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They certainly reinforce what seems to be "socially acceptable" or "normal." Message boards aren't anonymous. You're a person on a forum making public statements, whether you use your real name or not is completely beside the point. Forums are a public space. I'm sick of this idea that anonymity gives people carte blanche to say racist and sexist things with impunity. The idea that trolling is ok because "I'm just trying to get a rise out of you" is ridiculous. You don't say hurtful racist things to a black person's face in real life, so why would it be ok to do it on a message board? I'm sorry, but the medium has nothing to do with anything. And your anonymity certainly doesn't allow you to be shielded from criticism for saying things that make someone feel like less of a person or less of a part of society because of the lifestyle they choose.

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They certainly reinforce what seems to be "socially acceptable" or "normal." Message boards aren't anonymous.

I really don't think anyone meant those comments with hurtful intent. I suppose there is always a risk that some people can take them that way, and it is good of you to be concerned, but I don't people are seriously criticizing this person's choices. I get the sense Weber is just joking around, for instance.

Edited by jefferiah
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How do you think it makes a person feel when you tell them that the way they choose to live their life is "joyless"? That's at the heart of what I'm saying.

Well, I don't believe I can make anyone feel anything and, that being said, I am not responsible for how they feel when they do feel something.

Alas, we have discovered that even olpfan1 feels joy so no harm, no foul.

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Guest American Woman

They certainly reinforce what seems to be "socially acceptable" or "normal." Message boards aren't anonymous. You're a person on a forum making public statements, whether you use your real name or not is completely beside the point. Forums are a public space. I'm sick of this idea that anonymity gives people carte blanche to say racist and sexist things with impunity.

I've never thought that it does give people "carte blanche" to say racist and sexist things, and the board rules don't permit it.

The idea that trolling is ok because "I'm just trying to get a rise out of you" is ridiculous.

Whoever said that was "ok?" Interesting, though, that you are defending a poster whose "status" claimed to do just that - who claimed to "enjoy trolling" specific posters.

You don't say hurtful racist things to a black person's face in real life, so why would it be ok to do it on a message board?

How did this suddenly become about racism?? And who said making racist comments was "ok?"

I'm sorry, but the medium has nothing to do with anything. And your anonymity certainly doesn't allow you to be shielded from criticism for saying things that make someone feel like less of a person or less of a part of society because of the lifestyle they choose.

This thread - this OP - opens with criticism of people's lifestyles - people who enjoy buying gifts and looking for deals in the mall (who evidently are all "fat, middle-aged women") - yet you had nothing to say about that, just as you have nothing to say when olp1fan makes whatever observations he desires.

The "there is no joy in that" comment was just that - an observation - same as the observations made in the OP. The "monk or eunuch" comment was uncalled for, but seriously, if one is happy with their "awesome" life style choice, I cannot see anyone's comments here changing how they feel about it. That was my point. Olp1fan's similar comments directed at me as an American have had no negative effects on how I feel about being an American.

In fact, for me, when people make ignorant comments about my beliefs, my country, whatever - it reinforces how I feel. For example, all of the unfounded negative comments about the U.S. have actually increased my pride in being an American and made me less blindly judgmental of the U.S., and all of the ignorant comments about anyone who has any religious beliefs have just strengthened where I am coming from.

But if this is truly the way you feel, perhaps you should live by your own standards as well as not selectively criticize and/or selectively defend. You brought it up, so I'm just sayin' .....

At any rate, my point stands - one should not let comments on this board affect how they personally feel about themselves. In 'real life,' I would have nothing to do with such people, would not respect their opinion, and for the most part, I take the same approach here. :)

Edited by American Woman
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I really don't think anyone meant those comments with hurtful intent. I suppose there is always a risk that some people can take them that way, and it is good of you to be concerned, but I don't people are seriously criticizing this person's choices. I get the sense Weber is just joking around, for instance.

Oh, I don't doubt for a second that this isn't with hurtful intent. That's what makes it so insidious. It's part of our culture. We think about things in a particular way, but often we don't understand how they affect certain people or groups of people. I don't mean to really criticize them, rather I just hope to enlighten them as to how their words may affect someone else. We often say things without intending them to be hurtful, but they serve to reinforce what is considered "normal" and "abnormal" in our culture and when you make someone feel "abnormal" it can have a lasting effect on them even subconsciously.

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Well, I don't believe I can make anyone feel anything and, that being said, I am not responsible for how they feel when they do feel something.

Alas, we have discovered that even olpfan1 feels joy so no harm, no foul.

Yes. We could all be Stoics, overcoming our passions through apatheiap. I'm just suggesting that the comment could make someone feel isolated or ostracized for not conforming to what is considered the norm. I know you didn't mean to be offensive.

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The "there is no joy in that" comment was just that - an observation - same as the observations made in the OP.
It's not an observation. It's an opinion. You have no right to express your opinion about how someone else finds joy. Someone else's personal feelings are inaccessible to you, unless they express them.
The "monk or eunuch" comment was uncalled for, but...
But nothing. It doesn't have to change how someone feels about themselves to be unconsciously aggressive. It's a way of reinforcing what someone else feels is "normal" behaviours for a person. While olp1fan may not be outwardly offended by it, it's still a form of forcing particular standards on someone. Whether olp1fan succumbs to that pressure or not is quite beside the point.
In fact, for me, when people make ignorant comments about my beliefs, my country, whatever - it reinforces how I feel. For example, all of the unfounded negative comments about the U.S. have actually increased my pride in being an American and made me less blindly judgmental of the U.S., and all of the ignorant comments about anyone who has any religious beliefs have just strengthened where I am coming from.
You're mistaking rational discussion of particular issues with reinforcing a standard of normativity on someone. When people say the United States poltiics is more religious and that it's social policies reflect that, they are making a reasoned argument. They're not attacking your religion or saying you shouldn't be religious. When people criticize other social policies, like healthcare, etc. they're not attacking you personally. Why you would take comments about laws, policies, and political campaigns to be personal is absolutely beyond me and it has nothing to do with what's being said here. Social policy is meant to be analyzed critically.
But if this is truly the way you feel, perhaps you should live by your own standards as well as not selectively criticize and/or selectively defend. You brought it up, so I'm just sayin' .....
I should live by my words. You're right. It's a struggle to because this culture is deeply ingrained in all of us. I'm only human, so I'm going to make mistakes as well and I would hope that people would point it out hwen I do.
At any rate, my point stands - one should not let comments on this board affect how they personally feel about themselves. In 'real life,' I would have nothing to do with such people, would not respect their opinion, and for the most part, I take the same approach here. :)
That's all very nice, but people say hurtful things every day. Sometimes intentionally, sometimes unintentionally. People have every right to be offended or upset by these things and they don't deserve to be told to suck it up and just ignore it. Our culture has ignored these things for way too long. And your responses here is the exact reaction that it gets when light is shed on it. I'm sure the comment was unintentionally hurtful and again it doesn't matter whether olp1fan was actually hurt or not. I just wanted to shed light on how it could make a person feel like they're not socially acceptable. Meanwhile, by doing this, I've opened myself up to criticism by people like you that will seek to preserve the status quo. Instead of standing up against comments that can ostracize and isolate, you're standing up to me for pointing out that these kinds of comments are exclusionary. Again, it's all part of our culture and I'm sure you don't mean to be hurtful, but you're only reinforcing the socionormative pressure exerted by the "eunuch or monk" comment by criticizing me for pointing out it's underlying aggressiveness.
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I'll stop talking about this now because it's off topic. This isn't the thread to debate about it. If people want to get a better idea of what I'm talking about they can look up microagression and read the microagressions blog that shows how seemingly innocuous comments can unconsciously reinforce sexism, racism, and other forms of bigotry in our society.

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Yes. We could all be Stoics, overcoming our passions through apatheiap. I'm just suggesting that the comment could make someone feel isolated or ostracized for not conforming to what is considered the norm. I know you didn't mean to be offensive.

It has nothing to do with Stoicism, where one tries to free themselves from one's own emotions. And I am not apathetic, far from it. This is much different from me being responsible for how other's feel, which is one of the most insidious and persistent delusions in society usually expressed as 'made me feel.' I can't make anyone feel anything and I am not responsible for what they do feel.

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I'll stop talking about this now because it's off topic. This isn't the thread to debate about it. If people want to get a better idea of what I'm talking about they can look up microagression and read the microagressions blog that shows how seemingly innocuous comments can unconsciously reinforce sexism, racism, and other forms of bigotry in our society.

I think bigotry, racism, and sexism are all bad things. That being said I think there's way too much attention being paid to "hurt feelings".

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Guest American Woman

It's not an observation. It's an opinion. You have no right to express your opinion about how someone else finds joy. Someone else's personal feelings are inaccessible to you, unless they express them.

What is an observation other than an opinion? And yes, we do have a right to express our opinions about comments others have made. He made the comment; why are we obligated not to respond to it the way we feel? He can say to us, who enjoy celebrations, that it's "awesome" not to celebrate anything - but no one can say anything in response? Because it might hurt his feelings? Makes no sense.

But nothing. It doesn't have to change how someone feels about themselves to be unconsciously aggressive. It's a way of reinforcing what someone else feels is "normal" behaviours for a person. While olp1fan may not be outwardly offended by it, it's still a form of forcing particular standards on someone. Whether olp1fan succumbs to that pressure or not is quite beside the point.

Whether he chooses to succumb to it or not is his choice. Since when are we obligated to not respond to someone lest we hurt their feelings? If he doesn't want to chance such a response, he shouldn't bring up his personal feelings. Since he did, it's fair game to comment on them as to how we feel in response - which is all the "there is no joy in that" comment was. There was nothing more "hurtful" about that than saying "not celebrating anything is awesome." It doesn't hurt my feelings at all that olp1fan thinks not celebrating Christmas is awesome - so why should it hurt his feelings to say "there is no joy in that?"

You're mistaking rational discussion of particular issues with reinforcing a standard of normativity on someone. When people say the United States poltiics is more religious and that it's social policies reflect that, they are making a reasoned argument. They're not attacking your religion or saying you shouldn't be religious.

I never said they were. I'm not mistaking anything. For example, it's not "rational" for olp1fan to tell me that "the world does not like Americans - bugger off" simply because he doesn't like/agree with my POV. Likewise, it's not "rational" to refer to my country as "a backward nation" when it has nothing to do with anything other than throwing a personal insult at me. I have no use for that, just as I have no use for it in the 'real world,' thus my comments.

When people criticize other social policies, like healthcare, etc. they're not attacking you personally.

And I never said they were.

Why you would take comments about laws, policies, and political campaigns to be personal is absolutely beyond me and it has nothing to do with what's being said here. Social policy is meant to be analyzed critically.

One. More. Time. I haven't taken such comments personally.

That's all very nice, but people say hurtful things every day. Sometimes intentionally, sometimes unintentionally. People have every right to be offended or upset by these things and they don't deserve to be told to suck it up and just ignore it.

Peple don't deserve to be told to "bugger off" just because of their American nationality either, but I've never seen you have a problem with that.

Our culture has ignored these things for way too long. And your responses here is the exact reaction that it gets when light is shed on it.

Because it works both ways. It shouldn't be a "selective" thing, which has been a part of the points I've been making.

I'm sure the comment was unintentionally hurtful and again it doesn't matter whether olp1fan was actually hurt or not. I just wanted to shed light on how it could make a person feel like they're not socially acceptable. Meanwhile, by doing this, I've opened myself up to criticism by people like you that will seek to preserve the status quo. Instead of standing up against comments that can ostracize and isolate, you're standing up to me for pointing out that these kinds of comments are exclusionary.

I'm "standing up to [you]," in part, for your selective criticism - for your failure to recognize it when he does it.

Again, it's all part of our culture and I'm sure you don't mean to be hurtful, but you're only reinforcing the socionormative pressure exerted by the "eunuch or monk" comment by criticizing me for pointing out it's underlying aggressiveness.

Any "criticism" I had for you is in regards to your very selective "pointing out;" pointing out that you are defending someone who does the very things that you are accusing others of. You're still doing it. For example, I see you've ignored the fact that his status actually said that he "enjoys trolling" selective posters - as you criticize the idea of trolling. Where is the criticism?

As for the "eunuch or monk" comment, I clearly said it was uncalled for - but pointed out that olp1fan is guilty of the same type of comment. Thus my initial response - that I imagine it makes him feel the same way others feel by his comments. Yet you have nothing to say about him.

And thus my comments. Thus my points.

Edited by American Woman
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Since when are we obligated to not respond to someone lest we hurt their feelings? If he doesn't want to chance such a response, he shouldn't bring up his personal feelings. Since he did, it's fair game to comment on them as to how we feel in response - which is all the "there is no joy in that" comment was. There was nothing more "hurtful" about that than saying "not celebrating anything is awesome." It doesn't hurt my feelings at all that olp1fan thinks not celebrating Christmas is awesome - so why should it hurt his feelings to say "there is no joy in that?"

You figure out for yourself why this is completely wrong. I said I'm not going to engage in this discussion because it's off topic, but this point is so glaringly incorrect that it needs to be pointed out. There is a big difference and since you're so intelligent, I'll let you just think about it for awhile.

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Guest American Woman

You figure out for yourself why this is completely wrong. I said I'm not going to engage in this discussion because it's off topic, but this point is so glaringly incorrect that it needs to be pointed out. There is a big difference and since you're so intelligent, I'll let you just think about it for awhile.

I don't need to think about it. I see no difference. That you do is part of the "selective-ness" I see going on with you. That you've ignored everything else I've said just confirms it. So I'll let you think on that, k? :)

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Speaking of selectiveness, I love how you criticize me for "ignoring everything else" you said, when I told you exactly why I do not want to engage in this debate here. Meanwhile, you've made it perfectly clear that you don't wish to educate yourself or even try to understand my viewpoint.

For the record the difference is that olp1fan was expressing his personal beliefs, while the comments that followed were criticisms of his own personal beliefs, rather than others just expressing their own beliefs. Saying "there's no joy in that" is a critique of his belief, whereas saying "I find joy in celebrating things" would be the equivalent to what olp1fan said.

It's cool though, you'll just continue to ignore my points because you're more concerned with being right than understanding others.

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I don't mean to really criticize them, rather I just hope to enlighten them as to how their words may affect someone else. We often say things without intending them to be hurtful, but they serve to reinforce what is considered "normal" and "abnormal" in our culture and when you make someone feel "abnormal" it can have a lasting effect on them even subconsciously.

But for some, there is also a certain joy in being ribbed about the ways we are abnormal, given it does not go too far. Also, given the types of responses coming from the poster in question, I think he gets it.

To be clear, I don't think anyone is saying you need to celebrate holidays to be happy. I am one of those people who could care less about a tree, or what day of the week it is, and I tend to forget birthdays, Valentine's etc, all of which, you can imagine, makes me a hit with the ladies.

I like Christmas, if only because it is a holiday people have in common, so that allows for a meal with my brothers.

Edited by jefferiah
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Guest American Woman

Speaking of selectiveness, I love how you criticize me for "ignoring everything else" you said, when I told you exactly why I do not want to engage in this debate here.

Yet there you were, selectively engaging in it, eh?

Meanwhile, you've made it perfectly clear that you don't wish to educate yourself or even try to understand my viewpoint.

I see. So "educating myself" is to "understand your viewpoint." If I don't understand your viewpoint, I'm not educated - while it's apparently ok for you to not only not understand my viewpoint, but to ignore it completely. Got'cha.

For the record the difference is that olp1fan was expressing his personal beliefs, while the comments that followed were criticisms of his own personal beliefs, rather than others just expressing their own beliefs. Saying "there's no joy in that" is a critique of his belief, whereas saying "I find joy in celebrating things" would be the equivalent to what olp1fan said.

Olp1fan said not celebrating is awesome, which is his personal belief, and someone else expressed their personal belief that "there is no joy in that." Both are expressing personal beliefs.

It's cool though, you'll just continue to ignore my points because you're more concerned with being right than understanding others.

So if I don't agree with your points, I'm ignoring them? :rolleyes: FYI, I've ignored nothing you've said, while YOU have ignored 90% of my points. More evidence of your "selective-ness," more confirmation of what I said.

So do keep ignoring everything else I pointed out - do stay very selective in your criticism - as you confirm my points more and more each time you continue to do so.

Edited by American Woman
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You're being ridiculous. I haven't ignored anything you said. I just chose not to reply to specifics for the reasons I mentioned, but you keep dragging this on.

When I say you ignore my points, you illustrate it perfectly by repeating your claim that they're both simply "expressing personal beliefs". I explained clearly how there is a considerable difference between the what the two comments express, but you choose to ignore that. You've done nothing to address the point I've made and instead just repeated the very same point I have shown to be incorrect: "they're both just expressing personal beliefs."

If I say, "I personally believe you're incredibly stupid," is that the same thing as you saying, "I personally believe that I'm really smart?" Is that the same thing? There's no differences whatsoever? None?

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In fact, for me, when people make ignorant comments about my beliefs, my country, whatever - it reinforces how I feel. For example, all of the unfounded negative comments about the U.S. have actually increased my pride in being an American and made me less blindly judgmental of the U.S., and all of the ignorant comments about anyone who has any religious beliefs have just strengthened where I am coming from.

That is quite rich coming from someone who comes onto a Canadian topical form to spout their Anti Canadian opinions

I guess we're both hypocritical

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Guest American Woman

You're being ridiculous. I haven't ignored anything you said. I just chose not to reply to specifics for the reasons I mentioned, but you keep dragging this on.

And you keep responding - as the excuse you give for ignoring 90% of the points I made is your desire not to discuss this here.

When I say you ignore my points, you illustrate it perfectly by repeating your claim that they're both simply "expressing personal beliefs". I explained clearly how there is a considerable difference between the what the two comments express, but you choose to ignore that.

No, I didn't choose to ignore it. I responded to it, so how could I have ignored it? I chose not to agree with how you see it, which is entirely different from "ignoring it."

You've done nothing to address the point I've made and instead just repeated the very same point I have shown to be incorrect: "they're both just expressing personal beliefs."

No, you didn't "show the point to be incorrect." You stated your opinion and I disagreed with it. I see it as both expressing their personal beliefs, you do not.

If I say, "I personally believe you're incredibly stupid," is that the same thing as you saying, "I personally believe that I'm really smart?" Is that the same thing? There's no differences whatsoever? None?

As I pointed out, that's not the way it was presented. Your first comment is about me while your second comment is about you. The comment you are having so much difficulty with was a response to a comment that was made. One is no more expected to say "I personally believe that there is no joy in that" than one was expected to say "I personally believe not celebrating anything is awesome." Both are expressing their feelings.

By the way, don't you realize you could have hurt my feelings *sob* when you said "you're being ridiculous?." You should have said "I personally believe you're being ridiculous" - in light of your 'lesson' above. ;)

Meanwhile, you continue to ignore 90% of the points I made, 90% of what I've pointed out - supposedly on the premise that you don't want to discuss this here even as you keep discussing this here -once again confirming my points with your continued "selective criticism." You just keep engaging in more of the same. Giving my points more strength each time you do.

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interesting turn of events... cybercoma is right.. and if i had been weak i might have harmed myself.. seems like the bully mentality will never go away on forums

I will pray for you AW, may god have mercy on your soul

Did'nt know you were a Christian....

So....Monk?

Edited by Jack Weber
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