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what do you think this means?


Melissa in Australia

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Here in the USA, "hard woman" wouldn't be a compliment.  Like someone who is unbending with loved ones and perhaps punishes a lot.

 

Old people say strange things.  What does he know?  My public face looks rather cold; people may think all sorts of things, but what matters is how my kids feel at home.

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In this part of the world it means straight up, stand on your own two feet, mean what you say and don't take any nonsense.  It would depend on how it was said as to whether they meant it as a compliment or not - in the context you described above, probably

 

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I suspect he may mean you have firm boundaries, are assertive and let the consequences fall when appropriate.

Many people, these days, consider this harsh, however, it usually makes life easier for the children down the road.

 

People considered my parenting strict but my son once said to someone: "No, she is not strict; she just means what she says."

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If someone had said this to me (or about me) in Australia, I doubt it was meant as a compliment ESPECIALLY if it was a caveat to a compliment he had just paid. My guess is exactly as Scholastica wrote:

Some men are threatened by strong women and feel the need to turn it into a negative.

 

 

He's being a bit of a dick, especially saying that to your husband about his spouse. Though take it as a compliment - if that is what he thinks about strong sensible intelligent women, do you really want him to compliment you? :)

 

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It means he is making assumptions on who you are based on what he hasn't learned from listening because you don't talk much.

 

 

It also means he's not going to try and steal you away from your dh. This is a relief, I'm sure.  :laugh:

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I think it can have a positive or negative meaning.

 

Since he gave a compliment (did a great job with your son) and followed it with "but," then the next part was not meant to be a compliment, I don't think.   But you never know.  

 

Is the guy generally a decent sort; do you get along OK with him and all that?   If so, I wouldn't worry about it.  Could be just a compliment gone awry.   Well, either way I wouldn't worry about it!  :-)  

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I think it means nothing, really. A mother described as a hard woman, for example, just means one who doesn't let her kids get away with anything. Strict mother would be another way to describe it. To me, that is a compliment.

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I interpret that phrase as strict and no-nonsense, not necessarily a terrible thing, possibly even meant as a compliment?

 

Around here, this is the interpretation I'd put on it. A lot would depend on tone of voice. In my mind I "hear" it with a humorous tone, meant as a back-handed compliment to a no-nonsense mom who's done well.

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Given in the context I think it has to do with strictness but most often I would hear this phrase in relation to a specific action, said slightly sarcastically or humorously not as an overall statement of character.

 

As in...

 

Your Ma won't let you ride your motorbike unless you've done your schoolwork - wow she's a hard woman.

 

I think hard woman is not usually intended as a compliment but is less negative/more positive in a parenting context than any other one.

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It sounds like an old phrase to me. I picture an old western film with a lady not forgiving a man who did something really stupid. He'd answer, "She's a hard woman."  

 

In this context, I have no idea at all what it might mean. What did your dh take it to mean? 

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Says a good deal more about him, than you, that he's making any such comment at all to your husband.  

 

 

 

As for the meaning of "hard woman," I would as a tactical matter go with, "bad ass." Which is to say, take it as a compliment whether or not it's meant as one, lol.

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I'd take it as a compliment if it were said to me. I strive to be strict and stern, to be a "hard woman". Hard women are the ones who make it in this world.

Yes. No matter how he intended it, TAKE it as a compliment. You are a steel magnolia.

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I can't decipher what it means for you but I want to know why your husband thought it was a good idea to tell you this? Does he think the neighbor paid you a compliment? If not why would he tell you that someone said something about you that wasn't? If hubby knows you at all he'd know you'd spin wheels parsing it.

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