For thousands of years, men have tussled with the single most important question at the heart of their every waking moment: I wonder what that woman’s bum feels like? Methods of discovery have changed over the years as certain techniques fall in and out of fashion, but one thing has maintained a dogged, if futile, persistence in recent decades: hollering @ her.
To the surprise of precisely no one, both the men who keep attempting it, and the women for whom it’s become a daily annoyance at best and a form of oppression at worst, this has never once worked in the history of humankind. At no single point in our lengthy and glorious culture has yelling at a passerby that you are, in fact, interested in her vis a vis vagina-wise ever resulted in an invitation to inspect said vagina closer. Not once.
So why do we keep trying it? The reasons vary. Some of us because we’re oblivious to the feelings of other humans, some because we’re just kind of stupid. Others view women as objects placed on earth for our viewing pleasure. Weirdly, this isn’t the case! Did you guys know that women, despite the relative merits of their sexual characteristics as regards to your masturbatory fantasies, are actually evolved beings with their very own thoughts and dreams and desires, most of which have nothing to do with your specific penis? It’s true. What a world.
A piece on the two words no woman ever wants to hear on Salon (“Smile, baby), and a recent Craigslist Missed Connection that has been making the rounds spells out this shocking revelation in more explicit terms.
I know how it is. That quittin’ time whistle blows, announcing the weekend, and you get that rush of adrenaline that only comes on Friday afternoons, when the whole world is your oyster and all you need is the freedom to shuck it and some beer to wash it down.
You make the minimum requisite small talk with your colleagues as you bolt for your car in the corporate wasteland parking lot and get excited at the notion of beating the traffic home. Maybe your classic rock radio station starts to play your favorite Creed song right as your engine turns on and you’re feeling extra lucky. And that’s where you find your psyche as you approach the intersection to turn onto 34th – you’re a man with nothing to lose and an open road ahead of you.
So, that’s where we were. Me, minding my own business. You, apparently observing my ass. At that point you had options. You could have driven past me and said nothing. You could have turned up your radio and waved, ensconcing us in some beats and camaraderie. You could have shouted out, “Happy Friday! Yeehaw!” Any of those options would have been great. I probably would have waved, smiled, and started my weekend on the same high note as you.
Instead, you chose the most pathetic option available to you: You leaned out of your window and made some ridiculous series of leering comments about whether I was wearing a thong, right as the light changed and you peeled off, pleased with yourself and saved from any consequences.
If you’d stuck around, I would have happily shouted a few things of my own at you: that it’s people like you that make women avoid walking alone or taking transit even in broad daylight in their own cities; that no matter what screwed up metric you use it’s not a “compliment” to have someone interrogate me about my underwear; that thanks to you I would spend the entire train ride home feeling scrutinized and gross because you didn’t have the willpower or maturity to keep your mouth shut; that your wife and daughters or at the very least your mother deserve better than a cowardly man who shouts at women from the safety of his car.
Let me make this abundantly clear, to you and to the other men reading this: when you comment on a woman’s appearance, you are not doing it for her. You are doing it for you. It’s not some great way to make a woman feel sexy and appreciated. It’s not flattery, even if you mean for it to be. The only thing it is is a great way for you to create a shitty power dynamic, by which you have announced yourself as the arbiter of her value, and you’ve deemed her fuckable, and she is supposed to be happy or impressed by that.
If you really find a woman beautiful, don’t choose the juvenile selfish route that makes her feel weird and you look like an asshole. Just take a deep breath, commit the image to memory, and get on with your life. Or, if it’s really that great of an ass that you can’t possibly survive without commenting on it, post about it on CL missed connections after the fact and let her decide what to do about it.
If that was a bit TL;DR to digest, let me explain how this whole thing works for you in simple terms:
1) You see an attractive woman you’d like to talk to? Approach her in a non-threatening manner. Then, and this is crucial, read her social cues to determine if she too seems interested in talking to you. No? Then move on.
2) You see an attractive woman you’d like to talk to but you’re in a car, or otherwise too far away to initiate a normal human conversation? Too bad. Missed your chance this time. Oh well. There are literally millions of other women in the world! Look, there’s one right now.
3) Is she on the bus, or train, or reading, or talking on the phone, or rushing to an appointment of some sort and doesn’t seem able to engage at the moment? Fuck off, bad timing. Leave her alone.
4) Weirdly, stating your sexual interest right up front before any other sort of conversation has occurred does not seem to work. You may take as evidence of this the millions of times women have made this known explicitly.
5) Rejection happens! Sorry buddy. Sometimes it wasn’t in the cards for you today. Don’t take it personally. A woman doesn’t owe you her time or her attention. If she seems put out by your approach, then fuck right off and go about your day. No one promised you a date.
6) Are you really, really handsome? Eh, do whatever you want then, that seems to kind of even things out.