Would you rather be told to smile or to calm down?
July 5, 2018 8:24 AM   Subscribe

 
what's the opposite of eponysterical? *screams in crone*
posted by hollyholly at 9:05 AM on July 5 [16 favorites]


This is really good, but I feel like I'm missing the joke with #17.
posted by mudpuppie at 9:07 AM on July 5 [2 favorites]


Hilariously hetetosexual. No option for going down on a woman.
posted by datawrangler at 9:08 AM on July 5 [1 favorite]


#17 is just the typical "would you rather" type question that people ask when playing the game.

#5 made me visibly shudder, just picturing the options.
posted by hopeless romantique at 9:12 AM on July 5 [4 favorites]


Tell me more about this hetetosexuality. I'm always open to new things.
posted by cjorgensen at 9:17 AM on July 5 [8 favorites]


#9 had me crying with laughter.
posted by amanda at 9:33 AM on July 5 [2 favorites]


Hetetosexuality--defined as "when your fingers are too big and the keypad is too small." Not specific to any gender. See also "klutz."
posted by datawrangler at 9:39 AM on July 5 [4 favorites]


I dunno... big fingers can be a boon no matter one's sexuality.
posted by dazed_one at 9:46 AM on July 5 [11 favorites]


I got to #2 and then gave up on the universe.
posted by elsietheeel at 9:51 AM on July 5 [3 favorites]


but why do you women hold 2/3 of all outstanding student loan debt, you dumb, ditzy, irrational, hormonal bimbos?
Dozens of 'think pieces' about student loan debt haven't sufficed to give me this crucially important statistic about student loan debt.

Of course we're not doing anything about student loans, they've become yet another way of making sure women don't have the wherewithal for lives not dependent on men -- affluent men at that!
posted by jamjam at 9:56 AM on July 5 [69 favorites]


To the men who come in and read this, I know it might seem like she's using inflammatory language to get her point across, but she's really not. I have been called a "baby killer", "shrill", "man-hating". The situations here are very, very real.
posted by FirstMateKate at 10:09 AM on July 5 [63 favorites]


Would you rather be told that you are yelling when you assert yourself or keep quiet and have your needs ignored?
posted by brujita at 10:17 AM on July 5 [30 favorites]


Holy shit. That's an awesome list.

re: #4: Is Ma'am bad because of age assumptions encoded in the term? Or is it something else?
posted by lalochezia at 10:28 AM on July 5 [2 favorites]


I'm fine with ma'am. Pet names or "young lady" (I am 50 years old and NOT their misbehaving toddler)from a stranger who is most often male annoy me no end.
posted by brujita at 10:32 AM on July 5 [11 favorites]


I'd say ma'am is tricky because the equivalent male words aren't used the same way or with the same frequency. "Mister" isn't something I'd ever say unless I was joking around or having road rage. "Sir" is okay, but when do you really need to use these titles when you could just say please/thank you/excuse me/etc. and leave gender out of it?
posted by witchen at 10:35 AM on July 5 [4 favorites]


but why do you women hold 2/3 of all outstanding student loan debt, you dumb, ditzy, irrational, hormonal bimbos?

Women are now about 60%+ of university student enrollment. It would follow that more women than men have university-related debt from enrollment numbers alone. That may not be the whole story, but it's got to be part of it.
posted by bonehead at 10:39 AM on July 5 [4 favorites]


"Literal botulism" (#8), exactly. I wonder how many people who use botox would keep getting the shots if it was just called botulinum toxin, or toxic botulism. Thanks for posting this.
posted by still_wears_a_hat at 10:54 AM on July 5 [2 favorites]


Women are now about 60%+ of university student enrollment. It would follow that more women than men have university-related debt from enrollment numbers alone.

Sure, and those enrolment numbers are
influenced by women tending to need a higher level of formal education to get employment that pays equivalently to men with less formal education. Education debt is definitely a Feminist issue.
posted by Secret Sparrow at 11:23 AM on July 5 [40 favorites]


This is cool but so obviously written by a cis straight abled white woman. I want to see these by women who don’t fit that mold.
posted by bile and syntax at 11:23 AM on July 5 [3 favorites]


I think the male vernacular of Ma'am is Sir, rather than mister, which corresponds with Misses and Miss. Years of working in the service industry has taught me that most women currently prefer Miss. I've always found the aversion to Ma'am weird, and that entry definitely stuck out weird on this list and distracted me from the rest for a little while.
posted by es_de_bah at 11:38 AM on July 5 [2 favorites]


I've always found the aversion to Ma'am weird

I think it's an age thing - the female equivalent of 'Call me Jeff, Mr. Smith is my father.'

With respect to being a counter to sweetie: I loathe 'sweetie' so much in most of its uses - a man who calls me sweetie will fill with regret in short order (I am not sweet), and passive-aggressive white women who call me sweetie will be surprised to be called 'asshole.' (Diner waitresses are the only people allowed to call any other adult woman sweetie, I will fight you on this.)

Ma'am, on the other hand, is fine. Ma'am suggests a measure of respect, and it often pops up in conversations only after some jerk realizes they've pushed a lady too far.
posted by palindromic at 12:01 PM on July 5 [14 favorites]


Sure, and those enrolment numbers are influenced by women tending to need a higher level of formal education to get employment that pays equivalently to men with less formal education. Education debt is definitely a Feminist issue.

Yep - my husband makes more than I do without a bachelors degree and I have a masters, we are in similar fields. I got a huge bump when I switched jobs recently and thought I would finally be making more than him, but then he got a raise and I'm still making less.*

(*He is awesome and very talented and deserves every penny, but he's been making more than I have pretty much my entire professional career and I feel like I'll be paying off my student loans for my masters until I die.)
posted by Kimberly at 12:10 PM on July 5 [14 favorites]


Ma'am, on the other hand, is fine. ...
posted by palindromic


Able was I ere I saw this comment.
posted by reseeded at 12:35 PM on July 5 [15 favorites]


Are the Matts particular Matts or just general, generic Matts? (Chrises I could understand, Chris H., Chris E., Chris P.)
posted by sardonyx at 12:46 PM on July 5 [1 favorite]


I googled some Matts; I don't think they're specific.
posted by ErisLordFreedom at 12:50 PM on July 5 [3 favorites]


At my last job, I would rather be called "Dr." which for some reason made people of both sexes behave strangely because it's seen as somehow self-aggrandizing. "Why would you want to call yourself that?" was an actual response I got. Another was "DOCTAH" in an exaggerated and mocking voice, (usually from other women). And at commencement when faculty had to wear their robes (I have the Ph.D. stripes and a puffy hat that my university bestowed), I got weird remarks from fellow faculty and, from an ancient trustee, in a jocular tone, "What are you wearing under that?" (jeans shorts and a t-shirt, you old goat).

My male colleagues with doctorates were "Doc" or "Doctor" in an affectionate tone.

At my present job, in a large urban university, my boss just introduced me to the undergraduates at orientation as "Ms." even though she hired me, and I had to remind her that I had a doctorate from a more-prestigious university and we had discussed the fact that my dissertation chair was an incredibly well-known Name in the field.

My dissertation chair was known at that prestigious university as "Marilyn" by everyone, to her fury, because the default choice is not "Dr." or even "Ms," let alone "Ma'am."

Sorry, the list wasn't funny. It was just true.
posted by Peach at 1:16 PM on July 5 [36 favorites]


I've always found the aversion to Ma'am weird, and that entry definitely stuck out weird on this list and distracted me from the rest for a little while.

For me, it's not an aversion to the word itself, it's that there was a very specific point in time when people began referring to me as ma'am rather than miss, based only on outward indicators, and it was at that point in time when I could finally answer the unspoken question that had been in my head for a few years: Do I actually look middle-aged now, or am I just being paranoid when I look in the mirror?
posted by mudpuppie at 1:33 PM on July 5 [6 favorites]


I've always found the aversion to Ma'am weird

I think that ma'am isn't a great inclusion because how it's used also varies a lot by region, race, age, and socioeconomic class, meaning that everyone will bring different experiences (and connotations) to the table.

The first time I was called "ma'am" I must have still been a teenager. It was a much more generic term of address where I grew up than in some parts of the country. Then I moved, and I don't think I've been called "ma'am" in years - it's always "miss." But to me, "miss" has a whiff of condescension about it even though I know it's not always intended that way.
posted by Kutsuwamushi at 1:43 PM on July 5 [5 favorites]


"Miss" in my neighborhood means you are an older lady with a large family and considerable power who knows where the body is buried, so local usage may vary.
posted by Peach at 1:53 PM on July 5 [10 favorites]


I think that ma'am isn't a great inclusion because how it's used also varies a lot by region, race, age, and socioeconomic class, meaning that everyone will bring different experiences (and connotations) to the table.

I'm a northerner who has spent a lot of time in the south for my last job. If you're in the south and people ID you as a woman, you will be called ma'am constantly. There is no avoiding this and it's seen as incredibly rude if you don't do it.

Also in New Orleans I had the experience of being called "babe" in a casual way by people running restaurants the way that "dude" or "buddy" would be used in other parts of the country, and it was not at all offensive or weird because the people using it were not being offensive or weird.
posted by bile and syntax at 2:24 PM on July 5 [3 favorites]


"Miss" in my neighborhood means an older lady who knows where the body is buried, and would not hesitate to provide it with company. May be a universal truth.
posted by datawrangler at 2:26 PM on July 5 [5 favorites]


Also in New Orleans I had the experience of being called "babe" in a casual way by people running restaurants the way that "dude" or "buddy" would be used in other parts of the country

This happened to me in Wales, except it was "lovey" and "lover". And it was definitely being used as "dude" or "buddy", unless maybe a really friendly rugby team was in the pub at the same time.

Either way I loved it!
posted by elsietheeel at 2:40 PM on July 5 [4 favorites]


Are the Matts particular Matts or just general, generic Matts?

I believe Creepy Spice and Powerlifter Spice, respectively
posted by Freelance Demiurge at 3:11 PM on July 5 [5 favorites]



At my last job, I would rather be called "Dr." which for some reason made people of both sexes behave strangely because it's seen as somehow self-aggrandizing.


Read in this context, the “miss” discussion becomes far less regional (and more in line with the rest of the statements). The author might prefer to be called “Professor” or “Pastor”, or anyother profession that comes with a title. She doesn’t get that choice.
posted by steady-state strawberry at 3:26 PM on July 5 [3 favorites]


Welcome to 2018, when I stomached a mcsweeney's piece. Thanks a lot, men.
posted by love2potato at 4:04 PM on July 5 [4 favorites]


Would you rather tell your husband the same thing one million times in a pleasant tone of voice and be ignored, or would you rather raise your voice in frustration and still be ignored but now also have to argue about your "tone"?
posted by HotToddy at 4:43 PM on July 5 [30 favorites]


"Miss" in my neighborhood means an older lady who knows where the body is buried, and would not hesitate to provide it with company. May be a universal truth.

As a middle aged Southerner, I think there's a difference between "Miss Beaning, would you like some help?" and "anything you want me to do for you, miss?"
posted by beaning at 4:56 PM on July 5 [2 favorites]


To Peach's point, gender differences in how titles are used are systemic [paywalled article from PNAS], and have significant consequences for how male versus female professionals are perceived.
posted by MrBobinski at 5:19 PM on July 5 [7 favorites]


Also currently on the same LP [SLMcSweeney's] in what is very much a sister piece, Diagnosis: Female, by mefi's own Mothershock.
posted by Ink-stained wretch at 8:09 PM on July 5 [7 favorites]


"Miss Beaning, would you like some help?" and "anything you want me to do for you, miss?"

In the first instance, you are acquainted with the person, and in the second, you have not been introduced. Then there's Miss followed by the lady's first name--which is first-name basis, Maryland style (and perhaps elsewhere).

But I digress. Even as satire this writing works as a trigger-rich environment. My knuckles whitened more than once.
posted by datawrangler at 8:30 PM on July 5 [3 favorites]


> palindromic:
"Ma'am, on the other hand, is fine. Ma'am suggests a measure of respect, and it often pops up in conversations only after some jerk realizes they've pushed a lady too far."

Ma'am is my go to with women I don't know (otherwise I just use their first name, or an apropos nickname (my female boss is Chief, since the correctional institution context makes Boss problematic for me)), as it shows polite respect and civility.
posted by Samizdata at 1:28 AM on July 6 [1 favorite]


With respect to being a counter to sweetie: I loathe 'sweetie' so much in most of its uses

I hate "sweetie" because have you ever noticed how many times certain people will start calling you that when they are either trying to snow you or they're about to tell you something they know you don't want to hear? Like that makes it better?

I suspect GRRM may have similar issues with this, given his work.
posted by jenfullmoon at 4:03 PM on July 6 [2 favorites]


Boy howdy, at least three of these describe my weekend so far. It's Saturday, 2pm.
posted by honey-barbara at 10:53 PM on July 6 [3 favorites]


(my female boss is Chief, since the correctional institution context makes Boss problematic for me)

OMG my new boss is also a Chief! I wonder if he'll let me call him Chief?
posted by elsietheeel at 8:12 AM on July 7


Where I’m from, the “miss” to “ma’am” thing is a transition that happens with outward indicators of age; there is no male equivalent as men can age and are not treated any differently, which is the sort of thing that’s irritating even if “ma’am” is respectful. Women are always conscious of aging out of one category (young, valued) and into another (not young, less valued) while men don’t really have to be. They are just “sir” in the same way they don’t transition from “Mr.” to anything else when they marry while women become “Mrs.” She’s talking about that.

Re: the Matt thing, it’s a joke about how women are perceived to be stupid ditzes and that’s what men would assume our private “would you rather” games are about.
posted by Yoko Ono's Advice Column at 4:47 PM on July 7 [2 favorites]


"Miss" in my neighborhood means an older lady who knows where the body is buried, and would not hesitate to provide it with company. May be a universal truth.

"Miss Beaning, would you like some help?" and "anything you want me to do for you, miss?"

In the first instance, you are acquainted with the person, and in the second, you have not been introduced. Then there's Miss followed by the lady's first name--which is first-name basis, Maryland style (and perhaps elsewhere).


To clarify: in the context of my response, "Miss Beaning" is being used in the sense of a title, ignoring any other title I might have and prefer such as Dr or Mayor or Mrs. It's the one certain people use when they won't call me by my first name but don't want to acknowledge Dr Beaning or Mrs Beaning either. While I understand the intent, I would prefer my real title. That it is also a regionalism for faux-family members does not mean children shouldn't be taught that people should be called by their preferences (cf, the intern who is too scared to call me Beaning but also won't use Mrs Beaning or Dr Beaning).

"Miss" is used by those who don't care about my name and often is sneered in a way that would never be tolerated if "boy" or "young gent" were said to a male. "Ma'am" would be much more age appropriate and respectful, even by harassed waitstaff who manage to use "sir" for men.
posted by beaning at 5:09 PM on July 7


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