“Can I help you with those bags, ma?” said the man sitting on the driver’s side of the car I walked past as I headed back to my mother’s house with groceries. I ignored the insincere request as per the usual, kept walking and realized that I had to stop at another store before crossing the street to get to mom’s block. Fuck.
I entered said store, got what I needed and came out only to find that the man was now standing in front of his car. Actually, he was leaning against it. I’m not sure why he was idling there but I think I inspired him to get out. He noticed me with my four grocery bags and decided not to take my earlier non-response as his cue to go away.
“I can’t help you with those bags?”
I shook my head no.
“So you not going to speak to me?”
I wanted to verbally reply, “No,” but then I realized that this would count as me speaking to him, and would probably encourage him to follow me (give ‘em and inch…) so I didn’t want to give him the satisfaction. I continued crossing the wide street, divided by an island. By the time I got to the middle, several yards away from ol’ boy, I still heard him repeat, “So you just not gonna speak? Ok.”
Got damn broken record.
I had some words for him but definitely not ones he wanted to hear. I wanted to tell him to fuck off and get a clue but I wasn’t in the mood to be froggy, or get insulted or to possibly even have to fend off an attack, so I kept walking and made it to my mom’s house safely with the bags that I could have used help with but not from a disingenuous prick.
I get it, some men just don’t know how to not be assholes, which was further evidenced by a writer for XOJane who actually went on a date with her cat caller to get a better understanding of that way of thinking. Obviously, it didn’t go well as he was an ignorant asshole on purpose. There are also men like writer Jozen Cummings who mean well, but still aren’t sure what constitutes street harassment. So, in honor of all of the above, as well as XOJane’s popular “How Not to Be a D*ck” series, here are five ways to not be a d*ck to women walking down the street just in time for day five of #31WriteNow.
1. Women don’t owe you their time or conversation.
Actually, no one does. If you speak and get silence, then move on. You shouldn’t’ be so offended by a stranger that you have to spew insults that may or may not be true about her being “stuck up” or whatever other idiotic profane vitriol your pea brain can think of.
2. If you don’t like being told no then don’t ask questions where the probability of getting rejected is high.
Acting like a child or a car salesman when your request for a phone number is denied is pathetic. This means, take your “no” like a grown man and keep it moving without name-calling (ie “You’re ugly anyway,” or “Stuck up bitch!”) or kicking into car salesman mode (ie. “So how come I can’t have you number?”).
3. Speaking of no, no really does mean no.
It’s not a euphemism for “chase me” or “women like to be hunted.”
4. Nicknames are trite. Don’t do it.
That includes “red bone,” “chocolate,” “snow bunny,” “China doll,” “slim,” “light skin,” all of the above and anything else like it. That also includes “girl in the blue shirt,” and especially, name calling by body parts like, “bubble butt,” “titty girl,” etc. “Miss” is appropriate though, thanks.
5. You’re not as smart as you think.
You approach a woman with something like, “Hey, can I walk with you?” and she replies, “No,” or “I’m in a hurry,” which all really just means, “Go away.” You decide to walk with her anyway and attempt to get her number–as if you don’t look like a stalker–and say something like, “So, you got a man?” and she says, “Yes, I have a boyfriend,” or “Yes, I’m married;” this isn’t your cue to try to find loopholes like, “So what? You can’t have friends” or “How long you been together,” or “Do you love him?” or “He got you on lock down like that?” It all makes you really stupid, like, really dumb. We know the script, we get it every day probably got it about three blocks before you, and will probably get it in about another three blocks. Just know that again, any of the above excuses from a woman basically just means, “Fuck off.”
I’m going to stop here but there are a lot more so feel free to add them in the comments section.