them pegged as relatively normal, risk-averse people who fancy themselves spontaneous, wild perverts. And at the same time, who would edge people out of their group for not fitting their heterosexist, unspoken self-image: what you noticed about how unwelcome submissive men were. I have a hard time believing that a group that weeds people out that casually and superficially wouldn’t … be throwing everyone who isn’t precisely them under the bus in their bid for cultural assimilation.
Some people […] are challenging you and harassing you specifically because they expect you’re going to fight back. Some of them are picking fights with you to establish their dominance by slaying the dragon; some of them though are picking fights to attract the dragon’s attention and woo the dragon violently. Some of them want to be your submissive and for you to tell them to kill themselves and degrade them and publicly humiliate them. They think its all part of the D/s game.--Idlnmclean

*facepalm* I agree with this. Especially the dragon slaying thing … you must be ruffling feathers in a big way, lately, to attract so many people who think they could improve their own standing (with the existing BDSM group) by beating you.

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