That people have different reactions and preferences is inevitable. You can't force people to all find the same things agreeable. Social interaction is complicated, and it just can't be boiled down to a few simple rules. That minefield is far less dangerous than you make it out to be. There's a wide spectrum from "things someone likes" to "things someone doesn't mind" to "things someone dislikes" to "sexual harassment". It might be hard to always stay in the first one, and even if it's someone you don't know, you might not be able to stay in the first two, but it's still very easy to stay in the first three (and if you can't manage that with someone, you do need to stop interacting with them until you fix that).MusicallyInspired wrote: ↑Sun Jun 10, 2018 7:42 pmWhat's controversial these days is what constitutes "sexual harassment". Everyone's against sexual harassment (everyone normal). There's no point in trying to alter the public perception on that. But when you start changing definitions you can make anything sexual harassment, as long as you're persuasive and convincing enough to the public. This is why I'm against the idea of people having their own rules of politeness. That's a minefield nobody can navigate. And if the person who owns the minefield isn't feeling particularly helpful or perhaps even a little inappropriately vindictive (against that "patriarchy" or something) they'll be all too happy to stand there and watch someone set one off. Or two.
Hard disagree on that. There is no good sexism. "Benevolent sexism" and chivalry are just as pernicious any other sort of sexism.Not all sexism is bad. Just like not all discrimination is bad. I choose to only be intimate with my wife. I'm discriminating against all other women by making that decision. Chivalry came from a place of reverence and respect by men for women. Because we're different. Not because women "need" help from a man. Not at all. It's completely about respect. That meant everything in my parents' day and when I was a kid. Even the position you're taking in this conversation right now is chivalry, though you probably never considered that. I'm sure you also agree that it's wrong to ever hit a woman, yes? That's chivalry too. And sexist. But it's not wrong.
Your wife analogy isn't useful, since an individual is different from a vast, diverse group of people. (Also, who someone chooses to be intimate with is a very personal issue; no one should feel forced or obligated to be intimate with someone they don't want to.)
If you really respect women, treat them as equals. Treat them how they want to be treated, not how think they should be treated.
And no, I absolutely don't have any gendered rules on who is acceptable to hit. I don't think violence is good in general, but when it is necessary (e.g. self-defense), the person's gender doesn't factor into it. Now, the person's weight and strength do affect how much force would be proportionate, and there's a statistical correlation between that and gender, but what matters is the individual case, not the statistical trends.
I think that's far too broad a statement. Outside of the door-holding example, "attempting to be nice" includes a lot of harmful actions. If someone's idea of what "being nice" means are misguided, their attempts at furthering that goal aren't commendable, and if their attempts have negative consequences, those need to be taken into consideration.These aren't exactly common occurrences we're talking about here. These are outliers. This could be someone who doesn't properly understand chivalry. Could be a kid. Could be someone who wasn't raised properly but didn't intend any harm. It's awkward but it's not unfortunate. Anyone who's attempting to be nice should be commended.If someone rushes ahead to open to door, that can get awkward and actually slow down the pace. And if there's a big gap, holding the door open puts pressure on the other person; either they feel like a jerk for making the person at the door wait so long, or they pick up their pace and walk more quickly than they would otherwise have wanted to. In either case, it's not about making things easier or more pleasant.
So if it's not verbal gratitude, what sort of niceness are or politeness are you talking about? And how are you drawing the line between "I'm doing this to receive gratitude in return" and "I'm doing this purely altruistically, but I feel slighted if I don't receive gratitude in return"?If you're doing it to receive verbal gratitude, you're not being chivalrous. But you don't have to be doing it for verbal gratitude to be rubbed the wrong way at not receiving politeness in return. That's a slight. When's someone's nice to you, you be nice back. This is common decency and good manners. People who don't do this are selfish. And that's on them.It depends. If you're just doing something to be nice, then you've succeeded even if the person doesn't acknowledge it. If you're doing it in order to receive verbal gratitude, then you aren't just doing it to be nice.A couple things here. Are you inferring that there's nothing wrong whatsoever with someone holding the door open for somebody and not getting a "thank you" or even an acknowledgement back for the kind gesture? How about if someone drops their sunglasses by accident and someone goes and picks it up for them (for the sake of detail let's say a woman dropped the sunglasses and a man picks them up for her)? Are you saying that this lack of returned politeness by the woman is ok and the disappointment of the man for not receiving it is not only unjustified but born of some other nefarious intent and/or exaggerated expectation on their part and not simply because their politeness wasn't returned? I can only assume that's where you're going with this...
How they express their anger/disappointment afterward is another matter of politeness and respect entirely, but I think they have every right to feel slighted for sure.
Intentionally causing someone to feel bad isn't polite. Sometimes intentionally causing someone to feel bad is the correct thing to do, but that just means that sometimes being impolite is the correct thing to do.Is it always wrong to intentionally cause someone to feel bad? I believe it's an imperative ingredient for growing up. It's not always someone else making you feel uncomfortable either. It could be your own conscience.The older lady was impolite. What she said was intended specifically to make your brother feel bad.When my brother and I were young, a mutual acquaintance of our family (an older lady) came to my brother privately (who had bad acne at the time) and offered some special expensive product that would clear up his acne paid out of her own pocket. He said to her "no thanks, I probably wouldn't use it". I believe he reasoned he was being fairly polite about it. She later approached him and said "if you had any manners, I didn't detect any" and walked away. This made my brother thoroughly uncomfortable as he related when he told us the story afterward.
Who was the impolite person in this story? And who was at fault for my brother's discomfort?
(In the situation as you describe it, this isn't such a case.)
Completely disagree there. It's nice to offer to help, but not to force your help on someone who doesn't want it. Your defense of her actions also doesn't hinge at all on how well that product actually works. Maybe in this case, the product really would have worked miraculously, been pleasant and easy to apply, had no side effects, and would generally just have been amazing. However, your defense would work just as well if she had bought him expensive, unpleasant snake oil.My brother was acting like a dick. He should have just taken the stuff and actually used it. There's zero excuse other than selfish pride for not doing so, which is pretty much what my parents told him afterward. She made a bold gesture, but she knew our family well. She wasn't just some stranger. She had already bought the stuff for goodness' sake. And he rejected it. Politely worded or no, that was a dick move.However, even the offer of that product was already impolite, since it apparently included an obligation to accept it. This put your brother in a no-win situation: apparently the refusal of the offer wasn't appreciated, but taking it and then not using it also would have been rude. So it may be that your brother was impolite, but putting him into the situation where there are no polite responses was more impolite.
Are people obligated to use any medicinal products someone else buys for them?
It's going to be uncomfortable sometimes. That's not always a terrible thing. Like my example about strangers starting a conversation with me.The rules do serve a useful starting point. However, people are still individuals, and their reactions to a person's actions are real (and not just arbitrarily chosen). If someone feels uncomfortable, then they feel uncomfortable.
If you're doing something you suspect will make someone uncomfortable on purpose then you're already out of the realm of politeness. We're not talking about that here.And if a person doesn't want others to feel uncomfortable, then they'll try to avoid things that cause that. And, on the other hand, if they do have reason to suspect something would make a person uncomfortable, and they still insist on doing it "because it's polite", then both their actions and their intent are wrong.
Nor would I, but the man in situation might.I would not classify that as "saying hello" at all.On the other hand, if a group of men surround a woman in an alley at night, and one of them says "Hey baby, nice tits", that would clearly be sexual harassment, even if it could be classified as "saying hello".
You QFTed that just saying hello could be considered sexual harassment. Do you have any reason to think that's actually true?And again, who gets to decide what constitutes a "normal appropriate way" and what constitutes "sexual harassment"? It seems entirely arbitrary these days, especially when you just made a big case for people being complicated and not having to follow the social game of politeness at any given time. Proof? People used to actually appreciate people holding the door open for them whether it was necessary or wanted or not. Now they don't. It's somehow looked on as a terrible thing.The original claim was this:And that's utter nonsense. Saying hello in a normal and appropriate way isn't sexual harassment and there's essentially no risk of it being called sexual harassment. On the other hand, if someone does get accused of sexual harassment but defends it as "just saying hello", there's inevitably a lot more going on that they didn't mention.But then, these days - "sexually harassing"... could be just saying hello.
It may be that it's hard to find hard lines and exact definitions for those terms, but the same goes for all terms. However, at the base of it is the reality that a lot of people, especially women, often have encounters of a sexual nature that leaves them feeling objectified, degraded, or unsafe. And if you're any sort of decent person, you don't want to contribute to that.
But go ahead and say what you think the definition of sexual harassment "should" be.
Also, I'd be willing to wager that door-holding was never as universely loved as you think. And I think it's a really weird thing to care so much about.
First, how would the woman be able to distinguish between this situation and one where there's an actual Nazi making an actual Nazi salute at her who then just lies about what he did? If they're acting the same way, it seems that you're saying the woman would also need to apologize to the Nazi and not feel uncomfortable about what he did.Let's say a man waves hello to a woman and she takes it as if he's giving the Nazi salute and feels uncomfortable. Let's say she happens to be Jewish and the man is blonde with a thick Austrian accent (just to make this incredibly outlandish scenario a little more grounded). She becomes offended and he can't understand why. She explains how it looked to her and he says "oh, no I was just waving hello. I didn't mean that at all." Should she not apologize for taking it the wrong way? It wasn't his fault at all. And continuing to believe he did it intentionally is a direct insult to him. Especially as he hates what the Nazis stood for. Expecting HIM to apologize is equally as detrimental to "moving on" as him demanding an apology.
She should (sorry, would) also instantly not feel uncomfortable anymore.
I don't wave to strangers, and when I wave, I use only my hand and forearm. But if I did do something that was taken for a Nazi salute, I would absolutely feel mortified, apologize, and change my behavior to avoid that in the future. The thought of expecting an apology from the person would never occur to me.
Also, beliefs aren't actions. You can't be wronged by someone thinking something of you, only from how they then act on that.