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Compare and contrast - Input Junkie
August 9th, 2013
02:33 pm

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Link thanks to sartorias

Fear of mistakes due to cluelessness

These two excellent posts crossed my path today, and I'm not sure what I want to say about them.

This entry was posted at http://nancylebov.dreamwidth.org/1013101.html. Comments are welcome here or there. comment count unavailable comments so far on that entry.

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From:elenbarathi
Date:August 9th, 2013 08:53 pm (UTC)
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Fascinating posts, both of them. *ganks , with thanks.*

About the first one: THIS. This this this this. Word with extra Word sauce.

My daughter is touch-aversive and doesn't have a problem with freaking out people who violate her boundaries, so if someone puts their hands on her without permission, she'll hiss at them, teeth bared, in her most alarmingly draconic style. Wonderful how well this works; they back right off - I've seen her make a teenage boy scream.

In situations where this isn't appropriate (like with teachers) she'll say in a cold, flat Vulcan tone, "You're touching me. Why are you touching me?", which generally brings forth an apology. A lot of people just never seem to have grokked that whole "Keep your hands to yourself" thing they were supposed to have learned in kindergarten.

As for Scott's post: I don't have much sympathy, because the world is chock-full of books and articles on dating etiquette. If he doesn't know what the rules are, let him go read Miss Manners and learn.

It's appropriate for anyone to ask someone else out - not "Do you want to go out some time?", but "May I take you to dinner this Friday or Saturday evening?" or "Would you like to go hike the river trail with me next weekend?" or whatever. The standard rule is, three strikes and you're out - if they refuse three specific invitations and don't reciprocate or suggest an alternative activity, stop asking; they're not that into you.

Anybody who's with someone else - however casually - is 'off limits'. Don't ask, don't hint, don't hope, don't lurk around playing Friend; turn your attention to the unattached. If you're looking for a spouse, don't fuck around with people who aren't. If you're looking to fuck around, don't do it with people who are looking for spouses.

Dating friends of your exes or exes of your friends is almost always a bad idea. So is dating co-workers. Do not ever even hint about attraction to a client, patient, student or subordinate, no matter how hot or how willing they appear; that's a ticket to a lawsuit.

No matter how desirable you think a celebrity, porn star or fictional character may be, they're never going to love you back, so get a life and start taking some interest in the real people around you instead of wanking and sighing over unattainable fantasy lovers.

Swearing, snarking, gossiping, bitching, whining, interrupting, sulking, boasting, being a know-it-all, telling dirty jokes and making bigoted remarks are all Highly Unattractive Behaviors. So is being a slob. A lot of people who can't get dates don't seem to realize that being attractive requires a lot of work, not just on one's appearance, but more importantly on one's character and habits. Why would someone who's doing that work be interested in someone who isn't?





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From:nancylebov
Date:August 9th, 2013 08:58 pm (UTC)
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I don't think Elevator Guy broke any of the rules you've mentioned.
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From:elenbarathi
Date:August 9th, 2013 09:16 pm (UTC)
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I'm thinking I wrote a post about Elevator Guy some while back. Lemme check...

Yeah, here it is:

"If you are ever propositioned alone in an elevator, especially at night in a hotel in a foreign country, you'd do well to consider that it might not be a mating ritual, but rather a prelude to an attempt to grab you by the hair, slam your head repeatedly against the wall, and drag you off at the wrong floor, into the wrong room.

It is Absolutely Not Done for a strange man to speak to a woman on the elevator. That's been regarded as "masher behavior" since elevators were first invented, and our grandmothers were warned by THEIR grandmothers to look out for it. It's right up there with strange guys who want you to get in their cars: Red Alert, Beware Will Robinson! White Slavery is real, and not just for white chicks either; a man who starts by treating you like a whore may have plans to turn you into one."

"Gentlemen in elevators don't speak first to women they don't know, beyond the necessary "excuse me" or "would you please push number 8", and they keep their eyes to themselves. It's okay to smile and nod as a lady enters the elevator; if she says Hi it's okay to say Hi back, but that isn't permission to start a conversation unless she says something more.

By ancient custom, nice girls don't encourage or engage in conversation with strange men, nor go off alone with them. But riding in elevators means sometimes you have no choice about being alone together, so then the custom is that you stand silently, as far apart as possible, with your eyes fixed on the floor-number indicator."
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From:elenbarathi
Date:August 9th, 2013 09:31 pm (UTC)
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The general rule Elevator Guy broke was "Don't act like a potential rapist."

The guys in the first link you posted seem to have grokked that at last, once it was graphically demonstrated to them. I'll bet a lot of their discomfort came from realizing how often they themselves had acted like potential rapists, and how the women involved must have felt about them.
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From:sethg_prime
Date:August 11th, 2013 02:03 pm (UTC)
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Part of becoming a mature adult is learning what kind of behavior makes other people uncomfortable, and one of the ways you learn this kind of thing is by making mistakes. That, in itself, is not a problem. I’ve done maladroit things with women and, well, I learned, and I don’t do those things any more.

The problem is not the clueless guys; the problem is the guys who make a strategic decision to adopt certain tactics to get their nookie and who consider any discomfort they might cause to be acceptable collateral damage. And true serial abusers, as illustrated by your first link, know how to hide their obnoxious behavior so that the only people who notice what’s going on are the people who are inhibited from speaking out. That kind of cunning demonstrates the opposite of cluelessness.
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