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katydid


Oct 19, 2002, 7:25 AM
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Compliments vs. being hit on
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This is more of a philosophical ramble than anything, but it comes after reading the two threads about PMs and the ...erm... web page. Bearing in mind that I'm into my second day of nicotine withdrawal AND it's rainy today, which scuttled my plans of going climbing outside (rock gym later), this is what I have concluded.

All the people that say the feminist movement has done its job: it hasn't. Not yet. And I'm going all the way back to Mary Wollstonecroft here. (I'm going to skip equality in the workplace and all that crap, since I'm not writing a dissertation, and that topic's more suited to the Community forum.) Since everybody's view of feminism is slightly different, I'm going to define mine for the sake of my argument. For me, feminism a movement to ensure EVERYONE is treated equally, and with equal respect for each other: men, women, people of colour, people with disabilities, people of every religion, you get the idea.

Now, when we're out on the rock and everyone's climbing together and having a good time and not caring about who has what plumbing, that's pretty much my idea of how feminism can and should work. When we get online, though, that's when it goes to hell. Lewd PM's, some guys thinking they can hit on women because of the anonymity the Internet provides, and let's not go into the objectification/degradation of both women and men in photographs.

Where am I going with this in relationship to my subject? Well, this is what's making me sad.

We, as a society, can't take a compliment from a stranger (in person -- I'll get to the Net in a moment). I won't compliment most guys I don't know (aside from "good climbing") because the reaction I've gotten has been that I'm trying to pick up. It's rare that I've been able to construe a compliment about my body from a stranger as anything but a come-on. I really, really, really, really wish that we, as a world, could appreciate each other without sex coming into the picture just because someone says something nice to us. Can you imagine how much better we would all feel about ourselves and each other if we had the latitude to compliment everyone and anyone?

(NB: I am also not going to go into Western society and its view of sexuality, which is another dissertation topic. )

Now. To online. Mind you, the only PM I've gotten from a stranger on this site that isn't, "Hey, wanna go climb on X day?" has been one from some teenager that wanted to know if I smoked pot, which I deleted. Then again, I'm also insanely vocal about being married, because I know it keeps a lot of those PMs away (learned this in my sysop days when I worked on AOL). I also don't have a picture of myself in my profile, mostly because I don't have any pictures of me climbing yet, and I know I'd get all sorts of wacko PMs from my acting headshot.

Now. If I had fabulous back muscles or great arm definition (I don't, BTW ) and someone of any gender sent me a PM saying something nice about it, I'd probably take it as a compliment. If someone I didn't know sent me a PM about my legs or my breasts, however, I'd probably take that as a come-on. Why the difference? Because these parts of my body are the ones that tend to be sexualized/objectified in mainstream society. How the message is intended is completely irrelevant at this point, because I'm operating from the conditioning I've had growing up in North America.

HOWEVER, if someone of any gender sent me a PM about having great legs and wondering how I got them in that kind of shape, I'd likely assume a) they were complimenting me, and b) they wanted to know what my workout program was. Clearly if someone sent me that message about my boobs I'd think they were either whacked or an a--hole.

So I'm wondering, after all this ramble-age, if we could try an experiment. Guys and women, can we try complimenting people on something and see what the reaction is? Do you think we can do this without getting a reaction bordering on umbrage? Can we compliment without it being seen as a come-on? Anyone want to try it here in this thread? Perhaps we can figure out the phrasing that helps people see that we're just trying to be nice, versus the phrasing that indicates that we're being big ol' perverts (or that we're horny teenagers -- no offence to non-horny teenagers ).

I'm not going to start it in this post, because it seems a little contrived at this point. But if anyone else (male and female, please) wants to have a go at it, I'd be pleased. Besides, you might just make someone's day!

Okay. I'm going to go burn my bra now.

Kate

[edit: I kant spel.]

[ This Message was edited by: katydid on 2002-10-19 07:31 ]


climbsomething


Oct 19, 2002, 8:52 AM
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*spears marshmallow on a straightened coat hanger and toasts it over Kate's flaming bra*

Am going out for the day, but I'm holding my spot for comment later

~Hillary


whipper


Oct 19, 2002, 9:39 AM
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Katy you sound very Smart, and that makes me want you something fierce. Just kiding but without a pic I couldn't compliment you fully on your rack or legs. But really, one of the first things I say to new female climbers I meet is something about my girl friend because I do NOT want any compliment I give to be construed as a sexual come on. Just so that you know the sexuall tension society has placed on us bothers some of the lesser gender also(males). I am truly afraid to start up a conversation with some females because a lot of them think that we only want them in the sack. That is an image given to men by the majority of men out there though.
But I must also warn you that I cannot help but stare at a female climber in top form. I am sorry if it ofends you or any one else, but I also can not help but stare at a beutifull sunset.


thomasribiere


Oct 19, 2002, 10:26 AM
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Does it really happen so often that guys PM you for "personnal offers"? Is it always annoying, is it sometimes funny or touching?


Partner missedyno


Oct 22, 2002, 2:52 PM
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i haven't gotten many PM's. i'm not sure about the other chickies, sounds like a few have been bothered quite a bit.

maybe it has something to do with how i dedicated my whole profile to the story of how my partner met and fell in love.


russmanswife


Oct 22, 2002, 2:55 PM
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glad i am not the only one out of the loop, i didn't know this was a problem with the pm's till last week. guess with my user name and profile pic that doesn't invite much in the way of those pm's.


jt512


Oct 22, 2002, 3:38 PM
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Quote:Does it really happen so often that guys PM you for "personnal offers"? Is it always annoying, is it sometimes funny or touching?

Note the above question. The guy who asked it lives in France, a society that is more relaxed about sex. He seems confused that a woman would be insulted because a man showed sexual interest in her. Seems like a strange reaction to me too.

-Jay


climberchic


Oct 22, 2002, 4:10 PM
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I used to get PM'd more when I didn't list that I had a boyfriend in my profile, but even then, they were pretty tame and I think they were just to see if I'd bite.

I got one a few weeks ago from a guy saying that he knew I had a boyfriend but he just wanted to tell me how good-looking I was to him and to please not be offended.

I was very touched and thanked him as it made my day. He then PM'd me back saying nothing more than how he felt people don't compliment each other enough and wished me a wonderful day.

I felt that this was in no way harassment, but instead took it as a compliment.

Even the short "Hey baby, you're fine" is easily ignored, especially in a PM. It's as simple as pressing delete. It may be unwanted, but they took a chance to see if you'd take the bait, check their profile and see if you were interested. Again, I Don't see this as harassment, but it's a gray area.

Now, persistent e-mails (2+) without a response IS harassment in my book.

~Erica


happyfeet


Oct 24, 2002, 9:21 AM
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Well said, katydid. I'm in agreement with you. I get the biggest kick out of guys who compliment my arms...especially since they are nothing really to write home about. But something like "nice ass" produces more of an eyeroll or "sod off" response from me. Most guys know where that fine line is, but I suppose each of us draws that line in a different area though.


katydid


Oct 24, 2002, 11:11 AM
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Oh, geo, how did you know *exactly* what to say?



Kate


happyfeet


Oct 25, 2002, 11:32 AM
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LOL LOL


nikegirl


Oct 29, 2002, 8:24 PM
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um...let's see.

I get Pm's often...usually, asking about the camera used for the detail/clarity.

comments on body parts...(clearly not my breast size)...yes I delete.


Kate....I do compliment those I climb with...male or female.

One time a year ago...I told a woman/girl she was (climbed) "poetic"...I think she thought I was nuts.

I see her often...now, we talk...and I tell her I love to watch her...still.

Most don't know how to take a "compliment"...just in general. Or don't hear it...for REAL...truly hear it, and if I am gonna give it...then.. I MEAN it.


T


aelita


Oct 29, 2002, 9:46 PM
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I think a lot of people don't know how to give or take compliments and, in this pc-crazed country, everyone is so damn sensitive... however, I would have to make a comment on PM's... I don't get that many (my email inbox gets so mane propositions on enlarging my (imaginary) penis or my breast size to make me happer that I have learned to use the delete button very well ) what really does annoy me is people who decide they can use my listed email address to bug me via IM... which is far more invasive then a piece of more or less static writing in my inbox. I was actually thinking of asking the site tech people if it would be possible to list the rc.com email in the profile and give an option to keep the main email address private. as for unwanted PM's and comments of such kind - a sense of humor might help more then waxing philosophical about feminism (in itself a worthy topic seems kind of out of place on a climbing web site where women seem to be pretty confident about themselves and their place in society), of course, i am european so my opinion probably doesn't count as much around these parts


just my .02

p.s. i often make compliments to people, commenting on their movement, looks, whatever. they probably think i am crazy or trying to pick them up, but i don't care i like hearing compliments and i think people should hear compliments when those are due... there aren't enough good natured comments that make you feel good in this world.

[ This Message was edited by: aelita on 2002-10-29 21:48 ]


katydid


Oct 30, 2002, 11:37 AM
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Stacie, I sincerely doubt that you're ugly.

I'm willing to bet that you look a little young still for guys to start making moves on you -- after all, they don't want to get stuck with jailbait! (at least, most of them don't...)

Be thankful that guys are talking to you as a person, and not a piece of meat.

Kate


revogirl


Oct 31, 2002, 2:29 PM
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I can't help myself in not replying. I work with 95 percent guys so I've developed not a thick skin but shall I say more of an absorbing one. Guys just can't help themselves, it's plain and simple. Most are comments shot with an arrow in which there is no point, just something they feel like is necessary, more caveman like if you will. God knows where they got that? They've discovered fire but they don't know how to cook with it. But don't let it get to to your head or your heart. Be confident in yourself, take a compliment, or deflect a negative hit. Most guys don't want to deliver, they just want to pitch, and they're looking for a catcher.


cedk


Nov 1, 2002, 9:56 AM
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Katydid: Regarding your quest for non offensive phrasing. There will never be such a thing. You fail to take into account the fact that different people will be reacted to in different ways no mattter what is said. Say a girl meets 2 guys, one looks like Brad Pitt, the other like Danny Devito. Brad can get away with saying a lot more because attention from him is welcomed. Danny on the other hand will get a convulsive shudder saying a lot less.

I'm not saying guys are any better. We're pretty much the same though perhaps we feel threatened by the opposite sex less easily.


socialclimber


Nov 9, 2002, 3:35 AM
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My opinion may seem a little outside of the box so I should start by saying I have no wish for a bun fight over feminisim.
I have worked in an industry that is not only male dominated, but "Real Man" dominated. When I started deep sea fishing in 1987 there were no women on the crew. When I came ashore for good in 2000 I had worked on boats where it was common for the majority of the crew to be women. After 13 years of this work enviornment, I concluded that men and women are fundimentally different. A point that seems to have been lost or ignored by pro PC-ers.
If we process our thoughts differently, prioritise our options differently, go to the toilet differently and act like arse-holes differently, why is everybody hell bent on making us the same? Guys do some things better than gals and gals do some things better than guys in exactly the same way tall people do some things better than short people and vice versa.
I have always felt we might get along better and more equally if we reconised and celebrated our differences rather than homogenise them.
Kate, if you think you think PC-ers have the US rapped around their fingers, you should try down here in NZ.

Gary.

Was that a bit harsh? I didn't mean to offend anyone, especally any gir...umm...people...

[ This Message was edited by: socialclimber on 2002-11-09 03:42 ]


ozgirl


Nov 11, 2002, 11:23 AM
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Good post, Kate.

The only compliment I'm game enough to pay a guy I don't know is "good climb" or "nice work." Simplicity works well.

Gary's post is interesting. Differences in climbers, ALL climbers, exist ... so we need to become reconciled to that. However, they should not negatively affect one's performance, or other people's perceptions of yourself - ie. if you are a woman climber you should not have to be hit upon for your back muscles OR your boobs. That's where the compliment thing comes in again ... where DOES a compliment become something else??

*Sigh* This is complicated.


ecocliffchick


Nov 11, 2002, 12:39 PM
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I'm just happy to get a compliment! Whether it's nice climb or nice ass!

of course, I've never had anyone PM me with anything lewd to say, so I don't know how I'd react to anonymous users dropping me love notes.


blueeyedclimber


Jan 4, 2003, 12:16 PM
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Katydid,

Sorry on behalf of all men. I met my girlfriend climbing and don't feel I ever resorted to cheap come-ons or pick-up lines. My girlfriend, too, has been subjected to PMs that are less than tactful. My advice to you is to just brush it off and chalk it up as someones idea of a compliment. Rest assured, not all men behave this way, and some even give out sincere compliments once in a while.

Josh


goingtohellquick


Jan 6, 2003, 7:47 PM
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What is so wrong with a compliment here and ther to the unknown?


gretchino


Feb 26, 2003, 3:53 PM
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I love getting compliments, especially when my boyfriend/climbing partner is in ear shot. He's puffs up and get's all "I'm dating a 'hottie'" look in his eye...cracks me up. :P
Obviously there is a fine line here and most of the posts here have touched on really good points! It's all about having fun...let's not get rude boys and girls! :mrgreen:
Gretch


da5id


Mar 7, 2003, 12:11 PM
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I agree with blueeyedclimber, a lot of guys can be really offensive, not even just in climbing, but in life in general. Its not all of us though, and its not all of the time. In fact, a lot of girls are less than pleasant a lot of the time. The fact is, not everyone is nice, considerate, and able to express themself in a non-offensive manner, and not all the time either. I try my best in this respect, but im not perfect, and neither is any other guy. I try to compliment the girls i know often, so that they know that I am truly complimenting them, and not coming on to them. But this only works with people i know very well, for strangers its hard to give compliments that are taken for sincere.

Somethin i think women have to consider is that if a guy doesn't want to be single for the rest of his life, he's got to talk to women or girls that he doesnt know. Theres simply no other way to meet new people.

-Brian


iamthewallress


Mar 7, 2003, 1:51 PM
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...if only there were simple rules for when 'compliments' crossed the line to creepy or in poor taste. I've gotten PMs that were flattering and some that were scarey/offensive.

Some simple guidelines that work for me...

...One e-mail talking about physical things can be good. More is not necessarily better.

...Getting e-mail about a total stranger's imminent divorce and recent prison time is a little unsettling no matter what the circumstance.

...You may not mention my vagina unless I specifically have in a thread or something.

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