"Girl has look of mild panic."
July 7, 2015 10:26 AM   Subscribe

While hanging out in a coffeeshop, Toronto-based writer Anne Thériault live tweeted the bad date that took place at the table next to hers.
posted by orange swan (827 comments total) 115 users marked this as a favorite
 
Found him!
posted by Space Coyote at 10:30 AM on July 7, 2015 [38 favorites]


Excellent escape! I have totally been on that date, and just sat there and let it keep happening to me.
posted by obfuscation at 10:30 AM on July 7, 2015 [10 favorites]


"I just snorted audibly, turned it into fake cough"

me and you both
posted by griphus at 10:34 AM on July 7, 2015 [27 favorites]


There was a very similar story a few years ago in London, in which the comedian Sarah Bennetto was sitting in an Islington café and observed/livetweeted a similarly disastrous date. The difference was that the pair had known each other before, she had dumped him because he cheated on her, and he was trying to talk her into getting back with him, whilst maintaining Nathan Barley-esque levels of lack of self-awareness.
posted by acb at 10:35 AM on July 7, 2015 [2 favorites]


This was, without exaggeration, one of the funniest bits of skit writing I've ever read. I don;t care if it's real, I imagined the entire thing taking place with KiTH actors (Dave Foley as the gal on the date of course, Bruce McCulloch as the pretentious wanker OF COURSE)
posted by The Whelk at 10:35 AM on July 7, 2015 [54 favorites]


Her tweet from today:
Responses to my bad date live-tweet
Men: you're so mean and I bet you made this up anyway
Women: I have been on this exact date
posted by desjardins at 10:37 AM on July 7, 2015 [398 favorites]


The person who comes off the worst here is Anne Thériault.
posted by The Card Cheat at 10:37 AM on July 7, 2015 [18 favorites]


also what are the odds that the guy was actually James Franco you think?
posted by The Whelk at 10:38 AM on July 7, 2015 [52 favorites]


Live tweeting for shared hilarity is much more decent behavior than the other that I've encountered: wannabe writers reduced to using their optimistically purchased Moleskines for documenting other people's conversations in the hope that a story or at least some interesting lines will be handed to them. Of course those latter wouldn't get much out of this scenario as the escape is the only distinctive part, the rest is tragically and pitifully ordinary. Though the specific details are wince-inducingly hilarious.
posted by George_Spiggott at 10:38 AM on July 7, 2015 [1 favorite]


The person who comes off the worst here is Anne Thériault.

My buddy who is an online reputation manager says I can judge reputations better than even he can and you are quite incorrect.
posted by griphus at 10:39 AM on July 7, 2015 [227 favorites]


no the person who comes off worst is definitely this guy.
posted by kagredon at 10:41 AM on July 7, 2015 [35 favorites]


also what are the odds that the guy was actually James Franco you think?

definitely non-zero
posted by We put our faith in Blast Hardcheese at 10:41 AM on July 7, 2015 [8 favorites]


There was one brief livetweet series where the eavesdropper thought they were listening to a beautiful couple who were made for each other forever and it turned out they were brother and sister, and the author's horror at their own mistake was beautiful to behold.
posted by poffin boffin at 10:41 AM on July 7, 2015 [60 favorites]


I have friends who work in coffee shops or manage them. These sorts of exchanges happen on a sad predictable basis. A friend of mine tweeted a photo of a couple who was having the exact same date as the exchange linked, but he was a musician instead of a writer.

And yes, as a woman, I too have been on this date. I had my best friend call my cell with a pretend emergency when I went to the bathroom.
posted by Kitteh at 10:41 AM on July 7, 2015 [7 favorites]


She might come off badly, if the guy came across as anything other than the worst, but this nonsense:

"Every single thing she mentions he 'did that one time, with my buddy' and is now an expert in"

would be a hanging offense in any criminal justice system I designed.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 10:41 AM on July 7, 2015 [31 favorites]


As I read this, I alternated between howls of laughter and cringing because it brought back too many memories of dates like this.

I remember one guy, who was possibly the biggest, most pretentious ass I ever met, who seemed unable to talk about himself without making negative sweeping generalizations about the rest of the world and then claiming he was the one shining exception. Fortunately time has been kind and erased the specifics from my mind, but I do remember he claimed that he had a capacity for love that was greater and more intense than anyone else and that all his friends had told him that yes, he was able to love more deeply than they. I cannot by any stretch of the imagination picture a bunch of young guys saying that sort of thing to each other, and come on, no one thinks that way.

I'm also remembering one date on which the guy a) declared that "Pearl Harbor" was the best movie ever made, b) contemptuously described his sister, a stay at home mother with a two year old and a baby on the way as "doing nothing", c) described himself, a part-time bar bouncer, as "working professionally", and c) went into a rant about how if he ever got divorced, his wife was "getting nothing" from him. (Item: He lived in his mother's basement. I owned my own home. And yes, he knew that.) I remember looking at him and thinking, "I only need one good reason not to date you. You can stop anytime now."

And people tell me I'm only single because I'm too picky.
posted by orange swan at 10:42 AM on July 7, 2015 [171 favorites]


There was a very similar story a few years ago in London, in which the comedian Sarah Bennetto was sitting in an Islington café and observed/livetweeted

Is it this one, now Storified with deliriously no-fuckin-around aptness as twatchat?
posted by George_Spiggott at 10:42 AM on July 7, 2015 [17 favorites]


also what are the odds that the guy was actually James Franco you think?

No one ever tells James Franco that he looks like James Franco. He keeps waiting for it, because he has the most awesome zinger, but no. And to make it worse, Dave calls him at least twice a day to say, "Dammit, it happened again!"
posted by Etrigan at 10:42 AM on July 7, 2015 [37 favorites]


ha ha gross ha ha
posted by boo_radley at 10:44 AM on July 7, 2015 [2 favorites]


I have friends who work in coffee shops or manage them. These sorts of exchanges happen on a sad predictable basis. A friend of mine tweeted a photo of a couple who was having the exact same date as the exchange linked, but he was a musician instead of a writer.

As a freelancer who's often working in coffee shops and bars I could easily have written an entire book of bad date conversations, had I only thought to record them. But it was all worth it for the couple who rapturously described their best D&D game ever to each other. I hope they're married now.
posted by We put our faith in Blast Hardcheese at 10:44 AM on July 7, 2015 [202 favorites]


In my personal theology, "every single thing she mentions he 'did that one time, with my buddy' and is now an expert in" guy is the person that I get locked in a Camus-esque room in Hell with.

There is nothing worse than that person, and he's everywhere, and every time I meet him again my hands twitch to close around his throat.
posted by penduluum at 10:44 AM on July 7, 2015 [14 favorites]


I really hope that girl opened up her iPhone and saw Anne Thierault's tweets and said, gotta DTMFA
posted by chavenet at 10:45 AM on July 7, 2015 [5 favorites]


HIM: God it's good to see you. Why'd we break up!? SHE: You cheated on me &you moved to Australia.

ahaaahhaaaaahhaaaaa
posted by kagredon at 10:45 AM on July 7, 2015 [7 favorites]


This thing where you can just escape – I…I wish had known about this in my disastrous dating days.
posted by ignignokt at 10:46 AM on July 7, 2015 [13 favorites]


I could have maybe been "that guy" in my early twenties... The best thing that I think could come of these tweets for him is for him to read them and realize how he comes across.
posted by drezdn at 10:46 AM on July 7, 2015 [7 favorites]


Thériault was perhaps inspired by Dave Bidini's beautiful live-tweeting of a break-up in a Toronto café last year.
posted by Flashman at 10:48 AM on July 7, 2015 [6 favorites]


There's something badly wrong with how we choose the people we meet.
posted by storybored at 10:48 AM on July 7, 2015 [14 favorites]


Was it Mark Twain who said something like, "Boys start imitating men around age 12 and keep doing so for the rest of their lives"?
posted by gottabefunky at 10:48 AM on July 7, 2015 [42 favorites]


In my personal theology, "every single thing she mentions he 'did that one time, with my buddy' and is now an expert in" guy is the person that I get locked in a Camus-esque room in Hell with.

this hell exists and it's right here, it's us, it's metafilter.

we are both damner and damned
posted by poffin boffin at 10:48 AM on July 7, 2015 [46 favorites]


ignignokt: "This thing where you can just escape – I…I wish had known about this in my disastrous dating days."

"would you excuse me for a bit?"

~ walk outside ~

~ hails taxi ~

~ blocks contact ~
posted by boo_radley at 10:49 AM on July 7, 2015 [12 favorites]


guy is the person that I get locked in a Camus-esque room in Hell with.

Lucky for you no one's here's asshole enough to say "Sartre" here.
posted by George_Spiggott at 10:50 AM on July 7, 2015 [15 favorites]


Shit
posted by George_Spiggott at 10:51 AM on July 7, 2015 [12 favorites]


Actually it's pronounced "Saht."
posted by griphus at 10:51 AM on July 7, 2015 [93 favorites]


Don't get me wrong; this guy sounds like a douchebag of the highest order, and it's a funny story. But it's still a violation of his privacy (and hers!). Dating is, as many of you are pointing out, hard enough without having to worry about someone within earshot live-tweeting your awkward attempts at romance. I don't think I was ever This Guy, but I definitely had a few dates that didn't get any better than "So...do you like...stuff?" and if someone had live-tweeted them I would have crawled into a hole and died never dated again.
posted by The Card Cheat at 10:52 AM on July 7, 2015 [24 favorites]


Not really getting how this is an invasion of privacy if the couple are never identified...?

I guess they could be, this being the internet.
posted by gottabefunky at 10:55 AM on July 7, 2015 [22 favorites]


I think "you should try my puttanesca sauce" ranks up there in the top things you should never say on a date.
posted by peeedro at 10:55 AM on July 7, 2015 [97 favorites]


Eh, given that she's stripped all names, all but the vaguest physical descriptions ("people tell me I look like James Franco," indeed), and almost all of the specific identifying details? I'm... having a hard time thinking of this as an invasion of privacy here.
posted by sciatrix at 10:56 AM on July 7, 2015 [42 favorites]


i will bet all of the change in my pockets against all the change in your pockets that even if Guy reads the tweets, he will have no idea it was him
posted by kagredon at 10:56 AM on July 7, 2015 [198 favorites]


top things you should never say on a date

#1 is "you're almost as hot as my mom"
posted by poffin boffin at 10:56 AM on July 7, 2015 [36 favorites]


I think there's a significant difference between a shitty date where the conversation just doesn't really go anywhere, and this scenario in which it seems like the dude may have been actively restraining himself from just whipping out his junk and depositing on the table.
posted by griphus at 10:56 AM on July 7, 2015 [17 favorites]


The best thing that I think could come of these tweets for him is for him to read them and realize how he comes across.

I suspect even if he saw the tweets real-time, he'd be too oblivious (I'm honestly not sure that people like that actually listen to what they're saying) to realize it was him: He'd probably tweet his location so the poor sap could come watch a master at work.
posted by ghost phoneme at 10:56 AM on July 7, 2015 [3 favorites]


top things you should never say on a date

#1 is "you're almost as hot as my mom"


that's tied with "you're almost as hot as YOUR mom"
posted by We put our faith in Blast Hardcheese at 10:58 AM on July 7, 2015 [13 favorites]


Don't mind me, I'm just trying to stuff a genie back into a bottle.
posted by The Card Cheat at 10:58 AM on July 7, 2015


Don't get me wrong; this guy sounds like a douchebag of the highest order, and it's a funny story. But it's still a violation of his privacy (and hers!).

On the other hand, if you're entering the dating pool, you now know to perhaps save your amazing puttanesca sauce anecdotes for a second date.
posted by a lungful of dragon at 10:58 AM on July 7, 2015


this scenario in which it seems like the dude may have been actively restraining himself from just whipping out his junk and depositing on the table.

who among us, etc., etc.
posted by the phlegmatic king at 10:58 AM on July 7, 2015 [7 favorites]


Not really getting how this is an invasion of privacy if the couple are never identified...?

Not now, but what happens when they release the movie about this guy who never really feels like he fits in. Like he's just different.
posted by Gary at 10:58 AM on July 7, 2015 [93 favorites]


I think "you should try my puttanesca sauce" ranks up there in the top things you should never say on a date.

I can confirm that "pull my finger" is also in the top ten.
posted by bondcliff at 11:00 AM on July 7, 2015 [11 favorites]


that movie was called Silence of the Lambs
posted by poffin boffin at 11:00 AM on July 7, 2015 [25 favorites]


You know, I went out on a lunch date once. I listened to her, asked her relevant questions, shared bits of my experiences in response to her questions, found out things she liked and didn't like, shared what I liked and didn't like, and so forth. Neither of us got mysterious text messages, and at the end I got her phone number for future possible dates.

I guess it would've been boring for a twitter feed. But, reader, I married her.
posted by nubs at 11:00 AM on July 7, 2015 [54 favorites]


Or possibly 500 Days Of Summer

(500 Days Of Serial Killer?)
posted by The Whelk at 11:01 AM on July 7, 2015 [2 favorites]


500 Days of Summer of Sam
posted by griphus at 11:01 AM on July 7, 2015 [25 favorites]


Especially live-tweeting a breakup. That's just tawdry.
posted by persona au gratin at 11:01 AM on July 7, 2015


Not only have I been on that date myself, but once upon a time, in art school, there was an extremely conventionally attractive young woman in my life drawing class (she not only looked like a Barbie doll, but her hair and nails and makeup and clothing was always impeccable--she really stood out among the grungy students). Anyways, some guy was standing next to her seat as we were all drawing, telling her amazing facts about how rich and accomplished and enlightened he was, when he got to a part about his band that he was starting up. It went something like, "It's hard to describe, but I'd say it's sort of a rock-country-bluegrass-speed metal..." going on, as though he's going to finally hit on the genre that makes her eyes light up, "dance-electronic-punk," and I swear I was trying to contain myself, but when he got around to punk, I did that snort-fake cough thing, but it wasn't very convincing, I guess, and the room erupted in laughter. Including the instructor, the model, and the woman being targeted.

I swear I didn't do that on purpose, but I can't say I'm super sorry it happened, either.
posted by ernielundquist at 11:02 AM on July 7, 2015 [112 favorites]


Talking in public is not private. This is why it is called "public" and overheard conversations are called "hearsay".

For all we know, this is made up. But we also know men especially can be like this.

This Modern Life is trickier now, with the live tweets and the cameras everywhere. It's too bad young folks are easily caught being young in public like this so we can pile-on.

But there should be little expectation of privacy on a coffee date. The staff of such places has been repeating our worse sins to their friends for literally decades.

Again, though. It's not like young people aren't unintentionally being public douchebags in the bus, for example. It's a phase many of us go through.

We grow up in public. Let's not pile on indiscriminately, but also let's not give such young men a free pass. Dude will have to learn not to be a douchebag someday.
posted by clvrmnky at 11:03 AM on July 7, 2015 [9 favorites]


...what happens when they release the movie about this guy who never really feels like he fits in. Like he's just different.

Surely, no one will put two and two together unless the movie is starring an actor who's like a budget Canadian James Franco.
posted by frimble at 11:03 AM on July 7, 2015


Even stripped of names feels like an invasion of privacy to me. But I'm particularly sensitive to this sort of thing for a number of reasons.
posted by persona au gratin at 11:04 AM on July 7, 2015 [7 favorites]


There's a certain human tendency to want to rubberneck and mock others' clumsy attempts at mating. That is a tendency we should resist. Think about the worst dates you've ever had. Would you like them to be live-tweeted?

Also, take into account the Internet Shame Machine aspect of all this. I wouldn't be shocked if this came back around to the people on this date. And even if it doesn't, is an awkward date really something a person should be shamed for? I mean, maybe you think this guy's a "douche", but it's not like we have any reason to think he's a bad person.
posted by evil otto at 11:08 AM on July 7, 2015 [10 favorites]


There's a thing called public. When you are in it there's no such thing as privacy when you put stuff out in it.
posted by Annika Cicada at 11:09 AM on July 7, 2015 [21 favorites]


Given some of my behaviour on dates or those of the dates, believe me, it would have made for some hilarious reading and a reminder that man, I was bad at dating.
posted by Kitteh at 11:10 AM on July 7, 2015 [3 favorites]


Perhaps he prefers that the public is aware of just how fantastic he is. The fact that *his* date was live-tweeted confirms his high opinion of himself.
posted by gox3r at 11:10 AM on July 7, 2015 [9 favorites]


Think about the worst dates you've ever had. Would you like them to be live-tweeted?

God, actually I would. I've only been on one real clunker (at least in public), but if it had been live-tweeted at least SOMEONE would have been amused.
posted by We put our faith in Blast Hardcheese at 11:11 AM on July 7, 2015 [28 favorites]


No, evesdropping is not an invasion of privacy, but it's sure as hell rude. Evesdropping on a couple's first date is gross. Live-tweeting it is pathetic.
posted by klarck at 11:11 AM on July 7, 2015 [19 favorites]


He’s not being shamed for being awkward, he’s being shamed for being an utterly self-obsessed twerp.

(I have a secret fear that I am like this in conversation, but hopefully that fear keeps me from being *completely* narcissistic.)
posted by pharm at 11:11 AM on July 7, 2015 [25 favorites]


but it's not like we have any reason to think he's a bad person

We can't know for sure until we try the damn puttanesca sauce
posted by prize bull octorok at 11:12 AM on July 7, 2015 [105 favorites]


I despise being eavesdropped on by nosy shitheads to a degree I can't easily express. And my comment above about having a serious personal conversation Moleskined by a wannabe writer was based on experience.

But even I think that the world is improved by this douche and her exit from him being documented, as long as it's anonymous and without identifying physical descriptions.
posted by George_Spiggott at 11:12 AM on July 7, 2015 [6 favorites]


My submission for Dates I've Been On That I Wish Someone Had Live Tweeted:

"I've only read parts of 50 Shades of Grey but it was enough to tell that it was horribly written. I mean, because I'm a writer, I'm trained to notice things like that she didn't give enough description about the buttplugs. Like, if it were me, I would have gone into much more detail." At which point he does just that, rhapsodically describing the buttplugs he has known.

Notes:
1. First date.
2. At a coffeeshop.
3. No amount of polite indifference stopped his soliloquy.
posted by mcduff at 11:13 AM on July 7, 2015 [111 favorites]


> is an awkward date really something a person should be shamed for?

It sounded awkward for her. Not so much for him. Is she being shamed?
posted by rtha at 11:13 AM on July 7, 2015 [11 favorites]


Just going off the tweets in the Storify page, I don't see an invasion of privacy. There's not enough information for someone to track down the people involved. You'd have to have knowledge not given by the author.
posted by clorox at 11:14 AM on July 7, 2015 [3 favorites]


There was one brief livetweet series where the eavesdropper thought they were listening to a beautiful couple who were made for each other forever and it turned out they were brother and sister, and the author's horror at their own mistake was beautiful to behold.

I would love to see this, if you can find the link, because I think it happens with waitstaff fairly often when I'm hanging out with my brother, because we find each other hilarious (mostly when we're trying to be funny on purpose, but sometimes not).
posted by jaguar at 11:15 AM on July 7, 2015 [1 favorite]


Think about the worst dates you've ever had. Would you like them to be live-tweeted?


YES! Without my identifying info, definitely.
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 11:16 AM on July 7, 2015 [36 favorites]


There can be no expectation of privacy in a public place. If you don't want to be overheard, don't say it where other people can hear.
posted by caryatid at 11:17 AM on July 7, 2015 [3 favorites]


I tried googling for it but I got a lot of incest porn results and decided to not google it anymore.
posted by poffin boffin at 11:18 AM on July 7, 2015 [19 favorites]


If I ever get a time machine, I'll step into it, find my 22-year-old self, grab him by his neck and start screaming.

"Shut the fuck up. Shut. The. Fuck. Up."
"But, who..."
"Shut the fuck up. Stop talking. Just stop."
"But how..."
"You'll know, dude. If she wants you, you'll know. And if she wants you and you don't know? You don't want her."
"But..."
"You'll know."
"OK."
"Also: Bet the Twins to win the 1991 World Series. Use the winnings to buy Apple stock. Stay away from a girl named Shelley. "
"The Twins? They came in last place!"
"Trust me on this. It'll pay off 300-to-1."
"Anything else?"
"Join the Coast Guard."
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 11:18 AM on July 7, 2015 [194 favorites]


Yeah, he's not awkward, he's an asshole. He doesn't need to be shielded from criticism, nor does he need excuses made on his behalf.
posted by almostmanda at 11:18 AM on July 7, 2015 [3 favorites]


I want to have a high sign with my friends to indicate "people at next table paying way too much attention, let's give them something", so we can seamlessly segue into highly creative, utterly horrifying personal details.

Unfortunately my IRL friends are mostly not up for this kind of thing.
posted by George_Spiggott at 11:18 AM on July 7, 2015 [40 favorites]


> There can be no expectation of privacy in a public place. If you don't want to be overheard, don't say it where other people can hear.

Sure, but isn't there a difference between being overheard and being broadcast to a larger audience?
posted by The Card Cheat at 11:19 AM on July 7, 2015 [15 favorites]


He’s not being shamed for being awkward, he’s being shamed for being an utterly self-obsessed twerp.

I'm not entirely sure why he needs to be shamed at all.
posted by themanwho at 11:19 AM on July 7, 2015 [8 favorites]


I am married but I have totally live-tweeted Things Dudes Use as Chat Up Lines to a Married Lady Just Trying to Enjoy Her Pint While Waiting on Her Husband.
posted by Kitteh at 11:19 AM on July 7, 2015 [43 favorites]


Twitter is great for humiliating petty anonymous jackasses. Eavesdropping on and gossiping about dates while dropping names is less defensible.

Twitter is also great for humiliating enormous named jackasses, although in my experience they're more likely to self-inflict that injury.
posted by infinitewindow at 11:19 AM on July 7, 2015


I recently read So You've Been Publicly Shamed, and although my sympathies have always been with the shamed, that book further convinced me that the Internet Shame Machine is just no good. Seeing somebody get mocked for doing not-so-great-but-still-essentially-just-human things puts a bad taste in my mouth. I can't enjoy the schadenfreude. The whole thing is just gross.

And I think it's rather cavalier to say, "Oh, he deserves it" or "If I did that, I'd deserve it." Spend some time reading about what happens to people when they're shamed on the internet. Nobody deserves it. Especially for minor league human stuff like this.

I mean really? We're shaming people for being uninteresting on a date? Really? Do you think there's any infraction that's too minor for internet shaming? Or is it all just fair game now?
posted by evil otto at 11:20 AM on July 7, 2015 [63 favorites]


There was one brief livetweet series where the eavesdropper thought they were listening to a beautiful couple who were made for each other forever and it turned out they were brother and sister, and the author's horror at their own mistake was beautiful to behold.

I remember that. They were talking about the time he rescued her from that giant space station and how she kissed him after his run in with that Wampa, and then you find out they're brother and sister and you're just like "Ummm... gross."
posted by bondcliff at 11:20 AM on July 7, 2015 [30 favorites]


Actually it's pronounced "Saht."

Thing really told to me on a date: "Actually, it's pronounced sah-moo-rai."
posted by ignignokt at 11:21 AM on July 7, 2015 [10 favorites]


Sure, but isn't there a difference between being overheard and being broadcast to a larger audience?

Rightly or wrongly, no, not any more. That ship has sailed and there aren't enough grappling hooks in the hold to snare it and drag it back.
posted by aramaic at 11:21 AM on July 7, 2015


Sure, but isn't there a difference between being overheard and being broadcast to a larger audience?

It's anonymous to everyone on earth except for the two people who had this conversation. No identifying descriptions were made. Even the location was limited to the entire city of Toronto. How many coffee shops are there in Toronto? Tens of thousands? a billion maybe?
posted by poffin boffin at 11:21 AM on July 7, 2015 [36 favorites]


> We're shaming people for being uninteresting on a date?

If he was uninteresting, we wouldn't be here.
posted by rtha at 11:22 AM on July 7, 2015 [50 favorites]




The part that reminds me most of my 22-year-old self is the idea that if I write down how dumb the people are next to me, it is a major contribution to the world.
posted by johngoren at 11:22 AM on July 7, 2015 [8 favorites]


I tried googling for it but I got a lot of incest porn results and decided to not google it anymore.

Fair enough, and thank you from saving me from that same fate.
posted by jaguar at 11:23 AM on July 7, 2015 [1 favorite]


> How many coffee shops are there in Toronto? Tens of thousands? a billion maybe?

That point I will concede.
posted by The Card Cheat at 11:23 AM on July 7, 2015 [5 favorites]


Are we even shaming him? We're mocking him, sure.
posted by kenko at 11:24 AM on July 7, 2015 [27 favorites]


isn't there a difference between being overheard and being broadcast to a larger audience?

Nope.
posted by caryatid at 11:24 AM on July 7, 2015


I mean, people can think this livetweet is bad and that people shouldn't be eavesdropped on without making the dude awkward or just boring, neither quality being the thing that attracted attention. People can be against boors being eavesdropped on, too, you know?
posted by rtha at 11:24 AM on July 7, 2015 [1 favorite]


for all we know they were 100 year old illiterates who died the next day from old age.
posted by poffin boffin at 11:25 AM on July 7, 2015 [9 favorites]


> How many coffee shops are there in Toronto? Tens of thousands? a billion maybe?

Only millions. Canada's population is quite small relative to its geographical size.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 11:25 AM on July 7, 2015 [10 favorites]


Saying something in a coffeeshop is does not give one a reasonable expectation that it will be broadcast to hundreds of thousands of people all over the world. That the guy is an asshole has nothing to do with privacy expectations and rights, either.
posted by persona au gratin at 11:26 AM on July 7, 2015 [5 favorites]


We're shaming people for being uninteresting on a date?

His name was not mentioned. He's just Generic Douchecanoe Overheard in a Cafe. How was he shamed?
posted by caryatid at 11:26 AM on July 7, 2015 [28 favorites]


I just have a hard time believing everyone would be lol'ing quite as hard if it were, say, an MRA type live-tweeting what he considered to be a "hilarious" conversation between two women he considered pretentious.
posted by The Card Cheat at 11:27 AM on July 7, 2015 [6 favorites]


This thread is striking me in that it appears that the people who are upset or appalled by the glee in which the rest of us are partaking seem to be men, but don't worry we women can be terrible dates too.
posted by Kitteh at 11:29 AM on July 7, 2015 [44 favorites]


It would have been so much better to have just written an article about the event I suppose? I think The live tweet catches upon a familiar experience shared by a lot of women. It's not wrong to hold a mirror up to the world and say "this is fucking embarrassing, we must do better".
posted by Annika Cicada at 11:29 AM on July 7, 2015 [6 favorites]


How many coffee shops are there in Toronto? Tens of thousands? a billion maybe?

Not counting Starbucks?

Eight.
posted by el io at 11:29 AM on July 7, 2015 [8 favorites]


I just have a hard time believing everyone would be lol'ing quite as hard if it were, say, an MRA type live-tweeting what he considered to be a "hilarious" conversation between two women he considered pretentious.

If they did, we would probably not be paying attention at all. If it were posted on Metafilter, it would probably be taken down due to stupidity. And what MRAs already do is about 100x worse.
posted by easter queen at 11:29 AM on July 7, 2015 [34 favorites]


Ten minutes ago I'd never even heard of "puttanesca sauce", and now I find myself endlessly amused by it. Thanks, MeFi!
posted by HillbillyInBC at 11:30 AM on July 7, 2015 [5 favorites]


"I hope it's a sad story about his life."

best burn I have seen this month so far
posted by idiopath at 11:30 AM on July 7, 2015 [4 favorites]


I feel like this amount of information is absolutely enough information to make me think that he is a bad person, or at least a person who lacks any real self-awareness or restraint and thus perpetuates Bad.

I feel like calling out this behavior is a feminist act, and I think shaming men for acting like entitled, sexist, mansplainy jerks is absolutely in the public interest. Especially because it is common knowledge that this sort of thing happens all the time. This is not run-of-the-mill awkwardness, this is a specific type of entitlement that is Toxic, and the more attention and mocking it gets, the better as far as I am concerned.
posted by likeatoaster at 11:30 AM on July 7, 2015 [169 favorites]


I don't think you can shame someone without that person being aware that you're doing the shaming.
posted by NoraReed at 11:31 AM on July 7, 2015 [27 favorites]


Have you guys ever complained about a guy cutting you off in traffic, or a woman elbowing her way ahead of you in a line? Have you done it online? Does something about it being a date make this interaction sacred?
posted by almostmanda at 11:31 AM on July 7, 2015 [31 favorites]


I don't see how this conversation can really be compared to the hypothetical words of someone whose default position is bigotry though. The worst thing she says about him is that he's "self involved". If some guy was like HAHA LOOK AT THESE VAPID SLUTS it would not be even remotely the same.
posted by poffin boffin at 11:31 AM on July 7, 2015 [25 favorites]


This thread is striking me in that it appears that the people who are upset or appalled by the glee in which the rest of us are partaking seem to be men, but don't worry we women can be terrible dates too.

Yeah, like, how about somebody starts a twitter account called Women Who Looked Nothing Like Their Profile Pictures. You all should be totally fine with that, right?
posted by evil otto at 11:31 AM on July 7, 2015 [2 favorites]


If a stand-up comic had done a bit on this couple, no one would care. (If someone did try to police it for the sake of the dude's feelings, I hope they would be accused of ruining comedy, like feminists are.) If the same dude ended up accidentally in the audience, would we weep for him? This is going to affect approximately no one in a negative way.
posted by easter queen at 11:32 AM on July 7, 2015 [26 favorites]


Why would something that focuses on the physical appearance of women be like something which lacked even a single instance of physical descriptions of a man.
posted by poffin boffin at 11:32 AM on July 7, 2015 [130 favorites]


how close are you to typing 'misandry'

asking for a friend
posted by Kitteh at 11:32 AM on July 7, 2015 [175 favorites]


I mean, I think there is a point where it's going too far. The livetweet from about a year ago where it was a couple breaking up on the roof of their's and the livetweeter's building made me kind of go "eeh that's kind of an uncool thing to do", because it was clearly an intense and personal event for those folks, they were in a semi-private/isolated space, and there was a little bit of potentially identifying detail (first names, etc.) This, though--a first date that will not lead to a second, in a crowded space, no identifying details--it strikes me as a lot closer to tweeting the funny thing you heard someone say on the bus or etc.
posted by kagredon at 11:32 AM on July 7, 2015 [12 favorites]


I feel like there's a number of people in the thread who read this set of tweets rather than the one in the article:
  • They're both just sitting there staring at one another in silence.
  • lol the server came by to take their order and he mispronounced "nicoise"
  • Now the loser put salt on his food and then said he may have put too much salt on his food.
  • They're trying to talk about a movie now but she hasn't seen it ha ha whatta goober
  • He said he went to a state school, pfft try harder bro
  • oh god now he's getting up to use the ~bathroom~ who does that?
posted by griphus at 11:33 AM on July 7, 2015 [27 favorites]


I heard that Dolly Parton James Franco once entered a Dolly Parton James Franco drag-queen look-alike contest and lost.
posted by blue_beetle at 11:33 AM on July 7, 2015 [1 favorite]


All right. I need to get out of this thread. I should know better.
posted by persona au gratin at 11:33 AM on July 7, 2015


I just have a hard time believing everyone would be lol'ing quite as hard if it were, say, an MRA type live-tweeting what he considered to be a "hilarious" conversation between two women he considered pretentious.

Probably not. MRA types are not known for their wit or powers of observation.
posted by caryatid at 11:33 AM on July 7, 2015 [23 favorites]


evil otto: if it were done so abstractly that you couldn't identify the women, it would be hilarious. Specifically shaming identifiable people is different.
posted by idiopath at 11:33 AM on July 7, 2015 [1 favorite]


Am I the only person who think she made this up? It's too pat.
posted by dortmunder at 11:33 AM on July 7, 2015 [5 favorites]


Yeah, like, how about somebody starts a twitter account called Women Who Looked Nothing Like Their Profile Pictures. You all should be totally fine with that, right?

This is about a million orders of magnitude more personal AND cruel, not to mention shallow, plus it just entrenches the deep deep misogyny in our culture. Call me back when making fun of borderline-sexist assholes on dates with women is a symptom of shallowness and systemic misandry (it will never be).
posted by easter queen at 11:34 AM on July 7, 2015 [50 favorites]


I just have a hard time believing everyone would be lol'ing quite as hard if it were, say, an MRA type live-tweeting what he considered to be a "hilarious" conversation between two women he considered pretentious.

How come two totally different things are treated differently? Hypocrisy!
posted by kmz at 11:34 AM on July 7, 2015 [70 favorites]


Am I the only person who think she made this up? It's too pat.

You are not, no.
posted by griphus at 11:35 AM on July 7, 2015 [6 favorites]


I would have crawled into a hole and died never dated again.

If this guy did that, it would be unfortunate for him, and I would be sad that an abstract human had made a choice not to sit with shame, process it and learn from it, but instead to punish himself so severely rather than take steps to personal growth and change, but the practical outcome would be a complete win for the women of the world.

In a kinder mood, I would say "it would be great if he recognized himself and took the time for self-reflection and growth and re-evaluating his social behavior and how he interacts with women."Of course, since I've been on more than one of these dates (including a "surprise! it's sort-of a date, and you had no idea until the end! haha! oh, I'm also your landlord!"), I'm not certain the capacity for self-reflection tends to be there.

I am honestly so tired of dates like this, and I swear, I don't go out looking for men who pull this nonsense. Sometimes they're JUST FINE in mixed-gender groups, and then they pull this when they're Talking To A Woman. I'm 35: I don't have patience for being spoken to like I'm a precocious four-year-old--a precocious four-year-old who should be humbly grateful that this superior being has deigned to speak with me and endure hearing about my trite and vapid existence between his lectures on Things What He Knows About Which Is A Lot of Things. Hell, I don't talk to actual four-year-old humans the way some men speak to me on dates. I hated adults and older kids who talked to me with condescension and superiority then, and I still hate it, more than thirty years later.

I cannot adequately express to straight women the difference, on average, between dating men and dating women. For all of the continuing tension and biphobia at the intersection of lesbian women and pan/bi/other terms for women who don't identify as strictly monosexual, on the whole you have a far greater chance of random dates with other women being with people who will interact with you as if you have value besides a potential ego-stroke and a fuck. Even if it's not a great date. Even then.

My stomach twists up and goes tight before first dates with men in ways it doesn't with women--and I don't mean the greater odds of violence, although I certainly consider that, too--I mean that it grinds you down to be treated the way this guy treated his date. Even just for a few minutes while you bail.
posted by Naamah at 11:35 AM on July 7, 2015 [132 favorites]


"IF YOU REPLACE THIS SITUATION WITH A TOTALLY DIFFERENT ONE, IT WOULD BE SEXIST"

"IF YOU REPLACE THESE WORDS WITH COMPLETELY DIFFERENT WORDS, THE MEANING CHANGES, AND WOULD BE SEXIST"
posted by NoraReed at 11:35 AM on July 7, 2015 [138 favorites]


Am I the only person who think she made this up?

No, you're not.
posted by almostmanda at 11:35 AM on July 7, 2015 [1 favorite]


dortmunder: when I was young and stupid I was that guy. There are millions of that guy. It's like ivy, you can't get rid of all of them and they are usually single. They are everywhere.
posted by idiopath at 11:35 AM on July 7, 2015 [3 favorites]


The best date I overheard/saw at Starbucks was this dude whose very loud opening line was about how he'd A) cut off the entire tip of his index finger! B) on Halloween! C) while making stew! I was dying to tell somebody, but after trying and failing and ultimately giving up on properly conveying the awesomeness of that absurdity in a tweet (STEW!!!!), I looked up just in time to see him open his backpack and take out four—yes, FOUR—horrifying puppet/marionettes. Just splayed them out all over the table. The poor woman on the receiving end of this date sat there, seemingly in shock—but then just as I was considering attempting some sort of public diversion to save/distract her from what was possibly the best worst date ever, she opened HER backpack and took out HER OWN terrifying puppet!

OMG. IT. WAS. THE. BEST.
posted by mothershock at 11:36 AM on July 7, 2015 [237 favorites]


There's a certain human tendency to want to rubberneck and mock others' clumsy attempts at mating.

Yeah, the last orgy I went to* was just brutal.

*Full disclosure: I have not, in fact, attended an orgy.
posted by Gelatin at 11:37 AM on July 7, 2015 [3 favorites]


Cool Papa Bell: ""Join the Coast Guard.""

You know, there's this guy on MetaFilter who always gives this advi...

...waitaminute
posted by scrump at 11:37 AM on July 7, 2015 [11 favorites]


I am so sad you did not livetweet this moment of puppet unity.
posted by poffin boffin at 11:38 AM on July 7, 2015 [14 favorites]


What is puttanesca sauce anyway?
posted by pharm at 11:39 AM on July 7, 2015 [2 favorites]


I really hope that girl opened up her iPhone and saw Anne Thierault's tweets and said, gotta DTMFA

The more I think about this, the more I think if the woman on the date saw the tweets and realized it was about her date, it would have caused her more emotional pain than it would have the jackass man, had he made the discovery.

He’s not being shamed for being awkward, he’s being shamed for being an utterly self-obsessed twerp.

How can he be shamed? He's almost certainly unaware of the tweets.

I've rolled my eyes behind the backs of plenty of jerks in public places over the years, but I'm not self-deluded enough to think I was shaming them into becoming better people or making important social commentary. It's smug and petty to mock people, even if you get a self-satisfied charge out of it at the time.

Also, "girl" and "dude"? Just saying.
posted by aught at 11:39 AM on July 7, 2015 [6 favorites]


My point is that having a deceptive profile picture is a not-so-great-but-still-human behavior that can tank a date. As a behavior, it is in the same league as Annoying Guy Who Talks About Himself. Neither behavior is great, but neither one is awful either. Neither behavior deserves shaming or mocking.

It's easy to be cruel and laugh at others when you do so from a distance. I just think this is one of those areas where the internet doesn't bring out the best in people.
posted by evil otto at 11:39 AM on July 7, 2015 [2 favorites]


he'd A) cut off the entire tip of his index finger!

Oh my gosh, and the fact that it was a puppet date means this was actually a super relevant thing to open with.
posted by almostmanda at 11:40 AM on July 7, 2015 [29 favorites]


A few months ago my family went to a restaurant popular with local college students for date-night, and there was a couple right next to us who were on their first date. Not only did she look very put-together and he had obviously not bothered to change out of his grubbies, but he spent literally the entire date talking about his Pokemons. Every time she tried to turn the subject, he'd go along for exactly one sentence and then say, "So my Cheherazade, which I super-leveled, is like ..." (or whatever Pokemons are named). During the main course she finally stopped trying to introduce other topics, ordered another drink, and just made "mmm" and "uh-huh" and "wow" noises while obviously mentally going to her happy place. She literally didn't say anything else for the whole rest of the dinner.

He was super-excited and animated and obviously having a great time detailing the natural history of all his Pokemons.

She looked like she wanted to die.

He never. noticed.

At the end he was like, "This was really fun, we should do it again soon!" and she was like, "Yeah. Great. I'll text you," having not spoken an actual word for the last HOUR.

(In my mind, on their way out the door, he tells her, "You're such a great conversationalist!")
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 11:41 AM on July 7, 2015 [137 favorites]


One involves a widespread depressing thing that is a terrible part of society for fully half the human beings alive, and one calls a single anonymous man "self-involved".
posted by poffin boffin at 11:41 AM on July 7, 2015 [29 favorites]


oh my god you misspelled charizard i am tweeting this right now
posted by poffin boffin at 11:41 AM on July 7, 2015 [76 favorites]


I feel like calling out this behavior is a feminist act, and I think shaming men for acting like entitled, sexist, mansplainy jerks is absolutely in the public interest.

Wait, but how is he acting like a sexist jerk? Yes, he's self-involved, but someone earlier in the thread pointing out women can be bad dates too. So if the genders were reversed, and the woman was self-involved, would this still be a feminist act?

It's certainly awkward for everyone involved, and I've been on both sides of the equation, being a person to eager to impress and also having other guys trying too hard to impress me.

And I've also done the opposite, where I tend to ask too many questions about the other person and turn it into an interrogation.

And I've also overheard conversations like this and thought to myself, "What an a-hole."

Yeah, so in short, I can fully relate to everyone involved and am experiencing awkwardness within awkwardness, like an Awkward-ception.
posted by FJT at 11:42 AM on July 7, 2015 [5 favorites]


I once overheard what I took to be a bad first date/meet wherein a young woman talked rather incessantly about her dietary regime. I wasn't in earshot for long, but AT ANY GIVEN MOMENT THERE ARE A THOUSAND BAD DATES HAPPENING.

And all those fatuous assholes eventually meet each other and become the couple you avoid.
posted by readery at 11:42 AM on July 7, 2015 [7 favorites]


Will no one think of the fragile delicate egos of the self-involved blow-hards?
posted by The Whelk at 11:42 AM on July 7, 2015 [101 favorites]


What is puttanesca sauce anyway?

Delicious, actually. Pasta with olive oil, crushed tomatoes, onion, garlic, capers, red pepper flakes, and olives, usually. (Sometimes anchovies too, I've seen in recipes.)
posted by aught at 11:42 AM on July 7, 2015 [13 favorites]


Always anchovies.
posted by jaguar at 11:43 AM on July 7, 2015 [26 favorites]


I mean, some recipes don't have anchovies, but those recipes are wrong.
posted by jaguar at 11:44 AM on July 7, 2015 [67 favorites]


For what it's worth, if the genders were reversed here but the behavior was the same live-tweeting it would still be hilariously cringeworthy. On the other hand a Twitter account comparing people's internet dating profile pictures to how they really look to imply they are uglier than they claimed would be totally cruel, regardless of the gender of the people in the pictures, especially because the pictures of the people would not be anonymous.
posted by Elementary Penguin at 11:44 AM on July 7, 2015 [41 favorites]


He was super-excited and animated and obviously having a great time detailing the natural history of all his Pokemons.

She looked like she wanted to die.

He never. noticed.


I have had lunch with someone who did this exact thing, but he's 11 and my nephew, so it was still sort of endearing.
posted by gladly at 11:44 AM on July 7, 2015 [110 favorites]


I spent so much time deciding between Camus-esque and Camus-ish, I didn't think twice about the possibility that I had the wrong name entirely.
posted by penduluum at 11:45 AM on July 7, 2015 [24 favorites]


The more I think about this, the more I think if the woman on the date saw the tweets and realized it was about her date, it would have caused her more emotional pain than it would have the jackass man, had he made the discovery.

Sure, because the jackass man likely wouldn't even have made the connection or realized he was behaving badly.
posted by kenko at 11:47 AM on July 7, 2015 [1 favorite]


'Cause he's a jackass, see.
posted by kenko at 11:47 AM on July 7, 2015


And all those fatuous assholes eventually meet each other and become the couple you avoid.

If only that were true. I have too many old friends with insufferable partners / spouses, as proof it's not.
posted by aught at 11:47 AM on July 7, 2015 [4 favorites]


Also I'm sure I've read other hilarious livetweets of terrible dates and one of them was REALLY GOOD but there are so many livetweets of terrible dates because the universal experience of men being terrible and so I do not know how to find them again

Wait, but how is he acting like a sexist jerk? Yes, he's self-involved, but someone earlier in the thread pointing out women can be bad dates too. So if the genders were reversed, and the woman was self-involved, would this still be a feminist act?

women don't do this constantly to men all the time. men do this constantly to women all the time. i get that there are a lot of dudes in this thread that never noticed this condescending misogynist trash behavior but that is a problem with your noticing skills and patriarchy

the fact that women have to fake a text from their mom to get away from this kind of shit instead of being able to just get up and leave is a sign of a societal problem with male entitlement to female attention
posted by NoraReed at 11:47 AM on July 7, 2015 [148 favorites]


But it's still a violation of his privacy (and hers!).

This being metafilter, the discussion turns, as inevitably as a James novel (well, a James novel crossed with professional wrestling), to the finer points of etiquette. My own feeling is that live-tweeting a public awkward conversation isn't actually an "invasion of privacy"—anymore than taking a picture of someone in public is—but it might be a violation of the unspoken rule of urban living that it's gauche to seem too interested in your neighbor's business.

Not too long ago I saw one of these conversations in a coffee shop, too. Amusingly/embarrassingly, the guy—on what I presumed was a first date—talked incessantly for an hour. The woman said almost nothing and then they parted and the woman took off, as they say, like a shot. Sorry, I didn't tweet it; I wasn't really that interested.
posted by octobersurprise at 11:47 AM on July 7, 2015 [7 favorites]


'Cause he's a jackass, see.

Sorry if that wasn't clear in what I wrote, where I called him a jackass too.
posted by aught at 11:48 AM on July 7, 2015


gladly: "he's 11 and my nephew, so it was still sort of endearing."

Yeah, and in Pokemon guy's defense, he seemed like a really nice guy (not a "Nice Guy (tm)"); he was open and enthusiastic and unselfconscious and animated ... he just needs to learn to pick up a few more conversational and social cues. Which, given that he is still just a college kid, I'm confident he will. And I bet a good 50% of it was being nervous on a date and running at the mouth as a result.

My husband and I were just DYING laughing because we have both been on that date. Including once with each other. If either of them had seem actually horrible it wouldn't have been so funny, but they both just seemed very young.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 11:49 AM on July 7, 2015 [15 favorites]


even if this thread descends into rage fuelled anarchy and name-calling it will all have been worth it for the puppet anecdote. the terrible puppets are the party dog of this thread.
posted by poffin boffin at 11:50 AM on July 7, 2015 [79 favorites]


n.b. a variety of dating profile shaming sites already exist

Am I the only person who think she made this up?

After Duck Club I don't know what to believe anymore. Is the internet made of lies??
posted by prize bull octorok at 11:50 AM on July 7, 2015 [12 favorites]


I feel like calling out this behavior is a feminist act, and I think shaming men for acting like entitled, sexist, mansplainy jerks is absolutely in the public interest. Especially because it is common knowledge that this sort of thing happens all the time. This is not run-of-the-mill awkwardness, this is a specific type of entitlement that is Toxic, and the more attention and mocking it gets, the better as far as I am concerned.

This, exactly.
posted by caryatid at 11:50 AM on July 7, 2015 [8 favorites]


The genders could be reversed and I'm sure many people would go "wooee, do I know a woman like that! Shut up lady, it's just gluten!"

But the difference is that this level of bloviating, cringeworthy dumbness from a man tends to remind women of every romantic, political and career obstacle she has faced as a result of some guy's overconfident, imperceptive, subconscious yet undeniable sexism. So yea, ladies who want to talk about their makeup throughout your whole date are annoying, but there's a reason these anecdotes are hugely cathartic for women and it's not because we really, really hate Pokemon.

I mean, listen to the shit-for-brains politicians who drone on and on in the public eye about medical procedures (e.g. abortion) for women that they know absolutely nothing about. Now imagine that this guy is not a politician, but your date (or a date at the table over), and you can sneak out through the bathroom window and laugh about it later on Twitter. And that guy is gone from your life forever! Score!

So just let us have our momentary fantasy of control, man!
posted by easter queen at 11:51 AM on July 7, 2015 [103 favorites]


I have also had times in my life where I have said and done stupid, awkward things that later made me cringe. But you know how I know those things were stupid and awkward? Sometimes, it was due to things like this, where someone documents someone else doing it and articulates what makes it terrible.

We learn social conventions and human interaction skills largely through observation and critiques like this one.

Those who think he might be identifiable based on these accounts are probably underestimating how common this sort of thing is. He's probably not even the only pretentious dude out there with a story about being Johnny Depp's body double.

Maybe, if we're lucky, some guys will recognize this in themselves and do something about it.

I wish that the internet hate machine would stop haranguing people for doing dumb stuff as though it wasn't, jointly and severally, responsible for its own share of dumb stuff. But there's a point at which bullying avoidance becomes untenable. Let's address the bullies themselves, rather than just trying to avoid setting them off.

Also, everybody shut up about the puttanesca sauce. I am currently in negotiations with the Italian government to sell them my recipe, so when I see you guys talking about puttanesca, I can't help but to chortle to myself.
posted by ernielundquist at 11:52 AM on July 7, 2015 [10 favorites]


This being metafilter, the discussion turns, as inevitably as a James novel...

I am not acknowledging the rest of this sentence because I want to spend the rest of my days in MeFi judging each thread by whether it's a Henry James, a P.D. James or an E.L. James.
posted by griphus at 11:52 AM on July 7, 2015 [72 favorites]


this thread is why we can't have crappy things
posted by thelonius at 11:53 AM on July 7, 2015 [22 favorites]


What if, hypothetically speaking, the guy was actually an all powerful AI that has trapped us all in his simulation and bruising his god like ego is what causes him to torture all of us for eternity?

I mean, we should be on the safe side.
posted by The Whelk at 11:53 AM on July 7, 2015 [50 favorites]


I went on this terrible date once with a guy from OK Cupid who set a up live-cam at his house so you could watch him exercise. I was clearly not as fit as he wanted and o boy did he let me know it.

Or a date with a bouncer from a punk club. He was really nice but man I was the hot mess on that date. I would not have been surprised if someone had "called" him with an emergency.
posted by Kitteh at 11:54 AM on July 7, 2015 [6 favorites]


Um, well, actually, the plural is "Pokes-mon".
posted by doctornecessiter at 11:54 AM on July 7, 2015 [16 favorites]


I think it's Pokemans. Everyone who has showed me theirs has said Pokemans.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 11:56 AM on July 7, 2015 [29 favorites]


I wonder if what made this livetweet-worthy to her was it fitting the narrative of "every woman has been on dates with self-involved jerk men." I'm thinking about people I know who sometimes or often exhibit some of the bad behavior described in the tweets and in this thread, and while some of them really are just self-important, there are other reasons for this kind of thing:

1. An insecurity so deep that obnoxious bragging is the only way the person knows to try to convince anybody they're worthwhile (before I was disowned, I sat through a lot of Christmas dinners where my brother bragged relentlessly in a desperate and futile attempt to get some sign of respect or admiration from our father, for instance).

2. Nerves.

3. Social awkwardness/unawareness of social cues/autism spectrum disorder. I have a friend who does the "can't stop talking about Pokemon" thing, especially when they're worked up or excited about things—they'll cut you off halfway through what you're saying to say the thing that they so desperately need to say. In these cases, assertiveness often helps: "Will you please let me finish?" "I like hearing about your Pokemon, but I'd like to talk about something else now." I dated a woman for awhile who liked it if you told her she was screwing up a social interaction and gave her a social script: I'd say, "Oh, hey, you just missed a chance to say I look pretty tonight." and she'd say, "Oh! Well, you do look pretty tonight!" or, I'd say, "You could have said, That's interesting. Tell me more about the thing you're doing at work," and she'd say, "That is interesting! Tell me more about the thing you're doing at work."

In the abstract, I'm on the side of "if it happens in public, it's not private," and I'm certainly more comfortable with anonymized tweets than photographs, which are much more identifiable. At the same time, I am remembering a time a couple of years ago when I met a friend in a coffeeshop to have a difficult conversation that I thought might result in the end of our friendship (it was difficult; it did) because I wanted to be in a public, safe place and easily able to remove myself if necessary. The debacle ended with me walking to my car while she screamed abuse at me. It would be painful to me to have someone live-tweet this very painful conversation because it was *funny* to them. It's not so much the facts being relayed that would bother me, as the tone of "ha ha there are these two fat middle-aged women like totally having a cat fight at the table next to me."

Finally: I agree the story plays out too perfectly. I always suspect that something that was part of this, or something that might have kind of been like this, really happened, and the person telling the story thought, "Wouldn't it have been great if it ended with her walking away and him crying into his folded arms on the table?" My rule of thumb is that if it sounds too much like a movie scene, it has almost certainly been massaged into story-shape, if it happened at all. I could be wrong, but I'm skeptical of perfect little playlets that supposedly happened in real life.
posted by not that girl at 11:56 AM on July 7, 2015 [16 favorites]


I got a buddy who works at Nintendo and he said the plural is "digimon."
posted by griphus at 11:57 AM on July 7, 2015 [9 favorites]


Well, actually, it's PokeMEN.
posted by Elementary Penguin at 11:57 AM on July 7, 2015 [5 favorites]


I have a really good puttanesca sauce recipe, and it comes with a mildly amusing origin story, but now I am afraid to ever tell it for fear it would be gauche.
posted by GenjiandProust at 11:57 AM on July 7, 2015 [7 favorites]


pokemanim
posted by poffin boffin at 11:58 AM on July 7, 2015 [23 favorites]


I'm skeptical of perfect little playlets that supposedly happened in real life.

I'm not saying you're wrong, but all my best true stories tend to feature me saying "you'd call bullshit if this happened in a novel" at some point.
posted by George_Spiggott at 11:59 AM on July 7, 2015 [7 favorites]


This isn't a public shaming; it's a cautionary tale. Sadly, the dudes who could most profit from it are likely too busy writing angry screeds about their feelings of righteous indignation on behalf of the anonymous twit who will never be affected by this in any way whatsoever.
posted by Atom Eyes at 11:59 AM on July 7, 2015 [77 favorites]


women don't do this constantly to men all the time. men do this constantly to women all the time. i get that there are a lot of dudes in this thread that never noticed this condescending misogynist trash behavior but that is a problem with your noticing skills and patriarchy

No, I notice as I said this behavior in men as well, and after reading what you wrote can see it is sexist. But, I was more relating on a level that everyone has been that person in their life who has tried a little too hard in impressing someone else. The other party doesn't have to be a date.

It could be you moving to a new school and trying hard to fit in with an new friend or group of friends.

It could be going on that weird job interview lunch kind of thing, where the environment creates a wider range of conversation that goes beyond work.

It could be going home to Thanksgiving and finding out your cousins or siblings are all rich and with families and you're the odd one out, trying your best to explain how great work is or how passionate you are about a project your working on and you just end up sounding desperate.

Y'know, I'm not gonna say "what about the men!", because the woman (and many women) had to sit through that. But my reaction is definitely one of ambivalence, as I'm hardly perfect and still not good at navigating conversations like this.
posted by FJT at 12:01 PM on July 7, 2015 [1 favorite]


I'm surprised he didn't segue into "you know, in Italian, puttanesca means whore sauce," because then the date is suddenly in Sexy Territory
posted by prize bull octorok at 12:01 PM on July 7, 2015 [96 favorites]


This is a modern fable. A tale told to demonstrate to impressionable youngsters what behaviors are socially unacceptable and likely to lead to failure. A little humor to help it stick and BAM, a lot of 19 year old men get a lot of information they need in order to date successfully. Cruel to awkward guys? No, things like this are a gift to awkward guys. Now you know not to be a ridiculous braggart, and we've all reinforced a healthy cultural norm of conversational reciprocity. Win/win.
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 12:02 PM on July 7, 2015 [101 favorites]


I never dated all that much because I am pretty good at weeding out men from their OKCupid conversations (I once told a eugenicist who kept 'splaining to me that he was the reason I was making myself invisible to straight men on OKC and that if he died alone and unloved it was probably because he reduced the size of the dating pool by making me not only leave it, but probably start dating other bi women, thus effectively removing 2 women from it), but I definitely was the pokémon niece. (I even, apparently, still know how to make the "é" in windows.)
posted by NoraReed at 12:02 PM on July 7, 2015 [7 favorites]


Isn't it Pokemodes?
posted by DowBits at 12:03 PM on July 7, 2015 [3 favorites]


Strangers would be welcome to live-tweet my husband and I's dorktastic conversations if we hadn't already created a Tumblr dedicated to being weirdly public about how we talk.
posted by Kitteh at 12:04 PM on July 7, 2015 [12 favorites]


George_Spiggott: "I want to have a high sign with my friends to indicate "people at next table paying way too much attention, let's give them something", so we can seamlessly segue into highly creative, utterly horrifying personal details.

Unfortunately my IRL friends are mostly not up for this kind of thing.
"

George, you need more interesting friends. You can borrow mine. They don't even have to make stuff up for it to be creative and horrifying. But we're all willing to be *more* interesting if there's an audience. ;)
posted by dejah420 at 12:04 PM on July 7, 2015 [3 favorites]


Is there a version of this where it's the woman who's saying the cringeworthy things and the man adsorbing it in increasingly horrified yet unnoticed silence? Because I would like to read that.
posted by gottabefunky at 12:04 PM on July 7, 2015 [2 favorites]


I think "you should try my puttanesca sauce" ranks up there in the top things you should never say on a date.

Between this and "Quack Quack", I have my icebreakers sorted for the next mefi meetup.
posted by metaBugs at 12:05 PM on July 7, 2015 [23 favorites]


Is there a version of this where it's the woman who's saying the cringeworthy things and the man adsorbing it in increasingly horrified yet unnoticed silence? Because I would like to read that.

Do you have a time machine? Because I could have helped with that.
posted by Kitteh at 12:06 PM on July 7, 2015 [4 favorites]


Some great dating advice I got from a male friend, back when I was OKCupid-ing en masse: A jerk is going to keep being a jerk until he gets the message that it's not okay.

In other words, guys act like this because nobody has yet told them it's not okay (or they haven't listened), and lite shaming like this absolutely is in the public interest because it is a very visible way to tell this type of man that his steamrolling over a conversation and bragging and etc. etc. is NOT OKAY and we will laugh at you.
posted by witchen at 12:06 PM on July 7, 2015 [12 favorites]


#notallpokemen
posted by the uncomplicated soups of my childhood at 12:06 PM on July 7, 2015 [99 favorites]


prize bull octorok: You know, I have a feeling he was hoping she would ask what the Italian actually meant.
posted by pharm at 12:09 PM on July 7, 2015 [4 favorites]


Do you have a time machine? Because I could have helped with that.

I know you're probably talking about your personal experiences but my first guess was that you were going to create an alternate timeline in which there wasn't a patriarchy, a la Aamer Rahman's reverse racism bit
posted by NoraReed at 12:11 PM on July 7, 2015 [5 favorites]


Public and private are insufficient terms for the modern world. Privacy is a spectrum-- I have more of it in my bathroom than I do in my office, and more there than I would on a stage, and more there than I would on national tv.

There *is* a difference between being overheard by 20 people in a cafe, and being overheard by even just 20,000 people on twitter.

The OP seems sufficiently anonymous that likely the person in question won't know about it, but a few of the other twitter tales linked here aren't (including first names, clothing descriptions-- if someone wanted, they might be able to pick out the cafe by figuring out where the tweeters go regularly). And I don't think that's ok.

For example, I've been the probably-seemed-self-absorbed one on a date (possibly more than once-- but there's once I cringe at). In my defence he did ask me about my unicycle-- sigh, poor dude thought it was a joke when my profile said I came with one. Since he asked I talked about it for a while, probably too long, and eventually when he managed to say "oh, I thought that was a joke" well.. let's just say we're all thankful first dates end. (And I'm thankful I found someone who finds my blabbing interesting instead of dull.)

Yeah, I don't need that experience to have been tweeted out. (Maybe it wouldn't have been, I'm female and that's not a stereotype applied to me).

I've had a really public both of us in tears breakup too. That didn't need to be shared with the world at large (it's bad enough it was in a coffee shop frankly).

So yeah, dude needs to talk less about himself on dates. Yeah, men in general should shut up and listen more often. But we really can't judge the man in the OP-- we can only judge his one action here. I don't know he's a douchecanoe, and neither do you.
posted by nat at 12:11 PM on July 7, 2015 [14 favorites]


If that's short-form fiction, IT ROCKS!!!
posted by glasseyes at 12:13 PM on July 7, 2015 [1 favorite]


Sure, but isn't there a difference between being overheard and being broadcast to a larger audience?

- Rightly or wrongly, no, not any more.

- It's anonymous to everyone on earth except for the two people who had this conversation.

- Nope.


Man, the world sure has changed. This may explain why there isn't more outrage about NSA spying.
posted by Greg_Ace at 12:13 PM on July 7, 2015 [10 favorites]


My wife and I were eating dinner at a restaurant once with a bad date going on next to us. Unfortunately it was more than just a matter of one of them being an awkward idiot. This was a woman who apparently felt pressured to go on a date with her boss, who was trying to get physical at the table despite her highly visible discomfort. Finally, the moment this guy went to the bathroom, we and three other tables of two urged her to get the hell out of there as fast as she could and she stood up, shaking, and ran for the door. He came back moments later and looked around the restaurant in confused silence for the rest of the meal. It was outright awful.
posted by aletheia at 12:14 PM on July 7, 2015 [67 favorites]


what behaviors are socially unacceptable and likely to lead to failure

Except, I'm sad to say from decades of watching other humans, I am honestly not sure that, in general, arrogance and obliviousness actually do lead to dating failure. This one fortunately self-respecting woman had the presence of mind the bail on this particular jerk, but for some dating partners arrogance looks like self-confidence, and endless self-promoting stories look like an interesting person with an active life, both of which might in fact lead to desirability. The general population is simply not so aware, or self-aware, as the enlightened folks of MeFi.
posted by aught at 12:14 PM on July 7, 2015


not all pokemen

Dammit, the uncomplicated soups of my childhood!
posted by daisyk at 12:14 PM on July 7, 2015 [2 favorites]


I don't know he's a douchecanoe, and neither do you.

I bet his date is pretty sure.
posted by almostmanda at 12:15 PM on July 7, 2015 [14 favorites]


I'm surprised he didn't segue into "you know, in Italian, puttanesca means whore sauce,"

It's actually really hard to believe he didn't go there, which might be one of the reasons some people think the encounter is made up.
posted by aught at 12:17 PM on July 7, 2015 [9 favorites]


Kitteh: This thread is striking me in that it appears that the people who are upset or appalled by the glee in which the rest of us are partaking seem to be men...

it's pretty unlikely that it would have made the blue if the genders were reversed.

My first reaction was that it was pretty funny, and that I've been on that date, with women. Several times.

I literally didn't think about the gender issue until someone linked to the tweeter's characterization of the complaints. But yeah

My delayed reaction was basically "I really shouldn't think this is funny, because mocking people is almost never useful or constructive and almost always leaves me feeling dirty for doing it."

So, upset? Appalled? No, since the guy hasn't been named or identified. But I do get tired of the idea that it's fun to mock people. If I don't mock Lindsey Graham for being single or Hillary Clinton for wearing whatever it is that she wears (pantsuits are funny, I guess?), then why should I mock a guy for being a self-absorbed twit?

What would be a more interesting thing to see, IMO, is if she said to him 'look, frankly, i've sat here being polite and you've been self-absorbed and this has not been fun for me, so no, let's please not do this again next week.' More of that is what we need. That's how he actually learns something.

It wouldn't be funny, though. Well, maybe it would be if Amy Heckerling or Wes Anderson wrote it.
posted by lodurr at 12:17 PM on July 7, 2015 [9 favorites]


This may explain why there isn't more outrage about NSA spying.

yes, that is definitely an analogous situation.
posted by poffin boffin at 12:17 PM on July 7, 2015 [36 favorites]


I am not acknowledging the rest of this sentence because I want to spend the rest of my days in MeFi judging each thread by whether it's a Henry James, a P.D. James or an E.L. James.

Fifty Shades of Grey except with the sentence length and unbearable psychological delicacy of late Henry James, please!
posted by kenko at 12:18 PM on July 7, 2015 [4 favorites]


I kind of get the "oh my god I would be so mortified if someone did that to me" reaction, but I think it's pretty overblown. Yes, I suppose it's possible one of the principles could read the piece and be ashamed, but I imagine that the woman would find it more validating and, if the man could learn anything instructive from this, it would be all for the good.

On the other hand, I kind of like to imagine that they were actually practicing for their improv group, pretending to have The Worst Date ever. That would make this whole thing much more meta.
posted by GenjiandProust at 12:18 PM on July 7, 2015 [6 favorites]


Dammit, the uncomplicated soups of my childhood!

I just wanted to see that again.
posted by kenko at 12:18 PM on July 7, 2015 [12 favorites]


I don't know he's a douchecanoe, and neither do you.

I bet his date is pretty sure.


Yup, and if she is, then she can say so.

You and I, however, don't know.
posted by nat at 12:19 PM on July 7, 2015


Let's hope this doesn't become a trend, because it could easily mutate into another great reason to just unplug the internet.
posted by Beholder at 12:20 PM on July 7, 2015 [1 favorite]


[One comment deleted. Folks, it would be great if we could not go to the super sarcastic or making-it-personal place with this. Thanks.]
posted by LobsterMitten at 12:23 PM on July 7, 2015 [1 favorite]


200 is far too many comments for a thread about a page that has nineteen tweets about two possibly made-up anonymous people having what appears to be a possibly made-up awkward first date.
posted by bondcliff at 12:23 PM on July 7, 2015 [10 favorites]


Now it's all vichyssoise and consommé double.
posted by kenko at 12:24 PM on July 7, 2015 [7 favorites]


So I know you can get apps that play background cafe noises for folks who have learned to work in cafes, but can't always make it to one. Do any have a premium version that includes "overheard interactions"? If not, someone should call an Upright Citizens classroom and get on it.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 12:25 PM on July 7, 2015 [6 favorites]


It's actually really hard to believe he didn't go there, which might be one of the reasons some people think the encounter is made up.

Yeah, and if it were in there, people would say it was too pat and obvious and therefore it must have been made up.
posted by kagredon at 12:26 PM on July 7, 2015 [9 favorites]


What would be a more interesting thing to see, IMO, is if she said to him 'look, frankly, i've sat here being polite and you've been self-absorbed and this has not been fun for me, so no, let's please not do this again next week.' More of that is what we need. That's how he actually learns something.

I am certain that's not how it would have worked out in real life, I'm sad to have to tell you. It sounds more like a brick on the road to him being bitter about women not understanding him and generally being mean to him.

Maybe it's my middle-aged-ness speaking but I find myself wondering if dysfunctional adults like the jerk guy in the FPP can really be taught anything. I guess I keep hoping we can at least teach the young men and women of the next generation and wait for the older jerks to die off (kind of like how racism and anti-gay sentiments are gradually trending downward as older folks die off).
posted by aught at 12:27 PM on July 7, 2015 [9 favorites]


I really don't get the "public shaming" thing. If there were a name, or any other identifying detail, sure. But this is just anonymous, and there are millions of guys who behave that way. Why would privacy be a factor here?
posted by idiopath at 12:27 PM on July 7, 2015 [10 favorites]



What would be a more interesting thing to see, IMO, is if she said to him 'look, frankly, i've sat here being polite and you've been self-absorbed and this has not been fun for me, so no, let's please not do this again next week.' More of that is what we need. That's how he actually learns something.

That is also the kind of thing that could end up getting her killed.
posted by caryatid at 12:27 PM on July 7, 2015 [69 favorites]


Folks, it would be great if we could not go to the super sarcastic or making-it-personal place with this.

Oh yeah right like nobody can tell you're referring to me
posted by George_Spiggott at 12:28 PM on July 7, 2015 [12 favorites]


You guys are right. You can't judge a man by what he says, or what he does. ... or how he acts, or who he is inside, or the thoughts he chooses to put into words and say to an actual human woman. None of that is important, when it comes down to basic male dignity. You can only judge a man woman by what he she laughs at.
posted by easter queen at 12:28 PM on July 7, 2015 [107 favorites]


Yeah, and if it were in there, people would say it was too pat and obvious and therefore it must have been made up.

No, I know, I know, I was shy to use a smiley or winky or similar irony emoti-indication on MeFi.
posted by aught at 12:29 PM on July 7, 2015 [2 favorites]


I read dozens of the comments here before I read the tweets--after seeing some of the reaction wrt to privacy and shaming and etc I have to ask--people who are concerned about this, did you actually read the tweets? They're innocuous (and hilarious). It feels like people critical of this are leaping up in defense of some other, hypothetical actually invasive and hurtful situation. There is nothing to be concerned about here. This is okay.

Also, funny. But it's not okay because it's funny, it's okay because it's okay.
posted by MoonOrb at 12:29 PM on July 7, 2015 [13 favorites]


Why would privacy be a factor here?

because a lady said a man was self involved and this is indistinguishable from thousands of years of patriarchal oppression
posted by poffin boffin at 12:29 PM on July 7, 2015 [89 favorites]


How old do you think the guy is? I mean, I was a jerk for a while. I still am. I think I am in a constant state of becoming less jerky.

Hey, there was even this guy I knew in college who was an objectivist. And then, he grew up! And he isn't anymore!

People can change. (Yeah, I hope this sort of guy does change).
posted by nat at 12:30 PM on July 7, 2015 [1 favorite]


I think the number of comments reflects that this a common, shared experience: either as an observer (thank god) or unfortunate participant.

I've honestly witnessed this date, in multiple incarnations, in Chicago, Michigan, and PNW. It could be made up...but why bother? So many real life occurances you just need to plop down somewhere first-datey and wait.
posted by ghost phoneme at 12:31 PM on July 7, 2015 [2 favorites]


I dunno, bondcliff, I am pretty sure we have had threads with more comments on slighter subjects. I am finding the dynamics of the thread kind of interesting, although we've seen it often enough before -- as desjardins said sagely above a bunch of men are outraged at the depiction of the man, while a bunch of women are saying "yup,, been there."

Now we are on to the unhelpful advice.
posted by GenjiandProust at 12:31 PM on July 7, 2015 [19 favorites]


You're so vain, you prob'ly think this tweet is about you.
You're so vain, I'll bet you think this tweet is about you.
Don't you?
Don't you?
posted by zennie at 12:32 PM on July 7, 2015 [18 favorites]


What!? JERK is evolving!
posted by prize bull octorok at 12:33 PM on July 7, 2015 [28 favorites]


People can change. (Yeah, I hope this sort of guy does change).

Well, sure, hopefully he will and that's great. No one is pinning a scarlet "J" to him and saying he has to bear it forever. They're saying that in this interaction, he was being a jerk, and being a jerk in a way that is kind of common among oblivious dudes. That is about as innocuous a thing as can be said about someone who's being a jerk, but people still get twisted about it.
posted by kagredon at 12:34 PM on July 7, 2015 [9 favorites]


Oh, regarding privacy-- yeah, I actually specifically said that I think *these* tweets were ok, but they're just on the line for me. They have just enough anonymity left, I think, to make it ok.

I also however read a few of the other similar cases linked in this thread of people tweeting breakups or awkward interactions- and several of those were really not ok, for me. Way too much personal detail.

Regarding privacy I was mostly grumbling about the commenters claiming that anything said in public is indistinguishable from things said on national tv. I don't think that's true.
posted by nat at 12:34 PM on July 7, 2015 [6 favorites]


The people who think that this is "internet shaming" seem to be predicating those thoughts on the assumption that this kind of behavior on dates is rare enough to be identifying. Reader, I assure you it is not.
posted by KathrynT at 12:35 PM on July 7, 2015 [61 favorites]


3. Social awkwardness/unawareness of social cues/autism spectrum disorder...
I am somewhere around here, and:

I dated a woman for awhile who liked it if you told her she was screwing up a social interaction and gave her a social script: I'd say, "Oh, hey, you just missed a chance to say I look pretty tonight." and she'd say, "Oh! Well, you do look pretty tonight!" or, I'd say, "You could have said, That's interesting. Tell me more about the thing you're doing at work," and she'd say, "That is interesting! Tell me more about the thing you're doing at work."
The only reason I can sometimes scrape by socially is because my mom did this for me (and... still does) and I learned some scripts. I'm currently in an actively-trying-to-figure-out-dating-again phase of my life, and kind of flailing helplessly with not knowing how to approach things. (And not knowing how to learn how to approach things.) A date with someone who had the patience to point out scripts would be a major boon to me. Or with someone who works the same way I do.

So my Cheherazade, which I super-leveled
brb renaming my charizard

posted by NMcCoy at 12:35 PM on July 7, 2015 [16 favorites]


I dunno, bondcliff, I am pretty sure we have had threads with more comments on slighter subjects...

Now we are on to the unhelpful advice.


That's where I'm a Viking!
posted by bondcliff at 12:38 PM on July 7, 2015 [5 favorites]


I think it's more helpful for straight women then it is for possibly unaware men. It's empowering women to not put up with that behavior.
posted by Annika Cicada at 12:38 PM on July 7, 2015 [26 favorites]


200 is far too many comments for a thread about a page that has nineteen tweets about two possibly made-up anonymous people having what appears to be a possibly made-up awkward first date.

Wait, what? Do you really think the conversation in this thread is just about that one date that got live-tweeted by a Canadian writer? (Despite my misguided attempt at irony earlier I have no doubt it was a real thing, in part because anyone who pays attention sees this sort of thing all the time.) That would be like saying a thread about the Confederate flag being voted out in SC is a lot of hubbub about a change in SC government etiquette.
posted by aught at 12:39 PM on July 7, 2015 [5 favorites]


there are plenty of conceivable gender flips of this but the part that conforms specifically to male stereotypes (and I do not mean that they are necessarily inaccurate) is that his narcissism manifests explicitly as constantly talking about how awesome he is
posted by atoxyl at 12:41 PM on July 7, 2015 [4 favorites]


It's also possible I think both to have some amount of empathy for the guy here who was being a jerk and also think that this situation is hilarious and laugh at what a jerk this guy was. I can imagine a sort of "ugh that could have been me once upon a time/on a day where I wasn't at my best" reaction but even if that's part of what someone feels, it's also true that he was being a jerk, and it's funny to laugh at an anonymous and humorous presentation of someone's jerky behavior sometimes.
posted by MoonOrb at 12:43 PM on July 7, 2015 [2 favorites]


People can change. (Yeah, I hope this sort of guy does change).

Perhaps this could help him (or people like him) change? I mean, years ago, I had a really ill-conceived ponytail and sideburns look, and I saw this guy on the street with a terrible ponytail and sideburns look, and I thought "man, he looks like a dork," and I went home and looked in the mirror and said "oh shit, that was ME!" And I went directly to the barber and mended my ways.
posted by GenjiandProust at 12:44 PM on July 7, 2015 [16 favorites]


In a similar vein, I would like to thank all the ladies for posting your horrible Tinder or dating site responses on social media. I laugh at them but I laugh with the laughter of oh my god that is painfully and hilariously recognizable.
posted by Kitteh at 12:45 PM on July 7, 2015 [8 favorites]


there are plenty of conceivable flips of this but the part that conforms specifically to male stereotypes (and I do not mean that they are necessarily inaccurate) is that his narcissism manifests explicitly as constantly talking about how awesome he is

Thing is, a lot of people can pull that off -- if they're attractive enough, or if their date is really into them for some other reason.
posted by lodurr at 12:46 PM on July 7, 2015


I think when I was 20, someone who had recently broken up with me told me that my conversation style was, often, just getting other people to agree that the things I said had merit, and I'm pretty sure it helped.
posted by griphus at 12:46 PM on July 7, 2015 [16 favorites]


I think when I was 20, someone who had recently broken up with me told me that my conversation style was, often, just getting other people to agree that the things I said had merit, and I'm pretty sure it helped.

That's a good observation, griphus.
posted by prize bull octorok at 12:47 PM on July 7, 2015 [45 favorites]


Thing is, a lot of people can pull that off -- if they're attractive enough, or if their date is really into them for some other reason.

A lot more people think they can pill this off than actually can.
posted by NoraReed at 12:47 PM on July 7, 2015 [13 favorites]


Is it this one, now Storified with deliriously no-fuckin-around aptness as twatchat?

Cocaine is a hell of a thing.
posted by urbanwhaleshark at 12:48 PM on July 7, 2015 [1 favorite]


I keep hoping we can at least teach the young men and women of the next generation and wait for the older jerks to die off

You're joking again, right? Cause that sounds like some kind of anti-jerk eugenics.
posted by FJT at 12:48 PM on July 7, 2015 [2 favorites]


It's way way back in the comments now, but this:

Her tweet from today:
Responses to my bad date live-tweet
Men: you're so mean and I bet you made this up anyway
Women: I have been on this exact date
posted by desjardins at 10:37 AM on July 7 [132 favorites +] [!]


The person who comes off the worst here is Anne Thériault.
posted by The Card Cheat at 10:37 AM on July 7 [9 favorites +] [!]


Might be the most perfect back-to-back pair of mefi comments I've ever seen.
posted by ominous_paws at 12:49 PM on July 7, 2015 [39 favorites]


there are plenty of conceivable flips of this but the part that conforms specifically to male stereotypes (and I do not mean that they are necessarily inaccurate) is that his narcissism manifests explicitly as constantly talking about how awesome he is

I had far too many dates in my early twenties wearing that young woman's shoes. I just decided to stop dating for a decade or so.
posted by bonehead at 12:50 PM on July 7, 2015 [3 favorites]


What would be a more interesting thing to see, IMO, is if she said to him 'look, frankly, i've sat here being polite and you've been self-absorbed and this has not been fun for me, so no, let's please not do this again next week.' More of that is what we need. That's how he actually learns something.

The story of my worst ever first date:

This guy lived in the same large apartment building in Detroit that I did, so after bumping into each other for the third or fourth time, we went out for drinks. While we were out, he just talked and talked about his amazing taste in music, all the great bands he had seen, boy did he love and know about music - probably more than anyone! I consider myself a music person as well, but could barely get a word in edgewise because what can you do with a guy like this - agree that the Velvet Underground are good or what?

Still, he was cute and did like pretty good music, so we kept hanging out at my place. Because I was listening to Nina Simone obsessively at the time, I put an album of hers on - and he asked if I could put on something more upbeat. Hey, sure, so I put on James Brown. Then he demanded that I put on some "fucking white people music, what the fuck is your problem? You're not cool because you listen to black people music." Which, like, whoa, okay.

I immediately told him that he needed to leave, I don't have to put up with racism and insults, and to please not contact me again. At that point, he threw an open, mostly full bottle of red wine at my wall, putting a small dent in it as well as splashing red wine all over my living room. I had to open the door, get out of my apartment, and involve other friends in the building to get his ass out of my place.

While my date got verbally aggressive in a way that did not occur here, the switch from self-involved condescending jerk to violent asshole was instant. One cannot predict how the self-involved will handle a perceived blow to their ego. Maybe this guy wouldn't flip out at the coffee shop, or maybe he would, or maybe he wouldn't there but maybe later. Why should she take the risk that he would take the opportunity to learn and grow? There is basically nothing to be gained on an individual level from giving such men the benefit of the doubt. If this kind of behavior becomes social anathema due to mass mockery, then so much the better.
posted by palindromic at 12:52 PM on July 7, 2015 [211 favorites]


Yeah, and in Pokemon guy's defense, he seemed like a really nice guy (not a "Nice Guy (tm)"); he was open and enthusiastic and unselfconscious and animated ... he just needs to learn to pick up a few more conversational and social cues.

Now this is a guy I'd feel a bit sorry for if he was mocked on Twitter in the same way as il doucherino here was. Partially because it could've been me, but partially because he didn't sound like a bad sort, just clueless. If he's a decent fellow, he'll learn.

It's just that nobody seems to teach blokes how to date properly in the same way women are taught, one of those silent, buildin sexist assumptions of everyday life that says that dating is a woman's responsibility and men are just along for the ride. And of course the assumption that the man is there to talk and a woman to nod along pleasantly.
posted by MartinWisse at 12:52 PM on July 7, 2015 [5 favorites]


I feel like calling out this behavior is a feminist act, and I think shaming men for acting like entitled, sexist, mansplainy jerks is absolutely in the public interest. Especially because it is common knowledge that this sort of thing happens all the time. This is not run-of-the-mill awkwardness, this is a specific type of entitlement that is Toxic, and the more attention and mocking it gets, the better as far as I am concerned.

I see a lot of claims about the utility of shaming that frame it as a public good, but I'm always skeptical, mostly because it goes against both my experience and my observations. From what I've seen, shaming is more likely to entrench a belief/behavior than it is to change it.* Conversely, if someone comes to a realization—either on their own or because they've been subtly lead to it—and becomes ashamed of a past belief or an action, they're much more likely to internalize it and incorporate it into their worldview. I have no evidence for but suspect this is particular to a modern, highly technological, decentralized society.

My sense is that the impulse to shame is less about changing a behavior than slapping someone down for exhibiting it. It's retributive rather than rehabilitative. As such, I think it's better to simply call it what it is rather than try to justify it as a social remedy. "Asshole had it coming" as a justification requires fewer conceptual contortions, and most people would probably be just as sympathetic.

* For reference, see pretty much every political argument at Thanksgiving ever.
posted by echocollate at 12:53 PM on July 7, 2015 [16 favorites]


When you get right down to it, if your name is Anne Thériault and you're not each and every one of: a writer, feminist and Canadian, something is very wrong in the universe.
posted by George_Spiggott at 12:53 PM on July 7, 2015 [3 favorites]


A lot of people saying this is over the line or would be over the line if more identifying information was posted may have missed the link someone posted earlier in the thread to Tim and Freya, a relatively detailed blow-up with first names and locations. See how you feel about that one.

strangely I find myself mostly unbothered by that one as well, even though it is a more obvious invasion of not-so-much-privacy. maybe because I'm a horrible person.
posted by chrominance at 12:54 PM on July 7, 2015 [2 favorites]


I think everyone agrees that in some circumstances pointing and laughing is fun and harmless, and in other circumstances it's more like hurtful bullying. I think this particular one is heavily on the fun and harmless side of the spectrum, but for me at least the whole concept of live tweeting an unaware person's conversation in order to make fun of them does feel worse than other ways of making fun of people. Which is weird, really there should not be any reason why this should feel different from some of the posts above where people describe overheard conversations in a summary long after the event, but to me at least it does feel different.
posted by burnmp3s at 12:54 PM on July 7, 2015 [1 favorite]


This is fucking sickening. I expect civil, reasonable discourse, and the person explaining puttanesca tries to claim that it can be made WITHOUT anchovies? Like that's just MAGICALLY OKAY because SOME so-called "RECIPES" say it is? I've flagged this comment using all my sockpuppets but the mods have done NOTHING so it looks like it's time for me to open a MeTa
posted by Greg Nog at 12:57 PM on July 7, 2015 [77 favorites]


Thing is, a lot of people can pull that off -- if they're attractive enough, or if their date is really into them for some other reason.

A lot more people think they can pill this off than actually can.


And a lot more men think other men can pull this off than actually can. Despite the "alpha male" hype, this behavior is unacceptable no matter who you are, what you look like, or how low your date's self esteem/confidence is.
posted by caryatid at 12:58 PM on July 7, 2015 [24 favorites]


Ten minutes ago I'd never even heard of "puttanesca sauce", and now I find myself endlessly amused by it. Thanks, MeFi!

What is puttanesca sauce anyway?


I didn't know what it was either so I Googled and this was one of the first results

You’re Doing It Wrong: Puttanesca Sauce


And as someone who respects this horrible dude's right to privacy but is also partially evil, I was somehow both crushed and relieved to find out that the author L.V. Anderson was a woman.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 12:59 PM on July 7, 2015 [1 favorite]


I guess what bugs me about this conversation is the complete unwillingness to cut anyone any slack at all. Like, maybe this guy was an okay guy and just having an off night. Or maybe the two people just didn't have any chemistry, leading to what was obviously a breakdown in communication. Either way, the guy wasted maybe two hours of the woman's time. And who hasn't been in that boat? I've definitely been on dates with women who posted highly deceptive profile pics. As in looked-like-a-completely-different-person deceptive. Wasted my time, but so what? It was a minor infraction.

I mean, last I checked, this is the entire purpose of a first date. You find out who's an overtalker, who is less attractive than their profile pics, etc etc etc, and then the ones who fail don't get a second date. That's the system at work.

I think it comes down to the question of whether or not people should be roasted on a spit for minor, forgivable infractions. Do we want to live in a world where nobody cuts anybody any slack ever? And where your minor infractions are committed to Internet Memory, where they will never be forgotten ever?

Another question (which echocollate eloquently pointed out) is whether internet shaming can do any good at all. And I haven't seen any evidence that it does. I've only really seen it take bad situations and make them worse.
posted by evil otto at 1:02 PM on July 7, 2015 [7 favorites]


Do any have a premium version that includes "overheard interactions"?

I just want to say that this was a brilliant idea, and omgomgomg why are you not coding it now? Gaahh! You would have so many filthy human dirt-monies thrust upon your carapace!
posted by aramaic at 1:02 PM on July 7, 2015


This may explain why there isn't more outrage about NSA spying.

yes, that is definitely an analogous situation.


I didn't intend it to be directly analogous, but I do think that expectations about what constitutes "personal and 'public' privacy" have changed enough that the recent revelations of corporate and government spying are more likely to be regarded as "ehh, modern life" than it might have been even just a couple decades ago.
posted by Greg_Ace at 1:03 PM on July 7, 2015 [6 favorites]


I used to think that experiencing unpleasant dates full of mansplaining and sexual innuendo non sequitors was unique to me. I spent a lot of time trying to figure out what I was doing wrong. I mean, the common denominator in all of my dates was me, right? So clearly I was causing men to drone on and on about themselves. Or to lecture me about my profession. Or to inform me of my feelings on any given topic. Or to make wildly innappropriate sexual "jokes."

So, while live tweeting awkward dates may never change the behavior of the men, it sure has taught me that I'm not alone in this. I'm not the only woman with a look of mild panic. And for that I am deeply grateful.
posted by mcduff at 1:03 PM on July 7, 2015 [109 favorites]


It's just that nobody seems to teach blokes how to date properly in the same way women are taught

Ohhhh boy. No one taught me to date, that's for sure. Anything I "learned" about dating was along the lines of "don't act too smart, make sure you look pretty." I know you're defending women with your statement, but I think it's more that women are socialized to be more considerate of others (and to anticipate their needs) and many things follow from that.
posted by easter queen at 1:03 PM on July 7, 2015 [64 favorites]


Fifty Shades of Grey except with the sentence length and unbearable psychological delicacy of late Henry James, please!

I'm sorry, sir, we're fresh out of psychological delicacy. Can I offer you a primal scream instead?
posted by octobersurprise at 1:03 PM on July 7, 2015 [3 favorites]


It's just that nobody seems to teach blokes how to date properly in the same way women are taught

Nobody taught me, or any other woman I know, how to date.
posted by caryatid at 1:03 PM on July 7, 2015 [37 favorites]


It's just that nobody seems to teach blokes how to date properly in the same way women are taught,

Even worse, I think, a lot of older guys and peers encourage young men in the bad behaviors of thinking arrogance is confidence or that self-involvement is being interesting, and that women are chiefly appealing for sex appeal or interest in the man. I'm not saying I'm a model of enlightened behavior (though I make an effort to be aware) but in retrospect being a bit socially isolated as a teen ended up being helpful, in that I think I missed some of the indoctrination.
posted by aught at 1:03 PM on July 7, 2015 [7 favorites]


It's just that nobody seems to teach blokes how to date properly in the same way women are taught,

I was about to say HEY WAIT nobody ever taught me how to date! except that that's not entirely true, I was given very formal dating lessons at the charm school(1, 2) required to graduate from my high school. They were just completely unrelated to anything I ever did on an actual date.

1. It didn't really take, obviously
2. Taught by the local chapter of the Daughters of the Confederacy no less

posted by KathrynT at 1:05 PM on July 7, 2015 [16 favorites]


OK, I'll bite. I'm a woman who is somewhere on the spectrum and has had some trouble shutting up about special interests, or trying not to reply to everything in a conversation with my own personal story of doing that thing. It's definitely a thing, and while I can occasionally pull it off just on sheer enthusiasm, it's an annoying behavior I've tried to change in myself. And I've even done this stuff on dates!

But here's the difference - while it's definitely annoying when I do this, no man I've ever dated (or met, even!) has had any trouble telling me to shut up, talking over me, changing the subject, or gently redirecting me. They hardly even have to think about it. It is just not a difficult social interaction for them - they're just like "oh, this woman is talking the wrong way, I will just redirect the conversation now". Because I was socialized in a society where men often get to direct the flow of conversation without even thinking about it and women watch men closely for these cues, I get his hints very quickly and try to adjust my behavior accordingly.

But when a man does this in conversation with me, it is a lot harder for me to redirect the conversation. He probably hasn't been socialized to follow my cues - in fact he usually doesn't even see my cues, and if he does, he certainly doesn't feel obliged to adjust his behavior to suit my conversational flow. Then, once he's made it clear that he isn't paying attention to my cues, the only way to redirect things is to be really explicit about it - "can we talk about something besides pokemon?" - but that's uncomfortable territory because he is likely to interpret it as a big escalation since he didn't see my earlier cues of boredom and annoyance.

There's no easy, graceful way for me to regain the upper hand in that interaction: because of the way we're socialized, he already has the reins of the conversation by default. If he isn't paying attention to cues, the only way to change things is to grab the reins of the conversation away from him, which reads as a much larger escalation than when he redirects me in the reverse situation. That's the difference.
posted by dialetheia at 1:05 PM on July 7, 2015 [214 favorites]


This is fucking sickening. I expect civil, reasonable discourse, and the person explaining puttanesca tries to claim that it can be made WITHOUT anchovies?

That's weird... Because I've been thinking about this for some time... And puttanesca seems like an awful lot of trouble to go through just to mask the taste of anchovies.
posted by el io at 1:06 PM on July 7, 2015 [8 favorites]


"My recipe for puttanesca? I putta myself next-a you!"
posted by the uncomplicated soups of my childhood at 1:06 PM on July 7, 2015 [32 favorites]


I hope this is fiction. I also hope that nobody is live-tweeting my (countless) awkward conversations, which I find kind of gross.
posted by Skorgu at 1:07 PM on July 7, 2015 [1 favorite]


It's just that nobody seems to teach blokes how to date properly in the same way women are taught

I got some instruction, once upon a long time ago, but all I can remember is some stuff about weenie roasts and scavenger sales
posted by prize bull octorok at 1:07 PM on July 7, 2015 [5 favorites]


minor, forgivable infractions

Such as sexism? Nope.
posted by caryatid at 1:07 PM on July 7, 2015 [19 favorites]


Wasn't there a MF post, a few years back, about an article written by a woman who wrote about her experience joining a D&D pickup group run by some neckbeard? I seem to remember the response to that article being less celebratory, though I could be mistaken.
posted by Beholder at 1:08 PM on July 7, 2015


If any of the sad privacy-wounded men in this thread would like to follow me around and live-tweet my first dates for internet points that would be totally cool with me. I'm super self absorbed and love an audience. HMU.
posted by phunniemee at 1:09 PM on July 7, 2015 [37 favorites]


MEN'S SCHOOL OF DATING FOR MEN (MEN ONLY!)

Courses Offered:
-Shutting Up While Someone Else Is Speaking 101 (3 credits)
-Not Bragging 201 (3 credits)
-Talking About Your Exes In Positive Terms Only 202 (3 credits)
-Tastes: A Primer On How Other People Have Ones Different Than Yours 104 (2 credits)
-Shutting Up While Someone Else Is Speaking While Nodding Appreciably And Asking Relevant Questions At The Appropriate Time Graduate Symposium (4 credits plus lab)
posted by griphus at 1:09 PM on July 7, 2015 [169 favorites]


I've definitely been on dates with women who posted highly deceptive profile pics.

What is it like being yellow all the time and not having any nose or body? Does the pixelation make it hard to find suitable hats?
posted by phunniemee at 1:10 PM on July 7, 2015 [16 favorites]


I guess we ladies should do as we're taught in magazines and finishing school and let the men dominate the conversation. After all, they've had a long day at work! They certainly don't want to hear about feather dusters and hairnets, let alone our seething hatred for their clueless, brute sexism.
posted by easter queen at 1:10 PM on July 7, 2015 [45 favorites]


Oh, and don't reapply your lipstick in public, it's gauche.
posted by easter queen at 1:10 PM on July 7, 2015 [11 favorites]


Reading things like this make me realize that I have lived a charmed life. Despite having had my fair share of relationship ups and downs, I have not "dated" since sometime in the early 1980s and maybe not ever. Every so often I'd find myself single and would absolutely despair at having not the slightest idea how dating is supposed to work or how I would be able to figure it out. Then I'd turn a corner and miraculously run into a beautiful, smart, interesting woman who didn't seem to mind my many flaws and indeed even found some of them charming. One thing would lead to another and we would be together. I recognize that I've been tremendously lucky in this respect. And if I needed any additional motivation to do the work of keeping my marriage strong, it's unbridled terror at the thought that my luck might run out and I'd have to subject myself to dating.

What's this all got to do with the subject of this thread? Not much, I suppose, except to say that going out on dates with people you barely know is difficult. The guy described so unflatteringly in the OP may be a self-involved jerk. Or he might have been nervously trying to impress and doing it all wrong.
posted by slkinsey at 1:10 PM on July 7, 2015 [4 favorites]


I got some instruction, once upon a long time ago, but all I can remember is some stuff about weenie roasts and scavenger sales

If you are talking about What To Do On A Date I swear to god I followed some of the advice in it and it worked quite well.
posted by griphus at 1:11 PM on July 7, 2015 [10 favorites]


A few years back, I just walked up the the counter for a to-go coffee and overheard a bad date in which the dude was explaining to the woman that he always wore his Vibram Five-Toe shoes on a first date so he could screen out the "small-minded and judgmental." After a moment, the woman responded, "Right. So you wore those shoes so you can feel justified in judging me?" I left in the awkward silence that followed.
posted by thivaia at 1:11 PM on July 7, 2015 [139 favorites]


"D&D pickup group"

What does that phrase mean? I parsed it a couple of times, came up with a *possible* meaning, but it seemed so improbable I discarded it.

Certainly I've never seen those words used as a phrase.
posted by el io at 1:11 PM on July 7, 2015 [1 favorite]


Oh, and don't reapply your lipstick in public, it's gauche.

Unless you are using the compact mirror to map out your escape route behind you, naturally.
posted by poffin boffin at 1:11 PM on July 7, 2015 [21 favorites]


I finally got to the bottom of the comments! This thread reminds me of why I don't go looking for conversations with strangers. Reminds me why I don't listen in when I want to enjoy some coffee.

"Like four sharp knocks on the doorway of unhappiness." Camus
posted by Oyéah at 1:12 PM on July 7, 2015 [3 favorites]


thivaia, I wish to high-five this woman.
posted by easter queen at 1:12 PM on July 7, 2015 [9 favorites]


I find the actions of this woman Anne Thériault (if that even is her name) totally unacceptable. Why didn't she post these people's names, addresses, and social insurance numbers. My god, it's 2015. Privacy isn't real anymore. The cowardice is despicable. Flagged as Offensive.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 1:12 PM on July 7, 2015 [11 favorites]


Dungeons and Dragons?
posted by Oyéah at 1:12 PM on July 7, 2015


Wasn't there a MF post, a few years back, about an article written by a woman who wrote about her experience joining a D&D pickup group run by some neckbeard? I seem to remember the response to that article being less celebratory, though I could be mistaken.

You're not thinking of that awful Alyssa Bereznak article about dating a Magic Card player, are you?
posted by Greg Nog at 1:12 PM on July 7, 2015 [1 favorite]


also the comment somewhere far above about a couple enthusiastically describing their favourite D&D games was definitely about griphus and blisterlips
posted by poffin boffin at 1:13 PM on July 7, 2015 [10 favorites]


the dude was explaining to the woman that he always wore his Vibram Five-Toe shoes on a first date so he can screen out the "small-minded and judgmental."

To be fair, if that dude is only interested in dating people who are on board with shoes with toes, then wearing them to the first date is an excellent way of making sure that he accomplishes that goal. Imagine his joy when he walks into the coffee shop and there is his date, sipping her coffee idly and looking around, also wearing shoes with toes.
posted by KathrynT at 1:14 PM on July 7, 2015 [46 favorites]


"D&D pickup group"

The writer didn't know anyone in the group. She just answered a personal ad. I don't remember where she discovered it.
posted by Beholder at 1:15 PM on July 7, 2015


After a moment, the woman responded, "Right. So you wore those shoes so you can feel justified in judging me?" I left in the awkward silence that followed.

Now that's the date that should have been live-tweeted for the world to learn from!
posted by aught at 1:17 PM on July 7, 2015


You're not thinking of that awful Alyssa Bereznak article about dating a Magic Card player, are you?

No. That was a different article.
posted by Beholder at 1:17 PM on July 7, 2015


I started to imagine going on a first date with someone wearing Vibram FiveFingers and I shuddered... then I thought, geez easter queen, why are you being so shallow? THEN I realized that the reason I shuddered was 0% about the look of shoes themselves and 100% about the fact that I immediately felt judged for every aspect of my "small-minded" "female" "preoccupation" with [insert interest or enthusiasm here].
posted by easter queen at 1:18 PM on July 7, 2015 [3 favorites]


I just have a hard time believing everyone would be lol'ing quite as hard if it were, say, an MRA type live-tweeting what he considered to be a "hilarious" conversation between two women he considered pretentious.

That's because MRAs are idiots. But his worldview is what we'd find bad, not his live-tweeting a public conversation.
posted by ignignokt at 1:19 PM on July 7, 2015 [14 favorites]


also any shoes you always wear without socks will eventually smell like 10,000 grimy toes with accompanying cheeses.
posted by poffin boffin at 1:20 PM on July 7, 2015 [4 favorites]


"Girl works for a non-profit. Dude is condescendingly explaining to her why most non-profit models don't work, he looked into making one once"

He might be that guy in your MFA program for now, but this remark makes me feel like he has a solid future in venture capitalism.
posted by a fiendish thingy at 1:20 PM on July 7, 2015 [21 favorites]


the OP may be a self-involved jerk. Or he might have been nervously trying to impress and doing it all wrong.

This sentiment has been expressed numerous times, and here's what I think you're missing:

A lot of women on first dates like this thought the same thing and gave the self-involved jerk the benefit of the doubt, went on a second, third, and fourth date, maybe even had a relationship, and discovered that this is invariably not a fluke and not skin deep. They found (like I have) that the self-involved jerkiness goes right to the bone and it never stops.
posted by caryatid at 1:20 PM on July 7, 2015 [34 favorites]


men really are exceeding terrified that women will laugh at them, huh? man that must be rough.

anywho, as far as being taught to date - i was taught to disguise myself so he thought i was a lady and how not to get raped and to make sure i didn't order things i actually wanted to eat, lest he think i'm a mooch, and to try to pay for half of it anyway. the mind boggles at why men don't get those same lessons...
posted by nadawi at 1:21 PM on July 7, 2015 [59 favorites]


My problem with cases like this (overheard conversations, chance encounters, single dates, etc) is that there will definitely, every time without exception, be the responsive criticism of 'Hey, this is just one snippet from this guy's life! You can't get a good idea of his character/personality from that!'. I saw a widely-shared web-clip once that referred to this as 'judo-flipping a "what they did" conversation into a "what they are" conversation'.

It's not relevant. I repeat, his personality, his character, the little joys and sorrows that make him the full complex person he is, are not relevant. What is relevant are his words and actions, which we actually can make a reasonable judgment of, given a decent amount of context.

Should we all be condemned as officially being jerks every time we have a bad interaction? Probably not. But should the things that we said and did be open for debate and criticism? Yes. Call me out on things that I do and say, any time you like. It's worth doing for everyone.
posted by The Zeroth Law at 1:21 PM on July 7, 2015 [39 favorites]


Either way, the guy wasted maybe two hours of the woman's time. And who hasn't been in that boat? I've definitely been on dates with women who posted highly deceptive profile pics. As in looked-like-a-completely-different-person deceptive. Wasted my time, but so what? It was a minor infraction.

Look, as someone who finds it highly creepy that you keep steering the conversation back around to women who weren't as attractive as you hoped they'd be and how they've "wasted your time", I fully give you my blessing to complain about them on Twitter in ways that are vague enough that they probably wouldn't be identified ("tall blonde wound up being short brunette :( #wasteoftime")
posted by kagredon at 1:22 PM on July 7, 2015 [121 favorites]


that he always wore his Vibram Five-Toe shoes on a first date so he could screen out the "small-minded and judgmental."

Okay, sigh, the more people comment on that comment the more I am picturing him as a stuck-up chimpanzee with Planet of the Apes shoes; Roddy McDowell as Cornelius.
posted by aught at 1:22 PM on July 7, 2015 [2 favorites]


dating monkey dating monkey wearing smelly shoes dating monkey
posted by poffin boffin at 1:24 PM on July 7, 2015 [8 favorites]


I feel like the point of this is that so many (many MANY) men, feel like that's exactly how they're supposed to behave. Not really "supposed to" but that the world ought to reward them for just being so incredible.

Shaming has been used to keep people in line socially for centuries. Using it now against brick-headed patriarchists seems something like justice, or at least vengeance. if the end result is that dudes like this are so hurt they slink off to never date again, I'm not sure I see the downside.

...which is all fun to say, but I guess I would like to live in a world where shame as a social tool was locked away in a museum somewhere with the rack and thumb-screws.

Anyway: I found the whole thing pretty hilarious to read. Now back to working on my sad poetry...
posted by ghostiger at 1:25 PM on July 7, 2015


one of these eavesdrop on first dates that i love love loved was when the tweeter went and made sure the woman was ok. my heart grows 10 sizes when i see women looking out for women.
posted by nadawi at 1:25 PM on July 7, 2015 [33 favorites]


I'm sorry, sir, we're fresh out of psychological delicacy.

Yeah, we used it up on men's reactions to these tweets. (Masculinity is so fragile!!)

"D&D pickup group"

What does that phrase mean? I parsed it a couple of times, came up with a *possible* meaning, but it seemed so improbable I discarded it.


I am guessing it's a DnD game that you can just drop in and play. Like pickup basketball, but with DnD.

also any shoes you always wear without socks will eventually smell like 10,000 grimy toes with accompanying cheeses.

I only do this with sandals because I have mostly evolved more as a human than when I did it with my Vans (which, to be fair, I did put through the washing machine often enough that they fell apart) but DANG do cats love those sandals
posted by NoraReed at 1:27 PM on July 7, 2015 [7 favorites]


ignignokt is so right it hurts... if an MRA livetweeted a conversation to mock the women in it, the livetweeting aspect would be so inconsequential I don't think it would even register.

Look, as someone who finds it highly creepy that you keep steering the conversation back around to women who weren't as attractive as you hoped they'd be

lol

I decided to earnestly rack my brain for things I've been taught about dating, and I came up with the following:

1. Don't go on a date without texting a friend, in case you disappear.
2. Don't go up to a guy's apartment or get in his car if he gives you bad vibes, because rape/murder
3. If you're going to a party or a bar, watch your drink.
4. Smartness intimidates guys, yadda yadda
5. If he pays for your dinner, don't be a fucking bitch
6. If he asks you halfway through the live musical you're watching if you want to go back to his place for sex and then cyberstalks you for a few years, then god why did you go on a date with him, you naive girl? (This one was a post facto lesson, helpfully garnered by my next boyfriend)
posted by easter queen at 1:29 PM on July 7, 2015 [59 favorites]


Greg_Ace: "I didn't intend it to be directly analogous, but I do think that expectations about what constitutes "personal and 'public' privacy" have changed enough that the recent revelations of corporate and government spying are more likely to be regarded as "ehh, modern life" than it might have been even just a couple decades ago."

I don't know, I know a guy who went on an absolutely horrendous first date in the late 80s and it ended up on the front page of the sports section of the Chicago Tribune the next morning, and people recognized the lady on her way into work on the train from the newspaper article and accompanying photographs and everyone wanted to know if he was REALLY THAT BAD a date.

(He didn't take the train, he was still in the hospital.)
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 1:31 PM on July 7, 2015 [2 favorites]


Here is 99% of the well-intended dating advice men get:

1. BE CONFIDENT
2. DON'T ACT LIKE YOU'RE TOO INTO HER

Do I have an overflowing fount of sympathy for guys who hear this and think it means they should talk about how awesome they are and not show any signs of interest in the activities and inner life of the person they're sitting across from? Nah.
posted by prize bull octorok at 1:32 PM on July 7, 2015 [25 favorites]


why would you even leave out the rest of the details you terrible set of eyebrows
posted by poffin boffin at 1:33 PM on July 7, 2015 [23 favorites]


Imagine his joy when he walks into the coffee shop and there is his date, sipping her coffee idly and looking around, also wearing shoes with toes.

This would make feel such anger, which is appropriate because this scenario is also literally the opposite of the described puppet date, which filled me with joy.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 1:33 PM on July 7, 2015 [5 favorites]


[Several comments deleted. evil otto, please leave it alone, you've made your point.]
posted by LobsterMitten at 1:33 PM on July 7, 2015 [11 favorites]


Shaming has been used to keep people in line socially for centuries. Using it now against brick-headed patriarchists seems something like justice, or at least vengeance. if the end result is that dudes like this are so hurt they slink off to never date again, I'm not sure I see the downside.

Historically, I think it was probably more effective in smaller, more insular, and less technologically advanced communities where right behavior still had some teleological (religious or otherwise) foundation. I suspect that feminism, important as it is, doesn't hold the same moral authority for some men (and women?) that, say, religion or culture did at other points in history, and people have other places to turn for redress of their imaginary injuries (e.g., MRM forums). Either way, my sense is that the gains of shaming as a social corrective are more illusory than not.
posted by echocollate at 1:35 PM on July 7, 2015


Similar to puppet date is the story of how Anna Faris and Chris Pratt fell in love, except instead of puppets it was 100 dead beetles.
posted by poffin boffin at 1:35 PM on July 7, 2015 [2 favorites]


okay pop quiz hotshots your date shows up wearing this

how many seconds until you bone down right in the restaurant?
posted by griphus at 1:36 PM on July 7, 2015 [54 favorites]


there has been absolutely zero shaming here. i feel like i'm in the princess bride, i don't think that word means what you think it means, etc...
posted by nadawi at 1:37 PM on July 7, 2015 [26 favorites]


There can be no expectation of privacy in a public place. If you don't want to be overheard, don't say it where other people can hear.

Coupla things:

1) This is an incredibly restrictive doctrine for first dates, as they pretty much all need to be had in public places.

2) Being overheard is not the same thing as making information non-private. If you were in a similar situation and heard a person talking about being molested you would (I hope) absolutely treat the information as private. Just because you heard it doesn't doesn't give you the innate right to share it.

Crowded little island that it is, Japan is a case study in public privacy. In their social contract what the writer did is a horrible breach of manners. Our social contract is in flux on these matters, but I wouldn't assume that we will settle on the free-for-all some people here are suggesting.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 1:37 PM on July 7, 2015 [10 favorites]


thanks griphus I'm asexual now
posted by NoraReed at 1:37 PM on July 7, 2015 [24 favorites]


my eyes griphus my eyes
posted by Kitteh at 1:38 PM on July 7, 2015 [9 favorites]


okay pop quiz hotshots your date shows up wearing this

-100 points for not taking it to the next level and putting a pair of Crocs on too
posted by prize bull octorok at 1:38 PM on July 7, 2015 [18 favorites]


NoraReed: A lot more people think they can pill [passing off self-involved narcissism as charm] off than actually can.

True enough, but I still never cease to be amazed at the number of people who fall for it.
posted by lodurr at 1:38 PM on July 7, 2015


I just threw up in my mouth a little, THANKS GRIPHUS
posted by nonasuch at 1:39 PM on July 7, 2015 [2 favorites]


1) This is an incredibly restrictive doctrine for first dates, as they pretty much all need to be had in public places.

oh god i just imagined an nyt lifestyle section piece about tweet dating where you and your date sit at a table in silence just tweeting to one another
posted by poffin boffin at 1:40 PM on July 7, 2015 [4 favorites]




there has been absolutely zero shaming here.

That confuses me. Do you feel that the derogatory things that have been said about the man would not be shameful for him to hear, or is it the fact that he (probably) isn't here means he isn't being shamed?
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 1:41 PM on July 7, 2015


i think you are all confused. he isn't BEING shamed, he just SHOULD BE ashamed
posted by NoraReed at 1:42 PM on July 7, 2015 [45 favorites]


That confuses me.

because the people aren't identified and likely can't be identified makes this not public shaming.
posted by nadawi at 1:43 PM on July 7, 2015 [19 favorites]


Griphus: I don't know you, but I hate you.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 1:43 PM on July 7, 2015 [3 favorites]


Now, look, people, the only problem with Five Fingers is that they look like crap. If they didn't look like crap, they'd be fine, and you all know it.

wait, that didn't come out like it sounded in my head....
posted by lodurr at 1:45 PM on July 7, 2015


The reason this is resonating so much is because all women have been on this date (some of us have been on this date multiple times, and some of us spent their twenties wondering why men always talked AT us like this--was it because we were uninteresting or fundamentally flawed?--without understanding that it happens to all women because the dismissiveness that happens on these otherwise "nice" dates is so insidiously banal that it's hard to characterize unless someone writes a fucking blow-by-blow account of this crappy shit on Twitter, and it's therefore really hard to get men to understand that this happens and how it makes us feel). The reason this resonates is because women are fucking psyched we're in an age where our voices are heard and we have so many dope male allies that we can finally start talking about how we're sick of being on dates where it's obvious we don't exist as individuals, and as a default, we're just supposed to be welcoming and nurturing repositories for men's stories and dicks unless a man has been "taught" how to date.

The reason this is resonating so much is because even if it's made up, it's the truest account of dating a certain and prevalent kind of young man, and those guys might as well hear how they make us feel.

This shames no one since no one is named or described, and it has value because of its inherent truth. Sorry if that steps on your balls, dudes. I'd sweetly listen to some complaints about your hurt feelings, but my mom just texted.
posted by Yoko Ono's Advice Column at 1:45 PM on July 7, 2015 [154 favorites]


I'd like to think there's some chef out there who got badgered into saying YES, OKAY, THIS IS THE BEST PUTTANESCA SAUCE I'VE EVER HAD and knows exactly who this is, and is enjoying a little chuckle right now
posted by prize bull octorok at 1:47 PM on July 7, 2015 [100 favorites]


I mean, ideally, a guy would hear the message and--instead of getting a gun--say "oh, crap, I had no idea! how embarrassing. I'm really sorry," and then begin to act like a decent person.

I have some success with that, btw, when I slept with a guy and he disappeared for a month until he needed a favor from me. In plain language, I told him that's not cool and you owe me a drink, and he said "ok deal, I'm sorry, that was pretty crummy of me," and I said ok no hard feelings and for the rest of our casual relationship he was prompt and respectful and conscientious. I considered it a victory for myself and for all of his (potential) partners, of whom there were/are many in our small town. I also stopped warning my friends about him, and as far as I know he has gone on to date a number of charming-seeming people.

I think that that, evil otto, is the system at work. "Let the market decide," etc.
posted by witchen at 1:47 PM on July 7, 2015 [6 favorites]


Sorry I'm behind in comments so someone may have already addressed this but I must say that Slate "You're doing it wrong" puttanesca recipe is wrong and lemon zest and onions have no place in puttanesca sauce. I don't really approve of the basil, either, but that one seems a common ingredient so I won't rail too much, except to say it should be oregano and parsley.

This recipe from Serious Eats looks much better.
posted by jaguar at 1:47 PM on July 7, 2015 [3 favorites]


Also I hate vibrams because I don't allow shoe-wearing in my house but if someone arrives in a pair it's like, oh, great, now I get to choose between street dirt on my floor or MOIST SWEATY BARE FEET.
posted by poffin boffin at 1:47 PM on July 7, 2015 [13 favorites]


nadawi: because the people aren't identified and likely can't be identified makes this not public shaming.

I've been thinking about this, and I don't buy it.

Here's why: Shaming is rarely about the person being shamed. Shaming is a performance you put on for others. The importance of it is not that someone feels ashamed -- it's that other people think that person should feel ashamed.

The social function of shaming is to enforce desired behaviors in others. The person you're shaming is not the most important person in that social equation.
posted by lodurr at 1:48 PM on July 7, 2015 [4 favorites]


[A few comments deleted. Let's rewind and undo the talk about the guy in the tweets buying a gun; the point can be made without that huge escalation/derail.]
posted by LobsterMitten at 1:49 PM on July 7, 2015


1) This is an incredibly restrictive doctrine for first dates, as they pretty much all need to be had in public places.

I can't even remember what exactly it was about or who said it (help me out here), but during the week with the gay marriage ruling and all the Confederate flag blustering, somebody said something to the effect of "now that [liberal thing] is ok, people will be forced to have their [bigoted conversations] in private."

This is the same thing. If you're in public, other people can and will overhear you. If you're going to say something that's going to make you sound like a twat, and you would not be ok with sounding like a twat, maybe you should wait to say it when you get home behind closed doors.

Or you could go with the highly controversial approach of just not going around acting like a twat, period.
posted by phunniemee at 1:49 PM on July 7, 2015 [20 favorites]


I'd like to think there's some chef out there who got badgered into saying YES, OKAY, THIS IS THE BEST PUTTANESCA SAUCE I'VE EVER HAD and knows exactly who this is, and is enjoying a little chuckle right now


Likewise, some woman in Toronto is going to be on a date that feels a little off and she'll question her instincts and then the dude will brag about his puttanesca sauce and she'll feel more comfortable making the right decision.

(This probably won't happen but it's a pretty good metaphor for why I think conversations like this are important.)
posted by MCMikeNamara at 1:49 PM on July 7, 2015 [11 favorites]


This shames no one since no one is named or described, and it has value because of its inherent truth. Sorry if that steps on your balls, dudes.
@granulac: if you're worried a subtweet is about you, just fav it and then it's not about you!
subtweet, n. - (on Twitter) a post that refers to a particular user without directly mentioning them, typically as a form of furtive mockery or criticism.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 1:50 PM on July 7, 2015 [7 favorites]


The moral of the story is, she needs to make up a few standby stories to see how far the one-uppers will go. Stories with opening lines so outrageous that he will have to choose between being totally ridiculous or having to listen to someone else talk for a minute.

I think that situation called for "I stabbed a guy once."
posted by ctmf at 1:50 PM on July 7, 2015 [16 favorites]


The social function of shaming is to enforce desired behaviors in others.

I think that work pretty well, tbh; if a dude reads a million people online laughing at the schmoe who's like "being a writer involves wrestling with my demons", said dude is less likely to say such a thing in the future.
posted by Greg Nog at 1:52 PM on July 7, 2015 [7 favorites]


But the bad part about shaming is that it's targeted and specific in a way that often crosses into harassment, hindering the person's ability to go about their business. It's a pretty weird reworking of the definition of shaming to apply it to something where that is not the case.
posted by kagredon at 1:52 PM on July 7, 2015 [14 favorites]


Maybe not an expectation of privacy, as such, but maybe an expectation of being lost in the crowd?

There's a difference between "I overheard a few phrases but was paying more attention to my friend/book/the sweetcorn stuck between my teeth", "I sat there listening and taking notes", and "I broadcasted the conversation, with commentary, to several thousand people who would've have heard it otherwise". Exactly which are acceptable and which aren't is going to vary between groups, and I'd be astonished to see consensus somewhere as geographically varied as metafilter. But it's weird to imply that no difference exists between those behaviours.

That said, I agree that in this specific case it's not too relevant, because there's not enough information for their friends/families/bosses to recognise them, or internet yahoos to track them down. It feels a bit skeevy to me, but I can't see that any actual harm has been done to anyone.
posted by metaBugs at 1:53 PM on July 7, 2015 [4 favorites]


star wipe to greg thumb wrestling with xharl
posted by poffin boffin at 1:53 PM on July 7, 2015 [5 favorites]


I've been thinking about this, and I don't buy it.

if the person being shamed isn't important then just about 99% of the complaints about "public shaming gone maaAAaaaAAAaaaaaaAaAaaaad" are bs.
posted by nadawi at 1:53 PM on July 7, 2015 [8 favorites]


The moral of the story is, she needs to make up a few standby stories to see how far the one-uppers will go. Stories with opening lines so outrageous that he will have to choose between being totally ridiculous or having to listen to someone else talk for a minute.

it's gonna be so great when we can go on dates in VR and just switch out our actual physical presence for an AI with a corpus from @ididmorepushups
posted by NoraReed at 1:54 PM on July 7, 2015 [1 favorite]


I've definitely been on dates with women who posted highly deceptive profile pics

I will be happy for the day when we as a society stop making the deceptive profile pics a thing that is only, or predominantly, done by women. I am here to tell you that that is just. not. true.

It's just that nobody seems to teach blokes how to date properly in the same way women are taught

Ohhhh boy. No one taught me to date, that's for sure. Anything I "learned" about dating was along the lines of "don't act too smart, make sure you look pretty." I know you're defending women with your statement, but I think it's more that women are socialized to be more considerate of others (and to anticipate their needs) and many things follow from that.


Something that I like to do is read columns and articles with dating advice. Here is what they look like: the majority of them are women asking questions about men. Stuff like: why does he do this, what does that mean, why won't he [xyz] etc. Of the advice given to women, I would say roughly 90% of it focuses on what the women can or should do. Keep in mind that the questions are things along the lines of:

"Why won't he call me his girlfriend? We've been dating and having sex for six months."
"Why doesn't he return my calls or initiate things, ever?"
"Why is he giving me mixed signals?"
"We've been dating and having sex for six months and he says he wants to take it slow. Is he serious about me?

Etc.

About 90% of the time, the advice is along the lines of - don't be needy, don't be clingy, men need space, don't scare him away, etc. Which makes my blood boil, because a lot of the time, the women are not asking unreasonable questions! It is not unreasonable to ask why a man won't call you his girlfriend when you've been dating for six months, for example. But it is so normal in our culture to tell women that there is something wrong with what they're doing that there are SO many men haven't learned that they need to step their game up, while women have been told that our entire lives. If we aren't getting what we want or need from a partnership, there is something wrong with what we're doing. This is a powerful belief that is embedded in our culture and I'm sick of it. Because I meet guys all the time who are like this - SO MANY MEN - and I either have to adjust my standards downward (to a degree that I think is unfair - I don't think it's unreasonable to want someone to return calls consistently and within a reasonable time frame, for example), or, give up and be single for the rest of my life, I guess?

Imagine if all the dating advice articles and columns were predominantly men writing in and asking - I really liked this woman, why couldn't I get past a first date? Why won't women return my calls? And the vast majority of advice given was - woman like men who don't swing hot and cold, women like men who show a genuine interest in them without an expectation of sex or ego gratification, women like men who give as equal of consideration to their hearts and minds as that they give to their body. Etc.

I say this as a woman who genuinely believes there are lots of fantastic, excellent men out there (I know a lot of them!), but I believe women in general tend to do much better with their behavior towards men than vice versa and yet we are told that we're the problem. This shit is toxic as hell and needs to die in a fire, like, yesterday.

Yes, I know - not all men, women do it too, etc. Please assume that I understand that and I'm acting in good faith here.
posted by triggerfinger at 1:55 PM on July 7, 2015 [89 favorites]


Has no one considered that the woman might have been LADY SPACE HITLER, and the man was babbling in fear that, if he stopped talking, she would destroy him?

It could be true; you never know.
posted by GenjiandProust at 1:56 PM on July 7, 2015 [43 favorites]


I don't know he's a douchecanoe, and neither do you.

I bet his date is pretty sure.

Yup, and if she is, then she can say so.

You and I, however, don't know.


Occam's Razor says douchebag.
posted by acb at 1:56 PM on July 7, 2015 [10 favorites]


if he stopped talking, she would destroy him?

what if these men aren't actually pretentious blowhards but will actually explode if they stop talking about narcissistic bullshit? like a douche version of Speed
posted by NoraReed at 1:58 PM on July 7, 2015 [52 favorites]


I think that work pretty well, tbh; if a dude reads a million people online laughing at the schmoe who's like "being a writer involves wrestling with my demons", said dude is less likely to say such a thing in the future.


Honestly, this is not only a service to people dating but also people in writing programs and maybe even the future of the written word.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 1:59 PM on July 7, 2015 [11 favorites]


Sure, this is "shaming" in the way that saying, "oh god, you're 23, don't eat your boogers in public!" is shaming (and then someone else reads it later and goes :( but I eat my boogers... I guess) but it's not Internet Shaming in the way we're starting to (as a culture) pooh-pooh, because we have no idea who these people are (nor do I really care, I do not want to know this guy). We are not making this guy's life a living hell, we are not making him constantly conscious of his bad decision to be an ass on a date. The tweets are so generic that it might as well just be any guy, frankly, minus the delicious puttanesca. People who actually care about the impact of internet bullying need not be derailed by this non-example of nothing happening.

I mean, if you could identify yourself in these tweets and you did happen upon them it could be quite embarassing, but maybe we could pass on the advice we always give women when they are stalked and threatened on the internet, and say "don't read that stuff?" Seems like much more appropriate advice in this situation, where an anonymous man was lightly chided, than in the situation where the woman is being personally harassed, afraid for her well-being, etc.

As a woman, all you have to do is exist on the internet for there to be reams of vitriol directed toward you. If someone sees a picture of you, oh god. This guy 1) actually did something rather boorish that deserves a little shade (and if it doesn't, then basically nothing does) and 2) has not been identified in any way. We are pretty far from the realm of Internet Shaming, here.
posted by easter queen at 1:59 PM on July 7, 2015 [32 favorites]


what if these men aren't actually pretentious blowhards but will actually explode if they stop talking about narcissistic bullshit? like a douche version of Speed

this pretty accurately describes my Crank/My Dinner With Andre crossover fanfic
posted by prize bull octorok at 2:00 PM on July 7, 2015 [32 favorites]


im so sad that doesn't actually exist now.
posted by poffin boffin at 2:01 PM on July 7, 2015 [5 favorites]


For those of you who think that this is just too pitch-perfect to be something that actually happened in real life: our mayor is a milquetoast patrician named John Tory.
posted by [expletive deleted] at 2:01 PM on July 7, 2015 [1 favorite]


She had enjoyed the benefits of an early and thorough classical education; and the first of these fruits, and most lasting, was the creation, imagination, or perception within herself of a spirit she referred to as her "inner goddess." There are those of tender years who receive some instant revelation of the inward self, of its extent and its powers, and understand it first, or perhaps always, as a mystical thing separate and apart, in the way that a mirror glimpsed in a flash of lightning may seem the exotic countenance of a stranger. It was when such a signal moment came upon her that she fell into the course prescribed by her education and gave to her own inner personage the dignity of goddess, whom others, guided by other examples, might have called soul, or conscience, or inspiration.

She entered the café at the time fixed for the appointment and took the measure of the room, her glance traveling over persons at their tea and coffee and cocoa and cell phones, a scene glazed, rather then lit, by dim overhead lamps. All at once a person arrested her eye, whom she knew at once, from some resemblance between his physiognomy and his correspondence, to be Lord Barttelot. He was bare-headed and clean-shaven, and a life of fortune and satisfaction had hung his jaw at a loquacious angle. She might descry only so much of his character at a distance; she would not decide herself in his favor before she hazarded an interview; but he could claim, at the very least, the approbation of her eyes.

"Holy crap," she said to herself. "Oh. My. God." And her inner goddess exulted.
posted by Iridic at 2:01 PM on July 7, 2015 [33 favorites]


kagredon: But the bad part about shaming is that it's targeted and specific in a way that often crosses into harassment, hindering the person's ability to go about their business.

That's one bad thing about it, yes. Another bad thing about it is that it inculcates a culture where social control is enforced through shaming.

It's a pretty weird reworking of the definition of shaming to apply it to something where that is not the case.

It may seem weird, but it seems to me to be accurate with regard to the social function of shaming behavior. If you don't agree...[shrug /]
posted by lodurr at 2:02 PM on July 7, 2015


Imagine if all the dating advice articles and columns were predominantly men writing in and asking - I really liked this woman, why couldn't I get past a first date? Why won't women return my calls? And the vast majority of advice given was - woman like men who don't swing hot and cold, women like men who show a genuine interest in them without an expectation of sex or ego gratification, women like men who give as equal of consideration to their hearts and minds as that they give to their body. Etc.

Also, I agree with this, too! I really wish there was better dating advice out there for guys. Unfortunately, for a long time, the only available advice has been useless ("just be yourself!") or harmful (Pickup Artists and the like). That's one of the reasons I love Dan Savage so much. Straight guys do write into him all the time, and he levels with them and gives them solid advice.

Aziz Ansari's recent book also has some solid advice for men.
posted by evil otto at 2:02 PM on July 7, 2015


Looking back on such dating advice as I encountered, I remember this (which hasn't been mentioned here yet): that one should not accept anything of significant value from a man unless one planned on having sex with him, and women who did accept valuable things without having sex were golddiggers. And "significant value" was pretty much "anything more expensive than a cup of coffee".

I remember that this made things feel very fraught in the early stages of relationships, because - despite what Miss Manners says - it can be extremely difficult to decline, say, a present to the face of someone who is handing it to you in public, or a fancy dinner when you're already on site and arrived in someone else's car. But I think that the really poisonous bit was the idea that in order to be a moral woman you had to have sex if you accepted a gift.

I've been lucky - the men I've dated have been decent people (or perhaps I've just been funny-looking and nerdy and so could only attract non-alpha bros, whatever) and I have experienced very little pressure to do things I didn't want to do, and very little "listen to me I know better than you", but that narrative about money and sex sure did mess up some dating situations all on its own.
posted by Frowner at 2:02 PM on July 7, 2015 [14 favorites]


This is basically a Goofus and Gallant story in tweet form, minus Gallant. Calling this public shaming is ridiculous. Do you feel particularly shamed by etiquette questions in advice columns that call to mind behavior of your own? How about when the local news runs a story on some social faux pas commonly committed by, say, half the population including you? This is the same level of shaming. Your feelings of shame based on having to hear about an anonymous man being a dolt... they're not our problem, they're yours.
posted by palomar at 2:03 PM on July 7, 2015 [30 favorites]


if a dude reads a million people online laughing at the schmoe who's like "being a writer involves wrestling with my demons", said dude is less likely to say such a thing in the future.

Oh great, making them even harder to spot.

Seriously I think the benefit of this is not to teach the self-obsessed to hide it better -- because who really wins in the end, then? -- it's to let the people on the other side of it know that this shit is real and no you're not imagining it and you're not alone and yes it's okay to be grossed out by it and make with the feet.
posted by George_Spiggott at 2:03 PM on July 7, 2015 [8 favorites]


Another bad thing about it is that it inculcates a culture where social control is enforced through shaming.

I think it is actually good when people are ashamed to be assholes, or sexist, or mean. Maybe I'm old fashioned that way.
posted by easter queen at 2:03 PM on July 7, 2015 [26 favorites]


Has no one considered that the woman might have been LADY SPACE HITLER, and the man was babbling in fear that, if he stopped talking, she would destroy him?

A+++

I strongly support the movement to render bullshit hypotheticals impossible by using ones only a tiny bit less likely.

What if the dude was only keeping a giant exploding device from going off with the power of his voice in some kind of Speed-esque scenario, eh? We'd all look silly if it turned out this guy was the solipsistic master in a secret government agency tasked with saving the world!
posted by winna at 2:04 PM on July 7, 2015 [6 favorites]


She had enjoyed the benefits of an early and thorough classical education; and the first of these fruits, and most lasting, was the creation, imagination, or perception within herself of a spirit she referred to as her "inner goddess."

I would give this ALL THE FAVORITES if I could.

I really like Henry James, actually. This makes me want to go home and re-read The Golden Bowl
posted by Frowner at 2:05 PM on July 7, 2015 [5 favorites]


I think it is actually good when people are ashamed to be assholes, or sexist, or mean. Maybe I'm old fashioned that way.

So do I.

What you're not getting is that this is a sword with many edges. Shame has been used as a tool of social control over women since long before recorded history began. I'd like to see it stop -- and I'd like to see it stop for everyone.
posted by lodurr at 2:06 PM on July 7, 2015


it inculcates a culture where social control is enforced through shaming.

What? That's great! How is that not great? People should feel ashamed when they fuck up.
posted by Greg Nog at 2:08 PM on July 7, 2015 [8 favorites]


the shame (and rape and murder and subjugation) historically foisted on women cannot in anyway be likened to this twitter storm. that's a ridiculous comparison.
posted by nadawi at 2:09 PM on July 7, 2015 [38 favorites]


[Several comments deleted. Please don't make flip hyper-uncharitable paraphrases of other people in the thread, and please don't go back to the weird what-about-deceptive-profile-pictures well.]
posted by LobsterMitten at 2:09 PM on July 7, 2015 [3 favorites]


Another bad thing about it is that it inculcates a culture where social control is enforced through shaming.

You haven't finished your argument. What would be bad about that? In what way is that different from the way we already set and enforce social norms?
posted by dialetheia at 2:09 PM on July 7, 2015 [7 favorites]


No one has been shamed. A man who may not exist did a bunch of dumb things on a date. A woman overheard him (or made him up) and told the internet. She didn't name or describe him and no one went digging for his identity. easter queen was completely right when she said:

If a stand-up comic had done a bit on this couple, no one would care.

Global capital is making the world uninhabitable. The hypothetical feelings of a possibly fictional man are a dumb thing to get fussy about.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 2:10 PM on July 7, 2015 [19 favorites]


You haven't finished your argument. What would be bad about that? In what way is that different from the way we already set and enforce social norms?

So, you're saying that you're OK with the way we already do this? The way we've been doing it? The way it's been done to women, minorities, out-group members?

That turnabout is fair play?
posted by lodurr at 2:11 PM on July 7, 2015 [2 favorites]


I think it is actually good when people are ashamed to be assholes, or sexist, or mean. Maybe I'm old fashioned that way.

But there is a disagreement about what constitutes assholish or mean behavior. And there are instances where both people are assholes and then it becomes a case of who can get the most people on their side first.
posted by FJT at 2:12 PM on July 7, 2015


I think it is actually good when people are ashamed to be assholes, or sexist, or mean. Maybe I'm old fashioned that way.

The thing about public shaming is that it's never contained to just what you feel is worth calling out. Just look at /fatpeoplehate on Reddit for an example of how pointy those internet pitchforks can be.
posted by Beholder at 2:12 PM on July 7, 2015 [3 favorites]


350 comments and not one person has mentioned the comment about knowing a place that doesn't over-roast their beans, presumably because every one of us also hates gross burnt coffee
posted by theodolite at 2:12 PM on July 7, 2015 [8 favorites]


That's exactly why shame itself is not the pivotal issue, here.
posted by easter queen at 2:13 PM on July 7, 2015 [9 favorites]


No one has been shamed.

I quote this because it just hit me where my problem is with this: You're all using passive constructions. "Someone has/has not been shamed."

I just don't accept that that's necessary for something to be called 'shaming.'

Providing subjects of mockery breeds mocking behavior. You will get what you model. If you model social control through mockery, you'll get a society that practices mockery, and you will someday decide you don't like who's being mocked.

I'm going to leave this here, because it's clear I'm shouting into the wind on this one.
posted by lodurr at 2:14 PM on July 7, 2015 [16 favorites]


So, you're saying that you're OK with the way we already do this? The way we've been doing it? The way it's been done to women, minorities, out-group members?

That turnabout is fair play?


I'm struggling to think of the obvious alternative people are wishing for, like, should everyone be issued a big book of etiquette that lays down all social faux pas and the appropriate consequences for each, which gets updated via committee every 5 years? Considering how mad some dudes got at the idea of yellow and red cards used to enforce codes of conduct at software conferences, I can't see what people are asking for at all.
posted by Space Coyote at 2:14 PM on July 7, 2015 [1 favorite]


It's a pretty weird reworking of the definition of shaming to apply it to something where that is not the case.
It may seem weird, but it seems to me to be accurate with regard to the social function of shaming behavior. If you don't agree...[shrug /]


One time, this kid in my second grade class was going around and knocking the pencils out of the other kid's hands, and when one of the victims called him a jerk he responded with "yeah, that's right, I'm a Junior Educated Rich Kid!" The rest of us looked at each other and rolled our eyes. Turns out it's hard to convince even a bunch of second graders that redefining words on the fly to suit your argument is a convincing rhetorical tactic.
posted by invitapriore at 2:15 PM on July 7, 2015 [10 favorites]


350 comments and not one person has mentioned the comment about knowing a place that doesn't over-roast their beans, presumably because every one of us also hates gross burnt coffee

Starbucks, amirite?
posted by phunniemee at 2:16 PM on July 7, 2015 [3 favorites]


You could just try to be open with people. That would be a start.
posted by lodurr at 2:16 PM on July 7, 2015


... redefining words ...

What's the social function of shaming?
posted by lodurr at 2:17 PM on July 7, 2015


There is a major important difference between "don't be self-obsessed boor on a date" and "stop existing in public as a fat person"/"don't laugh at men or they'll kill you". Can you guess what it is?
posted by kagredon at 2:17 PM on July 7, 2015 [58 favorites]


You will get what you model. If you model social control through mockery, you'll get a society that practices mockery, and you will someday decide you don't like who's being mocked.

This is condescending and bullshit. We already have a society that mocks people for terrible reasons, and we already don't like it. It's silly to pretend like mockery of actively douchey, sexist behavior is a social ill, or like it is the first cause of greater ills like shaming people for their bodies or sexuality.
posted by easter queen at 2:17 PM on July 7, 2015 [54 favorites]


Do any have a premium version that includes "overheard interactions"?

I just want to say that this was a brilliant idea, and omgomgomg why are you not coding it now? Gaahh! You would have so many filthy human dirt-monies thrust upon your carapace!


Basic Version includes:
- Ambient Cafe Sounds Track 1 (East Coast)
- Ambient Cafe Sounds Track 2 (West Coast)
- Ambient Starbucks Sounds Brought To You By The Fresh Taste of Starbucks!!

In App Interaction Purchases Include:
- Awkward, But Pleasant First Date ($.99)
- Weepy Dumping ($.99)
- Argument About Who Was In That One Movie ($.99)
- What Happened At Danny's Anyways (Bad Ending) ($.99)
- What Happened At Danny's Anyways (Good Ending) ($1.99)
- Conspiracy To Throw Off the Yoke of King George III ($.99)
- A Haunting ($1.99)
- Yourself, Telling You Secrets From Your Future ($4.99)
- Assistant Manager Totally Fired That Fool ($.99)
- Steamer Explosion ($.99)
- So Many Unhappy Children ($.99)
- Uh, Is That Daniel Radcliffe Over There? ($.99)
- I'm Not Drinn.. I'm not drunk! ($.99)
- RadcliffeGate: CASE CLOSED ($3.99)

...and many more! Once purchased, each Interaction has a very small chance (.01%) to play every five minutes. Each interaction will only play once per week. Each interaction can last up to three hours.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 2:17 PM on July 7, 2015 [56 favorites]


you'll get a society that practices mockery, and you will someday decide you don't like who's being mocked.

"you'll get?"

"someday?"
posted by prize bull octorok at 2:18 PM on July 7, 2015 [15 favorites]


Not a first date, but a first interview with Taylor Swift. Youtube of full interview. Thanks to twist my arm for linking me this.
posted by halifix at 2:18 PM on July 7, 2015 [2 favorites]


Again, why does the policing of women's tone always have this threatening edge to it? "If you keep mocking men, one day you might discover that the mocked... is you!" Yes, it already is, it always has been, we know, we know.
posted by easter queen at 2:18 PM on July 7, 2015 [109 favorites]


That's exactly why shame itself is not the pivotal issue, here.

Exactly. lodurr, you seem to be arguing against the very notion of social norms altogether just because many social norms are currently set in inappropriate places. It's not particularly convincing; we still need social norms, we just need to be more thoughtful about how they are set to be fair to everyone. It's like looking at a poorly-built house and arguing that the problem is the very existence of wood itself, not its placement.
posted by dialetheia at 2:19 PM on July 7, 2015 [21 favorites]


This is condescending and bullshit. We already have a society that mocks people for terrible reasons, and we already don't like it.

Great. Model it.

It's silly to pretend like mockery of actively douchey, sexist behavior is a social ill, or like it is the first cause of greater ills like shaming people for their bodies or sexuality.

Since I'm not doing that, I heartily agree with you.
posted by lodurr at 2:20 PM on July 7, 2015


Sometimes people chew food; this works great when you decide what food you want to chew, in order to eat it. But think about this: what if someone was chewing on you? You might find someday that they are, and then you will be a hypocrite if you try to stop that chewing. All I'm asking for here is a society where we agree that chewing things is no way to live.
posted by Greg Nog at 2:20 PM on July 7, 2015 [46 favorites]


Man, we sure care about the feelings of some anonymous dude rather than the bajillions of women who are supposed to just sit there and listen to any moron who bought us a latte.
posted by Kitteh at 2:20 PM on July 7, 2015 [84 favorites]


Again, why does the policing of women's tone always have this threatening edge to it?

it's also a super convenient way to blame women, again, for the dangerous treatment we receive from men.
posted by nadawi at 2:20 PM on July 7, 2015 [41 favorites]


I quote this because it just hit me where my problem is with this: You're all using passive constructions. "Someone has/has not been shamed."

As an experiment, I rephrased my comment as "Anne Thériault didn't shame anyone," and wow, it was still factually true. God be praised
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 2:21 PM on July 7, 2015 [28 favorites]


Came in here to see why my Recent Activity sidebar was suddenly blowing up with a bunch of massively favorited comments from my contacts. Clicked/scrolled a bit and found some of the greatest hits from that old classic, Online Discussions That Are Remotely, In Any Way, About Sexism:
* "Author Made It All Up"
* "Poor Man (Cruelly Shamed for Perfectly Innocuous Behavior)"
* "(You're) Bad (And You Should Feel Bad)"
* "Ladies, You're Doing It Wrong, So Here's What You Need to Do Instead (I Guess There's A Chance I've Engaged In This Behavior Myself; As Such, Your Unapologetic Refusal To Accept It Is Making Me Uncomfortable, And Insisting You Need To Change Tactics When It Comes To Addressing Sexism Is The Only Thing That Can Make Me Feel Better (Also, My Comfort With The Conversation Is The Most Important Part Of All Of This))"
* "But What If... Women? CHECKMATE FEMIMNISST"

Always blows my mind to see dudes defending these meandering paths of pseudo-logic over and over and over again while refusing to acknowledge how they might be a (THE) problem when it comes to trying to dismantle the socialization that tells women to shut up and take it because men must be given the bandwidth to speak over us no matter how bored, offended, disgusted, and/or insulted we are by what they're saying.
posted by divined by radio at 2:21 PM on July 7, 2015 [184 favorites]


Yes, maybe the problem isn't mockery or shaming. Maybe the problem is being a total fuckhead, like the people on reddit who mock and shame fat people, or someone who judges a person's sexuality or race. If you look at the behavior of such people, what really gets your blood boiling? Is it the shaming and mockery in itself? Not, you know, the obvious and sickening bigotry?

Since I'm not doing that, I heartily agree with you.

You very specifically did that, by saying that if we model a society of mockery, it will come back to haunt us. This has it totally backwards, if it is relevant at all.
posted by easter queen at 2:22 PM on July 7, 2015 [11 favorites]


the greatest hits from that old classic, Online Discussions That Are Remotely, In Any Way, About Sexism

please make this into a Mefi Music challenge
posted by invitapriore at 2:23 PM on July 7, 2015 [27 favorites]


divined by radio, if you can come up with 19 more of those, you've got a bingo board

(well, 18. "not all men" is the free space, obvz.)
posted by NoraReed at 2:24 PM on July 7, 2015 [19 favorites]


[At this point, this will be a better conversation if we can back out of the "is mocking people ever okay under any circumstances?" thing, since it's gotten way more heated than is going to be productive. lodurr, I'm going to suggest you take a break from the thread, and other people I'll suggest not continuing to respond to specifically-lodurr. Thanks.]
posted by LobsterMitten at 2:25 PM on July 7, 2015


I was laughing at everything you said, Cool Papa Bell, until this.

"Also: Bet the Twins to win the 1991 World Series. Use the winnings to buy Apple stock. Stay away from a girl named Shelley. "

Fuck you, you and your goons ruined a beautiful worst-to-first season for my beloved Braves.

LobsterMitten, can we devolve into an argument about 1991 MLB?
posted by qcubed at 2:26 PM on July 7, 2015 [9 favorites]


If you look like James Franco and you still have to tell a first date that people tell you you look like James Franco then looking like James Franco isn't really working out for you as well as you think it ought to is it
posted by George_Spiggott at 2:27 PM on July 7, 2015 [52 favorites]


"My recipe for puttanesca? I putta myself next-a you!"


also we all KNOW that he said "puttanesca" with some terrible hyper-correct Italian accent
posted by pullayup at 2:27 PM on July 7, 2015 [10 favorites]


divined by radio, you have done the Lord's work by pointing out how cliche all of these feeble "but women!" protests are, but you forgot one of my favorites, which is "but no one taught us how to not treat women like inanimate objects!" and that it's womankind's responsibility to gently teach men how to treat us better! I guess it could fold into "You're doing it wrong."

On preview:
Oh! Let's keep it separate so it can be a bingo space!
posted by Yoko Ono's Advice Column at 2:27 PM on July 7, 2015 [46 favorites]


You're all using passive constructions.

... which there's nothing wrong with! The connection between grammatical passivity and some kind of avoidance of agency is much overblown!
posted by kenko at 2:32 PM on July 7, 2015 [6 favorites]


LobsterMitten, can we devolve into an argument about 1991 MLB?

*waves my Homer Hankie in your face* haha, screw you David Justice!
posted by dialetheia at 2:33 PM on July 7, 2015 [2 favorites]


divined by radio, if you can come up with 19 more of those, you've got a bingo board

yesssssssssssss

here's 20!
posted by divined by radio at 2:34 PM on July 7, 2015 [18 favorites]


dbr, you continue to be the wind beneath my (seitan) wings.
posted by Kitteh at 2:37 PM on July 7, 2015 [11 favorites]


If you look like James Franco and you still have to tell a first date that people tell you you look like James Franco then looking like James Franco isn't really working out for you as well as you think it ought to is it

See?! I used to tell my boyfriend all the time, "I look like a deer, right? Kind of like a cute, baby deer? Like if I had a patronus, it would probably be a cute deer, amirite?" He's always like, "uh... yeah? Sure, you do." Now I realize that I, too, was like James-Franco-unlookalike.

Social shaming has delivered me once again.
posted by easter queen at 2:38 PM on July 7, 2015 [6 favorites]


If you look like James Franco and you still have to tell a first date that people tell you you look like James Franco then looking like James Franco isn't really working out for you as well as you think it ought to is it

That's why you gotta do the opposite, to fish for compliments. This is why I start every date by saying "Many people say I look like Oscar The Grouch. The green horrid fur man who lives in garbage. Ha ha, I do not see it myself" and then staring them dead in the eye and asking "do you agree with me or do you agree with these liars"
posted by Greg Nog at 2:40 PM on July 7, 2015 [86 favorites]


It strikes me that one of the reasons men jump to the conclusion that shaming is the sole purpose of posting things like this is that its other (real?) function, consciousness raising, is incomprehensible to them. The idea that there could be an experience shared by millions of women, but that each woman suffers it alone because it's just not talked about, is like... well, we see men's experiences and concerns reflected back at us every day in all kinds of media and writing and dialogue. It's like this constant validation that women don't get, and the idea that that serves a purpose is so foreign that they conclude that it must be about shaming. IDK.

Not that men being dicks on dates is some kind of big untalked-about secret or anything, but geez, sometimes we just like to let off steam. It's not always about you.
posted by sunset in snow country at 2:40 PM on July 7, 2015 [120 favorites]


A lot of these are in Derailing for Dummies, though there are some pretty specific ones for this kind of (sexist) conversation. Here are some more!
  • But Women Do This Other Thing (Which I Framed In A Sexist Way)
  • What If A Man Feels Bad?
  • What If Mental Illness or Autism (With Weird Ableist and/or Neurotypicalist Stuff That Probably Makes It Worse For People With Mental Illness and/or Autism)
  • Literally Anything About Dan Savage
  • I Hold Women On Social Media To Very High Standards (That Do Not Apply To, Say, Comedians)
  • But I Was Like This Person Once, And I Am Okay (Right? Please Tell Me I Am Okay)
(I am not sure if all of these are on display in this thread. But some are!)
posted by NoraReed at 2:42 PM on July 7, 2015 [56 favorites]


men really are exceeding terrified that women will laugh at them, huh? man that must be rough.

Bart: No, I fear the girls will laugh at me. I fear the boys will beat the living snot out of me.
posted by FJT at 2:44 PM on July 7, 2015


So, on the plural of Pokémon thing, isn't it just Pokémon?

Kind of like how the plural of fish is fish. If you were fishing you would say "I caught 8 fish today", or in my case "I didn't catch any fish today". And a Poké-hunter would similarly say "I caught 8 Pokémon today".

Also, Pokémon are from Japan, and is kind of a Japanese word. They don't pluralize nouns over there so Pokémon shouldn't be pluralized.

I guess one way to know for sure is for someone to watch the tv shows/movies or read the comics/cards or play the games and take note of how they pluralize Pokémon. Unless they are inconsistent, or specifically avoid the issue by never referring to more than one Pokémon at a time.
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 2:44 PM on July 7, 2015 [1 favorite]


Can't it be both consciousness raising and shaming? Honestly, shame is a pretty useful thing, especially for men with massive egos. Christ, the world needs a lot fewer precious 22 year old writer-philosophers and vibram five finger date-wearing evangelists. I understand if reading these things provokes a bit of wincing on behalf of our younger and dumber selves, but embrace it and learn, embrace it and learn.
posted by bepe at 2:45 PM on July 7, 2015


I don't think people with massive egos will change with reading something like this. Or by even being the target. It's really more about the edge cases, people with slightly tumescent egos.
posted by FJT at 2:47 PM on July 7, 2015


- Conspiracy To Throw Off the Yoke of King George III ($.99)

Cheap at three times the price!
posted by rifflesby at 2:47 PM on July 7, 2015 [5 favorites]


I will be happy for the day when we as a society stop making the deceptive profile pics a thing that is only, or predominantly, done by women. I am here to tell you that that is just. not. true.

oh hahahaaahahaha yeah. Guys who dig guys often have... let's say creative profile pictures. Plus there's that whole "is that real inches or internet inches" thing.

And I've been on this poor woman's exact date. (To be fair I've also probably been the oblivious asshole on the other side of the table.) Met a guy on the subway. Cute! Exchanged numbers. Went out for coffee. He then spent a couple hours (I stuck around because it was honestly kind of entertaining) proving one of the central tenets of chaos theory: every. single. thing. in the universe was connected to his ex boyfriend. Eventually I pulled the fake text thing and bounced. He said he really hoped to see me again and go on another date. The second date didn't happen, probably because I'd deleted his number before I was out the door.

If I showed up and my date was wearing five-fingered shoes I'd turn around and head right back out. Sorry.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 2:48 PM on July 7, 2015 [9 favorites]


350 comments and not one person has mentioned the comment about knowing a place that doesn't over-roast their beans

I thought it was weird to see that coming from Canada, since -- even though, sure, their coffee sucks in other ways* -- it isn't over-roasted. And there's a Timmy's franchise for every 2.6 Canadians.

*I will actually mildly defend their coffee as perfectly decent swilling coffee. If you want to sit down to a cup of coffee and think about its flavors and such, it's not for you. If you want 8-20 oz of hot caffeinated fluid that won't make you notice it, they've got you covered.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 2:49 PM on July 7, 2015 [2 favorites]


So, on the plural of Pokémon thing, isn't it just Pokémon?
Yes. The games are consistent in their usage.

posted by clorox at 2:49 PM on July 7, 2015 [4 favorites]


this may come as something of a shock but we do have coffee places that aren't Timmy Ho's
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 2:50 PM on July 7, 2015


deceptive profile pics

Better known as you thought you were doing a duckface but you're off by one letter
posted by George_Spiggott at 2:50 PM on July 7, 2015 [3 favorites]


Well with that taken care of we can close the thread.
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 2:50 PM on July 7, 2015


Plus there's that whole "is that real inches or internet inches" thing.

You'd be surprised by how many dudes show up IRL in a pair of Vibram Three Fingers
posted by Greg Nog at 2:51 PM on July 7, 2015 [17 favorites]


Yeah it says something that there's so many ways to deflect criticism and make it about what women are doing wrong that divined by radio can instantly fill up an entire bingo card for it. Sure a guy can "win" a single argument with something that's actually a fallacy, but he loses sight of the bigger picture, which is that he's an unrepentant asshole. Holy shit it's amazing how many of these deflections there are that get spread around.

I wouldn't mind the finger shoes because if I was into those I would store other shoes in my bag! So maybe the guy has accidentally ruined his bag and now is wearing doubled up shoes.
posted by halifix at 2:51 PM on July 7, 2015 [3 favorites]


So, on the plural of Pokémon thing, isn't it just Pokémon?

Monsters, pocket.
posted by poffin boffin at 2:51 PM on July 7, 2015 [5 favorites]


You'd be surprised by how many dudes show up IRL in a pair of Vibram Three Fingers

Benicio del Toro's best role IMO.
posted by griphus at 2:53 PM on July 7, 2015 [13 favorites]


I see a lot of male fragility these days and maybe that's a good thing, as it's a sign that we're ready to be broken out of whatever definition of masculinity we have tried to shroud ourselves in and allow us to repair and become people.

I hope, at least. Until then, I'll keep trying to do better for myself and help others when I can.

My wife and I would have had a conversation about that date if we had been sitting next to it and it would have been loud enough for them to hear us. Maybe it's just that we're in our 40s and this kind of thing is viewed as bullshit that we no longer allow the people in our lives to push upon us. We are the kind of people, though, who will gleefully make fun of it when it arises.

The best dating advice I've ever received:
1. Ask more questions than she does.
2. Manicures are a competitive advantage.

I bet this guy had bad nails, too.
posted by Revvy at 2:53 PM on July 7, 2015 [7 favorites]


Dating can suck a lot. The live-tweet is out there and we can take it as an example of just one more way it can suck (people sharing my lameness with the rest of the world) or as a lesson on the types of behaviours to get rid of/work on in order to make the whole thing suck less.

Seeing how no names or pictures were posted the guy isn't being shamed, so why not use it as a moment of shared recognition, because most of us have been one of the people on this date at some point in our lives, and perhaps a way to get other young men to behave a bit better to their dates?
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 3:00 PM on July 7, 2015 [1 favorite]


Plus there's that whole "is that real inches or internet inches" thing.

TRUE FACT: no man in all of human existence has ever been 5'10". 5'10" is a fake height invented for dating profiles, much like the 555- phone number prefix was invented for fictitious use in TV and movies.

Went on an okc date once with a guy who had 5'10" listed as his height. He was shorter than me (I am 5'7"). Of course there is nothing wrong with being shorter than 5'7", but the blatant dishonesty was just...like dude, do you think all women are stupid? Do you think I don't know how tall I am? Do you think I am blind?
posted by phunniemee at 3:01 PM on July 7, 2015 [40 favorites]


1. Ask more questions than she does.

You can ask too many questions too. It's too easy for me to slip into "query mode" and start treating someone (dates, and also folks in general) as a human Google prompt.
posted by FJT at 3:02 PM on July 7, 2015 [1 favorite]


I'm a guy who had a Charm School program I had to go through as an adolescent. My mom basically put it together for all of her kids and their friends at the appropriate times (I'm the youngest of four, so it was the third or fourth time she'd put it together, and presumably the third or fourth time her kids had gotten shit from all their friends for getting them sucked into this thing.) My sister, who also taught me this stuff incessantly, has recently started doing the same thing for my nephews, who are reacting about as well as we all did, but honestly, I'm really glad for it.

It didn't make me less awkward (though I did learn how to ballroom dance) but it made me aware of etiquette and put me in line with the understanding, and I feel like this might be too rare still, that there were standards of behavior expected of me, as a guy. That's important, I think, even if those standards change. (For instance, the rule used to be "always pick up the tab on a first date." Now, based on where I live and a number of factors, I've adapted that to "always offer, be perceptive, make sure I'm not giving off a vibe of expecting anything in return, and, you know, obviously don't literally expect anything in return.")

I don't know that I'd consider this "shaming" for any number of reasons, the largest being that the people are both unidentified and almost certainly unidentifiable (which isn't the case with Mr. Johnny-Depp-Stunt-Double, but he's such a transparent asshole I just care a lot less.) There's also just the feeling here that this is more about, you know, teaching people to be aware of social cues and whatnot, and that doesn't happen without society making a point of approving or disapproving shit like this.

But then, dating is really tough for a lot of people and also isn't really indicative of what people are like in reality. It's a fucked-up awkwardly-framed image of oneself that one puts forward in a stilted situation that we've agreed is how we often meet the universal need for companionship, and for many if not most people that version isn't simple not-the-whole-picture, but is extremely vulnerable as well.

The stuff here seems less "fuck this guy" and more "dude don't fucking do that," though, which is helpful. Hopefully this guy can go get out of his Stephen Daedalus phase soon enough and be better for it.

To paraphrase Camus, you know.
posted by Navelgazer at 3:03 PM on July 7, 2015 [16 favorites]


It's not relevant. I repeat, his personality, his character, the little joys and sorrows that make him the full complex person he is, are not relevant. What is relevant are his words and actions, which we actually can make a reasonable judgment of, given a decent amount of context.

Or another way to put it - absolutely we don't know who the guy really is. Which is why, even if he is a real person which who knows really, this isn't really about shaming him. The whole reason the story resonates is that it depicts a known archetype which also seems to symbolize broader issues. Anyway being some dude myself I don't have to claim it for feminism nor am I qualified to - but I do find it funny because it's reminiscent of obnoxious dudes I've known myself.
posted by atoxyl at 3:03 PM on July 7, 2015 [2 favorites]


Also, this notion that because you said something in a coffee shop it is public, is I guess true, but seems wrong. There is a difference between saying something across the table in a restaurant and having a message sky-written by an airplane. Or at least there used to be. Private/Public shouldn't be a binary thing.
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 3:03 PM on July 7, 2015 [3 favorites]


TRUE FACT: no man in all of human existence has ever been 5'10". 5'10" is a fake height invented for dating profiles, much like the 555- phone number prefix was invented for fictitious use in TV and movies.

...so should I say I'm 5'11" or 5'9"?

Anyway, this whole privacy expectation question is ridiculous if we don't know the other ambient conditions of the coffeeshop. Were there lots of other people? What was the table density? What was the average decibel level? Was he using an inside voice? Does it fucking matter?

I'm going to go out on a limb and say that if I am in a public venue, and I am overheard, while I reserve the right to be mortified, it's not really a violation of privacy because I'm saying shit where other people are around.
posted by qcubed at 3:06 PM on July 7, 2015 [4 favorites]


TRUE FACT: no man in all of human existence has ever been 5'10". 5'10" is a fake height invented for dating profiles

my husband is 5'10"! although he might insist he's 5'10.5"...
posted by nadawi at 3:06 PM on July 7, 2015 [1 favorite]


Honestly, if I said something offensive or acted like a real a-hole in a coffeeshop and someone DID tweet about it (but without identifying me), I'd be mortified, but I can't say I'd feel like... really indignant and mad that someone heard me and told people about it. If I didn't want anyone to hear me being a dick, guess I should've done it in private or not done it at all.

If someone did identify me and the internet came down on me like a ton of bricks, yes I'd be pretty upset and traumatized by that.
posted by easter queen at 3:07 PM on July 7, 2015 [2 favorites]


I dated a guy who ACTUALLY WAS 5'10"! But before we started dating, he said in a Facebook survey that he was 6'0"...
posted by easter queen at 3:08 PM on July 7, 2015 [6 favorites]


I agree the story plays out too perfectly.

According to my friend at the NSA, the author was exaggerating for comedic value, but the date was pretty bad, and based on past conversations, the guy really is a narcissist.

The NSA also says that while he does remember to put the anchovies in, his puttanesca sauce is OK, but not all that.
posted by happyroach at 3:09 PM on July 7, 2015 [24 favorites]


TRUE FACT: no man in all of human existence has ever been 5'10"

There are actually men who are 5'10". We just tell ourselves we're 5'11 1/2" so we we go ahead and round up to 6 feet in our profiles.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 3:09 PM on July 7, 2015 [11 favorites]


I should have previewed.

Also as far as I've known, I've never dated easter queen.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 3:10 PM on July 7, 2015 [2 favorites]


I wonder how many men out in the internet making the "you have an expectation of privacy in a coffee shop" argument would also have a problem with a woman sitting at a table in a cafe breastfeeding her child?
posted by phunniemee at 3:10 PM on July 7, 2015 [20 favorites]


TRUE FACT: Nothing preceded by the words "TRUE FACT" in all caps is actually a true fact. Including this.
posted by Etrigan at 3:10 PM on July 7, 2015 [3 favorites]


Also, we are arguing about this public/private distinction for the benefit of men (rather, a man) in a world where women have to vociferously (and sometimes physically) defend their right to not have men take upskirt photos of their underwear...

It just makes me sad at times. If the conversation were about upskirting, would the thread suddenly be about bald eagles and the public sphere and the American flag and free speech? (A: Yes.)
posted by easter queen at 3:11 PM on July 7, 2015 [36 favorites]


Those... weren't the inches I was talking about, phunniemee.

I went on a -- ok, it was a hookup, not a date -- with a guy who had lied pretty egregiously about that statistic. I was like, "uh, we both knew why you were coming over, did you think I wouldn't notice?" and asked him to leave. It's not that it mattered, it's that it didn't matter, and he lied about it, which left me wondering what else he would lie about. So, nope.

In conclusion, dating guys really sucks.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 3:12 PM on July 7, 2015 [16 favorites]


I agree the story plays out too perfectly.

As in:

I agree that so many women around the world have had this exact kind of experience that it plays out too perfectly in my mind and I'm having trouble accepting it because the glaring truth of it is blinding me.

Is that what you meant?
posted by Revvy at 3:13 PM on July 7, 2015 [9 favorites]


In conclusion, dating guys really sucks.

Yeah, it's why I just sleep with them instead.

Well, actually, I don't. Who knows where they've been?
posted by qcubed at 3:13 PM on July 7, 2015 [6 favorites]


MCMikeNamara, after a cursory profile viewing we have not dated. But if you told me you were 5'11" 1/2 I would be charmed by your artless exactitude.
posted by easter queen at 3:15 PM on July 7, 2015 [5 favorites]


If only someone could livetweet that.
posted by qcubed at 3:16 PM on July 7, 2015


I wonder how many men out in the internet making the "you have an expectation of privacy in a coffee shop" argument would also have a problem with a woman sitting at a table in a cafe breastfeeding their child?

Those are two different things. And, I think the argument is that the conversation should not have been tweeted. I think the equivalent is we shouldn't tweet a picture of a woman breastfeeding in a cafe.
posted by FJT at 3:18 PM on July 7, 2015 [2 favorites]


♪ I wanna take you down to pokemons
♪ We'll get there fast and we'll take it slow
♪ Thaaaaaat's where I wanna goooo
♪ Way down to pokemons

If only she stayed another two minutes
posted by adept256 at 3:20 PM on July 7, 2015 [4 favorites]


I am 5'11.75" and I always listed my height on OKC etc as 5'11". I feel entitled to some kind of honesty prize.
posted by prize bull octorok at 3:21 PM on July 7, 2015 [4 favorites]


Those are two different things. And, I think the argument is that the conversation should not have been tweeted. I think the equivalent is we shouldn't tweet a picture of a woman breastfeeding in a cafe.

No they are not, they are not different things at all, because what the argument boils down to is "does someone have a reasonable expectation of privacy in a public coffee shop?"

And the appropriate analogy would be somebody tweeting the words "there is a woman at the table next to me breastfeeding her baby." Nobody posted a picture of this writerbro.
posted by phunniemee at 3:21 PM on July 7, 2015 [15 favorites]


Oh, and I had a first date about a year and a half or so ago where I showed up at the expected place and time, she was there with her friends from work, who pretty loudly laughed their asses off when I came in, then left, which she tried to politely shrug off, but not so effectively that it didn't throw me off right from the start, and then as the date went on, it was painfully clear that we had nothing to talk about and I, normally a guy who can come up with something, anything, to converse about, had nothing at all.

At which point, and I wish I were making this up, I started to talk about having nothing to say at all, and the conversation was just about how awkward the date was, and was continuing to be.

And we stayed for four or five drinks.

She was cute, smart, had her shit together, etc., and I guess she thought there must have been potential in me, as most of those extra rounds were her suggestion, but at no point did it get any less bizarre and awkward.

If anyone livetweeted that, I'd love to see it. Both for the Monday-morning quarterbacking and for confirmation that it actually fucking happened.
posted by Navelgazer at 3:21 PM on July 7, 2015 [20 favorites]


I think it is actually good when people are ashamed to be assholes, or sexist, or mean. Maybe I'm old fashioned that way.

I think you're confusing being shamed with feeling ashamed. One is external to a person and the other is internal; they may, in some instances, be correlated. Using myself as an example, I've come to feel ashamed about things I've said or done via introspection and years of maturation. I've owned those moments and they've changed my worldview in profound ways. But my response to someone trying to shame me (in the handful of instances I can recall it happening) is to tell them to go fuck themselves, because I'm a thinking adult who can be reasoned with but who doesn't respond well to emotional coercion.

More generally, a lot of shaming that happens, especially online, is an orgiastic feeding frenzy of self-righteous posturing and remarkable cruelty, with social justice as a fig leaf, and the response is very often disproportionate to the offense. And that, in a nutshell, is my problem with it. It's a big fat feedback loop of human ugliness.

That said, if you feel it works, have at it. If you just like the feels of giving a jerky jerk what for, have at it. I very much sympathize with the impulse.
posted by echocollate at 3:22 PM on July 7, 2015 [10 favorites]


Once after weeks of making googly eyes at the handsome worker fellow in the office cafeteria, he gave me my change and I exclaimed, "Oh dimes! I LOVE DIMES." If I was overheard and such a thing existed at the time, I would certainly hope that someone would have Tweeted it. Goodness knows I have told the story myself many times since then.

Anyway, observing amusing or moving or fascinating moments of human interaction and then polishing it up for retelling is pretty much a stock-in-trade of any writer. Maybe it isn't 100% true, but creative non-fiction is a legit genre after all. As a kid I would do this and just tell the funny anecdotes to my family later. Nowadays I have Twitter.
posted by jess at 3:26 PM on July 7, 2015 [17 favorites]


Well, next year when there's a retrospective on this date and the dudebro explains, through choked sobs, I'll feel bad and maybe figure out how to apologize.

But unlike all the other cases of the internet shame machine going out of whack, there's no real way of identifying this guy and then destroying his livelihood, so I'm not holding my breath.
posted by qcubed at 3:27 PM on July 7, 2015 [2 favorites]


On top of everything else: the author literally describes the woman as panicking, and people are empathizing with the man in the situation. I don't get it.
posted by idiopath at 3:27 PM on July 7, 2015 [51 favorites]


Well, his feelings are more important because penis.

People want him to be the hero of the story. Or something, I guess.

The number of times I have made bad decisions in my life due to that....
posted by qcubed at 3:30 PM on July 7, 2015 [8 favorites]


I think you're confusing being shamed with feeling ashamed.

I don't think she's the one who was confused. That difference is exactly what easter queen and others were trying to point out; the fact that the guy might someday see this and feel the shudder of recognition (to borrow a phrase from the Toast) does not mean he's being shamed, because that is a different and very specific thing.
posted by kagredon at 3:31 PM on July 7, 2015 [17 favorites]


We have been conditioned to empathize strongly with the feels of men, perhaps because of the roughly thirty thousand million screenplays written about guys who never really feel like they fit in. Like they're just different
posted by prize bull octorok at 3:32 PM on July 7, 2015 [72 favorites]


I genuinely do not get the shaming angle here at all. Because he is unidentified/probably unidentifiable, the shaming complaints suggest that nobody should ever be made to feel bad in any way about their behavior. Because, despite being unidentified and borderline unidentifiable, he might recognize his obnoxiousness and feel bad, and that would be bad, I guess.

She didn't take a surreptitious video. She didn't snap some quick photos. She didn't pretend to be interested in his writing, so she could learn his name and home town. She didn't track him down Facebook and post the tweets there so all his friends and family could see it.

Some of these shaming complaints sound to me like people who don't necessarily want to hear about what women think of other guys' behavior.
posted by palindromic at 3:32 PM on July 7, 2015 [63 favorites]


This is pretty mild as far as empathy-with-someone-clearly-in-the-wrong is concerned. Look at most conversations about actual harassment or even assault and you get more people empathizing with the man. He'll, people will do it with murderers if the people they kill are marginalized enough. A function of privilege is that it's holders always seem to be the most empathizeable and human, when compared to people with less.
posted by NoraReed at 3:33 PM on July 7, 2015 [10 favorites]


Nobody has sent a picture of this guy to his employer or tried to get him fired. We don't know who he is. The writer didn't know who he was. His privacy is secure.

The ludicrous thing about all this "Oh noes shaming" handwringing for this piece is that there are so many guys who do this that if you wanted to find him, you couldn't. He is sadly utterly normal in his douchery. It's very effective camouflage.
posted by emjaybee at 3:37 PM on July 7, 2015 [35 favorites]


I have a really hard time believing that there would be so many objections to her "shaming" this man if the story had been different - for example, if it had been about a customer being rude to the staff. People share stories about others' bad behavior all the time, and they rarely are accused of fostering a "culture of mockery."

Hey, all of you who have shared stories on MeFi about terrible coworkers? You should stop. Hey, all of you who have complained on Facebook about that group that would not stop talking during the movie? You're going to be the target of your own culture of mockery some day. Hey, all of you who have ever shared an anonymous story about someone being an idiot or a dick? You get the picture.

There is no way in hell that the amount of blowback she's receiving isn't because she's a woman criticizing a man for sexist behavior.
posted by Kutsuwamushi at 3:37 PM on July 7, 2015 [79 favorites]


I don't think she's the one who was confused. That difference is exactly what easter queen and others were trying to point out; the fact that the guy might someday see this and feel the shudder of recognition (to borrow a phrase from the Toast) does not mean he's being shamed, because that is a different and very specific thing.

If that's the case, I apologize to easter queen for misinterpreting her, and I'll let the other part of my post stand on its own.

On top of everything else: the author literally describes the woman as panicking, and people are empathizing with the man in the situation. I don't get it.

I definitely empathize with the woman. I don't know the guy and have no information at all about him other than second-hand Tweets, but those are pretty damning. Maybe he's nervous and insecure and he's trying to impress her while being completely tone-deaf to his own social maladroitness. Maybe he's what he appears to be: a self-absorbed prick who thinks he's better than his date and intends to show her. Either way, he's going to have a lot of abbreviated first dates.
posted by echocollate at 3:37 PM on July 7, 2015


Part of the value in a story like this is its potential for use as an archetype by the rest of us. I've been on dates where I, shall we say, didn't exactly distinguish myself (and knew it) but wasn't able to put my finger on what I was doing wrong; seeing an extreme example like this helps---the reason things felt off was that my conversation was flavoured ever so slightly with puttanesca sauce. Now that I have a concrete and memorably amusing picture of what to avoid, it'll hopefully be a little easier to do so.

(It's also reassuring to see something so comically bad. Those dates probably weren't as miserable for the women I was with as I had worried.)
posted by golwengaud at 3:38 PM on July 7, 2015 [2 favorites]


Sorry, what does shamed mean to you, kagredon? Because I think several comments here have in fact shamed this guy. (e.g. "he's a douchecanoe".)

He should be ashamed, I think. He's in the wrong. But that doesn't mean we need to shame him.

I'm happy to shame the archetype though-- as the OP says, "every "

Tell me what you think. I want to hear it. But use words, not random insults that don't say what the behavior is that you're calling out.

Here's what I think: This guy is in the wrong because he talks about himself all the time. Dude should shut up. Yep, he (and more importantly the great mass of men who do the same behavior) should stop that. Yesterday. Also yeah, I'm a woman, and I've been on that bad date (in the position of the woman here, in addition to the example I told upthread about my own bad behavior) before, and it sucks, dating is blegh and I'm glad I don't have to do it right now or hopefully ever again.

Sarcasm is not a form of argument. Putting words in people's mouths is not useful. I'd like to hear your words, about what *you* think, not what you expect someone else is thinking.
posted by nat at 3:41 PM on July 7, 2015 [3 favorites]


Oops posted too soon, don't want to edit for content-- I meant to say, the OP even says she's tweeting about the archetype-- he is "every precious self-involved writer."

I just think it's much more useful to talk about the archetype, and the bad behavior it's built of, then to yell at this dude (who won't even hear us anyhow).
posted by nat at 3:43 PM on July 7, 2015 [2 favorites]


Personally, I don't much care whether that dude in particular ever sees it. I care that women get to have the "oh my god, it's not just me?!" discussion, and I care that those men who choose to try to be self-aware might look at it and decide "note to self, don't do that kind of thing".

The individual dude? Nah.
posted by Lexica at 3:46 PM on July 7, 2015 [38 favorites]


Oh, and if I haven't been clear-- I am not saying the tweeter is shaming the man (at least not out of proportion to his behavior). I actually think the tweets were pretty funny, I'm glad this got posted. But here, are people here shaming him? Why contribute to the internet noise machine, when we could instead ya know be Metafilter and have some discourse?
posted by nat at 3:46 PM on July 7, 2015 [1 favorite]


Hi. I'm not defending anyone, nor am I replying to anybody in particular in this thread.

I'm a man in my mid 40s. For the first 30 years of my life I had exactly zero positive male role models. A deficit of a certain kind of wisdom early in life takes its toll. I have made mistakes and have learned some painful lessons. I am doing the best I can with what I know and what I have to work with. It's an ongoing process. I will continue to make mistakes but I'm a better man today than I was yesterday.
posted by Ratio at 3:48 PM on July 7, 2015 [4 favorites]


If pointing out when someone is behaving badly is "shaming" even when they aren't even identifiable enough to be able to pick themselves out in the highly unlikely scenario where they find the tweets (let alone this thread), your definition of "shaming" is so idiosyncratic and broad that it probably isn't worth talking about with people using the regular English version.
posted by NoraReed at 3:48 PM on July 7, 2015 [40 favorites]


aren't we having discourse? isn't the douchecanoe stuff a really tiny fraction of the thread? why focus on it if you think it's unhelpful? why not engage with some of the actual discourse going on?
posted by nadawi at 3:48 PM on July 7, 2015 [13 favorites]


I also feel like the reaction to this c.f. the MtG champion who was more-honestly-shamed a while back is instructive, as there the woman who posted about the date truly came off as the awful one and the internet for the most part said as much. At least from what I remember. This guy acted like a tool and I think there's general hope that he'll learn to be better in these situations, and we're all sharing in the cringe-value of universal experiences here. The woman in the MtG story seemed just vindictive and awful, though. I don't feel like that's the case with Anne Thériault.

(On edit: that's how I remember that whole thing going down, at least, though it might not be quite as my memory has it. I'd need to look back.)
posted by Navelgazer at 3:49 PM on July 7, 2015


"Oh, will you help me? Can you help me?"
"You don't need to be helped any longer. You've always had the power to not be a douche."
"I have?"
"Then why didn't you tell him before?"
"Because he wouldn't have believed me. He had to learn it for himself."
posted by phunniemee at 3:49 PM on July 7, 2015 [26 favorites]


I think we're mostly having discourse. I like discourse. I do not like sarcasm or people forcing words into each other's mouths.

I like, for example, Lexica's comment-- it says at least part of what I was trying to say with more verve.
posted by nat at 3:53 PM on July 7, 2015 [2 favorites]


I think people might be reacting a little bit to the live-tweeting aspect of it which gives it more of a voyeuristic and invasive gloss than do other things we might compare it to. If there were a series of tweets relaying the same conversation that occurred last week? If it was a story told by a guest on The Tonight Show? If it were someone's blog post? Included in a memoir?

You'd think all of these things would be the functional equivalent--or at least I would--but when you change it to "live tweeting" it somehow feels different, maybe. Which is a little interesting to think about why that is.

In my case, when all I had read was the summary description that someone was live tweeting someone else's bad date, my mind went immediately to "that's a little gross." Then I read the tweets and it didn't bother me a bit; but I can understand the immediate knee jerk reaction as I had it myself, and I doubt I would have had the same reaction if the same exact story would have been told in a magazine article or something.
posted by MoonOrb at 3:55 PM on July 7, 2015 [7 favorites]


Sorry, what does shamed mean to you, kagredon? Because I think several comments here have in fact shamed this guy. (e.g. "he's a douchecanoe".)

Well, Jon Ronson's book already came up and this review has a pretty good overview. Shaming, as it's being used here, is really more specifically public shaming--piling on to a person for maybe one inartful moment or comment, frequently with very unpleasant effects on the person's life. It's not really applicable in a case where the person is completely anonymous, and, indeed, unidentifiable.

To address the example you used, saying "[That person in the story] you're telling sounds like a douchecanoe" is not shaming. Otherwise, "shaming" could encompass saying literally anything negative about anyone ever, at which point it loses utility as a term.

Sarcasm is not a form of argument. Putting words in people's mouths is not useful. I'd like to hear your words, about what *you* think, not what you expect someone else is thinking.

I would very much appreciate it if you would be direct about what comments you're referring to here. Both my response to lodurr about shaming and my most recent comment addressing echocollate were completely serious and unsarcastic.
posted by kagredon at 3:59 PM on July 7, 2015 [5 favorites]


Do you feel particularly shamed by etiquette questions in advice columns that call to mind behavior of your own? How about when the local news runs a story on some social faux pas commonly committed by, say, half the population including you?

There have been comments in this thread considerably more personal than that.

In fact I'm not sure I've seen a single comment that stopped at "Hey, behaving that way is boorish."
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 4:00 PM on July 7, 2015 [1 favorite]


I just think it's much more useful to talk about the archetype, and the bad behavior it's built of, then to yell at this dude (who won't even hear us anyhow).

being heard is sort of a necessary component of yelling at a person

There have been comments in this thread considerably more personal than that.

Such as?
posted by kagredon at 4:00 PM on July 7, 2015 [2 favorites]


This was, without exaggeration, one of the funniest bits of skit writing I've ever read. I don;t care if it's real, I imagined the entire thing taking place with KiTH actors (Dave Foley as the gal on the date of course, Bruce McCulloch as the pretentious wanker OF COURSE)

I give you "Daryl's Excellent Dinner". Oh, and Daryl's pronounced "da-RILL".
posted by orange swan at 4:04 PM on July 7, 2015 [4 favorites]


There have been comments in this thread considerably more personal than that.

Such as?


Well there was that time I accused someone of having a head too pixelated to wear hats. That was a personal comment and I sincerely apologize.
posted by phunniemee at 4:05 PM on July 7, 2015 [15 favorites]


A WOMAN SAID A THING AND NOW WE WILL ALL BURN
posted by poffin boffin at 4:05 PM on July 7, 2015 [37 favorites]


luckily we just had that thread about the perfect spf.
posted by nadawi at 4:13 PM on July 7, 2015 [1 favorite]


No they are not, they are not different things at all, because what the argument boils down to is "does someone have a reasonable expectation of privacy in a public coffee shop?"

There is a difference between visual and auditory privacy though.

And I honestly don't think that's the exact same analogy because of that reason. I think since one is conversation and the other is something seen, there's gonna be different ways that something would or should be considered private would work.

Also, I think since breastfeeding is something that needs to be done for a baby to live, the standards for it are different than a conversation, which are not a requirement to live.

Also, is it the breastfeeder or the person who sees the breastfeeder making the privacy argument in this case? I think the breastfeeder should not be gawked at, but the person seeing the breastfeeding shouldn't have an expectation not to see the activity.

So, I wasn't objecting to breastfeeding with public, but more along the lines of comparing the two feels off to me.
posted by FJT at 4:15 PM on July 7, 2015


"Because he wouldn't have believed me. He had to learn it for himself."

Was this the point where Dorther realized that he could have taken off the Ruby Fedora back in Manchkinland when he took it from the Wicked Bro of the East?
posted by GenjiandProust at 4:15 PM on July 7, 2015 [4 favorites]


Given how active this tale is, at this point I'm wondering if it's possible that our demon-wrestler is so self-absorbed that he hasn't got wind of it yet, and recognized himself or been recognized by someone in the Toronto community.
posted by George_Spiggott at 4:15 PM on July 7, 2015


Given how active this tale is, at this point I'm wondering if it's possible that our demon-wrestler is so self-absorbed that he hasn't got wind of this yet, and recognized himself or been recognized by someone in the Toronto community.

I live in a town much smaller than Toronto and if you asked me to find half a dozen guys by nightfall who think they look vaguely like James Franco, are working on their screenplay, and have been on a date in the last day, I could probably do it.

Mind you, I'd probably call the police instead because I'd assume you're making this weird request for some kind of freaky ritual sacrifice, but I could do it.
posted by kagredon at 4:22 PM on July 7, 2015 [19 favorites]


I guess he might be famous if his puttanesca really is that good
posted by kagredon at 4:26 PM on July 7, 2015 [3 favorites]


for example, if it had been about a customer being rude to the staff.

Yeah, that's called "Yelping", and just because it's been slowly normalized because of crowd-sourced review sites and social media doesn't make it any less shitty.
posted by FJT at 4:26 PM on July 7, 2015 [2 favorites]


No puttanesca is that good.
posted by peeedro at 4:32 PM on July 7, 2015 [1 favorite]


No. "Bob the Waiter from Sandy's Diner on Main Street is a big fat slob who stinks and never gets my order right" is an example of Yelp shaming.

"Let me tell you about a bad experience I once had with an anonymous waiter at an unnamed restaurant" is not shaming in any meaningful sense of the word.
posted by Atom Eyes at 4:32 PM on July 7, 2015 [13 favorites]


God the number of times I relay to my friends/coworkers "I just did this incredibly stupid thing, it was terrible and funny and everyone needs to hear about it." I'm of the opinion that anyone witnessing terrible funny things has a duty to relay them to others. That's what you get when you done goofed, especially if it happens while you're claiming an air of superiority.

"But erratic meatsack, some person I don't know might think I'm dumb!"

Yeah well, you were acting like a dumbass. *shrug*
posted by erratic meatsack at 4:33 PM on July 7, 2015 [4 favorites]


kagredon-
sorry, only the very first part of my comment was in reference to you, I should have made that clear.

Since I think at least one of the comments that I thought was sarcastic and stuffing words into people's mouths appears to be gone, and I don't have time for metatalk, I'm not going to mention that further (I flagged a few others, and now I'm moving on. perhaps a bit late, apologies.)

Anyhow, thanks for the link re: Ronson's book, I had missed the earlier comment in this fast moving thread. I'll take a look.
posted by nat at 4:34 PM on July 7, 2015


Mind you, I'd probably call the police instead because I'd assume you're making this weird request for some kind of freaky ritual sacrifice, but I could do it.

could or would?
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 4:35 PM on July 7, 2015 [2 favorites]


And in utterly unsurprising news, Ann Thériault has now become a target for actual bullying and shaming. I expect to see everybody get exactly as angry and upset about this as they are about this poor anonymous fellow being gently mocked for being a bad date.
posted by dialetheia at 4:36 PM on July 7, 2015 [86 favorites]


Ugh, dialetheia. :(

The other thing I'm not quite understanding is how all the anti-shaming proponents seem to want us to feel bad about ourselves for laughing at this guy... it's almost as if... they're shaming us?!
posted by easter queen at 4:38 PM on July 7, 2015 [69 favorites]


easter queen you just won this thread
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 4:38 PM on July 7, 2015 [2 favorites]


If you need someone who'll help round up James Francolings for your ritual sacrifice and won't narc on you to the cops, memail me
posted by prize bull octorok at 4:38 PM on July 7, 2015 [14 favorites]


"Let me tell you about a bad experience I once had with an anonymous waiter at an unnamed restaurant"

I'm not sure. I think when the target of your "withering" and "self-righteous" criticism is someone you feel you lord over because they take your order and bring your food, people seem to care a lot less about respecting the anonymity of it.
posted by FJT at 4:38 PM on July 7, 2015


Ann Thériault has now become a target for actual bullying and shaming

Am I allowed to get more upset about that? because I am. That's worse.

I'm going to go back to just hating everything. (I don't think we here should shame, because I don't think shaming is good. In fact I think it's a tool for evil, and is being used as such against Anne. WTF, humanity.)
posted by nat at 4:39 PM on July 7, 2015 [6 favorites]


If you need someone who'll help round up James Francolings for your ritual sacrifice and won't narc on you to the cops, memail me

I at first read that as "James Francolingus", and you can't unring that bell.
posted by Navelgazer at 4:40 PM on July 7, 2015 [23 favorites]


here is a bingo board [PDF], made with print-bingo.com because everything else is kind of a pain in the butt

there are some font size issues because some of them are very long. thanks to divined by radio for most of the things in it!

The other thing I'm not quite understanding is how all the anti-shaming proponents seem to want us to feel bad about ourselves for laughing at this guy... it's almost as if... they're shaming us?!

this reminds me of the "my kink is kink-shaming, stop kink-shaming my kink-shame kink" tumblr meme (which i adore)
posted by NoraReed at 4:41 PM on July 7, 2015 [31 favorites]


I am not shaming anyone here.. in fact all I was trying to do is what Chad Orzel says in the review kagredon linked of the Ronson book.. "the only real fix is for people to think more carefully about what they’re doing."

Well I'm capable of thinking about what I'm doing, and I think everyone here is too. Unfortunately, the dude sending "I hope you die".. well I'm not so sure.
posted by nat at 4:42 PM on July 7, 2015 [1 favorite]


I at first read that as "James Francolingus", and you can't unring that bell.

Add it to the MeFi username pool.
posted by acb at 4:44 PM on July 7, 2015 [11 favorites]


I am not shaming anyone here..

But that's exactly what people are trying to get across to you: by the very broad definition of shaming you're using here, you totally are. If all efforts to set and enforce social norms are now shaming, then you're also shaming by trying to enforce a social norm against social norms. This is why this whole argument is kind of silly and everyone just needs to be specific about the behaviors they don't like instead of relying on the rhetorical punch of the word "shaming" to do all the work in that argument for them.
posted by dialetheia at 4:46 PM on July 7, 2015 [27 favorites]


I expect to see everybody get exactly as angry and upset about this as they are about this poor anonymous fellow being gently mocked for being a bad date.

Can I be more angry and upset?
posted by GenjiandProust at 4:46 PM on July 7, 2015 [5 favorites]


Anne Thériault getting piled on is probably the least surprising thing today.

If anything, I'm agog at how bad I feel for James Franco, who's now the face of all the terrible dicks we're apparently supposed to feel bad for.
posted by qcubed at 4:46 PM on July 7, 2015


those jerks are really over-roasting my beans.
posted by mullacc at 4:52 PM on July 7, 2015 [4 favorites]


I'm sitting here feeling empathy for those with the complication of being attracted to and searching for love from the very people that have been raised to oppress them.

Makes me glad to be a queer lesbian trans lady.
posted by Annika Cicada at 4:52 PM on July 7, 2015 [26 favorites]


several comments here have in fact shamed this guy. (e.g. "he's a douchecanoe".)

I find it fascinating that "douchecanoe" is considered shameful, but "entitled, sexist, mansplainy jerk," for example, is not.

Of course I'm also wondering why being a entitled, sexist, mansplainy jerk is considered by some to be a "minor, forgivable infraction." Would you say the same thing about a white supremacist, homophobe, or antisemite? A sexist is just as bad as any of the other types of bigot.
posted by caryatid at 5:01 PM on July 7, 2015 [21 favorites]


>>>Do you feel particularly shamed by etiquette questions in advice columns that call
>>>to mind behavior of your own? How about when the local news runs a story on some
>>>social faux pas commonly committed by, say, half the population including you?

>>There have been comments in this thread considerably more personal than that.

> Such as?


Look for these observations from Ms. Manners next week, although she will be kind enough to say that the person was acting like something, rather than slapping a label on him.

OP at 10:26am (for reference)

10:35am: "Bruce McCulloch as the pretentious wanker OF COURSE"
10:52am: "this guy sounds like a douchebag of the highest order"
10:56am: "it seems like the dude may have been actively restraining himself from just whipping out his junk and depositing on the table."
11:11am: "he’s being shamed for being an utterly self-obsessed twerp."
11:12am: "the world is improved by this douche and her exit from him being documented"
11:18am: "Yeah, he's not awkward, he's an asshole."
11:26am: "He's just Generic Douchecanoe Overheard in a Cafe"
11:26am: "That the guy is an asshole"
11:30am: "I feel like this amount of information is absolutely enough information to make me think that he is a bad person, or at least a person who lacks any real self-awareness or restraint and thus perpetuates Bad."

It goes on, but presumably you get the idea. This is not etiquette advice.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 5:02 PM on July 7, 2015 [1 favorite]


You know what's gross? Not only is That Dude not actually being shamed, or harmed in any real, measurable way (since no one even knows who he is), the woman with the panicked look on her face is being completely ignored so that people can get upset on this guy's behalf.

Telling women that they're shaming an anonymous man on the internet because he engaged in some pretty blatant and egregious mansplaining isn't just shaming those women, it's a silencing tactic.
posted by i feel possessed at 5:10 PM on July 7, 2015 [72 favorites]


Maybe he's nervous and insecure and he's trying to impress her while being completely tone-deaf to his own social maladroitness.

Sometimes when people tell stories like this I do understand feeling like what if that was me and I didn't mean any of that the way you thought. I'm a guy who grew up around academics (and Jewish people, which seems to be related) and I've always been intellectually competitive - in a friendly way - with my family and friends, showing off stuff I know and arguing points to the death for fun. Turns out when you talk to other people like that (especially women) they often think it's a for-real dominance/superiority thing! Which is really, really not what I'm about.

But, like - are you going to tell me you never met somebody you found to be an awful blowhard? That you never met somebody like that and made fun of them to your friends?
posted by atoxyl at 5:15 PM on July 7, 2015 [4 favorites]


Also, it's the job of the person doing the communicating to not come off as a blowhard, not the person being bragged at to SEE INTO THEIR SOUL and know that DEEP DOWN they are MERELY INSECURE AND TONE-DEAF. Just like it's always the job of men to avoid coming off as a sexist jerk and apologize and change their behavior if and when they fuck up, as opposed to the job of everyone else to ~avoid maligning their precious characters~ because what if they aren't ~really sexists~
posted by NoraReed at 5:21 PM on July 7, 2015 [35 favorites]


in case people are feeling sorry for james franco, remember that he likes to actively try to have sex with underage girls and when questioned about it says that their dads have to come collect these girls because of course men like him will have sex with them and also that he was embarrassed to have it hung out there like that, because of course his feelings of shame are the most important part.
posted by nadawi at 5:22 PM on July 7, 2015 [7 favorites]


I think this guy sat behind me at Cannibal! The Musical!

What a little turd.
posted by Jessica Savitch's Coke Spoon at 5:23 PM on July 7, 2015


But, like - are you going to tell me you never met somebody you found to be an awful blowhard? That you never met somebody like that and made fun of them to your friends?

I try not to anymore, because honestly, sometimes I made fun of those people because of my own insecurities and hangups, and also because sometimes I come across a little snobbish and condescending too.

And I don't like coming across negative to friends. I can take it too far and get too mean, and it's something I don't like doing.
posted by FJT at 5:25 PM on July 7, 2015 [1 favorite]


Sometimes I think people get super preoccupied with the question of whether a person is actually sexist. If a person's behavior is sexist, who cares what they "actually" might have been meaning or thinking? These tweets are describing this one guy's gross behavior at this one particular moment. Why leap to the defense of what he actually is?
posted by MoonOrb at 5:26 PM on July 7, 2015 [11 favorites]


Cannibal! The Musical!-- Let's Build a Snowman is hands down better than Do You Want to Build a Snowman.
posted by qcubed at 5:27 PM on July 7, 2015 [1 favorite]


[Couple comments deleted. Offhand snark does nothing productive in a thread where people are trying hard to communicate. Please refrain. Thanks. ]
posted by restless_nomad at 5:34 PM on July 7, 2015


Also, it's the job of the person doing the communicating to not come off as a blowhard, not the person being bragged at to SEE INTO THEIR SOUL and know that DEEP DOWN they are MERELY INSECURE AND TONE-DEAF.

Ugh, I was foaf with a guy like this in college. One day he was with me when I stopped by a (very pretty) female friend's house on some errand or other. He was being kind of dickish and putting things down, like the show she had on TV. Later he said "she didn't seem to like me very much." I said "well you were being really negative." And I swear to god, he said, "well, she should have been able to see through that." Words fail. One common quality of socially clueless people is they think everyone else can read minds.
posted by George_Spiggott at 5:35 PM on July 7, 2015 [22 favorites]


I think I have mentioned this before here but the first time a guy negged me I was very confused by it, having never heard of the horrors of it before, and thus I thought he was perhaps mentally disturbed/disabled and had wandered into the bar in need of assistance. Like why else would a total stranger stand creepily close to two total strangers having a conversation and stare at them unblinkingly before loudly shouting that the thing they are talking about is stupid? when he finally went away my friend ricardo was like "yo he was mad into you" and i was like, what, the hobo with brain damage? what? what the fuck?
posted by poffin boffin at 5:43 PM on July 7, 2015 [99 favorites]


in case people are feeling sorry for james franco

Yeah, this is actually a fair point.

Anyway, in this particular case, I don't know if it matters whether the guy is sexist or just his behavior in that one instance, largely because I don't think it matters if he's real or not (and consequently, whether the livetweets were describing a real event or not). With how anonymized the farce was, the arrogant prick is more of a stand-in archetype for all of those terrible dates more than anything.

Which is why I think the whole question of whether shaming a particular person is good or bad doesn't even make sense--the point isn't to shame a person, but a behavior.

That of a boorish, self-absorbed cad, lacking 눈치 and just running roughshod over everyone else, abusing the other's sense of decency and goodwill.
posted by qcubed at 5:48 PM on July 7, 2015 [2 favorites]


well, she should have been able to see through that

Oh god, yes, you're supposed to just somehow know what they really meant (I've had friends of both genders do this).

The odd thing is I've had some of the exact same people turn around and expect me to completely buy their BS on other occasions. It's like I'm only there to further whatever story they're telling themselves.
posted by ghost phoneme at 5:53 PM on July 7, 2015 [6 favorites]


Maybe the "Chef" was a previous lover, and his putanesca sauce comment was a boast about his sexual skills? You know, a really smarmy code metaphor? Nah. He he he.
posted by Oyéah at 6:17 PM on July 7, 2015


Kind of embarrassed that THIS is the thread where I run out of favorites, but you ladies are seriously making me lol.

Also, I have totally been on that date. A number of times :/
posted by the turtle's teeth at 6:23 PM on July 7, 2015 [5 favorites]


I was going to make pasta puttanesca tonight for dinner in a bout of irony cooking, but when I went to the grocery store they didn't have anchovies.

For this I blame misandry.
posted by the uncomplicated soups of my childhood at 6:24 PM on July 7, 2015 [17 favorites]


Oh man you guys, look at what is on reddit right now.

THEY START SO YOUNG.
posted by phunniemee at 6:34 PM on July 7, 2015 [51 favorites]


God, I hope Jon Ronson's next book is titled "I Didn't Realize My Last Book Would Serve as a Silencing Tactic Against Any Woman Who Criticizes a Man Online."
posted by maxsparber at 6:34 PM on July 7, 2015 [49 favorites]


I at first read that as "James Francolingus", and you can't unring that bell.

Burnt coffee
James Franco
Francolingus
Don't want babies

Father, why do these words sound mansplainy?

Puttanesca
Can be fun
Join the demon-wrestling not-for-profit
Everyone!
posted by mama casserole at 6:37 PM on July 7, 2015 [6 favorites]


OMG EVEN IF YOU HATE REDDIT CLICK THAT REDDIT LINK

that is so so perfect. i want to frame that picture and go to dinner with that picture. that's amazing.
posted by nadawi at 6:52 PM on July 7, 2015 [6 favorites]


Poke-nesca
posted by bendy at 6:56 PM on July 7, 2015 [3 favorites]


I was so excited when I saw this thread at work earlier today. It was really slow and I would've loved to browse horrible dating stories all day but, jeez, some people really know how to ruin a good thing.

This has been repeated over and over here already, but I'll throw one more on the pile: Hand wringing about whether this is true or if this totally anonymous and obvious blow-hard (who's hopefully young and will grow up to be an intelligent/thoughtful man) is shamed beyond reason by his shameful behavior can only be understood as sexist. If you're worried that this guy's behavior somehow reflects negatively on you and you therefore need to rise to his defense, maybe you should step back a bit form yourself and figure out why you identify so closely with an anonymous stranger who sounds at best like an obnoxious, arrogant chore and at worst like an outright asshole.
posted by AtoBtoA at 6:59 PM on July 7, 2015 [36 favorites]


Look, there are times when shaming someone is appropriate. When they are acting badly, it's appropriate. When they are not, that is when they are either doing something that's A-OK or even actually good, it's not appropriate. This is the problem with things like "slut shaming" -- the problem is the slut judgment being misogynistically and unfairly applied (there is no "stud shaming"), not the shaming part. Here, I think that pointing out that the dude (whose identity is unknown to us!) is exhibiting shameful behavior is perfectly fine, because he's acting in a bad way. We're not saying his behavior is on par with someone who, I don't know, masturbates in public or something; that shit would be like an 11 on the shame-o-matic meter, this is maybe a 1 or 1.5. The rush to defend him boggles my mind.
posted by axiom at 7:03 PM on July 7, 2015 [6 favorites]


The guy was a clueless ass, and the girl was really smart and fast-thinking to escape like that. I'm not sure I would have been so clever in her position (usually I would stare grimly into the distance as the guy droned on and on).

Anyway, I shared the NoraReed's FIAMO bingo board with Anne Theriault and she approves! Yay!
posted by suburbanbeatnik at 7:09 PM on July 7, 2015 [25 favorites]




i want to frame that picture and go to dinner with that picture.

I look forward to the live tweet of that date.
posted by nubs at 7:31 PM on July 7, 2015 [3 favorites]


This is the best thread on MeFi in awhile.

To paraphrase Furious in Boys N Tha Hood, "I don't know why you insist on learning social cues the hard way, guys, but you are GONNA LEARN."
posted by JLovebomb at 7:33 PM on July 7, 2015 [5 favorites]


God, I hope Jon Ronson's next book is titled "I Didn't Realize My Last Book Would Serve as a Silencing Tactic Against Any Woman Who Criticizes a Man Online."

The Men Who Glare at Tweets
posted by Atom Eyes at 8:17 PM on July 7, 2015 [24 favorites]


20 points for getting your puttanesca sauce on your neighbors plate of beans.

#QuackQuack
posted by dr_dank at 8:36 PM on July 7, 2015 [3 favorites]


The other thing I'm not quite understanding is how all the anti-shaming proponents seem to want us to feel bad about ourselves for laughing at this guy... it's almost as if... they're shaming us?!

I can't speak for the other anti-shamers, but I really don't care what you do. I'm not here to compel you to change your behavior with my disapproval, nor have I tried to make anyone feel "bad" about anything. In fact, that's kind of my whole point.
posted by echocollate at 8:41 PM on July 7, 2015 [4 favorites]


God, I hope Jon Ronson's next book is titled "I Didn't Realize My Last Book Would Serve as a Silencing Tactic Against Any Woman Who Criticizes a Man Online."

That may be an unreasonably high bar to set for Jon Ronson's ability to think
posted by Greg Nog at 8:50 PM on July 7, 2015 [7 favorites]


The Men Who Glare at Tweets

...Is the name of my new Performance Art troupe.
posted by Greg_Ace at 9:08 PM on July 7, 2015 [2 favorites]


May be there's a slight difference between "is" and "acted like"?

So perhaps it's not so much "anti-shaming" as "anti-name-calling"?
posted by susiswimmer at 9:11 PM on July 7, 2015 [1 favorite]


I can't speak for the other anti-shamers, but I really don't care what you do. I'm not here to compel you to change your behavior with my disapproval, nor have I tried to make anyone feel "bad" about anything. In fact, that's kind of my whole point.

I see what you did there, you incredibly clever logic ouroboros person who didn't just shame me!
posted by mudpuppie at 9:21 PM on July 7, 2015 [23 favorites]


That being said, I have my first second date in like a year and half this week. And there's a second date mostly because the first date was the first time in a very long time I didn't feel like I was playing out the exact script from the OP, or at least something in the same genre.

Which is incredibly exhausting when conversations that are maybe not the same genus, but at least the same family, occur several times every day at work. Which is about all a woman can handle, you know?

Of course now my brain is mostly going ohshitohshitohshitohshit. Because second date.
posted by susiswimmer at 9:23 PM on July 7, 2015 [8 favorites]


I think this clip of Stewie teasing Brian shows the best way to handle oblivious MFA dudes.
posted by um at 9:32 PM on July 7, 2015 [2 favorites]


May be there's a slight difference between "is" and "acted like"?

So perhaps it's not so much "anti-shaming" as "anti-name-calling"?


Even if you very carefully phase things in "acted like" instead of "is", people will turn it around and claim you were using "is" and play the "I know he is not sexist". This drives me crazy, because there's no way to tell what is really in people's hearts, but also because people are entitled to make their own judgement about whether someone's behavior is egregiously bigoted ~enough~ to put them in the "sexist" category in their own classification system. But because of the "YOU CAN'T PROVE THAT HE HATES WOMEN IN HIS HEART" thing, people who are invested in a sexist status quo will ALWAYS do that turn-around, because that particular argument is impossible to lose, unlike the "this thing you did was sexist" argument. (Jay Smooth talks about this with race, and I feel like I link to this somewhere every 3 days, but watch that if you haven't seen it.)
posted by NoraReed at 9:35 PM on July 7, 2015 [18 favorites]


NoraReed- one of my favorite links ever. "We don't need to see inside his soul to know they shouldnta said all that... ." Indeed.
posted by susiswimmer at 9:49 PM on July 7, 2015


You can't shame someone who isn't a recognizable figure. Star Wars Kid, he got shamed. This is shaming all the horrible men who act this way around women, an archetype, if you will. Many of them are horribly messed up young narcissists, and we all hope they will realize they are douchecanoes, and change their behaviors. Many of us have that, "oh yeah, but let me tell you MY story that is similar but better than what you just said" gene in us. Once you learn that you should shut up, rather than saying something...
posted by Windopaene at 10:17 PM on July 7, 2015 [6 favorites]


Also I hate vibrams because I don't allow shoe-wearing in my house but if someone arrives in a pair it's like, oh, great, now I get to choose between street dirt on my floor or MOIST SWEATY BARE FEET.

guest socks innit
posted by Jon Mitchell at 11:00 PM on July 7, 2015


Shu-bees!
posted by ctmf at 11:29 PM on July 7, 2015


Guest slippers might be the refinement my apartment needs cause while I take my shoes off instantly that's not something I can assume for everyone but I also don't want street dirt on my silk rugs so maybe getting more fussy and saying let me take those, here try these on with some comfy slippers is a compromise.

Oh hey I could get slippers that match the room.
posted by The Whelk at 11:32 PM on July 7, 2015 [9 favorites]


Do you wash the slippers regularly? I'm not saying the last person to use those slippers had gross feet, but... maybe I should just bring my own slippers.
posted by um at 11:47 PM on July 7, 2015 [2 favorites]


There's like a dry cleansers in my building , this isn't a bowling alley
posted by The Whelk at 11:50 PM on July 7, 2015 [3 favorites]


Also you'd be wearing socks, I hope, this is more about protecting me from you here
posted by The Whelk at 11:52 PM on July 7, 2015 [5 favorites]


guest socks innit

no because then i would have to throw them out each time
posted by poffin boffin at 11:52 PM on July 7, 2015 [1 favorite]


Shame is coercive. Coercion of another human being is never, ever okay. There are ways to set and enforce social norms without using shame, like, for example, appealing to one's sense of empathy. I expect many people will think I'm hopelessly naive, but that is what I honestly, genuinely believe.
posted by Backslash at 11:57 PM on July 7, 2015 [2 favorites]


I don't understand the "maybe he was nervous" defence. He acted like a self absorbed wanker. If you are ok with a conversation that involves you talking and the other person not, then you are self absorbed, not nervous. If you constantly one-up the person you are talking to, that is being a jerk, not being nervous. Why would anyone want to associate with anyone who treated someone they first met like that?

However, I totally agree that society fails many men by not teaching them how to converse pleasantly to a wide range of people. Teenaged girls have much higher expections put on them than boys when it comes to social interaction, and are therefore generally less likely to act like bloviating arseholes in conversation. But this is on society, and his family and friends, not a complete stranger who's just met him, and to whom he's already been incredibly inappropriate. She doesn't need to say anything, she just needs to extract herself safely from the situation. And so society provides these tweets as an object lesson on what not to do and more importantly, what not to be. Possibly, this guy went home, reflected on his behaviour, realised he wasn't at his best, contacted her apologising for dominating the conversation and asked her out again so that he could ask her about herself. If so, he does not need this lesson. But I'm guessing not.
posted by kjs4 at 12:01 AM on July 8, 2015 [3 favorites]


Shame is coercive. Coercion of another human being is never, ever okay.

nathanfillion_befuddled.gif
posted by maxwelton at 12:28 AM on July 8, 2015 [13 favorites]


Shame is coercive. Coercion of another human being is never, ever okay. There are ways to set and enforce social norms without using shame, like, for example, appealing to one's sense of empathy.

If these tweets are provoking shame for the dude instead of empathy for the woman who was subjected to the horrible date, that's kind of your problem.
posted by NoraReed at 1:12 AM on July 8, 2015 [48 favorites]


I am 5'11", and years ago I used to say 6', but now I just say 5'11", because I learned how to love myself. It is the greatest love of all.
posted by krinklyfig at 1:26 AM on July 8, 2015 [12 favorites]


Shame is coercive. Coercion of another human being is never, ever okay.

Riiiight. This is the sort of argument internet libertarians make & it makes no sense whatsoever: There are always times when coercion is necessary.

Anyhoo, the bloke is not being shamed *because he hasn’t been identified*. If he had been & there was a great internet hate mob after him, then sure: that would be a bad thing. But he hasn’t & there isn’t & we’re talking about archetypes rather than individuals. Most of us have done this (completely dominated a conversation) at one time or another & when we did it, we were jerks too; it’s no bad thing to be reminded of that.

This bloke did take things a step further with the puttanesca sauce thing though. Not only does it turn the conversation back to him *again*, it makes the conversation about sex in a weird, underhand way that I have a strong suspicion was completely intentional. Ew.
posted by pharm at 1:28 AM on July 8, 2015 [11 favorites]


However, I totally agree that society fails many men by not teaching them how to converse pleasantly

Oh, bullshit. I imagine that the male in question went to school? Then he has already had years of being taught how to share speaking time. He just chose not to. It is not society's fault that dudes like him brag, dominate the conversation, and think themselves especially talented but misundestood geniuses. It is the dude's choice to act like that.

Making it society's responsibility to educate men on how to behave is a buck-passing manoeuvre that eventually means, yet again, that women will bare the brunt of the responsibility for men's behaviour.

I am so over buying into that malarky. It is the responsibility of individual adults to be good conversationalists if they want to have conversations. This man didn't want a conversation, he wanted an audience.

Anecdote time: last time I was internet dating, I spoke to two men on the phone in one night. The first talked for three hours about himsef. His only question to me was my thoughts on dancing, which was his passion. I said, "Dancing is fun. I also really like bushwalking!" The conversation immmediately returned to dancing and no mention or question of my interests was raised again. The second caller talked briefly about himself, asked me about myself, asked follow up questions, and found a common topic to talk about. So I dated him for six years.

Men like the one overheard in the coffee shop are a dime a dozen, unfortunately. They are the centre of their own universe and they don't have the brains or maturity to realise that if they want to share that universe, they have to let another star shine equally brightly.
posted by Thella at 1:38 AM on July 8, 2015 [40 favorites]


Ah, I think I see your error there. They don't want to share that universe, they just want to be adored; they want a captive audience for their self-evident glory.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 1:43 AM on July 8, 2015 [4 favorites]


Ah, I think I see your error there.
I know, I know! But I keep making it time and again. I make the mistake of thinking that men like my company for my intellect, my humour, my amazing ability to recite the entirety of Monty Python's first album ( on request only because, you know, conversational etiquette), my ability to file horse hooves while whipping up a fine carbonara But no. They just want my ears (and other orifices). When will I learn?
posted by Thella at 2:21 AM on July 8, 2015 [9 favorites]


Guest slippers might be the refinement my apartment needs...

I got some of those because some guests felt strange without them. They just get tossed in the wash after guests leave, then back in the guest slipper holder.
posted by frimble at 2:23 AM on July 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


[One comment deleted. Sorry, even though his book has been mentioned here a couple of times, let's not derail into a discussion about Jon Ronson. Thanks. ]
posted by taz at 4:28 AM on July 8, 2015


I am not acknowledging the rest of this sentence because I want to spend the rest of my days in MeFi judging each thread by whether it's a Henry James, a P.D. James or an E.L. James.
Not to mention, as per The World According to Garp, the outside possibilities of Ellen Jamesians.
posted by rongorongo at 5:23 AM on July 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


my ability to file horse hooves while whipping up a fine carbonara

Please, tell us more....
posted by GenjiandProust at 6:04 AM on July 8, 2015 [2 favorites]


I see what you did there, you incredibly clever logic ouroboros person who didn't just shame me!

Have I no shame, sir?
posted by echocollate at 6:17 AM on July 8, 2015


I also, as a woman who is particularly awkward, have gone on about something vapid on a supposed date because they gave me an opening and I leapt on it because I absolutely haven't been able to think of anything else to talk about it.

If someone heard me and retweeted my blatherings I'd be so happy because at last it would be revealed that my life was actually like 'The Truman Show' and everyone was really interested in The Life That Was Me, but at the same time I'd be mortified because that actually was me and oh god, I should have tried hiding harder.

Luckily, this has absolutely nothing to do with that because this lucky couple is completely indistinguishable from hundreds of thousands of people interacting every day all over the world, and it would be highly unlikely that Mr 80's leather jacket man is too worried about being outed because he's obviously not alone. Some people apply the label vintage too early when it comes to outer wear, and it's more than likely that a Venn Circle would show that such people would also brag about themselves to women they cheated on. Just guessing, here.

But there is a disagreement about what constitutes assholish or mean behavior
from up there: what I'd like to say is, if you're completely ignoring the person you're with and just going on and on about yourself then you're being an arsehole. It's just that simple, really. Other people will notice if you do this, particularly if you do it a lot. You might even get talked about on the internet! If you are a shadowy archetype of this person, or if you are indeed this person, you're life is not ruined because someone noticed you and mentioned your behaviour to others. Your name is safe, your children will not suffer ignominy!

The people who notice you are not necessarily being arseholes. It sometimes is you. But it's not a life sentence!
posted by h00py at 6:51 AM on July 8, 2015 [7 favorites]


"my ability to file horse hooves while whipping up a fine carbonara"

secret recipe?
posted by idiopath at 7:23 AM on July 8, 2015


Horse hoof filings are much cheaper than Knox powdered gelatin, presumably.
posted by gilrain at 7:39 AM on July 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


It is not society's fault that dudes like him brag, dominate the conversation, and think themselves especially talented but misundestood geniuses. It is the dude's choice to act like that. . . Men like the one overheard in the coffee shop are a dime a dozen, unfortunately.
I think the prevalence of men like him is an indication that our society is, in fact, doing something wrong. Yes, they are acting inappropriately and should not be excused. But saying that our society might be a reason doesn't excuse the behavior.
posted by clorox at 7:44 AM on July 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


Unlike some of you, I don't think this guy is really going to have trouble dating. Lots of my friends dated this sort when they were too young to know better and thought they had to play this game to get a boyfriend or were so naive they actually believed everything these guys said about themselves. I went on second and third dates with this kind of guy until I realized that these men are often the same ones who are so wrapped up in themselves that their date is just an idea or part of a story they're writing and they couldn't hear me and didn't care about or attempt to imagine my inner goings on when I said things like, "No, I really want to go home now; can you unlock the door?" (I'm not saying these guys are rapists, but that they're the ones who engage in those fucked up, grey-area negotiations that are like, "But don't go home yet; we're having fun. Okay, just make out with me for five more minutes and then I'll drive you home. [Five minutes later] But I'm having fun. Aren't you having fun? C'mon. You're so cute. I don't want you to go home," etc., because the interaction is their story and doesn't actually involve your wants and needs, you do not exist, you are just Girl, and if he keeps talking or talks over you enough, he can completely invalidate everything you're saying and wanting and doing, he becomes the storyteller and protagonist and driver of the narrative, and he gets to his goal and the end of the story. Does anyone talk about these coercive negotiations guys do? Let's do that sometime.)

Anyway, I derailed inside those parentheses, but basically, this is the guy who just keeps dating twentysomethings no matter how old he gets, and the world keeps making twentysomethings, so he will be fine.
posted by Yoko Ono's Advice Column at 8:11 AM on July 8, 2015 [42 favorites]


My posts are making me sound like a manhater, but I should note I am married to an awesome guy who is feminist without even trying and have some of the coolest male friends on earth, so I really am just talking about this kind of guy, and my above post shouldn't say "these coercive negotiations guys do" because it's only a certain sort. Apologies for that.
posted by Yoko Ono's Advice Column at 8:19 AM on July 8, 2015 [7 favorites]


Unlike some of you, I don't think this guy is really going to have trouble dating. Lots of my friends dated this sort when they were too young to know better and thought they had to play this game to get a boyfriend or were so naive they actually believed everything these guys said about themselves.

One more non-shaming reason that we should tell these stories among ourselves and even on *gasp* public media where men might see them. This is a conversation women should be having and if overhearing it makes men who behave like this behave better, great. But women talking about or even laughing about how men behave, particularly among ourselves, is not necessarily for the edification or education of men. And I'm always surprised that even on Metafilter there are a surprising number of men who just cannot conceive of that, any more than the dude on the date in the OP link can conceive that the poor woman he's inflicting himself on might have some interest that doesn't revolve around him.
posted by immlass at 8:20 AM on July 8, 2015 [45 favorites]


I think the prevalence of men like him is an indication that our society is, in fact, doing something wrong. Yes, they are acting inappropriately and should not be excused. But saying that our society might be a reason doesn't excuse the behavior.

"Because society" is an excuse. It's the excuse. We're always told that we're failing all of the poor, hopelessly awkward men out there -- how can we ever expect them to learn how to be decent people if we don't stop what we're doing and teach them? It's ridiculous, in light of the fact that these guys are all grown adults who vote, drive, hold down jobs, have platonic friends, and otherwise operate largely 'normally' in the world in most other respects. It's pretty much only when it comes to interacting with women that they're given to relentless navelgazing, interruptions, mansplaining, &c. To me, this makes it pretty clear that it isn't our society doing something wrong, it's the patriarchy.

Because with a few obvious exceptions, the majority of humans already have the ability to figure out how to be respectable and kind in social settings, as evidenced by the fact that zillions of men do not behave anything like this. It's just a matter of knowing when to shut up and listen as opposed to sucking all of the air out of the room with narcissistic blathering. Unfortunately for everyone, the patriarchy encourages all of us to expend our time and effort in support of the idea that men's viewpoints and opinions aren't just the only ones that matter, but the only ones that exist at all.

So when we see these dudes in the wild, we fall all over ourselves to coddle them. Instead of telling them that they need to shoulder the burden of figuring out how to behave, we tell them that it isn't their fault because no one taught them how to act like a grown adult as opposed to an entitled child. And all of this is born from the infuriating, infantilizing myth that men are uniquely and inherently unable to socialize (specifically with women) without explicit instructions. But damn, even when we bite our tongues and try to educate just as we're asked to do? Dudes act like women have this ethereal, preternatural ability to be effortlessly not-awkward and, furthermore, that sharing this ineffable tribal knowledge with men should be a top priority for us. But as soon as we try to set any limits or boundaries for ourselves, let alone make a suggestion that's contrary to what they're accustomed to or comfortable with? OH NO. Game over, class dismissed, because that dude is not going to listen to a single word you say from that point on.

In any case, I'm a woman and I've always been awkward as hell and there's no way on god's green earth you'd ever catch me blaming society for my inability to figure out how to stop being so goddamn awkward. That's all on me, always has been. Why are we so hesitant to insist that men need to take the same kind of responsibility for their actions?
posted by divined by radio at 8:28 AM on July 8, 2015 [48 favorites]


one reason i argue for the radical idea that women love women, and that we never try to be "one of the guys" is because i truly believe women are safest when we are loved and supported by other women, especially those who recognize these types of patterns. i have never been more in danger than i was when i was in my "not like the other girls" phase.
posted by nadawi at 8:30 AM on July 8, 2015 [49 favorites]


And the thing that always gets me, divined by radio, is the people coming out of the woodwork to say "but he might be socially awkward" or "but he might be autistic!" or "he might not know he's being creepy!" or "maybe no one taught him social skills!" when we have these conversations about men being assholes to women... the people who say that never seem to be half as worried about, say, autistic women. Or socially awkward women. Or women who missed out on basic socialization.

If you're a woman and you fuck up, no one really cares much. If you misread a creepy dude and you err on the side of good intentions, and you get hurt or raped, well, that's your own damn fault. If you make a mistake about your dress and you accidentally signal "boring" or "suuuuper sexy" when you don't mean to, and people judge you for it--that's your fault too. If you make a social error and you bore someone, gosh, didn't you know? No one cuts women slack for their social errors, and if you are a woman who finds social interaction difficult or non-intuitive, well, you basically learn by trial and error. If you're lucky and you ask around, maybe people will give you a hand figuring it out... or maybe they won't. (And no one's stopping dudes from asking "how do I not fuck up socially," either.)

And worse! No one really talks about how the women who are disproportionately at risk from men being creepy are the ones who themselves are not good at negotiating social skills! They are, after all, the ones most likely to judge themselves for messing up the social interaction. These are the people who wind up on a negative social interaction repeatedly and blame themselves. And you know, maybe they should blame themselves sometimes--as we've been saying, women certainly are not exempt from droning boringly about their interests or from being pretty self-centered or from accidentally insulting other people by mistake. (Man, I could tell you some stories about that last one. I stick my stupid awkward foot in my mouth all the time.)

But sometimes they shouldn't. Sometimes women are on the receiving end of common shittiness that isn't their fault at all. And for a socially awkward woman, these conversations are so, so important for women to have. It is so rare that women, especially awkward women, get to hear "Actually, that shit is really common but not your problem." Or "Wow, this one isn't your fault." After all, everything else is women's fault; women are just kind of expected to be good at this shit, and you get thrown in the deep end soon enough whether you can actually swim well or not.

Conversations like this are, in many ways, a form of teaching other women what is acceptable in conversation and what's frankly pretty douchey and unappealing--and having them in public is an incredibly important way of getting those messages out to awkward women. After all, not all of them are lucky enough to have friends who will tell them this in private, yes? Making these conversations public is a good way to send the message not just to men but to other women that you don't have to put up with this bullshit. And especially since these jackasses often target the most inexperienced women they can find, that's pretty important.
posted by sciatrix at 8:45 AM on July 8, 2015 [113 favorites]


I also have no doubt this guy will have trouble dating. I mean Jesus, look at AskMetafilter 'Human Relations'... an incredible amount of young women are dating/tolerating/try-to-fix this guy.
posted by French Fry at 9:03 AM on July 8, 2015 [15 favorites]


This guy is definitely not having any trouble dating. A friend of mine, in her 40s, a powerful, independent, strong-ass motherfucker who takes exactly zero shit from anybody (self included) dated this guy for a year and a half. (Lest that sound blamey, she keeps going "wtf was I thinking?" wrt him.)
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 9:12 AM on July 8, 2015 [2 favorites]


my unicycle-- sigh, poor dude thought it was a joke when my profile said I came with one

One time, at circus camp...(gentle double entendre, I don't begrudge unicyclists 4 realZ)
posted by aydeejones at 9:24 AM on July 8, 2015


Ha! I've been thinking of posting an AskMe about what to do when your awesome friend marries one of these guys and you want to help her dinner parties be less awkward by making him talk less so she can actually be heard.

Her: [tells hilariously funny story; everyone laughing]

Him: (jealous about the attention she's getting, blurts first "deep" thought that comes to mind that is also totally unrelated) Yeah, but have you ever thought about how bad advertising is? Like, people complain about how football influences kids, but like, advertising influences them too. It's almost like it's built to influence people. I mentioned this in my graphic design class this morning and everyone was, like, blown away. I think my instructor is threatened by me.

Dinner Guests: [crickets]
posted by Yoko Ono's Advice Column at 9:25 AM on July 8, 2015 [29 favorites]


I love you mefites -- this thread is awesome
posted by ClaudiaCenter at 9:28 AM on July 8, 2015 [5 favorites]


Yoko, if I may suggest. (NSFW)
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 9:29 AM on July 8, 2015 [2 favorites]


caryatid: Of course I'm also wondering why being a entitled, sexist, mansplainy jerk is considered by some to be a "minor, forgivable infraction." Would you say the same thing about a white supremacist, homophobe, or antisemite? A sexist is just as bad as any of the other types of bigot.

The feminism angle being forwarded by many in this thread puzzles me. Other than being a self-absorbed conversation dominator, it's unclear what makes him and any other self-absorbed conversation dominators into bigoted sexists. Most people I know who would fit this description -- more than a few of whom have been women -- are self-absorbed conversation dominators regardless of whether they are talking to a man or a woman. Labeling this guy a sexist and a bigot based on these tweets seems so laughably extreme as to remove any pejorative strength from those appellations.
posted by slkinsey at 9:39 AM on July 8, 2015 [2 favorites]


dude I know telling women they're wrong about their lives is a very time consuming job, but if you scroll up about a page there are like 5 comments in a row that address exactly what you are "puzzled" about
posted by kagredon at 9:41 AM on July 8, 2015 [55 favorites]


At the risk of mansplaining: it's sexist because of the patriarchal assumption that mens' voices deserve to be listened to by women, without the reverse being true. It happens up and down all levels of society from coffee shops to boardrooms. It is not at all the same thing as a female-identified person talking over a man because, frankly, privilege.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 9:42 AM on July 8, 2015 [24 favorites]


Would you say the same thing about a white supremacist, homophobe, or antisemite? A sexist is just as bad as any of the other types of bigot.

Did that really just equate a white supremacist with a sexist? There's no significant difference between a member of the KKK and a everyday boor?

This is where I check out of the conversation.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 9:50 AM on July 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


Is this thread up to 500+ comments because:
A. How can you not watch a train wreck happening?
B. How can you not have sympathy for the person who is politeness-bound?
C. The tweets are funny?
D. We are afraid that we are this guy, even if we are female?
posted by theora55 at 9:53 AM on July 8, 2015 [2 favorites]


Did that really just equate a white supremacist with a sexist? There's no significant difference between a member of the KKK and a everyday boor?

It's entirely possible to be an everyday racist in the same way that it is possible to be an everyday (sexist) boor. And, yes, they are equivalents, because the guy who tells ironic racist jokes is the microagression version of white supremacy in the same way that the guy who dominates conversations with women is the microagression version of patriarchy.
posted by maxsparber at 9:53 AM on July 8, 2015 [33 favorites]


Plenty of regular good ole boy white supremacists in this country who will never join the Aryan Brotherhood or the KKK or an organized militia or whatever.
posted by griphus at 9:54 AM on July 8, 2015 [18 favorites]


what I'd like to say is, if you're completely ignoring the person you're with and just going on and on about yourself then you're being an arsehole. It's just that simple, really. Other people will notice if you do this, particularly if you do it a lot. You might even get talked about on the internet!

I don't completely agree that talking to much is considered asshole behavior. Because sometimes people just want to talk. Sometimes you sit down with a person and you pick up that they just want to keep talking, cause they have something to get out. And that's fine. I can sit and listen to people and feel the least I can do is to hear what they have to say. And sometimes I don't talk much for a couple days and I have an urge to to talk as well. But, if that's the case, he needs to find a friend or a family member to listen to him, not a stranger.

The woman did the right thing to leave. She didn't want to listen. It's not her job and she doesn't have to. She was visibly panicked, and I've been in that situation before as well, feeling trapped and anxious in a conversation.

As I said earlier, I can sympathize with both. And yeah, he was an ass.

And I agree it's not society's fault men aren't socialized.

I think part of the blame can be laid on how social interaction and relationships are kinda used as a way to compete (e.g., Who is more popular? Who has more friends? Who has gone on more dates? Who knows X or Y person?). It's not a coincidence that one of the common insults is, "He/she's a loser with no friends."
posted by FJT at 9:57 AM on July 8, 2015


fffm, that makes sense and I can see that being part of the metacommentary, but discussion in this thread has tended to be rather specifically of the "this guy is a misogynistic ass" variety, and less along the lines of "these aspects of the reported conversation are emblematical of larger societal factors that value men's voices over women's voices (etc.)." That could make an interesting discussion (I also happen to agree with those points) but doesn't seem to be the discussion ensuing here. As a performer I may be in a somewhat rarefied position, because we tend to be self-absorbed and effusive as a rule. But while I recognize the issues you mention are a problem in society, in my practical and personal experience I can't say that I know more self-absorbed conversation dominators of either sex (although it probably is true that the nature and topicality is different depending on sex).
posted by slkinsey at 9:58 AM on July 8, 2015


Did that really just equate a white supremacist with a sexist? There's no significant difference between a member of the KKK and a everyday boor?

Glad you noped outta this thread, son, because I don't think any part of this comment's gonna go well here, to use the parlance of our Metafilter.
posted by We put our faith in Blast Hardcheese at 10:13 AM on July 8, 2015 [15 favorites]


"these aspects of the reported conversation are emblematical of larger societal factors that value men's voices over women's voices (etc.)."

FFFM is a good dude who is generous with his time, but maybe instead of only responding to him or other male allies when they summarize the point, maybe you could actually read one or two of the many women's comments in this thread that discuss exactly that, of which there is a good, thoughtful series of right before your last commet
posted by kagredon at 10:13 AM on July 8, 2015 [43 favorites]


discussion in this thread has tended to be rather specifically of the "this guy is a misogynistic ass" variety, and less along the lines of "these aspects of the reported conversation are emblematical of larger societal factors that value men's voices over women's voices (etc.)."

If you scroll up a bit you'll see some phenomenal comments by divinedbyradio and sciatrix talking very specifically about aspects of the reported conversation that are emblematic of larger societal factors that value men's voices over women's voices. Those are just two most recent examples but they join a thread full of detailed, thoughtful discussion.
posted by everybody had matching towels at 10:14 AM on July 8, 2015 [23 favorites]


"my ability to file horse hooves while whipping up a fine carbonara"

Seems like the sort of thing that'll just come up naturally in due time. Why bring it up at all?
posted by Navelgazer at 10:15 AM on July 8, 2015 [3 favorites]


Did that really just equate a white supremacist with a sexist? There's no significant difference between a member of the KKK and a everyday boor?

This is where I check out of the conversation.


That you think sexism is just being an 'everyday boor' is so perfectly on the nose as being part of the problem I don't even know what to say.

slkinsey, I'd like to respond. I think it's probably better if you listen to women on this issue than me.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 10:18 AM on July 8, 2015 [25 favorites]


but discussion in this thread has tended to be rather specifically of the "this guy is a misogynistic ass" variety, and less along the lines of "these aspects of the reported conversation are emblematical of larger societal factors that value men's voices over women's voices (etc.)."

That's because most of us are already taking the second line as a given and commenting forward from that foundational knowledge.
posted by jaguar at 10:19 AM on July 8, 2015 [14 favorites]


I'm not sure it's sexism. I know people -- one of them a member of my immediate family -- who do this with everyone:

* Don't listen, any more than they can avoid. If they do manage to let you say something, they will interrupt with their experience with whatever you mentioned and go on without making the mistake of giving you another opening to talk for a good long time.
* When they ask a question it's to introduce a topic that they want to talk about, like "do you like sailboarding?" Which means, "I'll let you get a yes or no out and then I'll tell you about what a sailboarder I am."
* Boast ALL THE TIME, with particular emphasis on what [they want you to believe] others say about them.

I'm not saying he isn't sexist, I'm saying that this kind of asshattery doesn't require sexism.
posted by George_Spiggott at 10:21 AM on July 8, 2015


everybody had matching towels: Those divinedbyradio and sciatrix comments are excellent, you're right. I think I started typing before those posted to the thread. I was really reacting to the bulk of what had come before, which didn't seem so thoughtful to me. Anyway, thanks for redirecting my attention to those. :-)
posted by slkinsey at 10:22 AM on July 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


I'm not saying he isn't sexist, I'm saying that this kind of asshattery doesn't require sexism.

True. When it is displayed by a man talking to a woman in a dynamic where millennia of patriarchal oppression are in play, however, it's a logical assumption that sexism is at work.
posted by jaguar at 10:22 AM on July 8, 2015 [14 favorites]


I'm not sure it's sexism

*headdesk*headdesk*headdesk*

Dude, there are dozens and dozens of women right here in this thread who are very patiently explaining exactly why and how this is sexism. Listen to them, eh?
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 10:25 AM on July 8, 2015 [29 favorites]


I know people -- one of them a member of my immediate family -- who do this with everyone.

Look, I do this with everyone, and I am female. That doesn't mean that this isn't part of of a sexist and patriarchal behavior pattern. In fact, I'm pretty sure I do it because I learned at an early age that powerful people who are respected by society act like this, like they are the protagonists not only in their own story but in everyone else's, and I wanted to be a member of that group. But it is an inescapable truth that far more men are given the social space to believe that tantalizing falsehood, and that one of the reasons why is that the women around them are taught in a thousand ways that they are not even the protagonists in their own story -- that they exist as supporting characters in the drama of their lives.

As an aside, if you meet me in person, and I start doing this, just tell me to cut it out. I'm working on it.
posted by KathrynT at 10:34 AM on July 8, 2015 [41 favorites]


KathrynT, come to think of it, I'm pretty sure he's far less disposed to act this way with people who are in some sense "above" him, in matters of, say, wealth and power. So I see your point; sexism informs the perceived power/authority relationship which governs whether people like this are able or willing to contain this shit.
posted by George_Spiggott at 10:37 AM on July 8, 2015 [2 favorites]


When [that kind of asshattery] is displayed by a man talking to a woman in a dynamic where millennia of patriarchal oppression are in play, however, it's a logical assumption that sexism is at work.

I buy this premise. But I think this premise prompts one to ask what is at work when conversational asshattery is being done by a woman? KathrynT's answer is an interesting one that places the behavior within the same framework.
posted by slkinsey at 10:39 AM on July 8, 2015


I'm not sure it's sexism. I know people -- one of them a member of my immediate family -- who do this with everyone

Millions of people die every year without ever saying "Fuck that alligator" and jumping into water where people have recently spotted an 11-foot alligator. That doesn't mean it won't kill you.
posted by Etrigan at 10:39 AM on July 8, 2015 [10 favorites]


There's no way to tell what is really in people's hearts, but also because people are entitled to make their own judgement about whether someone's behavior is egregiously bigoted ~enough~ to put them in the "sexist" category in their own classification system.
Yes, and you know what? It doesn't matter. It doesn't matter if someone is "acting" sexist or if they are sexist.

I had a boyfriend who was abusive; it was mostly verbal, but then he started in on the hair-pulling and the slapping around shit. This made me call him on his behavior. His argument was, "Well, I'm not abusive, I'm just acting abusively sometimes, like when you annoy me, and when you're being a whiny bitch. What else can I do? But I'm not an abuser - how dare you level that serious accusation on me? I'm a good guy! You're making a serious accusation."

And I called bullshit (finally). Because who fucking cares? There's no difference between acting like an asshole and being an asshole in your heart of hearts. This is a pedantic argument designed to take attention away from what's really going on. And in this situation, what is really going on is that this guy is an entitled, sexist jerk. Or at least he's acting like one. Who cares what the difference is? Glad she got out of there. Life's too short to spend any time being talked at by an asshole.
posted by sockermom at 10:47 AM on July 8, 2015 [47 favorites]


Hey so, um, exactly zero people are expected to "buy a premise" in this thread. Rather, you are being told how it is with the expectation to take that at face value and adjust your worldview accordingly.
posted by Annika Cicada at 10:48 AM on July 8, 2015 [17 favorites]


> like they are the protagonists not only in their own story but in everyone else's

I think for me this may be the key insight of the thread.
posted by George_Spiggott at 10:50 AM on July 8, 2015 [7 favorites]


they way men are socialized to see themselves as the protagonist and women aren't is such a huge problem that girls in elementary school, when tasked with writing a story, often write themselves as the sidekick.
posted by nadawi at 10:56 AM on July 8, 2015 [42 favorites]


i am the incompetent action hero of my own story. i am kronk pepikrankenitz and i hum my own theme music.
posted by poffin boffin at 11:05 AM on July 8, 2015 [6 favorites]


is such a huge problem that girls in elementary school, when tasked with writing a story, often write themselves as the sidekick.

Just in case anyone is reading that and thinking it's exaggerated: in elementary school we were asked to draw pictures of what we wanted to be when we grew up and I drew a man achieving my goal without a second thought.
posted by everybody had matching towels at 11:16 AM on July 8, 2015 [23 favorites]


WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE?

Pokemon is already plural.
posted by Panjandrum at 11:16 AM on July 8, 2015 [4 favorites]


When I worked as a young adult fiction reviewer for about ten years, my boss and I had a joke about all of the YA books we read where the female author was writing about something from her childhood but made the protagonist male, probably because of conscious or unconscious pressure to make the book seem more literary and weighty. It's a real cliche in the business.

Also:
I buy this premise. But I think this premise prompts one to ask what is at work when conversational asshattery is being done by a woman? KathrynT's answer is an interesting one that places the behavior within the same framework.


The worst expertologist/braggy woman I know is one of those women who's always like, "God, girls are so annoying; that's why all my friends are men," and makes a big deal out of being one of the guys.
posted by Yoko Ono's Advice Column at 11:28 AM on July 8, 2015 [16 favorites]


"Because society" is an excuse. It's the excuse. We're always told that we're failing all of the poor, hopelessly awkward men out there -- how can we ever expect them to learn how to be decent people if we don't stop what we're doing and teach them? It's ridiculous, in light of the fact that these guys are all grown adults who vote, drive, hold down jobs, have platonic friends, and otherwise operate largely 'normally' in the world in most other respects. It's pretty much only when it comes to interacting with women that they're given to relentless navelgazing, interruptions, mansplaining, &c. To me, this makes it pretty clear that it isn't our society doing something wrong, it's the patriarchy.

Is society not inclusive of the patriarchy? If that's the case then I apologize for any offense I caused by saying something I didn't mean.
posted by clorox at 12:01 PM on July 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


that's why all my friends are men

Oddly, the woman I know like that (that hasn't grown out of the phase, I know a few more who have recovered), is good at going through the motions of having a conversation: so she's not going to completely talk my ear off. She's going to only call me up when she has something to share, but she won't spit it out, so I have to ask what the hints she's dropping lead up to...again, I'm really just there as an excuse for exposition.
posted by ghost phoneme at 12:15 PM on July 8, 2015 [2 favorites]


i am the incompetent action hero of my own story.

i'm the cool mysterious Yoda figure only if Yoda had nicer delts
posted by Greg Nog at 12:16 PM on July 8, 2015 [2 favorites]


I'm the Crispin Glover character standing just outside of frame in everyone's story.
posted by Navelgazer at 12:29 PM on July 8, 2015 [11 favorites]


I'm the imp of the perverse perched gently on your shoulder.
posted by everybody had matching towels at 12:34 PM on July 8, 2015 [3 favorites]


ah so I have you to blame
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 12:35 PM on July 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


I'm the clumsy author self-insertion that cuts whatever final threads of credibility the narrative was hanging by.
posted by cortex at 12:36 PM on July 8, 2015 [11 favorites]


I was thinking I'm an Arrested Development or Breakfast of Champions style narrator, but maybe not. Which fiction archetype has the most men on the internet mad at it?
posted by NoraReed at 12:40 PM on July 8, 2015 [2 favorites]


Oh well if we're doing Breakfast of Champions...

* <--the dude on this date
posted by Navelgazer at 12:41 PM on July 8, 2015 [4 favorites]


I was thinking I'm an Arrested Development or Breakfast of Champions style narrator, but maybe not. Which fiction archetype has the most men on the internet mad at it?

Anyone played by a POC when they could have been conceivably been played by a white person?
posted by Navelgazer at 12:45 PM on July 8, 2015 [9 favorites]


That would feel co-opt-y for me, though

Maybe a woman in a video game with a supportive bra and flats and an awesome moveset no one will learn because they're too offended by the outfit
posted by NoraReed at 12:49 PM on July 8, 2015 [8 favorites]


I totally think of myself as the hero of my own story. It's amazing how many men find this totally off putting.

Dude once asked me on a date if I thought my life would make an interesting book. You could actually watch his brain fuse and sputter when I said yes. (Apparently I had not read the script for his personal novel where I was supposed to stick to playing the bit part of "girl in a bar".)
posted by susiswimmer at 12:53 PM on July 8, 2015 [29 favorites]


Which is why the bit up thread about who is "worthy" of more than a bit role is exactly the point.
posted by susiswimmer at 12:55 PM on July 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


Dude once asked me on a date if I thought my life would make an interesting book. You could actually watch his brain fuse and sputter when I said yes.

I mean I know raging at stupid dudes in other people's stories isn't a productive use of my time, but WHY ask that question if you think the answer is no? Why ask someone about how their life is boring? Again, I know the answer is "to be a jackass," but it still doesn't quite compute.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 12:57 PM on July 8, 2015 [5 favorites]


Which fiction archetype has the most men on the internet mad at it?

the women-only female LI they can't romance without a mod
posted by poffin boffin at 12:59 PM on July 8, 2015 [5 favorites]


Is society not inclusive of the patriarchy? If that's the case then I apologize for any offense I caused by saying something I didn't mean.

Since it's such a specific aspect of society that's enacting the gravest damage, I find it vital to name that segment out loud whenever I can, to make it overwhelmingly clear where the issues really lie, and to stop people from feeling like the problems and resultant damage are "baked in," unavoidable, or that they can't be helped.

To me, "society" isn't an entity granular enough to be called out as responsible for anything; it's a bunch of people getting together, which is something we're always going to have unless we all head back out into the woods as solo survivalists. It's just us folks. But "patriarchy" is something that, especially in its current state/2015, demands active participation, support, and compliance. Instead of manifesting the natural or irrepressible way of things, it's nothing but a series of decisions that many/most/all of us make (sometimes 100% subconsciously, usually semi-consciously, often very consciously) every day.

tl;dr - I believe that humans are naturally social animals, I don't believe they're naturally male supremacist animals; that's what sets "society" fully apart from "patriarchy" in my mind. And I will note that I have a ~middle school education so if my $0.02 flies in the face of actual facts that get covered in, like, Anthropology 101 or whatever, my bad!

Just in case anyone is reading that and thinking it's exaggerated: in elementary school we were asked to draw pictures of what we wanted to be when we grew up and I drew a man achieving my goal without a second thought.

Someone must have started slicing up onions when I read this, because damn. Just... damn.

Girls and women of MeFi, you're my heroes and you can achieve anything. Yes, you. ALL OF YOU.
posted by divined by radio at 1:00 PM on July 8, 2015 [34 favorites]


Maybe a woman in a video game with a supportive bra and flats and an awesome moveset no one will learn because they're too offended by the outfit

Oh dear. Just had to explain the burst of laughter that came from my cube. Made more humorous because I've been playing Witcher 3 which I'm mostly enjoying while just flat out ignoring the stupidly impractical outfits two of the main female characters wear. Any gust of wind would equal full frontal chest unless there is some fantasy version of duct-tape holding those dresses down.
Then I'm all looking forward to actually playing the female character who is supposed to be badass and she's wearing boots with heels. Not super heels but come on... and why did you have to make her wiggle butt run, like you have to do if your in heels I guess because yeah, that's what badass women would wear to run around swamps and fight with swords. lol
posted by Jalliah at 1:01 PM on July 8, 2015 [2 favorites]


I'm the fifth business in my story.
posted by nubs at 1:02 PM on July 8, 2015 [4 favorites]


They don't get better, at 59, the older version said,"Don't interrupt me!" Apparently being in recitation of his fabulous history is all consuming for him, he didn't want to lose the rhythm of his rehash.

But our current younger humans have grown up in a superhero world, and have a difficult time with the ordinary. If they can get ordinary right, then they can proceed to superordinary, or extraordinary. There is not a roadmap to authentic intimacy, the superficial is the modern speed dating genre.
posted by Oyéah at 1:03 PM on July 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


> but WHY ask that question if you think the answer is no?

This is easy. You're waiting for the expected and demurring reply so you can fascinate her with just how great a novel your life would make!
posted by gilrain at 1:04 PM on July 8, 2015 [22 favorites]


That Darill KITH sketch is like someone made a mash-up of this date and #twatchat. But 20+ years ago. (OMG KITH CAN SEE THRU TIME.)
posted by epersonae at 1:05 PM on July 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


nailed it in one:
> but WHY ask that question if you think the answer is no?

This is easy. You're waiting for the expected and demurring reply so you can fascinate her with just how great a novel your life would make!
posted by gilrain

posted by susiswimmer at 1:08 PM on July 8, 2015 [2 favorites]


This thread has made me realize why some of my past dates never went anywhere and seemed to just go cold.

I have some really great stories and love hearing other peoples stories. So he tells a story and I tell a story. Seems fair right?

I get it now. I didn't get the social cue that I was just supposed to listen.
posted by Jalliah at 1:08 PM on July 8, 2015 [11 favorites]


That is to say, when one of these tiresome sexists does deign to ask a question on a date, they're expecting the properly-conditioned woman to realize it's entirely rhetorical. A real response is a shock to their system. "Wow," they must think in their odious brains, "She thinks she's people!"
posted by gilrain at 1:08 PM on July 8, 2015 [10 favorites]


It's like they've been taught (maybe) the steps of the dance, but still can't hear the music.
posted by susiswimmer at 1:12 PM on July 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


That Darill KITH sketch is like someone made a mash-up of this date and #twatchat. But 20+ years ago. (OMG KITH CAN SEE THRU TIME.)

Yeah, KITH looks a little dated in spots these days, but their sketches about sexism & women are just solid gold. It's only one small step from Darrill to Cabbage Head, after all - Cabbage Head is a perfect encapsulation of a lot of the entitled, hostile, nice-guy/friendzone attitudes that are so in vogue these days. They cover the gamut of terrible dudes really well. Honorable mention for the Guy With A Positive Attitude About Menstruation, too.
posted by dialetheia at 1:13 PM on July 8, 2015


That is to say, when one of these tiresome sexists does deign to ask a question on a date, they're expecting the properly-conditioned woman to realize it's entirely rhetorical. A real response is a shock to their system. "Wow," they must think in their odious brains, "She thinks she's people!"

So what you're saying is that when asked things like "So have you ever been in X sort of situation or had X happen?" It's not a really a question for me and I shouldn't be all "Well yes...and this is what happened." But all "Erm no, hee hee" and wait for them to regale me with 'awesome story about x."

So much is becoming clear now.

I'm only half jesting here. I'm realizing that I really wasn't supposed to respond to these types of question from this type of guy. Not that I care because I wouldn't have wanted to date guys. It's just that I was too socially clueless to realize I wasn't playing by the script and pissed them off.

Seriously, I'm having a major revelation here.
posted by Jalliah at 1:18 PM on July 8, 2015 [32 favorites]


KathrynT: Look, I do this with everyone, and I am female. That doesn't mean that this isn't part of a sexist and patriarchal behavior pattern. In fact, I'm pretty sure I do it because I learned at an early age that powerful people who are respected by society act like this, like they are the protagonists not only in their own story but in everyone else's, and I wanted to be a member of that group.

OMG, LIGHTBULB MOMENT.

I have been wondering why I did this thing that I know sucks. This makes SO MUCH SENSE. OMG. Thank you!
posted by Deoridhe at 1:39 PM on July 8, 2015 [16 favorites]


When I worked as a young adult fiction reviewer for about ten years, my boss and I had a joke about all of the YA books we read where the female author was writing about something from her childhood but made the protagonist male, probably because of conscious or unconscious pressure to make the book seem more literary and weighty. It's a real cliche in the business.

I know a woman who is married and has two grade-school age sons and she's posted on Facebook before about how she needs book recommendations with as few female characters as possible because her pwecious angels think girls are boring and stupid and annoying, and she doesn't want to make them deal with things they don't like. Between that and the time that I posted a pic of the Lego minifigs at my work desk and she commented "all the Legos on my desk are the girl ones that my sons threw in the garbage because girls are stupid, lol", I just want to vomit and cry. I'm not sure how to get through to this woman that she and her husband are creating horrible little misogynist monsters who are going to grow up into really low-quality men and she needs to turn that shit around pronto, but... then we get into dicey territory because I don't have kids, so what do I know. Sigh.
posted by palomar at 1:41 PM on July 8, 2015 [37 favorites]


then we get into dicey territory because I don't have kids, so what do I know. Sigh.

More it would seem.
posted by French Fry at 1:48 PM on July 8, 2015 [12 favorites]


I don't know about anyone else, but I had an internet initiated first lunch date today, and a) the linked story gave me confidence because I know I am not That Dude, b) the thread was actually full of reminders of nice date behavior that were helpful to this Almost Never Goes On Dates guy, c) I did not use a list format in my conversation at all so d) I think it went pretty well.
posted by flaterik at 1:50 PM on July 8, 2015 [49 favorites]


[A couple comments removed. jayder, seriously, this is two threads in one day where I'm having to say cut it out. Please reread my email and internalize it.]
posted by cortex at 1:51 PM on July 8, 2015 [15 favorites]


> I am 5'11.75" and I always listed my height on OKC etc as 5'11"

My dad was 6' 3" but he said he was 6' 2" because he felt the truth sounded freakish.

I am 5' 10"! But I'm a woman, so no help in that regard. A nurse tried to tell me I was 5' 9" last time I was measured and I made it clear we were going to stay there until she got it right.
posted by The corpse in the library at 2:24 PM on July 8, 2015 [7 favorites]


A lot of nurses don't realize you get to count fluffy hair. You always count fluffy hair.
posted by gilrain at 2:30 PM on July 8, 2015 [6 favorites]


a woman who is married and has two grade-school age sons and she's posted on Facebook before about how she needs book recommendations with as few female characters as possible

I have a young son and I make him read books and watch shows and movies with as many female characters as possible, ideally as protagonists. Media with only one female character among many males is forbidden. This is only one facet of my all-encompassing campaign to convince him that women are people before the world can get its claws in him.
posted by milk white peacock at 2:37 PM on July 8, 2015 [39 favorites]


I really like the idea that depriving boys of a diverse gender experience turns them into feral manchildren.
posted by mikurski at 2:49 PM on July 8, 2015


The worst expertologist/braggy woman I know is one of those women who's always like, "God, girls are so annoying; that's why all my friends are men," and makes a big deal out of being one of the guys.

It will shock you not at all to learn that I was exactly this girl in high school. It is pure internalized misogyny. My mother tried to combat it but 1) she didn't really have the language to express what the problem was 2) she had helped create it by vigorously rejecting all things pink and girly in my childhood, thus firmly cementing an expectation for me that things coded feminine were inferior. It's a tangled web that I'm still unpicking at the age of 40; I hope I don't press too much of it on my own children.
posted by KathrynT at 2:51 PM on July 8, 2015 [19 favorites]


It will shock you not at all to learn that I was exactly this girl in high school.

Ditto. All the way up to my early twenties, actually. It took meeting a woman who was several years older but still doing the "all my friends are men because girls are too jealous and catty and they never like me because all the guys like me" dance before I figured out that maybe hating all the other members of your gender really means you have some major problems with yourself. Still unpicking that shit, too. Sigh.
posted by palomar at 3:27 PM on July 8, 2015 [3 favorites]


I figured out that maybe hating all the other members of your gender really means you have some major problems with yourself.

While I don't disagree with your point at all, I get along with very few men well enough to be close friends with them and this thread contains many examples of why I do not feel the problem is with me.
posted by flaterik at 3:38 PM on July 8, 2015


Nonsequiter at this point, but Sara Bareillis' King of Anything just popped up on my playlist and pretty much describes this phenomenon perfectly.
posted by melissasaurus at 3:46 PM on July 8, 2015 [6 favorites]


I'm 5'10.75," which I have recorded with scrupulous accuracy on my various online dating profiles.

My girlfriend (who is taller), as well as my health provider, as well as the police, have all insisted on rounding me up to 5'11" even.

WHY WON'T SOCIETY STOP PUTTING ME IN A BOX.
posted by credible hulk at 4:20 PM on July 8, 2015 [5 favorites]


The thing about height is it changes. No one really prepares you for shrinking as you get older.
posted by maxwelton at 4:31 PM on July 8, 2015 [5 favorites]


I get along with very few men well enough to be close friends with them

Me either, and there are a fair amount of women I just plain don't like. But there's a pretty big difference between this kind of thinking about how interacting with other people can be difficult, and just flat out declaring that all the members of your gender aside from yourself suck and are terrible people, which is what the whole cool-girl "I only have male friends" thing is about.
posted by palomar at 4:49 PM on July 8, 2015 [6 favorites]


And just to build on Palomar's point, I do know women who are friends with mostly men, but it's not really something they'd comment on: Its not that only they are cool amongst women and thus they hang out with men, life's just put them in contact with more men who share common interests than women.

So taking people as they come, and not pre-sorting them into one-dimensional roles is the key difference.
posted by ghost phoneme at 5:16 PM on July 8, 2015 [6 favorites]


gilrain, further upthread: That is to say, when one of these tiresome sexists does deign to ask a question on a date, they're expecting the properly-conditioned woman to realize it's entirely rhetorical. A real response is a shock to their system. "Wow," they must think in their odious brains, "She thinks she's people!"

This. Which is why the general advice I tend to give to women going on first dates is: go like "oh, sorry, I didn't catch that -- [x or y?]" That's it. Engage and ask about something they specifically said. Doesn't have to be a concept or an explanation or an argument or a correction or a cite. Nothing like that. [X or Y] works just fine generally. If you're still not sure whether they care about your participation at all, ask twice in five minutes. This can be done right away, no story needed.

It works because a lot of men refuse to tolerate even that level of back-and-forth personal engagement. Seriously. Being a deaf woman winnows dudes like I'm Moses -- sometimes I want a shirt that says TOO HARD BASKET. I would wear it until it fell apart! But hearing women can apply the principle just as well.

Yes, this is an insultingly low threshold. It works because so many men have an insultingly low threshold to begin with.
posted by E. Whitehall at 5:38 PM on July 8, 2015 [23 favorites]


I was friends with mostly guys in high school because I was still getting a handle on the OH GOD I WANT TO FUCK SO MANY GIRLS situation happening in my pants and IN MY SOUL and my solution to this problem was to just run away and hide in a crowd of dumb smelly boys who were all having the same exact problem.
posted by poffin boffin at 6:26 PM on July 8, 2015 [14 favorites]


> It will shock you not at all to learn that I was exactly this girl in high school. It is pure internalized misogyny

To my shame, in my twenties when I was a temp I complained more than once about having female bosses. While they may, in fact, have been bigger jerks than the male bosses I usually had, it took me several years to examine the situation with more nuance.
posted by The corpse in the library at 9:22 PM on July 8, 2015


I have complained about working under female chefs. And it's pure patriarchy at work: kitchens are such testosterone-laden dick-swinging environments that women still, so much of the time, have to be more of a guy than the guys and be more of a total assbag about everything. It's that whole "have to be twice as good to be seen as half as good" thing.

Would like to note: my complaints about most of the female chefs I have worked under (save one, who was incompetent on every level) has not one single thing to do with their skills. Which have been uniformly (except one) head and shoulders above the skills of similarly-experienced male chefs. It has only ever been about the way they have treated their staff, which in every case has looked like "I have to be more of a pure asshole just to get people to notice me."
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 11:22 PM on July 8, 2015 [3 favorites]


I feel like I didn't say any of that well. I hope anyone reading is getting the meaning I intended: I have worked for fucking outstanding female chefs and would happily work for all but one of them again, and my only complaint is that they were pushed by patriarchal bullshit in having to be more bro than the bros to even get anywhere. And as an underling that's really difficult to deal with.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 11:25 PM on July 8, 2015 [19 favorites]


and overposting on reflection, I worked under one female chef who I would crawl over broken glass for. She was on two seasons of Top Chef, and holy hell, it was only two days, and wow was she amazing to work for. Always calm, absolutely clear about what she wanted and how, totally uncompromising in her standards (made me remake something twice!), and just amazing on every level.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 11:41 PM on July 8, 2015 [5 favorites]


There are a lot of people on MeFi who've worked in professional kitchens, but just for those who haven't: feckless fecal fear mongering is talking about an environment that's often outrageously macho. Women in professional kitchens can feel a lot of pressure to be assholes.
posted by lodurr at 5:43 AM on July 9, 2015 [2 favorites]


I (a woman) have always overwhelmingly been friends with women, and the men I've dated and had the best relationships with have been the type of men who are also mostly friends with women. I need people who relate to who I am and can communicate with me on deep human levels, and it's sad to me that the people who do that are almost always female.
posted by odayoday at 6:19 AM on July 9, 2015


It seems like great fun to crucify this clueless guy, but if so many women have been on dates like this one and the Pokeman date, then there's something wrong with the way we are raising our boys. We, meaning dads AND moms, aren't teaching them socialization skills correctly. Otherwise, why is this so common?
posted by gt2 at 6:30 AM on July 9, 2015


...fun to crucify this...guy, but if so many women...

I'd have used mock and since in those sentences. Just so it was a little more clear who was taking what seriously.
posted by ambrosen at 6:38 AM on July 9, 2015 [16 favorites]


gt2, scroll up to the person talking about their friend who lets her boys get away with not consuming any media with girls in it; there's one explanation.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 7:01 AM on July 9, 2015


Data point on chefs who are women, from my experience.

I worked with a number of women line/prep cooks, and they were (almost without fail) exceedingly accurate, calm, and diligent (not to mention talented). I think this was an expression of them wanting to be there. In contrast to their male counterparts, who were sometimes there for a love of food alone, but -- more often -- because of frustrating life circumstances.

^ I was a mix of both, which is one reason I've moved on.

Sure, there was a bit of exaggerated masculine fronting, but I got the impression that most of these women were just more comfortable being frank/aggressive people, than that they were overcompensating. I do know this: I never heard a dude coworker dismiss a lady coworker because of their gender. You don't snipe at the other person in the foxhole, y'know? And no one has the luxury to dominate a conversation, when conversation consists of efficient, vulgar barks. ;-)

I only worked under one woman chef: She was very good at planning and execution, and a very pleasant person to work for, but not actually very good at cooking. She was, as I've termed it, a "spreadsheet chef." If we grumbled about her, it wasn't due to her biology, but because we'd have to literally save her dishes -- behind her back -- during a tutorial session for the new menu.

This was only at the dawn of the US culinary explosion of the past ~ decade, however. I have no idea how things are now. With a general increase of women in kitchens, the trend of people bypassing the grind of dues-paying and therefore some of the culture's ingrained hyper-masculinity (i.e. coming direct from culinary school, rather than the dish pit), and the higher professional pressure (TV!), I would guess that there will be a long-term shift in the general tone of that work environment. But I dunno: There will always be sharp things and burn-y things involved, which will always necessitate a literally/figuratively tough skin.
posted by credible hulk at 7:11 AM on July 9, 2015 [2 favorites]


I never heard a dude coworker dismiss a lady coworker because of their gender.

This is probably because, if you're male, you don't always know sexism when you see it. See also the many helpful comments above suggesting that the man on the overheard date might be an asshole, but surely not a SEXIST asshole.
posted by milk white peacock at 7:35 AM on July 9, 2015 [28 favorites]


> no one has the luxury to dominate a conversation, when conversation consists of efficient, vulgar barks.

Nope. Girls are more likely to be chastised for unladylike behavior. Men have louder and deeper voices. If the conversation is based on shouting profanities and being aggressive, it's not a gender-neutral situation.
posted by The corpse in the library at 7:40 AM on July 9, 2015 [13 favorites]


Goddamn this thread is frustrating. I'm probably going to regret wading in, but what the hell.

This guy seems like he is kind of an ass. We don't actually know, of course, what was going through his mind, nor do we know if these tweets accurately represent what transpired during this date, or if they were even totally made up. Whatever. Like 40% of all comedy is based on laughing at people when they are acting like asses and, as someone pointed out upthread, if this appeared in a sketch or a stand-up routine no one would think twice about it. But because it's teh Twitterz, which frightens people, it's somehow an invasion of privacy. It's not like we know exactly who these people are or where this took place. It's fine.

But, the discussion around the actual thing has - of course - taken on a life of its own. So, we're not really talking about this guy, in particular, because we really know fuck-all about him. We're talking about guys who act like this guy. Who do exist.

And the discussion around all that brought to my mind a bit from Seinfeld, when George complains to Elaine that women want men to "put on a show" for them. Elaine keeps insisting, reasonably, that they don't. George is wrong, of course - he's an ass, probably the classic TV ass of the past 25 years, and the whole point of the character is that he's insecure and needy and manipulative and the kind of person who believes that women want men to "put on a show" for them.

But, ass though George may be, the observation comes from somewhere. Men - young men in particular, who don't know any better - are often under the impression that there is a tremendous burden on them to Impress Women. That's the place where a lot of the guys who act like this guy are coming from, I think.

I can remember thinking along these lines myself. I hope I was never *that* bad, but I am quite certain there were times when teenage/early-twentysomething me came off like a pretentious blowhard in front of a woman because I was trying to Impress Her with how smart/funny/creative/whatever I was (I did this in front of men, too, but in front of women it was worse). Eventually I got older and realized that people it's a lot better to just listen to people and ask them questions and usually you'll have a pleasant interaction and that you don't have to Impress People With Your Amazing Amazingness.

Is patriarchy to blame for this? You could argue that it is. But regardless of the root, the thought process behind it is quite different from "I am a Man, so let me explain to this little daimsel here how the world works," which seems to be the default assumption about guys who act like this guy. Now, I don't deny that there are people who do think that way. But there are also plenty of guys who come off that way, but are actually thinking something like "I better dust off my Big Words and talk about my [insert creative work here] and opinion about [insert sophisticated subject here] otherwise I won't Impress Her."

Look, those guys are still asses, too. George Costanza was an ass. I was an ass when I was 20, a lot of the time. I'm not arguing they aren't responsible for their behavior. I'm not excusing it. But I am saying: it's different from a lot of the stuff that's been discussed here.
posted by breakin' the law at 8:38 AM on July 9, 2015


[Couple of comments deleted. Let's not get further derailed into a back-and-forth over whether there is sexism in restaurant kitchens, that seems like a fight we don't need to have here. Thanks.]
posted by LobsterMitten at 8:50 AM on July 9, 2015



breakin' the law: Impressing Women and Dominating The Entire Conversation So The Placeholder Female Person Across The Table Can't Get A Word In are totally, totally different things. Lots of women here have explained exactly why this behaviour is very specifically sexist, and it might be useful for you to reread what they have to say.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 8:52 AM on July 9, 2015 [5 favorites]


breakin' the law: Impressing Women and Dominating The Entire Conversation So The Placeholder Female Person Across The Table Can't Get A Word In are totally, totally different things. Lots of women here have explained exactly why this behaviour is very specifically sexist, and it might be useful for you to reread what they have to say.

I'm not saying it is or is not sexist. I am trying to introduce a different angle into the conversation, which may help explain the behavior being discussed in some circumstances.
posted by breakin' the law at 8:54 AM on July 9, 2015


Oh good, somebody's finally here to explain men to me. Or trying to impress me, it's hard for me to tell the difference.
posted by milk white peacock at 8:55 AM on July 9, 2015 [37 favorites]


If these tweets are provoking shame for the dude instead of empathy for the woman who was subjected to the horrible date, that's kind of your problem

I don't think the tweets are what is provoking empathy, but rather ten or twenty people attempting to characterize an entire person based on a brief interaction they read on the Internet.

The Internet shame machine is all about judging people on their worst day, and it is in full swing in this thread. We are the problem, and the fact that this guy behaved shamefully is not an excuse for the dogpile taking place here.

Social implications, awkwardness, etc. are interesting, but hard to concentrate on while a human being is being rhetorically kicked in the head over and over again.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 9:14 AM on July 9, 2015 [1 favorite]


The dogpile taking place is on the multitude of sexist men all dating women have endured over many different dates which resemble the anecdote in the post. Not on the one, completely anonymous man nobody personally gives a shit about.

The dogpile is on sexism and the boring, tedious way it manifests in dating culture.
posted by gilrain at 9:24 AM on July 9, 2015 [28 favorites]


That's the place where a lot of the guys who act like this guy are coming from, I think.

if men can't be bothered to give enough of a shit about me to care if I'm participating in a conversation, why should I give a care where they're coming from? they're still being assholes
posted by NoraReed at 9:27 AM on July 9, 2015 [31 favorites]


Is patriarchy to blame for this? You could argue that it is. But regardless of the root, the thought process behind it is quite different from "I am a Man, so let me explain to this little daimsel here how the world works," which seems to be the default assumption about guys who act like this guy. Now, I don't deny that there are people who do think that way. But there are also plenty of guys who come off that way, but are actually thinking something like "I better dust off my Big Words and talk about my [insert creative work here] and opinion about [insert sophisticated subject here] otherwise I won't Impress Her."

Look, those guys are still asses, too. George Costanza was an ass. I was an ass when I was 20, a lot of the time. I'm not arguing they aren't responsible for their behavior. I'm not excusing it. But I am saying: it's different from a lot of the stuff that's been discussed here.


I'm not sure they are entirely different, actually. The stuff we were getting into above about the narratives we teach children, and the roles they are primed to take based on gender are relevant, here. Often in discussions of mansplaining, someone will say "well I'm just trying to HELP", and I think that's usually a sincere belief on their part. The problem is that "help" should not include as a necessary component "barge in and explain why women are doing it wrong." Same here; there's nothing about "impress" that necessitates "steamroll her", but it seems to be a very common interpretation.

I think that "oh, but you can't know if he was actually literally thinking [sexist thing]" is generally not a helpful thing to parse, either; the dude doesn't have to literally be thinking "women are stupid and so I need to explain them a thing" for his assumption that he knows more about non-profits than a woman who works in the field to be a sexist one. It is, in fact, quite likely that he was actually thinking "oh, she mentioned non-profits I WILL SHOW HER ALL I KNOW".
posted by kagredon at 9:28 AM on July 9, 2015 [27 favorites]


There are many failure states for Impressing Women wrong, ranging from behaving like a self-absorbed ass over coffee to shooting Ronald Reagan. It's funny, though, guys can be all like "well there's a lot of bad info about cars/video games/firearms/whatever out there but I'm a shrewd and discerning individual and I can tell the good advice from the bad hurf purf" but when it comes to not being a jerk to women you get so much throwing up of hands and "but how could we know! We were never taught properly! It's confuuuuusing!"
posted by prize bull octorok at 9:30 AM on July 9, 2015 [44 favorites]


> We don't actually know, of course, what was going through his mind

"You Can't Prove That He Hates Women in His Heart" (Orig. By NoraReed)

> nor do we know if these tweets accurately represent what transpired during this date, or if they were even totally made up.

"Woman Is Exaggerating" b/w "Author Made It All Up (Reprise)"

> Men - young men in particular, who don't know any better - are often under the impression that there is a tremendous burden on them to Impress Women. That's the place where a lot of the guys who act like this guy are coming from, I think.

Yeah, that's actually still sexism. Benevolent sexism is still sexism. Just because a man is doing/saying something obnoxious to impress a woman, as opposed to doing it to insult or belittle her, does not mean he isn't operating from a sexist locus. Moreover, it totally doesn't matter at all if he's not being sexist intentionally because the result is the same. I know that's all very uncomfortable to hear because no one wants to know they're complicit in shitty behavior, but there you go.

> Is patriarchy to blame for this? You could argue that it is.

As a dude, this is very generous of you to concede. But with all due respect, do you guys even hear yourselves speak when you say stuff like this? Because this ongoing rejection of women's words and experiences at face value, this steadfast refusal to acknowledge that these specific behaviors absolutely and unequivocally do have their roots in sexism and patriarchy? That is also, itself, an explicit manifestation of sexism and patriarchy. Men are so inured and insulated from sexism that they're given to translating their own ignorance of and blindness to it as an airtight refutation of its existence. It's crazy-making and invalidating. But I guess that's the point?
posted by divined by radio at 9:31 AM on July 9, 2015 [78 favorites]


Is patriarchy to blame for men treating women poorly in their quest to sleep with them? We will never, ever know.
posted by easter queen at 9:37 AM on July 9, 2015 [46 favorites]


Is patriarchy to blame for men treating women poorly in their quest to sleep with them? We will never, ever know.

It is a riddle, wrapped in an enigma, tucked inside a bottle of Axe shower gel.
posted by We put our faith in Blast Hardcheese at 9:42 AM on July 9, 2015 [48 favorites]


Yeah, that's actually still sexism. Benevolent sexism is still sexism. Just because a man is doing/saying something obnoxious to impress a woman, as opposed to doing it to insult or belittle her, does not mean he isn't operating from a sexist locus. Moreover, it totally doesn't matter at all if he's not being sexist intentionally because the result is the same.

Yes. Double yes. And "acting like a pretentious blowhard in front of a woman because I was trying to Impress Her with how smart/funny/creative/whatever I was" is still a gendered behavior -- women are rarely, if ever, encouraged to be believe that showing off all our knowledge is the best way to impress men.

Why would men think this would impress women? Because they've been taught that demonstrating how smart/funny/creative they are in active, conversation-dominating ways is the appropriate way for men to behave if they want to be rewarded with sex. Women are generally taught that the appropriate way to behave is to smile and laugh and be impressed by how smart/funny/creative their male partner is, rather than to be smart/funny/creative themselves. So enacting that dynamic is absolutely coming from sexist/patriarchal assumptions about which partner is supposed to be active and which passive in an interaction.
posted by jaguar at 9:43 AM on July 9, 2015 [33 favorites]


Impressing Women and Dominating The Entire Conversation So The Placeholder Female Person Across The Table Can't Get A Word In are totally, totally different things

I don't think they're different, or, they're not so different. On preview, others have said the same.
posted by ClaudiaCenter at 9:47 AM on July 9, 2015 [1 favorite]


Dang this thread is loooooong. Let me help with that by making it longer.

I was a very socially awkward kid. VERY. Unfamiliar with social cues, unlikely to talk at all until I had something to say, and then likely to never stop talking.

But the kind of kid I was was also girl. And let me tell you what: I was constantly being trained by others. Not just my parents, teachers, and people who knew me, either. People giving me clear, often explicit social instructions not to talk too much, not to interrupt people, and also other things like not to contradict anyone (esp. boys) and not to let on that I know more about anything than anyone else. (Credit due: My parents did NOT do this. That was all on teachers, peers, and randos.) The training was not subtle either, because if it were, I would have missed it.

So I grew up with a deeply internalized sense that I was annoying and rude when I spoke and a loathsome, arrogant know it all when I spoke about anything with authority, and that my primary social role was to be supportive of others. Not to contribute useful information and ideas, but to bolster others'. I also thought I talked too much until I started doing little on the fly calculations. And of the times I was talking to other people, a huge lot of my way-less-than-most-men speaking involved repeating myself because people were either not listening or interpreting things I said in hostile and dismissive ways. I am fifty years old and still retraining myself to stop pretending not to know stuff I know. And yes, people think I am an asshole for that. I have been chastised for it. Recently.

True story: The other day, I'm at the grocery store with my husband, and they'd changed the labels on the salsa, so I asked him if he remembered the name of the type we get. He didn't, but as I was speaking, I caught, out of the corner of my eye, an old man standing behind us ROLLING HIS EYES AT ME. I was not in the middle of the aisle. I was not standing there for more than a few seconds. I was not inconveniencing that man. I asked someone a perfectly reasonable question. Now, why am I so sure that old man was rolling his eyes because I was talking? Because it happens to me all the time. I am USED TO men reflexively rolling their eyes and otherwise letting me know that I am a horrible useless harpy for daring to pollute the air with my infernal screeching. It happens all the time.

Yes, I think it's bad that socially awkward men are apparently not taught how to behave socially, but don't feel too sorry for yourself on that count. Just pay attention and learn now. You'll be fine.
posted by ernielundquist at 9:49 AM on July 9, 2015 [45 favorites]


Yes, I think it's bad that socially awkward men are apparently not taught how to behave socially, but don't feel too sorry for yourself on that count. Just pay attention and learn now.

The argument of "we were never taught!" ends up ringing kind of hollow when thousands upon thousands of women (the people responding to the original tweets with UGHHH YESSSS) are basically giving a master class in "How Not to Behave Around Women," and the response is so often "no, that can't be true. But maybe he was kidding. But maybe he meant well. But maybe he has a tender heart hidden away. But maybe she was actually a bitch. But maybe this is all made up anyway."

Someone could livetweet the discussions of the livetweeted discussion with "Girl lives in a patriarchy. Dude is condescendingly explaining to her why most "the patriarchy exists" models don't work, he looked into believing in one once, but the evidence didn't hold up"
posted by a fiendish thingy at 10:09 AM on July 9, 2015 [35 favorites]


"Girl lives in a patriarchy. Dude is condescendingly explaining to her why most "the patriarchy exists" models don't work, he looked into believing in one once, but the evidence didn't hold up"

Ha, yes, followed by "Dude complains that women never teach him anything."
posted by jaguar at 10:14 AM on July 9, 2015 [30 favorites]


Just pay attention and learn now. You'll be fine.

Well, it's not the learning part that's necessarily hard, it's the unlearning. Because this is the way men talk to each other, nearly all the time. Conversations are or easily slip into dominance games. I've sometimes noticed there's a sort of "code-switching" going on when I talk to a man or a woman. And this is probably not a good thing, as it reinforces this sort of behavior.
posted by FJT at 10:23 AM on July 9, 2015 [2 favorites]


I'm not sure they are entirely different, actually. The stuff we were getting into above about the narratives we teach children, and the roles they are primed to take based on gender are relevant, here. Often in discussions of mansplaining, someone will say "well I'm just trying to HELP", and I think that's usually a sincere belief on their part. The problem is that "help" should not include as a necessary component "barge in and explain why women are doing it wrong." Same here; there's nothing about "impress" that necessitates "steamroll her", but it seems to be a very common interpretation.

I think that "oh, but you can't know if he was actually literally thinking [sexist thing]" is generally not a helpful thing to parse, either; the dude doesn't have to literally be thinking "women are stupid and so I need to explain them a thing" for his assumption that he knows more about non-profits than a woman who works in the field to be a sexist one. It is, in fact, quite likely that he was actually thinking "oh, she mentioned non-profits I WILL SHOW HER ALL I KNOW".


Before I get into this I'd like to note that I really appreciate the civil replies.

Anyway - and obviously we are discussing hypotheticals here - I don't think it is necessarily the case that this dude assumes he knows more about non-profits than her. It could be, of course. But it could also be something like "oh, she works in non-profits, I better impress her with something I know now!"

That said, I see your point about parsing motivations. I don't believe intent excuses action - if you are coming off like a sexist ass, at the end of the day, you are being a sexist ass, at least in that situation. But intent is still important to understand. So it's different in a sense, but the same in another sense, maybe?

On preview:

jaguar: well, yeah, it's about how people are socialized. I don't think it's 100% gendered - I think it's something young people do to prove their worth to members of the same gender as well. But it is definitely on display most prominently when young men are interacting with young women.

prize bull octorok: most people have been taught, to greater or lesser degrees, incorrect or downright negative things about interacting with members of the opposite sex. How do you learn to overcome that? The way you learn to overcome anything else, with time, attention, and trial and error. I certainly was not arguing that it is impossible for men to not be jerks to women.

divined by radio: I would have applied all those qualifiers to what happened in the tweets even if they were written by a man, because it's just hearsay. I understand you have no way of figuring out whether to believe me on that count, so I'll just leave it at that. Other than that, well, point taken.

ernielundquist: I don't know if that "don't feel sorry for yourself" was directed at me, but in case it was - I don't feel sorry for myself. I was socially awkward in some ways when I was younger, like a lot of people. Now I'm older and I know better, also like a lot of people. C'est la vie.
posted by breakin' the law at 10:27 AM on July 9, 2015


Well, it's not the learning part that's necessarily hard, it's the unlearning. Because this is the way men talk to each other, nearly all the time.

Frankly, I know lots of men who do not talk this way (including family members who I've seen in a wide variety of situations over many years). And I'll admit that I also know many who do, and I find them annoying and don't spend time with them.
posted by easter queen at 10:31 AM on July 9, 2015 [4 favorites]


Also, I kind of doubt that men ask other men questions like, "do you think your life would make an interesting novel? Oh, well I do, and here's why *yap yap yap*"
posted by easter queen at 10:36 AM on July 9, 2015 [12 favorites]


That kind of "Here, please, indulge my dorkiest fantasies" behavior is reserved for male-on-female conversational violence.
posted by easter queen at 10:37 AM on July 9, 2015 [7 favorites]


Why is intent important to understand? It absolutely is not, except to excuse the action of the antagonist.

A society where men still have the intent to "impress a woman" but actually pause before trying to do so and consider their actions is still a much nicer place for women to be. Why can men only ever be fixed by external forces? Is introspection impossible for us?

And it's never cool to take an issue which predominantly affects a less powerful group and try to broaden it to cover everyone. That's just shifting the responsibility and making it one of those "whatcha gonna do?" shoulder-shruggers.
posted by maxwelton at 10:38 AM on July 9, 2015 [9 favorites]


This thread led to me having a break through at work yesterday because it helped me to just see a little better of the dynamics at play.

Weekly I have to do a conference meeting with the tech person from the company we're working with on an software inventory system. It's usually just me and my boss. He's a bit dense when it comes to what's actually going on and about how the system works. The meeting usually consists of him starting and going on and on about this and that, taking eons to get to his points and making the simple into the long and more complicated. I usually come out of these meetings frustrated, annoyed and tired because I'm trying to make sure that the necessary and correct info gets to the tech person and try not to piss off the boss by interrupting. I know the person on the other end get frustrated too. The few times he hasn't been there our meetings are short and sweet.

So this time, after reading this thread I decided to through caution to the wind and do something different. When the call connected I started talking and just kept talking and wouldn't let myself and the tech be interrupted until the main point of the meeting was done. The boss did try a few times to talk but finally settled back and just let me do my actual job. It sucks that I needed to be what to me feels really aggressive but I realized that this is what this guy is (for whatever reason) socialized to respond to. Best meeting I've had in a long time and it was half as long as usual. Even he said it was a good meeting which was weird because I was sure when it was happening that he knew what was happening and would be pissed. Nope guess not.

I don't care why or have the energy to foster some sort of change with the way we communicate, just that I finally figured out a tool that I can use with him to just get my work done. Guess it's my 'what would a blowhard do' tool'.
posted by Jalliah at 10:39 AM on July 9, 2015 [36 favorites]


> I don't think it's 100% gendered

Very little of anything in life is 100% one thing. That something might be "only" 80% something doesn't magically make it not that thing at all. If that thing is problematic - like sexism is problematic - then its being less than 100% of the problem means it's still a problem and we should fix it rather than constantly try to minimize it. Which is what I see so frequently in threads like this: oh, it's not all because of sexism; oh, it's not only guys who do this; oh, we should stop shaming; blahblahblah. None of these minimizations is in the least new or novel. Yes, it's occurred to us that social awkwardness may play a role sometimes (for the woman as well, hello, who hardly ever is the subject of pity, compassion, or hell even notice in these narratives, because apparently only men are socially awkward? Or something?), that everyone has a bad day now and then, that he meant well, etc.
posted by rtha at 10:40 AM on July 9, 2015 [27 favorites]


Because this is the way men talk to each other, nearly all the time. Conversations are or easily slip into dominance games.

Haha, this is so true, and I love it. I like to just give up and let them win their "man points" or whatever. Sometimes that satisfies them and they back down for the rest of the conversation having won, sometimes it seems like they feel it was too easy and keep pushing for more. My favorite is when they seem to get suspicious and wary, like it's a trick.
posted by ctmf at 10:43 AM on July 9, 2015 [4 favorites]


...women are rarely, if ever, encouraged to be believe that showing off all our knowledge is the best way to impress men.

Preach! Whenever I try to impress a specific subset of nerdy dudes by holding forth on my lifelong adoration/encyclopedic knowledge of 80s slashers and b-horror movies? You'd think they'd eat it up, or at least try to listen -- how many of these guys are always going on like, "hurr, wish I could meet a woman girl who likes comic books and video games and scary movies" -- but ime, when I try to build a connection by talking about my honest love of those very things, 90% of the time, they get visibly nervous and start talking EVEN MORE.

Like OK bro, you wanna try to out-geek me, fine, give it a shot. But don't think that a) interrupting me to drop your obviously superior knowledge in order to prove that I'm a "fake geek girl" or b) telling me about that one time you saw the movie with the guy with the weird scary mask -- no, not Halloween... no, definitely not... yeah, I'm sure... 100% sure... hey, I just looked it up on IMDB, turns out it's called Halloween -- means I'm laboring under the impression that we're actually having some kind of meaningful interaction. You're just waiting for your turn to speak, as usual.

When I meet someone who's really into the same dumb shit I'm really into, I feel happy and excited and validated. But most of these dudes only ever seem to feel threatened, like if they admit that a fee-male might know something they don't, or if they let a woman speak for too long, someone's going to take their Real Man Card away. So when we're not too busy being told that our interests or mode of speaking are insufficiently feminine, what women often get when we try to pull the whole "ooh, look at me, my interests and life are very very impressive" schtick around men is EVEN MORE dudely grandstanding and braggadocio. It's like a snake eating its own tail.
posted by divined by radio at 10:48 AM on July 9, 2015 [33 favorites]


OK....

rtha: the very next sentence after the one you quoted in my comment reads "But it is definitely on display most prominently when young men are interacting with young women."

And...Why can men only ever be fixed by external forces? Is introspection impossible for us?

Once again, I answered this: How do you learn to overcome that? The way you learn to overcome anything else, with time, attention, and trial and error. I certainly was not arguing that it is impossible for men to not be jerks to women. What about that sentence reads "it is the responsibility of women to fix men?"
posted by breakin' the law at 10:50 AM on July 9, 2015


I jump started some lady's car in the grocery store parking lot the other night. There was a guy there "helping" already, who didn't even have a car there but wanted to direct the whole show, despite not knowing how to pop her hood or how to connect the cables. I just kept saying things like "mm hm." and "ok" to his brilliant suggestions while going about doing the thing, sometimes directly contradicting the thing he suggested without comment. Her car started and we both drove away leaving him standing there.

Not to deny that women get this way more than I do, but mansplainers gonna mansplain no matter who's there.
posted by ctmf at 10:51 AM on July 9, 2015 [6 favorites]


divined by radio, you just clued me into something: basically, many straight guys are Ferengi.

Also w/r/t the knowledge thing. A friend of mine (the same asskicker I mentioned upthread) was at a bar in Ottawa some years back. Hockey game is on, Sens playing I dunno who. She's vaguely talking to some dude, and is like "Oh yeah. I love $player!" (sorry, I'm not a hockey person, I don't remember who it was). The guy goes all condescending and says "yeah you just like him because he's cute."

"No, I like him because [insert hockey rant here, something something out of his last seventeen games he's had three goals and two assists, stuff like that]."

Apparently the guy lit up like all his Christmases had come at once. I might suggest to her that she get her time machine working, find this dude, and clone him.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 10:55 AM on July 9, 2015 [6 favorites]


ah divined by radio you are so correct. Between that and the rancid sexism in geek culture in general I don't even try to be friends with guys anymore, even though in grade school I was friends almost exclusively with guys. (Not alpha guys who have to own you in every conversation, apparently, but the kind of guys who were mocked by their fathers for trying to learn to knit or whatever.) (Anyway, we macho-fied that by instead learning to make chain mail, i.e., knitting with steel!) (And also learning to knit. With yarn.)

A couple weeks ago I was at a screening of UHF and my boyfriend and I were seated next to two guys who were making jokes and goofing off like the rest of the audience. They seemed pretty chill so I laughed at some of their jokes and then made some of my own. But then in the scene at the end where the protag's girlfriend comes back to him when he saves the radio station, one of them was like, "yea, she's back, now that he has money!" and the other dude was like "haha! SO RIGHT!"

It's like what the fuck, I'm right here! I don't enjoy Victoria Jackson's psychosis any more than the next gal, but it doesn't give you carte blanche to just be a sexist douche. Nor does your ~sensitive~ nerd cred. So alienating.

Anyway, just one of many situations where trying to befriend geek guys with shared interests has instead been an ipecac.
posted by easter queen at 10:59 AM on July 9, 2015 [2 favorites]


breakin' the law, when people are talking about sexism, saying things like "It's not 100% gendered behavior" comes across as dismissing the existence of sexism, whether you intended to or not. If you don't mean to dismiss the existence of sexism, don't spend time poking holes in whether something is sexist.
posted by jaguar at 11:01 AM on July 9, 2015 [13 favorites]


I might suggest to her that she get her time machine working, find this dude, and clone him.

Let's save the man-cloning tech for guys who don't accuse people of only liking [traditional male interest] because the dudes are cute in the first place, maybe? Being stoked that she knows what she's talking about is better than lecturing her on her wrongness, but the convo opener is still pretty common and gross to experience over and over again.
posted by a fiendish thingy at 11:02 AM on July 9, 2015 [7 favorites]


well yeah, the clone needs some re-education about conversation, sure. I guess I was applauding his enthusiasm, and came across poorly. My bad; I'm sorry.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 11:06 AM on July 9, 2015 [1 favorite]


Frankly, I know lots of men who do not talk this way (including family members who I've seen in a wide variety of situations over many years). And I'll admit that I also know many who do, and I find them annoying and don't spend time with them.

Well, I would honestly would appreciate any advice on how to identify these men (if you want, of course). Because I have trouble with this. Some men put a mask on sometimes and when they find out that I'm not the type that always tries to win a conversation, they actually let their guard down. While others either have a tighter mask or you find out the mask is their face.

And then there are some when they realize that you don't have a mask and then take advantage of that.
posted by FJT at 11:06 AM on July 9, 2015


Actually I don't find that so bad... some athletes are really cute and in their physical prime. It should be ok to say "yadda yadda goals yadda yadda assists... oh, and he's super hot." Men certainly don't shy away from making it clear when a woman is a babe.

(I get the larger point though, but I say this as with someone with two sports-related articles of clothing, both which were purchased for me as gifts due to cute guy-ness, because I don't know anything about sports. Insert shrug emoji!)
posted by easter queen at 11:09 AM on July 9, 2015 [1 favorite]


Well, I would honestly would appreciate any advice on how to identify these men (if you want, of course). Because I have trouble with this. Some men put a mask on sometimes and when they find out that I'm not the type that always tries to win a conversation, they actually let their guard down. While others either have a tighter mask or you find out the mask is their face.

And then there are some when they realize that you don't have a mask and then take advantage of that.


Well, the way I identify them is by being a woman. :) Because it's easy to tell right away who respects you as a person and who doesn't until you take them down and kick them in the head or whatever. I'd imagine it's the same if you're a non-macho guy... have a conversation, if he acts like a doofus, be like, "great, you have fun with that," and ignore that guy forever.

If I'm in a professional situation where that's not OK, I put on my game face... but I reserve that for situations with jerks of all stripes.

Actually, though, you reminded me of an old friend I have who I don't see that often anymore, and every time I do see him he puts on this macho swagger like he's a real cool guy ready to dominate everyone. I usually let him take a few jabs at me in good humor, mildly deflecting them, and then start cracking jokes like the old days, and after I catch him off guard a bit he loosens up and starts laughing and we enjoy ourselves. I don't know why he's always like that, but I assume it's because he socializes mostly with macho men (and has a hierarchical job) and forgets how to have a regular buddy. If I met him now instead of when we were kids we definitely would not be friends.
posted by easter queen at 11:15 AM on July 9, 2015 [3 favorites]


My bad; I'm sorry.

Not your bad! No need to be sorry! That dude was being a lot better than many dudes, and I also applaud his enthusiasm for ladies who know things. I just dream of a day when that enthusiasm will have less of a conversational entry fee/proficiency exam.

Sorry if it seemed like I was being all perfect is enemy of good. I just don't get the rule that women have to answer arcane knowledge riddles before they are considered "real" fans.
posted by a fiendish thingy at 11:20 AM on July 9, 2015 [2 favorites]


Well, it's not the learning part that's necessarily hard, it's the unlearning. Because this is the way men talk to each other, nearly all the time. Conversations are or easily slip into dominance games. I've sometimes noticed there's a sort of "code-switching" going on when I talk to a man or a woman. And this is probably not a good thing, as it reinforces this sort of behavior.

Except no. I have worked around mostly men for a very long time. I have lived with men in various configurations most of my life. I have plenty of experience observing the way men talk to and around each other, and the way they talk to me is very different. I could tell you hundreds of stories just off the top of my head to make it clear, including several examples of rooms full of men ignoring it when I say something, then having a man repeat it moments later and get credit. (The "best" time was when it was a C-level at the company, and he immediately called them out for ignoring me, but it's happened without the corporate hierarchy dynamic or the acknowledgment plenty of times, too.) I have been 'tattled on' to my subordinates multiple times for being rude, usually for things like telling someone no to an inappropriate request without taking ten minutes to couch it in apologies or something.

Men also frequently criticize women's ideas in terms of it making them sexually unappealing. No shit. Really gross men will often inform you that some completely unrelated thing you are doing or saying makes you unattractive to them. I've had this little running joke with female coworkers where we'll ask each other if our work makes our butts look big, because we've all experienced that over and over.

Weird that you think you know more than I do about it. I mean, even if I'd never met a man in real life, the media is full of representations of men talking to other men. Everyone is pretty familiar with a variety of man-man dynamics.

I mean, have you ever known a woman? Are you familiar with the way women talk and the way men talk to women? I'm having to sit here and detail my qualifications and experience before you'll take what I'm saying seriously.

You go now. Why should I trust what you say?

BTW, no, breakin' the law. I wasn't talking about you. It's super common for men to make the arguments that they're just socially awkward and that it's someone else's job to instruct them. I've heard it too many times to count, and I'm not sure I even noticed you saying it specifically. Long thread, you know?
posted by ernielundquist at 11:20 AM on July 9, 2015 [26 favorites]


the thing that screams "smart" (and often subsequently "attractive") to me is someone who is genuinely curious, not someone who is interested in showing off. A guy who is like "I wonder about $THING" or "Wow, you do X? That's so cool! What kind of projects have you been working on?" comes off as both more intelligent and a better partner than someone who wants to monologue about something he really only has surface knowledge about.
posted by kagredon at 11:26 AM on July 9, 2015 [8 favorites]


BTW, no, breakin' the law. I wasn't talking about you. It's super common for men to make the arguments that they're just socially awkward and that it's someone else's job to instruct them. I've heard it too many times to count, and I'm not sure I even noticed you saying it specifically. Long thread, you know?

Noted! Apologies for the confusion.

the thing that screams "smart" (and often subsequently "attractive") to me is someone who is genuinely curious, not someone who is interested in showing off. A guy who is like "I wonder about $THING" or "Wow, you do X? That's so cool! What kind of projects have you been working on?" comes off as both more intelligent and a better partner than someone who wants to monologue about something he really only has surface knowledge about.

For the record, I think this is 100% true. It just had not occurred to me ten years ago, unfortunately.
posted by breakin' the law at 11:29 AM on July 9, 2015


[man, to woman]: would you like to dance?
Woman: Yes
...
Woman: you're stepping on my feet
Man: are you sure?
Woman: ...
Woman: yes
Woman: can you stop doing that
Man: men step on each other's feet all the time. haven't you ever watched basketball?
Man: no one ever taught me not to step on feet
Man: It's not my fault that I'm not good at dancing
Man: I mean, I wouldn't be this upset if you stepped on my feet
Man: good luck finding a guy who won't step on your feet
Man: your standards are really high you know
...
Woman: can you get off my foot now
posted by desjardins at 11:50 AM on July 9, 2015 [121 favorites]


Don't forget--

Man: if a richer/taller/better-looking guy was stepping on your feet, you would be into it
posted by prize bull octorok at 12:04 PM on July 9, 2015 [68 favorites]


and --

Man: Women's feet are made to be stepped on, it's biology.
Man: I'm not really stepping on your feet, it's all in your head.
posted by everybody had matching towels at 12:07 PM on July 9, 2015 [46 favorites]


Man: oh come on, someone nudged my foot with theirs once, it doesn't hurt when someone steps on your foot
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 12:10 PM on July 9, 2015 [46 favorites]


"How can you be so upset I'm stepping on your feet, when some women don't even have feet?"

"Honestly, you could make the argument that I'm stepping on your feet, but I don't feel any pain and I refuse to look down"

"But what's the goal of all these conversations women want to have about whether or not I'm stepping on your feet? What exactly do you want to-- oh, get off your feet. Well. OK."
posted by easter queen at 12:10 PM on July 9, 2015 [31 favorites]


fffm: it's totally like "well, someone stepped on my feet once when I was walking through a dense crowd, so I know what it's like and you shouldn't mind me stepping on your feet whenever I feel like it"
posted by easter queen at 12:12 PM on July 9, 2015 [11 favorites]


Man: BUT WHAT IF THE FLOOR WAS HOT LAVA AND YOUR FEET WERE THE ONLY PLACE I COULD STEP
Man: WHAT THEN
posted by prize bull octorok at 12:14 PM on July 9, 2015 [70 favorites]


Yeah but how do you know he even meant to step on your feet? He could be just having a really bad dancing day. I don't understand why you have to be so mean. Why do you hate dancing?
posted by MoonOrb at 12:15 PM on July 9, 2015 [45 favorites]


Oh, and

"Baby, none of my ex-girlfriends ever let me step on their feet. Can I step on yours? Oh, no? ... how 'bout now? ... how 'bout now? Oops, I stepped on them a little! Sorry, heh heh! No, I swear, it was an accident, it's dark in here. But, like, can I do it again?"
posted by easter queen at 12:15 PM on July 9, 2015 [23 favorites]


I don't think it's 100% gendered - I think it's something young people do to prove their worth to members of the same gender as well.

This is something that women very, very rarely do, but men do all the time. It's tedious and boring socialized masculine behavior.
posted by NoraReed at 12:31 PM on July 9, 2015 [6 favorites]


Weird that you think you know more than I do about it.

I don't know more about it than you do. That's why I'm here. I was asking for advice earlier, and also trying to carefully put it in terms where it's not someone else's job to help me.

And honestly, I do feel dumb. Because, it's like everyone is saying, "Why don't you understand this? It's really basic and obvious and everyone else gets it." But I also understand the whole thing is on me and I hope to hell I haven't screwed it up too badly.
posted by FJT at 12:34 PM on July 9, 2015


Idk about this whole "men never learned" thing. I get that there are socially awkward people who genuinely have a hard time with reading social cues or whatever, but if you look at men when they're, for example, interviewing for a job, or trying to win a new client or something, you'll see that they do in fact have the capacity to be decent, engaging people. If it's important enough to them, they absolutely can do it. I was extremely shy and awkward until my college years, but you would never know it now. Why? Because to do a lot of things that I wanted to do in life, I had to learn social skills and how to talk to people and not expect the world to understand and adapt to my special snowflakeness. I did what I needed to do to learn. So men who haven't learned how to be decent to women? That's on them. They likely learned how to act in other social situations, they can learn this too.
posted by triggerfinger at 12:57 PM on July 9, 2015 [10 favorites]


There was a guy there "helping" already, who didn't even have a car there but wanted to direct the whole show, despite not knowing how to pop her hood or how to connect the cables.

As a guy with approximately zero fixit skills, this is a monolithic dude behavior that just kills me. I crack up whenever there's a car problem, and all the men have to huddle and nod, knowingly suggesting alternator trouble... And that's it. That's all they've got.

I, meanwhile, get to go have a sandwich or otherwise enjoy my life.

But my amusement aside, this stuff dies hard. I actually felt the need to clarify with my girlfriend, recently, that she wouldn't think less of me if I called a service in the event of a tire failure. I mean, I knew she wouldn't, but I was still weirdly compelled to ask.

Bleep blorp *** reprogramming...

the thing that screams "smart" (and often subsequently "attractive") to me is someone who is genuinely curious, not someone who is interested in showing off.

I've never been a classically Alpha dude, but I know I at least partially equated "assertive/aggressive" with "impressive to ladies" in my early dating experiences, and struggled to do that. I mean, that shit is no fun; certainly not for the recipient, but also not for the person forcing it. Over time, I learned that "confident" was more desirable. Over more time, I learned that curiosity and openness was a key component of appearing to be -- and, more importantly, actually being -- confident. I'm a fairly empathetic person, raised by thoughtful parents, who's good at reading others and etc., and it still took from age 10 to age like, 30 to really figure this out.

Bleep blorp *** continue reprogramming...
posted by credible hulk at 1:00 PM on July 9, 2015 [3 favorites]


and all the men have to huddle and nod, knowingly suggesting alternator trouble... And that's it. That's all they've got.

What's funny about that is that while I wasn't listening to him, he was explaining to her how it could be an alternator problem, despite her opening the conversation (with me, anyway) with "I left the lights on while I was in the store."

which, to be fair, shouldn't kill the battery that fast, but still.
posted by ctmf at 1:14 PM on July 9, 2015 [1 favorite]


Now that you mention it, your feet are kinda big. If you follow my careful diet and exercise plan you could drop 'em down 3 or 4 sizes easy. Let me tell you it...
posted by Rock Steady at 1:32 PM on July 9, 2015 [16 favorites]


Can you really call it stepping on your feet? He only crushed two of your toes.
posted by halifix at 1:56 PM on July 9, 2015 [15 favorites]


I didn't step on your foot, I was holding my foot in the air and you were pushing up against it.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 1:58 PM on July 9, 2015 [10 favorites]


Anyone else got Weezer stuck in their head now?
You walk up to her
Ask her to dance
She says, 'Hey baby
I just might take the chance'
You say, 'It's a good thing
That you float in the air (in the air)
That way there's no way
I will crush your pretty
Toenails into a thousand pieces.'

posted by susiswimmer at 2:08 PM on July 9, 2015


"hurr, wish I could meet a woman girl who likes comic books and video games and scary movies"

Maddy Myers had an excellent essay on discovering that what this really meant is these boys wanted a girl who admired THEM for being into what they were into, but didn't have their own thoughts/opinions/desires/time on the console. She also spends a lot of time on what it felt like to be the quirky side character in other people's movies.

She and Brianna Wu both have a lot to say about their past as Cool/Chill Girls and their gradual shifting into feminism and social justice. It's a perspective I really appreciate, because I was never a chill girl, but I was the one female friend a lot of chill girls were ok with - and I was baffled why they didn't realize "you're not like other girls" is a shitty thing to say to a girl; I'm only gradually realizing they thought it was a complement because of the circumstances they were in.
posted by Deoridhe at 2:26 PM on July 9, 2015 [31 favorites]


Actually it's about ethics in shoe design.
posted by Navelgazer at 2:32 PM on July 9, 2015 [29 favorites]


"You're not very good at avoiding having your foot stepped on."
posted by The corpse in the library at 2:35 PM on July 9, 2015 [28 favorites]


Men also frequently criticize women's ideas in terms of it making them sexually unappealing. No shit. Really gross men will often inform you that some completely unrelated thing you are doing or saying makes you unattractive to them.

Actual conversation I had several years ago with an old acquaintance, at a wedding reception no less!
Man: So, how's that little singing thing you were trying out working for you? Did that ever go anywhere?

Me: Yeah, actually, it's been going pretty well! I'm singing with the Seattle Symphony now; we're doing the Mozart Requiem in a couple of weeks. And a few months ago I got hired to record a bunch of epic choir-type stuff for movie soundtracks.

(beat)

Man: So, your husband, he must be kind of a chubby-chaser, huh?
It was so blatant and transparent that I may have actually laughed out loud.
posted by KathrynT at 2:35 PM on July 9, 2015 [59 favorites]


"Sure it would be NICE if I stopped stepping on your toes, but this is how the WORLD is, and have you considered possibly wearing shoes made of giant spikes, or possibly guns, at all times? Don't you care about defending your feet?"
posted by We put our faith in Blast Hardcheese at 2:38 PM on July 9, 2015 [26 favorites]


Why would you go dancing, where you know feet get stepped on, and then be all surprised when your feet get stepped on? It's stupid.
posted by ctmf at 2:40 PM on July 9, 2015 [16 favorites]


"People have been stepping on other people's feet since before recorded history! You're trying to change fundamental human behavior!"
posted by Lexica at 2:42 PM on July 9, 2015 [25 favorites]


You're inviting men to step on your feet in those shoes.

You should feel lucky that some man wants to get enough to step on your feet.

What do you expect? If you let a strange man dance with you, of course he's going to think you want him to step on your feet.

But you didn't complain when I stepped on your feet that night we had all those shots. Your're just a sole teaser. You deserve to have your feet stepped on.

No really, you're imagining it. I've heard that women don't have feet.
posted by Thella at 3:25 PM on July 9, 2015 [11 favorites]


I know a girl who says she likes it when guys step on her feet so I'm not really sure you know what you're talking about.
posted by MoonOrb at 3:57 PM on July 9, 2015 [26 favorites]


I do my best to treat you gently and not to step on your delicate feet and no matter how much I point this out you'd still rather dance with that guy who just goes ahead and dances.
posted by The corpse in the library at 4:01 PM on July 9, 2015 [12 favorites]


[From across the street] Hey baby! Nice feet! You want me to step on 'em for ya?
posted by Rock Steady at 4:08 PM on July 9, 2015 [10 favorites]


Btw I don't know if you all know this but there are lots of guys out there who don't step on women's feet.
posted by MoonOrb at 4:11 PM on July 9, 2015 [24 favorites]


Women's feet can't get hurt if they're stepped on. Their bodies have a way of shutting that whole thing down.
posted by NoraReed at 4:15 PM on July 9, 2015 [40 favorites]


What are feet? Can you tell me what these 'feet' thing are? I don't believe they exist. What is 'stepping'?
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 4:16 PM on July 9, 2015 [16 favorites]


If men are afraid of stepping on women's feet, they won't want to go dancing anymore. Is that what you want, for no one to ever dance again?
posted by kagredon at 4:22 PM on July 9, 2015 [31 favorites]


Meanwhile, dating women:

[woman, to woman]: would you like to dance?
Woman: yes
...
Woman: you're stepping on my feet
Woman: oh, sorry!! your shoes are really cute btw where did you get them?
Woman: ebay! it was a pretty great deal :) are your feet okay? those heels are so high!
Woman: oh I know right, but there's actually a hidden platform in there so the pitch isn't too bad
Woman: well, are they comfortable? are you okay with dancing another song? we can sit down if you want!
Woman: I can do another one! sorry again about your toes, hope I didn't crush anything!
Woman: oh no, you didn't :) you can crush my toes anytime! but I'd like a drink after this song?
Woman: sure! :)
Woman: :)
posted by E. Whitehall at 4:23 PM on July 9, 2015 [24 favorites]


"Surely you can't say there's anything wrong with me just putting my foot on the floor. And you wouldn't complain if my foot was on the floor next to yours. So I really don't see how you could think my foot on top of yours is a problem."

and

"Unless you can show me exactly how my foot being on yours is different from my foot being just next to yours, I really can't see why it's a problem. Come on; I'm just asking you to approach this logically. "
posted by meese at 4:29 PM on July 9, 2015 [16 favorites]


If you examine the situation, you'll see that he actually could only have stepped on her toes. I stopped reading when she hyperbolically exaggerated that to her entire foot. If this woman can't get the basic facts right, what are the chances she's making up the whole thing?
posted by gilrain at 4:30 PM on July 9, 2015 [42 favorites]


Meanwhile, dating men:

[man, to man]: would you like to dance?
Man: yes
...
Man: oh no you did not just step on my new shoes
~date ends~
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 4:34 PM on July 9, 2015 [24 favorites]


Look, it's just as bad when a woman steps on a man's foot. How come no one ever talks about that? Reverse sexism is a REAL PROBLEM that men have to deal with every day.
posted by mudpuppie at 4:37 PM on July 9, 2015 [22 favorites]


footism, surely
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 4:41 PM on July 9, 2015 [5 favorites]


Man: Don't know why chicks spend all day tarting their feet up. They really just do it to impress other females. See, that girl over there has nice, natural feet, no work at all. *points at woman with well groomed feet, sparkly nail polish, and wearing expensive designer sandals.
posted by ghost phoneme at 4:52 PM on July 9, 2015 [18 favorites]


footism, surely

Footandry
posted by zombieflanders at 4:59 PM on July 9, 2015 [11 favorites]


"But not me. I only date endurance athletes. Women whose toenails are falling off from all the marathons they run, that's what's sexy to me. And I like it when they step on my feet with their knobbly, bunioned toes. Because I'm enlightened, see."
posted by psoas at 4:59 PM on July 9, 2015 [10 favorites]


I'm not like girls who are always complaining about their feet, I'm cool with it, like I'm so able to shrug off getting stepped on that I'm practically a guy. All my friends who are all male tell me so when they step on my feet and I don't say anything.
posted by kagredon at 5:01 PM on July 9, 2015 [12 favorites]


"Okay, I acknowledge that I'm stepping on your foot, but are you sure that's why you're in pain? It could be arthritis or any number of other disorders. I don't know why you have to blame me when you don't even know."
posted by meese at 5:03 PM on July 9, 2015 [14 favorites]


I'll have you know that my feet are very light and I'm wearing specially designed shoes that are engineered so they can't cause pain.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 5:03 PM on July 9, 2015 [5 favorites]


I really love this thread now.
posted by rtha at 5:03 PM on July 9, 2015 [9 favorites]


"But not me. I only date endurance athletes. Women whose toenails are falling off from all the marathons they run, that's what's sexy to me."

this guy has a whole tumblr full of pictures of women with these feet that are taken in a non-sexual context and women with this kind of feet have to start putting "not for porn blogs" and "porn blogs don't reblog" in the tags and, eventually, the posts themselves

he reblogs them anyway and removes the comments
posted by NoraReed at 5:03 PM on July 9, 2015 [13 favorites]


"hey gorgeous how are you doing, want to dance?"
[politely] "No, thank you, and also you are standing on my foot. Could you please get off it?"
"U r ugly and probably a lesbian"
posted by Pink Frost at 5:08 PM on July 9, 2015 [14 favorites]


Pedandry.
posted by The corpse in the library at 5:10 PM on July 9, 2015 [15 favorites]


He also doesn't actually run marathons, but totally could, and anyways, he'll help you improve your form with these three tips...but wait, he has to tell you about his novel first.
posted by ghost phoneme at 5:11 PM on July 9, 2015 [13 favorites]


Come on, people. This isn't funny. That man is a real person and you are shaming him. Publicly! He's probably got a foot disability and doesn't know any better. Shaming people is horrible and you should feel bad about yourselves. This is why men can't learn anything from you.
posted by mcduff at 5:24 PM on July 9, 2015 [25 favorites]


"Listen ladies, I have to take these big, reckless steps because I have absolutely massive balls and they need space and air. I'm sorry it's making me step on your feet, but my giant balls would be in excruciating pain otherwise and I need you to understand that."
posted by prize bull octorok at 5:31 PM on July 9, 2015 [42 favorites]


Oh, you don't let others step on your feet? That's sexy :)
posted by halifix at 5:55 PM on July 9, 2015 [11 favorites]


Oh, you don't let others step on your feet? That's sexy :)

what if i was there
would you let me step on them ;)
hey
u there
(2 minute delay)
fuck u i bet ur feet are ugly
thats probably not even a real picture of your ankles
posted by kagredon at 6:00 PM on July 9, 2015 [32 favorites]


I think it's really unfair of all of you to be criticizing that guy for doggedly continuing to step on her feet. He probably just didn't know any better. I mean, it's not like most boys get to take classes at Arthur Murray or anything. It's just really judgmental and small-minded of you. You're just these judgmental, bitter, internet shame nannies who are getting upset at a TWITTER for god's sake.
posted by mudpuppie at 6:14 PM on July 9, 2015 [19 favorites]


I feel like I really accomplished something today.
posted by desjardins at 6:30 PM on July 9, 2015 [46 favorites]


Woman Keeps half an eye on two guys flailing around dance floor
Man1, wearing stylish but sensible shoes, goes off to corner and respects everyone's space
Man2 to woman: Why are you looking at me like that? I know what I'm doing, I won't step on your feet. They're gross.
Woman eases away and complements Man1 on footware, he engages her in a conversation. They decide drinks would be lovely. Man1 goes off to procure them.
Man2 artlessly tramples over woman's feet.
Man2: Why don't you pay attention to what's going on!?
Woman rolls eyes and goes off with Man1 for hot, consensual shoe shopping.
posted by ghost phoneme at 6:42 PM on July 9, 2015 [2 favorites]


Hey girl, did you ever eat pizza before? I can legit eat more pizza than any girl I know. Pretty good huh? *rolls up entire pizza and snake-swallows it like toothpaste going back into a tube*

*date puts down her knife and fork*

Not eating that huh? Mind if I...?
posted by turbid dahlia at 6:47 PM on July 9, 2015 [2 favorites]


Don't you people know that there are hundreds of innocent people dying in drone attacks every day? Is foot-stepping really all that bad when you rationally put it in perspective?
posted by mudpuppie at 6:48 PM on July 9, 2015 [10 favorites]


But didn't you know that there are women who have to cover up their feet all the time? They can't even wear close-toed sandals! How dare you have opinions about foot-stepping when there are women much more orthopedically oppressed than you!
posted by NoraReed at 6:53 PM on July 9, 2015 [6 favorites]


I feel like I really accomplished something today.
posted by desjardins

So do I.

I want a poster with all these on them, starting with desjardins original comment.
I will put it on the front of my shoe cupboard.
posted by Thella at 7:00 PM on July 9, 2015 [9 favorites]


Oh just let it go you are way too obsessed with shoes.
posted by mudpuppie at 7:06 PM on July 9, 2015 [10 favorites]


"Are you sure? No-one is stepping on my feet."
posted by mythical anthropomorphic amphibian at 7:10 PM on July 9, 2015 [21 favorites]


I think I would've noticed it by now if foot-stepping was really a problem.

Yeah, he stepped on her foot and wouldn't get off, but have you considered that some women post inaccurate pictures in their profiles on dating websites?
posted by NoraReed at 7:22 PM on July 9, 2015 [49 favorites]


I love all of you right now.
posted by DiscourseMarker at 7:51 PM on July 9, 2015 [5 favorites]


Why didn't you just grab that big knife and chop his stepping foot off if it was bothering you so much? It was sitting there right next to the wedding cake. You could have just leaned over and grabbed it.
posted by mudpuppie at 8:30 PM on July 9, 2015 [6 favorites]


It's a fact that women with feet tattoos like getting their feet stepped on. What other reason would you get a tattoo there for??!?
posted by dogwalker at 8:35 PM on July 9, 2015 [16 favorites]


Oh, so you're not willing to stab his foot off with a knife? Then I guess it isn't really important to you after all.
posted by meese at 8:36 PM on July 9, 2015 [17 favorites]


"I bet if the tables were turned and it was dudes getting their feet stepped on all the time you wouldn't even make a single peep about it."

"This isn't about men or women, this is about people of all sexes getting their feet stepped on. It's not a gender or a race thing it's just about feet."
posted by turbid dahlia at 8:44 PM on July 9, 2015 [19 favorites]


I think the real problem is all the men having the tips of their laces cut off. We should talk about that.
posted by Pink Frost at 8:46 PM on July 9, 2015 [13 favorites]


Now look what you made me do! If you hadn't been standing there, I wouldn't have stepped on your feet! It's your fault you know. A woman's place is levitating 6" off the floor, and if you just knew your place none of this would have happened.
posted by Thella at 8:56 PM on July 9, 2015 [3 favorites]


Men are hunters and their movements are clumsier because their muscles evolved to move quickly and strongly, not lightly and finely. Women are gatherers and they have finer motor skills because they need to step carefully to avoid branches and snakes and so forth. Therefore, as a man it's not my fault, I evolved this way. As a woman, with your finer motor skills, you should have been able to delicately move your foot out of my way.
posted by desjardins at 9:09 PM on July 9, 2015 [33 favorites]


That's also why women like pink shoes. It's because their eyes evolved to see berries, which are pink
posted by NoraReed at 9:29 PM on July 9, 2015 [19 favorites]


This is awesome.

hot, consensual shoe shopping

Something I didn't realize I really really need in my life until just now.
posted by susiswimmer at 9:37 PM on July 9, 2015 [1 favorite]


Women are from Clark's 👠

Men are from Adidas ⚽
posted by mudpuppie at 9:47 PM on July 9, 2015 [8 favorites]


Ok. Best thread ever. You peeps rock I haven't giggle snorted in a loooooong time.
posted by futz at 10:02 PM on July 9, 2015


You know, women claim they don't care about shoe size, and yet it's only the dudes with big feet who get to dance. It's no wonder you get your feet stepped on--blame yourselves.
posted by maxwelton at 10:30 PM on July 9, 2015 [8 favorites]


Look, a buddy and I looked into getting a shoe store once, so I know what's what when it comes to feet
posted by NoraReed at 10:56 PM on July 9, 2015 [8 favorites]


There is literally no reason to remake Ghostbusters with a female cast, nobody even wants to see that. Women have always enjoyed the movies about men stepping on women's feet, just keep making those.
posted by dogwalker at 11:00 PM on July 9, 2015 [3 favorites]


the men having the tips of their laces cut off

Aglet awareness for ever, bro.
posted by ambrosen at 12:48 AM on July 10, 2015 [9 favorites]


There is literally no reason to remake Ghostbusters with a female cast

Footbusters.
posted by immlass at 12:59 AM on July 10, 2015 [2 favorites]


"It's traditional that I stand on your feet. If I can't stand on your feet, where I am supposed to stand? Please describe exactly the motions I must make with my legs in terms of QWOP controls for the rest of my entire life, or else tradition wins."

"Oh, I see where you've misunderstood. I only called your heels 'slutty' because in my experience women who wear them are promiscuous and unintelligent. I was just being accurate."

"Actually, did you know more men have their feet stepped on than women? Yes, I am talking about black men, by cops. Pretty sure I just disproved feminism tho."

"Sorry I'm just disgusted by big feet on women, that's why I stomp on them, it's just how I feel. It's unalterable, unanalyzable, and obviously came from nowhere, with no social context, and all the actions I take based on it have no social impact. You're the bad person here, for trying to kinkshame me."
posted by nom de poop at 1:43 AM on July 10, 2015 [15 favorites]


"I grew up watching my dad step on my mum's feet. She was fine with it. I actually asked her once: 'Mum, what's with dad stepping on your feet all the time?' She just sort of smiled and said 'Oh, you know your father.' Stepping on women's feet is part of my heritage."
posted by turbid dahlia at 3:14 AM on July 10, 2015 [9 favorites]


Aside from the male/female differences to dating aspect - I also like the "real writer"/"fake writer" irony this. Real writers are obsessive observers - almost to an obnoxious degree. It is no surprise that Anne Theriault is the one sitting alone in a café, with a note pad listening in in a quest for new material and realistic dialogue. The dude, meanwhile, has worked out that claiming to be a writer not only sounds impressive (somebody with views so smart and original the world lays down its cash a free time just to hear them) but requires no verification (because being a tortured blocked writer can actually be made to sound heroic rather than lazy). The only problem the dude has with his date-impressing career choice is that he has to admit that his ideas are just a tiny bit... pedestrian. How great if it could be if he could work out some trick for making them a little more original!

Real writer: "I love what you just said after I stepped on your feet; didn't know you could swear in Arabic; what would you way you'd compare the pain to?"
posted by rongorongo at 5:12 AM on July 10, 2015 [6 favorites]


It is no surprise that Anne Theriault is the one sitting alone in a café, with a note pad listening in in a quest for new material and realistic dialogue. The dude, meanwhile, has worked out that claiming to be a writer not only sounds impressive...

Yes. Big distinction always exists between someone who writes, versus someone who wants to be a writer. (Sorry, a little bitterness lingers from ye olde days of teaching creative writing...)
posted by aught at 6:05 AM on July 10, 2015 [1 favorite]


Look, I understand you think it matters that you got your foot broken in a stomping once, but nobody is going to listen to you when you shriek like that when people wearing army boots come near your feet. Your audience will only be able to hear and understand you if you use measured, rational explanations for why a person, male or female, might have some foot-related issues. Really, though, I don't know why you have to personalize it.
posted by gingerest at 7:07 AM on July 10, 2015 [5 favorites]


It's not like I want to step on women's feet particularly, it's just that society told me big clunky steps would make me more attractive. I'm just trying to be attractive to you. If you remember that it will hurt less.
posted by milk white peacock at 7:20 AM on July 10, 2015 [10 favorites]


No, the Foot-Steppers Rights Movement is about protecting foot-steppers from a social and judicial system that's prejudiced against them, because the courts (and society!) always take the side of the woman whose foot was stepped on. It's not about saying women's feet should be stepped on. There's a huge difference, but you're just too ensconced in the echo chamber to care.
posted by mudpuppie at 7:21 AM on July 10, 2015 [9 favorites]


Women cry "Foot stepping!" all the time, just because they regretted dancing or don't want to look like they dance so much. It's dangerous to dance with women at all these days.
posted by jaguar at 7:29 AM on July 10, 2015 [13 favorites]


guys are you thinking what i'm thinking

gritty reboot of Footloose where Kevin Bacon's character is gender-swapped and also is actually the villain

posted by cortex at 7:38 AM on July 10, 2015 [16 favorites]


How can you make such a fuss about your own feet when women in Muslim countries suffer far worse oppression? You should be grateful you have a choice of footwear at all. They would stone you for allowing your feet to be stepped on.
posted by almostmanda at 7:39 AM on July 10, 2015 [7 favorites]


It was a joke. I stepped on your foot as a joke.
posted by The corpse in the library at 7:46 AM on July 10, 2015 [24 favorites]


I don't even see feet. It's all just one long leg to me.
posted by h00py at 7:55 AM on July 10, 2015 [26 favorites]


I'm sorry, is your foot's husband or father around? Maybe it would be better if I stepped on him.
posted by Rock Steady at 8:26 AM on July 10, 2015 [6 favorites]


I don't even see feet. It's all just one long leg to me.

If you change it to "all long legs" this is something that actually gets said.
posted by susiswimmer at 8:43 AM on July 10, 2015 [1 favorite]


That makes me sad because a well turned ankle is not to be sniffed at.
posted by h00py at 8:51 AM on July 10, 2015 [3 favorites]


Indeed not, unless you ask first and receive enthusiastic consent.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 9:06 AM on July 10, 2015 [6 favorites]


Long legs with a very awkward second-knee at the end.
posted by blue_beetle at 9:14 AM on July 10, 2015


What if I just step on one toe, that's cool right
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 9:18 AM on July 10, 2015 [5 favorites]


As long as it doesn't get in my way but what's with you putting your toe under my foot all the time anyway? I can't be looking out for your toe, lady, I'm walking here!
posted by h00py at 9:21 AM on July 10, 2015 [1 favorite]


so, true story, I am now talking to the gay version of this guy on grindr. Two hours there has been a nonstop monologue on all the awesome things he's done in video games and how he's awesome and by the way he's totally awesome in case you missed it bc you were blinded by his awesome

it's hilarious
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 1:18 PM on July 10, 2015 [13 favorites]


And you're not tweeting it? Come on man, we could get another 1000-post thread out of this.
posted by Pink Frost at 3:08 PM on July 10, 2015 [10 favorites]


Mortifying experience of the day: I was happily enjoying reading this thread on the train into work, inwardly sneering at the disrespecters of feet, and I got off the train, which due to a strike was particularly crowded. This meant that I ended up a little pressed for space. Which is the reason my somewhat clunky brogue caught on the heel of the espadrille on the step in front of me.

I apologised so profusely. Felt so sheepish. Even though the foot thing is just a beautiful analogy.
posted by ambrosen at 3:36 PM on July 10, 2015 [2 favorites]


so, true story, I am now talking to the gay version of this guy on grindr. Two hours there has been a nonstop monologue on all the awesome things he's done in video games and how he's awesome and by the way he's totally awesome in case you missed it bc you were blinded by his awesome

Now I really want to know what happens when a pair of men who do this kind of thing but also sleep with other men do this to each other. Do they just keep escalating the brobragging until they become overcome and rip each other's clothes off? Or do they get too caught up in the showing off and then nothing ever happens? Or is this something men (of all orientations) only do to others with contrasting "roles" to theirs? (I mean, I know it's related to the oneupsmanship that men do to each other as a weird dominance thing, but it's not exactly the same, right?)
posted by NoraReed at 3:46 PM on July 10, 2015 [4 favorites]


In my experience the one major difference is that guys into guys are not scared to be, and in fact quite skilled at and encouraged to be, very openly mocking or calling out of assholery - like it can be fucking mean but it also means there isn't a lot of things done out of and suffered thigh for politenes' sake.
posted by The Whelk at 4:42 PM on July 10, 2015 [3 favorites]


i would like to see a compare/contrasted study called The Mating Habits Of The American Male
posted by NoraReed at 4:52 PM on July 10, 2015 [1 favorite]


I never would have thought that choosing a puttanesca sauce for my dinner would be so amusing.
posted by flaterik at 5:20 PM on July 10, 2015 [2 favorites]


contrasted study called The Mating Habits Of The American Male

I somehow read that as "The Mating Habits of the Castrated Male."

I thought GRRM had released a novel about Varys and his quest for true love, maybe written in diary format, a la Bridget Jones.

And now I am disappointed. I think.
posted by ghost phoneme at 6:37 PM on July 10, 2015 [3 favorites]


Why do your feet have to be so hurt all the time? Jesus. I can't do anything fun without your feetings getting hurt.
posted by Annika Cicada at 12:36 AM on July 11, 2015 [14 favorites]


Now I really want to know what happens when a pair of men who do this kind of thing but also sleep with other men do this to each other. Do they just keep escalating the brobragging until they become overcome and rip each other's clothes off?

I've only ever (well, as far as I know and I may well be clueless about having done it in the past) been on the receiving end of it. For me personally it downgrades someone from 'date' to 'maybe I'll fuck you and never cal you again' if they're cute enough. I've only experienced the behaviour from guys who think they have to prove at all times that they're tops, which is highly entertaining because 100% of the times I've gone "yeah you're a dickbag but you're a really cute dickbag" the moment you get 'em naked they're not tops at all.

There've been a couple times when I've called it out instead of sitting back and laughing internally. One time I wasn't nice--"Hey, so hate to interrupt your monologue but would it be cool if I joined the conversation?"--usually I'm a bit less snarky about it. Reactions have been mixed, and bad reactions have sent them firmly to "nope you're not getting any tonight" territory, a couple of decent reactions ("oh jeez I didn't realize") have put them back into the dateable category.

I really don't want to hijack a thread about women into being about men so:

Look, if you want to claim I'm stepping on your feet I'm going to have to explain to you what feet are.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 7:15 AM on July 11, 2015 [15 favorites]


Actually, I found my puttanesca sauce recipe in this obscure book I'm reading. I like to purify my style by reading the great European authors, this was, like, the Baudelaire book. You won't have heard of it, it's about this aristocrat called Count Olaf.
posted by Segundus at 9:26 AM on July 11, 2015 [6 favorites]


Oh you read? Let me tell you about the book I'm reading.
posted by Annika Cicada at 10:10 AM on July 11, 2015 [8 favorites]


I invented reading.
posted by desjardins at 1:23 PM on July 11, 2015 [13 favorites]


I worked on the whole "sight" project. Eyes -- they're incredible, right? I made them.
posted by GenjiandProust at 2:45 PM on July 11, 2015 [1 favorite]


The visual cortex is where I'm a Viking.
posted by rtha at 2:57 PM on July 11, 2015 [4 favorites]


The visual cortex is where I'm a Viking.

Now I am waiting for a member to come in and say:

I AM cortex.
posted by Thella at 3:15 PM on July 11, 2015


*wiggles eyebrows*
posted by cortex at 3:50 PM on July 11, 2015 [30 favorites]


I don't actually read but this buddy of mine does a lot and I hung out with him for a while so I pretty much know a lot about reading. Let me tell you about this novel I'm working on. You have to wrestle with all this deep shit, you know?
posted by MoonOrb at 4:38 PM on July 11, 2015 [3 favorites]


cortex: "*wiggles eyebrows*"

And right here in the thread! We have a perfect example -- a man WIGGLING ME without permission or consent, and nobody reacts like it's anything out of the ordinary! Oh, no, I just have to put up with getting wiggled like people have been doing that with facial hair since the dawn of humanity. PATRIARCHY AT WORK.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 5:58 PM on July 11, 2015 [28 favorites]


As a man, I never get wiggled. Sounds pretty nice, getting all those wiggles, all the time. It's not like you have to earn them. Maybe being wiggled is the privilege, have you thought about that?
posted by maxwelton at 8:14 PM on July 11, 2015 [12 favorites]


M: I'm reading this book about feet by this chick who's like, some professor at some lesbian witch-coven place like Vassar or something yeah but anyway get this, her entire thesis is that we live in a culture that, like, "privileges" men's feet, whatever that means, and, like, even things like the size of steps are based on assumptions about the average male foot size. I mean, come on, it's totally transparent that she hates men and is trying to ram this whole feminist-foot thing down everyone's throats.

F: Actually, I''m familiar with that book, and I'm kind of confused about how you're drawing that conclusion from the evi...

M: I mean, like, for instance, I read this article like a week ago in Vice where they interviewed a foot fetish model and she makes, like, huge money. Not as much as I make, but, you know, good for basically just wearing shoes and getting paid for it. So the author is clearly wrong.

F: Wait, you're taking anecdotal experience and comparing it to peer-reviewed research, and that's your argument?

M: Oh my god are you one of those feminists who hates men

F: What? I don't ha...I'm not even going to engage with that. She did sixteen years of research, you know, before she wrote the book. Dating back to the turn of the century.

M: Yeah, whatever, like feminism even existed sixteen years ago. You know, Paul Elam says that women aren't even, like, real. Are you sure you even understand the book? I mean, I could try to explain it, but...

F: Yes. I am familiar with the book.

M: So you agree that the author hates men.

F: Actually, I wrote that book.

M: *long pause*

M: So I read this article in Foot Weekly about how men who wear pink shoes are totally gay.

F: exeunt, cleaving heads with her sword
posted by scrump at 4:01 PM on July 13, 2015 [21 favorites]


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