The original question about the lingerie joke made in an elevator was controversial leading to a lively meta discussion. The consensus appeared to be to ask a new, but related, question on issue. This has been done but the initial reception has not been positive. What is wrong with the new question and what can be improved?
Having just read the new question, there are two things about it that currently bother me/signal a poorly-formed question.
(1) The double negatives in the title. "How can I avoid being intolerant and unsupportive ...?". This has the flavor that something is getting bent or overworked in an attempt to take something trashy and make it marginally acceptable. Imagine if the title instead was, "How can I be tolerant and supportive ... ?" That's shorter, clearer, more direct, and doesn't have the "odor" of some ulterior motive being masked. It's also a totally different question, of course.
(2) The line after the quote about the OP's deep-seated fears, "As a male member of academe, I am worried. I feel bewildered and fear that I might also offend someone some day." That seems ridiculous; it's hard to imagine someone so oblivious as to be terrorized at not understanding that mentioning ladies' underwear is a faux pas; or that some amount decorum must essentially be practiced. Rather, this has the scent of a propagandist. I don't think this line adds anything to the question.
I'm happy about the efforts to rescue the essence of the question.
However, I felt that the question needed some sharpening of focus. I'll explain here what my thinking was in the edits I've proposed.
The quote from the linked article showed that this was a gender issue -- yet the title and the tags were a whitewash. So I proposed an edit to the title.
I also added two additional paragraphs from the cited article, so that readers will understand that Prof. X didn't just make an insensitive, silly "joke" in the elevator -- in fact, he dug himself in deeper by emailing the complainant and calling the complaint "frivolous." It will be easier to explain to the original OP (and people in his shoes) what was wrong with Prof. X's actions, and how to avoid doing something similar, if this information is included.
And I made the asker's gender explicit.
I was initially skeptical that edits could address my concerns about the original question: not specific to academia, bad subjective (all answers equally valid, no problem to be solved, and rant like), too broad, and likely to lead to tangential discussion. I was surprise and think the new questions addresses all of my concerns.
Academics blur the lines between professional and social interactions. Further some academics are hypersensitive to issues of harassment while others are socially oblivious. The actions we can/should take are sufficiently different from the actions that should be taken in other workplaces that it seems reasonable to ask here.
By asking for actions that can be taken, not all answers will be equally valid. Some actions will be more effective and others will be easier to implement. There is clearly a problem with harassment in academia and hence knowing how to avoid it is important. The question does not imply that the behavior is not offensive and does not seem like a rant in disguise.
While the question is still broad, it is clearly a topic some members of the community wish to tackle. Any discussion that arises from the question and answers seems like it will lead to better answers as opposed to simply disagreements.
I think the question would have been improved if it removed the citation of the original article to keep focused.
Instead, the answers seem to be based on a reading of that article, and so the intended refocusing of the question has been lost. For example, the question says nothing about the process of apologizing nor about the way Prof Y responded, and the answers and discussion in the comments has become largely a discussion about those topics.
However, I am wary to suggest an edit to the question at this point since it already has several answers and a lot of attention.
The original question was fine.
People just didn't like it because it looked like the original question was invented just to get rep on the site. I'm honestly not sure. OP could have been a troll but we can't know that. The original question could have been the legitimate fears of someone.
The new question is just bad because it's a totally different question!
The original question asks this:
Help me understand why this is offensive?
The new question is mostly heavy pandering. The new question asks this:
How do I not accidentally say something offensive?
Both questions are not great but the new question is awful and removes all intent of the original question.
lingerie–elevator question is exculisivly a gender issue question.
It is a perpetual struggle of females in academia to be taken seriously.
Lack of female moderators and female members of academia SE, made the question about something else. This, as I suppose, is coming from the male members. Most of the people here feel irresponsible to female struggle in academia, they fail to recognize assaults that are sex-based.
Why men cannot recognize their fault and appologize?