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May 02, 2014

Friday Incendiary Debate Question

So, a while back Sheryl Sandberg's campaign to "ban" the term bossy generated lots of outrage and excitement on the right. Many lofty principles regarding the desirability of free and open speech and the hideous dangers of discouraging even obnoxious or disrespectful rhetoric were aired.

Which leads the Blog Princess to snidely ponder this question: "If it's dangerous and wrong/bad to discourage speech we don't like, then isn't this sort of thing dangerous and wrong/bad too?"

“Negative general portrayals of fathers/husbands/men in TV commercials and sit-coms contributes to a decrease in men wanting to assume those roles in society, and creates the impression among others that men need not assume such roles anyways, that such simply aren’t important,” Matt Campbell, an administrator for Mensactivism.org told reporter Sarah Peterson.

A couple of years ago CNN produced a story on how a bunch of dads had decided to fight the “doofus dad” trope. “We’re not the Peter Griffin or the Homer Simpson that we’re often portrayed as,” Kevin Metzger, who runs the Dadvocate blog told reporter Josh Levs. The protest was prompted by a series of Huggies commercials portraying fathers as idiots.

If women complaining about negative stereotypes typically used against women endangers free speech, then doesn't it logically follow that men complaining about negative stereotypes typically aimed at men is wrong on the same grounds?

How do we "kill" a stereotype, anyway? Shoot it through the heart? Wag our fingers at it sternly? Make disapproving faces at it? Or simply respond to it with opposing ... ummm.... speech. Which is said to be dangerous when certain people speak out, but a healthy and vibrant exercise of democracy when others do the exact same thing :p

The mind boggles.

Posted by Cassandra at May 2, 2014 07:44 AM

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Comments

To extrapolate from the controversy over "racism," the popular approach seems to be to deny that the term can apply to a disadvantaged group no matter how egregious the behavior. In other words, "racism" doesn't mean blindly indulging in hostile group stereotypes in lieu of judging individuals on their merits, it means doing anything that can be said to hamper the good fortune of a particular protected group. So Mitt Romney is a racist but Al Sharpton is not. Similarly, it's terrible to call women bossy, but completely OK to ridicule fathers as inept. That's affirmative action.

Posted by: Texan99 at May 2, 2014 10:13 AM

the popular approach seems to be to deny that the term can apply to a disadvantaged group no matter how egregious the behavior...

And that's dumb.

Similarly, it's terrible to call women bossy, but completely OK to ridicule fathers as inept.

I would say that among conservatives, it's terrible to ridicule inept fathers but OK to call women bossy.

There's no real principle being defended here - only team loyalties. There are women who are bossy (and women who are labeled as bossy who aren't).

And there absolutely are fathers who are deliberately inept/inattentive. I've known many such over the past decades - they simply don't see it as "their job" to watch their own kids or act like parent. Many don't even want to pay child support because they're not getting sex in return.

This is such a puerile argument that we should be laughing it to scorn.

So "killing" a stereotype that applies to some men and is unfairly applied to others vs. "banning" a stereotype that applies to some women and is unfairly applied to others ... I'm not seeing the difference.

From where I set, some of the MRA groups are using the exact same tactics conservatives have derided feminists are using.

Posted by: Cass at May 2, 2014 10:23 AM

Laughter is good. "You believe that ? :snicker:"

Posted by: htom at May 2, 2014 10:23 AM

Bonus observation: how many of you don't think men are viewed as a disadvantaged group by conservatives?

I don't view them that way, but every day I see that argument. Is it true? Or is it true that different groups can be disadvantaged in different ways?

Posted by: Cass at May 2, 2014 10:24 AM

Laughter is good. "You believe that ? :snicker:"

Heh :)

Hence my sometimes twisted sense of humor. Sometime, you either laugh or cry. I prefer to find the funny side.

There almost always is one.

Posted by: Cassandra at May 2, 2014 10:30 AM

I guess it depends on your view of the situation.

If your problem with an orange is that it is a fruit, then making an exception for an apple is fairly charcterized as hypocritical.

If your problem with an orange is that it has a tough, inedible peel, then it fair to say that apples are different, because they are.

My problem with "ban bossy" and my read of others people's problems with it was not that it used social pressure. I'm a big fan of social pressure.

My problem was that "ban bossy" tried to hold out what I believe to be bad behavior (sticking your nose where it doesn't belong) to be good behavior (leadership skills). I don't see Matt Campbell extolling that the bad behavior of "doofus dad" is really good behavior and that we should be more accepting of it.

Posted by: Yu-Ain Gonnano at May 2, 2014 10:37 AM

My problem was that "ban bossy" tried to hold out what I believe to be bad behavior (sticking your nose where it doesn't belong) to be good behavior (leadership skills).

I am not sure that's a fair characterization of the argument, though. We've talked before about how women can do exactly the same thing as men, but are judged harshly for behavior that is praised and valued in men. So a woman who is assertive is viewed as being pushy while a man who is assertive is just being manly and daring and amazing.

The same is true for men. Men who are gentle or empathetic are harshly judged, when in reality the same man can be gentle and caring in some situations and stern and resolute in others. I know this, because my husband is a great example.

I don't think anyone likes bossiness in a person. But assertiveness or initiative or daring get very different reactions from men and women. There are a ton of gender blind studies out there where the exact same words/acts are presented to groups.

Only the sex of the speaker/actor is varied.

And solely on the basis of sex, the reaction differs quite a bit. FWIW, I don't think society judges a careless or disengaged Dad as harshly as we do a careless or disengaged Mother.

That's probably a sensible reaction since women are far more likely to be the primary caretakers of small children, but on the other hand I kind of think we need fathers to be good parents unless we seriously think there will never come a time when a father's care is needed or wanted.

The argument I typically see MRA make wrt to the doofus Dad stereotype goes like this:

"NOT ALL DADS ARE LIKE THAT!"

Which, come to think of it, is a perennial argument used by feminists against what they perceive as damaging female stereotypes: not all women are like that, either.

We see the sense of the argument when it's applied to someone we want to defend/protect, but discount it when it's applied to someone we don't care for.

Posted by: Cassandra at May 2, 2014 11:06 AM

I can speak for no one other than myself. So I cannot answer for why the MRA types hold this double standard, nor why feminists hold this double standard. For my part, I think it's dumb to "ban words" because that's never going to change anyone's bad behavior. And more to the point, it won't ever work. What are you going to do, have police write someone a ticket if they use the word "bossy"? Sue a company if they show the bumbling idiot father?

My preference is let people exhibit their biases, so that you know who they are, and thus, if you want to associate with those people. If you drive their bad behavior into the shadows, that doesn't make it go away, it makes it fester. I've learned recently that relatives of a friend of mine will, once they think it's "safe" casually drop the n****r slur. I learned this from that same friend who is disgusted by it. And frankly, I'd never have known unless told, and without that knowledge, I'd have assumed these people were fairly good, honest kind folk. But they have this in their hearts, and the fact that they KNOW it to be socially unacceptable keeps it behind the curtains, but it doesn't change what is in their hearts. Does that mean the problem is gone?

Out of sight is NOT out of mind, and I'd rather know what someone's honest opinion is, so that I can decide for myself if this is someone I would want to associate with. So, for my part, go ahead and let people express their contempt for women (or men). That just lets me know that this is someone from whom I want to disassociate myself.

Posted by: MikeD at May 2, 2014 11:17 AM

"How do we "kill" a stereotype, anyway?"

Well, wrt the particular subject matter at hand, I would think this would do.
0>;~]

Posted by: DL Sly at May 2, 2014 11:49 AM

I am not sure that's a fair characterization of the argument, though.

"I want every girl who's called bossy to be told she has leadership skills". That's the argument quite a few actually made. I'll take their word for it.

So a woman who is assertive is viewed as being pushy while a man who is assertive is just being manly and daring and amazing.

Funny, the words I hear are "tin-pot dictator" and "petty tyrant". But maybe that's just the people I hang around.

Which, come to think of it, is a perennial argument used by feminists against what they perceive as damaging female stereotypes: not all women are like that, either.

And I'm rather supportive of that statement. But that's not what I heard from the "ban bossy" movement. What I heard was: Don't call out little girls for bad behavior because their fragile little special snowflake egos can't handle it. That they, then, tied it to leadership (because what our leaders need is to never have to deal with what they see as unfair criticism) is appalling.

Posted by: Yu-Ain Gonnano at May 2, 2014 12:30 PM

To me, the equivalent campaign to Matt Carpenter's would be for feminists to advocate for dropping the ditzy-blonde trope.

I could support that easily.

Posted by: Yu-Ain Gonnano at May 2, 2014 12:49 PM

DL Sly--There are lines from Mel Brooks movies for every social occasion. Glad to see you are a fan!

"How do we kill a stereotype"? By doing as Mel Brooks did--lampooning it. Recall that the very next scene talks about "who wants to kill him" (or in this case, "it").

Posted by: frequent flyer at May 2, 2014 01:42 PM

The scene starts :55 into the video.

Posted by: frequent flyer at May 2, 2014 01:43 PM

And if "ban bossy" was an attempt at pointing out unfair treatment of neutral behavior, it seems as much of an own goal as the guy protesting the unfair treatment of fathers in custody battles by dressing up as Batman and climbing Buckingham Palace.

I mocked him too.

If you want to argue that fathers are not unstable, wacky, and irresponsible, it's probably best not to do exactly those things when pleading your case.

Posted by: Yu-Ain Gonnano at May 2, 2014 03:12 PM

What I heard was: Don't call out little girls for bad behavior because their fragile little special snowflake egos can't handle it. That they, then, tied it to leadership (because what our leaders need is to never have to deal with what they see as unfair criticism) is appalling.

I guess I see this differently, probably because I have different experiences.

When my boys were growing up, I was often appalled at the way their friends acted. Little boys can be both imperious and quite rude and overbearing at times. I really didn't consider that kind of behavior to be at all sex-linked (to me, a jerk is a jerk is a jerk - either your parents raise you right or they don't). So I fully agree that no one should be excusing bad behavior and rudeness, or confusing that with leadership.

But you're making different assumptions than I am about WHY a girl might be called bossy. You're assuming the label correctly describes her behavior. By that construction, boys are terribly bossy too (yet I've almost never heard a boy called bossy) and I agree the basic behavior should be discouraged.

On the other hand, small children often begin by exercising different aspects of their personality in socially unacceptable ways. If someone calls a girl bossy because she's being overbearing, that's one thing. But if she's being called bossy because she's being assertive or taking the lead (and every group of kids I've ever seen has a leader), then I think the label is misplaced. Just as I think calling a boy a sissy or a pussy for being decent is misplaced and stupid.

I think I stipulated that talking about "banning" a word was kind of dumb. So is talking about "killing" a stereotype.

Posted by: Cassandra at May 2, 2014 03:32 PM

My preference is let people exhibit their biases, so that you know who they are, and thus, if you want to associate with those people. If you drive their bad behavior into the shadows, that doesn't make it go away, it makes it fester. I've learned recently that relatives of a friend of mine will, once they think it's "safe" casually drop the n****r slur. I learned this from that same friend who is disgusted by it. And frankly, I'd never have known unless told, and without that knowledge, I'd have assumed these people were fairly good, honest kind folk. But they have this in their hearts, and the fact that they KNOW it to be socially unacceptable keeps it behind the curtains, but it doesn't change what is in their hearts. Does that mean the problem is gone?

Of course not, but I can't imagine seriously believing any problematic human behavior will ever disappear. That's just not reasonable - we're all prone to error.

I believe there is great value in discouraging rude, obnoxious, insulting, or otherwise socially aggressive behavior. Most people behave better when expectations are set high than when they are set too low.

I think people *should* be ashamed to act like jackwagons. This is essentially how we used to rear children before it became socially unacceptable to do anything but praise children 24/7 no matter how rude or inconsiderate or spoiled they act.

Shame is not a bad thing. It calls us to be better than we would be otherwise. And it's a valuable way for communities to enforce standards of behavior.

I've never thought that eradicating bad behavior was EVER a reasonable goal, whether we're talking putting murderers in jail or merely showing strong disapproval (or even anger! When the heck did we become a society of fragile flowers who think kids can't handle knowing they made someone else angry?) when a small child behaves badly. I've always thought the purpose of disapproval was to drive down open displays of anti-social behavior so they remain on the fringe rather than being mainstream and commonplace?

Posted by: Cassandra at May 2, 2014 03:43 PM

To sort of echo some of what's been said, I do see a difference between the two examples. The "idiot father" example seems to be a case of men who are unhappy about a stereotype, telling advertisers about their unhappiness. The "Ban Bossy" example seems to be about telling friends, neighbors, co-workers, and total strangers not to use a particular word. The former might produce results - advertisers care what consumers want; the latter is less likely to do so - or at least less likely to produce the desired result.

I also think there's something to the "precious snowflake" idea, that girls are fragile and need to be protected. Somewhere on the "Ban Bossy" site I saw something that said:

I'm not bossy. I'm the boss.

Ugh! How about:

Of course I'm bossy - I'm the boss.

Don't teach girls they have to be protected from mean words - teach them to protect themselves whether by laughing at the words, embracing the words, or rejecting the words.

I don't, though, think any of this tells us anything about girls, leadership, fathers, or censorship. We're all different - bossy girls, competent dads, shrinking violets, dads who don't know which end is up - and I think that's a good thing.

Little did I realize, back when some feminists were insisting that the personal is political, how sick and tired I'd get of seeing people's personal likes, dislikes, and concerns held up as important political priorities or dreadful political improprieties.

Posted by: Elise at May 2, 2014 04:12 PM

Little did I realize, back when some feminists were insisting that the personal is political, how sick and tired I'd get of seeing people's personal likes, dislikes, and concerns held up as important political priorities or dreadful political improprieties.

Amen, Elise :p

But I still don't really see much difference between the two. The author of the doofus Dads piece was also complaining about people praising her husband for doing normal stuff like taking the kids out on errands.

I happen to think most boycotts are dumb and misguided, and I'm more against consumer boycotts (though I won't lift a finger to stop them - it's a free country) than against moral suasion directed at members of one's own circle.

At least in the latter case, throngs of people aren't ganging up on businesses and putting innocent people out of work, or trying to censor stereotypes that manifestly do exist in real life out of the media :p

This whole thing reminds me of the joke about feminists where the punch line is "THAT'S NOT FUNNY!", except I don't see anyone wondering why these men are so overly sensitive that they want to pressure the media into never saying anything that might make them feel bad about themselves :p

Posted by: Cass at May 2, 2014 04:22 PM

I kind of blew past the author of the doofus Dads piece and focused on the campaign to get advertisers to change their focus.

Maybe everyone in both examples needs a course in standing up for themselves themselves rather than outsourcing the standing-up-for. A girl (or her mother if she's young) can explain politely but firmly that being a girl who leads isn't bossy. A man can explain politely but firmly that he doesn't think taking his kids on an errand makes him a paradigm of extraordinary virtue.

Or, in the vernacular, everyone who wants to make a Federal case out of this kind of stuff needs to take a chill pill.

Posted by: Elise at May 2, 2014 05:00 PM

'men are viewed as a disadvantaged,
are wimps.
Real men aren't much concerned . . .


Best Regards,

Posted by: CAPT Mike at May 2, 2014 09:12 PM

Hi YAG,
Not so fat on dumping the 'ditzy blonde' trope; Goldie Hawn made a lot of $$$ using that gig, starting on Laugh In.
and Lindsay (sp?) Lohan IS a real live ongoing parody of a ditzy blonde.
Just because a term is misused or abused doesn't imply that it never correct.

Best Regards,

Posted by: CAPT Mike at May 2, 2014 09:15 PM

Hi Elise, and welcome back!
'Or, in the vernacular, everyone who wants to make a Federal case out of this kind of stuff needs to take a chill pill.'

Very.Well.Said, even for you.
Of course I'd advise a half full glass of your favorite adult beverage . . .

Best Regards,

Posted by: CAPT Mike at May 2, 2014 09:20 PM

Thanks, Capt Mike - good advice. And I agree on the ditzy blonde trope though for different reasons. I've gotten a lot of mileage out of that trope - an amazing number of people seem to believe that no one who looks like I do could possibly have a single brain in her little head. :+)

Posted by: Elise at May 3, 2014 11:45 AM

What if there is some truth to the stereotype?

I go out for lunch almost every day, and, being cheap, eat in a lot of fast food places. So I see a lot of families, especially a lot of mothers with small children.

At a certain age, little boys start wanting the "best" seat. (And I suspect most of us never stop wanting that seat.)

At a certain age, little girls start wanting to tell everyone else where to sit, especially if there are three or more girls together.

(A week or so ago, I saw "Bookworm" making the same observation.)

I'll leave it to Cassandra as to whether older girls still want to tell others where to sit.

Neither set of behavior seems objectionable to me -- within limits. the competitiveness of the boys is good -- within limits. And so is the social ordering, which some call bossiness, of the girls -- also within limits.

Posted by: Jim Miller at May 4, 2014 10:09 PM

boys are terribly bossy too

Yes, they are.

yet I've almost never heard a boy called bossy

Not "bossy" ,no. The words for boys are tyrant and dictator.

And heaven help the adult male who is short or bald as then it becomes "Napoleon Complex" and "Bald Man Syndrome".

The behavior is rightly discouraged for everyone, IMO, but apparently this is only a problem for girls in the "ban bossy" crowd.

Posted by: Yu-Ain Gonnano at May 5, 2014 10:52 AM

"I'll leave it to Cassandra as to whether older girls still want to tell others where to sit."

Well, I'm not our Blog Princess, but I did see an interesting thing in the cafe where the Dark Side was enjoying breakfast this past weekend. An older couple seated at the table next to ours when we arrived were soon joined by another older couple for whom the first had obviously been waiting. After the "good mornings" were said, they proceeded to sit, only the seating arrangements as the second couple arrived weren't, apparently, good enough, as the first lady, literally, directed each person to a specific seat at the table - which, btw, was an exact opposite seating arrangement than what would have been the most convenient given where the open chairs at the table were, but I digress.... Then, with much shuffling and scooting of chairs, they finally settled down for breakfast and conversation. I was privately amused as I watched, but nobody at the table seemed upset or miffed - either it was such a regular occurence that they didn't take note any longer....or they just didn't care enough to dwell on it.
0>:~]

Posted by: DL Sly at May 5, 2014 11:23 AM

Not so fa[s]t on dumping the 'ditzy blonde' trope; Goldie Hawn made a lot of $$$ using that gig, starting on Laugh In.

This largely depends on the delivery. Nerds/geeks have been the butt of jokes and derision for ages. And yet, The Big Bang Theory has a stong nerd/geek following. Largely because it comes across as affectionate: laughing at things you do like, not deriding things you hate.

Which isn't to say that "dufus dad" can't be done as an 'affectionate' parody as well.

Posted by: Yu-Ain Gonnano at May 5, 2014 11:24 AM

And yet, The Big Bang Theory has a stong nerd/geek following. Largely because it comes across as affectionate: laughing at things you do like, not deriding things you hate.

Ugh! I personally loathe BBT. I wish there was some non-racially charged term I could use, but to me it is a modern day minstrel show. I mean seriously! None of those characters are what anyone would describe as role models. They're all caricatures of what they're supposed to represent. And you're never laughing with the characters, but at them. "Oh look at the goofy awkward thing Sheldon just did!" That's not inclusive humor, it's mocking humor.

And it drives me nuts that many of my geek friends are in love with it, simply because the writers throw out pop-culture references. Mind you, I'll not boycott the show, or quit being friends with someone because they like it. But I cannot stand it and will not watch it.

Posted by: MikeD at May 5, 2014 11:55 AM

At a certain age, little boys start wanting the "best" seat.

Right, the one with your back to the wall, on the outside so you can easily move if necessary. There are practical reasons for this preference, though. :)

Posted by: Grim at May 5, 2014 12:20 PM

Actually, I've never heard a little boy called a tyrant or dictator, either. Ever. And I raised two boys. You'd think if this was anything approaching common I would have heard it at least once!

The behavior is rightly discouraged for everyone, IMO, but apparently this is only a problem for girls in the "ban bossy" crowd.

I still don't agree that's actually true, though.

Good parents DO discourage that behavior in boys but there are a LOT of bad parents out there. I sent more than one boy home to his parents because he had apparently been raised by wolves (much to the mystification of said parents, who shrugged it off as "boys will be boys"). But it's funny - several of the boys shaped up because they wanted to be invited back. If you set a standard, it's likelier to be met than if you just passively accept bad behavior.

Once again, truly rude behavior should be discouraged. But there is also a different standard for boys and girls as to what constitutes acceptable conduct.

I would like to think that had I had a girl, I would have set pretty much the same standard. My sons were raised to be polite and considerate of others. But my experience with parents of other boys is that they generally made a ton of excuses for their sons' misdeeds. The bar was definitely set *way* lower.

It used to puzzle me when parents of my sons' playmates would ask me how I got my boys to obey me? It really was pretty simple - because that's what I expected and if they didn't, there were consequences.

Posted by: Cassandra at May 5, 2014 12:20 PM

"... on the outside so you can easily move if necessary...."

So you can get the hell outta the way more quickly when the girls need to go to the *powder room*?
0>;~}

Posted by: DL Sly at May 5, 2014 12:35 PM

So you can establish a clear lane of fire, or advance to grappling range, should the occasion arise.

Posted by: Grim at May 5, 2014 03:14 PM

So you can get the hell outta the way more quickly when the girls need to go to the *powder room*?

BTW, Sly... I'm on to you ladies. I know why you go to the bathrooms in packs.

Gentlemen, the answer is as simple as it is obvious. They go in groups, because they are holding union meetings in there.

Posted by: MikeD at May 5, 2014 04:01 PM

So you can establish a clear lane of fire, or advance to grappling range, should the occasion arise.

Hmmm.

Restaurants must be very different down in Georgia :p

Posted by: Cassandra at May 5, 2014 04:14 PM

Maybe everyone in both examples needs a course in standing up for themselves themselves rather than outsourcing the standing-up-for. A girl (or her mother if she's young) can explain politely but firmly that being a girl who leads isn't bossy. A man can explain politely but firmly that he doesn't think taking his kids on an errand makes him a paradigm of extraordinary virtue.

This is why I used to read Miss Manners years ago - she excelled at the polite (but firm) putting-of-people-in-their-place when they said something annoying or dumb.

Posted by: Cassandra at May 5, 2014 04:18 PM

Restaurants must be very different down in Georgia :p

Cass, I wonder if you're familiar with the saying Gen. Mattis gave his Marines in Iraq:
"Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everybody you meet."

:)

Posted by: MikeD at May 5, 2014 04:25 PM

That sentiment, Mike, is one that I have quoted often. :)

Posted by: Grim at May 5, 2014 05:14 PM

An older couple ... the first lady, literally, directed each person to a specific seat at the table ... nobody at the table seemed upset or miffed - either it was such a regular occurence that they didn't take note any longer....or they just didn't care enough to dwell on it.

As someone who is rapidly approaching being "older" herself, allow me to suggest an alternate explanation: creaky necks and other physical considerations. I had tea with a couple of friends a few weeks ago and after we'd been sitting for a few minutes, one woman said she had to change her seat so she didn't have to keep turning her head to look at one of us. Since her proposed seat change would have resulted in me having to keep turning my head to talk to her, I orchestrated a move to a nearby round table.

Perhaps everyone at the older couple's table had some type of physical issue that needed to be catered to and the lady doing the directing was the one who knew them all: Alice can't turn her head to the left; Bob had that gouty right foot that needs to be shielded; I'm left-handed; David can't take the sun in his eyes after his cataract surgery.

Maybe women aren't so much bossy as they are aware and efficient. Or, as a female friend of mine recently said about jury duty, don't be afraid to be foreman because without a strong foreman you'll be dithering around forever.

Posted by: Elise at May 6, 2014 09:53 AM

But you're making different assumptions than I am about WHY a girl might be called bossy. You're assuming the label correctly describes her behavior. By that construction, boys are terribly bossy too (yet I've almost never heard a boy called bossy) and I agree the basic behavior should be discouraged.

I do agree girls and boys are judged differently for the same behavior. See, for example:

Don’t Just Ask: Why Women Don’t Negotiate

Banning the word "bossy" isn't the answer - it isn't even an answer. It seems to me the only way out is for women to accept that there's a double-standard and take the hit for violating it until everybody gets over it.

And, really, if you're trying to overcome stereotypes, what's more bossy than trying to tell people what words to use?

Posted by: Elise at May 6, 2014 10:01 AM

"As someone who is rapidly approaching being "older" herself, allow me to suggest an alternate explanation:"

Please don't mis-read my story as being judgemental. The facts of this situation were that she was seating everyone so as to best accomodate conversation. At first, the couple were sitting across from each other at a four seat table. When the other couple came in, the lady moved her husband to the outer chair on his side and took the chair next to the wall, giving the other couple the other side of the table where the other lady sat next to the wall across from the first lady and her husband took the outer chair across from the other husband. It made for two conversation *alleys* without having to cross words...so to speak. It also, as Grim suggested, had the effect of leaving the men on the outside and women protected against the wall.
It's just that, as I said, instead of allowing everyone to just "figure it out" as they sat, she actually stood there and directed each to a seat.

Posted by: DL Sly at May 6, 2014 12:42 PM

I didn't read it as judgmental - it just made me laugh given my recent experience. :+)

Posted by: Elise at May 6, 2014 12:47 PM

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