When does personal preference become intolerance?

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So this was inspired by a discussion at work an I've seen on other sites a few times (Reddit, IMGUR etc.). It's a bit of a sticky subject, but it's actually fairly relevant given recent events over the last few years.

The question is; at what point does one's personal preferences and actions become intolerance/discrimination?

There are an absolute TON of examples and situations which could be applied here, but I'll give one that isn't likely to turn into an internet bloodbath;

Strange as it may be to people here to think of me ever going on a date, I do actually have two rules for dating anyone that are instant no-sells/enders. One is no smoking, period. Of anything. The second is no children, either from a previous relationship or wanting one. Both of them are deal breakers, and while I'll tolerate being around someone with kids, I avoid being around anyone who smokes unless I'm forced to.

Where does the line from personal preference/intolerance get drawn? One side seems to believe that it applies only to the professional world, while the other thinks it applies to both but only in a limited way to personal life while yet another thinks it goes full bore on both sides.

Also, it's a Paragon Fury thread, and though the topic is supposed to more serious I suppose I'm contractually obligated to some level of lewdness in an Off-Topic thread. A such, here it is;

When it starts to apply to things people have no control over. Or at least, that's my take.

'Course, I never have nor feel any reason to try the dating scene, so...

I tend to draw the line when a value judgement gets added.

So, in my mind, "not my thing" without a value judgement is a preference. "Not my thing because it is immoral/[insert ethnic group] is [insert judgement], etc." would be intolerance.

When you dont let other people like it.

Or when you not liking it hinders the wellbeing of them.

Dating preference is your own. Its not racist to not be attracted to some ethnicities, nor is it sexist to not be bisexual.

But its not an excuse if you're hiring people, its racist.

Also, just because people expect you to have lewd pictures, doesnt mean you should. They serve nothing to the topic and you should really move away from typecasting yourself.

Saelune:
When you dont let other people like it.

Or when you not liking it hinders the wellbeing of them.

Dating preference is your own. Its not racist to not be attracted to some ethnicities, nor is it sexist to not be bisexual.

But its not an excuse if you're hiring people, its racist.

Nice. Your response resonated with me the most so far.

Even if someone is uninterested in someone because of something super-petty such as, "They don't like Bloodborne" or "They're not a Scorpio", that's their loss. Gradually working to change their mindset is fine, but no one, barring accidental parents, should be pressured into entering a relationship they don't want. That's a recipe for disaster.

Sure, preferences are discriminatory on some level but at the same time, noone is entitled to another persons romantic or sexual attraction. Nor ist it something that can be forced. No matter how hard I'd try, I couldn't be attracted to a woman who is, say, strongly under- or overweight. A healthy relationship can't be built on good will alone, I just don't think so. If you're with a person you don't actually find attractive and you lie to them and yourself... well, I don't think that's a fulfilling relationship for either of you. And you might be both perfectly fine people and like each other and get along really well, but if attraction isn't there it isn't there.

Personal preference becomes intolerance when you allow it affect anyone other than yourself with little to no regard for others. If you prefer to not be around smoking, it is one thing to remove yourself from or avoid situations wherein smoking is permitted, but another when you start insisting a smoker put out their cigarette. It's perfectly ok to be forthcoming with your desire to be with a childless other; you're not telling them "because you have/want a child, you don't work for me." you're telling them "upfront, if you have/want kids, I won't work for you."

It's allowing objects of preference to maintain their dignity; it's not prescribing an objective worth (or lack thereof) to someone/thing outside of yourself based on subjective preferences within yourself.

Don't worry, their kids (and quite possibly their cigarettes) are more important to them than you are, so no one is losing out.

It's never intolerant to not want to date someone for whatever reason you choose. That's crazy, it's your life. (This is a common Nice Guy complaint. Fortunately they can console themselves that the hot chick will eventually grow old like the rest of us and will have missed out on that one chance she had to find perfect, long-term happiness with that one guy she never knew fancied her. Even though she's probably still hot and ended up married to a guy with a can-do attitude and huge pecs, she'll regret for the rest of her life that missed opportunity she'll thankfully never know she had. Oh, she'll be so wistful.)

(God I love parentheses.)

I think the line is crossed when it goes from your personal preferences in partners, to trying to inflict your preferences on others. Basically when you outsource your hangups on others, trying to get your friends to not date people who smoke/have children. Saying things like "I can't hang out with you if you continue to date that person that I disagree with."

THAT is when it's intolerance, at least in my book. I mean it's your romantic life, you can have whatever hangups you want, and you will feel the immediate impact of that. As long as you aren't being a complete dick to anyone that you have to not date because of it, I don't really see an issue with your specific example.

I'm not sure if preference/intolerance is the right comparison though? Perhaps preference/prejudice would be a better way to phrase it. Definition of intolerance is "unwillingness to accept views, beliefs, or behavior that differ from one's own", which doesn't feel like what you are describing. You are simply saying "I don't want to date anyone that fits these 2 criteria." I'm guessing you don't walk around giving people shit for having step-children, or for re-marrying after having children do you? And you don't give people shit for dating smokers? If you are, then yeah, you're being intolerant. But if you keep your shit to yourself, then it's just a preference.

At least that's how I see it anyway.

Paragon Fury:
One is no smoking, period. Of anything.

Even salmon?

Personally I've made peace with the idea that I can dislike something but also tolerate it (and then criticize them behind their back because who says that to people's faces, hey c'mon). I even have a much longer list of standards for my non-existent dates; no smoking, no previous kids, not (more) overweight (than I am), not vegan, can't be a cat person (I'm allergic), no racial baggage, no brown eyes, not a weeb... Though I guess the only deal-breakers would be previous kids and actually owning cats.

Saelune:
When you dont let other people like it.

Or when you not liking it hinders the wellbeing of them.

Dating preference is your own. Its not racist to not be attracted to some ethnicities, nor is it sexist to not be bisexual.

But its not an excuse if you're hiring people, its racist.

And there it is. Well said.

When you expect other people to adhere to your preferences. Yes, you can choose not to date a smoker. That is something you do. When for example none of your friends can't eat avocado in your presence because you hate avocado, that's crossing the line. Projecting your beliefs on other people tends not be very received as well.

Ask the hack they just got to turn in that "gamers suck" piece.

Robert B. Marks:
I tend to draw the line when a value judgement gets added.

So, in my mind, "not my thing" without a value judgement is a preference. "Not my thing because it is immoral/[insert ethnic group] is [insert judgement], etc." would be intolerance.

That's it in a nutshell. People aren't attracted to other people for all sorts of random reasons, but its only when they start to try rationalise those reasons with prejudicial excuses that it can get ugly.

Huh, from the title I was expecting this to be a whinge about how the OP isn't really intolerant, it's just an opinion. Then it turns out to be a sensible question (will may like to other posters doing that), and bewbs.

Anyhoo, I like the first 3 responses to this.

maninahat:

Robert B. Marks:
I tend to draw the line when a value judgement gets added.

So, in my mind, "not my thing" without a value judgement is a preference. "Not my thing because it is immoral/[insert ethnic group] is [insert judgement], etc." would be intolerance.

That's it in a nutshell. People aren't attracted to other people for all sorts of random reasons, but its only when they start to try rationalise those reasons with prejudicial excuses that it can get ugly.

So if, for example, Alice reveals she wouldn't date black guys, but Bob then asks her why that is- is she to avoid answering altogether, to avoid trying to rationalise her prejudice?

Paragon Fury:

Where does the line from personal preference/intolerance get drawn?

OP, That first picture(cookies) reminds me of a Megaman BattleNetwork character - am I close?

OT: I'd have to say when another person is harmed by your personal preference. If I don't like something someone else enjoys,
then , as long as I don't disrespect/inhibit them it's fine.

When one starts to be a dick about it.

Don't be a dick and there isn't a problem.

It's not terribly complicated.

Zhukov is the answer closest to my own.

It really stems from animosity.

I don't hang out with stereotypical jocks because I don't know anything about sports. Nor am I interested in them. I won't choose to hang out with them because I can't keep a conversation with them if it goes to the stereotypical "I'm a Jock so all I know is sports". Have there been well versed jocks about today's political climates? Hell yes. And we had great conversations on that. I have jocks I consider friends. But the stereotypical jock and I (on paper) have nothing to offer each other in terms of small talk-ish conversation.

But I do not hate them. I do not feel rage the second I see them. I give them chances to show me they are about other things. And if they aren't, I don't dislike them. I don't wish them harm or think they should be ostracized from civilized society. And my opinion about them can change. Hell, that stereotypical jock and I might have the same kind of humor and we can move past sports or whatever and just crack each other up.

Animosity and the inability to let go of your preconceived notions. That changes personal preference to Intolerance..

ObsidianJones:
snip

I'd agree. I'm also fascinated by the fact that if someone doesn't like something, they obsess over it. Look at how people are reacting to Trump or Obama. Going over everything with a fine tooth comb to prove that they are/were wrong.

Compared to this: months ago, my friends asked me if I was going to get a Switch. When they launched, the only proper title was Zelda. I've played a lot of them but never finished one. They never maintain my interest. I only displayed this preference when asked, I don't go telling every random person that Zelda is terrible.

trunkage:

ObsidianJones:
snip

I'd agree. I'm also fascinated by the fact that if someone doesn't like something, they obsess over it. Look at how people are reacting to Trump or Obama. Going over everything with a fine tooth comb to prove that they are/were wrong.

Compared to this: months ago, my friends asked me if I was going to get a Switch. When they launched, the only proper title was Zelda. I've played a lot of them but never finished one. They never maintain my interest. I only displayed this preference when asked, I don't go telling every random person that Zelda is terrible.

Its kinda different when they have say over your life at all. I dont like pickles, but they arent deciding laws that effect my life. The President though...

It becomes intolerance when people are going around telling others how they should act.

For example im incredibly intolerant of pedophiles. And would do... considerably more to correct their deviant behaviors.

Nobody is required to tolerate another person in their own personal time.

It's appreciated, but, the person can just walk away if they want to. Or, otherwise block most forms of internet communication and so on.

As such, I think the reality is, is that blocking me on anything really isn't some slight. I don't even particularly mind, and nor should you. Likewise, nobody is required to date you, and even the most minor of reasons can be justification of this.

Not wanting to date trans people, is not "Transphobia", not wanting to date short people is not "Shortphobia", and so on and so forth.

However, when you get to the point of saying "You can't do this because I don't like it", you're going too far, and simply becoming intolerant. Be it voicing opinions, dating preference, or whatever else.

Everyone is taking a stab at this at the personal level, which is fine and everyone's been pretty much on the money so far

But on a societal level, it can be easy for things like 'preferences' to become stigmas

Take body hair on women for example, it should be a preference thing but with the added societal pressure it's less of an easy choice with women. So it's all well and good to have preferences but we should be careful with how we treat them

I would say at the point in which you can't tolerate anything other than your preference existing.

When it's causing harm.

"Harm", of course, does not only refer to physical harm.

The Lunatic:
Not wanting to date trans people, is not "Transphobia", not wanting to date short people is not "Shortphobia", and so on and so forth.

Depends on the reason.

Not wanting to date a black person because "I don't find them attractive" isn't racist. Not wanting to date a black person because "the blacks are animals, its practically beastiality" is racist.

Its not transphobic to not want to date a transgender person because they don't have the genitals you prefer or that you won't be able to have kids with them, assuming you apply that latter condition to all potential dates. It is transphobic to not want to date a transgender person because "eww I don't wanna date no dude with tits and a mutiliated dick."

Nobody is owed a date but lets not pretend that people can't be jackasses about who they're willing to date.

It doesn't help that most of the time that somebody says "I'm not bigoted towards x for not wanting to date somebody who is x" that they eventually reveal that they personally are very bigoted towards "x."

People have preferences? Is good company alone in such overflowing quantity? I could have a preference for scientists, but if it gets to the point that that would otherwise compel me to ignore a teacher who would make me and them happy ... there's a problem there. I think it's unhealthy to have hang ups that might jeopardise a healthy relationship, regardless. Not necessarily intolerant. Honestly, you're not just hurting yourself for allowing both yourself and another to grow close, only to find out that they wear a size 9 shoe... not your preferred size 8.

If you're getting hung up on 'preferences' as opposed to being able to overlook human deviation or otherwise attracting partners... there's morr than 'intolerance' at play there. Particularly when it starts to become self-destructive, leads to poor decision making, or begins to regularly hurt other people who are othereise spurned for no real reason despite initial investments of intimacy or mutual interest.

That being said, I get there is more than just physical or emotional attraction. I have the privilege of being independently wealthy. So hooking up with a dirt poor artist that I find interesting that is struggling to mske a living from their craft is not some massive hurdle. I might feel differently if I was a menial labourer paying the bills just so that 'lazy' boyfriend or girlfriend can live and eat out of that single household paycheque coming through. Certainly marrying that 250k p.a. doctor might get annoyed at my personal quest to earn 7+ qualifications, rather than simply working for a living... but given that chances are we could look past financial disagreements by simply electing that we spend our own money and it ceases being a problem.

Mh personal preference would extend to the idea I hate taking money from other people I can't pay back, regardless.

But then again since when is not wanting to have one's life lived by thosw social standards of another been some fantastically strange concept? I would prefer to nibble on uncooked oats and dried goji berries while perpetually studying than being as if some European princess that has to live under the media's gaze and aged customs snd hierarchical nonsense.

If I were to marry a prince, they better like girls that occasionally like to work on motorcycles and take them out for a spin for hours on end. Or me wearing pyjamas 10 hours straight while writing a paper.

Sure your preferences might not cover an occasionally engine grease-smeared hobby mechanic snd motorcyclist. Sure your preferences might nog invlude a perpetual researcher. But on the flipside I would hope if we both made eachother happy, or we suitably challenged eachother to experience new things together, that despite preferences being contrary to aspects of our mutual realities one simply remember people do not live merely to be objects in our lives.

Honestly, if you can't understand or articulate why you prefer something.. how do you know you're not just prejudiced?

So, you don't like to date people of particular ethnicities (or you prefer to date people of particular ethnicities above others) why? Like, why? Is it because you have a stereotypical concept of what being of a certain race "means" (i.e. you're looking for the submissive asian girl fantasy, or dating black guys feels transgressive). Is it because you've have bad experiences dating within some ethnic groups (like, you're an Asian woman and whenever you date white guys you feel like you become their "Asian girlfriend"). Do you find the facial appearance of some ethnic groups more beautiful or aesthetically appealing than others, and if so, why?

See, here's the thing.. you can be a racist without being hateful, or even without really being able to help it. If you only date white people because you find white faces the most beautiful, it may well be that you've absorbed a cultural code of beauty which equates whiteness and beauty, and that's not just a "personal preference" because it's replicated across society. Of course, knowing that you can't just shrug it off, but at least you're aware..

Other preferences are often a bit more nuanced. Obviously, most people are either gay or straight, and 90% of the time their gender preference is pretty unambiguous. But if you meet someone and you're attracted to them, and then you find out they're trans or they just look really gender non-conforming and that changes things for you, maybe you should ask yourself why? Like, sure, some people are viscerally disgusted by some genitals (although again, why) or would feel very uncomfortable having sex with someone without the genitals they prefer, that's how sexual orientation works for some people, but if the answer is that you now see that person as "a man" (or "a woman") and the mere thought of touching someone of the "wrong" sex grosses you out, then it's worth asking yourself what's going on there? If you feel disgusted at yourself because being attracted to this person makes you anxious that you're gay (or not gay) then do you have some kind of internalized homophobia or insecurity? In the case of trans people, is the problem that you're unable to see them as authentic? Are you worried that dating someone gender non-conforming will open you up to abuse or ridicule from others, and that scares you?

Again, you don't need to hate people to have absorbed prejudiced attitudes. We all absorb a few, because we live in a very prejudiced society. In general, people are very willing to tolerate prejudice when it comes to dating because we recognize that to a certain extent it's involuntary, but that doesn't mean you're entitled to have anyone else respect your preferences (any more than they're entitled to have you date them in spite of your preferences). It's important to be self aware, if nothing else, so that if your preferences are caused by internalized prejudice you can at least avoid dumping that crap on other people.

Squilookle:

maninahat:

Robert B. Marks:
I tend to draw the line when a value judgement gets added.

So, in my mind, "not my thing" without a value judgement is a preference. "Not my thing because it is immoral/[insert ethnic group] is [insert judgement], etc." would be intolerance.

That's it in a nutshell. People aren't attracted to other people for all sorts of random reasons, but its only when they start to try rationalise those reasons with prejudicial excuses that it can get ugly.

So if, for example, Alice reveals she wouldn't date black guys, but Bob then asks her why that is- is she to avoid answering altogether, to avoid trying to rationalise her prejudice?

Depends how she says it. "I won't date black guys" isn't the same as saying "I'm not attracted to most of the black guys I've seen". The former is an arbitrary, prejudiced rule. The latter is based on their personal experience, and doesn't preclude the possibility that they can meet a black guy the they are attracted to.

Saelune:
When you dont let other people like it.

Or when you not liking it hinders the wellbeing of them.

Dating preference is your own. Its not racist to not be attracted to some ethnicities, nor is it sexist to not be bisexual.

But its not an excuse if you're hiring people, its racist.

Also, just because people expect you to have lewd pictures, doesnt mean you should. They serve nothing to the topic and you should really move away from typecasting yourself.

This is a good way of putting...it? Hang on...

*Goes on Youtube*

Yeah!

The 'Stop liking what I don't like' phenomenon is weird, but well-known throughout the ages. Such sentiments have no place in society.

evilthecat:
*Long in-depth thesis*

Yeah, that requires the kind of self-awareness and introspection that very few people possess.

OT: I think that Robert Marks mentioned a pretty vital point - it's fine to have preferences as long as you don't attach a value judgement to them. It's ok to say "I don't necessarily want to date women with kids" as long as you don't say "because they're all sluts and *insert some other derogatory generalization here*.

Basically, it's fine to have preferences as long as you're not a dick about them.

TheSlothOverlord:
It's ok to say "I don't necessarily want to date women with kids" as long as you don't say "because they're all sluts and *insert some other derogatory generalization here*.

Basically, it's fine to have preferences as long as you're not a dick about them.

"I don't date dumb people or criminals" - a generally agreeable sentiment. "So that's black people out already" - prejudiced statement. Am I doing it right?

Anyway, kids from previous relationships bring a lot to the table. So much that calling it just a preference makes it sound too trivial of an issue.

maninahat:

Squilookle:

maninahat:

That's it in a nutshell. People aren't attracted to other people for all sorts of random reasons, but its only when they start to try rationalise those reasons with prejudicial excuses that it can get ugly.

So if, for example, Alice reveals she wouldn't date black guys, but Bob then asks her why that is- is she to avoid answering altogether, to avoid trying to rationalise her prejudice?

Depends how she says it. "I won't date black guys" isn't the same as saying "I'm not attracted to most of the black guys I've seen". The former is an arbitrary, prejudiced rule. The latter is based on their personal experience, and doesn't preclude the possibility that they can meet a black guy the they are attracted to.

So you're saying sexual preference is always prejudice if decided on before tested by experience?

Robert B. Marks:
I tend to draw the line when a value judgement gets added.

So, in my mind, "not my thing" without a value judgement is a preference. "Not my thing because it is [insert judgement], etc." would be intolerance.

I am proudly intolerant of smokers, because **** smokers.

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