I'm talking specifically about the word 'no.'
I was, in part, raised by my grandmother, who would accompany us every evening for dinner (she had her own little granny flat in our yard... it was a big yard). She would keep us all in line, ensuring we said our pleases and thank yous.
No, thank you.
These are the polite ways to accept or refuse something.
However, I'm increasingly becoming aware of even polite refusal being considered rude... if it's coming from a woman.
Ah! Feminism! Run screaming now!
Right, now we've gotten rid of the idiots, let's continue...
Now, it is expected that for a woman to refuse something (an invitation, a gift, a proposition... whatever), there must be some reason for it. Here's the thing, though. That reason, whether it's that she's got other plans/is currently seriously dating/simply does not want to is none of anyone's business but hers. Yet, women are conditioned to try and please, so it is expected that she explain why she's refusing... and "I just don't want [insert thing being refused]" is apparently not enough of a reason ('cause who cares what the woman wants, ammirite?). "No, thank you" is a perfectly reasonable, perfectly polite refusal. It requires no further elaboration.
Demanding or expecting one is, frankly, rude. Mind your own beeswax.
Entitlement check: it is not rude for a woman to refuse whatever it is you're offering. She's a person, with her own thoughts, feelings and goals. She doesn't exist for your entertainment. As long as she doesn't sneer, or throw vitriol, as long as her response was some variation of "No, thank you" she was not being rude. Get over yourself.
This idea that a woman must please and therefore there must be an adequate reason for her refusal has led to women feeling unsafe merely saying, "No, thank you." It's always "No, thank you. [Insert excuse, whether legitimate or fabricated]." Women feel they have to lie, even if they're being perfectly polite, to protect the feelings of the person offering something they don't want.
And sometimes, even that doesn't work.
Only read that link if you feel like having a rage stroke today. Also read that link if you're the type of person who says, "Women are such liars. They should just be straightforward." or any variation of that idiocy..
I have been accused of being rude simply because I responded with a polite, "No, thank you." Mind you, I ended it there. I didn't extrapolate. It was none of the guy's business. Fortunately, I have an epic resting bitch face, which I use to my full advantage, and I'm fairly broadly built. So the worst I've ever received is a few loudly uttered cusses shot in my direction as a guy walks away. Many women have it far worse.
All because some people feel women are being rude when they say "No, thank you."
Just to clarify, "No." is a little rude. "No, thank you." Perfectly polite.
If you demand an explanation from someone who has refused you, you are sticking your nose into other people's business. And that is ill-mannered indeed.
(The whole "No = Rude" idiotic equation is one of the many reasons I detest the song Rude by Magic. That's a blog post in itself, really)
The same can be said for disagreements. It is possible to disagree with someone and not be rude about it. Stating your position with conviction is not rude. It becomes rude the moment you stray away from the logic of your position and start name calling, cursing or otherwise being obnoxious. That behaviour certainly is rude.
Disagreeing and stating why is not rude.
And here's the kicker. I've seen disagreements between men that were perfectly polite. The parties in question never reached an agreement, amicably deciding the agree to disagree. The dynamic is exceptionally different when the gender of one of the parties is switched. A woman disagreeing with a man is often attacked as being rude, or overly aggressive or some other nonsense.
When in fact she was merely stating her case.
I once had a discussion with a man that ended because he called me a bully (and a Feminazi... yawn. How original) merely because logic could not sustain his opinion. Seriously, though. I've made a small study of logic as a discipline, and he was committing fallacies all over the place in a desperate effort to convince me that writers who failed at writing women characters were still good writers. I went ever so far as to ensure I never used "You're wrong" (even though he was) and instead opted for "I disagree." Nope. That was no good.
He told me I was rude.
That was when I lost my temper and actually became rude.
It is incredibly frustrating to watch men have perfectly amicable disagreements with one another, and then be called rude when you dare to disagree with a man.
Here's the thing, what people consider good manners appears to be different depending on whether the person they're judging happens to present as male or female.
That sucks balls.
Ladies, a simple "No, thank you" is perfectly polite. Demand good manners from the person demanding an explanation from you.
Ladies, "I disagree" is perfectly polite.
Gentlemen, a simple "No, thank you" is perfectly polite. You are not owed more than that. Stop demanding it. It's rude.
Gentlemen, "I disagree" is perfectly polite.
Now, obviously this is based on generalisations. There are men who know what good manners actually are, and don't behave like entitled douchecanoes. There are women who don't know what good manners actually are, and have the same entitlement issues I'm writing against here. However, to stand up and deny that women face an overwhelming difference in the expectations of good manners based on gender is incredibly disingenuous. You may, of course, politely disagree with me.
And that's okay too.
The key, of course, is that it is a polite disagreement.
Now, get out in the world and practice good manners, everyone!