PSA: Stop Making Women Feel Uncomfortable
There’s something that’s been on my mind for a long time, and when that happens I normally take to my blog to address it here. The thing is, certain topics are a bit controversial, taboo or might elicit some negative responses, but that’s never stopped me from speaking about them. I always welcome a respectful and open dialogue about anything I publish, and am willing to hear the opinions of others along with their sides of things.
That said? This post is for the men out there (well, in some cases, the boys):
PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT: Stop making women feel uncomfortable.
Unless you are a woman, you truly don’t know what it’s like to experience some of the things we do on a daily basis. Harassment, cat-calling, disrespect, objectification, mansplaining, assault, stalking, unwelcome advances, persistent and unwanted contact, following, abuse, violence, name-calling, slut-shaming…
Need I go on?
And I know I don’t have to say this but I will: I know there are good men out there. I happen to know good men. I’m friends with good men. I’m RELATED to good men. But the ugly truth is most women I know have experienced AT LEAST one of the things I mentioned above, and it’s NOT OKAY. It’s just not.
So knowing this, you know that women often live their lives on edge when it comes to certain encounters with the opposite sex. What might seem innocent and non-threatening to you, is worrisome to her. What may seem like a nice gesture to you, may seem menacing and pushy to her. What you may consider flirting, she may interpret as harassment or lewd comments.
And, sure, you might not realize you’re doing it. But if and when a woman speaks up and says — in any shape or form; whether with her words, actions, body language, written word, etc.– that she’s uncomfortable?
There are literally no exceptions to this.
I’ve experienced these kinds of things firsthand and have also seen it a lot with women I know, especially in the way of inappropriate Internet behavior:
- Unsolicited commenting on women’s bodies and appearances on their photos
- “Sliding into DMs” and being very forward & pushy
- Following women on all their social media channels (and/or liking a TON of their Instagram photos in a row; going back SEVERAL weeks)
- Continuing to write & say things even after they’ve been ignored
- Persistently asking women out even when told no/they have a boyfriend/aren’t interested
- Finding a woman’s personal info & social media accounts after matching with her on a dating app where she hoped to remain somewhat anonymous
Look, maybe you’ve done these things and didn’t mean any harm. And I want to be clear: in no way am I saying a man shouldn’t ever (respectfully) reach out, ask out or compliment a woman. YOU JUST NEED TO PAY ATTENTION TO OUR REACTIONS WHEN YOU DO.
If we said no, we meant it.
If we politely declined, we meant it.
If we ignored you, we meant to.
If we told you to back off, we meant it.
If we said you made us feel uncomfortable, we meant it.
This is something I feel really passionately and strongly about, and as long as I’m alive on this earth I’ll fight, defend and stand up for ALL women.
So, fellas, whatddya say? Let’s stop making women feel uncomfortable, shall we?
Feel free to sound off in the comments.