Seriously dude, not every woman you see is interested in you
22 April 2015, 13:02
Nairobi - On a recent Friday night, I was at one of my favourite Johanesburg bars. I was on a date.
if you’re a woman who has ever been in a bar or a club, chances are
you’ve encountered guys grabbing your butt or otherwise making
It’s unacceptable, of course, but it’s so common that most women I know just try to ignore it.
you’re there with a guy, other men will usually leave you alone (can’t
muscle in on another dude’s territory!). Except, I was on a date with a
We both noticed that there were more drunk young guys than
usual, and sure enough, Guy A comes up to us as we’re sitting at the
He begins talking to us. We’re polite but not
friendly. After a couple of minutes, my date, Zan, encourages him to
leave. He does – only to return almost immediately, saying we need to
give him a reason to leave.
“If I tell you to fuck off, will you go?” I ask.
“Great. Fuck off.”
slinks off to his friends in the corner. Shortly after, Guy B bumps
into my date and takes this as his cue to start chatting to us. His
friend, still sitting next to Zan, keeps leering at us.
“What are you doing?” Guy B asks.
“Drinking,” I say.
“That's my second favourite thing to do!”
is a moment of quiet, as there was no way either of us was going to ask
him what his favourite thing was, but then he keeps talking and starts
casually touching me – my thigh, my shoulder, my back.
Don’t touch me.” It is the first time this evening that I raise my
voice. He lifts his palms in the “sorry” gesture and leaves.
At one point I kiss her, and five minutes later Guy C comes up to us.
“I just want to ask, are you guys lesbians or are you just doing this for fun?”
handled this one, which was good because I was far too astonished to
discover that this is something that actually happens in real life.
we go to another bar, and as we're having a drink in a quiet corner,
Guy B comes up to us again, says he knows he's annoying us – and carries
on talking. By this point I really have had enough.
“Listen,” I say, putting my hand on Zan’s shoulder. “We're on a date. You're killing my mojo here.”
He apologizes profusely and, finally, leaves.
please, that we stayed polite virtually throughout these interactions.
Because as a woman, you are taught to always be nice, and you learn to
gauge what kind of response will be “safe”, and what will cause a man to
call you a fucking bitch.
The problem is that polite disinterest
is unlikely to deter someone who feels entitled to your time and
attention because you are a woman and he is a man. I had to be rude (say
“fuck off”, say “don’t touch me” to a stranger who was touching me
without my permission) to get them to leave us alone. And in the latter
case it only worked for a while: I had to act like an alpha male,
putting my hand on my date’s shoulder to indicate possession, and tell
him he was intruding on my territory.
(Let’s not get started on
the guy who thought it acceptable to ask complete strangers about their
sexual orientation. Don’t do that.)
For the love of all that is holy,
stop assuming that every woman you see is interested in your attention.
Chances are they’re just too polite to tell you to leave.
For the latest on national news, politics, sport, entertainment and more follow us on Twitter and like our Facebook page!