Open letter to the man that insisted upon my number on the train this morning

Listen to me you bold, charmless, no good motherfucker,

Men like you really feel as though pressure is the truest and most certain way to get a woman's name, her phone number, or even any sort of sexual female attention.

You will push and prod and shame and berate us in the hopes that you can force us into your bed because what we feel is unimportant, and what you want at that moment is all that matters.

I am sick of the way men who approach me feel like they can treat me.

Men who would not ever be bold enough to say these things to me if I were sat with my boyfriend, but insist that my having a boyfriend doesn't matter to them and they want my number anyway.

Well, it matters to me you tactless piece of shit, and it matters far more to me than you ever will. The fact that I am only safe from creeps like you when I am with a man, that the only way I can think to defend myself is by saying 'hey, hey there is a man that claims me for his own!! You can't have me ha hah ahaha haaa....'

But beyond that, even if I were single I would never ever give you my phone number or even the time of day because you feel like making me feel small, feel bad about myself, or feel bad for you is the way to appeal to me. Not only that, but you feel like I owe you attention anyway.

I think you are disgusting.

 Men like you approach me somewhat regularly and please do not think I am bragging because it is a horrible experience and I would wish it on absolutely no one. Enough women go through it though, and it makes me wonder how I could ever chastise a woman for thinking all men are the same.

Seriously, we as a society will talk poorly of women who generalize about the way men are, who comment on how all men are the same, and all those similar ideas about men. We tell her, 'well why don't you stop rejecting all the good guys out there and stop generalizing an entire sex?'

Well, consider what I am about to say to you:

If your experience of men expressing a sexual interest in you is a constant wave of shitheads who think that the correct way to talk to you is to make you feel small, stupid, rude, and like you owe them your body, and to top it off these are men that you have not chosen to speak to yourself and men that you are not even attracted to, that can have a long lasting effect on your self-esteem. Maybe, the only way to hold onto any love for yourself you may still have is to hope that men are just awful, hope upon hope that it's not all your fault and that this is just the way men express themselves.

"How dare you look attractive and not let me speak to you?" these men all say indirectly, "how dare you not find my insulting comments complimentary, how dare you not want to engage with me, how dare you not want to let me fucking violate you? You're rude, you're ugly, I never liked you anyway and no one ever will. How you feel doesn't matter, it's what I feel is important because you are nothing more than something for me to enjoy."

 Imagine internalizing all those things over and over again and trying to hold on to your self-esteem and your faith in men. Imagine being me, right now, with a boyfriend who tells me he loves me and that I'm the most beautiful woman he has ever met, and just not being able to believe a word he says no matter how desperately I try. Imagine feeling deep down like you're worth far, far less than anyone could ever think you're worth because you've had ugly, foul words stuffed down your throat by men who you did not even choose to encounter.

I am furious on behalf of myself, my mother, my cousins, my friends, my coworkers, and every woman that has ever had to be treated like an object by a man that she is worth far more than on any given day, and I am not the first to write about this but I hope to God I am the last. I am sick and tired of us being mistreated. I'm sick of young, terrified girls being pushed into corners of rooms that they never chose to step into, by men who do not know how to properly treat another human being, and having that mould the shape of their self-worth.

Now, you could try to say that I am overreacting, that being asked for your number is a compliment, or that a few men should not be the ruler by which you measure your self-worth.

Unfortunately, you scumbag, we do not choose the things that haunt us, or the things that shape who we are as a person. I think the reason I gravitated towards online dating when I was dating, is because I honestly associate being approached by a man with fear, pressure, and intimidation.

I've heard the (kind of bullshit but whatever) supposition that often women are not clear enough when they say 'no', that all the umming and erring can appear as though we are slowly being won over. So I've worked up the courage, because please understand that more often than not this is a frightening experience, to use a hard 'no' and draw a firm line in the sand. It has served only, especially in the case that prompted this rant, to spur these men on further. Countless questions (Why? What don't you like? What's the matter? Are you a lesbian?), pleading (Do you want me to beg? Please, I'll do anything! I HAVE to have your number! Please don't say no, you'll break my heart!), followed then by insults and questions on my character (You know, you're being extremely rude. You'll never find a husband that way. Well, you're ugly anyway. What a bitch.)

I don't enjoy that these gross interactions have had such a profound effect on me, but what I will say is that I think the fact that at this point in my life it makes me angry is a blessing. I'm lucky that I've stopped internalising the words and the awful situations, and I've started feeling a sense of injustice. I have been wronged, and I know that. The problem is it took a long time and a lot of feeling awful to get to that point.

You're an awful person, creep-from-the-train, and I'm aware of that, and I wish I didn't have to feel panicked and afraid in the face of other men like you before I understood that completely.

But thank you for flipping that switch in my brain you asshole! You've succeeded in doing the opposite of what you planned on doing: you've made me feel good about myself, and therefore thoroughly more disgusted by you.



Popular Posts