Offense and compromise and tolerance

What people often mean by "compromise", is that the offended party requires whoever they find offensive to conform to the expectations of the offended party. There is no expectation that the offended party should alter their behaviour, or expectations, at all. This is what we see in public all the time. Naked people are continually told they must compromise for the sake of the minority puritans who impose their offended behaviour on the rest of us.

It is a simple matter to say that "because I wish to be naked, everyone must be naked". This would clearly be simple but wrong, but then I'm not a fascist, and I think we should all be able to make up our own minds how we dress. This is actually precisely what the textile community says: "because I wish to be clothed, everyone must be clothed". I have no wish to impose my dress code on anyone else, and equally I have no wish to have anyone else's dress code imposed upon me. The idea that everyone must be dressed, or everyone must be naked, are both equally tyrannical declarations. Where people have a difference of opinion on this state (of dress), a compromise may be reached with ease by merely stating that everyone can dress how they choose.

This is why I extend respect to anyone who's wife, (it's usually the woman who is less enthusiastic), who is clearly not 100% comfortable with his nudity, but is still prepared to accept it all the same. Saying something to the effect of: "I don't especially like the nudity, I don't understand why you have to be naked, and it's not for me either. However, I do respect and love YOU, and understand it is something important for you, and therefore I will tolerate your nakedness in our home (or wherever)."

This is the true meaning of "tolerance", (please DO look up the meaning of the word in the dictionary), and of "compromise". Because NOT coming down on my side and NOT coming down on your side either, but putting up with something not to your taste, is true tolerance.

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8 thoughts on “Offense and compromise and tolerance”

  1. "Tolerance" seems to be a horribly misused word these days. People say they're tolerant about gay people or other minorities, but what's there to be tolerant about? To say you tolerate something suggests it's somehow negative. Do we tolerate stamp collectors? To we tolerate people with blue eyes? No, because there's nothing to tolerate. So why do we say it for minorities?

    I tolerate things like noisy children (sometimes!) because they annoy me yet I don't think I should demand their silence.

    To say you tolerate something that has no consequences to you is to demean it while elevating your own sense of self-righteousness.

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