Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 05-21-2010, 10:30 AM   #1
trvvn5
Turning the Heel
 
trvvn5's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Harrisburg, PA
Posts: 533
Thanks: 13
Thanked 133 Times in 107 Posts
Send a message via AIM to trvvn5
OT: Piercing/Tattoo Prejudice
I find it hilarious how many times I get asked by people of an older generation what my piercings mean. I have been asked, on probably 20 different occassions this exact question, "What does that bar in your ear mean?"

I usually look kind of dumbfounded at the person while I try to ascertain what they are really asking. I mean, its a piercing, its just there for decoration. 90% of the time, the person asking is an older lady who has her own ears pierced in a traditional fashion. I generally ask them why they got their ears pierced. To which some will reply that it was just so they could wear earrings for decoration.

I am by no means pierced to death either. At this point I only have a rook piercing, and an industrial. Both of which are in the ears and not all that odd. I used to have many more piercings, but tended to not get questions about those. I also had my ears gauged to 0s as well. But those have since been taken out as well and have shrunk back to a normal size.

I often wonder where this question comes from though. And am usually very confused by its origin. What does that piercing mean? is such an odd question. Part of me thinks that it must stem back to when gay men supposedly wore one earring in the right ear to signify their gayness, though I've never met any gay man who did this. It makes me wonder if that is what they are asking. Or if they are wondering if it signifies that I'm in a gang. I don't know. I just find it such an odd question.
__________________
OTN: Jeckyl and Hyde Hat, Shetland Shortwrap( )

FO: Lacey Stole, Library Capelet, Dead Fish Hat, Tree Bark Scarf
trvvn5 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-21-2010, 11:13 AM   #2
Crycket
Working the Gusset
 
Crycket's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Kitchener, ON - Canada
Posts: 1,675
Thanks: 273
Thanked 307 Times in 251 Posts
Send a message via Skype™ to Crycket
My guess is that they are just not asking the right question.

It was like when I worked at the theatre....the question "do these stairs go up?" was asked. It was one of those questions that wanted to make you beat your head against the wall. Clearly the stairs go up...what they wanted to ask was "do these stairs lead to [where I want to go]?"

While it could be simular to the "gay ear" question...I have a feeling it is probably a misasked question.

I don't know...quite frankly I can't figure people out. A piercing is a piercing...it often doesn't mean anything more than the person who has them, likes piercings. On a tattoo it makes sense...on piercings...not so much...

My tattoo is music notes connected with a vine and a blue rose all around my ankle. I rarely get asked if the music notes are to anything...and they are...the are the music to The Rose. *shrugs*...I don't know!
__________________
Adopt one today! Adopt one today!


Growing old is mandatory, growing UP is optional!
Crycket is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-21-2010, 12:01 PM   #3
N0obKnitter
Working the Gusset
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Colorado, USA
Posts: 1,134
Thanks: 1,136
Thanked 144 Times in 127 Posts
I have 8 earlobe piercings, a helix and a navel piercing. No-one has ever asked what they "mean" though me being a girl may have something to do with that. Ironically two of my piercings I got to commemorate events, the helix was for one of my birthdays (my piercer gave 1/2 off on your birthday, too) and the navel I got to commemorate raising $2000 and walking 60km (in August, in two days) for a cure for Breast cancer.

Maybe you should make up something like "I got this one to commemorate climbing Mount Everest."
__________________
[Spock]I have always been, and always shall be, your friend.[/Spock]
""
N0obKnitter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-21-2010, 01:33 PM   #4
Jan in CA
Moderator
Mod Squad
 
Jan in CA's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Southern CA
Posts: 37,346
Thanks: 1,683
Thanked 8,803 Times in 7,162 Posts
I agree she's probably not asking the right question. If you're really open to discussing it or enlightening her/him then ask if they mean something else and then tell them. Then they won't have to ask anymore.

The below bit is my personal opinion and I hope it's tactful enough not to get me in trouble -

As for prejudice.. I'm sure there are many people who very much are, but some aren't so much prejudiced as wary. When I was younger it was mostly a certain group of people who were pierced and tattooed. People often feared them and stereotyped them to be druggies, troublemakers, etc. I doubt they caused anymore trouble than anyone else in reality, but fearing what you don't know and don't understand is a common emotion. It's partly human nature and part common sense and probably partly what has kept us on the planet so long.

My 80 yr old parents would cross the street to avoid a person with tats and piercings, but I'm 57 and it doesn't bother me although I do notice it (which is maybe the point) and wonder why on earth anyone would do that to themselves. No need to answer that because I know..I just disagree that it's attractive.
__________________
Jan

When asking questions ALWAYS post the name and a link for the pattern if you have it.

NEW! KH knitting video archive
~HOW TO POST A PHOTO~

Jan in CA is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Jan in CA For This Useful Post:
KathleenG (05-23-2010), RuthieinMaryland (05-22-2010)
Old 05-21-2010, 01:53 PM   #5
cftwo
Working the Gusset
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: PA
Posts: 1,043
Thanks: 32
Thanked 308 Times in 289 Posts
I think Jan has summed up what I've seen very well. Depending on where you live or how/where the questioners grew up, decorating yourself with tatoos or multiple piercings just wasn't something that people in the mainstream did. In some cases, it was even unusual for a woman to get her ears pierced. My grandfather told his daughters that if they got their ears pierced, he'd pierce their nose. My dad (his SIL) thought that philosophy sounded like a good idea. So when my mom got her ears pierced at 40, it was a very big deal. Similarly, the first young man in my high school to get his ear(s) pierced did so while studying abroad (this was in the mid-80s). Piercings, for men in particular, just weren't mainstream. So getting a piercing, the mainstream thought, had to have been done for something. After all, why would you want to be that different? There were/are, I guess, some unspoken rules about it being OK to be different, as long as it was within certain parameters.
cftwo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-21-2010, 02:12 PM   #6
trvvn5
Turning the Heel
 
trvvn5's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Harrisburg, PA
Posts: 533
Thanks: 13
Thanked 133 Times in 107 Posts
Send a message via AIM to trvvn5
I was the first boy to get pierced ears at middle school. So I guess I was the kid who didn't care.

I guess I've grown up in a completely different atmosphere. Where tattoos and piercings were just part of decoration like necklaces or earrings only permanent and a little different. And I think society has gone through some major changes in the past few decades, we've shifted from a group society to an individualistic society. Where people were trying so hard to fit in in the 50's, people now try harder to be different. So tattoos and piercings were just a form of being artistic and different and I suppose people who grew up in an ideology of fitting in that there would have to be some kind of reason that somoene would want to be on the fringe. Where as to us, we don't understand why someone would want to look like everyone else.
__________________
OTN: Jeckyl and Hyde Hat, Shetland Shortwrap( )

FO: Lacey Stole, Library Capelet, Dead Fish Hat, Tree Bark Scarf
trvvn5 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-23-2010, 11:03 PM   #7
Gertie
Knitting the Flap
 
Gertie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Indiana, USA
Posts: 415
Thanks: 204
Thanked 156 Times in 129 Posts
Check this out!! It was posted years ago on KH.


To me, using one's person as an art canvas isn't offensive. It can be kinda fun to see the hair color du jour.
Gertie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-01-2011, 07:11 PM   #8
ArtLady1981
Moderator
Mod Squad
 
ArtLady1981's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Kent, Washington
Posts: 10,473
Thanks: 5,264
Thanked 3,893 Times in 3,014 Posts
I think questions like that are rude and intrusive. And I do not think they are sincere about really wanting to know why or what. I think their question is a ruse to pronounce judgment on your piercings. And the questions are forcing you to justify what they clearly do not like.

Their questions are like a fist in a velvet glove. I detest this line of questioning.
Really gets my hackles up, can you tell?

If they were your friends, they wouldn't need to ask. Anyone else shouldn't ask.

That said...you can usually tell the subtle difference between "fist" questioning and the sincere questioning.

But, I personally don't ask questions like that. Not even of my own adult children. I wait it out...and usually figure it out for myself. Or they eventually comment and a lightbulb goes off in my head. But the casual acquaintance...the person you rarely see, the person you just met, the person that you will never see again...why do they need to know your reasons? They're either pronouncing judgment, or they are just plain nosy.

Some folks have absolutely NO FILTER on their mouths.
Whatever ever is rattling around in their heads just rolls right out that big mouth.

Amen.
__________________
Knitting Help Video Index

Artlady at Rav
ArtLady1981 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-01-2011, 11:12 PM   #9
saracidaltendencies
Working the Gusset
 
saracidaltendencies's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: knittinghelp.com
Posts: 1,919
Thanks: 955
Thanked 1,090 Times in 608 Posts
I know I commented much earlier in the thread but the way I see it is if you have piercings (which I do, eyebrow, tongue, and septum...had my lip for a while, years ago but had to take it out due to a recurring infection and being pregnant with my son) and tattoos (which I also have, 10, currently), you have to expect to be questioned or judged. Now I'm not saying that's fair because it's not, but, that's how people are and anyone who goes against the grain needs to understand that others will be curious and/or judgmental. If you react negatively you're only going to reinforce their judgmental and most likely negative view of you. You CAN'T let it get to you. Answer their question(s) with a smile even if you do feel offended because if you act completely un-offended you don't give them the satisfaction of being condescending, AND, you just might actually make them change their mind about you. Believe me, I've had all sorts of people try to judge me and stereotype me and I LOVE to be able to prove them wrong...If you take offense and get angry you're giving the person who is passing judgement exactly what they want, and/or, exactly what they expect...On the flip-side, however, there are people who truly are just curious or just want to strike up a conversation but don't quite know how...
__________________
--The member formerly known as Demonica

"You must be the change you wish to see in the world."
- Mahatma Gandhi
saracidaltendencies is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to saracidaltendencies For This Useful Post:
MerigoldinWA (06-02-2011)
Old 06-01-2011, 11:58 PM   #10
ArtLady1981
Moderator
Mod Squad
 
ArtLady1981's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Kent, Washington
Posts: 10,473
Thanks: 5,264
Thanked 3,893 Times in 3,014 Posts
Good points, saracidaltendencies! Totally agree with you!
There is absolutely nothing to be gained by lashing out at rude, nosy people.

Hope my post didn't insinuate that I think that is the way to deal with them.
I might feel hot inside, but I'd never let them see it!

Actually, a good way to respond to a question like: "What does that pierce mean?"
is: "What do you think it means?"

Or, when asked: "Why did you have your xxx pierced?"
respond: "Why do you think I did?"

They'll say: "I don't know."
And you'll say: "Neither do I!"

If they have any brainy ideas to share...just say "You're right!"

End of that discussion. Your body parts and body art. Shees.

And now on to the more important things..."what do you think about xxx?"
Boy, in today's world...you'll have no end of xxx topics to ask them about.
__________________
Knitting Help Video Index

Artlady at Rav

Last edited by ArtLady1981 : 06-02-2011 at 03:32 AM.
ArtLady1981 is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to ArtLady1981 For This Useful Post:
saracidaltendencies (06-02-2011)
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Ear Piercing for Infants Itsabtme The Lounge 62 11-19-2007 02:21 PM
thinking about a nose piercing... itsjustmeghan The Lounge 36 09-26-2007 09:11 AM
Your body piercing experience - It's DONE! PIX Pg 5!!! Silver The Lounge 71 07-23-2007 01:20 PM
Hand Web piercing? NakedPancakes General Knitting 53 11-19-2006 01:37 PM
Best tattoo ever Silver General Knitting 26 10-12-2005 07:03 PM

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 12:01 AM.