You aint tht good luv
January 12, 2015 9:16 AM   Subscribe

"For many men, beauty, coolness, [and] desirability are gifts they alone can bestow upon women. They get baffled, even aggressive when you show you've known you possess those things all along." (BuzzFeed, trigger warning for hate speech)

Someone else tried a different strategy for dealing with online harassers: tell their mothers (Toronto Star piece on Alanah Pearce).

Previously: eSexism, and much under the tags online harassment and cyberbullying
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome (119 comments total) 55 users marked this as a favorite
 
I just do not understand the impulse guys have to pursue (to the point of harassment) a woman who's not interested.

If I'd complimented a woman, and she replies with an answer of "yes," I'd be confused, but likely draw the conclusion that she's not interested. So why bother at all with someone who's not interested?

I mean, I get "sour grapes," but there's plenty of fish in the sea.
posted by explosion at 9:21 AM on January 12, 2015 [6 favorites]


The vending machine model for inter-personal relations doesn't work if the female unit doesn't need your tokens.

It's all very illogical. Then the smoke comes out.
posted by bonehead at 9:24 AM on January 12, 2015 [63 favorites]


I just saw this play out yesterday, when a friend of mine posted a selfie online and said she looked pretty in it. Immediately, some guy @'d her to say she shouldn't do that and it would make her lose friends. I was amazed and horrified by how comfortable dude seemed to be, telling someone not to think of themselves as attractive.
posted by Greg Nog at 9:24 AM on January 12, 2015 [18 favorites]


I mean this one doesn't even come off as uninterested. She accepted the compliment, and complimented the guy back. And he responded by calling her a bitch.
posted by naju at 9:27 AM on January 12, 2015 [24 favorites]


That's panic. He's flailing around switching scripts.
posted by bonehead at 9:28 AM on January 12, 2015 [19 favorites]


I really don't understand the impulse to cut someone down - someone you've just (presumably sincerely) complimented - when they agree with you. So weird.
posted by rtha at 9:30 AM on January 12, 2015 [6 favorites]


The other day someone posted a selfie on Twitter and described herself as cute; some sus rando immediately jumped in to tell her it's against "Girl Code" to describe yourself as cute, that someone else has to say it.

The named of the sus rando and self-proclaimed expert on "Girl Code"? Bill.
posted by Juliet Banana at 9:31 AM on January 12, 2015 [23 favorites]


I just do not understand the impulse guys have to pursue (to the point of harassment) a woman who's not interested. - posted by explosion at 12:21 PM

It's not about pursuit, it's about power.
posted by orme at 9:31 AM on January 12, 2015 [43 favorites]


LOL, this is amazing. I know I should be disturbed by it but I guess on their face the interactions are so common and banal that I can't even be bothered by them anymore. But the way it takes that nasty social programming we all have and drags it right out in the open to be examined? BRILLIANT.

I also keep reading "Bateman" in the article as "Batman." Need moar coffee.
posted by sunset in snow country at 9:31 AM on January 12, 2015 [4 favorites]


the real Girl Code is when someone posts a cute selfie you reply back a string of emoji that conveys your admiration and appreciation
posted by Juliet Banana at 9:32 AM on January 12, 2015 [67 favorites]


I think being humble in response to a compliment is a pretty universal social convention. Complimenting someone involves making yourself a bit vulnerable, perhaps allowing that the other person is your superior in some way. "I know" strikes me as a slightly obnoxious way to respond to that gesture, from either gender.
posted by CaseyB at 9:33 AM on January 12, 2015 [4 favorites]


It's a little disingenuous to pretend one doesn't know that "Yes" is not how one accepts a compliment, at least in American culture. Everyone knows that you say "Thank you" to accept a compliment. Everyone also knows that the polite response for people in general (not just women, but women undoubtedly moreso) are supposed to behave as though a compliment is a pleasant surprise. Everyone knows that anyone who responds to a compliment with "I know" or "that's right" or "Yes" is conveying arrogance, and not because they are aware of their praised characteristic but because that speech act is coded to convey arrogance in normal usage.

Not that it really matters, I suspect, because the results would be the same sooner or later if these women accepted the compliments in the traditionally graceful manner. I don't say this to defend these men, in other words, because many of them are obviously just angry misogynists. In fact, quite obviously, one important function of these traditional patterns of speech is to allow men to conceal their misogyny while appearing to be friendly or warm.
posted by clockzero at 9:34 AM on January 12, 2015 [18 favorites]


I really don't understand the impulse to cut someone down - someone you've just (presumably sincerely) complimented - when they agree with you.

Easy self-confidence is terrifying to them because that means they won't be able to manipulate these women in the ways they've been taught Real Men do.
posted by poffin boffin at 9:34 AM on January 12, 2015 [47 favorites]


It's not about pursuit, it's about power.
and fear.
posted by fullerine at 9:38 AM on January 12, 2015 [4 favorites]


Social media seems to have made the already harrowing world of social life and relationships when you're young so much much worse. Where you could have shrugged off the momentary sting of an idiot calling you bitch or lesbian for not responding to their advances, now the words just sit there. Forever.

and that I was done with college the year Tim Berners Lee joined CERN
posted by infini at 9:39 AM on January 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


So in other words, "agreeing with" a compliment is not the same as accepting one. To be fair, the people involved here aren't claiming to be accepting compliments and then doing something else, but still there is a bit more subtlety and social complexity to what these young women are doing than just "we tried taking them at their word and they freaked out/became abusive."
posted by clockzero at 9:42 AM on January 12, 2015


I think being humble in response to a compliment is a pretty universal social convention. Complimenting someone involves making yourself a bit vulnerable, perhaps allowing that the other person is your superior in some way. "I know" strikes me as a slightly obnoxious way to respond to that gesture.

You're right ...

except maybe it's time we step back from the conventions and seriously examine the bullshit they're kindling. Because if a simple switching of expected scripts prompts us (in our betrayed vulnerability) to what amounts to violence, then I would submit that the problem isn't person A's perceived lack of humbleness, it's person B's insistence on it.
posted by philip-random at 9:42 AM on January 12, 2015 [61 favorites]


In a flirting context, this doesn't come off as arrogance or obnoxiousness. It reads as "great, but you're going to have to engage a bit harder than just complimenting me on my looks." Most guys can't handle that, apparently, and just shut down completely while blowing a fuse. If they took it as a sort of light back-and-forth repartee, as you sometimes do in flirting, they could see where it leads and maybe have a fun conversation that goes somewhere.
posted by naju at 9:48 AM on January 12, 2015 [27 favorites]


I'd be interested in seeing this done as a real experiment, where we get to see how many responders react negatively compared to those who don't (whose responses we don't see in this "experiment").
It's certainly a disturbing phenomenon but I'd like to get a handle on whether this is something guys do or something a small number of guys do.
posted by rocket88 at 9:48 AM on January 12, 2015 [4 favorites]


It's true that the "Yes" response to a compliment comes across as arrogant rather than confident, but you know, my girlfriends and I encounter a fair number of arrogant men in the course of our dating lives, and if it's someone we don't expect to run into again, we usually fake nice until we can escape the situation and then maybe make fun of him behind his back a little. An arrogant woman, however, is an affront to the social order and must be cut down.

(Then there's the one where she responds, not "Yes," but "aw I know aha thank you!! so are yours," and the guy still freaks out. Even with the proper "thank you" and the returned compliment and all the social padding, acknowledging that you know yourself to be attractive is like social poison. Amazing.)
posted by sunset in snow country at 9:51 AM on January 12, 2015 [46 favorites]


It's a little disingenuous to pretend one doesn't know that "Yes" is not how one accepts a compliment, at least in American culture. Everyone knows that you say "Thank you" to accept a compliment. Everyone also knows that the polite response for people in general (not just women, but women undoubtedly moreso) are supposed to behave as though a compliment is a pleasant surprise.
Yes. The conventional script for the "compliment" assumes that the complimenter is in a position to pass judgement on the complimentee, that the complimentee desires the good judgement of the complimenter, and that therefore the complimentee will thank the complimenter for their good judgement.

In many social contexts, such as a friend complimenting a friend, or a superior complimenting a subordinate, those assumptions are valid. For strangers, they may or may not be valid but "politeness" requires one to act as if they were valid. ("Politeness" largely consists of assuming the best about other people's intentions, or at least pretending you are doing so, so as not to hurt people's feelings.)

So yeah, when you compliment a stranger you're telling them that you assume they will accept your judgements about them and care about what your judgement of them is. And you expect them to pretend that is the case if it's not, so as not to hurt your feelings.

That shit can wear thin, I imagine.
posted by edheil at 9:54 AM on January 12, 2015 [47 favorites]


In a flirting context, this doesn't come off as arrogance or obnoxiousness. It reads as "great, but you're going to have to engage a bit harder than just complimenting me on my looks."

That's it exactly. Compliments are nice, but shallow. If you want to flirt with me, say something interesting and then get into a real discussion with me, and then you've got a good basis for flirting. It's like some guys have only two settings: "Cheesy come-ons" and "Threats and insults." Aside from being scary, it's just dull. Isn't there anything interesting happening in your brain? If not, then don't talk to me. We aren't going to get along.
posted by emjaybee at 9:55 AM on January 12, 2015 [24 favorites]


I'd hypothesize that a large proportion of these dudes are setting out to insult and harass the woman rather than get a date. Even if the woman had responded "ideally" the conversation would soon turn gross. "Scoring" for these guys is making women uncomfortable or at best, sending them a dic pic. No other interaction is supposed to happen, especially not IRL. I could be wrong though.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 9:56 AM on January 12, 2015 [11 favorites]


> It reads as "great, but you're going to have to engage a bit harder than just complimenting me on my looks."

Aside from all the horrible garden-variety misogyny I wonder if many men have internalized the idea that approval of a woman's physical appearance is the highest compliment a man can possibly pay a woman, and that's why they get angry and/or confused if she doesn't respond the way they've been led to believe she should?
posted by The Card Cheat at 9:58 AM on January 12, 2015 [11 favorites]


If this was about failing some politeness test, men wouldn't be responding by being gigantic assholes; the rules of civility don't say "when someone fails at politeness, bring out the misogynistic slurs". Misogyny, however, has lots of exciting ways to use "politeness" to demand that women know our place and don't speak up about the shit we constantly receive, so any attempts to bring it up in a discussion of that shit should be regarded with a metric fuckload of skepticism.
posted by NoraReed at 10:03 AM on January 12, 2015 [107 favorites]


Another aspect is the MENZ ARE ENTITLED TO ALL WIMMINZ ATTENTION. Even a sincere compliment with a well-intentioned script behind it still assumes the objectified woman has to respond. (Refer to previouslies here; I'm on my mobile and it's too hard to link)
Some of the rage is the shortest possible "wrong" answer doubly breaks the sexist politeness narrative.
posted by Dreidl at 10:05 AM on January 12, 2015 [6 favorites]


I wonder if many men have internalized the idea that approval of a woman's physical appearance is the highest compliment a man can possibly pay a woman, and that's why they get angry and/or confused if she doesn't respond the way they've been led to believe she should?

I think this works both ways; years ago I was watching an episode of Blind Date (I used to watch a lot of Blind Date when Elimidate wasn't on) and they'd pop up those little bubbles with information about people and it said that the woman on this date had recently lost a LOT of weight. She very much fit into the "conventionally attractive" model and the date was going okay but not great and she seemed like she was getting super frustrated and angry because he wasn't falling all over himself to be with her. She'd put in all this effort to lose weight and it was supposed to make her valuable and solve all her problems and make getting a man easy and it turns out it doesn't because life isn't that simple, but if you've been told that if you just do this stuff and work really, really hard to be attractive then that should be enough, I think there's a huge sense of betrayal when it turns out that there are other expectations.

We're taught as women that if we are hot enough we will be super desirable to everyone and that we deserve their approval for that alone. Personalities are for fat and ugly girls, as long as you're hot you can be terrible and people should still want to be with you. Clearly this isn't actually true but I don't think it's just men who have internalized this idea.
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 10:10 AM on January 12, 2015 [10 favorites]


Even a sincere compliment with a well-intentioned script behind it still assumes the objectified woman has to respond

Seriously. Just reading about what women have to go through online is exhausting; I can't imagine living it.

"U are gorgeous" as an opener could just as equally get "So?" as a response and say the same thing but "less rude" I suppose. But do you think the guy would give some sort of explanation or just get pissed in a different way? And why should anybody have to put up with that shit.

(Because you know if she didn't respond to the compliment, chances are she'd get a completely different kind of response.)
posted by MCMikeNamara at 10:10 AM on January 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


I really don't understand the impulse to cut someone down - someone you've just (presumably sincerely) complimented - when they agree with you. So weird.

Maybe the problem is presuming it's sincere, when in reality it's really just a meaningless opening gambit. The women are not providing the correct response.
posted by We put our faith in Blast Hardcheese at 10:12 AM on January 12, 2015 [5 favorites]


woman who does not need external validation of her physical beauty to love herself: arrogant

man who reacts with hateful slurs and/or threats of violence to woman who does not need external validation of her physical beauty to love herself: bad, obvsly but omg the woman was so arrogant, let's focus on that!
posted by poffin boffin at 10:14 AM on January 12, 2015 [50 favorites]


If this was about failing some politeness test, men wouldn't be responding by being gigantic assholes;

YES. Like I guess if I complimented a semi-random person and got "I know" as a response I'd be a little weirded out, I'm not really sure. So? At worst I'd tell it to some of my close friends as a "people are weird" story. Going on the attack is just unreasonable.
posted by Lemurrhea at 10:14 AM on January 12, 2015 [14 favorites]


The general "She's hot and doesn't know she's hot and that makes her hotter" convention is super-common. There is definitely pressure on women to put in a ton of work on our appearance but somehow not know whether or not we're attractive.
Why this fascination with the woman who doesn’t know she’s beautiful, the idealization of low self-esteem? It orients the singer as a savior — the sensitive soul whom this girl, who has been slaving away day in and day out in front of a mirror that just won’t reveal the beauty she longs to see, desperately requires. These aren’t songs for young men, who, theoretically, could listen and reconsider their standards of female beauty. These are songs for girls who get the message that insecurity has romantic value, if only because it’s the necessary setup to the grand moment in which they find the boys who — god bless them! — finally pull them out of it.

By all means, write songs about how beautiful women are. Write songs about how beautiful men are too! (Incidentally, if you’re unsure how specifically gendered this trope is: Try to imagine a song in which a female singer says just how much she wants to make a guy “feel beautiful.”) But don’t assume we’re uncomfortable in our skin just because we dress it up when we present it to the world. Don’t tell us we don’t know we’re beautiful, and certainly don’t tell us that our ignorance to this fact is our best quality. We’re good.
posted by jaguar at 10:26 AM on January 12, 2015 [29 favorites]


I sing the praises of the arrogant woman who knows she's on point regardless of what rando dudes feel compelled to tell her.
posted by mandymanwasregistered at 10:27 AM on January 12, 2015 [27 favorites]


I think you're right that the ugliness is inevitable, Potomac Avenue, but wrong in assuming most of them have trollish motivations. There really are lots of dudes whose interactions with women are as dysfunctional as they appear. Some of them probably are deliberately seeking to be harassers, but I'd imagine most are just shotgun firing low-effort universal compliments (dating sites should especially have a spam filter for any message combining "pretty," "beautiful," etc. with "eyes") at a bunch of women and then flipping out when someone responds even slightly off script. Or flipping out when someone doesn't respond. Or flipping out because lunch was awful.

This is a weird experiment, though, because yeah, lowest-bar agreement doesn't really parse the same way as a thank you or real response. Having responded to some guys who send borderline weird compliments to me on non-dating spaces with, "Thanks!" or whatever, a non-response or immediate blocking is probably best. Giving the expected response more often results in dragged out weirdness and a more explosive burst when the discomfort dam finally breaks.

It is interesting to see automatic reversal (compliment-acknowledgement-insult) when women respond with acknowledgements instead of thanks. There is a strongly ingrained notion that women don't/can't know they're beautiful, and need a man/friend to help them realize it, and if they reach a place of self-confidence through their own efforts (or, worse, never struggle with it), then they don't deserve it. Which, like most sexist attitudes, is exactly reversed for men, isn't it? Men who aren't god-level arrogant are unreliable, and men who need help realizing self-confidence are weak. I'd expect at least some of the harassment stems from bad, polarized gender stereotypes like that clashing with, you know, reality.
posted by byanyothername at 10:28 AM on January 12, 2015 [10 favorites]


It's a little disingenuous to pretend one doesn't know that "Yes" is not how one accepts a compliment, at least in American culture. Everyone knows that you say "Thank you" to accept a compliment. Everyone also knows that the polite response for people in general (not just women, but women undoubtedly moreso) are supposed to behave as though a compliment is a pleasant surprise.

No, "everyone knows" that a woman (not "one") is supposed to say "thank you" in response to a compliment, no matter who it's from, or in what context, or how the "compliment" is stated, because she's a woman.

Dude can say whatever the fuck he wants in response to a compliment, whether it's "yeah," "so tell me more," or "fuck off," and dude can get away with it, scot-free, because he's a man.
posted by blucevalo at 10:35 AM on January 12, 2015 [19 favorites]


it seems related that back when r/creepshots was in the news their rules section explicitly stated that the women had to be photographed without their knowledge because women were only beautiful when they didn't know it and a woman being aware of the camera, "posing", etc is a woman who is instantly less beautiful.

as for the politeness squad who is wondering why we aren't seeing the best in these men, lol ok. it really, truly, honestly doesn't matter how we respond. and even if "yes" is rude, surely it's not on par with "ugly feminist cunt."
posted by nadawi at 10:36 AM on January 12, 2015 [37 favorites]


I'm amused by the people who seem to think women only receive these kinds of comments in an already predefined dating context, like OKC. Women receive this kind of low investment commentary on their looks all over the place, in all manner of inappropriate contexts. There are a lot of men who don't even question if these comments are appropriate or welcome (see: Notes From A Boner). Even if you think this kind of commentary always deserves a humble AW SHUCKS THANK YOU in a dating context (and I disagree, but whatever), am I really expected to do the fakey modesty dance when it's a completely inappropriate thing for them to say in the first place? Should any random person really be able to force me to "be modest" in any situation?
posted by almostmanda at 10:36 AM on January 12, 2015 [27 favorites]


Man, I almost always hate getting compliments from strangers. I cannot be the only one. The only ones I generally like are a) from other women, and b) about my bag/glasses/hat/whatever.

A compliment from a strange dude on my face or body feels like some guy telling me how I make his boner feel. I do not care or want to know how I make his boner feel.
posted by palindromic at 10:43 AM on January 12, 2015 [57 favorites]


I would regularly intentionally break men's scripts on dating sites to see how they reacted; it was a really easy way to rule out the ones who were misogynistic douchebags but not quite at the level that they answered OKC's "red flag" questions wrongly. The ones who immediately started shouting slurs at me I could just block, or fuck with and then take hilarious screenshots to entertain my friends.
posted by NoraReed at 10:44 AM on January 12, 2015 [10 favorites]


It's a little disingenuous to pretend one doesn't know that "Yes" is not how one accepts a compliment, at least in American culture. Everyone knows that you say "Thank you" to accept a compliment. Everyone also knows that the polite response for people in general (not just women, but women undoubtedly moreso) are supposed to behave as though a compliment is a pleasant surprise. Everyone knows that anyone who responds to a compliment with "I know" or "that's right" or "Yes" is conveying arrogance, and not because they are aware of their praised characteristic but because that speech act is coded to convey arrogance in normal usage.

Does "everyone know" because we tell them this is the case (especially women)? Cos if so I'll sign the petition to change the rules because they're fairly arbitrary and serve no purpose except keeping people (especially women) in their place.
posted by billiebee at 10:46 AM on January 12, 2015 [7 favorites]


clockzero: "Everyone knows that you say "Thank you" to accept a compliment."

Even if you're playing by Marquess of Queensberry social engagement rules and expect wide-eyed gormless appreciation to a compliment, you have to realize that the response to a "yes, I know I'm awesome" that naju linked to isn't appropriate.
posted by boo_radley at 10:46 AM on January 12, 2015 [7 favorites]


Like if I said to a friend or acquaintance of any gender "fyi your hair looks awesome today" and their response was "INORITE and yours does too!" my response would be "HOT PEOPLE HIGH FIVE" and not "fuck off you stuck-up whore". This doesn't seem particularly controversial to me.
posted by poffin boffin at 10:49 AM on January 12, 2015 [114 favorites]


Women receive this kind of low investment commentary on their looks all over the place, in all manner of inappropriate contexts.

This morning - literally four hours ago - some guy asked me for directions and instead of saying "thank you" said "you're beautiful, you should call me" like he was doing me a favor (and kept pressing it even though I was backing away and saying "No, no, no" until my train came).
posted by everybody had matching towels at 10:49 AM on January 12, 2015 [9 favorites]


The real question is "Does everyone know that one doesn't call another human being slurs and names?"

afaik, kindergarten talk.
posted by infini at 10:50 AM on January 12, 2015 [6 favorites]


There is definitely pressure on women to put in a ton of work on our appearance but somehow not know whether or not we're attractive.

To many men, the most attractive traits a woman can possibly possess are low self-esteem and a desperate desire for their approval.
posted by almostmanda at 10:52 AM on January 12, 2015 [58 favorites]


There's something delicious about Alanah Pearce's brand of vigilantism. I hope that "little shit" got his ear tweaked, good. Maybe I should worry that I like that he and other targets are humiliated and infantilized, but I don't think I want to.

Racists Getting Fired, from the second link, also gratifying, though a few issues there (slipperiness of online identities; the possibility that at least some mentally fragile but now-unemployed and maybe angry racists might have guns...). I thought I'd had a realistic sense of the limits of human awfulness, but the bile prompting this Tumblr expanded my understanding.
posted by cotton dress sock at 11:14 AM on January 12, 2015 [4 favorites]


The ones who immediately started shouting slurs at me I could just block

Wouldn't it be great if life had a universally-applicable block list?

...wait, why is that not a service I can subscribe to?
posted by aramaic at 11:15 AM on January 12, 2015 [3 favorites]


I'd like to see a woman compliment a bunch of men and see what kind of answers she gets. I think few would go in the direction "oh really, thank you that's so nice", and many would either be mock-self-deprecating, or even self-ironically over-confident. At any rate, different. I don't know, what do you guys think?
posted by ipsative at 11:17 AM on January 12, 2015


I think few would go in the direction "oh really, thank you that's so nice", and many would either be mock-self-deprecating, or even self-ironically over-confident

I don't know, often enough I've heard a breezy "Yeah, thanks, I was really happy about how it turned out" etc or just "Oh, thanks!". But yeah, rarely the "Who, me? NO WAY" type of response expected of women.
posted by cotton dress sock at 11:23 AM on January 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


The sheer entitlement of being that rude and awful to people amazes me. I'll continue my boringly polite existence, but how could someone think they might get a decent outcome that way?
posted by Dip Flash at 11:24 AM on January 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


This behavior is effectively the interpersonal version of cold-calling. However much politeness one feels is owed to cold-calling salespeople, no more than that is owed to these dudes. I imagine we would all agree that the cold-caller would be entirely out of line to call back and insult people who hung up on their sales pitch.
posted by palindromic at 11:26 AM on January 12, 2015 [7 favorites]


blucevalo >

No, "everyone knows" that a woman (not "one") is supposed to say "thank you" in response to a compliment, no matter who it's from, or in what context, or how the "compliment" is stated, because she's a woman.

I wouldn't argue with (and in fact, heartily agree with) the claim that there are unique expectations for women regarding...well, pretty much everything, and certainly regarding appropriate responses to various kinds of male attention.

Independent of that, however, I still think it is true that saying "thank you" indicates acceptance of a compliment, and saying other things like "yes" or "I know" doesn't communicate the same thing. And that's really all I was pointing out, since the Buzzfeed article claims that the women were accepting those compliments. Accepting a compliment can be a complex and subtle social act; it can be done in such a way as to indicate that attention is welcome, or just the opposite, for example. But in any case, there's a clear subjective difference between accepting a compliment and leaving it on the doorstep, so to speak.

I didn't mean to suggest that these women weren't being polite enough, or were responding incorrectly, or that the men wouldn't have been assholes if only those uppity women hadn't been so rude, or that the patriarchal and heteronormative aspects of contemporary American society don't heavily infringe upon women's lives and agency. And again, just to be clear about where I'm coming from, I don't think that they ought to feel any obligation to accept remarks from strangers about their appearance, or be courteous and sweet simply because some guy was saying something superficially friendly or complimentary to them.

billiebee >

Does "everyone know" because we tell them this is the case (especially women)? Cos if so I'll sign the petition to change the rules because they're fairly arbitrary and serve no purpose except keeping people (especially women) in their place.

Of course -- things that everyone knows are things that get reproduced through social processes. I'm not sure we need to change the rules about how to accept a compliment, but I totally agree that those don't need to entail anything about women being kept in their place.

boo_radley >

Even if you're playing by Marquess of Queensberry social engagement rules and expect wide-eyed gormless appreciation to a compliment, you have to realize that the response to a "yes, I know I'm awesome" that naju linked to isn't appropriate.

Oh, certainly. The men are being complete misogynist shits, no argument there whatsoever. I was pointing out that, despite the headline of the Buzzfeed article, for the most part those women were not accepting those compliments. And again, I don't think they were obliged to, or that women in general are obliged to, but framing their responses that way seems a bit disingenuous to me.
posted by clockzero at 11:27 AM on January 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


Wouldn't it be great if life had a universally-applicable block list?

Black Mirror: White Christmas
posted by [insert clever name here] at 11:29 AM on January 12, 2015 [11 favorites]


The male privilege is so deeply ingrained in these boys' minds; they don't even realize that their initial compliment is merely a tool of control. Then, when they realize they're not in control, a flash of anger ensues. I'm sure they wonder why most women don't find them attractive. The saddest part is that eventually they find someone needy enough who they can control and another abusive relationship starts.
posted by Mental Wimp at 11:33 AM on January 12, 2015 [5 favorites]


Man, I almost always hate getting compliments from strangers. I cannot be the only one. The only ones I generally like are a) from other women, and b) about my bag/glasses/hat/whatever.

I wear purple hair and I get a lot of comments/compliments on it, mostly from women and/or folks with hair with bright color. It always weirds me out a little, even when I know it's a solidarity thing (many folks with bright color hair get shit from people around them, especially younger ones). Even when I do it back, or when I tell someone they look fantastic in that [whatever] because they do and I'd love to find one for myself.

I talked about this once on Facebook and two of the most sensible women I know--both of whom like my hair--said that I was inviting public comment on my hair by having bright purple streaks. Kind of the hair color version of "you were wearing a short dress", I guess. Fortunately for me, most of the people who comment are kind and not the sort of people I've seen online who say disgusting things like "you should leave your hair the way God made it because you look like a whore when you color it" (for serious, seen this on a fashion blog comment board).

Fortunately I'm too old and plump to get hottie comments from random dudes any more, but I would totally do this "thanks, I sure am" thing if I did.
posted by immlass at 11:36 AM on January 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


I was pointing out that, despite the headline of the Buzzfeed article, for the most part those women were not accepting those compliments.

I don't see how agreeing that a compliment is true isn't "accepting" the compliment.

here are ways to NOT accept a compliment:
(1) Ignore it
(2) Deny it
(3) Respond with an insult
posted by muddgirl at 11:41 AM on January 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


It just dawned on me that my 5 year old niece accepts compliments this way.
"Your hair is so pretty."
"I know"
"You're so clever."
"Yes."

I love it and it always makes me laugh. Now I'm wondering at exactly what age she gets to learn "No don't say that, it's arrogant. At best say thanks, but better to blush and stammer and say oh no not really." Fuck that. I hope she says "I know" forever and ever and anyone who doesn't like it can fuck right off. I won't be teaching her how to be gracious and polite and ladylike. I'll be teaching her to own her awesomeness and that people who try to take it back from her are beneath her contempt.
posted by billiebee at 11:46 AM on January 12, 2015 [45 favorites]


I am just imagining telling someone that they look lovely and they say 'I know'. I would be delighted. It would be totally flirty and cute. Like Han Solo at the end of Empire Strikes Back. It's a great line.
posted by communicator at 11:47 AM on January 12, 2015 [22 favorites]


Like why is there this eternal burden on women to respond with blushing humility to every incidence of an unsolicited comment on their physical appearance?

No, their presence on an online dating website does not indicate open season for unsolicited comments on their physical appearance, any more than their presence on the street, on the bus, on the train, their existence in the universe, indicates it.
posted by poffin boffin at 11:50 AM on January 12, 2015 [14 favorites]


It's a little disingenuous to pretend one doesn't know that "Yes" is not how one accepts a compliment, at least in American culture. Everyone knows that you say "Thank you" to accept a compliment.

But in a flirty sort of context though it's pretty common for men to give a cocky answer because for men self-confidence reads as attractive (or they assume it does).

I just saw this play out yesterday, when a friend of mine posted a selfie online and said she looked pretty in it. Immediately, some guy @'d her to say she shouldn't do that and it would make her lose friends.

This is kind of surprising to me though because I feel like I see plenty of women posting stuff like that on social media, and a fair amount of this:

"fyi your hair looks awesome today" and their response was "INORITE and yours does too!" my response would be "HOT PEOPLE HIGH FIVE" and not "fuck off you stuck-up whore".

IRL so there's an accepted place and time for women to express that kind of self-confidence. I guess maybe that means mostly when talking to other women or men who are already friends/partners. Pretty sure I've seen this:

I am just imagining telling someone that they look lovely and they say 'I know'. I would be delighted. It would be totally flirty and cute. Like Han Solo at the end of Empire Strikes Back. It's a great line.

play out before too though. Works on me. I guess I knew (btw I'm a fairly young person) it was still a notably nontraditional approach for women but am astonished how many guys take it as a personal affront.
posted by atoxyl at 12:06 PM on January 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


Women reinforce that modesty rule against each other all the time. That's why this Amy Schumer sketch works. But it is a special form of suck when it's deployed as a power move by PUA randos.
posted by Freyja at 12:12 PM on January 12, 2015 [5 favorites]


uh, I think the headline is disingenuous, but, uh, the article's actual point still stands, so, in conclusion, furthermore, in the meantime, whatsoever.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 12:13 PM on January 12, 2015 [5 favorites]


Wouldn't it be great if life had a universally-applicable block list?

...wait, why is that not a service I can subscribe to?


I have thought for a while that an air horn would be a better way to interact with some people than any other social convention. Someone walks up to you and does something crappy, or is talking in the movie theater, or turns to you in line at the grocery and starts shit-talking the clerk. **BWAHHHHHHHHH** right in the face.

Sure, you could engage them as if they were normal, reasonable human beings. But why bother? They're setting the standard right there and demonstrating that they're not, so why go through the early part of the dance where they double-down with the shitty or make lame-ass excuses for their nonsense? Fuck it. **BWAHHHHHHHHH* Hey why'd ya-**BWAHHHHHHHHH*. That's ve-**BWAHHHHHHHHH* until they knock it off.
posted by phearlez at 12:29 PM on January 12, 2015 [31 favorites]


oh my god I want to start doing that

or just aggressively fart at them
posted by NoraReed at 12:33 PM on January 12, 2015 [11 favorites]


lol

I'd never do it but just imagining using an airhorn "BWAHHH" and all the times I could have used it that way makes me very giggling at my desk happy.
posted by Jalliah at 12:34 PM on January 12, 2015 [4 favorites]


Oh god, now I'm imagining having one of those farting balloon things handy for such times.

I'm losing it.
posted by Jalliah at 12:36 PM on January 12, 2015 [5 favorites]


I don't see how agreeing that a compliment is true isn't "accepting" the compliment.

My thinking was that, in the absence of things like tone of voice, body language, or other dimensions of communication, and maybe more importantly in the context of conversation between strangers, saying "Yes" to a compliment is not acceptance of the compliment, even if it is agreement with the factual aspects of what the other person said. And I think these women knew that. I think the fact that they were acknowledging/agreeing that they were cool or beautiful or whatever without accepting the compliment was one of the big, important points of their response style. And even Gwen characterized the endeavor this way: "Social experiment: whenever a boy compliments you, agree with him." She herself is not claiming that the compliments were being accepted. I'm saying that I think that's a crucial part of why this works, why it makes sense, and why it's revealing of men's shitty attitudes and behavior toward women. They're picking and choosing what, if anything, they want from what men are saying to them, and the men are angry precisely because they don't feel that women should get to feel good about themselves or aspects of themselves without having gotten that by accepting it from a man.

Buzzfeed wants to generate impassioned reactions to this, get people to share the story, etc. They do not care about women's lives, but they are happy to profit from women's attention, somewhat ironically. They're not an especially feminist organization, nor the sort of intellectual publication that cares to make subtle distinctions between closely-related things, which is why they've unthinkingly conflated agreement and acceptance in this highly-nuanced context.
posted by clockzero at 12:36 PM on January 12, 2015 [7 favorites]


On sites like this can you send back links? Like links to and airhorn or fart soundclip? Cause that would be awesome.
posted by Jalliah at 12:37 PM on January 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


is there any way i can make a really loud farting noise available on my iPod Touch's lockscreen so I can have it easily available for these circumstances? would I need to carry a bluetooth speaker around for this (possibly in my back pocket)?
posted by NoraReed at 12:38 PM on January 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


uh, I think the headline is disingenuous, but, uh, the article's actual point still stands, so, in conclusion, furthermore, in the meantime, whatsoever.

It's not just that the headline is disingenuous, though -- it's also carelessly misrepresenting what these women themselves said, and it reflects a lazy inattention to what's actually happening here.
posted by clockzero at 12:39 PM on January 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


You can just get the Mr T In Your Pocket device and play I PITY THE FOOL every time someone irritates you irl.
posted by poffin boffin at 12:40 PM on January 12, 2015 [9 favorites]


also handy is the DON'T GIMMIE NO BACKTALK SUCKA button
posted by poffin boffin at 12:40 PM on January 12, 2015 [4 favorites]


OK, clockzero, I think we all get it. You don't agree with the headline. Maybe email the editors at Buzzfeed about it (generally editors write online headlines), because there's nothing anyone here can do.
posted by muddgirl at 12:45 PM on January 12, 2015 [5 favorites]


I think you're just drawing a distinction between accepting a compliment ("Yes") and accepting it 'graciously' ("yes thank you") which is feeding back in to: we are not doing it right if we're not so very grateful all the damn time. I can accept something as fact without being the least bit grateful that someone condescended to share their opinion with me.
posted by billiebee at 12:51 PM on January 12, 2015 [10 favorites]


I don't know the answer to that, ipsative, but one thing that I've noticed is that there is a pretty significant number of people who seem to think that women are completely incapable of telling a joke or responding in any non-literal way at all.

I can't even count the number of times I've said something that I thought was obviously ridiculous and clearly intended as humor, only to have someone take it literally. People will casually assume you're astonishingly stupid, ignorant, or arrogant before it will even occur to them that you're kidding or intending anything other than the strictly literal meaning.

So you compliment a woman and she agrees, there are plenty of possible interpretations. Is it confidence? Is this information on something she considers unimportant or inappropriate? Is she messing with you, turning the script for humorous effect, establishing a friendly and jocular tone with you? If you jump directly to the assumption that she's just arrogant and thinks she's better than you and needs taken down a notch, it says a whole whole lot about how you perceive women in general. These guys seem to think that women value their cheap, shallow perceptions so highly that they are actually making a point of retracting them. In their minds, women are simple little creatures who really only exist in terms of their perceptions of them, and when they defy their expectations, it's their job to put them back in their place.

It's really insulting when you're talking to some dude who clearly can't grasp that you're an actual living breathing thinking human, but it does make trolling like shooting fish in a barrel, so silver lining!

Edit: That 'you' is a faceless audience you, not you-you.
posted by ernielundquist at 1:09 PM on January 12, 2015 [29 favorites]


That someone would compliment you, then contradict the compliment because you asserted that you believed it was true is prima facie evidence that the original compliment was insincere and had ulterior motives. In which case, it deserved no thanks in the first place. I like that particular bit of irony at play in these interchanges.
posted by Mental Wimp at 1:17 PM on January 12, 2015 [38 favorites]


I can't even count the number of times I've said something that I thought was obviously ridiculous and clearly intended as humor, only to have someone take it literally. People will casually assume you're astonishingly stupid, ignorant, or arrogant...

OK, this has been happening to me for my whole professional career, and this whole time I thought it was me. Mind blown.
posted by muddgirl at 1:18 PM on January 12, 2015 [33 favorites]


and THAT is why these conversations are so important - sure, sure, it'd be nice if all the sexist assholes would just see the light and cut it the fuck out, but i'm not holding my breath for that. i have these conversations and encourage them so women can know they aren't crazy, so they can know these things happen to us, that it isn't just them.
posted by nadawi at 1:23 PM on January 12, 2015 [16 favorites]


billiebee >

I think you're just drawing a distinction between accepting a compliment ("Yes") and accepting it 'graciously' ("yes thank you") which is feeding back in to: we are not doing it right if we're not so very grateful all the damn time.

I am sorry to have given this impression, because I do not think that it's my place to say that these or any other women are doing anything wrong with respect to how they respond to compliments. I don't think you should have to act so very grateful all the damn time, either! I am totally on your side on that. Really.

The distinction that I mean to be drawing is not between accepting and accepting gracefully, but between acknowledging something as a fact ("Yes" or "Yep, I really am") and the emotionally-charged acknowledgment that the fact is being told to you, by someone else, and that you like or appreciate that they told it to you because of who you are and who they are. That's why we thank people for compliments, isn't it? To show that we appreciate not just the fact that something nice is being said about us, but that we're happy that it's being said by a particular person in whatever way they did it that we liked? That's why I think this story is being misrepresented. The whole point (well, to me anyway, one important point) is that these men want unearned access to these women's feelings, and the women are denying them that access in a clever way. That's why these idiots are getting so bent out of shape.

I can accept something as fact without being the least bit grateful that someone condescended to share their opinion with me.

Of course. If a good friend gave you a compliment that meant a lot to you, you might thank them, right? And that would entail something quite different than agreeing with whatever they said, I would think. I'm saying that accepting a fact is different from accepting a compliment, because the acceptance part of accepting a compliment constructs an emotional and social relation between the two people. If it didn't, then it wouldn't matter that these women are agreeing with the fact but more or less ignoring the speaker's thinly-concealed intentions.
posted by clockzero at 1:35 PM on January 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


I'd like to see a woman compliment a bunch of men and see what kind of answers she gets. I think few would go in the direction "oh really, thank you that's so nice", and many would either be mock-self-deprecating, or even self-ironically over-confident. At any rate, different. I don't know, what do you guys think?
Your saying that made me think of something I've caught myself at, responding to compliments. Usually if I'm getting a compliment over the internet it's because of something I've made or done or said.... Often, I am interested and invested in the topic I made or did or said something about, and have a lot more to say about it if somebody will listen to me, and when somebody compliments me on it I'm like "YEAH AND LET ME TELL YOU MORE ABOUT THE THING" and then I sometimes catch myself with: "You didn't say 'thank you,' idiot. 'Thank you' comes before 'oh yeah and let me tell you more.'"
posted by edheil at 1:38 PM on January 12, 2015 [3 favorites]


"What d'you mean, "I know"?! Did you think I was actually complimenting you? Are you stupid or what? This was just my opening move for demanding a blow job. I was going to violate your boundaries and relish how you'd hate it. Your powerlessness was going to make me soar like a triumphant, angry god and now you spoilt it. How dare you. I should crush you. Bitch."
posted by Omnomnom at 1:46 PM on January 12, 2015 [13 favorites]


or just aggressively fart at them.

I have a friend who actually does this. It's astonishingly effective - either the recipient is struck dumb with a large dose of "did she just...?" confusion or, if a little more self-aware, left flat out gobsmacked by her impressive sphincter control.
She's also mastered the art of the drive-by fart. It's deliciously passive-aggressive, but it certainly leaves you room for no doubt whatsoever about her personal point of view!
posted by tabubilgirl at 1:55 PM on January 12, 2015 [5 favorites]


She's also mastered the art of the drive-by fart.

Or as it is known in the airline world, "crop dusting."
posted by Mental Wimp at 2:12 PM on January 12, 2015 [6 favorites]


'Thank you' comes before 'oh yeah and let me tell you more.'"

Yes, but only if the compliment is sincere. Oily words from a snake don't deserve thanks.
posted by Mental Wimp at 2:14 PM on January 12, 2015


Yes, but only if the compliment is sincere. Oily words from a snake don't deserve thanks.

"I wasssss very impressssssed with your ssssssspeech."

"Fuck off, snake."

"Why doessssss everyone quesssssstion my ssssssincerity?"
posted by Sangermaine at 2:19 PM on January 12, 2015 [34 favorites]


I tend to argue with compliments unless I really feel I deserve them (rare), when I agree with them. It likely says bad things about my self image.
posted by biffa at 2:21 PM on January 12, 2015


My solution to the low-grade level of harassment you get as a woman working a customer-facing job is to just say "Okay."

"You're pretty" - "Okay."

And I've never had someone go off on me like the guys in the article, but I've had them repeat it over and over trying to get a "Thank you," and -- it's weird how much that's a power thing that I don't want to concede. (I will accept a compliment on my computer skills or my skills at finding things in databases! But on my appearance? No.)
posted by Jeanne at 2:41 PM on January 12, 2015 [23 favorites]


I am grateful for compliments that are sincere.

I am not grateful for compliments that are useless stupid factoids. Example: "wow you have big boobs I love them" <<< not a compliment, I am not saying thank you. They are large, you love them, *lips pursed, head nod* sooooooo, okay? I don't fucking caaaaaaaaaaaaaaaare, I don't care, I don't I really really don't.

Tell me you like a thing I worked on. You like my form in a deadlift, you like the bag I made, the intricate braid in my hair, the swagger with which I'm walking? I might be grateful, I might just acknowledge that you've said a thing is true.

Endless expectations of gratitude for the very crumbs of the table is a cornerstone of societal control of women, and is disproportionately applied to women. I compliment my dude friends all the time - "hey man, love the beard" gets "I know, it's so lush, gotta trim/shave at X time tho", or "woo, squat challenge gave you a booty!" gets *flex "uh huh, yeah". No false modesty, no obsequious show of gratitude. And that's what the slam dunk expectation of 'thank you' is, a demand for a performance. Because the compliment itself is not a genuine one, it is a performance, and you're wrecking the script by not being appropriately happy to be performed at.
posted by geek anachronism at 3:39 PM on January 12, 2015 [35 favorites]


I can't even count the number of times I've said something that I thought was obviously ridiculous and clearly intended as humor, only to have someone take it literally. People will casually assume you're astonishingly stupid, ignorant, or arrogant...


Holy cow me too! I thought it was just because I have a very flat deadpan affect but no apparently it's a thing that happens. Well that is one more baffling life annoyance explained.
posted by winna at 3:44 PM on January 12, 2015 [9 favorites]


Han Solo was mentioned earlier, but I think it's worth remembering that example. Princess Leia tells him, "I love you!" in one of the series' payoff shots, and he responds: "I know."

Thing is, that is generally regarded as one of his classic, awesome lines. It's not an example of him being an asshole, or stuck up—it's just Han Solo! It's him being cooooooool.
posted by verb at 3:54 PM on January 12, 2015 [5 favorites]


My general response to vompliments on my physical appearance is "Thank you. Someday I hope to have other redeeming qualities as well."


Oh god, now I'm imagining having one of those farting balloon things handy for such times.

I KNEW THIS WAS IMPORTANT
posted by louche mustachio at 4:06 PM on January 12, 2015 [11 favorites]


And that's what the slam dunk expectation of 'thank you' is, a demand for a performance. Because the compliment itself is not a genuine one, it is a performance, and you're wrecking the script by not being appropriately happy to be performed at.

YES. Thank you, geek anachronism.
posted by MonkeyToes at 4:30 PM on January 12, 2015 [8 favorites]


It was really eye opening to read ernielundquist's comment. I can totally visualize a Nice Guy hearing an absurd response to some blather and thinking "what does she mean? Is she mocking me or stupid? What does what she said have to do with me eventually having sex with her?" My wife is that kind of person and so am I. I am absurd. But when we first met I was excessively smitten with her goofiness because it didn't seem appropriate for a lady or something. Once I sneezed and she, knowing me to be agnostic/atheist, said "god bless your soul." I loved her for it but almost too much. Girls joking about religion? You don't say!
posted by aydeejones at 5:49 PM on January 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


And yes as 18 year olds at the time I certainly saw her as a "girl" and myself as a "man." I can admit that disparity
posted by aydeejones at 5:50 PM on January 12, 2015


Seriously ernielundquist, I must suggest that you package that observation up in a pithy tweetable quote to live forever more alongside other MeFite quotables, because it's a huge amount of information already bundled up and expressed in a way that really cracked my male brain. In fact, one of my old high school friends dated my wife in junior high and said she was really stupid -- I still consider the guy a friend, but she was obviously too much for him to handle, in junior high, and he considered this *insanely* smart and funny person stupid because she messed with his over-serious-Wiccan-Satanist-Born-Again ass with her intellect instead of just being eye candy for his broz
posted by aydeejones at 5:57 PM on January 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


I am not grateful for compliments that are useless stupid factoids.

"What, does he think he's the first person to ever tell you you're pretty? You've been hearing that since you were born." -I don't remember who on Tumbler.

Yep, a new script is needed.
posted by beaning at 6:00 PM on January 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


I gotta tell ya gang, I was really afraid of turning 50. Primarily because I live in the South, and this is the age at which women are expected to cut their hair into a sensible bob, don sensible shoes, and become invisible. The upside being that it's the age at which women are assumed to have finally grown into their agency, and are allowed to use it without question; mostly 'cause ... invisible.

To be fair; I've worn sensible shoes since I severed both ACLs in a tragic (but funny) Bauhaus incident, but as to the rest, I have a hot mess of silver streaked waist-length curly hair, I dress like Stevie Nicks in mourning, I wear tiaras to the grocery store, sometimes I wear bunny slippers. Sometimes I wear Stevie, Tiara AND bunny slippers, and I'm still invisible. I mean, fucking invisible.

I swear before all that is spicy, I could drape my fat little middle aged naked self in day-glo strategically placed hot peppers, have a 5 piece Jazz following me as I strode down Main street singing "It's Too Darn Hot", and be throwing handfuls of candy to the masses, and I would still be fucking invisible. 50 is magic, y'all.

It's the weirdest goddamn thing, but omg, it's amazing to be able to do an entire grocery trip without some guy trying to get me to perform like a trained monkey because he interrupted me to tell me he likes my hair, or my boobs, or the kind of yogurt in my cart. I can walk down the street now, and the most interaction I get is when older gentlemen nod or tip their hat, but they do it in the same way they do to other men; which is to say, without actually seeing me. I've suddenly become an equal, by aging out of the desirable pool.
posted by dejah420 at 6:01 PM on January 12, 2015 [28 favorites]


I severed both ACLs in a tragic (but funny) Bauhaus incident

best explanation for everything ever
posted by Joe in Australia at 6:06 PM on January 12, 2015 [12 favorites]


I'm 34 and can never pin down who "my elders" {/} are on MeFi unless they are Über cranky. Brilliance is a timeless quality. Not to be all missing the point and offering unsolicited compliments, but:

I've noticed dejah420's now-50-year-old self for going on a decade now, but because of the quality of her comments, and the "420" suffix :D
posted by aydeejones at 6:07 PM on January 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


I've suddenly become an equal, by aging out of the desirable pool. - Dejah420

I think it's interesting to note that, when compared with other 'out of the pool' qualities like fatness, gender performance, whatever. My own experience, plummeting down the weight scale, is that while you're fat you're expected to still be working on being hot, or sad that you aren't*, or ashamed. Same with gender performance (although my non-gender conforming actions have been super mild).

Being old though, seems to have escaped some of that so it's less 'another thing to be punished for'. Mind you, some of that is changing with plastic surgery, photoshop and so on, where age is unrelated to appearance so women are still expected to be trying hard to conform to an artificial notion of desirability.

I miss the layer of fat that insulated me from some of the ways misogyny is acted out on my body. But I was still expected to be grateful if someone found me fuckable. I cannot, it seems, explain how ungrateful I am for that. I try and cultivate gratitude but I'm done. I don't care, this isn't to make me feel good, it's part and parcel of a culture that doesn't actually want me to feel good about myself, it wants me to feel unsatisfied.

Ain't nothing like not giving a fuck, ain't nothing like accepting your own damn self, and none of that relies on randoms telling you how pretty you are.
posted by geek anachronism at 7:14 PM on January 12, 2015 [7 favorites]




a coworker of mine has 1) farted into his hand, thrown it into someone's face and then run away and 2) farted into a jar and saved it for a later attack. Sounds like the right response for something like this:

Person: you're hot!

Me: it's August, soooo yep.

Person: well, you were until you opened your bitch mouth.

Me: *Produces unmarked seemingly empty mason jar from purse, unscrews lid* here you go!

FIVE MUNUTES PASS


Person: (reviving from shock) holy shit, was that a...fart??? Like, in a jar?

Me: yep.

PERSON RECOILS IN HORROR.

Me: now, don't ever do that again, ok?
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 10:51 PM on January 12, 2015 [5 favorites]


Wouldn't it be great if life had a universally-applicable block list?

I'm picturing a National Block Day, where all women wear headphones or ear mitts or over-size OSHA-approved hearing protection or even visible ear buds and street callers realize that their shit isn't working. Not because women should need an extra step to avoid being harassed, but to see the reaction when those men realize that no one can hear them.
posted by Room 641-A at 7:52 AM on January 13, 2015 [2 favorites]


And I'd love a Twilight Zone type of twist where you can't see the headphones from the back, and those men approach women like they normally do and every time a woman turns around they see the headphones.
posted by Room 641-A at 7:58 AM on January 13, 2015 [4 favorites]


Na dude, no woman anywhere, ever, would be willing to walk down a public street without being able to hear assholes running up on you.
posted by dejah420 at 8:23 AM on January 13, 2015 [2 favorites]


I'm...a dude? In a world where women...never wear headphones or ear buds in public?

TWIST! I'm the one in The Twilight Zone!

At least now I have all the time in the world to read these books.
posted by Room 641-A at 9:00 AM on January 13, 2015


no woman anywhere, ever, would be willing to walk down a public street without being able to hear assholes running up on you.

Mileage varies on that one. I can't imagine riding public transit (like I do daily) without earbuds. And I'm usually wearing them when I walk around as a way of sending the "no, I don't want to talk to you" signal. (I keep them partially dislodged so I can hear what's going on around me, and if I'm listening to something it's generally a dharma talk, so the extent to which they block my perceptions is minimal. Sometimes I don't even turn them on, but I keep them in to discourage conversation.)

I'm...a dude?

One can be "dude" without being "a dude".
posted by Lexica at 10:10 AM on January 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


i'm a dude

he's a dude

she's a dude

and we're all dudes

posted by Juliet Banana at 10:23 AM on January 13, 2015 [4 favorites]


I got to this discussion a bit late but up-thread people were talking about taking compliments and the social construction of saying "thank you" when you're complimented rather than saying agreeing.

I don't know what is inciting these men to be so upset but this is a common thing in flirting with me. There's a woman whom I've had previous relations with but due to timing and distance am not currently dating. We talk often and have flirtatious conversations. She definitely fits into the camp of affirming compliments I give to her. Recently she said "I know, I'm pretty great" to a flirty comment I said to her and I followed up with "Great isn't exactly the word I'd use, but close..." There's a push-and-pull going on here, where she's taking my compliment and affirming it positively and I'm tugging back slightly. Knowing that we're flirting she understands that I'm not outright insulting her, but it's fun to lightly put each other in our places. She does the same to me, where one time we were discussing a previous outing we had had together and she brought up something I did. I told her I was trying to be cool around her, and she replied with ""Trying" to be cool". I don't see what the big deal is. It's cute, it keeps me on my toes, it gives me butterflies in my stomach. Are some men seriously so upset by this stuff that they reply in such sinister ways?

Although these were men who were messaging total strangers I'd imagine there'd be some form of back and forth between them and the woman they messaged. If I was trying to talk to a total stranger off tinder or something and I started off with a compliment that they then affirmed I'd be more tempted to want to flirt with them. Then again, I'm attracted to powerful women so maybe I'm the outlier in this discussion.
posted by gucci mane at 11:25 AM on January 13, 2015 [5 favorites]


My general response to vompliments on my physical appearance is "Thank you. Someday I hope to have other redeeming qualities as well."

I know this had to be a typo, but can I just say this is an awesome way to name compliments from vomitous people?
posted by psoas at 1:57 PM on January 13, 2015 [12 favorites]


In retrospect, I regret being so emphatic and insistent. Sorry everyone.
posted by clockzero at 3:04 PM on January 13, 2015 [6 favorites]


I know this had to be a typo, but can I just say this is an awesome way to name compliments from vomitous people?

For a second I regretted missing the edit window, but then I thought "nah, I'm good with that."
posted by louche mustachio at 11:37 PM on January 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


Y'all had this discussion while I was sleeping over here in my other side of the planet, but thank you for the answers to my comments... awesome ones!
posted by ipsative at 12:58 AM on January 14, 2015


dejah420: "I swear before all that is spicy, I could drape my fat little middle aged naked self in day-glo strategically placed hot peppers, have a 5 piece Jazz following me as I strode down Main street singing "It's Too Darn Hot", and be throwing handfuls of candy to the masses, and I would still be fucking invisible. 50 is magic, y'all. "

I would like to contribute to your Kickstarter please because this would be AMAZING
posted by scrump at 12:09 PM on January 14, 2015 [5 favorites]


Having been among other candy-related things a part of a parade where the car we were walking with was throwing out candy I have to tell you that you are incorrect. People will notice anything where you're providing them with candy. It is the only thing that would completely overwhelm Douglas Adams' SEP field. However the flip side of that is they will overlook anything if it will get them candy. So you could well do that - and I echo scrump in saying I want to see this happen - but people will see you. They just won't care.

Till you run out of candy. Then shit gets super unpleasant. Make sure that peper outfit doesn't impede your ability to run.
posted by phearlez at 12:19 PM on January 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


I severed both ACLs in a tragic (but funny) Bauhaus incident

late to the party but really...is there even another kind of Bauhaus incident? brilliance.
posted by We put our faith in Blast Hardcheese at 9:33 PM on January 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


(Then there's the one where she responds, not "Yes," but "aw I know aha thank you!! so are yours," and the guy still freaks out. Even with the proper "thank you" and the returned compliment and all the social padding, acknowledging that you know yourself to be attractive is like social poison. Amazing.)

I actually went back through the rolls to find this fpp, just because the rage i've seen even in comment responses to this article on social media is fairly shocking. That's the one i point people too who rage out, and it usually opens their eyes a bit.

The thing is, there's so many people who are primed to instantly dismiss this by responding to it with "well that's a really rude/cocky/impolite way to respond to a compliment so no wonder they get mad"(men AND women doing this, ugh). That's pretty much the only one that can break through the field of people essentially going "serves her right for being uppity" which just.....ugh

this entire thing made my head hurt. How can someone not look at this and wince and see a problem? At the same time, i had to slap my catholic school boy self out of that reaction because my brain just automatically winced and went "oh god, you can't respond to a compliment that way, an adult in the room who wasn't even my parent would flip out if i did that when i was a kid. shit, my grandpa would probably smack me with a newspaper".

That one exchange is gold though. It shows what this is all about. Women are not supposed to be confident or like themselves. A woman confident in herself, who knows that she's beautiful, is like dangerous, duh.
posted by emptythought at 3:51 PM on January 15, 2015


I have thought for a while that an air horn would be a better way to interact with some people than any other social convention. Someone walks up to you and does something crappy, or is talking in the movie theater, or turns to you in line at the grocery and starts shit-talking the clerk. **BWAHHHHHHHHH** right in the face.

Sure, you could engage them as if they were normal, reasonable human beings. But why bother? They're setting the standard right there and demonstrating that they're not, so why go through the early part of the dance where they double-down with the shitty or make lame-ass excuses for their nonsense? Fuck it. **BWAHHHHHHHHH* Hey why'd ya-**BWAHHHHHHHHH*. That's ve-**BWAHHHHHHHHH* until they knock it off.


I think i might have posted about this before, but my mom is really awesome and i love her.

She got tired of people cutting her off and stuff on her bike, so she zip tied an air horn from the yacht supply place to her handlebars. one of the BIG ones. Someone cuts her off? BWAAAAAA

However...

Someone in a car is like "HEY BABY, SMILE"

BWAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

"HEY WHAT THE FUCK BIT-" BWAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

"WELL FUCK YOU WH-" BWAAAAAAAAAAAAAA BWAAAAAAAAAA bWAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

She rode her bike everywhere, every day, and that's just how she did it. Then again, she's the kind of person who if someone got out of their car she'd just deck them and laugh and they'd be crying.(at least at the time, she was a pro athlete)
posted by emptythought at 4:48 PM on January 15, 2015 [13 favorites]


My wife and I are not believers in the One True Love concept and have said - sometimes to the consternation of people we know - that yes, we are very happy together but the idea that we're each other's only possibles is silly, given the number of folks in the world. It is nice to have it confirmed.
posted by phearlez at 6:50 PM on January 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


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