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Author Topic: The Culture of Victimhood
kmbboots
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Not sure that was admitted but even so, if you "admit" that the coughing and high fever is not the source of the disease, you still have to address those symptoms, especially if the coughing and fever are keeping the patient from getting well.

All I am hearing from you is that you don't want to change your behaviour so you have decided that the best way for people to deal with bigotry is just to suck it up.

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scifibum
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I support calling out and discouraging microaggressions, partly because it is a useful avenue to convince people to examine why they are behaving the way they are behaving, which might lead to some reduction in prejudice and ignorance over time.

I also agree that we should not treat a microaggression as a significant act of malice, because a) it isn't and b) it creates defensiveness that undermines the goal.

But I ALSO ALSO think that we need to call out the defensiveness and try to force people to acknowledge the problem anyway.

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D.W.
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So...
Yes, I was careless with my words and didn't mean to offend you. However, you are being a crybaby right now.

[Razz]

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kmbboots
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quote:
Originally posted by JoshCrow:
quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
You cannot stop people from being worn down and hurt over time by a series of social attacks. You can help people be a little more resilient by realizing what's happening to them, but you can't stop the damage without stopping the assault.

You can help people recognize unintended slights, navigate difficult social situations and learn to distinguish an "attack" from mere ignorance or carelessness. I'd wager this is in fact a more beneficial skill than to characterize everything as an "attack" and proceed from there.

In fact, I would say that I wouldn't want to work with someone who constantly felt they were being "attacked", so you're right about it being self-reinforcing: I would find working with that sort of individual particularly unpleasant.

And, of course, what you find unpleasant is much more important than what they find unpleasant. Maybe you should toughen up.
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Fenring
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Let's cut to the chase. The whole issue about microaggressions is really about standards. When people are used to a standard of any sort, whether that's gender roles, work procedures, the language a person is expected to speak, and so forth, they will expect to encounter mostly accordance with that standard. This is not wrong, and is no form of aggression, it's human nature - and an intensely mental energy saving procedure to boot. When society changes fairly quickly a few things take some time to occur. It takes time for the change to actually propagate around. It takes time for people to get used to the changes. It takes time for people to expect things to be the new way. People seeks both patterns and recurrence, and are predictably disturbed when these are disrupted.

But now when a person shows surprise at something they haven't come to expect it's a microaggression. Maybe they just haven't seen that much of it yet; maybe it will take time for repeated instances of it to make it appear to be the new normal.

And yet I feel discussions on this topic are not oriented towards helping people to quickly see the new normal; rather they seem to almost outright insist that there ought to be no normal, and that no one should have expectations about anything. Whatever you see, it's normal; don't judge; don't be surprised; don't question what people do (unless what they're doing is questioning you). And while on the surface this is branded as a move towards freeing people up actually it puts them in a straightjacket where they have to pretend (and pretending is all they'll be doing because no one actually thinks like this) that there is no such thing as culture or expectation anymore. Certainly culture is self-reinforcing, and so if self-reinforcing ideas are to be jettisoned then so is culture and so is, to an extent, personal identity.

Some degree of socialization is both necessary and also useful for members of a society. But just as under-socialization is a problem (e.g. not being able to get along with others, refusing to accept rules, etc.) it is as yet largely unrecognized what happens when people are over-socialized. This will come to be known sooner or later, but right now the prevailing attitude in many circles is that man has not been sufficiently tamed until he can literally do nothing that will offend. I, for one, think that offense is a very important thing to have among people, provided it's not haphazard and sadistic. But the idea of questioning things, be it social trends, lifestyle choices, whether the prevailing attitudes are rubbish - all of these issues which will and should offend people are irreplaceable elements of a good functioning democracy. You know democracy has failed when everyone seems to agree. They never actually will agree, but them seeming to agree will be a clear sign they fear the consequences of doing otherwise.

Historically there have been many abuses against minorities, and these have largely been solved without sensitivity campaigns. Whether such a campaign can actually succeed is one matter, but whether people need to be lectured about minor slights is another. There was a time when being black or a Jew meant you couldn't get into schools, and couldn't get jobs. Now the situation is better and will continue to do so without the need for safe rooms and banned speech on campuses.

We have people in the world being decapitated and crucified for being atheists. And here we are talking about showing momentary surprise at a female engineer when the people we vote for make alliances with radical fundamentalists.

I'm not really sure what I'm saying. Something about the subject of microaggression stinks to me and I'm trying to narrow down where the smell might be coming from.

[ September 30, 2015, 06:39 PM: Message edited by: Fenring ]

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D.W.
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For someone not sure about what they are saying, you sure just said a lot I agree with.
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scifibum
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You're right, Fenring. Nobody should criticize boorish behavior, because then nobody will be able to criticize anything.
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JoshCrow
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quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
quote:

In fact, I would say that I wouldn't want to work with someone who constantly felt they were being "attacked", so you're right about it being self-reinforcing: I would find working with that sort of individual particularly unpleasant.

And, of course, what you find unpleasant is much more important than what they find unpleasant. Maybe you should toughen up.
I can deal with an unpleasant person at the office because I'm an adult and not a helpless person.

[ September 30, 2015, 07:17 PM: Message edited by: JoshCrow ]

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kmbboots
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And if the majority of the people with whom you interact everyday are unpleasant? If society's default setting toward you is unpleasant? Why should anyone have to deal with that?
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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Originally posted by JoshCrow:
I can deal with an unpleasant person at the office because I'm an adult and not a helpless person.

And because it's a one-off individual and not a constant barrage from all but a few individuals who make the effort to refrain from participating.
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Pyrtolin
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quote:
This is not wrong, and is no form of aggression, it's human nature - and an intensely mental energy saving procedure to boot.
The core of etiquette is not the rules themselves, but the show of having invested time and effort into showing a person respect and seeing to their comfort.

"It takes less energy" is the core of the problem. It's taking advantage of one's relative social power to force others with less power to expend the energy needed to keep up instead of acknowledging that having power means that it's your social obligation to make just that effort.

That's part of what makes such actions aggressions, even if the person engaging in them is completely unaware of what they're doing. One does not have to intend to be aggressive for one's actions to have an aggressive effect on the people you're interacting with, in fact, given our overall current state of cultural conditioning, it takes active effort to monitor one's behavior for such and try to avoid doing it.

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Pyrtolin
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quote:
There is a long list of factors that contribute to gender imbalances in computing.
Do you really want me to go down that list of factors and discuss how most of them are tied to microaggression issues in various ways?
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JoshCrow
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quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
quote:
Originally posted by JoshCrow:
I can deal with an unpleasant person at the office because I'm an adult and not a helpless person.

And because it's a one-off individual and not a constant barrage from all but a few individuals who make the effort to refrain from participating.
kmb & Pyr: I find it hard to believe it's "all but a few individuals" who are being unpleasant. I think this is drastically overstating the situation in 2015, and selling humanity short. There are certainly bad apples out there who say dumb things, but I think it's reaching to create the impression that "all but a few" are making someone's life unbearable.

I would send a person who told me that to a shrink.

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JoshCrow
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quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
quote:
There is a long list of factors that contribute to gender imbalances in computing.
Do you really want me to go down that list of factors and discuss how most of them are tied to microaggression issues in various ways?
Only if in the interests of fairness you also provide a microaggression rationale/excuse for the lack of men in nursing, social work, occupational therapy, psychology, health care administration, and education! [Smile]

[ September 30, 2015, 09:52 PM: Message edited by: JoshCrow ]

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Fenring
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quote:
Originally posted by scifibum:
You're right, Fenring. Nobody should criticize boorish behavior, because then nobody will be able to criticize anything.

If there are boors out there, are such people really going to listen to sensitivity sermons? Chances are they are boors because they already don't care that much what other people think. But despite what is being claimed here I don't think that most people are boors. Perhaps it's being considered legitimate to call anyone who isn't up with the latest ultra-liberal memes a boor, but there are plenty of nice people around who don't need a lecture about being nice. Even they may rub someone the wrong way sometimes, and in those cases if it's based on a systemic sense of normalcy (such as an otherwise friendly guy showing surprise that his new colleague is a woman) then they will get used to the new conventions as they are integrated into society.

But let's get back to the real claims here. This is supposedly about micro-actions that people don't even realize they're doing, using assumptions they take for granted but don't realize carry a stereotype built-in. But then suddenly I hear words like "boors", "oppressive", "bigotry", and "mean." Are we talking about the same thing? And remember we are not talking just about sensitivity awareness; this will turn into enforced rules soon enough as people are fired for breaching micro-aggession etiquette and expelled from schools for saying the wrong words.

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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Originally posted by JoshCrow:
quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
quote:
There is a long list of factors that contribute to gender imbalances in computing.
Do you really want me to go down that list of factors and discuss how most of them are tied to microaggression issues in various ways?
Only if in the interests of fairness you also provide a microaggression rationale/excuse for the lack of men in nursing, social work, occupational therapy, psychology, health care administration, and education! [Smile]
Absolutely- men are punished for taking those fields and not making sure that they're relegated to a second class status. Similar to popular media portrayals of men as buffoons in the home serving to reinforce the notion that women should reserve themselves for housework while men should stick to the more prestigious and powerful positions that are reserved for them.

The majority does fully punish itself for failing to maintain it's dominance- it's part of the way that such aggression is wired into our culture.

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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Originally posted by JoshCrow:
quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
quote:
Originally posted by JoshCrow:
I can deal with an unpleasant person at the office because I'm an adult and not a helpless person.

And because it's a one-off individual and not a constant barrage from all but a few individuals who make the effort to refrain from participating.
kmb & Pyr: I find it hard to believe it's "all but a few individuals" who are being unpleasant. I think this is drastically overstating the situation in 2015, and selling humanity short. There are certainly bad apples out there who say dumb things, but I think it's reaching to create the impression that "all but a few" are making someone's life unbearable.
That's how the tragedy of the commons works. No one person is doing it, but the aggregate action of many people adds up to an oppressive weight.

http://everydayfeminism.com/2015/08/for-nice-guys-who-dont-get-it/

Is a good overview of a few common ones.

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JoshCrow
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quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
That's how the tragedy of the commons works. No one person is doing it, but the aggregate action of many people adds up to an oppressive weight.

http://everydayfeminism.com/2015/08/for-nice-guys-who-dont-get-it/

Is a good overview of a few common ones.

Heehee... that comic is hilarious. It pictures 1) a man in 2015 wearing a fedora, standing by a door waiting for a female, and opening it for her as if sex will fall out. 2) A man grabbing a woman's belongings from her without asking, and 3) a man using what could only be in 2015 an ironic deployment of "nice catch, for a girl". All this while narrated by a flying, lecturing scold whose purpose in life is to defend helpless women from these "problems". NOW who is treating women as helpless? I'll give you one guess: it's the one with the wings.
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Pyrtolin
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So your objection to the concept, essentially, stems from outright ignorance of how commonly women have to put up with variations on that kind of treatment?
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JoshCrow
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quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
So your objection to the concept, essentially, stems from outright ignorance of how commonly women have to put up with variations on that kind of treatment?

Dude, even my wife read it and had a laugh. What, are women made of tissue paper in your world?

But my broader point is that this comic is the essence of "victimhood" culture, right down to the third-party surrogate, an omnipresent 'social justice' fairy. In "dignity" culture, there is no fairy, and 1) the woman who walked through the door goes on with her life without a thought (or maybe learns to, uhm, say "thanks" when someone holds it open and move on), 2) the woman yells "stop, thief!" or 3) the girl with the football smirks because her friend was ribbing her... right before she throws the ball at his nuts and says "yeah, and you should see how I throw!"

[ September 30, 2015, 11:57 PM: Message edited by: JoshCrow ]

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kmbboots
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You think that kind of thing doesn't happen all the time?
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JoshCrow
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Lectures by social justice warriors on behalf of helpless women having doors opened for them? I'll believe it does!
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Fenring
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quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
So your objection to the concept, essentially, stems from outright ignorance of how commonly women have to put up with variations on that kind of treatment?

If women were treated the way the fairy insists is correct most women would be miserable. Some would say they like it, and a few of those might be telling the truth.

There is, and always has been, a balancing act between being assertive and 'manly' and being a dick to women. Go too far and you're basically a chauvinist, don't go far enough and most women will wonder whether you think they're worth it. One doesn't actually have to be a stereotype 1950's 'gentleman' to be chivalrous in some sense. The fact that these ridiculous stereotypes are trotted out as the dumb man's caveman tools is, if anything, a microaggression against men in their attempts to please women. And kindly don't try to inform me that women don't want to be pleased by men, we're veering far enough away from planet Earth as it is.

For a man to pretend in the presence of a woman that he is not a man and she isn't a women (i.e. fundamentally different) is one of the most basic ways to undermine humanity at its core. This doesn't mean I would suggest that women should be treated as helpless, incompetent, or as always seeking a man's approval. It also doesn't mean that recognizing the man/woman difference even needs to be a heterosexual thing. But this idea of treating women 'just like you'd treat a man' is repellant. Actually the awesome flick Starship Troopers suggests doing exactly this, and that is in the context of a fully totalitarian society with no regard for individual identity.

So how does one balance respect with acknowledging that the sexes are different in important ways? How about recognizing the possibility that the sexes have (on average) different wants from each other and that these wants may not strictly be artifacts of a given society? Consider the possibility that by announcing on behalf of all women what they really want you are committing an act of chauvinistic microaggression against them. Dictating how the sexes should interact sounds almost religious to me, to be honest.

And I'll throw this in too: if a man followed the annoying faery's advice to "not be assertive", he would very likely regret the decision. But he's spend all of his time until that realization being congratulated by his female friends for being so nice and just like their brother. There is a time and a place to 'go for it' with someone from one's desired sex, and although going for it all the time is likely a sign of desperation in some sense, it would likewise be bad both for one's success and also for one's character to never go for it. In any case I'd much rather see a society where everyone is assertive rather than no one.

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kmbboots
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quote:
Originally posted by Fenring:

There is, and always has been, a balancing act between being assertive and 'manly' and being a dick to women. Go too far and you're basically a chauvinist, don't go far enough and most women will wonder whether you think they're worth it.

Worth what? Why would a stranger on the street wonder if you think she is "worth it"? If you are just talking about common courtesy aren't men "worth it" too?
quote:

One doesn't actually have to be a stereotype 1950's 'gentleman' to be chivalrous in some sense. The fact that these ridiculous stereotypes are trotted out as the dumb man's caveman tools is, if anything, a microaggression against men in their attempts to please women. And kindly don't try to inform me that women don't want to be pleased by men, we're veering far enough away from planet Earth as it is.

We don't want to be "pleased" by people we don't know. Do you? How would they know what pleases us?
quote:

For a man to pretend in the presence of a woman that he is not a man and she isn't a women (i.e. fundamentally different) is one of the most basic ways to undermine humanity at its core.

Fundamentally different in what way that should matter between strangers or work colleagues or customers or really anyone who is not a potential mate?
quote:


This doesn't mean I would suggest that women should be treated as helpless, incompetent, or as always seeking a man's approval. It also doesn't mean that recognizing the man/woman difference even needs to be a heterosexual thing. But this idea of treating women 'just like you'd treat a man' is repellant. Actually the awesome flick Starship Troopers suggests doing exactly this, and that is in the context of a fully totalitarian society with no regard for individual identity.

What is "repellent" about it? Why can't you treat people with individual identity? BTW, I am a big Heinlein fan but thought that movie was crap.
quote:


So how does one balance respect with acknowledging that the sexes are different in important ways?

Again, what important ways?

quote:
How about recognizing the possibility that the sexes have (on average) different wants from each other and that these wants may not strictly be artifacts of a given society? Consider the possibility that by announcing on behalf of all women what they really want you are committing an act of chauvinistic microaggression against them. Dictating how the sexes should interact sounds almost religious to me, to be honest.
But you are dictating how the sexes should interact aren't you?
quote:


And I'll throw this in too: if a man followed the annoying faery's advice to "not be assertive", he would very likely regret the decision. But he's spend all of his time until that realization being congratulated by his female friends for being so nice and just like their brother. There is a time and a place to 'go for it' with someone from one's desired sex, and although going for it all the time is likely a sign of desperation in some sense, it would likewise be bad both for one's success and also for one's character to never go for it. In any case I'd much rather see a society where everyone is assertive rather than no one.

And here we get down to it. Recognize that almost all the women you encounter in your life are not potential mates. Even those that might be are human beings first.
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JoshCrow
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quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
Fundamentally different in what way that should matter between strangers or work colleagues or customers or really anyone who is not a potential mate? [QUOTE][qb]

While feminist theory may seem to espouse that "we should all be treated equal", feminist practice has in fact been about making people more aware of our different 'average' needs - namely by promoting an awareness of the needs of women among men.

Let's do work colleagues, then.

If she's a woman, there's a greater chance she'll be cold at a temperature a man might find comfortable - so check your office thermostat.
If she's a woman, there's a greater probability she could use a hand carrying something heavy, so perhaps offer assistance but don't be pushy about it.
A woman may not be as assertive as a man at putting a good idea out there in a business meeting, so creating a meeting environment in which everyone contributes (or flat out asking her what she thinks) adds significant value.
Women in your workplace may have needs that you, a man, would not have thought of... and they also have perspectives you may not have thought of.

These are all things that are basically right out of feminist thought.

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kmbboots
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Men don't get cold? Have trouble carrying things? Be less assertive? Why does this have to be different than generally being aware of the needs and potential of other people?
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Fenring
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Also despite the contents of the silly comics, I'm not sure why "total strangers" is the standard we're talking about here. Is anyone seriously defending catcallers? Even bringing that up seems like a ridiculous straw man. How to treat total strangers on the street is hardly the only thing to discuss, and frankly most men don't approach random women on the street at all, in any context. Do you think any kind of preaching will reach those morons who actually whistle at women?
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kmbboots
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The cartoon we are discussing showed scenarios involving strangers. And, frankly, even I have encounters like the ones shown all the time. For young, attractive women it is constant.
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TomDavidson
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quote:
Do you think any kind of preaching will reach those morons who actually whistle at women?
I believe the goal here is to make that sort of whistling socially unacceptable enough among men that, when one man does it, the other men with him look at him disapprovingly and say, "Dude, that's just crass."
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JoshCrow
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quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
Men don't get cold? Have trouble carrying things? Be less assertive? Why does this have to be different than generally being aware of the needs and potential of other people?

This is akin to arguing "why should we care about statistical odds - just treat everyone the exact same"? It seems noble on the surface, because you needn't upset someone by "profiling" them... except that suddenly you'll find you can't serve people according to their needs. "Equity" is abandoned in favor of "equality" in this picture. You could not justify programs that provide services for women, and women would lose out as a result.

Just as one example, imagine if suddenly nobody took seriously that a woman had been slapped on the ass at work because, they would argue, "men slapping each other on the ass is just locker-room foolery". Context matters! So does the gender of the participants. If you remove the differences, you also strip away important cultural standards of behavior.

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D.W.
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Out of curiosity, do any of the men here make it a habit to hold a door open for ONLY women?

Have you ever stopped for a second to wonder if a man holding a door for another man, or woman for another woman was only doing so for an opportunity to flirt?

Do I just happen to live in a town where, other than a subset of college students who are oblivious or outright rude, [Razz] the population is overwhelmingly polite and holds doors for people?

More importantly have I been missing opportunities to ask women for their phone numbers when they stop to hold a door for me? [Razz]

[ October 01, 2015, 01:05 PM: Message edited by: D.W. ]

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AI Wessex
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I do it for pets, as they usually can't reach the handle. Other than that I usually hold the door for most people and they do the same for me. Seems kind of obvious, actually, or otherwise if two people come to a door at the same time they would have to wait for a third person to come along and break the logjam.
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D.W.
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Those pets are no doubt highly suspicious of your motives.
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JoshCrow
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quote:
Originally posted by D.W.:
Out of curiosity, do any of the men here make it a habit to hold a door open for ONLY women?

No, but I must confess that if it's a woman walking behind me, it can and does slightly extend my "lead time" for which I will hold the door - up to a maximum after which awkwardness would ensue. The effect is small but I would bet it's measurable.

[ October 01, 2015, 01:32 PM: Message edited by: JoshCrow ]

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scifibum
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quote:
Originally posted by Fenring:
quote:
Originally posted by scifibum:
You're right, Fenring. Nobody should criticize boorish behavior, because then nobody will be able to criticize anything.

If there are boors out there, are such people really going to listen to sensitivity sermons? Chances are they are boors because they already don't care that much what other people think. But despite what is being claimed here I don't think that most people are boors. Perhaps it's being considered legitimate to call anyone who isn't up with the latest ultra-liberal memes a boor, but there are plenty of nice people around who don't need a lecture about being nice. Even they may rub someone the wrong way sometimes, and in those cases if it's based on a systemic sense of normalcy (such as an otherwise friendly guy showing surprise that his new colleague is a woman) then they will get used to the new conventions as they are integrated into society.

But let's get back to the real claims here. This is supposedly about micro-actions that people don't even realize they're doing, using assumptions they take for granted but don't realize carry a stereotype built-in. But then suddenly I hear words like "boors", "oppressive", "bigotry", and "mean." Are we talking about the same thing? And remember we are not talking just about sensitivity awareness; this will turn into enforced rules soon enough as people are fired for breaching micro-aggession etiquette and expelled from schools for saying the wrong words.

Well, it's hard to keep talking about the same thing when you insist on dwelling on the slippery slope.

I'm not in a position to insist that we talk about the same thing, but as an exercise, you might look at whether anyone in this thread has made a concrete suggestion that resembles anything that you're arguing against.

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kmbboots
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quote:
Originally posted by D.W.:
Out of curiosity, do any of the men here make it a habit to hold a door open for ONLY women?

Have you ever stopped for a second to wonder if a man holding a door for another man, or woman for another woman was only doing so for an opportunity to flirt?

Do I just happen to live in a town where, other than a subset of college students who are oblivious or outright rude, [Razz] the population is overwhelmingly polite and holds doors for people?

More importantly have I been missing opportunities to ask women for their phone numbers when they stop to hold a door for me? [Razz]

Plenty of people hold doors or elevators or whatever for people. We have glass doors between two parts of our office and I hold those doors or have them held for me a dozen times a day. The issue is guys who make a show of it trying to create an "encounter".
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kmbboots
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quote:
Originally posted by JoshCrow:
quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
Men don't get cold? Have trouble carrying things? Be less assertive? Why does this have to be different than generally being aware of the needs and potential of other people?

This is akin to arguing "why should we care about statistical odds - just treat everyone the exact same"? It seems noble on the surface, because you needn't upset someone by "profiling" them... except that suddenly you'll find you can't serve people according to their needs. "Equity" is abandoned in favor of "equality" in this picture. You could not justify programs that provide services for women, and women would lose out as a result.

Just as one example, imagine if suddenly nobody took seriously that a woman had been slapped on the ass at work because, they would argue, "men slapping each other on the ass is just locker-room foolery". Context matters! So does the gender of the participants. If you remove the differences, you also strip away important cultural standards of behavior.

I will have to believe you that slapping men on the ass is normal office behavior. It wouldn't be considered appropriate in my office. I have been in meetings where somebody asks if people are cold and, a consensus being reached (everyone agrees with the boss) the temperature is adjusted.
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D.W.
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For the record, there is no ass slapping in architecture. [Razz]
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Fenring
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quote:
Originally posted by scifibum:
Well, it's hard to keep talking about the same thing when you insist on dwelling on the slippery slope.

I'm not in a position to insist that we talk about the same thing, but as an exercise, you might look at whether anyone in this thread has made a concrete suggestion that resembles anything that you're arguing against.

Oh no, I am talking about the same thing as you. As I mentioned we've had words such as "oppressive", "mean" and so forth used to describe these things. Even the comics don't grasp for such biting terms. But JoshCrow did a fine job of explaining how stupid the scenarios in the comics are (not that they never happen). If someone literally appears and seizes a woman's luggage without her consent, this is a boor on the level of a catcaller. This is extremely abnormal behavior in North America. The woman could pepper spray him in the face and not even be questioned for it in that sort of scene.

And then of course there's the comic where guy holds a door open - which, according to the comic, is the real offence - and then the comic has him haphazardly call her out for not saying thank you, making him not only a chauvinist for holding the door, but an a**hole on top of it for no particular reason. Why straw man the case like this, turning an innocent 'mistake' into a real case a aggression towards women?

And then of course there's the hilariously comical "for a girl" line, which in that sort of context was more or less covered sufficiently in Spaceballs, 25 years ago. But of course the comic ignores something that has become taboo to discuss, which is the difference in average physical capability between the sexes. If you take Olympic pole vaulting, for example, the men's record is 6.16 meters while the women's record is 5.06 meters. If a woman were to accomplish a 5.1 meter vault, securing the new women's record, the statement of achievement would literally be "the best vaulter in the world, for a girl." It would be foolish to compare women's results against men's in that context, and so when a woman achieves a certain result that is good as compared to other women but not fantastic compared to men then a statement of clarity has to be added to her achievement to make this clear. This is why sports are divided between women and men. The "good, for a girl" line is a layman's extension of this principle, where it's assumed that the average physical capabilities for a female will be less than for men. Such a rule of thumb is obviously foolish on an unskilled amateur level such as in the comic, where anyone who trained would be better than their peers regardless of sex. This is why the sports comic is yet another straw man.

But perhaps I can look at the sports comic from another standpoint; cultural, instead of technical. Women don't play sports as much as men do, and this likely has nothing to do with the upper capabilities or career opportunities of each. With less participants there will be less skilled people in total, and less of a culture encouraging participation in sports for women. But does the culture fail to encourage it due to not wanting them to participate? I can anecdotally say that I've never met a guy who wasn't enthusiastic about the idea of girls who are athletic. So who is this oppressor stopping girls from playing sports? Maybe no one in particular but culture as a vague whole? Maybe advertising and merchandising that teaches this? Whoever is propagating this idea, if anyone, I think that a girl who ventured out to participate in sports would find herself very welcome there at an amateur level. I confess I'm not very well acquainted with the process of a female who has the goal of going pro and what she has to go through to get there. In any case if there are few participants and therefore few skilled female athletes around compared to men, it's again simply a matter of expectation that one expects sports to be a boys thing. But that expectation would change in a big hurry if women started playing sports all the time, and then the momentary surprise at a skilled female would become normal expectation. We don't live in the age of A League of their Own any more.

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kmbboots
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quote:
Originally posted by Fenring:

But JoshCrow did a fine job of explaining how stupid the scenarios in the comics are (not that they never happen). If someone literally appears and seizes a woman's luggage without her consent, this is a boor on the level of a catcaller. This is extremely abnormal behavior in North America. The woman could pepper spray him in the face and not even be questioned for it in that sort of scene.

And then of course there's the comic where guy holds a door open - which, according to the comic, is the real offence - and then the comic has him haphazardly call her out for not saying thank you, making him not only a chauvinist for holding the door, but an a**hole on top of it for no particular reason. Why straw man the case like this, turning an innocent 'mistake' into a real case a aggression towards women?

You are missing a couple of things, 1) things like that do happen. As I noted, they even happen to me fairly often. 2) the offense in the door-holding scenario was not that the guy held the door. It was that he made a point of holding the door for "milady" [Roll Eyes] . He waited for a woman to come along and insisted she interact with him. He did not just happen to get to the door first. He got in her way in order to open the door for her. In real life, this small encounter is as often used as a foot in the door. His interest was not in just being courteous; if it were, he would have held the door for the man, too.
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