Some of the mystifying things in life are cultural rules. What to wear, how to behave, who to hang with.
One time my wife and I were on a water ride with a couple of older friends who were gay. They took their shirts off and had nipple piercings with thick hoops. My wife and everyone else in the "boat" was disgusted. Not my thing, but, I didn't care.
When we left the ride they were asked to put their shirts on because people didn't like looking at the nipple rings. People felt uncomfortable around them.
When we lived in South Haven Michigan there was a guy who used to mow his lawn wearing panties, a see through skirt and a pink bustier. People didn't like it, but, he wasn't arrested the way he was when he mowed the lawn in a g-string.
Obscenity can't be defined but "we know it when we see it". Hardly. Social conventions change with time and location. Some people say that this defines acceptability for any person at any point in time. It's just a way of saying that there is no cultural standard. People make up their own minds.
People will behave the way they behave and sometimes we have to address their behavior. Over the years I developed simple rules based on experience.
A long time ago a friend and I were talking about how people treated us when we wore our leather jackets. It used to bug me when people treated me badly because they were afraid and intimidated by my size and my clothes. He told me that the leather jacket was a useful tool for identifying bigoted, frightened morons that you should stay away from.
Later his friendship almost got me killed and that made me angry at him, it shouldn't have. Back then I still associated with people who saw being gay as a weakness to be exploited. Having him as a friend put me in a situation where someone thought they could threaten me with a gun. I didn't even know people thought he swung both ways. I don't know if he did. I received a good chunk of income from these associates and I could not afford to place that in danger or take the chance on being killed or killing someone so I got angry at my friend. Stupid.
He is a good guy. My relationship with him was interpreted as making me vulnerable and I could not afford that. It put me in a difficult situation and I reacted with anger. Stupid.
"Long Haired, hippie type pinko fags" as Charlie Daniels called them on his hit record "uneasy rider" were offensive in the sixties and early seventies. Now people look at people dressed like that and see them differently.
Over the years I have been targeted by hatred and prejudice for wearing biker leathers and carrying my helmet. One college professor yelled at me for looking at her "wrong".
Depending on how you dress and where you are at people will react differently.
After years I have come up with a set of basic standards I believe are pretty good no matter what culture I am in.
These rules work abut 70% of the time and have to adapted on the fly the other 30%.
People who live their lives in fear are easily intimidated and react to their fear with anger towards the object they are afraid of.
People who have strict cultural standards are often disgusted by others and react with abhorrence toward people who disgust them.
Bigots ridicule those they hate.
Sarcasm can be intended as intellectual humor or personal ridicule, usually it is a form of humor and it usually means the person wants to interact.
Then there is acceptance. People smile, they make eye contact or do not react at all. Making eye contact is typically, not always, an invitation to intimacy (Not necessarily physical intimacy).
How do we respond to these behaviors?
If people react to you with anger, pity them. They live their lives in fear. Avoid them if possible. Change your dress and behavior to something consistent with theirs if you can't.
Anger reactions do not always indicate fear, they can indicate frustration or hatred or a combination of all of the above. You may want to give people who are angry second chances depending.
If people react to you with disgust you are probably insulting their cultural values. If they are important for business or personal reasons change your dress and/or behavior. If they are not, avoid them.
If people make eye contact talk to them, or not as you please. I typically talk to them because I like people. If I enjoy talking I talk some more. If we talk enough the intimacy progresses. Do not make eye contact with bigots filled with anger and hatred. It is a good way to die.
Ridicule is very bad. Teasing and sarcasm are not necessarily ridicule but it can be difficult to tell the difference. Most of the rest of this blog is about ridicule and hatred, identifying them and reacting to them.
If people ridicule you, pity them, leave quickly or react violently and instantly.
Ridicule is very bad. If they assault you by touching you in any way, defend yourself and kick the crap out of them. They are moronic bigots and deserve what they get.
Teasing and sarcasm are not necessarily ridicule but it can be difficult to tell the difference. When in doubt see the situation as ridicule, leave or react violently. If you react violently and the person is freaked out they were not ridiculing you, it was intended as sarcasm or teasing in an attempt to socialize.
Some people think of teasing as ridicule. The big difference to me is hurt and humiliation. If it is humiliating or hurtful it is ridicule. Bullying, use of intimidation, ridicule all of these things are designed to hurt people emotionally and physically and are encompassed by ridicule.
Some people who live in fear will think they just "scared off a bully" by getting angry/violent or maybe they think they became the "alpha" in the pair.
That is sometimes true only in extreme situations or cultures where violence is important. In circumstances where violence is not important it just delineates people into different isolationist groups or cliques. It is just another form of ridicule.
Cops use ridicule, humiliation, intimidation, lying without regard. Typically they feel justified because they believe the person they are ridiculing is a "bad person" the same way bigots think of those they hate as "bad people". Ridicule is always derived from hatred and always escalates into violence of some kind. This is why law enforcement uses weapons.
If a cop starts with any kind of intimidation, ridicule or humiliation ask for an attorney and refuse to talk. Ignore the cop no matter what lies they tell. Requesting an attorney does not make a person guilty.
People can't do this in schools or prisons. People in schools and prisons are at the ambivalence of the administration. Administration does not care and only becomes involved in violence or pre-violence ridicule if it becomes a problem to them, say the janitor has to clean up the blood or something is interrupted. Administration will always take the easiest action which is to do nothing, unless they have a problem like hating someone involved because of their race, religion, politics, dress code, haircut, etc.
Administrations in schools and prisons will not protect anyone except the administration of these institutions.
If you can't beat them, live with the beating. Joining those whose lives are defined by hate is never an option no matter how they justify their hatred.
Bigots can not accept people for who they are and will always escalate until they think they have put down those they hate. Then they will back off when they feel they have proved to themselves the hated ones are nothing, until the hated ones cross their paths again and then will reassert their "superiority" fantasy.
Bigoted people always react the same way, over and over. It becomes easy to identify.
While ridicule always identifies bigotry, sarcasm and teasing do not. Some will disagree with my definitions. This is my blog and I am not getting hung up on other people's semantics.
"you are a moron" is ridicule. "I just love the way you left the toilet paper hanging out of the back of your pants" is sarcasm or teasing. "yes indeed, aliens dropped this notebook here and I picked it up." is teasing.
If people intend to hurt someone it is always driven by hatred. If people are trying to encourage others think differently it is sarcasm or teasing.
Hatred is not caused by fear. Hatred is its own emotion. hatred can be a desire to live only with a particular kind of acceptable people. Hatred can be a fear of a particular kind of people.
Wanting one thing is not the same as not wanting something else.
Different groups and different people define "success" differently and someone who believes themselves to be an "alpha" through ridicule or violence to an attempted socialization will typically be considered a loser by the other or others. Think of the "jocks" or "socials" versus the "greasers" or "geeks". Very different ideas of what defines success or greatness.
Ridicule is always associated with hatred and violence and quickly escalates into some form of touching, even "tender" touching. If you are not sure if it is ridicule, wait for the touch and then react or leave, although by then it can be too late. Access the situation, can you defeat the group, is there a way to create distance quickly?
A non-violent option is to leave. I find most of these scumbags seem to think that retreat gives them some kind of territorial ownership. If you don't care about where you are at, leaving is fine although it can leave you open to future escalation if they are again in proximity. Once they have decided someone is weak and that someone is within their influence bigots will not stop no matter what.
With ridicule the behavior is pretty standard.
After verbally ridiculing there is touch. Typically the first touch is some kind of mild or "tender" thing, then the scum bags escalate into rougher and rougher behavior building up to a violent assault. I have seen this in groups of children, gay men, gang bangers and other groups of people. Yes, even groups of gay men escalate into violence based on whatever bigotry a particular group may have adopted. One of the first things many kids learn is hatred, either from their peers or parents. A Child Protective Services worker once touched me and I knew he would escalate further, he did.
How can you tell if a law enforcement agent, like CPS, is a bigot? Do they lie to a judge or in a report? It may not be proved but once it happens it is known. Get a great lawyer or get screwed. There is no justice without money and who can call that justice?
Ignoring ridicule is a good way to die.
React to the first ridicule by either leaving quickly or reacting very violently and your chances of survival increase.
If there is a group and you try and stand your ground you are probably dead meat.
When you run into ridicule it is always mindless hatred. Escalate immediately or leave quickly, and I mean as fast as possible. Who cares if they think you are a coward. Unless you can't get away from them, unless you are in school or prison leave. If you are try to escape. Many kids drop out of school to escape ridicule and stupidity.
When retreat is not an option and you can't win you can try to survive it and then live with it.
Living with assault can be difficult and many people have expressed regret over not fighting. Don't waste your time with regrets. Regrets are typically caused by bourgeois social BS. Learn from your decision and live with it. Period. The injured can try to destroy those who ridicule them, shiv someone in a prison or shoot up a school or they can commit suicide. Typically this just creates more problems.
Leaving can be a few feet or a few million miles. It depends on the circumstances and the group behavior. When in doubt increase the distance.
Sometimes the bigot will stalk you after you leave them. Bigots are like that. If the bigot chases you down it leaves you very little choice. You can try complaining to law enforcement unless it is law enforcement. You can try spending money on lawyers and guards if you have it. You can deal with the assault. You can kill them. No good choices.
Sometimes attacking or killing those responsible after an assault can improve the situation although usually it does not improve things for the assaulted person. People who hate others and ridicule them depend on administration to support their activities and it usually does. Cops arrest a person that a group attacks. A kid treated badly in school is treated badly by administration. Prisons administrations behaves the same way.
People treated badly by others are "wrong", people who treat others badly are "right". There are exceptions, but, those are rare in spite of all the politically correct hyperbole. Typically political change is just changing who is hated by the bigots.
Some people, typically people who ridicule others, will say this isn't true.
It is universally true. Bigots always hurt those they hate and they will gladly escalate to violence given an opportunity. Bigots want to see those they hate hurt.
People using sarcasm or teasing intended to develop socialization will not progress to touching or violence and will typically leave if ignored.
Touching without ridicule, sarcasm or teasing may be weird and could escalate molestation but it is generally not caused by hatred and it is not generally a reason to react with immediate violence. If someone feels uncomfortable a firm "No" usually puts a stop to the problem, if it doesn't leave or attack.
People using sarcasm or teasing or ridicule to hurt will always touch. Bigots typically love using touch to display what they perceive as their superiority.
There maybe a small minority of situations where people trying to socialize will touch, but, typically in the United States people do not touch each other before establishing some kind of relationship.
When my kids were little I gave them three steps to take when someone bothered them. 1: Ignore the person bothering them. 2: Tell someone in authority. 3: Attack if the first two have not solved the problem. If the person bothering you will not allow you access to someone in authority, Attack.
I never expected anyone in authority to react to my kids complaints, but, I wanted my kids aware of the authoritarian hierarchy and be able to work within it. Besides, someone wins the lottery occasionally and maybe someone in authority would do something. It could happen.
What about when people don't react any of these ways? Typically you can keep doing whatever you are doing, but, be aware of the people around you, how they behave and interact.
The majority does not define cultural norms or success. Individuals define their own behavior and their own idea of success.
Individuals will then seek out groups and introduce a group hierarchy focusing on a dynamic group definition of normal behavior and success. Individuals may use a group dynamic to modify their definition of success.
People will come and go in any group depending on how attractive to others the group behavior, group socialization and definition of and work towards success is. Some people will focus on the hierarchy and others focus on group goals, still others on socialization within the various groups they belong. Focus changes dynamically as people learn and develop. As the dynamic changes the people change.
The bottom line is particular behaviors will attract different people. If you don't like the people you are attracting change your dress and behavior.
Sounds simple, it really isn't. Behavior becomes habit based and habits are hard to change.
Watch the groups of people you want to associate with and change your behavior to mimic theirs or just be yourself and see who you attract.
No one owns us or defines our lives. We define our own lives.
Its your life, change it was much as you want to.