Being jeered at and catcalled isn’t just annoying and demeaning — it can be downright terrifying. Put yourself in our shoes: would you really enjoy a constant barrage of heckling and salacious leering as you tried to go about your daily business?
Believe it or not, most women don’t find being honked and hollered at in the street particularly romantic. Have you ever considered that your shrieks of “nice legs” and “where you goin’ baby?” might not be appreciated by the woman trying to cross the street on her way to work? Shocking, I know. Just take a minute to recover.
This type of harassment recently gained a lot of attention due in large part to a YouTube video uploaded last year, which depicts the alarming frequency at which women are are bombarded with unsolicited sexual comments as they walk down the street.
Be honest fellas — do you guys seriously think this sort of stuff works? Even on a purely practical level, the horn-honking/catcalling approach makes no sense. And if we were, in fact, somehow interested (which we’re not), do you really expect us to scream our phone number out to you as you fly by in your car? Do guys keep a pen and paper handy just in case?
I, for one, can’t wait to tell my grandkids about how I fell head-over-heals for their grandfather the moment he drove by yelling vulgarities at me from the passenger seat of his best friend’s ’97 Pontiac Firebird. Move over, Nicholas Sparks — this one’s a love story for the ages.
Don’t Be That Guy
There’s a time and a place for meeting potential partners: parties, clubs, and other social gatherings are usually great times to make new connections. By the same token, there are definitely situations where romantic advances are highly inappropriate. Sexual harassment has always been prevalent in the business world, and, with the advent of sites for professional networking (like LinkedIn), the situation seems to be getting even worse.
The Guardian recently reported on a female lawyer who spoke out after a senior partner at a law firm wrote to her on LinkedIn to complement the physical attractiveness of her profile picture. While this might sound a bit strange, this is by no means an isolated occurrence — let’s just say I know more than a few women who have been contacted by men attempting to use LinkedIn as a dating service.
This might come as a bit of a surprise, but generally, when a woman looks busy or disinterested, chances are she probably doesn’t want to talk to you. Perhaps it’s the lifetime’s worth of movies featuring women who unexpectedly meet the love of their life while minding their own business in a book stores or a cafe that have given men the wrong impression.
I know that if I’m swinging by a coffee shop on my way to work, all I really want is my caffeine fix. Striking up small talk with some random dude isn’t really a priority — especially not at 7:30 in the morning. The same goes for when I’m at the gym or going for a jog. I’ll probably be more receptive to your advances when I’m not beet-red and standing in a pool of my own sweat.
Drop the Pickup Lines
And while we’re on the subject, here’s another piece of free advice: do yourselves a favor and nix the tired pickup lines. Politely introducing yourself is one thing, but dropping some cheesy one-liner packed with a seventh-grader’s version of sexual innuendo probably isn’t going to work in your favor.
This especially applies to online dating. While your invitation for “Netflix and chill” on Tinder is ever so tempting, I’m afraid I’ll have to pass. And, for the love of all that’s good and holy, DO NOT send us unsolicited pictures of your errr…anatomy. I promise you, if we want to see it, we’ll let you know. Just trust me on this one.
Let’s Get Real
Despite the fact that sometimes the crazy things guys say to get our attention can be so outlandish they’re actually somewhat amusing, this stuff is no laughing matter. Sadly, sexual harassment is a reality that all women have had to deal with in some form. The fact that so many men feel comfortable enough to scream out sexually degrading comments and behave inappropriately makes it crystal clear that the objectification of women is still a huge problem in our society.
To all the men out there who are guilty of these transgressions, here’s some free advice: try being respectful for a change. You’d be amazed at how far this can actually go. Intelligent, considerate conversation can be surprisingly sexy, especially when you take the time to actually listen, and remember that we’re human beings — not pieces of meat.
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(Main image credits: Wyatt Fisher/Colorado Marriage Refresh)