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Fri Jan 11, 2013, 02:22 PM

"I stopped telling women to smile (and you should, too)."

http://www.ebony.com/news-views/when-i-stopped-asking-women-to-smile-981

I never quite understood it when women---relatives, friends, co-workers, etc---complained about men asking them to smile. "You can't have it both ways," I'd argue. "You can't complain about men not approaching you, but also be annoyed with men suggesting that you should try and look more pleasant." Plus, what the hell is wrong with smiling? I guess it could be slightly annoying to hear a request like that all of the time, but how effed up do you have to be to be consistently mad at someone asking you to smile? It's not like these dudes are asking for women to tap dance nude, or even for phone numbers. A smile is a simple, natural, positive act, and I was annoyed with them for being annoyed by the request.

This all changed one day when, well, just let me tell the story.

(snip)

After hearing Nicki tell me the details of her awful week, watching her take a phone call that somehow made things even worse, and seeing her wait for a bus, clearly upset, it angered me knowing there was a good chance some guy would notice this beautiful woman---depressed for various reasons---and politely (but insistently) demand that she put a smile on her face. Despite the fact that he'd had absolutely no idea why she was down---for all he knew, she could have just found out a family member died (which she did, btw)---he might even pepper his request with an annoyingly familiar "Come on, sis. Things can't be that bad." Basically, since they obviously can't or don't experience the range of emotions that any other human (well, any other man) can and do experience, they should be able to smile on demand.

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Response to Brickbat (Original post)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 02:23 PM

1. kick

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Response to Brickbat (Original post)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 02:26 PM

2. "be annoyed with men suggesting that you should try and look more pleasant." WTF.. now,

i will finish reading the story.

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Response to seabeyond (Reply #2)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 02:31 PM

5. sea

Keep reading . . . this writer gets it. I

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Response to Brickbat (Original post)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 02:28 PM

3. Laugh, and the world laughs with you;

SOLITUDE

Laugh, and the world laughs with you;
Weep, and you weep alone.
For the sad old earth must borrow it's mirth,
But has trouble enough of its own.
Sing, and the hills will answer;
Sigh, it is lost on the air.
The echoes bound to a joyful sound,
But shrink from voicing care.

Rejoice, and men will seek you;
Grieve, and they turn and go.
They want full measure of all your pleasure,
But they do not need your woe.
Be glad, and your friends are many;
Be sad, and you lose them all.
There are none to decline your nectared wine,
But alone you must drink life's gall.

Feast, and your halls are crowded;
Fast, and the world goes by.
Succeed and give, and it helps you live,
But no man can help you die.
There is room in the halls of pleasure
For a long and lordly train,
But one by one we must all file on
Through the narrow aisles of pain.

Ella Wheeler Wilcox

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Response to Xipe Totec (Reply #3)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 04:28 PM

71. That's a lovely poem

but it has nothing to do with the subject, which is TELLING people to smile.

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Response to Gormy Cuss (Reply #71)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 04:47 PM

82. That's what the poem tells you to do - smile

And why.

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Response to Xipe Totec (Reply #82)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 04:51 PM

84. No, it gives one a reason to smile.

It does not simply demand a smile. The latter is what this thread is about.

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Response to Gormy Cuss (Reply #84)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 04:55 PM

87. Ok. We seem to be perceiving different realities

and that's fine.

Peace.

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Response to Xipe Totec (Reply #82)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 04:56 PM

88. First I have always loved this poem,,,,

but I disagree with your assessment ~ I don't think it's telling anyone to smile or be happy.

Ms. Wilcox was simply pointing out the way it is with folks.

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Response to KarenS (Reply #88)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 05:21 PM

103. She is pointing out the paradox

of pushing people away when you need them closest; when you are sad and alone.

Look at it from the point of view of the person who is being asked to smile.

The poem says: If you want to have people close, smile and laugh.

Isn't that what the OP is about? About telling people to smile?

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Response to Xipe Totec (Reply #103)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 05:30 PM

110. Funny how people can read the same thing and

have a completely different take on it.

Peace.

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Response to KarenS (Reply #110)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 07:37 PM

135. That's the magic of poetry;

What makes poetry universal is what we bring to it with us.

We identify with it because poetry has the capacity of being interpreted in so many ways.

Peace to you as well!

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Response to KarenS (Reply #110)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 10:00 AM

237. That's the magic of DU. n/t

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Response to Xipe Totec (Reply #103)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 05:48 AM

219. So the poem says: If you want to have people close, fake your feelings.

That's a pretty steep price to pay.

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Response to pnwmom (Reply #219)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 06:23 AM

223. Yes, that is what the poem says. Bitter, isn't it?

That's why the title of the poem is solitude.

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Response to Xipe Totec (Reply #103)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 05:02 PM

300. Why the hell would a woman need some random guy on the street any closer?

Your post is SO way off the mark it's crazy. Did you read the article at all?

Demanding an attractive woman smile isn't about the woman at all, or her "pushing people away when she needs them the closest". Sheesh.

It's just that, when presuming that nothing could possibly be that bad in an attractive woman's life that she dare not smile, you are dehumanizing them. It's a "nice" form of dehumanization, but it's still dehumanization nonetheless. It's also transparent. You don't see men running up to homeless women and the elderly and asking them to smile. The request is usually made when the requester thinks the requestee is attractive. It's not about a legitimate need for women to be happy as much as it's that smiling/pleasant-looking women are easier on the eyes and more inviting to approach. It's really not about the woman at all.

If you really are that hard-pressed for a woman to smile, tell a joke, slip on a banana peel, pay her phone bill; basically, instead of asking a stranger to fake an expression for you, do something that might legitimately brighten her day. Who knows, she might even smile. And, she might not. You have no control over that, and that's kinda the point.

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Response to Xipe Totec (Reply #82)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 05:46 AM

218. It's fine for a poem to do that, but not another person.

From a stranger, the demand is intrusive. From an acquaintance or friend, it's the opposite of validating. The message is: I don't care what's going on in your life; I need you to cover up your true feelings and put on a smiley-face for me.

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Response to pnwmom (Reply #218)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 07:37 AM

228. Thank you...You're spot on. You don't hear women demanding men to smile, except me

when I was young and got it all the time from guys.

I'd turn it back on them and say "You smile".

The brighter ones seemed to get it.

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Response to Xipe Totec (Reply #3)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 10:43 AM

241. It's rude

to order someone to "feel" a certain way, to respond to an order. Who is anyone to tell anyone else how to act. If you think someone should smile, let it begin with you not an order. Why not tell someone "hello" "nice to see you" not an arrogant remark like "smile"?

Better to understand ""There is a season for everything, and a time for every event under heaven" and we are not know-it-alls about what someone else should do or feel.

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Response to tooeyeten (Reply #241)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 06:39 PM

341. Love Has Brought Me Around

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Response to Brickbat (Original post)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 02:30 PM

4. Telling a woman to smile is so patronizing, almost like encouraging a dog to sit.

Well, maybe not THAT bad, but approaching it.

Why would a guy want to see a woman smile? Because she is there for his viewing pleasure. Her personal emotions are quite irrelevant to him. It's like asking her to put on a performance for him.

To be fair, I think that only really old men still say this kind of thing to women (unless there is regional variation of which I am blissfully unaware), a throwback to when a woman was placed on a pedestal, and was expected to observe all sorts of behavioral regulations for that honor (act like a lady, etc).

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Response to Chemisse (Reply #4)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 02:32 PM

7. Yes, yes and yes

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Response to Chemisse (Reply #4)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 02:33 PM

8. I've had college-age guys say this to me in my 30s.

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Response to Brickbat (Reply #8)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 02:35 PM

12. Oh! So much for my blissful ignorance.

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Response to Chemisse (Reply #12)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 02:35 PM

13. Heh, the "WTF" was directed at the college-age guys, not you!

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Response to Brickbat (Reply #13)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 02:39 PM

19. Oh I know! LOL.

I referred to my impression that it was just the older guys who still did this crap.

Now I know that this particular form of sexism is alive and well in the young also.

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Response to Brickbat (Reply #8)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 05:16 PM

99. Good god, college-age guys are still doing this?? No wonder women don't feel like smiling, ever.

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Response to Chemisse (Reply #4)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 03:17 PM

28. Not just old men

sadly. I've had professors say it to me, clients, random strangers, friends of boyfriends... even a male employee of MINE made that suggestion to me.

When I complained about this one day to a girl friend, an old man eavesdropping from across the room told me to stop complaining because when men stopped hitting on me, I'd be sorry (i.e., lose all of my value and power).

I've also been told a LOT that I shouldn't swear because it doesn't go with my face and it ruins some random stranger's picture of me. I'm talking your basic swear words, not even anything vulgar. I could go on - being told how to dress, being given torn out pages of Victoria Secret catalog AT WORK and told this would look much better on me than the "birth control outfit" I'm wearing. This has happened to me all over the country, not just the South. It gets on a woman's nerves.

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Response to CitizenPatriot (Reply #28)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 03:21 PM

31. for you... lol,

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Response to seabeyond (Reply #31)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 03:35 PM

35. HAHAHA! thank you!

I LOVE this by the way, you just MADE ME SMILE (the right way)

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Response to CitizenPatriot (Reply #35)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 03:40 PM

36. i found a whole site of them. now, i am going to them for whatever the post requires.

he sure does get it. (i think it is a man)

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Response to seabeyond (Reply #36)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 03:47 PM

44. that's a man worth knowing! n/t

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Response to seabeyond (Reply #36)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 12:23 AM

205. A whole site! Aren't you gonna share the link with us, seabeyond? nt

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Response to tblue37 (Reply #205)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 12:48 AM

210. i really saw it...

kinda like all mine, lol.

http://www.sinfest.net/archive.php

go into archives.


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Response to seabeyond (Reply #210)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 01:36 AM

213. Thanks for the link! Cool site! nt

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Response to seabeyond (Reply #210)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 06:29 AM

224. "Chicken Soup for Your 'Nads" by Bob Dole?

(The 1/20/2000 'toon.)

Thanks! I haven't laughed so hard since "Bloom County" went away or since granny got her hair caught in the wringer!

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Response to seabeyond (Reply #31)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 05:04 PM

94. She needs to learn how to transmit the FIX to his genitals.

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Response to CitizenPatriot (Reply #28)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 03:29 PM

34. "when men stopped hitting on me, I'd be sorry"

LOL, not true! I haven't quite reached the "no hitting on me" stage but I'm pretty close. I do not miss the "attention" I got when I was young.

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Response to gkhouston (Reply #34)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 03:46 PM

41. I figured that might be the truth

because this "attention" has gotten me other very unpleasant things that I am really looking forward to being over Thanks for the empowering feedback.

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Response to CitizenPatriot (Reply #41)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 03:49 PM

45. Trust me, you will *love* being able to walk down a street, use mass transit, or shop

without the constant interruptions.

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Response to gkhouston (Reply #45)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 05:20 PM

101. Ain't that the truth. I love the non-attention age brings me. I'm not so happy about the

other age-related shit, but the non-attention has been great.

Another thing that's good -- with age, you can also go medieval on somebody's ass (IOW, be stern and demanding) and actually get results. When you're young, you usually can't get away with that.

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Response to Nay (Reply #101)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 05:44 PM

123. LOL, true. And when you say "no", people realize you mean it the first time.

My mom says one of the few gifts of age is that as she got older, she spent less and less time doing things she didn't want to do.

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Response to Nay (Reply #101)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 09:44 PM

171. So true, so true

The aches and pains suck, but the perks are fantabulous! I've always been someone who didn't suffer fools gladly, but now I know exactly how to communicate that and I don't get, "Aw, honey, you don't mean that!". God, that steamed me.

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Response to CitizenPatriot (Reply #41)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 09:42 PM

170. Yep, going to be great for you

They lied to us when they said we would miss it. Completely, totally lied to us. I love middle age.

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Response to gkhouston (Reply #34)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 03:53 PM

50. So true

I never would have thought so. It even gave me pause for the first couple of years, as men started stampeding over me to lend some kind of unnecessary assistance to a twenty-something. And then it was just a relief. What's quite nice is reaching the age when you go back to getting some polite deference from young men - because you remind them of their mothers!

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Response to gkhouston (Reply #34)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 04:01 PM

54. I *have* reached that stage and it's .... strange.

Sad because I've become invisible. I kind of liked being a hottie--yes I ADMIT that. Most people like positive attention.

I was also aware of the sexist nature of unwanted attention...I also had (have) my own individual issues about inferiority and such....

Regardless, I miss being recognized as a fellow human being now. Or maybe that's not the right word; I miss being recognized as EXISTING now.

However, on the bright side, if someone is friendly to me now, it's probably that they like ME, rather than just enjoy *looking* at me.

Another plus: I can now consider that second career as a stealth spy.

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Response to BlancheSplanchnik (Reply #54)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 09:09 PM

158. Yeah same with me. It's hard to get used to, a difficult adjustment

from getting attention even sometimes when it annoyed me to practically non-existance. It has it advantages it but I still have a difficult time mentally getting used to being invisable.

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Response to BlancheSplanchnik (Reply #54)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 09:52 PM

174. Your money shot is in the fourth paragraph

I guess the reason I don't miss being a hottie is that I grew out of believing it was my worth before I left that stage. As I went from cute to quite beautiful in my late twenties to early thirties, I had already realized what a racket it was and also realized that I didn't want to be on the world's stage, not as arm candy to whomever. I had people chasing after me to try to own me. I didn't take the bait and found a partner who really saw the me in me, not just the cover. He was the best partner I was ever with. Well, except for me. I'm great fun as my own partner.

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Response to tavalon (Reply #174)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 11:48 PM

199. Good looks can be a curse as well as a blessing, as I'm sure you've realized.

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Response to gkhouston (Reply #34)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 07:50 PM

139. I hit that mark over 10 years ago

and I don't miss it a bit. I don't think there is anyone more anonymous than a slightly overweight middle aged woman. I really REALLY hated being ogled and told to "smile".

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Response to arikara (Reply #139)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 09:14 PM

159. Amen a *thousand* times. nt

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Response to arikara (Reply #139)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 09:46 PM

172. I *thought* I'd hit that mark long ago, but every now and then I get

surprised. There must be some pretty damned desperate men out there.

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Response to arikara (Reply #139)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 12:10 AM

202. It was never done by fabulously handsome "winners"--it was always someone

you wouldn't want to get to know better, in my experience.

That seems to be one of the points that the author is making also--that it is an overture directed at someone the guy is trying to "hit" on, and that is part of what angers women about it.

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Response to gkhouston (Reply #34)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 09:41 PM

168. I'm with you!

I have hit menopause and I am getting my grandmother's face and I love it. So freeing.

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Response to gkhouston (Reply #34)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 02:32 PM

280. I'm already there and it's liberating beyond words

I now remind them of their mothers and get a lot of respect.

I won't even bother to lie and say I miss the bad attention. I don't. And I like the respect I get now, as an older woman.

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Response to CitizenPatriot (Reply #28)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 09:40 PM

167. I was quite the pretty young thing and I hated these salvos

Now, I'm middle aged and no one hits on me and guess what? I'm fine, and a whole lot less aggravated. I still have my power and in fact, feel like I have more power because I'm not bound by society's view of me. It's really nice. I wish I had known about this when I was younger.

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Response to CitizenPatriot (Reply #28)

Sun Jan 13, 2013, 05:11 AM

332. I have to comment on this:

". . . stop complaining because when men stopped hitting on me, I'd be sorry."

I'm 57 and when I realized that men were no longer hitting on me, or even noticing me for that matter, it was one of the greatest sighs of relief I've ever experienced. Too often "hitting on" was borderline stalking (the ones who refused to take "no, thank you" for an answer) and "admiring from afar" many times was closer to leering.

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Response to Chemisse (Reply #4)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 05:26 PM

105. Holy shit....now suggesting someone smile is offensive.

We might as well all wear masks and speak in some Newspeak language that has been purged of any emotional words that could offend...sometimes I think I am living in a Si Fi flick about a dystopian future world....like Brave New World.
Well we are not quite there yet...but there seems to be many people on a search and destroy mission to find and eliminate any kind of human emotional interaction, (be it good or bad)

So fucking what if someone tells you to smile and you don;'t feel like it...tell them to fuck off if you want...but stop making rules of what can and cannot be said.

Oh fuck it...do what the hell you want.

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Response to zeemike (Reply #105)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 05:58 PM

126. 1st world problems

Just sayin'

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Response to zeemike (Reply #105)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 08:02 PM

145. You don't get it

How would YOU feel if you were in a bad mood for a very good reason (you just lost your job, you just found out you had a serious illness, someone in your family just died), and some guy came up and told you to smile?

It's like women are expected to be decorative, and a frowning woman (who is frowning for whatever reason) spoils the scenery, so it's the man's prerogative to tell her what expression to have on her face.

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Response to Lydia Leftcoast (Reply #145)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 08:36 PM

152. Oh I get it alright.

And how I feel has nothing to do with someone telling me to smile....I am not such a fragile thing that I can break down at any moment by some innocent comment by a stranger....and I think that if you are that fragile then you need help not enabling.

I have been told things like that in my life...when things were going bad for me...but I was not angry and hurt by it at all....it was not THEIR fault I had a bad day, so why should I take it out on them?
But I do recall one time telling them I did not feel like it because I had a bad day, and that led to that person giving me support that I needed...
That is normal human interaction and you want to make it something bad...don't buy it...but if you want to live your life like that go for it...just don't expect me to feel sorry for you cause you did not want to feel better and needed to lash out at someone.

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Response to zeemike (Reply #152)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 09:54 PM

175. Yeah, try getting it all the time

It got tiresome.

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Response to zeemike (Reply #152)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 09:54 AM

235. You are now telling people how to feel in response to being told by strangers

to indicate that they feel an emotion that they don't feel.

Do you see any irony in that? I think it means that, no, you don't get it.

The stranger does this because the girl smiling would be a more pleasant experience for the stranger. The stranger doesn't get that he (and it is always a he) has no purview over the girl's expression.

Edited to add: I use the term "girl" advisedly. In my experience, this mostly happens when women are younger, and the "expression instructing" stranger feels, consciously or unconsciously, that he has some authority over her.

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Response to Squinch (Reply #235)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 12:24 PM

250. No one can tell someone how to feel

But everyone IS responsible for how they feel...so if I feel shitty today and I lash out at someone...it is not THEIR fault.

And the rest is bullshit....you seem to think that if any strange speaks to you it is because they want to get into your pants...and that is how YOU feel not what is reality.
Not everything in this world is about sex and men seeking to have authority over girls and shit.
And your solution to solve this problem the way you see it is to make people stop talking to sulking girls....or maybe men to stop approaching them at all...as if there is something bad and dirty about it.

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Response to zeemike (Reply #250)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 12:45 PM

252. True. No one can tell someone how to feel. So why do some people feel they need to?

And again, you misunderstand. This is not about sex. This is about the authority one person percieves he has over another.

Edited to say: and it's not about a man seeking to have power over a woman. It is about a man assuming he already does have the authority over a woman to specify the facial expression he prefers she wears.

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Response to Squinch (Reply #252)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 01:54 PM

267. you have said as clearly as can be. if still not understood, it is purposeful. also, all the posters

that are sharing consistent claims to the use of "smile" and their irritation at the use of "smile" should be a pretty HUGE ass moment of reflection on the issue. yet still, tehy argue happens to both, not a slight, what is the big deal.

these are the very men that refuse to understand where a woman is coming from and why we still have such a huge womans issue, today. even on a progressive board.

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Response to seabeyond (Reply #267)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 02:03 PM

271. I actually think we have much more of a women's issue today than we

have had in a really long time. I guess all progress takes place with a pendulum effect, but it is discouraging.

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Response to Squinch (Reply #271)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 02:45 PM

284. backlash. i agree. and i think

the net has allowed it to magnify. there is plenty of reinforcement for misogynist behavior.

actually, i see a handful of reasons why.

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Response to Squinch (Reply #252)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 02:22 PM

276. And so women don't have a facial preference and have no power over men.

Women don't care if men scowl or smile...and they would never suggest that they change their expression...
It is all horseshit....probably because there is nothing at the moment to get us fighting amongst ourselves with but this.

I guess the next step is to warn us that men should not approach women and say anything to them at all unless you know them well because if you do it means you are a misogynist that hates women and wants to dominate them.
Really there is no limit to what can be done with this.

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Response to zeemike (Reply #276)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 02:26 PM

279. Has a strange woman, in whom you have no interest, ever approached you on the street solely to tell

you that she thinks you should change your facial expression?

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Response to Squinch (Reply #279)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 02:39 PM

282. No but one did in a restaurant.

Long ago when I was having a bad day...and she was right to say it.
It actually made me think....but blaming her for anything or being offended at her comments never entered my mind.

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Response to zeemike (Reply #282)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 02:51 PM

285. One person approached you in a restaurant, long ago. In my youth, anytime I was walking

along the street and didn't happen to be smiling, some idiot would decide I needed to fix my attitude. It still happens with ridiculous frequency. Try dealing with that for a few days. And, oh, stop and explain to each of them why you are not smiling. Because that would really improve the quality of your life. And because there are those out there who believe you owe them that explanation.

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Response to Squinch (Reply #285)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 04:44 PM

298. Well long ago was in my youth.

That incident happened when I was 17...and my youth was not happy at all I can assure you...and in fact I may not have made it to this time had people not noticed it and said something about it...it is called human interaction which is essential to human development and or culture unless you like conflict and a lot of shit.

I do remember one person, a man this time, saying "What the hell is wrong with you, you have been moping around here all day"?
To you that makes you feel anger....to me it was an act of kindness...he was showing that he knew I was hurting and wanted to help...and in most cases that is exactly what it is.

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Response to zeemike (Reply #298)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 05:21 PM

304. OK. SO we've gone around this from every angle.

You've read hundreds of responses in this thread from women who universally say that they find it absolutely obnoxious when strange men tell them to smile.

You are citing sadnesses from your life, which I am sorry happened to you, but which are not the same as what is being discussed here.

I begin to see that nothing will budge you from your position that this is just the gals being oversensitive, that it is the kind of non-issue that makes liberals look bad to Republicans, and that the ladies objecting to men telling them to smile is just something that creates tension and ruins the peace of - you know - normal people.

Best of luck to you, and keep on spreading your unique brand of peace by specifying to strange women what they should do with their faces.

Bye.

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Response to Squinch (Reply #304)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 05:52 PM

306. Well your compleat dismissil has been heard.

We stand divided....bye

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Response to Squinch (Reply #285)

Sun Jan 13, 2013, 01:41 AM

318. that was a comment from a man who spent all day with you observing you "mope" for hours

not a stranger you've never seen passing you on the street who actually doesn't give a fuck. and it happened once in how many years?
Not what we're talking about at all.

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Response to Squinch (Reply #279)

Sun Jan 13, 2013, 05:46 AM

333. I've had strangers tell me to smile

My little sis tells me that quite often.

What's scary is when people (store clerks and even total strangers) quit asking "How are you?" and start asking "Are you OK?"

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Response to zeemike (Reply #276)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 10:25 PM

310. Actually that is pretty much how I comport myself at all times.

Unless specifically assured otherwise, I assume that a strange woman that I happen to pass on the street has no interest in me engaging with her in any way whatsoever. Given the abundance of creepy guys out and about, I would assume that every woman I meet treats strange men with at least a little bit of caution.

I'm sorry the world is this way, but I don't want to make anyone even the slightest bit uncomfortable.

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Response to Flatulo (Reply #310)

Sun Jan 13, 2013, 12:09 AM

313. You do then understand what a cynical way that is to live.

In constant fear of being in constant fear.
Yes it is a mean world out there but you don't have to let it beat the shit out of you with the fear it creates.
But never mind...it is a brave new world you feel safe in....I don't myself..I feel trapped by always being safe from all uncertainty when it even dictates what you can and cannot say.

But this is not new to me...I have seen this before...back in the 70s when feminism got started again in the 60s....and I was a supporter of it...but then the radicals came in and they did something much like this...but it was about men having permission to touch a woman...
And they made a little skit to teach mostly boys how to ask permission if they wanted to get closer to a girl....and they were dead serious but it seemed so funny....the boy would have to say the the girl..."I would like to get to know you better and get closer to you...can I hold your hand?"....and she would say yes...then he would ask if he could sit close to her....and on and on.

Well that did not work too well...not because the boys wouldn't do it, because boys are objective driven and they just wanted to get in those pants and would perform any way you wanted to do that....but for the girls it was a total turn off, because the FUN part of sex for them was that little dance men and women do around sex....and this was like throwing a bucket of cold water on the whole damn thing.
So that little attempt at social engineering was a flop because it sucked the fun right out of things....and mostly for women.

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Response to zeemike (Reply #313)

Sun Jan 13, 2013, 12:19 AM

314. You seem to believe that most women are always interested in engaging in a mating

dance with you. But you have no way of knowing if this is the case. If it isn't, then even saying something as seemingly innocuous is just annoying.

Since I've been thinking about this topic, I decided to as mmy wife if men routinely asked her to "Smile" on the street, and she replied that they did, and that she found it at least mildly annoying, as though she was being hit on.

If a woman is interested in engaging with you, theyll let you know. Otherwise, assume they're not.

As I posted up thread, the nice thing about datings sites is that there is no uncertainty about who is interested and who isn't. Feel free to aggressively pursue in that venue.



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Response to Flatulo (Reply #314)

Sun Jan 13, 2013, 12:48 AM

315. I assume nothing of the sort.

And I also don't assume that everyone that talks to me has some ulterior motive...sometimes believe it or not people just say things to be friendly....and when I have done that and got snapped at I went the other way because it is a drag to be around people like that....and I think that is a natural reaction....so those people may find themselves around people like them and it may actually re enforce it.

Going to extremes does not work...and when you get into saying things like...I don't tell women to smile and neither should you, it makes the whole thing seem petty and a bit ridiculous...
I mean I could start a topic titled "I don't tell men to cry and neither should you" and then go off on how hurtful it is to insist men do something that is not manly...you would surly think that is ridiculous.
Give it a rest people...not everything has to be a big fucking deal....this is not drama class it's life.

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Response to zeemike (Reply #315)

Sun Jan 13, 2013, 01:33 AM

317. Well, I don't know else to tell you, Mike. You've heard it from a number of women here,

and although DU may not be a representative slice of humanity, enough people have stated that they find it inappropriate and condescending that you should certainly consider avoiding this gesture. I don't think you'd want to make anyone uncomfortable, so why not err on the side of caution.

You don't get to say what's offensive unless you're on the receiving end, so even though you may think it's much ado about nothing, others clearly are annoyed by this behaviour.

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Response to Flatulo (Reply #317)

Sun Jan 13, 2013, 08:02 AM

334. Well then why not error on the side of caution

And quit saying fuck shit piss and the other 7 words you cannot say on TV because there is no doubt that some people find it offensive...
And you know what I find offensive?...assuming that everything that men may say to a strange woman is misogynistic...the implication is that men are pigs....and that makes me angry to be called a pig.//and so pigs should be banned here too unless you are talking about farming.
And it can go on forever, cause there is always someone who will be offended by something....and some people want to turn life into a constant tragedy and drama where "you better watch what you say"

Read the book Brave New World....he covered that dystopian future and they solved your problem of being offended at things...everything that was offensive was taken out of life...you can patent your own brave new world after that.
But count me out...besides I have lived long enough to where your vision of a brave new world will never effect me.

No I will not censor myself over such nonsense...so sue me....and if you don;t like what I say here then talk to Skinner and get me banned because my comments are so awful and so offensive.

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Response to zeemike (Reply #334)

Sun Jan 13, 2013, 08:40 AM

336. You're not being censored. You can say whatever you want to (or at) whomever you want.

But be aware that they might not respond in the way that you expect or would wish them to respond. And it will have been explained to you why.

Unfortunately the world has become more impersonal than back in the day when everyone lived in a small town with 523 other people who all knew each other by name. Random women on the street in all probability are not comfortable with strange men telling them to "smile" or "cheer up" or whatever.

It doesn't matter that you're comfortable with it. They're not. We should respect that.



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Response to Flatulo (Reply #336)

Sun Jan 13, 2013, 09:02 AM

337. Well you are not being censored ether.

You are free to respond to it any way you want to respond to it...if I find your responsive offensive I will put distance between me and you...but I will not tell you your response is not acceptable to me....I don't need you or people that are angry all the time around me...it makes me feel bad...and serves no useful social purpose.

In my circle of friends I can speak freely and even if my friends disagree with me they are not "offended" cause they have no desire to shut me up...and when they disagree they will feel free to say it cause they know I don't nit pick their words and look for offensive things to whine about.

But you may feel different...so surround yourself with people that you like and good luck to you.

And by the way, all my life there has been big cities...I actually lived in one when I was young...saw strangers everyday...but back then most people would smile at you if they past you on the street...But that was before the era of outrage I guess.

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Response to Flatulo (Reply #317)

Sun Jan 13, 2013, 01:33 PM

339. the point would be, there are articles, blogs and the number of time on du we have had this

conversation. and this poster still tells women we must suck it up, and need to smile, because HE says so, or there is something wrong with us. the very attitude of the men that do it in the first place. they do not care how women feel. or that we do not like it. or that it is condescending, which reinforces our point of exactly what it is.

mike perfectly illustrates and validates what the women are saying in this thread.

and he will continue cause he does not give a fuck about the women, but cause it is a reward for him to demand a woman does something and gets the pay off when she does.

also he talks about people making a big deal about it and he seems to be making the biggest deal about it, demanding women accommodate.

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Response to zeemike (Reply #152)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 12:06 PM

247. Just one other thought: would you ever tell your boss to smile and stop frowning? Why is that?

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Response to Squinch (Reply #247)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 12:14 PM

248. Well yes I would.

And I would hope that I had a boss that could understand that I had good intent in saying that....not one that would lash out at me for saying it...
And that is what seems to be missing in the conversation....understanding of human interaction.

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Response to zeemike (Reply #248)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 12:50 PM

254. I think you might want to KNOW that your boss could understand before you told him or her to

change their facial expression to one you preferred. Because if you judged your boss wrongly and gave them instructions about your preferred facial expression, you run the risk of being fired.

It would really not be a sensible thing to do, because you are not in a position of authority over them, and not in a position to let them know that they should show the facial expression you prefer.

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Response to Squinch (Reply #254)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 02:13 PM

274. Well I tell you the truth I would not want to work for someone as petty and vindictive as that

To fire someone because you suggested they smile.
And it is no sin to prefer a smile to a scowl....believe it or not most people do.
But you would prefer to see it as someone "Ordering you" to smile.
This is fucking stupid shit...and you should know it....and it reinforces some of the right wing memes about liberals...that we are a bunch of petty snipers attacking even the most innocent of things to turn us all into sourpusses and nags.
If that is a club I have to join then count me out.

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Response to zeemike (Reply #274)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 02:22 PM

277. What do you have to be so upset about? You should smile instead of getting so mad.

Because, you know, you'd catch a lot more flies with honey than with all this vinegar. The anger I am hearing from you right now makes you very unattractive.

...get it now?

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Response to Squinch (Reply #277)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 02:33 PM

281. Well anger is never attractive...and I am not trying to attract.

But no doubt about It I am angry.
Cause I see shit like this that has no real effect on making a more just and peaceful society...and in fact seems to me to be to make us less of a peaceful society...creating tension between men and women....and even stranger against stranger.
Yes it pisses me off...and I don't mind saying that it does...and if someone tells me to smile I will tell them why I am not smiling and will not be offended by it....to your great disappointment I presume.

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Response to zeemike (Reply #281)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 02:43 PM

283. The women hearing those words are not trying to attract either. Nor do they owe explanations to

strangers about why they are not smiling. Nor do they need to hear strangers' opinions about their facial expressions.

If you read the dozens of posts here, you will see that men telling strange women to smile CAUSES tension. More than tension, it pisses women off. Each of the women commenting here, without exception, is saying that she DOES NOT LIKE THIS.

If you are serious about wanting a more peaceful society, and if you are paying attention to the point of view of the dozens of women here who have been on the receiving end of these patronizing remarks, you will learn that these comments are what create tension between men and women.

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Response to Squinch (Reply #283)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 06:00 PM

307. And the posts here represent all womankind

Or the overwhelming majority....and the proof is that so many in this post agree with you?
Get real...I know women an none of them feel that way and even if they did feel that way they would never make a big deal out of it cause it IS NOT a big fucking deal....you have made it so in your mind...but your mind may not be typical of all women.

But I know from experience that no amount of reason will change your mind....I sometimes feel that some people need the negative feelings to feel OK...and they can't get rid of that Jones.
Telling you to lighten up is no different than telling you to smile...
So good luck to you.

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Response to zeemike (Reply #281)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 03:33 PM

289. You're clueles

"Cause I see shit like this that has no real effect on making a more just and peaceful society...and in fact seems to me to be to make us less of a peaceful society...creating tension between men and women....and even stranger against stranger. "

What you are utterly failing to understand is that tension was already there, you were just ignorant of it. And now that it's been called to your attention, you are angry that someone dared tell things weren't just great already.

I'm not the kind of person who ever attracted a whole lot of attention out in public, but I got a taste of this years ago when I was hanging out on webchat rooms (I know, I know). I naturally have a mouth that curves downward and I look like I'm frowning when I my facial muscles are merely relaxed. I don't know how many times men told me to smile or even asked me "what in the hell are you mad about"? I wasn't mad before. But guess what? That got me there in a hurry.

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Response to FightForMichigan (Reply #289)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 04:32 PM

297. So you are projecting the tension you feel on to everyone.

I have no tension with women...never have...and most women don't have any tension with me...mostly we get along fine and the times I have run into people, both men and women, who get offended at the least little thing I put some distance between us because there is no reason for me to put up with that shit....there are plenty of people in this world that can love me for who I am and who appreciate me loving them for who they are to waste my time with the anger and discontent.

Telling people to smile is not the big fucking deal it is being made out to be....it is just an excuse for anger that goes much deeper than being told to smile.

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Response to zeemike (Reply #297)

Sun Jan 13, 2013, 02:34 AM

325. Yes, perfectly tension-free

But no doubt about It I am angry.


I have no tension with women...never have.


Ayep.

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Response to Squinch (Reply #254)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 10:32 PM

311. I think the women who've been replying to this thread may be misunderstanding what a man

Is looking for when he tells you to smile. I don't think he's asking you to change your facial expression. It's simpler than that.

He is saying "Acknowledge me."

It's a subtle difference but an important one, which gets back to men wanting to feel that they are special enough to merit any kind of positive response.

It's still inappropriate, but a man can't very well walk up to a woman and say "You must engage in conversation with me, and if you find me charming enough, you will eventually show me your vagina."

"Smile" is a much safer way to accomplish the same thing.

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Response to Lydia Leftcoast (Reply #145)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 09:26 PM

164. Yes, you are EXACTLY right. nt

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Response to zeemike (Reply #105)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 11:51 AM

246. Well, I KNEW some here would fail to comprehend basic moral issues.

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Response to Chemisse (Reply #4)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 05:33 PM

113. I see women doing it more than men

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Response to Major Nikon (Reply #113)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 08:00 PM

144. That sounds interesting.

As in, it's slightly interesting that you are bringing this up, right now. What have you got?

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Response to Quantess (Reply #144)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 08:05 PM

147. I have exactly what I said

I said I've seen women doing it more. It may be true that men do it more. Regardless I'm pretty sure there's a lot of women out there doing it even if it's true that more men are.

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Response to Major Nikon (Reply #147)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 08:36 PM

151. this same argument came up a while ago. i asked all the men and boys in my life. none of them has

had anyone say this.

so yes, we wonder.

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Response to Major Nikon (Reply #147)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 08:55 PM

157. I've been told to do so by other women, yep.

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Response to Neoma (Reply #157)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 09:50 PM

173. SMIIIILE, HONEY!

Or what?

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Response to Quantess (Reply #173)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 10:06 PM

183. Relatives that loves to reinforce patriarchy for their men.

http://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1014&pid=365001

They live in the same county. They are all nuts there, not just that guy.

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Response to Major Nikon (Reply #113)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 01:42 PM

263. I've never seen or even heard of a woman doing this to a man. EVER.

And I'm 56.

Stop making shit up to justify your sexism.

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Response to kestrel91316 (Reply #263)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 03:57 PM

291. I've already said I've never done it and thought it was stupid

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Response to Major Nikon (Reply #113)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 02:24 PM

278. They do it to little boys or family members, not strangers on the street.

Women do not commknly go around saying shit to strange men on the street. Sorry, that's bullshit.

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Response to Major Nikon (Reply #292)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 09:14 PM

308. Neoma is not a man. Ha ha. And any other guy who said they've heard it forgot we were talking about

strangers in the street treating other adults to this patronizing bullshit.

Not conversations with friends giving anyone advice, not people trying to cheer up a little child.






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Response to bettyellen (Reply #308)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 09:15 PM

309. That's kind of the point

Ha ha.

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Response to Major Nikon (Reply #309)

Sun Jan 13, 2013, 01:33 AM

316. that people love telling women how to look and act, but spare men this bullshit?

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Response to bettyellen (Reply #316)

Sun Jan 13, 2013, 01:45 AM

319. No

Ha ha!

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Response to Major Nikon (Reply #319)

Sun Jan 13, 2013, 02:08 AM

321. that women secretly do this to men all the time, and never admit it? and guys lie too, pretending

it never happens to them!

I love nutsy little theories like that!

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Response to bettyellen (Reply #321)

Sun Jan 13, 2013, 02:14 AM

322. No

Ha ha!

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Response to Major Nikon (Reply #322)

Sun Jan 13, 2013, 02:21 AM

323. you claim to see women do this all the time- if it was to adult male strangers, would be equivalent

otherwise, you don't have a point at all.

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Response to bettyellen (Reply #323)

Sun Jan 13, 2013, 02:27 AM

324. You obviously have no idea what my point was

...and rather than asking if you wanted clarification, you simply filled in the blank for me and ran with it. So I simply fed your monster which seems to make you happy.

Ha ha!

Cheers!

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Response to Major Nikon (Reply #324)

Sun Jan 13, 2013, 02:35 AM

326. oh please, if you had one, you'd be proudly defending it. but you posted total nonsense about women

dong this all the time, and now.... can't think of a way to walk your way back from it.
because it was BULLSHIT.

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Response to bettyellen (Reply #326)

Sun Jan 13, 2013, 02:40 AM

328. Whatever you say

Obviously your mind was made up before I ever responded. I don't really see the point in defending anything against you. Reasonable discussion doesn't seem to be what you're after. Silly text laughs seems to be the only value I find in your responses, and even then it's only for the entertainment value.

Ha ha!

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Response to Major Nikon (Reply #328)

Sun Jan 13, 2013, 02:45 AM

330. yep, BULLSHIT. Tks for the confirmation.

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Response to Chemisse (Reply #4)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 07:33 PM

134. I've been given the you need to smile more lecture my whole life

And I'm a guy. I've gotten the speech from both men and women.

I think it's often about control, but I don't think it's inherently gender related. I think it can also be about a lack of human empathy. Being incapable of understanding that other people might have different emotions or not be overly outgoing particularly around people they don't know.

But then I have an acquaintance who has the opposite problem. She has trouble coming across as angry even when she wants to.

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Response to mythology (Reply #134)

Sun Jan 13, 2013, 01:51 AM

320. total strangers of both sexes walking down the street stop to lecture you frequently?

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Response to Chemisse (Reply #4)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 05:48 AM

220. And the proof is that no straight guy would ask another guy to do that. n/t

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Response to pnwmom (Reply #220)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 02:06 PM

273. Could you just imagine it?

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Response to Squinch (Reply #273)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 02:52 PM

286. Maybe if I were watching South Park.

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Response to pnwmom (Reply #286)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 02:54 PM

287. I keep thinking of the old westerns where the outgunned man has to "smile when he says that."

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Response to Squinch (Reply #287)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 03:49 PM

290. There ya go! n/t

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Response to Chemisse (Reply #4)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 08:33 AM

233. Ding Ding Ding

Exactly. It's patronizing and there is no way I would ever approach an unhappy looking guy on the train and say 'hey, smile there buddy, your problems can't be that bad' and not expect to be told off or ignored.

Why is this is so hard for some on this thread to understand? This isn't brain surgery.

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Response to Chemisse (Reply #4)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 10:48 AM

243. All about him

How right you are, anyone telling another to "smile" is doing it for self-aggrandizement, omniscient(as if), not at all about the woman. It's bad behavior and ignorant to tell anyone man or woman to "smile" by a man or a woman.

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Response to Chemisse (Reply #4)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 01:33 PM

260. THIS ^^^^ - I have had older male clients pull this with me while I am in the middle of examining

and treating their dog or cat at various times over the past 30 years. It's terribly patronizing. I'm concentrating on doing a good, thorough job as a veterinarian and they are obsessing over my lack of a foolish grin????

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Response to kestrel91316 (Reply #260)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 01:56 PM

268. that is the thing. it is not even because a woman may be bothered about a damn thing. could be in

thought without a foolish smile on face like most everyone on the planet does.

it is not even about concern the person is upset. i was never upset when it happened to me. i would be standing in line or whatever.

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Response to Chemisse (Reply #4)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 01:42 PM

264. Nope, it's not just really old men.

The last time I heard it it was a middle aged guy, around the same age as I am.

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Response to Chemisse (Reply #4)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 05:06 PM

302. Yes, it's the Victorian ideal of the useless and decorative woman

who will be shunned if she fails to be decorative enough.

It also implies sexual availability.

Men who commanded me to smile generally got a dirty look. It's all they deserved.

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Response to Brickbat (Original post)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 02:32 PM

6. It IS annoying.

And it won't get you laid.

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Response to Quantess (Reply #6)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 02:33 PM

9. Hee!

Pretty simple, really.

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Response to Quantess (Reply #6)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 04:12 PM

293. .



About as effective as honking the car horn as you drive by. Seinfield once did a bit on that where he ended by saying, "these men have run out of ideas!"

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Response to Brickbat (Original post)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 02:34 PM

10. I'd never tell someone to smile, man or woman.

That's not appropriate, since I don't know why anyone feels the way they do at any given time.

That is, of course, unless I'm holding a camera and I'm speaking to the group whose photo I'm taking. Then I might say, "Smile, everyone."

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #10)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 02:37 PM

17. EXACTLY!

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #10)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 09:56 PM

176. Thank you, Mineral Man

That is the only acceptable time to intrude on my emotional state and usually, if the camera is out, everyone is smiling anyway.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #10)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 10:08 PM

185. People do all sorts of inappropriate things

I remember once being told to not ask to touch a pregnant woman's stomach. I couldn't figure out why anybody would think it would be appropriate to ask if they could do that.

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Response to Brickbat (Original post)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 02:34 PM

11. Love this

It's just that, when presuming that nothing could possibly be that bad in an attractive woman's life that she dare not smile, you are dehumanizing them. It's a "nice" form of dehumanization, but it's still dehumanization nonetheless. It's also transparent. You don't see men running up to homeless women and the elderly and asking them to smile. The request is usually made when the requester thinks the requestee is attractive. It's not about a legitimate need for women to be happy as much as it's that smiling/pleasant-looking women are easier on the eyes and more inviting to approach. It's really not about the woman at all.



Because that woman is supposed to be there for some man's enjoyment. Like hell!

I've experienced that many times in my life and you know what? If I ran around with a smile on my face every single minute of the day my husband would think I had lost my marbles.

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Response to JustAnotherGen (Reply #11)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 07:16 PM

131. Simple exercise ...

Look at women who appear on tv (news anchors, guest). More than likely she is smiling.
Compare men who appear on tv. They do not smile.

It is definitely a gender issue. Women are TAUGHT to smile. Men obviously are not. Unless there is genuinely something to smile about, women are taught to be good girls and put a smile on that face. No matter what.

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Response to JustAnotherGen (Reply #11)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 09:57 PM

177. Dehumanizing

Exactly right.

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Response to Brickbat (Original post)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 02:35 PM

14. Men still do that? They did in the sixties when I was in my twenties.

I told them if they could make me laugh, then I would smile.

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Response to Cleita (Reply #14)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 05:09 PM

97. The only man I ever heard say something like that

was Mexican and had a French little person assistant!

Some of these threads are really weird!

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Response to Cleita (Reply #14)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 09:20 PM

161. Yes, they do.

Apparently I'm still 'pretty enough' to pester despite being in my 40s.

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Response to Cleita (Reply #14)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 10:45 AM

242. My dad used to do that to me, than again he is a dentist...

I would be like, dad..I brushed my teeth and flossed, leave me a lone!!

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Response to AsahinaKimi (Reply #242)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 11:42 AM

245. Smart guy get some free advertising!

Unless he did what horse traders do and have the prospective customer look in your mouth!;0

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Response to Brickbat (Original post)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 02:36 PM

15. Men have to learn that women aren't their little performing puppies

That they can just boss around any time they want to.

A lot of men are going to have to learn the hard way that it's not the job of women, especially women that they don't know, to pretty up the landscape with smiles.

Stop telling women to smile.

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Response to Brickbat (Original post)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 02:37 PM

16. I remember hating that as a kid

I think it would fill me with rage to get it as an adult. Sigh.

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Response to Brickbat (Original post)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 02:38 PM

18. It never has occurred to me ...

to approach a stranger, female or male, and ask them to smile. I have, on the other hand, seen a stranger with a distraught look on their face and, after striking up a conversation, offer my assistance ... but only if the stranger brought up what had them distraught; if not, I've offered a "I hope your day improves."

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Response to 1StrongBlackMan (Reply #18)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 02:42 PM

20. That's not what we're talking about, here.

Don't worry.

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Response to Quantess (Reply #20)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 06:02 AM

221. In fact,

1StrongBlackMan gave us an example of actually showing concern and empathy(+ sympathy) for someone. That is to be commended.

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Response to 1StrongBlackMan (Reply #18)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 03:04 PM

25. That's the perfect thing to say, if anything.

Sometimes people give you a look that says," I've been there, hang in and it'll get better" and it helps.

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Response to bettyellen (Reply #25)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 04:22 PM

66. Just curious - why is a stranger striking up a conversation less offensive than a stranger

asking you to smile? It seems to me that each opening is an unwelcome advance.

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Response to Flatulo (Reply #66)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 04:43 PM

80. Not necessarily--maybe the person is lonely and needs someone to talk to

Asking, "Is anything wrong?" is a gesture of concern that may or may not be welcomed by a person of any age and either gender.

That's quite different than being told, in effect, "Your glum face is ruining my scenery. Smile, so you can be a pleasant part of the scenery."

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Response to Lydia Leftcoast (Reply #80)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 04:46 PM

81. Ah, I get it. It's the condescension that's offensive. Thanks.

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Response to Flatulo (Reply #81)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 10:00 PM

180. You get it. That's a great way to put it. Thanks.

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Response to Flatulo (Reply #81)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 04:19 PM

294. It's the condescension and the fact that "you should smile" has nothing to do with what is going on

with the woman. It's just the man saying, "I want you to smile."

"Is anything wrong?" says, "I would like to help or hear you out if you need it." It includes the woman as a person where "smile" doesn't. "Is anything wrong?" is an interaction, rather than an instruction.

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Response to Flatulo (Reply #66)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 04:54 PM

86. A stranger striking up a conversation can be welcome!

I generally am receptive to the efforts, except, you have to treat people with respect. Telling a stranger to smile is not treating the other person with respect. It shows a lack of empathy.

I think if someone looks grumpy or sad, you need to address the feelings first, otherwise, it is a total dismissal of the person's feelings. Better yet, if a stranger looks sad or grumpy or stressed out, leave them alone. Strike up a conversation with a happy looking person.

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Response to Quantess (Reply #86)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 05:29 PM

109. If someone looks stressed out, it may take very little to help them out

A ride to the train station, a few cell phone minutes, correct change for the bus, etc. Can't hurt to ask--if it's something deeper, they'll probably just say thanks, but there really isn't anything you can do.

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Response to eridani (Reply #109)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 05:47 PM

124. Exactly!

But you wouldn't just go... "you need to smile!" would you?

No, I'm guessing you wouldn't.

WTF?

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Response to Quantess (Reply #124)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 10:01 PM

181. Usually, it was more, "you need to smile, honey." God, I hated that.

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Response to Quantess (Reply #124)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 06:29 AM

225. Of course not! That random strangers have the right to criticize your emotional state--

--is a truly appalling notion.

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Response to Flatulo (Reply #66)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 07:50 PM

141. A supportive little comment is always welcome- an

Entire conversation? Probably not. Unless you are both stuck together in line or at a bus stop and the other person welcomes it that's kind of presumptuous.
But a comment of support *in passing* is usually not a bad thing. But if the person acts with an expectation of a conversation, that can be weird.
You could also compliment a persons dress or hairstyle in passing if its quick and positive and NOT about their face or body. Commenting on your body is intrusive, as is pausing and expecting any sort of a reply or conversation from a stranger.
The posts here are the first time in my life I've heard of men being told to smile.
Was it when they were children? Do grown women actually say this to grown men frequently? I've never heard of this!

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Response to Flatulo (Reply #66)


Response to bettyellen (Reply #25)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 06:07 AM

222. I agree completely! n/t

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Response to 1StrongBlackMan (Reply #18)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 05:50 PM

125. Well, that's it exactly. And that's why women hate being told to smile by random men. They

feel instinctively that that man has his own agenda, and is not the least bit interested in any distress you might be in.

On a couple of occasions, I have approached total strangers (a teenage girl; an older woman; an older man) who seemed to me to be in distress to ask if I could be of any help. I DID NOT tell them to smile! It's amazing to me that some people don't see how presumptuous and demeaning that demand is. I'm glad it's obvious to you, 1SBM.

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Response to 1StrongBlackMan (Reply #18)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 09:59 PM

179. That is appropriate and humanizing, instead of dehumanizing

We can use more of your way of interacting in the world. I've seen a lot of your posts of recent so it isn't just this post that makes me believe that. You seem to be a really cool human.

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Response to 1StrongBlackMan (Reply #18)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 12:29 AM

208. you are also validating rather than denying their reality.

That's another difference vs. "I order you to smile and be nice to me!"

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Response to Brickbat (Original post)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 02:42 PM

21. it's such a weird thing. that used to happen to me when i was younger, total strangers telling

 

me to smile. it always pissed me off.

it stopped happening when i hit 50. what, am i always smiling now?

would those same men tell another strange man they passed in the street to to smile?

i never undersood the motivation.

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #21)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 02:44 PM

23. Really, you didn't understand the motivation?

It's ONLY the worst pick up line in the world, from the dawn of time!

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Response to Quantess (Reply #23)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 03:19 PM

30. but so often it is the man that is a couple decades or more, older. and as the woman ages....

those decades go along with that slide.

which indicates to me it is as much as a controlling, dominating issue for men. these men really have no chance and is silliness standing in line or at a bus stop. never to be seen again.

feels like all about controlling and not much more.

like the man in the post says, he really believes that we have a responsibility to look pleasant and approachable for him.

what kind of mind think is that. even if he gets it, he really doesnt.

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Response to Quantess (Reply #23)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 03:55 PM

52. Sometimes people are just trying to be kind, though.

I remember having it said to me different times, and the thing was ... I really had been having a hard time and it must have really shown on my face. I never took it as anything condescending or insulting. (Note, I do say *sometimes*)

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Response to polly7 (Reply #52)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 04:28 PM

72. It's just IRRITATING and ANNOYING.

It's probably not intended to condescend or to insult... although some people read it that way.

If I'm feeling grumpy about something, you had better believe the last thing I want to do is smile on command for some stranger! If some random guy tells me to smile... he had better phrase it "smile, pretty lady" if he wants to avoid a negative reaction, or else he'll get my middle finger or a dirty look from me. In any case, it's a losing proposition.

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Response to Quantess (Reply #72)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 04:49 PM

83. Well, different experiences for different folks.

Somehow, I just believe that even a stranger can occasionally be extremely perceptive and say something in kindness ... it didn't bother me to hear it. It's great that we can all experience things differently.

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Response to polly7 (Reply #83)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 05:07 PM

96. Of course it all depends on how it was presented.

I thought this referred to a random stranger saying "smile" to me, out of the blue, without any foreplay, LOL. *THIS* is the source of irritation I am talking about. I'm talking specifically about The Bad Pick Up Line.*


*All other contexts do not apply



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Response to Quantess (Reply #23)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 05:01 PM

91. in my memory, at least, i didn't notice any attempt to pick me up...maybe i was oblivious. i

 

was a naive country girl...

but it does seem telling that men no longer seem to care whether i smile or not now that i'm pushing 60...

maybe pick-up, maybe general attempt at dominance, maybe in some cases well-intended...but i don't think they'd tell random men to smile in any case...

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #91)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 05:37 PM

119. Nope. They wouldn't go tell random men to "smile".

I think it's just ineptness combined with thinking young women are just beneath them.

I had the great luck of being an angry and depressed and beautiful young woman at the same time. I know what I speak of!

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #21)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 10:02 PM

182. Thoughtless sexism

Not to give them a pass, but they were clueless poopyheads.

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Response to tavalon (Reply #182)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 04:27 PM

295. And poopyheads are notorious for dampening any impulse to smile. Because they're poopyheads.

I am just enjoying using the term poopyheads. Can you tell?

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Response to Squinch (Reply #295)

Sun Jan 13, 2013, 04:42 AM

331. I know! Tell me about it!

It's my favorite redo of an old word. My friend who is staring fifty in the face as much as I am, used it to describe my estranged husband last month. I've been using it liberally ever since. It's a fantastic word. So descriptive and yet fun.

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Response to Brickbat (Original post)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 02:43 PM

22. I'm a little surprised that so many think this is uncommon.

This happens to me at least once a week. I do commute on public transit, so maybe I have more contact with strangers than most?

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Response to yewberry (Reply #22)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 05:28 PM

107. Yeah, it's amazing, isn't it?

Alot of things died off, but not lower pay, lack of career advancement, the idea that we cant understand anything mechanical, rape, and this.

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Response to yewberry (Reply #22)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 04:30 PM

296. That might have something to do with it. When I used to work in NYC a day didn't pass when it

didn't happen. Usually when I was trying to run through a presentation in my head or something, and needed someone trying to get my attention like a hole in the head.

It is less now that I am older and spend less time in very crowded places.

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Response to Brickbat (Original post)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 02:45 PM

24. people who go around smiling

for no reason look a little demented to me

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Response to marions ghost (Reply #24)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 04:38 PM

74. LOL, that's the truth. nt

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Response to marions ghost (Reply #24)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 04:40 PM

77. i had a friend like that once

she always had this 'mona lisa smile' all the time. people would often remark about it, and it was something that whe was remembered by. she wasn't demented (lol), but she got a lot of attention from men.

i am not like that and have often had the "how about a smile?" from men...well, not anymore, as i'm 57! but i don't care either because it was annoying!

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Response to shanti (Reply #77)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 05:06 PM

95. Guess she knew how to work it LOL

--I do think smiling is good and even therapeutic at times among us high-functioning monkeys, but as a demand to smile--implying that something's wrong with you if you don't feel like it--is clearly an act of dominance (again alpha monkey behavior).

OK here's a smilie Now don't take it the wrong way....

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Response to marions ghost (Reply #24)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 12:21 PM

249. To be able to hold an inner smile is a gift

or, if you were to stop everything and close your eyes, take a look inside - what would your basic feeling be? I think I'm fortunate, and my brothers and sisters and parents were the same, in that we could say most of the time that basic feeling would be a smile.

Enjoying life is healthy, and being able to find the good parts of life in difficult times is a skill worth developing!

That said, I've never suggested to a girl or a woman that they "just smile". I have talked to people I know better about enjoying having fun sometimes and doing things or themselves sometimes, enjoying their life in general, but I think that's different.

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Response to bhikkhu (Reply #249)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 01:22 PM

256. Inner smile is good yes

--unless it's based on delusion (like "I am the Greatest" & am so very superior) -- but if it's just about trying to be positive rather than negative I'm all for it.

We have a tendency to be critical of others in America, and very self-critical. I have been to other countries and noticed the difference. I think of Americans in general as tending to be thin-skinned, insecure, defensive, and introspective. I have various theories about why that is, but I think it causes a lot of stress. Some people have a hard time finding any fun in small things. Nothing is ever "right." Maybe it's the perfectionism, the tendency for too much order.

I wouldn't say I enjoy life. It's been too hard a struggle to say that, but I would say I know how to make the best of it.

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Response to Brickbat (Original post)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 03:10 PM

26. I think I'll take smiles on a one by one basis

thank you very much.

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Response to Brickbat (Original post)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 03:15 PM

27. I just had a guy do this to me at a gas station about a week ago.

It drives me crazy. I was not in a mood for smiling, and really, who smiles while they are pumping gas? If a stranger wants to say, "Hi. How's your day going?" Fine. I'll return the civility, but there's something really condescending about a complete stranger telling you to smile.

And while we're on the subject, when women are backing their car up, they don't automatically need a man to come over and direct them. Why do guys do that? Do they think women are incapable of backing up? They don't do that to other men, unless perhaps they are backing up a 30' trailer or some such thing...

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Response to MoonchildCA (Reply #27)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 03:23 PM

32. right on to both points but LOVE the second one. hadnt thought of that but yes, i have had that too

all the while i am SMILING and thinking, what an ass. i can well pull out without help. stupid, stupid. you are right.

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Response to MoonchildCA (Reply #27)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 03:40 PM

37. Wow! I must be one ugggly babe! I don't remember anyone (other than my mother)

ever telling me to smile, and yes, the only time any man ever helped me back up WAS when I was backing a 30 foot trailer. What I've been missing!!

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Response to MoonchildCA (Reply #27)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 04:11 PM

59. Men are just looking for an excuse

...to strike up a conversation with a pretty woman. I figure if it's not something you would do/say to another man why the hell are you saying it to a woman?

My favourite example of men behaving badly is at the pool table. I like my 8-ball. I take the game seriously and get annoyed at people who have no pool etiquette. Often at the bar I play at some beautiful young woman will put her name up on the board. When it's her turn to play, regardless of her skill or knowledge of the game you can bet money on the fact that her male opponent will suddenly decide it's his job to offer her advice on what shot to play, how to hold her cue, etc. etc.

It drive me nuts. I feel like telling the dude, "hey; she's got more game than YOU buddy; I can tell, just from her shot selection and the shots she's taken that she knows how to play the game! Would you be offering all the advice and tips if you were playing against a guy?"

Not a chance. OTOH, it's just another example of men desperate to establish a connection with an attractive female. A lot of us guys are more lonely that we look....

But I know that's not an excuse for acting like a jerk....

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Response to MoonchildCA (Reply #27)

Sun Jan 13, 2013, 02:43 AM

329. OMG that is so true!

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Response to Brickbat (Original post)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 03:18 PM

29. "You should smile more."

"You're beautiful when you smile."

Me: "I'm not walking around with a stupid fucking grin on my face just so you have something pretty to look at."

I really felt bad, afterward. He looked really crushed. But, seriously, I don't walk around with a stupid fucking grin on my face. Maybe I would if all I ever thought about was kittens and rainbows, but reserve my grinning for people and things that make me wanna grin.

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Response to Wait Wut (Reply #29)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 10:07 PM

184. You gave him a teachable moment. If he got past his embarrassment, maybe he learned something.

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Response to Brickbat (Original post)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 03:29 PM

33. I got a great smile from a woman in the supermarket the other day.

She was looking up at the top shelf in the row I was in. So, I asked, "Can I reach something for you?" she said, "Thanks. Could you get one of those cans of pie cherries for me?" I did. She smiled and said, "Thanks." I'm sure she was at least 85, and under five feet tall. I think it's better to do something that makes someone smile...always.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #33)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 03:41 PM

38. ahhhhhh. that is the sweetest. that was fun MM. nt

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Response to seabeyond (Reply #38)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 03:52 PM

49. I also get smiles by making kids sitting in shopping carts laugh.

I have several funny faces I can use to accomplish that. Works a treat. Of course, looking like Santa doesn't hurt, either.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #49)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 03:55 PM

51. i have a blast with people out in public and it has nothing to do with emotion on demand.

you are fun. and others have fun in your world. i do the same.

i cannot walk past a child or baby that has made eye contact, without a huge smile and connection myself. they love it. and parents appreciate it. it is a wonderful gift of socialization for the kids.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #33)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 10:08 PM

186. LOL, that is great!

A human being doing something kind for another human being. Humanizing.

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Response to Brickbat (Original post)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 03:41 PM

39. I get what yall are saying, but if a lady noticed me bumming and asked me to put a smile on

I would be completely unoffended and think it would be nice of her to notice me. I suppose that's the curse of being a woman, that is, being pursued by men. As a largely unpursued geeky man, I think I'd welcome the human contact.

Is that really as sad as it reads?

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Response to Ed Suspicious (Reply #39)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 03:43 PM

40. your last sentence

not only made me smile... but, made me laugh.



smile, would ya...

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Response to Ed Suspicious (Reply #39)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 04:05 PM

57. read *my* other post! ;)

I can't see the post number, sorry.

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Response to Ed Suspicious (Reply #39)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 05:37 PM

118. Oh, Ed, that is a little sad. Below is a hug for you. But you have to realize that any woman

to whom a man would demand, "Smile!" is most likely a woman who has to spend a good amount of energy FENDING OFF unwanted 'human' (male) contact, not getting more human contact. IOW, we know it is most likely for one of three reasons a man would demand such a thing of a total stranger who was female:
1) as males, they think they have the right to demand of women that they present pleasant scenery for their (the man's) enjoyment and delectation,
2) they're hitting on you, or
3) your looks/youth have just figured into a quick little porny scenario they just enjoyed in their porny little minds.

The big giveaway that either 1), 2) or 3) is absolutely true is that once a woman turns 35 or so, such demands from men cease.

Now, here's your hug.

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Response to Ed Suspicious (Reply #39)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 09:37 PM

166. Conversation is welcome! I'm actually friendly in real life.

I have bad memories of being sexually harrassed, being disrespected, all while trying to be a good citizen and minding my own business.

Anyway, no it is not "geeky", at all. I don't know how people meet each other, since everyone is so inept at it!
I'm inept at meeting men, too.

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Response to Brickbat (Original post)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 03:46 PM

42. OMFG - Yes!

It's been a long time since I've heard that demand, but when I was a young woman I heard it all the time. And it was annoying and uncomfortable. Sometimes I had something on my mind, sometimes I'd just be perfectly fine, minding my own business, but just not in the habit of grinning like an idiot for no particular reason. Genuine smiles are not something I can produce on demand even if I were so inclined. Anyway, it's annoying at best and never an ingratiating way to strike up a conversation in my experience.

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Response to Brickbat (Original post)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 03:46 PM

43. I can't imagine ever saying such a thing to anyone, much less a complete stranger.

Then again, I came up in the corporate era where HR departments were warning male employees to avoid even making eye contact with female employees unless they knew them and also knew that such eye contact would not be unwelcome. (I'm not sure how its possible to know this in advance, because you can't even tell if they are trying to make eye contact if you're studiously ignoring them.)

Ironically, I've had women tell me, many years after we worked together, that they'd thought I was stuck up back in the day. "No", I'd tell them, "Just trying to stay out of trouble."

It doesn't matter anymore anyway. I'm old and ugly now and have no interest in terrifying anyone.

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Response to Flatulo (Reply #43)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 04:04 PM

55. I hear ya!

I don't make eye contact; I don't compliment hair or attire; I don't say "smile!"

If I am ready to get on an elevator and notice that I'd be riding with a woman alone, I back off and either take the stairs or another elevator! I don't want any misunderstanding!

Now, having said that...

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Response to KansDem (Reply #55)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 04:12 PM

60. It's kind of sad that we've become so insulated from each other. I would not even let my

neice sit on my lap when she was age appropriate. I was uneasy about there ever being even the slightest possibility of suspicion of impropriety.

It's too bad that a few creeps ruined it for the rest of us decent males.

My whole life, I've waited until I was hit in the head with a two-by-four before I even acknowledged any female. Needless to say, I went years without a girlfriend. Thanks to alcohol I finally met my wife when I was 25 after a 4 year dry spell.

Nowadays we have dating sites, so at least one can tell who is in fact looking.

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Response to Brickbat (Original post)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 03:50 PM

46. My Dad used to do that.

I always thought it was rather presumptive on his part but he also liked to tell men to "pull up their pants" or that they needed a haircut. He would also tell men and women when he though they needed to loose weight, particularly when he had a good drunk on.

He died a lonely, bitter old man.

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Response to Brickbat (Original post)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 03:50 PM

47. That has always annoyed me! Thanks. n/t

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Response to Brickbat (Original post)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 03:51 PM

48. Kicked and Recommended

I always hated this behavior, because the implication is that my purpose in the world is to decorate the world of random strange men.

And I know you will all be shocked to hear that once I got the "middle age pudge" the frequency of this particular irritation dropped to nearly nothing. Apparently men don't care if pudgy middle aged women are happy, only the young skinny ones.

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Response to distantearlywarning (Reply #48)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 05:14 PM

98. +1000! It has ALWAYS been a way for men to insist that young women are to be decorative

for whichever random male was in the vicinity. When I was young, I was shy and OK looking; I got so much of this shit in my daily life that I remember to this day how irritating it was. It was only when feminism got really cranking that I started to read about how messed up this is, and a light bulb went on in my head.

"Apparently men don't care if pudgy middle aged women are happy, only the young skinny ones."
EXACTLY!! Any protestations by men that they are just trying to inject a little cheer into the world totally falls apart when you point this out to them.

I was too young and unformed back then, but if I were young now, the reply I would have at the ready is: "I'm not your monkey."

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Response to Brickbat (Original post)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 03:56 PM

53. The best way to get anyone to smile is to give a smile. A genuine smile, and a kind

word work wonders.

"Oh I really like that hat." "Cool shoes!" "Nice tie." "Isn't it a gorgeous day?"

Telling someone to "Smile!" is something of an insult. Giving people a reason to smile, if only for a moment, can change the world one smile and one moment at a time.

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Response to 1monster (Reply #53)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 04:16 PM

63. You're much braver than I am. I've never initiated conversation with a female stranger.

To be perfectly honest tho, good looking guys can get away with it much easier than an average looking schmuck like me. It really is a beauty contest when you get right down to it.

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Response to Flatulo (Reply #63)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 04:51 PM

85. "It really is a beauty contest when you get right down to it"

With that kind of attitude, no wonder you "can't figure women out."

We're human beings. Really.

I'll clue you into something that you may not have noticed, being blinded by your preconceptions: Once you get past adolescence, the man whom all the women are gathering around at a social gathering is not necessarily the handsomest in the room. He may be short, fat, older, bald, or all sorts of things that are supposedly turn-offs. He's interesting to talk to and interested in what the women have to say. He's a GENUINE nice guy, which means that he's not a door mat and is kind and considerate even to people whose pants he isn't trying to get into.

Oh sure, the airheads will ooh and ah over the guy with the movie star looks, but with maturity, one begins to realize that certain men, as attractive as they are, are best admired from a distance because they're too full of themselves or too messed up emotionally.

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Response to Lydia Leftcoast (Reply #85)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 05:32 PM

112. That may all be true for you, but it's been my experience that most women will respond

more favorably to a physically attractive specimen, all other things being equal.

I know this from a lifetime of experience. When I was in my twenties and used to go clubbing, my best friend was a good looking Italian - tall, dark wavy hair, dark skin, etc. I was a skinny, short kid with limp hair, a big nose and one eyebrow. In other words, I was somewhere between a water cooler and a table lamp on the noticability scale.

Women used to literally push me out of the way to approach my friend. And their friends would studiously ignore me with all their might. I used to go home and cry myself to sleep.

I finally met a nice girl who thought I was cute, sincere and funny and I married her. We're still going strong 32 years later.

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Response to Flatulo (Reply #112)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 05:35 PM

115. The key words are "when you were in your twenties" and "clubbing"

People can be awfully stupid about the opposite sex at that age, and going clubbing is probably the worst way of all to find someone who appreciates your personality. It's so noisy and crowded that the only way to judge someone is by their looks.

Obviously you found someone who did appreciate you. Probably not while you were clubbing.

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Response to Lydia Leftcoast (Reply #115)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 05:40 PM

121. Yes, clubbing was really dreadful for me. Ironically, I did meet my wife in a neighborhood

dive, not anything approaching a real 'club'. We became good friends (actually, best friends) and didn't even begin dating for a few years. Probably the longest 'foreplay' on record, LOL.

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Response to Flatulo (Reply #121)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 10:19 PM

192. And that is how the good one's hook up.

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Response to tavalon (Reply #192)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 11:45 PM

198. Yes, she's a keeper. We have a wonderful son who is gentle, caring, unselfish and compassionate.

We have a happy life even though I've become disabled with a bad back. But there are so many who are so much worse off than we are that we count our blessings every day.

We keep the flame alive by giving each other small but meaningful little gifts almost every day. If I go to the market, I'll bring her back a muffin. She'll bring me back a ripe peach or some nice almonds.

It's those little things that mean so much.

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Response to Flatulo (Reply #112)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 10:18 PM

191. You got a good one. I'm glad

The twenties weren't much better than high school.

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Response to Lydia Leftcoast (Reply #85)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 10:17 PM

189. I once married a pretty boy

He was quite taken with himself and we weren't together long. My husband of 11 years isn't traditionally attractive, but he's a good man and that's far more important.

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Response to Flatulo (Reply #63)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 05:01 PM

92. I'm female and I regularly toss off a bon mot and a smile to utter stangers. Sometimes

the recipients are totally unresponsive as though they can't see or hear me; but most often people respond in kind. Both men and women are pleased when someone notices something special in them. It makes their day more plesant and it make mine better too.

The trick is to never say anything too personal, and for a male, never to say anything that can be taken as a come on.

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Response to 1monster (Reply #92)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 08:04 PM

146. That's different from commanding someone to smile

You're being reciprocal.

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Response to Flatulo (Reply #63)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 10:15 PM

188. It's a beauty contest in high school

I am a "runs with geeks" woman so I've been around geeky guys most of my adult life and I'll take a deep thinking geek over a pretty boy any day.

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Response to tavalon (Reply #188)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 12:38 AM

209. Smart guys rock!

I discovered science/engineering majors in college. Many a kind heart beats covered by a white short sleeved nerd shirt. And they probably wear polyester pants too.

I could rattle off some serious accomplishments of former boyfriends. I met my soulmate 18 years ago at a Unitarian church and he is a physicist.

Also note the Ph.D. astrophysicist in my avatar.

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Response to tavalon (Reply #188)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 07:07 AM

226. I've been a geek hag all my life as well

A very attractive feature of geeks (either sex), is that they are so lousy at bullshitting other people.

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Response to Flatulo (Reply #63)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 02:19 PM

275. You'd be surprised. Many women find a friendly word much more attractive than a handsome face.

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Response to 1monster (Reply #53)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 04:22 PM

67. You get it.



Giving someone a reason to smile? Good.
Just telling her to smile? Not.

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Response to 1monster (Reply #53)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 05:40 PM

120. exactly. nicely said. thanks.

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Response to 1monster (Reply #53)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 10:13 PM

187. Exactly

I recently got some wild, multicolored running shoes and men, women, and children have told me they love them. They always get a smile from me for that.

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Response to Brickbat (Original post)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 04:04 PM

56. yeah, I get that, it's a cheap shot pisser

 

Look em in the eye, 'fuck you' like you mean it, and keep on going. Or maybe 'that's my job?' They sure don't say it to each other.

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Response to Brickbat (Original post)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 04:08 PM

58. I loathe that.

Seriously. Want to tell the person to F off, my facial expression is none of their business.

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Response to wildeyed (Reply #58)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 07:44 PM

137. Yep. I hate that more than ANYTHING. That and "cheer up!" Omg, I hate that SO MUCH.

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Response to Butterbean (Reply #137)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 08:33 PM

150. My preferred response to "cheer up" is "Die!"

Fucken tell ME what to do...

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Response to Iggo (Reply #150)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 09:22 PM

162. I like that.

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Response to Brickbat (Original post)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 04:14 PM

61. Happened to me..

Years ago, after my Father's funeral, at a restaurant -- we were hungry. Waiter, out of nowhere, tells our group to 'brighten up, let's see some smiles'. It was an intensely uncomfortable moment, a leviathan pause, the waiter already starting to shrink seemed to recede into nothingness when someone finally said, "We just came from a funeral". Perhaps the most uncomfortable meal of a lifetime.

There are times when people can't smile. Besides, smiles would become meaningless if worn at all times.

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Response to Brickbat (Original post)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 04:16 PM

62. I don't tell other people what to do.

Would that everyone were as awesome as me.

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Response to Brickbat (Original post)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 04:17 PM

64. Annoying, yes. But not the most dangerous thing to say to me.

If you want to see Incredible Hulk effect, try "if you'd asked me nicely."

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Response to Brickbat (Original post)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 04:19 PM

65. "Smile!" is the code reminder for "Adapt!" "Suck it up!" "Do what I say!"

!

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Response to ancianita (Reply #65)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 04:25 PM

70. and "your job is to be pretty and pleasing to me if I look at you."

Basically.

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Response to Lex (Reply #70)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 04:34 PM

73. Yup.

Fuck that. I started telling anyone who said it -- mostly males -- "Give me a reason. I'm not your monkey."

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Response to Lex (Reply #70)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 06:01 PM

128. and "I'm a male, decorate my space!"

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Response to ancianita (Reply #65)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 06:00 PM

127. Yep. (nt)

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Response to ancianita (Reply #65)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 08:07 PM

148. And its variation, said to a strange woman who is upset and crying

"Come on, give me a smile. It can't be that bad."

How do you know it isn't?

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Response to Lydia Leftcoast (Reply #148)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 08:12 AM

232. One of the best/worst stories I've read about this phenomenon,

was at CaptainAwkward's blog, I think. During a discussion about this, one poster recounted how she had just gotten a phone call saying her ex-husband and still very good friend had died in a motorcycle accident, and as she was waiting for the train to get home, some idiot told her to smile and said it couldn't be so bad. According to her, she lit into him and gave him the whatfor!

Anyone who defends this practice, should try to find out what demographic says this, and to whom. Either by paying attention when out in public, or by canvasing family, friends, and co-workers. If, as I suspect, they find out that it's mostly guys saying it to younger women, well, they know the answer to whether this is sexist or not, don't they. I refuse to believe that women automatically get more "happy-looking" as they reach middle age, or that younger guys don't look sad/ serious/non-smiling at least as often as younger women.

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Response to Brickbat (Original post)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 04:23 PM

68. I never started.

How totally fucking rude.

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Response to Brickbat (Original post)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 04:23 PM

69. I'm 57 years old now, and I still understand less about females than George Costanza.

I just keep my mouth shut and my eyes straight ahead at all times.

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Response to Flatulo (Reply #69)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 06:53 PM

129. Surprisingly, we're actually people

If you wouldn't say "Smile- it can't be that bad" to a guy, then don't say it to a young woman. My dad used to do that to waitresses and I told him they hated it. He said "let's ask our waitress" and she said "I don't mind" and I said "Be honest- I'll make sure your tip doesn't suffer" and she said "I hate it."

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Response to Patiod (Reply #129)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 08:42 PM

154. i was a waitress. i would smile at the old man and play along,

then go in the back room and rant.

me paying my bills depended on it.

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Response to Flatulo (Reply #69)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 09:24 PM

163. First, they're "women" and not "female biological specimens"

Female is an adjective. Woman is a noun.

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Response to REP (Reply #163)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 10:18 PM

190. Aaaand there's exhibit A. I managed to offend you with that comment, which is why I never

open my mouth around women. I am continually surprised at what people find offensive. I mean I get the obvious stuff, but the subtleties elude me.

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Response to REP (Reply #163)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 07:55 AM

230. Actually, female is both a noun and an adjective.

fe·male Show IPA

noun
1. a person bearing two X chromosomes in the cell nuclei and normally having a vagina, a uterus and ovaries, and developing at puberty a relatively rounded body and enlarged breasts, and retaining a beardless face; a girl or woman.
2. an organism of the sex or sexual phase that normally produces egg cells.
3. Botany . a pistillate plant.

adjective
4. of, pertaining to, or being a female animal or plant.
5. of, pertaining to, or characteristic of a female person; feminine: female suffrage; female charm.
6. Composed of females: a female readership.
7. Botany .
a. designating or pertaining to a plant or its reproductive structure that produces or contains elements requiring fertilization.
b. (Ouof seed plants) pistillate.
8. Machinery . being or having a recessed part into which a corresponding part fits: a female plug. Compare male ( def 5 ) .

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Response to Brickbat (Original post)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 04:38 PM

75. Even better is when they add, "sweatheart" to the "just smile"...

"Just smile, sweatheart, it can't be all that bad"... It sucks because I work in customer service, so I normally have to be nice to these jack asses or get a complaint. When you are younger, managers, think you are giving a guest attitude and the old man is a nice man that spends money.. And they tell you to smile, its your job. Now, that I'm over 30, I've been in the job long enough, married long enough, have a few more wrinkles, I can now say, "My name is _______, how can I assist you?"

It really puts them on notice that they are being an asshat, and my husband doesn't even call me "sweatheart". "Babe" or "Boo" is our terms of endearment toward one another. My parents have "Dear". With my grandparents, everyone called my grandpa "Fred", even his kids (grandkids said grandpa), my grandmother was "Ma" to everyone including her husband. But if you aren't in the relationship, its not your right to say anything but M'am or Miss if you don't know my name, or read my damned name tag that's sitting on my shirt.

Worst is still the times I have men decide to tell me how nice I look and how "lucky" my husband is. What do you think I'm going to do, leave my husband because you told me I look nice? What asses men can be!! I've been hit on by a few women, too, but they don't use stupid lines or "sweatheart" b.s. And they respect when I've left my ring at home and tell them that I am married, they haven't continued on like I should cheat on my husband.

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Response to Brickbat (Original post)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 04:40 PM

76. k&r

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Response to Brickbat (Original post)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 04:42 PM

78. don't have to stop, never started

although dipshits did used to say it to me and still do sometimes. I've never told either men or women to smile, what if they had just lost a loved one or something? That would be crass.

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Response to Brickbat (Original post)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 04:43 PM

79. slightly OT - as a man I've had people tell me to smile.

I mean, wtf is it to you if I smile or not....get out of my face... sheesh...

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Response to Brickbat (Original post)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 04:58 PM

89. I've never told ANYONE to smile!

 

Or "perk up," or "don't be a gloomy Gus/Debbie Downer." Ugh!

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Response to Larrymoe Curlyshemp (Reply #89)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 10:25 PM

193. Yeah, it's rude. So many people don't realize that, though.

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Response to Brickbat (Original post)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 04:58 PM

90. Wow, that's a lot of drama over a smile

First world problems, I guess.

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Response to LittleBlue (Reply #90)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 08:38 PM

153. The drama's not over a smile.

It's about the sheer audacity of telling a stranger to "look pretty for me".

It's kinda gross.

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Response to LittleBlue (Reply #90)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 10:28 PM

194. The drama is over the rude, sexist behavior, actually.

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Response to Brickbat (Original post)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 05:03 PM

93. The first time some random person tells you to smile, you smile

After being told a few dozen more times, it feels weird. At some point, it starts to feel patronizing. I don't have to smile if I don't want to and I don't really want to get into conversations with people I don't know about why I don't want to smile.

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Response to gollygee (Reply #93)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 05:20 PM

102. just say "huh?"

and look at em like they're insane...like this

Works for me.

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Response to Brickbat (Original post)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 05:19 PM

100. I'm a guy,women always tell me that women would like me more if I smiled more.

I've never told anyone else to smile tho.

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Response to athenasatanjesus (Reply #100)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 07:40 PM

136. If brought up in conversation, it is different, though.

Once again, this is not what we are talking about, here.


Anyway, so you have conversations with women and they suggest that you smile more often? Cool.
I think people look better while smiling, including myself. So you would never tell anyone to smile during a conversation? Cool.

THIS IS NOT WHAT WE ARE TALKING ABOUT.

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Response to Quantess (Reply #136)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 12:19 AM

204. And, I assume he knew the women with whom he was having conversations.

That's very different from a stranger's telling you how to behave.

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Response to Brickbat (Original post)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 05:24 PM

104. I've heard it. It took every last bit of patience

within myself not to tell him (my boss) to go fuck himself. After all, I had been raped a couple of weekends before, and he knew this. He told me I should "get over it," and "it wasn't that bad."

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Response to Brickbat (Original post)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 05:28 PM

106. What kind of obnoxious prick tells anyone to smile?

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Response to DireStrike (Reply #106)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 05:31 PM

111. In my experience it's the same people who tell someone to have a blessed day

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Response to Brickbat (Original post)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 05:28 PM

108. I never started

I find the idea of telling someone to put on a veiled smile as ridiculous as telling them to put on an actual veil.

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Response to Brickbat (Original post)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 05:35 PM

114. Gads! I hate this SO much! Thank you for posting this.

This is the one pick up line that always has pissed me off. My general reaction has been to just bare my teeth at them -- not a smile, more a threatening response, a snarl. Then just say, "That better?" and proceed to ignore them or move away. It is insulting and condescending. I like the response of the poster above who said she says, "I'm not your monkey." Good one. Bottom line: Any man who uses a line like that is not someone I want to know. BIG turn-OFF. To be honest, though, I've had men say that to me who were supposedly my friends -- not just strangers. Boy, did they get an education.

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Response to Silver Gaia (Reply #114)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 05:36 PM

116. Is it always a pick-up line?

I'm middle aged now and I don't get this anymore, but it seemed like it was men in general, not just those who would be looking for a date.

The other thing (an edit here) is that I do still get guys trying to pick me up sometimes, but I don't get told to smile. It just feels separate. Like young women are supposed to be decorative or something.

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Response to gollygee (Reply #116)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 02:16 AM

214. I've seen it used both ways.

The time a friend said it to me, it was not a pick-up line, but with total strangers, that felt different. So, yes, it is just something some guys do, and it does apparently mean we are supposed to be decorative, but it is also used in attempts to start a conversation (the pick-up line). For whatever reason it's used, I have always hated it.

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Response to Brickbat (Original post)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 05:36 PM

117. Saying something witty and amusing is better than telling someone to smile. (nt)

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Response to Brickbat (Original post)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 05:43 PM

122. Ehrenreich on when being "positive" is actually negative

http://www.barbaraehrenreich.com/brightsided.htm

Americans are a “positive” people—cheerful, optimistic, and upbeat: this is our reputation as well as our self-image. But more than a temperament, being positive, we are told, is the key to success and prosperity.

In this utterly original take on the American frame of mind, Barbara Ehrenreich traces the strange career of our sunny outlook from its origins as a marginal nineteenth-century healing technique to its enshrinement as a dominant, almost mandatory, cultural attitude. Evangelical mega-churches preach the good news that you only have to want something to get it, because God wants to “prosper” you. The medical profession prescribes positive thinking for its presumed health benefits. Academia has made room for new departments of “positive psychology” and the “science of happiness.” Nowhere, though, has bright-siding taken firmer root than within the business community, where, as Ehrenreich shows, the refusal even to consider negative outcomes—like mortgage defaults—contributed directly to the current economic crisis.

With the mythbusting powers for which she is acclaimed, Ehrenreich exposes the downside of America’s penchant for positive thinking: On a personal level, it leads to self-blame and a morbid preoccupation with stamping out “negative” thoughts. On a national level, it’s brought us an era of irrational optimism resulting in disaster. This is Ehrenreich at her provocative best—poking holes in conventional wisdom and faux science, and ending with a call for existential clarity and courage.

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Response to eridani (Reply #122)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 07:01 PM

130. I am ordering that book now.

Looks great.

Fed up to bits with people telling me I am too negative and I need to "be more positive".

I think people's preoccupation with happiness and being positive is freaky. It's like they are terrified of ever experiencing anything dark.

I am kind of comfortable over here on the dark side.

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Response to MadrasT (Reply #130)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 01:35 PM

261. +1

Life is about balance IMO.

Anyone who goes on and on about being positive... I dunno, they remind me of people who bought into that whole nonsense about The Secret that had everyone so fake-joyously delusional for a while.

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Response to eridani (Reply #122)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 01:11 AM

212. I fully support anyone's right to be miserable if that is what they want.

It's the hostile grumpiness and constant pissing and moaning about how miserable they are that is so totally annoying about people who want to miserable all the time.

I'm genuinely positive and happy, I totally love being happy, and upon frequently observing grumpy, angry, hostile, miserable people, I definitely plan to stay happy.

Life is beautiful.




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Response to Brickbat (Original post)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 07:18 PM

132. "Buck up, li'l Chief."


Little boys get the same crap. Patronizing.

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Response to DirkGently (Reply #132)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 07:31 PM

133. yes. little boys get it. BUT, do grown men. can you imagine a grown man being told to smile,

cause so pretty?

women do not get to grow up, with some men.

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Response to seabeyond (Reply #133)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 07:51 PM

142. Grown women do NOT do this to grown men.

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Response to bettyellen (Reply #142)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 08:43 PM

155. i have never seen it. nt

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Response to seabeyond (Reply #155)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 09:58 PM

178. What? NO.

I have never seen it, either. What a steaming pantload.

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Response to Brickbat (Original post)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 07:46 PM

138. I don't think I've EVER told a woman to smile.

Didn't think any guy had done such a jerkwaddy thing since The Feminine Mystique his the bookshelves.

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Response to Brickbat (Original post)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 07:50 PM

140. Holy cow, this is a pickup line???

Sheesh what an idiot I've been. That has happened to me so many times in my life, but never once have I thought it was a pickup line! I never liked hearing it, but it did often make me laugh, mostly just at the person who said it, since I thought it was an idiotic thing to say. I assumed they said it to make me laugh at what an idiot they were, which worked.

No?

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Response to Brickbat (Original post)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 07:56 PM

143. Can you even imagine a man saying this to another man he didn't know?

I know I'm not the first person in the thread to make that observation, but it bears repeating.

I don't think every man who does this is trying to hit on the woman or is trying to oppress or control her. But I do think that it's based on a sexist and condescending worldview the man who does this might not even realize.

And I wouldn't call this a first world problem either. If you encounter it often enough it can really wear you down, just like any other form of subtle prejudice. The reason it's so annoying is that there is just no good response. When someone cluelessly thinks he's being friendly and nice, an unfriendly response seems harsh. But smiling in response to a request feels idiotic and submissive. It's an intrusion when you're deep in thought, and it's embarrassing if you didn't even realize you (apparently) had a scowl on your face.

And even going by old-fashioned etiquette, it's inappropriate to approach strangers (especially a man approaching a woman) and make personal remarks. The modern version of that would really not be too different. I don't like strange men getting too close or familiar to me because it forces me to be on my guard somewhat, and that can wear you down too.

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Response to Nine (Reply #143)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 12:23 AM

206. It also raises status and power issues.

A low status person would not be so bold as to tell the CEO to smile.

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Response to Brickbat (Original post)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 08:10 PM

149. I went through a period in my life where I was severly depressed. Men were always telling me to

smile. It took every ounce of self-restraint I had not to rip their faces off.

These days, I don't always smile but I am not depressed and I am frequently smiling naturally.

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Response to Brickbat (Original post)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 08:49 PM

156. I can't count the number of times when I was in college walking from one class to another that some

guy didn't say "smile". Pissed me off then and just remembering pisses me off now. I didn't smile, I just keep on walking, they're lucky I didn't tell them to go fuck themselves!

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Response to Brickbat (Original post)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 09:19 PM

160. OMFG YES! Thank you for posting this

I have been commanded to "smile!" by male strangers many times, including:

* Right after I found out I had cancer

* After my father's funeral

* After being told I have a disease for which there is no effective treatment and will probably kill me (not the cancer)

etc

It's never appropriate. Never.

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Response to REP (Reply #160)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 04:50 PM

299. THAT's what I meant

and why I don't give commands, even if well-intentioned, to strangers ever. Hope you can beat whatever disease you have and all these bad things stop happening to you, sheesh.

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Response to Brickbat (Original post)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 09:35 PM

165. I live in the Northwest where Scandinavian blood runs thick

No one ever tells me such a thing. I had forgotten that little gem. So fucking sexist. It's never used on men.

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Response to tavalon (Reply #165)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 10:48 PM

196. Actually, I used to get it in gay bars on occasion.

In me youth.

It's just so fucking obnoxious and lazy...Always a troll , too.

\Well, all one could think was: "Cheer me up if you think you got the goods, sailor."

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Response to Kurovski (Reply #196)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 12:24 AM

207. LOL!

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Response to Brickbat (Original post)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 09:42 PM

169. Since women usually laugh at me when they see me, I don't have this problem. n/t

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Response to cherokeeprogressive (Reply #169)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 10:43 PM

195. LOL

Now, I'm sure it's just your natural charm...

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Response to Kurovski (Reply #195)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 11:16 PM

197. You'd be wrong. It's my bald head, my pot belly, and for those who've seen it...

my itty bitty penis.

Don't let the crossed eyes fool you though, I'm seriously schmart.

Tell a woman to smile? Not even remotely within the realm of things that MIGHT happen in MY life.

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Response to cherokeeprogressive (Reply #197)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 12:16 AM

203. Well, some people aren't even schmarties, so there's that.



i think you might be selling yourself "short".

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Response to Brickbat (Original post)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 11:50 PM

200. Telling a total stranger to "smile" is effing rude, period.

Anybody that tells me that can go to hell.

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Response to Brickbat (Original post)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 11:51 PM

201. When someone says that to me, I want to punch them in the face.

Maybe that would make me smile.

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Response to HeeBGBz (Reply #201)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 12:56 AM

211. I just did. It would make a very funny scene in a movie.

or an animated show.

Violence isn't always that terribly awful. Maybe squish a grapefruit in the face, an update on the old James Cagney/ mae Clarke scene.

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Response to Brickbat (Original post)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 02:17 AM

215. I can totally see how it would feel really annoying and patronizing.

It just doesn't occur to me to ask someone to smile. I generally smile at a lot of people if I make eye contact. Smile, nod, keep walking. Most people smile back. If they don't, I don't worry about it. The next person, or the next, will almost certainly smile. I'd like to think that most people like getting a smile with no strings attached. But telling someone they should? Yeah, I'd think that's intrusive.

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Response to Brickbat (Original post)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 03:37 AM

216. "You could be sexually appealing to men like me if you smiled more"

THAT'S how I interpreted it.. I used to hear it quite a bit when I was younger and hated it also.

(What's attractive about a superficial smile anyway? How about saying something humorous/kind/intelligent that might make me smile?)

Maybe the equivalent would be for a woman to tell a strange man he should work out more.

I smile when I feel like it, always have, always will. And I don't like being told how to FEEL by anybody.

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Response to Brickbat (Original post)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 04:51 AM

217. I'll remember that tap dance thing.

From now on, when someone tells me to smile, I'll tell them to tap dance first, then I'll have a reason to smile.

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Response to Brickbat (Original post)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 07:25 AM

227. There are different kinds of smiles: ......

for example, there is the "aren't I pretty" smile, there is the "I'm really happy smile", ... but there is also the "things are going well, (or soon will be), so don't screw it up" smile, that is suitable for the workplace.

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Response to Brickbat (Original post)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 07:48 AM

229. Yes, men are uncomfortable with unsmiling women. It's like the old "grinning and shuffling"

stereotype of blacks. I'm sure that was a pose meant to placate nervous white folk.

The "rulers" are uncomfortable when their "underlings" look serious and not particularly

interested in pleasing them.

I wonder why.

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Response to Brickbat (Original post)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 08:10 AM

231. I totally agree with the article

Women are subjected to a kind of unconscious paternalism and attempt at ownership when men make that request of them. Plus it can be an attempt to deny and neglect a woman's suffering. And I know this thread just deals with this specific kind of instance, however, there are exceptions that I think need to be noted and I am thankful to this thread to finally be able to clear this up.

I think the exception is when it is a work environment and the man (or person, as the case may be), is not hitting on you.

For instance, I used to work with someone who seemed to be always having a bad day at work. To be able to do my job, I needed to approach this person to ask questions, transmit messages, coordinate customer transactions, etc. I had no romantic attraction to this person other than in their own head. I just needed to do my job. But my every interruption, approaching footstep and work related vocal transmission was treated as some out of place intrusion. If a person's having trouble at home and comes into work moody, you, of course, feel for them the first 10-15 times. But when you have to do your job, it gets annoying after a while when someone is treating you to a shitty work environment every single day and regarding you as some kind of unrelated annoyance while they manage their perpetual life dramas over the phone during work hours. I've had bad days while working but nobody ever knew about them, not because I was being culturally forced to repress my emotions, but because I felt it wasn't fair for me to impose on the quality of someone else's work environment and life. I don't like the mentality of some people that suggests "we'll, I'm suffering so now everyone around me is going to suffer."

In such cases, I think wishing someone had a better life so they could smile more just for themselves gets misinterpreted as a demand, when, in fact, you may just be wishing someone had a better life for the sake of them, your work environment, and all involved.

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Response to Brickbat (Original post)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 09:14 AM

234. I don't see how women put up with all the constant, thinly veiled aggression.

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Response to Brickbat (Original post)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 09:58 AM

236. I solve this problem very simply.

I smile at people. A calm, relaxed smile. Most of the time, they visibly relax and they smile back. Some don't, and that's their choice. It makes me feel better regardless.

"If you smile at me, I will understand / 'Cause that is something everybody everywhere does / in the same language."

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Response to Brickbat (Original post)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 10:34 AM

238. I'm wracking my brain thinking when was the last time that a stranger asked me to smile.

I can't come up with anything at the moment. Maybe it's because I live in the NY Metro area and people usually couldn't give a flying fig whether those around them are smiling or not. Actually, that would be an improvement over the self involved folks staring at some gadget and bumping into me. Ahhhh, the joys of commuting in a big city.

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Response to Brickbat (Original post)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 10:38 AM

239. Agreed

It's rude to "order" someone to "smile", it's threatening and criminal if you "order" someone to "give me all your money."


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Response to Brickbat (Original post)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 10:42 AM

240. I used to get that all the time. It puts one in a lose-lose situation.

You get to choose between:

- smiling, and thus acting like the strange man's vapid puppet
- not complying, and thereby being the cranky b***h who is too uptight to give a simple smile
- ignoring and looking away, thus forcing you to act like you didn't hear the command.

In any case, it's all very irritating.

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Response to Brickbat (Original post)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 11:04 AM

244. That gets on my nerves

I've had guys I hardly know (like pass-in-the-hallway at work once in a while kind of know) AND strangers say that to me. Ok, if you are a stranger to me, and I have NEVER seen you before at ALL, please stop looking at me long enough to worry if I am smiling or not. It's just plain creepy.
And it is always guys...never once had a female "I sort of know you in passing" kind of co worker say it to me.

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Response to Brickbat (Original post)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 12:29 PM

251. It must exist, or the OP wouldn't exist. But who the hell targets women and insists they smile?

Damn. Seems odd. I would agree that abandoning that intrusive and insensitive practice is a good idea.

I'd also suggest that the author of the article look inside and figure out why he felt motivated to make such an odd demand in the first place.

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Response to Buzz Clik (Reply #251)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 01:39 PM

262. If you are a guy

This is one of the small but important little dominance behaviors that women get all the time that you may not even know about. There are lots more. But I think many are fading out as younger men get off that whole Alpha Male thing.

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Response to marions ghost (Reply #262)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 01:47 PM

265. I have seen grandfatherly types say this to someone they are trying to help.

They see some young person -- of any gender -- and think that saying, "How about a little smile" will somehow help. I don't see it as particularly helpful, but not a dominance thing either.

However, grandpa asking for a smile is a world apart from the yuck discussed in the OP. I agree: any male who tends to say this to females needs a bit of reprogramming. Saying it to women you don't know is just odd.

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Response to marions ghost (Reply #262)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 02:04 PM

272. "as younger men get off that whole Alpha Male thing"? And this would be where? Not in the news I'm

reading.

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Response to WinkyDink (Reply #272)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 03:04 PM

288. The smarter ones

that I come into contact with. Younger contractors such as electricians and other home repair service people, delivery guys, installers--have had real positive experiences with the younger ones--not so with the older ones who talk down to you and try to cheat you.

Also good experiences with friends of my niece and nephew who are in college. Also young guys I encounter in the office situation, IT and webmasters and such. I guess I'm not talking about Alpha football stars--I don't run into too many of them. Or young Neanderthal Republicans.

It's not hard for me to tell that things are changing somewhat for the better. The younger generation just doesn't have as many prejudices in general IMO. I think they're figuring out that stuff is history.

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Response to Brickbat (Original post)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 12:48 PM

253. LOL. Smiling is everyone's responsibility. :-)

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Response to Brickbat (Original post)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 12:59 PM

255. Covert sexism aside, I'll never understand why anyone would ask this of anyone.

Even as a man I've gotten this request (or similar) before, and it blows my mind. Peoples' emotions are their own. No one has any business requesting that you express the one that they want to see.

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Response to Brickbat (Original post)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 01:23 PM

257. Thank u

Its nice to see a guy thinking about a girl as a real person instead of a plastic doll/waitress. Sometimes we all patronise without realising it but well done for thinking it through and being man enough to realise ur mistake. I thought what u said was very insightful

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Response to Thorn83 (Reply #257)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 02:02 PM

270. he really seems to have thought thru making that comment. not that women should appear pleasant so

men can hit on them.

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Response to Brickbat (Original post)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 01:31 PM

258. Geez....can we lighten up?

Maybe when I guy asks you to smile they are just trying to brighten up your day in some little way. I've had guys say that to me and I just laughed or ignored them.

Do we have to be fighting battles everyday? Life is too short.

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Response to Brickbat (Original post)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 01:33 PM

259. LOL, how this is even controversial?

Ignoring the emotions and feelings of any individual and telling them that they should smile is simply RUDE.

There's really no grey area here.

Stop being a rude asshole and ordering strangers to comply with your personal beliefs about 'cheeriness'. Simple!

K&R

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Response to Brickbat (Original post)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 01:49 PM

266. Being told to smile...

or cheer up annoys the ever-loving piss out of me, and I never do this to others. Never thought about the attractive woman angle, but if I think about it I think I have heard people do this to women more often than men.

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Response to Brickbat (Original post)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 02:02 PM

269. This is beyond stupid. First of all, "You can't complain about men not approaching you"??? Who does

this?!

Secondly, who is any male, that he should be considered the standard and/or arbiter of correct facial expressions?! THE MIND BOGGLES.

Finally, "A smile is a simple, natural, positive act, and I was annoyed with them for being annoyed by the request." Here's a request, pal:

STHU!

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Response to WinkyDink (Reply #269)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 05:04 PM

301. Jeezus - did you actually read beyond the first paragraph?

It's good and you'd no doubt appreciate it if you bothered.

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Response to Matariki (Reply #301)

Sun Jan 13, 2013, 08:30 AM

335. Oh, I'm ever so grateful for the epiphany so described.





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Response to Brickbat (Original post)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 05:13 PM

303. When I was a young teen, my father often told me to "smile" ... He even gave me $$$ if ...

he felt my "personality" was improving. I had NO idea this was so widespread. No wonder I am so messed up. 😕

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Response to Brickbat (Original post)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 05:33 PM

305. I've had it happen to me twice in my life, and both times I smiled

But then, I also laughed at the car full of girls who pulled up beside me (I was wearing my leather jacket and looking hot as hell, lol) and yelled out at me "How much?".

I know, however, that if I was a woman and this kind of stuff happened to me all the time, I would damn well get tired of it. And whereas I'm not scared of a group of girls (women might scare me), I can see how it comes off as creepy and patronizing when some weird dude does it. When I was single, I never approached women unless it was in a place where it's expected. Using a sorry line like that (in a commanding way, no less) is stupid and I'm sorry all of you have had to put up with it.

As a guy, we don't get that kind of attention, so we like it. I kind of miss the attention...now that I have cancer and look like shit, no one hits on me anymore

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Response to Brickbat (Original post)

Sun Jan 13, 2013, 02:40 AM

327. I found it very difficult to get past that first paragraph.

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Response to Brickbat (Original post)

Sun Jan 13, 2013, 01:21 PM

338. Stupid Girls.

I'm so much prettier when I smile.



And I need to please men, and be popular, and pretend to be someone that I'm not, so that men will like me better.

In fact, I'm just a girl, and my entire self-worth depends on my assessment of how I appear to others, particularly men.


Sexualization of Girls





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Response to Zorra (Reply #338)

Sun Jan 13, 2013, 01:48 PM

340. stupid girl. my 19 yr old niece played stupid not long ago. i say, wait...

wait right there.

called up stupid girl and played it for her. i hate that pretend stupid, arent i cute, bullshit.

stupid girl is a favorite. hadnt seen the other. thanks

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