I’ve witnessed endless situations when a girl offers a smile or politely thanks a guy for an unwarranted compliment – even though she was uninterested and clearly uncomfortable. I’ve also suffered the cringe-worthy experience of seeing a guy openly outraged when a girl did not offer a response to their comment.
Let me be clear: I am not a cunt, a stuck-up bitch or a dyke because I didn’t pay attention to your catcall. I am a human being who knows that your opinion of who I am after your all-too-long, assessing glance at me, is irrelevant. I’ve reached my boiling point.
Other women have too.
There is even a new account on Instagram (@byefelipe) showcasing various guys berating girls for not responding to their online advancements – as if it is impossible to resist a romantic gesture such as, “hey you’re hawt in that pic with the boobs, wanna ride my magic stick?” Downright shocking a girl wasn’t interested. I mean, that’s probably how Prince Charming proposed after all! Right? #ByeFelipe
Here’s the thing. I feel that many women, myself included, still instinctually feel guilty for their part in the “rejection” process. I too catch myself feeling obligated to thank guys for their attention, even when I don’t want it. At times I find it almost impossible just to say I’m not interested to a guy because I’m nervous he’ll get his feelings hurt – or more often, he will harass me for my decision not to pursue things.
Accepting a drink isn’t entering into a one-evening contract. A date doesn’t have to lead to a kiss at the end of the night. So why do I still hesitate not to oblige by these guidelines? Because I feel like it’s my place.
Until society as a whole, holds men and women to a higher standard and drops the ongoing mindset of “boys will be boys,” thinking it’s harmless behavior, it’s “the way things are,” girls are going to keep growing up with an obligatory mindset towards the opposite sex. People don’t seem to understand that all the little comments and uncomfortable situations and moments when people are silent observers of male aggression add up to mold the self-value and self-concept of both women and men.
A fellow Lady once wrote that she doesn’t want to be an angry feminist, she doesn’t want to be mad at the world. I don’t either. I don’t want to walk around weary of any guy who shows me attention. All I know is something has to change because these days, I am angry.
“You’re not obligated to smile, you’re not obligated to be polite, and you’re not even obligated to be nice.”