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part of a small rebellion | by maryann johanson

what’s the rudest or most annoying personal question or comment you’ve received?


Reader Rebecca writes, by way of suggesting a question:

Does anyone else get offended or annoyed when people (strangers) ask what your race is? I’m half Asian and am a cashier, so I get asked this quite a lot and I find it annoying and refuse to answer. Or I pretend I don’t understand what they’re really asking.

I think this is a bit narrow, because many people will never have been asked this question. I, for instance, am about as white as people come, so I’ve never encountered this kind of rudeness. But it’s the great basis for a question of the weekend:

What’s the rudest or most annoying personal question or comment you’ve received?

Probably the one that annoys me the most is the generic assumption that I’m married. The most extreme example may be the time I was asked by a junk phone caller if I wanted to check with my husband before rejecting the fabulous offer they were presenting to me. But it happens a lot, particularly from telemarketers or in comments on this very Web site, people calling me “Mrs. Johanson.” There’s nothing wrong with being married, of course: it’s the assumption that, as a I woman, I must naturally be married that pisses me off.


(If you have a suggestion for a Question, feel free to email me.)

  • RogerBW

    “Not married? Are you one o’ them feminists?”

    For me, I think, it’s questions about other people. If you want to know what my wife thinks about something, ask her; I don’t speak for her. Especially annoying when she’s in the room.

  • amanohyo

    I’m half asian too, and the way most people phrase the question is, “Where are you from?” I usually answer “Oh.. all over, I move around a lot,” or “I grew up in San Antonio,” which are both true but not what they want to hear.

    Those with less tact typically ask, “What are you?” which makes me chuckle and think of bad superhero movies.

    The question mildly annoys me, but I am vaguely asian-ish in appearance so I understand their curiousity. Sometimes for fun I answer in excruciating detail: “I’m forty percent South Korean, twenty-five percent German, twenty percent English, ten percent Japanese, and five percent Native American,” and go on to list the details of my conception and the places I’ve lived in chronological order.

    The rudest question I’ve received lately is actually from a website. When specifying your “ideal match,” Match.com in essence asks what race you prefer. The suggestion that I cannot imagine being attracted to or falling in love with someone of a particular race is deeply insulting.

    Even worse, many people actually answer the question and exclude certain races (most often one or more nonwhite races), and this information is made available on their profiles. It’s surreal and a bit discouraging to read dozens of well-written, intelligent descriptions that include phrases like “I enjoy exploring other countries and learning about other cultures” and then find a “whites only” sign hanging at the bottom of it all (with asian women [and men too I suppose] it’s often “asians and whites only” which is uhh… slightly less racist… I guess? … *sigh* stay classy asian ladies).

    It’s seriously turning me into some kind of a meta reverse-racist. I look at a picture now and think “yeah, she looks like a whites-only kind of woman.” I feel like knitting them all miniature white hoods for their vaginas.

  • NorthernStar

    I find it annoying to be asked “why don’t you drive?” as if this is some big imcomprehensable failing on my part. Is it so odd that I really don’t see a pressing need right now? As a grown woman with a teenager, with a decent enough wage that I could if I wanted pay for lessons and buy a car, but who walks to work, lives close enough to town that even if I had a car I wouldn’t drive to it. I’d rather spend “car money” on other things.
    And oh yes, I too get the married issue. And worse, particularly when dealing with childcare issues, when I inform them I’m not “MRS” but “Miss” I’m from then on called “MS” because OF COURSE I’d be ashamed of my single parent status!

  • Bluejay

    I’m with Rebecca — it’s the “what are you” question, when asked pushily by strangers. NPR’s “Code Switch” blog has a great post about it, with lots of interesting responses in the comments section, here.

    I dream of one day responding this way:


  • Rebecca Dalmas

    That’s exactly the video I thought of when I read Rebecca’s experience. Brilliant!

  • Jess Haskins

    Cab drivers, barbers, and the like are always asking me the familiar litany of questions that goes something like: Where do you live? Do you live alone? What’s your rent? How old are you? Do you have a boyfriend? How come you don’t have a boyfriend?

    All of which, while extremely rude and invasive, I can pretty much understand, except for the rent question. I’ve heard it more than once and it baffles me every time. Is that the hot new pickup line? Hey, baby, what’s your rent? What kind of world are we living in?

  • Rebecca Dalmas

    I have gotten countless remarks and questions from strangers, most of the time they do not phase me, and are usually attempts to be friendly or make conversation, however awkward. There are two that come to mind, however as annoying. First was the woman at the grocery store who asked for my due date, then insistent that I was past my due date despite my assurances that I had six weeks left, as if she knew my body more than me or my doctor. The second time was a woman who sat next to me on the public bus, as I held my newborn. She proceeded to recount how years before she had spotted a baby in a stroller outside a shop (in some places people still do this) and was ever-so-tempted to snatch the infant away. That was awkward.

  • beccity98

    Yay! I sent in the question! Glad you found a way to expand it!

    I also find it a bit rude and annoying when telemarketers ask if my mom or dad are home. The last time this happened, I said, “I don’t know, why don’t you try calling THEIR house. I’m 32 and married!” I’ve even had Mormons come to my DOOR and ask this. I thought that was funny, but the telephone thing is annoying.

  • beccity98

    I saw this after I emailed MaryAnn the question, and woke my husband up laughing. I have actually wanted to ask people the question back, too, like she did.

  • beccity98

    “What are you?” Makes me want to answer like Buffy Summers when Riley asks what she is-“Capricorn. On the cusp of Aquarius. You?” Sometimes people ask “Where are your people from?” And when I told my mom, she said “My people travel many moons…”

    What am I? I am a Whovian, a Browncoat, a Sherlockian, a Potterhead, never a Twihard, a bibliophile, an introvert, a crazy cat lady, an all around animal lover, and a Christian.

  • beccity98

    I am left-handed and used to work at a bank where customers could see me writing, and sometimes it was like I was part of a freak show. I would mostly get the “Oh, you’re left-handed, huh?” Or, “Hey, a southpaw!” A bit annoying is “Are you left-handed?” No, it’s a figment of your imagination. The bullet-proof glass has a mirror-effect, and in fact, everyone here is a lefty except me, it only looks like they’re righties. For a lot of older people, I think they’re amazed by the fact that I don’t have to curl my hand around to write, or turn my paper sideways, like lefties used to be taught.

    But the weirdest reaction I had was someone who said in a tone of awe and wonder, “How do you write with your left hand?” I dunno, how do you write with your right?

    (According to spell-check, ‘lefty’ is a word, while ‘righty’ is not.)

  • Fawn

    When I was working in the children’s area of a bookstore, a group of moms came in with their children and let the kids run around while they chatted. One little girl got upset and started crying, and I went over to her and tried to calm her down. Her mom looked up from her conversation, saw my store-issued nametag, and snapped “Don’t you try to parent my child! What do you know about anything, you’re the HELP!” Yes, because the fact that I worked retail makes me both stupid and able to callously ignore a crying child.

  • Stephanie C.

    A woman with a heavy German accent once approached me on the Roncesvalles streetcar in Toronto, and asked me if I was aware I was ‘quite fat’. Her accent was so heavy I actually had to ask her to repeat herself, because I could not quite believe that anyone would ask a question like that.

  • Isobel_A

    I’m with you, in that I can’t really imagine meeting someone, thinking they’re handsome and funny and clever, but not being able to fall in love with them because they’re not white (myself being also white).

    Some people are like that, though. I work with a British Indian woman and she says she could never marry anyone who wasn’t Indian, and that she just doesn’t think white men are attractive. But then, she moved here from Gujarat when she was 12, and Gujarat isn’t exactly multi-cultural, so maybe when you grow up surrounded by your own race, other races do look odd to you.

  • Emm82

    The one I so often get and have for the last 20 years is ” you have a pretty face, if only you could lose some weight”.I’m a UK size 16! I get it’s well intentioned (sometimes) but it’s so backhanded it makes my blood boil at the assumption I must be unhappy with my body.

  • amanohyo

    There are huge social pressures on many Indians from southern india to marry not simply another Indian, but another Indian with close ties to the family. This is true in many southeast asian countries as well. I suppose if one has never been attracted to men of a certain race, and assurances have been made that the family will disown you if you marry interracially, it’s understandable to make some exclusions.

    Many women are attracted to individuals with similar communication styles to their fathers’ and this can be related to culture and race, so I understand that some bias is inevitable. The idealization of white beauty and comparative wealth of predominantly white countries is probably a contributing factor as well.

    However, for a privileged adult American who has grown up in a major metropolitan area and travelled extensively, such exclusions demonstrate a colossal lack of imagination and a poorly ranked system of values. One has to walk through life blindfolded with wax in one’s ears to avoid being attracted to someone of another race (or races) in a large American city.

    To be fair, tIme is limited – perhaps these individuals are saving themselves the tedium of sorting through hundreds of requests on the off chance that they might stumble across an exception to their personal rule. However the discovery of such exceptions is one of the great joys in life, and they are missing out big time. Alright, I’ll stop sulking now and start knitting those hoods.

  • lunarangel01

    Oh the weight thing… Yeah, I’ve gotten that from the Iranian woman who felt it was appropriate to ask me, a perfect stranger: “Why don’t you lose weight?” every time she saw me, as though she was doing me a favor by pointing it out (she was the sister-in-law of one of my coworkers. This coworker NEVER asked me that- in fact, she was about as sweet as she could be).

    However, I think what really bugs me is when waiters/waitresses assume that I’m the girlfriend to the guy sitting next to me even when I’m with a big group of people and even when I JUST SAID that I wanted a separate ticket! I didn’t stutter! I want a separate ticket! No, I am not on the ticket of the guy sitting next to me! This happened to me just last night. I have lots of guy friends, and people always assume I’m with them even when I’m not.

  • lescarr

    I was once asked by a secretary at work whether I was ginger “all over”. When she didn’t get an instant reply (I was too gobsmacked to speak) she tried again – “You know, are you ginger Down There or just On Top?”

  • To be blatantly honest, I don’t recall a time when I’ve ever been attracted to a black woman. They simply don’t do it for me. It doesn’t mean I’m racist. I have a “type” of woman I am attracted to, like most people do, and it’s just not possible for a black woman to fall into it. No apologies for it.

  • Hank Graham

    Of course righty’s a word! Lefty loosey, righty tighty, as they say.

  • applekate

    “One has to walk through life blindfolded with wax in one’s ears to avoid being attracted to someone of another race (or races) in a large American city.”

    That’s pretty insulting. I live in New York City and have never been attracted to someone not of my own race. That does not mean I am blindfolded, with wax in my ears, or a racist.

  • Tim Norton

    I’m standing at the nursing counter at the hospital, in scrubs with a badge that reads “Registered Nurse”. A gentleman approaches me and we have the following conversation. “You’re a nurse?” Uh Huh “You’re a male nurse?” Last time I checked. “Well, it’s my pollywogs” Your pollywogs? “My pollywogs aren’t swimming” Well, let’s sit down and talk.
    I Had a good conversation with the man about medication side effects. I was glad I didn’t act annoyed and helped him out.

  • amanohyo

    That’s truly bizarre, but I have an otherwise intelligent and open-minded friend who has told me the same thing. So, if I took your imaginary ideal woman and added a touch more melanin, you would no longer be attracted to her? I really can’t fathom that kind of logic.

    I have never been attracted to any of the blind women I’ve met, but I don’t then draw the conclusion that I am unable to be attracted to blind women. If you’ve decided that you cannot fall in love with or be attracted to any black woman on the planet after having seen and met only a minuscule fraction of them, how can that be interpreted as anything but racism?

  • amanohyo

    Well, you’re certainly not alone in your predisposition, the existence or nonexistence of metaphorical and/or biological blindfolds notwithstanding.

    Perhaps I did word that a bit too strongly… how’s this: “One has to walk through life blindfolded with wax in one’s ears to remain ignorant of the broad range of personalities contained within every racial category in a large American city.”

    To be clear, I’m not saying that you’re a racist because you’ve never been attracted to someone of another race (although I find that kind of strange) – I reserve the label for those who have decided that there are no individuals of a particular race that could ever possibly attract them.

    That kind of romantic absolutism, even if it stems from a lifetime of empirical data, can only be the result of racism or a lack of imagination so profound that it constitutes a blindness far deeper than any physical blindfold could ever impose.

  • Danielm80

    I don’t drive, either. I usually tell people, “I’m waiting for them to invent a jet pack.”

  • Danielm80

    A woman at work used to keep telling me, “You should get married,” as though I never would have thought of the idea on my own. She made it sound as though I had been meaning to get married and then got distracted by something on television and forgot to do it.

  • beccity98

    I am half Asian, and I’m not attracted to Asians at all. I think it’s from growing up around non-Asians (mostly white and Hispanic). I think your standard for beauty stems from your environment. If I’d been raised in a more Asian-filled environment, I’m sure I’d be attracted to more Asians.

    That being said, I do get quite a few surprised reactions when people see my hubs, who is white. I raised a question here a while ago, which we all discussed at length, but I think I’ve had someone as why I didn’t marry another Asian. I was not quick enough with a snarky answer, but if I ever get it again, it will be “While inter-racial marriages are no longer illegal, I’m pretty sure marrying your own family members is, and those are the only other Asians I know.”

  • teenygozer

    Several years ago I realized that I’d only really ever fancied tall, slim, dark-haired, pale-skinned, smart, snarky, at-least-partially-descended-from-the-Irish, American males who like cats. I literally have only ever been attracted to guys who have that narrow a profile since I was first attracted to Jerry Finnegan in the second grade, leading all the way up to my husband, who is descended from Irishman on his father’s side. I never thought about it when I was dating and it was a shock when I finally did think about it and realized how much all those guys had in common, both physically and personality-wise.

    It seems to me that on some level, the heart wants what the heart wants, and I appear to have somehow got imprinted on this very, very specific type, far more specific than merely “white.” I never even went out with a blond or red-headed guy. Attraction cannot be controlled intellectually, it just *happens*.

  • Isobel_A

    I really don’t understand this. I have a type, too – blue eyes, dark hair, stocky, craggy feautured, muscular and hairy. This is pretty much a white type, and is pretty much guaranteed to make my hormones zing.

    However, I can’t fathom only ever being attracted to men of that type, or not finding the absurdly beautiful black guy that gets on my train in the morning attractive because he’s tall and doesn’t have blue eyes.

    In my opinion (or for me) attraction isn’t based solely on ticks on a physical list, so how could you write off an entire race with ‘they just don’t do it for me’? Asian men are probably the

  • Paul

    That sounds like one of the best reasons for not getting married I’ve heard.

  • Paul


  • amanohyo

    A lifetime of empirical data is hard to overcome, and I won’t argue that you should pretend to be attracted to someone that doesn’t press your buttons.

    However, I still find the idea of choosing and discarding an entity as multi-faceted and richly layered as a human being as if they were a piece of fruit at the grocery store very troubling.

    I can just picture the scene with your tear-filled husband one day: “Teeny my sweet, we’ve lived a wonderful happy life together haven’t we?”

    “Yes, of course dear.”

    “I’m not long for this world, and I have something to *cough* confess…*cough*”

    “What is it my snarky angel?”

    “I am tall, slim, dark-haired, and pale-skinned…but, but…”

    “Yes… go on.”

    “But… I, I *sob* I don’t particularly… like… cats.”

    “What!? What are you saying? It… it can’t be.”

    “And…my father… is originally from Scotland.”

    “What?! Don’t touch me! You… you monster! Who are you?!! My whole life… has it all been a horrible lie?”

    “And… *sob*… I… I was actually born in… in… CANADA.”

    Cut to a reverse zoom overhead shot of you gazing upward into the rain shouting “Nnooooooooooo!”

  • amanohyo

    Instead of a miniature hood, I’m going to mail your husband a T-shirt that says:
    “Would you still love me if I were Canadian?”

  • Breninar

    “You’re Asian?”


    “So that’s why your eyes are like that!”

    Said to my blonde kid with Japanese eyes.

    Someday, she’s gonna punch someone.

  • teenygozer

    When you’re young and female and were born into the working class (like myself), older women, sometimes relatives you see once a year, sometimes women you barely know but meet in a family-party setting, will nudge you about getting married, “So, are you married? No? So, when are you getting married? You’re not? Why not? Don’t you want to get married?” It’s like they’re testing to see if you’re normal and if you’re not married or engaged, you’re pathetic.

    When you get married, these same older women will switch over to nudging you about getting pregnant; “So, do you have kids? No? Are you planning? No? Why not? Don’t you like kids? I have three!” It’s like they’re trying to see if you’ve fulfilled your role as Woman, and they make it obvious they think you are NOTHING if you haven’t had or don’t plan to have kids. I feel worse for women who want children but can’t have them than I do about someone like me, who simply never wanted them. These women will then delve into your private life with penetrating questions that Barbara Walters wouldn’t dare to ask.

    It wasn’t until I was a lot older and the questions ceased that it occurred to me that I didn’t have to be polite–why had I put up with that kind of crap all those years? I could have flipped it around and started querying them in the same intense manner about their own sex lives or something else they might not have wanted to talk about, or I could have burst into elaborate histrionics about the love of my life dumping me or not being able to have kids that would have set them aback and possibly made them stop to think the next time they targeted some poor younger woman with questions that were none of their business. Or, you know, simply told them that it was none of their business.

    We have to stop teaching girls to be so freakin’ polite about everything.

  • Stormy

    Assumptions I’m Christian or celebrate Christian holidays. Award winner: “Of course you celebrate Easter, you’re white.” (I’m Wiccan.) (Also for the record, I don’t get offended if someone wishes me a Merry Christmas, but I wish them a Blessed Solstice in return. Only about half of them accept it graciously).

  • I just thought of something! Last time I was at the dentist, which was in December, I was wished a Merry Christmas by the secretary as I was leaving. Now, I’m an Atheist, but I also have no problem with the Merry Christmas thing. Anyway, I don’t recall how it came up, but for some reason I remember telling her I was an Atheist. She point blank, with no hesitation, told me I was not. I was like, Uh, YES, I AM. Trust me. Again she told me I was not, and that god was in my heart, or some other such nonsense. I was flabbergasted.

  • LaSargenta

    To be clear, […] I reserve the label for those who have decided that there are no individuals of a particular race that could ever possibly attract them.

    That kind of romantic absolutism, even if it stems from a lifetime of empirical data, can only be the result of racism or a lack of imagination so profound that it constitutes a blindness far deeper than any physical blindfold could ever impose.

    Yes, THIS.

    It is perfectly possible to have had 20 or more years of lovers who all fit into one narrow ‘type’. But, to screen out a whole class of people based on so-called racial characteristics in advance seems, to me, completely bizarre at a level that, yes, can only be chalked up to racism or extreme lack of imagination.

    I mean, we all have a ‘type’. I’ve got a physical type that will get me to turn my head on the street, undress someone with my eyes, and maybe even fantasize about. (And, actually, this ‘type’ is not limited to ethnicity or race, it’s got some other markers.) I’ve also dated several guys who fit (some more loosely than others) that ‘type’, married one, too, then divorced him many years later. But, I’ve also dated other ‘types’ and not ’cause they forced themselves on me. I was charmed, they pushed some special buttons, we were mutually attracted…the reasons are legion and really hard to quantify or explain sometimes.

  • LaSargenta

    Good grief…I’ve lost count and I don’t know how to rank them.

    Most of them have to do with me being a ball-buster and are phrased in a way as to be essentially asking how the hell I think I’ve got the right to behave that way.

    I spend a lot of time using aggressive humor along the line of “Now that I’ve finished the education your parents neglected, I’m off to the Broad’s Room to relieve myself.”

    On the other hand, I really didn’t like how my body became even more an object for public commentary when I was pregnant. Women pissed me off way more than men during that phase.

  • bronxbee

    i once had a woman tell me i’d been “happy long enough. it was time to get married.”

  • bronxbee

    i don’t drive either — i’ve lived in NYC most of my life and never felt the need. (i *used* to have a friend who drove when there was real need for a car. now, i just do without.)

  • bronxbee

    i have a certain facial feature which many, many people have felt no compunction in saying to me, “why don’t you do something about that?” #1, none of your business. #2 did it ever occur to you that i’ve already tried just about everything, and it didn’t work? so shut up!
    as well as the general why aren’t you married? i now get the “miracle stories.” you know, “a friend of a friend was already in her 50s and had never been married, when she went on a cruise and met a man and *three months later* she was married to him.” oye.

  • Sorry. :-(

  • I have found that these questions don’t necessarily stop once you get older…

  • I’ve heard this in response to my declarations of atheism, too.

  • RogerBW

    To a certain subset of religious person, if you’re as happy as they are without God in your life, it makes all the God-related crap they put up with meaningless. Therefore either you aren’t happy or you do have God in your life, you just don’t know it.

  • applekate

    To be clear, I’m not saying that you’re a racist because you’ve never been attracted to someone of another race (although I find that kind of strange)

    Why is it strange and why are you still passing judgment on this? Am I obligated to find members of another race attractive just so I fit some narrow definition of what is “normal”?

  • applekate

    You may think you’re being openminded and oh-so-liberal, but you’re really coming off as a judgmental, critical, authoritarian douche, I’m sorry to say. People are not obligated to be attracted to all races; it doesn’t make them bizarre, strange, racist, or any other labels you’ve given out in this thread.

  • Danielm80

    Suppose I said, “I would never date a person with freckles.” There’s nothing really wrong with that, if it happens to be my personal preference. But since freckles say almost nothing about a person’s interests or personality, doesn’t it come across as a little bit shallow and arbitrary?

  • Paul

    The best thing for me about hearing that sort of thing is that it makes me realise that despite what people tell me, I’m actually not a cynic. As those little-known philosophers of the late 20th century, Talk Talk, put it: “Life’s what you make it: celebrate it!”

  • Paul

    My hand goes up on this too. My dad tried to teach me using the sink-or-swim method (people forget that there’s a reason why it’s called sink or swim). Then I never had a combination of time, money, and living in a place without good public transport. I considered learning a couple of years ago, but I did the calculations on what it costs to run a car in Japan, and worked out that for the same price I could afford to hire a taxi for an hour every day!

  • bronxbee

    what makes you think i’m talking about *you*? ;->
    i made do without a car a long time; i can continue to do so.

  • LaSargenta

    *cough* speaking of marriage…

    Did you know that the more formal word for wife in spanish is esposa and the equivalent for husband is esposo? And then the only word for handcuffs I learned is las esposas?

    *goes off whistling*

    Marriage? No thanks. Wanted to vote you up twice, for each item.

  • amanohyo

    I find it strange because the world seems filled to the brim with beautiful, fascinating people. Heavens no – please don’t make a pass at some random ethnic gentleman to gain the approval of a stranger on the internet. He would be terribly confused and disheartened upon discovering his token role.

    If it’s any consolation, I find most people strange in one way or another (including myself)… so you’re most likely far more normal than you think I think you are.

  • Were you cheating on me with another driver?!

  • Tonio Kruger

    Does this mean I can use “northpaw” to mean the opposite of “southpaw”? :-)

  • amanohyo

    Hey hold on just one second… I may be judgmental, critical, and authoritarian, and yeah, I probably am a douche, but… uh, wait, what was that first thing you said?

    As I wrote before, a person is not a racist because they have never been attracted to anyone of a different race. They are a racist if they have decided that they will never be attracted to anyone of a different race.

    In addition, I do feel it’s strange if someone constantly around people of different races has never found a single one attractive. I am free to find some things odd that others find quite normal. Have you ever sat down and had a good stare at your toes? Completely bizarre.

    You seem upset, but my judgement stands. Fortunately, I have no jurisdiction outside this skull.

  • LaSargenta

    […]a person is not a racist because they have never been attracted to anyone of a different race. They are a racist if they have decided that they will never be attracted to anyone of a different race.

  • OnceJolly

    And if you decide not to date anyone on the basis of being a particular sex, you’re a sexist. And if you decide not to date anyone beyond a certain BMI, you’re a fattist. And if you decide not to date anyone beyond a certain age, you’re an ageist. Etc., etc., etc.

  • Danielm80

    People decide who they’re going to date based on lots of arbitrary, superficial reasons: breast size, hair color, weight, age. This has probably been true since the time of the Neanderthals. Sometimes this is a shallow way to look at other people. Sometimes it’s a sensible thing to do. It makes a certain amount of sense to say, “If I date a person 15 years older than me, we probably won’t have a lot in common,” or, “If I date someone who’s African-American, like me, we may come from a similar cultural background.”

    On the other hand, if you say, “This person is really smart, has a great sense of humor, is a terrific cook, and just won the Nobel Peace Prize, but I’m not going to go out with her, because I’m not attracted to black people,” you might consider the possibility that you’re a bigot. You might, at least, think about the possibility that you’re passing up a good opportunity for fairly shallow reasons.

  • OnceJolly

    But unless we’ve tested our priors about the characteristics of superficially identifiable groups, I’m not sure how you can justify that discrimination as “sensible.” I can start with a belief (“Short men are insecure.”) and then selectively interpret information so that it confirms that belief (“Mark was very aggressive at the party. I guess it’s because being short has made him insecure.”).

    My guess is that most people *are* discriminating when it comes to both dating and mate selection, and what we’re really quibbling about is what criteria are “legitimate.” Are any of race, age, sex, religion, education, socioeconomic status, etc. reasonable criteria for selection, or are we really willing to try to live the homily that under the skin, we’re all the same?

    Of course, the word that amanoyho used and LaSargenta emphasizes below is “decided.” I suspect that most of us don’t view ourselves as being able to determine who we are attracted to. That said, most of my friends from undergraduate ended up people that did not exactly match their professed ideals.

  • Exactly. How could I possibly be a happy, content, moral, etc. person without religion in my life? I think this genuinely confuses some diehards. I would hope it would lead to some serious thinking questioning, but somehow I doubt it.

  • Danielm80

    This may be off-topic, but I really hate it when people ask me for directions, and I try to be very clear and accurate, and then they purposely ignore me and walk off in a different direction entirely. This has happened several times in the past few weeks, and it drives me nuts.

  • AA

    I agree that it’s not always up to our conscious brains. I used to say that I would never find a jerk or an asshole attractive, but then *damn* some of them are really hot…

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