Author Topic: Not-So-Kind Interest - Fashion Police Attack  (Read 5657 times)

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Softly Spoken

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Not-So-Kind Interest - Fashion Police Attack
« on: November 28, 2013, 03:41:21 PM »
I had to share this and I guess it fits here the best.

I was downtown yesterday after an appointment waiting to catch the bus home. This particular main street where the bus stops is always filled with very...ummmm...colorful...individuals.  ::)

As it was rush hour I was waiting with a sizable crowd for the bus to unload when one such individual behind me decided to strike up a conversation with the young lady in front of her and to my left. The "conversation" went something like this:

Nosy Older Busybody: *very loudly* "My Deity do you realize how short your skirt is? Does you mother let you go out of the house like that?"
Twenty-something-looking Girl: *cool stare and deadpan* "Yes."
N.O.B: *continues loudly* "Why would you wear a skirt like that? Don't you know what happens to girls who wear short skirts like that? You'll be lucky if you aren't raped and killed wearing that skirt!"
Me:  :o*muttering out loud to no one in particular* "Oh. my. Deity."
Skirt Girl:  ::) :-X*ignores ranting NOB because you don't engage the crazy*
Annoyed Man Behind Me: "Hey back off lady, her skirt isn't that short. I've seen worse." (My reaction to the last line:  ???)
N.O.B: *continues rant about short skirts leading to rape and murder in some alley somewhere, but now directs ire at man*
Annoyed Man: *realizes he broke the 'don't-engage-crazy' rule* "Okay whatever I'm not going to debate you about it." (My thought: Because of course the apparel of a complete stranger should be loudly debated by two other complete strangers!  ::))

I did not witness the end of this encounter, because I paid my fare and fled to the back of the bus knowing that N.O.B. would most likely sit up front. If she had continued I think the bus driver would have thrown her off.
I found it interesting that the man chose to defend against what the woman was saying about the girls skirt, instead of calling her on her right to say it. I would have thought "mind your own business" would be a more accurate response than "the unsolicited opinion you have chosen to inflict on a total stranger happens to be inaccurate." I don't see how he thought the best way to diffuse the situation was to somehow change the woman's opinion of short skirts. I think it was a roundabout way of telling her to hush the blank up, i.e. you are wrong = there is nothing more to be said/end of 'discussion.'

You know, people complain about how we are all isolated and plugged into our devices everywhere we go, but I'm not completely against it if it lowers your chances of having to deal with scenarios like the one I just described. Luckily, when I don't have my earbuds in I can rely on the guidance of eHell. ;)
"... for there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so."
-William Shakespeare

"We find comfort among those who agree with us - growth among those who don't."  ~Frank A. Clark

Iris

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Re: Not-So-Kind Interest - Fashion Police Attack
« Reply #1 on: November 28, 2013, 03:54:05 PM »
I see your point about the man and what he said, but if I'm honest I suspect that in the same situation I would probably have said something like "Leave her alone, I think she looks lovely!" And then realised 4 hours later that I was just as rude.

So I guess I'm willing to assume his *intentions* were good, but execution was poor. If nothing else at least he drew focus onto himself.

How awful for the poor young girl though. What a dreadful woman to attack her like that.
"Can't do anything with children, can you?" the woman said.

Poirot thought you could, but forebore to say so.

Softly Spoken

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Re: Not-So-Kind Interest - Fashion Police Attack
« Reply #2 on: November 28, 2013, 04:40:54 PM »
Oh I agree Iris. I think he was just trying to diffuse the situation as best as he knew how.

I sometimes find it frustrating that it is apparently rude to tell people to mind their own business when that is exactly what they should be doing. Like if he or even the skirt girl had told her to MYOB, she would have been all "how dare you etc. etc. and free speech / it's a free country yadda yadda."

It doesn't seem to be on the approved list of eHell phrases but how do other people feel about a statement like "I don't see as that is any of your business"? Because sometimes it really really isn't!
"... for there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so."
-William Shakespeare

"We find comfort among those who agree with us - growth among those who don't."  ~Frank A. Clark

Pen^2

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Re: Not-So-Kind Interest - Fashion Police Attack
« Reply #3 on: November 28, 2013, 05:06:54 PM »
I agree with PPs. He probably thought, "This nasty so-and-so is being horribly rude! We all have to suffer it, including that young lady!" and did his best on the spot to try to diffuse it. It didn't work, and in the end he was rude (but far better than the nasty so-and-so, in my book), but I think the intention was in the right place. As the young lady seemed to already realise, anything she said, no matter how sound, would have been met with crazy yabbering. The man realised this too late.

"So kind of you to take an interest" can be quite encouraging to some people. I think "I don't see as that is any of your business" is more of a "leave me alone," but I'm not sure if it's etiquette-approved.

BeagleMommy

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Re: Not-So-Kind Interest - Fashion Police Attack
« Reply #4 on: December 05, 2013, 12:03:23 PM »
I agree that the man was trying to diffuse the situation, but he may have made it worse by creating a debate.

The girl in the skirt could have responded "I'll give that all the consideration it deserves."

RooRoo

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Re: Not-So-Kind Interest - Fashion Police Attack
« Reply #5 on: December 05, 2013, 09:03:59 PM »
"How kind of you to take an interest" is not said as if you think the person was being kind to take an interest! It is not even said in a neutral tone of voice. It is said very coldly, with raised eyebrows if possible. One then turns away before they can answer. Essentially, it is an etiquette-approved way of saying "Mind your own [expletive] business, you [expletive]!"

Thanks to this board, I have learned that having good manners does not mean having to be nice to absolutely everybody, no matter how awful they are. It just means that we do not descend into using foul language when we are forced to deal with bacon-fed knaves.*

*I chose that phrase; it's not a result of the filter!  ;D
"Someday we must write a book of Etiquette for sensible people," said Mrs. Morland, "though apart from a few rules it really boils down to an educated mind and a kind heart." ~ Angela Thirkell, Never Too Late

Softly Spoken

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Re: Not-So-Kind Interest - Fashion Police Attack
« Reply #6 on: December 06, 2013, 12:20:17 AM »
"How kind of you to take an interest" is not said as if you think the person was being kind to take an interest! It is not even said in a neutral tone of voice. It is said very coldly, with raised eyebrows if possible. One then turns away before they can answer. Essentially, it is an etiquette-approved way of saying "Mind your own [expletive] business, you [expletive]!"

Thanks to this board, I have learned that having good manners does not mean having to be nice to absolutely everybody, no matter how awful they are. It just means that we do not descend into using foul language when we are forced to deal with bacon-fed knaves.*

*I chose that phrase; it's not a result of the filter!  ;D

Ah yes I forgot about tone. Not that rude people are masters at recognizing nuance.  ::)
Your comment sort of reminds me of the saying about the definition of diplomacy as the art of telling someone to go to (eHell) in such a way that they look forward to taking the trip.  ;D There is something wickedly satisfying about occasionally using the strategic position of the high road to drop a karmic water balloon on someone... >:D
"... for there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so."
-William Shakespeare

"We find comfort among those who agree with us - growth among those who don't."  ~Frank A. Clark

TootsNYC

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Re: Not-So-Kind Interest - Fashion Police Attack
« Reply #7 on: December 09, 2013, 10:03:35 PM »
Quote
. I would have thought "mind your own business" would be a more accurate response than "the unsolicited opinion you have chosen to inflict on a total stranger happens to be inaccurate." I don't see how he thought the best way to diffuse the situation was to somehow change the woman's opinion of short skirts. I think it was a roundabout way of telling her to hush the blank up, i.e. you are wrong = there is nothing more to be said/end of 'discussion.'

He was thinking on his feet. I think he did fine.

Bales

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Re: Not-So-Kind Interest - Fashion Police Attack
« Reply #8 on: December 10, 2013, 01:06:02 PM »
Would it have been rude if he struck up a conversation with the NOB?  Something along the lines of:

NOB: "blah blah blah, you'll be lucky if you're not raped and killed wearing that skirt...."
Annoyed man:  "That's so great of you to show your concern.  You know what else leads to murder? Making unsolicited and rude comments about someone's attire.  Just wanted to warn you like you're trying to warn this nice young lady."

Ok, maybe that would be rude, but it would have been nice to see!   >:D

JoieGirl7

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Re: Not-So-Kind Interest - Fashion Police Attack
« Reply #9 on: December 10, 2013, 02:14:28 PM »
Sounds like no one really needed to say anything at all.  The girl herself was handling it just fine by not reacting to it.

Allyson

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Re: Not-So-Kind Interest - Fashion Police Attack
« Reply #10 on: December 12, 2013, 11:25:43 PM »
I "love" how people seriously think that certain outfits actually make one more likely to be the victim of a crime. Not only is this offensive, it's also statistically inaccurate. Anecdotal evidence (as in 'me and people I've talked to about this issue') show it doesn't even make one less likely to get harassed in public (except apparently by overexcited bus stop ladies..). I have been catcalled when wearing a huge winter coat and ignored when dressed in club clothes.

Lula

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Re: Not-So-Kind Interest - Fashion Police Attack
« Reply #11 on: December 21, 2013, 08:54:47 AM »
But wearing short skirts IS dangerous.  You risk being assailed by nosy grannies and their wandering opinions.

Sounds to me like somebody needs to lecture this busybody about the legitimate danger of picking fights with strangers at a city bus stop.  One of these days she's going to provoke the wrong person.