The radical idea that women are people

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Re: The radical idea that women are people

Postby The Great Hippo » Wed May 23, 2012 7:59 pm UTC

Ixtellor wrote:Wrong. If I feel a society is wrong and their judgement is harming a segment of society, I do something about it. I have been extremely active in the gay rights community.
When you said you're a moral relativist earlier, what did you mean? Because this sounds like a contradiction.
Ixtellor wrote:What I did come to realize is that you can't change peoples opinions but you can change the laws. It's perfectly legal to have hairy legs. Opinions change overtime naturally and its outside your control. You can be one of the people that stands up for what you believe and bear the brunt, or you can 'give in' to get along.
Why are there only two options? I think you should make room for people who want to have hairy legs and don't want to be bothered by people who think hairy legs are gross. You're right to say they might not get what they want, but wanting those things isn't bad, and trying to get those things is also not bad. I don't think people should have to bear the brunt of anything, and I also don't think people should have to give in and get along. I think people should do things they want to do--and we should let them and support them.
Ixtellor wrote:You don't get credit for wanting Utopia, especially when your ruining it for everyone who doesnt' share your 'opinion' of what Utopia entails.
Is this about credit? Are we keeping 'score'?

Are you leading in 'activism points', Ixtellor? :D

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Re: The radical idea that women are people

Postby (╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻ » Wed May 23, 2012 8:05 pm UTC

Ixtellor gets all the points for being so damn advanced.
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Re: The radical idea that women are people

Postby setzer777 » Wed May 23, 2012 8:07 pm UTC

Ixtellor: And people aren't allowed to come in a forum and complain about social pressures and defend their choices? I mean you felt the need to come here and defend your wife's decision to shave her legs.

It seems like by your standard you should just accept that one of the social consequences will be a minority of people in some public forums suggesting that she's giving in to societal pressure. How is you pushing back against that any different than people pushing back against the social expectation itself?
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Re: The radical idea that women are people

Postby The Great Hippo » Wed May 23, 2012 8:08 pm UTC

Meaux_Pas wrote:Ixtellor gets all the points for being so damn advanced.
Ixtellor gained all the points.

ALL OF THEM.



Yeah!!!!!!!!

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Re: The radical idea that women are people

Postby Ixtellor » Wed May 23, 2012 8:11 pm UTC

Belial wrote:Now, do you imagine that we got from there to here because of the winning attitude of people who said "eh, that's just the price you pay"?


We got here because people(interracial marriage) said "fuck your opinions I will marry who I want to marry." They didn't change peoples social pressure First... they started with interracial marriages. Then they got the laws changed... THEN peoples opinions changed.

So applying this to hairy legs. We dont' start with "Hey guys you should accept this"
You start with: Not shaving your legs.
Then you fight the law: BAM its already lega.
THEN you get social acceptance.

Social norms change LAST <---- do you understand this?

So the fact the OP started shaving because of dissapproving social policing, only shows that they did in fact surrender their beliefs and wasn't willing to stand up for what they believe in.

Hey Beliel, guess how we got to Gay Marriage, see if you can list it in the correct order.
A) People learned to tolerate gay people.
B) Gay people used the legal system to create equality.
C) Some very brave gay people said "I'm gay and I want to marry my partner"
D) American society inspired by Glee decided Gays are super cool and demanded gay marriage.


Going against social norms is HARD and not for the weak willed. Thats called life and you aren't going to change it.

Hairy legs after its acceptable... thats not brave and you didn't help. Someone has to suffer the slings and arrows to change the social norms.

The "Winning" Attitude is acting according to your beliefs regardless of the social consequences. One you CAN control and one you can NOT.

Anyway, get back to judging people on the internet because they dont' conform to your social norms Belial. (For the record you and me agree on every political issue.)
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Re: The radical idea that women are people

Postby Angua » Wed May 23, 2012 8:16 pm UTC

For the record, I don't shave my legs. Which is why I got so many negative comments. I can only assume you're talking about Jplus' gf as the 'OP'. Who, does, apparently, shave her legs, despite not really wanting to, which the rest of us said ok to if that is the easiest way she feels to deal with it, but it would be great if she didn't feel she had to do it. Which a bunch of us are trying to get society to be ok with by NOT SHAVING OUR LEGS, and calling out people who are very vocal about it being basically mandatory.

Notice, never once did anyone say that no one should not be able to shave their legs, should they so desire.
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Re: The radical idea that women are people

Postby (╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻ » Wed May 23, 2012 8:16 pm UTC

Hey Beliel, guess how we got to Gay Marriage, see if you can list it in the correct order.
A) People learned to tolerate gay people.
C) Some very brave gay people said "I'm gay and I want to marry my partner"
B) Gay people used the legal system to create equality.
D) American society inspired by Glee decided Gays are super cool and demanded gay marriage.

what do I win?

The points?
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Re: The radical idea that women are people

Postby The Great Hippo » Wed May 23, 2012 8:17 pm UTC

Ixtellor wrote:So the fact the OP started shaving because of dissapproving social policing, only shows that they did in fact surrender their beliefs and wasn't willing to stand up for what they believe in.
That's incredibly unfair. For starters, it implies that the sum total of their beliefs can be quantified by their decision to shave or not shave their legs.
Ixtellor wrote:Anyway, get back to judging people on the internet because they dont' conform to your social norms Belial. (For the record you and me agree on every political issue.)
I... buh? What? Do you... do you know what Belial's position on every political issue is?

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Re: The radical idea that women are people

Postby setzer777 » Wed May 23, 2012 8:18 pm UTC

Ix: your initial post was criticizing people for implicitly criticizing* (through negative phrasing) those who give in to social pressure. Now you basically just implied that people who give in are "weak willed". That certainly seems more harsh than the initial "giving in makes me feel like crap" statement that you criticized.

What proposition or call to action are you even arguing against?

*Well, I guess first you argued against the imagined suggestion that you're obligated to pretend to like hairy legs.
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Re: The radical idea that women are people

Postby Ixtellor » Wed May 23, 2012 8:38 pm UTC

setzer777 wrote:Ix: your initial post was criticizing people for implicitly criticizing* (through negative phrasing) those who give in to social pressure.


WRONG.

I said that not everyone believes shaving legs is 'bad' and would not like to be characterized as "Giving in" a negative connotation.

I followed that up with basically "Don't waste energy worrying about other people, they are just being human -- and you can either live your ideals and accept their normal human reaction or you can do something you don't want to do <--a 100% part of life.

Wasting your energy and emotion on things you 100% can't control (what other people think) is not productive. So Feel free to criticize other peoples personal (and normal) opinions, but dont' expect sympathy. (Normal doesnt' mean right)


SecondTalon wrote:I'm trying. What's your excuse?


Emptier words were never uttered. We all try, we all fail, we all ignore things we don't want to be bothered with. There isn't enough memory on the internet to list all the stuff you ignore on a daily basis. Now go write an angry post about Womens rights in Uganda. (Bet you never have gotten around to that one)
Last edited by Ixtellor on Wed May 23, 2012 8:45 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The radical idea that women are people

Postby Kewangji » Wed May 23, 2012 8:41 pm UTC

Ixtellor wrote:Wasting your energy and emotion on things you 100% can't control (what other people think) is not productive.

So why are you doing it, exactly? Pardon the sniping but you are being incredibly obtuse and I would rather not take the bait on all those other things you said.
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Re: The radical idea that women are people

Postby Angua » Wed May 23, 2012 8:43 pm UTC

It's a good thing the original comment wasn't about people who like shaving their legs then.

Also, the original comment was about why someone might choose to do what other people tell them to. While Enuja was trying to give advice on how you might help someone feel confident enough to do what they want to do, instead of what others want them to do.
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Re: The radical idea that women are people

Postby gmalivuk » Wed May 23, 2012 8:47 pm UTC

Ixtellor wrote:Wasting your energy and emotion on things you 100% can't control is not productive.
This would be true, except that a plight is made more bearable by commiserating and realizing that you are not alone in facing it. No one can control the fact that everyone dies, but that doesn't mean communal mourning at a funeral is an unproductive waste of energy and emotion.

And where every single other person who has ever had an argument disagrees with you, is your parenthetical claim that you can't change what other people think. Even in your bizarro world where legal changes preceded any social ones, those social changes did eventually happen, and furthermore happened as a result of the actions of a few.
Last edited by gmalivuk on Wed May 23, 2012 8:49 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The radical idea that women are people

Postby doogly » Wed May 23, 2012 8:49 pm UTC

Ixtellor wrote: Now go write an angry post about Womens rights in Uganda. (Bet you never have gotten around to that one)

How many of your activism points are you wagering?
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Re: The radical idea that women are people

Postby Ixtellor » Wed May 23, 2012 8:55 pm UTC

Angua wrote:Also, the original comment was about why someone might choose to do what other people tell them to. While Enuja was trying to give advice on how you might help someone feel confident enough to do what they want to do, instead of what others want them to do.


I am all for encouraging people to live their ideals. When it comes to condeming society I believe two things:
1) Dont' waste your energy or time on insignificant stuff your free to do anyway.
2) Do stand up and do condemn society when people are prevented legally from living their lives if it doesnt' harm others. (I don't defend NAMBLA and believe they DO deserve sociatal scorn)

gmal wrote:but that doesn't mean communal mourning at a funeral is an unproductive waste of energy and emotion.


Not analogous to my point.
Being angry and bitter at society because they aren't joining in your mourning is what I am saying would be a waste of your energy. (Did you do a lot of mourning for Osama? If not that makes you a big jerk and you should conform to my belief that a national mourning day is the least we could do)
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Re: The radical idea that women are people

Postby The Great Hippo » Wed May 23, 2012 8:59 pm UTC

Ixtellor wrote:Being angry and bitter at society because they aren't joining in your mourning is what I am saying would be a waste of your energy. (Did you do a lot of mourning for Osama? If not that makes you a big jerk and you should conform to my belief that a national mourning day is the least we could do)
People aren't perturbed because society isn't letting their legs grow hairy; they're perturbed because society disapproves of their hairy legs. It's more like wanting to do a mourning ritual for the dead and not wanting to deal with all the people and pressures that try to convince you that you shouldn't.

If you don't want to have hairy legs, that's fine. But if you want to criticize someone for having hairy legs, that's a little less fine. If you don't want to participate in funerals, that's fine. But if you want to criticize someone for participating in funerals, that's less fine.
Last edited by The Great Hippo on Wed May 23, 2012 9:02 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: The radical idea that women are people

Postby Angua » Wed May 23, 2012 9:01 pm UTC

You're missing the fact that there is some (maybe not much) psychological harm being caused in the enforcement of this norm. Me finding out that other people on this forum don't shave their legs, or don't care if other people have shaved legs, makes me feel a lot stronger when standing up to the rest of society. If I was silent, and they were silent, then I'd be suffering by myself.

Again, just because you can easily blow off peer pressure doesn't mean that everyone else can.

Also, why were you so quick to jump in and defend your wife's right to shave her legs even though it wasn't even under attack?
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Re: The radical idea that women are people

Postby (╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻ » Wed May 23, 2012 9:10 pm UTC

I don't shave my legs, Angua! I haven't in a couple of years. It's probably easy for me to do it without getting a lot of flak for it because I live in a place where non-gender-conforming individuals are all over the place.
My mom got freaked out because once in her car we drove past a guy in a skirt. Somehow she'd missed my male roommate wearing a skirt all the time, I guess.
Also, I hate shorts and short skirts, so people do not so much see them until high summer. (When the wind blowing through my leg hair is particularly pleasing.)
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Re: The radical idea that women are people

Postby Angua » Wed May 23, 2012 9:22 pm UTC

People generally don't see my legs either, because, I too, don't like dresses or shorts. Sometimes I give in when I nair my legs when I go home as I generally have to be at the beach quite a bit, but then I let it grow back over the next month (it isn't so obvious when it's growing back I feel, but it's about an inch long towards the bottom of my legs normally). My mother is pretty cool with me not shaving (she's pretty cool in general), but other people often aren't. Thankfully, my boyfriend doesn't care either way.
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Re: The radical idea that women are people

Postby Ixtellor » Wed May 23, 2012 9:46 pm UTC

The Great Hippo wrote:[People aren't perturbed because society isn't letting their legs grow hairy; they're perturbed because society disapproves of their hairy legs. It's more like wanting to do a mourning ritual for the dead and not wanting to deal with all the people and pressures that try to convince you that you shouldn't.

If you don't want to have hairy legs, that's fine. But if you want to criticize someone for having hairy legs, that's a little less fine. If you don't want to participate in funerals, that's fine. But if you want to criticize someone for participating in funerals, that's less fine.


Last reaction of the day for me:
1) I have never defended people who criticize others for not conforming to mundane norms. People who actively make 'you' feel bad about hairy legs are dicks. In addition to not giving a fuck what others think, I also don't give a fuck what others do, provided they are not harming others.
2) Again, if you want to get mad at society for all the mundane social norms it holds, your going to be an angry bitter person. If it really bothers you, you probably won't be able to function in human society. Because its 100% natural, and probably evolutionary, that humans police social norms. (Hey stop touching those kids!<--- good for the tribe)
3) I do support... supporting people to live their ideals. (provided they dont' harm others). Its a good thing that one poster learned to feel more comfortable to deviate from the norm, by being encouranged by others. My only objection was to the line about girls that do shave are "giving in". Because equally, there is nothing wrong with following social norms (provided... yada yada).

Life advice.
1) Do what you want and don't worry about other peoples opinion's about your lifestyle, you will be a lot happier. (See Staying in the closet versus coming out)

Angua wrote:You're missing the fact that there is some (maybe not much) psychological harm being caused in the enforcement of this norm. Me finding out that other people on this forum don't shave their legs, or don't care if other people have shaved legs, makes me feel a lot stronger when standing up to the rest of society.


Good for you. But I would add if you are suffering psychological harm over societies reactions to your lifestyle choices, you are going to have a harder time being happy. The sooner you learn to accept and be happy with yourself, the less stressful you will find life.
There is nothing wrong with growing and evoloving to that point and not being there yet. But if your criteria is "society needs to accept me" or I can't be happy you're on a losing path and its going to continue to cause emotional problems. We are all actors on a stage full of sound and fury and signifying nothing. In a few years nobody will remember if you shaved your legs not, so stop worrying about it and do what makes you happy.
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Re: The radical idea that women are people

Postby Роберт » Wed May 23, 2012 9:53 pm UTC

Ixtellor wrote:1) Do what you want and don't worry about other peoples opinion's about your lifestyle, you will be a lot happier. (See Staying in the closet versus coming out)
Now that I think about it, I've never heard a closeted gay or trans* person public express how happy they are with their decision to stay in the closet. I wonder why.
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Re: The radical idea that women are people

Postby Elvish Pillager » Wed May 23, 2012 10:02 pm UTC

Роберт wrote:
Ixtellor wrote:1) Do what you want and don't worry about other peoples opinion's about your lifestyle, you will be a lot happier. (See Staying in the closet versus coming out)
Now that I think about it, I've never heard a closeted gay or trans* person public express how happy they are with their decision to stay in the closet. I wonder why.

Damn was that a sneaky piece of sarcasm. I don't know whether to applaud or groan.
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Re: The radical idea that women are people

Postby The Great Hippo » Wed May 23, 2012 10:04 pm UTC

Ixtellor wrote:Last reaction of the day for me:
1) I have never defended people who criticize others for not conforming to mundane norms. People who actively make 'you' feel bad about hairy legs are dicks. In addition to not giving a fuck what others think, I also don't give a fuck what others do, provided they are not harming others.
2) Again, if you want to get mad at society for all the mundane social norms it holds, your going to be an angry bitter person. If it really bothers you, you probably won't be able to function in human society. Because its 100% natural, and probably evolutionary, that humans police social norms. (Hey stop touching those kids!<--- good for the tribe)
3) I do support... supporting people to live their ideals. (provided they dont' harm others). Its a good thing that one poster learned to feel more comfortable to deviate from the norm, by being encouranged by others. My only objection was to the line about girls that do shave are "giving in". Because equally, there is nothing wrong with following social norms (provided... yada yada).

Life advice.
1) Do what you want and don't worry about other peoples opinion's about your lifestyle, you will be a lot happier. (See Staying in the closet versus coming out)
I wasn't making a general point about your argument; I was correcting your faulty interpretation of gmalivuk's metaphor and demonstrating its proper application.

I don't know what your argument is. I don't think anyone here does. Who are you even arguing with? Ghosts? I'm guessing ghosts.

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Ixtellor wrote:In a few years nobody will remember if you shaved your legs not, so stop worrying about it and do what makes you happy.
In a few billion years the earth will be swallowed up in a giant supernova and the entire history of the human race will be snuffed out in a flash of light and nobody will remember how wrong someone on the internet was. So stop worrying about it and go do what makes you happy.





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Re: The radical idea that women are people

Postby Angua » Wed May 23, 2012 10:13 pm UTC

Ixtellor wrote:. My only objection was to the line about girls that do shave are "giving in". Because equally, there is nothing wrong with following social norms (provided... yada yada).

Which was never actually said. You have yet to admit that you completely took what I was saying out of context.

Also, if the majority of people didn't feel bad when society disapproves at them for not following the norms, then peer pressure wouldn't work, and your whole 'it's evolution for society to disapprove of people doing things not the norm' wouldn't work. As much as people try, it's generally very difficult to not feel emotionally upset by being shunned. Which is why we often seek out others who act like we do.
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Re: The radical idea that women are people

Postby Jplus » Sun May 27, 2012 12:08 pm UTC

pseudoidiot wrote:I can see how it's problematic, but I also didn't think any part of that song was meant to be taken seriously. I've never heard of that band before, but they struck me as comedy musicians.

This might an old cow, but I just wanted to say that the video appeared to be meant as comedy to me, too. In my direct environment any remark about masculinity is assumed a priori to be a joke (interestingly, I'm not sure whether the same is true of remarks amount femininity, but such remarks are much rarer, so my environment is obviously still not exactly emancipated). Hence, my interpretation of the video was that the singers actually meant to mock the silly idea that men with beards are manlier (as well as the implication that manlier is "better").

As for the issue with my girlfriend: that was more about her armpits than about her legs. Her leg hair is nearly invisible so most of the time she seems to think she can "get away" with not shaving it off. She obviously prefers not to shave her legs because of the effort. The psychological side of the story is the same regardless of the type of hair, of course.
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Re: The radical idea that women are people

Postby Virtual_Aardvark » Sun May 27, 2012 7:31 pm UTC

Jplus wrote:
pseudoidiot wrote:I can see how it's problematic, but I also didn't think any part of that song was meant to be taken seriously. I've never heard of that band before, but they struck me as comedy musicians.

This might an old cow, but I just wanted to say that the video appeared to be meant as comedy to me, too. In my direct environment any remark about masculinity is assumed a priori to be a joke (interestingly, I'm not sure whether the same is true of remarks amount femininity, but such remarks are much rarer, so my environment is obviously still not exactly emancipated). Hence, my interpretation of the video was that the singers actually meant to mock the silly idea that men with beards are manlier (as well as the implication that manlier is "better").


There's been a bit of a trend lately in comedy of ironic "isms". It's this idea of "We're so enlightened that the sexist/racist crap we're spewing could *only* be in jest. Aren't we clever?" More often than not though it seems to be used as an excuse to be hateful with no consequences because "It's just a joke". I can't say that's what's happening in the video for sure (though the video definitely bought into the idea that masculinity > femininity) but I really dislike the whole concept. It's like how 30 rock did a bit where Tyler Perry's character pissed off the gay community and they we're obviously referencing his real life homophobic rant but the point wasn't "homophobia is dumb/ homophobes are mockable" it was "Look how meta we all are!"

Dunno, it just seems like people are recycling old hateful jokes by slapping an ironic label on them. It doesn't always read as hateful but is almost alway lazy/not funny.
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Re: The radical idea that women are people

Postby Panonadin » Sun May 27, 2012 8:42 pm UTC

I live in a corner, or dark hole, or I don't know, I guess I'm around a bunch of people that follow ALL of the social norms.

Reading some of this stuff is eye opening and at the same time almost a "No way that happens?" kind of thing. Something not being the norm however wouldn't cause me to give a crap either way, I mean my personal prefence may not be in line with what some people do, but as long as it doesn't harm me (or others) do what you want.

Why can't everyone just be nice?

I started talking to friend about this, and we came to the conclusion that it's possible, everyone around us doesn't follow 99.9% of the social norms, maybe they just don't talk about it from the mountain top. It got me thinking, so there is social pressure to shave your legs, you dont shave your legs, do people like come up to you when your wearing shorts and proclaim that you should?

If not, then how does this "pressure" come about? If it comes from people close to you, whats wrong with them having preferences?
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Re: The radical idea that women are people

Postby Virtual_Aardvark » Sun May 27, 2012 9:10 pm UTC

It comes from peers (peer pressure). I was a late bloomer of sorts. In middle school I was still very young physically and hadn't developed an interest in "womanly" things yet. In eighth grade a bunch of girls declared that I needed a makeover. I had recently dyed my hair blue which may have precipitated this action. They told me to wear "normal clothes" that day. I didn't know how to tell them to fuck off so I went with it. I was bullied/sexually harrassed every day by the boys and part of me felt that maybe conforming would make it go away. The girls cornered me in the bathroom and made up my face, and told me I should really dye my hair back to normal. After they left I couldn't stop crying but I still felt that going with ot was the safer option. Earlier that year a younger girl told me I had a fat butt and I'd started dieting, people teased me about not being interested in boys so I let them bribe some of the boys into dancing with me at parties even though I knew they thought it was funny. In highschool I was too insecure to wear shorts or skirts but just telling people I didn't shave was greeted with shock. Not even "you should shave or else", but "you don't shave and I find that wierd". I started shaving. There is enormous pressure on us to conform. Even when it's not explictly stated it's expressed and it's hard not to go with it sometimes. I've been told to shave/wear makeup/kiss boys or else, but more often it's just been made clear by other means that by not doing those things I was a freak/unfeminine and that no one could like me if I kept it up.
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Re: The radical idea that women are people

Postby Panonadin » Sun May 27, 2012 9:35 pm UTC

Since we're talking specifically about women in this thread I wont point out that men have just about = # of things that are expected to conform to as "normal".

I don't disagree with anything in your post. I do wonder though how much blame one can put on peers in younger life, I mean they are under the same pressure and are basically taught that "this is what you do". Adults acting in the manner that you described those peers when you were younger would just be assholes where I'm from.

I can personally say that I guess I do live in a corner somewhere. The "You don't do XYZ so I find that wierd" would be pretty common if something not "the norm" was revealed but I know from myself and those close to me it wouldn't be meant in any sort of "you should change" kind of way, more of an "oh that's interesting" thing.

Are you saying that pointing it out as off from the majority is pressure in itself?
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Re: The radical idea that women are people

Postby poxic » Sun May 27, 2012 9:44 pm UTC

(Spoilered after the fact for OT.)
Spoiler:
A personal pet peeve: lots of movies/literature/other media tell the story of a loser guy who turns out to be really sweet and awesome and therefore gets a hot girl. I can think of maybe two or three examples of the opposite, where a loser girl turns out to be awesome, but most of those were played by hot girls wearing glasses and unfashionable sweaters. She loses the glasses and sweater, becomes hot, and therefore gets a hot/awesome guy. Loser guys in the same role barely change at all, except to somehow become more obviously awesome. (Note: I am overgeneralising somewhat, but for a point.)

While fuming over this, I remembered one movie I did see, years ago, that was something of an exception. (No recollection of the name or who the stars were.) The main female character was quite a bit overweight and fairly average-looking ... and she never went through a makeover. She went through some character development and that was about it. She didn't end up keeping the guy, since it was at a military academy which the guy left at the end, but it was still kind of refreshing. And really, really odd to experience. I kept watching this bit of romance develop between the main characters and thinking "wait, they're not even touching on the way she looks? They're just accepting that? Why does this strike me as so weird? Why can't this be normal?"
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Re: The radical idea that women are people

Postby Virtual_Aardvark » Sun May 27, 2012 10:05 pm UTC

Panonadin wrote:Since we're talking specifically about women in this thread I wont point out that men have just about = # of things that are expected to conform to as "normal".
...
Are you saying that pointing it out as off from the majority is pressure in itself?


Of course men face social pressures. I don't believe anyone implied otherwise...

And yes, the act of pointing out a difference is often a form of pressure in and of itself.
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Re: The radical idea that women are people

Postby Panonadin » Sun May 27, 2012 10:14 pm UTC

Virtual_Aardvark wrote:
Panonadin wrote:Since we're talking specifically about women in this thread I wont point out that men have just about = # of things that are expected to conform to as "normal".
...
Are you saying that pointing it out as off from the majority is pressure in itself?


Of course men face social pressures. I don't believe anyone implied otherwise...

And yes, the act of pointing out a difference is often a form of pressure in and of itself.


I'm not here to argue, just trying to learn some other peoples perspectives is all, sorry if it came out like that I was saying that you implied it was a woman only thing.

What would a solution be then? I mean if someone can't share thier opinion on something for fear of offending/pressuring someone to change just by mentioning it then what do we do? Whistle? Look at the sky when something comes up that you see as "different"?

EDIT:

Let me clarify, so this doesn't spiral into something stupid. I don't mean walking up and saying "HEY YOU HAVE HAIRY LEGS HOW FRIGGIN WIERD IS THAT" in this scenario, we're hanging out, it comes up, or someone tells me about it and my response is "Hrm, well that's not something I'm used to". Is having a reaction that "points out" that it's not the majority a form of pressure? So at that point, since I'm not directly saying " Hey conform to the norm" but pointing out that it isn't the norm, am I pressuring you/them?
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Re: The radical idea that women are people

Postby Virtual_Aardvark » Sun May 27, 2012 10:41 pm UTC

It very much depends on the environment. In a school/teenage environment it's different from a college environment is different from a party environment is different from a retirement home. Switch out hairy legs for drugs maybe? We're all familiar with how ineffective "just say no" is. Have you ever felt weird because you're not doing something that everyone else is? Did you then do that thing to fit in better? Even if no one was directly giving you shit? Replace your friends in HS and drugs with the entire goddamn world and standards of beauty and that should give a better idea. Going through life with hairy legs I'm acutely aware of how "not normal" or even "unattractive" that is and when someone points it out I tend to feel bad or weird despite myself. Not always though. My friends are all fairly nonconforming so if shaving or makeup comes up I don't worry because I don't feel like THE odd one out. If I'm in a group of more traditionally feminine women and I'm the ONLY one who doesn't shave that pressure's more likely to show up whether intended or not. None of this of course gets into bullying or shaming which is where the whole conversation began.
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Re: The radical idea that women are people

Postby Panonadin » Sun May 27, 2012 10:48 pm UTC

So your problem wouldn't be that you feel a bit uncomfortable because it's obvious it isn't the majority in a certain group of people, but that if those same people went out of thier way to point it out/call it wrong in one way or another?

I'm just trying to understand what it's like not under my rock. The more and more I read the forum and venture into sensitive topics, people tend to be very sensitive about certain things that seem beyond anyones control and then completely cavalier about something else that could of been avoided. Not saying that's happening here, just again, trying to learn/gain perspective.
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Re: The radical idea that women are people

Postby mochafairy » Sun May 27, 2012 10:49 pm UTC

I think there's a world of difference between a conversation between friends and information willingly shared and every other situation.

If I bring something up about me that's "different" in a conversation with my loved ones, then I personally consider it open for discussion. When I'm done discussing it with them, I expect them to back off and not mention it again until I'm ready for it.

Every other scenario is in somewhere in the realm of "rude" in my opinion.

Turn the situation around and see if it would make you feel uncomfortable to be in the other person's position. If the answer is even "maybe", then don't do it.
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Re: The radical idea that women are people

Postby Ulc » Sun May 27, 2012 10:51 pm UTC

The solution would be if everyone was honest, and polite about it. Don't stare, don't keep coming at the subject again and again, don't judge and phrase your preference without using judgmental phrases (like "that's weird")

If leg hair is something that turns you off, fine. But don't make it a big deal, just accept and carry one with your day.


Personally I don't understand how it can possible be a big deal.
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Re: The radical idea that women are people

Postby Panonadin » Sun May 27, 2012 10:57 pm UTC

@ULC

That's the thing. I don't know anyone who would respond any differently. Like, anyone. I don't consider my friends/family/aquaintences to be any more socially accepting than the next group of guys/girls but I guess I'm far off by assuming that.

I mean to the point that it's nothing I've even witnessed outside of the news I have trouble grasping that it's a widespread thing. I guess that's part of the reason why I'm so curious.
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Re: The radical idea that women are people

Postby poxic » Sun May 27, 2012 11:00 pm UTC

I know, like, skin colour, right? How can possibly be a big deal? It's just melanin, after all. :wink:

Kids grow up seeing everyone around them (or at least most people) react the same way to the same things, so they do the same. When they start (and have been taught how) to think for themselves, they can form other opinions. Most don't. That's what culture is, in a way: "This is what most of us think. If you want to be one of us, think the same things".

Maybe you two have grown up in remarkably forward-thinking places. Or maybe you aren't so aware of the pressure because it isn't directed at you. After all, people with very little melanin are much more likely to believe that racism is no longer an issue than people with lots of melanin (those silly people).
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Re: The radical idea that women are people

Postby Noc » Mon May 28, 2012 12:28 am UTC

Panonadin wrote:What would a solution be then? I mean if someone can't share thier opinion on something for fear of offending/pressuring someone to change just by mentioning it then what do we do? Whistle? Look at the sky when something comes up that you see as "different"?

This is actually a thing people often do, when they're forced to interact with someone they don't approve of but don't want to be confrontational about it. It's...often just as bad, since tends to be clear that they're being grudgingly diplomatic and are going to be vocally judging you to their friends the moment your back is turned.

A major part of the solution is for people to lose the sense of entitlement they have re: other people's appearance. As it is, people feel like others have some kind of responsibility to present themselves in a way they find attractive; thus, presenting one's self in an 'unappealing' manner is somehow inconsiderate, and thus worthy of complaint. And it would be a terrible thing if we were prevented from sharing out opinions on the way other people look, because we would be forced to suffer that affront in silence! That's clearly not fair to us.

The solution is for people to cut that bullshit out and recognize that a lack of positive reaction to someone's appearance isn't a problem, and isn't something that needs to be pointed out. If you particularly like an aspect of their appearance, then by all means, mention it! If they don't, well, they're not doing it for your benefit, so stop worrying about it. And you can feel free to bring up your personal preferences in a conversation about preferences, but it's not your job to police the way other people look.
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Re: The radical idea that women are people

Postby Ulc » Mon May 28, 2012 7:17 am UTC

Panonadin wrote:That's the thing. I don't know anyone who would respond any differently. Like, anyone. I don't consider my friends/family/acquaintances to be any more socially accepting than the next group of guys/girls but I guess I'm far off by assuming that.


And I'm fairly sure that you don't know all these peoples reaction to hairy legs. Subtle things can be grating as well, it might only be a fast disapproving frown followed by pointedly not look at the legs in question, and unless it's directed at you, it's damn easy to miss. By this point I occasionally notice it when friends of mine (that doesn't shave) gets harassed about it, but not always.

Because you know, privilege.

Might I suggest an experiment? Try and shave your legs, then wear shorts. As far as I remember, you're a cis male right? It'll only be for a few days before the hair is back - look at how people react, often without directly saying anything.



Poxic: It was mostly meant as "I don't understand how people can seriously care about leg hair?". I know that they do, and I know that women in general face a fair amount of pressure, I just don't get why the fuck it matters to people's opinion about how a woman looks. It seems extremely inconsequential to me.
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