There’s a chap in Chicago who has decided to tell the world how he finds that women walking along the street wearing earbuds and sunglasses appear “unapproachable”, and how this discourages him from telling many many women he finds attractive along the path of his daily commute the happy news that he likes the way they look, but somehow he has concluded that the women sporting this combination of external signifiers must just not realise how unapproachable they are making themselves look.
Dude, THEY KNOW.
Kara Brown at Jezebel has fisked the Open Letter he published on Craigslist: Local Chicago Man Would Like Women to Smile, Accept His Advances. If you want to spend some time in sorrowful headshaking at some stupendous lack of both self-awareness and empathy, it’s worth reading his letter in full, but if you want to save some time, the way he signed hits most of the high points:
Your 40 Year-Old, Male, Single, 5’10”, Fit, Bald, Caucasian, Hazel-Eyed, Overeducated, Nice Dressing, Wine- and Food-Obsessed, West Loop-living Secret Admirer
P.S.: Oh, and by the way, it’d be nice if your default expression was a smile – or, at worst, a merely neutral expression
* do NOT contact me with unsolicited services or offers.
As was noted at Jezebel, this rather common background expectation of #toomanymen that women owe them time and appreciation for their unsolicited compliments juxtaposes jarringly with the background threat level negotiated by women being highlighted yet again just this last week with one young woman being shot and killed and five of her friends and relatives wounded because she wouldn’t give a man her phone number, and another young woman having her throat (non-fatally) slashed with a knife because she refused to talk with a man. These two incidents are at one extreme end of the risk/loss/benefit scale for women responding to intrusive approaches from strangers, but even if all we are doing is walking along enjoying our music (or sitting reading a book) then an intrusion from a stranger is stealing time that we are clearly indicating we want to spend doing something for ourselves.
Off the street and in zones where earbuds and sunglasses would likely be viewed askance by bosses and colleagues or clients or customers, there’s another guy who has told the internet that he doesn’t think it’s creepy or stalkerish to follow women strangers home from their place of work in order to ask them out rather than finding another way to start a conversation before going to all that effort to intrude upon them when they least expect to deal with a workplace-related person deciding to hit on them. He sees it as simply a 25% successful dating tactic.
It’s hit and miss for sure, but stalking? I don’t think so. I’ve waited outside bars, places of work, restaurants, stores, etc., for women to exit, watched them get into their cars, and then followed them to their door, and I don’t see how that is “stalking.”
I shivered just copy-pasting that quote.