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Reply to Hannah

Posted by coral on November 9, 2000, at 8:08:18

I guess I should just be a good little lump (hey maybe a coal lump?) and get myself off this thread and cease being uppity and stop complaining and start myself a separate but equal thread. But I think it's important to speak up and support people who are hurt by this kind of thing. Abuse of women includes verbal abuse and being couched in humor doesn't change that. I don't think you have to hurt other people to cheer yourself up. I don't think respecting other people is political correctness, I think it's treating people the way you would want to be treated.

Dear Hannah,

May we please keep this discussion in a separate thread?

Your statement, "I don't think you have to hurt other people to cheer yourself up," is confusing to me. Please clarify if this is a generic statement or if you are directing that statement to me personally.

I find it disingenous to complain about comments directed toward women (at the request of a woman!) but not respond to the comments directed toward men. Concurrently, it is disturbing to see things taken out of context. Obviously, I don't know your background, but I do know mine. I was raped at four, and as an adult female, suffered both physical and psychological assaults, and speak as a woman who has suffered abuse.

It would be all too easy to lock into positions which wouldn't be beneficial to understanding each other's points of view. I agree with you that abuse under the guise of humor is equally hurtful, but I disagree that what was said was abusive. If I may give an example, a few years ago, I was in a store and a man whistled sharply. It startled me, and I looked at him in surprise. He smiled sheepishly, and said, "Sorry. I was just whistling for my wife." My immediate and internal reaction was "WHAT???? Like some dog???" I must've conveyed my feelings by the look on my face because he very quickly explained it was how they found each other when they were shopping. No sooner had he spoken than a sharp whistle resonated. His wife was in the next aisle, and they met, hugged and kissed. What I'd thought was an insulting action was really quite a clever way of finding each other in a crowded store, and it's a technique my husband and I have adopted.






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