I’m taking an informal survey. This is mostly for the women out there, but people of any sex or gender are welcome to join in the conversation. This particular issue happens to women more often, but is not exclusive to us.
Most women have had the experience of being approached or spoken to by men who bestow the compliment of their attention on us. Sometimes they simply comment on how we look, sometimes those comments are lewd and sexual. Sometimes they insist that we acknowledge them, either by following or getting in front of us. When we ignore them, blow them off, or express our displeasure at their actions and words, they often turn even uglier.
There are few women over the age of 13 who have never experienced this. And any number of feminist sites or blogs will educate folks on why this behavior is wrong.
What I want to know is: has it ever worked? Have you ever, when walking down the street, had some random stranger say to you, “You’re so hot,” and actually feel an urge to get his phone number and call him up for a date? After telling a guy “Sorry, I have a girlfriend/wife/boyfriend/husband/significant other,” have you ever felt compelled to cheat on said significant other when the guy persists despite these claims? When they’re aggressively attempting to intimidate you with verbal abuse or physicality, have you ever thought, “Hmm, this guy is certainly serious and also full of testosterone, I should rethink my position and go out with him!”?
I ask because there are days when I wonder if men actually think that some relationship or even one night stand might come from these actions. Of course I know that often it’s just patriarchal bullshit and power dynamics and that they are operating under the assuption that all women are or should be available to them as is their right. But honestly, after years and years of the same pattern:
Guy: Hey baby, you look fine.
Woman: You and your tiny dick can go to hell.
Guy: Yeah, you want me…
You would think that the message would sink in: this is not the way to get a date.
Perhaps I am giving such men too much credit. Maybe they don’t ever expect a date or even sex from these encounters They just do it for fun. But, on the off chance that these men do think this is a viable way to meet women, let’s make it clear.