Apparently some of what I said in this post was taken quite literally and I spent some time afterwards explaining/watching the whole concept being explained to nice guys.
Now here’s the thing about men whose first reaction to anything a woman type says is, BUT I AM A NICE GUY- it is a rare thing that anything good comes after.
From Nice Guys, I’ve heard recently:
- Oh well if nobody can EVER APPROACH a woman ever, I guess humans will die out.
- I’m a NICE guy, how could you judge ALL men that way?
- You’re sexist.
- Well, if I would have said that about Black ppl I’d be racist.
Contrary to some of what I’ve heard, I do in fact like and love men. I talk to strange men when I feel like it.
The big difference between strange men I will talk to and won’t talk to is how they behave. If the first impression I get from a man is that he will ignore the fact that I haven’t given consent to get in my space, touch me, touch my phone, touch my book, or call me a bitch at what point should I deduce that this guy, is a Nice Guy?
And often those guys, usually tell me how nice they are after I’ve made it clear I don’t want to have contact with or communicate with them.
Nice? You sure about that?
Let’s talk about what constitutes showing or verbalizing consent, I saw quite a few men who seemed to have a tough time with this so let’s break it down some.
If you are speaking to someone and they do things, including but not limited to:
- Turning their back
- Pulling away
- Looking away
- Looking at their phone
- Doing anything but engaging with you
- Grunting one syllable answers
- Rolling their eyes
- Screeching like a Velociraptor-
They probably don’t want to talk to you. And the why isn’t important because it is not any of your business. Maybe they have a partner, maybe they are gay, maybe they just spent a whole day having to deal with fuckass people and they just want to chill out, maybe they have someplace to go, maybe they don’t like your hair..whatever. Doesn’t matter. The answer is still no.
Women are socialized and taught both directly and indirectly that, if we don’t say no, we’re fucking dirty sluts, if we say no, we’re stuck up bitches, if we just want to go on about our day we are somehow holding men down.
Thus a lot of us get pretty salty about this issue.
Most of us who are or identify as women know the second we don’t give our consent to interact or be touched, some bullshit might happen.
I personally have been yelled at, chased by men in a car, cornered, shoved, had a man try to hit me, pushed into the street, spit at/on. And those times I will tell you my no wasn’t aggressive. A little nervous smile and a no thanks, no eye contact etc.
When I was younger, I believed if I was nice about it, it would be okay. It wasn’t.
What amazes me, especially about Nice Guys is that so many pretend ignorance.
They pretend like women have some sort of extrasensory abilities (CALL ME MOTHA FUCKIN WEAPON X) where we will know if this guy, this nice guy who ignored our first no, won’t hurt us.
We’re supposed to somehow glean (despite the actions of many Nice Guys is to the contrary) that this guy, this guy who texted us to make sure it was a real number, or who followed us home, or kept talking to us, is gonna be The Nice Guy to change our minds about men.
How much of a Nice Guy can you be, if you can’t acknowledge a simple no?
How much of a Nice Guy can you be, if you can’t acknowledge that a whole lot of really not nice guys have worked very hard to fuck it up for everybody?
The thing is, it’s not about who is and isn’t a nice guy.
It is about understanding that as I said previously, women are not Pussy vending machines.
It is not our responsibility to available sexually to any man who wants us.
Here’s the thing.
Understand that without the basis of at least trying to be respectful and show a basic understanding of consent, we got nothing.
Beyond that, this behavior tells me in no uncertain terms you aren’t to be trusted with my time, body or anything else.
Any time the first response of a person to something I’ve said boils down to, BUT WHAT ABOUT MEEEE NOT MEEEE..NEVER ME…what I hear is, yes me. Or not me, but I am so wonderful and special I can’t entertain that someone who is not me has a different life experience than mine and I’m SO IPORTANT I MUST MAKE SURE EVERYBODY KNOWS IT IS NOT ME.
That sort of defensiveness whether it is white fragility or male fragility is just exhausting.
If you really want to prove what a Nice Guy you are, don’t come out of the gate swinging your disrespect for my actual lived life like a club. Don’t walk into a very hard conversation- look, let’s keep it 100 okay? I don’t really enjoy talking about these things. It’s exhausting and when you add the emotional labor of dealing with comments, having to delete rape threats from “nice guys”, telling people no that is not actually what I said etc etc takes a fucking toll- don’t walk into that conversation to take over and make the point that my actual life is incorrect.
Don’t tell me I don’t know how to read aggression.
Don’t tell me that it’s my fault.
Don’t tell me how to modify my behavior.
Take it in.
Do some extra reading.
If you are in fact really deeply bothered that the world has come to people like me saying things like, hey MEN STOP IT, don’t be part of that problem. Do what you can to educate yourself and listen. Then, once you’ve learned some BE that shit, be a real live Nice Guy and help out.
Don’t allow harassment to happen around you, but keep yourself safe. Because actual Nice guys aren’t safe from the repercussions of sexual harassment.
Share the work of folks like me.
Just don’t add to it.
Now, since I’m not just about chastisement, next week I’ll talk about how to read body language, figure out if someone wants to talk to you and how to pay a compliment that isn’t gross.