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Author Topic: Displaying "rude" items in your own home Updates: pgs 1,2,5,12  (Read 78756 times)

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TamJamB

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Re: Displaying "rude" items in your own home
« Reply #60 on: August 12, 2011, 09:52:41 AM »
I'm abandoning the euphemisms because I think they are part of the problem.

OP, have you specifically told your in-laws that you are an atheist?  It sounds as if you have not.  And because you have not been specific about your lack of religious belief, they have been assuming that you are a Christian all these years.  With that assumption in place, their seeing that button was a big surprise to them (to which they all responded very, VERY rudely).

I am always careful to 'out' myself as an atheist as early as possible in a new relationship.  Otherwise, I find that people (especially since I live in the Bible Belt) do tend to assume by default that I am a Christian.  I am also careful to explicitly use the term 'atheist' -- I have found that using a euphemism ("Oh, I'm not very religious") doesn't work -- people will just assume that I am a generic and unchurched Christian.

Your husband certainly does need to demand an apology for their extreme rudeness in your home.  And he also needs to make it clear that he expects them to treat your belief system respectfully.  "Aunt was tremendously rude at our home.  It is unacceptable for her to yell at us and throw our belonging into the trash for any reason.  She will not be welcome in our home again until she can offer a sincere apology and promise to behave courteously from now on.  As for the rest of you -- Fidgets is an atheist.  This is not something that needs to be 'fixed' and it is not something we are ashamed of.  She is an atheist and I expect you all to treat her with the same respect and tolerance that she has always shown you."
« Last Edit: August 12, 2011, 09:57:19 AM by TamJamB »

Nora

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Re: Displaying "rude" items in your own home
« Reply #61 on: August 12, 2011, 09:53:30 AM »
She was so far over the line that the line is a dot from where she's standing.
Just because someone is offended that does not mean they are in the right.

bah12

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Re: Displaying "rude" items in your own home
« Reply #62 on: August 12, 2011, 09:57:17 AM »
I think it depends on what specifically the button said. 

In general, I'm of the belief that you can display whatever you want in your own home...even if others don't like it.  But, at the same time, if you know that your guests have a certain belief, and the button specifically insults that belief, their belief group, or specific individuals, then I'd remove it while they were over.  In other words, if I wouldn't say it to their face, I wouldn't display it where they could see it.

That being said, the SIL was extremely rude in her reaction.  It doesn't sound like the button was on display...and to notice it, you'd really have to be studying the refrigerator.  Even if it was reprehensibly offensive, there's no excuse for her behavior and she owes you a huge apology (at the very least).

BarensMom

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Re: Displaying "rude" items in your own home
« Reply #63 on: August 12, 2011, 10:08:21 AM »
I don't agree with people who say you have to censor yourself inside your own home.  It was none of your SIL's business what you had on your fridge, and it is none of your in-laws' business what you believe.  I'm glad that your DH is going to take care of this business with his family, but you shouldn't be there, as it will be unpleasant for you.

Your SIL owes you and your bunny an apology.  Even if she apologizes, don't let her back into your house.  Upsetting a poor, defenseless animal is absolutely, positively, unforgivable in my book.

mabelle

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Re: Displaying "rude" items in your own home
« Reply #64 on: August 12, 2011, 10:21:05 AM »
I'm abandoning the euphemisms because I think they are part of the problem.

OP, have you specifically told your in-laws that you are an atheist?  It sounds as if you have not.  And because you have not been specific about your lack of religious belief, they have been assuming that you are a Christian all these years.  With that assumption in place, their seeing that button was a big surprise to them (to which they all responded very, VERY rudely).

wait, what? I thought we were really talking about flying penguins? Just teasing - my sister has a deep believe in the intercession of Angels (always Capitalized) in our daily lives that I don't share, and I just made an interesting assumption that Angels were subject of the OP's non-belief.


Wavicle

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Re: Displaying "rude" items in your own home
« Reply #65 on: August 12, 2011, 10:21:38 AM »
In a general sense (the SIL was clearly rude) I was not saying that homeowners need to censor themselves, but that it isn't inappropriate to question insulting displays. It is OK to express offense and let family/good friends know when something bothers you. You are allowed to display opinions, but other people are allowed to express offense politely. That doesn't mean that the person with the display needs to change the behavior, but I don't see anything wrong with politely letting people know when you are disturbed by a sentiment they are supporting.

Fidgets

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Re: Displaying "rude" items in your own home
« Reply #66 on: August 12, 2011, 10:23:37 AM »
Update: DH will be having a meeting with SIL (Ruth), Mom, Uncle and whoever else the family can rope in on their "side" Saturday afternoon, face-to-face.  I'm still flipping coins as to whether or not to attend.  DH is inclining not, I'm inclining to (and he says he'll back me whatever I decide.  Love the man!), but....any input gratefully received.

Re: Bean the house-rabbit.  Yeah, does sound a little silly after the fact.  I'm mainly cranked on his behalf that she frightened him--rabbits thump with their hind-feet to warn the others that danger approacheth--and, if they thump hard enough on a floor, they can hurt themselves.  Had that happened, I would be very, *very* angry, indeed.  As it was, he was frightened for no good reason and that was bad enough.  :(

Re: the Actual Topic.  Yes, it is religion and yes I made an (albeit clumsy) attempt to not bring it up because I know it's a hot-button for a lot of people.  I'm an atheist, DH's family are very, very....enthusiastic? members of the Turquoise Faith, DH has turned into an agnostic.  Which is fine, no skin of my nose whomsoever whatever somebody else believes or doesn't.

Re: the actual offensiveness of the button in question (and it is a button, less than an inch across, I'd say, hanging by it's pin from a large clip-type magnet).  It says, "God doesn't believe in me either.  Things even out."  Now...in my mind that's saying, "In my opinion, (insert first half of button quote here)".  To me that's no more different than someone announcing a death in their family and someone attempting to comfort them by telling them, "God needed them in heaven"--they're ascribing thoughts or actions to a deity that is their opinion.  If they can have their opinion about motives, thoughts or what have you, why can't I?  In my own home, in a relatively obscure place?  I could see it if it said, "God doesn't believe in *you* either...."--that might well be offensive to someone.

Re: more background.  MIL has been offended by my coffee pot.  It's staying.  She brings it up almost every time she comes over and makes suggestions about decorating my living room that would oh-so-coincidentally require it's removal.   ::)  Not.  Happening.  Yes, it was the gift of a Muslim friend of mine and he's a guy--both of those are offensive to her.  I shouldn't be talking to "those people" and I'm (apparently) not allowed male friends.  Happily married male friends that I have no interest *that way* in at all because, you know, I'm also very, very happily married.  It's part of that whole "promising to be faithful" thing.  DH likes Anwar just fine and there's no jealousy there between the two, so MIL can butt out on that one as far as I'm concerned.

The original question was and is: Is it rude to have something displayed in an obscure location that *might* offend somebody?  The more I think about it, the more I'm inclined to say no.  She chose to follow me into the kitchen, I didn't invite her (I was going in there to grab her a glass and a pop and it's not like you have to shout to be heard between the two rooms).  She chose to stop and read my fridge stuff, I didn't ask her to, nor did I point out the button and say, "Isn't that funny??!?  Hahahahahah!".  I'm seeing it more and more as if she decided to go downstairs where the bookshelves are, start reading the titles, find, I dunno, my Harry Potters or Terry Pratchett or whatever, find them offensive, scream at me about my choice of reading material and attempt to dispose of them, kwim?  (And, oh, that would've been permanent cut direct time.  Do NOT attempt to harm/toss out MY books!)  It's not like I leave reading material scattered around the living room for the sole purpose of offending them--that would be pretty P-A, but I also don't think I should have to run through my home, hiding books, a button and a coffee pot because there's a possibility of offense.  I feel pretty strongly about the whole China-Tibet thing, but I don't go into their homes and check labels on stuff, I practice what my Mum used to call, "turning a polite blind-eye".  A bit like "not seeing" a messy, non-public room in someone's house.

Ferrets

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Re: Displaying "rude" items in your own home
« Reply #67 on: August 12, 2011, 10:24:44 AM »
[EDIT- Oops, cross-posted!]

I think it depends on what specifically the button said. 

The OP did say:

allow me to reiterate that the evil button in questions says, "Flying Penguins don't believe in me either.  Things even out."

I'm assuming the actual phrase is "God doesn't believe in me either. Things even out." It's a mildly amusing joke about being an atheist: I'm religious (Catholic), and that specific button wouldn't even be a blip on my taking-offence-radar (frankly, I have worse on my own fridge :P).

HermioneGranger

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Re: Displaying "rude" items in your own home
« Reply #68 on: August 12, 2011, 10:29:06 AM »
You shouldn't have anything offensive in your home.

Inform your family of this when they ask you why they aren't allowed to visit anymore.

I love this!

It took a few seconds for it to sink in, but I also totally agree with Garden Goblin.   ;D

Wavicle

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Re: Displaying "rude" items in your own home
« Reply #69 on: August 12, 2011, 10:32:38 AM »
It being your opinion isn't what makes it not offensive, because I would still find the opinion "Turquoise people are dumb" to be offensive. Opinions can be offensive, and if someone wants to express it they may have someone express theirs (though the matter should be dropped if either party requests it). I don't think this button is offensive tot he people or their beliefs IMHO.

That is separate from their hissy fits, and their other inappropriate behavior. I would not go to the meeting. It is likely they see you as some evil woman who corrupted their poor son. I think he needs to go in himself and say "I will not allow you to disrespect my wife and I in our home. We respect your beliefs and need you to respect ours. They are not up for discussion, and you will be asked to leave if there is a similar outburst again. This is the last time we will be discussing it." He needs to make it very clear that you are united. I am just suggesting you are not present so it is clear this is coming 100% from him.

You will not be able to make them understand you, but you can make them understand that you will not tolerate them acting like children and harassing you.

HermioneGranger

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Re: Displaying "rude" items in your own home
« Reply #70 on: August 12, 2011, 10:32:51 AM »
Re: Bean the house-rabbit.  Yeah, does sound a little silly after the fact.  I'm mainly cranked on his behalf that she frightened him--rabbits thump with their hind-feet to warn the others that danger approacheth--and, if they thump hard enough on a floor, they can hurt themselves.  Had that happened, I would be very, *very* angry, indeed.  As it was, he was frightened for no good reason and that was bad enough.  :(

Can I just add that I love the fact that you have a Bean Bunny?  He's one of my favorite Muppets (if that's where the name came from, anyway.   :D)

Outdoor Girl

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Re: Displaying "rude" items in your own home
« Reply #71 on: August 12, 2011, 10:34:30 AM »
A small button on your refrigerator is not displaying something offensive.

If you had a tasteful, artistic rendering of you and your DH, nude, on the living room wall?  Maybe you should remove it while you have family guests.  On your bedroom wall?  What the heck were you doing in our bedroom?

And I'd keep your coffee pot even if you do redecorate and it no longer fits the decor, just on principle.

If SIL had calmly and quietly said, 'I find that button offensive.  Would you please put it away while I'm here?', I don't think we'd have this thread.   :)
After cleaning out my Dad's house, I have this advice:  If you haven't used it in a year, throw it out!!!!.
Ontario

Sharnita

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Re: Displaying "rude" items in your own home
« Reply #72 on: August 12, 2011, 10:38:31 AM »
Honestly, I would find the button offensive.  I wouldn't say anything about it but it basically takes a shot at the very nature of the God I believe in. 

Fidgets

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Re: Displaying "rude" items in your own home
« Reply #73 on: August 12, 2011, 10:40:54 AM »
Re: telling the family.  Actually, no I didn't announce it.  They never asked.  They *have* asked in the past what church we were planning on attending and I said I "wasn't really a church-goer".  DH, even before becoming agnostic, never went to church if he could get out of it, so they figured I was following my husband's lead.   ::)  If he'd wanted to attend, he was more than welcome to, but he knew I wouldn't be going.  Yes, DH knew from the get-go when things were getting somewhat serious.  I always figured I didn't need to go around announcing it (anymore than Anwar walks into a room and proclaims, "Hi there!  I'm Muslim" or Beth says, "Hey!  And I'm Jewish!"  Had they asked me directly even what my faith was, I would, of course, have answered truthfully.  It's been a combination of them making assumptions and (seemingly) happy that DH was serious about (and eventually married to) someone since he hadn't been in the past (we got married somewhat later than the norm).  Anyway, in general, I don't go around announcing I'm an atheist or my political party of choice or a lot of personal opinions simply because it's usually not germane to the discussion at hand nor is it really anybody's business.  If they wanna know, they can ask.

ETA: Hermione, it's just a pleasant coincidence (since I loved that Muppet, too!).  His name in full is Judge Roy Bean because he has such a solemn, not to mention judgmental, look about him.

Outdoor Girl: not at all.  I would have likely apologized for causing an unintended offense and likely would have considered moving it to, say, the computer room to make it even more out of the way, but then what if someone wanders in there?  Oof.
« Last Edit: August 12, 2011, 10:44:40 AM by Fidgets »

Eden

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Re: Displaying "rude" items in your own home
« Reply #74 on: August 12, 2011, 10:58:21 AM »
I don't know that I would go so far as to say it's rude to display the item. I do think, especially with something as small as a magnet, I would remove it when people who might be offended come over. Just to avoid conflict and make sure everyone is comfortable in my home. I definitely wouldn't remove the coffee pot as it doesn't directly address anything and I could never think displaying it would be rude.

I have a tchotchke that is goofy and slightly offensive to a certain race. Someone of that race gave it to my husband as a gift and I believe it was intended just to be goofy. Husband and I got into a debate about having it visible in the house. We finally settled on a location few guests go and those guests that do know us well enough to know it doesn't reflect our viewpoint. If someone of that race who didn't know us well came over, I would probably put it out of view just to avoid confusion and inadvertent offense not because I think it's wrong to have it.


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