Thursday, February 10, 2005

Well, what do you say?

Dear Bloggernation,

Need some honest feedback. In my recent post called, The Gospel According to Ty , I received a card in the mail, the snailmail, taking me to task. She referred to the following excerpt in my post.

And, yes, I agree that it is unrealistic that every female on the design team is, well, totally hot. But there is something to this show.

About this excerpt, Jane said:

Mr. Gonzalez, Are you aware that by referring to the females on the design team as, "totally hot," you are being disrespectful to your wife?

I should have you know that post was also my newspaper column in the Jonesboro Sun last Saturday. This card came from a local.

So, what do you think? Was I disrespectful of my wife, as Jane says?

After I get a little feedback, I will let you know what my wife thinks.


TCS said...

Bloggernation, Ha that sounds like a wrestler or wraslar as they used to say in Memphis. I am always one to jump in and tell others the waters fine (as my teeth chatter). So since you asked. I have never seen your wife. ;-) I didn't think of it as disrespectful. I am going to guess that you have a good intimate relationship with your wife and if that is the case, then she doesn't care that you say a totally hot female is just that. Would it have been ok if you said "very attractive"? Maybe Jane is insecure about her husbands feeling...oops there I go again sorry.

Two real points is a intersting book and site about how we have robbed ourselves of the joy of sexuality. The second point is to your real question. I really don't think that it is disrespectful to say such. To gawk (did I spell that correctly)at another woman, while sitting with your wife at a resturant I would say goes to far. To notice beauty and call it such is, well, its natural. Even if you vocabulary is so weak. Really "Totally Hot" and "jinky".

don said...


Matt said...

As a guy who is continually perplexed by the wonders and complexities of inter-gender relations I will sidestep, entirely, expressing any definitive opinion on this question. I am however, grateful that you've opened it up for public discussion, because I think there are a lot of views that can and should be aired here.

I can see both sides to this. On the one hand, I can hear a legitimate argument that we need to lighten up a little on this subject. If people - women or men - are attractive, whats wrong with stating the obvious? On the other hand, there are lots of issues about women's insecurities with their bodies, and a host of associated disorders, that come into play when guys start talking like this. And we can be profoundly hurtful in ways that may not be obvious on the surface.

Could it be that remarks like this are okay, in certain contexts, but that we need to be VERY discreet about how and when they are made?

I hope we can get some honest answers from some of your female readers. I'm also looking forward to hearing from your Mrs...

germinsky said...

Na, just being honest!

Anonymous said...

Man, Your blog is totally Hot...

There is nothing wrong with saying what ya said... people are so anal its unbelievable!

James said...

I'm betting your wife agrees with your assessment. Sounds like you just stepped on one of those hidden landmines in someone else's list of 'issues'.

Anonymous said...

I'm Fajita's "HOT" wife and no, I did not feel disrespected at all...because I know my husband. He actually is very offended at the portrayal of women in media.(refuses to watch Victoria Secrets commercials!) (Although EM:HE isn't really going that far - See, I just don't notice things like that as much as he does - must be that "guy's being more visual" thing.) I also know Chris as a writer as well -I know he uses a little "shock value" in his writting to make a point and I've learned how to interpret him. This is a benifit I have that not everyone gets to enjoy. I realize that the words like "hot", he uses to reflect our cultures responses and not nessesarily his own feelings. I know that's just how he writes (it's effective most of the time).

lee said...

Matt's comment caused me to wonder what Jesus (and Paul as his spokesman) would say in your defense.

One thing led to another. Matt 5:28 came to mind first, then Gal 3:27-28; followed by I Cor. 7, especially verses 4-9, then the last half of chapter 6:12-20.

My own opinion is that Valentine's Day is not too late for you to make your apologies to your wife!

David U said...

Chris, I think it is possible for someone to use that phrase and disrespect their wife. But it for sure is not a given, and in this case your wife has confirmed that she did not interpret it that way.
I think like SO many things, it comes down to a person's heart and motivation. I am not about to try and judge everybody's heart that says something questionable. At the same time, I am going to make sure that I don't TRY and offend someone JUST for the purpose of offending them. I would be surprise if anybody thought you had that as a motive.

In closing, WWJD? It's old, but still a valid question. Isn't it?


Fajita said...

As you can see, Fajita's wife speaks for herself.

Thanks all of you for the comments. Please keep them coming.

Fajita's wife and I talked about this last night and had a great conversation. One of the things we talked about was the difference between "totally hot" and and "attractive." She also mentioned that the guys were pretty hot, too.

You know I would not have gotten Jane's letter had I used the word, "attractive."

Attractive is different than hot. Attractive is an assessment made by one person about another or one person about themself. It rests in the realm of bland fact. Hot is attractive with attitude. It rests in the realm of energized fact. What I mean is that there is some kind of emotion attached to the word hot that does not come across in attractive.

Hot (from the perspective of the person who is hot) implies a willingness to allow the attractiveness to be used in some fashion. There is a confidence (arrogance, fake confidence) attached to it. Hot is not merely an observation made by someone about someone else, or someone about self, there is utility to it - there is an intention with it. That hotness is used for a purpose.

For what purpose? From the perspective of the hot person (and outside the context of marriage), it is used to attract attention, to manipulate, to get something, to lure, to seduce, to tease, to gain affirmation, to hide self-loathing, to deceive, to sell, to fit in, and a whole host of other intentions, mostly none too good. There is an overt sexuality-for-a-use about hot that is not transferred with the use of "attractive."

From the perspective of the observer (and not in the marriage context), the utility is the other part of the relationship. It is used to give attention, to be manipulated, to get something, to be lured, to be seduced, to get teased, to gain affirmation, to hide self-loathing, to be deceived, to purchase or consume, to fit in, and a whole host of other intentions, mostly none too good.

In short, there is a power game going on with "hot" that is not going on with "attractive." It's a sexual chess match.

All I was trying to do was to recognize that, despite the fact that this show intentionally is trying to lure people in with glimpses of sexuality, there are some terrific gospel messages in it. I could not have made that little point with the word attractive.

Brandon Scott said...

HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA! Sheesh. Dude--we married the sisters of hot. Hot shmot. I hear ya dog. Most people get what you're saying. She wasn't speaking your language. Say--aren't you hispanic? Yeah, you're hot. Hot tamale.

DJG said...

And you men think we women are hard to understand? Don had the best comment! I am glad Mrs. Fajita was not offended. I would not have been either. My husband and I discuss "hot" chicks and "hot" guys....

jettybetty said...

As long as your wife knows she is absolutely the totally "hottest" woman in your world--I would not be offended. You are so correct "attractive" would not have had the same impact.
Is "hottest" a word? Is jinky a word?

Clarissa said...

Good grief. I read that post three times before I even found the "totally hot" line. (I'm a skimmer.) Now, if a whole paragraph had discussed the level of "hotness" of each female cast member in depth, THAT could be considered disrespectful.

lee said...

What good is any defense of and agreement with Fajita's intent if Jane remains offended?

Paul's advice: be careful that the exercise of your freedom does not become a stumbling block to the weak.

Fajita said...

I would like to have a conversation with Jane and explore her assumptions and have her explore mine. I think more conversation would be meaningful and perhpas even a relationship could develop. I also think that she has made some assumptions about my wife, my marriage, myself, that she does not have enough information to make.

I don't think Jane is bad. She's got an opinion that I would like to learn more about. Had she given her last name, a return address, a hone number, an e-mail address, or any hint at all that she was interested in a conversation, I would have already talked with her.

I'm seriously considering writing a letter to the editor of the newspaper looking for Jane. That might really get Jane nervous, but it might also connect to her as well.

I'd like to be more understanding of her way, but for now I just can't get at it as I have no way of communicating with her.

germinsky said...

Na, just being honest!