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Thread: Judging a Book by its Cover: Felis Pisque

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    Igneous Magma hensatri's Avatar
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    Judging a Book by its Cover: Felis Pisque

    I’ve had this general idea since I would young, and thought I would try it out on you good folks.

    We generally agree with the adage that you should not judge a book by its cover. We all get the jist. 1: A person’s merit should not be gauged based on outward attributes they have no control over. And 2: A person’s might be very different upon getting to know them than their outward appearance would suggest.

    Well, I generally agree with the first principle, but I have some serious problems with the second in regards to extreme manners of dress, hair, make-up, piercings, and tattoos. I reserve the right to judge these people as much as I see fit, and here is why:

    Let’s suppose there is a guy that sits the cubicle over from you who reeks of cat urine every day. You would be fully justified in assuming he has bad hygiene and is probably an animal hoarder. You find out one day that he is actually very clean and doesn’t own a cat, but his favorite cologne is a cat-urine scented brand called Felis Pisque. It’s not that he doesn’t know that cat urine is generally considered to be a foul smell. It’s not that he doesn’t know it rubs other people the wrong way. He just likes the smell and does it anyway, because his personal preference in smell is more important to him than social conformity.

    Now let’s say this guy frequently complains about how people judge him based on his smell. That people avoid sitting next to him on the bus. That he is passed up for certain jobs. When you plead with him, "Just change to Old Spice or something?" he says, "No, I shouldn’t have to conform. If I am avoided and turned away because of this smell that is society’s problem, not mine."

    We can clearly see that the co-worker is being ridiculous. I feel the same way about extreme manners of dress. Being judged for something you can't help is one thing, being judged for a very deliberate and informed choice is something else. If you don’t want to say much with your external appearance, you will dress in a neutral way. The more extreme you dress, the more you are trying to say. Dressing like a drummer from a heavy metal band and expecting people not to form opinions of you is like shouting and expecting others not to listen.

    I also find that people who express themselves to a great extent with their outward appearance tend to have a vicious double standard. They are (typically) lying when they say they don’t want to be judged. They are willing to listen all day to people compliment them for being so expressive, brave, unique, or creative. They just don’t wanna listen to the person who says, "You look like a damn fool."

    Now the obvious question, that I have heard in response to this, is "Don’t you express yourself outwardly?" Yes I do. I keep up the appearance of a typical professional, educated young mid-western male. It’s very boring yes, but I choose to express myself through my words rather than my appearance. And I have no problem being judged based on my words, for that is how I express myself. You express yourself with your outward appearance, and I feel I am fully justified to judge all day long.

    Comments? Criticisms?
    Last edited by hensatri; 14th April 2012 at 03:54 PM.

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    Male Lesbian ruksak's Avatar
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    Quote Quote by: hensatri View Post
    I feel I am fully justified to judge all day long.
    You are free to judge, but justification for such comes on a case by case basis.

    For example; I judge women I meet. I'm single and 39 years old. Most women my age have children. When a woman I'm dating curses at her children, I judge her for that. Big turn off.

    Judging people on outward appearances is no different. I am also turned off by women that dress like they want people ogling them. I think a 39 year old woman that allows her thong to whale-tail out of the back of her shorts presents herself as promiscuous.
    ATTENTION! Due to recent cut backs, the light at the end of the tunnel has been turned off.

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    Igneous Magma hensatri's Avatar
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    You know....I thought I was bringing the discussion of external appearance vs internal merit down out of the ivory tower and grounding it in reality with my cat urine example.....then I saw you make the same case while using the example of a 39 year old's thong-a-whale tail'n.

    I have been one-upped I feel.

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    Igneous Magma
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    Quote Quote by: Christopher Hitchens
    The noble title of ďdissidentĒ must be earned rather than claimed; it connotes sacrifice and risk rather than mere disagreement
    Towards the end of my high school career I made the decision to drop out of academia and work on music and writing. I faced a considerable amount of criticism from people for this, and still do to this day (it's only been about 2 years). I'd have preferred not to deal with it, and the friends I have who supported me are ones I have a great deal more respect for now, but it's everyone's right to criticise others, and I'm willing to take a few verbal punches for the sake of free speech.

    I wouldn't say that having an "extreme" haircut, tattoos or even a weird job places you near the standard of the above quote, but people need to realise that if you wish not to conform you will face criticism, perhaps even ostracism. If you aren't willing to put up with this then perhaps you should go back to the office job and short-back-and-sides.

    As for the man in your example, don't assume that all people who take on unorthodox appearances or values do it for affect. Some do, no doubt, but I'd wager that most do it because they genuinely don't want the same from life as everyone else. I personally think tattoos are a bad idea, but there are many who love them sincerely. It's your right to judge these people for whatever reason, and even speak your views, just as it's my right to judge you as a "typical professional, educated young mid-western male" . As long as we don't attempt to control one another we can still rub along.

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    Some judging is ok, in my mind. I wouldn't hire Sr. Cat Piss because of his blatant disregard for others.
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    when counting the percentage of scientists that believe in the theory of evolution pseudo-scientists are intentionally left out

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    Destroyer of Worlds minorwork's Avatar
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    Quote Quote by: hensatri View Post
    We generally agree with the adage that you should not judge a book by its cover.
    I don't agree. It's an evolutionary trait that functioned to enhance reproductive fecundity.
    1: A personís merit should not be gauged based on outward attributes they have no control over.
    Camouflaged predators counter this.
    And 2: A personís might be very different upon getting to know them than their outward appearance would suggest.
    Might be and might not, but the survivors are those that relied on appearance.

    Now letís say this guy frequently complains about how people judge him based on his smell. That people avoid sitting next to him on the bus. That he is passed up for certain jobs. When you plead with him, "Just change to Old Spice or something?" he says, "No, I shouldnít have to conform. If I am avoided and turned away because of this smell that is societyís problem, not mine."


    I also find that people who express themselves to a great extent with their outward appearance tend to have a vicious double standard. They are (typically) lying when they say they donít want to be judged. They are willing to listen all day to people compliment them for being so expressive, brave, unique, or creative. They just donít wanna listen to the person who says, "You look like a damn fool."

    Now the obvious question, that I have heard in response to this, is "Donít you express yourself outwardly?" Yes I do. I keep up the appearance of a typical professional, educated young mid-western male. Itís very boring yes, but I choose to express myself through my words rather than my appearance. And I have no problem being judged based on my words, for that is how I express myself. You express yourself with your outward appearance, and I feel I am fully justified to judge all day long.

    Comments? Criticisms?
    There can come a time even in the self-made man who wants and needs nothing from others, but even he will have to deal with some people and if obnoxiously indifferent to how he treats them whether of his mannerisms, odor, utterance, or thought a malignant narcissist will find the person fair game for their particular form of life which even they are unaware of how they, as narcissists, present to the public, especially those who intuitively sense the wrongness and refuse to enable their narcissism. That malignant narcissist can make even an honest man's life miserable if he should attract the narcissist's attention. You cannot tell by looking, who is the malignant narcissist. They are like your man that likes the smell of cat piss and to hell with the rest as he seeks enablers.
    If the terrain and the map do not agree, follow the terrain.

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    Canada Strong Castaway's Avatar
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    Quote Quote by: hensatri View Post
    Iíve had this general idea since I would young, and thought I would try it out on you good folks.

    We generally agree with the adage that you should not judge a book by its cover. We all get the jist. 1: A personís merit should not be gauged based on outward attributes they have no control over. And 2: A personís might be very different upon getting to know them than their outward appearance would suggest.
    Maybe this would be a good example of how we tend to wrongly judge people by outward appearance and deportment?

    Feelings are much like waves; we can't stop them from coming, but we can choose which ones to surf

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    Becoming Unstable Thanatos's Avatar
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    How someone looks is window dressing. It may mean something, but it's not necessarily what you think it is.

    How they think means a lot more. That very rarely changes and determines everything else about them, including most of their appearance.
    Doesn't that mean most people are trolls?

    No, it means most people on forums are called trolls at one point or another for stating their opinion honestly.

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