In case you didn’t hear, some bitch ass friend-zoned guy wrote an article where he whinged about how mean girls are and how you can bully them into talking to you.
No, seriously. This wasn’t an Onion article, it was an actual thing that someone who had probably been reading way too much Neil Strauss thought up.
I was going to completely ignore the hype and outrage over this article because I took one look at it and, similar to everyone else, was like
Then I thought about all the dumb shit men have done to try and get my attention over the years. Last Saturday alone I had three completely absurd and unprovoked instances and I’m going to tell you about all of them because, while this is just a snapshot into six hours of my life, it is fairly representative of what I deal with on a consistent basis. I’m also going to set out some rules for all you fellas out there who might be wondering what is and is not appropriate when trying to talk to a stranger.
The first incident was whilst I was standing at a bar waiting to be served, which, you know, is not that strange of a place to be hit on. I was in a bar that was near where a large festival was taking place and the man next to me had been leering at my side profile for about a minute.
RULE NO. 1: IF A WOMAN DOES NOT ACKNOWLEDGE YOU OR MAKE EYE CONTACT AFTER YOU HAVE BEEN STARING AT HER FOR A PROLONGED PERIOD OF TIME, DO NOT SPEAK TO HER. SHE KNOWS YOU’RE STARING AND SHE’S DEEPLY UNCOMFORTABLE
So Johnny Death Stare decides to ignore all social cues and says to me, “Alright darlin? You at the festival then?”
To which I replied, “Yeah, I’m at the festival. This is actually a hologram,” in the best Daria voice I could muster.
Then he laughed and continued to talk to me. At this point my body has returned to the 90-degree perpendicular angle away from him but he keeps talking as my eyes stare straight ahead in disbelief and I widen my stance in what I believe to be a defensive, karate-like move, but probably just looks like I’m about to use a she-wee in the middle of a field at a festival. Anyway, after the obligatory “thank you” to his unsolicited compliments about my looks where I was like
I finally get my drinks and return to my friend who is laughing at this entire spectacle.
Then we head to a comedy club because standing in the rain at a festival doesn’t hold a lot of appeal to me. I mean, I’ll do it if the headliner is good enough, but the last time I did that was for Stevie Wonder and I’m not sure that anyone can ever top that performance. I fear that I’ll be in the rain watching The 1975 or something thinking, “Yeah, but it’s not Stevie Wonder, is it?”
ANYWAY, we’re at the club, we’re drinking, we’re having a great time, our table is near to the front but not so close that we’re being harassed by the comedians, it’s going well. However, we’re at a high table and during the break before the headlining act my friend is like, “Hey, can we move to that table there? It’s empty and looks more comfortable.” It’s in front of the stage but off to the side so I shrug and agree and we move.
As the MC is doing his bit I notice that I can see backstage and that someone backstage can see me and then that person who saw me gets onstage and starts his set. To his credit, this man was very funny, but then he starts talking about how he’s single and blah blah lol blah, then he turns and looks directly at me and I’m like, “Oh no.”
But this comedian is like, “Oh YES.”
RULE NO. 2: DO NOT MAKE A PUBLIC SPECTACLE OF ASKING A STRANGER OUT
“Look at this table of beautiful ladies over here. You on the right,” I immediately tense because I am indeed on his right and he’s actually pointing at me. I can hear every chair in the room shift and squeak as an entire audience of people look to where this man is pointing. “You’re gorgeous. Do you have a boyfriend?”
I don’t even have to think twice about lying. I lie so often about imaginary boyfriends that I have a full-fledged fictional man in my mind that I can lie through my teeth about to get dickheads like this to leave me alone. And I know you’re thinking, “Whoa there, SAO. He just called you gorgeous and asked if you are single. Is he really a dickhead?” Yes, he is. Just wait.
“Yes, I do,” I lied.
“Where is he?” See? I told you I have to be prepared with a litany of lies to perpetuate that one, stupid, simple lie. I even have a folder of photos on my phone of an ex that doesn’t live in this country anymore because sometimes men genuinely need substantial proof before they’ll leave you alone.
“He’s in California.” I get elaborate with my lies. Also I was drunk so I was kind of going off script, but you can’t be like, “Oh he’s in the toilet,” or anywhere else quasi nearby because…reasons.
“Well then, your arse is mine tonight.”
HE SAID THAT.
EVERYONE starts laughing. And I’m just there like
He gets on with his schtick and I’m annoyed but not that annoyed, so I manage to enjoy most of whatever else he had to say and then it’s getting towards the end and as I’m finishing my drink he gets kind of quiet as he speaks and is talking all seriously like, “I know I come up here and make a lot of jokes but I just wanted to give everyone some advice. I think the best thing you can give another person is time. Give people time, really listen to other people, be kind to each other.”
I’m sitting there thinking, well that’s a nice sentiment. That’s a nice thing to-
“So what I’m trying to say is,” and the motherfucker turns to me and says, “all I’m asking for is five minutes after the show with this lovely lady here in the back of my car.”
More laughter, it ends, there’s clapping and I’m like, “It’s looking like now,” and grab my friend who’s already requesting an Uber to get us the hell out of there as soon as possible.
We get in the Uber, where the driver decides to insert himself into our conversation for the twenty minute journey and tell us boring anecdotes that we never asked about. This is kind of a pet peeve of mine with drivers, but still not as bad as the time a driver made me get in the front seat mid-drive – yeah! He asked me to get out of the backseat and into the front at a stop light – because we had been stuck in traffic and I had been trying to be polite and talking to him about his life and he said that he liked dancing and I said that dancing was great so he took this to mean that him and I should clearly go dancing together even though I had no intention of ever seeing him again beyond this interaction in which I was paying him to drive me from one place to another and then I had to screenshot his details and send them to Ben and text him to call the police if I hadn’t arrived in twenty minutes. So, yeah. That’s why I don’t like talking to drivers anymore. #NotAllUberDrivers and all that shit, whatever. Some of them are creeps.
So Chatty Cathy finally gets us to my neighbourhood and as we’re at a stoplight I see two guys standing on the street and one of them waves at me, so I wave back because the window is down and I’m not a total bitch.
RULE NO. 3: DO NOT YELL AT, OR CAT CALL, WOMEN. EVER. EVEN IF YOU ARE SAYING NICE THINGS THE VOLUME AND AGGRESSION IN YOUR VOICE WILL COMPLETELY NEGATE THE SENTIMENT
This man on the street then yells, “Oh my God, you are fit though!” What a rave review. Then he says, “Where are you headed? Seriously. C’mon darling, come out with us!”
So then I laugh from the comfort of my Uber which is now, thankfully, driving away from the still shouting man.
The point is, if body language, a stage, and a fuckin car won’t stand in the way of men harassing women, I certainly don’t expect headphones to do the trick either. Doesn’t mean you need some a-hole giving a play by play of how to be all Bobby Big Dick and walk up to someone and demand that they stop listening to music and talk to you.
As we were walking into my flat my friend said, “You really just get whatever you want don’t you?”
To which I laughed and sarcastically said, “Yeah it’s a real charmed life.” And it definitely can be. I do get pretty much whatever I want because I’m nice to people and people want my attention so when I give it to them I typically give it to them fully and try to make that person feel important, which is why they want to do nice things for me and why I get a lot of free drinks and random favours from strangers. An Irish woman I had just met once asked me when I kissed the Blarney stone if that’s any kind of indication for you as to how I come off to strangers.
Whilst attention can be nice, I started to really think about what that comedian said about giving people your time. That all he wanted was time. All men want is just a little bit of your time. Is that so much to ask? Well, yes. Yes it is. Because time is my currency. There is a finite amount of time in one’s life and I’m not going to just give it to every jerk-off who stares or shouts at me. Time is money and money is pizza and pizza is infinitely better than a forced conversation with someone I’m never going to sleep with no matter how many drinks he wants to buy me. I’ll buy my own damn drinks and my own damn pizza, thank you.
The earphones thing is just the tip of the completely deluded mindset iceberg many men have about appropriate ways to treat women. It shows a fundamental misunderstanding of what women want. Men are always like, “I don’t understand women. Men are from Mars, women are from Venus. I don’t get it. What is she thinking? What does she want?” Well, I want to be left the hell alone most of the time.
Sometimes I put earphones in without anything actually playing to actively avoid human contact because that’s who I am as a person and now this dipshit is out there like, “Hey! Everyone should want to talk to you! If she’s single, she’s definitely going to want to talk to you!” I really, really don’t.
If I like someone they will know because I will take my earphones out, I will make eye contact, I will laugh at their jokes so long as they’re not sexist as hell, and I will get out of a car to talk to you. If none of those things happen, fuckin abort mission. Earphones, silence and karate stance-like body language are the international signs for “do NOT fuck with me” so take note.
If you have to pester someone into human interaction maybe spend time on some serious introspection about how to not be that guy instead of causing a rage stroke in a woman because you interrupted her audio book.
RULE NO. 4: WOULD YOU APPROACH BEYONCE LIKE THIS?
If the answer is no, then fuckin sashay away and leave that woman be.
This has been an excerpt from my upcoming book Be A Slut: Do Whatever You Want which is comin atcha on the 1st of October.