Good morning RevGals!
Do you have that Thursday morning inertia? Does Sunday seems like a long time away and you just can’t seem to get to all of the things you should be doing?
Here’s a question that is guaranteed to get your motor running- I have a feeling we’ll have lots of personal experiences and opinions to share.
So… On to the question
(And as always, e-mail your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org)
Peace to you,
What is the appropriate response when someone makes an inappropriate remark about your appearance? We recently had a church picnic, and I wore bermuda shorts...long shorts. One man (who I believe to have an alcohol issue, and in fact, he may well have imbibed on this evening), said, "It is good to see you in something other than a robe. You have nice legs." What do you say to that? There were others standing around, so I ignored him and changed the subject. But, it was creepy. Should I have responded differently?
I once had a funeral director whisper in my ear - at the graveside -- something about my legs. Very sneaky in that I couldn't respond appropriately in that setting. But I've never ridden in a funeral limo ever since.
These kinds of comments stun me to the point that a snappy retort doesn't come to me until about a day later. My first thought is to respond with a question:
- You know I'm your pastor, right?
- (Looking both ways behind you) You talking to me?
- (Calling another person over and then saying:) Could you repeat what you just said?
Any of these would at least keep him from doing this again. The alcohol issues might keep him from even remembering he did/does this.
Or -- like you did -- you could just ignore him. Unfortunately the sexism in our culture is so pervasive, many men -- at least of a certain generation -- don't get that these comments are inappropriate/creepy/sexist.
When I read this question, my face automatically contorted itself into the completely confused look that I usually give in response to inappropriate comments. People generally get it without me saying a word. Now if I honestly thought someone didn't "get" that these comments were inappropriate, or if the comment was particularly egregious, I'd say something more direct. Obviously, all the ordinary "take them aside, allow them an out, don't shame," rules of confronting apply.