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 Post subject: JOKE
PostPosted: Thu Nov 07, 2019 2:51 pm 
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At my workplace on Halloween there was a female corker dressed as a witch. So I asked her this joke. "Why don't witches get pregnant?" The answer is, "Ghosts have hollow weenies." Her response to this was, "You should be careful about sexual harassment." Do any readers find this rather adolescent joke "sexual harassment"?

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 Post subject: Re: JOKE
PostPosted: Thu Nov 07, 2019 3:15 pm 
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Michael w6 wrote:
Her response to this was, "You should be careful about sexual harassment." Do any readers find this rather adolescent joke "sexual harassment"?

She did. That counts. Or at least she thought it was close enough to it to warn you.

Context matters. Told by a male to an audience of males, then of course it's not sexual harassment. A female telling the joke to a female audience is also not sexual harassment. A mixed audience might be in poor taste, depending, but it's hard to see that as harassment. If you were dressed as a ghost and told the joke to her, that's decidedly a candidate for sexual harassment. If you both had a history of ribald banter with each other, then she probably wouldn't have brought it up, aside from the word to the wise she gave you. If you were dressed as a ghost and she told the joke to you, you would have to decide for yourself, but it's potentially there. I've been sexually harassed by women (you wouldn't think it, to look at me now :wink: ), and most of the time it was not a welcome experience, because it goes beyond momentary flirting. So you laugh it off because you're expected to, but it's still uncomfortable. OTOH, YMMV.

As men we don't always realize the sexual pressure women can be under when in the company of men, so it's not going to be easy for a woman to know every time what's malignant, and what's not. Even if we mean such jokes as innocent banter, it's better to be circumspect, because our best intentions don't make up for someone else's discomfort.

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 Post subject: Re: JOKE
PostPosted: Thu Nov 07, 2019 4:08 pm 
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I do not consider the joke at all ribald. It was a joke I probably heard in middle school or high school. I'd tell it to my mother or sister. I had no previous encounter with this coworker and took her response to be pretentious posturing. Someone wanting to feel "offended" and desiring to make a ruckus.

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 Post subject: Re: JOKE
PostPosted: Thu Nov 07, 2019 4:22 pm 
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Michael w6 wrote:
I do not consider the joke at all ribald. It was a joke I probably heard in middle school or high school. I'd tell it to my mother or sister. I had no previous encounter with this coworker and took her response to be pretentious posturing. Someone wanting to feel "offended" and desiring to make a ruckus.

Well, I totally agree with you that the childish nature of the joke outweighs its offensive force. Nevertheless, such are the times - the joke is still sexual in nature - and it behooves us to be aware of our contexts. Consider it a survival skill. I too would be able to tell the same joke to my own mother or sister, but what's good for the goose is not good for the gander in this case. It's true that there are those who look for any excuse to take offense at the smallest thing, and that is exactly why not pushing that envelope with strangers is in one's best interests.

People derisively call it "being PC". For some, perhaps it is. My perspective instead is that of putting myself in someone else's potential shoes, especially when that person is not well known to me.

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 Post subject: Re: JOKE
PostPosted: Thu Nov 07, 2019 5:02 pm 
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I'm reminded of what I consider to be a parallel case. At a restaurant I worked at some years ago there subject of Mexican music came up. I simply said I did like it to which a coworker, who is Mexican, said, "That's because you are racist!" and very angrily went back to his work. This is clearly a case of someone wanting to pretend at being a victim. Mexican is a nationality, not a race. And not enjoying a genre of music is in no way to disparage the culture or people who produce that music. I do not like hearing the koto. This does not mean I hate the Japanese. I don't eat haggis and I do put nuts, fruit and soysage in my oatmeal. Should the Scots or Irish take "offense?"

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 Post subject: Re: JOKE
PostPosted: Thu Nov 07, 2019 6:57 pm 
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Michael w6 wrote:
I'm reminded of what I consider to be a parallel case. At a restaurant I worked at some years ago there subject of Mexican music came up. I simply said I did like it to which a coworker, who is Mexican, said, "That's because you are racist!" and very angrily went back to his work.

I once had a similar situation come up where the overall dynamics were identical. I won't go into details, but I must say I was taken aback because I couldn't detect the slightest shred of logic to his conclusions. But in due course it became abundantly clear that racism had taken a big toll on him, and affected his outlook in a very sweeping way. You don't just tell someone to get over it; it doesn't work like that.

Michael w6 wrote:
This is clearly a case of someone wanting to pretend at being a victim. Mexican is a nationality, not a race.

Again, consider the possibility that persistent, general racism itself drove him to arrive at such conclusions. Get enough of that and the disenfrachisement that goes with it, and it can knock you hard askew. The fellow I referred to above told me as much one day - I had to work with him, so we had plenty of opportunity to cover such bases - and as a white man, this revelation was a possibility I hadn't even considered until then. Of course not everyone is so felled by it, but it's a real thing all the same, so emotional damage should be a potential part of the equation in assessing these things. It gives you valuable perspective, and that's better than taking personal offense, which covers no ground in solving anything.

I do think, though, that to dismiss a Mexican's invocation of racism strictly on the logical basis that his nationality is not a race, is splitting hairs rather too thinly. At some point we do have to simplify discourse lest it become bogged down in distractions and minutiae, so as long as the general meaning's clear, we can get down to the real brass tacks.

Michael w6 wrote:
And not enjoying a genre of music is in no way to disparage the culture or people who produce that music. I do not like hearing the koto. This does not mean I hate the Japanese. I don't eat haggis and I do put nuts, fruit and soysage in my oatmeal. Should the Scots or Irish take "offense?"

At this point I think your arguments are wandering far astray.

But if we are to continue this conversation we must take great care, because we are veering dangerously close to political and/or controversial topics, and the rules about that are clear. My stake here is simply as a voice of reason for reason's sake, such as it may be.

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 Post subject: Re: JOKE
PostPosted: Thu Nov 07, 2019 7:43 pm 
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Perhaps my distinction between race and nationality may be pedantic. But I will hold to my point that to dislike a genre of music is not to disparage an entire people or their culture. That is a leap which is unfounded and unreasonable. And I would not expect him, or another in a similar situation, to just get over it. Perhaps he had encountered instances of anti-Mexican sentiment. But to cast me as in anyway anti-Mexican, against him personally or the Mexican community and culture as a whole, is in no way supportable and can very certainly not be inferred from disliking a style of music.

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 Post subject: Re: JOKE
PostPosted: Thu Nov 07, 2019 8:45 pm 
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Michael w6 wrote:
Perhaps my distinction between race and nationality may be pedantic. But I will hold to my point that to dislike a genre of music is not to disparage an entire people or their culture. That is a leap which is unfounded and unreasonable. And I would not expect him, or another in a similar situation, to just get over it. Perhaps he had encountered instances of anti-Mexican sentiment. But to cast me as in anyway anti-Mexican, against him personally or the Mexican community and culture as a whole, is in no way supportable and can very certainly not be inferred from disliking a style of music.

Aha. I see now that I misunderstood due to your typo below, in red:

Michael w6 wrote:
At a restaurant I worked at some years ago there subject of Mexican music came up. I simply said I did like it to which a coworker, who is Mexican, said, "That's because you are racist!" and very angrily went back to his work.

That little difference changes the whole story, and no doubt ships have been sunk for typo-driven misunderstandings like this. Let me clarify what must now seem confusing: In my story, I was accused of being racist because of an interest in traditional cultures; it was a most disconcerting charge to have hurled at me, and I tried to understand it, but could not, because if there's one thing I love, it's the sheer variety of ways that human societies find expression. In retrospect I suspect he assumed I was looking to shore up my little patch of the White Man's Burden by making comparisons - and to be fair, bigots have been known to go there - but with me that wasn't it at all, yet he would not be convinced despite all my protests of good faith. Because of your typo, I thought that you had been on the receiving end of that same kind of lamentable assumption. But now I see. It's still an assumption, but with a more direct, if just as faulty, predetermined conclusion behind it. But let us still remember that but for systemic racism, we wouldn't be nearly as likely to get such reactions in the first place.

I agree that your coworker's reaction was over the top, although I still hold to the likely cause for it. Next time that happens, ask them in turn if they like Trad. :twisted:

So you don't like koto or haggis, huh? I wouldn't call you racist for it - a ridiculous, unworthy conclusion - but I would certainly entertain the notion that you are some kind of savage. :really: :wink:

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 Post subject: Re: JOKE
PostPosted: Fri Nov 08, 2019 3:51 am 
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Eek! Haggis.....the very thought...... :P :D

(Just so you know - I'm of Scottish descent... :wink: )

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 Post subject: Re: JOKE
PostPosted: Fri Nov 08, 2019 4:08 am 
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fatmac wrote:
Eek! Haggis.....the very thought...... :P :D

(Just so you know - I'm of Scottish descent... :wink: )


Haggis is effin’ brilliant. Love the stuff. It’s popular for a reason.


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 Post subject: Re: JOKE
PostPosted: Fri Nov 08, 2019 7:59 am 
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@nano Whoa! Even in proof reading I did not catch having left out "not", and it did make a huge difference in understanding.

As to the haggis reference. I'm vegetarian so "no" to haggis, though I have had a vegetarian haggis. I was also once warned by a Scotsman if it became known I put fruit and nuts in my oatmeal I'd not be allowed to enter Scotland.

The koto is like a sitar. A very little bit is quite enough.

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 Post subject: Re: JOKE
PostPosted: Fri Nov 08, 2019 8:49 am 
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Michael w6 wrote:
I was also once warned by a Scotsman if it became known I put fruit and nuts in my oatmeal I'd not be allowed to enter Scotland.


Yeah, you can keep your Gucci porridge. I’ll have mine in a 1:2 oats to water ratio, done in a pan, stirred clockwise. I wouldn’t touch anything else.

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 Post subject: Re: JOKE
PostPosted: Fri Nov 08, 2019 9:03 am 
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Hahahahahaha! Well played! I always stir windershins…

The single raspberry in precious.

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 Post subject: Re: JOKE
PostPosted: Fri Nov 08, 2019 10:15 am 
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Michael w6 wrote:
Hahahahahaha! Well played! I always stir windershins…

Is that another typo? Did you mean "widdershins"?

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 Post subject: Re: JOKE
PostPosted: Fri Nov 08, 2019 10:43 am 
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No. In my area there is currently a restriction on how many ds one may use per week. I'm trying to conserve my allotment. However, I have an excess of ns so I toss them in to words randomly.

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