What Makes a Woman a Bitch

I want to clarify something about my goal of being more assertive.

I know that it's not very nice to tell a potential suitor to fuck off.* There are damn good reasons, though, for no more Ms. Nice Girl. I've written about a few of them over the course of this blog. The long and short of it, if you don't want to go back and read four blog posts, is that I'm constantly sexually harassed every time I leave my apartment.

It doesn't matter what I'm wearing; it doesn't matter what expression is on my face; it doesn't matter how I respond or even who I'm with. I'm tall and noticeable and have red hair, and I'm apparently hot. Or "sexy baby" or "can I taste that lip ring?" or "look at that pretty tummy." That last one was today.

This puts me in an awfully awkward situation. The thing about hot women in the media is that they're always portrayed as bitches: the blonde popular girl who is too haughty to respond even with kindness to the poor nerdy boy who just wants to love and cuddle her. What they don't show on TV are the good reasons for this behavior.

I don't want to be a "bitch," but I'm fully aware that the reason people use that word is usually to bring women into line. The words "bitch" and "slut" more often have to do with a woman exercising her power and the discomfort that causes in everyone else. If I have boundaries around who I allow to talk to me and in particular how they do it, I'll be branded a bitch. I'll become "that one" who is too cool to give the time of day to a defenseless guy. The thing is, y'all are rarely actually defenseless.

There are things that I respond well to. "Hello, how are you?" is usually one of them. Curiosity about me as a human being with emotions, opinions, and things I like to do is another. "I like you" or "You're pretty" on the street or in a club when my looks are the only thing you could know about me are not. Male folk have an option in how they view and approach me.

Nobody likes to be objectified, diminished into just one part of their person. Maybe somebody who approaches me ham-handedly is just socially awkward and because that's the only thing I see, I judge him as such. I recognize that if I reject someone in a club, that could hurt their feelings. The truth, though, is that it hurts mine to be approached lewdly, to be singled out solely for my looks. So what would you have me do? I'd love a better world, where this wouldn't be a problem. Or just a better solution. Any ideas?

*There's a more specific story there: a group of guys came up to me and my roommate and asked if we'd make out. I asked if they would then all make out with each other and they said "Hell, no!" so I responded with "Well, fuck off then."


Unknown said...

first and foremost, that is the only appropriate response to the situation you described. Not just the "fuck off" but the "you first". THAT was fucking awesome. Well done.

Second, I think a big part of putting oneself out there is being willing to be rejected. If you're honestly not interested in someone, letting them know isn't at all discourteous. It's necessary. It's up to them to be an adult and hear a "no" in stride.

A few friends of mine and I were discussing when/how its appropriate to approach people you're interested in, and this article came up. I thought it might inform the discussion on the subject of the "hot girl" vs the "socially awkward guy". And I think your insight in this is correct. "Y'all are rarely defenseless." Myself included. I will do my best to remember that.

Unknown said...

OOH! Another thing I just remembered is that statistical data from OkCupid finds that MANY people share your feelings on how they prefer be approached. Objectification seems to be received rather poorly.

(on a somewhat unrelated note, the OkC stats blog is absolutely fucking fascinating. If you haven't read some of their other posts, I highly recommend them)

Unknown said...

Dimas, thanks for the article link; it was an interesting read. I've been meaning to post about another blog post I really like on this topic; I'll do that tonight.

I loooove the stats blog from OKC. It's such a great sample of information and I love that they're making the data public. I've taken to responding to poorly written or gross first messages with a simple link to that "what to write in a first message" post.

The Author said...

I like to think we can tell the difference between the socially awkward and the lecherous pricks, and that the lecherous pricks we should tell where to get off in no uncertain terms. The socially awkward and shy perhaps we can just say, "No", to if the attraction isn't mutual.

On living, loving, learning, and fucking with the materials I've got at hand.

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