Chicago man would like you ladies to know you fail to entertain him properly
Thanks to Kara Brown at Jezebel for bringing my attention to this amazing bit of entitled bullshit that was posted on Craigslist.
Before we dive into this, I want to mention something that happened to me the other day. I was riding a bike through Manhattan and, as you do, was politely waiting at an intersection for the light to turn green. I had on a helmet, sunglasses and earbuds, and while I wasn’t actually wearing a sign that said “I do not want to talk to you”, the ensemble, I feel, conveyed that message. But some middle-aged dude tried to get into my eyesight and was waving his cigarette around and gesturing at my legs in such a way that it was clear they were the intended topic of the conversation he wished to have with me. I pretended not to see him, looking a few degrees to his left, and so he scooted over to wave at me to remove my earbuds. Thankfully the light turned green and I was able to proceed. I was so eager to get away I forgot to throw him the finger, an oversight I deeply regret.
Some variation of this encounter happens to me a few times a month and I always wonder what these assholes are thinking. They aren’t the common variety of street harasser, who just says rude things in hopes of annoying you. But they clearly feel like you should just drop whatever you’re doing to pay attention to whatever boring ass bullshit they want to talk about. What are they thinking? Can anyone really be that dense? Or is it just that they really do think women exist to please them and, once out of their view, we go back on the shelf and power down until the next man comes along for us to entertain?
Reading “An open MC letter to the women of Chicago”, I realize it is just pure assholery.
Dear Single Women of Chicago,
Fall is now upon us, bringing aspects that make it among my favorite times of the year: when you ladies break out the sexy boots, don stylish flared skirts with leggings, and wrap yourself in lush wool or cashmere sweaters that coyly accentuate your bosom.
Shit like this is why I frequently choose to leave my house wearing a bland hoodie without combing my hair. (Not that it works, if wearing a bike helmet and sunglasses won’t do the trick.) But sometimes in life, you can’t let the creeps win. Sometimes you have somewhere you have to go that requires looking cleaned up and combed. Sometimes you want to look nice and stylish, not so that entitled jerks think you owe them a conversation, but because it’s fun. Sometimes you have people whose opinions you actually care about to impress. Sometimes a lady wants to get laid by a non-creep. Fuck me, it pisses me off that I feel like I have to justify not looking like shit just because some assholes want to argue that a woman’s clothing means she is obliged to offer random creeps all the attention they desire.
I’m dying to stop you on the street and pay you the occasional compliment (“You’re really rocking that tweed dress today – I love your style.”).
And the ladies are dying for you not to do that. Which leaves us to the eternal philosophical debate over street harassment. Can it really be a “compliment” if the recipient will cross the street to avoid hearing it? I say no. Creeps claim that “intent” should be the determining factor and women argue that “impact” should decide. But really, since the intent is to show a woman you have so little respect for her time or space that you feel she should drop whatever she is doing to perform for you, I think we can say both the intent and impact of this behavior is an insult, not a compliment.
But I can’t – because you’re always walking around with your damn earbuds in (“Don’t talk to me!”) and your sunglasses on, even when they’re not necessary (which incidentally doesn’t make you look cool or sexy, only unapproachable).
This is the statement that makes it clear that the street faux-compliment harasser is not, in fact, acting out of ignorance. He knows that you don’t want him to talk to you. He quite clearly states that he is aware of this. But his argument is that what you want doesn’t matter, because….
I can’t speak for my male brethren, but for this guy? So. Frustrating.
Women! What you want for yourself doesn’t matter, so long as a man wants something from you. I know that might seem confusing or upsetting, but just remember this simple rule: When he and she disagree, she just needs to give into he. Why, you may ask? Because he’s a man and you’re here for him. Um, Bible maybe. Evolutionary psychology. Whatever bullshit you need.
So, take my unsolicited missive here for what it’s worth.
Will do, for exactly what it’s worth:
I just hope it improves the odds going forward that at least one of you will be in a better position to hear me tell you that I love the way that scarf matches your eyes.
In the past few days, this is a rough sampling of what I’ve had in my earbuds as I walk or bike around: podcasts about A Song of Ice and Fire, the Savage Lovecast, Beats playlists, or perhaps mere silence as I’m using my earbuds mostly to make it harder to talk to me. Quite literally, all of those things are so much more important than having some random, entitled dickwad try to inform me what my eye color is.
Oh, you’re so mean, Amanda, you might say. You don’t know! Maybe he thinks the scarf lady is a time traveler from the medieval era and while she was swiftly able to mimic the dress styles of modern people, she still has no idea what a “mirror” is and therefore had no idea that her scarf matches her eyes. He’s only trying to help!
Perhaps. But that still doesn’t explain how he knows damn well the earbuds are a don’t-talk-to-me signal.
Your 40 Year-Old, Male, Single, 5’10”, Fit, Bald, Caucasian, Hazel-Eyed, Overeducated, Nice Dressing, Wine- and Food-Obsessed, West Loop-living Secret Admirer
“Admiration” of women being the creep-word for belief that women owe you.
P.S.: Oh, and by the way, it’d be nice if your default expression was a smile – or, at worst, a merely neutral expression – instead of a scowl that says, “I’ll cut you off at the knees if you try to talk to me.” C’mon, is life really that bad? Just sayin’.
Why yes, sir, I can guarantee that if you’re trying to talk to her, it really is, in fact, that bad. You’re lucky that she doesn’t look like she’s trying to figure out who farted. Doing you a favor, really.