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Author Topic: telling people about others' bad behavior  (Read 12792 times)

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Poppea

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Re: telling people about others' bad behavior
« Reply #30 on: April 15, 2013, 09:24:37 PM »
I don't get the "not saying anything".  You said something directly to Carrie.  You said something to the president and to the faculty adviser.  How many people will you need to tell before you have achieved "saying anything"?

This.  I wouldn't approve of her behavior, how I'm flummoxed as to how the chapter adviser is going to have any discussion with your former friend about her behavior in a bathroom.  Ditto the president.  It really seems like you are trying to tell as many people as possible.

It's because she was representing the fraternity when it happened. If we had just been hanging out on a regular day, I would not have told them. However, she embarrassed the fraternity. Maybe that girl complained and we won't be allowed back? Even if she didn't, nobody should be acting badly when they are wearing letters and representing the group. There has been precedent for people getting in trouble for bad behavior while representing the frat before, so there is a good chance they will punish her.

Here's the thing.  If it bothered the person using the bathroom, she could complain.  You complaining to the adviser and president may just look like tattling. They may think you exaggerated the incident.  If the are male they may feel very awkward discussing with a female member of the group how she should react if she feels threatened in a bathroom (that's what I think was going on - unless she is some type of huge trans-phobe).  Discussing the incident makes you look bad.

AllTheThings

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Re: telling people about others' bad behavior
« Reply #31 on: April 15, 2013, 09:26:20 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.

snowdragon

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Re: telling people about others' bad behavior
« Reply #32 on: April 15, 2013, 09:27:24 PM »
I don't get the "not saying anything".  You said somethign directly to Carrie.  You said something to the president and to the faculty advisor.  How many people will you need to tell before you have achieved "saying anything"?

Well personally if it were totally up to me I would buy some commercial time and make use of it  ;)

Realistically of course, sometimes doing what I want to is not a good idea and can cause more problems and drama. Really my concern is that people will obviously know something is up. Someone is going to ask me questions about why we aren't friends. I do not like to keep secrets from my friends if I can avoid it. I'm also afraid that they will think I am being a jerk for no reason if they don't know what happened. If Carrie hadn't been quite as much of a scumbag I might be more inclined to let it go, but this was too horrifying. I'm also afraid that not saying anything when asked directly will be like protecting Carrie and her behavior. But on the other hand, the problem is past and nobody is in any immediate danger from Carrie's actions, so telling people who ask might cause too much trouble. So it's a real dilemma.

This is obvious.  It seems to me that you are trying very hard to show just how very very openminded you are by the way you are broadcasting the incident.

I could respond to this statement by telling you all about my multitude of transgender friends and how this is a big deal for me and my number one cause, but it would not by true. I have barely any transgender people at all (that I know of) and I concentrate on other social issues besides the right of transgender people to use the right bathroom. I just think it is really bad to yell and scream and insult a complete stranger who is only trying to clean their hands. I don't think you have to be that open minded to have a problem with that.

Would I like to punish her? Yeah, of course! Whenever someone does something to purposely make me extremely upset I would love to tell everyone all about how awful this person is and how we should all tell them off for being so mean. I'm a human being, and I don't think this is an unrealistic thing to want. Do I actually do this? Of course not, that's crazy! The commercial thing was a joke, I'm only undecided on whether I should tell people, my good friends, who will actively come to me and want to know what happened with Carrie. I can understand why this would be a bad idea. But that won't stop me from wanting it, or possibly having some ethical issue with not telling people.

I would appreciate if instead of making wild assumptions about my thoughts and reflections on the situation, you would instead focus on the course of action I should take, which is after all, what etiquette is concerned with, as well as the question I actually asked.

We are. We are telling you to leave it alone and why. You are just having issues with the idea that you are coming off very badly with how you are projecting yourself.

AllTheThings

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Re: telling people about others' bad behavior
« Reply #33 on: April 15, 2013, 09:29:49 PM »
I don't get the "not saying anything".  You said something directly to Carrie.  You said something to the president and to the faculty adviser.  How many people will you need to tell before you have achieved "saying anything"?

This.  I wouldn't approve of her behavior, how I'm flummoxed as to how the chapter adviser is going to have any discussion with your former friend about her behavior in a bathroom.  Ditto the president.  It really seems like you are trying to tell as many people as possible.

It's because she was representing the fraternity when it happened. If we had just been hanging out on a regular day, I would not have told them. However, she embarrassed the fraternity. Maybe that girl complained and we won't be allowed back? Even if she didn't, nobody should be acting badly when they are wearing letters and representing the group. There has been precedent for people getting in trouble for bad behavior while representing the frat before, so there is a good chance they will punish her.

Here's the thing.  If it bothered the person using the bathroom, she could complain.  You complaining to the adviser and president may just look like tattling. They may think you exaggerated the incident.  If the are male they may feel very awkward discussing with a female member of the group how she should react if she feels threatened in a bathroom (that's what I think was going on - unless she is some type of huge trans-phobe).  Discussing the incident makes you look bad.

I think she is a huge transphobe. The girl wasn't doing anything, she barely even looked at us. And if she really felt threatened she could have just left, as Carrie was done anyway. I don't know if the girl did complain, I don't really care. Either way, you don't behave like that when representing a group you are a part of. Neither of the told me to forget about the incident and not bother them with it, so I can only assume I did the right thing there. I get why telling my friends is a bad idea, but someone in authority did need to be told she was acting this way.

baglady

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Re: telling people about others' bad behavior
« Reply #34 on: April 15, 2013, 09:31:01 PM »
I can understand why at the time you felt it necessary to tell the president and adviser -- because Carrie's behavior had the potential to make the entire fraternity look bad. In hindsight, though, that probably was not going to be an issue, because even though it was a member of X fraternity who insulted the woman, it was also a member of X fraternity -- you -- who shushed her and apologized to the woman. I'm guessing your actions spoke louder to her than Carrie's words.

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. Fortunately, that can be unlearned.

As far as explaining why you and Carrie aren't friends anymore, I'd tell people "We had a falling-out/difference of opinion/don't see eye to eye on things that are important to me. Let's leave it at that." If Carrie is a true bigot and not just ignorant, she will show her true colors to everyone else eventually; it's not your job to point them out.
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Poppea

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Re: telling people about others' bad behavior
« Reply #35 on: April 15, 2013, 09:32:06 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 - not sure about service fraternities).

« Last Edit: April 15, 2013, 09:34:38 PM by Poppea »

AllTheThings

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Re: telling people about others' bad behavior
« Reply #36 on: April 15, 2013, 09:32:22 PM »
I don't get the "not saying anything".  You said somethign directly to Carrie.  You said something to the president and to the faculty advisor.  How many people will you need to tell before you have achieved "saying anything"?

Well personally if it were totally up to me I would buy some commercial time and make use of it  ;)

Realistically of course, sometimes doing what I want to is not a good idea and can cause more problems and drama. Really my concern is that people will obviously know something is up. Someone is going to ask me questions about why we aren't friends. I do not like to keep secrets from my friends if I can avoid it. I'm also afraid that they will think I am being a jerk for no reason if they don't know what happened. If Carrie hadn't been quite as much of a scumbag I might be more inclined to let it go, but this was too horrifying. I'm also afraid that not saying anything when asked directly will be like protecting Carrie and her behavior. But on the other hand, the problem is past and nobody is in any immediate danger from Carrie's actions, so telling people who ask might cause too much trouble. So it's a real dilemma.

This is obvious.  It seems to me that you are trying very hard to show just how very very openminded you are by the way you are broadcasting the incident.

I could respond to this statement by telling you all about my multitude of transgender friends and how this is a big deal for me and my number one cause, but it would not by true. I have barely any transgender people at all (that I know of) and I concentrate on other social issues besides the right of transgender people to use the right bathroom. I just think it is really bad to yell and scream and insult a complete stranger who is only trying to clean their hands. I don't think you have to be that open minded to have a problem with that.

Would I like to punish her? Yeah, of course! Whenever someone does something to purposely make me extremely upset I would love to tell everyone all about how awful this person is and how we should all tell them off for being so mean. I'm a human being, and I don't think this is an unrealistic thing to want. Do I actually do this? Of course not, that's crazy! The commercial thing was a joke, I'm only undecided on whether I should tell people, my good friends, who will actively come to me and want to know what happened with Carrie. I can understand why this would be a bad idea. But that won't stop me from wanting it, or possibly having some ethical issue with not telling people.

I would appreciate if instead of making wild assumptions about my thoughts and reflections on the situation, you would instead focus on the course of action I should take, which is after all, what etiquette is concerned with, as well as the question I actually asked.

We are. We are telling you to leave it alone and why. You are just having issues with the idea that you are coming off very badly with how you are projecting yourself.

And I already said that I understand why telling me friends wouldn't be a good idea. I am only being honest about my feelings, feelings I have every right to have. I don't think they are unreasonable feelings. Haven't you ever felt like you wanted to punish someone for doing wrong even though you understood that you should leave it alone? It's a human reaction, and I cannot change it, as I cannot just switch my feelings on and off.

AllTheThings

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Re: telling people about others' bad behavior
« Reply #37 on: April 15, 2013, 09:34:00 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  :(

Poppea

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Re: telling people about others' bad behavior
« Reply #38 on: April 15, 2013, 09:37:35 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.

Slartibartfast

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Re: telling people about others' bad behavior
« Reply #39 on: April 15, 2013, 09:38:50 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.)

AllTheThings

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Re: telling people about others' bad behavior
« Reply #40 on: April 15, 2013, 09:43:14 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.

AllTheThings

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Re: telling people about others' bad behavior
« Reply #41 on: April 15, 2013, 09:45:52 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  :(

Poppea

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Re: telling people about others' bad behavior
« Reply #42 on: April 15, 2013, 09:49:11 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. 

LadyL

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Re: telling people about others' bad behavior
« Reply #43 on: April 15, 2013, 09:50:21 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.

AllTheThings

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Re: telling people about others' bad behavior
« Reply #44 on: April 15, 2013, 09:51:03 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.


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