Case 2: A mother sees her daughter before a date. The daughter's skirt is "too short." The mother tells the daughter to change, because "it is better to present a little mystery."
Case 3: Three teenaged boys are standing on a corner in the city, cursing and making racy comments about girls. A woman is seen approaching and when she gets to the corner, the boys take off their hats and say "Good evening." When she is gone, they go back to being crude.
Case 4: A twenty-something is working at a burger joint. He is fast and he is courteous, hoping that the boss will see his hard work and give him a raise one day. He wants to do his best, because some day he wants to have his own accounting firm and he believes hard work is the answer to realizing dreams.
Case 5: A meeting begins between the teacher and the parents of a boy, because young Frederic is not doing well in math. The teacher gives the parents her viewpoint. The parents say "Are you listening, Frederic? Mrs. Smith is telling you what you need to do in order to get better grades." They turn to the teacher after the meeting: "Thank you Mrs. Smith."
Case 6: William Wyler makes Ben Hur. Since the movie is about Jesus, he decides the MGM lion should not roar in the beginning, lest the film company seem irreverent.
Fast forward in time, fifty years:
Case 1B: A man is cautioning another man about the next step he is thinking of taking in a battle. The advisee responds to the advisor: "Thanks for your words of caution, but we will proceed my way." (He would never have spoken and equated the word "woman" with an implication of weakness or timidity.)
Case 2B: A mother sees her daughter before a date. The girl's outfit (in the mom's opinion) is "cute" -- high skirt, low neckline. The mother tells the daughter she "looks great," because her philosophy is "if you got it, flaunt it."
Case 3B: Three teenaged boys are talking on a train. They are surrounded by women and children. They use profanity for the entire ride. They are not intentionally crude; they are just talking how they talk.
Case 4B: A twenty-something works at a burger joint. He moves slowly and he is flat with the customers, because he is only in this job while he is in school to become an accountant. He is just as good as any of his customers, so why should he have to call them "sir" or "ma'am"?
Case 5B: A meeting begins between the teacher and parents of the teacher because little Frederic is not doing well in math. The teacher gives the parents her viewpoint. The parents interrupt her. They tell her she is "not teaching." They want to know why she is letting young Frederic fail.
Case 6B: Andres Serrano submerges a crucifix in a cup of his own urine and photographs it, because art should not be subjected to control by conventional thinking.
The evaluation of each of these scenarios is up to you. But it did occur to me the other day that social concept is like a balloon that surrounds all of our culture. Over decades, it stretches and it stretches. Can it pop? If it does, what happens?