Author Topic: Help me chose the right words, please  (Read 4277 times)

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Judah

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Help me chose the right words, please
« on: September 29, 2012, 01:00:22 PM »
Background: I belong to closed Facebook group whose focus is of interest to me.  I'm pretty active in the group and have been a member since it's inception. It's a fairly small group with fewer than 300 member and I'd say fewer than half of the members ever post.  The focus of this group is very specific and completely unrelated to fashion or fitness. /background

Today, one of the member posted an off-topic request for help finding jeans for, in her words, "normal body shaped" women as she "is not a single digit size".  I posted giving her an idea where she could find jeans to fit a variety of body shapes, but I'd also like to PM her to give her a gentle heads up that it's kind of offensive to have it implied that being a single digit size is not "normal".  I know she didn't intend to offend, but I'm really tired of the whole "real women have curves" thing, and I do find it hurtful and offensive.  Can you give me gentle words to get the idea across?  If I go with what's in my head right now it's come across harsh and I don't want that.
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Calypso

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Re: Help me chose the right words, please
« Reply #1 on: September 29, 2012, 01:36:13 PM »
Honestly, I think you're being just a little oversensitive. You acknowledge that you know she didn't mean to be offensive. While we usually think "normal" is a synonym for "good" and anything else is "bad", what the word actually means is "that which is the norm" i.e., what is most common. Factually speaking, single digit sizes are no longer the norm in the U.S.----as a "mass"  ::) we're getting bigger----this is not a happy thing, overall.

I'm getting off the point I was trying to make, and way off the point of what you asked; I apologize. I can't help you choose words because I don't believe this warrants comment.

Kaypeep

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Re: Help me chose the right words, please
« Reply #2 on: September 29, 2012, 03:31:21 PM »
I'd let it go.  It's a stranger on the internet.  I don't think it's worth anyone's time to PM a stranger on the internet to tell them they hurt your feelings.   If you feel the need to take action that seriously, PM the admin of the group to warn that someone is posting OT items in the group, and to delete it perhaps, so that others don't start going OT and cluttering the board, too.

Twik

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Re: Help me chose the right words, please
« Reply #3 on: September 29, 2012, 06:36:42 PM »
Technically, "normal" does not mean "right", it means "as of the norm, the average or standard". I suspect if she said "average size", it would not have bothered you as much. As Calypso mentioned, single-digit sizes are not the "norm" when you look at the total population.

It's unfortunate that today's emphasis on physical beauty as the most important attribute of personal value has resulted in women turning on each other. The OP may find "real women have curves" to be hurtful, but so is, "If you're not thin, no man will love you."
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diesel_darlin

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Re: Help me chose the right words, please
« Reply #4 on: September 29, 2012, 06:40:52 PM »
Technically, "normal" does not mean "right", it means "as of the norm, the average or standard". I suspect if she said "average size", it would not have bothered you as much. As Calypso mentioned, single-digit sizes are not the "norm" when you look at the total population.

It's unfortunate that today's emphasis on physical beauty as the most important attribute of personal value has resulted in women turning on each other. The OP may find "real women have curves" to be hurtful, but so is, "If you're not thin, no man will love you."



Said much better than I could say it.  :)

JoyinVirginia

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Re: Help me chose the right words, please
« Reply #5 on: September 29, 2012, 10:24:09 PM »
I would leave it alone.  As a middle aged mom who wears size 18, shopping for Jeans or even dress pants can be sooooo frustrating . Especially when I shop with my daughters who find their much smaller sizes in a rainbow of colors and many styles. She is just expressing frustration many of us experience.
and yes I eat healthy and exercise and swim and kayak. I have an older slower metabolism and look like my mother did. See, makes me defensive just thinking about it!

Surianne

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Re: Help me chose the right words, please
« Reply #6 on: September 30, 2012, 06:04:13 PM »
I don't have any good phrasing for you but I do want to toss you some support, OP.  I find this line of thinking (that skinny women aren't "real" or "normal") to be offensive and problematic as well. 

sweetonsno

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Re: Help me chose the right words, please
« Reply #7 on: October 01, 2012, 02:08:48 AM »
I also loathe the "real women have curves" line of thinking. Real women come in all shapes and sizes. Furthermore, a curvaceous figure is not limited to the women in double-digit sizes. I get irked when people imply that I'm somehow less of a woman (less human) because of my size. I'm not tiny. I consider myself average. I'm pretty close to smack dab in the middle of the healthy weight range for my height.

As you don't think she was trying to be snarky, I don't think you need to say anything. However, if you do decide to speak up, I'd vote for cracking a joke.

"You calling me a weirdo?  ;)"
"Wait, you have to be a double digit to be normal? Drat."

Zilla

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Re: Help me chose the right words, please
« Reply #8 on: October 01, 2012, 09:12:02 AM »
I don't have any good phrasing for you but I do want to toss you some support, OP.  I find this line of thinking (that skinny women aren't "real" or "normal") to be offensive and problematic as well.


I took it as that double digit sizing also belongs in the "normal" group rather than trying to say that single digit sizing isn't normal.  I too would let it go.

Judah

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Re: Help me chose the right words, please
« Reply #9 on: October 01, 2012, 11:23:30 AM »
I decided not to say anything. I realized that if I was going to say anything, I should have done it in my reply and in a jokey way and it was just to late to do it after the fact.

I do find the responses here interesting.  I find the attitude that "real" or "normal" women look a certain way to be troubling. And the idea that "real" or "normal" women are not thin and fit is a troubling double standard. And Twik is right, if the poster had used the word "average", I wouldn't even have given it a thought.  But the idea that someone is less of a woman because of their shape, whatever that shape happens to be, is wrong.
Ask for what you want. Let's be clear on this one:
Subtle hints don't work.
Strong hints don't work.
Really obvious hints don't work.
Just say it!

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Queen of Clubs

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Re: Help me chose the right words, please
« Reply #10 on: October 01, 2012, 02:21:21 PM »
I decided not to say anything. I realized that if I was going to say anything, I should have done it in my reply and in a jokey way and it was just to late to do it after the fact.

I do find the responses here interesting.  I find the attitude that "real" or "normal" women look a certain way to be troubling. And the idea that "real" or "normal" women are not thin and fit is a troubling double standard. And Twik is right, if the poster had used the word "average", I wouldn't even have given it a thought.  But the idea that someone is less of a woman because of their shape, whatever that shape happens to be, is wrong.

I think you're right to let it go, but I understand why it annoyed you.  Implying that any non-average size woman is not a 'real' or 'normal' woman is unacceptable.

RingTailedLemur

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Re: Help me chose the right words, please
« Reply #11 on: October 01, 2012, 02:33:01 PM »
I decided not to say anything. I realized that if I was going to say anything, I should have done it in my reply and in a jokey way and it was just to late to do it after the fact.

I do find the responses here interesting.  I find the attitude that "real" or "normal" women look a certain way to be troubling. And the idea that "real" or "normal" women are not thin and fit is a troubling double standard. And Twik is right, if the poster had used the word "average", I wouldn't even have given it a thought.  But the idea that someone is less of a woman because of their shape, whatever that shape happens to be, is wrong.

I think you're right to let it go, but I understand why it annoyed you.  Implying that any non-average size woman is not a 'real' or 'normal' woman is unacceptable.

But, by dictionary definition, a non-average size woman s not "normal".

Quote
nor·mal/ˈnôrməl/
Adjective: Conforming to a standard; usual, typical, or expected.
Noun: The usual, average, or typical state or condition.

Synonyms:   
adjective.  regular - standard - ordinary - common - usual
noun.  normality - normalcy - perpendicular

It's not a value judgement, nor does it say anything about non-average being "unacceptable".

TurtleDove

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Re: Help me chose the right words, please
« Reply #12 on: October 01, 2012, 02:48:18 PM »
The "real women have curves" thing bothers me also.  It looks like the OP is not going to address it, but if it happens in the future I would jokingly point out that it is offensive to make comparisons between and among people. 

Tabby Uprising

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Re: Help me chose the right words, please
« Reply #13 on: October 01, 2012, 03:27:08 PM »
I'm not a fan of "real women have curves/no curves/antlers/intergalactic space ray guns" statements either.  I do think you did the right thing by overlooking her comment.  It doesn't sound like this is someone you know very well and it could have been a flippant comment, a one-time expression of frustration with her figure/shopping/whatever or what I think, just her way of saying "average". 

Sure she could have just said "average", but we don't always analyze our every word before posting something.  Unless you have more information about her personality or her views on body types in general, I think it's best to give her the benefit of the doubt that she meant absolutely nothing disparaging about it and was trying to give a quick description of her figure. 

Queen of Clubs

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Re: Help me chose the right words, please
« Reply #14 on: October 01, 2012, 03:31:51 PM »
I'm not a fan of "real women have curves/no curves/antlers/intergalactic space ray guns" statements either.  I do think you did the right thing by overlooking her comment.  It doesn't sound like this is someone you know very well and it could have been a flippant comment, a one-time expression of frustration with her figure/shopping/whatever or what I think, just her way of saying "average". 

Sure she could have just said "average", but we don't always analyze our every word before posting something.  Unless you have more information about her personality or her views on body types in general, I think it's best to give her the benefit of the doubt that she meant absolutely nothing disparaging about it and was trying to give a quick description of her figure.

That's what I'd hope too.