What ever happened to respecting people's opinions? October 11, 2008 8:08 AM   Subscribe

I think this question violates the spirit of individual choice, and isn’t really appropriate for AskMeFi.

Everyone makes choices and decisions. I don’t know if I feel entirely comfortable that there is an entire thread dedicated to “changing someone’s mind”. If a person is “racist”, it’s sad, but perhaps the better question is, “How can I help this person be less of a racist?”, and not, “Even though this person is a racist, how can I convince them to act against their own beliefs?”

The whole question seems politically motivated, manipulative, and ignores the fact that this person (Grammy) is a “racist”. A similar question, to me, that seems out of bounds includes, “How can I convince my g/f that she should really be into anal, even though she’s told me repeatedly that she doesn’t want to do it?”
posted by SeizeTheDay to Etiquette/Policy at 8:08 AM (124 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

It doesn't even approach "violating the spirit of individual choice." The question isn't "how can I force my grandmother to vote for Obama?" There are plenty of AskMe questions about trying to persuade someone to change their point of view, which is not unethical.
posted by ludwig_van at 8:19 AM on October 11, 2008


The question is kind of lame, but this callout is much lamer.
posted by EarBucket at 8:23 AM on October 11, 2008 [16 favorites]


I didn't realize that violating the spirit of individual choice was an issue for askme posts.
posted by Pants! at 8:24 AM on October 11, 2008 [4 favorites]


Not my favorite question, but definitely one that I thought was reasonable and okay for AskMe. The OP wants to counter bad information (irrational predjudice) with better information (this black man might be worth voting for, for someone wwho cares about what you care about). We see "how can I convince someone...?" sorts of questions all the time, this one is pretty middle of the road for those sorts of questions.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:26 AM on October 11, 2008 [2 favorites]


Don't ever mention "Grammy" and "anal" in the same post again. I mean it.
posted by Sailormom at 8:27 AM on October 11, 2008 [13 favorites]


The OP clarifies their query as "This is more of a 'What do you think could move someone who has issues with his race'.", which is perfectly acceptable.

Your comparison to coercive buttsecks is specious nonsense, as well as irrelevant derail-bait. I wish people'd stop making the really shitty analogies and comparisons and just address the issue du jour on its own merits or failings rather than muddy the water with dumb x=y distractions.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 8:29 AM on October 11, 2008 [6 favorites]


I didn't expect a big rush of agreement with me here. Given the liberal leaning around here, and election fever, trying to convince people to vote Obama is the Holy Grail right now.

But what does bother me is the "means to an end" attitude. The question attempts to convince the Grandmother to betray her own convictions, just to satisfy the needs of the granddaughter.

I'm a Dem who didn't vote for Kerry in 2004. I certainly didn't vote for Bush, but I don't like John Kerry. That's my choice. The grandmother is making a choice as well. It's not based on socially acceptable values, but it's her choice, and trying to convince her (the grandmother) of betraying her conviction, and concocting methods to do so, is wrong, no matter how wrong the grandmother's convictions are. This is why I think the question should've been, "How can I convince my grandmother to be less racist?" If the grandmother is less racist, she (the grandmother) could come to her own conclusion to vote Obama.

It just saddens me that questions like this are acceptable simply because we're close to the election. People shouldn't be fooled, or tricked, into voting. It's a choice they make. They should be allowed to make it without be duped.
posted by SeizeTheDay at 8:34 AM on October 11, 2008


I don't think it was a bad analogy. People make choices and come to their own conclusions. Sidestepping the decision making process, just to convince them to do what you want, is wrong. It shows that you don't really respect them, and that you care more about having things done your way.
posted by SeizeTheDay at 8:37 AM on October 11, 2008


Wait...

How can I convince my g/f that she should really be into anal, even though she’s told me repeatedly that she doesn’t want to do it?
posted by C17H19NO3 at 8:37 AM on October 11, 2008 [3 favorites]


trying to convince her (the grandmother) of betraying her conviction, and concocting methods to do so, is wrong, no matter how wrong the grandmother's convictions are.

No, it's not. The grandmother is still free to make her own choice. There's nothing wrong with trying to persuade her to make one choice or the other.

It just saddens me that questions like this are acceptable simply because we're close to the election. People shouldn't be fooled, or tricked, into voting.

You're reading something into the question that's not there. It has nothing to do with fooling or tricking anyone.
posted by ludwig_van at 8:38 AM on October 11, 2008


I don't think it violates any spirit of 'individual choice', and even if it did, that wouldn't make it a bad question for AskMe. I see no guideline that says "all questions must be asked from a liberal perspective on the rights of people". (And yes, of course I am using 'liberal' in its classical sense, not its weird USpolitics-sense).
posted by modernnomad at 8:40 AM on October 11, 2008


I don’t know if I feel entirely comfortable that there is an entire thread dedicated to “changing someone’s mind”.

Asking for information and ideas on how to change someone's racist views is out of bounds?

“How can I convince my g/f that she should really be into anal, even though she’s told me repeatedly that she doesn’t want to do it?”

I could have sworn this was an actual AskMe, but search says no.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:40 AM on October 11, 2008 [2 favorites]


I'm a Dem who didn't vote for Kerry in 2004. I certainly didn't vote for Bush, but I don't like John Kerry. That's my choice. The grandmother is making a choice as well.

Yes, and would you characterize people who try to change your mind about this as violating your freedom of conscience?

Christ, it's like the religious people who insist that any criticism or questioning of their dogma constitutes intolerance.
posted by Pope Guilty at 8:42 AM on October 11, 2008 [14 favorites]


How does this callout "violate the spirit of choice" (whatever that even means) less than the original question? At least Granny can fight back against persuasion--the poster can't fight back against deletion.
posted by DU at 8:43 AM on October 11, 2008 [1 favorite]


Is "racist" a protected category now? Seriously?

If the grandmother were refusing to vote for Obama based on serious disagreement with his policies, I'd be in complete agreement with you. However, the poster says her grandmother is mostly a Democrat but won't vote for Obama simply because he's black. Essentially, her fears are based on bad information.

Your comparison to someone refusing to try anal sex is a poorly-chosen one. Someone not having a certain kind of sex has absolutely no implications for the rest of society. Someone being scared of black people affects any black people they have contact with, and in this particular case affects, well, pretty much the future of the whole world for the next four-to-sixteen years.

People talking to each other about politics is how we achieve political change. People talking to each other about race is how we slowly reduce the concretely harmful effects of racism. There isn't really another way to do it. I think it can be done respectfully.
posted by hippugeek at 8:45 AM on October 11, 2008 [3 favorites]


the OP said she wanted to "convince" her grandmother - you might want to look up the meaning of convince - it doesn't mean fool or trick or dupe or any of the other things you've attributed to her desire or efforts

and what's wrong with it being "politically motivated"?
posted by jammy at 8:48 AM on October 11, 2008 [2 favorites]


If the grandmother were refusing to vote for Obama based on serious disagreement with his policies, I'd be in complete agreement with you.

I still wouldn't. Since when is trying to convince people of things a moral no-no? I don't understand the entire premise of this call-out.

The grandmother and poster talk politics. They disagree. The poster wants more ammo. Suddenly she's Hitler? (Yes, HITLER)
posted by DU at 8:48 AM on October 11, 2008 [2 favorites]


I don’t know if I feel entirely comfortable that there is an entire thread dedicated to “changing someone’s mind”.

I feel like 60% of all AskMe questions have this as one of their baseline premises.

I didn't expect a big rush of agreement with me here. Given the liberal leaning around here, and election fever, trying to convince people to vote Obama is the Holy Grail right now.

I object to this. People aren't agreeing with you because you are appealing to a guideline that doesn't exist. If the question were about how to get a misogynist to vote for Palin I think we'd see a similar 1. non-deletion of the post 2. people not saying "hey just let them be misogynist" I'm sure there would also be more yukyuk "don't bother!" comments and those would be deleted.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:57 AM on October 11, 2008


You know who else was Hitler?
posted by Jofus at 9:00 AM on October 11, 2008 [8 favorites]


No, no, he's being oppressed on this here website.
posted by smackfu at 9:01 AM on October 11, 2008


SeizeTheDay, you can respect someone's opinion and still try to change it, clearly. Take me as an example. I convinced several people to stop supporting Ron Paul, without name-calling or logical fallacies, by simply pointing out to them things they didn't know, like his personal positions on social issues and support for the Constitution Party. They could have continued to support Paul if they wished, they simply chose not to in light of what I showed them. How is that, or the post in that vein, violating freedom of any kind?
posted by StrikeTheViol at 9:01 AM on October 11, 2008 [1 favorite]


DU: Yeah, after thinking another minute I want to back off on that a little--I overstated. I do think it can be disrespectful to try to change someone's mind about politics if they have well-developed positions based on factual information, because it so often devolves into an assumption that anyone who disagrees must be stupid. Reasonable, knowledgeable, good people can hold differing opinions and deserve to have those opinions respected. But I agree with you, it still wouldn't be morally wrong by any stretch.
posted by hippugeek at 9:06 AM on October 11, 2008 [1 favorite]


jessamyn, this thread is not a referendum on moderation policies, just to be clear.
posted by SeizeTheDay at 9:11 AM on October 11, 2008


I find it disrespectful to suggest someone can't make their own decisions in the presence of persuasive counter-arguments, or can't speak up for themselves when they're tired of hearing those counter-arguments.
posted by scottreynen at 9:13 AM on October 11, 2008 [2 favorites]


I was also viscerally offended by the efforts of the grandchild, but ultimately think they're just dumb. Perhaps it's because I'm not from a swing state, but I read the ulterior motive as being that the OP wants her grandmother to vote for BO so that she can feel more comfortable with her decision. It's like manipulating anti-Semitic parents to utter the words "I like your Jewish boyfriend" even though all sides involved know they don't mean it, but then imagine they can go on living all happy and swell in fantasyland. Of course, the grandma might be the crucial deciding voter, in which case, I can understand the political motivations. But the tone of the post was more "I don't want to think of my grandmother as a racist, and if I convince/manipulate/trick her into voting for Obama, she won't be!"
posted by prophetsearcher at 9:13 AM on October 11, 2008


People shouldn't be fooled, or tricked, into voting. It's a choice they make. They should be allowed to make it without be duped.
Side effects of voting may include dizziness, nausea, upset stomach, rectal leakage, headache, drowsiness, insomnia, schadenfreude, decreased blood cell counts, fatigue, muscle aches and pains, diarrhea, hair loss, excess body hair growth, constipation, paranoia, and general malaise. Consult your granddaughter before voting.
posted by carsonb at 9:15 AM on October 11, 2008 [1 favorite]


A similar question, to me, that seems out of bounds includes, “How can I convince my g/f that she should really be into anal, even though she’s told me repeatedly that she doesn’t want to do it?”

What's the average wage of a projectionist these days?
posted by Sys Rq at 9:16 AM on October 11, 2008 [2 favorites]


Oh, and x=y. (Get the generic stuff, it's cheaper!)
posted by carsonb at 9:16 AM on October 11, 2008


Every so often, Dan Savage gets a letter from a guy (or girl) wondering how they can get their partner to experiment with anal sex. Every time, Dan tells them to start slow--experimenting gently with their fingers and lots of lube, moving up to small toys and gradually working their way up to good old-fashioned butt-fucking. Something that seems scary and intimidating can actually be fun and pleasurable when you take it slowly, instead of jumping straight into it.

He's not talking about coercing or tricking people into having anal sex they don't want, any more than hazyspring's talking about tricking her grandmother into voting for Obama.
posted by EarBucket at 9:17 AM on October 11, 2008


I didn't expect a big rush of agreement with me here. Given the liberal leaning around here, and election fever, trying to convince people to vote Obama is the Holy Grail right now.

No that doesn't work like that. Example: "My Granny wants to buy a Ford, but I think a KIA would be a better car. How do I convince her of this?"

Same kind of problem without any politics to bog it down. "Granny wants to do A, I think B is in her best interest" Liberal has nothing to do with it. Your call out is built on a faulty bit of reasoning, sorry but there it is.
posted by nola at 9:24 AM on October 11, 2008 [3 favorites]


Since when is trying to convince people of things a moral no-no?

Since when is asking an immoral question against the rules in AskMe either? You can't ask a question about how to do something illegal, but you can ask how to cheat on your wife, or how to make awesome gin and tonics to drink in your college classes.

The people answering the questions might call you out if they disagree with your premise, and those sorts of callouts might totally derail the thread enough for it to be deleted, but it's perfectly acceptable to ask a question in AskMe that does not align with the moral views of some or most of the people around here.
posted by burnmp3s at 9:26 AM on October 11, 2008


And this coming from a guy who understands this place is left leaning, and is more than happy to pitch fastballs at the choir. Mostly cause I've never liked choirs.
posted by nola at 9:26 AM on October 11, 2008


Wow, voting for Obama is like anal sex? Where do I sign up?
posted by neroli at 9:31 AM on October 11, 2008 [4 favorites]


I think you're just going to have to be sad, STD.
posted by BeerFilter at 9:55 AM on October 11, 2008


I don’t know if I feel entirely comfortable that there is an entire thread dedicated to “changing someone’s mind”.

Even worse, there seem to be several massively funded media campaigns dedicated to this same nefarious activity.
posted by StickyCarpet at 10:16 AM on October 11, 2008 [9 favorites]


I had a long conversation with her about the election (she hates McCain) and race. She has never known any non-white people, and is basically scared of people of other races, it seems especially of black people. Also, she thinks "they" have an agenda and "they" will take over once Obama gets into office.

Am I missing something here? Is this some kind of weird American thing? How could it not be a good idea to encourage somebody who held ideas such as these to drop them?
posted by philip-random at 10:19 AM on October 11, 2008 [3 favorites]


This question could be resolved by convincing those who think convincing people to change their mind is unethical to change their mind.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 10:21 AM on October 11, 2008 [1 favorite]


Even worse, there seem to be several massively funded media campaigns dedicated to this same nefarious activity.

Good God, you're right! All across this great land of ours, trained political operatives are out there trying to convince people to change their minds! Some of those poor innocent victims might even be grandmothers. It's just un-American, it is.

I used to think this abject violation of the spirit of individual choice was simply part of the democratic process, but this brave post by SeizeTheDay has convinced me to change my mind.
posted by neroli at 10:29 AM on October 11, 2008 [1 favorite]


>>I didn't expect a big rush of agreement with me here. Given the liberal leaning around here, and election fever, trying to convince people to vote Obama is the Holy Grail right now.

Tip #1: "Since you all don't agree with me, it's clearly because you're sheeple with no intellectual honesty" usually goes pretty badly around here.

>>...trying to convince her (the grandmother) of betraying her conviction, and concocting methods to do so, is wrong, no matter how wrong the grandmother's convictions are...

>>...People shouldn't be fooled, or tricked, into voting. It's a choice they make. They should be allowed to make it without be duped.

>>...Sidestepping the decision making process, just to convince them to do what you want, is wrong. It shows that you don't really respect them, and that you care more about having things done your way.


Tip #2: Really, as has been pointed out upthread, you're just plain wrong on this. There is nothing morally questionable about trying to sway someone to your way of thinking, especially as the OP has described it to us. There is nothing coercive or oppressive about a grandchild trying to convince her grandmother not to be prejudiced -- especially when she's trying to do it through open dialogue. She's not burning effigies on the lawn of Grammy's nursing home, or withholding her blood pressure meds.

>>...It just saddens me that questions like this are acceptable simply because we're close to the election.

>>...jessamyn, this thread is not a referendum on moderation policies, just to be clear.


So, this is a referendum on the other users, then? It's sure a referendum on someone. Please, see also: Tip #1.

Side note/personal rant: This attitude, to me, is the worst kind of extreme liberalism, and likely the reason for the failings of the Democratic Party in the 2000 and 2004 elections. "It's more important that we're 'Free to Be You and Me' and sit around in hippy-dippy campfire circles singing 'Kumbayah' and loving everyone no matter what, and accepting everyone's particular favorite flavor of belief, that we can't even try to convince a racist that she's wrong, lest we be called oppressive and insensitive and coercive."

>> Am I missing something here? Is this some kind of weird American thing?

philip-random: "Weird American," maybe. But not "American." Many Americans would have no problem with the idea of trying to convince a racist or homophobic or otherwise culturally-insensitive friend or family member that it's not a cool way to be.

In fact, some of us would not only "have no problem with it," but would consider it a moral obligation.
posted by pineapple at 10:29 AM on October 11, 2008 [15 favorites]


I fail at my moral obligations far too often
posted by Rubbstone at 10:57 AM on October 11, 2008


But what does bother me is the "means to an end" attitude. The question attempts to convince the Grandmother to betray her own convictions, just to satisfy the needs of the granddaughter.


Because only the daughter's needs will be satisfied if Grandma realizes that people who seem "different" are nothing to fear.

Yeah, I can't actually think of a way that might benefit Grandma, seeing as how it's far better to live in fear of people, generally speaking.

Sheesh. If Grandma's capable of voting, she's capable of hearing arguments for and against her position. Stop pretending like Grandma is a frail flower who is incapable of making up her own mind, let alone incapable of hearing that her prejudices are based on utter BS.
posted by oneirodynia at 10:58 AM on October 11, 2008


How can I convince the cops not to beat me with nightsticks because they've come to think of peaceful protesters as not human? Or should I even be asking this question? I don't want to interfere with their individual choice, that would be wrong.
posted by SaintCynr at 11:04 AM on October 11, 2008


The irony of all of us attempting to persuade SeizeTheDay that his opinion on the morality of the AskMe question is wrong is delicious.
posted by rtha at 11:09 AM on October 11, 2008 [3 favorites]


I don't think it was a bad analogy.
posted by SeizeTheDay

Actually, he said it was a shitty analogy.

Take your time.
posted by mandal at 11:21 AM on October 11, 2008


I (get ready to throw stuff) think SeizetheDay has a point here.

The question is badly-worded and sounds a lot shadier than the poster meant for it to; clearly, what is intended is to try to get grandma to stop thinking of someone in terms of race and actually judge a person by his merits. Put that way, the post should stand, as it has a noble goal we can all get behind.

But what the post actually says is, how can I convince her to vote for the person I'm voting for? And I felt uncomfortable with it, as well. If it said, "How do I convince grandma to vote for McCain? By the way, the reason she won't vote for him is because he's white," I think a lot of people would be jumping on the question, saying, "McCain sucks, it's not just because he's white blah blah blah." It leaves the door open for a lot of heated political debate, and we have way too many political posts on here already (and I say that as someone who really enjoyed the fpp about Why I Would Make A Better Vice President than Sarah Palin). In addition, as someone who is not supporting McCain, I would be annoyed that this person was trying to convince someone to vote for him. I can't say this one is good just because it happens to support the guy I'm supporting. So, to be fair, I have to side with SeizetheDay that it's a poor AskMe.

Should it be deleted? No, because thankfully the hive mind understands that intent behind the post, so far, and is answering the intended question, not the one that was actually made. And we don't delete questions because they could be better worded. But it's still a poor post.
posted by misha at 11:23 AM on October 11, 2008 [1 favorite]


Racism sucks, coercing by way of argument is not immoral, and this callout is terrible.

Also: If this is not a referendum on mod policies, I don't know what it even is.
posted by voltairemodern at 11:25 AM on October 11, 2008 [1 favorite]


If it said, "How do I convince grandma to vote for McCain? By the way, the reason she won't vote for him is because he's white," I think a lot of people would be jumping on the question, saying, "McCain sucks, it's not just because he's white blah blah blah."

And those posts would/should be deleted, because they don't answer the question.
posted by voltairemodern at 11:28 AM on October 11, 2008


In addition, as someone who is not supporting McCain, I would be annoyed that this person was trying to convince someone to vote for him. I can't say this one is good just because it happens to support the guy I'm supporting.

Seriously? I'm as much an Obama partisan as you'll find on MetaFilter, but it doesn't offend me that McCain supporters try to convince other people that they should vote for him. They should do that. It's what democracy is all about. Hell, they're welcome to try to convince me if they want to. If they can make a good enough argument to sway me, I'll switch my vote.

I'd stay out of an AskMe question that was asking for advice on how to convince someone to vote for McCain, just because I wouldn't have anything constructive to offer; I don't think you should vote for him. But that wouldn't make it a bad question.
posted by EarBucket at 11:31 AM on October 11, 2008


It's more important that we're 'Free to Be You and Me' and sit around in hippy-dippy campfire circles singing 'Kumbayah' and loving everyone no matter what, and accepting everyone's particular favorite flavor of belief, that we can't even try to convince a racist that she's wrong, lest we be called oppressive and insensitive and coercive.

The thing that's really the coolest about Free To Be You and Me is that it was really just about everyone getting to basically be them with the sort of unspoken understanding that haters were just sort of wrong, but that lots of different sorts of people just being themselves and not bugging anyone else about being themselves was okay. Let your freak flag fly, don't hate on people because they're different.

I know I'm a product of my time -- and yeah I think we all agree this could have been a better question -- but just saying "yeah the lady on the teevee that says she loves housework doesn't really like it and why is it the lady's job to do the housework anyhow...?" is a lot more forward-thinking than what passes for young adult media criticism in popular culture nowadays, in my opinion.

Kumbayah on the other hand is a little insipid to my ears and also, let's not forget, religiously-oriented. Nothing wrong with that, per se, but when I think of absolute tolerance, I don't really think of it; it screams pseudotolerance to me.

Hugs?
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 11:45 AM on October 11, 2008 [3 favorites]


misha, I hear what you're saying. I just don't agree that "how can I convince her to vote for the person I'm voting for?" is shady, inappropriate, or against the spirit of AskMe.

I'm also not sure that it's the right thing to do to interpret what the poster intended, rather than what she actually says.
posted by pineapple at 11:46 AM on October 11, 2008


Yeah, this kind of persuasion is a feature of individual choice, not a bug.
posted by chinston at 11:48 AM on October 11, 2008


Wow, voting for Obama is like anal sex?

YES WE LIKE IT IN THE CAN
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 11:50 AM on October 11, 2008 [11 favorites]


I'm also not sure that it's the right thing to do

I meant for MeTa in general As A Body; not picking on you, misha.
posted by pineapple at 11:51 AM on October 11, 2008


si se pooter
posted by cortex (staff) at 11:57 AM on October 11, 2008 [4 favorites]


No problem, pineapple, I respect what you said. And, again, I don't think the question should be deleted. I'm just saying that the wording is a little inflammatory, so I see where SeizetheDay is coming from.
posted by misha at 11:58 AM on October 11, 2008


>>The thing that's really the coolest about Free To Be You and Me is that it was really just about everyone getting to basically be them with the sort of unspoken understanding that haters were just sort of wrong

Interestingly, perhaps, Free To Be You and Me guided intolerance my way. My name is Will, and after the "William Wants a Doll" part came up, I heard it constantly for the next two years at school. I was already an outcast because my parents were so poor I had to duct tape my shoes together, but Free to Be didn't help.

I remember being really pissed at my homeroom teacher for not warning me about that bit.
posted by SaintCynr at 12:22 PM on October 11, 2008


I'm going to stand here next to misha and (new target to throw stuff at) sort of agree with seizetheday ... I wouldn't have flagged the OP or called it out but I didn't like it because it seemed the granddaughter's only reason for wanting to address grandma's racism was for the election. They've been enlightened granddaughter and racist grandmother for all of the granddaughter's life, and there's no mention of "we've discussed race before" or "she's always known I disagree with her racism" etc. So racism matters this month (because it will affect the granddaughter now?) but hasn't mattered before. I could be wrong but that's what I inferred from the OP and I didn't like it much.
posted by headnsouth at 12:23 PM on October 11, 2008 [1 favorite]


Education = changing people's minds by giving them more information. Entire institutions are centered around this mind-blowing "lack of respect".

Amazingly, the way that racism is best defeated is via education.

Our overcorrection in gently cradling any point of view ever means those who could learn to embrace the wider world are denied the opportunity. That's sad. Just like allowing people to think that 2+2=1 does them no favours.

Racism isn't exactly a mindset that's healthy for the individual, either. If you help people see that these "others" are the same as they are only with more melanin, you are giving them the gift of less stress and more positivity in their lives, regardless of who they choose when voting.
posted by batmonkey at 12:45 PM on October 11, 2008


The question attempts to convince the Grandmother to betray her own convictions

Racism isn't a political conviction, it's a prejudice.
If after their conversation the OP's grandma becomes less prejudiced, it wil have been worth it even if she doesn't vote for Obama.
posted by bru at 12:51 PM on October 11, 2008 [3 favorites]


my god
lets see

lie to her
steal her voter card
buy her vote
threaten her
talk to her
hold a town hall meeting in
whoville FUCKING SQUARE.
posted by clavdivs at 1:03 PM on October 11, 2008


Kumba Yo!
posted by ZeroAmbition at 1:04 PM on October 11, 2008


Amazingly, the way that racism is best defeated is via education.

no, IMO.
interaction. mounds of books and seminars don't care fuck all when it come to a chin-wag
posted by clavdivs at 1:05 PM on October 11, 2008


Socrates was an educator.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 1:09 PM on October 11, 2008


So racism matters this month (because it will affect the granddaughter now?) but hasn't mattered before. I could be wrong but that's what I inferred from the OP and I didn't like it much.

Sometimes it takes a catalyst to make the important things that normally fade into the background come to the forefront.
posted by Pope Guilty at 1:12 PM on October 11, 2008 [3 favorites]


clavdivs:
1. Well, your opinion is your opinion, I suppose; I've got opinions, too, but I'm always willing to develop them when facts prove them to be in error.

2. Education and interaction are not mutually exclusive (in fact, the former is known to work far better with the latter hence those bizarre creatures known as "teachers"), and many recommendations have been centered on interaction-based awareness raising.
posted by batmonkey at 1:27 PM on October 11, 2008


TOLERATE INTOLERANCE
posted by Pronoiac at 1:48 PM on October 11, 2008


A VOTE FOR OBAMA IS
A VOTE FOR BUTTSEX
posted by Pronoiac at 1:48 PM on October 11, 2008


Dear AskMe, how can I violate the spirit of individual choice?
posted by Artw at 1:48 PM on October 11, 2008


How do I convince my husband to have anal sex in the voting booth? Assuming it's the kind with a curtain.
posted by desjardins at 1:50 PM on October 11, 2008 [2 favorites]


A similar question, to me, that seems out of bounds includes, “How can I convince my g/f that she should really be into anal eat pistachio ice cream, even though she’s told me repeatedly that she doesn’t want to do it?”

Why must we sexualize everything? Wait... you're not trying to manipulate my opinion by using an loaded analogy designed to make me uncomfortable for reasons that have nothing to do with the question at hand, are you, SiezeTheDay? Of course you wouldn't do something like that, you are too respectful of the spirit of individual choice!

Aside from that, it IS a terrible analogy, and here is why: the poster clearly delineates what she thinks is the source of her grandmother's reticence to consider voting for Obama. Namely:

She has never known any non-white people, and is basically scared of people of other races, it seems especially of black people. Also, she thinks "they" have an agenda and "they" will take over once Obama gets into office.

So, simply, she believes that if she can convince her grandmother that some preconceptions she holds are false, (black people are basically scary, and Barack Obama's secret agenda is lead a general black takeover of America, she will not have further objections to voting for Barack, particularly because, as the poster clarifies, her grandmother does not like McCain.

The analogy also implies that the poster is trying to push her grandmother into something she categorically doesn't want to do. But this statement:

I listened to what she had to say, we had a good dialogue, she said she will think about it.

Doesn't support that characterization at all.

A closer analogy, then, might be "How can I convince my friend to eat pistachio ice cream? He doesn't like the other ice cream our store offers, and his objection to pistachio seems to be rooted in his belief that pistachios are poisonous and taste like dirt"
posted by nanojath at 1:51 PM on October 11, 2008 [1 favorite]


Why must we sexualize everything?

Don't be a dick.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 2:06 PM on October 11, 2008


Oh, suck on this, Brandon Blatcher! You can kiss my ass!
posted by nanojath at 2:13 PM on October 11, 2008


A VOTE FOR OBAMA IS
A VOTE FOR BUTTSEX

TO CLARIFY, I MEAN THAT IN A BAD WAY
posted by Pronoiac at 2:16 PM on October 11, 2008


IGNORE THE "YAY BUTTSEX" CROWD, FOR THIS ARGUMENT
posted by Pronoiac at 2:16 PM on October 11, 2008


PRETEND IT'S JUST REALLY SORDID
posted by Pronoiac at 2:17 PM on October 11, 2008


NOT HOT

...
posted by Pronoiac at 2:17 PM on October 11, 2008


I'LL BE IN MY BUNK
posted by Pronoiac at 2:17 PM on October 11, 2008 [2 favorites]


Tolerance of intolerance is not a virtue.
posted by nicwolff at 2:22 PM on October 11, 2008 [3 favorites]


Top or bottom bunk?
posted by nanojath at 2:22 PM on October 11, 2008 [1 favorite]


All voters should pop out of eggs they've been cocooned in their entire lives to make sure no one has ever talked to them, thereby infringing on their freedom of individual choice.
posted by Falconetti at 2:27 PM on October 11, 2008 [1 favorite]


Oh, suck on this, Brandon Blatcher! You can kiss my ass!

That reminds me, holidays are coming up, time for Thanksgiving dinner with the family.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 2:55 PM on October 11, 2008 [1 favorite]


I'm just jumping to note that OCTOBER SURPRISE BUTTSECKS was actually the "Before & After" on last night's "Wheel of Fortune." I mean, seriously, how crazy is that?
posted by kittens for breakfast at 2:55 PM on October 11, 2008 [6 favorites]


continuing with what Falconetti said...

I'm curious, SeizeTheDay: Are you voting at all? And, if so, who could you possibly be voting for? Because politicians, especially those running for office, spend much of their time & money to do exactly what you've expressed is a problem for you: manipulating & fooling & tricking & duping people into voting for them - in fact, with politicians, there's usually very little actual convincing going on

Do you really think that arguing & conversing about the issues &, therefore, about who one should vote for, is a problem in this country? Because from where I'm standing, there isn't nearly enough of it.
posted by jammy at 3:05 PM on October 11, 2008 [1 favorite]


The answer to both of these questions is simple. Blackmail. I recommend kidnapping her pet.

She'll resent you for it later, probably, but you get what you want.
posted by graventy at 3:25 PM on October 11, 2008


The irony of all of us attempting to persuade SeizeTheDay that his opinion on the morality of the AskMe question is wrong is delicious.

Wait, so we're not planning to try to talk him into some pegging? I'd like to get on the same page, on this one.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 3:29 PM on October 11, 2008 [1 favorite]


Here was my answer to the question, which was deleted by some feminazi or doughtalitarian moderator:

Arrange for your grandmother to engage in hot consensual buttsex with Dr. Dre and Ed Lover of Yo! MTV Raps fame.
posted by Mister_A at 4:01 PM on October 11, 2008 [2 favorites]


Arrange for your grandmother to engage in hot consensual buttsex with Dr. Dre and Ed Lover of Yo! MTV Raps fame.

Too bad it's buttsex, otherwise she could have an illegitimate black baby just like McCain! See, everything comes full circle.

Note: McCain might not really have an illegitimate black baby. But he sure was pissed when Bush spread lies about it. Not pissed enough to stop his campaign from that shit, though. Good for him, he should be proud.
posted by inigo2 at 4:18 PM on October 11, 2008


inigo2, you have sullied this thread.
posted by Mister_A at 4:21 PM on October 11, 2008


"How do I convince my husband to have anal sex in the voting booth? Assuming it's the kind with a curtain."

They won't let my girlfriend and I use the same booth. I'm like, it's OK, I know how she's voting, I just wanna play some grabass, and they're like, no, sir, it's the law. Goddamn prudes.

As for analogies: If you were saying "How could I convince this lesbian to sleep with me, a dude?" you might have something, except that racism (as far as current science shows) is far more of a choice/cultural attitude than homosexuality.

And to the ultimate question? Just get an absentee ballot sent to your gramma's house and fill it out any way you choose. It's illegal, but hell, Bush stole two elections, so this shouldn't bother anyone.
posted by klangklangston at 4:26 PM on October 11, 2008 [2 favorites]


Neither of the questions raised by STD will end well.
posted by lukemeister at 4:33 PM on October 11, 2008


A VOTE FOR OBAMA IS
A VOTE FOR BUTTSEX


Obama is buttsex.
Santorum follows buttsex.

∴ Santorum follows Obama.

...

Is the universe going to implode now?
posted by CKmtl at 4:35 PM on October 11, 2008


doughtalitarian

Is that a...bread...jab?
posted by cortex (staff) at 4:59 PM on October 11, 2008



I had a long conversation with her about the election (she hates McCain) and race. She has never known any non-white people, and is basically scared of people of other races, it seems especially of black people. Also, she thinks "they" have an agenda and "they" will take over once Obama gets into office.

Am I missing something here? Is this some kind of weird American thing? How could it not be a good idea to encourage somebody who held ideas such as these to drop them?


Yes. It is a weird American thing. The concept of prejudice was invented in Alabama in 1802 and we all love it. All 350 million of us. No one has ever tried to change anyone else's view on the subject, thus the non-existence of the Civil War, the Emancipation Proclamation, the Civil Rights Movement, and anti-discrimination laws.
posted by drjimmy11 at 5:46 PM on October 11, 2008 [1 favorite]


Arrange for your grandmother to engage in hot consensual buttsex with Dr. Dre and Ed Lover of Yo! MTV Raps fame.

I give this a favorite, because all too often in this country we forget there was another dr. Dre, and he was awesome.
posted by drjimmy11 at 5:47 PM on October 11, 2008


When I read this call-out, I laughed incredulously.
posted by Nattie at 6:10 PM on October 11, 2008


They won't let my girlfriend and I use the same booth. I'm like, it's OK, I know how she's voting, I just wanna play some grabass, and they're like, no, sir, it's the law.

If you say she's developmentally disabled, they have to let you, but they might bristle at the grabass.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:54 PM on October 11, 2008 [4 favorites]


Then he shouldn't grabass the poll workers.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:43 PM on October 11, 2008


Would you be more comfortable with the question if you knew that the OP was Barack Obama?
posted by one_bean at 8:17 PM on October 11, 2008 [10 favorites]


"If you say she's developmentally disabled, they have to let you, but they might bristle at the grabass."

"No, no, baby, we gotta tell them you're retarded if we wanna make out in the voting booth."
"I'm not telling them I'm retarded. Why do I have to kiss you in the booth?"
"It's for Obama. Besides, baby, I got one-a them with the long curtain. Tell me you ain't gonna let a long curtain go to waste."
"That's exactly what I'm telling you. God, you're so weird."
"Baby, it's for Obama!"
"…"
posted by klangklangston at 8:17 PM on October 11, 2008 [5 favorites]


doughtalitarian

Is that a...bread...jab?


What a loaf blow! Just not kneaded at a time like this. Have some respect, people. It's the yeast you could do.
posted by the littlest brussels sprout at 9:33 PM on October 11, 2008


Don't ever mention "Grammy" and "anal" in the same post again. I mean it.

GILF?
posted by BrotherCaine at 10:25 PM on October 11, 2008


Am I missing something here? Is this some kind of weird American thing? How could it not be a good idea to encourage somebody who held ideas such as these to drop them?

Depends on the condition of his grandma. If she's a spry spring chicken maybe she's up to it. If she's on the decline, it might be a poor idea to stress her out by challenging her life-long thoughts and feelings.
posted by five fresh fish at 1:06 AM on October 12, 2008


Aside from sexfilter much of relationshipfilter is about trying to convince, cajoule, persuade or otherwise nag someone. Most questions could be boiled down to: "How do I get X to Y me?"

Is there any chance we could suggest she DTMFA her nanna? It is the logical conclusion.
posted by BAKERSFIELD! at 2:09 AM on October 12, 2008


As the OP, all of this discussion of my grandmother, anal and sex is incredibly disturbing.
posted by hazyspring at 8:48 AM on October 12, 2008 [2 favorites]


GILF?

No, no, everybody knows the proper nomenclature is GMILF. (Which always immediately brings to my mind the correlative -- but, to my knowledge, as yet uncoined -- OGMILF. I guess that'd be...what? Sophia Loren?)
posted by kittens for breakfast at 10:15 AM on October 12, 2008


Perphaps I'm being dense, but wouldn't the correlative of GMILF be GFILF? come to think of it, it is actually appropriately onomonopoetic.
posted by prophetsearcher at 12:38 PM on October 12, 2008


Between mentions of santorum and pegging in this thread, Dan Savage should be incredibly proud of all he's done for the English language.
posted by DrGirlfriend at 12:55 PM on October 12, 2008 [1 favorite]


Actually, he said it was a shitty analogy.

Nah, it's a great analogy, because there isn't actually anything wrong with bugging your girlfriend about how you want her arse; but then, of course, there's nothing wrong with your girlfriend getting fed up with it and dumping yours.

There's a lesson in there for the ask-er, of course.
posted by rodgerd at 3:05 PM on October 12, 2008


This has got to be the dumbest callout I've ever seen and, by god, I've seen some dumb callouts. Yeah, it's not as crazy as those SCREW YOU CENSORSHIP NAZI callouts, but for sheer dumbness this takes the cake.

Seriously. A callout because we shouldn't try to convince people to change their mind about things? You are one super-special snowflake, SeizeTheDay.
posted by Justinian at 4:18 PM on October 12, 2008


I am oppressing you with my pants.
posted by turgid dahlia at 4:31 PM on October 12, 2008 [2 favorites]


I wouldn't have anal sex with Sarah Palin, even if she was my girlfriend, and she asked. For the same reason it's fine to attempt to persuade people. It's what an election is.

A shining example of logic, I know.
posted by oxford blue at 5:34 PM on October 12, 2008


Analogy.
posted by dirtdirt at 6:51 PM on October 12, 2008 [1 favorite]


I didn't expect a big rush of agreement with me here. Given the liberal leaning around here, and election fever, trying to convince people to vote Obama is the Holy Grail right now.

....Wait. Are you saying that if someone were trying to convince their Grandpa-who-was-in-the-Black-Panthers to vote for McCain, that you'd be okay with that?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:12 PM on October 12, 2008


BUMPER STICKERS
ARE AN INEFFECTUAL MEANS
OF COMMUNICATING MY NUANCED VIEWS
ON A VARIETY OF ISSUES THAT CANNOT
BE REDUCED TO A SIMPLE PITHY SLOGAN

posted by Pronoiac at 7:16 PM on October 12, 2008 [1 favorite]


It is a decent question. I exercised individual choice by not reading any of the answers, which if any good would have been excruciatingly dull and annoying because they would have laid out plans to do something disagreeable to me.

The question didn't stop me from exercising that individual choice, so I don't see how it can be criticized on those grounds.
posted by ikkyu2 at 7:20 PM on October 12, 2008 [2 favorites]


Hey, I did that, too. Now I'll have to go read the thread, see what you said...
posted by five fresh fish at 8:07 PM on October 12, 2008


ah, didn't read and didn't post... d-oh. ignore me please.
posted by five fresh fish at 8:09 PM on October 12, 2008


because they would have laid out plans to do something disagreeable to me.

Talking to your grandma?
posted by nanojath at 8:37 PM on October 12, 2008


If you have a racist granny,
it's time for her to take it in the fanny...

Wait, how's that song go?
posted by strangeleftydoublethink at 11:54 AM on October 13, 2008


I was going to offer my opinion here, but then I realized that might violate SeizeTheDay's spirit of individual choice.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 12:17 PM on October 13, 2008


I <3 this thread.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 1:38 PM on October 13, 2008


Hitler has only got one ball,
Göring has two but very small,
Himmler is somewhat sim'lar,
But poor old Goebbels has no balls at all.
posted by turgid dahlia at 4:01 PM on October 13, 2008


This post is even more entertaining than those call-out posts where someone posts about horrible some clique's been to em and then flames out, promising to leave Metafilter forever (or for a month).
posted by kalessin at 1:55 PM on October 14, 2008


“How can I convince my g/f that she should really be into anal, even though she’s told me repeatedly that she doesn’t want to do it?”

Always with the misandry...

"Whatever happened to respecting people's opinions?" Really!?! When has that ever been some kind of rule? Opinions and beliefs aren't some kind of sacrosanct untouchable concept. Opinions are absolutely fair game for conversation and changing. People are free to hold whatever crazy opinion they want, but other people are equally free to talk to them about those opinions. It's somewhat ironic that you are saying that your opinions and Grammy's opinions should remain unchallenged, but the original askme poster's opinions should be suppressed. Grammy and you should have free choice, but hazyspring shouldn't have the freedom to share her opinions with Grammy? Nice disconnect, that.
posted by gjc at 6:00 AM on October 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


« Older Unusual Characters causing trouble with titles and...   |   Happy Birthday, Maggots! Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments