These are comments by Saoili and The_L on the post “How Not to Hit on People“.
I agree here: “The complete strangers who feel the need to compliment my ass every fucking time I’m in girl-drag? Not socially awkward people making a mistake.”
But not here: “All of those people know exactly what they’re fucking doing, and part of the enjoyment IS in making people uncomfortable.”
In some situations it is perfectly acceptable to compliment a stranger on their ass. These people may just not realise they’re not in that situation. I don’t think that they are necessarily trying to make you uncomfortable.
And I disagree here: “But that doesn’t mean that everyone deserves the benefit of the doubt.”
Everyone deserves the benefit of the doubt. There are no moustache twirling villains. Pretty much everyone believes that what they’re doing is good, or at least ok. The ideal reaction to someone crossing your boundaries is to try to find out why they thought that was ok and see if you can help them fix that. Yes, there are some incurably asshole-ish people out there who are just wrong when they think that what they’re doing is ok. But I think they’re few and far between and it is not fair to assume a stranger belongs in that category.
Everyone deserves the benefit of the doubt, the first time.
The_L responded with:
Not necessarily. There are some actions that could legitimately go both ways (like inappropriate ass-complimenting). However, there are some things that are generally only done to deliberately be an asshole/establish dominance. Calling someone a lesbian because she turns down a date with you, groping a total stranger without warning, and demanding someone pleasure YOU because “they need cheering up” are not done out of social anxiety. I should know; I’ve suffered from it for most of my life.
In addition, someone else making you uncomfortable is NOT YOUR FAULT, and I think that’s more the aspect that Ozy was trying to get across.
Discomfort is not your fault. It is more or less an involuntary response. Deliberately acting like an asshole, on the other hand, is the fault of the person who is acting like an asshole. Not stopping the assholish behavior before it could start doesn’t make you a horrible person, because we can’t always predict asshole behavior.
Photo credit: Flickr / dogbomb