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Why is it rude to ask someone their age?


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#1 seayork2002

Posted 22 March 2017 - 10:16 AM

I have no real reason for asking but was tv last night and in the show someone got upset because they were asked their age so I am only asking for that reason as such

I am 42 but I could be 20 or 60 or 80 and I can't do anything about my age so why would I be upset if I why asked?

and I get it is no one elses business but to me it is just like being asked address, car rego etc. it is just a question

ADDED: if you have your own confusion add it too please! (an early 'Friday' thread?)

Edited by seayork2002, 22 March 2017 - 10:39 AM.


#2 Gruffalo's Child

Posted 22 March 2017 - 10:23 AM

If age really is irrelevant why would we ask the question in the first place?  I don't like being asked my age, especially by new acquaintances, because I'm wondering why they really want to know.

#3 somila

Posted 22 March 2017 - 10:25 AM

Because they are concerned about being discriminated against?
That is a real issue, for men and women.

The tradition of never asking a woman her age comes from the horror of being seen as 'past your prime' in terms of being attractive to men.

I am quite open about my age etc but I wouldn't ask someone else unless it was relevant to something in particular.

#4 seayork2002

Posted 22 March 2017 - 10:26 AM

View PostGruffalo, on 22 March 2017 - 10:23 AM, said:

If age really is irrelevant why would we ask the question in the first place?  I don't like being asked my age, especially by new acquaintances, because I'm wondering why they really want to know.

But to me it is a 'fact' so it asking for someones political views, thoughts on a topic etc. it just is what it is

IMO that is

#5 just someone

Posted 22 March 2017 - 10:29 AM

.

Edited by just someone, 14 January 2018 - 12:46 PM.


#6 red_squirrel

Posted 22 March 2017 - 10:30 AM

Some people are also in denial about their age.

The 55 year old who think they are 29 types.
They would be incredibly offended you don't share their delusion.

#7 JJ

Posted 22 March 2017 - 10:32 AM

View PostGruffalo, on 22 March 2017 - 10:23 AM, said:

If age really is irrelevant why would we ask the question in the first place?  I don't like being asked my age, especially by new acquaintances, because I'm wondering why they really want to know.

I generally don't mind being asked, but yes, it is a loaded question sometimes - not just polite conversation or taking an interest.

I think it depends on the context, OP. Also, some people just have a thing about never revealing their age - it seems a bit silly, but they may have their reasons.

#8 somila

Posted 22 March 2017 - 10:33 AM

View Postseayork2002, on 22 March 2017 - 10:26 AM, said:

But to me it is a 'fact' so it asking for someones political views, thoughts on a topic etc. it just is what it is

IMO that is

Facts can be used against people either intentionally or subconsciously.  Context is everything.

#9 somila

Posted 22 March 2017 - 10:35 AM

It's the secret recipe people who confuse me.
Why wouldn't you want to share a recipe for something people love to eat?  
Are you only valued for your secret cooking powers?
Are you happy for your secret to die with you so we can never eat those yummy things again?

Edited by somila, 22 March 2017 - 10:35 AM.


#10 Gruffalo's Child

Posted 22 March 2017 - 10:37 AM

View Postseayork2002, on 22 March 2017 - 10:26 AM, said:



But to me it is a 'fact' so it asking for someones political views, thoughts on a topic etc. it just is what it is

IMO that is

Asking someone's views on a topic show an interest in getting to know that person as an individual, they can be great conversation starters.  I just don't see age in the same category.  To me, unless you have a specific reason to ask, it's as irrelevant and inappropriate as asking someone their bra size.

#11 somila

Posted 22 March 2017 - 10:40 AM

Or their relationship history, or whether they dye their hair etc etc etc.
ETA Height and weight.  That'd be an interesting one!

Edited by somila, 22 March 2017 - 10:43 AM.


#12 Caribou

Posted 22 March 2017 - 10:41 AM

It's just a conversation starter I think? It helps frame conversations. i.e if you're older than me, I might ask if you have kids. if you're younger than me, I probably wouldn't ask if you had kids.

It's not a great example, but I find I relate better to people closer to my age than older people. I'm happy to chat etc, but experience tells me a 30yr old doesn't have as much in common with a 50yr old.

#13 Moonl!ght

Posted 22 March 2017 - 10:42 AM



What kind of show was it you were watching?

If someone makes a comment and is then asked their age, the question could be used to void their argument.

Depending on the context it could be like asking someone if it's their time of month.

View PostGruffalo, on 22 March 2017 - 10:23 AM, said:

If age really is irrelevant why would we ask the question in the first place?

Couldn't agree more.

#14 seayork2002

Posted 22 March 2017 - 10:44 AM

View PostMoonl!ght, on 22 March 2017 - 10:42 AM, said:

What kind of show was it you were watching?

If someone makes a comment and is then asked their age, the question could be used to void their argument.

Depending on the context it could be like asking someone if it's their time of month.



Couldn't agree more.

The real Marigold hotel series 2.

#15 seayork2002

Posted 22 March 2017 - 10:45 AM

View PostMadnessCraves, on 22 March 2017 - 10:41 AM, said:

It's just a conversation starter I think? It helps frame conversations. i.e if you're older than me, I might ask if you have kids. if you're younger than me, I probably wouldn't ask if you had kids.

It's not a great example, but I find I relate better to people closer to my age than older people. I'm happy to chat etc, but experience tells me a 30yr old doesn't have as much in common with a 50yr old.

I have always gotten along with people much older than me - I joined and overseas equivalent to the CWA here and I think I was the youngest by about 30 years for a while

#16 archyandmehitabel

Posted 22 March 2017 - 10:47 AM

My MIL always lied about her age, making herself about 10 - 15 years younger than she was. She always said it was because she had to to get a job.

I know that ageism is definitely a thing in the work force.  Older people find it hard to get jobs because you are seen as
1) inflexible - won't change
2) less able to learn
3) harder to manage because you are older than your boss and boss feels awkward/intimidated
4) better skilled so you will show those above you up
5) better able to know your rights and appropriate remuneration

OTOH, for my MIL, this lying about her age dovetailed nicely with her view of herself as young and trendy so was a convenient excuse.  It wasnt until she was over 80 that she started to be proud of her age, though it was always because 'no one believes I'm over 80 because I look/appear/behave as though I'm much younger'

Had an internet friend who made her age a Great Mystery for no reason  She was the one who actually started teasing me about her actual age, making it a puzzle for me to work out. so it wasn't me badgering her to know her age. Then she lied and gave an age she couldn't have been. Because she had teased me so much about her age I did the maths on the age she'd said she was.  The younger age meant that her father, whom she revered, had been dead 18 months when her mother got pregnant.  She was absolutely furious and offended when I pointed this out.   Took it as a slight on her mother.  Really? If she hadn't told a stupid lie I would never have thought it was a possible scenario!

#17 YodaTheWrinkledOne

Posted 22 March 2017 - 10:50 AM

because generally, in most societies, older is not considered better.

#18 Gossipgirl22

Posted 22 March 2017 - 10:50 AM

I don't get it either OP. I have no problems if I'm asked my age. That's if I actually remember how old I am.


#19 seayork2002

Posted 22 March 2017 - 10:51 AM

View PostYodaTheWrinkledOne, on 22 March 2017 - 10:50 AM, said:

because generally, in most societies, older is not considered better.

Speak for yourself





:smile:

#20 Squeekums The Elf

Posted 22 March 2017 - 10:51 AM

Im funny about it
With people im comfortable with i dont care too much, even on eb but do get snappy if jokes about me ageing get too much

But i wont reveal my age for employment as i dont want to open up avenues for discrimination  
if its insisted upon, it would make me wonder why, how will this be used against me

#21 seayork2002

Posted 22 March 2017 - 10:52 AM

View PostGossipgirl22, on 22 March 2017 - 10:50 AM, said:

I don't get it either OP. I have no problems if I'm asked my age. That's if I actually remember how old I am.

Now I think about it I usually tell people I was born in 75 work it out yourself

#22 Oriental lily

Posted 22 March 2017 - 10:55 AM

I agree Its about not wanting to be discriminated against . Not just about being older either . A person asking a young looking persons age after them  giving a political opinion might have it dismissed as irrelevant if they said they were 18 compared to if they said they were 28 .

Ageism is a reality . On both sides of the spectrum .

Thus its rude to ask if it's due to wanting to make a judgement of some kind . Which in most cases it is .

Or why ask ?

#23 Squeekums The Elf

Posted 22 March 2017 - 11:00 AM

View Postseayork2002, on 22 March 2017 - 10:52 AM, said:

Now I think about it I usually tell people I was born in 75 work it out yourself
Well your age is safe from me :rofl:

#24 YodaTheWrinkledOne

Posted 22 March 2017 - 11:02 AM

View Postseayork2002, on 22 March 2017 - 10:51 AM, said:

Speak for yourself





:smile:
Hey, I'm the wrinkled one, remember?  I revel in my old age!

#25 Starletta

Posted 22 March 2017 - 11:04 AM

I am 33. I get asked all the time, especially by colleagues or new acquaintances but I really couldn't care less.

Sometimes I think people are just curious and interested in the people around them and we read too much into things. I know I am curious all the time of peoples age, but I never ask because you just dont know if it will make them uncomfortable. Just because I am fine with it, doesnt mean they will be.

But I understand why people would withhold that information when it comes to career etc.




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