Azule wrote:Edit: I chose to PM you rather than post. If for some reason you want to post anything said here, you have my permission. I won't post anything you PM me unless you also give permission.
I have decided to move this back into the main thread in case it may contain helpful information for others. I hope it does.
Shro wrote:If I had wanted to share further information to flesh out this anecdote, I would have done so, so I ask why do you feel that this question is an appropriate/relevant one? Why are you curious? When on the internet, sometimes your interactions with other people happen when you don't have all the information about them, so the only thing you have to go on are their posts and other clues that you can pick up. What about the clues you were given were so confusing to you, that you had to clarify if I was a certain gender or not? Does it detract from your enjoyment of the story at all, or is it an general question about my fora presence?
Thanks for these question, and hopefully the rest (once I read them).
Why am I curious? I am a curious person. I didn't want to be wrong just because you have a title (that you can't change but might have had a hand in choosing) that says one thing. If that wasn't there I probably wouldn't have asked (no, not even based on your avatar).
Why did it matter, in terms of the story? Because I wanted to ask you how it felt when it happened. You chose to call yourself Vader but you didn't choose to have the anthem hummed for you. Did it make you feel macho, or is there an equivalent feeling that stays within your genderline (if that's an okay thing for me to term; I don't mean to cause any more offense, especially if I have)? Did this do nothing of importance to your feelings? I know (hear) that women are often more comfortable with gender bending than men.
Does it enhance or detract from you story? No, it doesn't. I first react. A brightening in my face or smile or whatever. That doesn't always get posted (which is probably why everyone thinks all I care about and was focused on was your gender). Then I pontificate. If there's anything to contribute in a post, or a question unanswered, I will usually post that. Just curiosity. To be clear, it sounds cool, but I wouldn't do that. Remember, I refuse to give out my name and don't substitute it with a fake name. You people are much more carefree than I. I envy that, it sounds like fun. (But in this body and mind of mine, it's a bit mortifying, as a socially inept person.)
To be clear, it’s this expression of curiosity that is being criticized. You may not think much of it; it’s just an offhand remark that is gathering more data so you can try to understand the world better. There is nothing wrong with being curious about these things, or wanting to know how other peoples’ differences cause different outcomes and interactions, these are very interesting subjects to explore. You seem especially interested in gender and gender presentation, which is where your original asking if I was a girl question came in. Here is the thing: I get asked that ALL THE TIME. There are SO MANY of you! One of your rants was actually about having a question asked that you didn’t want to answer, and how it made you uncomfortable being asked that everywhere. Now imagine that you’re asked that question at completely irrelevant times, in what are supposed to be small, passerby interactions: “Here, I held the door open for you, what’s your name?” “Thank you for picking up my scarf for me, what’s your name?” You might get incredibly uncomfortable, and even though you can refuse to answer, or ignore the question, that feeling of being annoyed or a sense of having to give out too much information stays with you. In essence, that’s a lot of what it feels like to be a girl on the internet, in a lot of places – people feel like they are entitled to know this information, and that even if it might be uncomfortable for someone to hear the question, they are going to ask it anyway. Can you see how this can be annoying and make people not want to interact socially in certain situations? This community has decided that it enjoys the presence of women, minorities, and everything on the spectrum of sexuality and gender presentation – so these outright questions are seen as rude. And maybe it is too much of an unspoken convention that people seem not to know about, so I am trying to speak it loud and clear as many times as I can: This is a social convention that is meant to make people more comfortable here. Its benefits are considered more important that allowing people to freely express their curiosity. The burden falls on the person asking questions to be aware of the effects of these questions. I will expand on why this is so important from a brain perspective in the next section.
Shro wrote:I want to know why you think the expression of your curiosity in this matter is justified. Do you ask people outright about their age, weight, sexuality, IQ, marital status, or various other data points? General Best Practice is to wait until that information is offered - whether on the internet or in real life. It is a social convention to allow people to offer personal information when they are comfortable revealing it.
That makes sense, but in person you sort of force people to reply to you with whatever you say. That's not the case online. I have been ignored more times than I can count. If you were to ignore me on this question, I would not have investigated further. I just wouldn't know. Probably no one would offer the information. Doesn't matter after that.
Wouldn’t you prefer to learn what questions are appropriate in which settings so you don’t have to deal with being ignored? Asking a question whenever you’re curious is convenient and works for you, because you don’t have to spend extra brain power trying to decide whether or not to ask this question. However, it requires brain power on the receiving end, because if the person did read it, they’d have to decide whether or not they were comfortable answering this question. And if it’s a question on a sensitive topic, you have now also triggered an emotional reaction in the reader. You have shifted the burden of trying to decide whether things are appropriate from your brain, to the brain of the person you are trying to communicate with. Communicating in this manner is very tiring to the brain of the person that has to do the extra work. The most interesting conversations happen when the participants share both the intellectual, social, and emotional burdens of social interactions.
There is a reason that I can get along with “socially inept” people, and that’s because I’m very used to shouldering the emotional and social burdens during intellectual conversations. This is not some fluke, it is not magic, it is real, hard work that my brain has to be constantly calculating. This often takes my ability to share in the intellectual aspects of the conversation, since executive functioning is a finite brain resource. When people are engaged in supporting each other emotionally and socially, people are more likely to be more of themselves, and less afraid to offer novel ideas and contributions to the interaction. This is why you have small talk with people you don’t really know, and really interesting conversations with people you feel comfortable around. When you’re around people you don’t really know, you’re thinking about what that person is like, what they like to talk about, what kinds of interaction is expected from you, when to end the conversation, and so on. You can’t really talk about Dostoevsky or the Zeroth Law of Thermodynamics in that kind of dynamic, your social brain is too busy.
The same way your social brain is busy in these types of interactions where you don’t know people, the same way my brain is occupied in a social space like the internet. I would prefer to use my neurons to think about if I have relevant contributions to the conversation. If I am constantly thinking about whether or not to supply certain information, those are neurons taken out of the equation for thinking about how I should be contributing to the conversation. When you learn about how to properly apply social conventions (and of course, the appropriate times to shed them), you are helping others reach their peak performance.
azule wrote:I know what you're saying when you speak of this best practice. Except, a lot of that information you listed can be gleamed when you interact with a person...in person. If someone were to ask me a question of something I did not offer, then I either have to refuse (as I said about the food ordering and giving my name) or I begrudgingly tell them and then probably avoid more interactions like that in the future.
I'm sorry if you didn't feel you could ignore me and instead relied on this practice. I, obviously, won't be asking around in the future until the topic comes up explicitly. (Like if someone said "my life as this gender is hard" but don't say what gender.)
I appreciate that you are willing to change your practice to make other people more comfortable. Sometimes, when people are on the internet, they specifically rely on the idea that not everything about them can be gleaned from a textual interaction, and that they are in control of the release of information. Just as you did not like to give your name in real life, sometimes these data points are deliberately left ambiguous. I do not go out of my way to make my gender ambiguous, but as I don’t enjoy the coded behavior of certain males when they find out that I am female, I have a tendency to not offer the information unless it is relevant. There are many other reasons that this data is desired to be left ambiguous, but these reasons is also information that people should retain control of. So instead of apologizing because "I didn't feel like I could ignore you and instead relied on this practice" you can apologize for actually going outside of the confines of this practice, and as a result, making someone uncomfortable? The way you worded it comes off as a non apology of the "I'm sorry if you were offended" type. Especially as I don’t have the data to predict whether or not my ignoring you could cause offense to you or not; my brain is still doing a lot of extra work.
Azule wrote: Shro wrote:
You yourself were offended at the suggestion that you even needed that fact explained to you here:
Azule wrote:Are you sure you're not totally self-absorbed in thinking that I need explained by you that everyone and their mother knows Darth Vader has a burnt off penis?
Actually, I wasn't offended. It's one of those things that doesn't translate to text. A rhetorical device I used. I was having a good old fashioned rant-off with Azrael. (I was surprised how many people were taking this thread to be some other thread where we weren't encouraged to rant. Sorry that it confused you as well.)
Perhaps offended was too intense a word, but umbrage was likely taken. You would not have wanted to rant about it otherwise. Conclusion: it definitely made you feel some type of way. I wanted to address that so I could tie your personal feelings into my conversation, to use it as a stepping point to show you how someone like me could be feeling.
Shro wrote:I know a lot of times people who feel like they know things want to share those things that they know, but when you start to offer information to "clarify" and that information ends up being redundant, it ends up helping no one. You've wasted other peoples' time, and put them on the defensive, because repetition of simple/universally known information is seen as condescending.
I can understand that. But, it's like, am I saying you are probably not tall enough (as most females would be shorter) or some other aspect of Vader? It might offend you, since you knew, but being that it's on a public forum, I was posting also for others. If I knew explicitely that you knew all of this, maybe
I wouldn't have added the rest. But it's sorta how I talk. I say "You know how Darth Vader is Luke's father?", the reply is usually a pair of rolled eyes, then I continue on with saying "Him wanting to fight his son to the death is called...". It's just how I bring up subjects sometimes, and I guess it pervades into sentences like it did with my question to you.
I, honestly, don't know what I was going to do with the information. I probably would have said "oh, thanks" and asked you the questions I asked above. But what did it matter? I can't think of anything. Then why did I ask? I don't go based on the assumption that I know the outcome of everything. I ask, hopefully it's not offensive, and then take what I am given, and do something or do nothing with it.
BTW, I never assumed you didn't know about SW. You said Vader, you said he hummed the Imperial March. I'm not sure why everyone thought this. Well, I do sorta, it's in the next quote you have of mine.
When the way that you speak depends on that kind of feedback (eye roll, in your example) from the people you are trying to communicate with, people are eventually going to want to stop talking to you. Again, this is an example of shifting the social burden, which as discussed, makes more effort for the person you are trying to communicate with. You should practice using hooks instead, presenting your information briefly, but in a way that invites questioning to engage your audience, instead of instantly making them defend their position of knowledge. For example, my story was brief, and did invite questioning. But why is a question of gender not the proper question to ask? Because this is one of those sensitive data points we don’t ask about unless it is offered. Instead, if you are intrigued (for the various reasons you have provided, ie, the exploration of gender presentation), you have to learn not to ask about it outright. Instead, you have to invite someone to talk about themselves in a way that would make them feel comfortable, and you may find out the data you were seeking. A proper question would take this form: “That sounds really cool; I wish I could do something like that. Can you tell us more about this story?” In this case, you are using the information provided (the story) to be the jumping point to satisfy your curiosity. I can then decide how much information I am comfortable sharing at that point, and our conversation can move from there. This approach also requires sensitivity, as you should be analyzing the tone and terseness of the response to gauge whether or not even further inquiry is welcome.
I ask so much about why you are curious so I can ask to weigh your personal satisfaction of that curiosity vs. the social burdens of others. I choose to act in a sensitive manner because I believe that all people deserve a place where their burdens can be shared – it may occasionally be a minor inconvenience to me, but I believe that this small filter I can place will make a much more welcoming place to people who may not have something like this in their real life, or other places on the internet.
Azule wrote: Shro wrote:
Azule wrote:I didn't question her knowledge of SW, correct. I said extra details after my question, that then infers sexism to those that place them as intricately connected ideas. Trust me, I know about this because my girlfriend takes my sentences to her a similar way because I say extra shit that detracts. It's really confusing instead of clarifying. I should probably stop that...but I won't learn.
You have an idea about how these extra details detract from your communication, but have expressed being stubborn in your ways. Why won't you learn? What do you need to hear that lets you know that you are communicating at sub-optimal levels? That the people you are communicating with are, in fact, confused as to why this information was presented, instead of however you think they should be feeling.
I'm not stubborn in my ways. I meant, it's hard to stop. I do try. I try to figure out where I should stop adding and then I do my best to stop there. It's not stubbornness. It's just being very used to doing something. If I slam a door closed and it's always worked, great. But then I have to not slam them when there's a small child around who will sneak in where they can and might get hurt. See, the thing is that I might still slam it, such as when they're not around, or when I know where they are and are out of harm's way. Otherwise, I have to not slam or they might get hurt. Why don't I (and others with a similar habit) just stop slamming the door ALL the time? I hope you understand what I'm saying there.
I do understand, and to explain things, I will borrow and extend your analogy for a bit.
(1)Slamming doors is convenient; it makes it so you don’t have to do a little extra work of holding onto the door a bit longer, maybe taking an extra half step, maybe less of an arm extension. Since we try to minimize the work we do, this pattern has become ingrained, and whenever you are presented with a door, you tend to slam it.
These are our coded behaviors we have when presented with a situation. This is how we are used to interacting in these situations. We don’t usually think about how we act this way, we don’t analyze our motivations for doing so, it’s just easy to do it this way, and no one has said anything about it before, so there hasn’t been any negative feedback to keep us from doing things this way.
(2)When we introduce a variable that requires you to be more careful in closing the door, it ends up as more work for you. Not only do you have to close the door gently, but you have to consciously pull yourself out of the thought pattern that has become ingrained without that added variable.
This is other people approaching you and telling you that your behavior is unacceptable. It sometimes seems hard to adjust, because this habit is no longer a conscious one, it seems to be so ingrained in our habits, sometimes we conflate it with our personality. A lot of people become defensive when someone points out that an added variable can be a reason to stop slamming doors, that the risk of occasionally slamming a small child shut in a door is not a good enough reason for them to stop. Or sometimes they will deny that there are any small children to worry about.
(3)Because it’s hard to adjust out of our ingrained habits, sometimes it’s hard to only adjust our ingrained habits some of the time (when the variable is present). When we’re learning, often we have to stop ourselves completely, just so the pattern of neurons that fire with our ingrained habit doesn’t strengthen when we are trying to dismantle it.
This is just how our brain works. The behaviors we use a lot have shortcuts in our brain. It has to do with the way neurons are connected to each other – and when we use these particular circuits, the pathway of these firing neurons get better and better at firing all of these neurons in that particular order. When we realize that we should slam doors around kids, we could try to only practice that while there are kids around, but it will be more effective in destroying the habit if we at first practice complete abstinence of the problematic practice.
(4)But when you stop slamming these doors, you realize that it has a ton of great side effects. The door frames and the doors themselves end up lasting longer, because you are taking better care of them as well.
When we start taking care of other people, even if it is a minor inconvenience to do so, we will see a change in the way people start interacting with us. (Small children will not be afraid to be around us and a door). When we start carrying some of that social burden, we can get to the real conversations we want to have much more quickly and probably more often with people that are not necessarily like us. Having a diversity of opinions is quite important, and it’s important that we have the tools to elicit them without letting our cognitive biases get in the way of our interactions.
(5)But sometimes you still want to slam a goddamn door. We realized that it’s not the greatest habit to have, but you’ve gotten pretty good, and not slamming the door has become your default. Say you’re in an area you’re absolutely sure no harm will come of slamming the door. Why not slam the door?
You’re in a group of people that are generally closer, and you have evidence that occasional door slamming happens in this dynamic – you will take a risk in slamming the door, but perhaps it will be worth it. This is the defiance of social conventions, and it usually makes people look like a jerk. When someone is intimately familiar with social conventions of a specific place, and realizing when these conventions are no longer serving the specific place, it is then okay to try and flout these conventions – but it takes knowledge of why the conventions exist in the first place. When many people decide to flout a specific social convention, it becomes the new convention, and that’s how we grow as a culture.
Shro wrote:Note: What makes these questions okay to ask versus all of my examples of outright questions that aren't generally asked given above? I am responding to Azule's explicit invitation to ask questions - even with this explicit invitation, he is not obligated to answer any of these questions. Or if he does answer some questions, that doesn't obligate him to answer all of my questions. Because social conventions.
I know this wasn't directed only at me. I hope this means you weren't offended that I asked. I don't know where things move along unless someone gets the ball rolling. I did invite you to talk to me, and thanks. And I did leave a few questions of yours without a reply, but if you thought they were important or wanted an answer anyways, feel free to point them out. I have obviously talked too much and you must be sick of me, so I understand if that's the end of things here.
I appreciate you giving me an out – like I mentioned, there are a lot of people out there like you, and I get this, or other personal questions a lot, and I don't always know their reaction to being ignored. I really appreciate the other people in this thread “defending” me. To wear the analogy out: sometimes there are not a lot of small children, and a lot of slamming doors. If there are a lot more adults around, and they already know that slamming doors is going to hurt a small child somewhere, they are going to try and warn you about how you might hurt a small child before you actually see a small child. Because chances are that the first time you run into a small child, you will be slamming a door on them. To prevent that first mistake, which results in pain for the small child, you are given the advice to not slam the door in the first place. And if you’re the child running around, you don’t have time to go around to everybody to make sure that they know they shouldn't slam doors around here.