This kind of thing is a big part of the reason that women have largely dropped out of game culture... Boys will be boys, and more often than not, men will be boys. It's... Disappointing.

The quote above is taken from here and the "thing" it talks about is starring at a chest of a woman with low-cut shirt.

Let's break it down:

  1. This kind of thing is a big part of the reason that women have largely dropped out of game culture...

    Blames men without any reason for something that's not even true (more women play games today than ever before:1,2).

  2. Boys will be boys, and more often than not, men will be boys

    Generalizes all men claiming men are incapable of controlling themselves near a female chest.

  3. It's... Disappointing.

    Describes something that was claimed to be normal male behavior as disappointing i.e. men are disappointing(that's bigotry and a clear violation of the be nice policy).

Maybe some of you are used to see insults against men and still struggle to see the rudeness, the following is an analogues statement made about women in an answer to a hypothetical question.

"How to confront a cheating wife?"

This kind of thing is a big part of the reason that men have largely stopped getting married... Girls will be girls, and more often than not, women will be girls. It's... Disappointing.

I tried to edit the answer and removed the paragraph but my edit was rejected. I flagged for a moderator explaining the problem but my flag was rejected with a generic "a moderator reviewed your flag, but found no evidence to support it".

How is such content not rude and allowed to stay on this site?

  • 6
    It is sad but true that as the "dominant gender group" in almost every society for thousands of years, men cannot claim offence even from outright insulting generalizations such as "men stare; men are creeps" because we are not yet an oppressed group and probably will never be. So we really have no choice but to "be large" and not take offence at borderline not-nice statements or generalizations that are mainly accurate! I know about this, as an Indian: some of the top starers in the world belong here. Apr 8, 2018 at 7:40
  • Thanks @EnglishStudent, I didn't personally take offence. The question is about whether or not it's offensive.
    – Oleg
    Apr 8, 2018 at 12:28
  • 4
    Relevant question which got some relevant answers! What makes your point very strong @Oleg is the fact that if the same statements had been made about women or any minority community it could easily have been considered rude or offensive. Apr 8, 2018 at 17:54
  • @EnglishStudent Its worth noting that the people stating "men stare" categorically, were the people justifying the activity as normal. No one that I saw was saying "staring is rude" and "men stare; men are creeps".
    – Beofett
    Apr 11, 2018 at 18:43
  • " No one that I saw was saying "staring is rude" and "men stare; men are creeps"" __ thanks for the insight @Beofett. It may be a cultural difference: in India women (visitors from other countries and not just Indian women) often say both these statements together about men! Apr 11, 2018 at 21:52
  • @EnglishStudent To clarify, I've seen/heard people say that outside of India... but not here, on this site, in the context of the specific discussion that you were referring to.
    – Beofett
    Apr 11, 2018 at 21:53
  • That makes it clear @Beofett. The members at IPS are generally sophisticated enough to avoid such sweeping generalizations based on gender or any other group trait. Apr 11, 2018 at 21:55

4 Answers 4


It is blatantly rude and inflammatory as evidenced by this meta, suggested edits, flags on the answer, and reading ToS and this site's rules.

It distracts from the answer, is an opinionated aside that is not necessary, would not take away from the answer's core if it were removed, and quite frankly is obviously not following the "Be Nice" policy by saying most men are immature.

The fact that it is still there is troubling and makes me worried objectiveness is being lost in this situation. I'm contemplating elevating the situation because it does not appear to be handled properly.

  • 6
    Aren't you effectively saying the same thing? That a behavior by many of the members of a group is alienating others, and is generally disappointing. If you feel that statements of this type are inappropriate for this site you shouldn't be making them yourself.
    – sphennings
    Apr 11, 2018 at 14:39
  • 6
    @sphennings pardon my being pedantic, but there is a difference between calling out a behavior and a group. Likewise there is a difference between calling out a group you are a part of (including yourself in that group) and a group you are not a part of nor associate with.
    – BlackThorn
    Apr 11, 2018 at 15:35
  • 2
    "It distracts from the answer". This should be the primary criterion to decide whether to remove something from a question or answer. If there is no value in keeping the statement and apparently some people perceive it as rude, why keep it? Needless clutter should always be removed and especially when some people don't like it. Apr 19, 2018 at 9:28
  • 1
    I'm looking for ways to "elevate the situation" for quite some time now, what can be done?
    – Oleg
    Apr 21, 2018 at 1:03
  • 2
    @Oleg If you feel that moderators have not addressed your concerns appropriately there is a "contact" link at the bottom of the page. My understanding is that form will put you in touch with CMs.
    – Em C
    Apr 21, 2018 at 1:19

As the mod who declined your flag, and as something of a third party, I might as well give my two cents. You detailed your objections to the passage; that's good, and I'll try to reply to them all.

  1. This kind of thing is a big part of the reason that women have largely dropped out of game culture...

    Blames men without any reason for something that's not even true (more women play games today than ever before:1,2).

I have no idea of whether or not the statement made in the answer is correct. However, removing it without any justification would certainly be the wrong thing to do. You could suggest in a comment that the OP remove it if you have some strong evidence to show that it's wrong, but editing it out without explaining that isn't a good idea.

  1. Boys will be boys, and more often than not, men will be boys

    Generalizes all men claiming men are incapable of controlling themselves near a female chest.

I would interpret "more often than not" as meaning "more than half of the time". It can mean 51% or 100% (although it's probably not intended to be in the upper range; otherwise, the wording would have been something like "men will almost always be boys".). So no, it's not generalizing the behavior but saying that it'swidespread.

  1. It's... Disappointing.

    Describes something that was claimed to be normal male behavior as disappointing i.e. men are disappointing(that's bigotry and a clear violation of the be nice policy).

Just because something's normal doesn't mean it's good. Repeated staring in the manner described isn't polite, as I think a lot of folks have acknowledged. Pointing that out isn't "bigotry", and doesn't violate the Be Nice policy.

To make a long story short, my thoughts are this:

  • It definitely doesn't say "All men do this". I think that would be a false claim.
  • It doesn't violate the Be Nice policy; it expresses a user's dismay at a behavior they consider to be widespread and rude.

Also . . . the user who asked the question never attempted to defend their stares. They feel bad about it and don't want to make the female participant uncomfortable - especially if the participant was already a bit offended. They are, it seems, taking the blame for the awkwardness of the situation. Maybe you think they shouldn't, but as Jesse put it, we're not here to change people's minds on issues like this.

  • 5
    Thank you for responding, an answer from you(the mod who declined the flag) is what I was hopping for. You refuted my individual points and I can't find problems with your reasoning. Still combining everything together I get "normal men are bad" might be just me though and it doesn't follow from the statement. Also it's not about the OP of that question, I never defended his behavior, it's about me feeling accused of the same thing because of my gender, I'm definitely not one of the good guys according to apaul and yet I'm fully capable of controlling my gaze.
    – Oleg
    Apr 7, 2018 at 3:35
  • 2
    "However, removing it without any justification would certainly be the wrong thing to do". Would the fact that it can be removed without harm (that is, the answer is just as clear (IMO) without the statement and apparently the statement is distracting for some users) and that some people don't like it be enough justification to remove it? Apr 19, 2018 at 9:32

See, here's the thing about that... You could choose to place your self in the category of men I was referring to, or not.

Aparently you felt that I was either referring to all men which would have included myself, obviously not the intention, or that I was referring to men who tend to behave a certain way more often than not, which was the intention.

So, you could choose to be a part of the aforementioned group of men who tend to behave poorly, or choose not to. That's entirely up to you.

Now, I don't really think it's worth addressing the claim about women and gaming. That one was more anecdotal and based on how I've seen women treated in online games, and the sweeping ugliness of Gamergate and the reactions I heard and still hear from women about that. (Feel free to argue all you want about that, it only serves to confirm where you're really coming from.)

If you want to argue the point that women haven't been harassed at gaming tables, or in general, I think you'll find that a majority of women would probably be able to offer more convincing anecdotes than I could, so just ask around...

Really when it comes down to it, some men really do behave badly. You can choose to defend their bad behavior with whatever thin nonsense argument you want, or you can stop. Really stop. And listen to what women have been saying about how they've been treated. They've been saying it for a long time.

Some men obviously don't want to hear it, so they pull little stunts like this trying to defend themselves and others.¹

You don't have to be one of the men I was referring to in my post. It's your choice.


I can't help but find a lot of humor in seeing the same people who've ranted about political correctness and censorship turning around a whopping two days later and trying to censor for reasons of political correctness. Thanks for that, it brightened my day.

¹ I know you. I used to be you ;)

  • 8
    Thank you for answering. I have no way of knowing your intentions. Now you say that you mean some men, the statement in your answer disparages all men or at the very least the vast majority of men, I explained it in detail in my question and you didn't really address it. You being a man doesn't make anything obvious plenty of people hate themselves or you might think you're better than the rest of us. The twitt you posted yesterday in chat making fun of men rights is quite telling about your real attitude towards men.
    – Oleg
    Apr 7, 2018 at 0:03
  • 3
    @Oleg The tweet I shared yesterday showed my attitude toward self proclaimed "men's rights activists" not toward men in general.
    – apaul
    Apr 7, 2018 at 0:07
  • 2
    Right, sorry, doesn't really make a difference but you might not be aware of that(and in that case there is a difference) and think otherwise. You should watch The Red Pill
    – Oleg
    Apr 7, 2018 at 0:10
  • 6
    @Oleg we are not here to change peoples social/political opinions
    – Jesse
    Apr 7, 2018 at 1:48
  • 5
    However I would have to agree that the language "more often than not" in this context is way of saying "most, but not me"... I don't really think that makes it rude but there are plenty of equally serviceable word choices that don't make this implication. eg. "all too often" because too often could be once or a billion times
    – Jesse
    Apr 7, 2018 at 1:51
  • Glad I could help, all part of a bigger plan... stay tuned.
    – Oleg
    Apr 7, 2018 at 4:02
  • 2
    Ooo a bigger plan? Let me know how that works out for you @Oleg
    – apaul
    Apr 7, 2018 at 4:05
  • 1
    I know you're joking but would you like me to ping you if/when I make meta(the SE meta) posts about this site?
    – Oleg
    Apr 7, 2018 at 4:18
  • 2
    @Oleg sure thing. I'll be looking forward to it.
    – apaul
    Apr 7, 2018 at 4:21
  • 3
    @Oleg I investigated whether something was common on Stack Overflow. While I didn't observe it there, I have certainly observed it here on IPS. That's how the scientific method works, gotta be open to changing your mind once new information is accumulated.
    – apaul
    Apr 7, 2018 at 15:20
  • 9
    I think this was a worthy meta post to bring up (suggesting that we should be giving all groups the benefit of the doubt lest we allow generalizations and stereotypes about all groups - from the specific in your case of Male gamers, to the larger stereotypes and generalizations of genders, sexualities, religions etc.) I'd say mainly though, this is IPS, not Soapbox StackExchance, and your answer would stand just as well without that paragraph.
    – Philbo
    Apr 7, 2018 at 15:47

What is rude and what is not rude is in the mind of the beholder. And it changes over time. And in varies hugely between groups of people (cultures, countries, left-wing, right-wing, etc.).

My answer to this problem is that I just ignore if some people have different opinions and if they behave in the way like i.e. apaul does. He seems to think his way is the only acceptable way. And maybe he is normally together with people who think similar to him. So he can think something like: I think the way everybody (the 10 people in my group) think, so this is the normal standard.

Similar some religious people just KNOW what is right and what is wrong. It's their opinion, why should we care?

Personally I like to have a drink or two or a lot more with the boys, look at pretty girls, drive motorcycle (not after the drinks), sometimes play computer games and recently I build a RC racing quad from scratch. And I am not exactly young anymore. I guess that brings me clearly in the "men will be boys" category. Do I find it rude if people say "boys will be boys"? No, it's true for many boys and men and many boys and men are perfectly happy with this. Apaul called me several times "bro". Should I care? That's for me similar to be called a non-believer by a religious fanatic. It's only an insult if I accept it as an insult.

Coming back to your question: The comment in itself is neither rude or not-rude. If you feel offended than I guess you can call it rude. It's up to you and your perception.

Edit: I wrote in a comment below: "Your example above is clearly not obviously rude." and it seems that is what Oleg, the OP, wanted to know.

  • 1
    What's important is not if you or I feel offended but whether or not it's "likely to offend or alienate individuals or groups based on race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, etc." if it does then it violates the be nice policy and should be removed. After HDE's answer I think that it probably does not.
    – Oleg
    Apr 7, 2018 at 3:57
  • @Oleg: I am an individual and you could put me into groups by race, gender, etc. I don't think it's a good idea to pretend to be speaker of a group like all men, all heteros, etc. If lots of individuals in a group are offended that still does not mean that everybody in that group feels offended.
    – user8838
    Apr 7, 2018 at 4:06
  • 1
    It doesn't have to be a group you can be "put" into, nobody needs to pretend to speak for any groups, we do need to sometimes decide what content is rude and remove it or SE will become 4chan.
    – Oleg
    Apr 7, 2018 at 4:24
  • @Oleg: If I would tell you you are a @$%$$#% #$%#%$@$ then that would be obviously rude. Some words and statements are clearly rude and for some it is up to each individual. Your example above is clearly not obviously rude.
    – user8838
    Apr 7, 2018 at 4:30
  • Thank you, finding out that it's "clearly not obviously rude" is what I wanted, wasn't clear to me.
    – Oleg
    Apr 7, 2018 at 4:32
  • 6
    I have edited out the name-calling here. Please focus your answer on a problem, not a specific person. Name calling on meta is specifically discouraged across all stacks.
    – Tinkeringbell Mod
    Apr 7, 2018 at 11:52
  • I did not accept the edit because the person I named, aPaul, has no problem with this. I had a long and friendly discussion with him today. We see things in different ways and we both don't see a reason to hide our opinions. @aPaul, maybe you want to confirm this.
    – user8838
    Apr 7, 2018 at 13:16
  • 7
    @Edgar Is there a reason you're writing his username that way? It seems somewhat disrespectful to intentionally write it incorrectly.
    – Catija
    Apr 7, 2018 at 15:10
  • Okay, so maybe they don't mind the use of their posts as an example... I still feel there's something like precedents to consider here though, so both of you might want to reconsider or reword this stuff...
    – Tinkeringbell Mod
    Apr 7, 2018 at 15:11
  • @Catija: I had no bad intention to write his name like that. I thought I saw it like that but maybe I am mistaken. And possibly it's just habit from writing variable names in camel case. I am sure he will forgive me.
    – user8838
    Apr 7, 2018 at 23:58

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