Which Quora questions deserve to be tagged as “dead horse beaters”?

Updated Oct 20

In no particular order:

  • I have a crush on a classmate/coworker/acquaintance/waitress, although we have never spoken. She looked in my direction today. Does that mean she reciprocates the crush?
  • If a person thinks/feels/does <whatever> is that gay?
  • If I literally put a dead horse in front of my gay crush’s house, and start beating it, will that make them reciprocate the crush?
  • Can an eighty year old man have a sexual relationship with a fifteen year old girl? And would most Quorans agree that this is healthy and realistic?
  • My spouse/partner is savagely abusive on a daily basis, but, other than that, the relationship is good. How can I get the abuse to stop, while remaining in the relationship, so I don’t have to be alone?
  • If somebody refuses to date or have sex with people with <whatever>characteristic, is that <something>-ist or <something>-phobic?
  • I am having <whatever> medical symptoms, and would like a diagnosis from random strangers on the internet?
  • What characteristics do <very large diverse group> find attractive in <other very large diverse group>?
  • What opinions do <very large diverse group> hold about <other very large diverse group>?
  • What opinions do <very large diverse group> hold about <some general subject>?
  • If a person spends sixteen hours a day watching online pornography, and beating something that isn’t a dead horse, is that a reasonable amount?
  • Here is a description of behaviour that morally and legally constitutes sexual assault, but would some Quorans be willing to say that it is/was actually acceptable?
  • I have a crush on my coworker, and asked for a date, and she said no, so how should I proceed with an ongoing campaign of workplace harassment, until she gives in and says yes?
  • Could you please post some mind-blowing but obscure historical or geographic facts that you cut-and-pasted from some random listicle?
  • My parents refuse to buy me a new iPhone, so can I call some government authorities to report this as child abuse?
  • Which Bollywood actors do you have a crush on?
  • How should we continue analysing our former spouses/partners who had narcissistic personality disorder, in order to finally come up with a solution or resolution/closure?
  • Can you answer this question from my biology homework?
  • Can you describe a romantic event from your youth, but written as obvious, cheesy fictional porn?
  • Why do so many people in the world keep doing things with which I disagree or feel uncomfortable?
  • What is the deepest, darkest secret that you have never told anyone, and can you post it here publicly under your real name?

The other day, a student was offended when a teacher in class touched her on the shoulder when she was wandering off task. Should teachers never touch students?

Answered Dec 8, 2017

Although I’m not a teacher, I have spent considerable time as a university student.

My default is to never touch anyone unnecessarily, aside from a handshake. I also strongly prefer for other people to have exactly that same attitude in their approach to me (with exactly one exception, who is a close, long-standing friend).

I am perfectly capable of touching people, if necessary. I once had job with plenty of up-close-and-personal touching, because it involved caring for elderly and disabled people. The key word is “necessary”.

For teaching children:

If the child just tripped on their shoelaces and face-planted, go ahead and approach to check for injuries. However, get more cautious as the age increases.

If there is a student-vs-student fight, break it up before someone is injured. If I saw a child being punched in the face, I would be inclined to restrain the assailant, and then face an investigation. An exception would be if the assailant was a teenager who was larger and stronger than me, in which case I would call security.

When in a room alone with a student, either have another person present, or at least leave the door open.

For teaching adults:

Basically, the same as for children.

An important factor (especially with children) is the gender of the teacher. Men are highly vulnerable to suspicion and accusations of “inappropriate” touching, and their career can be instantly over simply due to this bias, without actually doing anything wrong. This is unfortunate, because I would prefer to see more men in traditionally pink-collar occupations.

Women should also be cautious, and should examine the socialised sense of entitlement to be seen as safe and innocent, when the reality is that many women are predators, and some students have experience with that fact.

Transsexual people (in either direction) should never even consider working with children, due to the pervasive paranoia and discrimination, regardless of the individual’s actual integrity or innocence.

For both men and women, I strongly agree with another commentator’s willingness to have a video camera present in the room. In my personal life, I have had a few times when it would have been to my great advantage to have a video recording of an event, to prove my story, and have even considered buying and wearing a “body-cam” just in case of such a situation. It can be anything from a crime committed against you, to a false criminal accusation against you, to civilly actionable behaviour, like harassment or discrimination.

Another important factor (with anyone in any situation) is that, you don’t know the other person’s experiences. You don’t necessarily know if they have experienced child abuse, other violence, or sexual assault. They could be living in a high-crime neighbourhood, where they need to be highly vigilant about anyone suddenly reaching out to grab them. They could have experienced an armed robbery in a workplace. They aren’t obligated to tell you about it, and they aren’t obligated to simply “get over it” and allow random people to reach out and grab them without consent.

I have also heard the “touchy-culture” excuse. However, I grew up on a relatively NON-touchy culture, so “cultural sensitivity” really means respecting my space, and keeping your hands off.

As an adult student, I had a very negative experience with an educational institution (a low-rent polytechnic) where this issue was part of their incessant, totally unprofessional pattern of disrespect and boundary-violations. I switched my money and academic performance to a much better institution, with much more professional staff. “Professional” including respecting boundaries like this.

You may decide your own actions and intentions, but you don’t get to decide other people’s reactions.