Hey Matija, thanks for your questions! Happy to answer them.
It’s just a little confusing when some women prefer being pursued and other women shout in uppercase that they don’t want to be approached ever. I will, of course, listen to the uppercase letters, but I’m trying to figure out how meeting anyone would work
It is definitely not an obvious or straightforward thing; the truth is that we can’t know ahead of time how someone will respond to us when we approach them, and that’s a reality we’ll just have to live with. There are no guarantees. A woman who might be really into you as a person due to e.g. shared interests might still be having a terrible day and be completely fed up with men at that moment, for reasons that have nothing to do with you at all. This is not your fault even if you do get “punished” for it, basically (coincidentally, such an experience is incredibly familiar to all women everywhere, all the time).
Meeting people is just hard, but it gets easier when you try to tune in to what signals people are giving off. Listen to people carefully, learn to identify body language, and eventually you’ll have a much clearer sense for when someone is open to being approached versus when not. (Headphones on? Always not, just accept that.)
so the idea is that we stop doing that altogether until everything cools off
No, not at all. Just… don’t try to meet people whose body language (by way of headphones or otherwise) is clearly saying they’re not in the mood for that right now? That was really just the point of my piece, nothing more :)
Like you said, plenty of women prefer to be approached by men, and that’s totally fine! But there’s a time and place for these things. Those same women may still not prefer it right now. Just because you’re in the mood to meet someone because you see them, doesn’t mean they’re open to it at that exact time. This can be super frustrating! You might see or “run into” women who seem like lots of fun or interesting or cute or whatever many times on an average day, and each of those feels like “an opportunity to meet someone new”. And it doesn’t have to be a pursuit of romance or sex, it can be just genuine interest in making new friends! But again: time and place for things.
You know what a great time and place is to meet new people? Events. Local, small, volunteer, community, sports, music, whatever it might be. Gatherings of people are a great place because generally, that’s where people go and are prepared to meet people at. You’re not generally looking to “meet someone” on your way to work, while you’re studying, or while you’re doing your freelance work in a coffee shop. Or maybe you are, but others likely are not. But at an event? Totally different scenario. You’re anticipating having to interact with strangers there, at a minimum, but you also know you’re going to be surrounded by strangers who are hanging out in the same place as you for a similar reason. It’s like going to a bar: most people don’t go to bars anticipating privacy. Same with events.
If there aren’t any events that appeal to you, you could always organize something, invite your friends and suggest that they bring along some of their friends as well. Grow that friends circle, expand it through mutual connections.
And lastly, why would approaching women we find interesting mean that we believe that they are in this world for our entertainment and reward for our good behavior?
That’s not exactly what I was saying. I used the phrase “one of those guys” intentionally, because we all know that stereotype. Why is it a stereotype? Because so many men behave like that. That’s simply an unfortunate reality that you, as a man, will have to deal with: others that share your gender are making us all look bad, and the onus is not on a woman to know the difference from one guy to the next. The onus is on us to demonstrate, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that we are better than those types of men. And yes, we will have to deal with the fact that in the eyes of any woman we approach, we start off on a really bad footing. We are Schrödinger’s Rapist, thanks to the many men who are actual rapists.
Keep this in mind: there’s a 33% chance that the woman you approach has been raped, stalked, or beaten, and a 100% chance that she knows someone close to her who was. The residual effects of these things can last very long and have a severe impact. You might respond to that with “But I would never do such horrible things!” but the truth is, the men who do often say the exact same thing—even after they’ve done just that.
Casually throwing the Nice Guy™️ syndrome into the mix seems uncalled for.
If you feel personally slighted by such remarks being made in your vicinity (after all, I didn’t say them directly to you), you would probably benefit from spending some time examining that. I won’t explore what this kind of thing may reveal or suggest about you, as that’s presumptuous and rude, but it’s certainly worth examining because that kind of remark shouldn’t affect you like that.
Why wouldn’t the reason be that we simply find them interesting (the same reason why women approach men)? I’m not sure if accusing the whole gender of being entitled is helpful.
If you find a woman interesting but you prioritize your desire to talk to them over their desire to be left alone, you’re disrespecting them and violating their boundaries. This very much would put you in the category of “those guys”, and is most definitely not something I ever accused the entire gender of. Please keep in mind the context of my piece: violations of very clearly defined boundaries. Headphones on = boundary. This is not a matter that is up for debate or subjective interpretation, even if plenty of women may exist who may not get upset with you if you bothered them while they were wearing headphones. Just because it is a boundary doesn’t mean everyone feels equally strongly about it.
Never in my piece was I talking about approaching women in any and all circumstances and scenarios in general. It was a very specific subset that I was discussing, and within that subset, disrupting a woman with headphones on is an act of entitlement. That, in no way whatsoever, is saying that approaching a woman in other contexts is an act of entitlement.
So, to sum up: I get that you weren’t making it personal in your response to me, and I didn’t take it as such, which is why I’m grateful to you for taking the time to write your response. But I got the sense that you took some of my piece personal, on your end, and that is something I think, once again, is worth examining why.
For instance, just because I say “men are Schrödinger’s Rapist in the eyes of many women” doesn’t mean I’m calling every man a rapist, and it most certainly is not some kind of personal attack on you (or any other man reading this). If you were reading it as either of those things, I’d love to know what made you think that, as I genuinely don’t understand why one would.
Hope this helped clarify a bit!