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George Godley: Terrible Pickup Artist, Worse Human Being

Woman fleeing encounter with Godley (on left, in white).
Woman fleeing encounter with Godley (on left, in white).

Well, I have to give the terrible, terrible fellows at PUAhate credit for one thing: it was thanks to a post there that I ran across the videos of the exceedingly creepy pickup “artist” and minor Youtube celebrity that I’d like to bring to your attention today.

Meet George Godley, possibly the world’s worst pickup artist. Actually, I’m being a bit generous in my description here, because there is no artistry at all to what he does, just a gimmick: he carries a small video camera with him as he wanders the streets of London, apparently thinking that this gives him an excuse to waylay every attractive young woman who’s unfortunate enough to wander into his field of vision.

Godley apparently wants us to believe he’s “flirting” with the women he so awkwardly approaches, but flirting, like the Tango, takes two, and all but a few of the women in his videos make it abundantly clear from the get-go that they want nothing to do with him. This doesn’t seem to faze him much, and he plunges ahead, trying his best to keep up with them as they endeavor to escape his presence as quickly as possible.

Take the unfortunate woman who catches his eye at the start of this video, and who finally manages to make her escape a little short of the one-minute mark.

In this next video – skip ahead to about 50 seconds in to avoid some rather pointless wandering about — we see two failed “flirts.” His first attempt, if we can call it that, consists of nothing more than him standing in the vicinity of an attractive woman while surreptitiously filming her. After giving up on her without saying a word he runs smack into the “beauty” of the video’s title, and pesters her for about a minute until she manages to get away.

After a brief and awkward attempt at conversation punctuated by her nervous laughter, Godley gamely tries to convince “Beauty” that he’s “doing a movie for the festivals.” When she asks which festivals he’s talking about he unconvincingly stammers something about “Cannes, Sund – the usual circuit.” Even though she clearly wants to put as much distance between herself and him as she possibly can, he tries to force his card on her and plaintively asks “do you want to meet again?” The answer, a nervous “no.”

This next encounter – in which our hero barges into a restaurant to pester a woman who apparently looked briefly in his direction as he walked by outside — even Godley recognizes is a flat-out failure.

Godley has posted literally hundreds, maybe even thousands, of these “flirt” videos. None of the ones I’ve seen have gone well. Once in a while an exceptionally tolerant woman will chat with him briefly without actively trying to flee; that seems to be about as good as it gets. The rest document what is essentially serial street harassment, with Godley approaching woman after woman, none of whom give him any indication that they want to talk to him, and “flirting” with them until they can get away from him. It’s the same story, again and again and again.

Why does he do this, making video after video of these so-called “flirtations” and posting them on Youtube? Is he simply a masochist, approaching women he surely knows have no interest in talking to him, much less “flirting,” and posting evidence of his humiliating failures to Youtube for all the world to see?

Perhaps. But even more disturbing than the masochism is Godley’s obvious sadism. Despite his social awkwardness, it’s clear from the videos that Godley knows full well that the overwhelming majority of the women he “flirts” with just want to be left alone; it’s clear from their body language before he approaches them, and from everything they say and do after he starts talking to them. If a woman literally flees from you, that generally means she’s not into your shit.

But Godley doesn’t really need to be reminded of this. He’s well aware that he makes women uncomfortable — in this video he asks a woman if she’s really talking on her phone or just trying to get rid of him. But that doesn’t stop him.

He’s not missing the social cues; he’s deliberately ignoring the clear “noes” these women either tell him outright or telegraph with their facial expressions and body language as clearly as if they were shouting “no” to his face. Were he to approach random men on the street in a similar way, he would almost certainly get himself punched on a regular basis.

Luckily for him, he’s approaching women, and they’re much smaller than he is. It’s telling that he almost always approaches individual women, not the “sets” of two or more favored by most pickup artists, and that he seems to prefer approaching the supposedly more pliable Eastern European women also favored by so many manosphere assholes and creepy pickup artists.

Godley’s not-so-well-hidden hostility towards the women he approaches comes to the surface at the end of this video, in which he attempts to “flirt” with a woman photographing a tree and then then asks for her phone number as she tries to get away, an all-too-common ending to his videos. SPOILER ALERT: She doesn’t give it to him. SPOILER ALERT NUMBER TWO: He pretends he didn’t really want it anyway.

Even if Godley has managed to collect a few genuine phone numbers or email addresses along the way – and I’ve seen nothing to indicate that this is a regular or even an irregular occurrence – his alleged “success” in this endeavor comes at a steep cost. Not just to his pride – I don’t actually give a shit about that – but to the hundreds if not thousands of women he’s harassed along the way.

George Godley, a terrible pickup artist and an even worse human being.

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historophilia
historophilia
8 years ago

Blargh what happened to timetravellingfool?

I’ve always wondered why mental illness or neuroatypicality of some kind is always trotted out as an excuse or an explanation for harassment of women as to my knowledge I’ve never been harassed by anyone who was neuroatypical.

And no guy I know who is neuroatypical as ever (as far as I know) behaved like this and i don’t think that they would.

In fact they are often more aware of their behaviour, for example my friend who has depression and quite severe social anxiety freely admits that he can fall prey to “nice guy” tendencies and that he needs to watch himself for them.

Argenti Aetheri if you’re still somewhere on the thread, would you mind if I asked you about genderless pronouns?

A friend of mine (biologically male) has recently come out as genderqueer. He’s still using male pronouns and I don’t know if he plans to change this but I’d like to be prepared just in case.

So what I would like to ask is how do you pronounce zie and zir? I could have a guess but I’m not sure and I wouldn’t like to get it wrong.

The Kittehs' Unpaid Help

Y’know I’d never thought about the pronunciation there … and now I have a feeling if I said the words they’d sound like I was doing a bad Cornish accent!

historophilia
historophilia
8 years ago

In my head I pronounce them as “ZEE” and “ZURR” but I don’t know if that’s correct.

Zir might pronounced “ZEER” but I’ve never hard them spoken out loud so I haven’t a clue…

starskita
8 years ago

I don’t know how to explain properly why saying “they might have mental illness” is hurtful and ableist.

I don’t find that expression personally quite as hurtful as they might have illness X, where X is my diagnosis.

Saying they might have illness X, and that’s why they are acting that way, my reaction is that the person speaking thinks that I behave that way because I have illness X, despite never having behaved that particular way, and putting a lot of effort (sometimes failing) to not behave in inappropriate ways. It’s also usually followed up by, now that you know they have illness X, you can avoid them because people with illness X are dangerous and evil and not to be trusted.

The general expression that people who are mean and inconsiderate, or otherwise act inappropriately have mental illness and therefore we can’t discuss the harms they are doing tends to imply that there are people, and there are the mentally ill. Harms are only done by mentally ill. Its only a short step from there to that mentally ill humans are not people.

I tend to conflate the outcome of “they might have illness X” (which is pretty consistent on the internet) and “they might be mentally ill” to where the second statement ends up implying that all mentally ill people are bad, no matter how hard they may try to be otherwise.

Falconer
8 years ago

When I try to say ze or zie etc. out loud, it comes out very close to “she”. The initial phoneme is just a different kind of sibilant fricative (zee instead of shee) and I’m not sure I could make the distinction clear in any sort of difficult environment.

Plus, if I pulled that out around here, folks would likely assume I had mispronounced “she.”

Plus too, I haven’t used them long enough to wear the awkwardness off of them, but that’s my problem.

Falconer
8 years ago

By “around here” I mean Tennessee.

Frog
Frog
8 years ago

Arrrgh! That was me. Well Ok not literally me – I don’t recall ever meeting George. But good grief, yes, strange men following you around happens a *lot* in London. They’d start with I just want to talk and I don’t want to bother you, but they’re literally following you home or to your workplace and they seriously creep you out because they won’t leave you alone. I once angrily swore at one (I’d just a massive row with a friend) instead of being my usual polite self. That stopped him in his tracks.

heidihai
heidihai
8 years ago

@CassandraSays: “It would be awesome if everyone could always give the person doing the harassing a piece of their mind, but it’s often not clear if it’s safe to do so, and not everyone is going to be composed enough to do that anyway.”

I am one of those lucky/naturally rude/New Yorky enough to kneejerk into an angry rage monster immediately when approached or touched or cat called on the street. For those of you who can’t, don’t want to, and/or aren’t in a safe space to do so, please be aware that at least SOME of these assholes are getting a portion of what’s coming to them (aka a healthy dose of public shaming in a loud screaming voice, complete with handgestures and profanity.) 🙂 I hope this makes some people feel better if only in a small way!

Falconer
8 years ago

If this thread needs a pick-me-up, this Korra cosplayer legit made me smile just now.

I need to finish Korra….

hellkell
hellkell
8 years ago

I also find it ironic that everyone is attacking Time Travelloid, in an actual real-time (albeit via the inner-nest) convo, with plenty of insults (however politically correctthey may be), because TT-Something called (or was it just, wondered?) some JERK mentally ill. Ableism. In this particular context, who is it hurting? What damage is it doing? It’s seems awfully petty.

Several people have wondered, visibly, if The Time Traveller (I am sorry for that, again) is DRUNK because of the content of his/her comments. THAT is so rude! Such a cop-out, too. Damn. ApparentlyTime Traveller said somewhere that only being attracted to one’s own race is racist. I’m not sure I agree, but I myself haven’t experienced only being attracted to my own race, so I can’t understand why that would be the case for someone, unless they were indeed racist, even if it’s just a smidge. Ableist, racist… hmmm.

Here I am, my second comment, and it, like my first, is one were I feel the need to defend another commenter. Someone I don’t know and haven’t followed enough to know much about. But what makes me kind of mad is the various commenters, who seem to be regulars, swinging their dicks around, pardon the expression, because they have eachother to back oneanother up. Both times I’ve commented I’ve done so also out of annoyance, my problem and my problem alone, I realize this. Because I scroll down, expecting some interesting conversations having to do with the article, and see a bunch of petty bickering over things that have little to do with the article.

Oh, you have a sad and your irony meter is busted. I feel for you, I really do. So sorry the level of convo is not what you’d like to be.

Second verse, same as the first; well, in that case maybe you should read more and talk less.

You’re not a troll, but you are fucking tedious.

hellkell
hellkell
8 years ago

It is scary, but it’s also pretty sad. King is a much better writer than he’s often given credit for – he knows how to deliver an emotional punch, not just fear.

I highly recommend 11/22/63.

It’s not horror, but it can be horrifying.

Sid
Sid
8 years ago

If we’re talking about why ableism is “hurtful” and not just “ignorant”, it’s because you’re explaining away something bad an individual is doing by arbitrarily sticking them in a not-bad group. You are saying this badness is a symptom of belonging to this not-bad group. If you’re still having trouble figuring out why that’s not okay, think about if we replaced “neuroatypical people” with, say, “women”. “She’s not a bigot because of culture, she’s a bigot because she’s a woman! You can’t judge non-women based on her actions!” Or how about religion? “Bob’s being an asshole? Just ignore him, he’s Asatru, that’s just how he is.” It’s only difficult to see the implications if you start from the idea that mental illness is bad, and sufferers of it are bad, therefore it’s perfectly reasonable to blame seemingly neurotypical strangers’ actions on mental illness. After all, those people are bad, and we neurotypical people aren’t bad, are we?

It’s ignorant because it’s a pretty blatant attempt at distancing oneself from people who do and think things we’d rather not be associated with, so we throw them in with a marginalized group instead.

Was going to post a thing about racism, but the more I read the less I feel it’s welcome.

Seranvali
Seranvali
8 years ago

Pentapus and Nerdipants:

From my point of view (I suffer from a mental illness) there are several problems involved in making the supposition, without the necessary training, that a particular person has a mental illness.

1.Mental illnesses are very complex to diagnose and the same illness can manifest quite differently in different people, so it takes a person with many years of training and experience to be able to recognize and treat them. Internet diagnoses are not a good idea because most of the people doing them have no training and have never even spoken to the person concerned. for example, the man in the above videos could have a mental illness (there’s always that possibility) or he could just be a misogynistic arsehole. Since I’m not a psychiatrist I’d probably take the second option. Lots of people enjoy playing armchair psychiatrist, but their opinions don’t mean much.

2. It implies that people with a mental illness are generally dangerous, which for the most part is completely untrue. This leaves a very bad taste in the mouths of those of us who suffer from them while trying to be self-sufficient and live as normal a life as possible, and those of us who love and support them. It forces us into a cognitive box rather than seeing us as the individual people that we are.

3. It’s a particularly insidious way of getting People Behaving Badly off the hook and attempts to make people calling them out for such behaviour as callous. A frequent example is when someone behaves offensively and someone else pipes up with something like “Oh, that person probably has Asburger’s Syndrome and you’re being really mean and nasty calling them out on it because they can’t help it.” There’s really no way of knowing that from a video of the person or a weird story on someone’s blog but they not only treat it as a fact but judge other people for being unsympathetic.

4. It’s a way of dismissing something that the “mentally ill” person is saying as in “Don’t pay any attention to him/her, he/she is just off with the pixies.” Of course, if the person objects to that characterization it’s just seen as proof of their instability.

5. A person’s mental health is really not a matter for public speculation. It’s a matter for the person, their psychiatrist, their friends and family and possibly their employer if special accomodation needs to be made for them.

Seranvali
Seranvali
8 years ago

Time Traveling Fool:

Are you OK? Some of those posts don’t sound at all like you (I don’t post much but I’m always lurking).

pillow in hell
pillow in hell
8 years ago

Well, I can’t speak for anyone else Sid, but if you want to post something on racism I’d be interested in reading it.

And thanks to everyone hear for posting on ableism, because I think you’ve clarified a few points for me.

Buntzums
Buntzums
8 years ago

Really? These women are far too polite. I would have threatened to sue for using my image and made a grab for his camera. Creep with a camera. Great. Just what a girl needs.

Buntzums
Buntzums
8 years ago

Something funny in flirt like i really need your ass #10,956 in my face DSC_4639 720p.mov at 1:57 “I have thousands of numbers, like I really need yours?”

I was thinking: “So, you too have a copy of the phone book????!!!!”

reginaldgriswold
reginaldgriswold
8 years ago

Pentapus1024-

I’m not really going to talk about the ableism thing, because I think other people have covered it better than I can. But I think you’re pretty wrong about this community. We all say something dumb or fucked-up sometimes. And I think in any kind of feminist sphere, that’s probably even more true because we’re often interacting with people outside of our own frame of reference. And that means that you have to be open to criticism on your views.

So, yeah, TTF got smacked around a little. Zie is an adult and a regular poster here. TTF can handle it. There were also people who were concerned because this was not normal behavior for this poster. Last night’s postings were not anyone quashing dissent, as you oh-so-kindly implied. That’s surprise, disagreement and concern.

thenatfantastic
thenatfantastic
8 years ago

I have a question:

This is twice this week and I haven’t seen anything like this since the mass exodus.

Who was the other one? (I know about the mass exodus)

But yeah, I’m tired and can’t remember who the other person going off on an out of character bent was.

pillow in hell
pillow in hell
8 years ago

Falconer, I always thought the Zie and Zir pronouns were picked up from the german language, which has neutral pronouns that don’t imply being an object, the way english does. So I’ve used the german pronunciation.

Argenti Aertheri
8 years ago

Catching up here (fuck how does anyone deal with seroquel at anti-psychotic doses when a 50mg sleeping pill dose knocks me out like that?!)

historophilia — yeah, I say ze/zir with z’s like in zebra, so ZEE ZURR = yes. That and why I dropped the i too, because it just seems extraneous…too much Latin, too keen an interest in how language evolves, though quite less knowledge than the language creators on the thread (damn guys!)

thenatfantastic — hellkell and Some Gal had a bit of a spat a bit ago, but came back with clearer heads in the morning, which I’m hoping will happen here.

As for ableism, reading the other comments, and having slept, I remembered I scanned a chunk of Emilie Autumn’s book specifically because of this, so here you go — http://oi50.tinypic.com/148r5y.jpg

thenatfantastic
thenatfantastic
8 years ago

@Argenti Ohhh that. I thought I’d missed something, didn’t register because they made up.

tedthefed
tedthefed
8 years ago

One thing that’s important to consider about mental illnesses is that, for the most part, the line between HAS A MENTAL ILLNESS and DOES NOT HAVE A MENTAL ILLNESS is much thinner than most people think. The medical model of psychiatry is just that, a model: This “disease” thing is a metaphor, and any given trait or behavior that’ll show up in a clinical setting is something that will probably show up in “the healthy population,” just to a different degree or in a different context.
Unfortunate part is, this medical model was spread in part to reduce bias and fear against the mentally ill, but plenty of research has found it does the exact opposite.

Long story short, people should refrain from talking about a person’s behavior arising from mental illness unless they’re consciously putting it in the context of being aware this is just a set of arbitrary schemata designed to aid treatment, not capital F Facts. Unfortunately, this disqualifies most psychiatrists, much less lay-people.

drst
drst
8 years ago

These women are far too polite. I would have threatened to sue for using my image and made a grab for his camera

@Buntzums – that’s nice for you, but you’re implying all of those women and anyone reading the thread who didn’t do that are at fault for not behaving like you, which is shitty. Knock it off.

emilygoddess
8 years ago

Late to the party again, sorry if these have been covered, but:

@Freemage

Argenti: Okay, so we need something more suitable than “chew toy” for trolls…. Hrm. Drawing a blank at the moment. Should be something that is fun to (verbally) slap around for awhile, then gets boring, and is easily discarded when we’re done with it. Slinky, maybe?

Piñata? You smack it around a bit until it explodes, then you enjoy the candy and go on with your night. Too violent?

@Cassandra (or whoever wanted a big dog) are you in the US? You might look into Big Fluffy Dog Rescue

Marie
Marie
8 years ago

@kittehs

Now this is a scary zombie.

Kitty zombie! 😀

@neoroticbeagle

Zombie Puppies!

Cutest zombies ever <3

@pentapus

read in one of the comments that saying someone is or might be mentally ill is, apparently, a big no-no here, because it’s an “ableist” thing to say.

It’s not, in theory, ableist to say someone may be mentally ill, because mentally ill isn’t a bad thing. It’s just saying that you think they are mentally ill because they are acting in a way that obviously not non-crazy person would do. It contributes to a lot of negative stereotypes.

As for the ‘are you drunk thing’, my question was b/c it seemed like none of their comments before. If it was someone I hadn’t seen I’d assume they were just an asshole.

@nerdypants

When is it okay to say that someone’s bad behaviour is or is likely to be the result of a mental illness?

(feel free to ignore this, there have been plenty of better answers, just my 2 cents)

um, maybe, maybe when you actually know they have a mental illness? Idk much, cuz I’m still learning about ableism, but that’s my guess. Though someone w/ a mental illness being an asshole still can be being an asshole for reasons not to do w/ their mental illness. Idk, I’d only do it if you knew them and how they reacted. Like, this isn’t asshole behavior, but because of my depression I often get really hyper and maybe a little annoying when I’m in a mood swing going to good mood, so if someone who knew me thought I was being all hyper and that stuff b/c of depression they’d probably be right. Though it can also happen b/c caffiene XD

@disco

I spend my evening yesterday to dig deeper in GGs “work” and came also to conclusion that he is mentally ill. At least a bit.

…O_o judging you.

@historophilia

In my head I pronounce them as “ZEE” and “ZURR” but I don’t know if that’s correct.

That’s how I pronounce them too, but I’m not sure if it’s right :/

historophilia — yeah, I say ze/zir with z’s like in zebra, so ZEE ZURR = yes.

Sweet, nvm answers 😀

@frog

But good grief, yes, strange men following you around happens a *lot* in London. They’d start with I just want to talk and I don’t want to bother you, but they’re literally following you home or to your workplace and they seriously creep you out because they won’t leave you alone.

sorry you had to meet those jerks. 🙁

freemage
freemage
8 years ago

Emily: I love pinata for trolls, yes.

Nerdypants:

When is it okay to say that someone’s bad behaviour is or is likely to be the result of a mental illness?

1: When that person is a regular part of your life, to the degree that their actions can affect it on a regular basis–family, friends, some co-workers.*
2: When you’re their therapist, psychologist, psychiatrist, etc.
3: When you’re a judge or jury deciding on an insanity defense plea.

Outside of that, it’s to be avoided, for reasons others have articulated.

*: Here, your role should be to encourage them to seek out an evaluation and (if necessary) diagnosis; you should not attempt to diagnose them yourself. So avoid, “Hey, i think you might be suffering from depression”–preferable is, “Hey, you’re seeming kind of down, and it’s a bit beyond my depth as a friend to help you get out of it. If you’ve got the ability to talk to a professional, they might be able to help better.” If they cite cost, or something else of a resource-based nature (such as not being able to get to a clinic on the far side of town), offer what help you can as a friend to get past that barrier–help them find a free/sliding-scale clinic, offer to drive them if you have a car and they don’t, etc.

cloudiah
8 years ago

I finally caught up with this thread, and while part of me is glad I took last night and this morning off, the other part of me is glad I read it even though some of it was difficult to get through.

I know that’s not a very substantive comment, but the smart things have already been said!

Deoridhe
8 years ago

@Great American Satan:

You’re conflating a few things here, so I’ll tease them out a bit but this will necessarily be abbreviated.

One major note – it’s people with schizophrenia, not schizophrenics. This is an area to be very careful about dehumanizing language.

some conditions cause people to latch onto frameworks to express their fear
I think a better way to view this is not that mental illness causes racism, for example, but that our society is imbued with racism and a significant proportion absorb racism unconsciously, with the end result that some will express it openly regardless of theirs metal health. The desire to make racism caused by mental illness is both a distancing tactic to protect the currently abl-minded and ableism.

I really wish we had better ways of getting help for people in trouble before they can hurt themselves or others, but the U.S.A. is a cold cold place.
Firstly, the mentally ill population you’re talking about is disproportionately targets of violence, not violent themselves. I don’t have the studies at my fingertips, but a google should find them (I’m on my phone).

Secondly, seine can be receiving the best treatment available and still be delusional. That is about half my caseload.

Thirdly, the right in the US to remove the liberty of people is necessarily limited to “harm self, harm others, or gravely disabled”. People used to be locked up for their entire lives without a possibility of parole for making others uncomfortable, and while that was less troubling for the average person, it was also a huge injustice.

Deoridhe
8 years ago

Since the legal system came up, a quick note about that. Legal Insanity is not a diagnosis. It only means the person had/has no concept of right and wrong and so needs to be detained. If it works, the person is sometimes locked up longer than they might have been for the crime. It is a crappy “easy out”.

Argenti Aertheri
8 years ago

I can only find it behind a paywall, but the summary gets the point across — http://archpsyc.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=208825

“Stigma against mental illness turns the world on its head. Blaming the victim rationalizes neglect and maltreatment. In the public mind, violence is associated with mental illness. Yes, there is a strong association, but the direction of causality is the reverse of common belief: persons who are seriously mentally ill are far more likely to be the victims of violence than its initiators. The evidence produced by Linda Teplin et al1 (this issue) settles the matter beyond question.”

nerdypants
nerdypants
8 years ago

Thank you to each of you who commented above since last night: starskita, Sid, Seranvali, Argenti, tedthefed, Marie, freemage. Especially thank you to those of you who said “I have a mental illness, and here’s how I see it…”. I’ve read all of your comments several times, and I’ve got this thread bookmarked to come back to again. I was going to try replying to each of you individually given that you took the time out to talk to me, however I think my response to each of you is the same and can be summed up as, ‘I understand better now. Thank you for telling me.’

I think there’s a saying, “The road to hell is paved with good intentions”. My words were motivated by a misguided attempt to be more understanding towards those who have a mental illness, but I can see now that this kind of thing has the opposite effect of perpetuating the conflation of mental illness and bad behaviour, by stigmatising mental illness, and by implying that if a person has a mental illness then their words and actions (and the consequences) can be disregarded. In other words, the exact opposite of what I’d hope for. So this is not a thing that I will not be doing any more.

Argenti Aertheri
8 years ago

Nerdypants — you threw a double negative in there, but thank you. Having “you’re being a royal asshole” met with “does your psych know you act like this?” — makes me want to go bang my head on the wall.

Deoridhe
8 years ago

I’m all misty eyed, nerdypants. You got it!

The point above about mental illness 1) not being a discrete thing and 2) having a lot of prejudicial bias is very true. A handful seem to be fairly universal (schizophrenia seems to be; as far as I know, every culture has people who present with the symptoms of schizophrenia) but most are very culturally based and are very culturally influenced.

Also, mental health and studying mental health is a very new thing; the study of mental illness arose out of studying pathology, not health, or generalizing ones own neurosis to the entire human race (hi Freud!). These are all things that must be kept in mind wrt mental illness because the artifacts of them still remain, both within the psychology community and within the wider culture.

The Kittehs' Unpaid Help

tedthefed – so true about the line not being as sharp or clear as we imagine it is!

There’s an element of belief systems in here as well. Person A believes XYZ. Person B thinks XYZ is nonsense, a delusion, whatever. But what matters is what XYZ does to, or for, A. Does it help zir? Does it give comfort, support, strength? Does it prompt A to harm zirself or others, or the opposite? That’s all that B, whether they’re a health professional or anyone else, should be concerned with.

Example, which I think someone mentioned here last time we were talking about this: a person who heard voices. She was happy with this, her voices were not the abusive, horrible kind – just the opposite, I gather – but felt, unsurprisingly, unable to converse with them in public. Solution offered: put in the earpiece for a phone and nobody would think twice if she was talking. (I’ve thought of doing this to talk to Louis, sometimes – never tried it though.)

I like this more utilitarian approach, rather than the “oh but that’s not NORMAL” crap. First off, what a narrow range is offered for “normal”; second, helping or harming should surely be what matters. There are doofuses (doofi?) who would label me as mentally ill/hearing voices/hearing demons/whatever, but I think it says something* that the two mental health professionals I’ve dealt with have had a completely different view.

I’m not trying to appropriate anything here; I’ve never had to deal with any of the godawful issues or conditions that can strike people, but the net of “not normal” or “mentally ill” gets cast remarkably wide, and I’ve felt its edge.

The Kittehs' Unpaid Help

Oh and Freud, Mr Fern Phobia – aaaaaaaaaaaargh, douchebag of douchebags! ::gnashes teeth::

Adelaide
8 years ago

Hello all, I’m a long-time reader and lurker but I just wanted to say that you people are all fabulous (not the trolls, though) and thank you for putting into such eloquent words for me the whole discussion on mental health and blaming people’s actions on it. I completely agree with what’s been said, but I’ve never been able to put it so well.

Also, I know it was probably a rhetorical question, Argenti Aertheri, but I take 600mg of Seroquel at night (down from 900mg) and sometimes it can be quite hard to function for half of the next day which makes morning classes at uni a joy.

On a completely unrelated note, I know some of the regular commenters are Australian and I was wondering if you’d come across this: http://www.dailylife.com.au/news-and-views/dl-opinion/rapists-are-to-blame-for-rape-20130321-2ghxa.html
I know it’s John Laws and sadly I shouldn’t expect better from him, but this is just made me so… ugh. I don’t even know. What a disgusting person. (Sorry everyone, I don’t know how to embed links or anything.)

Deoridhe
8 years ago

Personally, on the clinician side, I am much more interested in “functional, safe, and happy” than whether or not a person has a given symptom that is strange. This may be why I work well with some of our more unusual clients. ^.^

The Kittehs' Unpaid Help

Yes! I think that’s pretty much the stance my psychs have had.

I want to say thank you again to LBT for their wonderful blog. Reading it, and Rogan’s comments here, are an eye-opener. Plus they’re cool people. 🙂

Argenti Aertheri
8 years ago

Adelaide — first, let me offer the complementary welcome package consisting of a misandrist hard chair, matching bath towels, SCENTED MOTHERFUCKING CANDLES and cupcakes, delivered by female (whore) penguins in spanx.

That makes less and less sense the more nonsense our trolls spew…

Second, seroquel = fuck, I’m a zombie for a good hour and I’m unemployed and have nowhere to be. I can’t imagine that for half the day with classes, you have my respect already (forget that newb is not troll, right? period, you’re cool by me!)

Third, HTML! You embed links like this <a href=”link”>what you want it to say</a> so like this — I’m replying to your comment here

That’s done via this code — <a href=”http://manboobz.com/2013/03/21/george-godley-terrible-pickup-artist-worse-human-being/comment-page-7/#comment-274714″>here</a>

Do feel free to direct HTML questions my way!

The Kittehs' Unpaid Help

Adelaide, welcome from one of the resident Aussies!

I hadn’t heard about Laws doing that. I knew he was a piece of human garbage but this is … gods, bottom of the barrel stuff, he makes Andrew Bolt look good.

Brain bleach: cat and fennec cub playing!

http://youtu.be/qyhnFzLUtPA

CassandraSays
CassandraSays
8 years ago

Part of the reason that the “but he can’t help it, he’s mentally ill” thing bothers me so much is that 90% of the time the people saying that seem to be implying that the person is on the autism spectrum, and the thing is, I know lots of people on the spectrum and none of them go around harassing women and filming it. Autism has become the go-to excuse when men who’re a bit geeky are behaving badly, and it doesn’t take much effort to see all the ways in which that’s not OK, or much engagement with geek culture to realize that a. the culture actively encourages shitty behavior from men towards women and b. most of the guys being shitty are neurotypical. So when you blame autism you’re letting people off the hook for being assholes AND contributing to the stigmatization of a group of people who already have enough shit to deal with without their diagnosis being used as a shorthand for “rapey asshole”.

CassandraSays
CassandraSays
8 years ago

Also! For bonus “this is why you should stop excusing men’s bad behavior as being about autism” fun, think about how all this plays out for women who’re autistic. IME autism tends to make women even more likely to be targeted for harassment than they would be anyway just because they’re women.

Jessay (@jessay)
8 years ago

This is almost as bad as watching someone else’s home videos from 1992 when they just got a camcorder and are playing with the titles and zoom.

katz
8 years ago

Holy fuck. I’ll take this as example one million why you should never check the internet while on vacation.

I’m just going to pretend ttf’s account got hacked, since that’s by far the happiest explanation.

Marie
Marie
8 years ago

@Adelaide

Hello! Welcome from over here 🙂 Didn’t see you last night 😛

@Deoridhe

Personally, on the clinician side, I am much more interested in “functional, safe, and happy” than whether or not a person has a given symptom that is strange. This may be why I work well with some of our more unusual clients. ^.^

That sounds so much nicer than trying to force people to act ‘normal’. Not really adding much really, since it’s been forever since I’ve had/got to talk to any psychs. My regular doctor just gives me anti-depressants and I’m free to go 😀

@argenti aertheri

Adelaide — first, let me offer the complementary welcome package consisting of a misandrist hard chair, matching bath towels, SCENTED MOTHERFUCKING CANDLES and cupcakes, delivered by female (whore) penguins in spanx.

That makes less and less sense the more nonsense our trolls spew…

For some reason my brain was reading ‘misandrist hard chair’ as ‘misandrist hard hair’ 😛 I think diogenes is getting to me XD Some how I forgot how the spanx entered though…

The Kittehs' Unpaid Help

For some reason my brain was reading ‘misandrist hard chair’ as ‘misandrist hard hair’

Heheh I read something yesterday on the Sex Nerd’s site (the dirty normal) about hair and its pleasures, and thought, yup, proving once again that Diogenes knows jack shit about sex.

The Kittehs' Unpaid Help

Jeez I’m a blockquote monster magnet at the moment.

gregm91436
8 years ago

I know an autistic guy slightly younger than me. He’s smart, polite, and would never, ever do this. He’s a little shy–he’d never randomly approach someone on the street, and in the extremely unlikely event that he did, a simple “no thank you” would suffice. I also teach kids with autism and asperger’s (and another friend with asperger’s); I have specialized training in them. THIS ISN’T THAT. It’s Godfrey being a dick.