Knowing when to give up

I’m open to discussing topics with somebody who has a different viewpoint.  Sometimes I even enjoy a full-blooded argument.  I like to think that lots of people are capable of learning and moving beyond their existing mindset.  But some people are just fucked.  Utterly beyond hope of redemption.  I’ve decided it’s important to know when to give up on people.

Witness the asinine display I had to put up with at work today.  The substance of the disagreement isn’t important, what matters is there was a disagreement.  The other party was female, not something I thought was important to the argument but she seemed to find it progressively more and more important.

The argument had reached a stalemate, the discussion was going around and around, showing no signs of moving anywhere near a resolution.  It hadn’t become heated yet but I was detecting a bit of an edge creeping in and decided discretion was the better part of valour.  In short, I didn’t need this sort of shit at work and was going to let it go.  This led to the following exchange:

ME: How about we agree to disagree and leave it at that.

SHE: That is such a typical thing for a man to do!  Trying to shut me up in such a condescending way.

ME: How is that condescending?  I’m respecting the fact you have a different opinion and I’m choosing not to force my opinion on you.

SHE: What you mean is you think I’m wrong.  You think you’re right and I’m wrong.

ME: Well, yeah.  I think my opinion is right.  Isn’t that the definition of an opinion?

SHE: It’s the definition of a typical arrogant male, thinking you’re always right and women are always wrong.

ME: In this particular case I think I, as an individual, am right and you, as an individual, are wrong.  I hadn’t framed that in any gender-specific way.

SHE: Why can’t you admit you’re wrong.

ME: Well, you haven’t convinced me I’m wrong. 

SHE: I bet you don’t think any of your opinions are wrong!

ME: It may surprise you to learn that I hold very few opinions that I think are wrong.  How many of your opinions do you think are wrong?  Why would anybody cling to an opinion that they think is wrong?  That’s crazy!

SHE: So now you’re think I’m crazy?

ME: I didn’t think that before, although I’m getting there now. (OK, I know I shouldn’t have said that but at this point my mental censor had gotten sick of this crap, packed his bags and gone away.)

SHE: Why did I even think I’d be able to get you to see any sense?  Men are always this way.

ME: When were you planning to talk sense?  If I’m going to see any sense you’ll have to show some first.

And then the shrieking started.  If only I’d given up five minutes earlier I would have gone home with my eardrums intact.  Lesson learned.  Pick your battles people.  The way these morons cluster together I’ve started to think their stupidity might be a contagious disease.  So don’t waste your time grappling with morons.

You might catch stupid.

About these ads

23 Comments

Filed under General Angriness

23 responses to “Knowing when to give up

  1. I bet you don’t think any of your opinions are wrong!

    It’s really surprising sometimes how many people (men and women) will pose such incomprehensible questions. Further evidence that a) philosophy and logic (and rhetoric, really) are not “useless” subjects, and b) they really should be mandatory subjects in highschool (or earlier).
    Did you try putting gum in her hair or punching her on the shoulder…?

  2. For comic effect, and in an attempt to show how the human mind operates I shall attempt to translate the conversation into what you’re really trying to say:

    ME: How about we agree to disagree and leave it at that.
    (I’m fed up with talking to you, can I go now?)

    SHE: That is such a typical thing for a man to do! Trying to shut me up in such a condescending way.
    (I’m losing, but I shall play the victim card here and see if he caves. I shall add accusations of sexism here to enhance my position.)

    ME: How is that condescending? I’m respecting the fact you have a different opinion and I’m choosing not to force my opinion on you.
    (WTF?)

    SHE: What you mean is you think I’m wrong. You think you’re right and I’m wrong.
    (You’re wrong, just admit it.)

    ME: Well, yeah. I think my opinion is right. Isn’t that the definition of an opinion?
    (WTF?)

    SHE: It’s the definition of a typical arrogant male, thinking you’re always right and women are always wrong.
    (I’ll ramp up the sexism accusation, so cave in now before I scream sexual harassment. Also, this argument will come in handy when I come to write my blog post / diary entry / legal case, about how sexism is endemic in IT workers.)

    ME: In this particular case I think I, as an individual, am right and you, as an individual, are wrong. I hadn’t framed that in any gender-specific way.
    (You’re a crazy woman, but it’s the crazy part that’s more important.)

    SHE: Why can’t you admit you’re wrong.
    (I can feel victory slipping away, must try a different tack. Stall for time.)

    ME: Well, you haven’t convinced me I’m wrong.
    (Can’t I just go? I have other things to do.)

    SHE: I bet you don’t think any of your opinions are wrong!
    (Ah ha! I’ll trap him now! We’ll start with something he’ll never argue with. Then I’ll be free to take his arguments as a personal insult.)

    ME: It may surprise you to learn that I hold very few opinions that I think are wrong. How many of your opinions do you think are wrong? Why would anybody cling to an opinion that they think is wrong? That’s crazy!
    (This argument’s going somewhere really weird, I’m not sure I like it. I have a growing sense of impending doom.)

    SHE: So now you’re think I’m crazy?
    (He gave me an emotional wedge, quick I must start recalling every man who ever slighted me so I can really build up the rage.)

    ME: I didn’t think that before, although I’m getting there now. (OK, I know I shouldn’t have said that but at this point my mental censor had gotten sick of this crap, packed his bags and gone away.)
    (You’re a psycho, leave me alone.)

    SHE: Why did I even think I’d be able to get you to see any sense? Men are always this way.
    (Not… Angry… Enough… Must… Provoke… More…)

    ME: When were you planning to talk sense? If I’m going to see any sense you’ll have to show some first.
    (I’ve lost, whatever happens she’ll think whatever she wants to think.)

    At this point her inner monologue cries out “Ha! You’re mine now testicles boy!” And she lets fly.

    If I’ve got that wrong, just let me know.

  3. I didn’t know you worked with my ex-wife!!!

  4. At this point you could have REALLY pissed her off and said something like this: ‘You have a right to your opinion…..I will defend to the death your right to be WRONG’!

  5. And what may it be, the subject of the “me” – “she” discourse?

    So now you’re think I’m crazy?

    In defense that we (womyn) are not crazy I will attempt to correct the grammer.

    So, now you think I am crazy?

    So were you sayin’ she can’t spell?

  6. You ignored all the warning signs that you were conversing with a “Nitwit.”

  7. I would have walked away or smiled and nodded and went away. Some people aren’t worth the effort.

  8. kyklops: I think you nominated the only resolution possible.

    massif: awesome translation thanks mate.

    gruntski: unfortunately, the attitude is not limited to a single person. Of either gender.

    Sandra: I think it would have been lost on her :)

    Jessica: I wouldn’t want to be judged by other men’s behaviour and I don’t judge other women by this one.

    bizarro: LOL!

    Marr: I was cornered!

    range: I was cornered!

  9. anyone of any gender who “interacts” in this manner needs to sort out their issues and stop acting like a whiny, spoilt child…

  10. There are alot of women out there who won’t stop until the mindset of men is “I have a penis, therefore I am wrong, and it is all my fault. Again. Please neuter me (or shoot me) now.”

    I always let women preceed me when walking through a door; does that make me sexist???

  11. gruntski:i don’t know any birds with this mindset – if i did, it would be slapped outta them so quick….think you need to find some better-adjusted types to hang out with…

  12. HA!! That’s why I’m divorced, and living by meself. It’s kinda hard to be sexist on your own. But you are right, that “alot” statement should be changed to “some” or maybe even “a couple”, but they are out there; and they are NASTY!!!

  13. Most stereotypes have some grounding in the behaviour of at least a few individuals.

  14. Silly girl! There are times when I despair of my sex.

    - “It’s because I am a [minority person], isn’t it?”
    - “No, it’s because you’re a fool”.

    *sigh*

    I, of course, am icily logical at all times. And the moon is made of green cheese, at least one week in four anyway.

    Cheers.

    Aphra.

  15. To be fair, it isn’t only your sex who do this sort of thing, but there’s a special edge to things when the misunderstanding is between genders.

  16. True, but whenever a woman is spectactularly stupid and starts blaming people’s normal response to stupidity on sexism, she not only undermines her own professionalism and credibility, she undermines mine.

    We are all ambassadors for the minorities we represent. Life’s a bitch and then you cry. I really could slap women who behave like that for purely selfish reasons.

    Besides which, in umpteen years in the IT industry, working for ages in international consultancy where the demographic really ismale, I have cannot think of any occasion on which I have been the victim of overt sexism. There may have been sexism I didn’t spot, but nothing so blatent I noticed it. And I like it when men hold doors open for me. I’d prefer it if they carried my crap so I could open them for myself!

    To paraphrase Eleanor Roosevelt, you are as victimised as you allow yourself to be.

    Ptah!

    I’d send you some Evening Primrose Oil to give her but that unfortunately that woould be sexist of both of us.

    Aphra.

  17. Preview, Aphra. Preview.

  18. Just remembered what this minds me of.

    To quote Ali G : “Is it becoz I is black?”

  19. Precisely.

    Or as the mathematician said:

    “Is it because i is imaginary?”

  20. Oddly enough, that’s why I keep telling my best friend that’s he’s really a chick. I’m the one who wants to “agree to disagree” and “it’s obvious that we don’t see this the same way so why don’t we drop it now before it becomes a huge fight” or better yet “you aren’t going to change my mind, I’m not going to change yours, so let’s just let this go, okay?”

    But no, he’s like a rabid Pekingese with short mans syndrome. He won’t let it go and I have to find an escape route before I throttle him with my Cat5 cable.

  21. Aphra: I totally understand the annoyance at being tainted by another person’s behaviour. Imagine how much it sucks to be a white male who fancies himself as having a social conscience (suckage offset by the fact that white males basically control the discourse)

    Massif: What I always loved about Ali G’s non-sequiturs on his interview shows were the looks of utter incomprehension he created on his guests’ faces

    cinnkitty: short man syndrome is a terrible thing to behold (said the 5’8″ man)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s