Why can't we ask a girl, lady or a women her age? Is it wrong?

India
January 10, 2009 11:13am CST
Today I had gone to a mall for some garment shopping. I entered the mall after being frisked by the security personnel (after mumbai terror strike it became more strict) and went to the pantaloons showroom. There I went to mens section and took one blue striped shirt, one green of same design and two different shades of bluish green to try after fussing and shortlisting many others. So armed with my four shirts and also the plastic bag I was carrying I went in, tried them all, finally selecting blue one and while returning I triped over a hanger lying on the floor. Immediately I gave a loud obsene scream. A saleswoman nearby helped me get up and collect the fallen garments. After getting up I properly noticed the sales woman. She was attractive and looked about my age but to be sure instinctively felt about asking her age. I thanked her and complained about the hanger and without ever asking her age went ahead to the counter, paid for the garment and went home. When I contemplated what I did, I thought why did I hesistate to ask the girl about her age. I knew I wasn't afraid but I felt as if I was about to do something wrong by asking her age. My question or query or whatever you all may like to call it, is that Is there any reason why it's a common unspoken rule that you should never ask a girl or woman her age?
1 person likes this
13 responses
@artaucan (97)
• United States
11 Jan 09
I actually thing that it´s unneccesary to ask age, whether it´s a guy or girl unless it has to do with something specificly related to their personal information, otherwise I consider it being unpolite.
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• India
11 Jan 09
Hello artaucan. The essence of this discussion was to unearth why it is unpolite to ask a girl her age?. Its just another information like her name for example. So that comment didn't help me much. But still I appreciate you reading and trying to think in that direction and coming up with a plausible answer. Thanks!
• United States
11 Jan 09
Well, what I said is that there´s never the need to ask for age, regardless of genre, only if it´s for specific purposes, what was the reason why you wanted to ask the sales lady her age in the first place? only curiosity because she seemed your same age?, also, how would you feel is someone asks yours ?
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• India
19 Jan 09
Ya I was interested in her. So I thought of asking her age. Probably you are right in saying that unless I was interested in her I shouldn't bother asking her age or not. Right thats what you tried to convey?
@kalav56 (11502)
• India
11 Jan 09
Well it is a traditional gallant behaviour not to ask a woman's age and a man's salary. In your specific case , however, the acquaintance was way too short to ask for her age. If you had engaged in conversation for at least about half an hour then it is at least something you can contemplate. How would you react if she suddenly asked you your salary, or your qualification? Would you have thought it very natural? So, there is nothing wrong in your feeling that you were doing something wrong if you asked her age.
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• India
19 Jan 09
So if I had asked her age at that point of time then it would have been interpreted as something fishy or suspiciously? Is that what you are trying to say?
@kalav56 (11502)
• India
20 Jan 09
I am not saying that it is fishy or a thing that would be perceived as suspicious. She may just think that you are being unnecessarily nosy because it is none of your business [she is likely to think that way]
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• India
22 Jan 09
You know what, from my experiences and this discussion I am starting to feel that Womenfolk tend and try to generalise things a lot from even the smallest of things as men see as unconnected to it.
• India
10 Jan 09
There is a proverb saying "One should not ask women her age, and a man his salary". There is no rule for this. But asking so to a women employs that " she is looking aged " generally people say this, I am not sure how far this is right or not.
• India
11 Jan 09
Hello prashanth01. Ya may be I was influenced by that saying. Now when i try to, I remember that the proverb was a well known and ingrained in the earlier generations and its influence may be have rubbed it off on me.
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• India
11 Jan 09
Nothing wrong in it. Not only you, now a days in this modern world, no one is taking care of such a proverbs and such rules. In this modern life, everything is taken easy and we don't have time to look at these things. what do u say?
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• India
19 Jan 09
Ya certainly. In this today's fast paced world no one gives a thought for such proverbs. And may be I shouldn't much bother about it any more.
@maximax8 (28958)
• United Kingdom
11 Jan 09
Mumbai sounds like Israel due to the terror attacks. I had frisking before going in shopping centers there. It was sad when you tripped over a clothes hanger on the floor. I know that I wonder people's age when they appear to look around my age. I am a teacher and if a child asks me how old I am I say I am older than they are but not as old as the Queen. It is that a lad feels sad about getting older. Twenty one fine, thirty oh dear and then they say 'life begins at forty'.
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@maximax8 (28958)
• United Kingdom
11 Jan 09
I meant lady not lad, sorry.
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• India
19 Jan 09
Lol that was a good way to avoid answering about your age to the student. Anyway I feel the fundamental perception here is flawed that lady is fine at 21, and .. Because its not actually so.
@taface412 (3176)
• United States
11 Jan 09
Because some women are scared of getting older. When you get older you get wrinkles. When you get wrinkles you feel less young. Youth and beauty for some women go hand in hand. Now whereas men according to the old rule of thought get better, or more distinguished with age. To me it's all a load of you know what. I used to fear my age as I approached 30, which is the horroifying number to women, but I decided I was going to own my number. In other words, I control my life, not the number. And wrinkles, well they got enough lotions and potions on the market to combat that stuff, plus there is tons of concealer. You could think of a way for in the future of asking women in a not so sublte way. That way if she is comfortable in telling you she will, if not she'll give you an evasive answer.
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• India
19 Jan 09
Hello taface412. A nice reply. Now since I am talking to a woman, I think I can ask this. Can I get some tips about what would have been a more subtler way to pursue what I was tyring to do.
@lellyp (245)
• Indonesia
11 Jan 09
for some country i hear is impolite men ask woman age, I don't know why. In here, in my country its doesn't matter guys asking age to woman. In here woman look more young from her age, like me heheh am 36yo but my face look like 28yo. Lucky me cos am working in office full young people.
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• India
19 Jan 09
Hi lellyp. You too pointed out the same point as raised by jcay_lorna. Yep its indeed true that woman at different places to differ in their perception about the question being asked.
• Ireland
11 Jan 09
Hello. I am a woman myself but I don't mind if somebody ask me of my age. Sometimes they're shocked because they said I don't look like my age. I don't know then whether to insulted or complimented. For some reason, there are people who won't give their age ask somebody their age because they think that it's rude to ask somebody's age. In the Philippines, I know that people would straight away asked you what's your age without a bother. But here in Ireland, you can't ask somebody their age because it's considered rude.
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• India
19 Jan 09
Hello jcay_lorna. I think you should take their comment as compliment always. It helps keeps things cool, although they may have not intended it to be a compliment. Another point you noted out here is that at different places its looked at differently just as different woman look at it differently.
• Philippines
11 Jan 09
Personally, I don't mind being asked about my age. But I do know a handful of women who get offended when asked about their age and are most often than not inclined to lie when asked how old they were. I guess it comes from the thought that some women think they are less desirable as they get older. And when women feel that something about them makes them less attractive, they tend to avoid it as a whole in conversations.
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• India
11 Jan 09
Hey scarletwitch. Thats cool that you aren't one of those!! And this is another point of view I came across, thanks to you. Ya it may be that women may try to avoid discussions on that topic as they age and seem to assume they are less desirable. It's an acceptable reason. Still any other reason you can think of?
• India
11 Jan 09
hi there,,, well whats can be wrong if you are asking some one about there age well there nothing wrong in it you are not doing an offence,,,,,the problem is with gals mentality buddy,,,not with the question
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• India
11 Jan 09
Hello ujjwalbatra. The problem with that lookout is that we are blaming the thing on a girl's mentality and trying to avoid to face that question with thought. Please atleast give it a thought before replying that comment. (Sorry if the tone felt a bit rude, I can't help put it any other way)
@davido (1623)
• Canada
11 Jan 09
You don't have to say thank you or appreciate what one person did by asking their age there about. It takes a personal conversation and intimacy before you can do that. Either a girl, lady, woman or even a MALE will not like it. I cant imagine myself helping some one or some one likes what I did and the next thing is to ask for my age... I will jokingly ask that 'you want to kill me'!? There must be some conversation that has brought a bit of intimacy at least.
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• India
11 Jan 09
Hey davido. That is surely there. You have to be bit intimate atleast should be knowing each other to be able to ask age of other person. Ya you are right but that dilemma I have faced before too with my own classmates, colleagues and friends. So that case what do you have to say?
• United States
11 Jan 09
Hi! I'm Torrie and yes it is very very rude to ask a girl her age. Age really shouldn't even come up in a conversation until you think your going to start dating her never the first time you meet her. Us girls have a unique way of thinking and we take things in ways guys won't understand. For example. I see a guy in a store and I ask him how old he is he won't care.If a guy ask me how old I am I would be like omg do I look too old but really I'm like 20. Things like that come to mind. It's a really big turn off don't ever ever ask that, unless they just tell you.
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• India
11 Jan 09
Hello KiiD_KiiDO. First of all WELCOME to MYLOT and a HAPPY NEW YEAR. What you are trying to say is that girls essentially think every minute matter with much attention and putting their life into it. And generalise based on one isolated specific event, thing or action? Is it fair? Or is this the reason why most men say that they can't understand women when they are actually referring to this tendency of women to try to make sense or judgement about people in general?
• United States
10 Jan 09
For some reason, it's not considered a polite thing to do. Many women these days aren't bothered by it when it does happen, and I think it's a perfectly acceptable thing to do when guessing an age incorrectly could lead to something illegal (like mistaking a 15 year old for much older - and it CAN happen!). However, once someone has reached their 20's, I think that there's really no reason to make age an issue. If you were interested in the sales woman, you could have struck up a casual conversation, and maybe even asked her out - knowing her age isn't necessary unless you think there's a possibility she's underage (or, if you're underage, that she's overage). I think most people consider it impolite because women take so much trouble to maintain a youthful appearance, and then to be asked outright, they may have to reveal that they are much older than they look, and some women are embarrassed by that. Men are allowed to age in today's society, but aging still carries a stigma for a lot of women - we're somehow expected to magically stay youthful and radiant until we die. Sad, but true.
• India
10 Jan 09
Hello youngsweetheart. Wish you a HAPPY NEW YEAR. Ya its not considered polite to do it. Thats waht i figured out and actually may be had it subconsciously known. But as the world today is fast changing I do feel women aren't much bothered about it. But still I just didn't want to be on the receiving end if that saleswomen bothered about it. Now I feel may be I shoukd have just tried and who knows she may have turned out different. Ask for the another factor, it may also be that I may be underage and she a bit overage. So it feels a bit awkward if you really come to think about it. I mean imagine a next door boy (suposing I am a girl)who is two years younger than me trying to hit on me!! I would probably laugh. So coming back to my own point of view, isn't it really awkward. May be the person is just trying to know the age to avoid that awkwardness in future?
• India
11 Jan 09
Most women try to hide their age by use of cosmetics. When they grow older they try to look younger so that they are noticed and people give them compliments. Women are particularly fond of compliments. Quite often it is very difficult to tell a woman's age by looking at her because she hides her true features artistically with the use of make up. No woman wants to be known to be old so they do not disclose their age.
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