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On a personal and emotional level, I agree with you: once I learn it's a misunderstanding and no harm was intended, I often stop feeling angry.

Even if I'm no longer angry per se some hard feelings may remain. I have dealt with men & women from very conservative backgrounds who honestly and with great love believe I should not do what I do for a living, because it involves public speaking and evaluation of some men, which they believe violates 1 Timothy 2:12. I disagree and I need to remain steeled against the unpleasantness this brings up, even if we are friendly -- it's in this sense that I mean "hard" feelings.

And then I do agree entirely that good intentions don't lessen impacts on victims. The folks who don't want me to teach have good intentions, measured one way, and that's not really relevant. The folks who tell girls not to take AP calc because it's too hard and they won't need it have ~good intentions, but that's irrelevant. The folks who think I'll naturally be nurturing and try to give me some cuddly job with young children have good intentions but they're scarring me and the kids for life. The folks who pass over a woman for a promotion because they think she should focus on her family have good intentions, but she's out the cash and the accrued interest and career advancement for the rest of her life.

You're thinking about how we deal emotionally with good intentions, while the above poster is thinking about the money that's gone, the job that disappeared, the promotion that didn't happen, the mortgage whose interest rate was 2 percentage points higher.




I think the relevant difference here is "intended meaning" vs. "intended/assumed values". Understanding the other's intentions resolves the problem when you interpreted what they said differently than what they intended you to understand - it's essentially a communication failure. Understanding that someone considers chopping your limbs off a kind thing to do, though, does not change anything about the fact that you would probably consider that to be more at the evil end of the spectrum--all it might do would be to shift your anger from their specific action to their general stupidity for not recognizing that people obviously do express that they do feel hurt when you chop their limbs off.


> I have dealt with men & women from very conservative backgrounds who honestly and with great love believe I should not do what I do for a living, because it involves public speaking and evaluation of some men, which they believe violates 1 Timothy 2:12.

Every time I think I have a handle on how crazy people are, boom, a trap door opens. I'm sorry that you have to deal with nonsense like that. But I appreciate you mentioning it.




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