Friday, June 7, 2013

Dear ESB (from a harassed bride yay)


Dear ESB,

I'm in a shitty social situation. My fiance is very friendly with lots of people from his work, and we end up hanging out with various coworkers at least monthly. I've known most of these people for a few years now.

A month ago, we were out at a bar. My fiance was talking to one cluster of people while I was with another -- which consisted of two couples, one being two acquaintances of mine, the other, a coworker (let's call him Z) and his girlfriend.

We were shooting the shit, when I mentioned this odd fact that I've been in a few family bridal parties recently, while my fiance was not, despite these weddings being on his side. Z, who may have been drunk (I couldn't quite tell), immediately responds with, "Well yeah, look at you: You're stacked! [My fiance] not so much, but who wouldn't want you in their pictures?" Z then continued to laugh with the other dude in the group about my body. 

I obviously told my fiance, who was fucking horrified. We haven't talked to them since, but avoiding them forever is inevitable. We were going to invite them to our wedding, but we obviously don't want to anymore. Z has since invited us to a few intimate social events so I'm not sure he understands that his "joke" was not acceptable.

What do we do? Do I need to lighten up? Can we just passive aggressively not invite them? Does my fiance have to confront Z? For what it's worth, Z's girlfriend is super great.

Thanks for your advice.

*****

I know I'm about to get shit for this, but: Lighten up.

If this is the ONE TIME this guy has said anything offensive to you, chalk it up to too many beers and let it go.

If it happens again, however, don't let him off the hook. Tell him "That's not how you talk to a lady." (And then you can cross him off the list.)


Elina Mitrofanova by Tatiana Leshkina for Spleen via coup de foudre

91 comments:

  1. Noooo, esb!

    Tell this guy that his comment was creepy and inappropriate. If he responds appropriately (recognizes his shittiness and apologizes) then he can come to your wedding (if you want him to). If he gets defensive and continues to be a dick, then he doesn't get an invite.

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    1. I'm anonymous a few comments down, but I actually prefer this plan to my own, because it's more upfront and adult. Good advice!

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    2. I completely agree with this plan of action. People should be called on being creepy and inappropriate.

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    3. This is the most reasonable and conscientious response in the comments section. Yes, yes, yes, Ms. K. THISSSSSSSSS.

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  2. I agree with ESB on this one. I would hate it if one inappropriate joke that I told defined me. We have all had foot-in-mouth situations before. If you thought this guy was generally a nice guy before, it was likely just a bad, tasteless, one-off joke. If he does it again, different story.

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  3. I'm with ESB. You said yourself he might've been drunk. I'd let it go and see if anything similar happens again, at which point you promptly address it. I think it's kind of unfair at this point to bring it to his attention as you've been avoiding him for a while. If he was drunk, he probably has no memory of it at all!

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  4. Also, inevitable. In the words of Inigo Montoya, “You keep using that word, I do not think it means what you think it means.”

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  5. I don't think this gets a pass. I mean, if that guy was aware of his shitty joke and it was a foot-in-mouth situation, wouldn't he have apologized? And if he knew it was inappropriate but felt too embarrassed to apologize, that's also really shitty because it's so cowardly. And I don't buy the no-memory theory, because even if he was blackout drunk (which is a little more extreme than your shooting-the-shit-at-the-bar scenario sounded to me) his fiance probably remembers it! You don't need to confront him about it unless it'll make you feel better, but if he's your fiance's coworker, can't you two just keep him at arm's length? Same with a wedding invitation, definitely don't invite the creeper who made you feel uncomfortable.

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    1. Or there's the distinct possibility he didn't find it shitty at all? Not all men are closeted feminists. I never thought I'd be defending the guy, but I agree with a poster above: I'd be MORTIFIED to learn someone had been stewing over ONE off the cuff remark I made, and then wrote me off because of it.

      I'm not sure if this has been asked: what was your relationship with this couple like, before? Does he have a history of saying things like this?

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    2. Totally agree with Kelly B, I've said some super awkward things in my day and if I found out someone had been stewing over it for months I'd be embarrassed and also hurt that this person took it seriously enough to cut me off but not seriously enough to comment the next day, "Hey, that sucked. I know you meant it as a joke, but that's not my sense of humor." I'd say take a good hard look at your relationship with this couple as a whole and decide if you can brush this off or not and what you think their role in your future life will be. There are plenty of people I enjoy grabbing a beer with now and than and who I think are awesome but aren't invited to my wedding because I don't see us staying in touch over the course of our lives.

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  6. Agreed. As I was reading, waiting for the problem, it was like 'seriously, that's what you were building up to?!' Dude was drunk, probably thought he was giving you a compliment and failing at being as funny as he most likely thought. Get over it and if it happens again, quit hanging out with him.

    Kate

    www.thrillofthechaise.com

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    1. My thoughts were the same as Kate's. If he had replaced "stacked" with "beautiful" would you still be insulted? Because to a guy those two words are quite easily synonymous. Maybe it's my white-trash upbringing, but I would be less insulted by someone saying that to me after a few drinks (honestly, I'd have laughed and said something in agreement) than by someone so completely messing up the meaning of the word inevitable.

      This said, I'm most insulted by Kate's shameless advertising of her website.

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    2. I know that Kate is definitely not invited to my wedding because of her constant shilling.

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    3. I tried to train blogger that Kate is spam, but no go. JUST IGNORE HER

      Delete
  7. I cannot BELIEVE the bullshit straight women expect to put up with. This guy was a complete douche nozzle. I would not spend time with someone who said that unless I got a sincere and embarrassed apology. That said, I don't think it's your fiancé's job to call him out. He should back you up, but you are not his property to be defended.

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    1. hm, i'm not sure i agree here. she doesn't have to put up with it. if it pissed her off so bad, she could have said something by now. and let's be honest, women can be just as offensive as men... i don't think being straight or gay really has anything to do with it.

      i have to agree with anon 7:04 up above, and i most definitely did not have a white trash upbringing. alternately, had a woman made that comment to her (and that very well could have happened), she probably would have laughed and not even thought twice about it. if we want equal playing field with men, then we need to act like it.

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    2. Here are all these women telling her that it's no big deal for some dude to comment on her tits and laugh about her body with his buddy.

      Gender equality doesn't mean a comment's the same no matter who makes it. Context and inequality still exist.

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    3. Seriously, Celia? Silently accepting men sexualizing us all the time is part of an equal playing field? Comments like that from a straight man versus a woman are NOT the same. And we all know how hard it is to actually speak up against shit like this. We're socialized our whole lives to just silently accept it and not call men out. The OP should not be criticized here for not calling him out immediately, or even the next day. We all know how hard that is to do.

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    4. maybe i just don't find those comments so offensive. and personally, i think if you are the type to get easily hurt, then it is your responsibility to speak up. "hey, that wasn't cool with me" really shouldn't be too hard to say. ESPECIALLY, when it's someone whose company you're familiar with. why exactly would it be hard? because he's a man? because she's embarrassed by what he said? not confronting someone who pisses you off because it's "hard" isn't really the best way to handle conflict. it's probably even HARDER that this is bugging her so much. bottling up your opinions and emotions is pretty much the opposite of healthy. and those comments coming from other women are not the same because we MAKE them not the same.

      and, please. women sexualize men ALL the time. if i had a dollar for every time i heard a woman mention penis size and rag on men who don't exactly have an ample bulge (and in front of men, even), i'd be one very rich lady. personally, i'd rather have some guy comment on the size of my tits than the tightness of my vagina.

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    5. I'm all for her confronting him, but I could do without the criticism of her for not doing it immediately. Women are constantly socialized to put other people's needs first, not make a scene, etc. It's not always easy to be like DUDE THAT'S F*CKED UP.

      Speaking of which, I can imagine someone making that kind of comment in a friendly, mutual kind of way. That's not what this story sounds like to me. It sounds like two dudes high-fiving each other about an acquaintance's tits. (ftr I do NOT hear women doing the same, would be pissed to hear friends doing that, and still think it's different because of history, patriarchy, inequality.)

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    6. Anon 10:46 and Mary Anne said what I thought of when I read Celia's first comment. I would just add that comments made by women and men are not the same, the same way "reverse racism" is not the same as racism. Power differentials matter, even if we don't want to admit them because they make use feel less powerful. But yes, I'm all for grabbing that power back whenever we can. So speak up or let it go.

      How many other women have let comments from this guy slide, and so he'll never learn that you can flatter a woman with more sophistication than 'you're stacked'?

      I find more than the mention of her boobs offensive--that's just inarticulate and crass; it's the implication that her looks are her highest value and the only explanation for her inclusion in a wedding party. That is objectification, full stop.

      And no, I've never heard women talk about a man's bulge in front of a man in full seriousness.

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    7. Easier said than done to say something right away....I have the tendency to speak up when someone says something that's not cool, and often times people are super-defensive after putting their foot in their mouth, like Z did. In situations like this, gaslighting often follows..."calm down", "don't be so uptight", "I was just joking, it's no big deal." And we learn over time to just STFU pretty quickly because nobody wants to be thought of as frigid or uptight...

      Her feelings are valid. I'm sure many of you have read this:
      (ugly link to follow, be warned)

      http://thecurrentconscience.com/blog/2011/09/12/a-message-to-women-from-a-man-you-are-not-%E2%80%9Ccrazy%E2%80%9D/

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  8. If it were my group of friends, I probably would have thought it was guy-on-guy ribbing where he's trying to insult your fiance as guy friends do. I guess it depends on how close you are and whether these type of friendly insults/inappropriate comments go back and forth a lot. In any case, it's probably worth the benefit of the doubt unless it continues (or if you decide to confront him about it and he is a dick about it).

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  9. I'm with ESB on this one. I don't see the problem here. Maybe that's because 3 out of 4 of my best friends are guys. If I didn't invite anyone who had ever been an asshole while drunk, I would have no one at my wedding. If you don't like this guys in general, that's another story.

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    1. Agreed, including myself. You get drunk and say stupid things. If you just plain don't like him, then don't invite him. Easy as that.

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    2. Totally agree with E. I had to Urban Dictionary "stacked" to make sure everyone is understanding it the same as I do.

      You guys were at a bar so I'm assuming everyone was drinking. It was a joking comment, made in front of his girlfriend no less! If he continued to laugh with the other guy about your body, why not just get up with a, "Riiiiight. You're a pig, I'm going to move over there now." Guarantee he would have laughed his ass off because he was just joking around and having a good time.

      I'm actually blown away by how everyone is reacting to this. If it does it again, stop him before he's even done with his comment and tell him you don't want to hear it. Stand up for yourself if you're offended.

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    3. "Stand up for yourself if you're offended" - word UP.

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    4. Yes! Passively never speaking to him again doesn't teach him anything and it clearly doesn't fix your problem. Next time someone is doing something you think might cause you hours of over analyzing and distract you from the awesomeness of planning a wedding tell him to knock it off!

      Delete
  10. The wordsmith part of me cannot get past your inappropriate use of the word inevitable.
    That is more inappropriate than Z's drunken comment.

    BTW, get over yourself. Like Anon 7:04 up above said, "stacked" and beautiful are synonyms to most guys...ESPECIALLY drunk ones.

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    1. I cannot get over how many people urge the OP to refrain from judging that grossly offensive asshat dude too harshly... while judging her SUPER HARD for mistakenly typing "inevitable" instead of "unavoidable."

      Jesus, people.

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    2. @Rachel I should point out that I correct A LOT of typos in the Dear ESBs. Feeling like an ass that I missed this one.

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    3. I missed it too! Took a few read-throughs to find it. I WON'T JUDGE.

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    4. Umm... "unavoidable" doesn't work there either.

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    5. Hahaha oh good lord you're right. We all want it to say "IMPOSSIBLE."

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    6. Impossible! Impractical! Unsustainable! A pain in the arse!

      Delete
  11. Yeek, yeah unless this guy has a history of making you uncomfortable, I would chalk it up to a one time drunk joke that fell flat. (heh.) If it happens again just let him know how it makes you feel and your friendship will probably shift depending on whether he apologizes or gets defensive, or the most likely outcome which will be some combination of those two things. I agree with the commenters who have pointed out how humiliated they would be if they knew friends wrote them off because of some drunk joke they made.

    I'm "stacked" and my straight female friends and gay male friends crack jokes about it all of the time. Is that okay? Is it different when it's a straight male because of the social history there, or because he might be attracted to you? I always think it's interesting why certain things make us uncomfortable. I think there are probably instincts there we should listen to, and at the same time try to be empathetic to what the other person's intentions may have been.

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  12. Can I just say? "Stacked" and "beautiful"? NOT THE SAME THING. I don't care who it's coming from -- man or woman. And yes, most men know that there IS a difference.

    That said -- agree with ESB. If it was a one-time deal, I'd let it go.

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  13. i'm with you ESB. lighten the f*ck up! yes, it is a creepy comment, but i really doubt he meant anything by it, and there was alcohol involved. who hasn't said something they regret after a few drinks? if it happens again, then it's time to cut a bitch.

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  14. It's one thing to cut him off forever - it's another to let the comment slide entirely. I think it's important and totally appropriate for your fiance to tell him, in private, that his 'joke' was inappropriate and unfunny.

    The reason why this shit happens so often is BECAUSE society tells us to 'let it slide.' This may be the first inappropriate comment this guy has made to the letter writer - but the first inappropriate comment made to a woman, ever? Joking is a way to gain social capital - and so far, that's worked out in the guy's favour: he got to laugh with his buddy and he probably has little clue that you and your fiance found his joke out of line. Let him know straight-up that his behavior isn't cool.

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  15. Overthinking it. If he had said "look at you, GREAT tits!" then we have a conversation, but he didn't and he was a couple beers deep.

    I wish more women would learn to say something immediately rather than saying nothing and then stewing about it. Especially since requesting an apology way after something happened (that you never initially reacted to)is super weird.

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    1. YES to the stewing comment. Let this one slide and if he happens to say something that offends you again, nip it (heh) right then and there. Like others, I'm sure if you brought it up now he would (a) not remember, and (b) wonder why you waited so long to say something.

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  16. I've been in a similar situation before, only I was kissed by a drunk friend of my bf. I told him, "You're drunk, don't ever touch me again," and I didn't make a big deal out of it beyond that b/c his wife was more embarrassed by it than anyone (my bf was pretty upset by it, but he said "I handled it" on my own and was happy I did). A few years have passed, everything is okay, and I still have it in my mind but I don't let it get in the way of anything because nothing has happened since then.

    On the other hand, with regard to another work friend of my bf's, he's kind of done not-so-friendly things to other friends and my bf, so a lot of us are not inviting him to places/things he doesn't need to be invited to. We're all letting the friendship taper off "naturally". We don't like his gf either, however.

    If Z says something inappropriate again, I'd say something w/o making a scene. Even a, "You know what? That's not cool. I don't like being talked about in that way." or, "So, would you like it if people made sexist and degrading remarks about your girlfriend? Just wondering." Unfortunately if you like his gf and enjoy her company, you're probably going to have to put up with him. We don't live in a sexist-free society, and we don't live in a society that understands commenting on women's looks is necessarily a compliment all the damn time.

    Whether you invite them to your wedding is up to you. I don't think this is something to end a friendship over, but I would remember it for future reference in case he starts behaving badly again.

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  17. Yeah- I think "stacked" could have been exchanged for gorgeous, or even hot, and you would have taken it somewhat differently. I am not "stacked", but I could see being somewhat sensitive to comments about it if I was... Also, his girlfriend was standing right there? As you said, she's "super great". I would expect that she either scolded him in the car or took it for the odd compliment it was and let it go. If it was as bad as you took it, she probably would have said something right then and there, as you should have if you were so offended. Why is it your man's job to confront him? You've known the guy for a few years, either call him out in the moment or let it go. I'd expect he'd have no idea what you were talking about if you brought it up at this point and you'd come off a little kooky that you got so hung up on a borderline offensive joke. God- if everyone I know got this upset over the awkward comments my man says, we'd have no friends.

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  18. Wow, these comments depress me. The OP felt uncomfortable. Maybe others wouldn't have, but you did, OP, so no, you do not need to lighten up and accept this crap.

    I agree with ESB that you shouldn't end a friendship over one comment, but I do think you should absolutely address it with this guy. If he is a friend, hopefully you can have a direct, non-antagonistic conversation with him, where you and/or your fiance, explain to him why his comment was humiliating to you. Hopefully he will be apologetic, learn something about respecting women, and be a better friend to you (and other women) in the future. Lots of men don't get this and need it explained to them.

    That said, if you don't want to invite him to your wedding, then don't! But the most important thing here is addressing the problem with him so that he can learn from his mistake and not repeat it. Good luck! Let us know how it goes!

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    1. Agreed!! The comments here are super depressing :(

      OP found it upsetting. I also would have found it upsetting. I hang out with some pretty crude guys, but if they say something like that I tell them it's not okay, because otherwise they will just keep doing it. He (hopefully) did not mean it to be creepy, but that's how it came out and he should apologize for making her uncomfortable.

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    2. I said above that I would have just shaken it off and you should too. Of course if you are offended by something you shouldn't have to take it. But you need to speak up in the moment. Addressing the comment now (assuming at least several weeks have gone by since the incident) will just make things worse if you want to be friends with the couple. If you don't care at all about maintaining their friendship/not having an awkward work relationship between Z and your fiance, then have a discussion where you tell him that's not appropriate and you need an apology. I do think that this will make things very awkward for your fiance who has to work with the guy, not because you don't deserve an apology but because Z likely won't want to spend a lot of time around someone who made him feel super awkward for telling a joke he likely doesn't remember/thought was no big deal. So if you don't want things to get super weird, just get over it. A third option (that I'm not sure how well it will work) is to pretend you're over the comment (which won't seem strange to Z since he likely doesn't remember it) and when you're out drinking together next and he either makes some slightly crude remark or your body comes up, make a biting remark about either your body or his inappropriate behavior. Maybe he'll give you the apology you desperately want/need. Maybe he'll just stare at you blankly because he has no memory of the original incident.

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  19. My instinct was to just let it go and chalk it up to drunken insensitivity. But that may be because I used to hang out primarily with a bunch of pretty crude guys friends who would say all sorts of stuff like this in front of me (though not about me). Now I've realized that just because it's the way it is... doesn't mean it has to be that way. OP should speak up and so should I if something makes us uncomfortable. And it shouldn't be construed as we're uptight or can't take a joke. There are better jokes to be enjoyed than those that make us feel shitty.

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  20. AHHH WOMEN AND THEIR FEELINGS. Why do we have to be stereotypical about this shit? Do you know how long Z spent thinking about his HORRIFIC comment? Zero time. Spend the time you've spent stewing on this on any of the following activities and it will be more worthwhile for you:

    a) enjoying your great boobs
    b) having your dude enjoy your great boobs
    c) napping

    Decide if you care about this person being in your life. If you do, then forget this happened and participate in a, b, or c above instead of thinking about it. If you don't, then do a, b, or c above.

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    1. This comment is idiotic.

      Delete
    2. I think the fact that Z spent zero time thinking about his comment is precisely the problem. In his world, valuing a woman solely based on her appearance is totally normal and he assumes everyone is doing it. Right in front of her is cool, too. Somebody needs to help this guy think.

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  21. NO! "Z then continued to laugh with the other dude in the group about my body." Make sure you don't invite that other dude either! WTF? Not acceptable.

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  22. Gross. As someone who is "stacked", I've had comments like this all my life, and I have been telling people that's not cool all my life.
    Generally after I tell people once, they know its out of bounds and I don't hear it from them again.
    Strangely enough, some of my "flat" friends get the same number of comments- like if you fall out of an average size, comments about your breasts are fair game.
    Advice: If you want this guy and his gf in your life, either a) forgive and pick him up if he ever says anything like that again
    b) tell him it was inappropriate
    Or, as the others say, drop him and don't give it another thought.

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  23. OK, maybe I need to lighten up. I definitely need to stop reading these comments. All of you "lighten up/ chill out/ he's just saying you're pretty, yay!" people are making me want to hurl my computer at a wall and just throw in the feminist towel. Women do NOT need to accept men commenting on our bodies every day of our damn lives! We also don't need to criticize each other for how we each respond to this shit. It's NOT easy to stand up to something that's so socially accepted, especially right as it's happening, and I'm proud of the OP for being upset, talking to her fiance about it, and considering how to respond, even if time has passed. Keep it up, girl! You're not crazy!

    Gah. Now I have said my piece and I seriously need to step away from this thread!

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    1. This plus a million.

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    2. Thank you for saying this. Makes me feel less sad about the world.

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    3. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    4. Holy shit thank you.

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  24. Let this one go because it's been awhile. If he does it again, sock him in the balls*. It's hard to reason with a dude with words when they are a "few beers deep" but they always understand ball pain.

    *warning, i've gotten kicked out a social group for doing this. totally worth it though, no one ever says dumbass shit to your face again.

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  25. I think there's a difference between ending a FRIENDSHIP over an "off the cuff" remark that seems different than what the OP is talking about --
    an acquaintance (less important friendship) that made her uncomfortable and offended. Which is TOTALLY worth ending an acquaintance for.

    Maybe I'm too grumpy of a personal rights kind of person (not just a feminist but over a man's right to not feel physically judged and offended too!) but I'm not on the "just lighten up" team and ESB's side.

    If one of my husband's acquaintances did this we'd 86 him super fast.

    But other than what you should do about this relationship -- I think passively not inviting him to the wedding is a good idea. You have a right not to have anyone you think is kind of jerky at your wedding. Surround yourself with only your favorite people.

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  26. I hate when people always use the "he was kind of drunk" excuse. It's not excuse enough. If you say asshole-y things as an adult when you drink, you shouldn't drink.

    People excuse drunken asshole behavior WAY too often in my opinion. I HATE people who say really inappropriate offensive things when they're drunk and don't know how to regulate the situation.

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  27. I think it depends on the context.
    There are a few people in my life, mostly close female friends, who if they said "Hey your tits look great", I would take it as a compliment.

    But if a man I didn't know well enough said it I would feel uncomfortable. If he then proceeded to laugh with another man about the comment it would potentially be really unpleasant.

    Basically this is the context you told us about OP. And besides that you don't need any justification to feel upset about it.

    He also sounds really shallow, saying that the reason someone would choose a bridesmaid is because they'd look good in photos.

    Tell him if you care about him enough.

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  28. Personally I don't see how "stacked" and "beautiful" are interchangeable. "Beautiful" is taking the whole package into consideration, while "stacked" is clearly referring to one thing only (no not her shoes) and is there for objectifying and offensive.

    It was a sleazy comment thinly veiled as a complement. Not to mention he insulted his girlfriend. The guy was drunk and a shithead, you would have been justified in calling him out on it. But at the same time I don't think it was such a an offensive comment that it would warrant weeks of stewing over it. It's not worth the time and the bad feelings. If he does it again call him out then and there, there is no need for you fiance to do anything you can fight your own battles.

    As far as the wedding goes... you clearly don't like the guy so don't invite him.

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    1. I think he was actually referring to OP's fiancee. It confused me for a while but now I'm pretty sure that's what he meant...

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  29. If I took such offense to every inappropriate comment a man said to me, I wouldn't have time to accomplish all the awesome goals I have in life. I am a feminist and I don't think it's right for him to do that. If it were someone in my professional setting, I would say something. But this is some dude your fiancee works with that you see every now and then in a bar. Whatever. Move on.

    Remove him from the guest list if necessary, but envision what you actually want first. If he's really an asshole, thinking he's going to be embarrassed or upset that you have a problem with his awful behavior is likely naive. However, if he's contrite and begs for forgiveness and an invitation, will you truly feel vindicated?

    Focus on your awesome wedding instead. Seriously, this guy's girlfriend has way bigger problems than you because she's dating a douche bag who cuts her down in public.

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  30. Bringing it up later to rarely has the effect that you're looking for. He might listen to what you have to say, but it's also possible that he doesn't remember it or will think you are crazy for remembering and being upset about it. I'm not saying it's right for him to react like that, but why should you suffer the social stigma of being treated like you're crazy/uptight/over-sensitive for something that was his action in the first place?

    If you really want to say something to him, you have to keep in mind how you're going to feel if he's not sorry. If you'll feel vindicated by saying something, and you don't mind the other possible social consequences to you or your fiance, go for it. If a dismissive attitude from him is just going put salt in your wound, that's something to consider.

    If it were me, I'd wait for him to do it again and say something about it at that point. If this comment is an accurate representation of his personality, and you're bothered by it, stop hanging out with him and don't invite him to the wedding. But if it's not how he usually acts, you'll save yourself a lot of heartburn by letting it go.

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  31. I may be getting all Dr. Drew on this, but it reads to me like the offended party has a a few things going on - She may be uncomfortable about this part of her body and was not appreciative of this remark despite the leaning of it towards being a drunk dude compliment. When she brings up "Z has since invited us to a few intimate social events so I'm not sure he understands that his "joke" was not acceptable." I can say with certainty that he most definitely does NOT understand - if he even remembers. Thats the sad part about commentary of this variety, off the cuff is the casual slip of a remark from the part of your brain normally buttoned up. I honestly believe people are more than just one stupid remark - Did you enjoy this persons time before this? Do you and your FH wish this were out of the way so you could continue being pals with him? If so then possibly a pass is in order, until the next time he acts like an ass, and then I suggest your FH smack him one for you.

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  32. I can't stop thinking about this post. I think the reason the comments are all over the place is that we're all talking about slightly different issues. To me, those seem to be:

    -His wording
    -The impact of those words
    -How women should respond in these situations
    -What you're justified in doing after the fact

    Personally, I would focus a bit more on the wording itself than many people in this thread do. "Stacked" is a particularly vulgar term to call a woman, as it's only directed at one part of the female body. As someone who's had large breasts since I was young, I can tell you that this is one thing that some men, no matter where you go, feel like they have a right to comment on. It's relentless, it's always sexual, and it's always more than a little bit dirty. Not at all like "you're beautiful." More like being told "you look like you give good head."

    In terms of impact, there's all the cultural shit discussed above. Then when he then laughed about it with his friend, that just compounds the fact that, as a woman in that situation, you're bound to feel both humiliated and powerless.

    So by now you're convinced that I'm going to come down on the side of cutting him off, but here's where I'm going to throw you a curve ball. I absolutely think it's fair to minimize time spent with people you don't like (and certainly don't invite anyone you don't genuinely like to your wedding). But in life you and your partner are going to have to work with lots of people who are jerks, in one form or another. It's good practice to get used to handling them. Personally, I'm a fan of making people explain what they're saying. I'll say, just flatly and with no intonation "what do you mean by that?" And then, after whatever BS they say, again asking without rancor, "why would you say that to me?" People look and feel stupid when they have to explain stuff like that. Another tactic is just saying flatly "that's really rude." The key is just to stop whatever behavior you don't want in such a way that you feel powerful and comfortable in the broader social situation. Perfect this, and you'll reap the benefits in all types of awkward social situations.

    Sorry for the epic comment....I think I just way over-thought this.

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    1. Hey, OP here --

      These comments have both been super helpful to me as a bride and woman, and also a fascinating Rorschach test.

      Your comment in particular was really touching (and so many were). Thank you so much. I did immediately tell the group, "I'm about to Hulk out right now. Fuck you guys," and left the bar, with no hint of me joking or thinking that what Z said was acceptable. In the future, I want to take your specific advice and use a more pointed approach.

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    2. Wow, good for you, OP! So you did express yourself--quite clearly-- and these men didn't reach out to you to apologize? That really sucks. I totally get why you don't want to be friends with this douche anymore. Again, awesome job standing up for yourself! xoxo

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    3. And Anon 8:08 this is such a great and helpful comment. Thank you!

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    4. OP, this additional information is really helpful (as is the comment by Anon 8:08). Since you did say something and it was clear in the moment that you were upset by the comment I think it is perfectly reasonable to just passively stop hanging out with this guy. And not invite him to the wedding. Based upon his wording and my experience with guys I assumed he had no idea that you were upset by the remark (and so I was in the lighten up group), but that's clearly not the case.

      One more idea though, and that depends upon whether the number of invitations he has extended since the incident are normal or not: might he be trying to apologize since he hasn't had the opportunity to talk with you since learning you were upset by the remark? You know this guy better than any of us do, but if he's generally nice and has a great girlfriend who totally belittled him on the drive home he might be trying to make nice but wants to see you in person.

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  33. I like how ESB was bemoaning the sate of feminism over a woman wanting to take their husbands name, saying how it was setting back women's right etc but a man reducing a woman to a pair of boobs and its all "perk up honey". :D Pick and choose much?

    Drunkenness is no excuse for bad behavior. Being drunk simply allow people to show their true colors, in my experience, and say the shit they might censor normally. It doesn't mean they don't think it sober, its just mean they know its not quite right.

    And expressing discomfort in those situation is incredibly hard has an anon pointed out, because it's socially acceptable. "Your tits are baggin'!" We're all supposed to grin and bear it, worst were supposed to be flattered.

    I'm glad her husband seems just as horrified. At least he's giving her support.

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    1. You rock, OP.

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    2. Oops-- should have gone above (to the Original Poster's comment, duh). But this comment also rocks.

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    3. I consider myself a feminist and agree with ESB both on name-changing and her response to this question. While drunkenness SHOULDN'T be an excuse for bad behavior, it is a mind-altering substance and just like certain psychological disorders, cognitive disabilities, and other mind-altering drugs it can change what a person says/does. So while it would be great if no one ever drank enough that they said something they would normally censor, that isn't reality. And we all think things that we know aren't quite right. I am a straight, average-breasted female and I was recently out with an acquaintance/ casual friend and was shocked by the shirt she was wearing that just displayed so much cleavage. This has never happened to me before, but I simply couldn't stop thinking about her breasts. We were in a bar for 4 hours and literally I had to force myself to look at her face every time I looked at her. I wasn't drinking (pregnant) but if I had been, I probably wouldn't have been able to stop myself from saying something. I did hear the gay men at the table next to me comment and mentioned it to my husband as soon as we were separated from the other couple because I could only imagine how those were on his mind all night too.

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    4. "...that they said something they would normally censor."

      See, weird, I don't think censored sexism is that much better than uncensored. If he's sitting around all the time objectifying the OP it's actually for the best that he said something because at least maybe there's a chance somebody could change his mind for him or make him think about why that's unacceptable. Drinking didn't make him sexist, it just showed up his sexism. He's still sexist, so what difference does it make what substance he had in him?

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    5. " It doesn't mean they don't think it sober, its just mean they know its not quite right. "

      If you had bothered to read the whole thing you'd realize I'm saying exactly what your saying.

      I was trying to point out that being drunk doesn't excuse the behavior, that he is like that in everyday life and just censor himself. In other words now she knows what kind of person he is and what kind of things he thinks/says when she's not around.

      Also nobody can change his mind for him, he's the one who need to grow. It doesn,t mean he can,t be talked to, educated, or given information. But he's the one who needs to want the change otherwise...

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  34. God... This argument is so stupid. If you're offended by something, speak up. Otherwise, you pretty much lose the right to complain.

    If he doesn't know he did something wrong, how the hell do you expect him to fix it??

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    1. Why is it always my job as a woman to teach men that it's inappropriate to make lewd comments about my body? Are you serious?

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  35. Man, I would not invite them and leave it at that. I bet he knows what he did. They are acquaintances, right? It's your wedding. If he was a close friend It would be a different story. Good on ya for speaking up in the moment. And congrats on your marriage. Glad it's not to that jerk.

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  36. These comments are at the very least showing me loud and clear that I'm not a feminist and I probably never will be.

    I feel bad the OP was upset by a jerky comment but also acknowledge this sort of thing is something I might say, as a straight woman. Wonder what everyone would have said if it was a chick who'd said it? Would it still be objectifying or is it cool to compliment someone's tits if you yourself have them?

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