Ask E. Jean - Tormented? Driven Witless? Whipsawed by confusion?

Advice Vixens

What do you think of a man who derides and demeans a woman, then adds insult to injury by blaming her for not understanding he was only kidding?

Or, anyone that uses putdowns for commentary and then plays the "only kidding" or "you don't understand" card as his/her defense?

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    "Turkey" springs to mind. "Turkey in denial" sounds so downmarket.

    Tactically, in a conversation, that's primary school stuff. Suggest hiring well educated cockroach instead.

    Putdowns for commentary is just too easy.

    If that's a habituated pattern of behavior, the mental printer has been on the blink for a while, I'd say.

    Of course for some people it's also being "clever". If it's their big trick, perhaps a doggie biscuit and a nice walk on the freeway?

    reply to Paul
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    I avoid them. So I don't really know any.

    reply to Linda
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    Hi Marguerite,
    I think this guy needs to keep his day job, and save the "only kidding" humor for the professional comedians.

    You would be amazed at how much humor is drawn from reality, and how some harsh viewpoints are disguised as jokes.

    Even if he really was only kidding, he needs to re-evaluate his level of humor, to make sure he is not offending anyone's sensibilities.

    Personally, I think he would get a bigger laugh by finding a topic that is actually funny, rather than one that is hurtful.

    reply to Angel
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    I had one of those in my office, Marguerite. I know I cannot change a person who will not admit (maybe not even to himself) that what he's doing is hurtful. Discussing it with him was fruitless, and so I'd just blow it off. Get in a few witty snaps back at him on occasion...

    But to answer your question, what I think is that a man who is like my office mate is a conflicted, sick little puppy. I try not to socialize with him because it brings me down.

    As a teacher, he was teaching equality for women to his young college students, but he'd come to our office and give us the breakdown of which of his students was "hot". He had a superficial affinity for blondes. Gag! A total loser in my eyes. And when he'd say something really offensive, he, like the example you gave, would just plead genius satire. ;P Not worth my time to even discuss it with him, really.

    In short, I sympathize with you!

    *E

    reply to Estella
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    Marquerite,

    Well, I'd have to know more about the "man" and the situation(s) to give more specific advice; in general, however, if these put downs are a common response, the "man" in using them has unresolved issues somewhere. It may be father / son issues, some addiction that has forced him into "acting out" in anger. Something's amiss, and if done too often or out of habit needs to be addressed by a therapist one on one or in a group. Nevertheless, if this "man" is someone who is close, a boyfriend, potential spouse, or heaven help the woman on the receiving end, a spouse, then there's little hope for this person to ever be in a mutually benefiting relationship. He's broken and needs to be fixed.

    reply to Jeff
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    I think the two scenarios you described are slightly different. In the first scenario, you've described someone who 'demeans,' 'derides,' 'insults,' and 'blames.'

    In the second scenario, you describe someone who merely uses 'put downs as commentary' and 'defends' them as jokes.

    From the tenor of your query, it appears that you have drawn the conclusion that both of these people are wrong, and everyone is jumping on the bandwagon.

    I think there are distinctions that can be drawn, and everything has perspective.

    If there is a misogynist, then that's that. No redemption. He has cast his lot, and can be roundly despised.

    If however, the individual suffers from some personality defect, which manifests itself as an affirmative defense mechanism, where he protects himself/herself, but lobbing the first shot over the bow, then perhaps, he/she is not so ill-intended.

    I know lots of people who were teased growing up, and as a result, formed a hard exterior, where they would, in fact, engage in 'good-natured' teasing of others (without the intent to injure). If they were called on it, they would in fact, be remorseful (if they injured someone else's feelings), but it was how they handled social settings.

    Even the villain you've described in the initial scenario may simply be playing out things he witnessed growing up. If such a person never received counseling, and is merely parroting behavior he witnessed as a youth, what type of people are we to judge him? Not to say that I'm condoning his behavior, but anyone acting like that is clearly damaged goods and probably needs help.

    Or both of the types of people you've described could be assholes, and not worth wasting your time on. I don't know how much utility you're going to get from posing a question where the answer seems pretty cut-and-dry.

    reply to Stephen
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    Based on the first thread where you posted this question... I think it's really hard to ascertain tone and sarcasm in print.

    reply to LK
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    I think he doesn't deserve to be in your presence. Instead, give him the name of a good shrink to work out his issues.

    Some people take pleasure in demeaning others. To me, it only shows how insecure they are.

    reply to Carol
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    It is verbal abuse, pure and simple. If it were funny, you'd BOTH find it funny. It's one thing to joke with me -- operative word being "with" -- about my klutziness; it's a running gag among my loved ones that Armageddon will be imminent if I should ever find my legs to be bruiseless! It would be another thing, though, if someone were to criticize me for bumping into things or to call me graceless, and then to deflect blame onto me as being humorless in addition to being a klutz. A constant barrage of negativity and diminution is soul-deadening; it should not be tolerated.

    Is this happening to you, honey, or to someone you love??? No one should put up with it, even if it isn't as readily identifiable as physical abuse. I've spent my life enduring varying degrees of it, and have only been free of it in the past 2 years since my ex-husband and I broke up. It is so freeing to surround myself with supportive and loving people! There is no reason to tolerate being belittled and demeaned ....

    reply to Yenta Mary
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    Stephen wrote: I think the two scenarios you described are slightly different. In the first scenario, you've described someone who 'demeans,' 'derides,' 'insults,' and 'blames.' In the second scenario, you describe someone who merely uses 'put downs as commentary' and 'defends' them as jokes. From the tenor of your query, it appears that you have drawn the conclusion that both of these people are wrong, and everyone is jumping on the bandwagon. I think there are distinctions that can be drawn, and everything has perspective. If there is a misogynist, then that's that. No redemption. He has cast his lot, and can be roundly despised. If however, the individual suffers from some personality defect, which manifests itself as an affirmative defense mechanism, where he protects himself/herself, but lobbing the first shot over the bow, then perhaps, he/she is not so ill-intended. I know lots of people who were teased growing up, and as a result, formed a hard exterior, where they would, in fact, engage in 'good-natured' teasing of others (without the intent to injure). If they were called on it, they would in fact, be remorseful (if they injured someone else's feelings), but it was how they handled social settings. Even the villain you've described in the initial scenario may simply be playing out things he witnessed growing up. If such a person never received counseling, and is merely parroting behavior he witnessed as a youth, what type of people are we to judge him? Not to say that I'm condoning his behavior, but anyone acting like that is clearly damaged goods and probably needs help. Or both of the types of people you've described could be assholes, and not worth wasting your time on. I don't know how much utility you're going to get from posing a question where the answer seems pretty cut-and-dry.



    If it's so cut and dry, why did it took such a long damn post to answer it?

    reply to Keka
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    I'm with Linda, don't waste your time thinking about men like this. In fact, more women should cut back on thoughts of men in general, even the good ones. They won't even notice that you've taken time off from wiping their boots, chins, asses, etc., to finish your novel.



    reply to Mary
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    Nasty sarcasm is the surest sign of insecurity. I say, don't take on a person's negative energy. I've allowed that kind of riff raff into my life a few too many times, and I'll tell you, life is much easier without it. First call this person out, asking him why it's necessary to deflect with his insecurities on you. That'll catch him off-guard. If he still insists on using that old standby "just kidding, tell him, thanks but you don't think that he's funny and he should try telling a real joke. Ohhhh....burn!

    reply to Michelle
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    I'd call him a dick, then say, "only kidding."

    reply to Jen
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    I'd call him a dick, then say, "only kidding."

    reply to Jen
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    Lame, lame, and... lame.

    Jen, that sounds like an awesome idea. Give them a dose of their own medicine. That's all they deserve.

    reply to Miss Stephanie
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    Marquerite I'm sure we've all experienced knowing a jerk like that. I hate, well hate is such a harsh word, but I don't like people who believes in saying unkind remarks to anyone, and then turn around and say, Oh i was just kidding, bullshit they were not kidding, and then get an attitude because you won't accept their apology, or by saying oh you don't understand, I was just kidding.

    What I don't understand is that you are being a jerk, and you know damn well it wasn't a nice thing to say, and then you tell me I don't understand. What I get an attitude about is you telling me I don't understand. I think we all know when someone is kidding and when they're not.

    reply to Jas
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    Keka wrote: If it's so cut and dry, why did it took such a long damn post to answer it?

    Trying to mix it up, that's all. Even with my 'long damn post' did anyone else venture a slightly more nuanced response? No. So a big 'whatever' to you.

    reply to Stephen
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    Jen wrote: I'd call him a dick, then say, "only kidding."

    HAHAHAHAH!!!!!!

    reply to Mary
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    I think it doesn't sound good or healthy. It doesn't really matter what this person does. Try to explain to this person how their actions make you feel and don't take excuses as answers- if a joke hurts someone, it ain't a joke. If this person insists on insulting;
    you need to find an exit criteria and move on to happier hunting grounds.

    reply to Noah
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    Miss Stephanie wrote: Lame, lame, and... lame. Jen, that sounds like an awesome idea. Give them a dose of their own medicine. That's all they deserve.

    That's right, Miss Stephanie. And you know they can't take their own medicine! HAHAHA!

    reply to Jen
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    Miss Stephanie wrote: Lame, lame, and... lame. Jen, that sounds like an awesome idea. Give them a dose of their own medicine. That's all they deserve.

    That's right, Miss Stephanie. And you know they can't take their own medicine! HAHAHA!

    reply to Jen
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    You're all a bunch of labia lickers.

    JUST KIDDING!!!

    reply to T.M.
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    I think I married him! And luckily divorced him as well.

    reply to Leslie
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    T.M. wrote: You're all a bunch of labia lickers. JUST KIDDING!!!

    Is that such a bad thing to be?

    reply to Jen
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    T.M. wrote: You're all a bunch of labia lickers. JUST KIDDING!!!

    Is that such a bad thing to be?

    reply to Jen
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    I do believe that it is appropriately known as the "Fight or Flight" syndrome.
    Some men, and women to be politically correct, lack that very ability to think before speaking (or writing in this case, because I think I know where you are going with this.).
    This phenomenon leads to diarhea of the mouth.
    Afterwards, when the women does not quiver in fear and succomb to his evilness like he was anticipating her to do so, they retaliate with the "blame game". Whole-heartedly attempting to make you feel as if you are THE THREE SACRED OVERS......Over-sensitive, Over-emotional, and Over-reacting.
    My advice to you is laugh it off! I will pass along to you the most wisest advice my dear late grandmother had ever given me..."Feel bad for the male species. Truly pity them. God did not equip them with the thinking or doing skills that us women possess. They are handicapped and need our help. Be a child of God, and help them."
    So, Marquerite, help this poor man you are speaking of. Kick him WAY off his high horse, and put him where he belongs. Remember, it will hurt you more then him....you are just trying to help.

    reply to Jessica
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    T.M. wrote: You're all a bunch of labia lickers. JUST KIDDING!!!

    sluuurrrp.

    reply to Bee
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    Jen wrote: Is that such a bad thing to be?

    Depends on the person, the labia, and the size of one's tongue.

    reply to T.M.
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    T. M. Long writes:
    You're all a bunch of labia lickers.
    JUST KIDDING!!!
    -----------

    You're pathetic. NO KIDDING!

    reply to Karma
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    Karma wrote: T. M. Long writes: You're all a bunch of labia lickers. JUST KIDDING!!! ----------- You're pathetic. NO KIDDING!

    Oh get over yourself.


    reply to T.M.
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    Slap and tickle.

    Abuse is about control, plain and simple. So, he lashes out with a zinger, and when you're about to get upset, he wraps an arm around you and says, "Just kidding....Don't take it personally!"

    This guy, this numbnuts, knows how to touch the buttons and keep 'em coming back for more.

    Like the Don Juan who deflowers the girl and leaves a rose.

    What a Man!

    It's confusing, its sadistic and you're falling for it.

    Get out of there. Watch your back and take a good look at what you want. Is he the only guy out there for you?

    Or are you so unworthy of anyone else?

    Like I said. It's a cycle. Beat the dog and give him a treat. Nervous breakdown city.

    Well, Phuque dat!

    He doesn't even know his own mind, the poor, confused worm.

    He needs to see a professional.

    And you need to see a good, strong friend and share a good, strong pot of coffee.

    And find that Wonder Woman inside you, so you can lasso this coyote and say, "What's it gonna be, Johnny?"

    reply to James
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    T.M.LONG writes:
    Oh get over yourself.
    ------------------

    If you can't take the heat, get outta the bitchin'.

    reply to Karma
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    Karma wrote: T.M.LONG writes: Oh get over yourself. ------------------ If you can't take the heat, get outta the bitchin'.

    That would be stellar advice if you were talking to yourself.

    Here's a tip, if you want to sell yourself, quit trying so damn hard. Think of yourself as a hot hooker, the less you say, the more you're wanted.

    reply to T.M.
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    T.M.Long:

    Have you any idea how every word you write is making my point for me?

    How easy it is to bait you into showing yourself as that person who derides and insults and thinks s/he's funny, while the rest of us are oh so stupid because we just don't get you?

    You haven't a clue, do you?

    I rest my case Vixens.

    He's all yours.

    I'm moving on.


    reply to Karma
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    wtf are you even saying, Marguerite?

    If you HAD a point it might make more sense, but so far everything you're spouting off about goes back to your misinterpretation of my use of the word idiot.

    You don't have to get my humor, I could care less, what you DO need is to chill the hell out and pull the stick out of your ass.

    You CHOSE to single me out over something I did NOT say to you, about you or even in the vicinity of something that could be you.

    Now you're on a mission to call me a pathetic, mean spirited, man?

    Good luck with your career Miss Marg, if you can't handle someone calling you stupid (which again, I did not) then you'll certainly need it.

    reply to T.M.
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    Karma wrote: T.M.Long: Have you any idea how every word you write is making my point for me? How easy it is to bait you into showing yourself as that person who derides and insults and thinks s/he's funny, while the rest of us are oh so stupid because we just don't get you? You haven't a clue, do you? I rest my case Vixens. He's all yours. I'm moving on.

    Out of ALL people, Miss M., you choose to mess with one of the key writers for Eee, while buttering up the totally clueless ones.

    How brilliant is that.

    reply to Keka
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    Dear Keka,

    Out of ALL people, Miss M., you choose to mess with one of the key writers for Eee, while buttering up the totally clueless ones.

    How brilliant is that.
    --------

    Oh, then I should be buttering up T.J.Long because he's a favorite of EJean?

    Wouldn't that be like buttering up EJean?

    I'm a writer. I write what I think and feel and if someone wants to make my point for me, I don't care who's has him on a leash.

    This topic has generated plenty of opinion, provoked a lot of thought, and now, tells us who EJeans "key" writers are.

    He's still a person who fits the profile of the question I posed. Anything he writes or says here drives that point home.

    If you want to enable him, darling, be my guest.

    Next?

    reply to Karma
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    Karma wrote: Dear Keka, Out of ALL people, Miss M., you choose to mess with one of the key writers for Eee, while buttering up the totally clueless ones. How brilliant is that. -------- Oh, then I should be buttering up T.J.Long because he's a favorite of EJean? Wouldn't that be like buttering up EJean? I'm a writer. I write what I think and feel and if someone wants to make my point for me, I don't care who's has him on a leash. This topic has generated plenty of opinion, provoked a lot of thought, and now, tells us who EJeans "key" writers are. He's still a person who fits the profile of the question I posed. Anything he writes or says here drives that point home. If you want to enable him, darling, be my guest. Next?

    Seriously, when did I grow a dick?

    If I did have one, I would fit the description of the man you're posting about and tell you to suck it.

    reply to T.M.
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    Karma wrote: Dear Keka, Out of ALL people, Miss M., you choose to mess with one of the key writers for Eee, while buttering up the totally clueless ones. How brilliant is that. -------- Oh, then I should be buttering up T.J.Long because he's a favorite of EJean? Wouldn't that be like buttering up EJean? I'm a writer. I write what I think and feel and if someone wants to make my point for me, I don't care who's has him on a leash. This topic has generated plenty of opinion, provoked a lot of thought, and now, tells us who EJeans "key" writers are. He's still a person who fits the profile of the question I posed. Anything he writes or says here drives that point home. If you want to enable him, darling, be my guest. Next?


    No, this hasn't "provoked a lot of thought". What happened is that you need a reality check, that's all, and fights are exciting.

    And TM is a young lady, not a man.

    But for someone who keeps trying so hard to convince us about "Lee", facts don't matter.

    reply to Keka
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    Keka, darling, you're right, this is not a fight.

    This is an exchange of words.

    Heated, yes. But nonetheless. A free speech forum.

    That means, I write mine, and you write yours, and T.M.Long writes hers.

    You aren't her mother.

    Are you?

    Regardless, even if she is female, she writes in the locker room vernacular of a bullying male who feels contempt for women.

    (Or, maybe the contempt is reserved for just me? Let me save you the trouble of a quick retort on that one.)

    I certainly didn't mistake her for the "young lady" you've described.

    And, I'm not here to convince you about anything.

    I'm here to get you to show yourself.

    And you have.

    And T.M. Long has.

    And I have.

    All anyone need do is read each of our posts and decide for themselves.

    I think, if you were to review my original question at the very top of this page, you'd find I clearly stated, "What do you think of a man ... or anyone who ..."

    So, tell me: Is a woman who derides another with rather foul language followed by a convenient "just kidding" to be excused for the same bad behavior we won't tolerate from men?

    Well, some of us won't, anyhow.






    reply to Karma
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    Please, find and post the exact phrase I used to degrade you.

    I think you may be the only person on here that hasn't laughed.


    reply to T.M.
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    No, I am not her mother. My daughter is only ten and TM is 29.

    But I mos def would prefer for my little girl to grow a wit and sense of humor, instead of gullible clueless self righteous poop.

    reply to Keka
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    Keka wrote: No, I am not her mother. My daughter is only ten and TM is 29. But I mos def would prefer for my little girl to grow a wit and sense of humor, instead of gullible clueless self righteous poop.

    I'm 27!!!

    reply to T.M.
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    T.M. wrote: I'm 27!!!

    Oh shoot. My bad.

    reply to Keka
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    Keka wrote: Oh shoot. My bad.

    That's okay.

    Yesterday I thought she had a boyfriend.

    reply to Sally G.
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    I'm going to answer the question and stay out of the conflict that appears above my post ...

    Men who behave this way have low self-esteem. They seek the approval of the women they denigrate ... b/c they long for female companionship. But they throw up "walls" (aka insults) to keep emotional distance ... and to be able to blame the other person for said emotional distance.

    reply to Maggie
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    Maggie writes:

    I'm going to answer the question and stay out of the conflict that appears above my post ...

    Men who behave this way have low self-esteem. They seek the approval of the women they denigrate ... b/c they long for female companionship. But they throw up "walls" (aka insults) to keep emotional distance ... and to be able to blame the other person for said emotional distance.
    -----------


    Thanks, Maggie. Good point, well taken.

    Now, does that go for women, too?

    Is it a double edged sword? Or a short, sharp dagger?

    And do we display the (bad?) behavior of resisting confrontation by staying out of the conflict, thereby allowing it to flourish?

    Doesn't that make us all culpable?

    I'm wondering.

    reply to Karma
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    I don't know, my mother taught me if you laught at yourself, than really no one can laught AT you, which I have found to be true. I have a very sharp, biting sarcasm which is first and foremost directed at my own foibles. Result-- no matter what I say, people think I'm funny, because i take no prisoners, most especially myself.
    That said-- I've never really been around misogynistic men-- I don't think they want to get in my arena hahaha;)

    reply to Les
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    Karma wrote: Maggie writes: I'm going to answer the question and stay out of the conflict that appears above my post ... Men who behave this way have low self-esteem. They seek the approval of the women they denigrate ... b/c they long for female companionship. But they throw up "walls" (aka insults) to keep emotional distance ... and to be able to blame the other person for said emotional distance. ----------- Thanks, Maggie. Good point, well taken. Now, does that go for women, too? Is it a double edged sword? Or a short, sharp dagger? And do we display the (bad?) behavior of resisting confrontation by staying out of the conflict, thereby allowing it to flourish? Doesn't that make us all culpable? I'm wondering.

    I just didn't have time to read all of that catfighting. And I still don't. So I answered your question. If what you really wanted was for people to take sides in the TM vs. Marguerite war, then ... I just don't care. It's your conflict, so you work it out for yourselves.

    reply to Maggie
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    This depends on your definition of demean. I know some women who get up in arms for being called "babe" when it was clearly not meant to offend.

    Basically, women need to loosen up and men need to button up.

    reply to Michal
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    There's the old saying, he who lives by the sword shall die by the sword -- there's so many old sayings that come to mind for this -- turn about is fair play.

    So if this is this guy's MO and you're still sitting around taking it, either you like it (S and M anyone) so stop pissing and moaning or turn the tables on him and if his bottom lip starts to tremble cause he didn't find it funny, just laugh a lot harder and louder til he gets the point.

    reply to Dorothy
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    That is definitely the sign of someone with troubles. They're sarcastic (saying something really awful and attributing it, in the end, to a joke)..and Sarcasm, my dear (if you have studied psychology) is veiled anger....

    It's good that you have sniffed this out as a character flaw, but sometimes the best remedy is just to ignore the person, or avoid them all together... As much as I hate to sound trite "you can't teach an old dog new tricks."

    reply to Ano
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    PLEASE NOTE:

    This guy NEVER existed in my life (before today).

    But s/he very definitely exists in many women's lives.

    So the question was posted:

    "What do you think of a man ... or ANYONE who ... " says something offensive and then covers up by saying "just kidding."

    I think I've proven, turning the tables doesn't work.

    There are too many enablers of bad behavior that, in my estimation, includes crude language no woman should have to ignore when directed at her from any man, or any woman.

    Not everyone agrees.

    But enough do.

    And for this I am truly thankful.

    reply to Karma
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    I had a friend who did that. Always said demeaning and insulting things to me, then ended by adding "Only kidding"
    The way I see it the "Only kidding" remark to any insult is too little too late. I dumped the friend. Stay away from the guy

    reply to Nancy
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    Well, as a comedian I know that there's truth in every joke. On some level, there may be an instinct to demean women for real. Yeah, like some other people said, I would be leery of this one.

    reply to Steve
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    My Dear Marguerite:

    There are two ways to go on this - and both have to do with self-esteem: Yours and theirs.

    Let's talk about them first. Take a good look at your friends and this man. You don't need put-downs or passive-aggressiveness in any relationships. People criticize others directly or indirectly because they feel insecure about themselves - and that's not your fault. You can't control anyone but you. You can tell when someone's kidding; and you know when they're not. If your feelings get hurt, they get hurt. Don't worry about being accused of being "sensitive" - I held on to that rap for a long time. So what if you are? You still deserve respect; and if your friends can't see it, time to get new friends who appreciate your sensitivity. I would confront each one of these folks very simply and directly - "It really hurts my feelings when you say...and then pretend you were kidding. I don't think it's funny..." Something like that Their responses will be very telling and help you decide whether you really want to hang onto these "friends."

    Now, some folks have trouble asserting themselves like this; and that's okay. The second option is to simply begin expanding your circle to other menfolk and friends. Reach out in your community, at your job or even online to find others with similar interests - and who don't need to put others down to feel better about themselves. This is where YOUR self-esteem comes in: As Stuart Smalley said: "You're good enough, you're smart enough..." and if you let it happen, doggone it, people will like you! NO put-downs necessary!

    Let me know how it goes.

    Lisa V.

    reply to Lisa
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    Not only is he "not kidding," he's abusive. The tactic leaves the woman with no sure ground to stand on and he gets to treat her like garbage any time he wants. She should leave him in a heartbeat ... he is not a nice man. Does he hit her too????

    reply to jeannie`
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    First word that comes to mind? Coward.

    Next word: Insecure.

    Final word: Abuse. Abuse not only being a physical term; but also emotional, mental, financial, and sexual.

    reply to Rue
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    I think the person has a low self esteem and is trying to make themselves look better by offending someone else. They are also afraid that maybe the person is getting to close and they start pushing them away. It is like giving mixed signals, first they want you to leave and then they don't. They want to see how far they can push you and how much a person will take from that person.

    reply to Brandi
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    Dear Marguerite,

    Just as "here's the truth" invariably precedes a lie, so too does "just kidding" mean "I am not joking." He is not joking. His purpose here isn't comedy; it's a display of dominance. Men like your gentleman friend feel big when they make other people feel little.

    There is no solution which doesn't include you severing contact with Belittling Asshole. He won't change; you will never change him. Your culpability is directly proportional to your tolerance- and tacit approval- of that behavior. Decide whether the payoff of this relationship outweighs the abuse, and act accordingly.

    Love,
    Keren

    reply to Keren
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    Ah, the all-too familiar "only kidding" sense of humor. I've always been astounded by the fact that these types can take all the sheepish I'm-not-sure-how-else-to-react chuckles on the other end of their jokes and deem them satisfactory enough to reinforce their barely-concealed defense mechanisms.

    Here are three scenarios that have worked wonders for me:

    a) Upon being the brunt of a poorly-delivered joke, calmly walk over to the person, remove from their hand the beer they've been guzzling to fill the void in their vapid souls, and promptly pour it over their head.

    b) Upon being the brunt of a poorly-delivered joke, unleash a well-delivered rebuttal that goes something like, "Sweetie, those insecurities you're projecting all over innocent bystanders aren't going to dissipate through a social funnel. Please bother someone else, preferably a therapist, with your boundless shortcomings."

    c) Upon being the brunt of a poorly-delivered joke, convey only with your eyes the intense disbelief that they, or anyone, would ever find that kind of behavior even remotely funny or appropriate.

    I've found that the latter is the most satisfying and productive, because, as so many of you have pointed out, sometimes the best thing to do is to do nothing at all.





    reply to Annah
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    I think it is a kind of emotional abuse that should ideally not be tolerated. Being put down and insulted in that manner can be extremely hurtful and painful.

    Demeans a woman? Perhaps an insecure man with low self esteem and a splash of self loathing, spreading the toxicity.



    reply to Erica
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    If his comment after the insult is 'Just kidding' then he really WAS not kidding.

    You can't predict or control the words that come out of most people's mouth.

    It would happen to me once, but not twice.

    Treat others how you expect to be treated!!!!!!


    reply to Olga
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    I think he is a coward and not someone I would want to be associated with. Kick him to the curb!

    reply to Connie
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    It's freakin hilarious that nobody reads ANYTHING. Just basically skips the entire thing. Ha!

    reply to Bella
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    I don't mean to piss off the feminists, but I blame women for allowing men to verbally abuse and demean us. It's everywhere; our music and movies. Every time you allow a man to disrespect you and not do anything about it, you are allowing the cycle to continue. It is up to us women to put an end to this madness. We can't wait on men. They are too busy calling us bitches and whores.

    reply to Alena
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    Alena wrote: I don't mean to piss off the feminists, but I blame women for allowing men to verbally abuse and demean us. It's everywhere; our music and movies. Every time you allow a man to disrespect you and not do anything about it, you are allowing the cycle to continue. It is up to us women to put an end to this madness. We can't wait on men. They are too busy calling us bitches and whores.

    Some woman ARE bitches and whores.

    reply to Bella
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    Whoa! Whoa! Whoa! Marguerite! Hold on a second.

    Before you think specifically about the current miasma of trouble that you're swimming in, remind yourself of your everyday classic daytime television. Back when Duran Duran was hip and cool (and young) and women were wearing footless tights for the first time, Farrah Fawcett was tossing a match into the bed of the man who "loved her" yet abused her. People cheered! There's also probably about 100 TV shows on Lifetime where you could see Connie Seleca getting the same kind of abuse you're getting as well but admittedly I don't know the names of them.

    Here's my point: I am a man. An actual man. A man who hears about a situation like this and feels that if he lived next door to y'all...well you get the idea. Men are peculiar sometimes and they resort to Neanderthal thoughts occasionally. I'm not yet immune. But here's my point.

    This man you are with is an exceptionally insecure assh*le and also a clown. What's worse, the turnstiles he is leading you through are most likely taking you to the midway at the carnival of unhappiness.

    Don't buy that ticket, Maggie.

    All men are not like this. I'm not like this. My guy friends are not like this. The reason is simple. The need to control other people generally comes strongest from those who control very little else in their lives. I'd bet a box of donuts this guy who is "just kidding" with his putdowns and criticisms takes more cowdung elsewhere in his life than he gives out. Which is what makes this so deplorable. He's picking on you for one reason only: because he feels like he can.

    You have to - one way or another - take a strong position and let him know that he can't. It'll be uncomfortable but you have to make a stand. Either grab some cotton candy and leave the county fair for good or tell bigmouth that if he does it again, he's gonna be riding the tilt-a-whirl of life alone even long after the carnival has packed up and left.

    Good luck!!






    reply to Mark
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    Marguerite, I've met some men and women like that. the last thing they see is the back of my head. I instantly, and I do mean INSTANTLY, become permanently business, and they become invisible. Humor is fine and dandy, but I have no time for insecure, mean spirited people.

    reply to mia
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    I think there is truth in jest. Having a self-depreciating sense of humor that you occasionally extend to others in moderation is okay. But the minute you overindulge in that trait you are saying what you really mean and secretly getting off with insulting folks and getting away with it by saying, "Just joking."

    reply to Ms. Ade
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    Whether the person is joking or not isn't the issue. The point is that if it hurts you, it's time to take action. My suggestion would be to tell the person that the humor is hurtful to you. Reading between the lines of your note, it sounds as if you have said something to the person who then became defensive. You might want to consider how you made your point. Using "you" language ("you're a jerk for saying that") usually makes people defensive. Of course then the original issue isn't resolved. My suggestion is to use more I language ("I am very hurt by that comment"). If you believe you addressed the problem in a non-confrontational tone with the person, it's time to limit contact. That can, of course, may be difficult if the person is a family member, co-worker or someone else with whom you interact frequently. In those cases, it's best to just ignore the comments. Remember the old saying, you can't change anyone's behavior but your own.

    reply to Nancy
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    AGAIN PLEASE NOTE:

    This guy NEVER existed in my life (before today).

    But s/he very definitely exists in many women's lives.

    So the question was posted:

    "What do you think of a man ... or ANYONE who ... " says something offensive and then covers up by saying "just kidding."

    I think I've proven, turning the tables doesn't work.

    There are too many enablers of bad behavior that, in my estimation, includes crude language no woman should have to ignore when directed at her from any man, or any woman.

    Not everyone agrees.

    But enough do.


    reply to Karma
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    Any friend or romantic partner that feels that constant need to demean someone has a thing or two to learn about communication. Someone who feels the need to constantly put someone down is probably quite insecure themselves. There is a fine line between playful or flirtascious jest and seriously offensive remarks and that line is to be determined by the person on the receieving end of the comments. If you are truely offended by the way your partner speaks to you, let them know, tell them that although they may think they are just playing around their remarks are hurtful and offensive and their adding"just kidding" afterwards doesnt lessen the pain any and you would kindly appreciate if they stop. If he or she cant understand why you are bothered or refuses to change their ways, then maybe it is time to re-evaluate why you are with this person to begin with.

    reply to Elizabeth
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    I hate hypothetical questions.

    reply to Blondie
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    This guy sounds familiar to me!! I spent two years on and off trying to understand this person. If he hated Jews, why date me? If I was the Alpha and Omega, why spend so much time with other women? If I was his future wife and mother of his children, why cheat? The only thing I learned was that he had absolutely no respect for me. I mean, who could respect someone who could tolerate such egregious behavior?

    When someone you love that you believe loves you clearly shows that he neither respects your feelings nor your ability to protect yourself from those who don't, you have only one option - and that is to be good to yourself, since he's shown he cannot. Could someone who really loves you say such things? He probably can, but you don't have to like it, and you don't have to stay.

    Is this really the sort of love affair you imagined for yourself? For how many more months or years can you go on with someone who appears to think so little of you or your feelings. You are waving a flag and saying into the megaphone: Houston, we have a problem. I agree.

    Words like "kidding" and "joking" that follow cruel remarks are just little Fuck Yous that say this person does not give a shit if your feelings are hurt. I'm convinced there is really nothing more to understand and no other meaning but that. They are his little Fuck Yous.

    Well maybe it is time to say, Fuck That.

    reply to anna
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    What do I think of a man like that?
    The phrase "waste of skin." comes to mind but let's not be too harsh.
    Before you swagger away for the last time let him know that you understand why he's so insecure and resentful of women, but that you're sure he can transcend his own mediocrity if he really tries.
    He'll want you to explain, but instead tell him you'll be rooting for him. Then smile, wink and walk.
    Alex

    reply to alex
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    I try not to pay attention. Whoever they are if this is habitual, they're probably annoying a lot of others. I have always tacked it down to low maturity and self esteem.

    reply to John
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    Marguerite,

    A man who insults or demeans a woman is a real jerk, but a man who plays a snide comment as a joke is an insecure jerk who doesn’t deserve another moment of your time. There’s no defense for plain old rudeness, and trying to create one by claiming that you don’t understand is wildly insulting and pathetic. Next time this gent or anyone with such audacity throws a hurtful remark your way in the guise of all-in-good-fun, give them a mighty proverbial kick in the rear. The only jokes you should be dealing with are the kind that leave you laughing.

    reply to Lauren
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    Oh, Marguerite, I'm ashamed to admit this, but I actually dated a guy like that! In my defense, he was tall, dark, and handsome and spoke with a thick, French accent...but alas! Demeaning people is never funny, no matter how charming or handsome this 'comedian' may be. In my experience, I laughed first, teased him back second, then refused to be a sport-all of which in turn, made him become more and more of a jokester. Finally, I told him to go take his funny-man act to the stage and bade him goodbye. Bottom line: it doesn't matter what his motivation is, his jokes are mean and they won't stop. My advice is to save yourself the trouble of trying to figure it out and just say adios!

    reply to sheila
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    I don't waste my energy or time on someone who can't act like a decent human being. Nor should anyone.

    reply to Ali Q.
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    My great-grandmother used to cushion her biting remarks with “bless her soul.” For a moment I would forget that she just called anyone ugly as sin, as she followed up with a quick soul-blessing. But the truth is tacking “just kidding” on the end of a searing insult is cowardly, above all else.

    In her stand-up routine, Ellen DeGeneres addresses this irritating issue. Her response is to tell jokers who insist they are “just kidding” that they don’t know how to kid properly, because they should both be laughing. Try Ellen’s strategy next time someone is “just joking.” Giving them the definition of a true joke should clamp their hilarious mouths shut.

    reply to Emily
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    A taxi driver in Scotland once put me in my place and told me, the big wall st. executive, that "Sarcasem is the lowest form of humor", as he overheard me putting down my colleages in the back of his cab...

    That set me straight. Low class and grace and an absolute absence of an actual sense of humor could be the only characteristics of anyone who uses sarcasema and putdowns to either communicate or to entertain...

    reply to page
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    T.M. wrote: You're all a bunch of labia lickers. JUST KIDDING!!!

    Were you reading my diary?

    reply to John
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    Dear Page:

    How very true.

    I thank you for sharing it!

    There are men and women on this site who use crude remarks, degrading to women, as commentary, followed by "just kidding"
    as a get-out-of-being-held-accountable-free card.

    And if you speak out against it in any manner, you get sent a screaming, singing IDIOT card as a form intimidation, and chastising.

    Truth be told?

    I've never encountered women who are more informed, and intelligent, and open than here.

    But there are also those who show contempt for women, whenever uttering vulgarities as humor. And enablers who are quick to applaud, and defend it.

    The 19th century America poet, J.R. Lowell, once wrote :

    "A sneer is a weapon of the weak. There is more poison in the handle than the point."

    reply to Karma
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    I don't think much of a man like that.

    But I'm more interested in you, Marquerite. Do you spend a lot of time with that sort of fellow? If the answer is yes, then I'd say you need fixin' more than he does.

    reply to Marion
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    Dear Marguerite,
    When a person says demeaning things or try to put someone else down they are stating exactly what they feel. Also they can be harboring resentment toward that person and every chance they get they’ll make them feel bad. These people really don’t feel good about themselves and when they put their foot in their mouths they’ll say,
    ” Oh I was just kidding)
    This is a form of abuse and whoever this is happening to doesn’t have to deal with it.

    reply to Zuri
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    I try not to think of them at all.

    If you are hanging around a man like that you need to get a clue and dump this guy. He is a jerk whether 'he's just kidding' or not. He has to put down women to make himself feel better about himself? Please.

    The way I see it? You're on here asking for advice but judging from the way you wrote the question, you already know the answer.

    reply to Cathy
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    Dear Marguerite,

    "A man who derides and demeans a woman, then adds insult to injury by blaming her for not understanding he was only kidding" is a chauvanist with low self-esteem and Mommy Issues who aspires to one day become a misogynist. Bleeding you of your self confidence or trying to shake it is his way of exploiting the very little of his own.

    Unless you have strong credentials in the field of psychiatry, the patience of Mother Teresa and a Black Belt in Karate -- the best thing for you to do is to detach and distance yourself from this person because the more you say or do, the more this Emotional Vampire feeds and will eventually wear you down.

    Any one who conveniently plays the "Just Kidding" card needs to get a big fat "L" for LOSER on their forehead. If they can't own up then, you know what's going to happen later . . .

    reply to Gigi
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    What about women that emasculate men?

    Okay, fairs fair - sometimes we can give it as good as we get it. You can't scream for equality and just pick and choose the bits you like.

    The world is grey, messy and complicated. You can spend your days thinking how unjust it all is and bitching that it's not fair, or you can get off your butts and do something about it.

    My kids are being raised by a capable, strong woman that has proven she can do anything and isn't afraid to try. I don't take crap from men (hence the ex-husband) or women (hence ex-friends and estranged mother). Therefore I am raising to mini-men with a positive female role-model.

    What did you do today?

    reply to Juliet
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    People like that want to have their cake and eat it too.
    They want to make the nasty comment they feel entitled to make, then after they got their shot in, they claim it's a joke so they don't have to suffer any consequences for it. I believe the expression is do/say what you want, you can always apologize for it later.

    reply to Lorraine
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    Marguerite--

    Well, dear, I responded once. Some error occured. Lost my response. Hate when that happens. Now I have to try to recreate my advice and hope it's equal to, or better than my first attempt. Wish me luck.

    From your question, I don't have a lot of information. Is this a relationship you're in, or one a friend is in? Either way I believe my response would be the same. For the sake of my reply, let's say it's your "friend" in the situation, all right?

    There are self-confidence issues. The guy has low self esteem, and so does your friend. To openly mock someone--perhaps someone you claim to love--is wrong. It is just as wrong to let someone degrade you. No one deserves such treatment. Ever.

    Does that mean the relationship's over? Doesn't have to be. My first, best suggestion--if your friend feels there is something to be salvaged--would be to set up time to talk.

    (What? A man suggesting the sharing of feelings? Yepper. It's what I'm doing. Just out of a divorce after a fifteen year marriage, I've learned a thing or two. Too late to apply that knowledge to save my own hide, but never to late to share the wisdom acquired. See, I used to think the leading cause of divorce was marriage. I still might be right. But it is possible--just possible, mind you--that lack of communication tops the charts...think about that).

    You can learn a lot from talking things through. Who knew? Body language, and word-choice. Are they receptive to sit and talk? Anxious to talk? Sympathetic? Empathetic? Willing to change? Wanting to change? Or do they dismiss the idea with a grunted laugh and a wave of the hand?

    Love is a tough emotion to deal with. Makes no sense. Nothing logic about it. Therefore attempting to apply rules is often futile. But those that hand out abuse, and those that accept it are in danger. This kind of relationship is not only unhealthy, it is destructive.

    My advice, dear, if it can't be fixed through talking, it can't be fixed. I'm not one to walk away from anything, without first making sure I did all I could to repair what was wrong.

    But if something is broken, clearly totaled, why keep it?

    This make sense? I hope so.

    You take care, and tell your friend all I said. Perhaps it will help.

    reply to Phillip
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    Karma wrote: Dear Page: How very true. I thank you for sharing it! There are men and women on this site who use crude remarks, degrading to women, as commentary, followed by "just kidding" as a get-out-of-being-held-accountable-free card. And if you speak out against it in any manner, you get sent a screaming, singing IDIOT card as a form intimidation, and chastising. Truth be told? I've never encountered women who are more informed, and intelligent, and open than here. But there are also those who show contempt for women, whenever uttering vulgarities as humor. And enablers who are quick to applaud, and defend it. The 19th century America poet, J.R. Lowell, once wrote : "A sneer is a weapon of the weak. There is more poison in the handle than the point."

    I adore women. I especially adore the ones on this site. I love the diversity, the challenge from the power-houses and the (usual) respect and understanding shown by all.

    Every single one of us has good and bad days.

    We're all susceptible to saying the wrong things.

    But more often than not, what's said is not nearly as important as the motive behind it.

    You don't know me, but many here do, so when I say something that you interpret as degrading and mean, almost everyone else laughs because they know where i'm coming from and what I'm about.

    A final thought... welcome to Advice Vixens... this is just the beginning of your time here - I know regardless of your feelings towards me or anyone else, I'll thoroughly enjoy watching all of you "figure" this place out.

    OH and P.S. Men that degrade women have little dinks.

    True story.

    reply to T.M.
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    Okay, but seriously....

    Gregory Bateson, an anthropologist who studied communication and schizophrenia, coined the term "Double-Bind" to describe scenarios similar to the one described.

    It works with two primary injunctions that are posed to the victim:

    a. You will do X or you will be punished.

    b. You will do X because you want to do it.

    These statements are simultaneously logical and contradictory. In processing the two, the hapless recipient is perplexed, confused and very distressed.

    These injunctions can be actual verbal statements, be expressed non-verbally or any combination of the two.

    Like: You must be free to love me.

    Well if I am free to do something, why MUST I do it?

    What a mind-trip.

    These are potentially manipulative situations and can be very harmful. Unlike traditional dilemmas and mixed messages, it's very subtle.

    It bites you on the ankle when you're not looking.

    This is a very complex phenomenon, and is far more complicated than what I am describing here. These are just a few snippets to put in your bag of tricks....

    Now you know.




    reply to James
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    You can not control what someone says, you can only control who is talking to you.

    If you have confronted this person(s) and they have not changed their attitude towards your liking, then move on.

    Like the old saying says,'First time, shame on you, second time, shame on me!!'

    reply to Deanna
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    I love you all for your commentary, and think it's been very fine, indeed.

    This is me applauding.

    Here's the thing I've said several times during the course of this 80 entry and counting chat-a-thon.

    I wasn't speaking of ME and such a MAN in my life. Or, such a woman in my life.

    I posed a general question and asked your opinion.

    For some reason, that always translates into advice for the person asking the question, even when it's presented as a topic of discussion.

    AFTER I posed the question, I was exposed to 'sarcasm' that only served to prove the point, letting people expose themselves for whom they truly are.

    Because we are what we write -- and even when someone has the power to delete all evidence of that -- those seeking advice often copy and save what's written in word-processing, to refer back to if need be.

    Especially writers. Because there's always a good kennel for a story buried in opposing ideas, don't you think?

    But I digress.

    Is it because this is an ADVICE site that an automatic assumption is made about the person posing the question?

    If so, it means anyone posing a lot of questions is in seriously off balanced. And those posing none are in perfect harmony.

    D'ya think?


    reply to Karma
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    Great post Phillip.

    You're going to make some lady a fine catch.

    I guarantee it!


    reply to Karma
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    And women don't do catty things to one another and then palm it off as a joke? Or how about the backhanded compliments?

    Why the double standard?

    In fact women are far worse, they'll praise you to your face, then as soon as your back is turned, the claws come out and they rip you to shreds. Think about high school, where you work, female relatives and friends.

    Don't paint women as victims, especially when men witness what we do to each other on a daily basis (who do you bitch to when you get home from work?)

    If you can't take it, don't dish it out.

    reply to Juliet
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    By the way, ya'll do know T.M.Long is my new bff, right?

    She and I come from two generations of feminists that can sometimes clash.

    My OLD SCHOOL woman was in the battlefield for equal rights and had to, literally, take a stand and risk being fired in order to make certain women were not abused physically, or verbally in the workplace.

    I am a proud survivor of the 60's and 70's garment and advertising industries of NYC -- and anyone who has ever worked as an executive in those former all boys clubs knows, we women who broke those glass ceilings set a standard of conduct and drew a line, and we did NOT back down when we felt doing so meant stepping backwards.

    In fact, we didn't bother with the nose.

    We'd bite off our whole damn heads if we had to in an effort to protect what we felt was the dignity of women.

    Oh-h-h the neckaches. The morning afters ...

    YIKES!


    reply to Karma
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    Going to work right now, but can't wait to answer this question later!

    reply to Kent
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    I wasn't referring to any drama going on in here, and I wasn't asking for your resume. My beef was with your OP.

    Why put the gender references in your OP?

    Being cruel is a personality trait not restricted to any particular gender.

    The war for equality isn't over, and we're never going to win it unless women show men how we should be treated - as equals - buy treating other women with the respect and compassion we expect from them.

    It also means we're going to have to stop blaming men for our lot in life and take responsibility for our own choices and actions as individuals. If anything today should be the perfect day to realise that.

    reply to Juliet
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    Dear Juliet,

    If you scroll up to me original question, you'll see I clearly asked: ... a man ... OR ANYONE, thereby opening it up for discussion of women being guilty of this, too.

    Ok?

    Ok!


    reply to Karma
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    ^^^^^^^^
    Jaso
    Every little trick has been done already.

    reply to Keka
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    Keka wrote: ^^^^^^^^ Jaso Every little trick has been done already.

    Keka, you hot mama, what a breath of fresh air on this tired thread.

    reply to ehvwon
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    I did read it. I assumed that someone of your age, wisdom, intelligence and experience would know better than to make inflammatory statements about issues like this, which is precisely what

    "What do you think of a man who derides and demeans a woman, then adds insult to injury by blaming her for not understanding he was only kidding?"

    is.

    Yes you watered it down, by adding

    "Or, anyone that uses putdowns for commentary and then plays the "only kidding" or "you don't understand" card as his/her defense?"

    which indicates to me that you did know better. I believe it was you that made a thread questioning our perceived state of equality (correct me if I'm wrong) and had much to say on the topic. So forgive me for being puzzled at such a lapse in perception.

    Edit: 2am here, I look forward to reading this thread at a reasonable hour.

    reply to Juliet
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    Sarcasm is the most subtle and biting form of anger. If he follows his statements with "just kidding", he is actually aiming to harm the person that he has just insulted. When you answer sarcastically, you may actually be harboring some type of resentment for the person. The best advice for this guy is to look at why he feels he needs to be so hurtful.

    reply to Yali
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    There has already been much written concerning "why" a person is that way so I'll just move on;)

    Sounds to me like the person is intentionally demeaning...If you don't have to be around this type of deriding mentality...eliminate that person from your life like a case of Thanksgiving salmonella!

    I luv a good sense of humor (need more of it in this world) but...never "at" the expense of injuring someone's spirit...unless they just robbed me...then I don't give a rip:)

    If you have to be around them, like in a work environment, communication works good...confront them!

    reply to RockinGoldenGirl
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    You're not by any chance the ex-wife of John McCain or Ron Paul? Wrong forum?

    A man that uses those methods to communicate with a woman (and by woman I mean one who is not a construction worker or trial lawyer) is simply immature, idolizes Bill O' Reilly, and wants to provoke.

    He needs to be schooled. Fight back with cleverness and without also demeaning him. If you are pleasantly surprised by the response, kiss and make up (and much more), or school him just before handing him a piece of lingerie and walk away for good.

    Another aspect is why would a woman continue to go out with a man or continue to choose men that are demeaning should also be of concern.

    reply to Jaso
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    Marguerite - Yes. This is an advice website and the assumption is that people pose questions asking for advice, not just looking for general commentary on questions whose only viable answer would be "I think that man is probably a jerk" (or some such variation).

    reply to anne
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    Usually people who put others down for laughs are insecure, and that level of insecurity is not easy to fix. These kinds of people are funny if you're an outsider when you only hear one or two "jokes" of theirs, but I wouldn't want to be in a relationship with someone so pathetic that all of their jokes depend on insulting someone.

    reply to Kelly
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    I strongly suggest to all posters to try and understand what the site is about!!

    Yes it is an advice site, but it is also a dialog spot, and there are plenty of hypothetical questions, plenty of humor oriented questions.

    Assuming about the poster is annoying at least (not that the OP hasn't done it, but that doesn't matter). Please do us all a favor and try to read and understand a thread instead of just jumping in. This sh*t is just getting too phony.

    reply to Keka
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    Karma wrote: AGAIN PLEASE NOTE: This guy NEVER existed in my life (before today). But s/he very definitely exists in many women's lives. So the question was posted: "What do you think of a man ... or ANYONE who ... " says something offensive and then covers up by saying "just kidding." I think I've proven, turning the tables doesn't work. There are too many enablers of bad behavior that, in my estimation, includes crude language no woman should have to ignore when directed at her from any man, or any woman. Not everyone agrees. But enough do.

    Whew! I do love a good virtual catfight before breakfast. As if last night wasn't plenty exciting enough.

    Let's take an example from our new President-elect. Remember how, when McCain kept trying to bait him and piss him off with crazy sh*t about colluding with terrorists and having an aunt who was an illegal...et cetera? He barely dignified those comments with a response.

    Nothing anyone writes about you, no verbal slight real or imagined, is really about you, Marguerite. Let it go. Like water off a duck's back. How does anyone's nasty comment reflect who you are - whether it was intentional or not? You could really work yourself into a lather with self-righteous anger over something that had absolutely nothing to do with you.

    No one can abuse you without your permission.


    reply to Melissa Lynn
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    This is quite the thread, Ladies. I have reviewed the original post, the issue of whether or not T.M. is a man(Confirmed as a NO), and finished up with the summary of what an advice website is all about. There is so much to cover! I think we should all stick together when it comes to clear communication as well as general support amongst us gals and all other peeps. As a sidenote, I would like to thank you all for giving me something much more productive to do online than update my Facebook, "What are you doing?" section. As for men who degrade women (or those women who degrade men - my friend's sister smacks her BF)....... Clear the clutter from your life. Toxic people look to infect others and spread the misery.

    reply to Liz
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    The dude sounds like a real dirt bag. No one has the right to put another person down and then use the "only kidding" excuse when they are called on it. Sounds like this person has an inferiority complex / insecurity issues. Either give him a dose of his own medicine and see how much he likes it or just simply make it clear that you will not accept this type of behavior next time it happens. If it doesn't change, cut him loose.

    reply to Otisol
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    Dear LIZ,

    AND ALL YOU OTHER LADIES & GENTLEMEN, VIXENS & WOLVERINES --
    you pay tribute to us all.

    I salute you.

    As for a hypothetical vs. personal problem, I think this chat-along has proven many people have something to vent on the issue, even if it agrees (or disagrees) with someone else's vent.

    That makes this question vicariously asked by and for us all, and deserves to be answered by everyone who has that thorn in his/her respective anxiety closets.

    I meant it about T.M.Long being my new bff (am not claiming vice versa).

    We took issue with each other and survived to show respect for the other person, if not the others point of view.

    Call it cat fighting.

    Call it bitching.

    Call it debate.

    Call it freedom of speech.

    Whichever.

    Or all.

    More harm is done to one when feelings are suppressed, than when expressed.

    This is what I'm thinking.

    She's got courage. She's got conviction. She signs her name, and shows her face. She's got gusto.

    That adds up to character.

    I like that in a woman!

    And, no, for those who can't wait to type otherwise whenever a compliment is extended, (and, yes, that was a compliment), this is not a kiss-up.

    Make-up? Yes.

    But always as foundation; never as lipstick.

    reply to Karma
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    Stephen wrote: I think the two scenarios you described are slightly different. In the first scenario, you've described someone who 'demeans,' 'derides,' 'insults,' and 'blames.' In the second scenario, you describe someone who merely uses 'put downs as commentary' and 'defends' them as jokes. From the tenor of your query, it appears that you have drawn the conclusion that both of these people are wrong, and everyone is jumping on the bandwagon. I think there are distinctions that can be drawn, and everything has perspective. If there is a misogynist, then that's that. No redemption. He has cast his lot, and can be roundly despised. If however, the individual suffers from some personality defect, which manifests itself as an affirmative defense mechanism, where he protects himself/herself, but lobbing the first shot over the bow, then perhaps, he/she is not so ill-intended. I know lots of people who were teased growing up, and as a result, formed a hard exterior, where they would, in fact, engage in 'good-natured' teasing of others (without the intent to injure). If they were called on it, they would in fact, be remorseful (if they injured someone else's feelings), but it was how they handled social settings. Even the villain you've described in the initial scenario may simply be playing out things he witnessed growing up. If such a person never received counseling, and is merely parroting behavior he witnessed as a youth, what type of people are we to judge him? Not to say that I'm condoning his behavior, but anyone acting like that is clearly damaged goods and probably needs help. Or both of the types of people you've described could be assholes, and not worth wasting your time on. I don't know how much utility you're going to get from posing a question where the answer seems pretty cut-and-dry.

    I agree Stephen about the teasig part. I've never heard it broken down that way. My husand does that and as you noted, he means no ill intent. I would take this so personal but thanks for clarifying that, that's just the social setting he was raised in. I took it as fighting words but I don't think it was~
    Thanks~ Kaylee -The Go to Girl

    reply to KAYLEE: YOUR GO TO GIRL
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    So you've met my ex-husband! Vixens, many a truth is spoken in jest. When a man uses put-downs and makes you the butt of his jokes, it's not funny. It's passive aggressive. It's cruel. It hurts. If a man is playing the "I was just KIDDING" game with you, you must make it clear to him, in no uncertain terms, that it is unacceptable behavior. Tell him how it makes you feel. Tell him you will leave him if he continues it. Period. If he's stupid enough to keep it up, run for the nearest exit. Just make sure you leave a note that says: I wasn't kidding.

    reply to Donna
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    Mary wrote: I'm with Linda, don't waste your time thinking about men like this. In fact, more women should cut back on thoughts of men in general, even the good ones. They won't even notice that you've taken time off from wiping their boots, chins, asses, etc., to finish your novel.

    GOOD POINT MARY! IF I TOOK THAT ADVICE MY WHOLE LIFE WOULD CHANGE! THANKS-
    KAYLEE-YOUR GO TO GIRL

    reply to KAYLEE: YOUR GO TO GIRL
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    The man probably has no idea where the line is. He's pressing buttons and when he sees he's overstepped some boundary, he instantly retracts his statement. The "Just kidding" line is very elementary school. It's a method of wiping the board clean when they say something offensive.
    In reality, the man who parlays such obsequiousness is saying what's really on his mind. He's being truthful in his response and when it doesn't get the reaction he was waiting for, he's back to square one.
    You do understand. He knows that, but doesn't like it. Stay away.

    reply to Jourdan
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    Passive aggressive if not completely aggressive behavior indeed. It sounds like this guy has some serious issues with women that he is not able to admit or come to terms with. There is something to be said about the old adage 'there is truth in every joke'. To me this is lazy humor and a way for him to get out his frustrations without really confronting the issue. Why condone this behavior?

    reply to leslie
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    This question is slightly more complicated than it seems.

    Please note, that I in no way intend to disregard your feelings.

    People, not just men, often joke to mask insecurity, test the water on uncomfortable subjects, or in an effort to break some form of awkwardness. It's possible, that the man in question was trying to say something he was scared to say, and covered it with a joke.

    However, your description of his words make them sound fairly harsh and out of the realm of constructive. When confronting a situation like this, I find it's best to avoid verbal "attacks" and stick to questions.

    Ask him why he says those things, if he knows they hurt your feelings. If he responds by repeating his "I'm just kidding" bit, repeat the question with more detail. If you know that could hurt my feelings, why do you joke about it?

    That's a good way of letting him know that he's hurting you and finding out the reason it happens. If he has nothing more than: "You're just too sensitive", then he's probably not the kind of person you want to continue spending time with.

    With any issue in communication and hurt feelings it becomes easy to view the other person as a villain. It's important to keep that in check and remember that they have feelings too, and their insensitivity may be coming from somewhere. However, it's also possible that the guy is a jerk, in which case you should leave him at the curb.

    reply to Dann
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    Man or woman---I simply can't stand people who do that. I'm with some other people on this thread. Give him a dose of his own medicine.

    reply to Thomas
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    Distance is the best option. The problem with a person like that is, to continue to feel powerful and in control (and this is all it's about), they will ratchet up the behavior. I'm not saying it will get physical (although it is an option) but it will continue unabated until you make a choice.

    "It's just a joke!" "I'm just kidding." "Can't you take a joke?" Is all about putting their behavior on you.

    "It's not my fault I called you a name, you just don't get my true intent. Which is to help you."

    Rings a little hollow the ninetieth time, huh?

    Don't play into the game, get out of it.

    Don't believe for a moment it's for your benefit. Benefits are good things. Are you feeling good or do you think he is?

    reply to Chris
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    From the description you have given, I would let him know that he is hurting you. If he is unresponsive, I would contemplate how you can avoid this man at all times. I will also say that you should tell people what he is saying and see how a majority of people react to it. It all depends on what he said. If he said, "You are a dumb ho bag and Hillary Clinton can't be President because she bleeds once a month," then he is obviously an idiot trying to cover up his sexism with "I'm just kidding." If he said "Why'd the chicken cross the road? To vote for women's rights you dumb ho bag," then he was probably just kidding. It's hard to give advice when he might actually be funny and telling jokes that might go beyond your comprehension, which in itself is technically demeaning. I will give you the benefit of the doubt, but I implore you to tell us and others what he says to you. Only then can we give you justified advice.

    reply to Kevin
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    As a female blogger in the political blogsphere, I get hit with that misogynistic crap all the time. I just ignore it and freeze the person out. They don't deserve my time.

    reply to Wendy
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    I would call that person a jerk and a bully. They need to either say what they really want to say and have the courage to stand behind their statement. Or don't say it at all.

    It is possible that they do not know how they are coming off. Either way I would calmly tell them how their comments are effecting you. We can all share our opinions without disrespecting each other.

    reply to Francine
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    Men employ two kinds of strategies to get women to love them:

    1. Make women feel great about them selves so that they feel worthy of their love.
    2. Make women feel terrible about them selves so that they feel worthy of their love.

    Certain men know that they are very low on the totem poll. They know that they don’t have much to offer. So they’re forced to employ strategy number 1. They must bring your self-esteem down to their level.

    On the other hand, guys who do have much to offer, who know that they’re a real find, who aren’t creepazoids, employ strategy number 2.

    It’s the ultimate test of character: Does he build you up or tear you down? If he tears you down, even under the disguise of kidding, he’s just hiding his true nature. His loser-ly ways have been revealed.

    So go kick him in the teeth. He deserves it. And he knows that he deserves it.

    And if he’s litigious, hire a lawyer.

    reply to Wade
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    I mean c'mon. A guy knows when he's crossing the line and when he's not. Is he showing off in front of family? friends? strangers?

    I guess maybe once MAYBE maayyybe twice you can use the just kidding card. Because, sometimes you really are just kidding, but the next words should be..I want to stay married to you (just kidding) or I think this relationship is going somewhere (just kidding)

    reply to Rudy
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    I HATE when people do that. They use "Just kidding" to say awful things. That SUCKS. Just say what you mean and don't be a bitch! This hits close to home for me because my last boyfriend was like that. He would say something annoying and or horrible, and I would say "Gee, that's a bit hostile" to which he would reply "No it isn't." *Oh good! Thanks for clearing that up for me! * Christ.

    So yeah, if you are talking about a specific guy, that guy is a tool.

    reply to Kent
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    So many guys read all these stupid dating books written by men who think that being mean is a turn-on. What they don't realize is that being mean just MEANS you're an ass.

    I have a guy friend who actually thinks that women want to be made fun of all the time...because he read that somewhere!

    The only way we can change the dating game is by changing the dating game. Tell these guys the truth... that we want to be respected and deservingly so.

    This "I'm kidding" bullshit might work with the guys, but not with the Vixens!

    reply to Suzanne
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    I find that anyone who uses the "just joking" line, suffers from low self esteem, has problems making friends, and are looking for attention. However, I find this approach offensive.

    reply to Jackie
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    I think a man like that is one of the following:

    1. A total loser who is one bad joke away from getting cussed out

    2. A total loser who has fantasies about getting castrated by a motley crew of bra-burning women.

    Seriously, I think that people pick their targets. People with intentions to ridicule others know EXACTLY what buttons to push. Every situation is different but if the buttons are disengaged then the insults may stop. If not, then maybe the offensive party needs to get cussed the bleep out

    reply to Dina
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    What if we were to say to a guy, "Oh you have small feet..? Guess that means you have a small dick. Oh, sorry, just kidding!"

    reply to Suzanne
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    We are nearing the 130ish mark here on comments -- maybe we've past it?

    For that reason I hope EJean is still tuning in now and then.

    Because it suggests to me, there's been too many walking wounded out there -- people who have been a target of this brand of humor, suffering it in silence -- perhaps neglecting to speak up in fear of becoming its bull's-eye.

    When this topic generates this kind of response in this forum, I can only imagine the kind of discourse it might bring in a medium with an even larger readership.

    I've found, when you start a war of words over a topic that might turn off the very people you hope to influence, you take a risk of alienation, and rejection.

    Even betrayal. And contempt.

    But to discover all you Vixens and Wolverines who have endured this, perhaps without an outlet to take a stand en masse before now?

    It was WAY worth the risk. And any loss incurred.

    This is me applauding all of you.

    And, thanks.

    BIG time.

    reply to Karma
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    I think the man has unresolved issues from childhood and it's his way of getting positive attention (by being the joker) and using you as his joke "material" hence, you then are percieved as getting the negative attention. A person like this is very insecure and perhaps even Narcissistic, Borderline Personality (BPD) or of many other personality disorders.

    chris

    reply to christina
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    Oh, this is textbook! He's passive agressive. First he jabs, then he mollifies. He's too afraid to shoot straight, and too insensitive to realize how much it hurts.

    Ask him if he thinks jokes about his hairline, love handles or other perceived "imperfections" would be funny. Regardless of his answer, homeboy needs to learn to tread lightly. He will benefit, as he'll better enjoy a relationship with a girl who has confidence and feels lifted up. After all, what's the point of being together if he's not on your team?

    reply to fayeruz
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    Karma wrote: We are nearing the 130ish mark here on comments -- maybe we've past it? For that reason I hope EJean is still tuning in now and then. Because it suggests to me, there's been too many walking wounded out there -- people who have been a target of this brand of humor, suffering it in silence -- perhaps neglecting to speak up in fear of becoming its bull's-eye. When this topic generates this kind of response in this forum, I can only imagine the kind of discourse it might bring in a medium with an even larger readership. I've found, when you start a war of words over a topic that might turn off the very people you hope to influence, you take a risk of alienation, and rejection. Even betrayal. And contempt. But to discover all you Vixens and Wolverines who have endured this, perhaps without an outlet to take a stand en masse before now? It was WAY worth the risk. And any loss incurred. This is me applauding all of you. And, thanks. BIG time.

    This is me bowing to your applause!

    reply to fayeruz
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    In short, if this is someone who does this habitually, he's (so cliche I know) covering for the fact that he has a low opinion of himself. Using humor to express makes the message easier to send -- and sometimes receive -- unless you see through it, or in your case, if using humor creates an excuse to hurt while creating the back door of "I was only kidding!"

    He's not only suffering from a low self esteem, he has a hard time seeing the value in those he loves, a classic disease of those who haven't delved into themselves to see what's going on in there.

    What to do? Simple. Tell him you don't appreciate his sentiments regardless of what form they come out (funny, serious, or otherwise) and let him know that if he wants to really have a discourse about what's troubling him and/or your relationship you're there -- but not there to take the bullshit.
    Good luck!

    reply to Janie
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    Rue wrote: First word that comes to mind? Coward. Next word: Insecure. Final word: Abuse. Abuse not only being a physical term; but also emotional, mental, financial, and sexual.

    Word to Rue!

    reply to fayeruz
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    Which is worst? Alienation or humiliation? Frankly anyone who decides in their mind that I am to be downgraded by them so they can feel better about themselves need to be alienated. If not, then abuse continues. It is a personal decision and demanding respect can feel uncomfortable because it should be a given to not demean or deride folks.

    It is not a matter of influencing others, it is a matter of "I will not allow you to do this to me".

    reply to Dina
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    Karma wrote: Great post Phillip. You're going to make some lady a fine catch. I guarantee it!

    Marguerite,

    Thanks :-)


    reply to Phillip
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    I'm going to go with "sad little man syndrome". Men make these degrading comments looking for a reaction. Some sad female probably politely laughed at his classless bum comment that might've been funny in 1985. The reality is that you don't take the nonsense. Whether this is their pathetic means of flirting, or a means of exerting frustration over the opposite sex, it's simply unacceptable. They're probably searching for the right bar wench to keep refilling their beer cozy. Just say no.

    reply to Kaitlin
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    I'm going to go with "sad little man syndrome". Men make these degrading comments looking for a reaction. Some sad female probably politely laughed at his classless bum comment that might've been funny in 1985. The reality is that you don't take the nonsense. Whether this is their pathetic means of flirting, or a means of exerting frustration over the opposite sex, it's simply unacceptable. They're probably searching for the right bar wench to keep refilling their beer cozy. Just say no.

    reply to Kaitlin
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    BLAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

    reply to Bella
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    Someone like that is someone to avoid. Best to find a companion whose jokes are actually funny (and whose barbs are few and far between).

    reply to Heather
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    That is the cowardly way to insult something. First, he shouldn't be insulting anyone, especially a coworker. But if he is going to deliver a dig, he needs to man up and own up to it. Using excuses like "I was kidding" or "Where's your sense of humor?" are just his way of not taking responsibility for his rudeness. It's unacceptable. Don't ever let someone make you feel like you are being too sensitive. If something hurt you, it hurt you and that is real. Tell this guy off next time or just ignore him and never give him an opportunity to do this to you again. Life's too short for cowardly jerks.

    reply to Carrie
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    People who put others down, whether male or female, should always be avoided. These people have little to no self worth, and use insults as a way to make themselves feel better. As cliche as that sounds, it is very true. This type of person is very unhappy in his life. What he doesn't realize is that insulting others only makes him feel worse about himself in the long run. I would say someone who tries to say he was kidding is using that excuse as an easy way out once he has realized he has actually hurt someone. He goes into defensive mode in order to save face, and make himself look less horrible than he is.

    Personally, I have done my best to avoid this type of person at all cost. Not only are the put downs annoying, but I often end up feeling bad for them. It is much better to surround yourself with secure, kind people who will encourage you to become a better person.

    reply to Danielle
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    This was long and boring better catfights here in AV over better topics. Gonna sleep now.

    reply to Chia
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    Marianna writes:
    This was long and boring better catfights here in AV over better topics. Gonna sleep now.
    ********
    With all due respect MzMarianna, most of the 140+ posts here indicate it was an important topic, worthy of discussion.

    To dismiss their feelings as boring demonstrates a lack of empathy.

    reply to Karma
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    Thanks for all of your responses, Marguerite. Just as a sidenote, I still stick to my answer whether this person exists in your life or not. As someone above said, it's impossible to control others' actions. I prefer not to judge people, just my reaction to them. Thanks again for the interesting post!

    reply to Nancy
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    Kudos Marguerite. I couldn't agree more. That was just rude.

    reply to Carrie
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    Dear Nancy,

    This post took on a life of it's own. I had no idea there were so many walking wounded out there.

    Truly, I do not have such a person in my life. It happened to me just once, and recently, and I was appalled. Nipped it in the bud, and then wondered if I had over reacted.

    From these posts I would say ... NOT.

    Thanks for checking back.

    kisskiss


    reply to Karma
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