The following recent question that has now been voted close is the subject of my query:

A word/phrase/idiom for a woman who refuses to concede to pressure

OP obviously posted a sensitive topic, and also did some controversially irregular editing (which has now been rolled back by moderator.) However, many honestly indignant members of EL&U got sucked into a heated debate on gender politics which may be an important social and ethical topic but is (in my humble opinion) both irrelevant to and far beyond the scope of this English language and usage website.

By the time the dust cleared, the OP's question read something like 'what is a word/phrase/idiom for a woman who does not yield to pressure' although 'a woman who does not see reason' was the sense of the original post.

Taken in isolation, both forms of the question appear no more off topic, nor 'a matter of opinion', than many other single word requests and usage questions seen on this website.

I could not understand the reason for closing the question.

I think the question was closed because many members found its content, tone and editing objectionable. If so, why close it as off-topic; why not close it as objectionable?

Constructive answers would help me to understand how this excellent site regulates itself.

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    Voters base their closure reasons upon the state of the question as it was at the time it was being judged for closure. The revision 7 edit was neither a question, nor about English, so it was a fully appropriate closure reason. Perhaps it can be reopened now, but it seems unlikely. First it reads more like a riddle than the usual request. Second, if it is as you say, perhaps it should remain closed with a moderator changing the close reason to primarily opinion based. Third, it is also worth note that no exemplary sentence was provided by the questioner, which is a requirement for requests.
    – Tonepoet
    Commented Apr 25, 2017 at 20:01
  • Very true -- the rollback to (a version of) the original question is very recent. But is there a provision to close any question as inappropriate / objectionable? Commented Apr 25, 2017 at 20:09
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    Enough Is enough. Whether intentionally or not, the original version of the question sounded as though it was fishing for a word like "bitch". Whereupon several of our women users who aren't easily pushed around stepped in. The question, whatever its merits, became a conduit for a discussion of cultural and legal questions about the rights of rickshaw drivers, the rights of rickshaw passengers and the rights of a woman to protect herself. Off topic. (As for bitch, when the occasion requires it, be one!)
    – ab2
    Commented Apr 25, 2017 at 20:10
  • I am not arguing for its reopening! However I feel that not just the question itself, but the whole gender debate went off topic. Commented Apr 25, 2017 at 20:12
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    Primarily Opinion Based is the closest one I can think of: "Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise." There is no close reason for "this question offends my personal sensibilities", although a custom close reason might apply if it violates the Be Nice policy. Nevertheless questions regarding pejorative words are on-topic here under a few provisions.
    – Tonepoet
    Commented Apr 25, 2017 at 20:18
  • Looking strictly at the question elements alone, there are many terms for "(a person) not seeing reason" and "(a person) not yielding to pressure" though not many apply specifically to women. That's why I don't understand why answers would need to be based on opinion. Commented Apr 25, 2017 at 20:24
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    The original question was quite good, it didn't appear to be biased or prejudicial. Soon after two answers were posted that dared to suggest the woman in question had a right to defend herself, and to safegueard her own safety. The solutions offered were absolutely appropriate, and NOT off topic. However, the OP decided to RADICALLY change the question. You do not change a question beyond recognition after several users have posted answers. Lastly, the OP himself, voted to close the question, I suspect he was heartily fed up, and frustrated with two obstinate female users . E vive la femme!
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Apr 25, 2017 at 20:46
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    The fact of the matter is that the woman was not acting unreasonable, if the story told was true, and she was not incapable of seeing reason, as the OP later opined. I suggest that you look at the changes to the question he made before the rollback made by a mod earlier today.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Apr 25, 2017 at 20:53
  • You are very right. That is why OP changed the question itself to 'a woman who will not yield to pressure, etc.' You can certainly close it by saying that the example or situation provided did not properly represent/support/substantiate the original question. Again, I am not calling for its reopening, but only trying to understand how or why it was deemed "off topic" other than by being objectionable. Commented Apr 25, 2017 at 21:00
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    EDITED I think you may have misinterpreted the changes. Look at the first version here english.stackexchange.com/revisions/384041/2 version 6 english.stackexchange.com/revisions/384041/6 and then version 7 which was a completely different question english.stackexchange.com/revisions/384041/7 The version that you currently see was edited by me. N.B. Users can personalise the reason for closing a question, there's a box which you can fill in that explains why you think the question should be closed. I repeat, the OP himself also wanted to close the question.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Apr 25, 2017 at 21:15
  • Reading all the versions clarifies the situation. In a sense, the rollback confused matters, because the (original) question that readers like me now see is not the radically revised (and entirely different) question that was rightly deemed off topic and voted closed. In fact it was only by looking at the edit notes that I saw that totally changed version, which certainly meets the criteria for being considered off topic. Thanks a lot for all the highly instructive comments! Commented Apr 25, 2017 at 21:17
  • I would also suggest that you design a feature that prevents anyone posting a question from editing it radically after comments start coming in, while possibly allowing minor editing that serves to refine the question. Thanks again for helping me understand how the process works on EL & U! Commented Apr 25, 2017 at 21:33
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    For a somewhat related Meta question, see "What rule(s) does this question violate?," where the main-site question at issue was "Word for people who hate some but not all Jews."
    – Sven Yargs
    Commented Apr 25, 2017 at 23:35
  • Too much! Where do we go when a meta question goes so far off topic (as in, far exceeding the range and scope of meta itself!) Commented Apr 25, 2017 at 23:50
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    I think OP was making an effort to establish that he was asking in general about "persons who do not see reason" (as in the news anchor talking to the movie star) and not specifically about the woman in the auto. This drastic editing was what led to the question being closed as off topic. Commented Apr 26, 2017 at 14:23

1 Answer 1


AFTER looking at all the versions of the question, it's clear that the question even in its original form would have required answers primarily based on opinion. Moreover OP edited and almost entirely changed the question in ways that took it well within the definition of "off topic." Hence the question was voted closed by 5 members including the OP. Detailed discussion within the comments section helped me to understand the reasons for closing the question, thereby resolving my own question in meta.

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