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Author Topic: telling people about others' bad behavior  (Read 12808 times)

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Poppea

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Re: telling people about others' bad behavior
« Reply #45 on: April 15, 2013, 09:51:15 PM »
Sad but true: Carrie's reaction is one that transgender folk encounter all too often. Usually it isn't the malice- or hatred-motivated kind of bigotry as it is pure ignorance.

This is exactly why I think you shouldn't tell anyone - there's a good chance that other people, people whom you admire and you consider friends, would feel that Carrie was right to be upset.  They may or may not believe she was right to verbally assault the woman, but you can't assume everyone feels as strongly as you do about the wrongness of her actions.  If you tell anyone (other than the two frat members you had to let in on the incident), you run the risk of finding out your friends hold the same opinion Carrie does on transgendered people.  Is that really something you want to sever friendships over?  It's one thing to say "I couldn't be friends with someone who believes X," but usually that's tempered by not actively challenging people about their opinions on X to begin with.

(To tie in another thread: I'm intensely uncomfortable knowing when my daughters are at someone's home who keeps a gun there, or when I am riding in a car where there's a gun in the glove compartment two feet from me.  I live in Alabama.  My solution to this is to not ask, not bring up guns, and adjust my behavior accordingly.)

That is a good point. It does make me sad though. I think if Carrie had just been awkward and uncomfortable I would have let it go or maybe tried to talk to her about it. As far as I know, none of my friends would agree with her actions, but then again, apparently I don't know everyone as well as I should like  :(

Whoa!  You would have lit it go if she was just uncomfortable and awkward?  Its not really your place to be judging her like that.

Poppea

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Re: telling people about others' bad behavior
« Reply #46 on: April 15, 2013, 09:52:32 PM »
Well if you found out about the bad behavior/punishment of others when it was handled through official channels before, why not entrust it to the official channels again?  If they decide to punish her and do it in a way that is "on the record" then her infractions will be made known to everyone through the frat authorities.  If they decide that isn't how they want to approach it then you making it public might garner a bit of disfavor toward you.

That's why I figured I should tell the president and advisor. I don't know the specifics of what happened to people who got punished, except for the incidents I was present for. They don't tell people officially what brothers were punished for.

In many greek organizations a member telling tales(true of not) about another member would be hauled in for a talk with the standard chairman.  Check your handbook, you may be violating rules by discussing this with outsiders.  (Disclaimer - I know this is absolutely true of most IFC and Panhellenic groups.

We aren't actually Greek, it's just a name. We were once, but the group lost its charter due to people behaving badly  :(

You probably still have a handbook.  If there isn't a handbook full of rules, then Carrie may not have broken any rules.  If there is, you probably aren't supposed to talk about other members.

Actually, she did. No swearing in letters first of all. True, if that had been the only problem, I'm almost certain I would have let it go. We also have slightly more vague statements about how we have to be a good representative of the frat and school, as we are a community service group, after all. I don't believe there is any rule against what I am doing, as I have not told you about any group rituals, neither am I on executive board, so I am not bound by any of their rules. I have never heard of any rule that says we cannot discuss a group member, not to mention none of you have any idea who this person is.

I wasn't talking about your discussing it here.  No one knows who you are or what your organization is called.  I was referencing your desire to tell all your mutual friends about it.

Any group would have a very hard time discussing this with Carrie.  All Carrie has to do is say she was frightened by a man in the ladies room.  Incident over.

Hypothetically speaking, I would of course, simply be able to reply that she had lied.

It may be the truth. 

AllTheThings

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Re: telling people about others' bad behavior
« Reply #47 on: April 15, 2013, 09:53:43 PM »
Well if you found out about the bad behavior/punishment of others when it was handled through official channels before, why not entrust it to the official channels again?  If they decide to punish her and do it in a way that is "on the record" then her infractions will be made known to everyone through the frat authorities.  If they decide that isn't how they want to approach it then you making it public might garner a bit of disfavor toward you.

That's why I figured I should tell the president and advisor. I don't know the specifics of what happened to people who got punished, except for the incidents I was present for. They don't tell people officially what brothers were punished for.

In many greek organizations a member telling tales(true of not) about another member would be hauled in for a talk with the standard chairman.  Check your handbook, you may be violating rules by discussing this with outsiders.  (Disclaimer - I know this is absolutely true of most IFC and Panhellenic groups.

We aren't actually Greek, it's just a name. We were once, but the group lost its charter due to people behaving badly  :(

You probably still have a handbook.  If there isn't a handbook full of rules, then Carrie may not have broken any rules.  If there is, you probably aren't supposed to talk about other members.

Actually, she did. No swearing in letters first of all. True, if that had been the only problem, I'm almost certain I would have let it go. We also have slightly more vague statements about how we have to be a good representative of the frat and school, as we are a community service group, after all. I don't believe there is any rule against what I am doing, as I have not told you about any group rituals, neither am I on executive board, so I am not bound by any of their rules. I have never heard of any rule that says we cannot discuss a group member, not to mention none of you have any idea who this person is.

I wasn't talking about your discussing it here.  No one knows who you are or what your organization is called.  I was referencing your desire to tell all your mutual friends about it.

Any group would have a very hard time discussing this with Carrie.  All Carrie has to do is say she was frightened by a man in the ladies room.  Incident over.

Hypothetically speaking, I would of course, simply be able to reply that she had lied.

It may be the truth.

Very, well. Think what you would like

Slartibartfast

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Re: telling people about others' bad behavior
« Reply #48 on: April 15, 2013, 09:57:21 PM »
Sad but true: Carrie's reaction is one that transgender folk encounter all too often. Usually it isn't the malice- or hatred-motivated kind of bigotry as it is pure ignorance.

This is exactly why I think you shouldn't tell anyone - there's a good chance that other people, people whom you admire and you consider friends, would feel that Carrie was right to be upset.  They may or may not believe she was right to verbally assault the woman, but you can't assume everyone feels as strongly as you do about the wrongness of her actions.  If you tell anyone (other than the two frat members you had to let in on the incident), you run the risk of finding out your friends hold the same opinion Carrie does on transgendered people.  Is that really something you want to sever friendships over?  It's one thing to say "I couldn't be friends with someone who believes X," but usually that's tempered by not actively challenging people about their opinions on X to begin with.

(To tie in another thread: I'm intensely uncomfortable knowing when my daughters are at someone's home who keeps a gun there, or when I am riding in a car where there's a gun in the glove compartment two feet from me.  I live in Alabama.  My solution to this is to not ask, not bring up guns, and adjust my behavior accordingly.)

That is a good point. It does make me sad though. I think if Carrie had just been awkward and uncomfortable I would have let it go or maybe tried to talk to her about it. As far as I know, none of my friends would agree with her actions, but then again, apparently I don't know everyone as well as I should like  :(

Whoa!  You would have lit it go if she was just uncomfortable and awkward?  Its not really your place to be judging her like that.

Not sure I understand what you mean by "judging her," here.  There's nothing wrong with being awkward and uncomfortable when being faced with a new situation, especially since it's rare to see transgendered people unless you live in a particularly trans-friendly place.  It sounds like AllTheThings was specifically saying she wouldn't judge Carrie if she were merely awkward about the interaction.  AllTheThings's frustration is because Carrie went well beyond "awkward" and into "aggressive, offensive, and rude."

AllTheThings

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Re: telling people about others' bad behavior
« Reply #49 on: April 15, 2013, 10:03:51 PM »
Sad but true: Carrie's reaction is one that transgender folk encounter all too often. Usually it isn't the malice- or hatred-motivated kind of bigotry as it is pure ignorance.

This is exactly why I think you shouldn't tell anyone - there's a good chance that other people, people whom you admire and you consider friends, would feel that Carrie was right to be upset.  They may or may not believe she was right to verbally assault the woman, but you can't assume everyone feels as strongly as you do about the wrongness of her actions.  If you tell anyone (other than the two frat members you had to let in on the incident), you run the risk of finding out your friends hold the same opinion Carrie does on transgendered people.  Is that really something you want to sever friendships over?  It's one thing to say "I couldn't be friends with someone who believes X," but usually that's tempered by not actively challenging people about their opinions on X to begin with.

(To tie in another thread: I'm intensely uncomfortable knowing when my daughters are at someone's home who keeps a gun there, or when I am riding in a car where there's a gun in the glove compartment two feet from me.  I live in Alabama.  My solution to this is to not ask, not bring up guns, and adjust my behavior accordingly.)

That is a good point. It does make me sad though. I think if Carrie had just been awkward and uncomfortable I would have let it go or maybe tried to talk to her about it. As far as I know, none of my friends would agree with her actions, but then again, apparently I don't know everyone as well as I should like  :(

Whoa!  You would have lit it go if she was just uncomfortable and awkward?  Its not really your place to be judging her like that.

Not sure I understand what you mean by "judging her," here.  There's nothing wrong with being awkward and uncomfortable when being faced with a new situation, especially since it's rare to see transgendered people unless you live in a particularly trans-friendly place.  It sounds like AllTheThings was specifically saying she wouldn't judge Carrie if she were merely awkward about the interaction.  AllTheThings's frustration is because Carrie went well beyond "awkward" and into "aggressive, offensive, and rude."

That's it exactly. If she had just been awkwardly staring at the woman, I would have taken her from the bathroom and explained that I understood seeing a transperson was unusual and new for her, but that for next time she should try to play it cool and everyone would be able to go on about their business. I don't expect anyone to be automatically comfortable with everything, but after what happened I was no longer willing to work with her on this.

Poppea

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Re: telling people about others' bad behavior
« Reply #50 on: April 15, 2013, 10:07:27 PM »
Sad but true: Carrie's reaction is one that transgender folk encounter all too often. Usually it isn't the malice- or hatred-motivated kind of bigotry as it is pure ignorance.

This is exactly why I think you shouldn't tell anyone - there's a good chance that other people, people whom you admire and you consider friends, would feel that Carrie was right to be upset.  They may or may not believe she was right to verbally assault the woman, but you can't assume everyone feels as strongly as you do about the wrongness of her actions.  If you tell anyone (other than the two frat members you had to let in on the incident), you run the risk of finding out your friends hold the same opinion Carrie does on transgendered people.  Is that really something you want to sever friendships over?  It's one thing to say "I couldn't be friends with someone who believes X," but usually that's tempered by not actively challenging people about their opinions on X to begin with.

(To tie in another thread: I'm intensely uncomfortable knowing when my daughters are at someone's home who keeps a gun there, or when I am riding in a car where there's a gun in the glove compartment two feet from me.  I live in Alabama.  My solution to this is to not ask, not bring up guns, and adjust my behavior accordingly.)

That is a good point. It does make me sad though. I think if Carrie had just been awkward and uncomfortable I would have let it go or maybe tried to talk to her about it. As far as I know, none of my friends would agree with her actions, but then again, apparently I don't know everyone as well as I should like  :(

Whoa!  You would have lit it go if she was just uncomfortable and awkward?  Its not really your place to be judging her like that.

Not sure I understand what you mean by "judging her," here.  There's nothing wrong with being awkward and uncomfortable when being faced with a new situation, especially since it's rare to see transgendered people unless you live in a particularly trans-friendly place.  It sounds like AllTheThings was specifically saying she wouldn't judge Carrie if she were merely awkward about the interaction.  AllTheThings's frustration is because Carrie went well beyond "awkward" and into "aggressive, offensive, and rude."

If one of my friends is awkward and uncomfortable, its not my place to "let it go".  How someone feels in a new or uncomfortable situation is not my place to judge or lecture.   Now, what Carrie did do is certainly worth judging, though I think spreading the story around to punish Carrie may backfire on the OP.

EllenS

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Re: telling people about others' bad behavior
« Reply #51 on: April 15, 2013, 10:09:37 PM »
Having a screaming confrontation with anyone in a public place is rude and crazy behavior.  Yes, it reflected poorly on Carrie and on your fraternity, because she is acting like a crazy person.

But I'm getting a little confused by the gender stuff here.  In the OP, you stated that the person who Carrie screamed at was "either a trans woman or a very mannish-looking cis woman"   Then you start talking about trans-gender issues - but you don't actually know that this was a trans-person at all.  I am also confused that you refer to yourself and Carrie as "brothers" but you were in a women's bathroom?  And she was upset because she thought there was a man in the bathroom?  Was it a co-ed bathroom?  Are you a girl or a boy, yourself? (cis or otherwise)

I am seriously not being snarky, I'm confused.

GSNW

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Re: telling people about others' bad behavior
« Reply #52 on: April 15, 2013, 10:13:41 PM »
I'm assuming OP is in a co-ed fraternity.  In such organizations, male and female members are often all referred to as brothers.


AllTheThings

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Re: telling people about others' bad behavior
« Reply #53 on: April 15, 2013, 10:14:17 PM »
Having a screaming confrontation with anyone in a public place is rude and crazy behavior.  Yes, it reflected poorly on Carrie and on your fraternity, because she is acting like a crazy person.

But I'm getting a little confused by the gender stuff here.  In the OP, you stated that the person who Carrie screamed at was "either a trans woman or a very mannish-looking cis woman"   Then you start talking about trans-gender issues - but you don't actually know that this was a trans-person at all.  I am also confused that you refer to yourself and Carrie as "brothers" but you were in a women's bathroom?  And she was upset because she thought there was a man in the bathroom?  Was it a co-ed bathroom?  Are you a girl or a boy, yourself? (cis or otherwise)

I am seriously not being snarky, I'm confused.

Sorry about the confusion. I am not 100% sure that this person was a trans woman. I am almost sure that she was, but since doing genitalia checks on strangers is generally considered creepy, I'm not sure, and I figured I'd allow for the possibility of either. Either way, Carrie clearly assumed the woman was trans, so I think the issues are still valid. My fault for using the term "brothers" All members of the frat are brothers regardless of gender. Carrie and I are females, we were in a female bathroom.

AllTheThings

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Re: telling people about others' bad behavior
« Reply #54 on: April 15, 2013, 10:14:41 PM »
I'm assuming OP is in a co-ed fraternity.  In such organizations, male and female members are often all referred to as brothers.

Yes, funnily enough, we are mostly female.

GLaDOS

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Re: telling people about others' bad behavior
« Reply #55 on: April 15, 2013, 10:22:46 PM »
Quote
I think spreading the story around to punish Carrie may backfire on the OP.

It seems more like the OP is wondering what's an appropriate thing to say when her bestie sidles up her and asks "Hey, allthethings! What happened with you and Carrie? Things are like... weird between you two. Dish!" rather than trying to actively shame or punish Carrie for her incredibly cruel and ignorant behavior to some random person trying to wash her hands.

Honestly, OP, if you go with "I refuse to discuss this at all with anyone so stop asking me about this", it could step on some toes, because it gives the impression that the person asking isn't close enough to merit sharing what happened.

I wouldn't go into excruciating detail or dioramas with sock puppets, but I think something like "We don't hold the same view on things and we've drifted" with a shrug, and then some beandip, it might help smooth the waters. If they're a close, trusted friend who wouldn't turn and retell the story to all and sundry, I don't see the problem with "She might have been caught off guard, but she said some really cruel things to and about a stranger  and it left a bad taste in my mouth"  and leave it at that.

There's Science to do!

AllTheThings

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Re: telling people about others' bad behavior
« Reply #56 on: April 15, 2013, 10:29:27 PM »
Quote
I think spreading the story around to punish Carrie may backfire on the OP.

It seems more like the OP is wondering what's an appropriate thing to say when her bestie sidles up her and asks "Hey, allthethings! What happened with you and Carrie? Things are like... weird between you two. Dish!" rather than trying to actively shame or punish Carrie for her incredibly cruel and ignorant behavior to some random person trying to wash her hands.

Honestly, OP, if you go with "I refuse to discuss this at all with anyone so stop asking me about this", it could step on some toes, because it gives the impression that the person asking isn't close enough to merit sharing what happened.

I wouldn't go into excruciating detail or dioramas with sock puppets, but I think something like "We don't hold the same view on things and we've drifted" with a shrug, and then some beandip, it might help smooth the waters. If they're a close, trusted friend who wouldn't turn and retell the story to all and sundry, I don't see the problem with "She might have been caught off guard, but she said some really cruel things to and about a stranger  and it left a bad taste in my mouth"  and leave it at that.

Too late, it's happening  :)


Thanks, I'm still trying to work out whether are certain people who can be told a bit more than just that we had a disagreement. I think a lot of people would be able to accept that well enough, but there are some really good friends who would know we had had a major blowout even if I was vague about it.

LifeOnPluto

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Re: telling people about others' bad behavior
« Reply #57 on: April 15, 2013, 10:39:16 PM »
I am baffled by some of the responses suggesting that the OP is kicking up too much of a fuss over this. She seems to be tempering her strong feelings with a genuine desire to do what is right per etiquette. It's possible to *want* to shout to the rooftops about it when you see someone's ugly side, but choose to act with restraint instead. Carrie seems like a piece of work - yelling at a stranger and then muttering that they are a "freak" is impolite however you cut it. I am not sure why people are defending her by suggesting that she felt threatened (then why initiate conflict with the 'threatening' stranger?) or that the OP should keep mum on the whole issue lest she find out other friends agree with Carrie. I would rather know that my friends have prejudices incompatible with my views sooner than later.

I vote for a combination of 2 and 3 - have a somewhat vague line ready like "Carrie and I don't see eye to eye on some issues" and consider divulging what the issue was if the person asking is a close friend.

This. I wouldn't volunteer the information unasked, but if someone DID ask, I'd simply tell them Carrie and I have some differing values. And yes, for a very close friend I would give a brief account of what happened in the bathroom.

Starchasm

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Re: telling people about others' bad behavior
« Reply #58 on: April 15, 2013, 10:47:39 PM »
I am baffled by some of the responses suggesting that the OP is kicking up too much of a fuss over this. She seems to be tempering her strong feelings with a genuine desire to do what is right per etiquette. It's possible to *want* to shout to the rooftops about it when you see someone's ugly side, but choose to act with restraint instead. Carrie seems like a piece of work - yelling at a stranger and then muttering that they are a "freak" is impolite however you cut it. I am not sure why people are defending her by suggesting that she felt threatened (then why initiate conflict with the 'threatening' stranger?) or that the OP should keep mum on the whole issue lest she find out other friends agree with Carrie. I would rather know that my friends have prejudices incompatible with my views sooner than later.

I vote for a combination of 2 and 3 - have a somewhat vague line ready like "Carrie and I don't see eye to eye on some issues" and consider divulging what the issue was if the person asking is a close friend.

This. I wouldn't volunteer the information unasked, but if someone DID ask, I'd simply tell them Carrie and I have some differing values. And yes, for a very close friend I would give a brief account of what happened in the bathroom.

I agree.  Particularly since Carrie has NO IDEA that the person in the bathroom wasn't a cis woman.  She has such a huge problem with transgendered people that she's willing to shriek epithets at someone who may just be a woman with a glandular disorder. (Like my cousin).

misha412

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Re: telling people about others' bad behavior
« Reply #59 on: April 15, 2013, 10:54:21 PM »
I see no issues with what the OP has done so far.

She and Carrie were representing their fraternity at another college's fraternity. They were wearing letters which means they were officially representing and under the group's expected conduct. When Carrie reacted as she did, OP hustled her out of the situation. Afterwards, she reported the incident to two people in charge of the group. That is all standard procedure in many social organizations when someone does not represent the group in the best way.

There is no saying anything will be said or done about the incident. But, if the other group decided to file a formal complaint with the OP's fraternity, the people in charge will have a heads-up. If they received a complaint about Carrie and had no idea it was coming, the fallout might be worse.

To the OP: I would vote for #3 with a dash of #2 only for your closest friends. And keep the #2 to a brief summary and do not go into horrific detail. In fact, try to avoid #2 unless you trust someone implicitly.



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