One day I was in line at a grocery store and I heard a younger man behind me say “hey, your hair looks nice.” Instantly, I felt myself seize up. I didn’t know this person. He was a random person behind me in the store who hadn’t even said hello. He decided it was okay to objectify me in line at a grocery store. What was I supposed to do?
“Oh yes, have me now! Have me now right in front of the cashier!” Is that what I was supposed to say? This strange man arrogantly assumed that I would fawn over him because of his unwanted compliment. Men just assume they can go up to any woman and tell them their hair looks nice or they have a nice smile. They aren’t even aware of their automatic predatory behavior.
I am not here for your viewing pleasure, sir. I do not want you and I am not going to start stripping for you just because you tell me my hair looks “nice.” I was busy minding my own business when you decided to interrupt my day. Men think that they can just advance upon us as if we are always in wait for them to come rescue us from our mundane lives.
Well I’ll have you know strange younger man behind me in line, I am not interested and your unwanted advancements and I was much happier before you entered my life. Leave women alone. If we are interested we will let you know. Otherwise, don’t assume that a woman wants your compliment.
This is why we need to educate boys. We need to start teaching them in school to leave the girls alone and that they have probably already started contributing to rape culture by flirting with girls and making them uncomfortable. Say hello. A girl or woman will tell you if she wants anything more than that. There’s no reason to start staring at her hair and telling her it looks nice. That’s going to set her on edge immediately.
Men, learn your place. We don’t all want you all the time and we aren’t asking for it. Educate yourself about rape culture and stop being a part of the problem, and start calling out your fellow man for aggressively coming on to strange women.