Monday, May 16, 2016

My Name Is No. My Number Is No.

I recently saw a post on Twitter that showed screenshots of a conversation between a man and a woman. The man said, "When am I taking you to dinner?" and the woman politely responded that she had a boyfriend, and that by friending him on Facebook she had not meant to give him the impression that she wanted to go out.

He came back at her with a TIRADE, in which he said she was fat, she was ugly, she was a pig, he had asked her out because fat girls work harder to please their sexual partners and were easier to kick to the curb, and that she was flattering herself if she thought she was all that. 

She posted his diatribe online, as well she should have because really?


When I get all angry about rape culture and people don't get it, these are the exchanges I think about. The ones where women have to defend themselves and risk abuse -- verbal and physical -- for having the audacity to do something as simple as turning down a dinner date.

Like, excuse the FUCK out of me if I politely decline the opportunity to dine with you. I clearly don't have that right as a person with two X chromosomes, and you should feel completely justified to abuse me at that point.


I have heard people say they wish they could go back to their twenties, and it always makes me wonder why. Being a woman in my twenties was terrifying. Going out was terrifying. Feeling like I didn't have the ability to say no without risking my safety was the scariest thing I could imagine, but it was also reality: when you said no, you were taking a risk. That meant that you gave your phone number out when you didn't want to. You accepted drinks you didn't want. You went on dates you didn't want to.

I don't know what it's like to be a young woman now, obviously, as I am not one, but I suspect it's not much different. I do know that the conditioning to be polite, be nice, not to say no -- starts young. So does the harassment. Walking down the street and having someone honk at you from their car (and, y'all, what is this supposed to do except for frighten someone? It's not cool!), or having people whistle and make comments about how you look. You're supposed to be flattered, I guess, except that it's not flattering when you're fifteen and it's a grown-assed man telling you that you're fiiiiiiiiiiiine.

But you should be polite to adults. It's a compliment, right? You should smile.  Because if you don't, you're an uppity bitch. And no one wants to be that.


I'd love for a man to chime in here and say that he turned down a date and got flamed. That a woman asked for his number and when he declined, she went OFF on him. I suspect that it might happen? But it doesn't happen often because society doesn't support that behavior in the same way that it supports the notion that women are here to be attractive for men, should be flattered by the attention of men, and should accept those attentions whether or not they are wanted.


Here's the deal, y'all. I own this body. I OWN THIS MUTHA, as the song goes. It's mine. I live in here. And I decide what to do with it, where it goes, how it gets there.

I decide if I look fiiiiiiiiiiine (and by the way, I totally do).

I decide if I'm going to dinner and who I'm going with and if it's not you because I happen to have a fabulous Fella, man up. Accept it. I'm going to thank you politely for the invitation and then decline. Be cool. Don't be an asshole.

If you ask for my number, you're not getting it. Again, don't be an asshole. No woman owes you anything just because you've decided that you find her attractive.

I'm going to repeat that:


She doesn't owe you her number, or a date, or her time, or sex. She just doesn't. And when she declines, you don't have the right to flip out or get violent or scary. Dude, just move on. Don't keep spending time and energy and emotion on someone who has let you know that she's not into you. Let her go without being a total dick about it.

Can we all give this a try, please? 

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