Monday, November 8, 2010

file under: things that would never happen if we lived in candyland

This past Friday The Foliage and I went downtown to Adams Morgan to meet a friend of mine who was visiting for the weekend. After he went home we met up with some other friends in DuPont Circle. It was good times.

On the metro ride home, the husband-elect fell asleep, and a guy got into our car on the train. After a few minutes, he approached the girl sitting behind us, asking if he could sit with her. She said he could. The conversation that followed went something like this:

Guy - Where you goin'?
Girl - I'm headed home. Just trying to nap on the way.
Guy - Ohhh, can I nap with you?
Girl - ...ummm no.
Guy - Why not? Don't be like that. We'll just snuggle...
Girl - I really just want to nap. I'm tired. There are plenty of other seats. Why don't you sit somewhere else?
Guy - Oh, come on. We can just nap together. It's OK.
Girl - Really, I just want to nap. The train is pretty much empty. Can't you move?

Et cetera, et al. The girl was clearly getting very uncomfortable, but was afraid to be really assertive, and the guy just was not listening. After listening to this for a minute or two (it felt like forever), I turned around to find The Guy leaning into The Girl, basically pinning her to the wall, and said, "Dude, seriously. She's made it very clear she's not interested. Back off."

And HOOOO BOY he did not like that one bit. The Foliage awoke to me and Random Guy yelling at each other (Me: "You're being extremely disrespectful"; Him: "Who the f*ck asked you?!"), and was understandably confused. Luckily, The Guy was getting off at the next stop anyway, so he was gone a second later. The Girl thanked me for my help and got off a stop or two after that.

But honestly. Why do [some] guys do that?! A lone female is not a written invitation for unwelcome advances. And has TELLING a woman that she WANTS you to be up in her face ever worked for you? Because I can't remember a time that I've told someone to back the eff off, and then appreciated it when they didn't. That is absurd. And it really infuriates me.

I'm rarely out by myself at night these days, but MAN I know what it's like to be in that position. And how frustrating it is when Random Dude shows up and starts questioning 1) my desire to be left alone, and 2) my right to be left alone. And how terrifying it can be when there really is no one else around, and you're trying to figure out how you can safely get out of this situation if the guy tries to take things further. And just how INFURIATING it is that he won't listen in the first place!! What is so hard about that?! "No, I'm not interested." DONE. There should be no pushing beyond that. You didn't buy her a diamond bracelet; she doesn't owe you anything*. You just showed up, invaded her space, and now you're telling her that she's not smart enough to know what she wants.

Well, f*ck you, random pushy-but-only-when-it's-dark-and-no-one's-around guys. F*ck. You.

*Which is not to say that women who receive diamond bracelets owe anybody anything either. I'm just saying. It's not like you've exerted any effort to gain her favor here, *sshat.


michelle said...

Ugh, that SUCKS for that girl. Good on you for pushing back & helping her out. I'm sure she appreciated it A LOT. The guy was probably like, "Man, what is it with these uppity women all thinking they OWN THEIR BODIES and can PROTECT EACH OTHER from my creepitude/male privilege?"

When I read stuff like this I always think of Hollaback ( which even has an iPhone app now. I'm not sure if it makes women safer but it does make women more confident & aware!

Robyn Pell said...

that happened fer realz? yikes. you go girl.
I was running once and these two guys in a car started driving next to me and saying something (im not sure what I was listening to my ipod). They kept driving rulll slow next to me till I got rullll annoyed and flicked them off. then they drove away. still left me a bit shaky.