A friend of mine was tagged in a share about this: An article by a “modern man” offering advice to men on how to talk to women who are wearing headphones. (Go ahead… Read it. It is some of the worst advice ever written by an ass who thinks women are commodities he is entitled to.) Basically, you block her way, force her to acknowledge your presence by waving your arms around and gesturing for her to remove her headphones while ordering her to do so, and harass her until she complies into talking to you because you just won’t get out of her face. Then after she reluctantly removes the headphones because you didn’t take the hint and she needs to figure out if she must run away or scream, you ignore the negative body language and any objections, and continue to bother her as you try to get her number. When she tells you to fuck off, well, he didn’t advise you about that now, did he? Here’s a great rebuttal to it by a woman.
Anyway, I figured I’d chime in and give some advice from a man who isn’t an idiot or a rapist…
How to talk to a woman who is wearing headphones
Don’t. Just fucking don’t! There are no exceptions. The same applies to any woman who is reading a book, or is busy on her smartphone, or any other activity where your advances are clearly uninvited. “Uninvited” is the key word here. You don’t get to decide that a stranger, who is busy and doesn’t want to be interrupted, must talk to you.
Here’s a little secret for you: In modern, western society, women choose their partners. You as a man are entitled to nothing. There are no alpha males, because we evolved past that a long time ago. The other great apes, our distant evolutionary cousins, still have alpha males. If you want to follow such advice, if you think you are an alpha male, maybe you should go to your local zoo and try your luck in a gorilla enclosure where you can compete against males who are your intellectual equals, because that approach has no place with human females. Good luck, mate.
Having said that, there are times when it is perfectly reasonable to talk to a woman that you see in public for the first time. Here’s the full list:
- She talks to you first. If she approaches you, then by all means, talk to her. You are entitled to nothing more than a single conversation though. Try not to be an idiot.
That’s it. Yes, it’s a short list.
To be fair, I included some humour here. I have made many female friends over the years by talking to strangers. Normally they approached me, but that wasn’t always the case. Of course there are times when it is perfectly reasonable to talk to a stranger. Of course there are women and men who are friendly and approachable. There are no rules stating when you can and can’t approach strangers. Sensible people can read others’ body language, and know when it is OK, or not OK, to approach. And when they get it wrong and discover the attention is uninvited, they apologize and back off. But neither that article writer nor its intended audience can ever be described as sensible people. They’re basically walking penises, and the world will be better off if they don’t get to procreate anyway. Hoorah for the women who reject jerks! If only there weren’t so many jerks in the first place…
It is reasonable to assume that somebody who doesn’t want to be interrupted, doesn’t want to be interrupted. And no amount of harassment will ever get you anywhere.
This subject has some unfortunate irony* for me.
Years ago, I travelled home late one night on the train from Cape Town to where I lived in Muizenberg. I was one of only two passengers on that compartment of the train – myself and a girl. Another man got on and readied himself to harass the girl, while playing with himself. I intervened and he left at the next station. (I didn’t even have to do anything. She hadn’t seen him yet, but he was peeking out from where he was standing behind the next seat, while masturbating. All I did was get up and move to sit opposite her, telling her about the man. It was enough to intimidate him into leaving.) That led to a conversation and I walked her home. Then we had a friendship for a while and dated a few times. It wasn’t quite a relationship, but I thought I was in love with her. (I didn’t know she had a boyfriend but she dated me anyway without telling me.) It turned out that she was a meth addict, the first I’d ever met, and down the line I used meth with her. It didn’t end well for me, since I became addicted. Maybe if I hadn’t intervened that day, I’d never have gone down the road of meth addiction. But I’m not sorry I helped her. Just sorry I had to be stupid enough to use drugs.
Anyway, it pisses me off when men harass women. If a woman likes you, she will approach you by herself. If she doesn’t, she doesn’t. Leave her the fuck alone.
* Irony as in reversal of expectations, not that I had any expectations. I did something good – helped someone, maybe even prevented a rape. And it worked out badly for me.